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+ raelity bytes
+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
+ gnat [use Perl;]

Syndication feeds:
# RSS 1.0 format
# Atom 0.3 format

My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
- Book page for Programming Web Services With Perl

Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
= Tim Bray
= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

» Blogs that link here

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

What the F***? 2003.10.26.23:55

LiveJournal has spewed the last 17 entries from my RSS feed, all in a row, all at about 2:26AM this morning. I have no f'ing clue why this happened. For one thing, the RSS feed itself should only produce 15 entries at a time. Although, checking with some command-line tools just now shows me that it's sending 41. I'll have to look at that separately, but it doesn't explain 17. Secondly, the only time in the past that this has happened was when I made a change to the story templates that actually affected the content of the individual stories (I suspect that the LJ application that fetches RSS feeds tracks things with checksums of some sort, probably MD5). That hasn't happened, either. Not counting this entry right here, the last file modification in my blosxom file tree was about 5 days ago, the follow-up to the "Find the Boeing" story.

Ironically-enough, that followup was to address the fact that LJ seemed to be correctly leaving RSS-fed stories in their chronological order when such a story had an update.

No clue why this happened. Apologies to those who were spammed.

# [/misc]

In Case You Read the Boeing Entry Yesterday 2003.10.21.23:51

It seems that LiveJournal is now smart-enough to tell when a change in the RSS feed is just an update to an entry it already displayed. Used to be, if I made a small update it re-posted the entry in question as if it had just appeared. Now it stays at the original place in the chronology, but with the updated text. This is a good bug-fix, in my opinion.

However, in this case, it means that my update to yesterday's entry on the "Find the Boeing" conspiracy didn't get the same prominence that the original did. If you read that via the RSS feed at LJ, please check back and follow the link to the debunking of this particular theory.

# [/politics]

Get on the Global Frequency 2003.10.21.23:38

I haven't yet talked about Warren Ellis' excellent Global Frequency series under my comics category, because it is still in issue format and I wanted to wait for the graphic novel. It's easier for the non-comic-fiend types to get a GN than to hunt down back issues.

But this recent bit from CNN (not sure how long this link will be in their archive) means speaking up a bit early:

"Under that deal, Burnett has also teamed with writer-producer John Rogers for a drama based on the DC spy comic 'Global Frequency,' which has received a script commitment from the WB.

"'Global Frequency' revolves around an independent defense intelligence organization connected by a worldwide telecommunications web that uses ordinary individuals as agents around the world to fight black ops projects, unexplained phenomena and other problems the government agencies have."

So while the "full review" is still forthcoming, let me say that this could be potentially excellent news. WB has done some stinkers, but they also gave Joss Whedon the elbow room he needed to develop Buffy and Angel. And GF is something else; it is in fact very spy vs. spy in nature, but the writing is extremely crisp and tight, and the pacing is just fantastic. What really struck me about it, though, is that it's already episodic. Each issue is a single, stand-alone story, with recurring characters but otherwise not leading up to a single grand-finale sort of conclusion. I've even mentioned to the friend who turned me on to it, that it would lend itself well to TV, since it's already written for it: each issue's final page runs the credits over the last few panels as the story is wrapped up and last lines are spoken.

I just hope that the WB has the minerals to use the existing stories, rather than just using the concept and writing new stories. The ones they have are brutal, harsh, and very realistic (save for the near-future sci-fi tech that they use). It would be a shame to not have characters like Grishko come to life on the screen.

# [/entertainment/tv]

Find the Boeing 2003.10.21.09:59

This is an interesting link:

Find the Boeing!

I offer no further comment, or specific endorsement. But it does raise some interesting questions.

Update: Andrew pointed me towards the debunking page at snopes.com. It might not convince all the theorists, but it's good-enough for me.

# [/politics]

Total Recall: the Fallout 2003.10.09.03:04


Well, it's all over except for the gnashing of teeth. With over 90% of the polls accounted for, the recall is passing 54.2% to 45.8%. Schwarzenegger is the clear winner over Bustamante, with 47.8% of the vote to his 32.6%. Soon, the state will be in the hands of Governor Pete Wilson Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the plus side, both propositions (53 and 54) were defeated. So, the state hasn't taken full leave of its collective senses.

Let's be clear: I am willing to admit when I'm wrong. So if, a year or so from now, we are truly in better shape under this new administration then I will admit it. In fact, if we are in truly better shape when re-election rolls around, I may vote for his re-election. Assuming he hasn't been recalled or otherwise brought down by the abuse and harassment charges. Don't think for a minute those are going to go away, just because the election is over.


# [/politics]

Total Recall: No Sequel, OK? 2003.10.08.23:26

Let's be clear about something here: I didn't vote for Arnold, and while I will be ready to admit if I'm wrong, I expect him to do at best an ineffective job, and at worst a truly horrible job.

