Bookcase 0.9.3 Released

Bookcase 0.9.3 is available. Thanks to some refactoring from Regis Boudin, a bit of old ISBN code with hazy copyright restrictions was removed. It really shouldn’t have been there in the first place, I guess. Regis also added hyphenation rules for French publishers. The Italian translation was updated, thanks to FaUsT. Some other minor bugs were fixed, as well.

The Pope is hacked off

Jollyblogger has a good article reviewing a recent article in Sports Illustrated by Rick Reilly. Here’s an excerpt:

Also, we often treat the Lord’s day as if it is an imposition, when in fact it is a blessing, it is a gift to us. It is no imposition to me when I take my wife out on a date – it is a delight to spend that one on one time with her. Yes, I have to cease my regular activities and arrange for childcare and do a whole host of other things that mess my schedule up. But I delight to do those things because I get that one one one time with my wife. The Lord’s Day is meant to be a delight for us – it is a gift to us where we can rest our tired bodies, put away our worldly cares and worship and commune with our heavenly Father.

It’s a really good little article. I, too, have noticed that more and more activites are getting scheduled for Sundays, it’s not just youth sports. My sister at USC was just barely able to get to church before coming back for Stunt & Cheer club practice. They met early on Sunday afternoons because that was an easy time to get everyone together as few were church-goers. When I play with LAOUT, summer league finals can be on Sundays. The first day of the week is merely one-half of the weekend, equal to the other half.

Youth sports are a more worrying shift, though, to be sure. Not only is it not giving the kids the rest they need, it’s teaching them that organized sports can carry a higher priority than church. What kind of example is that?

Life's Highest Ideal

After discovering Miss O’Hara, I’ve been gradually reading through the back issues in her blog. The one I came across today during my lunch break is titled More Dating Fun and is a real gem.

In it, she points to an article by Shmuley Boteach that makes the romantic in me leap up and turn flips.

The effect of women being placed on a pedestal was that men had to work hard to be thought worthy of a woman. Winning a damsel was a lifelong pursuit and a man would spend a lifetime in refinement of his character in order to win a woman. Even after marriage, a wife maintained her status as a lofty honor. Outside of worshipping God, honoring women was life’s highest ideal. A man devoted his existence to protecting and cherishing the woman he was lucky enough to have as his wife. Like a man who is taken aback by the sight of a majestic mountain peak, he complimented her because he was in awe of her.

And Miss O’Hara doesn’t pull any punches in her writing. Heck, just the word emasculated makes me nervous. She echoes a lot of things I remember reading in Wendy Shalit’s A Return to Modesty, which I highly recommend.

Speaking as a male, it’s rather tough to be a knight, albeit a modern modest one. Which is why when I find other guys who aim for the same ideal, they are a great treasure. It’s much easier to be a Tender Warrior when you’re Locking Arms. (I really like Stu Weber, if that’s not obvious.)

And no, Miss O’Hara, you’re not hideous. 🙂

SpaceShipOne Pilot: 80% of the way to astronaut status

Scaled Composite’s entry in the Ansari X Prize competition seems to be leaving the others far, far behind. Their third powered flight last week took the craft 80% of the way to what NASA considers an altitute inhabited by astronauts.

In a post-flight statement from the company, the SpaceShipOne team reported that their space plane flew to 212,000 feet altitude, almost 41 miles. NASA awards astronaut status to anyone who flies above 50 miles in altitude.

Private Rocket SpaceShipOne Makes Third Rocket-Powered Flight

I have a John Wayne pastor

Where Are God’s Warriors and Wild Men?

Put an end to preaching by cheesy, whiny, quiche eating, preening Nancy Boys … right now! It freaks us meat eaters out. Get it? Hire a pastor who throws off a good John Wayne vibe instead of that Boy George feeling. Know what I mean? And cheer on ‘Pastor Wayne’ to serve up the solid meat of the scripture – the stuff that prods the congregation to biblical maturity rather than prolonging their infancy.

Doug Giles makes some good points about the church losing some of its masculine character. I know that’s a conversation I’ve had with several friends over the past few years of searching for church homes.

For the record, my pastor throws off a great John Wayne vibe. Just yesterday, he informed the congregation about tying fishing ties, and the joys of catch-and-throw-back fishing.

Bookcase 0.9.2 Released

Bookcase 0.9.2, code-named “Crumbled Peanut Shells“, is available. The only new addition is an XSL template for importing MODS collections. It works for books, but nothing else. The bug fixes include:

  • Fixed bug with printing and HTML export for libxml2 < version 2.6.
  • Fixed bug with character encoding with XSLT import.
  • Fixed bug with losing extended properties when copying a field.

That first item is a bit untested. My Linux distribution uses a version of libxml2 > 2.6, so I can’t verify the bug fix. But I do think it fixes the problem, which was showing up for several SuSE users with printing errors.

Amazon fetch for Bookcase

Heikki Lehväslaiho just let me know that he’s written a script for downloading information about bookcase, dvds, etc. using the Amazon.com Web Services and importing them into a Bookcase collection. You can download the script at his Programs Page. So you can run Heikki’s script, search for certain books and download the data, then import and append the collection to your current collection. Excellent!

Importing from Amazon with Bookcase

Astronomers speak of First Light, the moment when the telescope receives the first photons for an image. Well, Bookcase had her first light last night, so to speak. I’ve got a working import from Amazon.com, and I was able to search for a book, and add it to my collection, complete with cover image!

Just like with First Light, there’s still quite a bit of tweaking to do. I’m not completely happy with my interface to the Internet Search. Right now it looks like this:

And it’s not efficient at downloading stuff. And there’s no error handling. And no configuration. But, it works!

Problems with printing with Bookcase

I’ve had a couple of people email me about printing problems. Bookcase uses the bookcase-printing.xsl file to export HTML for printing. That file gets installed in $prefix/share/apps/bookcase/ along with bookcase-common.xsl, which it imports. For some reason, that second file is not being found. So far, it’s only been SuSE users, so it could possibly be a distribution issue, but I can’t figure out why.

If you’re running into this problem, edit the bookcase-printing.xsl file to reference the bookcase-common.xsl file by its complete path. For SuSE, that’s likely to mean changing the <xsl:import> element to be:

<xsl:import href="/opt/kde3/share/apps/bookcase/bookcase-common.xsl"/>

A Life and Death Drama on the Red Planet

Mars Rovers in Autumn: A Life and Death Drama on the Red Planet

Although the NASA robots are mechanized twins at birth, each has a distinct personality, Wallace observed.

Undergoing testing here on Earth prior to Mars sendoff, Wallace felt that Spirit exhibited a tendency to be less well-behaved, the more adventurous of the two vehicles. “Opportunity tended to kind of toe the line…a little more staying inside the lines,” he related.

A classic case of anthropomorphization. Spirit must be the younger twin.