Great Western Dragon's blog

Current Information For Dr. Gonzo!

Dr. Daniel Messer
Circulation Supervisor
Queen Creek Public Library - A branch of the Maricopa County Library District
21802 S Ellsworth Rd
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
(602) 652-3362

Your very own Dr. Gonzo.

E-mail: greatwesterndragon (at) gmail (dot) com

Blogger:
Distant Early Warning: My personal blog.
Dioecism: My adult entertainment and human sexuality blog.
LISNews: To which I'm a regular contributor.

Writer:
Tales From the Circ Side: Gonzo Cyberpunk Librarianism- Currently in progress.
Intragalactic Librarian!: The Adventures of Skyler and J.E.S.S.I.C.A.- Also in progress.

New Age Musician and Composer:
Awedessy (1999)
Back in the Day (2005)
Spiral Dancer (2006)
Sonoran Standard Time (2007)

Digital Pin Up Artist:
My work has been featured on several websites, MySpace profiles and, strangely enough, an Israeli gay pride website.

Computer Programmer:
Creator of HMPH (Held Materials Printer Helper) and Kaishakunin, two utilities for use with the Polaris Integrated Library System. Both programmes are free and open source. If you're interested in either, please contact me.

And I make a damn good cup of coffee too.

Current Information on the Dragon

The Great Western Dragon is:

Dr. Daniel Messer
Circulation Supervisor
Queen Creek Library - A branch of the Maricopa County Library District
21802 S Ellsworth Rd
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
(602) 652-3362

Your very own Dr. Gonzo.

E-mail: greatwesterndragon (at) gmail (dot) com

Blogger:
Distant Early Warning: My personal blog.
Hyperlinked History: My podcast (see below).
Dioecism Squared: My adult entertainment and human sexuality blog.
LISNews: To which I'm a regular contributor.

Writer:
Tales From the Circ Side: Gonzo Cyberpunk Librarianism- Currently in progress

New Age Musician and Composer:
Awedessy (1999)
Back in the Day (2005)
Spiral Dancer (2006)
Sonoran Standard Time (2007)

Podcaster:
Your host for Hyperlinked History, right here on the LISNews Netcast Network!

Digital Pin-Up Artist:
My work has been featured on several websites, MySpace profiles, and, strangely enough, an Israeli gay pride website.

Computer Programmer:
Author of HMPH (Held Materials Printer Helper) and Kaishakunin, two utilities for use with the Polaris Integrated Library System. -- Read More

New blog at website

I got everything finished and uploaded for my new blog at my personal website. Using Easy Blogs, like the name implies, is pretty easy. Once you get a feel for their templating system, you can put blogged content on pretty much any type of page you wanted. If you wanted it in a side bar or side box, that's possible. Just specify that in your code using the freeware template package.

Chances are I'll still use both LISNews and my site for blogging. Easy Blogs is client side only, so I really can't post thoughts on the personal site while I'm at work, but I can with LISNews. Anyhow, anyone who's interested can check out my site here and my blog here.

Easy Blogs

I've recently hunted down some blogging software that would work well with my website and ISP's webserver. Unfortunately, right now my ISP's webserver doesn't support much. No PHP, limited if any CGI, no Perl access, nada. Sometimes I'm surprised the damn thing suports HTML and CSS. Anyway, I needed something that was almost 100% client side and would work with my existing layout.

I found a programme called Easy Blogs that actually does just that. Basically you can use their prefab templates, which are pretty decent in and of themselves. Or you can create your own using a freeware template maker also available from Uuba. While it's kinda short on the whole documentation thing, I was able to get a template going, using my original page HTML and CSS, in less than an hour. Now that I know how to do it, I could probably create a new template using any HTML in less than fifteen minutes. It's just that damned easy.

I guess the full version is US$24.95. Which isn't bad since it'll handle pictures, links, and even has an RSS feeder. I'll probably order it today or tomorrow. The shareware version, while limited, is worth a look to see if you want to go with it.

For people like me who really can't afford, nor support Movable Type, this really is the next best thing. Now I can update my page on regularly and more often than I have been.

The sweet sound of racheting

Approx. half an hour ago, we got our dot matrix receipt printers back online. I never thought that racheting sound would be so welcome.

Up and down, in and out

To paraphrase the great British philosopher Arthur Dent, our computer system is like a military academy, bits of it keep passing out.

