Six hours with iOS 11

Today is release day for iOS 11, Apple’s newest version of the operating system for iPhones and iPads. This is not news. As of about 1pm Eastern time, the update is available for download and installation on supported devices. Monochromatic Outlook sacrificed an iPhone1 for the glory of being your guinea pig.2

Drupal, maybe we should just be friends

Recently I finished reading a book and went to put the book in my blog. I don’t have the book report written but wanted to at least get a placeholder in the database with the vital statistics: title, author, word count, my rating, and so on. After entering the information, I hit submit and was greeted with the less-than-useful message, The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.

Frankly, this sort of thing is the reason I don’t write. I used to joke that maintaining a blog was more work than writing it. The joke has stopped being funny.


Short for perquisite. A casual or secondary benefit.

I hate being wrong. Probably no one likes it very much. I know that being wrong is part of the scientific process and that many scientists delight in being wrong. I can relate to that. I tend to love new discoveries. But new discoveries also tend to be something I’ve intentionally questioned, perhaps even knew I did not know. I get frustrated when I discover that something I was absolutely certain was true simply is not so.


Created by request. Attributed to items created for a customer’s specifications or requirements, usually describing suits of clothing cut to a customer’s measurements.

A friend on Facebook recently asked why anyone would use bespoke when custom is a perfectly good word. The post sparked a flurry of responses about the faddish use of bespoke and its use to put on airs. I was reminded me that I looked up bespoke in the dictionary less than a year ago. My too-infrequently followed rule here is to write an entry when I look a word up in the dictionary, so I am responding here.

I hope you're right

As the old chestnut goes, there are three tiny words that every marriage needs to be successful. I’m not talking about I love you. I mean, maybe you’re right.

We are on the precipice of a highly divisive election. I fear that the nation is facing an existential threat no matter who wins. I’m more worried about what happens to the nation because of the election than I am about what any candidate might actually do in office. I have never before this election cycle had the sense that the election would result in violence, but this one looks to be a powderkeg.

What's in an alien name?

An oft-discussed topic among writers of speculative fiction, both science fiction and fantasy, is how to name characters, places, and ideas of extraterrestrial or otherwise non-human or alien origin. Naming is a difficult part of all fiction writing — it’s more difficult than one might think to make names for characters. Some (myself included) believe that character names ought to suggest something about the characters, the themes of the story, their roles in the plot, or perhaps stand in ironic contrast to those roles.

Status update: I didn’t expect it to be that much downtime

Whoops! OK, that was my fault. I was actually quite surprised at how smoothly and quickly the transition went. As it turns out, it appears to have taken longer than expected for the DNS to update. In fact, the problem may have been in DNS cached in my browsers. When I tested the site with a browser I had no problem accessing it. When I tested the domain with dig and ping it looked like my system was seeing the new records.


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