Best of Chris Harris 1

If you are a car enthusiast, you know about Chris Harris. If not, I’ll give you a brief biography. Harris is a race driver, automotive writer, and reviewer of cars. He has written for sites including Autocar, evo, and Jalopnik. He’s better known for his video reviews from THE DRIVE and then his own channel Chris Harris on Cars. He’s currently a presenter on the UK Top Gear, but still produces extra videos in his Chris Harris Drives series.

First, Harris is a great driver. He’s known for his drifting ability—which the kids love but I find a bit ridiculous—seen in all of his videos. But he can apex, as well. He’s a Porsche enthusiast and the car of his he talks about most is his 911 GT3.

He’s also a good writer. He’s knowledgeable and witty, using his cracking good British vocabulary and sense of humor. Once you’ve watched a few of his videos, you’ll begin to read his articles in his distinctive style. Am I enjoying it? Yes, I am.

But where Harris excels is his video car reviews. Here he gets to combine his driving skills, his car knowledge, his humor, and of course his drifting. Except for the latter, his reviews check all the right boxes for me.

So here are some of my favorite—or maybe I should say favourite—Chris Harris videos. Naturally they focus on Porsche and Mini/MINI.

The Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR

Here is perhaps the best (modified) street Porsche at the moment. Harris drives it on the track and gives his raving review. This is the car that once held the record for the fastest modified street car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Best line: “And of course your brain would say, ‘Shut up, mate, that’s ridiculous. I’m still clearing up the mess from my under-crackers after what that car just did to me’.”

The New Porsche 911 (992)

This video was from January 16, 2019 just after the introduction of the eighth-generation 2020 Porsche 911. Harris is a Porsche owner, so this review is great.

Best line: “But ultimately this is a 991 plus. Which means…a 992, I suppose.”

The Porsche 918 Spyder Tested

This video goes back to December 18, 2013, before Harris’s Top Gear days. Here’s a car that scares even Harris. He doesn’t really answer the question of why this car needed to be a plug-in hybrid.

Best line: “That’s right, the 918 is so clean even its petrol farts are pre-cleansed.”

The 2012 Porsche Boxster S

This video from March 14, 2012 is the closest review to the car I own. It was one that I reviewed when I was researching the purchase of a Cayman/Boxster. Harris likes several things about the Boxster over the 911. It sold me on the 981 Boxster.

Best line: “You drive the Boxster S with a six-speed manual gearbox like this, and you do think to yourself, what more car do I need? Do I need a faster car? Do I need a more agile car? Do I need a grippier car? You just don’t. This thing is brilliant.”

Mini Cooper S at Goodwood

Enough Porsche, let’s look at Chris Harris racing a classic Mini Cooper S at Goodwood on April 6-7, 2019. Harris, like many British car enthusiasts, says that his first car was a Mini. He can be just as enthusiastic driving smaller, slower cars. Probably my favorite Harris video.

Best line: “For me, when I was eighteen, that was the equivalent of a night with Heidi Klum, that was. Michelle Pfeiffer for the night or a pair of twin one-and-a-half SUs.”

Britain’s Best Handling Car 2006

This last video is a very early one, not posted by Harris or Top Gear. Is is a portion of the Autocar program Britain’s Best Handling Car 2006. In it he test-drives several cars including an R53 MINI Cooper S JCW GP and a 987 Porsche Cayman. I won’t spoil the result.

Best line: “And you do find yourself asking why anyone would want to bother with a 220-horsepower MINI with no backseats and still with a Toytown interior, but apart that we’re hacking along here not really being dropped by a 295-horsepower Porsche probably goes some way to explaining that.”

My First Porsche Service

Porsche South Orlando

Since last December, my Porsche has been warning me to get an “Interm. Service Now” every time turned the key. I wanted to have its first service done at the dealership, Porsche South Orlando, where I bought the car. It took several weeks before I found time to make the trip to Orlando.

