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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

Site Overhaul

As should be abundantly obvious, the management here at Beeboy(!) Productions have done an overhaul of the site.  What this should mean is less tinkering with things to get them to work right, and more actual content.

For the geeks at heart: yeah, I finally pitched MovableType in favor of WordPress.  MT was a step up from the old system of editing HTML files by hand, but after a few years of upgrades breaking things that worked in previous releases, I finally abandoned it when the last upgrade broke comment posting.  The fix seemed to be to re-write a bunch of templates that had been working fine for the last eight years, and it took less time to migrate the whole site to WP than it would have to re-write the templates.

So cheers to the new design, and thanks for reading.  If anyone notices anything else broken, drop me a line via the comments or the contact page.

To Spring

I can’t help but think of this cartoon every year about this time:

I think we’ve all felt like the elf who just can’t quite get his pants on. Time for spring, I say!

Follow-Up

As it unfortunately turns out, I did know two of the people murdered this week. One was my French professor; the other was a student enviromental activist that used to work with the Mountain Justice group on campus. Both were wonderful human beings who will be much missed.
But it’s pretty hard to reflect much, because things here in town are still crazy. There are as many media people on campus as there are students. It’s enormously frustrating — there are memorials set up on the Drill Field on campus, with students gathered together crying while news anchors touch up their make-up and camera operators jostle each other to get the best shot of the action. You can’t get near the memorials without someone filming you, taking your picture, or asking for an interview. When I was down there this afternoon, some evangelical group had set up a public address system near the memorials and was preaching hellfire to the people who had come to pay their respects to the dead. Thankfully, the police showed up and shut them down.
I, for one, will be enormously relieved when all of these sharks finally pack up and go home. To watch them use the deaths of 33 people for corporate, religious, or personal gain makes me sick to my stomach. A lot of folks here are hurting pretty badly, and a little common courtesy would go a long way. It doesn’t look like we’re going to get it any time very soon.
To all of you who have called or e-mailed me: I’m not ignoring you; it’s just that a lot of people have contacted me, and I haven’t made time to sit down and answer all of the messages yet. I will, but probably not this week. Thanks for thinking of me and everyone else here in Blacksburg. If you’d like to contribute to the VT memorial fund, you can do so here.

Events on Campus

To everyone who is e-mailing and calling me to ask — yes, I’m fine. Yes, I live a couple of blocks from the shooting. No, I don’t know anything more about it than you do. No, I don’t know whether anyone I know was killed or injured — the names of the victims haven’t all been released yet. I’m hoping not to see any familiar names on the list; lots of other people in town won’t be so lucky.
If you want to be helpful, make a donation of blood, money, or time to your local Red Cross. They need it — people tend to overwhelm their local Red Cross beyond capacity when there’s a local event, and let it languish the rest of the time. And call your favorite media outlet and tell them to go home. The Red Cross is having trouble finding housing for the families of the victims because every hotel in town is brimming with media sharks who have flooded the area at the first sniff of money. These people disgust me.
Thanks to everyone who has contacted me — I’ll try to respond to you all individually as I find time.

Old-Time Band Name Generator

It’s been kind of a slow week at work, so yesterday afternoon I scratched together a bit of code to generate old-timey-sounding band names. So simple, and yet so addicting…