Moblogging with MT, pop2blog and my phone

Using a mixture of duct tape, pipe cleaners, and old tupperware bowls, I’ve now got my phone talking to my blog.

Starting with pop2blog, I hacked it to only keep track of attached images and email subjects, ignoring the rest of the message. It also only transmits image names as new posts to Movable Type on this server. It’s on another server though, since some of the perl modules required weren’t available to my activestate perl install’s package manager (thanks chris for figuring out a workaround). I’m doing more CSS tricks to display a short 100px tall peek at the images, and if you click through you’ll see the full image (still working on the archive pages for images).

So to recap, I take a photo with my phone, push about 7 buttons to send it off to a secret email account on one server. A cronjob on a different server checks the account every 10 minutes, then processes the messages and sends the results to a third server via xml-prc, which updates a movable type blog (including one custom template to produce the table you see above, and another template to create the CSS on the fly), which is included in another movable type blog (the one you are reading). Three servers, two blogs (with custom templates), a phone, and bunch of rudimentary glue code. Now you can see why I’m surprised it worked at all.

Spring finally sprung

Yesterday was no doubt the first real day of spring for me, and I have a feeling it was for everyone else too. It started off with a morning so warm I put on a pair of shorts for the first time since last October. I enjoyed a long brunch with friends followed by warm walks through neighborhoods and ending up in a backyard for an hour talking.

After returning home, backyard primping and preening ruled the day, followed by a nap filled with warm breezes and resting cats. Dinner was had after a walk downtown to a sushi restuarant. On the trip home, the sidewalks were loaded with people doing the same, which I’ve never seen before (it is California, after all, and we rarely see anyone else walking in the suburbs).

What really sealed the deal was checking my email last night for the first time in hours and getting only three new messages. It’s as if everyone realized what a spectacular day they had in front of them and unpulgged collectively to enjoy it.

Translation: hilarious

I noticed a site talking about my mozilla article in my referrers today, but it was in german. I jumped over to google to run the translation, and here’s the best chunk of it:

…on my XP system use I the IE, despite all safety gaps and in such a way, since unfortunately the IE momentarily the measure of all things represents and we must naturally test the distribution of means of publicity particularly under IE.

First impression of Mozilla: I impregnated.

The Ben’s rock

Ben Folds, Ben Lee, and Ben Kweller (three of my favorite musicians today) are currently touring Australia together and collaborated on a special EP, with plans to do a full album this summer. I got a copy of the tracks and can’t stop listening to it. It’s just… so…fucking…good.

Usually I’m not much for supergroup collaborations, but it’s a great balance of all three. Some songs are kinda Ben Folds sounding, with lots of piano, some are acoustic and feature Ben Kweller’s sound, with Ben Lee’s sound also infused throughout. It’s even got a 80’s sounding, Gary Newman-esque song.

Worst reality show ever

The Oscars have historically been an amazing display of self-congratulatory nonsense, but I knew this year, in the midst of a war and global strife, they’d be especially pointless and nonsensical. In the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about the most pointless display of public fawning and affection for people that already get far more than they deserve. It was a four hour trainwreck in slow motion, watching millionaires pat themselves on the back again and again. Needless to say, I enjoyed every single minute of its grotesque glory.

Some random thoughts throughout the night:

– Thanks to Billy Crystal’s hosting of a few years back, Oscar night has pretty much been reduced to a glorifed Friar’s Club Roast for Jack Nicolson. It was funny at first, but it’s wearing thin. Write some new jokes people.

– 75 years of 5 hour shows = about 16 days of oscar presentations to date.

– I don’t know about Nicole Kidman’s new look. She looked like either a Don Johnson love interest from an episode of Miami Vice, or someone that popped out of a Nagel painting. She looked so 80s it hurt.

– Paul Simon’s comb-forward ‘do was looking pretty pathetic, he almost looks like Garfunkel now, though I liked his song. I loved the song for Frida, I thought the Chicago number was pretty good, U2 was so-so, but where was Eminem?

– The constant cutting-off of the short speeches got tiresome. It doesn’t seem like the biggest source of fat on the evening’s festivities are speeches. Can we have less retrospectives and less song-and-dance numbers? If the show was just about giving awards away, it could easily fit into 30 minutes. Look how short the list of winners is if you don’t believe me.

– In most of the 75 year flashbacks of previous acting winners, you can often count the number of minorities shown winning on one hand. Sometimes on just a couple fingers. Sometimes on a single finger for a category.

– I didn’t think Michael Moore would win because I didn’t think anyone would let him onstage, but when he did win, he basically went on to do a parody of himself. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd turn from standing ovation to loud booing, and they did it in the span of 30 seconds. As much as I love his movies, books and tv shows, I’d say he deserved it. Let the 2000 election bruhaha go Michael. Really. Everyone else has moved on.

– In many ways, Adrien Brody communicated the same message as Michael Moore, but with style, dignity, and class. Though I expect he’ll catch heat from conservatives for putting Allah and God in the same sentence. The lamest thing he said was that because he worked on a holocaust film he understood what war is really like, which is ridiculous in at least a dozen ways.

– I was joking with some folks earlier about doing a drinking game. Every time you hear the words “peace”, “troops”, or “pray” you were supposed to drink, but I was surprised that the acceptance speeches didn’t feature those phrases more often. I guess the celebs got the message they weren’t supposed to do that, even though the president of their organization got to.