I am a Grammar God(dess)!

April 7th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (1 Comments)

I took an online quiz. And it told me the truth: I know my damn grammar.

Take the quiz here.

RSS Parser

April 7th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

I have nothing to show for my time, but I have learned something. Here is the arc of my surfing for the past two hours:

Today was the day I decided I wanted to understand feeds. You know how all those portals have fresh news all the time? Clearly there’s something going on behind the scenes, something groovy and automated, ’cause no one’s hand-coding all that shit.

And when I installed MT, I ended up with that funny link on my blog: “Syndicate this site.” What the hell does that do?

Hey… lots of sites have feeds like the one on my blog. Many of them have an “RSS” icon.

RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs.

In order to read RSS documents, you need a client (an aggregator) that runs on your desktop or in your browser.

Or you can display the stuff in a web page.

But how?

Hmm, if your page is PHP, you can run a little parser – like CaRP – to parse the XML RSS link and display it on your page.

But my blog isn’t PHP. Which means I need to learn some other way of parsing RSS feeds if I want to display news feeds on my blog… or (more importantly) on clients’ sites.

Ah, it’s late and I gotta hit the bank before it closes. Wish me luck in my knowledge hunt.



April 7th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Portfolio - (0 Comments)

Prairie Ag Coop is a granary in Mt. Union, IA. I had an incredibly fun time the day I went there to take digital pictures for their web site!

View a screenshot of this web site

This Is Just A Working Title

April 7th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Prairie Ag Coop is my latest website gig. It’s coming along; I’m starting to dig the way it’s looking. I went through four drafts before I came up with a look that didn’t suck.

I’ve been digging everywhere for weather feeds and finally found one that isn’t too ugly. Now I’m after DTN crop quote feeds, but I think they all cost lots baksheesh.

Now I’m thinking about moving my business info off of goblinbox completely. The idea of building a new site is terribly exciting; I might even use MT for the whole thing. Would that not be awesomely trick?!

Green Faeries

April 6th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (3 Comments)

I don’t know if you know my co-worker Buzz, but he’s somewhat evil.

Today he turned to me and said he was thinking about learning to make absinthe. (He’s already an accomplished brewmeister.) Naturally, I got right on the web and started looking around for info on absinthe.

…and now I’m seriously contemplating dropping about a hundred bucks to get a bottle of it and either a spoon or a sipping pipe – an article so cute and elegant how could you possibly not want one?

So, do yourself a favor and do not visit www.seborabsinth.com because you’ll just end up wasting time and money there.

Joy of Work

April 5th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (1 Comments)

The joys of having actual paying gigs to do at home are these:

I don’t feel guilty about not doing the chores.
I get just as many chores done as I do when I don’t have paying work to do.
I feel better about the whole thing because I’m making money.

I’m not sure how this works, but I can somehow manage to get the dishes done, wash a few loads of laundry, and pick up the trouble spots with ease while I’m working. But if I don’t have work to do, I get the same amount of housework done – no more – and I feel bad about the housework I didn’t do.

Working for a living

April 4th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (1 Comments)

I’m doing a website for Prairie Ag Coop. Next week, Davis & Palmer might hire me to build them one. And my step-dad forwarded me a lead from my mother, of all people, whom I shall call tomorrow. (“Hi, I realize I sound like a frog but I’m really your future webmaster. Please fill out the damn quote form at goblinbox.com/services already.”)

I’m doing two issues of the Enfield Bullet Owner’s newsletter back-to-back, and most of the articles are hand written (I kid you not: folks who ride vintage-style bikes don’t use computers nor digital cameras much) and I’ll have to type them in. And the most exciting part is that I have no idea who will be paying me for the work.

On top of all that, I just discovered No Media Kings and now think I should just get my shit together and write myself a book. I mean, how hard can it really be? No one reads as much as I do; it’s not like I don’t know an awful lot about character, story, pacing, tone and texture.

Maybe it’s just that the guy writes so well. He makes it sound so utterly fun to write a book and self-publish it. Or maybe it’s just that his index page is powered by Movable Type, and I’m in love with MT even though I haven’t mastered it quite yet and am still running a lame-ass template.

My problem with writing is the same I had with composing music: I enjoy reading (and music) a lot, but I never really have much to say. (If you doubt me, read my blog. Yawn.) Perhaps the truth is this: who cares if you have nothing to say. Add your voice to the noise anyway and some dumbass is bound to find you interesting in spite of yourself. (Also true in music: every time I’m a one-song ringer in someone else’s band I get accosted by bag boys for months afterwards.)

Quick, someone send me an outline. I could probably bang out a full-length novel in a few months… well, if I could summon up some discipline that is.


April 4th, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

Download the Underground ebook (mentioned in Rants books) in PPC format here.


April 2nd, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (1 Comments)

I got sick of not being able to connect to the Internet from home.

So I rearranged my office/meditation room in order to get my tower closer to the phone jack. I removed the long phone extension. I removed the splitter. I used a known working phone cord.

Damn – still no joy.

On a lark, I reinstalled my original modem – the one I replaced a few months ago because it wouldn’t work.

That sucked. While trying to put the modem driver CD in, my Polaroid BurnMAX48 decided to crash my entire operating system. (This is after I spent about six minutes trying to get the tray to open with various small sharp objects.)

After a reboot, the CD-ROM worked fine, the “Windows found new hardware” wizard worked fine, and the installation went well.

Then I selected the new (er, old) modem in DUN and dialled up.

…and I’m connected at 44-motherfucking-K for the first time in months. I’ve been connected now for a whopping 6 minutes with no errors. What the flying fuck was the point of THIS whole exercise?

I’m sick of this desktop, btw. I want another laptop. Having to rearrange an entire room just to test another jack is absurd. Anybody wanna trade me a used laptop for a very slightly used 264MB/40GB CD-R CD-RW desktop, complete with two NIC cards, two USB cards, and two modems?

Screw you guys, I'm going home

April 2nd, 2004 | Posted by administratrix in Blurbs - (0 Comments)

So I came in, got my sat card re-written, picked up my check, checked my email, blogged, caught up on Rants, had an impromptu meeting, and coughed a lot. Now I’m leaving. I think I’ll hit the bank, visit City Hall, pay my mortgage, and go home for a nap. NAP!