I’m a huge fan of conversation.

That’s a large part of the reason I’m on Twitter. Until recently, my blog’s been a very poor reflection of that. Sure, it has comments, and they’re on–posts are commentable for up to 90 days, but unless a habbit was made to check back on a particular post, it’s a little difficult to see when someone decides to reply to you. Particularly since most folks still haven’t quite gotten the hang of RSS feeds–there’s one for comments as well, in case those that do are interested. So, I’ve finally gotten around to fixing that minor malfunction. Now, if someone, including me, replies to a comment you leave on the blog, you’ll get an email with your original comment and the reply. Coming whenever I can find time to do it, receiving entries by email. Because I’m also a fan of lazy. Quite possibly also why I’m on Twitter.

The new blog on the corner.

I’ve been trying to convince Jessica to get back into the whole blogging thing for, well, ever. I’ve even gone so far as to threaten her in various ways using various methods. She just wouldn’t budge. Until now. After offering to host her very own non-LJ blog, it running on the same software that powers this one, she’s decided to toss herself back into writing mode. And now, after much consideration given to where she wishes to call her new online home, I give you the nuthouse. It’s still largely under construction, and I’ll be helping her for a while get things to be exactly the way she wants them, but for the moment, it’s operational and mostly fully functioning. Drop in and give her a read at some point–and please do be kind.

Also, for those of you who have her LJ on your friends lists, I’ve set her up to crosspost to LJ in a way similar to what I’m doing, so you’re still able to follow her with a minimal amount of actual effort on your part. Hey, I’m lazy too. I know how it goes. And it goes kinda like this. So enjoy. Maybe wave hello. And don’t forget to leave your valuables here when you leave.

The blog now has a new face.

After just over a month, I’ve hit the redesign button. Switched out the old theme, and giving this one a try. Not sure how much different it’ll actually be, but this is it for now. If it turns out the theme absolutely sucks beyond any and all belief, I still have the old one. Mostly though, I’m just using it as an excuse to change styles the lazy way. Oh yeah, and this one does threaded comments. Can’t argue with that.

Mike makes the news for simply doing what he loves.

I’ve been following Toronto Mike since probably early-ish in 2007, when I randomly stumbled on one of his many articles relating to our mutually admired and at the same time hated hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. I was cruising Technoradi–yes, that was back when it was actually good–and his just happened to be one of the blogs I read a bit of. I loved the fact he had absolutely no problem with making his opinion known in no uncertain terms, and most of his readers respected that whether they agreed with it or not.

A short 2 or 3 years later, and Mike’s gone from your average local everyday blogger to a Toronto and area sellebrity. Why? Because he tends to be a lot more straightforward, and a lot more involved, with certain aspects of the news–often times before the more mainstream sources of the news even give a story half a paragraph on page 25 of the paper. Folks see him as a semi-official news source. A journalist without the restrictions of CBC, CTV etc. It’s easy to see how he sees himself. It’s the same as he saw himself 3 years ago, and the same as I see him now–just a Toronto area blogger with a passion for things that generate a lot of interest. Like the craptasticness of our hockey team, or what’s going on with his two favourite local radio personalities post-firing from what, I can only assume, is still his favourite radio station.

Mike, whether your perception of what you do changes or not, I hope you and your writing style never do. If there were more blogs, and bloggers, like yours, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them all. Keep it up. You, sir, deserve your sellebrity.

So this is what happens when I’m bored.

I know this isn’t a techy type blog, but well, I’m a techy type geek, and it’s my blog. I’ll get back to writings of a more personal nature just as soon as I have something to write about. In the meantime, have a read. You might yet find something relatively interesting.

I challenged myself yesterday to find something that would equal or better the stats package I’ve been running locally since the opening of the blog. And, in fact, challenged myself to even give Google Analytics a try for the sole purpose of letting it take its best shot at proving it can do a better job of it. In so doing, I fear I may have come across something of an accidental discovery. I’ve been suspecting my current stats package of missing things every so often, but wasn’t entirely sure exactly how accurate my suspicion was. So I installed another plugin to run a comparison. Already, just in a brief test run of the two side-by-side–really, I don’t do that very often, but I was curious–the newly installed one’s picked up on things the current doesn’t. For the curious, the plugin that’s currently being challenged is StatPress Reloaded. The challenger is the more recently updated and, at least on initial outlook anyway, more flexible Wassup plugin. So far, on initial testing, the latter seems to come out slightly more on top. Not sure yet how well it’ll work with a fully implemented WP Supercache, but that’ll be my next step after putting it through its paces like this. In the meantime, I shall now sit back, and watch the thing periodically refresh, thus giving me a few more stats to enjoy. While StatPress likely misses a few.