The dealership makes it very easy to schedule a service appointment. Earlier in the week, I simply went to their website, entered my car information, and picked a day and exact time for my appointment. I didn’t need to speak to anyone.

Never certain what the highway construction and traffic will be like in Orlando, I left home early. The day was sunny and cool and there were no major delays, so I arrived about an hour early for my one o’clock appointment. No problem, they took me right away. Tony in Service was very friendly and helpful, answering several questions I had saved up since I bought the Boxster last June (2019).

Porsche Boxster and 911

After they inspected my car, Tony texted me a list of the primary and recommended services. Because my car still has low mileage, I opted only for the primary service which included an oil change, oil filter, two rings, and a sealing plug. They also topped off all fluids and set the tires to the correct pressure. Plus, they gave my car a complimentary car wash.

Porsche Boxster on Lift

While I waited, I had a look around the beautiful dealership. The modern building is spacious and spotless and filled with amazing cars, of course. The Service area was entirely visible through huge glass walls and saw my car on the lift. I always like to photograph my cars during servicing. Then I found a seat to read while I waited. My view was the rear of a pretty yellow Porsche 911 Speedster just inside the front door.

Porsche 911 Speedster 991

A little later I took another walk around the sales-floor and Parts department, and checked on the progress of my car, which was now off the lift.

Porsche Boxster in Service

The dealership was really promoting convertibles that day, with two more Porsche 911 Cabriolets in the front window.

Porsche 911 Convertibles

My car was soon finished and brought to the Service lobby area. I ordered a small part for the car which they said they will mail to me. Offhandedly, I asked Tony if there was a way to silence the loud and annoying double beep the car makes when you lock it with the key. He asked one of his service techs, who hooked up a computer to look for the setting. When he didn’t find it, he called in another “hacker” tech who was able to find the setting and disable the sound. Now I can lock my car silently. This “fix” alone was worth the price of service!

Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster

Having service done at the dealership is certainly more expensive than going to a local mechanic. For my first service trip, I wanted to go back to Porsche South Orlando to get some of my questions answered, and for the peace-of-mind of having a certified mechanic work on the car. I’m still trying to locate the service history of my Boxster before I have any other service done.

Porsche Boxster at Porsche South Orlando

So about two and a half hours later, I headed home in my newly serviced, modified, and washed Porsche. I couldn’t be happier with the car and Porsche South Orlando.

How to De-Google

I have used many Google products in the past. Of course, nearly everyone uses the Google search engine. In the beginning that seemed harmless. But more recently we have seen how Google uses your search history to build a profile of you. Search for a product and soon you see ads on your favorite websites trying to sell you that item. (Although Google doesn’t seem to be able to figure out when you’ve purchased the item but continues to try to sell it to you.)

Many people’s first indication that Google might not be not-evil was after the launch of Gmail. Google announced that they would scan email messages to provided targeted ads. While no humans were allegedly reading your email, it still seemed wrong for a company to systematically scan the contents of your messages. But still, most people continued to use the service. I used it to send large files and to sign up up for a few online services. I have had email accounts with my personal domain since the 1990s which I use for most of my email communication.

In the last few years, Google has really started to adopt questionable practices. They manipulate search results. They help censor the Web in countries like China. Their YouTube service censors and demonetizes videos that go against its political leanings. Google has clearly abandoned free speech and unbiased access to information. For these reasons, I decided to stop using Google products wherever possible.

I used many Google products: Search, Chrome, Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and YouTube TV. I own a Google Pixel XL mobile phone.

De-Google Firefox and DuckDuckGo

Although extremely popular, Google Search and the Chrome browser were the easiest Google products to replace. Both on my computer and my phone, I now use Firefox as my browser and DuckDuckGo as my search engine. I do not sync my bookmarks in Firefox. DuckDuckGo says they do not track you and I have not heard of the search engine manipulating search results.

