Archive for the 'blather' Category


Rollin, rollin, rollin

Sunday, November 11th, 2001

Chris Ashley (no relation – perhaps we’re ‘blog brothers’) muses on the fleeting fame that washes over one when their blog is linked to by someone higher in the blog popularity tree, creating a temporary surge in their viewer base. Doc calls it blogrolling, a clever term directly derived from logrolling (political back-scratching).

It always settles back, but a little higher than the previous norm. I’ve seen this slingshot effect happen myself, when Dave linked to me when I was but a blogophyte. I’ve got many still-consistent visitors who initially came to me during that particular bulge in my logs.

This effect begets a sort of journeyman/apprentice mentoring scheme into which I’ve found myself naturally falling. Not only do I like getting linked to (although, as Tim pointed out last month, some humility and perspective is in order), I also derive a certain satisfaction from linking to others and helping to shine a light under their bushel. I’m looking forward to following Cam, for instance, who has just recently caught the bug.


two paths to the same destination

Thursday, November 8th, 2001

Tim gives his viewpoint on goodness and faith.

Okay, but really that’s not even the point. The point in accepting His grace and having a relationship with Him is to be cleansed of sin, so not to be cut off from God for eternity.

If I’m going to be around for eternity, and God is going to cut me off from him for 99.99999…% of eternity based on my entirely humane and thoughtful paltry few years on this planet simply because I failed to forge a relationship with him and be understanding of his needs when he would only ever communicate with me indirectly through prophets or symbolically through deeds, I would think he’s not a very forgiving or understanding type of guy, and further that he was somewhat spiteful. I myself have salvaged very good friendships out of worse beginnings.

So, I’m gonna carry on being a good guy as usual and when I’m gone, if there’s an afterlife, I’ll deal with it. If not, I won’t have to. If I have to suffer for eternity without appeal, review or parole, I’ll be pretty disappointed in the afterlife justice system.


the sound of Windows breaking things.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2001

I’m starting to see the first wave of Remote Scripting queries from people who are finding that the lack of JVM is making their RS-enabled website problematic for XP users.

I preparation for increased interest, I’ve revamped my Remote Scripting Resources page.

All the CSS stuff was inspired by Eric Costello’s CSS Tutorials. Somebody should step right up and give that man a job before he gets snapped up. Pay him well, keep him happy. Such talent doesn’t grow on trees, you know.


can’t think of a title today

Tuesday, November 6th, 2001

Interesting treatise on the relevance of religion. (via camworld) Don’t let the title scare you off, it’s much less hyperbolic in the text.

Two points in it resonate with me. One is that religious belief is not a prerequisite for goodness. (I say ‘religious belief’ to separate the deity and faith element from the moral and ethical teachings that come from religion)

Morality and ethics are separate from religion, and while they can take shelter under its umbrella, they are neither tethered by nor bound to it in any way.

Another is that it’s far too easy to abdicate accountability for difficult-to-face issues to the catch-all “God’s will” bin.

The time has come for humanity to be accountable only for itself for each of us to be fully present in this life and to never be so cruel as to pass off personal responsibility for our actions on an invisible God.

When I make a moral decision, it’s my decision. While I may take input from any number of sources, human or divine, I make the decision and only I am accountable for it. Right now, in this life.

If I determine that an issue is beyond my understanding, I feel no compulsion to define it as understood by a higher power. It’s just a null, to be filled in if the understanding comes along.

Of course, as always, your mileage may vary. Any viewpoint is the right one if it allows you to feel right about yourself while allowing others to approach it their own way.


XPletive deleted

Monday, November 5th, 2001

XP. What’s in it for me? I can think of many reasons NOT to move to XP, but no reasons in favour.


  • groovy new skin


  • Passport Integration
    Really, can any one honestly tell me there is any reason I should even consider installing XP after reading about these Passport Exploits?
  • Messenger Integration
    don’t need it (I prefer to use Yahoo IM)
  • Forced Registration
    don’t want it
  • Licence Expiry / Lockout
    if I decide to stop paying, can I continue using it?
  • Increased Dependence on MS Web Services
    what happens when they start charging 25 cents for every .NET diary lookup call?

Espressing oneself

Sunday, November 4th, 2001

I simply cannot believe what passes for English from some people. How many times a day do they have to see a word written out properly before they cease mispronouncing it?

So he axed me, why ditn’t I pay for the two expressos for he and I with my Interact?

Do they really not listen to what they are saying? Am I really being pedantic to expect better from people? Are these rhetorical questions starting to annoy you?


when push comes to, well, push.

Monday, October 29th, 2001

I don’t know how I could never have heard about these Pushlets.

Every once in a while I do the ego search thing – you know, put your name into Google and see what comes up. I find a lot of neat things – old QuickBASIC and 8086 assembler stuff I did in the late 80s, people talking about my JSRS library, blog references.

I also find the odd Brent Ashley who isn’t me at all. There’s a young university sports star in southern Ontario, a motel owner in Maryland, a beekeeper in the midwest, a producer with Amphetamine Records, a skateboard phenom kid, an alumnus of Southampton University, a high school saxophone soloist in Spokane.

For all the Dave Smiths and Bob Johnsons in the world, it mustn’t be such a weird thing, but for me, it’s way odd to think of running into someone with the same damn name. I remember working in an office with another Brent a few years back and it was crazy, my head snapping back and forth every time his name was called.

I wonder how many of them have found me on the net and thought the same thing.


link 1… perl 1… link1… perl 1

Wednesday, October 24th, 2001

Haven’t linked much lately.

Sam-I-Am :: wow – commandline stuff. i like it
Cam McVey :: what a nice clean design
techno-weenie :: check out that supasite thang. most cool.

I’m messing with PHP/MySql on Win with IIS and Apache and on Linux. Having a blast. Major portability action. I really love this way-cool phpMyAdmin tool for MySql