What kind of drugs would go with this light?

It’s the water

In my comments, Scott pointed out the same lava light that Allan also covered in his weblog — the giant lava light project in Soap Lake.

Seems the folks of Soap Lake, Washington have decided to build a 60 feet tall Lava Lamp.


This has enormous appeal for me, not just because of my own lava lamp collection, but also because Soap Lake is just a hop and slight skip from the town where I was born and raised. See, I’ve always told you all that lava lamps were a state of mind. It comes naturally to people of Eastern Washington. We are ahead of our time.

Of course, that release of radioactive gases into the atmosphere from Hanford nuclear plant in Eastern Washington might also have something to do with it.

Burningbird Technology Weblogging

Hosting stuff

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I had some serious Perl/CGI/MT problems earlier and couldn’t post, and you all couldn’t access the comments. Not overly thrilled with my host at this moment, to be honest. Especially when I see indications of a machine that’s overly burdened.

The problem with my host is the same problem with any host whose customers are using the identical functionality — everyone’s hitting the same types of system needs at the same time. Most of the folks here abouts are using Movable Type against MySql. That means Perl, CGI, MySql, and some PHP.

I used the ‘top’ command on my Linux server to see who was using the CPU for what. I saw one process that was using about 90% of the CPU running a Perl command, which most likely accounted for some of my problems.. When that one ended I saw a lot of mt-comment.cgi calls. What was funny is I saw some webloggers I know. For instance, I saw Moxie floating past.

It’s strange who you can run into deep in the innards of a machine.

Just Shelley

More than a little down

Recovered from the Wayback Machine. It’s funny, but everything worked out. Yes, I lost most of my stuff in storage when I finally had to just sell the contents. And that still causes me to wince a bit. Not as much as losing my beloved Zoe, years later. The California tax person I talked to said, just don’t worry about it. It’s only a problem if I move back to California. As for the IRS? I actually went on the offense with the IRS rep and _she_ backed off. So there you go. 

As you can tell from postings today, I am in a seriously down mood. This is one of those days when I should just step away from the keyboard and walk away slowly, but it’s also matched with this perverse idea of wanting to just talk about it.

I’m lost in this never-ending spiral of worry that’s confusing me and leaving me with little energy. I am on the verge of losing everything. Everything I own. And the worry was compounded yesterday when I got letters from both the IRS and the California State revenue boards (synchronous bad news — there was a little beauty to the serendipity of it). Letters state, bluntly, that I’m in a world of trouble because of taxes paid, unpaid, and filings not made on time when I closed down my corporation in California. I misunderstood what I needed to do, but that doesn’t quite hack it for the IRS. My problem, but I don’t know what to do about it, and it’s scary because I don’t have the money to pay the state, and I’m not sure what kind of fines I’m facing with the IRS but they’re bad.

No, I am not passing the hat. I’m just talking. That’s all. Talking.

And normally I would walk to help with the stress, but every time I try it hurts badly in my lower back and all I can do is drag one foot along behind me with every step. And I refuse to start drinking for the pain at 10 in the morning.

Again, I’m NOT passing the hat, and wouldn’t take financial help if you offered (Tax help I’d take. And a spare job if you have it. Back rub would be good.) But these are things in my life now that are heavily influencing my interactions with you all.

I’m also not asking for ‘pity’ because pity should be reserved for those who have no control over their lives, and screwed up as it is, my life is still mine. That’s really something very important when you consider the alternatives facing all of us these days. And I still have a brain, as well as a keyboard, and Internet connection with which to do serious harm with said brain. I can still see and its a lovely sunny day outside, and the trees are full of birds. I still have my soft furry friend, Zoe, who has sensed my stress the last few days and hasn’t left my side for a moment. (And I’m pretty sure the IRS won’t want Zoe.) And I’m listening, because I can, to a new Creed CD, a late Christmas present from my brother. Tonight I start reading, because I can, Austerliz by W.G. Sebald, an on-time Christmas present from a friend.

And I still have my looks. Hee.

