After way more gnashing of teeth than necessary, honestly, I've moved the booklog onto WordPress for better anti-spam tools and, I hope, greater ease in actually posting. Up tonight is a post on Max Gladstone's second novel, Two Serpents Rise, and I have more scheduled for the following days.

I have a request in for [syndicated profile] outsidedog_feed to be updated (oops, I just realized I didn't post "moving now!" notices to my old rss feeds, I wonder if I can do that now . . . oh wait, I can just redirect them, nevermind), and I'm also posting updates to Twitter: [twitter.com profile] knepveu_booklog.

Feedback on the site welcome, but please bring comments on the books over there, so conversation isn't split.

Successfully (I think) upgraded the booklog to MT 3.3 and added tags for authors. Go play with it and see if I broke anything anywhere?

(And if anyone with something other than Windows Firefox, IE, or Opera can tell me how the "categories" and "all posts" line up with the rest, that would be great. The idea is that it's indented the same amount as the first line in each paragraph, but as long as they aren't sticking out anywhere, I'll take it.)

*falls into bed*

Edit morning: your opinions, please:

Right now, the new setup has two bullet points at the end of the entry:

  • categories:
  • all posts about [author name]

The [author name] is linked to a search for all posts tagged by that author—if there is more than one other post about that author; otherwise the second bullet doesn't appear.

I can also list how many posts the search will pull up, either "one other post / X other posts," or all total posts if that was less confusing. An earlier version had this, and then I took it off because it seems like clutter; but what do you all think? Would you like to know how many posts you're going to be finding when you click on the author name?

Locations of this week's painful, itchy, and swollen insect bites:

  • The cartilaginous rim of my ear (unknown source).
  • My ankle, shin, and knee (a three-fer, probably from a spider).
  • The inside corner of my eye, just above the tear duct (small black fly).

And that was all before doing yardwork today (five mosquito bites in about ten minutes of pulling up dandelions in the back yard).

I want to join the Culture and change my body chemistry enough that biting insects no longer find me appealing.

Saw the Pirates movie yesterday. It's my impression that the critics were mostly "Enh" and the public was mostly "Yay!" I'm afraid that I'm mostly on the side of the critics for this one.

spoilers for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest )

The hardest I laughed at the theater was actually for a trailer. It opened by stating that we were "told" that the Mars Beagle was lost in 2003, but its last transmission was classified Top Secret, and "it was the only warning we had." Ominous music, blurred shot of something over the Beagle, and then a view of Earth being slowly occluded by something that turned out to be the movie title.

Which was . . .

the punchline )

Finally, Movable Type 3.3 is out, and while I haven't installed it yet, I intend to. With this upgrade, it now natively supports tags along with categories, and I'd like some feedback from readers, librarians, and others with organizational tendencies.

Right now, I have the booklog set up so that every book is in a categeory according to genre and, where appropriate, subgenre and series. There are index pages for each category and subcategory, with books listed in alphabetical order by author, so they can be browsed (plus pages covering various time periods). There is also a search function.

I'd briefly toyed with the idea of also setting up category pages by author, but put it aside: it was technically fiddly, it would have meant a shitload of categories, and I wasn't sure of the utility. It occurs to me that tags might be the way to do author categorization; would anyone expect to use that? Has anyone confronted these same challenges elsewhere, with what conclusions? Can anyone think of other interesting or useful things to do with tags for a booklog?

Pretty quiet week. We finished season 1 of The Wire (still very well done, still not entirely my kind of thing), started watching season 5 of Homicide (still very good), and watched more Fullmetal Alchemist (as previously posted about). I spent some time yesterday and today reading out in the sun; I realized this winter that I miss the ability to do that something awful when the seasons change, and have resolved to take better advantage of the opportunity (properly sunscreened, of course).

Even though it's spring—Easter, even—there has been a sad lack of Cadbury Creme Eggs. A lot of places seem only to be carrying the Caramel kind, and a couple places that were carrying the Creme have run out. You can't keep them for too long (they get thick and nasty inside), but I was hoping to get a few more, darn it. *sulks briefly* Oh well, Target was closed today but probably will have some still tomorrow.

Anyway, I went out for lunch today, which will more than suffice in the food department. I've not been to a restaurant since Boskone, and mostly I've been eating Chad's acid-reflux-prevention diet since then. I'm not nearly as much of a food person as he is (I keep saying we should switch ailments), but this week I found myself day-dreaming about dishes with intense flavor, so headed out while he was cooped up in his windowless basement lab. (Guilty, me? Just a bit.) It was only a chain, the Macaroni Grill, but I knew they'd be open and I really like their Penne Rustica (pasta, shrimp, chicken, prosciutto, baked with cheese sauce). Fortunately they had a bar area where I was not bothered by excited children out for Easter dinner.

