Monday, January 31, 2005


I've switched from weekly to monthly archives. Lord knows what this might do to searches that will hit things in the old archive files. But 2 years is too many weeks to list week-by-week. Hopefully the individual post pages are indexed by now anyway.

It might also mess up any links that anybody might have made to the archive pages.

Mike Brantley's Super-8 Filmmaking Site

Via Brandon, who described it, "This is a site about 8mm run by the sort of deep expert you normally only find with Unix kernel programmers and model train enthusiasts."

Sunday, January 30, 2005

WREK - Schedule and Weekly Archive

We archive a whole week of WREK! Each show in the grid below is linked to WREK-Net's most recent MP3 archive of that show. So listen to your favorite show whenever you want to listen to it!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Winter not-so-wonder land

Winter not-so-wonder land, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

Disco Kroger's disco ball

Disco Kroger's disco ball, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

Friday, January 28, 2005

a different kind of rabbit ears

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

PRAVDA.Ru - Russian news and analysis

This is the Pravda? The official organ of propoganda and brainwashing from the Soviet days? Freedom does strange things. Check out these two headlines:

•Buttocks tell a lot of a person's sexuality and tempter
•Vodka saves man's life as he falls out of a window

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Matt Groening Apple Ad

Coolest.Thing.Ever. This, and only this, is why I read the blogs of people I don't personally know.

Well, there's all the CSS and Java and crap like that. Don't forget that stuff.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Little Wooly-Gig

This is the aforementioned eight-year-old-recorded grandpa speech, the story of the Little Wooly-Gig.

My grandfather was somewhat obsessed with the Sasquatch. He often told stories about having seen one while hunting cranes in the woods near Bayou La Batre. Eventually this stories changed from alleged eyewitness accounts to pure fiction that not only involved us grandkids but also a creature called the Wooly-Gig, which was a sort of smaller, friendly version of the Sasquatch. Sort of like an Eewok, I imagined.

The Wooly-Gig had some backstory that was not mentioned on the particular occasion that I had my tape recorder with me. He was raised by his mother after his father, a farmer who was too lazy to actually do any farming, ran off to go become a gambler (I distinctly remember that this story was the first time I heard anyone say "pinochle"). I do not know whether either of the Wooly-Gig's parents was a Wooly-Gig, or if they were humans and he was some sort of a freak. The Wooly-Gig had to become the man of the house at an early age and plow the fields until his hands became rough. Eventually the Big, Bad, Sasquatch started terrorizing the Wooly-Gig and his mother, and little Wooly decided to move away from his mother's house so that the Sasquatch would follow him and leave his mother alone.

The Coming of the Cubes

Here are the lyrics for Coming of the Cubes, in all their 1993-ish glory.

The parts 4 and 5 that were on Flvxxvm Florvm is the Devil are the section below entitled "Disappointment" and an instrumental section that follows and isn't mentioned in the lyrics below.

"The Stoffonians" is the same music as the song This is How it Feels.

The complete work would have nine sections:

1. Opening (instrumental)
2. Question and Answer
3. Digging
4. Disappointment
5. Interim (instrumental)
6. The Stoffonians
7. The Battle
8. The Bar is Crossed
9. Closing (instrumental)

I remember someone telling me that the music I was writing for "Question and Answer" sounded like something that Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs would listen to.

     by  Jeffrey Robertson

voices :

Student (later Scientist)
Chorus of humanity

--- Question and Answer ---

Student:  Where do all the cubes come from ?

Chorus:   Nobody knows, my son.

Student:  Are the cubes all there is to earth ?

Chorus:   As far as we have gone.

Student:  What was there before the cubes ?

Chorus:   We have no idea.

Student:  How old are they, anyway ?

Chorus:   They've always been here.

Student:  What makes the bar around the earth ?

Chorus:   We think it is the cubes.

Student:  Why can't the bar be crossed by man ?

Chorus:   We don't have a clue.

Student:  I will be a scientist
          a man who knows the truth
          I will learn to cross the bar
          and understand the cubes

Chorus:   There are things that shouldn't be,
          and things that can't be known
          the secrets of the bar and cubes
          are better left alone

Student:  How will we ever leave the earth
          if we never cross the bar ?

Chorus:   Who would ever want to leave ?
          We have so much right here !

Student:  But what they had said that when
          man still lived in the caves ?

Chorus:   Speak no more your blasphemy
          upon our fathers' graves !

Student:  I won't bother with you more
          you will not understand.
          I'll not be a boy of yours
          its time I was a man.

--- Digging ---

Scientist:  I've been digging ever since
            I left home months ago
            to find whats underneath the cubes
            and what I need to know.

            For many days and nights I searched
            deep beneath the ground
            There's something strange within the earth
            its strange, what I have found.

