webdb class

Taught my first class to adults tonight. It went really well for the most part. We actually covered more ground in the first session than I thought we would. Aside from the fact that several students kept working on other students files accidentally, we got through forms, variables, and control structures. Some of them actually started to get excited, which is all I can hope for. And I enjoyed it. If the rest of the class goes this well, I wouldn’t mind doing this freelance (though I’d probably rather just have normal freelance php gigs).

Danny Pearl

Just attended a memorial service for murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. A panel hosted by two WSJ reporters and Michael Lerner, rabbi and editor of Tikkun. Fascinating perspectives, especially since it was the first time I had gotten to see a rabbi and an atheist sitting side by side at a round table.

Got a lot of behind the scenes information, far outside of what you hear in the press. Stuff about how news organizations deal with overseas reporters, about the preponderance of Jewish editors and reporters, and how they’re received overseas. Heard the Kaddish recited for the first time (not counting Ginsberg’s version ;). It was beautiful.


Figured out today how to make phpmyadmin run multi-user (like it might through an ISP) so I can have students in my webdb class use phpmyadmin for their class projects without being able to see the databases that drive the main site.

Primal Drum

Amy just called to say she had gotten back from the doctor and heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. She described it as the sound of “tiny little horse hoof-beats.” And that she could hear her own deeper, slower heartbeat in the background. So the baby is tuned in to the elemental rhythm, and making one of its own. The primal funk. What a moment, wish I had been there.

Glutton Bowl

We didn’t want to see olympic hockey so switched to Fox, only to find ourselves watching this hugely overproduced food eating contest called “Glutton Bowl.” They bring chronic over-eaters in from all over the country and pit them against each other eating enormous portions of slop. They start by dumping 1,000 lbs of whatever the food for the contest is going to be onto the stage from on high. Then they introduce the “athletes” with “food facts” like “Once banned from an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet.”

We saw a 23-yr-old Japanese kid eat 31 hot dogs in 5 minutes, winning easily. Then we saw a second group have to slop down mayonnaise in 32-oz. servings. Said one host to the other, “Some of these gustatory athletes have the ability to eat without tasting, which is a huge advantage.” Changed the channel and didn’t see the winner of that one.

It is a strange and beautiful world.


Amy has been saying for years that she wanted a son to name “Otto.” I’ve always hated the name (can only think of a stoned bus driver or a twirpy little fascist). Most people hate it like I do, but about 10% like it. Amy thinks mostly of Otto Preminger. This valentine should put the final nail in the coffin of the Otto idea. Anyway, it ain’t gonna happen — A has recently backed off. I think she mainly keeps using it just to push my buttons ;)



Just went to see The Endurance with Amy – pretty amazing, moving. Rare that we go to a documentary in the theater. The range and scope of human experience never ceases to amaze me. All of the times in history a human can be born, all of the cultures, all of the extreme experiences to which we can be subjected. These guys were changed for life by what they went through. What really sent me was the fact that so many of them felt compelled to return to the site years later, like Stockholm Syndrome or something.

Dinner at Jin Ling. Mmmm… curry.

Found a pretty cheap G4 for dad on craigslist. He’s miserable since I switched him to Windows. All he wants is the simplicity of BeOS back, and to play with his digital photos. I think OS X will be just the ticket for him. Going up to Tahoe with this weekend for some snowboarding, will lay it on him then.

The Fine Print

Are TiBooks really this bad? Most of what I’ve seen has been positive, but this makes me think twice. If any of you Mac-fiends have TiBook comments for , he’d like to hear them.


Amy and I went after work to Wheeler auditorium to see a lecture by Sebastião Salgado. I had put up a page promoting the event a few days ago, but it turned out that the whole city of Berkeley wanted to be there. We arrived 20 minutes early and were turned away along with thousands (not exaggerating) of other people.

Kissthisguy got mentioned in PC Mag as one of the web’s 100 best “undiscovered sites.” (Thanks for the headsup, dhuff).

Insane day at work. I’m really starting to feel like part of the staff, involved in tons of stuff, not just hunkered down in a lonely dungeon. It’s nice. My to-do list is starting to stretch way beyond what I can do in the next few months.

Amy and I saw “A Beautiful Mind” Sunday afternoon. Really, really loved it. Didn’t expect to be so impressed by R. Crowe. Always love Ed Harris. Have long been fascinated by people who see patterns everywhere they look – faces in clouds, in fences, in bushes, etc. They’re there, but not there. Anyway, heard long ago there’s a correspondence between advanced pattern recognition, intelligence, and schizophrenia. So it was interesting to see this story of that correspondence benefitting someone so acutely, then ruining them so deeply. We talked about it for a long time afterwards.


Interesting that a netcraft lookup on betips shows the whole history of server/platforms I’ve run the site against, from poorman (unknown) through apache/bone, apache/linux, apache advanced extranet, apache/darwin. Sort of like my web server is keeping its own blog ;)