Taking the analysis challenge.

Since I started this blog, I’ve been running a local tracking tool for the purposes of generating stats of mostly general interest to me–how people got here, what people read when they got here, did they come back, where did they go when they left, all that interesting to me but completely useless to anyone else stuff. It’s also how I generated yesterday’s breakdown of what got the most attention in November. And, while it does give me a lot of information, I can’t help but wonder if I’m still missing a thing of interest or two.

So, I’m finally deciding to take advice long ago given to me by Mike among others, and installing Google Analytics to go along with it. I very very briefly played around with it some time ago, but never actually ended up really getting anywhere with it beyond mildly confused, but that’s mostly due to the fact I haven’t had the time to mess with it in detail. Since I do, and since I’m curious what these two packages combined will do to possibly complement each other, I figured what the hell. Worst case, I decide to pick one and ditch the other. Best case, I keep both. In any event, the comparison over time should be mildly distracting. I’ll be quite interested to see which one misses more and by how much. As for right now, though, I’m almost missing a hockey game.

Still in the website revival process, apparently.

When I opened up this site again for actual regular use for reasons beyond just collecting dust and as a place to test whatever cool new toy I happen to be considering implementing, I noticed that even though I hadn’t actually *used* the site for its originally intended purposes in about 2 and a half years, people and things were still being referred to files and other such niftyness that no longer existed here. For example, entries that I’d written during the early days of the original blog. I saw the occasional referrer pointing someone to a file I’d uploaded 3 years ago, and later moved to the old blog’s new, retirement location. That got me thinking, just how long do search engines actually keep this stuff around? If you look hard enough, could you potentially find something resembling a website still in the search results that hadn’t been updated since the early part of the decade? Even if that website doesn’t exist? Of course, if search engines wanted to, they need only crawl the Wayback machine–it’s full of sites that existed 10 years ago and don’t now. You perform the right search, you could pull up a very different Yahoo! homepage than what you’d see were you to go there now. Here’s the way the blog looked close to its retirement date. This is the most recent update where content actually existed pre-wordpress. Just… ignore the frame with the 404 error showing itself off there. I was including something in a frame that I’m no longer running here, mostly just as an excuse to play with stuff. My, how times change.

When your network takes a crap, and takes your email with it.

At some point during the night last night, and rather inconveniently after Jessica and I had run off to bed and so I couldn’t immediately determine that it was a network issue, this blog, a rarely updated–and, in fact, rather neglected for a couple weeks–political blog, and our email among other things, decided to take a rather gigantic crap on our front lawn. The first ever self-hosted version of the blog–link’s over there in the right sidebar–was started on this network, hosted by DreamHost, in January of 2006. Since then, I’ve always had something going over here. If not a blog, then some little utility or web app I was playing around with just because I can. Or a forum I was testing for one of the RP projects I’m either involved in or dedicating resources to. So I’ve been with them a while.

In that time, I think I’ve only ever really personally encountered… maybe 4 major, “OMG I can’t access a thing” type failures. It may, in fact, even be less than 4. So when I woke up to a screen full of “can’t connect” messages (thanks, Outlook), I was more than a little bit surprised–albeit temporarily. And, admittedly, more than a little bit frustrated–emails I should have received overnight hadn’t actually hit my mailbox yet. Once I managed to get my end of the cleanup out of the way, though, I started looking into something I hadn’t really looked at since, well, the last time DreamHost’s network went and crapped out.

I’ve been eyeing on and off, usually while the blog etc is offline, the idea of moving most if not all of my various outlets fully away from a managed environment. I’ve been running the DH VPS for a few months now, plus I’ve been running two of my own, unmanaged VPS’s for a couple years. Mostly, it’s been a sort of learning environment for me–see how many different ways I can break the system, then reinstall it, and start all over again. And yet, every time something like this happens, I always toss around the idea for a few days of actually expanding my knowledge overall of the Linux environment, and at the same time put into development my own email, and possibly web, solution–one independant from any particular web host. But I never actually get around to doing that.

