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Turn and Face the Strange...

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The Definite Article is going through some changes.

I’ve upgraded to Movable Type 4.25, which will be noticed by hardly anybody except me.

I’ve also changed the templates of the blog to the 4.25 templates. I’m slowly porting across the other bits and pieces that helped make the site more than just another dull white blog with a dull green stripe at the top. This will take a bit of time, since I can only work on it at night, but it’ll get there.

I’ve changed the comment process so that you can, if you wish, log in to leave comments. You don’t have to, it’s completely optional, but it is a positioning change for future integration with Google Friends and Facebook, amongst others. I’ve got just about every open authentication system I could find - except Facebook - and have gotten them working. If you want to log in using your Google or AIM or Yahoo! or OpenID credentials, you can.

Facebook is taking longer because, basically, the way they implement their API is harder and I’m not really a coder. I don’t know if my web server has the JSON::XS perl module I need and the way Facebook is now implementing the Connect API has changed substantially since the documentation was written way back in December of last year.

At any rate, I’ll keep hacking crudely away at the Facebook problem, and the banner along the top, and the ads, and the map and the blogroll…

Our way of life


I'm sitting in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport waiting for a delayed flight to Newark.

I miss my family. I've been apart from them for a total of forty minutes.

We met for the Baha'i holidays this year - Ayyam'i'ha, four days of celebration.

My wife arrived first, via Las Vegas, where she attended by step-brother-in-law's wedding. I would have loved to have gone. Ingrida's father was there and I like him. He's got a ready smile and is willing to work hard. But I'm looking for work and it was an imprudent time to take my eye off the ball so Ingrida passed through Mentor (and then came back) a few days before I arrived.

Mendon drove down from Chicago the next day, then Mara drove up with Liam, then Rachael and Eric drove out. On Friday, we drove down to pick up Mark from Columbus and drive back up. No Kristen, but everyone else made it.

No Maman. That was tough, but hardly unexpected. It didn't go totally unmentioned, but I never know what to say. It feels to me as though there are some feelings to which no words can do justice and the keen grief we feel at the loss of our mother is one. Mendon seems to do the best at wresting meaning from the inchoate spiritual maelstrom wrought by the void where my mother used to be; his words are comforting. And I'm proud to have a brother brave enough to attempt what I believe to be impossible. But I still think it's impossible to put my keening into words.

We baked bread every day. Liam woke at 7 every morning; Mara or Mark woke with him, then me, then Papa, then slowly the rest of the house. Breakfast - sausage, pancakes, eggs, cereal, orange juice and tea, pot after pot of tea.

It was wonderful. And the sadness of leaving is sticking in my throat. I love my family.

Blogs up.

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And the comments are fixed. The site even counts the number of comments correctly.

The backend is working smoothly and the interface looks clean.

I'll be dropping a selection of cascading style sheets into for folks who want to use them; take a trip over to MovableStyle and pick out one you want. Email me to let me know which one you want, and I'll apply it to your blog.

It's been an exhausting week, all of it from the blogs. God help the spammers should I ever meet one. I wouldn't be able to control myself. Really.

Pure evil: DMA I don't know how these guys sleep at night.

Anyway, I'm not sleeping at night either, because I'm here, making the blogs go.

Finally, a thanks to Mendon, Mara, Rachael and my parents, all of whom have blogs and who were patient and supportive the whole time, especially while I was grumbling and swearing and throwing things.

I also owe some thanks and apology to Roddy and Marc. Roddy moved out this past Thursday and is now in Rome, growing grapes in some kind of semi-retirement. Marc moved in on Thursday, two hours after Roddy moved out. Both of them had to put up with brooding, dark-eyed moodiness while the blogs were being rebuilt, in some cases from scratch.

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