D.T.P. by Lee -- Daily Tales and Punditry

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Nearing the End

It’s a certain possibility that this will be the next-to-last entry made on dtpbylee.com. The last one would be an official sign-off. As I stated earlier, I’m retiring this blog (archives on the same domain will remain) and moving to a different domain.

HUGE props to Raena for working on my new template. She absolutely ROCKS my blogging world! And props to me for my accomplishment last night. The MovableType installation you’re looking at now was mostly set up by my friend, Jeff. I only barely knew what I was doing and, when it comes to server-side stuff, I’m still a plebe. But I did good yesterday. Not only did I completely install MT from scratch—by myself—I also configured it to use a MySQL database instead of MT’s built-in database. Why? Because I could. Sure, I don’t really need a MySQL database since I won’t have the scads and scads of data that MySQL is designed to handle, but I’ve been told that using it will make the database functions of the blog work visibly faster, and the entire database can be backed up with just a few clicks, thanks to my new host’s admin control panel. I did run into one snag in setting up the database—I didn’t have the database name typed correctly in one of the MT setup files. Props again to my friend and coworker, Darryl, for finding that goof.

So hold on tight. The move will be happening sooner than I originally thought. Be prepared to update your blogroll links, RSS feeds, and e-mail addressbooks.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Raena -- March 1, 2004 10:46 AM

The textfile database is also heaps more difficult to repair, fwiw. You did good kid!

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Sunday, February 22, 2004

The Beginning of the End

I’m giving my readers a bit of advance notice. I finally settled on a new domain name. No, I’m not going to reveal it yet because I want to completely start fresh with Movable Type and want a little time to fiddle with it before going public. The purpose of this entry is just to let you know that the move is coming soon. The last index.html page and all the monthly and categorical archive pages will be transferred and will remain available at least until dtpbylee.com expires about two years from now. If anyone knows how I can have an archive of comments without having to transfer the Movable Type installation to the new host I’ll be using, I’d appreciate knowing.

The domain I finally chose was one of about eight finalists. I readily admit that the winner was definitely not the most humorous. Some people may not even figure out on their own how I came up with it. Suffice to say that it suits me for a couple of reasons, including my primary goal of choosing a domain that I can give out verbally without having to explain or repeat it several times. I’m so over having to say, “that’s D as in dog, T as in Tom, P as in Paul, by—that’s B-Y, Lee. Yes, L-E-E. Just like my name!”

I’ll reveal the new domain and help you out with my reasons for choosing it when I’m ready for it to go public.

Oh yeah, a big related item pertains to my e-mail address. Or, more accurately, addresses. I’m going to try something that I think will curtail the amount of spam I receive. I intend for anyone who stores my e-mail address to come up with their own part to put in front of the domain. Preferably, it’ll be your name or initials, but it can be virtually anything you want. If you happen to use something that someone else is using, it won’t make a hill of beans difference.

Why do this? Simple. When you own a domain, you can generally have your mailbox set up as a catch-all. This means that anything@yourdomain can get directed to your primary e-mail box unless that first part is otherwise defined as another real e-mail box or an independent alias that forwards elsewhere. Since virtually everyone will have a different address for me, if I start getting spam to one of them, not only can I simply kill that alias (forward it to null), I can do so without having to tell everyone I’m using a new e-mail address. In addition, there’s the possibility that I’ll know who succeeded in getting an address seeded to spammers.

The only part I haven’t exactly figured out is what to have show up in the From: line when I send an e-mail to someone. I’d be very happy if, when people reply to a message I send them, they changed the address to whatever alias they chose to use for me, but I can’t expect everyone to do that extra work. I know I probably wouldn’t always do it if someone asked me to.

My current plan is to use something like repliesonly@mydomain, perhaps changing it every so often or if spammers pick it up. I might also occasionally mention to people that I prefer they use whatever addressbook entry they have for me instead of the reply address.

I’d love to know what you think about this or if you have suggestions for improving my plan. Nail a comment and tell me about it.

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric Blair -- February 22, 2004 10:31 PM

What about using MTs export/import functionality to get your posts and comments over to your new blog? That's how I moved from xrack to Dreamhost and I still have all my old posts and comments.

One thing to check is that your export file has the proper line endings. Mine got mangled when I downloaded it at first and I had to redo the export. I ended up using IE instead of Safari for the second export. Don't know if this was the difference, but it seems to have worked fine.

Posted by blunted -- February 29, 2004 11:40 PM

Sheesh, I didn't think I could be in so much suspense over the unveiling of a domain name. It's like I'm waiting on the Lotto numbers or somethin'.

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Friday, February 20, 2004

Friends in High Places

You’ve probably been living under a rock if you haven’t yet heard about the dude who posted the MacMerc story about how to see if a Pepsi bottle is an iTunes winner without opening it.

I wasn’t going to blog anything about this. Plenty of people already have. But with the insane amount of linkage the story got (including a short while as one of CNN.com’s top stories), I suddenly developed this idiotic need to quickly mention that the author is a friend of mine who lives in nearby Tampa. I even interviewed him for ATPM about one of the numerous sites he is involved with.

Way to go, dude.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Raena -- February 21, 2004 01:00 AM

What astonishes me is that anyone had to post it at all. It's as if you guys had never seen a cap competition before... I thought everyone knew how to peep under the lid.

Sheesh.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Site Status

Yes, as a matter of fact, my site was out of commission for about two days. E-mail, too. My domain host suffered some sort of crisis and the staff spent virtually all of the holiday weekend fixing it. They’re still not completely done, but getting there.

