16 Dec 2013

Of Mice and Men, Circus Elephants, and Books

The intent was to finish my book on the Ringling Brothers animal welfare court cases by year end. After all, the cases have settled down into an analysis of legal fees, and long, silent periods reflecting discovery, with a trial date a year or two (or three) into the future. Publish now, incorporate an epilogue into the e-book when all is said and done, and I'll have managed to write about an ongoing legal case and still keep readers updated.

Then I found out Tom Rider died, and everything has changed.

"Bitch" in Cages at Burningbird

The "Ringling Brothers: Greatest Show in Court" book is on hold while fresh developments run their course and we learn whether the court cases will end sooner, rather than later. My bet is on sooner, but "sooner" is relative in court terms. My apologies to the few, but mighty, souls interested in buying the book before Christmas.

I decided while the Ringling court cases are brewing that it was time I started writing about them at Burningbird. There are some very important bits in these cases that could have major impact in the future, especially the RICO case. And court cases aren't just for the lawyers: much of what impacts on us today is happening in the courts, rather than Congress. Congress moves slower than a snail in fresh caramel, so the only option available, at times, is the court system. It behooves us to start paying attention.

In the meantime, during Christmas week, I'm updating my poorly outdated system, giving it fresh new coat of Linux, as well as setting up my Node.js environment in parallel with Apache. I looked at using Nginx as a front end to both in addition to being a static file server, but I'm thinking of going with a separate IP address, if I can convince my hosting company to part with one. (I'm sure that much begging and pleading will be required.)

I'm also, finally, starting in on the major edit of my "Learning Node" book. There's enough about Node.js 1.0 out to keep me busy, and the book errors, typos, and gotchas are bugging the crap out of me. I itch to fix them, my fingers are actually twitching to begin.

Remember, this isn't a new edition. If you already have a digital copy of "Learning Node", you'll get the updated copy for free. If you have a hard copy of the book, I think O'Reilly will give you a steep discount on the digital copy. Ask them nicely, tell them I sent you.

This is the first time I've made major edits to an existing edition of a book, rather than a new edition, using O'Reilly's new authoring tools. We'll see how it goes.

The "Learning Node" and Ringling Brothers books aren't the only ones figuring prominently in the near future: the plan is for me to do a second edition of one of my other books for O'Reilly. I'll say which one once the effort is finalized.

I missed writing about technology. Environmental and animal welfare research and writing can be emotionally difficult, even exhausting. Dealing with something tangible that I can control, such as upgrading Linux, or setting up Apache and Node to run in parallel, is refreshing. I frolic among the code.