Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

It's never exactly been one of my favorite days, but I find it rather amusing that the History Channel's newsletter lists three events in their "General Interest" category: The St. Valentine's Day massacre, Captain Cook gets killed in Hawaii, and penicillin is discovered. Interesting that on a day that celebrates a martyred Christian saint and, ironically, romantic love, two of the big three events involve people dying horrible deaths, and the other is the discovery of a drug that is often used to treat sexually transmitted diseases...

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thoughts about StumbleUpon's forums

Almost three years ago, I joined StumbleUpon. It took me about a year before I really started getting somewhat active on the forums on SU. I've never really been all that much of a forum poster, but I've enjoyed myself. I've enjoyed the slight sense of friendly anarchy that has pervaded a number of the forums.

One thing I never really understood though was why the developers of the system felt the need to limit any thread in those forums to 1000 posts before locking it automatically. As a database developer, I don't believe that there is any kind of performance reason to create a limit like that. And for space, it's useless to create that limit, because there's no limit on the number of threads that can be created in a forum. So, rather than have one thread with 10,000 entries, users simply create ten threads with 1000 each.

On a few of the forums, people have found some ways around this 1000 post limit, mostly by opening multiple tabs in Firefox which point to the end of the thread in question. This allows you to enter something in one tab, post it, close that tab, enter something else into the next tab, post it as a new forum entry, and so forth. There was no real checking to make sure the thread wasn't closed, so that trick allowed some threads to extend into the multiple thousands of entries on some forums. It was basically just a good-natured sort of challenge to see how far we could push that particular envelope. I've not noticed any particular performance problems or anything in any of those extended threads.

Now the developers have implemented a change on the forums which prevents any post beyond the 1001st. It just drops anything else quietly. Not a really huge deal, and I suppose it's their prerogative to set the rules and enforce them, but it really seems that they've been taking a fun place to play around and enjoy myself and turning it into somewhere that I'm no longer quite enjoying so much. Why do they think that a fun little site like that needs to be ruled in such a hardcore manner? And, more importantly, why do they have to spend the effort stopping something like that instead of trying to prevent the spamming and crap that goes on in the forums and in people's inboxes on a daily basis?

Oh, yeah, it's because eBay bought them, and eBay is all about trying to turn everything for a profit...

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bowling: Trying to do this once a month this year...

I’m kind of trying to get myself in the habit of going bowling once a month for 2008. So today was the first time, because the weekend I was going to go in January, I came down with strep. Anyway, for not having bowled in nearly a year, I don’t think I did too bad: 114, 146, and 156. Just about a 139 average, which is about where my average used to be…

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Friday, February 8, 2008


For some reason, most of this evening, I've had the beginning of the verse to Murray Head's "One Night in Bangkok" stuck in my head. Unfortunately, it keeps morphing into the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City."

"Bangkok, oriental city, back of my neck gettin' dirty and gritty..."


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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Miss Derringer at Johnny B's in Medford, Feb. 1

Last Thursday, I got a message from an unknown party on my MySpace page. That party turned out to be a band from southern California called Miss Derringer. They were going to be playing on Friday at Johnny B’s, which is one of my favorite clubs here in Medford. Since I had nothing better to do, I figured I’d head over and see how they were.

I left home after 9:30, when the show was supposed to start, but by the time I arrive a few minutes later, the opening band was still setting up. The openers were the house band, the Cheatin’ Hearts, who describe themselves on their webpage as “whiskey drinkin’ shoot someone in the face music.” That’s a pretty appropriate description. The band went into a number of boogie-oriented numbers with names like “Tonight I’m Gonna Get Drunk” and “That Woman’s Got Me Drinkin’.” The group is nothing fancy or anything, but it’s good, fun music by nice enough guys.

Miss Derringer describe themselves as “Indie/Country/Gothic” on their webpage. While the guys in the band definitely try to look the “Gothic” part, dressed in their black clothes and sparkly black eyeliner, the music itself reminded me more of what I think Blondie would have sounded like if Debbie Harry was in a fit of clinical depression. I’d describe them as more “Gothic/New Wave” than anything remotely related to country. Overall, the music was performed well and the sound was okay, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I wound up buying a copy of the demo CD by the Cheatin’ Hearts, but the people in Miss Derringer were too busy acting like rock stars with their groupies after their set for me to be able to ask if they had a disc for sale. I probably won’t be attending another of their shows, even if the opportunity arose…

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Weird little Firefox tip...

I was playing around on the web the other day, not surprisingly, and I figured out how to fix one of those little things that annoy me sometimes. I always have a bunch of tabs open in Firefox, and at some point or another they are inevitably not in the order I want them to be in. In the past, I've just dealt with it. Now I come to find out that if you click on the tab itself, you can use Ctrl+Home to move the tab to the first position in line, Ctrl+End to move it to the last position, or Ctrl + the left or right arrows to move it one position in the respective direction. That makes it very much handier for me when I'm switching back and forth between two tabs, but they didn't start out being adjacent.

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