A productive pandemic

When I get overwhelmed or start wondering where the last year went, I remind myself that since March I have:

  • Co-authored a book that should be published later this year
  • Migrated one of the largest library digital collections in the state to a new content management platform (link later)
  • Participated in the salvation of American democracy
  • Added a bunch of new cities to Groceteria
  • Eighty-sixed Facebook
  • Rebuilt a friendship that had been dormant for almost thirty years
  • Watched at least a hundred vintage episodes of “What’s My Line?”
  • Become disturbingly conversant in the MODS metadata schema as well as several new XML tools
  • Supervised three student capstones and independent studies
  • Managed to avoid getting a COVID-related illness
  • Done a few pretty good media interviews (radio, national magazine, well-trafficked blog)
  • Read many good books (and bought way too many more)
  • Never hoarded toilet paper and also never run out of same
  • Managed three big grant projects simultaneously and remotely
  • Only gained about five pounds and actually ended up with better labs than last year
  • Stayed reasonably sane

Try it yourself. It helps!

Getting rid of business

The Triad is finally eliminating all its stupid green-signed “business” interstate highway routes, and idiocy like this will soon be a thing of the past:

These business loops may serve a useful purpose in some areas, where they designate a surface route leading back to the freeway that travelers can use for local services.

That’s not what they were used for here, however. They mainly served as a way to keep something that looked a little like an internet shield on decommissioned routes. In one particularly aggravating case, I-40 also served as Business I-85 for several miles. Apparently the road was good enough to be the primary route of one highway but not the other. The end result has been baffling signage that is getting even more baffling with all the three-digit loops and spurs (I-285, I-785, I-840, and soon I-274) that are sprouting in the area.

Things like this irritate me, and all of us who study highways and expect a little logic in our signage.

Now Business I-40/US 421 will just be US 421. Business I-85/US 29/US 70 will just be US 29. And I-40/Business I-85/US 29/US 70/US 421 will still be a clusterfuck, but slightly less of one.

This will be at least a little better, won’t it?

 

Twenty years of “that used to be a Safeway”

Twenty years ago today, this post laid the groundwork for this site, which has very dramatically surpassed Otherstream in traffic (really, does anyone even come around here anymore?) and also led to a whole new career for yer humble host.

Read the self-indulgent anniversary post here.

Happiness is…

Making me happy this week:

  • St. Elsewhere reruns on Hulu.
  • OpenRefine and Oxygen.
  • This article that references some weirdo who’s obsessed with supermarket history.
  • Apple fritters from Aldi.
  • The potential for three consecutive days of sleep (or at least a reasonable proportion of those three days).
  • Cleveland and Detroit in April, with maybe a side detour through Southern Ontario.

And you?

What was I thinking?

Why do I start doing things that will make me crazy at 9:00 on a Friday night? In preparation for getting this site SSL compliant (which actually was easier than I expected, despite some weirdness stemming from two very old WordPress plugins I should have gotten rid of a long time ago) I ended up doing a global find and replace. There were problems, and to oversimplify, when I finished the process, my site reverted to a state from sometime in 2009. I’m not entirely sure how that happened; it seems a bit random.

And then I tried to restore from my nice, fresh backup…which was apparently corrupted.

Anyway, after lots of SQL and FTP and SSH and all those other acronyms I’m glad I still remember how to use, I’m back up now for the enjoyment of all three of my fans! And everything should be pretty SSL compliant by later tonight, so you will stop seeing those “not secure” warnings that really don’t matter because you’re not submitting data anyway.

And I have a good, clean backup again. I know because I just restored from it.

Yes, I could leave the server stuff to someone else, but I don’t want to.

Anyway, I’m glad I did this site before the other one, at least.