My nemesis train

Entry #1816, Fri, January 26, 2018, 08:42 CST (Random Crap)
(posted when I was 39 years old.)

For the most part, I love Metra. I really do. Most mornings, I ride the 8:35 UP-North train out of Ogilvie. It generally departs on track 13. I’m used to swimming against the stream of incoming commuters as I make my way to my outbound train, but it used to be that it became calm once I made it to the platform. No longer.

Now there is a train that arrives on track 14 around 8:27 or so. Now the shared platform is packed with unloading commuters as I want to get to my train. Most days I’ll wait for most of them to clear out before I even try to get to my train. But some days I get there early...

Just early enough that I arrive as the nemesis train is pulling in. I can hear its bell and know it’s go time. Pick up my pace. Walk down the platform as it’s pulling in. Make it to onto my train before the nemesis opens its doors. I always feel a great sense of victory when this happens. The struggle continues.


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A brief history of the Log

The log was started towards the end of 1998, as an attempt to keep track of my wacky adventures. It was slow going at first, with entries being relatively short and rare. At this time the log was simply a set of html files, updated by hand. Hardly ideal.

In October of 1999, something was done about the situation, and a mysql database was created to hold all the log entries. There was a php front end which even included a (very limited) search interface to the log. And there was a perl script for adding new log entries. And life became much better. Log entries increased in quality and length and frequency. But life was not entirely perfect. The search feature needed improving. The keywords system I had decided to use for searches proved to be something I disliked. And I wanted to add more features, such as user comments, an improved mailing list, entry topics and titles, etc...

So, when, in August of 2000, the newest version of mysql decided to no longer accept a column called "when", I found myself in need of updating my log scripts simply to keep it functional. And thus this, the second version of my log scripties, was born. Since then, enhancements come whenever I get bored or really want them. Thus comments, ratings, graphs, random entries, and much more found their way into the code.

Fast forward to 2009 and the realization that the code base is now 10 years old and showing its age. For the first time in the history of the log, I set up a test server and began work on refactoring the code. The code was streamlined, some security improvements made, yet another new layout designed, and various other fixes, features and tweaks added. There haven't been version numbers so far, but these changes would definitely warrant a new major version number.

What does the future hold? Stay tuned to find out!

How to use this page

The navigation bar on the left side of this screen should be a good place to get started. Viewing entries individually is pretty straightforward.

A few notes on searching: The default is to search the entry text, using boolean and to join the search terms, and to display the results in short list format. However, these options can be changed on the search page.

And a few notes on general oddities: When I first started manually entering log entries, I only kept track of the date, not the time. Since the log switched to a database backend, the time has been recorded as well, but entries from before that time will show up with only a date, not a time. Similarly, I only started associating titles with entries when I wrote version 2 of the log. So entries from before then have very boring titles of the format "Log Entry ###".

I also added a "graph" feature which is kind of independent of the main log, which I use to generate graphs of datapoints I keep track of over time. This feature is currently broken.

Mailing List

Due to popular demand (i.e. Arun asked for it), I implemented a mailing list feature for log entries. However, times have changed. Since my mailing list functionality didn't support HTML and I wanted to start including pictures and other rich content in log entries, I disabled the mailing list and added a RSS feed instead. It can be found at www.esgeroth.org/log/feed.php

Other Online Journals

Quite a few of my friends now maintain online journals. Mine was first, tho! haha! Here's a list, which I by no means guarantee to be complete:

And I'd like to dedicate the space below to people formerly listed above, but who no longer maintain journals I know about.

May this serve as pressure on them to return to the online journalling world, and if they do so, I hope they'll let me know.