Archive of February 2004

Saturday, February 28, 2004

PolarBlog - An Embedded Weblog Solution

I've finally managed to get this blog page XHTML compliant!  After much trial and tribulation, I've managed to track down all of the issues and get it to validate properly.  That said, it may fail the validation on various pages because some of the older entries may not be 100% compliant.  It's unlikely that I'm going to go back and track down all of the errors as they aren't critical, but then again being as anal as I am, I just might!  In the process of working on the XHTML compliance, I was able to implement one of the changes I had been wanting to do.  That being, the updated display look so entries now standoff in a sort of "box in a box" fashion.  I believe it gives it a cleaner look and differentiates each entries.  You might not see it that way, but then again it isn't your blog, now is it?  ;)  And now it's time to move to the next level.  Read more…
February 28, 2004 @ 06:13 pm | Category:
Friday, February 27, 2004

PeltierBeer Equipment

I found this project nearly a year ago, but for some reason it never made its way into the WTMT! collection until now.  Now I’ve been known to more than happily quaff a beer or two on occasion, but this is just silly.  For starters, if you need this thing, you need to either (a) not drink, or (b) drink faster.  Besides, in the picture’s it’s a Guinness.  Generally, I find with a quality dark beer like this it’s usually too cold and I need to warm it in my hands to get it to a suitable drinking temperature.  But if you’re one of those knuckleheads who’s still drinking cheap american swill, then by all means start building!  The colder you can get that shit, the less of it’s nearly tasteless, horid flavor you will be exposed too!  And for future reference kids, “Quality over quantity”.
February 27, 2004 @ 05:03 pm | Category:
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Stock Quotes

I've added a new Stock Quotes section to the site that is powered by a modified version of PHP-Quote.  This PHP class had the basic guts in it to retrieve quotes from Yahoo! Finance, but had some funtionality and display issues with it from my perspective.  These issues were resolved by writing a new get_single_table() function to replace the print_single_table() function.  This new function returns the HTML code instead of printing it and also is XHTML compliant.  I also expanded the table to include the date as well as the time.  Additional, I created CSS classes in my site CSS instead of using the Insert_Style_Sheet() function in this class.  Again, I don't like direct printing from functions and it really wouldn't work within my site's framework.  Seems to work for me and hope it does for you also!
February 19, 2004 @ 12:49 pm | Category:
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Marco Pantani :: January 13, 1970 - February 14, 2004

I was absolutely shocked to hear the news reports [1][2]that "Il Pirata", The Pirate died this past weekend at only 34 years of age.  Marco had been dealing with a lot personal issues in the past couple of years and unfortunately, never got a chance for true redemption in the professional cycling world.  A lot of charges had been leveled against him, many which he was cleared of after a long battle.  Was he completely innocent?  We may never know, although my personal believe was that unfortunately he likely was not.  But prior to his troubles, Marco was clearly the most amazing climber I had ever seen.  At his peak, this man could go up mountains fasters than anyone in the sport.  His life and career were far too short.  Rest in peace Il Pirata.

[Updated: 07:41am EST, 22 Mar 2004]
And the sad news continues as it has now been confirmed by the inquest that Marco's death was caused by an "acute cocaine intoxication".
February 17, 2004 @ 07:52 am | Category:
Monday, February 16, 2004

