Libby Says...

Friday, February 27th, 2004 Author: Libby
Apex Awards Time: 09:12:40 AM
Comments? Add / Read (4) Location: Houston, TX

I've noticed a couple of postings about the e-Pro Magazine Apex awards. Yes, it's time once again for our annual awards. Nominations are closed and the voting (for readers' choice) has begun. Of course, as Volker has pointed out, there's definitely some attempts at ballot stuffing that occurs in the voting for readers' choice awards. On the other hand, we do what we can to prevent that from succeeding. I've talked about my beliefs about awards before.


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Thursday, February 26th, 2004 Author: Libby
Happy Blog-o-versary To Me: It’s Been a Year Time: 08:00:00 AM
Comments? Add / Read (4) Location: Houston, TX

Well, it's been a year of blogging. (Well actually, it had been a year yesterday, when I started this entry. That seems to be the story of my blogging life -- I keep getting way to freaking busy to blog effectively on a daily basis. Ah well. A day late won't kill anyone.) So. Yay. Thanks for sticking with me and being part of

Just over 200 entries in the year -- clearly there have been some months and items that inspired me more than others. As with many blogs, some of the most interesting material on the site hasn't been in the main blog, where I can link to it, but has rather been in the discussion that has taken place in the comments.

Some of the more commented-upon blogs include:
Lots of other things have happened over the year -- lots of travel (here's the overview) and lots of conferences. A half-marathon and a move. Friends getting married and having babies. Making new friends. It's been a hard year in a lot of ways, but it's also had some high points, and I've learned a lot about myself and what I want out of life. Hopefully this next year will have more high points and better opportunities.


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Wednesday, February 25th, 2004 Author: Libby
DevCon Time: 10:24:47 AM
Comments? Add / Read (2) Location: Houston, TX

Wow -- reading Ed's blog this morning and there's an implication that the events team at Lotus might be interested in bringing back the Lotus DevCon from years past. I know there was great gnashing of teeth when it went away -- if you're all still into that show, this might be a good opportunity to let your voices be heard. If there's some other kind of show you're interested in, well, this might be the chance to say that too. Comment here if you like, or more effectively probably, on Ed's blog.


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Monday, February 23rd, 2004 Author: Libby
The discussion continues Time: 01:09:32 PM
Comments? Add / Read (6) Location: Houston, TX

Last week, we had an interesting discussion on this site about same-sex marriage, the border between federal and states' rights, and whether homosexuality is a choice (and if it is a choice, whether it is either amoral or immoral) or a part of who you are, intrinsically.

Rob and Jerry  both supported their opposite beliefs quite cogently (and politely, I might add). I gave some personal feelings on the matter and shared some of my family history explaining why I have those beliefs/feelings.

Rocky has started a similar/related discussion on his blog over the weekend and I thought it might be interesting for anyone who's interested in the topic and/or has an opinion to see the different discussions and have an opportunity to chime in. Over there, in addition to the topics above, they're discussing what kinds of education it is or isn't appropriate to include on the topic in schools and have continued the disucssion on whether the idea to have a state controlled/populated with gay people (related to what Utah was for Mormons before it became a state). I think that smacks of segregation and putting people on a reservation, despite the fact that I don't think that's how Jerry intends it.


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Monday, February 23rd, 2004 Author: Libby
Klips Time: 10:02:27 AM
Comments? Add / Read (3) Location: Houston, TX

I'd like to hear what you think about klipfolio. This is software not too different from a simple RSS reader, but it combines an RSS feed reader technology with providers who push content and tools via "klips" available at klipfarm. Some examples of klips include an RSS reader, a UPS/FedEx tracking tool, and feeds/headlines for sites like Slashdot, cNet, Wired, etc...

Consider the implications of this technology and RSS in general as compared to e-mail newsletters or going to Websites to read articles and other content.