If you tried to e-mail anything to me since this past Friday night, please send it again because I’m not certain whether it’ll eventually get through. E-mail servers generally try to deliver a message for 3 or 4 days before giving up, and I think my e-mail was receiving again before 3 days was up, but weekend mail has not yet showed up.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, February 01, 2004

Want a Sega Genesis?

I have a Sega Genesis 2 unit with two games (Aladdin and Cool Spot) that I’d love to unload. Besides the one that came with it, there’s an enhanced function controller plus an extension cable, a phono-plug A/V cable, and a Game Genie cartridge with all the code books that were published before they terminated printing them. I’ve got three options for getting rid of it.

Option one: first good offer. Tell me what it’s worth to you, add shipping (or pick it up in person) and if it sounds good, it’s sold.

Option two: donation. Convince me of a worthy site (not-for-profit child care center, for example) that could make use of it and I’ll give it to them.

Option three: exchange. I’m still in search of the perfect domain name with which I can retire dtpbylee.com. I know it’s not really that much incentive, but I’ll give the Sega to anyone who recommends a .com that I end up purchasing to use as my primary domain.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Hmm, Upgrades

Forgive me for stealing a quote by Neo in The Matrix: Reloaded for this entry’s headline. I couldn’t resist.

I’m really happy. I’m getting nearly all the software upgrades (finally) that I’d asked for months ago. I’ll finally start using InDesign instead of Pagemaker (which has been officially discontinued by Adobe) and I’m looking forward to the new features in Photoshop CS (a.k.a. version 8). And let’s certainly not forgot the notion of getting away from Mac OS 9 once and for all and enjoying OS X.

I’m also getting my 21" Sony Trinitron monitor replaced with a 22" NEC/Mitsubishi. The Sony’s red gun is maxed out (which is odd, considering the monitor isn’t that old) and it can’t be properly calibrated any more for color adjustments. Last, but not least, one of the little CCDs in my Agfa scanner is going bad and I get a faint ghosty white line in every scan. Plus, it uses a SCSI interface which is going to be problematic in the future. I’m trying to phase out the old Windows box the scanner is currently attached to and start using the new XP machine which has Firewire and also drives my CD and DVD duplication equipment. I’m also getting a new Microtek ScanMaker which uses Firewire instead of SCSI. This means I can put a Firewire A/B switch in the mix and be able to scan images directly into my Mac as well! No more hopping scanned images through the network to get them to my Mac. (A condition laid on me for having such a nice scanner was that certain other people would also be able to use it, which meant it had to be on a Windows machine.)

In addition, there’s an extra bonus—I found out today that my boss has ordered a couple JVC BR-DV3000 decks that handle both MiniDV and DVCPRO tapes. No more endlessly hooking up cameras or the portable MiniDV deck to capture footage! Using Final Cut Pro is about to get a whole lot nicer!

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Friday, January 02, 2004

An Extension of D.T.P. by Lee

I’ve come to realize that many of my friends and other readers don’t realize I have an online photo album going, even though I’ve mentioned it in my prior posts about setting up a G4 tower as a server at home.

The reason I’m mentioning it again now is because you may have noticed my posts aren’t so “daily” any more. However, I’ve been carrying my camera around with me fairly often. So, if you ever think it’s been a bit too long since I last made an entry, try checking to see if I’ve uploaded a new album. There are 21 albums now, the most recent from December 27. Before this weekend is over, there’ll be a few shots of my friends and I as we celebrated the new year.

But I hope to get back into the swing of more frequent entries. I’d been having issues with the blog editor built into NetNewsWire. The editor was making it much easier for me to post entries—yes, I’m using it now—but suffering posting failures on a regular basis (probably due to my server—not NNW) kept me from using it often. I think (knock on wood) those issues have subsided somewhat.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2004.

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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Huge Changes at Work

Here’s a follow-up to Wednesday’s mention of a tidbit of news I wasn’t ready to elaborate on. Yet my continued separation-of-work-and blog rule will take precedence over specific details.

Basically, roughly a fourth of the staff in my office have been laid off due to finance issues. Rather than the usual “last hired, first fired” mentality, it was positions (they emphasized positions, not people) which were the largest drain on payroll and benefits—positions which managed operations that could either be delegated to essential staff or that could be suspended a few years.

The surprise—my boss’ position was on the list. Shocking.

An administrator (whom I happen to like) is now the director—at least on paper. He’s technically head of a lot of departments now. The daily management, however, will be up to the associate director. He never has considered himself a superior to me (I’m assistant director), so we’ll largely just be working simply with a team mentality.

The new director/administrator affirmed the amount of our workload will have to reduce. We were already stretched awfully thin and my boss’ skills (and whim) constituted most of it. It’ll be nice to finally do some projects that took a back seat to things that we probably won’t be doing any more.

Most notably, our five-a-year publication will probably go quarterly, but only two will be a printed newsletter. We want the other two to be video-based. I was going to say videos are much easier to produce, but that may only be my perception. The scriptwriting and shooting (I’m mostly involved in editing) is probably just as tedious as preparing a print newsletter, but I know I can edit a few video stories faster than putting together a newsletter, and the videos are most certainly less expensive to produce.

Needless to say, things are going to be very different from now on. While I always depended on and appreciated my boss’ direction, I don’t imagine I’ll miss the occasional friction between us due to us both having the personality trait of being rather stubborn once we have our opinion.

I’m going to enjoy having the newsletter’s design be essentially completely mine now. I feel I can now try a few things that my boss would never have wanted. Yet, I must acknowledge that my boss is the one who “birthed” the newsletter nearly 20 years ago and that, for the time being (i.e. at least a year or two), its current design (which my boss had final approval on) will stay largely intact. I’m happy with its current look and have no reason to make radical changes now.

