Recently in moronosphere Category

my blog is all kinds of fucked up

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All kinds of shit is broken right now around the moronosphere - comments, some links, some of the blogs I host - and I just have NOT had bandwidth to figure out what's wrong.

Sorry.

Not that anyone's reading anyway, but if you wanted to comment, email me instead, karlelvis - at -- gmail.com

Just 'cause I really don't think anyone's still visiting, when I've stopped writing.


missed a blogiversary, I see

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Macaroon Eyes


Maybe this explains why I've missed a blog anniversary; my eyes ain't what they used to be.

I remember when I used to be a blogger

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I remember when I used to be a blogger, rather than a guy who occasionally updates web pages.

It was a long time ago, wasn't it?

I can't even find a good way to graph my blogging frequency anymore. I know it used to be daily, and then several weekly, and then once in a while. Lately, it's more like almost never.

Sometime in 08, I think it was, than the slide started; from there, it just seems like little by little I've given up.

I don't mean on blogging - whatever. I mean on writing.

The last think I wrote that wasn't just about an experience was two, maybe three years ago, aside from a couple of abortive tries and collaboration on erotica. The last thing I finished was a year or more before that.

I'm so rusty, my fingers don't even remember how to type anymore (it took me three tries to get the work 'type' correct). My hands ache when I try, more from disuse than from anything else. The muscles have forgotten what its' like to type more than the hundred or so lines I need to update a wiki page or type out a report.

I don't even remember how I used to do this; I try to remember writing Wanton, and while I remember the feeling, I can't figure out how I actually did it.

I started this blog - back in the dim, distant past in blog-years - with the express intent of using it to improve my writing. That never worked; or to be more specific, it got me writing something i hadn't before (introspective essays), but didn't help me with fiction - because it was a distraction.

Now, though? now, I'm lucky if I manage enough attention span to tweet one thing or to update my facebook status.

I was going to say I don't know what it is, but that's not true. I know what it is, I just don't know what to do about it.

I've been in a sate of have to do something for so long now, I can't quite my brain long enough to put words together with anything like flow.

This was bad enough, just with the ordinary stuff. Work - making the Greatest Smart Phone Ever (and the best tablet you've ever seen and didn't even know you needed) isn't just a full time job; it's a lifestyle. We're a seven day a week shop, and my area is to be the glue that keeps the 24 hrs per day stuff (the compute farm) going. So I'm working even when I'm not working, always aware that nothing holds this together but me. I dream compute farms and CAD tool licenses at night. And then, there's the part about being the father of two teenager girls, which isn't ever an easy job, even for very low needs children. Then there's the rental house, my own house, and all the rest. Life has caught up with me in ways I didn't quite anticipate; being The Dad to not just two, but four women (including my mother in law) takes it's toll.

But now - well, that's a whole 'nother entry about Mental Health Issues. But that's another entry, if I ever get to it.

But the bottom line is, finding even half an hour to gather myself and write, these days, is more than I can manage.

I need it. I need to put words to my feelings, to tell stories. And I fucking can't.

I don't see an end to this, I truly don't. I know it has one - I just can't imagine how or where or when.

And my best tool has deserted me again.

one damned thing after another

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I have, I'm not kidding, five entries sitting in draft state that I'm almost done with. But trivial time suck keeps eating my final touch ups.

The latest one; a reminiscence about my fondness for pulp writers, interrupted by the need to go buy pet supplies. My war against the ants, nearly won, has moved into my kids guinea pig's cage. I just had to race to the store and buy some supplies to build a temporary cage, until we can either figur eout how to get all the ants out of coroplast without insecticde, or until we can get more coroplast to build a new cage.

Of course, I can't do that now, because in ten minutes, I'm leaving for a friend's daughter's bat mitzvah in the Napa area (which is an over-night run).

So one more entry almost done, goes into mothballs.

This is getting frustrating. I'd describe all the travails of the last month (surgeries, injured limbs, amputations, illnesses), but i don't have time.

On the other hand, if we're lucky, Ray will post an entry so at least there's SOMETHING to read!

Meanwhile, it's time to kilt up and run. The good thing about Lisa's mitzvahs (bat and bar) is that she knows how to throw a fuckin' party.

big five - the wood anniversary

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Five years.

1,175 entries.

6,000 comments.

Three ISP's, a half dozen servers, several crashes.

It's been a bit of a ride, huh?

Five years ago yesterday I started blogging. You can read about that here or here or here or here.

And each yeah it seems like I have less to say about it.

This last year has been a fucked up ride. If you're reading you know a bit about it. If you haven't been, feel free to. It's been a terrible year for me creatively; I've written fuck-all, and I'm not seeing that get better yet. Blogging has fallen victim to all this, but so has every other form of self-expression I have.

Here's to a change in all that.

To all you bloggers out there, write something. Come up for air now and then. Facebook and twitter and myspace ain't enough.

For me - I have more to say; I don't know why I'm having so much trouble saying it.

Meanwhile, tonight I go look at a sketch for my backpiece, and tomorrow I pick up my thruxton. Speed and pain, baby.

Another foot in in the grave

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My friends at Pirates n' Plunder sent me this on mySpace. I kind of liked it.

Cnv0005.jpg

more blog hackery

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Typically, when I want to be blogging and run out of words, I start fucking around with the technology that drives my blog. Which accounts for the several different templates I had up tonight, in case anyone was watching. And trust me, it looked pretty damn fucked up for a bit there.

One of the things that frustrates me about my completely lack of time lately is that I have no time for this sort of work; and I really enjoy it. This sort of hackery, than is of no benefit other than pleasing myself - is why I started playing with computers when I was a teenager. Just to make things that pleased me.

So it irritates me to have to be half-assed about this shit; that I can't hack together the parts of various styles that I like and make it work all by myself. I'd far rather be doing this than babysitting users who either won't listen or who think they know better.

Still - frustrations aside, I rather like MT Pro. Many of the glaring design problems in Mt4 are vastly improved (though it's still vastly over complicated in some key ways that violate principles of good interface design). I just think I need to make a hackery blog so that I can test this shit someplace that isn't live.

It's looking more and more like my planned holiday break is going to be mostly work time; the good thing about that is that I'll get some of it back in the form of extra days off, and can take a few free days when things slow. The down side is, that's not likely to be until April.

The other good thing is, sometimes when I work on holidays, what I'm really doing is waiting for something that might happen, so I have time to kill in front of my computer. If I'm lucky. that time means I get some writing done (though facebook or myspace do NOT count as writing).

Meanwhile, I'm trying to make forward progress of some kind. This whole death business; I had no idea how many things needed to get done, and how much paperwork was involved. I see now the advantage of living in a bus with no fixed address and no assets you can't carry with you. It means a whole lot less paperwork for anyone still left behind if you decide to drive off a cliff.

New Look and Feel

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Yes, I know this space looks weird and green. At least, it will as soon as your browser refreshes the stylesheet (shift-reload to force that). 


It's an unfortunate truth that while Six Apart make great software, they utterly suck at backwards compatability. So again I've abandoned my custom design temporarily for something off the shelf. 

That'll get better soon. 

Meanwhile, it's still the same lousy blog, in new, lousy packaging!

impending upgrade

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Sometime in the next week or so I'm planning to update this site to the latest version of Movable Type Pro.

As usual, this means I need to blow away all my designs and templates, because the idiots at Six Apart don't grasp backwards compatibility.

However, they have enough great new features that, once again, I'm sticking with MT rather than switching. While WordPress is still getting better, it's still a very good tiny little minitruck compared to a somewhat clunky semi; ie, wordpress does a tiny job well, but is years away from doing a big one at all.

Six Apart keep pissing me off; but the product is still very, very far ahead of anyone else in the market. So I'm riding it a little longer 'til someone comes up with an option that's enough better to make the switch worth it.

