Stylesheets and Rehearsals

Posted in Blogging, Music on November 29th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: There is little time to eat or sleep these days. I may be joining a rock band – yes, you read that correctly. I sat in on a couple of rehearsals with a local group known as Hardy Drew and The Nancy Boys this month, and there are two more rehearsals this week. The band has a gig at The Sidetrack on December 14, opening for two other bands. The music is different, written by David, the drummer, and features time signature changes such as 7/8 to 4/4 to 5/4, with one song featuring a 11/4 break (as best I can determine, if there is such a thing.) Is 51 too old to rock?

:: I’m continuing work on a new stylesheet for STLQ. The first draft, as it were, is near completion. The book chapter I’m writing on the literature of petroleum engineering and refining is also near completion, but continues to drag on. I’m desparate to finish it this week, as I am working until December 17, and won’t return until Jan 4th.

Update

Posted in Technology on November 25th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The problem detailed previously with Outlook 2003 not working on my home computer has been solved for now. In Norton Internet Security 2005, I turned off the AntiSpam function, and e-mail began to flow into my Outlook 2003 inbox.

I’m now working with a template designed by Neil Turner in the UK, with the goal of moving it to STLQ when it’s ready. You can see my progress with it at http://stlq.info/open, if yer bored…

:: I have a couple hundred e-mails to process (here and at work.) Please be patient with me. I’m also nearing the end of the book chapter I am writing. I estimate I’ve spent anywhere from 60-80 hours on it in the past four weeks. I underestimated how long it would take to finish it.

The Problems Continue

Posted in Technology on November 22nd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Perhaps the planets were out of alignment when I made a number of upgrades to my home computer recently, because I continue to encounter nothing but problems. To wit, I’ve loaded Office 2003, Moveable Type 3.121, Firefox 1.0, and Norton Internet Security 2005, within the last few weeks. I’ve detailed problems with Firefox already, and continue to delay facing the inevitable regarding getting new templates for my blogs, which needs to be done to make them work in Firefox, especially STLQ.

The non-stop aggravation is now with Outlook 2003 at home. It has now decided it doesn’t want to work anymore, and keeps giving me this error message:

Task ‘podbaydoor.com – Receiving’ reported error (0x8004210A) : ‘The operation timed out waiting for a response from the receiving (POP) server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).’

Yes, yes, I’ve searched the error on the ‘net, found pages at Norton and Microsoft that discuss it, and tried to replicate the suggested solution within Norton 2005 – makes no difference. And with the new version of MT, when I save an entry, it kicks me out, back to the login page – I log back in, and the post is there, saved. D’oh! Of course, this also means that if you are e-mailing me, I may not get it, and you may not get a reply, either, until this is fixed.

I’m plugging in the iron so that I can use it on the white flag I plan to raise soon. Why is it that when you upgrade to improve the functionality of your machine, it never seems to work right?

That sound you hear is me sucking my thumb in the fetal position on my bed. First, ice cream. Good night.

Lately

Posted in Blogging, Music on November 21st 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I continue to have problems with Firefox, and the time being taken trying to make it work is wearing me out. I downloaded FF 1.0 for the second time at home this weekend, making it my default browser. The problem begins when I login to MT 3.121 to manage my blogs. The login page is out of alignment – note the top bar on this picture – when I log in, and the page that opens up after I log in, listing my blogs, is skewed to the left. It gets only worse when I go to the create a new post page, also skewed left, and looking like absolute shyte. I ran AdAware again, made no difference, so FF is once again uninstalled on my site. *sigh* This is getting ridiculous. I want to embrace this new browser, which is getting rave reviews from Geoff, Kenton, and others, but I keep hitting brick walls. I think there are ghosts in my 2.5 year old Dell Dimension 4400. That, plus the machine is aging quickly. I am methodically removing music files from the 80g hard drive to free up space in hopes that it won’t be as sluggish. Most likely, I need a faster processor. 1.6 doesn’t cut it anymore.

:: I am way behind answering e-mails, with 200+ in my inboxes between work and home. I’m working on a book chapter, about the literature of petroleum engineering and refining, which is taking up most of my time these days. I will get to the e-mails soon. When I solve the Firefox problem, I also need to install new templates for STLQ, which doesn’t line up properly in Firefox.

:: After watching Modest Mouse on SNL on Dec 13, a band with whom I was unfamiliar, I purchased their two most recent albums, The Moon and Antarctica, and Good News For People Who Like Bad News. Modest Mouse makes interesting, eclectic music, not easily accessible, but so far, worth the listening effort.

U2 Rocks SNL

Posted in Music, Television on November 21st 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: What a difference two weeks make. Two weeks ago, Ashlee Simpson reduced the musical history of Saturday Night Live to one of its lowest points ever. Last week, Modest Mouse brought the level back up to where it belongs, enough to convince me to purchase their new and second newest albums. Tonight, U2 raised the bar much higher. I finished watching the east coast feed of SNL, the actual “live” broadcast, which I can watch at 9:30 pm here in Edmonton, because I have digital cable which carries the Detroit NBC affiliate. U2 opened with Vertigo, followed with a brilliant and moving ballad from the new album (don’t know the name yet), and closed the show by bringing the house down with “I Will Follow”. Rarely do bands perform three songs on SNL (I can think of Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and Paul Simon – there are probably a handful of others.)

I felt exhilarated watching them perform on the show. During the closing number, the entire cast of SNL was off to the right, watching, enthralled and entranced, smiling broadly, almost in disbelief that U2 was actually performing in their house. I taped the show, and rewound to watch them perform again afterwards. Three amazing performances, inspiring to watch and experience. A great band, about to hit the top again. Last Sunday, Jon Parales, writing in the NYTimes, suggested that How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is the best album of their 25-year career.

What dumbfounds me is that Lorne Michaels presents us with top notch bands like U2 and Modest Mouse, but counters with absolute assembly line shyte like Simpson. Perhaps U2’s performance will encourage him to book top-notch high quality bands that actually perform live, well crafted, original music on a live show, and that haul ass while doing it. HTDATB will hit #1 within days of its release on Tuesday. Its purchase will be an antidote if you will, to help me forget about the upcoming result of our forthcoming provincial coronation election on Monday.

Moveable Type 3.121

Posted in Blogging on November 15th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Yesterday I upgraded my Moveable Type installation from 2.661 to 3.121. Did it go smoothly? HA! And the Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs won the World Series this year, too! I do not have the template/CSS/coding savvy of Certain Other People I know and respect immensely, so I will ask you to bear with me for a while, please, until I determine how to deal with the new comment templates, which are sucking eggs right now. As well, STLQ looks like shyte in FireFox.

What I need to do is simplify things, and rebuild both sites (STLQ and PBD) with a new set of templates. For now, I’m going to bbq some salmon.

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