Archive for December, 2004

Celebrating 10 Years on the Web

December 2004 marks the ten-year anniversary of something very near and dear to my heart.

My first web page.

At the time, I was a freshman at MWC and had spent my first semester adapting to college life, getting mono, and putzing around on the school’s computers (which, as a CS student, I had pretty frequent access to). The web browser of choice was NCSA Mosaic (version 1.0, I think). HTML was in its infancy… I don’t think you could even specify background colors or images. It was all black text on gray backgrounds and, if you were lucky, some spotty GIF images. My first page said “Laze’s Home Page” across the top in big letters (Times New Roman, of course, because there was no choice) and had an image of Grover sitting on the toilet. There was one other student who had his page up a few weeks before me, so I was the second student to have a web site at the college. Three years later, my main page was getting more hits than the front page of the college’s site. Yowza.

Ernie Ackermann was a big help in getting me started with my site and acting as an advocate. In 1995, a state politician in Richmond complained to the school because I had a link to the infamous Butt Page on my site and he didn’t think it was “appropriate” to have such a link on school servers. Ernie had my back (bad choice of words)… Ernie supported me, though, and allowed me to make the decision about whether or not to remove the link.

By the time I graduated in 1998, I had launched several new sites of my own (most of which are still around), registered laze.net (August of 1997), teamed up with Half Pint, started what could be considered my first blog, grown a shitty beard, and landed a job as a webmaster (still here!).

Here it is, now, ten years after my humble first web page went online. I still get my kicks out of producing content, coding, and making connections through the web. I look back at the last ten years and all of the projects I’ve been involved with and realize that life would have been very different without it. I would never have met all those people that visited my site through the years, I would never have been mistaken for Maury, and toilets around the world would still be clogged. I love the web for what it was and what it’s become and for all the wonderful people that are moving it forward. Sure, it’s way more commercial now than it ever was before, but it’s also become a central part of our lives. We made it through the period of stupid growth and are now beginning to see a resurgence of great ideas. The road ahead looks bright.

Who knows if I’ll still be making my living on the web in another ten years, but you can rest assured that I’ll be around and making noise on laze.net as a cranky almost-40-year-old. Thanks for reading! I hope it hasn’t been too painful.

I was going to try and plan some massive change to laze.net in celebration of ten years on the web, but it didn’t quite happen. However, here’s some assorted miscellaneous et cetera for you to waste some time with:

  • Though my original web page is probably lost to the winds of time, here’s a version of my page from September 1995.
  • Just for kicks, I’ve added all of my pseudo-blog entries from 1998 and 1999 as well as links from my pita circa 2000 into Movable Type. All old Blogger entries were moved over earlier this month. See the sidebar for more.
  • Archive.org: http://www.mwc.edu/rmacmich/ and http://www.laze.net/ through the years. Make fun of anything you find and I will hunt you down.

I have a gas problem that Beano couldn’t fix.

Not fun: waking up Monday morning to a house so cold that it’s below what the thermostat can read (ie. < 60 degrees). Reason: the pilot light on the gas heat has gone out. Repairman coming this afternoon.

A space heater and the gas fireplace will keep at least two rooms warm.

Update: It was the igniter. Expensive little bugger, too.

Like an In-and-Out Burger

Shocker of the day: there was no line at the post office at 11:45am. I was in and out in five minutes.

Yay for holiday stress!

How the hell is it the 23rd already?

So much stuff still left to do, even though we’re about 95% done with our shopping. Cards are all going out late this year (first batch didn’t didn’t go out until Monday). Got two days worth of cooking to do tonight. And, oh yeah, wrapping.

And I get to go to the post office this afternoon to pick up a package from my PO Box… except I actually have to see a human to do it, which means it’ll take at least 15 minutes.

The whining stops now. Happy holidays.

Are your parents home?

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was upstairs and I heard the doorbell. Huyen answered it and was in charge of deflecting the young man–he was probably 20 or so–who was selling entertainment coupon books. When she greeted him, he asked her, “Are your parents home?”

Now, those of you know that know Huyen know that she’s not exactly the tallest person you’ll meet. She also has a young look about her. Fortunately, she also has a good sense of humor and didn’t kick the guy in the jingle bells like I would have.

A few months earlier Huyen was visiting her grandmother in the nursing home. Her grandmother’s nurse overheard a conversation about Huyen’s job and said, “You have a job? How old are you?” Huyen said “28” and the nurse responded, “What?! I thought you were 13!”

Of course, all this has led to Huyen’s new pet name for me: “pedophile.”

More-Than-Desperate Housewives

A pretty funny spam I just received:

4 Cheating-Wives have been matched for you in your area:

1) Jessica, 120 lbs, 5’9, 36c, 10 miles away, available Dec 17-19th
2) Laura, 127 lbs, 5’8, 36d, 8 miles away, available Dec 16-18th
3) Tabatha, 117 lbs, 5’6, 34b, 19 miles away, available most nights(husband works midnights)
4)Sandra, 134 lbs, 5’9, 36c, 21 miles away, available most week nights(looking for side-fling)

All 4 women are waiting to speak with you live & have photos. Webcam’s are available for all 4.

http://yeahfatchanceillreposttheurl,sorryrobert

It makes me wonder… could there really be a social network out there specifically for cheating housewives and the men who want them? Wifester.com?