I say this only so that when my site suddenly goes to a generic layout, you few readers who're still around know why.

outage

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We had a server problem last night and this morning, so moronosphere.com come was down. Let me know if any mail sent to me bounced back to you.

Meanwhile, all looks well now.

New Home

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If you're reading this it means you've found the new, and not-at-all-improved, version of moronosphere.com.

Lucky you.

If anything seems broken let me know; all we did was swap hardware, so everything should be identical.

fall migration

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I'm working on moving all the domains I host to a new server.

This isn't helped much by the fact that that company that physically maintains our hardware fucked up the machine and had to wipe and re-do it, after I'd moved half my domains.

But in any case, I'm down to the hard ones, the ones that have database-driven blogs and so forth.

Sometime in the next couple of days, this site and others hosted here may go unreachable for a short duration. The move should (knock wood) be largely invisible to the user, but still, fair warning.

I'll post a note here when I'm done.

Search Word Poetry

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It's funny, I'm suddenly seeing a resurgence it hits in my logs, on "survivor am naked", which I think we can all agree is a worthy sight.

Now, these never really went away; they'd turn up monthly or so, proving that america loves a naked,fake-breasted lesbian, no matter how long she's been gone from reality teevee. But when it was announced that she'd be in the currently-running Survivor: Fans vs Faves, the hit count went up, and is still going up.

Which is ok by me, even though I never actually posted the above-mentioned titty shots of Miss Survivor Ami.

But this brings us to the topic of Search Word Poetry (or as originally coined, Googl-oetry, though I don't like that term, being that it can be from any search engine, not only google).

The idea's simple; dig out the search-strings that brought readers to your blog from whatever logs and meters you may choose (urchin, sitemeter, whatever).

Use those phrases to create your own poetry.

Vis:

tell me more about the devil, who is he? catholic ron paul? polish guy and catholic in a boat joke? phone numbers to recorded preachers? bitch phone number? pastor melissa scott sex life?

     --Exterminator


Aphrodite's Greatest Failure:
How sexuality is viewed across religions,
Catholic churches view on premarital
Religions who allow sexuality.
Most men are by nature perverted -
The result of secret sin.
     --the chaplain

weird photos of naked girls
let's see some women with nice asses that like sex
girls fuck with fruits
     --greta christina

gay crack head
morphine
subbing for algebra with kids that won't be quiet
i hate texas
     --circe


Now, I wish to hell I was more a poet and could do what these lovely citizens have done. Because god knows I get some good search terms:


tentacle rape
soccerboy rape
butch daddy erotica
daddy fuck me harder
my neighbor sucked my balls her mouth
girls doing a snowball blowjob
best busty chocolate blow jobs
extrem big woman trampling
shoes kiss trample video
awk machine gun
how to roast a pig cinder block
chicken and pig, breakfast
roasting pig in virginia
i have a crush on adam duritz
question cross ring womens indian larry
perfect, lamar thought. just incest and old men with young girls fucking porn perfect
ass fucken sex
fuck me hard art
squid fuck
fucking tarzan
air stewardess fucked
spicy labia fucking images
tuna skroodle
sex skunked
naked taiko drummers
local loop call bugging beeping noise
virgin digital exercise your music muscle
titanic engine size
licked the scotch off her tits
she moaned car tits thrust show
jessi combs belly tattoo
jessi combs thong picture
pussy tattoos
moomin tattoo
what movies do maggie gyllenhaal get naked in
bars over eyes
starch and iodine leaks threw the bag results
my hand slid under her dress
hand in her panties
drenched panties
silky panties photos women pubic hairs
picked up her panties and stuffed them in her mouth as a gag


But you know, I just can't seem to make it all turn into poetry.

So two things:

1) go do your own and post it
2) if you get inspired by any of the above, post your result in my comments

Because someone has to make art out of all this, even if it isn't me.

Movable Type 4 template designer

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Ok, so I need some help from a template designer who knows movable type 4. I don't need a lot, but I do need someone else to suffer the slings and arrows for me. Payment will be in sexual favors and good old yankee dollars. I don't intend to port my old template as is, but I want to keep some of it's elements, so I've got a pretty clear idea of a starting point.

Brave New World in Gray

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I know. I know. It's scary in here. Different. It's ok. Really. It's the same old moronosphere with a new skin. Change is good, they say, and if it isn't, change is still change. The real story is that I've just upgraded to Movable Type 4.1, and because the folks at six-apart feel the need to change things completely, whle feeling no need at all to maintain backwards compatability, everything in my blog design had to be abandoned in order to convert. It took me a really long time to feel ok with that. But I think I'm there. And I gotta say, this took a hell of a lot less time than trying to convert everything, even if the result is somewhat grim. I=n fact I managed to do this in between tasks today while waiting for builds to finish Don't worry, my logo, at least, will come back. I'm attached to it. I just have to figure out how these fucking widgets work.

Sad Songs of Server Troubles

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You may have noticed we're having some server instability around here; comments disabled for various moronosphere-hosted blogs, server not responding, etc.

For those of you I host, you'll have seen it as well when you try to post.

We're working on it. We have several small problems that are adding up to a systemic pain-in-the-ass, and solving these issues has more to do with bandwidth (ours, ie, time to work on it) than with any seriousness of the problems.

Fixes should be in place soon, though we may have some downtime somewhere in the next week or two while we update things. I'll post warnings before that happens.

blogiversary v4.0

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I became aware of this because a commenter on my previous entry mentioned it. This tells you how on-the-fucking-ball I am lately, when readers have to mention significant dates to me. I mean come ON, I'm mister significant dates.

Today marks four years of blogging; four years of the pain and pleasure that is The Moronosphere.

But as with the new year, it's seemed that I don't have much to say about milestones lately. Maybe, to steal a quote from Iandiana Jones, It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage. Maybe I've just had too many milestones and they're getting smaller with perspective.

Or maybe it's a symptom of everything else lately, the motivational drain of too much have to and not enough want to. I can't seem to get worked up much lately unless there's sex involved, and I can't seem to get the sexuality lined up with the creativity to turn that into something that lasts longer than few orgasms.

Who th' fuck knows, y'know?

Four years blogging. I'm not even sure what to say of it. I was surprised to be still at it after one, amazed after two, and still thrilled with what this whole experience has given me in terms of friends made and experiences had, not to mention with the pleasure of simply having an audience for my words. At three, I had les to say, simply observing that it'd been a Long, Strange Trip.

At four I find still less to say on the matter; but maybe that's because in the last year, my written output has radically decreased from the previous year.

I find myself compelled to graph this:


And yes, I spenty 20 minutes goofing with excel for that, as a way of avoiding writing more words (you know the ratio of worth, pictures to words, after all).

Yet, what I see when I graph this isn't that my output has dropped near zero, as I expected. It was dropped to near 2004, but that is certainly not zero. This in some way gives me hope; it tells me I'm not done with this. I considered graphing by months, but that I fear would show me an unfavorable curve, and I think I won't look at that, at least not today.

What I will do, though, is set myself a challenge; I *must* write something fictional before January is gone, even if it's only a scene or a bit of dialog. I do not need to *finish* it, but I need to publish it here, just to prove to myself I haven't lost the gift of it, and I guess to say fuck you you fucking fuck to my recalcitrant muse. I've tended to use distractions and workload and issues with attention span to justify not writing; I must stop that. I must write, even if it's only a few words. After all, so the anecdote has it, James Joyce once sat disconsolate in his study when a friend dropped by. "I've only written seven words today", Joyce told him. "But James", reassured his friend, "Seven words is a good day for you". "Yes," wailed Joyce, "But I don't know which order they go in".

If seven words were good for James Joyce, I should count it a success if I can make a baker's dozen.

(thanks to Taro's Travels for that quote, I couldn't quote recall it)

One Large

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This is Moronosphere blog entry number 1000. And I look at that number with a mixture of confusion and pride.

