London Bloggers Meetup

Yesterday I posted about my new film blog, Obviously Not a Golfer. Something I didn’t mention in that post is that the new blog owes its existence largely to the London Bloggers Meetup.

I attended one of the meet-ups just before Christmas, and of course the natural thing to ask each new person you meet at such an event is, “What do you blog about?” Despite that being a question I’ve been asking myself about this site for just over ten years now — or maybe because of that — I didn’t have a very good answer. I talked to a few people about the conundrum of deciding what subjects should and shouldn’t go on a blog that has no set topic, and eventually I was convinced to choose a single, well-defined topic to start a new blog about. With that, and a subsequent few hours of trying to find Big Lebowski quotes that would work as a domain and weren’t already registered, Obviously Not a Golfer was born.

This evening I went back to LBM, and this time I had an answer for all of the people who asked, “What do you blog about?” Apparently I also had an answer for most of the questions in the Q & A session with the guest speakers, as I kind of overwhelmed the #LBMlive hashtag for a while. Topics included making blogs mobile friendly, whether you can retain editorial control and still run ads, how to find people who might be interested in reading your stuff, how to stay motivated about writing, and the Kama Sutra. I suspect the lady that brought up that last topic might have got a few more readers this evening.

Commenting fixed

As has become customary, when I changed the blog’s theme I also managed to break commenting for anyone not logged in (i.e., anyone other than me). ‘Tis fixed now.

New Sexiness

I have to confess to being incredibly lazy. I’ve just grabbed the most popular current WordPress theme and applied it to this site. I wouldn’t have even gone to that much trouble except that I was seeing a disconcertingly blank page after upgrading, and didn’t expect to be able to find the old theme without at least a little bit of scrolling and clicking and typing and that sort of thing.

As it happens I quite like this new theme. And I have to say that WordPress is making impressive progress in the direction of usability. I have to respect any piece of software whose developers have put such effort into facilitating my inaction.

Update: There seem to be some problems associated with the upgrade or theme change. I’m seeing ‘Precondition failed’ errors sporadically, and I’m getting reports of pages displaying with no style at all. I’ll look into it when I get the chance. Only clue so far is that highlighting the location bar and hitting enter fixes things, but reloading doesn’t. That indicates that something is trying to play games with the HTTP Referer (sic)  header and is dropping the ball.

Update2: It turns out that the mod_security Apache module was enabled and didn’t like the word ‘sex’ in the title of this post. Any time the URL for this post was in the Referer header, that request was considered referer spam and was served a HTTP 412 response. I disabled the offending module with the line SecFilterEngine Off in  the site-level .htaccess file.

Migrated Soylent Red Content

The trouble with writing your own content management software is that there are no tools that know how to interact with your content unless you write them yourself. I’ve just hacked together some scripts which I’ve used to migrate al the old Soylent Red posts to this blog, but the combination of how ugly Soylent Red’s content manager was and how lazy I still am means that it was too much effort to bring the old posts’ tags and comments with them.

I may get around to migrating those other bits at some point in the future, and setting up the correct redirects from to here. I may even sanitize the old content to fix up broken links and get them pointing to the right places. These are all things that it would be unwise to hold your breath waiting for.

On Matters of Interest

It occurs to me that having redirected the feed from Soylent Red to here, people are going to miss the post over there about over here. So here it is:

It’s been a long time coming, but I can now finally declare that Soylent Red is dead. It may protest otherwise, but it will be stone dead in a moment. It’s been nailed to the perch for a while, and will soon be pushing up daisies.

Fear not, however. For one thing, fear is an inappropriate response to the death of a blog. For another, I’ve started a new blog. It’s at, which is a domain that I’ve had lying around for a bit. It has the great advantage of running on a blogging system that was not written by me, which means I don’t have to be the poor fool who fixes things when they inevitably go wrong. Huzzah! This should mean more frequent posting because I will no longer be approaching the composition of a blog post with the trepidation ordinarily reserved for man with magnets strapped to his body walking into a knife shop.

I’ll get onto sorting out feed redirects in a moment, but if you want to be sure not to miss anything you can subscribe to the feed directly.

This site will remain up, but stagnant, for the foreseeable future.