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Saturday, February 21st, 2004 Author: Libby
Peanuts Time: 06:29:16 PM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: Houston, TX

You are Woodstock!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by QuizillaVia Volker


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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004 Author: Libby
Villiany (updated) Time: 03:10:05 PM
Comments? Add / Read (2) Location: Houston, TX

Well, seems to have pulled access to their site and made it log-in access only. There *was* a "what kind of villian are you" quiz on the site, which was pretty funny. But, it's not available anymore. And it was trying to make you log in when you came to my site, so I pulled it (likely what they were hoping for).

For Christmas, Brian gave me the book on How to Be a Villian: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!! (funniest damn thing I've ever read....mwahhahaha...oh, errr... giggle!) and then yesterday, he comes up with the link to the "What Kind of Villian Are You" quiz.

Think he's trying to tell me something?


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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004 Author: Libby
Even More Getting to Know You Time: 07:00:00 AM
Comments? Add / Read (3) Location: Houston, TX

So, I was skimming over my referrers list and found a google that pointed to the Getting to Know You quiz. When I clicked it and saw the search, I happened to see this list that includes some questions that weren't in the original posting. So, since that page is my single most-viewed blog (there are a few other pages that get more hits, such as the home page and the about me page, but that's the most-viewed blog) and the thing that drives the most googles here, well, I thought I'd go ahead and post the updated version of the quiz. The interesting exercise for me was answering questions I'd answered before without peeking at my original answers. Most of them are the same, but not all -- I guess we're all changing all the time, and this is proof.

