Bonnaroo 2009!!!!

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Alright, so I was supposed to post a bunch of legendary photos and video from Bonnaroo by now - but I forgot to plan in the fact that I am unbelievably allergic to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I spent part of the week in bed just suffering. At least I am planning on handling being sick by taking a 20 plus mile hike through 95 degree heat in Arkansas the next two days. I really have a problem.

Anyhow, I do have over 11GB of photos and video to go through - but I can't give it the time it deserves before I leave for the hike. So, instead, I'll give you a teaser and I'll publish what I've been working on some time next week.

In case you weren't following on Twitter (you can read my five latest Tweets on the right of this page), Bonnaroo was legendary. I was in the pit for Bruce, saw NIN's last US show ever, rocked it with strangers for Phish, and then got on stage for over an hour with Girl Talk. To post just one photo from the weekend is giving it short shrift, so I'll give you two. This might be my favorite. It's from the end of the Girl Talk set - I was covered in sweat from dancing on stage for 75 minutes or so. The man in the photo is Greg Gillis, who is "Girl Talk".  To the left, he is facing 5,000 to 10,000 screaming fans, delirious at 4:30 AM after a full day of shows.


And this is what he and I were looking out at for over an hour:


Seriously, the whole weekend was that amazing.  More to come next week - now its time to hike.


And So It Begins...

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Late as usual, but I am heading off for Bonnaroo and three weeks of a road trip. I'll be posting hundreds of photos here and blog posts when I get to Tulsa (mid-next week), but until then, you'll have to settle for Twitter updates.

You can see my latest Tweets on the right column at the top. If you're getting here as I'm leaving, you'll probably see old tweets from last year when I was at Lollapalooza.

Anyway, I really have to get going if I'm going to see Danny tonight in Roanoke. Then, its on to Bonnaroo and my feeble attempt to connect up with the guys from Michigan. Our RV fell through, so we're trying to go in together. From all reports, the traffic will be epic - so I'm not optimistic. However, we do plan on arriving early - I'm getting there tonight around 1 AM and they're arriving tomorrow morning around 6 AM. The festival grounds open at 7 AM-ish and the first show is in the afternoon. There's not much on Thursday for shows - but I do want to check out The Low Anthem at least.

Feel free to comment in the forums on this post. Just ignore the spam - I'll delete it later. I tried to install a spam blocking mod to the forum, but it flat-out wont work. Maybe I'll fix it next week. Time to hit the road.


The Agony of Defeat

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For those of you who don't follow hockey - last night, my New Jersey Devils broke my heart.

And now a quick break to ameliorate the pain:

Craig Ferguson - simply the best host in late night. Seriously, how many people just have the TV on as Letterman ends, and then this comes out without any explanation whatsoever? Ferguson rules. Back to the pain.

Since moving back to New Jersey, I've been able to follow the Devils during the regular season.  When I lived in Michigan or North Carolina, I didn't buy the Center Ice TV package and I could not get MSG+ - so my fandom was limited to the rare national Devils game or trying to watch them over the internet during the playoffs.  But now that I'm back, I can watch the regular season games and get into a rhythm with the roster and their ups and downs.

This year, I followed them especially closely as I felt that they had a chance to go all the way.  I watched as Marty Brodeur went down with a torn bicep for a few months.  I watched as they floundered without him.  I watched as they found their way and began to turn the season around.  I watched as they marched through the league and got within a few points of Boston for the best record in the Eastern Conference.  I watched as they fumbled in the last souple of weeks fo the regular season.  And I watched as they played one of the best series I have ever seen - Devils vs. Hurricanes, first round, 2009 NHL Playoffs.

The first game, the Devils won handily.  Then the Canes tied it up in Game 2 with an overtime goal to steal a win in NJ.  For game 3, the Devils went to Carolina and won in the second overtime game of the series.  Wait... it gets better.  In game 4, the Canes won on a goal with 0.2 seconds left.  The series was tied again.


Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

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Note: if you were looking for my old article on this for phpBB 2.0 and Joomla 1.0, it is unsupported, but available here.

New release: version 0.21

New name: Now plugin is called "Boylan Comments"

There was a mistake in version 0.2, which has been fixed in 0.21. Please upgrade to 0.21 if you have not done so yet. The instructions remain the same.

For upgraders:

If you have installed an earlier version of this plugin and want to upgrade (you should upgrade - v 0.2 contains serious bugfixes)

  1. Just uninstall the plugin currently on your site. Don't worry, you won't lose any comments. However, failing to uninstall the old plugin first will cause problems.
  2. Install the new plugin, downloadable below.
  3. After installing, modify the plugin parameters as necessary - note: the new installation will lose all of your parameter settings, but you can re-enter them in seconds.
  4. Check out this bug and modify your phpBB Group permissions to stop the comment threads from appearing as unapproved.
  5. Finally, publish the plugin.
  6. When you're done, subscribe to the comment thread for this article - I will post a new comment for new releases.

For first time installers:

OK, we are currently in an alpha release.  I would highly recommend backing up your database before proceeding, as you'll have to add a table.

This plugin is only compatible with Joomla 1.5x and phpBB 3.0.x - IT WILL NOT WORK with phpBB 2 or Joomla 1.0.x

I have only tested this plugin with Joomla 1.5.8 and phpBB 3.0.4, but presumably it will work with any releases up to this point.  If phpBB has a new release that modifies the common.php file or the utf_tools.php file, a new plugin will have to be released.  If you upgrade to a new release before I have updated the plugin, it may break the plugin or your site in ways I cannot predict. The plugin also works with SEF enabled or disabled.  I use sh404SEF, and it works fine.  It also works with the phpBBSEO Mod installed with a quick dropdown selection in the plugin parameters.