One, count 'em, one of my receipt printers worked this morning. I've got four in my department, but one is working. Since I haven't had printing for over two days now, I don't know if this is cause for celebration or alarm. No e-mail, though rumour mill has it that a few people are able to get into their accounts. That's nice and everything, but of course I'm not one of those lucky shmucks.

In other news, I'm still waiting to hear back from the University of Arizona. They've had my final for around two weeks now and haven't seen their way clear to send me a grade or anything. I hate math, all I need is a C.

Computers down

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the folks in IT stayed all weekend performing upgrades and network reconfigurations on our computer systems. As of today, we're still not back up completely. Our automation system (Gaylord Polaris) is working about 95%. We're able to do everything except print check-out, hold, and fine receipts. Needless to say, when they get the printers back up I'm going to be up to my ass in reserved books.

Our Internet connectivity has been in and out more than a stud on a porn flick, and our e-mail is accessible, but not capable of logging us in. In other words, we can access the website for our e-mail, we just can't log in. This is the second day we've gone without e-mail.

I hate days like this. It's not ITs fault, but it's gonna be at least Friday before we're back up 100%. And that's probably an optimistic prediction.

Website and RPG Update

My website update is complete! I haven't got a new essay up yet, though I do have a complete one ready to go. I just need to find pictures and captions for it.

Also, the rough of the first chapter of Per un Pugno di Polvere Nera is complete! You can check my site for details and a new illustration I've done for the book. I hope to get everything proofed and start on Chapter 2 this week. My goal is to finish a chapter, and proof it while starting the next. That way I have one in writing and the other in editing.

A new car!

Bought a new car last night, a nifty 2004 Chevy Aveo. I seem to have a thing for Chevys. I'm selling an S-10 pickup, I still own my S-10 Blazer, and now I have an economy car by the same manufacturer. While I love my Blazer, the gas milage isn't all that much to speak of. It's not as bad as a Hummer (10 miles per gallon) but it's still not great. I do have a motorscooter, Honda Elite 50cc, that gets around 100 miles per gallon, so when I go somewhere, that's what I usually drive. Besides, it's a kick to ride.

Meanwhile the Aveo gets 26/34 miles per gallon city/freeway. Not bad, and since my wife will be driving it more than I am, we'll spend a lot less on gas per month than we were before.

Per un Pugno di Polvere Nera

Last night, while working on the site update, I had a brainstorm. The title of the open source RPG I'm writing is officially Per un Pugno di Polvere Nera or For a Fistful of Gunpowder in English. I wanted to give it an Italian name since that's the genre, and I wanted to sound kind of like a Sergio Leone film title. Leone did two movies with such a title, Fistful of Dollars and Fistful of Dynamite. So I figure this fits.

While searching around last night for some ideas, I came across another site with a spaghetti RPG using d20 called Wanted: Dead or Alive. It looked pretty cool, but I want to refrain from looking at it too much because I don't want an overlap of ideas. Looks like an Italian group doing the work too! I lost the link, but as soon as I find it again, I'll post it.

The site update is coming along pretty well and I finished the library portion of it last night. I hope to get one section done per night now that all the layout and setup stuff is done. Some things will transfer over from my old site, but other stuff is going to be new and orignal.

Open Sourced RPG Revisited

Okay, now that I have some things down on paper and core stuff is coming along nicely, I'll actually talk about the open sourced RPG book I'm working on.

The title is tentative, so I'm not going into that yet. The concept deals with role playing in the American West as depicted by spaghetti westerns. I don't expect this to be some kind of hit or anything, but it's something that I thought might be kind of fun to work on and, eventually, play. I've got quite a bit of the first parts in the computer and I'm trying to edit as I go. The core mechanic is the d20 Modern Open Gaming License developed by Wizards of the Coast, so the entire thing will be OGL material.

However, I'm not putting together just some stuff in a new concept, this will utilize the d20 system, but there will be additions to the system to reflect the tone and style of the spaghetti western. I intend to include original art done by yours truly, partly because of the fun factor, but mostly because I work for cheap, especially if it's for myself.

I'm in the midst of a redesign on my website which is why it hasn't been updated for a while. After I get everything coded, I'll be posting text, art, and other surprises there. So stay tuned!