Yes, I realize that, even with a lack of specifics, this entry has one foot—and maybe both feet—across the line of my separation-of-work-and-blog rule. But since that rule was largely invented as a result of some of my outgoing boss’ actions and comments, I’m permitting myself this exception. ;-)

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

Save some leftover turkey for me!

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Friday, November 21, 2003

Jack Sharing

I think I like this concept. Granted, it’s not happened to me yet, and I’m not so sure if I’m quite ready to walk up to someone and do it myself, but I don’t believe I’d object if someone did it to me.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Sleepless Nights and a Zillion Diapers Ahead—UPDATED

Congratulations to Andy and Lianne McConnell. At 11:30am CST, they became the proud parents of Karis Elise McConnell. Best wishes to all three as they begin this brand new family.

Update: Looks like I got the name right, after all. 6 lbs., 13 oz., and 19.25”. When Andy called me about 20 minutes after Karis was born, mother and daughter were both doing well.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Thursday, November 06, 2003

Home Server is (Mostly) Up and Going

Appreciation to my friend, Jeff, for his assistance in getting Gallery installed on my home server machine. Connecting to my photo album now has you piped directly to the G4/450 sitting in front of me. Sure, I don’t claim it’s the most reliable or the speediest method of maintaining my albums, but knowing that I’m running it here is simply a really neat prospect. So, if you can’t access the photos for a period of time, it probably just means I’ve goofed something up—give it a little time.

Three items I’ve yet to completely work out. If you have any help to offer for any of these, I’d really appreciate your punditry.

  1. No-IP.com’s update client does not yet work under OS X 10.3. For now, I compiled the Unix/BSD client which is actually working, but neither Jeff or I are sure how to have a Unix executable automatically launch if the machine ever has to be restarted. Naturally, I may no longer have to worry about this problem if the Mac GUI client gets updated—I’ll just dump the Unix client. (Speaking of the Unix client, does anyone know if the “30” update interval is referring to minutes or seconds?)
  2. Another issue that occurs after a restart (I don’t plan on having to reboot it hardly at all, but a power outage longer than my UPS can handle is not an impossibility in Florida) is that Web Sharing goes off after a reboot. I’m sort of afraid this is a new bug in Panther because I am almost certain I’ve left Web Sharing on by mistake on my laptop running Jaguar and it was still on the next time I turned it on. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have a server that has to have Web Sharing manually turned back on after a restart, does it?
  3. Last is something Jeff will probably figure out, but I’ll accept anyone’s input. The Gallery Remote client is working strangely. Seems I was able to upload photos faster when they were on Jeff’s server, and the stupid thing keeps telling me there’s a new version, even though I’ve already updated. I’m feeling the problem may have something to do with connecting as if the server were outside my LAN when it’s actually inside. I can’t connect to the machine’s local IP because the default (and currently unused) web server location is not where the photos are housed. The httpd.conf file sends incoming requests to photos.dtpbylee.com to another folder where Gallery operates. So what I need to know is, what address do I use to connect without going outside my LAN?
Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Blackballed

Having seen other sites install Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist, and having received more comment spam myself, I’m giving it a try. If you have trouble leaving a legitimate comment because of the blacklist, please let me know. Most of my readers know my e-mail address. Those who don’t may have noticed that I’ve endeavored to remove e-mail links from my site. With that in mind, you can make various wild guesses at what to put in front of @thisdomain and, most likely, I’ll still get your e-mail.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, November 02, 2003

Home Server Status Report

As I reported two posts ago, my G4/450 arrived on Wednesday. Fact: I am, in no way, regretful of the purchase. Having said that; yes, I’ve encountered some difficulty. Three days later, it’s not yet at its best and won’t be for about a week.

Challenge 1: the video card. The original card was removed by the original owner long ago. Can’t say I blame him. Nothing is technically wrong with either 3rd party card, except you can’t get drivers for them any more.

OS X 10.2.x and before has played nice with lots of hardware, even if it shouldn’t. But Apple (probably a good decision, though one that pinches me) decided to streamline the code of OS X 10.3, resulting in more strict tolerances of what 3rd-party video cards can be used. Neither of the ones I have are described at the bottom of the Mac OS X Panther technical specs page, though they both work fine under Jaguar. One won’t even let Panther completely boot up (not that I can see, anyway). The other one’s problem is a horse of a different color—or maybe I mean a horse of very little color since I only get 640x480 with about four shades of grey! Switching to a greyscale interface in the Accessibility pane improves legibility, but it still ain’t pretty. I’ve ordered an ATI Radeon 7000 Mac edition (not a bad price, either) to remedy the crippled video output, but it doesn’t ship ‘til Monday and will require 4-6 days of transit time.

Challenge 2A: hard drives that came with the machine. Jumpers for master/slave settings weren’t right, preventing initialization of one of the drives. Took several hours to figure that one out.

Challenge 2B: new, bigger hard drive I bought. While in CompUSA, I couldn’t resist the 200gb Maxtor hard drive for $130 after rebates. But the the ATA bus will only acknowledge 128gb. The drive would’ve worked, but I’d have been missing more than a fourth of it.

I was uninterested in spending money on an external firewire enclosure or an ATA133 PCI card. Some web searching, followed by CompUSA’s price matching policy, and I returned the unopened 200gb drive for a 120gb one—$90 after rebate. I thought it would only be $60, but one of the two rebates had expired.

