Back end problems

Boy, do I have have them. No, I’m not talking about my butt here. (and you shouldn’t be, either!) I’m having some frustrating problems with Movable Type that my site hosts can’t seem to solve, and Movable Type doesn’t have answers for either, despite me spending about 10 hours with both trying to figure it out.

That’s contributing quite a bit to my lack of blogging, as everything seems to post not at all or twice, and I get too pissed off to do that all the time.

But I have what I think are some viable options for creating podcasts, finally, so I want to get these things resolved so I can update my templates to allow for podcast syndication. I’m hoping an upgrade to MT 4.1 will finally fix the errors. If not, I need to get serious about moving to Expression Engine, and giving my site a refreshed design.

I’ve been playing with Expression Engine quite a bit on my secret blog site (once, I had a secret blog, that lived within the heart of me… all too soon my secret blog became impatient to be free…. So I told a friendly star, The way that dreamers often do… now I shout it from the highest hill… I even told the golden daffodils. At last my heart’s an open door, And my secret blog’s no secret anymore…)

Except from you guys, of course. Hee.

Continue ReadingBack end problems

Blast from the Past

Normally when I upload a bunch of older photos to my flickr account, I turn off the splice between my flickr account and my RSS feeds, so those who read my blog via a feed reader don’t get a massive influx of my photos in my feed.
However, last night, I forgot to do that. Oops. Umm, sorry. I hoped you enjoyed the last half of my 2005 and all of my 2004 life whizzing by you.
I’m working on getting all my photos up on flickr so I can re-integrate them into my site in the appropriate places, where I used to have all my photo galleries before my host got all jerky and price-gouging about my bandwidth. I uploaded a year and a half last night, and I have about 3 more years to go, then there will be sorting, captioning, etc. I’ve been doing it on a month-by-month basis, and it’s been an exercise in nostalgia for me.
But I promise, I turned the feed splice off for the remain bits.

Continue ReadingBlast from the Past

Weekend Update 2007-02-26

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here. I went to water aerobics with my new suit, which is awesome. Stephanie went skating. Her dad decided against coming down to visit because Valpo got hit with a storm, which knocked out the power for Stephanie’s mom. We went over to my old house to check on the water removal from the basement and empty the dehumidifier bucket. The heat’s on there, and things are drying out fine. The plumber will come today, so I’ll be dropping by to check on things again.

We made lasagna for dinner last night, and fell asleep early and missed most of the Oscars, which is fine, since we saw barely any of the movies, and they’re all in our Netflix queue anyway. We have 470 movies in our queue. We’re very ambitious.

This is partially because for Valentine’s Day, I gave Stephanie a copy of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and she went through and cataloged what she’s read. We found lists of all the titles from the book on the internets, and put them in google spreadsheets so we could track what we’ve read. Then we did the same with 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. And then we started adding movies to Netflix, and now our Queue ensures that we will never die, ever.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning up data; going over my lists of books I’ve read, checking that the links are valid and that all the links go to current, in print editions of books on I also played around with getting all the lists into an Amazon Store for my site. I’m trying to figure out if I want to spend the time customizing the hell out of it, and integrating it into my site seamlessly. I’m not satisfied with it; I’m thinking I need to work with Amazon web services and just build my own version of a store on my site, with my own database. But maybe that’s more work than it’s worth, considering.

I am happy that I have pretty up-to-date lists, though; now I need to plug those book titles into my book cataloging software to make some progress on my library database, which we need to have for inventory/insurance purposes.

I have made some great strides getting old site pages organized after the move. The major outstanding piece is getting my old photo pages updated. Most of the photos aren’t in place on this host because I ran into some annoying customer service issues with them that it’s not worth going into. I’m thinking I just need to bite the bullet and post most of them on flickr.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2007-02-26

Apparently, I’m Chopped Liver

Hmmmm – I guess my 20,000 visitors a day don’t rate a mention on Indiana Equality’s thank you letter for the Rally organizing…

Many, many other businesses, organizations and bloggers contributed greatly to Monday’s success by promoting participation in the rally. A big thanks to Advance Indiana; American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 62; American Values Alliance;; bloomingOUT; Blue Indiana; First Republicans Forum; Gay/Straight Alliance Indiana; GayIndy.Org; GLBT Resource Center of Michiana; Indiana Black Pride; Indiana Planned Parenthood Advocates; Indiana Progressives PAC; Jewish Community Relations Council; Masson’s Blog; Muncie PFLAG; OUT: Indiana University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Peoples’ Student Union; Outword Bound Bookstore; Purdue Queer Student Union; Reality Magazine; Spectrum (Ball State University); stAllio!s way; The Word; and Taking Down Words.