More productively, I finished transferring steelypips.org over to the new web host (HostGator), and updated the DNS at my registrar. That should be fully propogated in a couple of days, so I'll stop putting booklog-in-exile posts here. [Edit 10:10: already picked up here, cool.]

Wednesday: file brief with the Supreme Court that I researched, helped draft, and helped recruit signatories for.

Thursday: file brief with the Second Circuit that I wrote and then re-wrote at the last minute (see Wednesday).

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: collapse and recover. Have sinus headache. Do laundry, watch anime, curse at web host.

So I've had it with my web host (Affordablehost.com) and I'm getting a new one. I understand that sometimes servers go down, even repeatedly—but when I submit a support ticket saying, "24 hours ago, you put up a bulletin saying, 'this problem should be fixed with 15-20 minutes.' It's still not fixed for me, and the bulletin hasn't been updated. What's the status?" Then I do not want to get a response saying "check the bulletin," especially when that bulletin still hasn't been updated from yesterday's 20-minute estimate!

After looking at several review sites, I've narrowed it down to BlueHost, Lunarpages, and HostGator. All offer the features I want and far more bandwidth, storage, etc., than I'll ever need; all appear to have very good reputations for service. HostGator is more expensive, but otherwise I don't seem much to choose between them. Anyone have any experiences with these three that they'd like to share?

(Tomorrow I will test their support by contacting them with a question about transferring over, but that's for tomorrow.)

steelypips.org has been down since early yesterday morning; the restore is taking much longer than expected, but I hope my provider will have it back up today sometime. In the unlikely event that anyone's been trying to reach me, the e-mail address attached to this account works fine.

*grump mutter*

ETA: we appear to be back up on Tuesday night. I've restored two lost blog comments, and everything else seems to be there. However, e-mail apparently wasn't getting through; sorry about that.

On Saturday, I got up early-ish, had routine yearly blood tests and breakfast (too much breakfast, because I was nearly falling over with hunger by then), and then went to work. Moved a bunch of paper around, came home cranky, sat in the sun and read Thud! and felt better. (Yes, this is a pattern.) We had dinner in a new-to-us Indian place, called Karavalli (9-B Johnson Road, Latham NY 12110), which a colleague of Chad's had recommended. It's in a strip mall behind an outlet mall, so I have no idea how anyone found it, but it was terrific. I had chicken in an almond-cashew cream sauce, wonderfully subtle and fragant, and Chad had huge shrimp with cilantro and spices. At 5:30, when we arrived, there was only one other party there; by the time we left, there wasn't a free table in the place. We'll be going back there, probably with reservations.

I also spent a bit of time on Saturday musing on [livejournal.com profile] pegkerr's post about being a woman (will be friends-locked shortly). I was interested to realize that I have very little identity as either a woman or female: when I free-associate "being a woman," I come up with "dealing with a dumb-ass reproductive system"; when I do the same for "being female," I get "unavailability of useful clothing sizes" and "dealing with the occasional bit of sexism." That's it. Sexuality, body image, physical activity—those are separate things inside my head. Actually, the most obvious things about me to a stranger, my gender and my ancestry, are possibly the least important bits of my identity.

On Sunday, I did work I'd brought home; I apparently fell asleep mid-afternoon over my reading, pen in hand and binder in lap. I needed the sleep, but I think I slept in a way that put pressure on my jaw because I woke up with a nasty headache. And then I watched the Patriots play the Steelers—they ended up winning, but I wouldn't have put money on it during any time I was watching. Another ugly game, and Matt Light and Rodney Harrison both went out with injuries (Harrison is apparently gone for the season). I did wish I could find the camera earlier in the day, though, as Chad set up a toy roller coaster on the floor (to see if it would work as a class demo) and the dog laid nearby supervising. Terribly cute.

Today at 5:10 p.m. I saw a MOUSE in my OFFICE and said, "that's it, I'm outta here"—grabbed my bag and my coat and fled. I'd heard that we'd had problems with mice but had never seen one; I've always been careful about food all the same, but I shall be hyper-vigilant now, because I like not sharing an office, and certainly don't want to start sharing with vermin.

In other news, my browser of choice, Opera, is now ad-free for everyone, so I'll link to an older post about why I like Opera. And I've relaunched Outside of a Dog in Movable Type, finally, and I think it's spiffy. No new content at the moment, but I'll be working on getting rid of the backlog (I've been logging stuff as I read it recently, but there are things from a while ago that aren't up yet). The RSS feed (and therefore [livejournal.com profile] insidedog), inbound links, etc., all should still work.

I'd taken Monday off to recuperate from vacation, so I spent Tuesday clearing up the backlog at work. It really is amazing how stuff piles up over just a few days. Despite that, my new resolution to deal with things as they come in, rather than accumulating stacks, seems to be holding.