So, all four drives now peacefully coexist inside the tower. I’ve settled on a Tron-based scheme of drive names. MCP (Master Control Program) is where the operating system resides. Tron 1.0 is a SCSI drive that will house my web-based photo album. Tron 2.0 is a slightly larger IDE drive and will be the place for FTP and Apple File Sharing space. I doubt I’ll ever have enough photos to fill Tron 1.0 very soon, but I could flip-flop the two Tron drives if the need arose. Finally, Flynn is the big 120gb drive and will be reserved for my own use—primarily as the new home of my iTunes library.

Does anyone have some good, OS X-ready 3D icons that fit these names? ;-)

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Monday, October 20, 2003

That Was Me!?

Wanna see something a little scary? Here’s a 13-year-old photo of me working at my first college’s radio station production room during my sophomore year. Those were some pretty nice 1/4" open-reel editing decks we had. Evan Trent believes they were Ampex models. If you know differently, please post a comment and let me know.

For those of you who are acquainted with my “Edit_Dude” moniker I frequently use on the internet, you may wish to know that what I’m doing in this photo is exactly where the nickname originally came from. I don’t edit much reel-to-reel tape any more, but my performances as a proofreader, a web site author, a desktop publisher, and a video editor are more than adequate to retain the alias!

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by David Ozab -- October 20, 2003 01:55 AM

That looks like an Ampex. We had Ampex decks at UCSD around that time.

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Sunday, October 19, 2003

My Subscriptions

I’m heeding Jon’s call to action to share RSS subscriptions. Another of his posts explains how to share your subscriptions as either an OPML file that can be directly imported into NetNewsWire or as an HTML table. I’m choosing to skip the work to make an HTML version look pretty. You’re best off using my OPML file. It may not render in your browser window, thus you’ll have to view the source for that page. Otherwise, here’s a “listified” version.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Car CD Changer For Sale—UPDATED AGAIN

I have a JVC CH-X350 car CD changer unit I no longer need, thanks to the ownership of an iPod and a car stereo with an auxiliary input jack. There’s a second 12-disc magazine to go along with it. I have its original box and shouldn’t have a problem shipping it. However, if you’re anywhere along the I-4 corridor, I’d be inclined to let you see/try it, as it’s currently still installed in my car (Best Buy put it in and their installation charge includes removing it at a later time). To the best of my knowledge, it’s in perfect working order. I’ve never had a single problem with it.

I originally paid $200 for it (JVC originally listed it around $229) plus something like $40 or so for the spare magazine. I’m seeing unopened and refurbished models between $100 and $120. Naturally, with this in mind, I can’t expect $100 for the whole thing. Make an offer.

UPDATE: It’s back up for grabs. The person who was planning to buy it backed out, having found her old one that she thought she’d given away.

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Saturday, September 27, 2003

Medieval Night

I just got home from the Medieval Times dinner show in Kissimmee. Wow! Excellent show. Excellent jousting. Excellent food. I heartily recommend the experience to anyone.

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Oww

I need advice. What’s the appropriate type of place to take this matter to?

Last October, my right shoulder suffered somewhere between a type 2 and type 3 separation as a result of an auto accident. X-rays at the hospital apparently didn’t convince doctors that it was severe enough to do much other than let it heal. My shoulder blade area, down lower, isn’t exactly the way it used to be either, but no one’s said much about it.

Upon returning home (yes, I was on vacation at the time), an orthopedic specialist looked at it and some MRIs and said it was pretty iffy whether it needed surgery. But, the fact that a month had gone by between when it happened and when I saw him and that it was feeling better, he advised against the hassle.

Over the months, I’ve agreed with him. Full motion had almost entirely returned and I could even lift relatively weighty objects. No problem—until the last week or two. Most of the time, it still feels fine. However, when I move it in certain directions (and I really can’t reproduce it every time), it aches pretty bad, and I no longer dare putting much strain on it.

The only things I can think of that might have aggregated are 1) I’ve been trying to carefully sleep on my (preferred) right side and have been fine. A bit before it started aching a lot, I’d gone my longest stretch—about two hours—on my right side before turning over for the rest of the night. 2) What I’m more suspicious of is that about two weeks ago, I was swimming for the first time since the accident, so I was putting a fair bit of strain on my shoulder. It still felt okay for several days following. Only lately has it been bothering me.

So, my question is, what type of office should I visit next? Should I go back to the orthopedic specialist, see a massage therapist, a chiropractor, or what?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Say “Cheese”

I’m slowly, but surely, migrating my old digital photos into a viewer engine which is much nicer to manage than anything I’ve used before. It makes for more pleasant viewing, too, offering a variety of viewing options plus the option to buy digital prints. Because I plan (indefinitely) to serve the photos from a home-based system (currently at a friend’s house—hopefully, someday, I’ll do it myself) and will likely use a dynamic DNS service, I recommend you bookmark the top of my dtpbylee.com domain instead of the actual album, since that’s where I’ll maintain the current link if it ever changes.

The albums in there at this writing are my recent trip to Washington state, my Vegas trip to NAB, lighthouse sightseeing in the Carolina Outer Banks, and Washington, D.C. shots. Photos from my 1999 trip to Washington, British Columbia, and Yellowstone and my 1997 trip through New England will be the next ones I tackle. Lastly, I’ll add in albums of shots from other trips that have never, yet, appeared online.

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Sunday, September 07, 2003

More Washington Photos—UPDATED

As promised, more Washington vacation photos have been added.

UPDATE: The last round of pictures have been added to this album. This time, it was a few shots from the Puyallup Fair and a large batch of shots during my nephew’s birthday party.