I’ve done much of the actual research already–the most likely candidate for when I actually decide to take that leap will probably end up being one that centers around Postfix and MySQL, now I just need to find the energy, motivation, and maybe get frustrated enough with my current setup that I finally just say screw it and go with it. It’s probably gonna suck, but at least then I’ll be able to actually figure out for myself what’s up and died on me. Meanwhile, hey, DH, can we get a more stable network please? I really don’t like being forced into considering enduring the necessary brain damage to actually set something like that up. At least not at such a young age.

On my fascination with lists.

I have no idea why, but sometimes, just for random amusement or because I’m way too lazy to do much of anything else, the best way I find to get my point(s) across on here is in list format. I actually started it while I was still using LJ–and, in fact, probably picked it up from Michelle–as a way of writing things down that I either don’t want to, or don’t plan to right now, go into further detail on. Probably also explains why I’m starting to get back into Twitter at about the same time I considered getting back into blogging. I’m probably just as likely to release a brief blurb about something as I am to go into elaborate detail about it, so they kind of fit rather well together, I think. What I’m likely to go into list format about–in list format:

  • Random, possibly unrelated points with little to no explanation behind them
  • Thoughts of the day, as they happen and as I remember to write them
  • To do lists–I occasionally make those
  • Recaps of possibly related posts, where appropriate
  • Ideas for a project that I haven’t fully fleshed out yet
  • Entries not unlike this one

Of course, there’s just a lot of things that make it to Twitter that don’t really need any further explanation–or, for that matter, belong on a blog. Or if they do, they belong there after events have happened that actually give them context. That’s also why my Twitter feed’s in the sidebar, and why you can follow it here. I may also make 2 or 3 obscure mentions of something, either on Twitter or on the blog, that don’t get expanded upon for a couple days. That’s generally what happens when I get particularly lazy. And, possibly, it may be a semi-good reason to not be so quick to switch to bullet points/list format/whatever you want to call it. But, it’s worked for me. If it ever stops working for me, then I’ll think about changing my ways. If it doesn’t take too much effort–see the lazyness claim above.

Reviving an old blog, and reincarnating an older one.

After a little over 4 months not maintaining a personal blog, I decided to get back into it again. And, while Live Journal served its purposes when I eventually moved away from Movable Type, I kind of liked being able to actually know what’s happening insofar as the blog was concerned. I could have–okay, so some folks will probably insist should have–gone back to MT, but I’ve also become quite fascinated with WordPress of late. Specificly, the amount of flexibility it gives you–and that without needing to know all that much about PHP. Which, well, is great, considering the only thing to this point I’ve managed to do in that language with any degree of success is break it.

The down side is, of course, I’ve yet to actually find a program I like that will allow me to update this blog without needing to have a browser open. But, hell. This loads easier and faster than the old site anyway. And because it’s self-contained, I’m not quite as dependant on other people’s ability to figure out what went splork.

All this to say I’m trying to start up with the regular blogging again. If it’s random, amusing, or just plain makes me wonder what in the 7 levels of hell someone’s thinking, or even if it just involves me–some folks seem to be under the misguided impression I lead an interesting life, it’ll go here. It’ll also go on my LJ, though that’s mostly for the folks who still have me on their friends lists and don’t know about the change yet. And for my next trick, an entry that actually relates to what I’m up to. Hint: it involves another move.

I fail at peer pressure.

And am thussly now on Twitter. Anyone who wants my username, tap me on the shoulder. Or something. Anyone not on Twitter, it’ll be cross-posted to LJ. Assuming I actually use the thing. And with me, registered does not always equate to using.

Okay I’ve given in.

It took some eventual encouraging, but I’ve decided to give good old LJ another shot. With… my typical, rather unusual but charmingly so twist. Eventually, hopefully by this time tomorrow night… the website address that used to belong to my old blog will find itself redirecting to this one. Since there’s a shitload of randomness on that there other blog, I’ve stuck it over here so that I might at some point refer back to it when I decide to get on one of my, uh, moron of the year award rants. And they will happen. But for now, oh, for now… I find things to do that don’t involve messing with websites. At least until the next interesting news article comes up.