Friday, August 30, 2002

The Knitting Revolution calls you to gather

on Tuesday, September 3

In the face of growing corporate oppression, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle is boldly gathering on:

Tuesday, September 3, 6:30pm,
at the Old 'Y' (223 - 12 Avenue SW; Calgary).

There, we will strike a blow against the will of corporate rule!

At this subversive event - in defiance of manufactured dependence on corporate 'goods' for our survival - we will be freely sharing skills to enable each other to produce our own clothing and other subsistence needs. So, too, will our time together serve to build the bonds of community that have been shattered by corporate devilishness - and to break down the social walls of our society that would divide us.

In a show of allegiance with our city's noble anti-poverty activists, many at the gathering will be pouring our labour into valiantly crafting revolutionary one-foot squares. These spirited squares are to form the basis of blankets to carry our powerful message of resolute defiance against the foul forces of poverty.

As the range of our courageous skills of craft spreads, so to do those skills expand in scope. A daring revolutionary will be bringing the knowledge of the "cable-stitch" to be shared by all who would use it to confront those who would defy us! Certainly, there is a most clever metaphor to be found in the knowledge that a "cable needle" has no stopper, but rather is pointed on both ends!

All revolutionaries are called upon to seek throughout the land for the means of production. Our inspiring arsenal of yarn and needles must continue to bourgeon that we may overthrow those who would keep those tools out of the hands of the people. We will strive to provide for those without, and gratefully take in the contributions of those who - through extraordinary effort - can make provision for both themselves and others.

A special call is made to seek the opening of the eyes of men to the cause. Our brothers remain too few in seeing the grand nobleness of the Knitting Revolution!

Truly, it is the duty of each one of us to spread this glorious message to all who might hear it that we may speed forward our revolution to its inevitable victory!

My hope comes from the courage of your hearts,
Knitter G.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Odd dream where I end up becoming a Catholic priest

I dreamt that I was being ordained as a Catholic priest. Oddly enough, the ordination ended up taking place in the gym of my Jr. High School.

Meanwhile, some people were trying to kill me before I could be ordained (and there was some sort of torture involved - but nothing graphic). I was slithering along the gym floor trying to avoid my would-be killers, who were also slithering because everyone had to be lying on the floor during the ordination ceremony.

Needless to say, I was pretty stressed out by the time I got to the actual ordaining part - and then I was told I had to give a sermon that morning.

There were a group of about 8 of us who had to give sermons - the ones in front of me were all pretty boring so I was determined to give a 'riled-up' talk (I forget what my topic was). I was going to read from a book I had written (hah - you can tell by that statement alone that this was definitely not reality) which was considered inappropriate by some of my fellow sermonizers, but I justified it by saying that I had written it, so it was my words.

Monday, August 26, 2002

CapsBeep is now Free.

Since I haven't released a new version for a few years now, I figured it was about time I released the CapsBeep utility for free (instead of the US$10 shareware I was charging). [Download CapsBeep]

CapsBeep is a Macintosh (System 7 thru OS 9) control panel that modifies the behaviour of the caps lock key.

Its options include a warning beep when caps lock has been pressed (especially useful for those using keyboards on which the caps lock key does not 'click'), and an option to use the shift key to 'reverse' the caps lock so that if both caps lock and shift are active, you will get lower-case characters.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Knitting obsession

About a week ago, I was up until 5 in the morning trying out some new (to me) knitting techniques. I had a couple knitting magazines with various interesting patterns in them (and a glossary of terms, abbreviations and standard stitches, thankfully).

So, now I'm doing cable stitches, ssk decreases, yarn overs, etc. and I can read knitting patterns.

This stuff is totally addictive, especially for an obsessive compulsive like myself...

Friday, August 23, 2002

Giving stuff away requires a license?

Under the category of Corporate Power is Stupid:

In Edmonton, ESPA's "Free Store" project is being shut down as an unlicensed business. All it is is a free space where people can give stuff away and get free stuff. No cash, no barter - just free.

So, being the responsible people they are, ESPA are challenging this decision with a phone/e-mail campaign you are encouraged to join.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Making web pages accessible

Finally started adding more info to "Conscientious HTML Tips" again, including an additional reference for the Designing for Accessibility tip (an online book:"Dive Into Accessibility").

Moving to XHTML

So, after a late night of reading through discussions on web design and standards, I'm thinking I need to finally learn and make the transition to XHTML (version 1.0, I figure) in my work. Anyone know of any web browsers that would hose?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

"The Assault on Hoth" in Lego!

This display was set up by a group of Legoists for the Brickfest 2002 event.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

On the entertainment industry's stupidity when it comes to digital technology.

For "content providers", supporting and pushing digital technology == big profits.

Remember how during the dot-com craze there were all these "e-businesses" that were having terrible losses. That none of the big names was making any profit?

At that time I was working in the stock photography industry. An industry that embraced digital delivery (to the extent where traditional stock media are about as accessible as 8-tracks now). The company I worked for, EyeWire, made big profits off of web sales of digital content (stock photos, video, illustrations).

Two simple lessons stand out from my experience there:

1) Customer service is the backbone of the business. You can have a crappy website (we didn't - but it did have it's problems as with any service), but if your customer service will do whatever it takes to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible, you will have customers and those customers will stick with you.

2) Make it as easy as possible for the customer to get your product in whatever form they want it (without technical constraints on usage - only legal constraints), and make it easy to pay for the product in that process.

The entertainment content industries don't comprehend either of those. If they did, they would likely already be making more from digital delivery sales than all of their traditional modes. (IIRC, for the stock content industry, web sales overtook 'hard goods' sales around 1999-2000)

There's something else that comes to mind: If you treat your customers like they are criminals, they will come to see you as a criminal. Case in point, the audio recording industry whom many (if not most) of us now perceive as thieves riding on the backs of musical artists.