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Thursday, September 04, 2003

Geek-in-Training

w00t! I’m now the proud owner of a ThinkGeek Wishlist!

:-p

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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Is AMTP the Answer?

Bill Weinman thinks so.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

First Round of Trip Photos

I’ve uploaded the first batch of photos of my trip here in Washington state. The highlight of today’s shots was my tour of Seattle Underground. Any additional shots I get during this trip will be added to the end of this same album.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003

What Will They Think of Next?

Ignoring the obvious question of “why,” and assuming the printer ink isn’t toxic to your, uhm, yeah … am I allowed to make printouts of people I hate and then use the paper for its intended function?

Thanks, Andy.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Stupid Photoshop Tricks

Here’s another item I’m blogging mostly for my own reference. Feel free to glean your own usage.

Scan enough images into Photoshop and, from time to time, you’re guaranteed to not get something squared up in the scanner exactly right. Due to the shape of some scannables, it may not even be possible to get it right.

Instead of spending lots of time doing trial and error with various tenths-of-a-degree rotations, you can get it right the first time. Simply select the Measure tool (click and hold on the Eyedropper tool to reveal it), identify something in your scan that should be perfectly horizontal or vertical, zoom in to one size of it about 200-300 percent, click on the end or corner with the Measure tool, drag to the opposite end or corner, then perform an Arbitrary rotation command. The angle is automatically calculated based on the Measure tool line you drew and filled into the rotation dialog box. You simply hit the OK button and, blammo, your scan is now aligned!

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Andy McConnell -- August 13, 2003 06:11 PM

I use this all the time, whenever I scan something out of alignment ON PURPOSE.

By tilting a halftoned image (like from a magazine) 5-10 degrees on the scanner bed, you will avoid the interference and moire patterns.

After doing the Measure Tool/Arbitrary Rotate straightening trick, just run a Gaussion Blur and Unsharp Mask, and your scan will look pretty darn good.

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-- --- .-. ... . /  -.-. --- -.. . /  - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - --- .-.

Since I’m never going to memorize it, and since I actually have rare occasion to want to translate Morse Code (either to or from), I’m glad to have found an online engine to do the work for me.

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Friday, August 08, 2003

Baby Retrophisch

A resounding congratulations to Chris and Kelly Turner on the (albeit early) birth of their yet-to-be-named son!

Chris is sure to eventually post some information on his blog but, at the moment I type this, his site is unresponsive. Check again later.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Got SWAT?

A coworker/friend of mine scored a pass for two people to see an advance screening of S.W.A.T. The person who was originally going with him bailed, so I got a last-minute invitation. It was actually very good, I thought. Better than expected.

I had to laugh on the way home. The radio station I most often listen to was giving out another pair of tickets for their “exclusive” Orlando premiere of S.W.A.T. Isn’t that false advertising?

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Someone Needs To Fix Their RSS Subscription

Whoever tried to subscribe to my RSS feed by using www.dtpbylee.com/blog/blog/index.rdf might be wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a long time.

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Sunday, June 22, 2003

n3rd nixed

Poor Jon. His blog bit the dust. It’s gotta suck.

While all his prior posts won’t be restored, n3rd.net will return, therefore the link (right column) under the Friends header will remain.

Says Jon, “I have some bad news. All posts/comments/members have been lost. Gone forever. Don’t ask why, I feel dumb already. Needless to say, the next incarnation of n3rd’s weblog will be bigger, better, and of course a lot more sexy. It’s going to be done in Movable Type, and will be hosted at Dreamhost.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Sunday, June 15, 2003

Top Ten Digital Video Tips

This ought to be required reading before anyone even considers picking up a video camera.

“Apply one or more of these tips to your movie making, and I guarantee you’ll be rewarded with terrific results.” [MacDevCenter]

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Friday, June 13, 2003

“You Buy Wadded Up Paper Now!!!!”

This defies weirdness.

Origami Boulder Company

“Origami, is Japanese art of folding paper. Boulder is round rock. Origami Boulder is wadded up paper! You understand now, dumbo? Then hurry up and buy wadded paper! You see picture at top of site don’t you?

“This site about origami boulder very fine wadded paper artwork. I make artwork for you and you buy it now. I am famous Internet artist. You find my site didn’t you?

“Site is real. You order and you really get origami boulder artwork with special card to display at your home or workplace. Make good unforgettable gift for friends!”

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Hooray for LaunchBar

Props to Objective Development for a recent enhancement to their most excellent utility, LaunchBar.

For the purpose of being able to easily sync my contacts with my new T68i and iPod, I had decided to migrate my desktop management of contacts to OS X’s Address Book application. I fully accepted the degree of inconvenience this introduced to not have my contacts directly in Entourage—my e-mail client. Sure, it’s not too difficult to switch to Address Book, find the contact I want, click on the address and click “Send E-mail” in the popup window, but that’s several extra steps from simply opening a new mail message window in Entourage and typing in the first few characters of the person’s name.

Well, that has sort of been restored. LaunchBar now includes Address Book as one of its supported applications. So now, all I have to do is hit my Control-Space keystroke to pop up the LaunchBar window, type in the first couple characters of a contact, hit enter, and voila—new Entourage mail message to that person!

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Wee Morning Hours

If you’re dredging up cognitive dissonance about the 2:30am entries, direct your recollection back to the times I’ve recently mentioned that April and May is the most slammed part of the year for me. I refuse to give up my “out of the house” enjoyments during this time, even if I’m not leaving the office ’til much later. I spent tonight with friends watching the Survivor finale that they missed, but I had taped. Got home around 2am.

