journal for 2002-05-14


What with Debug relatively stable, I’m feeling like writing some more fun code. Code at work has become pretty deathly boring: with no time for optimizing or extending concepts, I’m just supporting and fixing ancient, brain dead software. I’m back to doing work on a relational database that, in a strict sense, violates the first normal form. Hey, it’s a living!

Anyway, I’m working on a ‘book server.’ I’ve long had a crappy half-finished HTMLized version of Alice online, but I haven’t wanted to spend a lot of time beautifying the books, because it’s such a high investment for a one-time solution. There’s not much return on the initial investment, when I decide to publish an edition of another book. So, I’m working on a program that will compile index and content pages for books when provided with a directory tree. Once I have more of a spec in place, I’ll post it.

Meanwhile, I don’t even have a name for the project. My previous (half-aborted) library project was called Alexandria, and was supposed to give me a nice interface to the database of the books I own. I never made a good input mechanism, which meant that it kept falling out of date, which meant that I didn’t find it useful. So, I need to fix that. I thought about transferring the name to this project, but it seems like such a grand name for such a (so far) mediocre project! Keith suggested “Bookshit,” which I think might be too far to the other end of the spectrum. I could stick with a nice Neil Gaiman allusion and call it “Lucien.” Anyway, naming won’t matter until it actually does something.

rain rain rain rain rain

By yesterday evening, we had flood warnings, thunderstorm warnings, and there were tornado warnings nearby. It was all over this morning, and all we’d had was a ton of rain. My office, like a cave, is entirely protected from any sort of outside view, but I understand that it’s beautiful weather out, today. The rain was a welcome change, given that we’ve had nearly no rain for months.

Sunday night, though, it was not so welcome. I woke up at three o’clock in the morning to the sound of someone hammering on a hollow metal box. Despite all my efforts to ignore the noise, I couldn’t get back to sleep. As I drifted further into consciousness, I realized it was rain spilling from the gutter onto the AC.

Gloria tried to muffle it from the inside, but to no avail: it was way too loud. I finally braved the rain (which was actually less annoying than the cold, wet fire escape) and put a wooden plank on top of the AC. That seemed to do the trick. Once things are dried up, I’m going to try and fix the rain gutter—or maybe I’ll just ask the landlord to do it.

tom waits

Tom Waits actually came out with two albums last week. I picked up the second, “Alice,” on Friday. It’s pretty good, and has one or two great tracks, but is a clear second to Blood Money, which I’m coming to like quite a lot. “All the good in the world you could fit inside a thimble and still have room for you and me.” Good stuff.

Written on May 14, 2002