In January of 2004, my friend Jennifer offered to host of a domain I owned. I wasn't doing anything with it, but I figured, hell, I might as well host it someplace and use it for email and a couple of web pages. Jen's then-boyfriend had a machine in his office, and was more than happy to donate a bit of space and a bit of bandwidth.

Do you want a blog, while I'm at it? Jen asked me, since she already had Movable Type installed.

I couldn't really imagine why I'd want one, but I was curious about how the tools worked. I didn't really get blogging, but I learn better with my hands involved than when it's just my eyes. So I said, yeah why not.

I didn't think much about it. I'd been hanging around with a few bloggers like Trance, Circe, Doxy, Jenifer, and a number of others, and I didn't really see myself doing what they did. On the other hand, I'd been having a successful run writing erotic fiction, which was posted on a now-defunct site called Satin Slippers. So I figured, blogging might help my writing; it might give me a place to get down my own thoughts on writing, and would be a place to keep in practice when the muse wasn't cooperating.

Plans like that rarely quite play out when it comes to blogs. One may begin writing about sex, to find one's voice is more focused on personal growth. One may start writing about chickens, and then find one's blogger's voice has more to do with family and daily life. Blogging's like that. Once you stop thinking about what you write, and begin to write, the blog has a personality all it's own. This sort of writing has no rules.

I started doing this, one thosand entries ago, with no thought to who might ever read it, what it might bring or cost, or what it's duration. I am, frankly, amazed to find I'm still doing it. I cannot stop, even if I want, though some days it seems a burden, or an herculean labor.

I find the outlet - and the audience - the be an essential part of my life, as much when I can't do it as when I can.

Still - one thousand. I wish there was a good way to count the words; half a million? a million? More?

There's a small temptation to summarize the fractional lifetime these 1000 pages represent; but I've done that in one sense far too much already. And the years between then and now haven't lain easily on me, for all that there are high points ranking in the highest of my life. Summaries will be left for another time, some more concrete life milestone.

This project started out just for me, and always, I need to focus on that. It's not for you people, for all I love the lot of you; it's for me, and I have to keep writing for myself, and not censor so much as I sometimes have. Whatever I'm feeling, I need to try harder to write it, and let the desire to be good hinder me less. I need to think less about who may or may not think is that about me, and write, to the best of my ability, as if no one was reading.

One thousand entries. A line from a Gin Blossoms song comes to mind:

The lost horizons I could see
are now resigned to memories
I never thought I'd still be here today

I still can't really say I get blogging, of course, but maybe in another thousand entries, I will.

newoldnew

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I'm fiddling about with my blog template, seeing if I can get a new feel without too much effort. I liked that drop-in I had last week but I *hate* fixed column widths; fixing that one was more effort since I actually *know* this template.

So there you have it.

If something's fucked up, ignore it, this is real-time engineering.

Gone Black

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Something was broken in my template (I must have made some minor tweak I don't recall), so I decided to temporarily dump the purple-n-piracy.

I really need a new layout but given my lack of time to write I can't quite see finding time to work on templates.

Someday. Maybe.

Anyway, if anything looks completely fucked up around here (aside from yours truly), I'll fix it as soon as I'm able.

I'm here for your brains

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833020845 46F1A4Db08


...With thanks to Len Peralta of monsterbymail.com

outage

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For reasons unknown, out webserver was down last night and this morning.

Sorry about that, folks. I'll try to identify why.

stupid internet.

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I'm havin' a shitload a problems with persistent, cached routes, PLUS I accidently published one of my other blogs over this site (pilot error - bad cut-n-paste (which I just typo'd cunt-n-paste as usual).


If yer havin' a less than stellar experience here, well, I guess it's that. Or just the usual less-than-stellar experience, but for that I can't blame the stupid internet.

new digs

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Its one of those funny things when you get a new one and it's just like the old one. Like those weird people who get a new car and get the exact same car they had before (yeah I'm talking to you, Lisa).

If you're readin' this it means you're now on a shiny, fast and new server. Basically, if you see a difference, it means I broke something.

disruption is my way of life

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Due to an unexpected schedule change, The Moronosphere and all it's related blogs and domains will be moving to a new physical server this week. Not the best timing for me, personally but I live here by the good grace and generosity of my friend Brandon, and so I am grateful even if a bit frazzled.

What all this means is that this site may unexpectedly vanish for a day or so while we change ip addresses; comments may cease to work while databases are moved.

If that happens, don't worry; being a fly-by-night sort of operation, we're flying-by-night (oh god stop me from quoting a rush song). Things should stabilize by next week, on bigger, better, faster hardware.

Movable Type 4 beta2

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EDIT: The error below was my fault, i fucked up the install. On a second try I got it right.

They've fixed quite a few bugs, which is good, though the interface problem remains un-addressed. So it is progress, if not in the interface.


Six-Apart have released a new beta (beta 2) - which doesn't work at all, won't even load (click the image below to see a beautiful error message):


Mtbeta2


They did admit there are some issues with the completely bolloxed up interface; they 'solved' this by combing two obscure pulldowns into one obscure pulldown, while not seeming to see the core problem of hiding all the frequent tasks behind pulldowns and page loads.

[sarcasm] and there was much rejoicing[/sarcasm]

They really don't get it; but at least i finally got noticed and responded to by the people at Six Apart. They're not stupid, so the question is only, will they get what they did wrong or will they keep trying to band-aid a death-wound. It's about a coin-flip on that one right now.

spamattack!

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comment spammers have brought my (brandon's) server to it's knees. If you can't comment that's why. Sorry about that folks; we're working on it.


I dunno if we finally did the right thing or if the spammers just gave up and ran, but this finally calmed down.

I do NOT get what they think they're achiving. We all have nofollows on our links and most of us restrict who can post, so they're spending cycles attacking the world, spending effort (and often using illegal resources).

And for what? To annoy us so mch we eventually find a way to cut them off. Unless they're in the business of selling more security software and hardware, they're not getting dick from this.

So it's hard not to see it as malice, you know? Malice or stupidity. I'll admit stupidity is the easy answer, but malice is just somehow more satisfying.

This caps a day where I struggled all morning to over-come a hangover and to write; the hangover I beat, the writing though, I never did, instead spending my day moderating domestic mayhem and cooking all afternoon. I shopped, did laundry, and while ideas floated through the back of my skull, they never stuck long enough to get down on paper or keyboard.

At least my kitchen smells of fresh turkey stock, which tomorrow should become asparagus soup, or possible tortilla soup; and I finished the day with little tequila while Papa Christo played guitar in my living room.

Days that end peafully are a good thing. I need them on almost all days ending in 'y'.

twenny-five

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Well, I'm suddenly up on 25peeps.

No, not those peeps, 25peeps.

I have no idea why. But go 'head and click me, early and often.



EDIT:

Well, 25peeps, which started out as a great idea (put up your face and see who clicks you and goes to your blog) has already degenerated into a farm for T&A and splogs. That didn't take long. Pretty much any pic that ain't T&A gets pushed off right quick.

...maybe if I posted an up-kilt shot?

Anyway, I thought about re-upping but fuck 'em.

dimensions of lust

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I feel like all I've been writing about lately are objects of lust - material objects, not the lickable, suckable kind (nevermind that someone wanted to lick my new washer).

Which makes this all seem one-dimensonal. Karl has a new object of material desire is all this blog seems to be about.

I'm a big fan of lust. I think it's just about the best thing in the human condition. There is nothing quite so glorious as working lust up to the point where one's READY - TO - EXPLODE; and then getting the object of said lust right at that frantic, frenzied peak.

