December 27, 2002

A day in New York

I spent the day today in New York City taking in the sights, eating excellent food, and spending time with my family. We hopped on a train from South Orange and were in New York Penn. Station within 30 minutes — what a fantastic way to commute! I wish that Atlanta had a nice rail system that I could utilize, it sure beats traffic. But I digress....

We started out the day by hitting the B&H Camera Shop, where I was able to pick up a new battery for my digital camera, and a nice leather case. Then we walked over to Grand Central Station to eat at the Oyster Bar, which is an excellent little restraunt with wonderful soup and seafood. Grand Central is such a beautiful public space of the kind that I don't expect to see again in this country. What a shame!

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Then we walked over to the Chrystler building to take a look at the lobby, which I didn't find all that interesting. The last stop of the day was the New York Public Library, which was absolutely gorgeous. Again, a public space from a time long forgotten, which is unlikely to be matched any time soon.

Tomorrow morning at 9:40 I head back to Atlanta for my last week in the country before I leave for study abroad. Until then...

Posted by panix at 12:14 AM

December 25, 2002

What a merry Christmas!

Today was a wonderful family Christmas in the LaCour clan. It was a day filled with gifts, food, games, and family fun. What made this Christmas distinctively different for me was the high involvement of technology. I spent much of yesterday playing on my laptop with my two little cousins, who also both have laptops. At one point I believe that there were five laptops, four cellphones, a PDA, two iPods, and a digital camera all in the same room. Wild =)
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It was a beautiful, snowy day here in South Orange, and I hope that tomorrow is at least as beautiful. I am planning on taking a train into the city to watch a film, walk the streets, and generally enjoy the constant energy of New York City. Merry Christmas to all on this wonderful advent of Christ's birth!
Posted by panix at 08:16 PM

December 24, 2002

Meet Winston!

I would like to introduce you to Winston, Lacey's new puppy that I bought her for Christmas! He is absolutely adorable, as you can tell from the picture below (click on the thumbnail to see it larger).


Winston is a mixed-breed dog, half shih-tzu and half pug. We like to call him a pugzu, since its a lot more attractive than shit-pug, don't you think? Anyway, he is adorable. After our horrible experience with the pet rescue centers, which have terrible application processes, and are likely to break your heart if they can, we just went to the classifieds. Sure, we paid a bit more, but we didn't have to go through the hassle of dealing with the pomposity of the rescue centers.

I am writing this entry on the plane on my way to New Jersey for Christmas. My aunt, uncle, and cousins live in South Orange, which is a short train trip away from the heart of New York City. It looks like we might even have a white Christmas! I wish you all a merry Christmas, I will be sure to post some photos of my experience in New York when I get a chance.

Til' next time!

Posted by panix at 12:22 PM

December 22, 2002

Long day...

Today was a long day.... I am attempting to get Lacey a puppy for Christmas to keep her company while I am away, and its not the easiest thing in the world. All of the adoption centers have this high and mighty attitude like they don't even want you to adopt the dogs. This one woman in particular at an Atlanta pet adoption center decided that we were not good candidates for adoption because we were students.

Ah, yes, of *course* well-educated people that will have real jobs (not at a pet adoption center) are absolutely bad pet owners. Without a doubt. Better give that puppy to a soccer mom with annoying children to terrorize the poor thing. Ah, well, looks like we will just have to take the capitalist route and purchase a puppy. Serves us right for wanting to give an abandoned pet a new home.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

So, blog updates. As you can tell, this site will *not* be hosted at, and will instead be hosted at for now. Why is that you say? Well, sadly enough, I cannot figure out the blasted web-interface to my DNS server for the life of me. I am getting worried that uploading the entire directory structure to the site once or twice a week might end up being a bit difficult down under, as it will be inflating to rather large sizes quite quickly with all of the pictures. I need to figure out a way to only upload changes. I smell some python on the horizon... sleep time!

Posted by panix at 02:02 AM

December 21, 2002

Thumbnails and bedtime...

Well, thumbnailed pictures appear to work now, so I think its time to go to bed... what do you think?


The picture is of me at my parents house some time ago. Well, I am off to bed, since its like 3:00 AM now =)

Posted by panix at 03:06 AM


Well, would you look at this... it appears that I have image support. I am going to check this out right now, by placing a simple popup image: View image.

So, now it appears that I need to install ImageMagick or NetPBM with perl support to get thumbnails working automagically... this could be interesting.

Posted by panix at 02:03 AM

Blog updates...

So, I spent some time fooling around with MovableType tonight, and it looks like what I want is most certainly possible. MovableType works by storing entries, users, templates, etc. in a MySQL or BerkelyDB database. Once you are done editing, you can ask the system to "rebuild" the blog. This will use the database information to generate CSS, HTML, and XML that represents your page. All of this is placed on your local web server at the location of publishing.

This *does* allow for me to copy these static files around to another host, but its not exactly perfect since it publishes to my PowerBook's web server, and hardcodes some URL's with 'localhost' into a bunch of the files. So, I wrote a simple python script that copies the static published directory, recurses through the directories, and does string replacement on hostnames, paths, etc. based on an external configuration file. I can then upload this file whenever I feel like updating my blog to (which I where I would like to host my blog).

Turns out this works very well, and in all liklihood, if you are reading this, you are reading it from that web address. The beauty of this all is that I can make all of my journal entires offline while in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. When I get the chance, I can pop into an internet cafe and upload my new blog entries every few days. Brilliant!

A few issues remain:

  • Not sure if images and thumbnails are supported in this fashion.

  • I need to update the script so that it can automagically upload everything.

  • There are some really cool templates out there to control the look and feel of a MT blog, and I would like to check those out.

Other than these things, I am really happy thus far. I will update some more when I get a chance!

Posted by panix at 12:16 AM

December 20, 2002

Testing this out...

Well, I have just installed MovableType on my PowerBook to test out using it as a blog system. I am hoping that I will be able to edit the whole thing locally while I am in Australia, and then export and upload a static version to once I am done.

This configuration would really allow me to manage my site very well, since I will rarely have an internet connection, and when I do, it will be very very briefly, and will cost me money. So, to get the maximum bloggage, I will need something better than, which requires me to edit things online—sucky.

So, here is the first post to test this sucker out with. If things work out, I am on my way to an excellent weblog experience when I am in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Posted by panix at 10:51 PM