Moral Bankruptcy

I can’t help but be disturbed by the television commercial I saw this morning by a local attorney.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen it and surely it won’t be the last.  But the basic premise of this commercial is to compel people who are in debt to declare bankruptcy.  Why?  Well, Congress is working to change the law to make it more difficult for you to declare bankrupcty.  Gasp!  So if you’ve been fiscally irresponsible you might want to act fast before you can be held accountable for your actions.  Or in more real world terms… If you’ve been stupid enough to dig a big hole using credit cards to live beyond your means, then you should be able to walk away from it and leave someone else (i.e. me and other responsible people) holding the bag.  This is just brilliant!  Welcome to America, where no one is responsible for their own actions.  I will agree, as pointed out in that last link, that the banks also shoulder a certain amount of responsibility.  Why are they giving credit to people who don’t have the ability to pay their bills?  I think the answer is self evident…they don’t want you to be able to pay for it.  Credit card debt is like crack in the banking industry.  Those high interest rates and low payoff rates guarantee them a steady flow of profits.  Just imagine what would happen to them if even 50% of those with outstanding balances paid them off.  The last thing they want is for you to be debt free.  But the bottomline is still the fact that if you used the credit, you’re responsible for its repayment.  The government making it more difficult to declare bankruptcy isn’t a disservice to those who have been irresponsible.  Quite the opposite.  It’s an effort to save those of us who ARE responsible millions of dollars.  Because everytime someone declares bankruptcy, the banks don’t just eat it as a loss, they simply pass it on in  the form of additional charges for the rest of us.  The only bankruptcy I see here, is the moral bankruptcy of those who are encouraging others that they don’t have to be responsible for their actions.
February 16, 2004 @ 12:13 pm | Category:
Thursday, February 12, 2004

Wasting time with batteries and Linux

Dear God,

Please stop this kind of madness!

Thank You,


Can’t you people find something more productive to do with your spare time? Write some useful code, clean your monitor and keyboard or even go for a walk! Anything would likely be a more productive use of your time. Unless of course Pierre-Philippe Coupard is under the age of 12. In which case my apologies and congratulations on doing something productive instead of playing video games.
February 12, 2004 @ 12:14 pm | Category:
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Talking to Spirit and Opportunity

eWeek has a pretty good article on the Deep Space Network entitled The 100-Million-Mile Network. This network is what is used to talk these two wonders as well as many other space probes.
February 10, 2004 @ 04:44 pm | Category:
Sunday, February 01, 2004

CycleLog Update

As mentioned in my previous post regarding the CycleLog Search.  The Summary, Latest and Random Ride pages of the Cycling section (CycleLog), have been updated to the new code base.  Now begins another bigger task, the conversion of the "Add Ride" section to the new code base.  This section when complete, will also add the ability to allow editing of previously entered rides.  A much needed feature that currently does not exist.

[Updated: 07:47am EST, 24 Feb 2004]
One more hill climbed…I've now completed the "Edit Ride" feature and have linked it to all single ride display screens with a form button.  This now allows me to edit any single ride without having to manually edit the database.  This also covers 90% of the new "Add Ride" section that still needs to be completed.  What does this all mean to you?  Probably not much because you can't access that section!  But, it does allow me to correct any data errors so you can sleep well at night knowing that my cycling data is accurate.  ;)

[Updated: 12:44pm EST, 8 Mar 2004]
And here we are at the top of the "Add Ride" hill!  Also in the "you'll never see this" category.  I actually completed this about a week ago and never got around to posting this update until now.  I also fixed a problem in the Edit Ride section that occurred to me.  What happens to the mileage if you change bikes when you edit a ride?  Bad things, that's what!  I've now changed this to keep track of the original bike in the ride record and do a decrement on the original bike and then an increment on the new bike.  If the bike ID doesn't change, it does it in a single step.  Previously if you changed bikes, the newly selected bike would have it's mileage adjusted if that had changed and the original bike would not be affected.  Whoops!  All better now.

This effectively completes the CycleLog V2.0 upgrade.  Moving forward I would like to implement a "Bikes" section that will document my bikes and allow me to keep a maintenance history on them.  But that will have to wait as I've now decided to undertake a complete rewrite of this blogging system which will be known as "PolarBlog".  So until that is done, this project will be on hold.

[Updated: 12:33pm EST, 19 Jan 2004]
I know you were all concerned about the problem with the cycling search function.  What's that?  You weren't aware of a problem!  Well never mind then that the search results would return a link to individual rides by their date and not their entry ID.  Why is that a problem?  Well son, on those extremely rare occassions when I would have two rides on the same day, you could only get to the first one.  But don't you fret…I've fixed that all up.  And I've also fixed that annoying problem where entries without any heart data would display a Heart Data block with empy values!  I'm sure you'll rest more comfortably now.  You can go back to sleep now.  :)
February 1, 2004 @ 04:16 pm | Category: