Sunday, January 11th, 2004
I've moved my website from my ISP to a genuine web host. What's the difference? Well, with an ISP, you get space to run a web site, but generally you don't have support for a database or server-based scripting.

Last October, I'd done some automation of my menus using JavaScript. I got an e-mail from one of my few blog readers pointing out how evil it is to use JavaScript since it puts the performance load on the client's end instead of the server and since some people even disable JavaScript. Well with only an ISP account I couldn't do anything server-based, plus I didn't have the energy or inclination at the time to do anything about it.

I've got experience with ASP and SQL Server but couldn't see paying for a host that supports those just for my personal site. But now for whatever reason, I'm interested in experimenting with PHP.

I went with Affordable Host because with a 20% discount for paying 2 years up front and another 25% special discount, it cost $3.57 a month, which isn't bad. Plus now I've got an extra 100MB of storage, which helps since with my various pictures I was getting close to filling the 60MB I get with Earthlink.

I know I could use some existing PHP blog template, but I'm setting up something on my own. This very entry that you're seeing actually resides in my mySQL database and gets displayed by a PHP script. My classes page is all nicely automated, and I'm going to work on putting my previous blog entries into the database. But this is all for fun and a hobby, so if you care what I've said before today, you'll have to go to the pages on my ISP, at least for now. (Update as of 4/13/2004: All my entries have been moved)
Monday, January 19th, 2004
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Today I marched again in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. I walked from my neighborhood to the fairgrounds, met up with friends, and marched down Main St. to the Old Courthouse.
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The kids from Chaminade-Julienne cheated and didn't march the whole way, but it's better to join the cause late than not at all. The folks from the East side were late too, but they made it. This year instead of going onto Courthouse Square, the organizers had us stand at Third and Main while people from the four directions joined puzzles pieces together as a show of unity. It was meaningful but hard to see.
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Click for larger After the rally, some people came to the Dayton Cultural Center (in the old Biltmore) to participate in a Taste of the Dialogues, sponsored by the Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations, for which I am a facilitator. It was a good way for everyone to meet new people and for people who've not been through the process before to get an idea of what it's about. Click for larger Click for larger
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Sunday, January 25th, 2004
For my ENG341 class, we have to write memoirs about teachers who taught us something about teaching. (That we have to write memoirs and that the subject of our memoirs is so tightly guided is an issue for another time.) We could write about someone from our college days, but I'm choosing to follow the advice of my ENG101 TA (for whom I also had to write a memoir), which is that one shouldn't write memoirs about events in the past few years because the significance of such events hasn't yet gelled. Besides which I also don't want to write about people my ENG341 instructor or my peer reviewers might know.

That leaves high school teachers since I really don't remember much about my elementary and junior high teachers. High school was not a fun time for me, despite everyone at the time saying that these would be the best years of my life. Thank God everyone at the time was wrong.

I did have some good experiences in high school, though, one being AP History, taught by Mr. Seewer (who got his doctorate after I graduated and who I understand has retired in the last couple years). I dug out my old Fairborn High School yearbooks from 1983 and 1984 and scanned a few pics. I'd remembered that we had to write an essay every Friday and that each week a lucky student got to use Mr. Seewer's Commodore to type up his or her essay, but I didn't remember this picture of Bob Stemen typing on (or as the yearbook caption reads, "programming his report into") the computer.

More fun high school reminiscing later.
Saturday, January 31st, 2004
One of the reasons I wanted to move to a real hosting service was to be able to play with PHP and mySQL. Well, I've been doing that and now, in addition to being able to add blog entries through a web interface, I can update the blurb on the front page. And what's even more fun is that I've added a books database, which will make it much more likely that I'll keep my books section up-to-date. My ENG385/ENG346 professor, Dr. Beumer-Johnson, suggests that teachers keep a journal of the books they've read so that they can easily find information when students ask about a particular book or ask for a recommendation.
 
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david@davidlauri.com