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January 30, 2004

What moving away from the midwest will do for you.....

Besides the obvious opportunity to, you know, see stuff, getting out of the midwest opens up a lot of opportunities for us middle-class or less types.

Prior to job seeking, and ultimately moving out to California, my "visited states" map was much more polar:

Now, after living here for a while, and a ton of weddings last summer, it's more like this:


create your own visited states map

Alright, well, it'd be much more drastic if I did it county-by-county, or number of visits to each, or something. Outside of the intersection of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and the two satellite cities I'd visited a lot (Chicago, and St. Louis), all of the rest of the states were touched mostly at borders.

Thanks to kwc for the link

January 28, 2004

Amazon needs a historical archive of "Purchase Circles"

I was just cleaning out an old system, and ran across a bookmark to the Amazon.com purchase circle for Xerox PARC, where I work (only we call it just plain "PARC" now).

Here's the link

I wish I had a historical view of this. I'm pretty sure when I first made this bookmark, it was a more interesting selection of stuff, more related to PARC's strengths. Now it's kind of humorous - either more of us have personal stuff shipped to PARC than we once did, or we've just caught up to the normal, pedestrian, everyday pop-culture norms. I do find it amusing that A Round-Heeled Woman : My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance is at the top of the "uniquely best selling" list.

Check your presidential candidate alignment!

Found this site interesting - PresidentMatch . I'm not sure what it reveals about me, but here's my ranking:


Kucinich
Kerry
Sharpton
Dean
Clark
Edwards
Lieberman
Bush

Hrm, Bush at the bottom? No surprises there.... All of the candidates but Bush were ranked nearly 80% or more.

January 12, 2004

More on automatic notes to the web...

Well, I found a way to put it all together that makes me fairly happy.

First of all, I was wrong. Circus Ponies Notebook actually already does the unique web URL thing... I wrote in a feature request, and the answer came back to, well, look at what it already does. I just hadn't paid enough attention to the output it was generating.

For instance, here is a page of notes I took over a year ago. They also appear to go by this address, because I entered that in the little info dialog for the page in the notebook.

Family video project

J shared me with a neat idea she had for a project a month or so ago. She wanted to interview members of her family in short video form, and create a set of DVDs for a future gift back to all who participate.

I didn't initially warm up to the idea. She feels a bit stronger about it, largely because her mom passed away a few years ago of cancer, and she wishes that people like me, who came along later than that, could've had something to know her by.

Eventually, I came around... mostly when I realized it gave me an opportunity to buy a new gadget or two. Actually, I felt some of the same desire to preserve my family. We're all notorious for avoiding being captured on film or other reproducible media. After having brought it up at home while visiting this holiday, I can see why - there were quite a few embarrassing photos and videos my parents dragged out.

Anyway, the project is going to take forever. Over the holidays, J and I took about 13 tapes worth of video, probably more than 10 hours worth. We were hoping for about a 20 minute interview per person... and most of J's family hit this mark. A bunch of my family, unsurprisingly, were more verbose. Oh well. We've probably still got that much more video to collect, and probably over a much larger time: we got all of the easy-to-find people already.

Next up is planning how to distribute people amongst the DVDs, and the slow and fairly time-consuming process of "importing" the miniDV tapes to my various arrays of large hard drives. Each tape can hold up to 10gigs worth of video, so it's going to take some careful storage management.

There were lots of good stories told by the old-timers. I hope to eventually add a category here and transcribe some, if only because it's going to be a long time until the Google of video search comes along... not to mention a long time before I start posting any kind of videos like that to the web.

Anyone have any thoughts on the various semi-pro video editing tools? I'm leaning towards Final Cut Express, but I've seen another couple of sets of tools around that look good, particularly PureMotion EditStudio, which, at least if you believe their hype, is a pretty quality product for a pretty decent price.