Happy New Blog

I’ve threatened it a couple of times before, well now I’ve gone and done it. I’ve merged my three separate blogs into one. No more PLOG, all my photos will get published here. No more Brian’s Daily Rant, I will be bitching here. No more Miata Diaries, car stuff goes here too. I will leave the old ones up for reference purposes. I would probably have imported them into here, but Pivot doesn’t have a way to export entries in a manner that MT would understand, so there they stay.

Pardon the dust as there are still a few things left on the punch list.

What’s Past Is Past?

As I said before there is no easy way to export the entries from Pivot so that MT can digest them. I may try and do it manually. I think that I may lose the comments though, not that there were hundreds of insightful bon mats to save…

I have about 1050 entries in each of the Rant and the Diaries. Couple that with the 500 or so entries in PLOG and we are up to 2500 entries. PLOG will be easy as it was (is) done in MT, so it is a simple matter of exporting and then importing them back in here. You’ll know I have succeeded when the archive list grows and the post count per category climbs.

Grave Digging

OK, I have been mucking about with the templates of the old Daily Rant in hopes of getting some sort of output that can then be imported into Movable Type. If you go over and take a look at December’s archive page you will see what it looks like. There is still a lot of cleaning up to do. Of course all the links to posts inside the Rant are worthless, but the outside links survive. The Pop-ups are toast too. I managed a way to salvage the comments, but someone pointed out there were a few bon mots in there. It is still going to take some time in a word processor to clean up the file before it is ready to be imported.

That amount of time will tell if this project is worth it. If it takes 20 minutes to do one file I then have to multiply it by 12 months then times 3 for years and finally again by 2 for the two blogs.

55 Minutes

Well the first one took me 55 minutes, but that included setting up a test weblog in MT and a couple of aborted imports because I had a few glitches in the file setup. They should go smoother from now on.

Blog Archeology

As you can see I have managed to import the previous 6 months worth of the Rant and the Diaries. Things have sped up considerably since yesterday. I had all 36 months worth of the rant archives to go through and even using the replace function in MS Word it was taking way too long. Until I downloaded a freeware program called BK ReplaceEm. This puppy is more powerful than I can ever figure out, but the beauty is that it will do several replacements over a group of files in one click. It took a while to set up, but once I got it going it corrected 95% of everything that needed to be fixed. The rest was done by hand in Word. When it came to the Diaries I set up the archive files as year, so I only have 3 big files to fix. I’m still importing them in 3 month groups just in case something goes hinky it will be a manageable fix.

I may have to work a little more on the template here before I import more. The category archives come out with out the space between posts. In the date based ones, only the first post on the page is inside a box, the rest just run across the background.

And at point am I going to exceed the limit of posts in my database? I was getting all kinds of db crashes a year ago which is what prompted a change to Pivot. I was blaming that on the fact that I didn’t have access to a MySQL db at the Barndoor Fan Club web hoster, on mr-miata I do. Is 2500 going to be too much? I guess we’ll see.

This *Is* Bad

Only about 6 miles from where we live an early morning train accident has killed eight people (so far)and sickened hundreds. (Story)

Did You Have A Nice Flight?

On the afternoon of September 30th, Pamela Genson flew from Washington/Dulles to Denver on United Flight 963. She sat in seat 36H.

How do I know this? Not because Pamela sat next to me or anything, but because she was using her boarding pass stub as a bookmark in Beyond Recall by Stephen Kyle and I am now reading that book. My mother-in-law picked it up in a used bookstore here in Aiken, SC.

I’m not sure what year Pamela flew, but if it was last year she only paid $129 for a round trip ticket between those two cities…


Stubbed my toe on the leg of the futon yesterday. Really hard. It hurt like the dickens, but settled into a dull ache by the end of the day. When I took off my sock to shower the middle toe on my right foot was an ugly shade of purple black. I took an Aleve and went to bed.

Today at work the plant nurse confirmed my uneducated diagnosis, broken. She was nice enough to tape the ugly toe to the nice pink one next door, all the while explaining how if I wanted I could go to the doctor and they would give me a wooden shoe. Not like the little Dutch boy shoe, but a contraption with a very stiff sole and some sort attachment that would prevent me from putting any pressure on the toe. Or I could just live with the tape job and be careful. I’m going with the tape.

