Largely, the work has been behind the scenes; and for various reasons I haven't had the energy to keep my journal updated. February's been rather a frustrating month here at Chez Baxkat, but I feel like some breakthroughs are finally being made.
Case in point. On the creative front, after finally getting my Tlands scripts working again, I've been throwing all my writing time into PERL instead of English. This has meant putting the TTU Wiki temporarily on hold, but I'm still rather happy with the work I did there throughout January. The page on The Meeting especially stands out -- bursting with new detail on an event I've never officially described or deeply explained.
The upshot of this change in focus is that the resurrection of my website continues; as of early this week the adult-file script has been brought back to full working order (see e.g. Titania's Toys). Because the adult.cgi source code was by freak chance preserved, it was the easiest one to tackle -- the big challenge was to reconstruct my cgi libraries, and by starting with the adult script I could retrieve their old syntax, context and naming from existing code. Now that the template library is back up, virtually the only thing I need to do for the comics display script is to rebuild the template it used, most of which I can reconstruct from archive.org; and then the contact page script needs some of the logfile code I used in the adult script. After which Tlands is firing on all cylinders.
In other technical news, Tlands now -- for the first time ever -- has one of those little address-bar graphics! ("Favicon.ico" for you web geeks.) Any page on tomorrowlands will show you the icon now. A subtle touch, but I got sick of seeing failed requests for it in the server logs.
And I've been gradually cleaning old e-mail addresses off the site, replacing them with links to my Contact page. Once upon a time, it didn't hurt to have vanity e-mail addresses to help sort out mail by subject, but in these days of address-harvesting spambots, every extra e-mail address that gets placed on the web means another daily tidal wave of crap. A month or two back, I turned off the e-mail wildcard on my domain (i.e. anything at tomorrowlands.org gets delivered to me); now, of the 13 addresses I used to list, I'm down to 7, and my daily spam load has plummeted from about 700 (!!) to more like 250. Once the contact page is fixed I can nuke three more and I might even be able to look at my e-mail without wincing.
On a financial front, there's been a lot of activity too. Lovely Wife kadyg had been hoping to go to cooking school this week ... that fell through in a flurry of bullshit from student loan agency Sallie Mae. A loan mistakenly flagged as abandoned on her credit report (the collection agency for it says it was paid; the school it came from says it doesn't exist; but either way it's Not A Problem) is holding up the financial aid request that would have gotten her started. We've shifted our plans to April, the fallback date when the next set of classes start. It hasn't been fun trying to get all that straightened out, but at least progress is finally being made. (Plus, I got my car smogged and can get the registration ironed out. Yay.)
On the health front, it's been a roller-coaster but the end is in sight. When last I posted a week and a half ago, I had finally pulled out of my gastrointestinal malaise enough that I felt up to sitting and writing. That lasted for about two days. Then things started to degrade again. After the diarrhea returned, then stayed, then nuked my energy for several days straight ... it was right back to the doctor in frustration. Given the negative tests, he threw up his hands and said, "We can do two things. Refer you to a specialist for a colonscopy (=$3500+) or try the medication that I was originally thinking of ($20) even though the tests came back negative." Li'l old insurance-free me opted for the $20 patch. Fortunately ... it worked. THANK THE GODS. I'm now on Day 6 of 11 of metronidazole and probiotics, and earlier this week I passed my first solid stool of the month, which is kind of a sad accomplishment in the grand scheme of things but was such a milestone I had to take my wife out to dinner.
So it looks like the original diagnosis (that the test failed to detect) may have been accurate after all: Clostridium difficile-induced colitis. Between that and giardiasis, I've now taken metronidazole for two of its top three uses. If I can somehow contrive to come down with amoebic dysentery, a Bacterial Bingo winner is me.