There’s a bit of good news about these long hours, though—bragging rights that all nine (as opposed to just several) of the videos that will be shown as part of a week-long event to be uplinked via satellite will be edited by yours truly…using Final Cut Pro…on a Mac…specifically, on a G4 PowerBook…more specifically, on a PowerBook with no real special enhancements other than a full gigabyte of RAM.

Those of you who understand this know me, know what I do, and probably know where I work and why this fact is significant. Anyone who is thinking, “yeah, so?” just move along. There’s nothing more to see here.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Friday, May 09, 2003

Enter NetNewsWire

This entry might look like crap at first. I don’t know yet. I’m experimenting using the full version of NetNewsWire to compose this text and post it to the blog. Hopefully, it’ll work well and help me skirt around what I think is a Movable Type bug. I’ll apologize in advance if trying this out causes undue oddness. If you see problems, let me know and I’ll get right on it.

By the way, apparently I truly do have a reasonably speedy PowerBook! NNW’s warning says that Live Preview may slow down typing a little, but it’s working great for me now.

Oh yeah, I also want to see if these paragraph breaks and a…
…line break code are automatically inserted for me. Tee-hee.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Monday, May 05, 2003

Weekend Update

Whew. Sort of a whirlwind of a weekend. It started Thursday night with the usual Survivor gathering at some friends’ house. Friday afternoon saw an hour or two helping out with some more computer setup for a guy I’ve mentioned here in the past.

Later that evening, I did some shots for Ádamas—a band that’s currently getting started—for promotion and their demo album. The lead singer is the same friend whom I generally visit, along with his wife, each Thursday night for Survivor. We found various spots in an unfinished house that yet another friend is building. The metaphor of the house under construction is superb and we got some fantastic shots. The amazing and ironic thing is that two of the shots that I thought, at the time, were poorly exposed—mess-ups, so to speak—were actually some our favorites. One, in particular, was probably one of the best people photo I have ever taken in my life. The guys were sitting staggered on this ratty couch we found inside the house. We have no idea why it was in there. We put it in front of this large opening that, I assume, will be a nice big picture window when the house is done. The scene was basically dark. We’d been using bright quartz industrial worklamps both for additional illumination and as props. For this shot, I set it out of the camera’s view, lighting the guys from the side. I intended to use a slight fill flash but with a slow shutter so as to also let the lighted water fountain in the lake outside the window be seen. However, I didn’t have the flash turned on for the first shot I took. The result was what, at the time, I called a Blair Witch shot. It was kind of creepy looking at it in the tiny digital camera viewer and I chalked it up as a junk shot. I took some more with the flash in addition to the work lamps plus more in some other parts of the house.

When we got back to my friend’s house to look at the photos on the computer, the dark one was…well…see for yourself.

The guys started dinking around with their music and trying stuff out. I listened in for a while and finally went home. The next afternoon, I and my two Survivor-watching friends spent a couple hours at Sea World (we’ve got passes) to see the Pets Ahoy show and take in a little bit of the music during the Viva La Musica festival that was going on. Then, today, several of us took a beach trip to New Smyrna and had a great little picnic.

*Groan* I don’t want to back to work tomorrow! Hehe.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

I ♥ FCP

Let me make it perfectly clear that Final Cut Pro ROCKS!

After a few years of using Adobe Premiere, I finally started really getting into FCP recently—initially with some things my friend, Andy, got me started with during the NAB convention, and this week, really delving into using it for several short vignettes that will be shown at a convocation (and broadcast over satellite) this summer.

Why, oh why, did I not start sooner!

I am so pre-ordering version 4!

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

To Pad, or Not To Pad. That Is the Question.

I’m basically ready to throw in the towel. I don’t really like the padded anchor links for archived entries, and I know full well how to remove them from HTML and RSS templates. The Movable Type support forum gang even helped me have the e-mail notifications use unpadded links…but the fix broke when I upgraded MT and no one seems to know how to fix it now. In addition, I recently discovered that the built-in search hits want padded anchors, too.

So, I’m wondering how many of you who might have permalinks over to my blog would totally hate my guts if I go back to the default padded anchors instead? Naturally, I’d be thrilled if you were inclined to search for links you made to specific entries and changed them to a 6-digit padded number (i.e. www.dtpbylee.com/blog/archives/2003_02.html#000100 instead of #100), but I definitely wouldn’t be inclined to complain if you left them alone.

Specifically, I’m glancing at Michael, Chris, Bryan, Raena, Jon, and Eric.

What say ya’ll?

Comments: 5 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric -- April 22, 2003 07:42 PM

Oh, I suppose I'd deal with it.

However, were I going to change my permalink scheme, I think I'd go all out and switch to descriptiver names instead of sequential numbers :)

Posted by Jon -- April 22, 2003 08:37 PM

I'd use permalinks that use the titles or something... If you want to know how, I figured it out for a new section of MobileTracker that will launch soon.

Also, if you go to a more descriptive format all your old links will still work (MT doesn't delete the old archives).

Posted by Raena Armitage -- April 23, 2003 04:50 AM

Names in anchors are cool. Or dates.

Posted by Raena Armitage -- April 23, 2003 04:51 AM

Oh, yeah: I'll cope.

Posted by chris -- April 23, 2003 12:38 PM

I'd be happy to update my URLs back to DTP. Fair warning: now the above parties have got me thinking about re-doing my own permalinks to be more descriptive...

• • •

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Sin City, Here I Come

I’m getting pretty excited. I leave tomorrow morning for the NAB convention in Las Vegas. I have tickets to see Penn & Teller tomorrow evening, and I plan to visit the Star Trek: Experience on some other night.

