Category Archives: Site News

Backfill

My blog looks anemic. I figured there was  not much I can do about that. Except post more. Other than that, bugger all.

Then it dawned on me I could repost some of my old stuff with the original timestamp. I’ve decided to do just that. It won’t be everything and it won’t be my best work, quite the opposite.

What I won’t be reposting are my stories that I deemed to have potential. Those have been taken offline for some much needed turd polishing to make them good enough to be released on Kindle. A bunch of the shorter ones (<1000 words), along with 20 or so originals will be released as a flash-fiction collection this summer.

I’ve also left out posts done by a guest blogger in 2007. Same goes for my posts in reference to her stuff. I may include those later. I’m not sure. She writes quite well, but I’d rather toot my own horn.

Pictures and captions are gone. They’re too labor intensive to dig through my archives. Ditto when it comes to getting links to work.  The “Paleo Spur” and a few other entries are omitted because they make no sense without the inline images. The entry “Poo Flinging Revisited” is also omitted because reasons.

Lastly, I’ve left out those entries that are for the sole purpose of saying that I have nothing to say. If I added some other tidbit, fine, but I’ll spare you the “Check back Monday” updates this time around. I should have spared you then.

There is plenty of other stuff and the original typos are preserved in all their glory. They’re all under the category “Old Blog.” Enjoy.

Poison Spur 3.0

After an eight-year run, it’s time for a reboot. I’m moving the blog from away from Movable Type to WordPress and off my old hosting provider to to one that’s both cheaper and less of a cock up as far as configuration goes.

It should be noted that the cock-up part was purely my doing. I had overheard system administrators at some point talk about installing software from source code. “Use the source!” they would say as sysadmins tend to be geeky enough to say such things. I apparently never got the memo that in the world of RPMs and apt-get install, nobody does that shit anymore.

Nobody but me, that is. I went tearing headlong into the installations, not really knowing what I was doing, and predictably ran into issues. If there was a library missing, I would download it to some directory chosen on whim and then manually edit the makefile. I have no idea how I got it to work, but I did and I shall never go down that path again as long as I live. Continue reading Poison Spur 3.0

What Are You Doing, Dave?

I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  By this, I mean life in general.  I’ve embarked on some projects recently that have yielded some positive results,  but nothing that has made me say, “Aha!” and certainly nothing that would make me want to listen to A-ha.  Am I making any sense here and does it really matter? After, no less a genius than Charlie Sheen has already shown us that coherency is so 2010.

Ah yes, 2010.  I was writing quite a bit back then.  I convinced myself of my literary pretensions while knocking out stories about zombies, murder, upskirt voyeurism, and retards.  Yes, retards.  It wasn’t the kind of feel-good story where somebody with a learning disability tried extra hard  and achieved a measure of greatness, or at least managed to sew a wallet in arts-and-crafts class in retard camp for his case worker Bill.  No, this is a tale where I shamelessly make fun of people with learning disabilities.  Actually, I dedicated 6000 words to the subject.  In my defense, the story was pretty funny provided you can get past the fact that the author is an insensitive asshole.

There are other stories in the queue, unwritten except for a few words jotted down in my spiral notebook.  In none of them am I so crass as to make fun of those dealt a bad hand at birth.  Instead, I stick to my time-tested themes: alcoholism, revenge fantasies, and loss of bowel control.  I do plan on writing these stories.  I really do.  Some of them at least.  At some point.  Maybe.

I have been busy, sort of.  I bought this neato linux box.  Actually, it was a Windows 7 box before I wiped the stink of Redmond from its hard disk and installed a real operating system.  I named it ralphus, in honor of Sardu’s plucky and diminuitive assistant in Bloodsucking Freaks.  I was so proud.

Granted, getting a linux machine up and running these days is no great accomplishment.  This isn’t like the old days when you could only expect the OS to work with the monitor, the keyboard, and if you were lucky, the mouse.  Sound cards were at best iffy and most peripherals were out of the quesiton. Not so with the latest Ubuntu linux. The webcam, external storage, and a lot other fun stuff that plugged into a USB port

The scanner didn’t work with it, but that was mostly because it was five years old.  Most software for linux, and especially stuff like device drivers, is developed by volunteers in the open-source community.  These people are awesome, no doubt about that.  However, their time is limited so you can’t expect them to make everything work seamlessly with yesterday’s hardware.  I dropped about 80 bucks on a new scanner and gave the old one to a friend.

That paved the way for at least one of my projects.  A friend of mine (coincidentally the same one who now owns my old scanner) came into possession of a number of old Car & Drivermagazines from the 60s and 70s with articles written by my father.  I’ve been scanning his work in the magazines and checking out various OCR software with the eventual goal of setting up some sort of online tribute to him.  I’m not a gearhead personally but I do like my dad’s writing and think it merits being shared.  This may run afoul some copyright law, but screw the bastards.  I’m not doing this for profit and I am his son.  I think I’m entitled to be proud of my old man.

Don’t expect to see his work here on Poison Spur. I have a little more respect than that.  Its eventual home will be on platypus.org.

