January 2004 Archives

January 28, 2004

Oh, Wait, Yes I Do

That's right, I am indeed returning to the world of higher education. As of Spring Quarter '04 I will be attending Brooklyn College in limited capacity (2 night classes to start), eventually to enroll in their Master's program for Computer Science. I have to finish up a BA in Broadcasting from U Minnesota as well. I am starting off with a couple gimme classes just to get back into the swing of things; Advanced C Programming and Introduction to Assembly Language. Sound easy enough, right? Well I didn't want to start with Calc I (again!), let's put it that way! Yerg, homework. Wish me luck.

The Grafficker Novel

the watchmen.jpg Reading Alan Moore's Watchmen currently, am pretty entertained by what is essentially a super-hero "soap opera," at least thus far. Hmm, maybe that's not fair. There is after all a fair amount of typically brooding apocalyptic banter, typical for "grown-up" comics that is. In fact the writing is quite good, for a comic book. If you ignore the "all text" interludes, that is, where there are no pictures to distract you from the fact this is not exactly Hemingway or Salinger you are reading. I also like the shifting between stories within a single page, keeps things entertaining. And the premise of washed up superheroes is well executed and interesting. Unfortunately the art is, I'm sorry; muy terrible, senor, as in muy muy uninspired. Yes, yes, I understand, this is how comics are supposed to look; six evenly spaced frames to a page, focus on the action, occasional closeup, lah-di-dah. Look to The Dark Knight Returns for great visuals, not here. About 1/4 done, not really fair to sum The Watchmen up just yet... Is it obvious by this point I have nothing to update my blog with so am simply rambling?

Fascinating Names for Cats IV

Marc Andreessen Bruce (boy cat) Bruce (girl cat) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Grape Nut Nut Peanut Poop Peanutpoop Cheese Cheese-n-Cracker Elephant Butt Krusty's Lament Terrible Speller Louse Puffed-out Mad-tail Forgottofeedya Yasatonmyface Anxiety Attack Last Year's Model Tramp (not a lady!) Kissinger EMO AOL I and I Fatbutt I and I Eatsalot

January 23, 2004

To Eat off the Floor

My experience with the housecleaning service today was a little plus, a little minus, I am still trying to piece everything together into a coherent picture. On the high side of the see-saw, my apartment is cleaner than the mirrors on the Hubble telescope. I am eating leftover sesame noodles off the toilet seat and dribbling Pepsi One down the shower curtain into my mouth tonight just for the sheer thrill of it. On the bottom end, I am looking at paying double for the cleaning because the cleaning lady "could not find" the cash in the envelope in my mailbox. Yes, yes, my mailbox is outside and I should not have put an unmarked envelope with cash in it in the first place, but I am allowed to be upset anyway. Also weighing in, I am still evaluating whether the fresh stain on my bedsheets is actually cat pee, presumably brought about by the place smelling so "ammonia-y" that my cat could not resist contributing a little essence-de-chat... I say I am still evaluating, but actually it is more "still maintaining disbelief" at this point. I know cat pee when I see it. Wow, but just look at this place; it is a museum piece, the poster child for cleanliness. But is it worth double? But how delighted am I to see my countertops for the first time in weeks? Still evaluating...

Perl Poo

My favorite from the Perl haikus going up on Slashdot today; "Wrote a script in May The damn program broke today Can't grok my own code" Happens to me all the time. "What the hell was I thinking, here!? Maybe if I just change this one line it won't break everything!?"

January 19, 2004

Bye-Bye Luckys ... ?

I think the laundromat lady shrunk my favorite pair of jeans today. They are sitting folded in a neat little heap on my bed, I haven't tried them on yet. All the dryers were full earlier this afternoon, so the laundry lady said "It's okay, Sam, I'll put your clothes in the next free dryer, just come back after 4pm!" It did not dawn on me my Luckys were in there. On a brigther note, it is already obvious during this debacle my least favorite sweater was shrunk to the size of a furry, misshapen peanut. Thank you, I do not have to decide ever again whether I really want to wear it because it is the only clean thing in my closet. Luckys? Yoo-hoo, are you all right? I have already washed you multiple times in cold water and left you to dry from a hanger-- maybe during this time you became immune to dryer shinkage? Maybe?

