Windowseat Web Log
Why a Web Log? / The Usual Sources / Archive

Week of . . . November 28, 1998

Other stuff I'm thankful for: my family,, science fiction fandom,, rec.arts.sf.fandom, ecto, signal-to-noise, Minicon, Santorini's brunch, KBEM, my cats (and cats in general), scottie dogs, good books, good tv, good movies, good music, VCRs, UNIX, the IMDB, CDDB, computer solitaire, Palm Pilots, my family, people who send me email (even when I'm lousy about writing back), cool catalogs, Entertainment Weekly, Broadway Pizza, web logs, X-files fan fiction, anything that glows in the dark, the woods behind my apartment, The Empire Strikes Back, and Daffy Duck.

I'm thankful for geeks and for Jon Katz for writing this beautiful thank you:

I thank them for grungy apartments, surge protectors with wires sprouting like wild beans, humming computers that are always on, for the piles of discs and manuals that surround them, for their extraordinary patience browsing and downloading. I thank them for loving movies and TV and the rest of popular culture so much, even as the normal world seems to hate it more and more all the time.

I'm thankful for old friends like Michael Finley and for his thanksgiving piece which thanks those who've patiently explained techie stuff to those who couldn't quite figure it out on their own. Pie for techies:

Friends, a tech-head confronting something as undigitizable and as nonvirtual as an apple pie is a scary thing. It is pure analog information, like a dog or a galosh or cinder block, only better.

I'm thankful for knowing Michael from my Citadel BBS days. Met Lileks there, too. And Shaun (of the dinner mention earlier in this log). Lots of other fine folks. For all the friends I made there... those I'm still in contact with, those I haven't talked to in eons, those now estranged. I spent the years from age 15 to 23 or so there (off and on in later years), probably sharing too much. But the friends I made are invaluable. As are the lessons I learned.

Thanksgiving always reminds me of a song called "Thanksgiving" by Poi Dog Pondering. Funny, I hadn't really listened to their albums in a year or so and now I still can't get this one song of theirs out of my head. I know about their mailing list, just now found their official site. I find I've missed an album or two, time to fix that.

I'm quite fond of Jon Carroll's Thanksgiving column. Yeah, like that. I am thankful for those who write the columns and weblogs and webpages I read daily.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Shaun, we were talking about how the net has changed over the years, how there's so much stuff out there now. And as evidence of how you can find pages about anything, no matter how obscure... he mentioned that there are at least three webpages devoted to "the Menards Guy".

He's right. Why did I feel compelled to look? Crazed curiosity? And why am I telling you this?

Argh! So it looks like the final installment of a three-part Newsradio aired this Tuesday night. When the show normally airs on Wednesday night on NBC. Last Wednesday, it was pre-empted for Dateline. And it looks like it doesn't air next Tuesday. So has the bloody show moved (again) or not? Grrr. And yeah, I missed it. I know, I should just go to the fabulous TV Grid and search on the shows I watch or have them email me reminders. It's a grand service. Right now, I'm just mad at NBC (but what else is new?). Oh well, it's a network that reruns everything (except Homicide: Life on the Street) a zillion times. Still. My least favorite TV experience: to look for a favorite show to find yet another installment of Dateline. Bleah.

Probably old news, but I'm only just now seeing the cat-scan page. As in scans of... cats. Cats on scanners. Of course.

Microsoft is making phones now? Be afraid.

Cool as it was, people had an interesting reaction to the device. I showed a co-worker the phone, with my finger over the word MICROSOFT. He thought it looked neat. I withdrew my finger, revealing its origin.

"AAAHHHH!" he said.

Part review, mostly a glimpse at The Microsoft Future in a piece from the Star Tribune's Tech section, by that Lileks guy again.

Oh my, I laughed out loud at this Backfence column by James Lileks. In which he makes up his own letters since he forgot to ask readers to write in re Turkey Day. Maybe I'm just in the mood for e/v/i/l/ festive Thanksgiving carols...

I get a little crabby about the net sometimes, but then I catch a little bit like this, in an X-files fan's list of things to be thankful for. Makes me smile:

The Internet. Well, I don't know what *I'd* do without it. I remember the days when I was an ST:TNG fan, and precious bits of information about the show and the actors were damn hard to come by. I made weekly pilgrimages to the comic book store to see if the new Starlog was out, in hopes of finding out just what the name of that guy who played Riker was. Now, Gillian [Anderson, of The X-Files] does a power saw commercial in Finland and within 24 hours it's uploaded to the Web, complete with screen captures and a transcript; within 48 hours it's been analyzed and dissected by the online fan community; and within 72 hours it's old news and anyone asking about it is told to read the FAQ and stop trolling. Ah, the life!

I wish I could say Jon Katz is just being gloomy, but I agree more with him than I do with the other folks I've seen talking about this thus far. Another missive at

Hynotically, one could almost see the new paradigm shaping up right under our noses, the big Net story for the next five years. Gates vs Case, the Geek Visionary against the Main Street Business Whiz. From the Monica Lewinsky story to control of the Internet, our media now sees everything as a kind of NFL match-up. Starr vs. Clinton. Gates vs. Case.

This is turning out to be even worse than it appeared yesterday.

There was some chatter in the papers and on TV and radio this morning about the culture clash between Netscape and AOL, but that will be the shortest-lived business story ever. There is no clash. Netscape won't have a culture for very much longer.

I think Netscape, the browser, will live on. But I dread the Case vs Gates stuff bigtime. I hope jwz of is right about mozilla not being Netscape nor AOL.

Depressing news. I agree (for the most part) with Jon Katz's take on things at

The absorption of Netscape into yet another media hydra, an AOL-Sun-Netscape conglomerate with earnings of more $12 billion, is a catastrophe. There are no upsides or soothing rationales.

Looking for other Web Logs? Raphael Carter is now editing the NewHoo/Open Directory category for web logs. I'm particularly fond of Raphael's HoneyGuide Web Log and Jorn's Robot Wisdom Web Log, but I like the rest of the active ones on the list quite a bit, too. Web logs are cool.

<imho rant>
If you know anyone who says/writes "addy" as shorthand for "address," please tell them to stop it. I really really can't stand it. Is it so much harder to type "address" than "addy"? If so, you don't type fast enough to be online anyway.
(Sorry, I can't take it anymore! And no, I'm not really for typing tests, and I know very fine people who don't or can't type who are online. Though I don't think any of them would ever say "addy".)
</imho rant>

The X-Files aired a very cool episode last weekend, called "Triangle," in which our heroes visit the Bermuda Triangle. As Autumn Tysko says in her nifty review:

And at the end I clapped. First and foremost this is television. It's entertainment. And "Triangle" just entertained the hell out of me.

Saw Living Out Loud this past weekend (my mini-review is in now playing). I agree with this review by Charles Taylor @ salon:

"Living Out Loud" feels true to the sensibility that's come through in LaGravenese's best work -- the romantic, the storyteller in love with magic and with the possibilities of the city. In "Living Out Loud" he clears out the dreck that's mucked up so many recent movie romances. He never lets the picture get bogged down in heartache, and that's why it's satisfying even though it resists tying things up neatly with the old cliché that there's a somebody for everybody. LaGravenese has a blessedly light touch when it comes to melancholy. To him, it's just another part of romance, and he digs it.

Home / Revised: November 27, 1998 / Laurel Krahn /