buzzword compliance, General Chaos

The pains of a breakup

So, I cut my last ties with Toadnet
yesterday, removing my last domains from hosting there.  So far,
it hasn't been pretty; they deleted my email accounts there while DNS
was still mapped to them, so most of my inbound e-mail is
bouncing.  The DNS change seems to have only partially rolled out
so far, so I'm still in the dead zone; I'm sure everybody on the
mailing lists I was subbed to are just loving me right now.  I had
been hoping to keep things set up there until the transition was
complete–I had paid them for service through September 22, after
all–but now I've just shut the whole shebang down completely.




On the bright side, my spam has decreased drastically.



Meanwhile, I've had to do some cleaning up of the website heirarchy on my remaining web host,  Powweb.  
Since  I now essentially have  five domains pointed at the
same server, I had to reproduce the PHP magic I'd used on Toadnet to
host multiple domains with their own directory structures.  That
meant moving the
buzzword-compliant
weblog to a new directory and recoding the root home page; I preserved
a copy of the archived pages of the weblog in their original place in
the heirarchy so that permalinks would still work (as if anybody's
actually permalinked to that content); I'll probably deprecate that
configuration in a month or two when I decide I need the disk space for
something else.

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General Chaos

Old School

I dropped my two sons off this morning for their second day of school. They go to a Catholic school, which is sometimes disorienting to me (the son of secular humanist public school educators). But given the state of Baltimore City primary and middle school education, it's less disorienting than the alternative might be. In fact, given that almost all of the teachers are certified laypeople (and not nuns), and the facilities are on par or above what kids at some county schools have, it's almost the only way in Baltimore to give my kids anything on par to what my public school education was like on Long Island. That is, except for the religious ed–but as a nominal Catholic, I'm fine with that as long as I get to deprogram them at the end of the day.

In any case, there I was, standing among other parents. watching my kids meet with schoolmates and line up to go into classes. And then, the principal came out with the flag.

After 9/11/01, the school started having all the students say the Pledge of Allegiance together out on the blacktop where they formed up before going to classes instead of reading it over the intercom. And, before marching into school, the principal led them in singing “God Bless America.”

After what seemed like a short summer (and having only hung around long enough in the morning a few times during last year to witness the ritual), seeing rows of uniformed schoolkids singing “God Bless America” facing the flag came as a surprise, somehow. It was even a little unsettling, for some reason.

When I got home, my wife reminded me that they had been doing it for the past two years. Then I remembered her mentioning it the first time, and how poignant it was to her when she witnessed it for the first time.

“I still think it's a little poignant,” she said. “Don't you?”

And that remains the question of the day: is it a sign of my cynicism that I'm uneasy about ceremonial acts of patriotism by schoolchildren in formation? Or is it simply the change in the political context that surrounds this simple, and now routine, activity? What's setting off the alarm bells for me?

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buzzword compliance, Family, General Chaos, Headline Haiku

The last straw

Over the weekend, my disk quota on my hosting and mail account with Toadnet mysteriously exceeded its ceiling. And rather than just shutting down uploads to the site, the host overwrote any files that were already on the site that had been changed with blank pages. In other words, my weblogs on that host were essentially wiped from existence.

For this, and dial-up access from the road, I've been paying $50 a month.

So, the time has come to completely pull the plug. I just redirected my domains to a new domain name server at my bargain-basement hosting service, where my disk quota is larger by more than a factor of 10 and my hosting bill is $8 a month. I will no longer suffer in the name of supporting locals. As soon as the DNS refreshes, my move of all my weblogs (except for the one hosted by Userland) will be complete.

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General Chaos

Bocce-Gate

Baltimore's Little Italy is still getting over the bad taste left in many people's mouths over the treatment of two bocce players who were initially excluded from the annual St. Gabriel Festival tournamentbecause one uses a wheelchair and the other was born with a form of dwarfism.

This is no Casey Martin case. Bocce is, well, more sedentary a sport than most–even moreso than cart-powered golf or beer frame bowling. It's the lawn-bowling equivalent of darts. But the organizers of the event, tournament Chairman Dino Basso and Joseph Scalia, (president of the Little Italy Bocce Rollers Association) decided to send back the registration check of the would-be contestants (who had just won a handicapped players' tournament).

From the Sun article, linked above:

But the good will evaporated after tournament organizers told Lerche and Stringer they could not play, and sent back their $125 entry fee. While television cameras rolled Tuesday night, one organizer pointed a finger at Stringer and told him he was “never going to play with the normal people.”

…Now, tournament Chairman Dino Basso and his friend Joseph Scalia, president of the Little Italy Bocce Rollers Association, have told Stringer and Lerche that they can play tomorrow. But the welcome is hardly warm.

“They can't compete with us. They shouldn't play with us,” said Basso, 65, a retired contractor from Arbutus. “I just think they're trying to make a statement. But this is America. They can do whatever they want, and they get a little more leeway than other people.”

Whoah.

So, by the way, Lerche and Stringer won in their first round of the tournament. They lost in the next two rounds of double-elimination.

The contreversy has people screaming down in Little Italy. The bocce tournament politburo has rolled over other toes in the past. The amount of bad blood over a sport I played at neighborhood picnics on Long Island as a kid totally baffles me–and that the city, which owns the bocce court used for the tournament, would tolerate this sort of nonsense in an election year is equally baffling. But then again, I'm an Irish/Scot/German transplant, not a native born Baltimoron, so what do I know?

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gallagheria

The last straw

Over the weekend, my disk quota on my hosting and mail account with Toadnet mysteriously exceeded its ceiling. And rather than just shutting down uploads to the site, the host overwrote any files that were already on the site that had been changed with blank pages. In other words, my weblogs on that host were essentially wiped from existence.

For this, and dial-up access from the road, I’ve been paying $50 a month.

So, the time has come to completely pull the plug. I just redirected my domains to a new domain name server at my bargain-basement hosting service, where my disk quota is larger by more than a factor of 10 and my hosting bill is $8 a month. I will no longer suffer in the name of supporting locals. As soon as the DNS refreshes, my move of all my weblogs (except for the one hosted by Userland) will be complete.

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