Archives for December 2005

Back to Archives

A New Year, A New Job

Since I mentioned it over on blogdowntown I guess it's time to say here as well that on Tuesday I start a new job. Tuesday I start at Cartifact, a mapping company here in Downtown Los Angeles. My job description isn't entirely written yet, but in general I'll be responsible for helping the interactive maps move forward in a productive manner and working to systematize the backend process that generates the basic maps used in production. Oh yeah, and I'll also be working on making something a lot more friendly for a website than that flash movie that's up there now. — Continue Reading...

Wonderful Wonderful WIFI

I'm the kind of guy that needs to check email everyday, even if there's really nothing special I'm expecting. And yet it's been since Saturday evening since I've touched the Internet. Weird.

Now I'm sitting in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport enjoying free wireless access. It's the best kind too -- straight up DHCP and a masq'ed pipe to the net with no click-through screens or blocked ports (at least that I've seen). It did bounce an ssh connection of mine after only a little inactivity, but that's nothing I can blame it for. I almost wish my flight was even more delayed.

Almost. I want to get back home.

And we're back

Stupid spammers killed my server last night. They hit this blog with 10k+ spam comment attempts, successfully leaving several thousand (maybe 5k or so) before the machine simply gave in under the load and started killing random processes to try and free up some memory.

And yeah, there's a memory leak in eThreads. I've known about it. It's not big. But when you multiply it by 10,000 it's not tiny. I know, I can set apache to reap processes over a certain mem threshold, but obviously I didn't set that up.

I'll get them yet.

Two Nights of Music

I've been quite bad about going to see live music lately. I could make all sort of excuses about being busy and about evening classes, but really Kathy and I just haven't gotten out to see anyone play lately. This week, though, we went twice.

Justin Rosolino -- who I've mentioned before -- was in town, and Monday night he played a few songs during the Monday Songwriters Night at Room 5. The following night he had a much longer set with Christopher Williams at Genghis Cohen.

Though it was fun to get a chance to hang out with Justin a bit, the real stars of the Monday night were the four main acts: Jay Nash, Adrianne, Tyrone Wells and Mike Barnet. Amazing stuff.

I'm going to officially lazy-out from writing more to just say that all six acts were a lot of fun.

Random: Kathy and I were sitting there knowing we had seen Tyrone somewhere recently but with no clue where. Then finally it clicked for me that he had led worship at our church just a few weeks ago.

In There Somewhere

For something that I happen to be doing tonight, I needed to extract full-resolution pictures from Yahoo! Photos. They make that hard to do because I'm sure they're big fans of the revenue they get through their print services.

Turns out, though, that it's not impossible. They have a "Print at Home" feature, and if you load that little pop-up window and view source you'll find a couple image URLs embedded in the javascript. One of them, arrImgLandscape0 has the full-res URL you're looking for.

Please Microsoft, Kill IEs 5 and 6

If I wasn't sick all ready, trying to understand Internet Explorer's rendering would probably make me ill. Sometime after I launched the changed up sidebar styles on blogdowntown a few weeks ago I noticed that IE put a really ugly amount of padding between the list elements, against my express instructions not to. And today I notice that IE makes the archive page I was so proud of a couple days ago render like crap.

I hate IE. I found a solution to the first problem, though.

Update (6:05pm): Found a way around the second, as well as an annoying sidebar margin issue. — Continue Reading...

Those Crazy Bikers

Kathy got to do her first Midnight Ridazz last night. The theme for the ride was "Christmas in July in December", but neither of us dressed for the occasion. It was cold out and I've got a cold; some times common sense has to take priority. Other people were solidly decked out for the outing; I didn't take any pictures, but Will Campbell did. He also posted his ride account over on

My favorite point of the night: riding past a group of befuddled tourists in front of the El Capitan. I love the idea of them taking their photos back to someplace in the midwest and showing their friends "those crazy Californians" riding their bikes in Hollywood.

More Fun with CSS Tweaking

Whenever I roll a look onto a site, it typically takes a good week or so before it gets to the point where I'm happy with it. It may only take an hour to put a nice mast together and pick out a dominant color to scheme off of, but it seems like the CSS tweaking afterward can take forever.

This evening I re-jiggered the CSS for two more bits of the blog: the archives and the comments. — Continue Reading...

Putting a New Look on Things

I finished my finals tonight, so in celebration I thought I'd put a new look up here. Something about the old one was bugging me a bit. I think maybe the orange on the outside was oppressing my ability to read the content inside. Or something.

The flare effect probably comes off a bit cheesy, but I think I like it. I still want to do some work on the sidebars. I'm nowhere near 100% sold on the list styles for recent comments and the blogroll. But whatever, I figured I'd go ahead and rashly launch as normal.

For those of you following along at home, the last look lasted since June 25th.

5 Miles Around Downtown

I took a nice little bike ride this afternoon. It wasn't long, only a 5 mile loop around Downtown, but it was a good mid-afternoon workout. I wish you could see elevations via something like a Google Maps interface, but you can't so you'll have to imagine that there are a couple nice climbs in there. The first is going up Garland from 8th to 7th, and the second is the push up Lucas from 6th to 4th.

I also took a lot of pictures on the ride today, and put them online in this flickr set. Though the included shot would lead you to believe otherwise, it was still light outside.

Yesterday's blogdowntown

blogdowntown got mentioned in the LA Times yesterday. It also had its strongest day of the last few weeks, with visits up 1/3 and page views up even a bit more. Whereas a normal day lately has had about 50% new visitors, yesterday that was up to 66%. I have to figure those numbers are connected.

Referrer numbers don't give the whole jump, though they do seem close to the new visitor jump. and together drove about 13% of visits yesterday.

Interestingly, you can also see the correlation looking at page views by hostname. Normally 60 - 70% of pages are served through, with the rest going through (which I never use, so that's just people making the broken assumption that web site = www). The Times used the www host, and yesterday that was closer to 50% of pages.