Eating My Own Dog Food

For a while I’ve been advising people who need simple web sites to use WordPress. Not just people who want to blog, but people who need a very simple site with just a few pages. The reason I’ve been suggesting they use WordPress is that it’s easy to update pages (WordPress has a built-in WYSIWYG editor and automatic menu building), simple to extend and change the appearance of, and easy to maintain. Because you can keep drafts of your work in WordPress itself and it runs on the server, it also doesn’t matter where you work on it from, so you don’t have to worry about business computer versus home computer.

A downside is the prominent security issues WordPress has had of late (though the folks behind WordPress are prompt in fixing issues and clear about letting people know they need updated software). I want to be clear that I am in no way suggesting being lax about installing security updates, but it is true that a WordPress install that’s basically read-only – no user commenting and no remote posting enabled – is much less likely to suffer a break-in than a common blog would be.

I haven’t touched my web site in years. I started a blog at and until now hadn’t posted to that in almost a year.

My site consisted of several poorly laid out pages that were quite out of date, written using Perl’s HTML::Mason package. I quite like HTML::Mason but it was overkill for what I was doing, and I’d like to get mod_perl out of my web server.

So I’m going to eat my own dog food and move my site to WordPress. In fact, I’ve just remapped things so that the blog is now the site, and I’ve switched to using WordPress 3’s standard theme, TwentyTen, with some tweaks. Because I’m also trying to get over not-invented here syndrome. (If you subscribed to the blog at the old address you don’t need to change anything; it should just keept working.)

I’ll move over pages from the old site as I have time to rewrite and update them.

Mmmm, dog food. Not as bad as it sounds!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

It takes a little more care though, and takes longer to cook. Steel-cut Oats Rolled Oats Steel-cut oatmeal Rolled oats The recipe is a straightforward translation of pumpkin pie filling, skipping the fat because why ruin a healthy food with it? And also it’s just unnecessary. 1/4 cup steel-cut oats 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 1 cup 1% milk (or whatever kind you prefer) 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar, or honey, or the sweetener of your choice) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ginger (I omitted this because I ran out) pinch of salt Rice Cooker I’m down on rice cookers because it’s actually pretty easy to make rice. … If you cook it on the stove-top, put the ingredients together in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom. … I was very happy with them, and will gladly make this again. 1/4 cup of oatmeal is usually right for one serving, but with the addition of 1/4 cup of pumpkin, this felt more like 1.5 or even 2 servings, so there’s some left over for later.


Whenever I Go Away, I Want to Start Anew…

There’s a thrill for me in the initial exploration of an idea, the initial design of a piece of software or web site, and in learning how to use new tools or pieces of software to build the thing that I want to build.

… I don’t hate that part of the work but it isn’t nearly as interesting to me and it’s hard for me to get up the motivation to do it, especially when I have a head full of other ideas to work on. However, getting over that hump and dealing with the issues that arise as a site begins running and getting users, or a piece of software starts to get used by others – that captures my interest again – maybe not quite as much as the initial phase, but there are new problems and there are always unforeseen developments when other people start using a thing that one person has labored over on their own. … I’m sitting in a hotel today having a very nice relaxing day away from home, and thankfully today’s idea for something new is blocked by a lack of good domain names for it (rather than a surplus of self-control).


Omnious Sounding

Yahoo seems to have changed the layout of Yahoo Movies recently. I was looking at what was playing locally and saw this: save-this.png It sounds ominous. If I don’t sign in are they going to close The Nugget?


Fixing Perl after MacOS X Security Update 2009-001

Apple's first security update of 2009 for MacOS X may solve some security issues in the OS but it also seriously breaks Perl by installing old versions of some modules along with Perl. It looks like Perl works okay for things that MacOS X uses it for, but if you do development using it or have installed other modules than what it came bundled with you may find that it no longer works.

…You'll probably need to download it from CPAN by hand as the CPAN shell itself is broken by the update.

The current version (as of the time I'm writing this article) is 1.2301 – you can find it at