Blurbomat 3.1

I’m a moron. I’m coming out of the moron closet. I did not follow the instructions in upgrading from Movable Type 2.x to 3.11. I’m in pain right now. It is geek pain, caused by running upgrade scripts in the wrong order. Oops. So much for best practices and doing things to a production server.

For some reason, my hosting provider, who shall not be named as of this writing, pulled the plug on blurbomat yesterday afternoon. I changed my .htaccess file and after that all hell broke loose. I was going to write something meaningful about 9/11 and couldn’t.

I tried to post and my server exploded. I had to call this morning and ask why my account at my host was suspended. They couldn’t answer me and eventually re-activated my account. After more weirdness, I called again and they were having some severe mySQL issues. After stepping away from the computer and sharing some wonderful Leta time while Heather napped (nap!!!), I decided that I’d scrap everything and just rebuild blurbomat. Just to be safe.

Turns out I didn’t need to do that. I did a backup of my database using phpadmin, and then cleared the data from the tables and reimported after reloading Movable Type. I could not have done this without the assistance of Brad Choate, superstar supreme and a score of a hire for Six Apart. I know the other Six Apart developers aren’t chopped liver, but Brad went the extra mile in helping fix the mess I had made. Thanks to Mr. Choate and a great set of plugins, this site is dynamically generated (but you should’t be able to tell the difference). Six Apart has done a great job in making the move to dynamic publishing easy. If I hadn’t cocked it up, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the issues I did. Thank you Brad!

Yesterday, I flirted briefly with dynamic publishing on, but after seeing the results of non-Movable Type 3.11 friendly plug-ins, hastily rebuilt using static pages. Once the plug-ins are ported to php, we’ll make the move and decruft the URLs on dooce. Once I start playing on this site, I’ll have more of a toolkit to help Heather make better.

People ask why I’m choosing to stay with Movable Type. In an email exchange I said that I felt the product had more polish than the other options. Not to say that WordPress and Textpattern aren’t awesome. They are. But for me, Movable Type combines everything in a balanced way. You get a lot of power along with a lot of flexibility. There are great people working on the other apps, and I think it’s good that there is competition in this space, but from what I’ve seen in the move to selectable/adjustable dynamic site generation, Movable Type is robust in ways that I’m just beginning to learn.

Finally, thanks to everybody for the great suggestions and please accept my apology if you tried to leave a comment in the last couple of days and couldn’t. Hopefully things are ironed out and working well. Unless you’re a spammer. If you are a spammer, I’m not sorry at all. And I’ve got tools to deal with you bitches.

In other news, tomorrow is Leta’s MRI. I’m extremely nervous. While I think we’ve caught the torticullis in time, I don’t know what else we might see. It’s this unknown that scares me more than anything else. I will try to be strong for Heather, as I know it’s going to be a stressful day. Thank you to everybody who has sent kind wishes and stories. There are so many people in this world who have it worse than we do. Bless the parents who struggle with harder things every day. We are so lucky. I’m certain we’ll both have something to say once the day is over. I’m certain that things will be okay. Leta, you are loved.

  • http://none Jenn

    Good luck to all of you tomorrow. You guys have been through so much in the last month, I hope that everything goes smoothly. I’ll be thinking of you guys.

  • rbearclaw

    Sending good wishes to your family! Leta will be fine, as will you and Heather. My son is 2 weeks older than Leta, so I totally understand how nervous you guys are. But she’ll be fine…I can feel it! :)

  • Paco

    You, Leta and Heather will be in my thoughts tomorrow.
    I go for my MRI on the 9/27th.

  • b

    you are all in my thoughts. i wish you well.

  • lavonne

    my server exploded when i upgraded too! i have no idea what to do now. :o[

    lots of positive vibes, thoughts and prayers are on their way to utah from san diego…

  • Janece

    I’m sure there are others out there like me too – who never or rarely send you posts to let you know that we are thinking of you — so remember the love and support extends even broader and wider than what you can see. :)

    You three are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

  • no name yet

    thinking of leta and you and heather
    hoping the MRI goes flawlessly and turns up nothing but good news

  • Dawn

    sending a constant stream of good thoughts, positive vibes and love energy to you all.

  • Heatheranne

    You, Heather and Leta are in my thoughts today. Wishing you all the best.

  • Kim

    I’ll be thinking about you all today. Good luck with the MRI and keep us all posted! Know that you’re loved :)

  • kim

    i actually did try and comment yeasterday and i was so excited about being the first one – until i found out the reason there was no comment yet.. i’m such a dork *sighs*

    but luckily i can tell you now about the positive german-vibes coming your way today!! and hugs *hugs*..

  • beanie

    1) Good vibes for the MRI. Once again, I’m saying a prayer for you guys even though you’re heathens. :)

    2) I’m trying to teach myself (through books and online classes) some programming and Web design, and I look at all the geekiness on blurbomat and pine for the day when I’ll know what you mean. How did you get so smart?

    3) Do you have any geeky guy friends who are as incredibly supportive and good-hearted as you in North or South Carolina? :) Single friends, that is…

  • wealhtheow

    Good luck to Leta today!

  • dr. dave

    I generally very much enjoy both dooce and blurbomat, but lately all this Movable Type, PHP, SQL business has left me experiencing the textual equivalent of Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice…

    ” Mwah-mwaah-m-Wahh-mm–PHP!”

    I hope it all gets sorted out soon. In the meantime, I’m going to go hug my Mac.

    Dr. Dave (

  • dr. dave

    Oh, and speaking of geeky-goodness…. you’re probably an avid slashdotter so you may have seen this already, but when I saw the Nikon D70 mentioned I thought of you guys…,guid,e9bdfa3f-da94-4c6e-a2f9-5ff3260040f1.aspx

    …that’s a lot of cute doggie and baby pictures!