Writing about these things, and sharing them, makes them seem just a tad less overwhelming, which is why sometimes we write about the bad times in our lives. Oddly enough, just writing this post has helped me because what started out in despair, ended with an odd sort of peace. It’s a bit sucky right now, but it could be worse.

Best of all, I actually found that in all that moroseness that my sense of humor is still here. I just need to find someone new to pick on. That will make me feel better.

(And BTW — thanks for listening.)


Vote elsewhere

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My life is going to hell and unless I can find an entertaining or profound way of talking about it, I can’t really weblog about it because we’re all nothing if not entertainment and profundity. That’s all this is — smoke and mirrors.

It’s about links and popularity and one upping each other, and posting and running around seeing who links to us and checking our ranks. How many of you check your popularity in the morning before you read your so-called ‘favorite’ weblogs? There’s no ethics or honor, friendship, pathos or beauty in the hypertext link; it just is. But we use it as a judgement of worth, and that’s the saddest thing I’ve seen since high school. And I quit high school.

Why does it frustrate me? I don’t know. Maybe because I thought this would all be different, only to find out it’s the ‘prom queen’ all over again.

There’s still a few, though, who don’t care about popularity and links and that’s why I hang around; because you write from the soul and could care less who links you. But on days like today, it’s just not enough.



Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Mark Pilgrim is a bit testy about the removal of certain elements within the XHTML 2.0 spec — specifically the *cite element. I checked around the forums associated with the XHTML working group’s effort. From what I can see, looks like the removal of cite may have been an accident.

Still, even if the removal was deliberate, if people aren’t happy about the XHTML specification and the direction it’s heading, why aren’t they talking at the W3C XHTML forum? The W3C isn’t going to go around our weblogs and look for our opinions. No offense but there’s probably 100,000 ‘regular web site’ pages for every weblogging page on the Net. Media darlings or not, we ain’t that big a thang …yet.

For instance, yesterday I found the following in the forum, which should warm Mark’s heart:


As it is in its 2002-12-11 WD, I think that XHTML 2.0 is far
away from both what the Web Authors are expecting and from what
could be done to “lead the Web to its full potential”.

The current WD makes some strategic choices (style attribute
for instance) that seem to me harmful.

I see no incentive for a Web Author to ever move to XHTML 2 from
a simple XMLized version of the actual transitional HTML4 (call
that as you wish). XHTML 2.0 does not contain ANY new key feature
and seem to get totally rid of all Authors’ requests between 1998
and today.

From my perspective, XHTML 2.0 as it is today is a failure and the
work of the HTML WG on this topic should be immediately and
totally reoriented.


Tantek Celik posted a link to Mark’s rant out at the XHTML forum and others who have responded have also agreed with my interpretation — it looks like the element was dropped by accident.

Regardless of ‘accident’ or not, the very fact that Tantek can post to this forum (which is monitored by the working group) demonstrates that there is communication paths to the W3C. Have a beef with XHTML 2.0? Then take it to the source, because there’s no guarantee that the W3C have even heard of Daypop much less read it with the breathless anticipation webloggers exhibit.

If you do choose to post out at the XHTML forum, a word to the wise: Just don’t have a hissy fit if you find that the people in the forum don’t agree with you, and have valid arguments to back their opinion.

*Personally, I’m more concerned about XHTML 2.0 dropping the style attribute than I am the cite element, though I understand the reasoning. And also note, the working group hasn’t dropped support for H1-H6 headers — they’re considering this based on issues raised.


search on ‘cite’ in the W3C-html (XHTML) forum.

Second Update:

We were correct — the cite element’s drop was an accident. A member of the W3C working group just posted to the forum that it will be put back in the next draft.

Third Update:

Fooflah. Mark has decided to continue with his snit about XHTML 2.0. I believe that his interpretation about the reason for the return of the CITE element is a bit self-centered — there was discussion about this before Mark’s post (as I pointed out in my post, linking to the relevant HTML forum news item), and general acknowledgement that this was most likely just a drafting error. And Let’s hope he doesn’t mind if we don’t choose to follow in his golden ‘well-linked’ footsteps about the direction we’ll take when it comes to technology implementation. I’m heading towards XHTML 1.0, not ‘back’ to HTML 4.0.