I took a trip to the New Jersey beach last weekend, along with Omnibahumut and Ferian. Most of the time was spent hanging out, at the beach itself, or on the Boardwalk checking out the shops, and some of the uh... interesting... things in the shops:
No, I did not purchase any of those posters.
The beach itself was okay, but the undertow was up a bit thanks to Hurricane Bertha out in the Atlantic. The lifeguards only let us go in waist high and wouldn't let us use bodyboards. Naturally, I returned to the beach after they went off duty at 5:30 PM and used my bodyboard. I didn't get much wave action though, since the hurricane also caused some sandbars to form about 30 feet from shore. It was my first time on a sandbar however, so that wasn't a bad consolation prize.
I also purchased a "shorty" wetsuit before the trip. It helped with the slightly cold (65 degree) water temperatures and protected me from some nasty sunburn and from getting my back and chest shredded when bodysurfing. Not bad for $40.
Besides playing in the water, we also decided to dig on the beach a little. Actually, we dug on the beach a lot. Before the tide came in and destroyed our hard work, we had dug a hole that was about 4 feet deep and 6 feet wide. We also attracted an army of 6-year olds who were willing to help:
Talking to the 6-year olds was probably the most interesting part. They kept saying "OMG", and one made some offhand comment about sushi. It blows my mind that kids are eating sushi these days.
Among the other things of interest I found was in an arcade called "Lucky Leo's"... remember the machine "Zoltar" from the movie "Big"? Well, here it is!
No, I did not ask him for my fortune.
As usual, I made use of PhillyCarShare to get to the beach and back. And hey, we even have our own group on Flickr now! It's at:
If you made it this far, then I might as well point anyone who's interested to the full set of my pictures:
In summary, I came back slightly sunburned and very sore, but it was an otherwise awesome trip to the beach. I can't wait to go back next year!
Pretty much what the subject says. Running the latest version of the del.icio.us Firefox extension (2.0.72) in Firefox 3 on a G5 iMac with OS/X 10.4 ends up causing excessive CPU usage. And it seems that I am not the only one affected by this.
The main symptom of excessive CPU usage is starting up Activity Monitor and watching Firefox consume 10% of the CPU, even when it is sitting idle with a single empty tab open. Disabling the Delicious Firefox extension and restarting Firefox fixes the problem.
It appears that the folks who wrote the extension don't know what's going on either, so the only "fix" is to disable that extension. For the time being, I've added http://del.icio.us/post to my bookmarks so that I can still bookmark interesting sites.
Wow. What a blast.
3,390 members. And 453 fursuits in our fursuit parade.
I'd like to thank my hard working Operations Staff for helping make it happen, as well as the Dorsai Irregulars for doing their thing. I'd also like to thank our hard working volunteers who came by to help us set up and tear down. You guys rock, and are one of the reasons why Anthrocon Operations went so well this year.
I'll post a full report later, but for now I'm going to read through the post-con surveys.
Oh, you didn't fill one out?
Please tell us what you liked, and what we can do to improve. Thanks!
I got mail sent to me the other day, c/o the Anthrocon mailing address:
The enclosed letter reads:
Please do not open the enclosed package until Anthrocon.
Dr. Sodic non Grok
"Dr. Sodic non Grok" is an anagram of "Gordon R. Dickson", the original author of the books that featured the Dorsai.
I've no idea who this person is, but they've been making Dorsai Trading Cards for some years now. First there was Series A, then Series 1, and now Series 2.
If you want to see the trading cards, find a Dorsai Irregular at Anthrocon.
I can't believe I forgot to write more details about my trip to Furry Connection North!
For the impatient, my full archive of pictures can be found on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157604580955859/
I flew in on Wednesday night, so I could help out with setup on Thursday. For those of you reading this who have never been to a furry convention before, people tend to arrive early and stay late. So we did setup on Thursday morning to prepare for folks arriving as early as Thursday evening:
As the con started to fill up on Thursday and into Friday, we got the con suite and the "Pimp Suite" up and running. There were plenty of things to munch on, with beer for those over the age of 21:
The layout of the hotel consisted of an atrium with a large central area where attendees could congregate, similar to The Zoo at Anthrocon:
Registration was at the set of long tables that were off to the side of the area. And for those of you were who in that area and saw a wireless network with the SSID of Cheetahs Are Chewtoys? That was my doing. You're welcome.
Let's talk about the dances for a minute. The dances absolutely rocked. With laser lights and fog, they were lots of fun:
I was working on security at this convention, so I didn't get to drop in on as many panels or performances as I would have liked, but I made a few, including Branwyn's performance, and the "Science and Pseudoscience" panel. I didn't get to make all of Uncle Kage's Story Hour, but I did get to "buzz" the Story Hour halfway through with some of the other Dorsai Irregulars. 5 of us just walked in the back, single file, and stood there. This was enough to derail his train of thought and cause him to blurt out, "OMG it's the Dorsai Irregulars!"