  • Michael Moore

    Good luck to Leta! Of course she’ll be fine though… she’s too awesome to have anything less. Seriously. She’s genetically inclined to be, as I might so delicately put it, “fucking awesome”

  • Jazzy

    Good luck today. I am sure all will be fine. You are such strong people. Give my love to all.

  • Erika

    I will pray that Leta is okay-being an epileptic Ive had my dose of MRIs and if they can be scary for a teen I can only imagine for little Leta!

    *Hugs and good wishes!

  • JaneBond

    The Pooper (now 17months) had an MRI for the exact same head thing last month. They were concerned his head size was dropping off the bottom of the chart and the problem that poses is that if his brain keeps growing after his fontanelle closes, the brain will get squeezed and start to cause major damage to itself, in which case he’ll have to have his skull opened up and a plate put in to give his brain more room and alleviate the pressure.

    He was a late bloomer with the crawling and walking, tho he never minded being on his feet. A jolly jumper can be a good tool to use to get Leta more comfortable having her feeet on the ground.

    Don’t get too worried. I’m sure everything will be fine. The hardest part of the whole thing was watching Pooper fall asleep but we were exremely luckky that he’s the kind of baby who recovers very quickly and happily from sedation, unlike many of the infants I saw that day in the hospital.

    Just be careful about letting Leta sit on her own. They gave Pooper Nembutal as a sedative and afterward he was extremely wobbly – I guess it has a very long half-life and kids can’t control their musclees very well for a half-day or so afterward.

    We’re going for our MRI follow-up on Thursday morning. If you want to talk about anything or are curious about our follow-up, drop me a line.

  • Tracy

    Holding Leta (and her folks) in my thoughts and heart today.

  • ivana

    Sending you big love today. I know everything will be fine.

  • zchamu

    Best wishes for today.. fingers and everything else crossed that she is FINE. She has the best parents in the world, and that will get her through anything, including an MRI. Let us know…

  • Chloe

    Good luck. Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you guys and Leta. And Sir Chuckles too, but more in the background.

  • Hil

    A constant stream of positive vibes and calm to you all today. Everything will be fine.

  • Amnesia

    The Moron Closet? Funny.

  • Dorothy

    Jon & Heather,

    I’ve never commented before, but I thought I’d break my silence today and tell you that I had a similar condition to Leta’s when I was her age. I constantly tilted my head to look at people sideways. I was a REALLY late walker, not because of any health problems, but because I was a lazy ass little booger. My mom said I hated putting weight on my legs too, so mostly I screamed to be picked up or scooted my butt around on the floor when I got braver. There are whole pages of pictures in my baby album devoted to butt-scooting. It’s a great way to clean floors, guys. Put the little rugrat to work!

    I am twenty-five now and an EXPERT walker, but I still occasionally tilt my head when talking to people. I have a college degree, a job and a fiancee now, so I guess I’m okay. =) Leta should be fine too, with her PT exercises and one of those round roller thingamajigs to help get her legs moving. (sorry, I don’t know what they’re called) Good luck to you guys!

  • Cathryn

    Hope all is well! You, Heather, Leta and Chuck are in our prayers.

  • Mish

    Should be done by now and I am sure Leta is sleeping soundly and you parents are feeling much better about things. Good thoughts from Miami.

  • Carolynn-Eva

    The love and the positive vibes smelling slightly of teenager and maple syrup are coming from Canada. Much love; everything will be fine.

  • aibee

    Leta’s MRi would be over by now, yes?

    I’m sending you all love and a buttload of Everything Is Going To Be Okay vibes.

    as for Movable Type, php and that My Squirrel stuff: Erm, yeah, okay… 😉

  • Lynnette

    I, too, tried to upgrade to MT 3.0D, and completely broke my site. It has been un-updatable for over a week now, and I’ve put over $200 into trying to get it fixed. Which it STILL isn’t. Although the Six Apart staff has been pretty good, my host had to be told ‘You’re fired’!

  • Loretta

    Leta is way too adorable to have anything wrong with her! I’m sure iit’s all CYA for the doctors. Keeping your family in my prayers (after all the shit you’ve been through in the past few months I figured you wouldn’t mind some prayers!!)

  • cursingmama

    Just read the update over on Dooce – –
    Thank goodness all tests came back well with the Lovely Leta’s tests!

  • eddeaux

    These sites (dooce and blurbo for those of you who need me to point out which sites) are an emotional rollercoaster that keeps me on the edge of my seat- THE EDGE OF MY SEAT!!! Better than reality TV, because it is actual reality, no editing, or very little editing, and John and Heather are extremely talented and real… So glad the tests came back positive- we’ll keep the prayers coming!!

  • Mads

    I read the rant about Font Book.

    After I’ve installed OS 10.3.5 upgrade (nearly) all problems seem to have vansihed.
    – It seems stable.
    – The 4002 limit to the number of fonts installed can be conquered by adding further fonts yourself to a sub-folder of the fonts-folder (instead of letting Font Book do this). Not a lot lost.
    – There are still a number of glitches in the user-interface, but they don’t seem to affect the operation of the program.
    – I realised that if the program prompts you to confirm deletion of a font, simply answer “No”. In this way other applications seem to stay stable as well (The application will no prompt you for confirmation of non system fonts so they can happily be deleted)

  • DeAnn

    Since you’ve been making changes, there is a little red exclamation point next to your blog in my bloglines. It’s annoying me!!

    I keep thinking there’s something wrong (which there is, apparently, because it doesn’t tell me when you udpate). Maybe your feed has changed and I need to update it?