  1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? Ireland, Whistler, La Jolla
  2. What is your favorite article of clothing? My Uggs and my cashmere (sweats, hoodies, sweaters - all of it)
  3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Whatever it is they like best about themselves... or their brains.
  4. The last CD you bought? From Williams-Sonoma, for Brian: La Mer and Better Than Anything
  5. Where's your favorite place to be? Running by a river or the ocean; sitting curled up with a favorite book by the fireplace; out with friends
  6. Where's your least favorite place to be? Middle seat, small airplane... or face down in the snow after falling off my skis...
  7. What's your favorite place to be massaged? Lower back or feet
  8. What's most important, strong in mind, or strong in body? Well, both. But if I can only pick one, strong in mind.
  9. What time do you wake up in the morning? Can you believe I got up at 4 a.m. for rowing for almost 2 years? Me neither. Now it's more like 7:15 or 7:30...
  10. What's your favorite kitchen appliance? Milk frother
  11. What makes you really angry? Bigotry.
  12. If you could play an instrument, what would it be? Harp or guitar.
  13. Favorite color? Gold (not icky gold, a nice warm gold), red, green.
  14. Which do you prefer, sports car or SUV? Miata! (Uh, "sports car")
  15. Do you believe in an afterlife? I'm not really sure what happens after death, but I believe something does. Most likely, I think, is some kind of reincarnation.
  16. Favorite children's book? So many answers to this one - I love children's books (ok, who am I kidding, I love books!). Um, let's go with Heidi, the Five Little Peppers, Eloise, Little Women...
  17. What is your favorite season? Spring <>
  18. If you could have one super power, what would it be? I'd like to be able to fly, but since that's so common, I think I'd like to be able to take on other people's pain - something like a super-empathy... Of course, I don't just want to take it on, I'd like to be able to solve the problem too, but...
  19. If you have a tattoo, what is it? Er, nope. Not me...
  20. Can you juggle? Physical stuff? Er, no. My life and all its complications and tasks? Some days.
  21. The one person from your past you wish you could go back and talk to? My dad.
  22. What's your favorite day? Christmas
  23. What's in the trunk of you car? Miatas don't really have much of a trunk, so the spare tire, batter, and CD changer take up most of it. Other than that, I think there's an umbrella and a plush toy (a puppy someone left on my car a month or so ago when I was leaving Starbuck's).
  24. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? Well, both, but I think right now I'm in a nice hot hamburger with blue cheese kind of mood.
  25. Of the people who will read this, who's the most likely to respond to it first? Well, since this is take 2, probably not too many folks, although I might snag Jess again with the new questions and it's possible Brian might, since he didn't get the chance the first time around.
  26. Who's least likely to respond? Too long a list...
  27. What is your favorite cartoon? Superfriends; Rocky and Bullwinkle
  28. What time do you go to bed at night? Between 10 pm and midnight.
  29. If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? Living or dead? Dead: William Shakespeare (because I'd really like to know the truth) or maybe Jesus Christ (same reason)... (And yes, I'm sure you could really go nuts with putting those two together and discussing what that might mean about me, but let's not, ok?). Living: maybe Queen Elizabeth II (QEI was also on my list...)
  30. Gold or silver? Silver
  31. What was the last movie you saw? Cindy and Dave brought over Chicken Run the other night
  32. Favorite TV show? Angel (I can't believe they're cancelling it - what are they thinking?), Alias (that's all your fault, Alan), West Wing, JAG, Friends
  33. What do you usually have for breakfast? When I eat breakfast during the week, it's usually Oat Bran and a cup of chai; on the weekends, or when I'm treating myself, I like waffles or french toast covered in berries...
  34. Who would you hate to be left in a room with? Someone violent.
  35. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? No
  36. What/who inspires you? My mom, my husband, my grandmother, friends who make me feel important to them or who like my writing... an audience
  37. What's your middle name? Nicole
  38. Beach, city, or country? City and Beach
  39. Summer or winter? Winter
  40. What/who do you find yummy? Chai, chocolate, strawberries, Girl Scout cookies, melt-in-your-mouth steak, cheese, Cosmopolitans
  41. Buttered, plain, or salted popcorn? Well, butter and salt, unless I'm being good, in which case, plain... But really? Kettle corn. Which means butter, salt, and sugar. Pure evil.
  42. Favorite car? Wouldn't mind a Z3 or an Audi TT... also really love the little Mini Coopers
  43. Favorite sandwich filling? Peanut butter and jelly if I need comfort food... Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, thin sliced ham, brie, and apple slices if I'm feeling foofy...
  44. Favorite type of music? 80s, pop... anything by Billy Joel, Rush, Elton John, Erasure... country or swing if I'm able to dance...
  45. What characteristic do you despise the most? In myself or others? In myself: Selfishness and self-delusion; in others: bigotry
  46. Favorite flowers? Irises and tulips
  47. If you had a big win in the lottery, how long would you wait to tell people? Not long at all - in fact, I'd probably be blogging it at soon as I got done squeeking about it... but that's probably pretty naive.
  48. Do you wear pajamas? Often.
  49. What color are your eyes? Green and gold
  50. How many keys do you have on your key ring? 4
  51. Where would you like to retire? Houses in Ireland, Whistler, and Houston
  52. What did you do for your last birthday? Brian took me to NYC to see Shakespeare in the park, a show on Broadway, and a Yankees game... Does it get much better? Btw, husband, you're allowed to repeat that for this birthday, if you really feel like it... ;-)
  53. What is your favorite hobby? Reading, dancing, running, writing
  54. Say something nice about yourself: Well, I work hard at what I do and I'm pretty smart.


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Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 Author: Libby
Online Books Time: 03:35:52 PM
Comments? Add / Read (3) Location: Houston, TX

I suspect you may all have other links, but two good places to get the text of books on the Web are: Brought to you courtesy of all the book discussions we've been having lately. I had a hankering to read some Edgar Rice Burroughs...


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Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 Author: Libby
More damned bigotry Time: 12:30:56 PM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: Houston, TX

Bigotry takes many forms. In my mind, though, it's basically about being close-minded and forcing your choices and sensibilities and beliefs on someone else.

Neil Gaiman points out a sneaky little snarky place in our US Department of Education where this may be occurring (okay, maybe it's not bigotry. Maybe it's just a case of overly-paternalistic government, albeit from the party currently in power that traditionally has said that government should stay out of making decisions that might possibly be left up to states or individuals, but... I'm willing to call it bigotry because it made me so darn mad.). This is about close-captioning on TV, and about which shows make the cut and which don't. I admit that I haven't done all the research here, btw, but am just passing on something you may choose to look into further. I'd surely like to see them publish their criteria, at the very least, for which shows get close-captioning approval and which don't.


