Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What's In A Name? 

You wouldn't guess it by the frequency of blog posts here, but it seems like I often have too much free time.

Case in point: I recently googled myself...OK, that just sounded really bad. Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

Well, before I looked up my first and last name, but I only just recently thought to look up my last name and see what came up.

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about this:

* Apparently the most famous holder of my surname is one Kurt Nilsen, who was the proud winner of Norway's version of Pop Idol (American Idol for those non-Anglophiles). He even went to beat Kelly Clarkson and the rest of the competitors in the World Idol competition. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if a potential relative just happened to drop by his mansion, right?

* Oh goody, this is a proud moment: Dennis Nilsen was a famous serial killer who lived and performed his craft in London. I swear, I can't make this stuff up. I just have to quote from the Wikipedia article:

...As his murders continued, he found it difficult to dispose of the remains and had suitcases full of human organs stored in his wardrobe, and plastic bags with human remains under the floorboards. Neighbours had begun to notice the smell. When he tried to dispose of the bodies by flushing them down the toilet, he blocked the sewerage of his house in Muswell Hill (23 Cranley Gardens), north London. When a company was called to unblock the sewer system, they first found the drain to be packed with a flesh-like substance. The drain inspector then called his supervisor to assess the situation; however, this was not to take place until the next day, by which time the drain had been cleared. This aroused the suspicions of the drain inspector and his supervisor, who immediately called the police. Upon closer inspection, some small bones and what looked like chicken flesh were found in a pipe leading off from the drain; these were later discovered to be of human origin. Dennis Nilsen was arrested in 1983 on suspicion of multiple murders. He apologized to the police for not being able to tell them the exact number of people he had killed. When his house was searched, they found three heads in a cupboard, and they found thirteen more bodies in Nilsen's former place of residence at Cricklewood at 195 Melrose Avenue...

He can just stay the hell away from the next family reunion. OK, lesson learned. Google at your own risk.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Praise Be to Xenu 


Maybe now he will take some time off, be with his family, and leave the rest of us alone.

Can't wait to see X-Men 3 myself and Clerks 2 myself.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Couple Days Late 

Happy blogoversary to me (May 5)! I started this two years ago, and even if I don't post as much as I would like, I'm gonna stick with it. Even if I stay at once or twice a week, I'll be good and keep posting for the years and decades to come.

Also, belated Feliz Cinco de May por todo la gente.

Here's to Year Three....

Parse This 

Since I don't have the time haven't taken the time to get proficient in HTML, it seems inevitable that I learn more by having to debug crap.

A perfect example was this morning:

I go to catch up on my blog reading, and I notice the RSS feed for this site doesn't load in Sage. I get an XML Parse Error.


OK, so off I go to the Blogger help pages.


The best analogy I can give is trying to get help diagnosing car trouble and instead all the help you get is "This is what a hammer and a screwdriver look like." Thanks Blogger.

They at least provided a link to the Blogger help Google group, which suggested that I turn off XML, republish, turn it back on, republish. OK, done.

No dice.

Hmmm, OK....So I did what a seasoned websurfer does: I entered the error message into google and looked for something relevant in the results. I found a couple of useful tidbits, and discovered what a feed validator was.

Fine, are we close yet?

I put the blog URL into the feed validator, it spits back that there is a problem buried deep in the text of an old post. Oh, goody.

After five or six iterations of cleaning the offending text, rerun feed validation, finding a new error, repeat; I finally got the error back to one line:

which I can't fix because I'm not allowed tweak the HTML for the Blogger XML. Grrrrr!

While this is going on, I read some advice that writing blog text in Microsoft Word is baaad. Apparently MS Word adds some funny scripts that gets XML all aflutter. Won't be writing any more posts in Word then.

I tried one last time, and for some reason the feed worked, even though I wasn't able to work on the last bug. Hey, as long as it works, I'm happy.

Let me know if you can't get the feed. Apparently it was just a Firefox problem, IE always worked fine. One poster suggested that it may be a Version War between Atom and Firefox.