But when that thing is, well, a thing, of silver or iron or shiny-bright plastic, no matter the lust, no matter the usefulness of the object, it is, still, only an object and only as good as it is useful

The funny thing is, though I so often blog about things I like or want, I'm not all that materially driven. Most of what I care about, of the many things I own, are the ones that solve a problem in some particularly good way. My coffee maker which looks cool in shiny stainless, but more importantly makes a damned fine cup of java to get my brain working in the morning. My knives, bright steel or dull carbon, chef's knives, pocket knives, switchblades and tactical folders, all of which do a job for me on a daily basis.

My Jeep and my motorcycle please me for aesthetic reasons, but more importantly, they move me from here to there in ways quick and efficient; I can go over almost anything and park almost anywhere in my jeep, I can slice through traffic and park where I will on my Triumph. They have limitations and impracticalities, but they do exactly what I want them for.

I love that they please my eye; I keep them because they do the job well.

I own fine audiophile components, home entertainment centers, video game consoles. I like these things, and I use them, but in the end it's the art and the play that matter, the music, the movies, the games, not the things. They solve a problem.

I struggle between the lustful desire for pretty things and the desire to keep my life simple, clean, easy, functional.

One of my dreams is to live somewhere to basic, so physically simple, that everything goes and I'm down to what I absolutely need. The gypsy life with no roots, no more belongings that I can fit in a wagon, a van, or best of all, a boat. The nautical existence draws me and I struggle with the idea; give it all up, strip my life down and go, vs the comfort and plenty of my daily life. Because that comfort and plenty is a cage of sorts; I am a keeper for the things I own and the space they take up. A slave to the material goods that make up my life.

One of the things I struggle with is art. I long to collect, to own; I want beautiful things, from jewelry to sculpture to hand-made clothing like my best Aloha shirts. From original paintings to framed prints to odd posters collected over my lifetime. I love these things, yet so often, owning art seems somehow wrong. And it traps me again, for I must provide space and shelter and protection for the fragile, beautiful things I own.

My other lusts are simpler. For those lusts are pure, focused desire, for things that are not things; living, moving, thinking, speaking, lust is for the entire organism, not simply as an object but as a complete person.

Lust isn't free of complications. No, it's got outrageous complications of it's own. But it's not the same. For when I choose to take on a role of owner, keeper it's not the trap of ownership of a thing, it's a choice shared, and a reciprocal role.

Those, in truth, are the lusts I'd rather be writing about; fictional and real, fulfilled and unfulfilled. I'd rather spend my energy describing my heart's dearest and most salacious desire. Though for some reason, that sort of writing flows only occasionally, where the lust itself is never-ending. That writing requires a special touch from the muse.

However, the muse who inspires material lust seems always nearbye, and so I write as I am able, and talk about shiny rings, bright red washers and fast cars rather than sweat-glstening skin and the musky smell of love; I describe my desire for a garment or a vehicle rather than the wrenching physical need a simple touch can bring, when said touch is from the right person.

Though who knows; tomorrow that muse may come back to visit and I may find it easier to write about stolen moments of embrace and finger-bruised skin, about the familiar scent of desire and the need one can feel like a white-hot knife in the belly.

Maybe.

blogiversary three

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I just noticed that my third blogiversary is coming up; middle of this month.

Jan 15, 2004, as a lark, I posted my first blog entry. My friend Jen had offered me hosting space for a domain I owned; I just wanted a place to park the name, and maybe a few pages of storage.

Want a blog, while we're at it? she asked me. And I figured, hell why not, though I've nothing to say and no one's gonna read it.

So, on a sunny california mid-january day in '04, I sat down and asked that question that almost every new blogger asks - why am i doing this?

Three years later, and I still don't know the answer to that. But I do know that I was wrong, and people are, for some unknown reason, reading.

The phrase Long, Strange Trip comes to mind.

Thus, on Jan 15th, I'll celebrate three years. And I expect you all to celebrate with me, taking a sip or a hit or a snort or a swallow of your favorite poison, and touching yourself or someone else (or, you know, me, if you can reach that far) in the most indecent way possible. Show me some dirty love, people.

comment troubles?

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I've had a couple users report trouble with the comments on my blog - seems like they're running afoul of some of my anti-spam measures.

If you're having trouble posting a comment, let me know.



Edit - I switched off one of the more agressive anti-spam agents, so anyone who was foiled by this (it would have told you somethning like 'you've commented too recently'), try again and let me know. It seemed to be working sometimes.

God DAMN comment spammers for making this necessary.

I know you're out there

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I spend far too much time looking at web stats.

I know who hits from where, when - for most of my regular readers, anyway. I know who's in NYC and who's in DC; who's in NO and who's in what part of TX; I know who's on the peninsula and who's in KC and who's in AZ; I know who's in belgium, who's in the UK and who's in the Great White North.

There are a few that puzzle me though.

For example - who's that in Beverly Hills? I've seen you here a few times.

Who's the reader in San Jose, CA, who was reading my decmeber archives for almost an hour today?

Who's the one on Irvine who spent three hours on my writing blog?

Who are the people who visit from strange places and never say a word? A blogger has to wonder. When readers slip in and out almost silently, leaving only a hit counter's trace behind, who are they?

Comments Fixed on The Written Word

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My other blog - the one where I post my fiction and other non-blog writing - has had the comments broken for a while now. I just noticed this. It's now fixed.

I've you've tried to comment, sorry. If you have not, please do. Feedback is what keep me working.

I you haven't had a chance to read some of my fiction, etc, I have it all linked in the 'Writing' section on my right side-bar. Feel free to dip in and enjoy, but please comment, even if you hate the work (there are a couple of weak pieces there, but you know, it can't all be a home run).

design time

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I'm thinking of doing a major blog re-design.

I'm aces at the movable type template/plugins etc, but i sort of suck ass at graphic design (when I say suck ass, I mean in a bad way). So i need someone who can work with me on this who sorta gets movable type templates and who gets my aesthetic.

Anyone interested?

What I got in mind is something akin to this; with a color palate and design based on classic old school tattoo flash. I want to keep something similar to the general layout i have now (i have too damned many links to do two columns), but with a re-vamped (and maybe easier-on-the-eyes) color scheme. I actually have a shirt that looks really similar to the color/design feel i want (click for a full-size view):

Flash Shirt

If you're interested in helpin' me out, let me know.

broken comments

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our database server went down sunday afternoon for yet-unknown reasons, which accounts for why all m'sphere blogs were un-commentable for a bit. All fixed now (thanks Brandon).

FTW

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So you may have noticed the new banner - thanks to Brandon who makes all this possible here at the 'sphere. He just whipped this out for me (tee-hee) for his own entertainment. It won't stay long so here's a sample for later when I've changed again.


Fist Clix


But an interesting question was raised. What's FTW (Which you may not be able to see on a small or low-res monitor, but it's on the fingers) mean?

I always thought it was obvious. It is, was, and always will be Fuck The World; known to bikers and punks everywhere, though the meaning of THAT could be debated. To me it means, fuck what everyone thinks, I'm doing it my way. It could just as well mean truly, fuck all of you people, nothing matters but me, or some variation. Personally i prefer the other meaning, and when I wear something with that on it, that's how I take it.

But another meaning was pointed out to me that I'd never heard. And I don't mean For The Win which is l33t-speak gamer nonsense, or Flip The Walrus which is pretty damned funny even though I think it was made up in a sort of discordian gesture; nor do I mean the silly "it means What The Fuck, only with extra confusion". Because all that's akin to changing Shit Happens to Good Happens, trying to nice up something without actually understanding it.

No, T'm talking about a racist meaning. And I'm not even going to type out what that is, so as not to get picked up on google searches for it. I'm not going to type the names of the assholes who might use such a phrase. But what I'm wondering is, who's actually ever even heard such a usage? I sure as hell hadn't, and had to go looking for it and wade through lots and lots and lots of pages saying For The Win before I could find a page that contained the racially-tinged meaning.

Not that I'd surrender the usage because some stupid bastards take it up; i mean, hell, there goes my scottish heritage and shaved head if i want to abandon something just cause those asswipes decide it's an icon of pure whiteness. But i figured, a guy should know these things....