I moved most of my email subscriptions from Gmail to an Outlook account. I removed all my photos from Google Photos and documents from Google Drive. I have moved my documents and some photos to Microsoft OneDrive. I still have to use Gmail and Drive for a few collaborative projects for my professional work on library committees, unfortunately.

I unsubscribed to all of my YouTube channels and cleared my history, “Watch later” and Favorites lists, and saved playlists. Because YouTube has such a dominant market-share, I’ll have to drop in occasionally to watch something important, but I won’t be signed in and will be harder to track.

I was a longtime subscriber to Google Play Music. I paid $9.99 per month to maintain my music library and to have the ability to listen to any song and album in the Google Play catalog. I also purchased several singles and albums. In December 2019 I cancelled my subscription. Around that time I had subscribed to SiriusXM for my car, so I use the online streaming service to listen to music on my computer and phone. I switched to Groove to play my local music files. I might try Spotify in the future.

De-Google Google Play Music

I don’t own a TV and I don’t watch shows. But I enjoy watching some live sports, mostly English Premier League soccer and international cricket matches. Early last year I subscribed to YouTube TV soon after launch. I watched some soccer, cricket, a few World Series games, and a UCF football game or two. I gave my parents a family pass so they could use my account, but I never watched enough to justify the cost even before the decision to de-Google. After talking with them and being assured they would not miss many programs, I finally cancelled my subscription.

De-Google YouTube TV
De-Google Phone Homescreen

I’ll continue to use my Google phone for now. But I did remove and replace as many Google apps as possible. I haven’t (yet) gone as far as replacing the Android operating system, but I did replace the default Google Launcher with the Microsoft Launcher. This launcher actually gives more flexibility in how the homescreen is laid out and functions. It replaced the Google searchbar with one that searches Bing. It allowed me to replace the Gmail and Chrome icons in the bottom dock with OneDrive and Outlook.

Google won’t let you uninstall Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Gmail, Google Search, Maps, Play Movie, Play Music, or YouTube. Not good. But I did change my default apps to Firefox, Outlook, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

The final Google app I replaced was Google Maps. After trying a few mapping apps, I chose HERE WeGo. The HERE WeGo maps are similar to Google Maps and they don’t seem to highlight the business that have paid to be featured. It provides directions for driving, biking, and walking, just like Google Maps. It also shows traffic. The WeGo navigation is better than Google Maps because in addition to turn-by-turn instructions, it also displays the speed limit and your current speed (although not shown below). I’m very pleased with the app.

Overall it wasn’t difficult to remove Google from my life. I will have to make a decision when the time comes to replace my mobile phone. I wish there was a viable alternative to Apple and Google, but the choice is limited. Until then, I’ll carry on—happy with my worthy alternatives to Google.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Porsche competes in the GTLM and GTD classes of the Rolex 24 at Daytona so I joined my fellow Porsche Club of America members to cheer them on. Unfortunately, I signed up too late to park in the Porsche car corral inside the track, so I found a fellow Porsche to park with in Lot 4. The day was sunny and cool, prefect for racing.

My Porsche at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I entered through the tunnel under Turn 4. Immediately upon emerging I saw the Corvette car corral, the only other brand besides Porsche that had one. The new Corvette C8 would compete against Porsche in the GTLM class.

Corvette Car Corral at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I walked straight to the garages hoping to see the cars before they entered the track. They were already gone.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Porsche Garage

I made my way to pit road and walked to the front of the line-up of cars.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Stands

The DPi and LMP2 cars were up front, followed by the two GTLM Porsche 911 RSR cars, #911 and #912.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Porsche #911
2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Porsche #912

After getting an up-close look at the cars and drivers, I made my way to the infield to find the Porsche Club of America (PCA) tent. On the way I got my first look at the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8. There were swarms of people around it, but I managed to get a photo. Its design is a bit too angular, busy, and aggressive for my tastes.

