The rules for running in to my car

Okay, here are the rules when you rear-end me:

  1. You start by giving me your name, phone number and insurance information.
  2. Don't tell me how bad the damage to my car is. I'll decide if it's "not that bad."
  3. If you don't want to use your insurance then you do have to offer to pay for it.
  4. I pick the body shop.
  5. At least act like you're sorry.

I've been working at adopting David Allen's GTD system (here's the original book) for about 6 months now. It seems to suit my personality and lifestyle very well. My Read and Review stack (rnr) is still disparate yet but I do have a couple places that I understand are well-described as "rnr". That makes it easy enough for me to grab something on my way out the door to an appointment anywhere with a waiting room. Like this morning. I had to go have a consult about my teeth. The wait wasn't long but reading about debugging device drivers (thanks for the free magazine OSR) is a lot better than twiddling my thumbs or playing games on the phone.

Have Some Brews in BRD

So it's that time of year and Brewfest is back at Ironforge! This year Blizzard's brought out new trinkets from a boss in Blackrock Depths. I got to 70 by world questing so I totally skipped Blackrock Depths when I should've been there but when I saw the quest rewards I figured it was worth the effort.

First off, how to get there in case you don't want to let on that you've got no clue where the place is. Fly out to Searing Gorge then follow this map. The northernmost point is the gryphon master. Once you get down near the southwest corner you follow the path up into Blackrock mountain and through the cracked open door. Once inside you're going to have to run down the chains over the lava. Yes you can fall off and yes you will die if you do. Once you're down the chain you still have to run around down some stairs, out the other side and down another chain. Then you end up in the quarry and you want to head north to get into the instance.


I'm an occasional hardware hacker and a packrat. That can be a messy combination. A big part of that mess is the hug mass of cables that I've accumulated over years of dealing with every kind of incompatible technology. The solution? Baggies. Zip lock sandwich bags (or the cheapest off-brand alternative). I now have a drawer in my filing cabinet with hundreds of cables all rolled up and sealed away. This isn't new for me, I started on the system when I commited myself to a clean office months ago.

I'm a PC and I run Linux

Gizmondo has video of the latest ads Microsoft's apparently running. Much better than that last attempt with Bill G and Seinfield, at least from a marketing standpoint. It doesn't make the product technically any better but it's a clever ad.

Setting up TinyMCE with jQuery and CakePHP 1.2

CakePHP uses the Prototype Javascript library for its ajax helper class but I've come to prefer jQuery. Prototype is a fine library too but I've just gotten used to jQuery.

A web application I'm working on needed a ttw html editor so I grabbed TinyMCE and copied in some of the example code and everything seemed to work fine at first glance. Unfortunately TinyMCE has an issue with jQuery's $(document).ready function and it also has an issue with saving via ajax in CakePHP.

There's a helpful page on the Bakery that outlines some issues you'll run into trying to get CakePHP & Prototype working with TinyMCE but it's a little out of date now (I'm using CakePHP 1.2RC1, TinyMCE 3.09 and jQuery 1.2.6 at the moment). I'll go through examples that illustrate how I solved the two problems I ran in to but I'm not going to explain everything you need to do ajax submissions with CakePHP.

CakePHP 1.2RC1 is out
CakePHP is a really nice MVC framework I've been using for a project I'm working on. I've been using one of the 1.2 betas for what seems like forever but I just now saw they've got a Release Candidate out as of a couple days ago. The MVC pattern fits a whole lot of applications or acts as glue for a lot of web apps where the main goals don't fit MVC. I find that CakePHP is fantastic for getting a lot of the monotonous code out of your way so you can focus your efforts on the important stuff. Here's the release note. You can download it from the main page at This framework has a few warts and like any young software, it will see API changes that break code. Don't expect it to solve every problem for you but it will give you a huge boost to start-up speed on building new applications. In the long run you have to remember it's a tool for you to build an application, not an application in and of itself. It's time for me to dive in now and start my upgrade, I hear some of the conditions on my find() calls will have to be fixed...
How to not grow creeping charlie

I've always thought growing grass was a terrible idea. As a kid I was pretty practical and I didn't see any benefit to having a green lawn full. I was also pretty well aware of the amount of effort required to maintain the lawn at home growing up since the mower was often my job. I hated mowing it and my parents weren't even really big lawn freaks. We had weeds and dandelions and bare patches. I always marveled at the crazy amount of time and effort our neighbours across the street wasted on keeping their yard green and presentable.

Now I've grown up and I feel pretty much the same way. It might not make my neighbours happy but at least I didn't follow through with my plan to pave it and paint it green. As a child I assumed the problem was that people wanted a large green square in front of their homes and concrete seemed to be a very practical solution to that problem.

A Complete LAMP Development Environment - Xampp, Eclipse PDT and XDebug

Getting together a good development environment for PHP websites isn't that hard any more. On a Windows machine, I recommend a pretty simple approach. Install Xampp, install Eclipse PDT, install XDebug. For bonus points set up Subversion and get TortiseSVN (or, I guess, whatever other version control works for you).

I'll give a quick rundown here on how I set up a development environment on a Windows machine, I tested it as I was writing it and I don't think it took but 2 hours.

SVG Open Call for Papers Deadline coming up
The SVG Open is shaping up fast. The call for papers has been out there for a while now but if you're quick you can still present a paper or run a workshop but the deadline to submit for papers and courses is April 18 and that'll be here before you know it. The SVG Open is the conference for people doing SVG. The SVG Open has been running since at least 2002 and seems to get a little broader appeal every year it runs. Look at the broad areas to cover: client-side Javascript toolkits, map overlays like Google's, widgets in Opera, cell phones and other embedded applications, UI elements in Gnome and KDE, desktop tools like Inkscape. Those are just off the top of my head, that kind of a list just didn't exist 5 years ago - not for mainstream applications like these. SVG is growing in adoption and I don't see that slowing down anytime soon. I've been out of the scene for a while but things have really come a long way all of a sudden. There's some great support across the latest browsers - compare that half-green Firefox 3 to the qualified "about half of the tests passed that test features supported by Firefox" from a few years ago. There are solid, supported tools that make SVG creation accessible to anyone. Inkscape may only consider their release 0.46 less than a 1.0 but it's a real practical tool that's adding features in leaps and bounds. Want some graphics to work with? The Open Clip Art Library has piles of subjects covered. There are more and more compelling reasons to choose SVG every day. If you're someone who's been applying SVG already then share what you know and go present it at the Open.
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