Why doesn’t that surprise me?
UPDATE: I got a very nice note from Jon Keep about this:

Hi Steph,
I wanted to offer my apologies, on behalf of IE, for not including A Commonplace Book in the Post Rally email. It has been my experience that when anyone makes a list, you run the risk of omitting someone. That was the case here. Our aim was to recognize those organizations that helped make the rally a success. We very much appreciate the support and the publicity that you gave and in no way meant to exclude you.
Please know that your support, and on going support, is greatly appreciated. I look forward to working with you in the future.
Jon Keep
Indiana Equality

Clearly, I need to be stop being a baby about these sorts of things and not take stuff so personally.

Continue ReadingApparently, I’m Chopped Liver

Getting there

I’m somewhat up and running. I’m still missing some files that need to be transferred over to this new server, and my comments aren’t working, but at least the site itself is up so people can see it.
It’s possible that the domain name still needs propagate everywhere…

Continue ReadingGetting there

Comments Feed

I added a comments feed to my site last night, in case some rare person out there might be interested in hearing what others have to say about my site, like the homophobes and weird flamers who occasionally troll by and leave hate messages that I promptly delete. I don’t get too many comments on the site, although weirdly, I have tons of traffic. I guess I don’t solicit people’s opinions much, really.
Comments Feed
Site Feed
For those of you who may not know, (pardon me while I explain to my mom, people) a feed is a link that people can add to newsreader. A newsreader is a piece of software similar to an email reader (like Outlook), which will automagically pull down all new site entries into the reader, so people don’t have to constantly look at my site for new stuff. It makes it convenient to catch up on websites you read regularly — the reader just displays whatever is new and tells you how many updates each site has.
I personally subscribe to 183 different site feeds, because I’m farkin’ nuts, really. I’ve been using the Newsfire Reader for a long time, but it’s starting to be buggy, so I’m in the process of testing out the online reader Bloglines, because Matt uses it, and I always do what Matt does.

Continue ReadingComments Feed

My “Friends” Map

I’ve been playing around with “Frapper” which is a Googlemap application that lets you create a google map of your own, letting friends add themselves to the map. So here’s mine, and I’d be much obliged if you would add yourself to it. Your e-mail is hidden and your location is based on zipcode, so it’s pretty general, and no one can use it to stalk you, or anything. {grin}.

UPDATE 2012: Yep; the frappr site is long gone.

Continue ReadingMy “Friends” Map

Weekend Update 2006-02-20

What I accomplished this weekend:

  1. Comment Code – I worked on the comment code on my site to accomplish:
    • Cleaner xhtml and css. This was hard, but I got it working well.
    • Displaying the number next to the comment. This wasn’t hard.
    • Displaying comments from me in a different color than others. This seemed to be fraught with errors, for some reason, but I eventually worked it out.

    The comments aren’t perfect yet; I want a more subtle look and feel. But getting the above out of the way was a huge step in that direction.

  2. Close examination of my error logs. I scoured through them to see where I had broken links within my own pages to correct them, and what pages that other people were linking to that had moved. Then I set up a huge redirect file to point other’s links in the right direction. I also redirected sections of my site that have moved into my content management system. All of this will hopefully clean up my error logs a lot, and, with any luck, increase my page ranks within Google.
  3. Moved more of my static pages into my content management system so I can update and control them more easily. There’s still a lot to do in that area, but I’m working on it.
  4. Wrote two book reviews that had been lingering around waiting for attention. I’m slowly but surely making my way through my reading list for 2006.
  5. Watched a lot of the Olympics with Stephanie. We are sad about Johnny getting 5th (not 4th, actually) place. This week is women’s figure skating, and I’ll be cheering Kimmie Meisner and Emily Hughes. They’re both too young to really do well, but both of them are great sports. I’m not a huge fan of Sasha Cohen.
  6. Went on a huge stocking-up trip to Cost Co. I could now survive a ten-day blizzard, no problem.
Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-02-20

Quiet time

Sorry about the lack of new and unique writing over the last week or so. I’m writing a couple of long book reviews that are still in draft form, and doing a lot of heavy lifting behind the scenes on the site design to get everything cleaned up, so things have been quiet ’round here. I’ve missed posting about the new Abu Graib photos, the VP shooting people, Willie Nelson’s gay cowboy song, and a dozen other assorted cool things in the process, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Continue ReadingQuiet time