I'll Start with the Dog

Last Saturday I was working a server that I maintain, but that's not the point, the point is that I wasn't with my family last Saturday. Last Saturday my family went to the Riverside Arts Market, affectionately known as RAM, here in Jacksonville. This happens quite often. Especially when the weather is nice. At RAM they have a animal rescue clinic that allows you to walk the dogs around while you hang out.

So when I started to receive pictures of them holding a cute little dog it did not surprise me. This particular dog is a rat terrier named Sadie. Sadie was abandoned by her initial parents because a new baby came into the picture, and they couldn't handle the extra burden. She is just over a year old. When I got that one picture of my wife, Melissa, holding Sadie. This dog is giving her that deep deep eye to eye stare that only dogs can give you. It's like they reach right into your SOUL.

So we fostered a dog. The idea was we could foster Sadie for two weeks to see if she fit in our household. We did have challenges to overcome. Namely Romeo Our 11 year old male black Main Coon that we also a adopted from a rescue clinic. We love Romeo, and if Sadie could get along with him then cool. We could deal with the normal 1 year old puppy stuff like potty training, and the barking when people walked by. What would be the deal breaker is if Sadie couldn't win over Romeo.

A Long Story Made Short

Sadie lasted from Saturday to Tuesday.

We kept Romeo, and Sadie apart completely. Sadie was confined to a separate room while Romeo had the run of the house. We rubbed a cloth on Romeo, and did the same with Sadie. We then put the Sadie cloth in with Romeo, and put the Romeo cloth in with Sadie. Eventually Romeo got curious about what was going on behind the door, and started sitting right next to the door. Almost immediately Sadie went NUTS on the other side of the door. Not just barking, but scratching, and trying to rabidly get through the door. Romeo ended up just running away the first time, and ended up doing that low throated cat growl every other time. Over the next couple of days that situation never improved.

To top this all off, when I picked Sadie up, my arms started itching like crazy. That means I'm allergic. As a Type 1, I don't need any more physiologic stressors in my life. That was the last straw, and why we chose to bring Sadie back to the rescue clinic.

Many Times, Knowing the Language Isn't the Issue.

I am on a team that works on a learning object repository as one of it's duties. We currently have 2076 individual learning objects. We manage all that on a vanilla web server as static pages rendered using Jekyll. We are currently moving all our LU's over to another LMS. So now is my chance to do some much needed house keeping as well as pull current stats and data from the body of content itself. I am using python to do things like pull the title, one graphic, and the representative paragraph from the content. These are the items I need to build the objects within Canvas. The plan is to construct pages within Canvas that contain an iFrame window to our learning units which live on a separate server. That page can then be meta-tagged and distributed, via Canvas Commons, by our library staff.

I wrote the python in a couple hours, but then discovered the extent of my issues with the content. Much of it contained ansi characters mixed with html glyphs and special characters. This is normal for web content that has been built by a team of people. No matter what vetting process you put into place, sometimes things slip through editing.

My point is it doesn't matter what language you use to do such processes. I could have written that in C, PHP, or Python. That doesn't matter. Often the hard part is the environment, the content itself, or the delivery method. Each have their own set of problems that, by there very nature, are complex. You have to know each layer, not just a programming language. That's just syntax, and is considered the easy part.