Trygve.Com > Diary > JournalWeblogDiaryWhatsis - May, 2002
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World Conquest
May 2002
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just me by the fireplace

because ... well ... why the hell not ...?

it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Thursday, May 30th


Don't Looksmart Now:

Looksmart [ ], a web directory/search engine that's one of the sources feeding search results on MSN and several other well-known sites seems quite determined in its campaign to get rid of any possible stigma that might result from having "smart" in their name. Why they didn't just change their company and domain name to something more in keeping with their philosophy, I don't know. Books "for dummies" and "for the idiot" are certainly hot these days, so why not switch to "lookdumb" or "lookstupid"?

Right now Looksmart is continuing to pelt me (both at my real email address and several others at Trygve.Com that they're apparently just making up on the fly, like "sales," "marketing," and the like) with notices that my little list of stuff related to the usenet newsgroup Soc.Singles [ ] is a "commercial site" and that I need to start paying them fifteen cents per visitor that comes in from MSN or any other domain that uses their listings.

Fifteen cents might not sound like a lot, but I do get several thousand visitors per day and if everybody started adopting a similar fee schedule, we'd be talking about coughing up something in the high hundreds of dollars every single day for just another personal site on the net. On the plus side, Looksmart has already long been totally blown away by Google [ ] and the Open Directory Project [ ] so it's not like they've ever produced a large number of hits to begin with.

Just in case sending these odd bursts of email to made-up addresses wasn't enough to convince me of their corporate looniness, they've thoughfully included the description their editors had come up with for the page in question, which they tell me I could enjoy sharing with the rest of humanity if only I'd fork over the dough:

Soc Singles |
Before accessing recipes, jokes, exercise tips, company profiles and multimedia functions, check out this singles' page offering love chat rooms.

Um, yeah. So how come nobody ever told me about these "love chat rooms" I'm offering? And just who's been on them? I don't know how you feel about this, but I think it's unfair that there's a whole bunch of people chatting each other up on my website and I don't even know about it. Oh, well; I guess it's okay as long as they're having a good time, wherever they are.

But, no matter whom Looksmart's editors have been chatting with--or what they've been smoking--I'm still of the opinion that switching their directory over to a pay-per-click system is likely to do what it does to every other pay-per-click directory; namely, remove any and all sites that would actually be worth clicking through to, and replace them with online casinos, porn sites, multi-level marketing schemes, and other scams.

Maybe I should offer them a new directory listing for their own site, updated to better reflect their new corporate direction and philosophy:

Looksmart |
Working get you to use a different web directory.

Wednesday, May 29th


Big in Japan:

On impulse, I pulled down a copy of the Webalizer logfile analysis program [ ] (which, by the way, is pretty darned good and free--a combination that's hard to beat) and let it have a go at yesterday's Trygve.Com logfiles.

Despite being an occasional logfile voyeur, I'd never run an analysis program that went beyond doing a rough hit/visitor count before. One interesting stat that popped out was the geographic distribution of visitors. Not too surprisingly for a US-based, English-language site, the United States topped the charts with 41% of visitors, far more than had come from any of the other seventy countries whose electronic delegates had dropped by during the day. A little more surprising was yesterday's jump in traffic from Japan, with 727 unique visitors accounting for 11% of the day's total, edging out Australia, Canada, and the UK, countries that I'd have expected to account for a greater share of traffic.

Radio Shack's enthusiastic and usually fully-clothed counter staff

But sometimes logfiles can be misleading; the small Polynesian island of Niue, according to the CIA World Factbook [ ], is estimated to have a population of 2124, so if I'd really gotten 176 visitors from there, as had been listed in the logfile, that would have meant more than 8% of the entire country's population had dropped in for at least a quick peek. Alas, I probably shouldn't be planning a tour out there any time soon, since, like Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cocos Islands, and Micronesia, Niue has been letting people of who-knows-what nationalities make extensive use of its domain space for their own non-Niuean purposes.

There weren't a lot of surprises on the search engine front, though. The Webalizer will squirt out a full listing of all the distinct strings entered into search engines that brought them to your site (and how many times the same search string had been typed in), but out of 1218 distinct search words or phrases, the only one that even jumped out as a little bit odd was "Radioshack Nude Pics." But, whether that particular visitor has an unusual brick-and-mortar fetish or has simply enjoyed a higher level of service from Radio Shack's enthusiastic and usually fully-clothed counter staff than I'd experienced in the past, it's not like there's anything immoral about that.

Tuesday, May 28th


Shadows, Tequila, and Bears:

Mark fell off a cliff Friday.

Some guys have all the luck.

