Photography Stuff

Being home and Open Aire conference

I returned from San Francisco, with its comfortable weather and lovely fog, to St. Louis where the weather is hitting record highs. I believe it was mid-90’s today and 50% humidity. The breeze kept the humidity down or it would really be unbearable.

Walking this morning, I discovered a wonderful tree along the way with these feathery pink flowers. I pulled over directly on the road and whipped out the camera grabbing a shot. Not the best of shots, but it at least shows the flowers.

It doesn’t matter what time of year – every time I go to Powder, I discover a new plant, bird, or flower. Every time.


Home. Pink froths of flowers and fireflies and secret glens behind thick ropes of vines, surround ponds with turtles that follow you about, swimming beneath water lilies that flower once per year. I’ve lived in so many places and so many states and cities, but I don’t think I’ve come to care for any as much as this hot and humid and politically conservative but magical place.


During the drive home I thought about the Mississippi Bourbon and Blues Social I joked about a while back – a sort of counter-conference. A conference in the rough, with regular folks like you and me who have shared much with each other.

Having a get-together as a reaction to Dave’s elitist Harvard conference isn’t a good idea. Having a get-together as a reaction to any conference isn’t a good idea. These are important to folks, and I wish them nothing but joy with them.

(Joy with shoes on that is. Best wishes to Halley and I hope that your foot heals quickly. Way to go Liz – hero of the night.)

But the get-together in Missouri – that is a good idea.

No conference rooms, though. No weblogs, no TiBooks flashing their little white apple, no cellphones and iPods, no sponsors, and most likely no belly dancing. Above all, no buzz, no politically correct shmoozing for the cameras. Just a group of people who want to get together, walk about and explore, sit down to good dinners with great music, and chat with each other while they do it. Directly with each other rather than sitting side by side, reading what each other is writing in their weblogs.

I’m thinking of putting together a 4-day weekend of indoor/outdoor activities, either the last weekend of September or the first weekend of October and inviting folks to join me if they’re interested. I figured on cave exploration, picnics at Tower Grove, hiking, walks, bike rides, river boat rides, Missouri Blues and good down home southern cooking. And a drop of bourbon for those who imbibe.

All against the backdrop of Missouri as the summer greens give way to the brilliant colors of the Fall. An Open Aire Conference, if you will.


The good thing about a “conference” of this nature is that it doesn’t matter how many or how few people show up, because you can always have a great time.

Stay tuned as I think on this more.

Update Thought more, and it’s not going to happen.


Poor baby

I didn’t just work on the computer today. As part of my new “I have a life campaign” I got up this morning and went for a light walk at Powder Valley before the sweltering heat of the day hit. I then came home and tackled all the boxes I brought back from storage. Since most of them had books, and since my bookshelves are upstairs, I’m getting a good work out.

I’ve had help, though the poor baby tired out before the job was finished.



Typepad beta weblogs

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I’ve noticed some Typepad beta weblogs here and about.

Linotype is one weblog that looks like it tried to find my FOAF.rdf file, if I read the sidebar comments correctly. I didn’t know that Typepad was incorporating automated support for FOAF files. Additionally from this weblog, you can check out a Photo blog created with Typepad’s automated photo weblogging features.

Danny Ayers is also testing the Typepad waters with a site devoted to the Echo Project. Interesting concept of highlighting the important N/Echo discussions and changes, as weeded out from what are primarily fussy edits.

(Danny also commented on the disappearance of John Robb’s weblog – exactly who pulled the weblog pages?)

I’m rather hoping that some of the Typepad features get included into Movable Type. In fact, my biggest concern is, if Six Apart is focusing on Typepad now, how much effort will the company be putting into Movable Type in the future? Typepad is more than just a new weblogging tool – it’s also hosted support. Will there be a commercial version of Movable Type that has the Typepad features, but without the hosting?

I may have missed this discussion somewhere – but I’m still curious.

This leads me to N/Echo. We need the tool interoperability, including export/import and the open API, of N/Echo more than ever now. Many of the weblogging tools are undergoing management changes, which eventually may have webloggers wanting to move from one tool to another. Some webloggers will always want to stay in a hosted environment – it is pretty simple and carefree. But others are going to want to move on, and this includes users of Typepad, Manila/Radio, Blogger, Live Journal, JournURL, Bloghorn, and eventually AOL. We as users must insist on, nay demand interoperability, or risk getting locked into one specific tool.

Saying this isn’t picking on the tool makers, and isn’t being disloyal. I see that missing weblog of John Robb’s and I’m disturbed at how easy it is for months of writing to just disappear. Sure John may have been the one to delete the weblog entries – but when you don’t control your pages….pffft!

You don’t need technical know-how to know that this is Not a Good Thing, no matter how much you like the tools…or the tool builders.

Technology Web

Even servers take vacations

I was able to add SMTP authentication to my installed mail system, which means people will have to log in to send email as well as receive it. This should thwart the misbegotten sons of diseased camels that are spammers.

I found that the Wayward Weblogger co-op isn’t the only server that had some technical difficulties yesterday. When I went to visit Dare Obasanjo’s weblog, I found this wonderful system message:

K5 is on vacation for the day

Yesterday those of you who were around might recall seeing the site down or really slow for a good chunk of the day. There were some database problems, then a really bizarre thing with the Scoop servers which was solved by rebooting them, but after the reboot one came back up without sshd running so I can’t get in to configure it, and then some kind person decided to DoS us mildly. Oh, and I upgraded the database somewhere in there too.

So we’re on one Scoop server at the moment, and the database really needs to be archived more. I wrote a script to do archiving a lot faster, but it needs to run for a while, and it’s 4AM here and what with everything else I think I’m just calling today a maintenance day so I can go to bed.

It’s summer, and I’m sure many of you have things you’ve been meaning to get to. So now’s the time. Enjoy your K5 vacation day, and we’ll see you bright and early on Wednesday.


This is about the best description of a server problem – no holding back the details – followed by the best philosophy to take in these situations:

Here’s the problem. Here’s what we’re doing. In the meantime – I have a life, you have a life, these things happen, and don’t you have something fun to do, instead?

This just became the official policy at the Wayward Weblogger co-op.