2020 Corvette at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Next I visited Suncoast Parts, the official Porsche vendor for the race. I bought a limited-edition Cayman GT4 mug and Porsche Motorsport water bottle. I spoke to Ric who answered several of my accessories questions and gave me a closer look at his own blue 718 Cayman. He was very helpful and I plan to order a few parts from them soon.

Suncoast Parts Cayman at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Apple Computer Porsche at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Suncoast Parts Stand at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Questions answered and souvenirs purchased, I continued on to the PCA hospitality tent.

PCA Text at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I showed my PCA card and received my wristband. I grabbed a Coke and a poster and had a quick look around before heading out to watch the beginning of the race.

The race began at 1:40 pm. I watched the first few laps from the road course section of the track next to the Porsche car corral. The #911 started ahead of the #912.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
#911 Porsche 911 RSR
2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Porsche
#912 Porsche 911 RSR

With the long race underway, I took some time to look around at the cars parked in the Porsche car corral, regretful that I had not signed up in time to get mine inside. The lot was mostly filled with 911s, but also included Boxsters, Caymans, Macans, Cayennes, and various classic models.

PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

One man had the back of his Porsche 928 set up as “BAR 928” filled with various bottles and mixers.

Porsche 928 at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
PCA Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Parked inside the fence next to the PCA tent was the new totally electric Porsche Taycan (pronounced “tie-cahn”). This was my first time seeing it in person and the first time in Gentian Blue Metallic, similar to the Dark Blue Metallic on my Boxster.

Porsche Taycan at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Porsche Taycan at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I left the PCA tent to have another look around. I saw some other interesting cars including a Turner Motorsport MINI Cooper S Hardtop and a Hyundai Veloster N.

Turner Motorsport MINI at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Hyundai Veloster N at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Back to the racing. I headed to my favorite spot to watch. From this infield spot you can see the cars enter the road course section, go around the Horseshoe, and accelerate past. Then you can see the cars as they head back onto the tri-oval and Turn 1.

2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona Porsches

After watching for a while and with the sun starting to go down, I decided to head back toward the exit. On the way back, I walked through the Fanzone to see the race from a few other favorite spots. I got my first look at the new Toyota GR Supra GT4 on display.

Toyota GR Supra GT4 at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I also had a quick look at the display of vintage racecars including two important Porsche 914 cars.

Vinatge racing Porsches at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Returning through the garage area, I realized I hadn’t taken my own photo to mark the day. So I got a last photo at the Porsche GT Team garage.

James at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Although I had a great day on Saturday, I didn’t go back on Sunday, preferring to watch the race on TV (on my phone). After leading the GTLM class for most of the race, the two factory Porsches finished second (#912) and third (#911) behind a BMW. In the GTD class, the best finish for Porsche was fourth. Disappointing not to get wins, but the Porsche teams overall placed well. All racing enthusiasts should attend the Rolex 24 at Daytona at least once.

Steve Berry at The BookMark

The title of this post should really be “Joseph Finder and Steve Berry at The BookMark” but Steve Berry was the person I went to The BookMark bookstore to see although he was not the reason for the event. But I didn’t know that until the day of the book signing. The event was a stop on the book tour of Joseph Finder, a writer I was not familiar with before this night.

I started reading Steve Berry novels after finding one while browsing the Leisure Books collection at Hunt Library. I didn’t know who he was, but the title The Patriot Threat and its story involving a conspiracy surrounding a painting of George Washington and the 16th Amendment intrigued me. I really enjoyed the fast-paced story interspersed with historical facts and conspiracies. After reading, I learned that this novel was the tenth book in the Cotton Malone Series. I decided to start reading the series from the beginning and soon bought The Templar Legacy. I have read and enjoyed all of the Cotton Malone novels and short stories.

Joseph Finder Event Sign

I knew Berry had a new novel coming out in February 2020 and that his book tours always include a talk at The BookMark bookstore in Neptune Beach, Florida. His official website showed an event on January 23. I thought it was for his forthcoming book The Warsaw Protocol. When I checked the bookstore’s social media to make sure the event was still on, I discovered that it was actually for the launch of Joseph Finder’s new novel House on Fire. Steve Berry, who lives nearby, would be interviewing Finder. I still wanted to go.