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Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 Author: Libby
Better than some of the all-nighters I’ve spent... Time: 11:40:31 AM
Comments? Add / Read (1) Location: Houston, TX

Brian pointed out this story on CNN -- the folks at Wellesley pulled an all-nighter reading all of Shakespeare's plays. Now, I didn't get nearly this kind of cool all-nighter when I was in school and I sure as heck don't get this kind now -- if I'm puling an all-nighter now, it's because I'm getting slides or an article finished!

I did try to think back to my most interesting all-nighter. I suspect when I was in college, we pulled some all-night "study parties" that were more party than study, but I can't really remember any specifics.


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Monday, February 16th, 2004 Author: Libby
Another SF Book List Time: 02:15:00 PM
Comments? Add / Read (2) Location: Houston, TX

Well, after Rob made his list, I went off and started looking (half-heartedly) for some other lists, since I'm still feeling a little unsatisfied in the "best of" list department. I came up with this link that has lots of lists of bests, including this one to Phobos' Entertainment's 100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read...

This list, while only SF and not fantasy, seems much closer to my ideal list -- although, sadly, I didn't do much better on how many I've read (only 36!). But here's your Jules Verne and HG Wells and others, for those who were unhappy with the previous list!

Here are the ones I've read:
1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 15, 16, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 38, 39, 40, 45, 46, 49, 51, 52, 61, 68, 73, 78, 79, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 979, 98, 100

Other than missing the fantasy books entirely, what do you think of this list?


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Friday, February 13th, 2004 Author: Libby
One of my causes... Time: 11:26:56 AM
Comments? Add / Read (12) Location: Houston, TX

Since this is at least partially a "work" blog, I don't often get on my soapbox about the things I personally believe. I do, however, have some very strong beliefs, some of which I've alluded to over the year. Today is feeling slightly like a fiesty-Libby Rant day, so prepare yourselves...

The one I'm on about today is equal rights, specifically in regards to gay marriage... or should I just say "marriage" (equality to me means not having to make a distinction....) which should be all about love and committment and equality, and not about hatred and bigotry and unfairness. My friend Marcus recently made mention of his feelings around the matter, and then Brian showed me his blog this morning talking about the squeeky story about gay penguins from the NYTimes (did you notice that they gave the gay penguin couple an egg to raise? that's so cool!), and then my mom sent me the link for the Million for Marriage petition. Clearly, I was getting some kind of a sign that I hadn't stood up for my beliefs in this area strongly enough in a while (that's what happens when you get mired in your own stuff and forget to look around you...). Anyway.

I believe that people are people, regardless of race, creed, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender... even political orientation ! And that they should be treated that way, both between people and under the law.

Now, you're free to believe however you want -- that's the cool thing about our great nation.

If you agree with me, however, that equality and fairness are good things (manipulative language there, eh?), then I hope you'll enjoy the links I shared above and sign the petition.


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Thursday, February 12th, 2004 Author: Libby
Thanks, y’all. Time: 06:20:15 PM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: Houston, TX

I'm starting to think that the DominoPro's Key To Portal presentation might have some legs. Wild Bill, Rob, and Ed have all linked to it recently -- and I appreciate the traffic and vote of interest/confidence gentlemen, I truly do.


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Thursday, February 12th, 2004 Author: Libby
Permanence, or Not Time: 02:20:23 PM
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I loved Eric Lundquist's Feb 9th column. It was interesting in general, but the section that talks about What Won't Go Away, look for joy for all Lotus-followers in this:
The Lotus name. At the recent Lotusphere conference in Orlando, I asked Ambuj Goyal, general manager of IBM's Lotus Software division, if the Lotus name will be subsumed in the IBM effort to promote its WebSphere and on-demand offerings. <more...>

So, I'm happy to hear someone outside of my magazine (and in the wider IT press) verify what I've been saying for a while: Lotus is important to IBM.

Of course, the larger question of what will and won't be around in terms of IT is interesting. This isn't quite like saying nobody will ever need more than 640K of memory but might have some of the same resonance.

