The Straight Story

Ostensibly, the reason for my total radio silence on tumbledry is clear: the second half of my first semester of dental school was extraordinarily busy. For example: for the first time since I began working out in 1999, I voluntarily gave up the gym for six weeks. I ran through gross anatomy flash cards on the bus to and from school, I ran through flash cards before sleeping, I ran through flash cards with Mykala, I ran through flash cards while walking across the train tracks between my bus stop and apartment, I woke up running through flash cards in my mind. Incidentally, I slept little. I skipped so many meals that by the end of the semester I looked at the mirror and was shocked to see someone who appeared quite gaunt. So, that would seem to be the full story. It is not.


A More Familiar Rhythm

The story of why I painstakingly overhauled this website and then failed to post to it for almost two months will be told in bits and pieces. Until I reach the end of my current story arc, I defer to the readers that remain:

What’s new with you all?

And I mean this; even if you’ve never posted a comment before, now is the time. I’ve learned that it isn’t possible to extract much meaning from life without people around us, so I really want to know what’s up.


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On Search

In late 2005, a Marquette dental school student was suspended over blog posts which were critical of classmates and teachers at the writer’s school. No specific names were mentioned by the writer, but the punishments doled out by Marquette were extremely severe. Loss of scholarship, suspension, community service, demands for a public apology. This (as the article puts it) “draconian” reaction to public expression has caused me to remove tumbledry from public search engines. As a dental student, I’d prefer not to deal with the hassle of defending everything I write to a professional review committee. So, as of a few days ago, no Google search for my name, the phrase tumbledry, Mykala, etc. will pull up this page. Nope. We’re completely unlisted.


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To Finally Begin

Today marks my first day of dental school classes, a day that I am sure will be indelibly imprinted on my memory for the rest of my life. I’ve been prepping for today for the past 5 years and suddenly, as if from nowhere… here I am. In anticipation of The First Day, I have worked on:


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Canary Wharf

Last night, I finally finished writing a script to automatically resize images. That way, if I see a picture on the internet that I like, there are very few steps between viewing and putting it on tumbledry — this is nice because the hassle of processing random online images has kept me from posting many. As an example, take a look at this wonderful picture by David Iliff of Canary Wharf in London:


New tumbledry

I’ve been working on this version of tumbledry since January of this year — there were times I never thought it would be finished — and yet, we’re almost there now. During the next few days, there will be a short beta period in which I will add a few features and iron out any remaining kinks; leave comments here with your thoughts.


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Emerson Punchline

Here’s a comment by Ryan from a few years back that I ran across today:

“haha, Emerson is such an under used punchline.”

Stuff like that is essentially why I keep writing here and refining the website. Good times.

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mySQL Trouble


Curious? Ok. The max value for the TIME type in mySQL is 838:59:59. I’m sure you have some justification for picking 838 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds… but holy crap mySQL, could you warn me for functions like TIMEDIFF()?!


Picture Editing

I’m still working on editing down those European trip pictures. I am unbelievably busy taking care of dental school and other things, but I’m sure I will get these things posted.

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On the Road

In case you might be curious, tumbledry is going on the road for a while! I’m off to Amsterdam and Barcelona for a wonderful week with my family. It should be grand. I’m taking the camera with, so naturally I’m hoping for some fantastic shots. However, I will settle for mediocre shots that are foreign-looking.


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That’s it from 2007

Well, I guess this will about do it for 2007. Mykala and I are baking a cake and watching Comcast channel 107 “CURNT,” which is broadcasting the entire Radiohead In Rainbows album, entitled “Scotch_Mist: a film with Radiohead in it”. It’s really fun to see them (Radiohead) record in these video vignettes. Right now, they are performing “Faust Arp” on a hill in front of a sunset. It’s cooler than my adjective-poor description would have you imagine.


October Pictures

Welcome to the October Picture Vacuum. We’ve come up a bit short this month, but I’ll hop back on that horse. Photography will resume!

Bugs, Money, & Water Bottles

I’m filing my own bug report for tumbledry here. Has anyone noticed that when you mouseover Dan’s comments, there’s a thing that says “A partial iron” instead of loading an image? Well, that’s not the intended behavior of the comment code - it’s a rounding error that should never have made it past bug testing. Nevertheless, here we are, months after I recoded the ranking system… and this ugly bug pops up. I’m working on a fix, and more pictures. So that’s good.


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In Summary

Hi, my name is Alex Micek and this is my website. Sometimes I post boring things here. This is one of them.

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An Album That Causes Happiness

In terms of a public address system, tumbledry is really only a whisper in a gigantic stadium, drown out by the slightest clamor anywhere else. As such, I have never really intended to announce trends or write on the cutting edge of anything — if such writing does see the light of day, it is only because my interests coincided with that which was in vogue. This limits the scope of tumbledry and makes it merely a personal conversation with folks about my life and the things from it I choose to record. In the case of this entry, I feel an urgent need to express my infatuation with an album I ran across (courtesy of Mykala). Knowing that the whisper will be drown out doesn’t make the recommendation feel any less important.


Tumbledry T-Shirts

I’ve been thinking about selling t-shirts for tumbledry, so I’ve been kicking some designs around in my head. In case anyone is curious: the shirts would be American Apparel style 2001, color: “up in the air.” I recently put this together:


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Cookie Issues

There are currently a few difficulties with the “what’s new since you last visited” script. Should be fixed soon. In the meantime, everything is new, all the time!
UPDATE: If new things are not updating, delete your cookies, and everything should work fine again.

CSS Centering

Give tumbledry the ol’ hard refresh, and you’ll find the newest, very centered, version of the layout. 50% of the people I’ve surveyed love it this way! That’s one out of two!

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Comment bug

Comments weren’t quite working because every time you left a comment, tumbledry tried to send you back a copy of every comment that had ever been left here.

Then it told you that you weren’t connected to the internet.

These bizarre problems should be fixed.

Service At Speed

I sat down next to Mykala on the Fourth of July, and casually asked her a question while I did a few trivial computing tasks. “Did you notice a difference in speed for tumbledry?” I was overjoyed to hear her response: “Yes, actually—I noticed it seemed a bit faster.” Her single comment made the struggle to resolve all of the lags in delivering tumbledry at high speed to you lovely readers worth it. Now, I have thought for a while how to make an analogy that will keep the attention of the non-programmer readers of this space. You see, historically, the problem is that these techy posts become so heavily jargon laden that they are neither digestible nor desirable to anyone who doesn’t develop web applications for a living. So, yes, I could ramble about PHP, gzip compression, query optimization, JavaScript libraries, and Dean Edwards’ amazing packer… but I would alienate many, and bore many more. So, I present an analogy that is a bit rough around the edges, but should still get the point across.


5 comments left