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December 2000


I've been working with these Cold Fusion guys on a project, and one of them has this really big Cold Fusion book, so someone asked if that was the best Cold Fusion book to get, he replied "Yeah, but there's only two Cold Fusion books..." Which I thought was odd. I mean, off the top of my head, I know O'Reilly's got a ton of perl books, and I know there's lots of others from other publishers, heck, there's even a MacPerl book. I was also amused by the fact that I've heard the phrase 'there's a bug in Cold Fusion" more than a few times. I'm actually going to help the Cold Fusion guys, they were going to have a scheduled job launch Netscape on the server to request a page to run a Cold Fusion script. I thought we could just have perl request the page via http and return the results rather than rely upon a buggy browser doing the jobs... I won't even get into the image code I could give them if we built this thing in perl rather than Cold Fusion...

I found out today that I know someone who works at razorfish. More on that when I get more details...


Xmas is a whirlwind of things around our house. We tend to love it and hate it at the same time. There's a lot of running around, driving around, being way too busy, spending way too much... and with the house up for sale, it's even more so than before. The female and I really don't have an official gift giving thing between the two of us, as we usually focus our attention (and money) on the kids. Hey, that's what it's all about, right? Sure, I would have liked to have found a new G4 under the tree, but nothing can compare to being greeted on Xmas morning by an extremely excited Emma, with a mile-wide smile, telling me "Santa was here!!!" That's a user experience you won't find elsewhere.

I guess a new G4 under the tree would be a runner up to that... ;)

Needless to say I'll be having many tea parties, constantly changing Barbie's outfit, and settling the "I had it first" argument in the months to come.

I came up with a solution to the "I had it first" thing a while back. When one of the girls says "I had it first" you say, "Ok, you have to give it to your sister." I call it the "I had it second" rule. Which prevents the "I had it first" argument. It presents a logic problem sure to confuse young and old alike, and will probably present entirely new problems for you as a parent. Try it at home!

As 2000 comes to a close, I start to think I should be more nervous about 2001. If all goes well, we should be done with the house sale thing in a month or so and moved to a new city. I suppose somehow we'll get through it. I'm not quite sure how yet, but I'm supposed to be optimistic and positive in the new year. (At least that's what people tell me, like that's gonna happen - I mean, Let's do it!) If you like freezing cold temperatures, and lifting heavy objects, perhaps you'd like to assist us in moving everything we own. :|

Chuck Taylor Update: Got a tip from a reader about American Athletics, which not only carries All Stars in my size, but also offers leather CT's... I'm in awe...

If snow banks were money banks, and snow was money, we'd have a whole lot of money, but as it is, we just have a whole lot of snow...

They always tell you not to 'overdo it' when shoveling. To push the snow, not lift it (push it where?) and other great advice. Look, I'm gonna overdo it every year until I either have a heart attack or get a snowblower. When I say things like that, the female looks at me with a face that means "Why do you say such stupid things?"

I've been playing with Radio UserLand lately. Radio is realy Pike, which is really Frontier. By that I mean the desktop software for Mac/Win. I hacked Radio a bit to make it do what I want, which is to say, render static sites using templates, glossaries, and an object database with an internal scripting language. I'm not sure if I violated the license agreement by doing this. I don't feel I decompiled or reverse-engineered anything, I just 'dug in' and changed some things, added some things, and extended the software. I guess I did 'modify' it, so maybe I am in trouble. (Oops!) I'm still using Frontier 5.0.1 (the last free version) but at some point I might switch over to using Radio, if it remains free. We'll see...

As I've also been exploring XML-RPC and SOAP a bit, Radio may come in handy...


Ok, so I did get feedback on my request for Chuck Taylors. A guy named Gary sez "footlocker.com has them" So I go there and look, but find only low-tops. I write him back and say "What, no high-tops?" Then he writes back and says "Yeah, high-tops" and gives me a link. I follow the link and say "Hey! Hi-tops!" and then realize that, as I've seen in the last 10 or more years of buying Chuck Taylors... they don't have my size... damn...

Whew, on the way in to the office today I saw a jack·knifed rig, a semi facing the wrong way on the side of the road, a tipped-on-it's-side pickup truck, and about a dozen spun-out cars. All within a 15 mile stretch. The freeway was pretty much iced over for most of the way. As long as you keep a straight path, slow and steady, without hitting the brakes, you'll do fine...

Wow, a real live link... FilterProxy Home Page


Humor and stupidity save the day: I'm not entirely sure if it's the process of getting older, I think it's somewhat caused by getting married and having kids. Whatever it is, I've gotten stupider as I've gotten older. (More proof of this is the fact that at 18 I knew it all...;) Anyway, I'm unable to make even simple decisions on things. Yesterday we tried to get me new shoes because Ray's Shoes sucks, and couldn't get my Chuck Taylors and didn't bother to tell me. Ok, so we're at a store, looking at shoes, and I just contemplate forever and hem and haw. Hmmm, maybe women buy so many shoes because it's not worth wasting time thinking about it, when they wanna buy some shoes, they think of Nike and "just do it." Even if they aren't buying Nike's. So, the female is getting steamed because I'm wasting time and the kids only allow us so much time for these things, and then she appears to get seriously pissed, looks at me and then starts laughing. Why? Well, she realizes she married a man who has been wearing his shirt backwards without knowing it for most of the day. When's the last time your doing something really stupid saved your life? It saved mine... Now that's love...

Umm, so does anyone know of a good place online to buy Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars?

"...And you can take that to the bank! The money bank!"

Has George W. Bush appointed anyone as "Head of all Jackasses" yet? Oh wait... he's already filled that position...

Someone said: "all of life's problems can be solved in two lines of Perl..." So I thought I'd write those two lines... (you'll need Everything.pm of course... and I'm not sure if the shebang is counted in those "two lines")
use Everything; &solve_all_problems;

Now there's a job for The Everything Development Company.

"...that's a job alright... a cron job!"


It's been a while, so I thought it was time for another Formal Declaration of War...

Is there a telnet server I can install on an NT machine that will let me use Cygwin remotely? I know, I should probably read the documentation...

In regards to open-source, or free software, I've come to learn that "free" (as in beer) isn't important to a lot of companies, what's important is accountability. Which you get from service oriented companies. Solutions, not just products right? I think of IBM as a solutions company, while Microsoft is a product company. I know, most people seem to think of Microsoft as being more successful than IBM, I don't... It makes me wonder about companies that charge so damn much for their products, are they worth it? What are we really buying? We probably pay for support separately anyway. So "free" (as in speech) should be pushed more that the other "free" (as in beer.) Actually what seems to be important is how much money can be generated. If I spend $100,000 to make over a million, it's no big deal. I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this, I'm just rambling...

I don't want free beer anyway, I'm pretty much straight-edge...


Today's work involved the following: RPC over HTTP via CGI. There's a PERL script on an NT server that runs every night, it requests a URL via HTTP and that URL triggers a CGI on a remote server running UNIX. The CGI on the UNIX server then establishes an FTP connection, but not before first using GZIP to compress the file it's moving. After the PERL script runs it sends mail via SMTP to confirm that it worked. Yes, it's quite a hack... all because I can't run cron jobs on the remote server. Oh, and just to make it fun, I authored all of this code on a MAC.

Today I thought I'd catch up with Evhead, and he had this to say: Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service. Whoosh! Way over my head! How does he come up with that stuff? Ok, wait a minute - I wanted to check on Meg and she posted the same thing! I smell a conspiracy!

(Apologies to all readers looking for valuable content and well written commentary. Those things seem to have been replaced with smart-ass remarks and useless data fragments for the time being...)

Ohmygod! I can't believe we only have 2 weeks left to fix all of our Y2K+1 problems! The end is near! Doom! Doom!

I had this dream, a nightmare really, that George W. Bush was elected President of the Untied Snakes... oh wait...

Actually I did have a dream, and it involved me setting up my NeXTStation. It was on a desk with 2 Macs, it was a crowded desk. This must be a sign, if you know what it means, let me know.

Favorite mailing list subject line: Help! Now that's a meaningful and descriptive subject line... to the person posting the message anyway...

Schwartzian Transform revisited: more and more. I had to use a Schwartzian Transform again today, and I think I get it more than I did last year. In fact, I know I get it more than I did last year. Which is good. cuz I need it. hurm...


Wowzer. I've known and used the ol Hoan for many years, the story always fascinates me, if you're from Milwaukee, you surely know of the Hoan. (link swiped from cyberdork)

From a Red Hat email newsletter: "If you find this newsletter to be intrusive or if you have received it in error, please let us know immediately so we can find the person who sent it to you and let their dogs out, leaving them to repeatedly ask who did it." Now that's funny!

I'm working on a new method of moving files using boats that float between structures standing in water - it's called "Pier2Pier" (groan...)

Things that have been keeping me busy include: Manila, Frontier, Zope, Python, ACS, RPC, SOAP, Sendmail, and uh... Perl! Sometimes these systems drive me batty. One enviroment does 90% of what you want, but not in the language you'd prefer. Another does what you want, but has a price tag that kills you. Then there's unreliable systems that you are mandated to use, and systems you'd prefer to use because they're reliable, mature, and extensible, but they don't do 10% of what you need done, they do however make pretty charts and graphs, and that's what it's all about. Love them charts and graphs! (sorry, rambling again...)

Speaking of poor systems, don't you just love to write a bunch of really crappy cgi scripts that do what you want in really weird ways, with no rhyme, reason, or clearly defined stucture? Sure there's obsfuscated code writing contests, but what about obsfuscated applications? Oh wait, most applications I use seem to have already been obsfuscated...


I worked on a new web app last week, which was really just a modification of an old app I coded almost two years ago. Wow, is it sloppy! I suppose in a way that's good. I mean, I may not have written efficient code two years ago, but at least I can recognize that fact now, and besides, it's worked well for the last two years. I remember there were a few features I meant to add that I never got around to. Isn't that always the way? I contemplated rewriting the whole thing, but decided that code reuse should win out, and I could just hack it a bit to do what I wanted it to do. I'll find out this week if it works...

Mother of Perl's Weblog. As Spock would say, "Fascinating."

My HATE LIST has a new entry.

  1. Microsoft
  2. Snow <- new!
  3. Proprietary data formats
  4. Vendor lock-in
  5. Crappy software

Yes, snow (12 inches, baby!) comes in at number two.

It's been a little over a year since I've been to a movie theater. So, we actually went to see a movie the other day. We took the kids to see "102 Dalmations" and Emma at age 4 loved it. I thought it was a pretty good kids movie, I mean, it's not The Matrix, but children seem to like it. Madeline, at just under 2 and a bit, uh, energetic, didn't feel like sitting through the whole movie, so she and Mom spent a good deal of time running around the lobby being loud and getting into everything. It will be another year (or more) before I go to a movie theater again...

We also say Chicken Run last week, I liked it. It wasn't as dark as I thought it would be. I'm a Wallace and Grommet fan of course...

I'm not advocating murder, and I'm not saying I could take someone's life, but I would kill for a broadband connection to my house. Yes, I worked from home again yesterday. Actually more and more people I know are getting broadband, must be nice. Someone said to me "Hey, if you use it enough, it's worth it." Sure, it's worth it, I just can't afford it...

Whew, we have another house showing today, a transferee, always a good sign. Even better, the people plan to look at 15 houses today and make a decision quickly. I suppose we'll know whether they're interested or not without having to wait too long. At least the house is sparkling clean now.

WhoWantsTo.CreateAStandard.Com? IWantTo.CreateAStandard.Com!

It's all about fragmentation, yogi-rasterweb style... found on a world wide web page: "...using the terms "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "appears" or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements..." (indeed!)


More out of context stuff, this time from the MacPerl list, and John Baxter: "I was referring to the random introduction of non-optimally-accurate computational steps." (now that's deep!)

Regarding the previous question "Do people still care..." The answer is "Yes..." Morbus Iff cares...


It's fun to take things out of context, read this out loud: ...start thinking of all your friends who are CTOs at wealthy startups and Fortune 500 corporations that need a small but crack... (apologies to Joel)

CPAN rules.... yup. I think you knew that. If not, now you do...

Wes, did you solve the double-posting problem?

Wes, did you solve the double-posting problem?

(just kidding folks... ;)


Do people still care about authoring well written documents? Does validation mean anything? Why do we even have standards? Arrrggghhhh... one of those days, I can see a long road ahead. At least I have some say in how the road is built... hurm...


Today we support the work of Alice, Rosey, Florence, and all the other hard working maids. Yes, it's World Maid's Day! Give your maid the day off!


November Updates

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  Last Modified: 01.02.2001 by rasterboy