What will be around (of course, this all depends on your timeline, but go with me for a minute...):
  • spam
  • spim
  • various ongoing security problems that need patching
  • e-mail
  • IM
  • the need for collaboration
  • the need for inhouse developers and administrators
  • open source
  • open standards
  • blogging
  • RSS
What won't be around:
  • the argument of domino vs. exchange? maybe? dare I hope?
    This one's harder for me (the optimist that I am)... What do you think?


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Wednesday, February 11th, 2004 Author: Libby
What is your blog, really? Time: 07:00:00 AM
Comments? Add / Read (9) Location: Houston, TX

Do you write your blog for yourself or for your readers? Or a combination? How much work do you put into your posts, and is that related to who you envision as your audience?

Jess made a comment not too long ago about why you should post your solutions when you've asked a question -- so you can find them again later! This relates to blogging because often it sounds like those who are posting really technical stuff (especially them, at any rate, although not *only* them) are using their blogs as a kind of notebook -- saving snippets of code or solutions to issues via their blog, rather than saving them in some private Notes db that only they can see.

Then, Joi Ito wrote a blog a few days ago talking about a previous post he'd made (and a comment on that post) that was a "superficial" treatment of a topic, rather than a more 'in-depth with sources' kind of post -- but justified writing the post, rather than writing something in a journal to post later, with the idea that his blog is his notebook. And the idea, of course, that if you don't write it down and talk about it while it's fresh, you may never get around to it (of course, this may be the blogosphere version of Darwinism -- if it was important and interesting enough, you *would* come back to it, but, then again, maybe not, considering how overloaded and busy we all are... anyway, I digress).

My point, though, is that those of us who write blogs all write for different reasons and for different audiences. And the discussion of whether it's ok to treat a difficult topic with a shallow vs. rigorous post is an interesting one. I think that sometimes I don't post when I don't have time to really think out what I want to say, and create all the links, and etc, because I don't want to appear not to have journalistic (or blogolistic) integrity -- especially considering my profession -- however, this means that many times I don't post something I'm thinking about, either because I forget or lose interest or get too busy or someone else posts something about it first and it's no longer appropriate for me to post. And then I get frustrated at not having blogged, so I end up blogging something "light" or superficial *anyway* because I'm hoping to get a quick blog up while I have time.

In any case, the discussion on shallow vs. rigorous, Rational Ignorance, and their attendant ideas, both at Joi's blog and at Lago's, was interesting to me. Of course, this post itself is an example of what frustrates Lago, I suspect, being at most a question and certainly not a well-thought out, researched, organized treatment of the topic, but, like many, I'm posting a note about it here so that perhaps I will go back and think on it more deeply later.


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Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 Author: Libby
Top 50 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Time: 12:00:00 PM
Comments? Add / Read (8) Location: Houston, TX

This is a list of the top 50 sci-fi and fantasy books of the last 50 years, according to the folks at the Science Fiction Book Club (via Lago, who says he's only read 16...). I'm not much better, I have to admit, having only read 23 of them (numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29. 30, 41, 42, 46, 47, and 48, if you're curious -- I'm too tired to type them all out here, especially since then I'd be tempted to put links to them on Amazon or something silly like that). I think I'll pull one or two of the others for some reading soon, although I'm not completely convinced yet that *these* are the books I'd call the top 50... Thoughts?


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Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 Author: Libby
I wondered that... Time: 08:57:08 AM
Comments? Add / Read (3) Location: Houston, TX

So many folks posted the new download to Firefox over the last few days, and mentioned that the name had changed from Firebird, but nobody was saying *why*. Until today (NY Times site -- registration required). Thanks, Hubby!


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Monday, February 9th, 2004 Author: Libby
Valentine’s Day Time: 07:46:21 PM
Comments? Add / Read (1) Location: Houston, TX

Ok, while the link I'm about to post will make you think otherwise, I really am a romantic. Really. Mushy, flower-loving, card-giving, jewelry-hoping-for, lots of pink-wearing, chick-flick-watching romantic. I try to pass myself off as one of the guys in that good geeky way that I have, but now you know the truth.