Spammity Spam! Wonderful Spam!

Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick, is it just me or is anyone else getting a massive inundation of spam in their inboxes? And I don't mean you typical "send spam here" inbox e-mail account. I'm getting so much BS in my personal inbox I could spread it on the garden outside and get tomates the size of bowling balls.

I find it funny that I'm the one getting ads for breast enhancement while my wife gets ads for enlarging her John Thomas. I really have to wonder if companies really sell shit through spam. I've never bought anything that arrived unsolicited in my e-mail box. They keep wanting me to subscribe to porn sites, but I'm never sure why. I mean I'm not sure why I need a subscription. After all, I can get all the T&A I want from Usenet, P2P, web collections, and on and on. Okay so I can't get their stuff, but actually, porn's porn no matter where you go.

Though with P2P I can get their stuff. I keep getting crap for stuff like Bang Bros. Productions, which owns several adult oriented websites. I got on KazaaLite (screw the RIAA) and did a search for a few of the titles they advertised. Sure enough, full length movies and plenty of them were available for free download. Kinda blows (pardon the pun) the reason for a subscription doesn't it?

Next thing you know, the porn industry will go after P2P.

Finally done with Math (I hope)

I took my final for Math 105 today, a class that I've done through correspondence with the University of Arizona. So, if all is well with the world, that should finish my requirements for the BA in History. With that in hand I can start making headway towards my MLIS.

Strange thing was that the test had a couple questions on it that had little to do with math. One example dealt with a statistical portion where one had to describe setting up a clinical study. That's 100% relevant to the math. Then after that there was a question regarding the moral and ethical issues involved with the study.

Huh?

This is Maaaaaaath. Not ethics, not morality, not philosophy. What's the point of that question?

Oh well, at least it's over.

Open Source RPG

I've recently delved into a long term project that should keep me busy for the better part of the rest of the year. For the last few months, I've had an idea for a role playing game (RPG) running around in my head. I've fleshed things out a bit, and I've started work on actually writing it. It's going to use the Open Gaming License developed by Wizards of the Coast. In other words, it falls under the d20 system of gaming.

For now I'm keeping details to myself, but I'll post more as things develop. I'm at the initial rough drafting stage right now, so what may seem concrete now may change in the future. We'll see!

City Of Heroes and Stupid Library Children

So I pick up a copy of City of Heroes a couple days ago and all I can say is "Damn!" Yeah, not bad. This is what online gaming should be. The whole superhero thing is well done, and the character builder lets you build your hero from the ground up. It's pretty shweet and if you're into online gaming, you really need to check it out.

Maybe it's just because I'm a parent now, but I've been noticing that more and more children seem to have some kind of parental problem. To wit: their parents don't seem to give a tinker's damn about them and just let them run wild. I think it's time to put some money into the budget for electric cattle prods.

Starting fresh...

Okay, time for a fresh start. I've been wanting to get back into the whole blogging thing for quite a while now, but haven't had time up to now to do so. Thanks to a new baby, work, and other stuff, I just hadn't had the time to update as often as I'd like. But hopefully, now I can change that. This is a pretty easy forum to get to, post to, and edit. And best of all, it's free! Ya gotta love LISNews!

Okay to start, here's a little background info on me, then we'll progress into what I think I wanna try and do with my blog here.

First off, I'm the Assistant Circulation Manager for the Yakima Valley Regional Library. I'm heavily involved in the webpage committe and we're attempting a total redesign of the website. I'm one of the lead coders on the project. I'm pretty fluent in HTML and CSS and I can fake my way through some JavaScripting and PHP. I'm currently finishing my BA in History and hope to go straight from that into my MLIS. My interests lie in library web design, web delivered information, and circulation. I'm a computer geek, and I'm working on building my own system. I'm a digital artist, a musician, and writer. If you don't mind heavy language and images, you can check my personal website out over at Dragon in the Basement.

I hope to do many things with this blog. First it will be a fairly personal blog. I'll post thoughts and musings here, both within and without of the library scope. I intend to use this page for updates to websites that I work on. I'll use it for relaying information that I think useful or useless, whichever is more interesting at the time.

I'm hoping I can convince some of the people I work with to check this out from time to time as I'll probably post things here that might interest them and they may want to comment on it.

Right? Good. Let's get started, I guess.

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