Spring's here and all the film productions that had been getting delayed and rescheduled over and over again for the last couple of months have suddenly started filming for real...and, not too surprisingly, several that had originally been scheduled in a nice, organized, sequential manner are now going on at the same time.

So Mark Steven Grove is out in Las Vegas at the moment doing Tequila Express (that's the one where he's doing the cliff diving without the water), Julian Jung Lee is out in magnificent Meeker, Colorado, doing the first bits of filming for Dancing Bear and I'm hanging out here with a broken foot because right now there's no cinematic demand for Crutch-Fu.

Not all Mark's luck has been good, though. Just before it was supposed to be heading out to Las Vegas, the now familiar yellow stunt van got creamed when the driver in the lane to its right tried to make a U-turn through the stunt van.

It didn't work. The result was more like a "J..." turn, with an ellipsis of little yellow van bits. Fortunately, nobody was injured, and even the highfall bag (also shown in this picture) survived unscathed. Besides the van, the only other casualty was one of my crossbows...sadly, just after it had made its screen debut in Shadow War.

taking the highfall bag out of the stunt van
Michelle Grove on the cover of Rocky Mountain Spotlight

Speaking of Shadow War, Michelle Grove made the cover of Saturday's Rocky Mountain News Spotlight with behind-the-scenes shots of her in action during filming.

(That's the production I'd gotten injured on--before the cameras started rolling, unfortunately--so there aren't any exciting pictures of me this time. Oh, well.)

Saturday, May 25th


Fire and Ice:

It's already been quite the year for forest fires in this part of the world; already this month there had been two fires up in the mountains that had been big enough (and upwind enough) to darken the skies and make the day smell like there just must be some mysterious barbecue following you around all the time, somewhere just out of sight.

All the "nearby" fires have been about twenty miles away, and Wednesday's Schoonover Fire was also--but it wasn't upwind, so it was easier to see and harder to smell.

schoonover fire, may 22nd, 2002

schoonover fire, may 22nd, 2002

One advantage of living in the prairie is that there's not much forest around to have a forest fire with. Even if that cluster of three trees just across the road caught fire, chances are that the blaze wouldn't be spreading to any of the houses in the area.

snowfall, may 24th, 2002

snowfall, may 24th, 2002

The Schoonover fire consumed between four and five thousand acres, and then it started snowing. Some parts at higher elevations got as much as 19.5 inches of snow. I got more like one or two by morning

snowfall, may 24th, 2002

snowfall, may 24th, 2002

and a bit more mid-day when the snowfall resumed; not a lot of snow, to be sure, but there'd been hardly any this past winter, so not too many people would complain about getting a little more even this late in the season.

Thursday, May 16th


Heavy Metal g-String:

Got back from a follow-up visit to the orthopedist, three weeks after having broken my right foot. All my injuries happen on my right side, for some reason. For my next stunt or fight scene, I'm going to have to try leading with my left; at least I might get some variety that way.

Maybe I'm the only person who finds this amusing, but every time I've had X-rays done for this injury, the radiologist has handed me a lead-lined codpiece to cover my crotch with. I guess the rest of me is fair game where radiation is concerned, but the naughty bits must be protected. (Only through constant vigilance can we spare the delicate sensibilities of Superman and innocent radiologists worldwide, doncha know.)

On the plus side, though they'd originally quoted me six-to-eight weeks before I'd be able to start making much use of that extremity, on the follow-up X-rays taken today, the doctor couldn't even find the break any more. While this isn't so thrilling news that I'm thinking of going out dancing tonight, it's still pretty good news, especially considering that we're talking about an injury that's normally rather slow to heal at best--and I'd been extra concerned since I'd already had to re-grow much of the circulatory and nervous systems in that limb after the last time.

One of the inconvenient aspects of not being a flatworm is that these things do take a bit longer--but on the plus side, at least I don't have to worry about accidentally growing back two feet on my right ankle; that would make clothes shopping a mite more difficult.

Now, speaking of things flatwormian, I feel like I must have been out-of-the-loop a little too long when it comes to invertebrate phylogeny, which is weirding me out a little. Like a lot of you, I'd been long used to thinking of taxonomical affinities in pretty much the way that Brusca and Brusca used in Invertebrates. Even if I've long harbored a sneaking feeling that arthropoda might not be monophyletic (with biramia being the odd taxon out), I was a little taken aback when poking around in the University of California Museum of Paleontology's online phylogeny exhibit [ ] where they've shuffled around nematoda to be nestled up next to arthropoda and classified annelida with mollusca.

Granted, this might be old news to a lot of you, but obviously I have a little catching up to do on metazoan systematics. But, then, no matter how unblemished my X-rays are, I might just be spending a little more time sitting in front of the computer than usual over the next few weeks anyway.

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