            The earth is not made up of cubes
            the cubes are just on top
            inside its made of something else
            the ancients called it "rocks"

            I've found where the old ones lived
            we thought they were a myth
            but in a time before the cubes
            such people really lived.

            My search is almost reached its end
            for what I want to know :
            how did the cubes come about ?
            and how to cross the bar ?

            I've found a musty manuscript
            in a long-forgotten toungue
            but soon I will have cracked the code
            and read the ancients' song.

--- Disappointment ---

Scientist:  I have read the manuscript
            I know how the cubes were made
            A scientist invented them
            He loved what he had made

            They multiplied and multiplied
            and over-ran the globe
            and everything the ancients had
            was buried by the cubes

Chorus:  We told you so, yes we did
         of things best left unknown
         a foolish scientist like you
         brought ruin to their home

         Science you should never trust
         and never trust the brain
         for progress is fairy-tale
         that brings us only pain.

Scientist:  Enough ! I will not hear such things
            I can't beleive its true
            that nations that were once so great
            were ruined by the cubes

            There must be some good come of this
            for I've still more yet to read
            and how to cross the bar, my friends
            of this I still have need.

Chorus:   And know you never will, young fool
          of things best left alone
          you'll no more spoil the order now
          we've come to take you home.

          Forget your foolish manuscript
          come back into the sun
          there are many things to do at home
          and much work to be done.
--- The Stoffonians ---

Scientist and Chorus:   From the distant world of Ristkon
                        the Stoffonians, they came
                        with the flags of evil empire
                        for to put the earth in chains.

                        Worshipping their dark gods
                        in their starships long and curved
                        with their gamma bombs and lasers
                        to make all the humans serve.

                        They circled round our planet
                        and sent signals in all toungues
                        to the people of all countries,
                        and they sang their dreadful song:

Stoffonians:  You will kneel before the Emporer,
              surrender to our might.
              You will pray to Holy Ristkon
              and Great Parkep day and night.

              You will see that it is better
              to have us rule you than to be
              the silly little savages
              you seem to be today.

              You will work for us with pleasure
              and be happy you're alive
              you will give your sons for labor
              and your daughters for our wives.

--- The Cubes to the Rescue ---

Scientist: We had almost given up all hope
           The evil Empire simply seemed too strong

Chorus:  but they never counted on the cubes
         the cubes somehow could not let us be harmed

Scientist: First the bar it held their forces back
           they pounded it with laser beams and bombs

Chorus:  the laser beams just bounced back into space
         the gamma bombs went off without a sound

Scientist: The Cubes piled into giant growing stalks
           until their tops were high above the bar

Chorus:  one will never be the same again
         after one has seen the Cubes make war.

Scientist: The aliens they fired upon the Cubes
           The Cubes were knocked about but still intact

Chorus:  piled upon the bar up in the sky
         the glowing cubes prepared for their attack

Scientist: The light we saw was brighter than the sunshine
           the fleet was decimated but for one -

Chorus:  a shuttle craft it limped back home to Ristkon
         and the skies of earth were peaceful once again.

--- The Bar is Crossed ---

Chorus:  Cubes, Cubes, wonderful Cubes
         Cubes, Cubes, beatiful Cubes

Scientist: I have found the secret now
           I know what goes round
           We've all seen so many things
           but this makes it profound.

           The iron rules of logic are
           what makes the bar hold fast.
           Think of only math and science
           and then only may you pass

           The Stoffonians were beaten
           because they never freed their minds
           they thought of myths and demons
           even in their starships fine.

Chorus:  Cubes, Cubes, wonderful Cubes
         Cubes, Cubes, beatiful Cubes

Scientist: The Bar shall no more hold us
           but it will protect us ever more
           and when we travel to the stars
           with us the Cubes will go.

          We will build our own starships
          and travel past the skies.
          To find new worlds for our people
          with the Cubes there by our side.

          And the Stofonians won't harm us
          for the shuttle craft that flew
          and made it back to Ristkon
          carried seeds from which Cubes grow.

Chorus: Cubes, Cubes, wonderful Cubes
        Cubes, Cubes, beautiful Cubes

--- End ---


I have recently gotten rid of almost all of my home recorded cassette tapes. Gone are all the crappy 4-track projects left unfinished. Gone also are the cassette versions of Flvxxvm Florvm, now the CDs and MP3s are all there is. Gone are my poorly executed attempts at performing my opus, "Coming of the Cubes". It now lives only in my head and awaits its eventual realization.

I only saved two tapes. One is a tape I made when I was about 8 years old, of my grandfather speaking. I plan to make it available online as a resource for linguists and anyone else who wants to know what a man born in Bayou La Batre, Alabama in 1913 and lived there all his life talked like.

