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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
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  3. <channel>
  4. <title>Sexy Red-Headed Nuns</title>
  5. <link>http://sexyredheadednuns.org/index.php</link>
  6. <description>No sex, no redheads, no nuns!</description>
  7. <language>en-EN</language>
  8. <generator>PolkaDot 1.5</generator>
  9. <item>
  10. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=UnderSiege.md">A Nation Under Siege</a></h1>
  11. <p><em>Posted: Friday January 20 2017 @ 1:47pm</em></p>
  12. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  13. <p>Was playing around with a tiny embeddable countdown clock to the next Inauguration. Here's what I came up with:</p>
  14. <p><img src="http://sexyredheadednuns.org/siege/" alt="Countdown to Next Inauguration" /></p>
  15. <p>It's just a chunk of PHP that generates a PNG containing the correct digits. Unfortunately, I was hoping I could add it to Facebook posts and comments, but Facebook fucks it all up trying to scale it to a thumbnail.</p>
  16. <p>Feel free to embed it in something online, if it meets your needs.</p>
  17. ]]></description>
  18. <dc:date>2017-01-20</dc:date>
  19. </item>
  20. <item>
  21. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=EndEmpire.md">The End of an Empire</a></h1>
  22. <p><em>Posted: Friday January 20 2017 @ 7:27am</em></p>
  23. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  24. <p>And so it begins today, the dismantling of a first world country.</p>
  25. <p>Make no mistake, Republicans today do <strong>not</strong> want a first world country. They look with envy upon countries full of uneducated poor working in sweatshops for the gain of a cadre of elites. That's where they're taking us. They've been taking the south that way for quite a while now.</p>
  26. <p>Trump's cabinet picks show this. With the exception of DHS, they're purposely chosen as folks willing to dismantle the very institutions with which they are being charged.</p>
  27. <p>Trump's budget shows this, cutting programs that help people and selling off public services to the highest bidder.</p>
  28. <p>Will this bring folks together? Maybe. A colleague and I, who are usually on opposite sides of most issues had a great conversation, based on our dismay at Trump and what it means.</p>
  29. <p>But I fear the opposite. I fear that the populace is too far gone, too enraptured with hatred of the other in place of self-pride. I fear people are too ready to accept whatever lies make them feel good. I had an interesting conversation with a relative who called me, out of the blue, just to talk politics. He was certain that Trump was actually, despite all evidence to the contrary, a good man. He was equally convinced that Clinton was, despite any supporting evidence, the &quot;devil incarnate.&quot;</p>
  30. <p>What's for certain is that we're at the start of a steep nose-dive. The only real question is whether we can pull out of it before we crash.</p>
  31. <p>Someone once asked me what my political philosophy was. I answered that I'm a fatalist. I do think this country is doomed, but I'll go down fighting.</p>
  32. ]]></description>
  33. <dc:date>2017-01-20</dc:date>
  34. </item>
  35. <item>
  36. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=ACARant.md">A Short ACA Rant</a></h1>
  37. <p><em>Posted: Thursday January 12 2017 @ 6:36pm</em></p>
  38. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  39. <h2>(Copied From My Facebook Wall)</h2>
  40. <p>So, there are really two groups with skin in the ACA game right now:</p>
  41. <ol>
  42. <li>People who couldn't get insurance before and finally could with the ACA.</li>
  43. <li>People who could get insurance before and are being hit with higher premiums after the ACA.</li>
  44. </ol>
  45. <p>I have sympathy for both groups, although I have more sympathy for the first group because I don't value people based on the amount of income they generate. I think it's pretty shitty for some in the second group to clamor for getting rid of the ACA without any concern about the first group.</p>