I could have saved her the trouble if I had only found this site on the web last night: FIXING A BROKEN TOE WITH DUCT TAPE AND BUNGEE CORDS

Started down, went up, went back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 10

Casablanca (2005)

Ever since I saw Casablanca on TMC last Sunday I have been thinking about how I would cast a remake. As breaktime fodder, a co-worker and I have been working the names of who we would see in the roles, here are our picks:

Role Actor 1942 Actor
Rick Blaine Hugh Jackman Humphrey Bogart
Ilsa Lund Laszlo Catherine Zeta-Jones Ingrid Bergman
Victor Laszlo James Caviezel Paul Henreid
Capt. Louis Renault Jude Law Claude Rains
Maj. Heinrich Strasser Neal McDonough Conrad Veidt
Signor Ferrari John Goodman Sydney Greenstreet
Guillermo Ugarte Colin Farrell Peter Lorre
Sam Laurance Fishborne Dooley Wilson
Carl David Keith S.Z. Sakall

We are thinking of forming a casting company, now we just need a snazzy name...

Getting There

Last night I imported all the entries from the other three retired blogs. Don’t know whether or not I want to just leave the old ones up in archive form or just kill them and leave behind a custom 404 page…

I finally got around to doing the search template today, so when searching it looks like you are at a site that cares about cohesive style. I’m still tweaking the look of everything to get it just so, most might not notice because everything is basically functional. The archive navigation needs work, both date and category-wise.

The Wizard of OZ (2005)

Not wanting to rest on our laurels after our smashing success of casting a current remake of Casablanca, we plunged right into another classic movie that we would have remade today, The Wizard of OZ.

Role Actor 1939 Actor
Dorothy Gale Lindsay Lohan Judy Garland
The Wizard of Oz Robin Williams Frank Morgan
The Scarecrow Jim Carey Ray Bolger
The Cowardly Lion Brad Garrett Bert Lahr
The Tin Man Don Cheadle Jack Haley
The Good Witch Charlize Theron Billie Burke
The Wicked Witch Sarah Jessica Parker Margaret Hamilton
Uncle Henry Robert Redford Charley Grapewin
Auntie Em Susan Sarandon Clara Blandick
Mayor of Munchkin City Danny Devito Charles Becker

What Post Office Galleries?

Tomorrow’s Thursday Challenge theme is SHADOW. I procrastinated until today to do my picture and wouldn’t you know it, it was a cloudy day — no shadows. I tried a couple of indoor still life things, but the sucked. I looked through my existing pictures and found one to use though. It is from a series of Post Office pictures I took last year, I’ve got a whole gallery full of PO pictures, but wait, where is the link? It was on PLOG and somehow in the move it got lost in the shuffle. Well I fixed it tonight, so if you haven’t seen them before, take a look. Just click on the little linkie thingie to the right: me>Galleries>Post Offices.

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 15


The furthest I have ventured out today is 3 steps out of the garage. I helped Donna bring in her early morning purchases from Publix. That means, you guessed it, the Miata hasn’t moved.

I watched a little football today and NFL coverage sure has changed. They have these overhead cameras that give some interesting angles on the play. Heck the last time I was watching any football with regularity, the Reverse Angle (Hey! Why don’t we put a camera on the other side of the field!) shot was a big deal. And maybe because of the overhead shots and digital cameras the game looked about like a EA Sport’s Madden Football 2005 video game. The Bud Light commercial with the monkey in the zoo was clever, but my favorite was for Bud Heavy, where the ref is taking all sorts of abuse on the sidelines and they cut away to his training regimen, his wife nagging him at 110db at home. Robert DeNiro did an Amex commercial, I guess next will be some 7 minute internet spots like Seinfeld did, “DeNiro and Green Lantern.”

Real Rhapsody has a few things figured out. I can’t just rip music from the sound card. I tried piping the output back into the input but into the line in jack makes a horrible feedback and the microphone is too sensitive so you get a lot of distortion. Even if any one of these schemes worked I would have had to manually separate the songs and then add the title & artist to the file name/tag, what a pain. So for now I’m just listening to a few old albums that I used to have on vinyl that I never replaced as CDs and a couple of what they call radio stations. The Celtic, Ska and Reggae channels are pretty good. Not enough to pay $10 a month for though.

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 15

The Iceman Cometh Part Deaux

As I blog I am waiting for the power to flicker and die. In a strange twist of fate, almost exactly a year later we are having another ice storm. At least for this one, it was not led up to by several days of below freezing temperatures, and we have so far been saved by temps today at 33 or 34. This afternoon before we made a Home Depot run I had to knock off about 1/4 of ice from the awning covering the MSV. The roads were still all wet, but if there were overpasses around I bet they would have been frozen.

Tonight it will get below freezing, it will just depend on how much more rain we get whether or not there is any more ice build up. Sometime tomorrow it will get above freezing again and stay there (just barely) until Monday night. Maybe last year’s storm has helped us as well. In 2004 the amount of downed trees and tree limbs was astronomical, that natural pruning has perhaps prevented a lot of downed power lines this year.

Started up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 17