Bye-bye Mephisto…

… Hello WordPress. Mephisto is sadly dead ( points to a WordPress page, need I say more) and the application was broken after a recent upgrade of the server, so I’ve decided to move.

I did want to save as much of the original blog as possible though (what little there is), and so I had to find the most recent github-hosted copy and try to get things to work again. On top of that Ruby’s “gems” system is not playing nice with Debian’s apt and my original PostgreSQL database got hosed during an upgrade from 8.1 to 8.4. This last is not a fault in PostgreSQL, but rather Debian, which decided to wipe 8.1 and purge the databases of it before I had a chance to migrate them over. I ended up restoring a backup of the tables and fire up PostgreSQL 8.1 with it on an old 32-bit etch installation (yes, it was that old), dump the databases and restore them on PgSQL 8.4.

After that, I thought it was a matter of using the mephisto-to-wxr rake task to migrate my contents, but alas, I needed to patch that one as well, as the uuidtools gem did not support random_generate() any more. Resolved that by changing:

xml.guid "urn:uuid:#{UUID.random_create}", "isPermaLink" => "false"


xml.guid "urn:uuid:#{}-#{n}", "isPermaLink" => "false"

… and incrementing n on each iteration.

So, now I have a .wxr feed that I need to import. Fingers crossed…

Give the dog a bone

So here I am, one fine morning in Nai Harn, Phuket (Thailand), getting ready to go for a morning run with Elisabetta, when Scooby, a cocker spaniel from a few houses down the road, comes around and starts picking a fight with our friends’ Thai ridgeback, Caligola.

Caligola is a pretty big dog, but extremely friendly both towards humans and other dogs.

Scooby is a different story.

In any case, they’re at it tooth and nail and I’m starting to fear for Scooby’s health. Caligola is more than twice his size and much stronger and more agile. So, stupid me, I decide to intervene and try to pull Caligola off of Scooby (figuring Caligola is less likely to bite me). Dumb, dumb, dumb. Rule one of fighting dogs: don’t try to get between them unless you really know what you are doing. As soon as I took hold of Caligola, Scooby reached underneath Caligola and sank his teeth into my left shin. I managed to pry him loose and as other people stepped in to help, the dogs were finally separated.

Unfortunately for me, the damage was already done. One of Scooby’s canines had gone in all the way (about an inch) until it hit the bone. His other teeth left superficial scratches on my calf.

We immediately cleaned the wounds with peroxide and betadine, put on a provisional bandage, and went straight to the hospital. The surgeon there was impressed with the depth of the wound. After administering local anaesthetics, he opened up the wound and cleaned it out with saline solution and Betadine. Had I been in Holland, I’d have probably received stitches straight away and been told to come back a few days later to check for infection. However, in a climate such as Thailand, and me being a Farang, chances of infection are extremely high. So, doctors here generally don’t stitch up a wound immediately, but leave it open, cover it with gauze soaked in Betadine and bandage it, to be cleaned and changed daily until they are sure there is no sign of infection.

On top of that, I received tetanus and rabies shots and a bag full of antibiotics to be taken daily (and some painkillers, thankfully).

So, valuable lesson learned and pretty much the end of the holiday for me…

Fotozondagavond #43: Portrait

Yay, here are mine (click to enlarge):

Portrait #1 Portrait #2

The first one is a happy accident. We just landed in Dubai and were sitting down for a jet-lagged breakfast (consisting of grilled seafood, but that’s another story). In any case, I was playing with my camera in the rather low light conditions and didn’t want to use my flash, for obvious reasons. The slow shutter speed resulted in a shot where the subject was captured both with his eyes closed and open. The resulting “ghost” lids over the eyes gives it a kind of spooky effect:

Portrait #1

The second picture is just a self-portrait taken while zooming out (or in). I have a bunch of those (taken whenever I feel bored).

Other portraits: