Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DrupalSN joins Russia in recognizing Abkhazian independence

DrupalSN BadgeI just signed up for an account at the new site, a Drupal-based social networking site for Drupal developers, and I was pretty impressed to see how quickly the site had moved to recognize the independence of that bit of dirt between Russia and Georgia named Abkhazia.

My trivia-nerd self is very interested in the fact that if more bodies do recognize Abkhazia that it will gain the fame of being alphabetically the first country in every list. Expect inflated numbers of internet users from there thanks to me picking it when signing up for sites I don't want to have my personal info. I scrolled down and saw they have South Ossetia, too. I should create an account and pretend to be from Georgia and do some trolling, on such a brand new site it would surely get some attention.

As for the site itself, it looks like it has some potential for showing off some of the social features of Drupal, hopefully they will share their tips on making it look nice and smooth and not hacked together like a lot of drupal sites seem to be, with way too many modules and rough edges around the themes. Maybe they could build a module for partial matching of user names that's smoother than drupal's current implementation that only lets you search by username and not real name.

I've been doing a lot of work in Drupal lately both on my own and for my new job, so I'll be keeping pretty close tabs on the latest developments in the Drupal world, crossing my fingers that some of the more annoying parts of it get ironed out.

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By al - 6:53 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Adopted coffee mug

Adopted coffee mug
Originally uploaded by Alejandro the Great.

I adopted this orphan coffee mug when I saw it in the cupboard in the library staff room. Because first impressions are what count, you know.

By al - 10:05 a.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Purdy and Acorn

Two poets I absolutely adore are Al Purdy and Milton Acorn. Purdy I love for his nonchalant way of sneaking gorgeous turns of phrase in where the words themselves are as ordinary as you can imagine. And Acorn for his power of emotion and ability to draw you into his heart.

My father tells me that when I was very young he and Milton Acorn would go for walks with me walking along in between each, holding one hand each while they smoked cigars far above me and talked. Maybe Acorn's views about the complexity of ravens' and crows' societies have stuck with me since I find them endlessly fascinating now.

Anyway, I came across this in my general surfing tonight and had to re-post it so so you could enjoy it too. It's a recounting by Al Purdy of the arguments he and Milton would have.
"When Purdy describes how he and Acorn argued over everything, for example, you simply know it's the truth. Besides, I know these guys and trust me, knowing Al and knowing Milton, you can trust it's pretty much the absolutely accurate truth. For one thing, Milt'd argue with a fencepost. For another, Al would probably take the side of the post, if only to get Milt going . . . BUT, that's not what makes it a great poem, no. You tell me why it's a great poem."

. . . For two months we quarrelled over socialism poetry how to boil water
doing the dishes carpentry Russian steel production figures and whether
you could believe them and whether Toronto Leafs would take it all
that year and maybe hockey was rather like a good jazz combo
never knowing what came next . . .
and working with saw and hammer at the house all winter afternoon
disagreeing about how to pound nails
arguing vehemently over how to make good coffee
Marcus Aurelius Spartacus Plato and Fran├žois Villon
And it used to frustrate him terribly
that even when I was wrong he couldn't prove it
and when I agreed with him he was always suspicious
and thought he must be wrong because I said he was right . . .
we argued about white being white (prove it dammit) & cockroaches
bedbugs in Montreal separatism Nietzsche
Iroquois horsebreakers on the prairie
death of the individual and the ultimate destiny of man
and one night we quarrelled over how to cook eggs
In the morning driving to town we hardly spoke
and water poured downhill outside all day for it was spring
when were we gone with frogs mentioning lyrically
Russian steel production figures on Roblin Lake which were almost nil
I left him hitch-hiking on #2 Highway to Montreal
and I guess I was wrong about those eggs . . .
("House Guest," Poems for All the Annettes, 1962)
I just ordered Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy from Amazon. I even did the shamelessly adult thing of ordering it as a hardcover just to have something nice on my shelf to hold and pick up again and again later. I should thank this rotten cat outside that won't stop wailing for waking me up, but he doesn't get credit for putting me in the mood for poetry. Lord knows how that happened.


By al - 6:07 a.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Memos: Too Short for Twitter Edition

So yeah, I guess Twitter really has killed me for blogging. Why write 3 paragraphs when you can express it all in 140 characters?

Oh well, here's a few updates for those who haven't been following my every mangled T9-phone-text updates..
  • I start my new job on Monday. I'm working at the UPEI library and I'm pretty excited. For teh record I never really disliked working where I was but not having a pager tying me to home will be nice. (Yeah I don't leave the house much anyway but it will be nice to not have to think 2 weeks ahead before committing to something.)

  • I saw The 9 Lives of L. M. Montgomery again on Thursday night. It was much smoother this time, naturally since the cast has gotten used to their parts and their lines. Also the writers made a few cuts to the second half which were definitely helpful in keeping it moving along. There was also a near sold-out crowd this far along in the season which made me really happy to see them and the theatre doing well.

    There's a scene that is kind of awkward but I don't know how to improve on it. Maud's husband Ewan suffered from what we now know would have been schitzophrenia, but back then, since he was a preacher and kept being tormented by visions of his own damnation and hellfire, they called it "religious melancholia". This is a term I hadn't heard before and it's a very awkward thing to depict in a modern play, but I guess mental-illness-borne delusions are goofy enough before you examine them a century later.

  • I just got back from seeing Young People F***ing at City Cinema. Great film, it's only playing until tomorrow but you should try and find it if you can. It's the only movie I've seen in ages that got sex and relationships 'right', i.e., most of the time they're awkward and ill-conceived and no one is saying what they really mean until they're caught off-guard. Most romance movies make me wince because this thing they depict is completely outside of my own experience and just rings hollow, or worse as an unattainable ideal.

    This movie had me laughing the whole way through but it was me laughing with the characters, even when they're being unfair and mean to each other, because I've been in a fair few of the same situations and it just felt real to me.

  • I'm hosting trivia at Churchill Arms on Tuesday. Haven't done it in a while so it should be pretty fun. Gotta get my ass in gear to think of more questions, though.. Maybe that's why I'm actually blogging, to procrastinate from that. OK, back to it.
I'll try and write more regularly here if I can.

By al - 8:50 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

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