Wednesday was not a good day. I came back to my office after a day of long, fruitful, but exhausting meetings, and glanced briefly at the Washington Post's front web page, where I found: more Katrina horrors; hundreds dead in an Iraq stampede; and the head of women's health issues at the FDA resigning over the political delay in approving Plan B. One glance, and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed, pull the covers up over my head, and not move for quite some time. But then I got home and was greeted by a happy doggie (which always is a mood-lifter), and helped get our bandwidth back, and put up NetHack spoilers that a stranger had updated out of sheer random helpfulness, and smoothly upgraded a (not-yet-public) MovableType installation, and felt much better for being productive. I later resolved to filter my news and blog reading a lot more heavily, because I need to be able to function and I just wasn't when I was keeping a close eye on the news.

We watched a bunch of Homicide DVDs in the later part of the week, and the show surprised me quite considerably by spoilers for season 3 )

Took the dog to the vet on Friday afternoon for yet another urinary system infection. If she's not doing better after a week of antibiotics, she's going to get X-rays for kidney stones. She seems to be doing better, though not as dramatically so as last time she was on antibiotics (a different kind). Her energy levels are entirely unaffected (says the human who's spent far too much of today fending her off), so it's probably not too serious.

This weekend we ran a bunch of errands and did a bunch of work, occasionally enjoying the nice weather while we were at it, and I re-watched a bunch of Fullmetal Alchemist episodes (as previously noted). Terribly exciting, I know. And now, back to work.

Okay, one last thing—the server hosting steelypips.org went down last night, and so in the very unlikely event you need to contact one of us urgently, comment here or send e-mail to the address on my userinfo page.

I' ve been in the process of switching my booklog over to Movable Type, and I'm stuck on importing all my old comments. MT has an import feature that will handle comments, but the comments need to be reformatted and matched up to their associated posts first, which is where the need for a script comes in.

technical details )

If anyone's interested, I'm willing to provide reasonable compensation for their time. Contact me and we'll talk about it.

Blogger for publishing and blogkomm for comments have been good to us, but I'm thinking about upgrading the Steelypips blogs to a system with more advanced comment moderation features, because poker spam is tedious. My ideal system upgrade would do the following:

  1. Recognize Blogger's post IDs through an import feature, thereby allowing me to preserve permalinks to old posts.

    Without this, I have to either break a whole bunch of links, or keep the old files around; neither prospect thrils me.

  2. Allow the automagical generation of booklog indexes by (a) permitting the display of only post titles of a category (instead of all the posts' full content) and (b) sorting the post titles in alphabetical order. No more hand-coding an author index! Sub-indexes by genre!

    I think this should be fairly easy, since five minutes with a free TypePad trial account got me just what I envisioned; it's just that MT kind of scares me.

  3. Allow me to hold for approval comments coming from certain IP ranges and with certain keywords.

    I think this is pretty standard.

  4. Keep comments in a format that would allow me to hack in an ASCII delimited file of old comments.

    I have no idea how likely this is, but it would be really nice not to lose all those old comments.

  5. Be locally-hosted.

    We have PHP, Perl, etc.

  6. Have stable links (I've seen too many people's permalinks killed by a MT database crash, though I think this has been addressed, judging by my playing with TypePad?).

The following are already installed on our web host: b2evolution (0.9.0.10), Nucleus (3.2), pMachine Free (2.3), and WordPress (1.5.1.2). I was also looking at Serendipity and GreyMatter (though I get the impression the last is no longer being developed?).

Anyone have any experience to share? Statements of the form, "this package definitely will (or will not) do number X on your list" are what I'm mostly looking for, but general experiences are good too.

(Also, GIP.)

never mind )

ETA: Clearly the needed tech fix was posting this, because they seem to be back up. At any rate, enjoy the penguins.

Do not have your personal e-mail account for your personal domain set to be the default account that all improperly-addressed e-mail to that domain comes to. Otherwise, someday, a spammer will decide to use "lkjweoisdlkfj@steelypips"-type return addresses for its spamming, and you will get 700 bounced messages in your personal inbox in an afternoon. Save yourself the momentary panic of wondering if someone's targeted your domain for a DOS attack, and don't change the default address back from ":fail:no such address here".

Two other technical notes:

  • Steelypips now mirrors the rec.arts.sf.written FAQ by permission of the maintainer;
  • Weirdly, our page of personal wedding pictures is currently number two on a regular Google search for "wedding pictures," but Emmy's brief period of fame on Google's image search for "dog" has ended. Is there a household conservation of Google-fame, perhaps?

Apology

Dec. 27th, 2003 10:49 pm

I don't know why [livejournal.com profile] insidedog has thrown up so many old posts on its feed; as you can hopefully see from the URLs, only the posts from Paladin of Souls on are new.

Normally I don't post separate notices of book log updates here, but having just cleared my backlog by adding seven books in one swell foop, I thought I'd make an exception this time.

There for your reading pleasure are my comments on:

  • The Hot Rock, by Donald Westlake
  • Issola, by Steven Brust
  • The Element of Fire, by Martha Wells
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore
  • Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling

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