Going Home to Labor

For what it’s worth, I’m heading to Texarkana for the Labor Day weekend. 3-ish days of living la vida familia. I plan to do a lot of distracted hanging out while a TV is on, do a bunch of drowsy driving around town feeling bummed because everything has changed so much and nothing has changed and I’ve changed and my friends haven’t changed and so on. Also on the agenda is sitting at IHOP for burnt coffee and journal time. Hard couch.

Actually, I’d like to spend actual time with the family, like at my sister’s house with her kids, and my mother, and some pick-a-nick happenings. Maybe I’ll cook something. Dunno.

What I do know is that I have a few days to get ready for the trip. Car’s up and running, got new tires, alignment, got the SRS light issue figured out. Picked up some new music for the road. Got the laptop jukebox problem hammered out. Looks like I’m all set. Hopefully the drive will be smooth and problem-free. That’s the worst part about visiting because I spend 12 hours round-trip behind the wheel. Driving used to be fun, now it’s just a transport that can’t legally go fast enough.

Red Whine

So, remember last week when I was waxing intoxicated about being happy? Well, that one drink of wine was enough to disturb the oh-so-delicate balance of bacteria in my mouth and throat, and suddenly I got sick. I should know better than to drink so little. Why drink once when I could drink twice? That’ll kill everything! Spent the rest of the weekend feeling rather ill, some kind of respiratory virus, doc says. Sadly, it ruined my weekend plans.

Finally on the mend, I was ready to attack life again and jump back into my work and projects…and then 5 A.M. this morning happened. Woke up feeling a gut cramp, and then a gurgle, and then OMG. Let’s just say that I was a blackwater generator today. Called in sick, and my coworker was like, “Yeah, you just hang back and take care of that…we’ll be fine today.” So I feel like hell right now. Trying to eat something, but my stomach is still revolting against the idea. I need water, carbs, electrolytes. If only I could hold it down.

I’m a lot better after the 4 hour nap this afternoon, but the dehydration headache sucks. Feels like a hangover, which kinda is what hangover is…dehydration. I think I’ve lost four pounds of water over the past day. Nice. So today is chillout day at the homestead.

Ah, thunderstorms moving in. That rumbling is a humbling sound.

District 9

If you have not seen District 9, you have done yourself a disservice. To give you an idea of why you should see it, watch this trailer. Failing that, you should know it was produced by Peter Jackson whose WETA effects studio was at the beck and call of new director Neill Blomkamp. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, where an alien ship appeared in the sky 20 years ago. Inside the ship were malnourished alien refugees. They are taken down from the floating ship and given temporary housing in a refugee camp outside Johannesburg, but remain there, within its fortified walls, 20 years later. The city’s residents grew impatient with their presence and hired the MNU corporation to “evict” them to a new camp farther away from the city.

Shot in documentary style. Effects that work. Good writing. Everyone is dirty; with ringing echoes of apartheid, there are no clear protagonists. And that’s the most difficult part of the movie, taking it well beyond what you’d expect in your usual summer blockbuster. It actually has thoughts. I’m as surprised by this movie as you are, or will be. Hadn’t heard of it until friday when I read a review, and then later overheard someone who’d seen it rave about it. So I had to see for myself. Hopefully, there’s a cinema near you that’s playing it; damn shame it didn’t get full release.

A Phaysis of Rebirth

So. Welcome to the new Phaysis-point-oh. My nine years with Prohosting have drawn to a close, and with the change in webhost comes a change in journaling engines. After 9 years of trying, and failing, and trying, and failing, and trying again (and then failing), I have given up on building my own engine and have finally decided to take the path of least resistance. Phaysis.com is now powered by WordPress. Resistance is futile.

During the site’s downtime (you did notice it was down, didn’t you?), I took the opportunity to convert all my old journal entries from the original engine (and a long-lived hack) called “Sojournal” (clever, ain’t it?), into a format suitable for importing into WordPress. Took a week of work to build the conversion script. So after installing WordPress on my new webhost, doing some basic configuration, and selecting the temporary design theme, I imported all of my old entries.

Now everything I’ve written over the 6 years I used Sojournal are instantly accessible by tag, category, archive, permalinks, and by the nifty search box to the upper right. Amazing how handy that stuff is, considering that for years the only way to read specific entries in Sojournal was to step through the pages sequentially…aaaaall the way back to the start. I know a few of you who did that, and I apologize for never fixing that design oversite for so long.

In the future, I plan to post an import conversion how-to with code and samples. Because I’m pretty damn proud that I was able to identify the need, start the project, plan the solution, and implement the code necessary to finally, for once in my unproductive hobbyist career, finish the damned project. (I have to celebrate my victories, no matter how insignificant they are.)

The upside to using WordPress is that it’s one of the most widely-used blogging engines around, so there’s a ton of support, themes, plugins, widgets, debugging, etc. So the heavy lifting has been done for me already. And that’s intensely liberating, because after years of groveling at the text editor with no less than five journal-engine abortions — “Glyph”, “Raganotes”, “Craftix”, “Ph::Thing”, and most recently “Munde” (the names are more clever than the code) — I can move on with my life and get to posting. Which is why I started this site 9 years ago (I promise you).

The downside? Spambots. Common attack vectors. Well-published vulnerabilities. A treadmill of upgrades to fix problems. Actually, the upgrades are fine, since the pen-testing is done by the developer community instead of me. And the final downside: homogeny…that’s a tough one to overcome. Everyone has a blog; what makes mine so special?

This is my blog.
There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My blog is my best friend. It is my life.
I must author it as I must author my life.
My blog without me is useless. Without my blog, I am useless.
I must write my blog true.
I must shoot the shit straighter than my blogroll who is trying to ping me.
I must bullshit him before he tracks back. I will….
My blog and myself know that what counts in the blogosphere is not the flames we fire,
the noise of our posts, nor the threads we make.
We know it is the blog hits that count. We will hit….
My blog is human, even as I, because it is about my life.
Thus, I will learn it as an author.
I will learn its permalinks, its categories, its tags, its comments,
its pages, and its blogroll.
I will ever use it against the ravages of annoyances and indifference.
I will keep my blog clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other. We will….
Before RSS I swear this feed.
My blog and myself are the defenders of my personality.
We are the writers of our emotions.
We are the presenters of my life.
So be it, until there are no more emos. PEACE.