It’s alive!

Like a bad penny that keeps turning up, or a movie monster that simply will not die, this blog rises from the grave (again). I’m not making any promises about new content, but at least I’ve managed to clear a few technical hurdles that prevented it from being online.

What does this mean to you? Not much, other than you should have noticed that (a) it’s online and (b) it’s a lot, lot faster (thanks to pfSense and Varnish).

Horton? Is that you?

My, oh my, where does the time go…?

Some thoughts in no particular order:

  1. It’s been a shade past 4 years since my last update here. Coming up in October is 10 years since I set this blog up.
  2. Yes, I’m still alive. Everyone is well, or at least well-ish. Nothing significant to report here.
  3. My wife is amazing. And beautiful. And amazing.
  4. I used to have a cat. He’s gone. I now have 2 cats. They’re funny. I’ll probably have another cat before long.
  5. There’s probably something wrong with me. I have been enamored by JavaScript. <commence hate mail… now>
  6. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram quite readily by simply using my name. Facebook is a little harder, but I hardly sign on there anyway.
  7. Finding a not-ugly, free WordPress theme is something that required a level of attention that my brain is apparently unable to accommodate. Punt.
  8. Wow, writing more than 140 characters at a time is exhausting.
  9. I wonder if Horton can hear me. I also wonder if anyone is still subscribed to this blog. Heh.

The Baltar Who Stole Christmas

From the Spooky Juxtaposition Department…

In Battlestar Galactica (1978), toward the end of The Living Legend, Part 1, Baltar gloats:

Yes… yes! Think of the impression upon the city of Gomorray when they learn that I, personally, led the final assault on Christmas! I mean, the humans!

Yes, okay, I embellished that a bit (though not much). Seriously, now; go check this out on Hulu while the episode is still available. The resemblance is uncanny, isn’t it? It’s like John Colicos studied the Grinch. Freaky.

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, without whom the lives of young children everywhere would be much more standard.

It Works for Bikesheds, Too

Normally I avoid “me too” posts. Sometimes, though, the ideas are so important to people and communities that I care about that I can’t let it pass by without mention.

If you know me, you are probably aware that I’ve been involved with relatively large open source development community for more than a decade. Unfortunately I’ve had to limit my more recent involvement for one fundamental reason: with somewhat regular predictability a small and fairly consistent group of people either incites or contributes greatly to a pointless, unproductive discussion. The concept of the bike shed is nothing particularly new; neither are the ways to deal with them, at least in concept. All we need is someone to adapt the general principle to our modern mode of distributed interaction – indeed, someone like Alex Payne:

Set emotion aside, and think how much we could accomplish if we had the humility and grace to learn from our peers.

… and so, without further adieu: Mending the Bitter Absence of Reasoned Technical Discussion

(Thanks to Faried for the link!)

There was still time.

He leaned back, took a long drag on his cigarette, then snuffed it under his heel on the stage. “If they only knew,” he thought. “If they only knew.” You see, what they didn’t know — couldn’t know — is that his once promising career as lounge singer was cut short. Tragically short. He sighed… best not to think about that right now. “So there’s this guy I know, a cabbie,” he continued.

The audience responded with a blank stare. In fact, it seemed as if the funnier his material was, the less they got it. It was funny material. It was good material. He’d saved it for just this kind of night.

When he finally stumbled off stage he knew he’d done this for the last time. “Scotch, neat. Better make it a double,” he told the bartender. The bartender mumbled something unintelligible. It might have been a question. “Yeah, whatever,” he responded. It was time for some serious thought.

What did he want to do when he was a grown up, he wondered? Who did he want to be? One would think that a 42 year old man would know this by now. And yet, he didn’t. Besides, if forty is the new thirty, then surely forty-two is the new thirty-three and one half. There was still time.

The pre-pre-meeting meeting

I hope this is just my imagination:

We need a pre-pre-meeting to discuss the scope of the discussion around the agenda for the meeting. For example: Will we allow discussion about topics that do not directly related to the discussion of the agenda, on the off chance that someone might have a great idea of what to put on the agenda for the meeting? Should we discuss the tools and processes used to build the agenda, or will it be acceptable to avoid that topic altogether by specifying which COTS tools we will use in conjunction with the corporate Policy on Discussions of Agendas for Directed Discussions? Also, will it be necessary to create a pre-meeting glossary of acronyms to distribute together with the agenda?

Then again, maybe it’s not. sigh

Two hundred posts: Exciting Site Upgrades

And for post number two hundred, something fitting for the occasion. Two delicious upgrades this evening for your viewing pleasure:

1) I’ve removed Zend Optimizer and installed eaccelerator on my server. The site seems to be a fair bit more responsive now. In case you’re interested, the main reason for this change was to cache the compiled code; there’s not much point optimizing the code if you throw away the results each time you do it.

2) The WPtouch plugin has been installed for access from the iPhone/iPod Touch. If you don’t have one of these two charming little gadgets you won’t see a change; sorry about that. It’s very pretty, though, trust me on this.

Now all I need is to generate some content. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Here’s to another two hundred posts!