Filed under: animals, biking — jlm @ 10:19

So, there’s been this spider hanging around lately. On Thursday, it made a web across the pathway leading to the storage room. The building is to the south, so the path is usually shadowed, making the web nigh invisible. I stopped just before it when I saw this spider levitating at forehead height. I found the anchor lines of the web and cut a couple, sending the spider and web into the bushes, and went on to fetch my bike.

Next day, the spider had reconstructed its web, but this time I walked right through it. As I was brushing the silk off of me, I caught the spider’s dragline and pulled it from where it’d been hiding by the tree onto my head. Some more brushing, and I got it onto the ground and it crawled away, and I got my bike.

On Saturday, it’d made its web in front of my door. This didn’t last long, and soon it was crawling away along the wall. Yesterday it’d gotten into the storage room, and was using my bike as a web anchor. It must be getting pretty tired of me destroying its webs. Let’s see what it spins today…


How to get excommunicated

Filed under: biking, misc — jlm @ 18:18

A friend of mine’s girlfriend recently decided to take Eleftherios’ advice and get her name off the roles of the Catholic Church, which she hadn’t considered herself a part of in a long time. She was raised Catholic, and this was mostly a cathartic action — while most people leaving the church can just quietly stop going to services, for some people this stuff can really get to them and need purging.

She showed me the letter she wrote detailing her dispute with the ways of the church. It was well-written, harsh, and from the heart. A few of her points:

  • The church resists truth-seeking, preferring dogma.
  • It’s supported oppressive regimes, so long as their policies were favorable to the church.
  • It’s sexist.

The first point is ubiquitous across religions. Disbelief is as much about faith as belief is — it is critical inquiry, skepticism, which is its true opposite. I think it was pretty brave of her to send her censure to the church.

In other news, I took the short ride to Venice again today. Less people around than yesterday, as it was overcast. Still some people trying to surf. I got going pretty well on the bike path and was feeling good, until I hit a tight outside turn and almost slid out. After that I rode much easier. On the way back I heard a biker was telling his partner “watch out for the sand” and felt better about it, that curve must have a rep.

On the omphaloskepsis front, I’ve been messing around with the blog’s “theme” (skin/chrome) to bring it in line with my preferences. Kudos to wordpress for making this nice with their CSS. Though they used pixel measures way too much, optimizing to a certain browser size. I’ve stomped the worst of these out.


In the beginning…

Filed under: web — jlm @ 05:52

So, how did this come about? Well, a Google recruiter found my online resume, thought “hey interesting”, then while checking on me found out that I’d already been working here for a year and a half. Thus I figured it was time to update my web page again. And hey, why not try this blogging thing?

So, after some minor trials and tribulations, I have WordPress set up. Some notes:

  • PHP and MySQL don’t get along well. Some key info is at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/old-client.html
  • PHP abandons the concept of “users” with different privileges, so there’s no security between one part of “the PHP system” and another part. I don’t like this when one of those parts has a MySQL password in it. So I’m going to work on wrapping this PHP in a CGI.
  • I’m going to have to make my own theme, or else this blog will be quickly abandoned on aesthetic grounds.

Hello world!

Filed under: web — jlm @ 05:17

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