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Maintenance Free: When it breaks, it can’t be fixed.

I’ve moved my domain to a new host and switched blogging platforms, but I’m getting the old blog back together.  Yes, the outcry has been so overwhelming that after a year away I’m ready.

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

And what a year it’s been.  Hope has given way to disappointment, I’m busier than ever, and blogging may be out of fashion what with Twitter and Facebook.

An optimist is someone who tells you to cheer up when things are going their way.

So bear with me as I try to get back into the groove, rebuild the blog (thanks Gate for eating my database and backup) and resume what started Christmas newsletter in August over ten years ago.

I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

In the early 90s I persuaded my wife that by getting a modem, I could avoid working late or on weekends because I could work from home.  When she tried the same thing, the insurer she worked for thought that was a huge security risk, unlike the defense contractor I worked for.  I could also log into a little thing called GEnie, which was a pre-web online service.

I tried to get a life once, but they were out of stock.

From there I went to this other service, America Online because it had a much more Mac-like interface and that appealed to me and my SE.  And they started this thing called Hometown when the World Wide Web came along – I still remember my brother asking if I’d heard of this thing called mosaic.

It was all so different before everything changed.

So when I got this one particular wild hair to do desktop publishing and send out a Christmas letter, a good non-bragging, witty Christmas letter.  That was in July.  In August I actually created and mailed a full color Christmas letter.  I can state with certainty it wasn’t obnoxiously braggy.

I started out with Nothing … and I still have most of it.

And then I got a second wild hair, and that was to put the Christmas letter on the web (back then the web was not synonymous with the internet, it was just one little part of it.  I think more people saw it in their mail than online.

The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you’re in the


The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you’re in the bathroom.

The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom.

But I kept adding to it, and I got to the point I often hand tagged instead of using Pagespinner.  And I kept adding until one day I started a blog using Greymatter.  And so I moved off AOL and bought my own domain.

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

October 3, 2002 was the day.  Three posts that day.  I haven’t had a three post day in …

Funny, I don’t remember being absent minded.

And I blogged for years, years, without pause.  I can remember if I missed a few days I figured I had to have a really good post the next time I posted so that missing a few days would be worth it.

I was going to procrastinate, but I put it off.

At some point Greymatter was no longer supported, so I made the change to  Movable Type, which all the cool cats were using.  And I didn’t have any trouble porting over.

Experience is a wonderful thing.  It let’s you recognize a mistake when you make it again.

Then I started having trouble with my provider.  Posting could be agonizingly slow.  Settings would somehow change and I’d have to contact them to get them reset.  And one of the support guys admitted that they pretty much ignored email but hey I could always call.  And wait on hold.

All reports are in.  Life is now officially unfair.

Then one day my database stopped working.  At all.  So foolish me I un-checked the mySQL setting, waited, and re-checked.  Yes, I backed up the database.  And then I fooled around some more, and finally got through.  Hey presto, they claimed that while they didn’t know why it stopped working, they had it working again.

If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished.

So I figured I’d take this opportunity to switch from MT 2.x to MT 4.1.  So I made another backup (because you can’t be too careful) and installed MT 4.1.  And then I discovered the awful truth – my database had been purged when I un-checked mySQL (which they didn’t warn you about).  And when I made that can’t be too careful back up, well, you can be, because now I had a null backup.

Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark

At least I still have all the original files, which you can visit in their unformatted glory.  And now, after a hiatus far too long, I’m back blogging again, with a beautiful WordPress installation (it’s the default at my new host).  Go Me!

Many people have the gift of gab.  Some just don’t know how to wrap it up.

Is That Much Straw A Fire Hazard?

Tom Maguire is a joy to read, not just for his insight, but for his language as well. When I came across another instant classic of his I just had to check, and sure enough, he’s the only one who shows up for the quip “Is that much straw a fire hazard?” – at least until this post does. And yes, the whole post is as good as the quip.

I think I’ll start pushing the Liberal:Conservative as Woman:Man analogy after Tom documented how a liberal woman reading a conservative man’s writing simply didn’t understand him. At all. And neither Tom or I had any trouble understanding him.

A Great Leap Backwards

The upgrade to MT4.1 has not gone smoothly. My sidebars have dropped into the basement for some reason. Comments don’t show up – I have tried to make several of my own, I get an acknowledgement, but nothing in the pending comments or the blog. How much time and aggrevation do I want to spend on a hobby? I’d rather spend money, since I have too little time and too much aggrevation already.

