Yesterday was Halloween, where in this part of the world, kids dress up in crazy costumes before their parents send them off to walk around in dark neighborhoods in search of strangers who will give them candy. Halloween is in my opinion the greatest upheaval of our society’s control by fear. I love it!
The past 4 years I’ve lived in the Bay Area, our houses have almost never gotten any trick-or-treaters. Our first house had one the first year, but none the subsequent 3, our second was previously a halfway house, so no one would go near it. Our new house, however, is this cozy place on a cul-de-sac, and many of our neighbors have kids. I was totally excited, and bought a truck load of candy in giant mix bags for the occasion.
The problem, however, with buying giant mix bags of candy is they have a few of the really awesome things, and a ton of Tootsie Rolls. Most would agree that Tootsie Rolls are pretty tasty, but when every place you stop hands them out in their mix, you end up with a pumpkin half full of the things. I have never once met someone that liked Tootsie Rolls that much.
Well, one of my room mates had the bright idea of picking out every single one of the tootsie rolls from our mixes and putting them in a separate bowl. When each kid showed up to demand candy, we would ask them “Do you like Tootsie Rolls?” The night was almost over before we finally had a zombie admit excitedly, “I LOVE Tootsie Rolls!” We dumped the entire bowl into his bag, filling it nearly to the top, to the cheers of his friends.
I don’t know exactly why, but living in a home where trick-or-treaters come in abundance makes me content. It makes my home feel more like a home.
I am very pleased to announce my first independently published project: The Anyfeed Slideshow. This one has been a long time in the making, which started from the desire to display images from an RSS feed on a blog at the office. The idea spawned, that no other plug-in had the capability of taking any RSS feed and extracting a slide show from it, so I went to work.
The plug-in has been tested on a few different systems, all with good results. After some consideration, I added a general public license to the code and looked into registering the plug-in with WordPress. Lo and behold, as of today, the plug-in is officially published on WordPress.org, and available for download from within supporting WordPress blogs.
I’ve already had my first bug found and fixed- It would seem that single image RSS feeds wouldn’t start playing. This has since been fixed and released! Another issue reported was the error “Cannot write RSS feed”, which means the script may not have permission to write to the temp folder. That might require a proxy script to pull the file live, instead of storing and caching it locally.
While I have not yet posted the remaining photos from the trip (why are the last ones always the most difficult to move off the camera?), I wanted to share a photo of the results of the hair cut I received while in Minnesota. He lopped off almost 4 inches! I feel so free!
In other exciting news, the office is presently undergoing renovations. The entire IT department is being more or less overlooked, but they’re going to re-paint and carpet our area, so it’s not all bad. The problem is, we have no storage room! So while the phone guys were re-wiring our server room, we had to remove all of our stuff from it. Guess who’s office became the new storage facility!
That’s my chair on the lower left there. It has been challenging, concentrating while the sounds of construction workers ripping up carpet and knocking down walls surround us, but we’re enduring! How nice that the Agents were relocated to another office during the construction. I work entirely from a laptop, and thanks to a now broken chair that we’re awaiting a replacement for, I have taken the liberty of relocating myself to the home office for half days.
Our department isn’t the only one being shuffled about: The Accounting department is having their carpet replaced and walls painted today and they have a great deal more heavy stuff to relocate then we do. Thankfully for them, they have a storage room which holds most of it.
I sometimes dream of working for a company that actually cares about it’s IT department. Ours is so frequently treated like nothing more than a debilitating disease which attacks profit. …and steals candy from little children. Oh, also a handy scapegoat.
Ever since the first release of Portal, I have been an ecstatic fangirl. I used to play tons of video games, but these days, I find too many other things that seem more interesting to do (like making websites, or entertaining guests and such. What happened to me? Anyway). Portal grabbed me and re-taught me what a spectacular gaming experience could be. After an experience like that, I started seeing other games- 2K’s Borderlands, I was floored by the story in Bioware’s Mass Effect 2, but for gameplay, nothing could possibly compete with the simple, brilliant, intuitive and challenging levels of Portal… Except maybe a sequel.
My dreams have come true. Not only is this sequel continuing an interesting storyline, bringing back old characters and concepts; it introduces a whole new world of possibilities for ways to enjoy the game.
First and foremost, it has a Co-op player mode.
There’s also a robust and story packed 1st person campaign that I can’t wait to explore:
Then there’s the host of all new interesting toys to add to their puzzles.