100% free of wolves

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Medallion1

Y'know, I'm just sayin...

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene

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I was trying to temporarily replace my current blog layout with something halloweeny (weenish? something like that), you know, black and orange with silly-scary lettering.

I figured, you're home sick on halloween rather than out putting the trick in trick or treat, you might as well at least tart up your blog in halloween finery (cheapery?).

But i ran into some trivial technical problem and with grouchy-sick-guy patience, i said fuck this and gave up. What's the point in decorating when you're not even blogging, sez I.

Still. I think i need to change the look of this place. Out with teh piracy, in with the tattoo flash, or something.

Shaken and Stirred

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Well, the whole Moronosphere and everything it contains went down like a cheap hooker last night. This wasn't unplanned, but we'd rather expected a short and simple downtime. Best Laid Plans, wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie.


Due to some bad luck and just-ok support from the people who provide us physical hosting, getting the new-and-improved system back on line took very much longer than expected, and now, we're finding all the things we need to hand-fix as we rebuild.

All is well. Remain Calm.

The Host with the Most, Brandon has slept maybe an hour in the last two days while he works on this, and we all owe him a case of red-bull and maybe something stronger later on. Thanks brutha man. You rule.


Things might be glitchy in the m'sphereian blogs listed in my side bar for another couple days. Patience, jackass, patience.

Server Upgrades

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We're in the middle of some server OS upgrades (new linux version, new versions of some of our management tools) so if anything seems funky, bear with us, we'll iron it out over the next day or two.

Once again, a bazillion thanks to Brandon at Athena Internet for puttin' up with us. Brandon, yer a hero. I owe you.

MTLJPost fix!

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The most excellent Gavin of Kode Koan just got me an incredibly simple one-liner fix for MTLJPost, an MT plugin that cross-posts MT to LiveJournal (MT 3.x broke it.)

If you read me there, you can see it works again!

This fix is cake - in your MT install, edit this file:

      [MT Root]/plugins/MTLJPost/MTLJPost.pl

Change this line:

      $t->param('TRACKBACKCOUNT', $entry->trackback_count);
to
      $t->param('TRACKBACKCOUNT', $entry->ping_count);

And that's it. It should start working.

Thanks, Gavin!

content free content

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A few minutes ago MacDude im'd me to point out that there was a minor problem with my blog (Now fixed) that made the center column vanish for a while.

"I think your blog is messed up," he said. "no content."

"How's that different from usual?" I answered.

pimpin' it out

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You may notice some adverts here and there around the m'sphere.

Which ain't exactly piracy, but you know, you do what 'ya gotta.

I'm tryin' this out after helping a hot and lovely friend research ads. They may not stay, we'll see what i get in the way of filthy lucre.

the öutstretched grasping hand

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The Motörhead logo is back.


I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.

I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in you pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician, and I decide your fate

I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.


Because I löve you all. Vïcïôüslÿ.

drinkin' the koolaid

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I found this font I couldn't resist. So we're temporarily the, you know, kool-aid-o-sphere.

Thanks to the lovely-and-talented Miss Syl, font geek and photoshop bitch extraordinaire.

3.3 Beta

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We're up and running on the final MT 3.3 release candidate. Fingers crossed, we may have a full release on it by the end of the week.

MT 3.3 beta

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Update - The MT 3.3 Beta has been released.

I encourage MT users to get on board and help test - I'd like to see this release go GA shortly, it's got some REALLY cool features. I'm not planning to upgrade this-here space yet (not 'til they get to at least beta version 2 or 3), but it's looking pretty solid in my beta-testing blog and I've seen no major bugs yet.



SixApart are about to start a beta test of Movable Type 3.3.

The plan as of now is to install that here - maybe not the day it comes out, but shortly after. I'll likely (If I have time) install 3.3 as a separate installation first to drive it around and see what's different. If any of you-all who have m'sphere blogs are interested, I'll point you to it.

I have not seen a change list to see what they've added, but I'm hoping it's 1) good stuff and 2) doesn't break anything.

While I think MT is the best bloging platform out there, I'm not sure how confident I am in SixApart these days; they seem like they're letting things get away from them on TypePad and of course they're spending cycles supporting LiveJournal, which is possibly the worst blogging platform around, if the one with the largest customer base. I'm hoping they get control of that shortly.

blog break

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I didn't really plan it but I seem to have taken some sort of break from blogging. I look back at my last couple weeks of entries and find that even though there are a few posts, they're free of content. And since last weekend I've had nothing whatsoever to say, not even able to write apart from a couple current-eventss notes.

I don't know if this is the end of taking a break or just the beginning. But I know I still have nothing to say.

So. Let's just call this a blog break and see what happens.


Cats foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoias poison door.
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire
Polititians funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind mans greed
Poets starving children bleed
Nothing hes got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.

skunked sex?

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Suddenly I'm getting dozens of hits from people googling skunked sex.

I don't even know what that means. But somehow I'm getting hits.

(scratches head. shrugs.)

I like it better when I get hits on daddy fuck me really hard, but I'll take what I can get.

!Broke

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I think I've mostly un-done the template breakage, but I still need to tweak a few things.

Right now I'm hip deep in Joomla, trying to figure out how to shoehorn a internal group website into a Joomla layout. Sections and Categories and Bears, Oh My. I'm finally putting the blog-related skills into something now work-related.

That be the best way to repel boarders!

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Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys. And there be plundering pirates lurkin' in ev'ry cove, waitin' to board. Sit closer together and keep your ruddy hands in board. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys: Dead men tell no tales!

Evidently some trackback-spamming bastards attacked us (and by us I mean my tribe, those hosted here at the m'sphere). My good buddy, Brandon, the host-with-the-most, did battle against the forces of darkness through the night and finally disabled trackbacks for our site (who needs fuckin' trackbacks anyway, sez I).


The result of all this is that last night and this morning, all of the sites I host were inaccessible for some time. We're back on line now, thanks to Brandon's efforts.

And there was much rejoicing.

Comment Freaky Styley

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I just found a trick at LMT to make author comments show up differently than comments from the peanut gallery.

I tried this out yesterday in Hiromi's blog (which worked out pretty well) so today I added it to my blog.

Still tuning but I think it's pretty cool, it make it clear which comments are author replies; not that useful here but really useful for Hiromi, who is the queen of comments. I'm still tweaking around with her comments over there to get the best display but I'm likin' the way it works out.

(This is what I do when I'm sick - that cold I was fighting all last week finally won, and I feel like crap. Which I just typo'd as 'feel like carp', which may be how I feel, like a fuckin' carp.)

Oh my god, they killed elvis!

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While we're on south park, there's a newer character generator I hadn't seen.

So, you know, south park elvis.

Huh.

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You never really know who's reading your blog, now, do you?

bännër pläy

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As you may have noticed, I'm foolin' with my banner. Brandon, who is the man, found my motorhead font so I made a new clix banner and then started playing with my header banner.

I'm not done with that but if it looks goofy, that's why. My photoshop skills are improving but I still suck at it.

The font is here if anyone wants it.

Personal Pages, Profanity

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Well now. I've been upgraded - or downgraded - or degraded. Or just, you know, graded. Feels like that, or maybe that's more grated, and it feels like that as well.

Secure Computing, the motherfuckers who sell STOOPIDfilter to repressive countries and companies, agreed that I wasn't Pornography, sex.

Evidently I'm Personal Pages, Profanity, with a side of Personal, Mature.

Well, fuck yeah. That's me. The Moronosphere, ProfanityBlog.

Because we're all about the effword here.

Maybe it's mature that bothers me more. Who you callin' fuckin' mature? We ain't got no fuckin' maturity here. Not a sausage. Not a drop. Not a fuckin' cc, baby.