  46. <p>That said, again, sympathy for both groups. But I wonder, does that second group understand that the problem with the ACA is that it's, essentially, a love letter to the insurance industry? It's a Republican approach to health insurance. The actual solution isn't to replace it with something more draconian. The solution is to replace it with real socialized health care, like, gee, <strong>EVERY OTHER FIRST WORLD COUNTRY ON THE PLANET!!!</strong></p>
  47. <p>Oops, sorry, that was inaccurate. Saying &quot;every other first world country&quot; implies that <em>we're</em> currently a first world country. We're not. We were on our way, but that's fucked now. What we are are a bunch of cowboy wanna-bees, in love with a rootin-tootin quasi-anarchism founded on a shallow understanding of freedom.</p>
  48. <p>I do have real sympathy for that second group, misguided as some of them are. I even have sympathy for the ones calling for a repeal of the ACA, but the solution isn't stepping back from the ACA.</p>
  49. <p>You can't solve health care needs via a free market, folks. Consumers of health care are not free actors. This is a situation where we should be sharing the burden across everyone.</p>
  50. <p>Seriously, take a step back and ponder why employers are responsible for providing health insurance. It's a half-assed solution to a problem. Other countries have figured this out.</p>
  51. <p>And what's really annoying is that lots of those folks being hit with higher premiums are folks trying to achieve the American dream of building their own companies and businesses. So I understand their frustration. They're reached a level of success that now punishes them on health insurance.</p>
  52. <p>The thing is, we as a society should be <em>encouraging</em> entrepreneurs by lessening these sorts of burdens. Frankly, there's no way I'd be a consultant without my wife's work-provided health insurance. I marvel at the folks I know who run small businesses and have to foot large insurance bills. If we want to actually encourage small businesses, and I think we should, we need to shoulder the burden of health costs across society, not on the backs of those folks.</p>
  53. <p>I'm guessing part of the problem with the ACA is that the amount of backs across which the shared burden currently sits is rather small. So I understand those folks feeling put-upon. If only there was a solution...</p>
  54. <p>Meanwhile, I have good affordable insurance. Why? Because the college where my wife works, and by extension the state, has greater leverage than if it were just me.</p>
  55. <p>If only that leverage could be extended nationally...</p>
  56. ]]></description>
  57. <dc:date>2017-01-12</dc:date>
  58. </item>
  59. <item>
  60. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=ElectionShitShow.md">Election Shit Show</a></h1>
  61. <p><em>Posted: Wednesday November 09 2016 @ 5:32am</em></p>
  62. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  63. <p>Well, I tried to avoid the news, but we awoke at 3:30am, unable to sleep. Finally checked things at 5pm.</p>
  64. <p>I'm angry, terrified, sad, disgusted, and ashamed.</p>
  65. <p>This country is supposed to be better than this, but we're not. Clearly, we're not.
  66. We've elected a TV celebrity on the basis that he says the sexist, racist, homophobic things that so many people here want to say, but feel persecuted because they get criticized for it. Fuck those people.</p>
  67. <p>And, yes, there's plenty of blame. We can blame the DNC for fighting against Sanders (who I don't think would have fared much better). We can blame Sanders for staying in as long as he did. We can blame third party voters. We can blame the media.</p>
  68. <p>But the bottom line is that a majority of the American people want a sexist, racist, homophobic asshole for President. They revel in it.</p>
  69. <p>I personally plan on calling them out at every opportunity.</p>
  70. <p>Seriously, I'm terrified, and I'm a straight white cis male. I can't imagine how marginalized people feel right now. This is, literally, how Nazi Germany started. Literally. No exaggeration. No Godwin. Literally.</p>
