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Posted on Friday, June 26th, 2009

Dave!Last night I got zero sleep. Neither reading a book nor sleeping pills helped, and I finally gave up around 3:00am. At first I tried thinking positive. Here was an excellent opportunity to get caught up on my backlog of work! Unfortunately, my brain was all mooshy, so I couldn't concentrate. Instead I ate a sandwich and watched a couple episodes of Star Trek before it was time to get up.

Today was nothing but a blur as I wandered around in a zombie-like state. My only goal was to not make anything explode.

Which is really too bad, because if anything had exploded, I'd have something to blog about.

Instead I'll make do with boring tales of blog development...


My first career path was a computer programmer. I got started fairly early, and was taking programming jobs while I was still in high school. Eventually I got tired of writing code while my friends were all out partying, so I quit. It's not that I didn't like the work... I just didn't like how it took over my life. From there on out, I switched to graphic arts for a career, and only coded for fun. Now any programming I do is usually something simple for my website in PHP or Javascript. The problem is that I'm really rusty, so even simple tasks are a time-consuming exercise in frustration.

Like tonight.

My MacBook was working on some processor-intensive 3-D renderings, and so I couldn't use it for anything major or I'd slow things down. It was the perfect time to work on a few site improvements, because a text editor doesn't use much of the computer's processor power.

One of the things I've longed to do was be able to add search terms to my "Google That Shit!" page URLs. This way, when I send somebody there, I can pre-populate the search box with the words they should be searching for. I thought it would be really simple... I'd just hunt down some snippets of code that somebody else had used, modify it slightly, and away we go. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any code snippets.

So I spent the next three hours trying to get the code working. I eventually figured it out, but it's a kludgy solution that will probably break more often than it works (if you don't believe me, just go to the "Google That Shit" page and look at the source code!).

The good news is that now I can send search terms! Just add a "?" to the URL followed by search terms divided by "+" characters. Like this... SEARCH GOOGLE FOR CHOCOLATE PUDDING.

I can even refer site specific searches like this... SEARCH BLOGOGRAPHY FOR BETTY WHITE.

Now I don't know if I should be proud of myself because it actually works... or embarrassed because the way it works is so ugly.


  1. Robin says:

    I went to a sleep specialist because the whole lack of sleep thing was starting to affect my work and relationships. She was convinced that I don’t sleep because my mind is too cluttered with thoughts about all the shit I need to do or want to accomplish. That could be your issue too…not that I am trying to diagnose you or anything….

  2. Mooselet says:

    The Hermit is a programmer – really obscure code used for business, so of no use to me – so I know second-hand how a “simple” code fix can go horribly wrong.

  3. Avitable says:

    Ooh, that is a cool idea. And if it works, it’s okay if the code is clunky.

  4. Sybil Law says:

    Yeah – if it works, then who cares? Or, if you’re like me, YOU care, and it will drive you batshit nuts until you fix it.
    (Hope you get some sleep tonight!)

  5. Hey, I’m impressed. Wish I had some of those skillz.

  6. whall says:

    1) walking around zombie-like is ok, but if your brain explodes, it’s cool because, hey, free food.

    2) now someone’s going to make an iphone app and your bandwidth bill will go through the roof.

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