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This is the archive for January 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Itís finally time to start fixing up my house. Itís 30 years old, was just this side of a ďfixer-upperĒ when I got it, and has become one since due to an underfunded maintenance budget. Now I have a small but workable fix Ďer up budget, and since Iím figuring I will want to sell sometime in Ď09, itís time to start learning some of this ďhome improvementĒ stuff Iíve been hearing so much about. And my budget is going to require a lot of sweat equity.

Anyhoo, I tore out the vanity in the master bath two weeks ago. Now that the shutoff valves are exposed, and since of the three that are in there, one leaks and the other two are near frozen from age, I figured those would be the first things I got my hands dirty on. My plan (always the first casualty), since this requires shutting off the water to the whole house, was to replace just one valve on Saturday morning, so that if I screwed it up, there was still time to call a plumber. We filled up a little kiddie pool we have for the dog to play in full of emergency water, made sure the toilets were topped up, and made sure we had some bottled drinking water. This way, if the worst happened, we could live like it was a log-cabin for however long it took to get a plumber to put it all back together.

The valve replacement went without a hitch. Itís a really easy job, and, once all the water drained out of the pipes (it took me twenty minutes to realize it would have taken all day without the other faucets open to let the air in), it took all of three minutes. So now its time to turn the main supply back on. Sally is outside, Iím in the bathroom yelling out to her through the window ďOK, turn it onĒ. Nothing happens. No leaks, which is good, but no water from the open shower faucet either. Hmm.

I go outside and start turning, while Sally goes inside and watches for any signs of water, either where it is supposed to be or where it is not supposed to be. Nothing. 20 turns, 30 turns, 40, 50, not a drop.

The main shutoff valve is was 30 years old, too. Of all the petty annoyances, my first real plumbing repair goes great, but another piece chooses just that moment to fail.

Four hours and $270.00 to Roto Rooter later, all is well. We have water where it is supposed to be, and none coming out any part of the new bathroom valve that it isnít supposed to. Next weekend, then, the other two valves, and maybe more bathroom demo. Of course, now, the budget is a bit tighter.

This house is going to be a money pit, I just know it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sorry if anyone saw weird things happening in my RSS feed in the last few hours. I discovered a bug in the Nucleus blog scripts, and posted then deleted a number of test posts to narrow it down.

Just in case anyone out there is googling this (and I'll try to hit the keywords you might use if you have this problem), here's the bug and my solution (applies to Nucleus CMS version 3.23). The "Add Item" function, and the "Edit Item" functions choke on any URL with the word "root" in the path. The error manifests as a 406 "Unacceptable" code with some text about being "unable to locate a proper resource for...". It's a strange error, but I think the PHP script was trying to dereference the "root" to my blog URL, and then looking for the remainder of the URL at that root. It shouldn't be doing that.

The workaround was to url-encode the path, like this "%72oot". This just uses the hex ascii code for the letter 'r', and since it is not decoded until the server gets the request, the PHP script on my side can't read it.

Note that this is for an older version of Nucleus, and so I am surprised I haven't hit it before this. I haven't upgraded to the newer version because the script that backs up the db has a bug in it, too, and that makes me very wary of the risks of updating, particularly without a reliable backup. Other than that, Nucleus is great, really. And these issues may well be fixed in the new versions.
Rich has some very nice comments about my "return" to blogging. Heís going to give me a big head, but I sure do appreciate it regardless. As to that ďreturnĒ, Iím not committing to any regular output, nor even to keeping it up, though I do indeed feel that burning need to get some words out again.

I never explicitly decided to stop back in (holy crap!) June, when I made my last post before these recent ones.

I just found that I had become more interested in taking things in, and analyzing things, than in spouting off about them. I guess thatís changed now, but donít count on it not changing back again in the future. Iíve always done this for myself, and while itís nice to have readers, and I understand that their regular readership deserves to be acknowledged by providing as much value as I can in return, the kind of writing I do here does not lend itself to being forced due to external commitments.

So, enjoy it for now, so long as you find it enjoyable, and if I hit another dry spell, just keep the RSS subscription active, and you never know when Iíll pop back up on the radar.

And thanks again, Rich.