  71. <p>I've said it before, but it's true. White people <strong>are</strong> the problem with this country.</p>
  72. ]]></description>
  73. <dc:date>2016-11-09</dc:date>
  74. </item>
  75. <item>
  76. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=VoterFraud.md">Voter Fraud: Not a Problem</a></h1>
  77. <p><em>Posted: Monday November 07 2016 @ 11:26am</em></p>
  78. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  79. <p>On the eve of the election, talk of rigged elections and the need for tighter controls will continue. After all, some student here in Virginia recently tried to register multiple times in order for vote for Clinton, while there have been a smattering of Trump supporters caught mailing in a ballot, then trying to early vote a second time, with the excuse that they were worried the original vote would be thrown away. So how can we say that voter fraud isn't a problem?</p>
  80. <p>Because the operative word above is &quot;tried.&quot; They tried and they were caught. They almost always get caught.</p>
  81. <p>But Tom, isn't it a problem that they tried? No. No it's not.</p>
  82. <p>Let's look at an analogy. Suppose I set up an email system with spam filters. The system passes through 1.2 billion emails successfully, but 30 spam messages get through. Yes, more than 30 spam messages were sent, but only 30 got through.</p>
  83. <p>If you looked at that system and told me I had a spam problem, I'd tell you to fuck off. The system works when it comes to preventing spam from being delivered.</p>
  84. <p>If you further told me I had to tighten down my spam rules, even though it would result in many valid messages not getting through, <strong>and</strong> those rejected messages would mainly be to people of color, I'd hit you with a fucking baseball bat because it's damn obvious you're not worried about spam, but rather want to prevent delivery of messages to people of color.</p>
  85. ]]></description>
  86. <dc:date>2016-11-07</dc:date>
  87. </item>
  88. <item>
  89. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=GunsSelfDefense.md">Guns and Self-Defense</a></h1>
  90. <p><em>Posted: Friday October 14 2016 @ 7:40am</em></p>
  91. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  92. <p>It would be dishonest of me to ignore those times when having a gun actually results in a person protecting themself.</p>
  93. <p><a href="http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/10/13/charges-man-with-permit-to-carry-firearm-stops-potential-bat-attacker/">Charges: Man With Permit To Carry Firearm Stops Potential Bat Attacker</a></p>
  94. <h2>Necessary vs Sufficient</h2>
  95. <p>It's interesting because this situation does fall precisely into the thin wedge where I think a gun is useful. My basic problem with guns as self-defense is that their use is rarely both necessary and sufficient. What I mean is that there are situations in which the bad guy is bad enough that non-gun options would not be enough. The gun is necessary. But usually in those same situations the bad guy is so bad that, even with a gun, I'd be totally out-classed. The gun isn't sufficient.</p>
  96. <p>For the gun to be both necessary and sufficient, you need that rare occurrence of an adversary who is bad enough to justify using a gun, yet wimpy enough that the gun is enough.</p>
  97. <p>That's pretty much the case here. The bad guy is wielding a bat, a medium range weapon capable of damage and not easily defendable by hand. They're in a parking lot, thus lacking in defensive areas. The bad guy has already shown a willingness to pursue. Arguably, a gun is necessary.</p>
  98. <p>At the same time, this bad guy seems pretty hapless and unmotivated, is alone, and is armed only with the bat. Fending him off with a gun is an easy thing to do. The gun is sufficient.</p>
  99. <p><img src="http://sexyredheadednuns.org/Politics/GunsVenn.png" alt="Venn diagram showing small overlap between necessary and sufficient" /></p>
  100. <h2>Placebo Guns</h2>
  101. <p>Also interesting is that the outcome of this event doesn't change if the gun is a placebo gun, a real gun rendered inoperative. To me, a risk to benefit evaluation of guns leads to carrying a placebo gun.</p>
