Missing Blogs

My Web server's hard drive crapped out. The hackers killed me a month ago. Lots of time and effort to restore. Made a backup on Jan. 19. Meant to get the backup cycle up and running again. In fact, was just backing up the entire hard drive when it died. No warning. An IBM. First time this has happened to me in years that a drive dies, unrecoverably - made interesting beeping noises. There must be piezoelectrics in it that get triggered in these extreme cases. So I lost a couple weeks of a very few things: stuff that was only on the site and not stored elsewhere. Which includes my blog. Gah. More backups in my future. Everything else is backed up nightly, I swear.

Thank Goodness for Google. They captured my last few blog entries (between Jan. 19 and yesterday), so I can repost them when I've had some sleep. Thanks, Google!

Here are the important missing entries...

Sowing Memes

It was inevitable. My fiancee has started her own blog.

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Kitty Bud

One of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life was happening upon my cat at about 2 a.m. on the floor of the bathroom writhing around and purring, dental floss grabbed between her four legs. ("Dear Purrhouse?") I was reading The Botany of Desire last night, a book about humanity's co-evolution with four plants (apple, tulip, marijuana, potato). The author describes his cat's daily doled-out visits to the catnip stand, and it reminded me of Early Grey's wee hour escapades. The floss was mint-flavored. Catnip is a member of the mint family. The extract they chose was obviously too close to catnip, and Earl had fished the floss out of the trash. We wrote the floss maker, and got a couple replies as they tried to pass it on to the right department, but never heard back about whether they thought this was funny or not. I guess companies don't "get" funny.

Postscript! Kitty lovers, don't worry. We started flushing the floss after discovering some floss in the kitty's dross. Kitty lived with us for about a year and a half; she belonged to a late roommate whose father and partner took the cat when they were ready for her. Here's a very picturesque photo of the lovely Earl Grey.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

United We Lie (for a discount)

I'm a United Airlines frequent flyer - Premiere Level - and have flown them almost exclusively for years. I've heard horror stories from others, but they have consistently been a great airline to me with very few lapses. I subscribe to one of their opt-in newsletters because a) they gave me miles to do so; b) they actually offer interesting deals that I sometimes use.

But I got a very weird discount offer from them today. I'm not inventing this.

Dear Glenn I Fleishman,

Send a message to the U.S. Olympic Team.

Get 10% off a future flight.

We're longtime fans of Team USA. We've been flying them since 1980. To
training locations. Competitions. And events all around the globe.
Now, you can show your support and see the world for less.

Wish the athletes good luck in Salt Lake City. Send your personal
message to the team by February 25, 2002. Weâll send you a certificate
for 10% off your next flight. So, cheer them on. Write a few words of
encouragement. And inspire them all the way to victory.

It's free and itâs easy. To post your message to the U.S.
Olympic Team and get your 10% off certificate, simply visit:

United. Flying America's Team for 22 years.

So, what, they're not going to tell the athletes that these are bought and paid for good luck letters? Very strange. Even better: the link didn't work when I tried it, nor does it work at the moment.

Monday, January 28, 2002

Apple Hits 9 Digits

Apple announces a dual 1 GHz PowerMac. Their previous fastest model was dual 800's, though they had a faster single processor unit. Because OS X has symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) in the kernel, many applications can treat the two 1 GHz chips like a single pool of processing power. Some programs (as I understand it) need to be rewritten, but others pipeline their operations through in such a way that the kernel handles it. I also don't doubt Apple's specs comparing two 1 GHz G4s with one 2 GHz Pentium IV. The G4's pipelining stage is clearly more efficient than the PIV, and Intel has already talked about redesigning that huge bottleneck in future chip designs.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Snow Day

Lynn and I tramped about a bit outside after we had some rare snow in Seattle. It didn't stick much, but it kept coming and going: a small flurrey, some rain, some sleet, some tiny hail. Some photos.