If you go to the jQuery site, here’s what it says at the top of the page:
…and if you go to MooTools, this is what you’ll find:
I think this really sums it up. If you ask me (and you’re reading this, so I’ll assume you just have), the question isn’t about which framework is better or worse. It’s which one of these things above do you want to do? These two frameworks just aren’t trying to do the same things. They overlap in the functionality they provide, but they are not trying to do the same things.
I tend to use jQuery because of it’s smaller footprint and wider capabilities, but in my experience, MooTools tends to be a bit more precise then jQuery, so it still has a place in my arsenal.
This trip has been lots of fun, but through the whole of it, It just feels like there hasn’t been enough time to spend with the people who were once my closest friends in my home town. A week and a half is a long time to vacation in such a small town as Mankato, and yet, we ended up so busy during the whole of it, there were people I still didn’t get a chance to see.
As usual the favorite spot to hang out in Mankato was the Wine Café- a building in Old Town which is exactly what it says on the tin- a cafe that’s similar to a bar and coffee shop at the same time. They specialize in wine, and serve the best Sangria I have ever tasted.
Next up was the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN. This is the only Ren fair I’d ever been to, and it’s totally awesome. I’d recommend this place to anyone! I bought a pair of really awesome fairie wings which I don’t have a photo of, my husband bought a great traveler’s hat, I got some new earrings which I’d fallen in love with, and we generally had a great time. Huzzah!
After visiting friends in Saint Cloud, MN, we traveled further east to have coffee with a close friend at a George Webb Restaurant in New Berlin, Wisconsin. This was the same restaurant that a close friend who recently passed away would have coffee. As I was unable to attend his funeral, I wanted to at least say my mental goodbyes in the place we’d spent the most time together.
We left the house at about 10:30pm Pacific time, heading up I-680 to meet I-80 towards Sacramento. I drove the first leg of the trip, letting my husband sleep to recharge in preparation for taking over when I could no longer lift a finger. This system worked out perfectly! I made it part way into Nevada, and let Brian take the wheel after a fuel stop shown to the right.
Nevada always takes a hundred million years to drive through, and I only managed to sleep for an hour, so I ended up driving for a while, then taking another 45 minute nap. I woke up to the most beautiful sunset I’d seen in quite a while- Brian pulled over so I could snap the photo below. I was very disappointed at the dead battery to my Digital Rebel- I wish I could have taken these with a better camera (but now I have something to look forward to with the return trip!)
I slept for quite some time, barely hanging onto consciousness for most of the night until morning broke. We had breakfast at Embers (there’s a name I’d almost forgotten!) Gassed up, and drove another few hours until this glorious sight was ours to behold:
We decided to push through to Mankato this morning. I am presently typing this from the Microtel Inn & Suites, which a friend recommended to me (Hi Bob!). Sleep will come shortly- but not until at least 8:00pm CST. Mankato at 4:00am is a very, very lonely place.
Today, my husband and I will be embarking on the first roadtrip we’ve taken in 4 years. The route will take us North East, to Minnesota, where we were both born and raised. During our trip, I will do my best to take photos and keep a triplog of all the interesting encounters and experiences we have, here.
I have added my location via Google Lattitude to the sidebar. My first destination is Mankato, MN- I hope to send an update before I get there.
OpenID has been a very popular way of allowing the internet to share it’s users with one another in a way that benefits everyone– without forcing the nuisance of creating yet another account to manage on the users. Some time ago, a gentleman by the name of Will Norris put together a plug-in called ‘wp-openid’ which not only provided your readers the option to log in using OpenID, but also included an OpenID Server- meaning you could use your blog’s URL to log into other places, too! How great is that?
All was well in the world until, to everyone’s displeasure, the plug-in’s server functions stopped working! Why was it broken? Well, it hasn’t been updated since November of 2009. What’s happened since then? Ubuntu 10.04 was released, and packaged with the new release of PHP (5.3, which had been released 10 months earlier). The OpenID server side module was full of “pass by reference” variables (&$var). This was depreciated in 5.3, causing a “call-time pass-by-reference” error every time you tried to make use of the server side of the plug-in.
How to Fix It
First, find the file. It should be located here: <Wordpress Root>/wp-content/plugins/openid/Auth/OpenID/Server.php
Once you have the file open in any editor, do a find and replace as follows: Find: &$
Replace with: $
Save the file and upload it back to your server (if necessary), replacing the original. You should now once more have a functional OpenID Server. Hooray!