But I do not, under any circumstances, support the notion that we should be immediately serving the GOP a taset of their own medicine. I do not support any effort to recall Schwarzenegger. He's won, he's won fairly. Let him serve the remainder of the term that's left, and judge him on his merits (or lack of) at the next scheduled gubernatorial election.

In the meantime, if you are truly angered and disenfranchised by all of this, then plan for the presidential race and the congressional races next year. Having a GOP governor of California is going to make it harder for the Democrats to assume that California is safely in their camp. It will mean using more of their resources here than they would have otherwise, and that will mean they have to spread the resources around more carefully in other states. We had a huge voter turn-out this time– far more than voted in the initial gov race last year. Try to keep that going for next year.

# [/politics]

My Recall Rant 2003.10.07.03:43

It has reached the point where I feel a great need to speak up on the recall, even if only for my own sake. I realize that this is pretty much an 11th-hour treatise, but then I suspect that most people who are likely to read this (and actually living in California) have already made up their minds. Heck, at least one that I know of has already voted by absentee ballot.

(Behind a cut, since I expect this to be pretty long...)


# [/politics]

The (Really) New Word of the Day 2003.10.07.01:30

On NPR this afternoon, as I was returning from lunch, I listened to Talk of the Nation where the guest was Simon Winchester, author of The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Besides being a very entertaining interview subject, Mr. Winchester had opened the floor to listeners to suggest new words that they thought should be in the dictionary.

Well, one guy called in with a word that both Neal Conan and Mr. Winchester agreed sounded very good and could be a real contender. So here I present to you, slightly paraphrased from my memory of the call (and apologies to the caller for forgetting his name):

convivant, noun, ("kän-vE-'vänt, "kOn-vE-'vän)
A committed, romantic partner with whom you share living space.

The caller was certain to leave gender out of the definition, and presented it in the context of needing a clear, convenient word to describe a person's parner(s) where "spouse" was not accurate.

Best part is, if it gets used in enough "real" (published and/or broadcast media or entertainment) arenas, it could actually make it into the OED.

(On the one-in-a-million chance that the caller happens across the entry [perhaps by Googling to see if anyone has used the word?] and wants to provide his name and/or clarification of the definition, I'll update this to reflect that.)

# amazon () [/thoughts/rships]

Midnight Movies Again (Raiders of the Lost Ark) 2003.10.04.10:24

Under the heading of "ages really, really well," we can file the film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. This was the current weeks' selection at the Midnight Movie series being co-sponsored around here by the Camera Cinemas chain and the local radio station "The Wave". (This was the same series at which I first went to see 28 Days Later back at the end of June.)

This movie has held up against the current generation of "action films" amazingly well. It's supposedly a recently "enhanced" print, in that they've worked on the overall visual quality and sound quality of the film, but not in the sense of Lucas' decision to add all sorts of weird extra stuff to the original Star Wars trilogy. Nothing was added or changed, just shown the way it originally was, 22 years ago. That's what blows my mind: this film is old enough to buy booze and have graduated from college. And it is still heads and shoulders above pretty much anything released in the last five years. I'm sorry... did I say five years? Let's say ten. In fact, let's say fourteen– since the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I may be exaggerating, and I'm no doubt biased by the fact that it's still rattling around in my skull. But being reminded of little things like the "Sieg Heil!" monkey, the bad-ass swordsman that Indy just up and shoots, and of course the whole amazing opening sequence in the Peruvian temple (featuring the first credited film appearance by a then-unknown Alfred Molina), I guess I'm given to enthusiasm.

Wow. Quite a treat.

(Anyone in the south bay area can see it midnight tonite [Saturday the 4th] at the Camera One theater in downtown San Jose. I can't recommend it enough.)

# [/entertainment/movies]

Wrapping Up September 2003.10.01.06:51

Counting this, I'd made 4 journal entries this month. Feh.

On the plus side, the big oppressive project at work went live today. No quirks or bugs upon launch. We've made a number of subtle interface improvments to the 1-800-FANDANGO voice application. Call it and try it out. Better yet, call it and order your next movie tickets through it. The skim off of the ticket sales are how we actually make money in the deal.

(The most notable interface change has to do with theaters that show one or more movies in digital project, Spanish subtitles, stuff like that. If you happen upon such a theater, you can now choose the special version if you are so inclined. I happen to be a sucker for digital projection. Most of the changes are behind-the-scenes, so that it works better and responds to the caller better. Hopefully it will just work for you and you won't notice.)

For the month ahead, I hope to get back to the building and painting, and maybe even squeeze in a little journalling.

# [/misc]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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