You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for May, 2004.

For a while now

May 20th, 2004

Even before the MT3 brou-ha-ha errupted, I’ve been thinking about adopting a more general CMS for papaya-palace.com. Not for any grand reasons — I’m a little bored with MT, and I’ve been using it to manage my static content for some time now — but it’s not as flexible as I would like. There’s also one really big project that’s been brewing in the back of my head for about three years now (it’s about polar exploration). I haven’t done it for two reasons: (1) I lack time, and (2) I haven’t yet figured out how to manage it effectively.

Until the MT3 mess, I hadn’t actually looked at any other CMS’s. I’ve been playing around with Drupal for a few days now, and I’m increasingly impressed with it. I am not all that sophistocated with this sort of stuff (I have to think *really* hard to remember any unix commands), but so far I’ve been able to muddle my way around.

I thought it was worth mentioning here that James Seng has created a series of Drupal modules called Drupal for (MT) Bloggers. It’s a very nice set up.

There are some things I don’t like about Drupal — templates are system wide, so if you have multible weblogs on the same site, you have to choose between either (1) using the same templates on all of them or (2) installing multiple Drupals. Neither option appeals to me. Also, if you have weblogs on more than one domain, you will need a separate installation for each domain. It’s also not obvious to me how to import entries from an existing MT set-up. However, it looks to me like various developers are working hard to overcome these and other short-comings.

The truth is that I am not a power user, so MT is probably fine for my needs, and will be for a long time to come. I’m not sure I will change, but it’s nice to know that there are some attractive alternatives.

This is huge

May 10th, 2004

Nancy Reagan publicly endorses stem cell research using cells from human embyos. Her comments are quite moving.

I completely agree with her (something I never thought I would say). Mrs. Reagan carries enormous political and emotional weight with hardcore conservatives — it will be interesting to see how they react to this.

It doesn’t make sense

May 6th, 2004

I don’t know how to read the news anymore.

When I open the webpages of any newspaper in the country this morning, I see stories about four things:
   the torture of Iraqis by American hands
   Bush’s request of $25 billion more for the war
   the Picasso painting that sold for $105 million
   the last episode of Friends

How am I supposed to understand any of this? Torture, money, excess and TV. I feel a profound sense of anomie, of being unmoored, as if I’ve taken one step too many and suddenly realized that I am alone and talking outloud to myself on a crowded streetcorner.

My world no longer makes sense to me.

What?

May 6th, 2004

I’ve not commented here on the U.S. torture of Iraqis because… well, I guess I don’t have a good reason. I can’t wrap my head around the pictures I’m seeing or the unspoken assumptions they reveal about human life and my country. I can’t swallow my bile long enough to compose something coherent or useful or interesting.

So I just want to note: I’m disgusted, angry, bitter and tearful. There’s nothing more I can say that would not be vacuous.

Fiber Fest

May 4th, 2004

I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend, the largest festival of its kind in the United States. It was amazing. It’s just like a giant state or county fair, only everything relates to sheep and other fiber-bearing animals.

There was so much to see and do — I was overwhelmed. Next year I think I will have to spend two days at the festival, as I didn’t get to see everything I was interested in. I’m particularly sorry that I missed the sheep dog demonstrations.

But I did see some alpaca. They are really interesting animals, and although the ones I saw were quite nervous (I assume due to the crowds) they were gentle and friendly. I bought enough DK weight alpaca yarn, in charcoal grey, to make a sweater for myself, so now I’m on the hunt for a pattern.

Overall, the festival was an amazing experience. I got to hang out with several of my knit buds which made it even more fun.