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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, March 14 2001

An interruption

I want to interrupt the current topic, winter fun, for two tangents.

The first pertains to the topic but will apply to future discussion. Since response to this topic has been slim, a related side issue occurred to me that might generate more input, a more general topic in which any thought about winter fun can be included. Play, in general, and more specifically, "play then" and "play now." Stumbling, yesterday, into the discussion of how sledding and bike riding were considered "children's" things when I was a child but just about any play can be done without thought about such questions by adults today, it occurs that that's worth pursuing further. And along with it, the economics of play. I mentioned my sons' investment in their biking avocation; I know many people in Pennsylvania spend thousands of dollars on quads and snowmobiles, which would have been considered "rich men's toys" 40 or more years ago. What has changed and why? If I don't get any thoughts for this space for tomorrow, I have more questions. (And if you want your thoughts included here on the Jonal page, send it to me, not to the whole list, as the policy is that if it has already been seen by the whole list there's no point in putting it here.)

Today's second topic is recent changes and experiments in the Home Page generally.

We have a new, better index. The searchbutton search installed only a couple of months ago after I saw it advertised on a billboard along a San Jose highway, was an improvement over its predecessor. Alas, however, the searchbutton company must have been a victim of the current downturn in ecommerce. A week or two ago I got notice that if I want to continue its service it will go from free to $5000 a year. Well, sure...that solves their problem! So back on Google to find another service.

What I found and subsequently installed is FreeFind, which is not only free (still, anyway!), it offers more "bells and whistles" than searchbutton did. I'm impressed. The robot "spidered" the whole web site within a couple of hours from when I applied to it, and I haven't failed to find anything I've looked for on it as yet. A major improvement is that I was able to request a "respidering" (indexing) of the site, automatically, every week. So by every Monday evening, anything added the week before should be findable.

With the two previous search services I had to find where to go to request a reindexing, so it wouldn't get done often. Also, FreeFind generates a Site Map. It's not great, as it seems to think the religion and ethics section is a subtopic of the Nantyglo-Blaina, Wales, site, but at least it's an easy portal to many of the major departments. However, a better site map is the hand-generated site index that has been available all along, which I've been updating, manually, only a couple of times a year.

But an even better attendant feature of FreeFind is its "What's New" page, which is automatically generated each time the site is indexed. On the front page, it's found under "What's New" in the "search this site" panel. It immediately displays a list showing every page on the site that has been updated in the past month (not just the previous week since the last spidering). This is great. For example, if your high school class page has been revised, you'll find it listed there (additions of a few changes on class pages are not mentioned in other notices of changes to the site, atop this page or the scrolling marquees, which are reserved for totally new or greatly revised pages).

That's enough for today's postcard...more later.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Comprehending Engineers-Take Seven

"Normal people...believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet." —Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

Sent by Trudy Myers

Lenten thought

If we want to ask a favor of any person of power, we presume not to approach but with humility and respect. How much more ought we to address ourselves to the Lord and God of all things with a humble and entire devotion? We are not to imagine that our prayers shall be heard because we use many words, but because the heart is pure and the spirit penitent. Therefore, prayer must be short and pure, unless it be prolonged by a feeling of divine inspiration. Prayer in common ought always to be short, and when the sign is given by the abbot, all should rise together.

Monastic rule 20
St. Benedict of Nursia, commemorated 14 March

Sent by Christopher Haas

Lenten thoughts (i.e., pertaining to repentance and spiritual growth, from any faith-community perspective) are solicited from readers.

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