That said, I'm also someone who loves good snarky humor. Which you will find in these cards, via Neil Gaiman (yes, again with the link via Neil, what can I say? If you're not reading his blog yet, you're really missing out -- he's got some of the funniest stuff, I'm telling you.)


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Monday, February 9th, 2004 Author: Libby Time: 09:43:20 AM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: in my newly cleaned out office

My geeky husband has not one, but two, blogs. The newer of which (ok, older actually, but it died for a while and has just been reincarnated) you all might be interested in, as it is quite geeky in nature -- starting with his first (new) blog on how to make a laptop go dual-monitor mode, using its own screen and a second monitor. Nice.


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Sunday, February 8th, 2004 Author: Libby
Life Rating Time: 06:00:00 AM
Comments? Add / Read (5) Location: Houston, TX

via Wild Bill:
My life has been rated (a measly):
Click to find out your rating!
See what your rating is!


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Friday, February 6th, 2004 Author: Libby
Slides from Lotusphere, as promised Time: 07:00:00 PM
Comments? Add / Read (1) Location: Houston, TX

Sorry this has taken a bit longer than I expected it to, but here, as promised, are the slides from my Lotusphere presentations. You can download the slides directly from Lotusphere Online, if you attended (and if you still have your login info), however, since I'm such a nice person, I'm also making them available here. If you gave me your card, I'll be mailing the slides to you, as well...  

A DominoPro's Key to Portal and Domino Administration for Developers are both available, thanks to the sheer uber-geekiness of my husband (thanks, hubby).

Yes, they are PDFs, although they were created in PPT. I prefer to share them in this format so that they stay as created. Please feel free to look at them and share them, but if you want to use something from the slides, please give credit. Oh, and since they're PDFs, they're kinda big. You've been warned.


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Friday, February 6th, 2004 Author: Libby
Sheer giggly evil Time: 05:05:03 PM
Comments? Add / Read (4) Location: Houston, TX

Ok, there's nothing politically correct or warm or fuzzy or nice about this one, but it made me giggle maniacally, which is just what I needed right about now: Penguin Baseball, via Neil Gaiman. 292 is my current record.... oh, wait...321.1!


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Friday, February 6th, 2004 Author: Libby
I’m feeling a bit blue... Time: 04:47:08 PM
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It's pretty cold and blue both outside and in today, so I thought a little change of color might be in order.


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Friday, February 6th, 2004 Author: Libby
Rufus Time: 02:59:38 PM
Comments? Add / Read (4) Location: Houston, TX

Image:RufusIt may not be the hardest thing in the world, but it certainly qualifies in the top few... One of our cats, Rufus, has been in the hospital since Sunday morning, when we found out he was having some serious kidney issues. We were hopeful that he would be able to make it home, but found out today that he was too sick to recover, so we had to let the vet put him to sleep. Rufus has been Brian's kitty for 12 years, long before I knew either of them. But Rufus has been my special kitty friend for a long while now, too, and I'm going to miss him terribly.

I could tell cute Rufus stories all afternoon, starting with how half our friends didn't believe we had a second kitty because Rufus was pretty shy and spent more time under the back of the bed than in company... But when Rufus did decide he trusted you, then he would find his way onto your lap at the strangest moments, demanding attention with his head smacking into your hand, or face... Some of our friends were even proud to be part of the "Rufus let me pet him" club as opposed to the "are you sure you have a second kitty" club...

He had this cute way of pawing my face in the morning when Brian and Yogi had gotten up and left to go for a walk -- Rufus would crawl out from under the bed and paw at my face and arm until I'd wake up and pull him onto the bed to pet him... He was very fond of the kneeding your arm or leg or whatever to get your attention... And he was very fond of sitting in my lap while I worked, or on the red velvet comforter on our bed, most especially if either one of those was also in a sunny spot.

Anyway, he was a strong, loving, sweet, brave kitty, and friend, and he'll be missed. A lot.