So, from tomorrow through Thursday, D.T.P. by Lee entries will be a special National Association of Broadcasters edition. Stay tuned!

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric -- April 5, 2003 03:24 PM

Lee, I wish I was gonna be there. It looks like it's gonna be a great show. Can't wait to hear what comes out of tomorrow's press-type briefings.

• • •

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Movable Type Quirk

Movable Type gurus, please chime in.

What is causing pages in the administration pages to load up blank? I can’t find any rhyme or reason to when it happens. Sometimes the very first page I try to open won’t display. Other times, I’ll get through the menu page, then the window to add a new entry, but the page that displays after I click Preview comes up blank, or maybe I’ll get all the way through publishing an entry, but the screen that says my notification has been sent doesn’t appear.

I’m not the only one. I’ve followed a few threads on Movable Type’s support forum of people who have the same problem, but there are no solution suggestions.

There is opinion, however, that it could be something to do with a configuration problem in Apache servers.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Raena -- March 31, 2003 08:36 PM

My gut says something's up with caching on your web server.

My other gut says that there might be a KHTML-derived bug with pages that refresh, so if you're using Safari that might be something to do with it.

• • •

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Brain Fart

Sigh. Earlier this evening, I had something in mind I wanted to blog about, but I was a good boy and, instead, worked on the final touches of a Macromedia Studio MX review that is slated to appear in the April issue of About This Particular Macintosh. Now that I’ve finished, I can’t remember what I was planning to post.

Well, it’s not what I was originally thinking, but here’s something my friend, Andy, reminded me about—the Columbia’s recently located flight data recorder which was in surprisingly decent condition.

And now, it’s 11:40 p.m. and Bill Cosby is the guest host for David Letterman’s Late Show. You know what? Someone should offer Bill his own late show!

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Movable Type Upgrade

I’ve just upgraded my Movable Type installation to version 2.63. Let me know if you see any problems resulting from it.

One problem I anticipated was my fix to unpad the anchor URLs in my e-mail notifications (i.e. blahblahURL/archive/file.html#123 instead of blahblahURL/archive/file.html#000123). I went to the CMS.prn file to re-correct it, but the syntax of the send_notify section seems to have changed in this version. If someone knows how to restore unpadded archive links in the e-mail notifications, please chime in.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Say “Cheese!”

My Olympus C-5050 digital camera arrived today. By no special effort on my part, the 256mb xD Picture Card and xD to PCMCIA adapter I ordered from a different site (better price) arrived at the same time. This camera is splendid. I’m very pleased with it and hope to be more active with my digital photo albums in the future!

Thanks to Jeff who bought one a little while ago, prompting me to make good on my desire for a digital camera. After a bit of research on my own, I decided the model he chose was ideal for me, too.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Monday, March 10, 2003

Blog Queue Update

After several days of inactivity, my brother posted a few new entries today on his blog. Particularly interesting is his Fiber To The People entry.

By the way, he’ll soon be blogging through my Movable Type installation (his web host doesn’t allow the resources he needs to blog effectively). Once he switches, not only will his entries be syndicated for those of you who’d prefer to read that way, he’ll also be inclined to blog more often since MT makes it easier for him to do so.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Ed Leto

The next time you’re considering hiring a professional entertainer for your event, consider checking out Ed Leto. As I said in the previous entry about Sea World, I met Ed (and Faye, his wife) a little while ago and got to know them better today.

Ed is a fantastic variety entertainer, was trained at the former Ringling Bro. & Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College, and also trains new performers who are starting their career.

Props to you, Ed!

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by chris -- March 3, 2003 01:05 PM

Ask Ed if he knows a clown named Sweet Pea, from Baton Rouge, LA. That's my aunt, who, I believe, has *taught* at Clown College...

Posted by Ed Leto -- September 11, 2003 06:11 PM

It's been 8 years since clown college. The name rings a bell but I honestly don't remember.

• • •

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Fix Your Bookmarks

For a variety of reasons that I’m not going to waste space about here, I’m encouraging you to change web page links and bookmarks to http://www.dtpbylee.com/blog/ instead of just http://www.dtpbylee.com/

Doing so will help me out a bit and will probably make your life a little easier, seeing as how I removed the meta tag that was automatically redirecting visitors.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- February 26, 2003 09:27 PM

I'm 1337 and already had the right one.

• • •

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Goin’ to Vegas

Woohoo! It’s 99% official—I’m headed to Las Vegas in April for the annual National Association of Broadcasters electronic media show. I’ve always wanted to attend. So now, the remaining 1% of certainty lies in paying for the plane ticket and registering for the free floor show pass I was offered.

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric -- February 18, 2003 08:57 PM

If you're there and I'm not... well, I'll have to get an update on the show from you. grr.

Should work send me, tho, we should try and grab lunch or something. NAB's getting kinda close, though, so I'm not particularly hopeful.

Posted by Bryan -- February 25, 2003 03:51 PM

Don't forget to visit the Star Trek ride! :)

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Saturday, February 15, 2003

Blog Queue

Just a few moments ago, my brother was commenting that he was losing motivation to keep his blog going because he’s probably not being read by anyone but me. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to go read his blog or else, but he’s pretty amusing when he wants to be and likes to be opinionated. He’s a civilian government employee, which provides him an endless source of topics to rant about.

In one of his earliest posts, he wrote:

“I admit it. I love to rant about all kinds of things. Regular visitors will get to hear my opinions on such topics as spam, pop-up and pop-under ads on the web, government life, technology, the entertainment industry conspiracy, and more.”