After a nearly two-hour drive to Neptune Beach, I arrived a few minutes before 7:00 pm. There was a free chair near the front so I had a close view of the talk. Steve asked Joe about his new book, the character Nick Heller, his methods of writing, and the two feature films that were based on his books (including how little influence he had on them). Steve shared his writing experiences, as well. The two writers were clearly friends and Finder didn’t seem to mind sharing the stage with Berry.

The authors discussed the pros and cons of writing series and how they have to conform to certain limits in content and style. I pointed out that Berry had strayed from his usual style with The Bishop’s Pawn by writing in the first-person. He said that departure didn’t go over well with his readers and that prompted a discussion into first-person versus third-person writing. Both authors agreed that first-person stories were harder to write.

James Day and Steve Berry at The BookMark

After the talk I purchased House on Fire and asked if I could have Steve sign my own copy of The Lost Order. Bookstores don’t often let you bring your own books to signings, but the staff were happy to let us have our personal copies signed. I first asked Steve to sign my book and then took a couple photos with him. Steve was very unassuming and probably would have been more happy to talk about the menu of Sliders Oyster Bar next door than being a famous novelist.

Next I met Joe Finder and he signed my newly-purchased book. I asked about his series and whether I could read this new book first or go back and start at the beginning of the Nick Heller Series. He said it didn’t matter, the books were written to be read in any order. I plan to read his books but I will probably start with the first one, Vanished.

After an hour of book talk, Q&A, and signing, I drove home. It was a lot of driving for a one-hour event for an author I hadn’t heard of before, but I am glad I went. Steve Berry will be back at The BookMark on March 6, 2020, to finish his book tour, and I plan to be there.

The Lost Order signed by Steve Berry
House on Fire signed by Joseph Finder

Website Recommendation: BookBub

BookBub New for You

Generally I prefer to buy print books rather than ebooks. However, I own a NOOK ebook reader and I do buy ebooks, especially when I can find them at a low price. For discounted ebooks I use BookBub.

BookBub finds heavily discounted ebooks, audiobooks, and even print books. While I buy all my ebooks from Barnes & Noble, BookBub links to ebooks from all major retailers: Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google, and Kobo. In the BookBub settings, you can choose the formats you want and also the retailer(s).

BookBub Retailer & Format Preferences

I have well over 150 ebooks on my NOOK and probably 90% of them were purchased as discounted books via BookBub. Prices for ebooks are typically $0.99 to $2.99 with the occasional free offer. The books are not purchased from BookBub, but from the actual retailers. I estimate I buy one to three ebooks each month via BookBub.

BookBub Email

You don’t need to visit the website to find ebook offers. Depending on your choice, BookBub will email you once a day or once a week. I get daily emails that include between six and twelve ebook deals. In the settings, you choose which categories you are interested in from many fiction and nonfiction genres.

I have no affiliation with BookBub, I just like the service and highly recommend it for filling your e-reader with ebooks at a low price.

Best of KEXP 3

KEXP is an independent radio station in Seattle which streams live and also hosts musical artists playing in their in-house studio.  The station makes these live performances available on YouTube.  I have discovered many new bands by following KEXP’s YouTube channel.  Here are some of my favorite live performances. See also Best of KEXP 1 and Best of KEXP 2.

We Were Promised Jetpacks (2019)

Jupiter & Okwess (2018)

Phoebe Bridgers (2018)

Better Oblivion Community Center (2019)

KOKOKO! (2019)

Neil Peart (1952-2020)

On Friday evening, January 10, 2020, we got the shocking news that Neil Peart, drummer for the band Rush, had died. He had died the previous Tuesday, January 7, but the announcement came days later. Like many people, I consider Peart to be the greatest drummer of all time.