  102. <p>In terms of self-defense, a placebo gun provides most of the benefits of a gun, with few of the drawbacks.</p>
  103. <p><strong>Benefits</strong></p>
  104. <ul>
  105. <li>All the threat and intimidation of a real gun.</li>
  106. <li>Phallic representation of your manliness.</li>
  107. </ul>
  108. <p><strong>Lack of Drawbacks</strong></p>
  109. <ul>
  110. <li>You can't shoot yourself or your family, either on purpose or by accident.</li>
  111. <li>It can't be taken from you and used against you.</li>
  112. <li>You're not going to shoot someone you really didn't need to because you're an amateur when it comes to actually shooting people.</li>
  113. <li>If you're a dumb-fuck like my neighbors and leave it in your car, when someone breaks into your car you haven't made gun proliferation any worse.</li>
  114. <li>You don't need training, although training would still be a good idea.</li>
  115. <li>Maybe you don't need any license?</li>
  116. <li><del>Obama</del> Clinton isn't coming for it.</li>
  117. <li>You won't waste ammo on Superman, because you'll have to go straight to the part where you chuck the gun at him.</li>
  118. </ul>
  119. <h2>Worst-Case Scenarios</h2>
  120. <p>But, wait, you can't actually shoot a person with a placebo gun! What about a worst-case scenario?</p>
  121. <p>Yes, that's true. There's an even smaller section of that wedge, except just <em>having</em> the gun isn't sufficient. You would actually need to shoot someone. In that case, you're out of luck.</p>
  122. <p>But if you're planning for worst-case scenarios without factoring in the rarity of the scenario and the risks of carrying a gun, then you're not really doing a rational risk to benefit analysis.</p>
  123. <p>And note that none of us plan excessively for worst-case scenarios. If we did, we would all be demanding cars with 4-point racing harnesses. We'd be wearing flame-proof jumpsuits on our commutes. We would have fire extinguishers within reach of the driver in all our cars.</p>
  124. <p>(Well, except for me, since my commute consists of walking down a flight of stairs. But I'd replace the carpet with rubber for traction, with extra padding at the edge of each step, and a big cushion at the bottom.)</p>
  125. <h2>Bad-Ass Motherfucker</h2>
  126. <p>But, wait, maybe you're a lot tougher than I am. Which, let's be honest, wouldn't be that difficult.</p>
  127. <p>Ah, here's the thing. If you're tougher than I am, the circle on the right gets bigger, because you and your gun can handle more than I could with a gun. What about that circle on the left, though? It gets smaller. If you're a tough guy, you can handle more without having to resort to a gun. The gun becomes sufficient in more circumstances, but necessary in fewer. The overlap remains small.</p>
  128. <p>Go back to the actual situation in St. Cloud. If you're really a tough guy, you could disarm the guy with the bat without yourself needing a gun.</p>
  129. <p>It also works in reverse. If you're less tough than I am, the times where a gun is necessary would increase, but the times where it's sufficient would decrease. The overlap remains small.</p>
  130. ]]></description>
  131. <dc:date>2016-10-14</dc:date>
  132. </item>
  133. <item>
  134. <h1><img src="Politics/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Politics&amp;post=ProTrumpArgument.md">An Odd Pro-Trump Argument</a></h1>
  135. <p><em>Posted: Tuesday October 11 2016 @ 10:55am</em></p>
  136. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Politics">Politics</a></em></p>
  137. <p>Geez, I haven't posted for months! If only there was something going on about which to pontificate! Oh, wait...</p>
  138. <p>There's a strange pro-Trump argument I've seen lately. It goes like this:</p>
  139. <ol>
  140. <li>Clinton did something awful.</li>
  141. <li>Trump has not had the opportunity to do the same thing (or worse), although he's stated he will do worse, or his temperament could easily lead him to do worse.</li>