Also note: THIS PLUGIN WILL GENERATE A THREAD FOR EVERY ARTICLE IN YOUR JOOMLA SITE! That could be thousands of threads generated in one quick shot (the page has to be loaded to generate the thread, but web crawlers and search spiders should do that in short order). If you have a lot of articles, make sure you create a separate forum for the comments, or it will blow your current threads into oblivion - many, many pages deep.

Seriously, you can't just try this out on one or two articles.  It's all or nothing - for now.  If you want to test it small, close your site to external visitors while you poke around and test.  Just remember, if you have a blog page with 10 articles on it, loading that page will create 10 threads.  It won't swamp your server or anything, it will just fill your forum really quickly. Or, you can wait until I release a new version that will let you limit comments to certain categories, sections or even articles.


Things to do after installing, but before publishing the plugin:

  1. Create a comments table using this SQL:

    CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `jos_phpbb_comments` ( `source` int(11) NOT NULL default '0', `topic` int(11) NOT NULL default '0' ) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

    This is presuming that your table prefix is 'jos_'.  Change it if necessary.
  2. Create a forum for comments - you can mix it in with another forum if you want, but I prefer a separate comments forum. (Note the id # of the forum. You'll need it for the plugin parameters.)
  3. Create a user that has topic creation privileges in that forum. (Note the id # of the user you created. You'll need it for the plugin parameters.) I'd also recommend removing the ability of others to start topics in that forum to keep it clean.
  4. Check out this bug and modify your phpBB Group permissions to stop the comment threads from appearing as unapproved.
  5. Fill out the parameters for this plugin with appropriate values.  Check to make sure your phpBB root path is correct - the default is just what I use, it likely will not be the same for you.

You then can publish the plugin.

If you find any bugs or see any weird or unexpected behavior (especially error messages), please post to the comments thread at the bottom this article.  Please include a copy of your error messages in your post.  I would like to keep all bug reports and questions here to make things easier for both myself and other users. Also, feel free to make feature requests in this comments thread.  I'm sure there are things I did not think of yet.  I may not get around to them as soon as you would like, but this plugin will be under active development, especially over the next few weeks.


Best Investment Ever

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At the dinner table today, the meal was spaghetti and meatballs.  As per usual with spaghetti and meatballs, it was served at the same temperature as molten lava. 

When I sat down in front of my plate, the spaghetti and sauce were steaming.  I hate burning my mouth with intense passion, so there was no way I was going to eat it like that.  So, I leaned over and blew on it to cool it down.  

My Mom looked at me like I was insane. 

Mom: "I don't think that does anything."

Me: "What?"

Mom: "I don't think blowing on you food cools it."

We have had this conversation before.  I still don't get what's confusing about blowing on your food to cool it down.  It works.  People have been doing it for millenia.

Me: "Of course it does.  Blow on your hand.  Does it feel cooler?  See!  It works!"

Mom: "I just think you're wasting your time.  It doesn't do anything."

Me (growing angry): "How?  What?  When it's cold outside, do you feel colder when the wind blows?"

Mom: "Yes, but that's when it's cold.  I don't think it does anything when it's hot like that."

Me (growing increasingly frustrated that she is impervious to my logic):  "But it works when it's hot too, right?  When it's like 90 degrees out, isn't it better when the wind picks up?"

Mom:  "Well... I don't know. "

At this point she goes back to eating.  However, she has not agreed to my point, so I can't let it go.  I can never let it go if I am obviously right.  I NEED the other person to not just agree with me, but understand WHY I am right.  You can't placate me with a quick concession - that's not good enough.  I need to know that you KNOW that my logic is correct.  It's not that I'm correct.  It's that something is wrong.


Something is wrong on the internet


Me: "No. That is unacceptable. It's getting cooler. Look! It was steaming, then I blow on it, now - no steam!"

She looks at me and shrugs.

Mom: "It doesn't do anything."

Alright. This had gone on far enough. Now it's time to bring out the SCIENCE!

 Science. It works, bitches.

In the fall, my Dad was complaining about how the laundry room was always cold.  He thought that there may not be insulation in the walls.  So, as a Christmas present I got him (really me) this completely awesome infrared thermometer. You point it's laser at something, pull the trigger, and it tells you the temperature of whatever surface it's pointed at.  It has solved countless arguments and is also totally fun at any time of day.  (For instance, I pointed it at the back of my little sister Allison's neck and said aloud, "Hmmmm.... 86.3..."  When my other sister, DD, asks me what 86.3 is, I reply "86.3 is the skin temperature of a booze-hound."  Hysterics ensue.)

So, back to the spaghetti argument.

I scream, "That's it!" and leave the table.  I hunt down the infrared thermometer and bring it to the table.  The only problem is that now my spaghetti isn't hot.  So I march over to the sink and the rest of the spaghetti still left in the strainer.

Beep.  "117.2 degrees!"

I lean over and blow on the spaghetti for about three seconds.  

Mom: "Stop it!  No one wants you to spit all over the spaghetti.  Someone else is going to eat that!"

Complaints like this are the last refuge of those who fear the truth.  She was no longer attacking my idea, because even though she would not admit it, she knew I was right.  Whenever people stop attacking your ideas and start attacking you, you've already won.

 Beep. "110.3 degrees!"

I walk over to the table.  A bad mood has now settled like an ominous cloud over the table.  I am undeterred.

I put the thermometer on the table and take my seat.  

Me: "See?  It works.  I just proved it."


I then pick up my fork and begin eating again.  My spaghetti is no longer hot.  It is now just right.

I have no idea how people can stand living with me.


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