My cousin Mark introduced me to Rush in 1980 after the release of Moving Pictures. Even at the age of 12, I could tell this band was composed of amazing musicians. I don’t play an instrument myself, but have always been drawn to the drums. And Neil was the best.

During Rush’s nearly 3-hour shows, Peart would include an extensive drum solo. Towards the last ten years, Peart played some form of this solo. This version is from the R30 (30th anniversary) tour around 2004.

So Peart not only bangs on the drums and cymbals, but he plays an electronic MIDI percussion mallet controller (MalletKAT) like a vibraphone with his sticks.

Here is another version of the drum solo, called “The Rhythm Method” from 1997.

Of course, the first famous Neil Peart drum solo appeared in the middle of the song “YYZ” on the live Exit… Stage Left album from 1981. In the middle of a difficult solo, he plays a little song on toms and cowbells.

In addition to his playing (and lyrics) for Rush, Peart created a tribute album to Buddy Rich. In this video he plays a much simpler drum setup in a jazz format, but also includes an extensive solo, some of it taken from the “YYZ” solo.

Neil confined most of his recorded work to Rush, but he did release a few solo works. The best of these was a song called “Pieces of Eight” composed entirely of drums and percussion (including his MalletKAT). It was included as a sound supplement to the May 1987 issue of Modern Drummer.

Neil had already retired from the band, and Rush had ended in 2018. But now we certainly know there will be no more amazing performance by Neil Peart.

Peart was also an author, writing several travel memoirs. He rode his BMW motorcycle all over the world and wrote about it in books such as Ghost Rider (North and Central America), The Masked Rider (Africa), Far and Away, and Far and Near.

His passing feels like losing a longtime friend.

My Website from 1996 to 2020

For 2020 I redesigned my website homepage and freshened up the site. It had been virtually unchanged for about four years. During the redesign, I had a look back to all of my previous websites; I have kept an archive of all major updates since 1996. Here are 20 screenshots of the homepage for my website covering 24 years. We’ll start at the present and go backwards in Web time.

2020 Homepage 1/1/2020

Here is the new homepage launched on 1/1/2010. It has a rotating image gallery corresponding to the eight main pages.

2019 Homepage 5/7/2019

Seven simple “activity icons” linking to seven pages: Library, Writing, Reading, Hiking, MINI, Beer, and Gallery.

2016 Homepage 1/10/2016

Despite moving to WordPress in 2014, I still wanted to keep a static homepage that I could design however I wanted. I also wanted it to be responsive and use only div tags for placement. This was the original “activity icons” homepage before the addition of a Hiking page and a Gallery.

2014 Homepage 2/8/2014

Windows 8 was released in late 2012. For this version of my website I wanted to simulate a Windows desktop experience. So my homepage was made to resemble a Windows login screen. No password was required to enter; simply click the yellow <enter> button.

2012 Homepage 2/2/2012

My homepage for 2012 was again very simple with a single photo (taken at a portal window on a cruise ship). However, links to the five main pages were not still, they moved randomly around the screen, so you had to chase them with your mouse.

2010 Homepage 12/25/2010

The original version with my cruise ship photo and a row of links that did not move.

2006 Homepage 10/22/2006

Again, my homepage was a simple, centered image with a row of links below. This one was the final version using my South Park image, a rotating image of me standing, reading, and holding a beer inside the Seattle Public Library where I had visited recently. This page has my favorite background color (#86abc8) of all of them. Homepage 9/19/2006

In early 2006 I created this placeholder homepage. It had the first version of my South Park image. After black and grey backgrounds, I wanted a bright color for this page, thus the vivid blue. The site had no content.

2004 Homepage 4/23/2004

This homepage was inspired by science textbooks and modern art, influenced by Douglas Coupland’s website at the time. I kept the background dark grey so the colors would stand out. Clicking on the colored balls took you to the page listed in the legend below.

