This is not my beautiful house…

This site has undergone quite a change over the last couple of weeks, and for the purposes of me remembering and for the 2 people in the world who might be interested, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve done.

As part of moving servers, it became obvious that I needed to simplify my online structures fairly aggressively. Over the last decade or so, my personal web presence had expanded to include a personal homepage, a business page for my LLC, multiple project websites, a site for my daughter Eliza, and a handful of one-off landing pages for various short-lived things. 5 or so of these things lived in a WordPress Multiuser install, while another 2-3 were individual flat HTML sites. Moving that entire mess to a new server didn’t seem necessary nor wise, so I gave some thought to how best to move things without breaking old things.

What absolutely needed to be maintained was my main URL ( and the various subdirectories under it that had become meaningful over the years…primarily my main blog which has lived at for well over a decade now. The question then was, what to do with the other sites and posts that I’ve been maintaining for years? I briefly considered spinning up separate WordPress installs for each, and separating them out, but dismissed that for upkeep reasons. Too much work to keep it all secure. Moving everything over as a Multisite was a possibility, but that brought with it all the same complexity I wanted to try and get a bit away from, as well as being technically limiting on a few fronts because of the way I had routed the DNS for each site.

After some contemplation, I decided to export all of the posts from the variety of other blogs, and import them into my main blog, Pattern Recognition. I can import each blog with a different Author attached, and then use that to assign tags and categories that make it easy to create a link that filters to just that blog’s old entries, like so. This means there’s just the one “blog” and database structure behind it, and moving forward I can post just here…but the history of what I’ve written over the last 15 years or so is all saved and accessible.

While I’m certain there’s some things that are still broken (document links, etc) most everything seems to now be working ok. I’m solving problems under the hood with a combination of “put directories where old links expect them to be” and “abuse the hell out of .htaccess re-writing” so that hopefully lots of old links are terribly broken.

For a couple of the sites that really didn’t _need_ to be WordPress sites any longer, I just did a static export from WP and then uploaded them as flat HTML sites. Seems to be working. 🙂

So this is my new home online! I am going to do my best to do a bit more writing here…I find myself wanting more of my effort to go to things I control, and not things I don’t like the broader social web.

For those of you who made it this far, here’s a fantastic performance by David Byrne. Thanks!

Digital Culture Personal

More of me online

So for the last week or so I’ve been playing with feeding various content into this blog, testing some new tools, and trying to find a way to integrate a new Tumblr blog with Pattern Recognition in a way that I liked.

I’ve failed completely.

I’m just not happy with any of it, as non of the WordPress plugins that I’ve tried (FeedWordPress, Wp-o-matic) treat my Tumblr blog RSS properly, and after hacking away at custom post setups, I’ve just decided that I like the idea of having two “blogs” on the net for now.

And so, here’s my plan: PatRec is staying the same…I like it as my occasional posting ground, and it’s going to remain my main blog headquarters. But there’s a ton of other stuff (personal, funny, or other) that just doesn’t fit in here. So for now, that other content is going to live over at Tumblr:, RSS available here I wanted to call it Apophenia, but someone already has all the Google Juice for that. Pareidolia is close enough. If you have any interest in the minutia of my sense of humor or just want to see another side of me, that’s where you’ll see it. Expect lots of silly pictures, youtube videos, and short bits of personal reflection.

It may take me a few days to work out the information flow (what goes to Twitter, what goes to Friendfeed, etc). I’m still using Friendfeed as a “master feed” for my stuff online, so everything I do gets there eventually. One of these days I should post about my digital ecology….the flows and connections between all the stuff I have online. I’ll save that for my Top Secret new writing experiment, coming in January. 🙂


Goodbye, 2008

While 2008 wasn’t always easy, in looking back at it, it really was an outstanding year for me. Personally, of course, I had my amazing wife Betsy helping me survive the first year of Eliza’s life… easily the best thing that’s happened in any year of my life. Professionally, I hardly know where to start. At MPOW, we rolled out a new OpenURL resolver, and worked like crazy in planning a new library for the UTC Campus. And in the larger professional community, my year was just nuts: my first book was published (well, half-mine, anyway…Thanks, Karen!), I spoke at a ton of conferences, and made my international speaking debut. And I had a great year writing both here and over at ALA Techsource.

I can’t imagine having another year as full as this one. I’m not sure that I even want to try. But 2009 is shaping up to be pretty interesting already. Working on a second book, signing a contract for another big writing gig for the later part of the year, and I’m sure that even more exciting things are around the corner.

My best hope for the new year is that I can find even more great friends, write things that people want to read, help push MPOW into a few interesting places, and continue to be the best father and husband that I can be.

Books Personal

Range of Desire

If you haven’t seen the news, KGS had a piece published in Nerve this week. After reading it, then re-reading it, then going back to examine the use of language…well, I’m blown away.

I knew that she was a good writer. I mean, you don’t have to read Free Range Librarian long to know that, not to mention all the other pieces she’s written over the years (and no, that’s not an age joke, kgs). But this one really was different in a substantial way than the things I’ve read from her before.

