Older blog entries for Rich (starting at number 50)

For the ones who married young

Various of our friends post articles now and then about the joys of marrying young and growing up together in harmony. The most recent of these was here, and is a beautiful story, full of sweet moments and good advice.

We are truly, deeply happy for our friends who had that experience.

There were times, of course, when we each, separately, assumed that they were lying, just as we were, in order to tell the story that everyone around them expected to hear. Twenty years on, it's both delightful and deeply humbling to see that they weren't - or that, even if they were, they managed to work through it and build happiness on top of the sad times.

But that's not our story. This one is for those of us who married young and watched it fall apart. Because you need to know that there’s more to your story than regret, and watching other people get lucky and find happy--hard, but happy--the first time around.

We both married young and unwise, and, although beautiful things came from those years (most obviously our beautiful, brilliant, talented older children), those decisions were terrible, terrible mistakes. Mistakes that could have been avoided, at least for one of us, if we'd listened to those same dear friends, and actually opened our eyes to the various red flags.

But, as we mentioned, we were young, and so very unwise.

Our mistakes are put squarely in front of us, every single day of our lives. This is true even though my now-wife and I have found in each other a best friend, and each day is better than the one before. Our mistakes influence decisions we make every single day. My mistakes have a profound effect on my wife, and hers on me.

And so when we see these articles encouraging people to jump in with both feet while they're young and unwise, naturally, we don't have the same teary-eyed response that others might have. Our teary-eyed response is for years and opportunities lost. It is for the pain that our kids go through every time they talk about their parents, every time someone asks what their mailing address is, every time someone invites them to a birthday party and they have to figure out which home they're in that weekend. For the confusion that our youngest has when her siblings go away for days at a time and she doesn't understand why, and the stab of anger and sadness and whatever-it-is when she asks why she doesn't get to have two houses, too.

Please, don't stop posting those articles, particularly if they are written as compassionately as the one mentioned above. The compassion for those of us who failed made that one readable. And the advice in the article was also relevant to those of us trying to make another go of it.

And please don't ever, ever hear us saying that if you are having a hard time of it, move on and you'll find someone better. We are, as the Bible puts it, "as one escaping through the flames." Neither of us recommends it to anyone. Every time someone comes to us, as the presumed expert, to ask our advice about whether they should leave their spouse, it breaks our hearts. We can identify with the pain, but it is a jump from one flame to another, and nobody can tell you which fire is worse.

Please also understand if we don't "like" or comment on posts about early marriage on Facebook, or share them with our friends. Even on the other side of our respective tragedies, the flames can still burn.

But as we said, our story does not end with us looking back over our shoulder at what was irretrievably lost.

If you share our brand of brokenness, you need to know (if you haven’t learned it already) that there’s more to it than regret. There’s opportunity for healing and redemption (with or without remarriage); to see the glory of a Thing Made Whole Again, and when the light shines through the pieces, it’s a breathtaking sight to behold, especially from the Inside.

Syndicated 2013-08-08 17:58:39 from Notes In The Margin

Vanilla Forums: Email subject lines

Problem: Vanilla Forums sends out email on new messages and when a message has been commented on. The subject line is:

[Forum Name] rbowen started a discussion


[Forum Name] rbowen commented on your bookmarked discussion

Because the actual forum post title is missing, the chance of someone actually responding is pretty low.

So, I want to modify the subject line. However, Vanilla doesn't provide a simple way to do this, so I'll have to hack on the code itself.

Seemed like a good idea to document this, since I see the question asked a few places, but no answers.


1) Track down where that subject line is created.

Looking for the various phrases, it appears that the subject lines are created in applications/vanilla/settings/structure.php, around line 180. Look for the comment:

// Insert some activity types

2) Where is the email sent?

After some digging, it appears that this is actually done in the EmailSubscribe plugin, which would have been more evident, I suppose, if I had been the one that set up the forum. Oh well.

The trouble is, however, that the subject line is created in applications/vanilla/settings/structure.php (around line 180) as part of the event logging, and so we may have to recreate the subject line ourselves, rather than using the one that's passed in.

Around line 79 of plugins/EMailSubscribe/default.php, you'll see:

$Email->Subject(sprintf(T('[%1$s] %2$s'), Gdn::Config('Garden.Title'), $ActivityHeadline)); and I think that's where I'm going to want to ctually set the subject line. If it's a new post, I want it to be POST_TITLE , whereas, if it's a reply to a post, I'll want to have it be: Re: POST_TITLE So, first pass is to just do this:

                        // $Email->Subject(sprintf(T('[%1$s] %2$s'), Gdn::Config('Garden.Title'), $ActivityHeadline));
                        $Email->Subject(sprintf(T('[%1$s] %2$s'), Gdn::Config('Garden.Title'), $DiscussionName));
But that leaves off the Re: for replies, so I need to figure out when it's a reply. I will defeat you, EMailSubscribe

Syndicated 2013-08-06 18:28:45 from Notes In The Margin

The Mess

Ray wants to bake a cake.
Marguerite wants to float
on her gecko
in the pool.

These are, of course,
things, fun and profitable.

I must try to
think of the fun
and not the work it will create.

I must,
or they will remember
that I was

no fun.

So I must be sure we have eggs
and sunscreen
when he gets home,
and when she gets up.

Syndicated 2013-08-04 16:43:03 from Notes In The Margin

Setting your default printer

When I finally got printing working on my new HP5520, I discovered that apps like xpdf that print by invoking lpr directly would only work if I told them to use 'lpr -Php5520', which was a hassle. After some poking around, I discovered that the Cups web interface, at http://localhost:631/ let me set the default printer quite easily. Of course, you can do this via some config file or other, but this was easier. Here's how you do it.