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Friday, February 6th, 2004 Author: Libby
If you’ve ever thought... Time: 09:58:59 AM
Comments? Add / Read (6) Location: Houston, TX

"I could be a writer" or anything remotely linked to that thought, you have to read this (via Neil Gaiman). Not only is it giggle-inducing funny, but it's capital-T Truth and therefore could be, if you let it, quite useful.


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Thursday, February 5th, 2004 Author: Libby
I owe you... Time: 04:08:04 PM
Comments? Add / Read (1) Location: Houston, TX

So, not only am I still in the midst of trying to put the house together after the move (we have a lot done, but my office is still covered with boxes and other assorted crap from when we cleaned out the rest of the house to have a party -- my office became a great place to hide stuff), but I also got sick (head and chest cold for the past 3 days...). So, I owe many of you things from Lotusphere, including copies of my slides, my impressions from the show, thank you notes, photos, etc. I'm afraid most of it will have to wait.

The sad part is that I did actually write some blog entries while I was at the show, but never quite got them finished and edited, and so didn't post them... And now it seems a bit silly -- so many of you did such a great job at keeping the blogstream going from the show. I will, of course, cover some of my impressions from the show in my March e-Pro Magazine Take Note column, but I may just kill the blog entries. Do you have any of those? Entries that you wrote and saved as a draft and then never published? I have e-mail like that too -- things I wrote and then thought better of, or they got stale, or the situation changed before I got around to finishing my thoughts on the matter.

Anyway, a couple of thoughts that have been pending for blogging for a while:
  • From Baseline, last fall (well, the articles were written last fall, although I only came across them recently), "The Scobelizer versus Cereberus the Hound of Hades" and  "Are You Ready to Love Blogging": These articles talk about Microsoft's most well-known blogger, Robert Scoble, and the relationship between blogging and companies. While the argument that blogging is changing the face of journalism is cogent (after all, look at what all of the bloggers wrote about Lotusphere!) (and an argument we've had before), the article certainly makes you think about how blogging could change business. If Scoble is the most well-known MS blogger, think about IBM's best known blogger... Then think about how some of you react to the differences between the corporate blog and the personal blog. Interestingly, if you read some of Scoble's recent blogs, his readers have been accusing him of being... hmm... too much of a mouthpiece and not enough of his own voice. That is the hardest line in the universe to walk, I think. You're a person, with your own thoughts and ideas and take on the things that happen corporately; you're also a corporate spokesperson/public figure... Where to draw that line? I must admit that I have that issue sometimes, even though this is my own personal blog. And then when we talk about possibly making blogs on, either for me and our tech editors, or for a "group blog" -- well, a publicly held company gets nervous, I expect. It's an interesting conundrum.
  • I've been thinking about the value, or not, of services like Friendster and LinkedIn -- they're both online services for networking, one personal, one professional. Chad Dickerson talked about LinkedIn not that long ago... I think his point that the problems in social dynamics that exist with a service like this (that is, that defining "knowing" someone is a bit different for different folks) is well taken, however, I have a bigger problem -- who has time? I believe in networking and know from my own experience that knowing the right people in various companies, industries, and groups is a great way to build a career and get things accomplished; however, if you start hooking in to various services like these, then you have to maintain them. It's almost like having to maintain a separate address book, since although there are some "import" functions available with some services, it's not all that simple and straightforward, and nor is it dynamic. To me, this limits the usefulness. In addition, I have to go check these services -- once again, who has time? RSS people! I unintentionally hurt someone's feelings because our friends had introduced me to Friendster, I went and joined, and made them all my friends, then this other friend asked within the context of the service to be made a friend too... but I didn't go back and check for a few weeks. Imagine if that had been a business contact!


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Thursday, February 5th, 2004 Author: Libby
Worry over Wal-mart Time: 04:01:01 PM
Comments? Add / Read (6) Location: Houston, TX

Brian and I have recently had a few discussions over whether we should shop at Wal-Mart. I'd always said "ick" to the idea, just based on a variety of things, but now he's got much better ammunition to support my general distaste for the place.