2002 Homepage 9/29/2002

Always a minimalist design: a title, row of links, and a rotating image gallery in the middle. The image shown was a scanned, reversed, and manipulated scan of a sheet of bubble-wrap. Instead of a row of links separated by pipes, I imitated a math equation.

2001 Homepage 12/20/2001

The original version had a row of text links above a rotating image gallery. The image shown was a real Spin Art Maker paining, scanned and color-inverted. All of the images were negative images of my photos and found graphics. This was the first design after moving to my own domain Homepage 2/18/2001

This homepage was very minimal with the only text being my name in a modern, purple sans-serif font. Each of the four square panes were mystery links, becoming negative upon hover. This was the first version on my Road Runner address at

2000 Homepage 11/22/2000

The first version used a green serif font. This homepage launched in late 2000. Homepage 4/22/2000

This version is starting to look like an “old-fashioned” Web 1.0 homepage. But all of the links were graphics, laid out in a grid. The photo was an arty black and white taken by an artist friend in the backyard of my house in Orlando

1999 Homepage 9/8/1999

The original version of my early 2000 homepage using an older photo. HTML tables were still new at this time, so I took advantage of one to lay out my graphical links in rows and columns. A current trend was keeping the homepage to a single screen, with no scrolling, which was done here.

1998 Homepage 10/24/1998

Late 1990s homepages were long pages, often laid out like a document. This version had a black background but the right-justified photo was a new feature. I used bright yellow links. This was the last homepage with an “Updated” date. Homepage 4/23/1998

Here is an earlier 1998 version without my photo.

1997 Homepage 12/15/1997

This homepage from late 1997 was the beginning of a long line of black-background homepages. I had started my first librarian job so it was kept short and professional (for the times), though I had the personal touch of including my girlfriend at the time in my main photo and links. My niece, Taylor, had just been born, so I added a link to a webpage I created announcing her birth. Homepage 2/21/1997

This version shouts World Wide Web 1.0. It was the last version with a repeating background image. Although the date at the bottom shows “February 21, 1997” this version was actually from late 1997 (but before the version above). This was the first version at

1996 Homepage 8/9/1996

This is the first version of my homepage from August 1996. It was created while I was in Library school. Notice the classic early animated “Under construction” sign and the Netscape 2.0 badge! No frames because frames were bad. But in 1996 just having a webpage with graphics was still fairly new.

My mom was a very early adopter of AOL using a dial-up modem, so I had access to online services as a teenager. Since the day in the UCF library when I first heard about the Internet and World Wide Web, I was fascinated. A friend gave me a floppy disk containing the Mosiac browser along with TCP/IP stack software that needed to be loaded before accessing the Web. I had the eighth student email address at UCF which I purchased at the bookstore for $25! And as I explored the Web, I knew I had to have my small place on it. I also saw how the Web was going to fundamentally change libraries and that started me considering a career as a librarian instead of engineering. I wanted in at the beginning.

New Year's Day at Ponce Inlet

A few days before the end of the year (2019) my friend A. sent me a message saying she wanted to search for rocks and shells at Ponce Inlet on New Year’s Day. The weather was expected to be good, so we made plans. I met her at the shop where she dropped off her car for some work and we drove the twenty minutes down to Ponce Inlet. We climbed on the boulders, A. looking for rocks and me taking photos.

Ponce Inlet
Ponce Inlet Rock

This rock had flakes of silver color that shone in the sun, which A. liked.

I liked the lighthouse and worked to find the best angle to photograph it.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Houses

After a few hours we decided to hike a short bit of Ponce Preserve. I had already hiked the entire park for one of my 50 hikes, but A. had not been there before.

Ponce Preserve
Ponce Preserve Porsche

We worked up an appetite, we put the top down and headed to Mellow Mushroom in Port Orange. Both of us really enjoyed our lunch. On the way home, A. got a message that her car was ready so I returned her to the shop. The day out was a relaxing, low-key way to start the new year.