All posts by jim_admin

Every Living Thing

Rob Dunn, “Every Living Thing, Man’s Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys,” (New York: Harper Collins, 2009)

Written by a professor in our department. I learned more from this book about zoology than  a college graduate should.

Armistice day

Yesterday was Armistice Day, also known as Veterans Day in the US. It is celebrated on the 11th day of the 11th month which was the date of the armistice signed to end WW I in Compiègne, France. I had perhaps known this, but heard it again on the radio yesterday.

Along these lines, I recently added a new Facebook friend, Karl, who I had worked with  in an automotive parts factory in Sanford. I hadn’t kept up with him for 20 years and he wrote back an interesting letter about the last 20 years and how he joined the army. He wrote that after he left the auto factory he worked at Pac-Fab and Federal Molding. In 1997 he joined the army. Hearing this reminded me of  Charlie Sheen in “Platoon” talking about how all the soldiers were from small towns with nothing to look forward to in life but work in a factory. I looked up the maximum ages for joining the service, since I don’t think I was that much older than Karl. I found that the maximum age varies with the service, but is greatest in the army with an age of 42. Karl must have been in his late 30s when he joined.

He was still enlisted when “911”came. He re-enlisted and was sent to Afghanistan and was wounded by a roadside bomb. He eventually got out of the army, but still works as a civilian employee of the army and has been to Iraq.

Blogging software installed

Well, I have installed my blogging software. It took longer than the 5 minutes advertised in the instructions. First, I downloaded the php code to the document root of my server. Unfortunately I hadn’t already installed the mysql database that wordpress uses. My server runs a somewhat old version of linux, and attempting to automatically install and install by downloading from the mysql website failed. It turns out the Debian Etch repository had been moved to archives and I had to change my repository location and then I was able to install the database.

Running mysqladmin a few times I was able to get some administrative things done to get the database configured. Then you are supposed to edit the php config file and that’s it. Oops! I forgot to recompile php with the mysql driver. To get that to work I needed to install libmysqlclient-dev. Finally, php is working with the mysql database, the wordpress setup page works and I am writing my first blog.