January 15, 2004

Pool Shots

Sam racking Rad, Jake has posted some pics on his site of me playing pool at Fat Cat billiards. We had fun shooting the breeze and some balls the other night. I am pretty pleased with my form from the photos, but I do need to learn to "choke up" on the bat- er, cue with my bridge closer to the ball about 4 or 5 inches. I needn't remind you I have played amateur league pool for about 2 and a half years, now.

January 12, 2004

Apologies to Mr. Tesh

No wonder I have been getting so many hits lately; it has been at least a month since I posted any experimental musical interludes. Throw Out Minor That's better.

January 11, 2004

Home Improvement

Ikea has all sorts of neat stuff, I had to restrain myself mightily during a recent trip to the New Jersey branch with the girlfriend. Office space; Before After Only 79 bucks for the whole desk! Woo-hoo!

January 9, 2004

Google Love!

Turned the Perl script into a Movable Type plugin and rechristened it "Google Love"! Download it here; MT_Google_Love.zip Added a few options, namely; --Option to display Google rank. You must have a Google API key for this to work (easy to get one). The server will actually perform a "reverse Google lookup" on all incoming Google referrals in order to retrieve the rank of your blog for those search terms. Pretty sweet. --A "Limit" parameter to show greater / fewer than the default number of results. --Delete option for maintenance. --Option to specify any MySQL compliant date format for the dates. --Slightly better formatted code... I am still learning Perl... What a cool language...

January 5, 2004

Blog Irritation?

Wow, I am beginning to see why Google was considering removing blogs from their search results; someone just queried "knee jerk reaction" and ended up here (noticed in part thanks to Perl Experiment 1 below). How much do I doubt they were looking for my anti-Libertarian rant, and rather pursuing some sort of medical information? Oh well, blogs are annoying, but for now; bring on the hits, baby!

January 4, 2004

Perl Experiment 1

samology on google.JPGCool, I finally got my "Google referrals" idea working-- as evidenced in the righthand sidebar under "RECENT GOOGLE LOVE." Basically, if you arrive at Samology via a Google search, I am adding your query to a database and linking it back here for all to see. The search terms listed are clickable, too- go ahead and try it, it is fun! It is my first Perl script, here have a look! Short but sweet. I also got a nice introduction to MySQL, DBI, CGI, Server Side Includes and CGI environment variables while I was at it! (UPDATE: Link goes to current version of script with various additions/cleaning up...) At present, various loopholes exist- paving the way for hackers to really screw everything up, but oh well. Things to work on (***begin extreme geekiness***); --A Google-referred client that "reloads" the page adds a duplicate data record (various ways to fix that). --Google referrals to my old ".html" archives fail to show up (my host provider requires a .shtml extension to trigger the Server Side Includes). It would be nice if changing the .html files to symbolic links to the new files would circumvent this problem, but guess what? It doesn't. Hopefully the new .shtml pages will eventually replace the old ones in the Google database. UPDATE: Done! Thanks, Joe! --Add results from other search engines (MSN, Yahoo, etc.). UPDATE: Done! --Translate the ASCII escape character stuff to something more legible. UPDATE: Done! --Append the "result rank" in parentheses (this will be fun). --Develop graphical interface to resultset table for easier management. Whee! By the way, I accept steak dinners or cash as payment for consulting work, your choice... UPDATE: Boy, lots more stuff to do. I.e.; --Investigate AOL "encrypted" queries to see if they are easily decrypted to display properly --Get rid of recursive behavior (i.e., clicking on a Netscape result generates a duplicate record for that result because Netscape by default loads loads search results in a frame). Should be fun... --Disallow multiple record additions from a single client in any short period of time (5 minutes?). Anti-hacking stuff...