It was personal. The enormous amount of effort this must have taken…seriously, just read this:

My heart thumps. I slowly accept the gun with my left hand, watching through the corner of my eyes so I know the shopgirl is observing how nicely, how safely, how carefully I handle the pistol, always pointing it down and away. This delicacy, this attention to detail, this awareness that I must Never Point At Anything I Don’t Plan to Shoot: in my shyness, this is the closest I can get to flirting, an activity I should not be engaged in anyway — except that as long as I am in a gun shop, an activity which I know would earn me a severe scolding from my beloved, I might as well be naughty all around.

This is writing that is alive, full of verve and vibrance and it’s in your head and your heart all at once. Whenever someone asks me who my favorite authors are, my stock answer is “anyone who makes me want to write.” And that’s true…all my favorite authors use language that make me think “Goddamnit man, why are you not doing that?” Truly great writing make me want to carve words out of the future, using them as weapons, as blankets, as nourishment.

This essay made me want to write.


New Theme

So I’ve launched a new theme, just a day after starting my search. Either I’m easily swayed, or I’m just not picky.

Either way, let me know what you think! Still a few tweaks to make…not happy with the bottom bars, not happy with the archives, so much…but overall, it’s good.


Sick to death of my theme

After just a few months with my new theme, I’m already sick to death of it. I really like the color scheme, but the white on black text is tiresome. So I’m off to find a grand new theme…no hurry, but if I find one that strikes my fancy, expect to see some changes.

3D Printing Digital Culture Gaming Personal


Check THIS out:


It’s Mii!

A long time ago, I blogged about a company who would take your Second Life avatar, and create a little 3d render of it using a 3d printing process. Then, a bit later, I blogged about getting a Wii.

Unbeknownst to me, the president of the company, Fabjectory, had noticed my blog posting, and had been reading me (or at least skimming my feed) since then. When he saw I got a Wii he emailed me to let me know that Fabjectory was now making mini-statues of Mii’s, and he offered to make me one gratis. After a few emails back and forth to assure me he wasn’t joking, and for me to assure him that I wasn’t guaranteeing that I’d blog about it, etc…I took him up on it.

The process was really simple: for a Mii, you just take a few full-body shots of your Mii right off the TV screen. You can do that from the Mii edit screen…here are the two I sent in:


From that, the Fabjectory guys recreated my Mii, printed it using a Z-corp color 3d printer, and shipped it my way. My only negative about the process was that my initial discussion with them was in March, and while I checked in a few times to make sure the photos came through ok, it’s August now…better than 4 months since my initial order. Still, it’s a freebie, and almost certainly wasn’t given the priority that a paying customer would be given.

I’m really impressed with the detail of the fig…it’s so well done, with the colors being dead-on. Overall, it’s just amazing to see this once virtual piece of me now as a physical item. I would definitely recommend this as a cool gift…Betsy nearly fell over when I gave her the one of Mii, and I think it will be quite cute on her desk at work. My fig is one of the 3 inch figures, and at a retail of $50 is a bit on the steep side to order on a whim. On the other hand, it’s a great little object d’ arte, and if you’ve gotten as many comments on your Mii as I have, it might be a small price to pay.

Here’s some detail shots of the figure:


I’d recommend Fabjectory after seeing the quality of the work, and just the intrinsic coolness of holding your Mii. I’m considering pushing my Dean to pony up for a SketchUp model of the new library, once the plans are finalized…how cool would it be to show off a model to the students?

Personal Sewanee

Across the LupUS

If you have had any “Gee I wonder where I should donate this money” moments recently, I have the perfect answer for you:

Across the LupUS

These two Sewanee grads, inspired by the struggles of one of their mothers, decided to try and raise $50,000 for Lupus research by biking across the US the summer after graduation…this summer. They are wrapping up their trek in the next few weeks, and could use any help that anyone can give them. Even $5 will make a difference…besides going to a good cause, it’s tax deductible.

If you know anyone with Lupus, you know how terrible the disease is. These are two great guys, trying like hell to help out as they can…help them.

Gaming Monkeys Personal The Living Dead

At GenCon

GenConSo this weekend is my annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis to GenCon. This may be my last until Eliza gets big enough to want to go with me…but it’ll be great if that happens!

I know that Josh Neff has done the GenCon thing…with all the rage around gaming librarians, any other librarians hitting the largest gaming convention in the world?

Legal Issues Personal

I has been censored!

censoredIt was brought to my attention today that this very blog has been added to the Websense brand of censorware, and is blocked for reasons unknown. For those that aren’t in the know, Websense is used by libraries, schools, and oppressive regimes and governments to prevent certain types of speech from being accessed by their users.

Needless to say, they aren’t on my christmas card list.

I’m currently being blocked as a “Social Networking” site, which, as I am the only user, would make the term “social” a very loose one. “Networking” too, I suppose.

So: take a second, and hit their suggestion form to tell them how stupid it is to block me. If anyone knows of someone laboring under the yoke of an organization that gives this company money, here’s a proxy that bypasses their filters. Please share.