The Blog Queue can be found at www.goodest.net

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- February 16, 2003 12:45 PM

I was so going to read, but alas no RSS. I can't deal with such things.

sidenote: RSS is a great way to gain readers, as is pinging weblogs.com

• • •

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Continuing Tweaks—Will It Ever End?

For those who keep up to date with my entries via RSS, I will apologize for again resetting the status of recent entries as being new. I discovered a delicious new Movable Type plugin called SmartyPants.

The plugin’s name is well-deserved. By simply adding an attribute to any MT tag that renders to text that you see (specifically the title, body, and excerpt tags, in my case), that text will be “educated” with proper typographer’s curly quotes. In addition, dashes—such as these—and ellipsis…such as these…will also get converted to true, single-character versions instead of double hyphens and three periods. I no longer have to type — or … for dashes and ellipsis, and I had previously never bothered with proper quote marks.

I added this attribute to not only the main index and the archive templates, but also to my RSS templates, which is why they appeared again as new entries. For what it’s worth, they re-appeared as new a few days ago, too, because the anchor URL in the template was wrong—clicking to read the full entry on the web page wasn’t automatically scrolling down to the proper entry.

As best I can tell, I only have one more tweak I’m truly hoping to find. If someone can offer some punditry on this issue, I’d be immensely grateful and would happily immortalize your assistance with a blog entry. :-) The problem is that the new entry notification e-mails that I send to two or three addresses—at this writing—are using the padded anchor URLs, as in: www.dtpbylee.com/blog/2003/02/01#000012 when it should really be www.dtpbylee.com/blog/2003/02/01#12. See the difference? I am completely stumped on how to fix this.

Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon -- February 8, 2003 09:37 PM

Good times. I don't mind... You'd be surprised how often that happens. I'm always hacking my feed :-D. I added categories the other day... NetNewsWire rocks

Posted by Lee Bennett -- February 10, 2003 11:46 PM

Update: thanks to "girlie" in the MT forums for pointing, and to John Gruber of Daring Fireball for confirming -- the e-mail notification anchor URL has been fixed and now produces unpadded URLs.

• • •

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Take 3

Some say three strikes and you’re out. Others say the third time is the charm. I’m siding with the latter of the two.

At least two or three people have suggested that the former translucent effect on this site wasn’t ideal. Apparently, if you don’t have a strong graphics card, scrolling can be kind of choppy when viewing a page with a fixed-position background graphic, as I previously had. Additionally, the graphic I was using to simulate the translucency made text on some monitors difficult to read—especially non-anti-aliased text on LCD displays.

So now, here’s where we’re at. I could turn this entry into a rant about Microsoft because, during my design, I learned that Internet Explorer for Windows doesn’t properly display the alpha channel transparency of .PNG graphics. Stupid. Why even include the ability to display them if the best feature—an alpha channel—doesn’t work? What is even more bizarre is that Internet Explorer for Macintosh does properly display .PNG images—transparency and all.

I’m still open for punditry on ways to improve the design, but I feel like I’ve tweaked it enough for now. Enjoy—or not! ;-)

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Sunday, February 02, 2003

F.L.A. M-I-A

Forest Lake Academy’s class of 1988 is planning a 15-year reunion in April (yes, you now know when I graduated from high school). It seems there are a number of classmates who are unaccounted for.

In these early days of my blog’s life, I suspect my readers are predominately friends and family—people who possibly are acquainted with my academy classmates. If you are familiar with some of the students who attended Forest Lake Academy in the late 80s, please take a moment to click over to the class of ‘88 web site and scan the names in the Missing Classmates section. Bryan Emde is the person to tell if you see a person whose whereabouts you know.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Friday, January 31, 2003

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

So let’s review. This blog is now just a week old. During that time, 22 entries (including this one) have been posted; the site underwent a pretty major facelift and, based on feedback from friends and colleagues, will probably get adjusted again soon (it seems my translucent effect isn’t ideal to all computers or eyes); and finally, with immense appreciation to my friend, Jeff, I have now officially migrated from Blosxom to Movable Type.

No, Blosxom wasn’t awful. It’s quite simple to use. But the flexibility of Movable Type is just light years ahead. Besides, you can now comment back to my entries with your own punditry!

Important notice: if you subscribed to my RSS feed, you’ll need to change your subscription link to http://www.dtpbylee.com/blog/index.rdf

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Looky, Looky!

Wow. The blog is only 3 days plus a few hours old and it’s already undergone a massive facelift! I guess that’s not the most fair thing to say—this look was the intention from the get-go. I just chose to get the mechanics working first and, with that part now done, tonight I finished on the “icing.” So what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? E-mail me with your punditry. (Comments that reference the near-4 a.m. time stamp on this entry will be summarily ignored.)

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

• • •

Sunday, January 26, 2003

The new D.T.P. by Lee is under way!

Say goodbye to Desktop Publishing by Lee. I’m now joining the ranks of all those who have discovered the addictive hobby of writing a diary/journal and letting the world (or maybe just you) read it!

The software I’m starting with for getting my blog up and going is, to be honest, cheap. So cheap, it’s free. The pages are boring, functionality is limited, and only a definable number of posts are visible on one page. Any more, and the oldest are no longer visible, nor can they be called up unless you happened to have saved the direct URL to them while they were still visible. Needless to say, I’ll be upgrading to a better blogging package as soon as I can teach myself how to do so!

By the way—mostly for my own needs, the old site is still online. Peruse at your own discretion.

Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)

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A. Lee Bennett, Jr.
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