As of today, I’ve been blogging at SanBeiJi.com for eight years. Happy birthday, blog!
The original blog was a hand-rolled PHP/MySQL app, before Michael insisted that I upgrade to WordPress. It was actually a fun little SQL mapping exercise to get my old posts integrated into WordPress’ format, and I’m amazed it worked as well as it did, all things considered.
If you’re wondering what San Bei Ji means, there’s a fine article about it on Wikipedia.
Alton Thompson has a post on Typhoon Morakot disaster relief information. I highly recommend anyone looking for information on how to help to check out this post.
Typhoon Morakot has really hammered Taiwan and at least one entire village appears to have been completely submerged in mud. Apparently the response has been slow so far.
I experienced low-grade Typhoon Kalmaegi last summer in Taiwan and it was an awesome sight – here’s a photo (best viewed large to get an idea of how much water is coming down). Whole fields and neighborhoods were flooded and people were using boats to get around, rivers were swollen beyond their banks, and there were cars stuck in water everywhere. I rode the high speed rail during the tail end of the storm and got a good look of everything from Kaohsiung to Taoyuan, and it looked like the flooding was nearly complete for the entire distance of the trip! For this past typhoon, it was the most precipitation they had in 50 years, and parts of Taiwan received an entire year’s worth of rainfall in two days. It rains a lot in Taiwan already, so imagine all the rain in a semi-tropical Pacific island location just dumping over the course of 48 hours. It’s hard to imagine how much worse this one was compared to the little sprinkle I experienced last year. Might as well put the place underneath a waterfall. I hope the affected areas can recover quickly…
Good friend Matt has started a blog for his poetry, called Quarkonium, and it is an instant hit. WordPress.com has it listed as the featured blog tagged with “poetry.” Congrats to Matt for getting this off the ground finally!
There was a time when I would enthusiastically write poetry, but that has been beaten out of me over the years. I still like to read though. Bukowski is probably my favorite.
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
– William Butler Yeats
I had to change web hosts. The old one was down way too often. Unfortunately, this one seems to be not without their own set of issues. Still trying to find out why Unicode characters didn’t import right into the database and why .htaccess configurations continue to fail. Hmmm…
Oh and for some reason the old theme doesn’t like the new server. It was time to go anyway. Thanks for all the fish! I’ll figure something out as we go along.