  142. <li>Therefore, we can prefer Trump over Clinton because he hasn't done the awful thing.</li>
  143. </ol>
  144. <p>The one I've seen most recent said &quot;At least Trump hasn't committed genocide.&quot;</p>
  145. <p>And, yes, it's true. As Secretary of State, Clinton has killed more folks via military action than Trump had. The idiocy is assuming that because Trump hasn't, Trump won't.</p>
  146. <p>I view it like this. Clinton has, in the past, had limited access to a vast armory of weapons. She's much more likely to use them than I would. And, now and then, she fires off a shotgun at a group when other options would be better.</p>
  147. <p>Trump has no access, current or past, to the armory, yet screams about using <em>all</em> of the weapons against a variety of targets while showing no understanding of the targets and how they relate to each other. Furthermore, he has an obvious hair-trigger and feels a pathological need to strike back against any perceived slight.</p>
  148. <p>We have to decide which person to give full access to the armory.</p>
  149. ]]></description>
  150. <dc:date>2016-10-11</dc:date>
  151. </item>
  152. <item>
  153. <h1><img src="Toys/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Toys&amp;post=Tiko3DKerfunkle.md">Latest Tiko 3D Kerfunkle</a></h1>
  154. <p><em>Posted: Tuesday July 19 2016 @ 6:10am</em></p>
  155. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Toys">Toys</a></em></p>
  156. <p>Well, unfortunately, the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tiko3d/tiko-the-unibody-3d-printer/comments">Tiko 3D printer Kickstarter</a> is looking more and more like a clusterfuck. They shipped (with a reasonable delay) the first 100 printers. Those printers are, well, just not working great. Then, they dropped this little policy bombshell: They're collecting usage data from the printers and there's no way to opt out. Here's the relevant text:</p>
  157. <blockquote>
  158. <p>In terms of the data we collect, it's practically everything. Everything from how long it takes you to progress from one step in the printing process to another, slicing times, printing times, print sizes/volume, scaling/re-orientation, how often you load/unload filament, what time of day prints are started, what brightness you change the LED to, etc. Just tons and tons of raw, completely anonymous data. We use this data for everything from improving workflow (ie where do people get stuck), to improving auto-level, optimizing the slicing engine algorithms by looking at what takes longest, and even something as seemingly mundane as the average favorite LED brightness. Every single piece of information can tell us more about how well Tiko performs and how good of an experience it is, and so we collect it all. Again, completely anonymously. Also, full disclosure, Tiko stores all of this in offline mode, and will sync it with our servers upon connection to the internet. So even if you only connect to WiFi once in a while, we'll still get the data. We hope that doesn't come across as big-brothery, we're just out to make the best product and experience ever.</p>
  159. </blockquote>
  160. <p>Don't like? They'll refund your money, then. Seriously, that's the only other option.</p>
  161. <p>Of course, backers are trying to point out how stupid (and potentially illegal) this is. Tiko's responses aren't helping. For example:</p>
  162. <blockquote>
  163. <p>We reserve the right to, but generally speaking we're not interested in selling data, but we may share some high level statistics with certain types of organizations.</p>
  164. </blockquote>
  165. <p>Look, folks, when you find yourself in a hole, the first rule is to stop digging.</p>
  166. <p>Well, maybe they'll reconsider?</p>
  167. <blockquote>
  168. <p>We're happy to explain what data we collect, why we collect it, and what we do with it. However, we're just going to be completely brutally honest here and say that we will not deviate from this path. All we can do is ease the discomfort of not knowing the aforementioned information.</p>
  169. </blockquote>
  170. <p>Idiots.</p>
  171. ]]></description>
  172. <dc:date>2016-07-19</dc:date>
  173. </item>
  174. <item>
  175. <h1><img src="Toys/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Toys&amp;post=MarkdownTest.md">Markdown Testing</a></h1>
  176. <p><em>Posted: Friday July 15 2016 @ 7:40am</em></p>
  177. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Toys">Toys</a></em></p>
  178. <p>Well, let's do a test of the various formatting tricks in <a href="https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax#code">Markdown</a> to see how <a href="http://parsedown.org/">Parsedown</a> handles them!</p>
  179. <h1><a href="id:top">Level One Heading</a></h1>
  180. <h2>Level Two Heading</h2>
  181. <h3>Level Three Heading</h3>
  182. <p>How those actually look will depend on the CSS I have in place. Normally, post titles are done as H3 tags. So the above might look stupid. They probably all just look similar.</p>
  183. <p>There's also an underlining style of headers, which I don't generally use, but let's try them anyway:</p>
  184. <h1>Level One</h1>
  185. <h2>Level Two</h2>
  186. <p>Hopefully that worked!</p>
  187. <blockquote>
  188. <p>This ought to be a blockquote. The CSS does some fancy quotes around the whole thing, but I'm not at all sure I like that anymore. In any case, I'm really just typing in enough stuff to make this block wrap around a few times, to show the actual blockquoting.</p>
  189. </blockquote>
  190. <p><strong>Unordered Lists</strong></p>
  191. <ul>
  192. <li>Bullet</li>
  193. <li>Lists</li>
  194. <li>Are</li>
  195. <li>Important
  196. <ul>
  197. <li>Including</li>
  198. <li>Sub-lists</li>
  199. </ul></li>
  200. </ul>
  201. <p><strong>Ordered Lists</strong></p>
  202. <ol>
  203. <li>So</li>
  204. <li>Are</li>
  205. <li>Numbered</li>
  206. <li>Bullet</li>
  207. <li>Lists
  208. <ol>
  209. <li>With</li>
  210. <li>Sub-lists</li>
  211. </ol></li>
  212. </ol>
  213. <p><strong>Code Blocks</strong></p>
  214. <p>You can designate text as blocks of code and have them formatted appropriately, as below:</p>
  215. <pre><code>function Code_Blocks_are_Important() {
  216.    echo "although ";
  217.    echo "this ";
  218.    echo "is ";
  219.    echo "obviously ";
  220.    for ($1=0; $i&lt;10; $i++) {
  221.        echo "really ";
  222.    }
  223.    echo"just made up1\n";
  224. }</code></pre>
  225. <p>You can also specify the language used and often get language-specific color coding, but not here, I think. The following is tagged as PHP code.</p>
  226. <pre><code class="language-php">function PHP_Code_Blocks_are_Important() {
  227.    echo "although ";
  228.    echo "this ";
  229.    echo "is ";
  230.    echo "obviously ";
  231.    for ($1=0; $i&lt;10; $i++) {
  232.        echo "really ";
  233.    }
  234.    echo"just made up1\n";
  235. }</code></pre>
  236. <p><strong>Tables</strong></p>
  237. <table>
  238. <thead>
  239. <tr>
  240. <th>Header 1</th>
  241. <th>Header 2</th>
  242. </tr>
  243. </thead>
  244. <tbody>
  245. <tr>
  246. <td>Tables</td>
  247. <td>are</td>
  248. </tr>
  249. <tr>
  250. <td>nice</td>
  251. <td>but</td>
  252. </tr>
  253. <tr>
  254. <td>I</td>
  255. <td>don't</td>
  256. </tr>
  257. <tr>
  258. <td>know</td>
  259. <td>how</td>
  260. </tr>
  261. <tr>
  262. <td>to</td>
  263. <td>fix</td>
  264. </tr>
  265. <tr>
  266. <td>that</td>
  267. <td>left</td>
  268. </tr>
  269. <tr>
  270. <td>margin</td>
  271. <td>!!!</td>
  272. </tr>
  273. </tbody>
  274. </table>
  275. <p><strong>Inlines styles</strong></p>
  276. <p>Markdown supports a bunch on inline styles, so you can <em>italicize</em> things, or make them <strong>bold</strong>. You can even <del>strike text out</del> or say something should be rendered as <code>code</code>.</p>
  277. <p><strong>Linking</strong></p>
  278. <p>There are a few ways of doing links in Markdown. One way is to put the link right after the text being linked. So I could link to my <a href="https://github.com/TommySezSoWhat/">Github Repositories</a> that way. Another way is to put the actual link elsewhere in the document and refer to it. When rendered, you don't see anything different, so here's a link to my model for a <a href="https://github.com/TommySezSoWhat/Sexy-Nuns-QR-Code-3D">QR code</a> for this blog. These should look the same in the blog, but in the source, that hyperlink for the second one is at the end of the source.</p>