Recent news stories (Employee Lock-ins, Impact of Low Wages, Buying Influence) have made me really think about the impact of the Wal-Mart style of doing business on our country.
While some local governments compete for a Wal-mart store as a way of expanding their tax base,
some localities have begun to assess whether the increased tax revenue makes up for the negative impact - increased infrastructure costs, increased strain on services, etc.


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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 Author: Libby
LOTR: I’m Nitpicky Time: 04:37:49 PM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: Houston, TX

via Brian, this site has a list of nitpicks -- differences between the LOTR movies and the books. I have to say: I noticed all of these and a few that he misses. OTOH, I don't necessarily feel as though these changes ruin the movies, per se, although I do agree with some of the fiestyness over the changes to the second movie, especially.

So, yes, I'm guilty -- I'm a nitpicker. But now we at least know that I'm not alone.


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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 Author: Libby
developerWorks Live - the real story Time: 11:24:58 AM
Comments? Add / Read (2) Location: Houston, TX

I just did a Q&A with IBM's GIna Poole, the VP of Developer Marketing and Web Communities for IBM's ISV and Developer Relations group -- the exec in charge of the developerWorks site, among other things. One of the first questions I asked her was whether there was going to be a developerWorks Live conference this year, since although we broke the story a while ago, we haven't been able to find much additional detail other than about the Rational User Conference. Well, here you go:

The Rational User Conference will contain some additional sessions and branding this year that will take the place of what had been branded the IBM developerWorks Live conference over the past few years. The Rational group already had the Gaylord Conf. center in Grapevine (yes, in July) set for their user conference, and it made the most sense to them to merge the shows.

This year, the merger favors the Rational brand a bit, although Gina promises that there will be a significant number of sessions covering broader developer technologies, such as XML, service oriented architecture, and web services. There will also be content covering Eclipse and WebSphere Studio. So, according to Gina, this merger is to ensure the Rational developers (probably quite as fanatic a group as we Lotus developers) have their user conference experience this year, although other IBM software developers will definitely have a significant place at the show. Next year, she implied that the show might be a bit more general, as it had been for the past few years.

I asked whether Lotus developers and WebSphere developers should attend the show. Gina says it's an easy yes for WebSphere developers. For Lotus developers, well, she says this is why we might have noticed a bit more development content at Lotusphere than we might've seen in previous years -- while the show will have content that will have bearing for Lotus developers, especially those who are planning to embrace Workplace development or are working with Eclipse, XML, or Web Service, it won't have the same level of depth on traditional Lotus technologies as dwLive has had, or as DevCon once had.

Look for more from my Q&A with Gina in the April issue of e-Pro Magazine.


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Monday, February 2nd, 2004 Author: Libby
More Entries Coming... (updated) Time: 11:44:21 AM
Comments? Add / Read (3) Location: Houston, TX

But since Brian was nice enough to take all the pics from Lotusphere off my camera and post them (thanks honey!), I thought I'd go ahead and make them visible to you -- they're not great, and they're in no particular order, but there they are. You can comment on them, if you feel something needs saying. You can also feel free to share them.

Yes, I'm very backed up on blog entries -- I've had a bit of writers' block, been exhausted, and actually hosted a Housewarming Party 24 hours after returning from Lotusphere. I'm crazy, to say the least. ;-)

By the way, two other things:
  • Plenty of other pictures and fun goodness over at, Brian's blog/gallery
  • More pictures in a shared kind of environment, over at Volker's blog/gallery


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Monday, February 2nd, 2004 Author: Libby
Maps Time: 11:30:38 AM
Comments? Add / Read (0) Location: Houston, TX

create your own visited country map

create your own visited states map or write about it on the open travel guide
Via Ed and Volker -- a really cool way to graphically track where in the world, or the States, you've been. I've clearly been a lot more successful in the US than I have been outside of it. I had to guess a bit on a few of the states, as there were a few driving trips that were a long time ago that I'm not quite clear on at this point. ;-)


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