Monthly Archives: May 2004

Good Things

1. ***The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities|*** called to offer me a job today. I will soon be working at the Harrison Gray Otis House museum in Boston. Things are moving in the right direction.

2. Aunt Christine’s Strawberry Cake recipe. ***Amy|*** asked for the recipe, and here it is…

qqq|Mix {1 White Cake Mix, 3 Tbs. flour, 1 package Strawberry Jello}

Add {3/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, 4 beaten eggs}

Stir in 3/4 cup strawberries (I used a 10 oz bag of frozen strawberries due to the season) Reserve the rest of the strawberries.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

ICING- Combine remaining strawberries with 2 cups of confectionary sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter. (I used a hand mixer) (my icing was chunky and strange looking, but was absolutely delicious, don’t fret!)|qqq

It’s not easy being green

We all know that the gas prices are going up, up, up. It seems that every time I pass my favorite gas station the numbers have climbed. Given the circumstances, I guess I can understand why the prices have to go up, and, actually, the high prices aren’t the biggest bother to me. I consider myself a pretty frugal person. I’m really good at cutting coupons and planning my grocery shopping so that I get the best deals. I hardly ever buy anything at retail prices. At gas stations there are no ways to get a break on the prices. No coupons, no buy-one-get-one incentives, no sales.

The answer to saving money on gas is, of course, just to use less. Or to use what you have in a more efficient way. I’ve compiled a list of links that may help you to reduce the amount of gas you burn while running your daily errands or commuting.

***The Environmental Health Center|***

I think that most of these say basically the same things, but repetition is good for the memory!

Back from Hiatus

Yes, I deserve a whack on the knuckles. I’m sorry I’ve been so delinquent. Here’s somethings I’ve been thinking about lately.

*This week, it became legal in Massachusetts for same-sex couples to attain marriage licenses from the state. Monday was a day of joyous celebration and vicious opposition. I have many thoughts on this issue that I won’t bore you with here, but I do want to send one message out to the Gay/Lesbian population. PLEASE, please, fight just as long and hard to save your marriage when times get tough as you did to attain the right to marry. Marriage is a privilage. Don’t abuse it.

*I went for the first time to the Beverly Public Library’s Scrabble Club tonight. There were 5 other players there, all of them much older than me. They were nice, and very good at the game. I held my own, however, and kept my scores close to my scores at home. Although these players were great, and compete in tournaments and such, I think I like playing at home better. The skilled players are all obsessed with using two letter words to get super high scores. Peter and I like to find interesting words or long words or such. Our scores may be lower, but the game is much more interesting. {a side note for those from Townsend} One woman there reminded me very much of Judy Hancewicz. Not as nice or as funny, but she tried hard to be! 🙂

*I’ve found another neat site for those addicted to knitting. ***Magknits|*** is very much like ***Knitty|*** and has lots of interesting articles and patterns. It inspires me.

*Tonight is the last episode of Law & Order in which Detective Lenny Briscoe will appear. I know he wants/needs to move on (to a spin off?) but he will be greatly missed.


Today was the day – I absolutely, positively had to fill up my car’s gas tank for the first time since the fuel price hike. Luckily, I needed to be on the other side of town where the cheapest gas station is located (American Petroleum at 586 Cabot St. in Beverly). Here is how it broke down:

15.602 gallons of gasoline to fill my tank @ $2.019 dollars per gallon for 87 octane (the lowest price *anywhere* around here!) = $31.50 total!!



***Simon Cozens|***, the extraordinary Perl guru, poet, photographer, and preacher, is starting work on his own next-generation blogging system: ***Feuilleton|***. I’m very excited about this. Simon isn’t as immersed in the blogosphere as some of us are, but he has incredible design and programming talents, and all he needs is some input from the user community to come up with something really cool.