Snubbed Again

At last I have something in common with Tom Maguire – neither of us were included in the Village Voices Top 10 Conservative blogs. Tom’s not sure if it were an honor to be lambasted by them, but with a subheader of “A confederacy of Dunces” and a stupid/evil rating for each one, I can clearly state it would have been an honor to be so singled out by such an unworthy institution (only good article was by Mamet BTW). However, we here at fully appreciate the importance of size (let me say I’m much bigger in real life than my internet presence) and so we are neither shocked or dismayed that we were once again snubbed, although I will allow to a smidgeon of disappointment.

Funmurphys 3.0

Hope you like the new look, I’d like to do some tweaking of the colors and sidebars and save my really old animated “humor enabled browser” gif. Time is always a problem, and after the heroic effort it took to get a blogroll back and the horrible Six Apart documentation, I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to it. In many ways my favorite blog platform was the one I started with – Greymatter. I’m not a power blogger, I’m just a casual blogger who wants to do a few simple things easily. Movable Type seems to evolve with each incarnation towards dedicated IT support and away from me. I’m so hopelessly antediluvian that I can’t figure out tags vs. Categories vs. Keywords.

Here’s how I feel about the experience of upgrading from MT2.6 to MT4.1:

Laocoon struggles

That would be me in the middle and my fellow bloggers Sean and Carl on either side of me with the MT serpent coiled about us.


Situation Normal, All In Flux

Back when the family was away and I had more time, I started the upgrade to MT4.1. Between poor documentation and outdated documentation on the part of MT and my web host, I had the wrong idea about what my problems were with the upgrade. Once I got current information from my web host, all I had to do was remember how I got MT2.x running manny moons ago when I switched from Greymatter to MT. So I finished the upgrade when I don’t have a lot of time to get everything squared away. I hope to have it all squared away soon, time permitting, so please bear with the ongoing state of flux.


Five Years of Blogging

I suppose I could have titled this post 5 years down the drain, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I’ve enjoyed a lot of the minutes I’ve spent blogging. Oct 3, 2002 I joined the blogosphere with 3 posts and a design that’s changed very little over the years. 1420 posts, 629 comments, and a switch from Greymatter to Movable Type later, I’m still writing. Along the way over 110,000 different people have visited (according to eXTReMe Trackgin) and I’ve picked up two too infrequent co-authors. Eric Olsen at Blogcritics got me started in blogging, with a short run as a reviewer there. So again, thank you Eric, and may my reader(s) forgive you.

I’ve had a webpage for almost 11 years now; I started out in AOL Hometown when I put a family newsletter online, and then branched out shortly thereafter into a bloglike creation I called Stimulus and Response. In those days, I did most of my writing at the Fruit of the Murphy Loins various practices or waiting before events (for you non-parents out there, you have to get to things like concerts and dance receitals long before the scheduled start time when your little darling is in them). I continued to branch out under the umbrella of, but once the blog got going, all the rest has fallen by the wayside. In internet years, I’m so old the blog should be called Kevin 5.0.

Thanks for reading, 100 years ago I couldn’t have hoped my writing would reach over 100,000 people all over the world.

Department of Weird Coincidences

So I’m reading Instapundit who links Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy about Clarence Thomas and just how prestigious Assistant Missouri Attorney General is, in the course of which he links to a bunch of people who served as Assistant Missouri Attorney General. One of the names, Ottenad, was familiar and so I followed the link to John Ottenad’s Missouri Bar bio. Judge Ottenad is the OA advisor for New Horizons district, and I saw plenty of him at the OA Fall Reunion, which I actually blogged about.

And there you have this years odd coincidence.

We’ll always have No Way Out

Maybe I was too harsh on Waterworld.



Brian Noggle must be made of stronger stuff than I, because he titled a post “I Can’t Wait For Joe Williams’ Review“. What’s next, “I can’t wait to be smacked repeatedly by a large mackerel”, or “I can’t wait to have a bucket of bricks dumped on my head” or “I would really like to have my toenails pulled out one by one”.

I have to say, I saw the same trailer while I waited to see “300” the other day, and at first I was intrigued – nothing gets my intrigue up like seeing helms with lots of horns, wings, and assorted dodads and swords of destiny – but when it was clear that the movie was going to be a post-modern morality play dressed up in ornate plate armor I lost most (but not all!) of my interest. Yes, ornate plate armor is just that irresistable.

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