I guess the point is that the people at Secure Computing listen if we complain, but they still do the wrong thing and slap a fucking label on something they don't get.

I'll have to see if we're still banned in the fuckin' UAE. They're not allowed pornography, let's see if they're allowed to read the effword.

black bars over our eyes

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I finally figured out why some of my friends can't get to my site from their places of employment, and why my friend Arvind, the brilliant young developer of MtBlogRoll, can't get to my site at all from the United Arab Emirates.

Moronosphere.com is on the SmartFilter blacklist. I'm listed as a "Pornography" site and a "Sex" site; which means that any company or nation that's decided to babysit users like nursery-school kids find we're too evil for tender little eyes. This includes all the sites I host under moronosphere.com, but not sites with their own domains.

You can read about the utter stupidity that is SmartFilter on BoingBoing, who are likewise blocked.

You can check your own sites here:

securecomputing.com/sfwhere/index.cfm

I'm not yet sure if there's any way to get that listing corrected. I'm working on it and I'll post here if I find out.

Sex and Candy

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Songs about Sex and Candy. To suit a sweet new look for the Moronosphere:



     Hangin' round downtown by myself
     And I had too much caffeine
     And I was thinkin' 'bout myself
     And then there she was
     In double platform suede
     Yeah there she was
     Like disco lemonade
     I smell sex and candy here

Or we could try:



     The Candy Man can
     'Cause he mixes it with love
     And makes the world taste good

Or a little different feel:



     Candy asked me if she died
     if I could go on
     of course I said I couldn't
     and of course we knew that's wrong
     but candy, I said, candy no you can't do that to me
     because you love me way too much
     for you to ever leave

Or we could add a little chili pepper spice:



     Step into a heaven
     Where I keep it on the soulside
     Girl please me
     Be my soul bride
     Every woman
     Has a piece of Aphrodite
     Copulate to create
     A state of sexual light
     Kissing her virginity
     My affinity
     I mingle with the gods
     I mingle with devinity

     Blood sugar baby
     She's magik
     Sex magik sex magik

And we dare not forget:



     When you need a friend through thick and thin
     Don't look to those above you.
     When you're down and out, ain't no doubt
     Nobody wants you.

     But you're rock candy baby
     Hard, sweet and sticky.
     Rock candy baby
     Hard, sweet and sticky.

Sugar and Sex. Celebrate the the rites of love, my friends. Feed your love on sugar candy, and fuck him/her half to death.

In your eyes I see a thousand lives, where do you come from?

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In your eyes I see a thousand lives,
Where do you come from,
Where do you belong.

     --Dave Davies, Where Do You Come From


I look at my logs all the time - because I'm that kinds of guy, part OCD, part detective, part complete geek - who likes to see the man behind the curtain. The kinds of guy who needs to know how it all works.

Anyone with a sitemeter knows what I'm talkin' about, though I also have urchin installed on the server, and run a couple other web-based counters and have in the past used tools like mint to track hits.

But whatever you look at, whatever slice and dice of the data you have, it's still the same shit, who's visiting, when, from where, and how did they get here?

There are several useful, interesting or amusing data points to be had from looking at web server logs.

The one that's usually good for the most mirth is the google search string (and I use the term in the generic sense because we could be talking about hits from yahoo or msn or aolsearch or any one of a hundred other search pages). People search on the silliest, most amazing things, and someone, somewhere has to be collecting it all and will produce novels or art or poetry all based on such things. I look at my log now and see 'wrist and had tattoos', 'dorothy parker', 'dirty stories', 'Everything up 'til the killing will be a gas', and 'pyro junkies'. And that's just one sitemeter page. This can make me giggle any day.

But there are other things that are useful. I get to know certain hits by location. I know who's likely to be getting me from illinois, from eugene oregon. A few from Austin. Certain key spots in Florida. Vancouver. A couple in town here, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose. Key users in europe. Couple buddies in New Mexico and Arizona.

I know who these are by the ISP and the location (not always the location you'd expect, my home IP shows up as coming from a totally different end of silicon valley than I actually live in, something about how the ISP has things configured). I know by (sometimes) browser type, OS. For most of my friends, I sorta know when you've visited. I know partly because you're the ones who hit without a reference from a search engine, or sometimes because you show as referred from your own blog (clicking from your blogrolls).

The ones that I ponder over though, and the reason for this post, are the ones I see regularly whom I don't know. I puzzle over certain entities. Someone who hits me from Sunnyvale CA with an ISP listed as inktomi.com. No idea who you are, but I see you regularly. Hits from San Francisco, or from San Jose. You're not in my mental list of readers I know. Readers in New Zealand. Readers in Texas who are not the usual gang of blogger-freinds (People from Dallas or from College Station). Kent, Washington. Buffalo, New York. Blackpool, Lancaster (I want to say, how's that count of holes coming, but no that's blackburn).

It's funny because I feel like I should know who's reading. I get a lot of hits from some of the strangest places, google and other blogs I'm bloggrolled on, places where someone will link to some entry like my one on jessie combs, or on driving my jeep in a kilt, or my old 'what's fifty-six' entry. Those I understand though. It's the ones who are clearly regular readers, yet unknown that always makes me wonder.

A Man Called Elvis

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I'm talkin bout the man, I'm talkin bout the man
A man called Elvis
U oughta get 2 know him
U oughta try him

(stolen from Prince with no apology whatsoever)

I finally re-created my about me page. When I did my page redesign (with added piracy, thanks to Doxy), I forgot about it and never got around to porting the template over.

The text is mostly from a short bio I sent the j-con organizers when I got picked to be on a panel (alas, I didn't actually make it to j-con, that's how my year's been, plans made and broken a million times). But I liked what I sent them so it lives on.

Anyway, it's linked from the cartoon elvis pic on the left and the about karl elvis section on the right, and includes a bonus kilted-elvis picture (though not a NHT picture).

domain monkeys

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I'm monkeying with my domains - changing dns from zoneedit to a local nameserver and so forth - so if you have any trouble getting to any of the moronosphere.com blogs (or editiong your own blog if you're one of the bloggers I host), it should be temporary.

Why? Just because I can.




Ok, I got all my domains (well, almost all my domains) migrated to my local dns servers from zoneedit. Zoneedit has some nice features (The ability to do mail forwards easily), but I got tired of getting bills for zones I didn't have. I'm now using local nameservers hosted by the good folks at ThePlanet


I also registered several variants on my domain name, moronosphere.com - .net, .org, etc. Why not, I figured. They're not all live yet, but eventually they'll all forward to here, at least until I have reason to maintain more than one site. I'm finding the whole domain hosting thing very entertaining; I think something like Globe of Frogs and five minutes, a few clicks, and a small payment, it's GlobeofFrogs.com, just like that.

Of course then I think, why'd I register that. But whattaya gonna do, sometimes you just can't help it. It's kind of a caps for sale thing. You Monkeys You!

Tsunami of Spam

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I'm suddenly getting a lot more comment spam slipping past my spam filter so I just switched on comment moderation. You'll get a note saying your comment needs to wait on approval (but that sexual favors offered should speed this approval process).

But please, comment early, comment often. Show me the love. Me Love You Long Time.

Never Learning

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Geez, you would THINK I would learn.

I'm not doing nightly database dumps on my new server. Yeah, I meant to, but...

Anyway, I just bolloxed up my main template while I was working on someone else's.

Luckily, I have some copies that are a month or so old, and was able to restore quickly, but why the fuck don't I have one from last night? I'll tell you why - I'm a fucking moron.

But you knew that.

Anyway, I'm now setting up nightly dumps again, while I check with my sysadmin to see what he's doing about mySQL dumps. Because I'm reasonably certain he's not as lame as I am...


Ok. I think I hacked most of my changes back in. If anything looks really fucked up to you (well, other than the content), let me know. And now I'm makin' mySQL backups as well...

