Fresh coat of paint

After a decade of the same non-responsive layout for this site, I have paid off some technical debt to myself. The blog is now on WordPress with a clean mobile-friendly style. The server has been upgraded from CentOS 5 to CentOS 7. And thanks to the good folks at letsencrypt.org, every site hosted on this server has been updated to support SSL (HTTPS).

Managing a household of library users

My family are avid public library patrons. I’d estimate that in the three years we’ve been in Lawrence we’ve checked out well over 1000 items amongst the five of us.

It’s been up to me to manage the due notices and pay the inevitable overdue fines. I think we’ve only had to pay to replace a handful of items, which is a pretty decent success rate given who my children are. Still, it’s been fairly tedious to juggle five library cards, five accounts, log in to the site to check and renew each as needed.

The Lawrence Public Library website greatly improved when they switched to the bibliocommons platform. I finally got around to writing a command-line library management tool to aggregate all five accounts into a single report and automatically renew any that are coming due.

Example:

% perl my-toolbox/lfk-library --renew --all

No more click-click-click and putting-off-till-its-too-late-and-whoops-we-have-a-fine.

Ruination Day

It was shortly after 9/11, in 2001, that I was listening incessantly to Gillian Welch’s Time (The Revelator) recording. I had been listening to Blind Willie Johnson quite a bit prior to that, and so I immediately made the titular connection.

The songs about Ruination Day were especially haunting, and I associated them immediately with the attacks on the towers and 9/11. America’s second (or third, or forth) Ruination Day.

Today is April the 14th, the Ruination Day of those songs, and while it seems inappropriate to wish anyone a “Happy Ruination Day” it does seem appropriate to wish you a Blessed Ruination Day, in the hopes that tomorrow is less ruinous.