  279. <p>You can also do internal linking in a document. So I <em>should</em> be able to make a link <a href="#top">back to the top</a> of the post. I don't know if this will work, as I'm doing a Github specific formatting for it.</p>
  280. <p><strong>HTML Entities</strong></p>
  281. <p>Markdown also does automatic replacement of HTML entities like &lt; and &gt; and &quot; and &amp;. These should all be replaced by the appropriate codes.</p>
  282. <p><strong>Horizontal Rules</strong></p>
  283. <hr />
  284. <p>Above this should be an horizontal rule. I have no idea how the formatting will make it look. I use these to separate posts, so it's not something I would normally put in-post.</p>
  285. <p><strong>Images</strong></p>
  286. <p>And, finally, images! Here's one:</p>
  287. <p><img src="http://sexyredheadednuns.org/Photos/AnimatedGIFs/AttentionOrgasm.gif" alt="Attention Orgasm" /></p>
  288. ]]></description>
  289. <dc:date>2016-07-15</dc:date>
  290. </item>
  291. <item>
  292. <h1><img src="Toys/icon.png" alt="category icon" /> <a href="?category=Toys&amp;post=CodeUpdate.md">Code Update</a></h1>
  293. <p><em>Posted: Sunday July 10 2016 @ 8:35pm</em></p>
  294. <p><em>Religious Order: <a href=".?category=Toys">Toys</a></em></p>
  295. <p>Every few years, I decide that I need to add a feature to PolkaDot, the software on which this blog runs. It's a home-grown system I wrote long ago simply to see if I could write a blogging platform in an evening. Turns out I could!</p>
  296. <p>It's not great software. If this blog received any real traffic, the processing load on the server would surely be noticed by GoDaddy. Luckily, no one really comes here!</p>
  297. <p>For those who don't know, the software works like this:</p>
  298. <ol>
  299. <li>You write your post in a text file.</li>
  300. <li>You upload the text file to the server.</li>
  301. <li>PolkaDot turns it into a blog post, using the first line as the title and the file date as the posted-on date.</li>
  302. </ol>
  303. <p>That's it!</p>
  304. <p>Categories are simply directories on the server. Drop the text file into whichever category you want.</p>
  305. <p>The problem is that if you want to actually do any formatting, you're stuck embedding HTML into the text. Need a table? Gotta make an HTML table. Need a bullet list? Gotta make an HTML bullet list. It's a pain.</p>
  306. <p>Lately, I've fallen in love with <a href="https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/">Markdown</a>. It's such a nice middle ground between plain text and things like HTML. I've been using it extensively at work because it's easy to generate it from data, then use existing rendering software to make it pretty on a variety of targets.</p>
  307. <p>So, let's add Markdown to PolkaDot!</p>
  308. <p>Luckily, I didn't have to do much work. There's a great PHP module called <a href="http://parsedown.org/">Parsedown</a> that let's you convert Markdown to HTML with just a function call. All I had to do was make some modifications so that PolkaDot looked for both text and Markdown files, then handed the Markdown posts to Parsedown, while routing the text posts through the existing raft of search-and-replace madness that turns those into posts.</p>
  309. <p>And that's exactly what I did today. The ordered list above is actually in Markdown. The hyperlinks are Markdown. That's, really, all the Markdown in <em>this</em> post, other than the italics just then.</p>
  310. <p>The only problem right now is that handling both text and Markdown files changed the naming convention for the comment files. (Yes, <strong>all</strong> the data in the blog is held in simple text files.) I've renamed some, but a bunch remain. So older posts might not show their comments yet.</p>
  311. ]]></description>
  312. <dc:date>2016-07-10</dc:date>
  313. </item>
  314. </channel>
  315. </rss>
  316.  
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