I’m also glad that I didn’t see “5) Huyen, 0 miles away, available when you’re gone” on that list.

Nothing like a gun in the face

Had a nasty dream the other night.

I was sitting in the back seat of a school bus with some middle school-aged kids. We were chatting about music or something, when I saw one kid from the front of the bus turn around and walk down the aisle. He was carrying a large gun, it was automatic from what I could tell. The kids on the bus were starting to freak out as they saw him walk past, but apparently the bus driver didn’t notice because he kept driving. The gunman (gunboy?) approached me, looked me in the eye and casually said, “How old are you?” I responded very calmly, “29.” He responded, “Well, shoooot…” and lifted the gun, pointing it directly in my face. As he began to pull the trigger, I had a quick thought of Huyen and then I tried to duck behind the seat…

And I woke up. You know in the movies how people wake up from intense dreams with a loud gasp, bolting upright and breathing heavily? That was me (minus the bolting upright). I had to shake off the feeling of panic and rub my eyes a few times to make sure I stayed awake and didn’t drift back into the dream. It was probably the single most intense feeling of dream-fear I’ve ever had. I got up and walked around for a minute or two, but my hands and legs were still shaking when I got back into bed.

Fun!

Strung-together (out?) thoughts

Tonight will be the first company holiday party that I’ve missed. It feels a bit sad, but at the same time, there’s so much going on this month, that we needed to cut back on some of the things we’re doing. December’s too stressful of a month, so making a conscious effort to slow it down and mellow things out feels good.

Christmas shopping’s going well, though. I’m just about done with Huyen’s stuff and we’re at further along with our gifts than we usually are by this point (and we’re using a wiki to keep track of our gift-giving… is that too geeky?). Our holiday cards are another story, though.

Tomorrow we’re making our first ever visit to an Ikea (that I can remember) to pick up some of these for DVD storage. Then, it’s some shopping and eating with newly sugerized (surgery-ized?) Roberto and Ray.

I’ve made some good progress on some new projects recently. I hope to get some serious time down in the studio on Sunday to finish up a track on one of these new projects. While all the pieces won’t come together until sometime next year, this first one will kick things off nicely with a possible accompanying video (!). Good stuff.

I won’t be doing a holiday show at WMWC this year, but would anybody be interested in a one-time podcast (God, I hate that term)?

I said to a co-worker the other day: “If I could take a nine-month paid sabbatical, I bet I could get everything done that I need to get done.” I’m wondering now if I might need another year beyond that.

I’ve been having an issue with an Albanian CD store. The problem with ordering from an Albanian CD store is figuring out how to get to the “My Account” section. The other problem is getting a response from them when you have paid them via Paypal a month earlier but still haven’t received your order.

Last thing: there’s a good new Discovery special on Progeria. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s airing December 12th at 11am eastern and December 28th at noon and 3pm eastern. As they say, check local listings.

2004: The Year In Review – Books

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is always to “read more,” so I figured it might be good to see exactly how much I’ve read in the past year. Below are a list of books that I completed (or am close enough to completing that I’ll be done by the end of the month) this year. Feel free to do the same for yourself in the comments or on your own blog (but link back to this post).

Read more…

Reunited and it feels so… something

Always late with these postings. And, seriously, like I couldn’t have come up with a better title?

The Thanksgiving holiday went well at my sister’s place in Virginia Beach. My parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins were also there. ‘Twas nice seeing everybody and getting to hang out with my nieces (Alyssa, who’s two, now says my name… it comes out as “Miiiiyuuuuunnn.”

On Saturday morning, I made the six hour drive to New Jersey where I met with with Jason, Amy, Brian, and Candy and rode in with them to Philadelphia for our ten-year high school reunion. As expected, it was both weird and fun. I was really glad to run into Apurva and Pat, who I really missed being in regular touch with. Also enjoyed seeing Jen, who I went to Kindergarten with, Adam (we grew up in the same neighborhood), Rina, Megan, Jill, Gregg, Mike, April, Patty, and probably a dozen others I’m forgetting at the moment. I summed up the reunion experience over at the Ping and posted some photos as well. Mike has posted more photos that cover way more of the reunion than mine do. See if you can pick out the cheerleader, the football players, and the one dude that was so wasted he and consciousness were very close to parting ways.

Sorry my summary’s not a little better. It’s taken me six hours to write this as it is. One thing I will note is this: a significant number of the people I was talking to were burned out from their jobs/career. I guess the 28/29 age range is when it really starts to set in. Someone asked me what I wanted to do next and I said, “I dunno. Maybe I’ll be a chef.” Or a male strip-o-gram “artist.” Not sure yet.

And now it’s December. Just that fast. Didn’t we just take down our Christmas tree? I only-half-jokingly said to Huyen that we should just forgo the tree and decorating this year. I think Christmas every other year might work out better for me. So, get to work on that, OK?

That’s all for now. Go bask in the wonder that is RoboDump.