On Sunday afternoon, there were fursuit games, held in the open area in the atrium. There was a turnout of 20 or so fursuiters:
One of the things that I liked about working this convention was that the folks running it had the attitude of, "Get the hard work done, THEN party". So when Sunday evening came around, partying was something we did:
Overall, the con went great! The hotel staff were awesome, as were the convention staff. Everyone had a job to do, and they went about doing it. No attitudes, no infighting, just hard work all around. And that's how a successful con happens.
The final attendance of the convention was 372 attendees. This is a record for a first year furry convention held in a new city, and is something that we can all be proud of.
If there's one thing that could be improved on, it would be the temperature of some of the hotel rooms. That was pretty much the only significant complaint we had. And it will be addressed for next year's Furry Connection North.
Our Guest of Honor (Latin Vixen) seemed to enjoy the convention too:
Got my days off for Anthrocon. All 5 of them. From the Wednesday before the con until the Tuesday afterward. The Tuesday is my day of recovery.
In other news, my mom "found" a $50 savings bond from when I was born. That should be worth quite a bit by now. However, she is holding it hostage until I buy her and my father Anthrocon memberships. Wait, what?!
I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh for some Anthrocon Business. The first thing I wanted to mention is that we have some pictures of The Doubletree in Pittsburgh. The full album is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157604208248727/
But this is probably the most important picture, taken directly in front of the entrance to the Doubletree:
After our business in Pittsburgh was concluded, some of us took a sidetrip to Randyland. For those of you who dined in the Orchid Restaurant at the Westin last year and interacted with the rather lively and animated waiter named Randy Gilson, you all know who I'm talking about. For those of you who didn't... well, Randy is a bit of a community hero in Pittsburgh. This is a picture from Page 2 of the phonebook:
Happy fellow, isn't he?
Randy is known for creating what is dubbed "Randyland", a section of homes in a rundown part of Pittsburgh that have been painted all sorts bright interesting colors and designs:
The full album of Randyland pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157604203902962/
Share and enjoy!
For the impatient, my entire dump of images from Dorsai Thing 33 can be found over on Flickr.
This year's Dorsai Thing was held in Marina Del Rey, just outside of Los Angeles. The temperature was a lovely 70-75 degrees most of the time, so I didn't spend as much of this Thing in the consuite, but rather on Venice Beach, which was a short walk away. Here's what I got to see in the morning:
I got some pics of town itself, too:
And finally, we had a few really loud Hawaiian shirts:
I believe that Dave and Diana Stein actually won prizes for those shirts. Scary.
Also, this year's Thing had not 1, not 2, but 3 new members inducted to the Dorsai Irregulars. The funny thing about Dorsai Membership is that prospective members are not told that they are under consideration. This means that their induction usually comes as a complete surprise to them. It also makes for some interesting pics of the weekend's inductions:
Overall, I had an awesome weekend and can't wait until I see some of the other DI and folk at the next con. And according to my calendar, that would be... Furry Connection North from April 11 to 13 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I'll see you there.
So, the other day at a meeting, I saw a co-worker make tea with one of these:
The way it works is that the tea steeps in the cup, and then you place it on top of a mug, triggering the value in the bottom that empties the tea. What was fun about this was watching a female co-worker freak out. She said she thought the steeper was "pissing" and that it was "so gross".
So, of course I had to get one for myself! I got a referral from that co-worker to Adagio Teas and ordered their starter set, which includes a steeper, 4 sample teas, and a full color guide to tea that talks about the history of tea, brewing styles, and more. That only cost $19. I set shipping to "ground" (the cheapest), and it arrived the very next day. Badass!
I also like the Adagio site. It has a very strong "social network" aspect to it. The co-worker who referred me is now listed as a "tea friend", and you can write reviews on products that you have ordered, as well as read others' reviews. Bonus: for each review you write, you get 50 cents off of your next order. Adagio also has a tea of the month club. Very well.
Also, now that I'm a customer, I can send out coupons for $5 off of your first order. If you're interested in getting a coupon, let me know.
Did I mention I hope to kick the coffee habit? We'll see how well this works out.
When it comes to webhosting, you can't beat NearlyFreeSpeech. They're cheap, fast, and reliable. I've been a very happy customer for years, and run a number of Drupal installations under them.
However, NFSN does do things a little differently, and this can cause some interesting interactions with Drupal. The main thing that they do differently is that they use Squid and run reverse proxies at the edge of their network, which cache requests made to member websites. For most sites, this is not a problem. Drupal, however, tries to be "cache friendly" with regards to the headers it emits, and sometimes this doesn't work so well. I've seen the following symptoms happen under a virgin Drupal installation:
Here's how to fix that:
By examining that line, you can tell whether you are retrieving the most recent copy of the page or not, and this can be a valuable tool in troubleshooting cached pages.
Once all of those things are done, any cache issues that your users are experiencing should slowly go away.
Finally, I must admit that I am not any sort of HTTP guru. I merely followed what I read in these specifications:
If you know of a better way to fix this problem, feel free to let me know...