As a side note, Simon is just one of many technologists who I’ve discovered are also Christians. This list also includes:

* ***Larry Wall|***, creator of Perl
* ***Rich Bowen|***, member of the Apache Software Foundation and active participant in the Apache Documentation Project.
* ***Brad Rhine|***, developer of the Frequency and Tangelo blogging tools.
* ***Chris Nandor|***, Mac+Perl developer, Slashdot moderator

Netcraft: Analysis of Blogger and Movable Type changes

Netcraft: Changes at MT, Blogger Highlight Blog Hosting Strategies

In the article linked above, internet research and analysis firm ***Netcraft|*** offers their take on the Blogger and Movable Type news of the past few weeks. They offer an explanation for Six Apart’s licensing scheme as follows:

qqq|Six Apart’s pricing for MT 3.0 appears to have been influenced by two hosting-related concerns: steering MT users to the more profitable TypePad, and licensing MT for use by other hosting providers. The $69.95 price on the cheapest MT license costs more than a full year of TypePad hosting, which offers far more features.|qqq

In other words, they’re hoping that people who are using MT for more personal reasons will just use the cheaper TypePad instead, and that people who are running MT in commercial installations will start paying for it, since they are now allowed to charge for it.

Netcraft also correctly identifies the blogging community as “price-sensitive”. Like me, many users simply can’t or won’t pay for a blogging service, particularly if they are already paying for their web hosting space.

Which brings up an interesting point. I’m already paying $25.95 per month for my web hosting service. ***Site5|*** could conceivably purchase some sort of Movable Type site license from Six Apart, and then enable all of their users to have access to it for a small monthly fee increase. If this were to happen, I certainly might consider paying the few extra bucks per month.

Apart from the Movable Type changes, of course, Netcraft discussed ***Blogger|***’s recent overhaul. For no particular reason, we have been managing our ***Scrabble This!|*** blog with Blogger. I have had a chance to check out the new Blogger site and features, and I have to say that I’m very impressed. Thanks to the power and financial wherewithal of ***Google|***, Blogger is able to offer a lot of advanced features for free. They have great XHTML compliant code, well-designed CSS and XHTML templates, built-in commenting and RSS feeds, and blogging-via-email to name a few features.

Blogger has really come a long way. I used Blogger to manage ***my old blog|*** from December 5, 2000 until April 15, 2002, and moved to Movable Type after that because it had more features and allowed me to have complete control over the blogging system from my own web host. I still like the control offered by running my own blogging system, but I have to admit that Blogger is now really a great service. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to start up your own blog.

Of course, I’d also be happy to host your blog on this server if you’re interested. I’m already hosting ***Pulcher Sentio|*** and ***waltondammerung|***, so just drop me a line if you’d like to be set up as well!


I’ve created a new album in World Wide Photography to highlight what I consider to be some of my best photos:

ggg|showcase/DSCN0659|Hot Pink Flower|ggg

Let me know what you think!

A Bush That’s Brighter Than Bush

There’s a bright yellow and green bush outside of our back windows… I took some photos and put the best ones in the ***Grab Bag|***. However, posting photos directly in one’s blog seems to be all the rage these days, so here’s a pic for you to check out right now:

ggg|grab_bag/IMG_6703|Green and Yellow Bush|ggg

There’s another bush out there that should start flowering soon, and you can count on seeing photos of that here, too.

Thanks, but no.

SixApart has responded to the user community’s criticisms by slightly restructuring their licensing terms and pricing. Based upon the new scheme, if I were to upgrade our current installation to 3.0, I would need to purchase the Movable Type 3.0 Personal Edition for $69.95. This is less than the $119.95 I would have had to pay for the previous “Volume License I”, but still too much in my opinion.

Movable Type is in a competitive marketplace. There are numerous weblog tools, some of which are arguably close to MT in terms of features, and many of which are nearing it in popularity. They have one thing in common, though. The most popular weblog tools are free. By adding this new pricing scheme, I believe Six Apart has effectively priced Movable Type out of the competition. Sure, perhaps they’re now appealing to a different crowd, who relies on the quality and support (or at least the perceived quality and support) that a paid commercial product ensures. But I think they’ve lost touch with their core following – knowledgeable people who have set up their own MT installations for themselves and a few of their friends.

So as it stands now, I have no plans to upgrade to Movable Type 3.0. I certainly cannot move to the Free Edition, as our site has one too many blogs and three too many authors. Since I really am satisifed with the current 2.661 version, and don’t really have any reason to upgrade at all, I also won’t be paying for the Personal Edition.

I just hope that Six Apart will provide security patches for older versions, when and if they are necessary. That would be the least they could do to maintain some respect.