MTLJPost v1.9.2

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If you're one of those people who maintain a movable-type blog for actual blogging and a LiveJornal so you can comment on friends journals, you might like MTLJPost, which lets you automatically double-post your MT entries in your LiveJournal.

I think this thing rules, but it broke when I switched to MT3.2.

It's fixed - new version, v1.9.2.

I love this thing, it's too cool.

Image stash

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I just figured out that ecto, my blog editor (and dude if you're not using ecto, get on it, it rules, at least on the mac) keeps an image cache of all image uploads. So I have this whole directory full of images I'd uploaded in the past.

I'm right now pushing them all up to my server, so the broken image links in old posts are almost all being fixed with no intervention on my part.

Let me know if you find any broken image links anywhere, I'm sure there are a few, but most of 'em are working now.

Once again, ecto saves me. I love ecto.

New Digs

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It's like moving into a new house that looks exactly like your old house.

So I jumped the gun last night and transferred moronosphere.com to it's new home. I figured out how easy this was gonna be and just did it.

Things should be a little faster, that's about all you should notice.

M'oving M'sphere

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'Cos I'm moving on up. You're moving on out.
Movin' on up. Nothing can stop me.
Moving on up. You're moving on out.
Time to break free. Nothing can stop me,
Yeah.


Time's come to find a new home.

What's this mean?

Well, not much to you, the reader, nor to my friends for whom I host blogs. Other than a short downtime and then some (hopefully) much better performance.

Basically, I've been hosting this blog by the generosity and good grace of my friend Seth, for nearly two years. I owe him a great debt, he's asked for nothing, and given me space and bandwidth and support. He's helped me recover from a couple crashes, given me full root access, trusted me not to break anything, and let me monkey to my heart's content with his server.

Thanks, Seth, and thanks, Jen, for suggesting I start up a blog when all I wanted was a place to park a domain I had hanging around.

But all good things, and all that. I'm hosting a few blogs now, and we're using more bandwidth, and I need backups and some management tools to handle things I've been doing by hand. I got an offer I couldn't refuse from my friends at http://www.athenahosting.net/.

So I'm picking up and moving this weekend. If you have any problems getting to moronosphere.com this week, it should be short-lived, but let me know about it (click my name down there near where it says 'comments' and 'permalink', or any-damned-thing at moronosphere.com will get to me).

I'll post an update when I get moved over, and for those of you whose blogs I host, I'll let you know before I take things down, so carry on blogging until otherwise advised.

Empty Archives

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...yes, I know the category archives for this site seem to be empty. I'm playing with dynamic indexes to see if I can speed up rebuilds. Not quite working yet, and I'm not sure why.




-edit-

I couldn't get that to work. It required some .htaccess surgery, and I couldn't get it to produce any output.

The idea is that you route the web server request through a php pre-processor and generate the pages on the fly rather than writing out index pages for everything, which is a great idea for pages people don't hit that often. But something wasn't right so I've tuned back to static publishing.

All Moved Back In

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With Ecto working, I was able to post all the archived stuff from July 17 on; so I lost nothing but posted images. I had it all saved in Ecto's cache.

So we're now complete, in effect. Broken image links I'll try to replace, though I may not get to all of them. But the work is all still here, and (shortly) completely backed up.

The Ecto problem was actually a Movable Type 3.2 bug.

In short, there's a very minor problem in XMLRPCServer.pm. I looked at the code and the fix seemed to be moving a single line up before some particular is THING installed check in the perl code, which supports my notion that MT was looking for some package or other that my install didn't have, but also didn't need. That's a guess, though.

In any case, I have a patched version of XMLRPCServer.pm installed, and am posting happily with ecto again. Six Apart (Movable Type's owners) have not announced the fix/patch yet, I would assume because they're testing it; I expect to see a release shortly.

This was the piece missing in MT 3.2 as far as I'm concerned; this was what stopped me cold with the blogging, because I'm so used to working in Ecto, I can't blog any other way. With Ecto back, I should be able to update more.

That's assuming I ever quit getting horribly depressed from reading Ray's Katrina entries. It's getting so I'm afraid to read the news...

Now, with Extra Piracy!

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It's a whole new moronosphere here, now with extra Piracy.

Let me know if you have any problem with the way this displays. Let me know if you like it.

If you hate it, get on your knees and practice your oral skills.

I started out just porting my old look to new templates, but then when I found Arvind's Style Generator I got kind of inspired to go three-way.

And then I did something really smart. I asked for help.

The fabulous Doxy went above and beyond the call and did a stylesheet, and some graphics for me, and sat here with me tweaking and adjusting until we got something I think looks pretty damned good. She gets 100% of the credit for what looks good, and I get 100% of the credit for what doesn't.

Now maybe I can actually get back to blogging.


If this looks fucked up on your browser, try shift-reload, and if that doesn't fix it, try blowing away your cache. That should fix it. I've checked it on (MacOSX) Safari, Opera, IE, Firefox and Mozilla, and it displays fine on all of them for me.

Template Hacks

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I just found Arvind's Movable Type Style Generator.

Boy, is this thing cool.

I'm working on a new stylesheet for this site, you can see what I have so far here. It needs some more work, and I may try to do a three-column layout for it; I want something that still feels like this site, but that looks a little more updated.


I started over from scratch there with a new three-column template, so ignore the colors, that's all gonna change. I started working on getting the side-bar content ported over. Some of it's easy, the new templates are a little more intuitive in some ways, but I got stalled out with the category and calendar bits. Calandar because I need a good example for a 3.2 calandar (the new MT docs STILL suck for examples), and the categories because I want a pull-down menu like I have with the old template. Issue is, MT's category system is a lot more complex than it was so I need to delve deeper to port that to my pulldown.

I also need to fix a lot of the archive templates; the permalink/individual archives look ok (not great, but ok), but the category and date archives are still scrod.

Yes, I'm geeking out really bad.

Got Backups?

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Ok, I feel better.

I got mySQL database dumps going on our server, as I had before, but I also am automatically copying them to a remote machine nightly. I test this tonight via a cron job but it worked when I launched it manually. So starting tonight I'll have dailys and we won't risk loss of more than a day of work.

Obviously I should have done this a couple weeks ago. And I knew that. But at least I can get back to writing about something other than technogeekery.

Hey, MT32 users? How the hell can I turn on comment notifications? It seems obvious but I can't seem to locate where the knob is for that feature, and MtNotify, the plugin I used to use for notofications, barfs in 3.2. I don't want to miss a single word my lovely readers say.



Note - we're now running on the non-beta version of MT3.2. Weeee!

Prog! Ress?

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It's a couple steps forward and pair of steps back, all weekend. I get something going and it blows up in my face.

You know, that's how it is when you're makin' it up as you go.

On the one hand I have my temporary domain (and again, thanks a million to the beautiful and talented Doxy for getting that set up on incredibly short notice, including mail forwarding and all.) That helps, now at least users won't get an ugly error when they hit old page links. I'm seeing the hits already in my new sitemeter.

On the other, I still need a home. But we're makin' progress. Seth and I are building and installing like madmen, mySQL building as I type this. With that and php and perl all working, I can start thinking about getting movable type up and running.

Honestly though I'm not sure what I'll do long term. I'm still pondering getting a linux machine of my own, though I'll need some help figuring out what I need, hardware wise, for basic blog hosting for a number of users, and the cost might wind up being too much with a co-located server. I'd like to be in complete control of my own destiny (and of course, of yours); but I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble.

I have quite the headache though, I'll tell you, and I need a week off just to get this shit all nailed down. My weekend's almost spent and I'm still far from having a working machine.

...and did I mention the complete makeover I gave my home office yesterday? I guess I have a reason to be exhausted. The room turns out to be twice as big as I thought, once I got all the fuckin' crap up off the floor and onto a seven foot tall metro rack. Only, now that I can see how much stuff I have, I need to do something with all of it. Dumpster, I'm thinking. Free me from the tyranny of stuff!


