Thursday, July 28, 2005
I'm supposed to be smart
Yesterday, I faxed some stuff to the bank.

Today, I called them, as I hadn't gotten any response from them, so I didn't know if they got my fax. They said they hadn't received anything from me.

I re-faxed the items this afternoon. They called back, asking why I hadn't faxed anything yet.

Third try: I realized I had been putting the paper in upside down and faxing blank sheets of paper.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
I got this e-mail recently:

UW Madison


The following item(s) are overdue. Please return or renew the item(s) immediately.

Title: James Dean died here : the locations of America's pop culture landmarks / Chris Epting.
Title: Me talk pretty one day [sound recording] / David Sedaris.
Title: Time out San Francisco guide.
Title: Eats, shoots and leaves [sound recording] : cutting a dash -- the radio series that inspired the hit book / Lynne Truss.

They're in my apartment, 2200 miles away. We'll see if I can renew them over and over until I make it back to Wisconsin. Otherwise, I'll ship them. Media mail is actually pretty cheap.
Well that was easy...
Getting my "Reading, listening, or watching" section up on Blogger ended up being surprisingly easy.

PHP seems to be back up on the UPL server, but my old blog still doesn't work, as the permissions on the database tables weren't preserved in the upgrade. I still have SSH access to the UPL and would fix them myself, but they seem not to have user authentication up for aftermath, where the database lives, so I can't go fix it myself.

The media section on the old blog would just pull the newest five items from a table with two columns: ASIN and a date. The ASIN can then be used to make two URLs: one for the image of the item and one for the link. Amazon, kindly, has them all standardized.

But since it's such a simple table, I don't really need a database to do it. So I just made a file named data that has an ASIN on each row. Another file named amazon.php reads data into an array (with file) and generates some JavaScript to write HTML to display an image and a link. My blogger profile now has a script tag that references amazon.php and runs it right after the section title.

Really, it's not that hard at all. It probably took me more time to describe it than to do it. I still have an aversion to doing anything that requires JavaScript to work properly, but now that I work at Google, I need to just get over it.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Back to Blogger
Between the fact that I'm no longer at UW-Madison, the fact that the UPL is down (and with it my blog), and the fact that I just started working for the company that owns Blogger (you smart ones in the crowd might be able to figure that one out), I'm moving back to Blogger.

I kind of hate to. The UPL site was homebrew and allowed me full control over everything. A couple of PHP scripts handled pulling from and adding to a PostgreSQL server that the UPL ran. It allowed me to add features whenever I wanted to. I especially liked the Amazon item icons.

I can replicate them here, but I'd have to rely on some Javascript include junk to get it on here, which just makes it more of a headache. It'll go on an ever-growing to-do list.

Anyway, now that I'm not hosted by the University, there are no political content restrictions anymore.

So I believe I'll be so brash and rebellious as to say this:

I find that, at times, I find it necessary to respectfully disagree with certain policies of the President of the United States.

phew... nice to get that off my chest.

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