That site needs a serious overhaul.  It has not been updated since 2001 and can be accurately described as a cobwebbed lump of shit.  Fortunately I have a project for that as well.  I’ve installed drupal on ralphus and have been playing around with it during those evenings I spend away from the bar.  Once I know what I’m doing and let trial and error eventually make up for my lack of design sense, platypus dot org will be a presentable site with Dad’s tribute page and other nifty features.

My dance card is getting mighty full. So where does that leave Poison Spur?  It will continue, I promise you that.  New entries may appear sporadically, but I know in my heart of hearts that I am a showoff.  I can’t quit forever.  If people stopped telling me I’m cute and clever, I’d probably dry up and blow away.

Hey Rocky, Watch Me Pull a Gerbil out of My…

Hello again.  To the pleasure of some and displeasure of others, Poison Spur’s hiatus is over and I’ll be posting again on a MWF schedule.   It’s amazing how one’s writing skills go into the toilet after even a short time away from it so bear with me.  Expect my entries to be as lame as this one, at least for the time being.Anyway, that’s it for today.  I have to toddle off and and be a productive little corporate cog.  See y’all Wednesday.

Back Again

Poison Spur is at its new home.

Rather than going with Blogspot, LiveJournal, or the like, I decided to go with a hosting service that allowed me to get myself into trouble.  Alex, who hosted my blog for years, suggested Spry.

The service isn’t free, but it isn’t expensive either.  Thirty-three bucks a month gets me a virtual Linux system, 20 GB of storage, one terrabyte of bandwidth, and root access.

It’s a pretty sweet deal if you’re looking for real flexibility.  The drawback is that you have to know what you’re doing.

As system administrators go, I’m pretty awful.  I can do things like install apache and configure it in the most basic of ways.  The same goes for most software until I run into some error trying to compile the damn thing, and my reaction is usually something like:

“What do you mean you can’t find libcog.so?  I ran a ‘find’ command and see it right in front of me.  You’re obviously not even trying.  Fuck you, Linux system.  I’m going to go drink whiskey and surf porn until you learn to be a little more considerate of my needs.”

This tactic does not work.  I know this for sure because I’ve tried it many times.

This time around, I decided to go against every fiber of my nature and persevere.  I banged away until I got things fixed.  My methods were pretty scattered and awful but Poison Spur is back, and dammit, I’m proud.

Poison Spur Packs Its Bags

No,the blog isn’t going away.  At least I hope it isn’t. It will be moving though.  When and where are still unknown.

My friend Alex has provided me with free hosting since 2006.  Other than a server crash two years ago, Poison Spur has given uninterrupted access to my blatherings to its 30 or so readers worldwide.

That’s all over now.  Or to be more precise, it will be very soon.  Alex is moving on to the next stage of his career.  That work computer that hosts my blog will not be available for very much longer.

I owe Alex a huge debt of gratitude but knowing him, he’ll just shrug and say if I buy him a drink, we’ll call it even.

With luck, I’ll be able to switch providers with nary a hiccup.  But if for some reason Poison Spur goes silent for a while, you’ll know why.

A Bit of Fluff off the Cuff

There’s really not much to tell but I thought I would chime in to assure you that Poison Spur will continue.  Expect updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I will be discontinuing the pulp reviews for the foreseeable future.  I know some of you enjoyed those entries but my heart just isn’t in it anymore.  I would rather create my own sleazy fiction than showcase decades-old contributions by others.

For aficionados of toilet humor, degrading sex, and senseless violence, fear not.  The Spur will move forward with your needs in mind.

Back from the Dead

Once upon a time, there was a blog called Poison Spur.  It was sporadically entertaining and boasted a readership well into the double-digit range.  Most of all, it was a place where I could spout whatever gibberish popped into that pretty little head of mine for all the world to see.  I liked that.

What I also liked was that it didn’t cost me a dime.  My friend Alex hosted the site for free on one of his servers located at a third-party data center.

Then the unthinkable happened.  There was a total system crash with no chance of recovery.  I’m a little hazy on the details but in the aftermath, the company housing the machine thought the best course of action would be to format the hard disk, erasing all the data.  Their reasoning behind this decision has never been adequately explained.

“Not to worry,” Alex assured me.  “When I have a moment, I’ll get you set up on another server.”

Weeks passed.  Then months.  “Sorry for the delay,” Alex would say.  “I promise to have things up and running by [insert lapsed deadline here].”  I’d take him at his word and divert my attention to the consumption of whiskey.

I can’t really blame him though.  My blog was the only item on his to-do list that neither earned him money nor got him drunk.  It’s little surprise Poison Spur languished on the bottom of the priority list for so long.

Now it’s back, more or less.  I managed to salvage most of the entries from Google and disk cache, and even preserved the date and time of the original postings.  I still need to add categories but I’ll deal with that later.

Other than a new layout, don’t expect a lot of changes.  I’ll have a new pulp review ready in about a week or so (need to go to Kayo Books tomorrow) and will continue to push the boundaries of taste whenever possible.

Let the good times roll.