The other is tape recorded April 29, 1997 at the studios of WVUA at the University of Alabama. This tape features me, Will Richardson (who instigated the whole thing), and Cliff Miller jamming on three songs, two of which I had already written and one of which was just sort of made up on the spot.

The first song, which I tentatively called "Rhubarb", I have just digitized and put online here (mp3 link). I named it after a painting I did when I was in high school that won the school art fair. It was a picture of a kid hunting with his dog. The dog's name was Rhubard. It was the first in series of paintings in which the kid grows up and eventually goes off to fight in a war that looked sort of like World War One but apparently didn't involve any actual nations of the real world. Anyway, I later realized that it was a good fit for these lyrics:
I crawled out from my pit today.
I crawled out from my pit to say..
hello! But you you did not give a shit.
So I went back down into my pit.

In my pit there is no pleasure.
In my pit there is no pain.
In my pit there is no sunshine.
In my pit there is no rain.

So whether you want to sing those lyrics to it, or just picture it playing in the background while a dying soldier remembers his childhood companion on the fields of some place that is almost but not quite like Flanders, here it is in all it's sad, sad, wah-wah wallowing glory.

The second song we recorded was what wound up on Flvxxvm Flrovm is the Devil under the titles of either "Coming of the Cubes", "Coming of the Cubes Parts 4 and 5", or "Cubic Jam", depending on whether you trust the cassette's label, the CD label, or the MP3 file names for the titles. As the titles indicate, this is an improvization based on a couple of the sections from Coming of the Cubes. It is not to be confused with the yet-to-be-actualized work itself. Here it is from the Flvxxvm Florvm archives.

The third song was a sort of half-blues/half-reggae thing in which I kept messing up the vibe that Will and Cliff had going between them (they were together in Down Loa at the time). I will eventually put it online too, in the interests of full disclosure.

Saturday, January 15, 2005 - Web Application Security

(work related)
We wrote a program called "Paros" for people who need to evaluate the security of their web applications. It is free of charge and completely written in Java. Through Paros's proxy nature, all HTTP and HTTPS data between server and client, including cookies and form fields, can be intercepted and modified.

The History of Cabbage

Our common cabbage-like vegetables provide an excellent example of remarkable crop improvements that was accomplished by simple long-term selection with no real goal in mind, but simply by people growing those plants that had the features that they most desired.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Boing Boing: How the Interstates got their numbers

First it was thinking that they needed to define the term "1337" while expecting the reader to just know what a "mashup" was. Now this. Conclusive proof that BoingBoing serves a slightly different subset of geekdom than I'm used to.
CoolGov uncovered this US Highway Administration document that explains the numbering scheme behind the US interstate highway system.

Just wait till they unearth those super secret railroad rosters.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Using the XML HTTP Request object

Internet Explorer on Windows, Konqueror, Safari on Mac OS-X and Mozilla on all platforms provide a method for client side javascript to make HTTP requests.

Sears/Kenmore HE4t Washers and Dryers

Is this an actual instance of 1337-speak creeping into product numbers?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

J2EE: A Standard in Jeopardy? (SYS-CON)

by Keith Donald
This is where our community must step in and set that manager straight. J2EE is not in a state of chaos. There are simply more good choices for J2EE infrastructure than ever before. And from what I've experienced, there are many more J2EE success stories. Second, these "alternative" frameworks absolutely do not "reinvent the wheel in open source." They all build on standard J2EE services to improve developer productivity; they are not replacements for the platform.

(Novarese, etc: yes, this is "our" Keith Donald)

Monday, January 03, 2005

I'm rich!

AdSense earnings report for this blog:
Date Activity Earnings Credits Charges Payments
Nov 8, 2004 Content - Earnings Accrued During October $0.58      
  Payment Calculated        
Dec 6, 2004 Content - Earnings Accrued During November $1.07      
  Payment Calculated        
  Total $1.65      

Note: We will mail you a check for your account balance within 30 days of the end of every calendar month that your earnings amount to $100 or more.

Georgia Place-Names by Kenneth K. Krakow

The origin of the name of a county, town, river, or any geographical feature prominent enough to have
been given a name always excites the imagination of people who live in or around that community or place. But often it excites an outsider even more. Such is the case of Kenneth Kemler Krakow, a native of Iowa, who has been in Georgia for six years. During these years he has sought the origin of every place-name in this state.

I wonder if anybody's done one of these for Alabama.

Ken Krakow Photographer, Georgia Location, Commercial and editorial Photographer

"Location Corporate Industrial Commercial and Advertising photography since 1980"

Google Answers: Origin of "Beaver Ruin" in Atlanta, Georgia

Google Answers rocks!