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Intervention Con

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< Piro >

fredart

"a scary little glow"

Friday - July 27, 2007

[Piro] - 11:49:00 - [link here]

A storm blew through our town last night and dropped some of the heaviest hail i've seen in years. Not too much damage to the property (it was mostly 3/4" to 1") but there was a LOT of it. Power didn't go out when the big storm went through, and we don't loose power that often, so it was just a wild little thunderstorm that added some entertainment to the evening.

Of course, it was just the first of many cells that rolled through the area, none of them as serious as the first one. The problem came a few hours later when a lightning strike hit something electrically important nearby and sent my drawing table into darkness. After an hour of getting flashlights and candles out, and seeing what the weather radio had to say, it was becoming clear that power was not going to be coming back on for a while. The UPS system for the computers and backup systems worked great, just like they are supposed to.

The weird thing was that after a few hours, several things beeped in the house, and as i went around to look i noticed that one of the light bulbs in a lamp was glowing very very dimly. After doing some checking, i could see that there was power trickling into the house, but it was very, very low - the kind of thing that can wreak havoc on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment. Needless to say, i scrambled around the house unplugging things, then realized that the best thing to do was to snap off all the circuit breakers on the main panel. This done, there was little i could do but wait for the power to come back on.

I've tried it before, but it's just not possible to draw comics by candelight, so i wasn't able to work any further on the comic last night. I'm actually at the warehouse right now where i am typing this update (and have a working internet connection - even the coffee shop up the street from our house that i usually fall back on for net access was without power). The power company has no estimate on when power will be back up, and i haven't seen any power trucks in the neighborhood, so i'm a little worried about it coming back on today. Hopefully by the time i finish the drawings, the power will be back and i can scan and clean up. If not, I'll try to move things to the warehouse and see if i can get the comic done here.

I used to think that Murphy was a direct relative of mine somewhere in the past, but now i'm convinced that i'm actually a reincarnation of the hapless fellow. The cavalcade of 'things that go wrong' has been so ridiculous over the past few months that i dare not actually list it all for fear that people would swear i make this stuff up. :P Hopefully, power will be back up later and i can post the comic tonight. Next week i'm going to attain some sort of schedule come hell or high water. I'm betting on floods next week.

< Dom >

"Sigh..."

Thursday - August 23, 2007

[Dom] - 10:30:00 - [link here]

So not only has pixiebell been riding me for a month to write a new rant, but her sister Kuromi is now in on the act. And since her sister actually lives within striking distance of me and has deadly accuracy with a dodgeball, I find myself slogging through the MegaTokyo back end again.

You see, that's what's really keeping me from ranting more often - it's not that I don't like the writing. I LOVE writing. I have started writing for myself again (though it's for a D&D campaign, at least it's motivating me to work with weekly deadlines), and I still contribute to Newtype. Heck, I've been asked to write for some indie rags, and I think I just might take them up on their offer.

It's not that I don't like MegaTokyo, either. I love this site, and I love working with Fred. I've been here since the beginning, and if things go well, I'll turn off the lights on the way out.

But as you may or may not know, Megatokyo as a site was never designed to be as big as it was. So it's a giant patchwork, and it really shows on the back end.

Here's the process for writing a rant:
Step 1: Open up a browser and navigate to the SQL back end of MT, and create a table entry in the database for the rant. Write the rant, using appropriate meta-data.
Step 2: Assuming that I'm not using the default graphic (the charming picture of me you see above), find an appropriate image, resize it to 300x245 (and seriously, what the hell kind of proportion is that?) via some kind of image editor and save it.
Step 3: Open up a secure FTP program and hit up the MegaTokyo file server, navigating from /home/Dom to the /rantpics folder way somewhere in /htdocs. Pray that the server is accepting files at the moment, and keep that window open.
Step 4: Log into MegaTokyo via a shell, as root. Try and remember what the correct command and path is to run recache.php, and wait 5 minutes as everything runs.
Step 5: Remember that secure FTP client? Go back into it and dig into the RSS, then hand-edit the RSS feed, save it, and quit out.

In all, this process takes about an hour beyond writing the rant itself, and good god does it get tedious. Note that it involves at least 5 programs and two instances of praying that I don't break anything.

And that is why Fred and I haven't blogged since last month.

However! With the new MT site coming up, hopefully I'll be able to write my little piece, usually in under an hour, hit "publish" and voila!

So yeah, whenever that happens, I actually will rant more. Until then, I'll see you guys in the forums.

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