Ah, my mysql build is done. That means I have to actually do something now, hence, I press the publish button.

Thank you D!

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I got set with a temporary home for moronosphere.com (Thanks Dox, yer a fuckin' peach), so at least I have pages up that say "we're down, go to..."

Long term prognosis - we'll see. It'll be a week before we know if we can recover any data, and I don't know HOW long until our old server is rebuilt to a usable state with all the perl packages, php, etc. So we may still be seeking a new home. More on that as we learn it. At least I can still blog, and now readers can find me.

Make backups, people. Make backups.

Found a backup!

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I found a backup from July. Whew.

We can patch it back together, somewhere. The later posts can be gotten from google cache. Still, I'd rather we get Seth's disk recovered.

Where and when moronosphere.com rises again, we'll see. For now I'm here, and soon I hope to have a forward from that address to here.

Blogsaster

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(this entry copied from my blogspot blog)


I don't know why I'm writing this. I have nowhere to post it.

Last night sometime - late, I'm not sure when, but late, because readers first noticed it then - our server crashed.

Moronosphere.com is hosted by my friend Seth, on a machine he keeps at his house. This isn't a service. I don't pay for it. It's something he offers me because we're friends, because his lady Jen and I have been friends for well over a decade.

But this isn't a commercial service. There's no support. I'm on my own, I just get space and bandwidth free. No problem, most of the time, because I'm an old unix sysadmin type; I know how to install perl packages, I know how to hack into a mySQL database if I can't find the password, I know how to configure a web server. In short, I can do whatever I need to keep MovableType running.

But, this being just some guy's machine, I'm working without a net. There are no automated system backups. No striped and mirrored drives.

I know that. Sure. I do. And I make my own database backups, automated nightly. For months I've been meaning to figure out how to automatically transmit those to someplace off-site.

So last night, my luck ran out and the machine crashed; or more exactly, the data disk crashed, hard head-crash from Seth's description. I used to work for Seagate building and testing disk drives, I know what this means. I've seen the carnage of a bad head crash.

We have no backups to speak of.

I don't know what Seth lost. I know data was lost there. But my blog - almost all of it - is gone, wiped out. Nearly two years of work. Plus my Fiji blog from last year, and a blog I keep with stories I'm working on.

But that's not the worst of it. The worst is that I host other people. Ray. Buck. Circe. Samsarra. A few others. I let them down by not keeping my backups, my database dumps, off-site.

Ok. All is not lost. The disk goes to a recovery place tomorrow, and in 5-7 days we hope to hear that the disk isn't a complete loss. Fingers very much crossed there. And I may still have some of our old files stored in my home directory at work where I archived them after a previous database crash. That's at least a year back, but it's something.

There's also hope that some of our work can be re-gathered from web cache servers out there; I have a few things archived on my laptop (thanks to ecto). Not every word of it is gone.

But I'm without a blog. That's the thing that hurts right now. I write this and can't share it. moronosphere.com is my home on the internet, and it's a dead-end now. I can't even tell anyone what happened. I shout at the empty space and not even an echo returns.

Seth, friend that he is, will get a basic web server up shortly, so we can at least tell the world 'yeah we're down'. He may decide to re-build his machine, he may not, I'm not sure; I may need to find new hosting, someplace where they can give me a unix shell access so I can do this right, someplace where I pay, but get the security of backups. What I'd really like to do is set up a co-located server of my own, but I'd need to charge people to host blogs, and it seems sorta silly

Giant Head, Scourage of Network Cables

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So the thing with mooching server space and bandwidth from friends is, there's an upside and a downside.

The upside is, I get all this free for nothing but love. This blog, and several others I host, like Austin Ray.

The down side is, you get what you pay for. You pay in love, you get love back, but love ain't reliability and support. No redundant network connection.

This means we have a certain level of vulnerability.

for example:

...the network line comes in to Junior's room, but the hardware had
been hidden under his loft. Since we redid his room we have not yet
rebuilt the loft, so the hardware's exposed to his giant head to
accidentally bump out of the wall.
"


Well. That there explains why we've been off line a lot the last couple days. Watch that head, Junior!

MTLJPost

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Hey, this is cool.

I just installed a new version of MTLJPost, an MT plugin that automatically posts my MT blog entries on LiveJournal. This way, I can blog once, yet I'm not neglecting my LJ user friends.

Ray, if you wanna turn this on, let me know, I'll show you how. It's super easy.

Technically Difficult

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Sorry, I know the blog was down for a bit. Minor difficulties.

Things are up and working again now...

blog hackery again

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I should not try to hack on my block when I'm fulla pharmacuticals, but Doxy got me started wanting to fix some things.

This space may look all fucked up for a bit more. I'm trying to roll back to a fully-functional two column layout so I can start over. Should be better fairly soon though.

Either that or I take the rest of these pills and, well, after that, who will care?

Purple again!

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Ok. I'm back in a functional three-way layout.

Three-Way. Say it with me.

It's still fucked up on Safari. I've come to the conclusion that this is a Safari bug, though, and am reporting it as such to Apple. If you're a Safari user, sorry; I feel your pain, I use Safari and it annoys the fuck out of me. But I'm not going to design to a bug in one browser.

Now I just need to find the lead developer for Safari and get him in a sleeper-hold until he fixes this shit.

Under new Deconstruction

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I'm still having layout problems -- something is goofed up with my templates and I have not had time to sort it out. I've temporarily gone back to a default template without my changes while I sort out what broke.

Should be more together in a day or so.

Meanwhile, if you have a San Jose Mercury account, you can read a very shallow bit of an interview I did at PantheaCon:

Pagans work magic, turn some heads at San Jose hotel.


The bit that's actually relevant is:

...So what's with the kilts? Turner said she likes ``men in skirts,'' but they have no great religious significance.

Karl Elvis MacRae of Saratoga, a software engineer for Apple Computer, was volunteering at a kilt stand. He's not a pagan, he just likes kilts. ``Men have worn un-bifurcated garments for thousands of years,'' he said. The kilt offers freedom, especially when it's hot out.

Why not just wear shorts?

``Not as much of a breeze in shorts,'' he answered. And he sometimes wears it to work. ``You know, it's Apple.''

Template Troubles

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I severely broke something in my templates. It's been fixed now, mostly, though it still doesn't render right in Safari, the browser I prefer.

One or two /div tags in the wrong place and things go haywire, I tellya.

Still working on it but it should be fixed for must of you.

Three Way -- all the cool kids are doing it

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Right, you think I mean...

Silly.

I just switched to a three-column layout for this blog, copying Austin Ray because he's my bruddah and if he thinks it's cool, I think it's cool.

Tell me if the rendering on this is all fucked up on your browser. I've tested it in Mozilla and Safari, and in Firefox. Firefox and Mozilla may need a force relead (thats is, I think, hold down your shift key while you click reload). I think they cache teh css file. If it looks fucked up, try that and let me know if it's still broke.

Tag, I'm it

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I'm just reading up on how to use Technorati tags.

It's an interesting idea. The two main uses I've seen in MT blogs is to convert either keywords or categories into tags. I've got a cool plugin for MT that automatically converts keywords, only, I don't use keywords.

I've also got an applescript in ecto that converts my categories into tags. You'll see what it does at the bottom of this entry.

What I really want, though, is a plugin that does this automatically in MT; I choose categories or keywords as usual, and then the MT plugin automagically makes them tags when I post. I don't know if this exists yet, but either I'll write it or someone else will. I'll have to study up on how to write MT plugins, I guess.


Edit:

Ah, now that I re-read the tags spec, I see technorati are already honoring MT categories so I don't need to do anything to make this work. It's only useful if you use keywords and want them honored.

Teach me to read the spec...


Technorati Tags: {, , }

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