Tag Archives: Test

Book review: The Causes of the Civil War

The Causes of the Civil WarThe Causes of the Civil War by Kenneth Milton Stampp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of abridgements of source documents and later periodical and magazine articles, all concerning the, duh, causes of the Civil War. Stampp seemed to be focused primarily on the most provocative writings from both “sides,” antebellum and postbellum. Thus there’s scarcely a mention of, say, Stephen Douglas, but we are blessed (ahem) with a screamingly funny discussion of the Southerner as an emerging being, the “Tropic Nordic,” alas whose full flowering was never reached, cut down by the War.

There is virtually nothing in this text to suggest that any sort of compromise was possible, and that as time went on more and more people on both sides of the divide lost any interest they might have otherwise had in reaching such a compromise anyway. To read this book and no others is to take the War coming as inevitable as the sun rising or the tide changing. And perhaps it was

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Okay. I wanted a copy of all the book reviews I write at Goodreads.com to pop through to this particular blog. Only I can’t seem to get it to work.

I did get it to work on my “main” blog, at least for a bit. But I really don’t want them there. I want them here. Phooey.

In theory, the next post is how you can get it done manually. Which, since all else has now apparently failed, if it works that’s what I’ll do. Not getting this or that particular “app” to work is a fact of my life. There’s always the chance the “app” in question is somehow not working, but if you had to go “all in,” you’d be better off choosing me as the cause rather than not. Que, sera, sera.

Edit/Update: It works, barring only the minor business of adding a post title. And since I’ll want to stick a tag on those book review posts that I cross-post, that’s a mere bagatelle, since GR is obviously not supplying those whether or not said app works. The only downside, I suppose, is remembering to actually do it. But as forgetful as I am of all the truly important details of my life, this type of thing I never forget. Or almost never.

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GR-CSV Export to MS Access

Note: this is a reprint of a message I posted on the suggestion page at http://www.goodreads.com. I hold little hope of any help for the goofy series of problems I brought in large part upon myself, but figured I might as well ask. And at least a “no,” would confirm my suspicions that there’s not much to be done. And I’ll certainly bear no one any ill-will when the “no” is forthcoming.

It *seemed* like a good idea at the time. I figured I could bring my book data down every once in a while, play around w/it, and maybe generate some reports if and when I felt ambitious.

Anyway, I’ve gotten the export to work, but only after a fair amount of tweaking. The biggest (and weirdest) problem is that the CSV file automatically sticks an “=” sign just before both ISBNs in the file. And this makes Access go “KABOOM,” and not show any of the fields in most records after the equal sign. Here’s an example of what it looks like: Image 1

What I’ve been doing is opening the CSV file in notepad and < ctrl >H-ing out the equal signs, Taking [ ,=” ] and replacing it w/[ ,” ] globally. Image 2, a couple of those pesky “=” signs circled. In Access, I have to play around with the file specs, so it looks right… Image 3, s/b fairly self-explanatory.

And, taa-daa, here it is, working Image 4.

I realize:

(a) this is something I cooked up entirely on my own, and if I had known it was going to be half the pain it actually became, I’d never have started it

(b) it is my own fault I’ve been too lazy to play around inside Access, even though I *THINK* I could set all the changes I make manually (barring the equal signs) somehow to work automatically w/any one particular import without also upsetting the program defaults (which I want to keep as is)

(c) I can’t imagine the GR staff has been buried under a tsunami of requests for something like this, since everybody I talk to about the program seems to preface the words “MS Access” with some adjectives I probably shouldn’t repeat here

But…I’ll ask anyway: Is there any way I can get this done, while at the same time making my life a bit easier? As in, I guess, customizing the CSV export? Or perhaps something else?



PS: The booklists in the images are sorted by GR’s own Book ID. So if there’s any issue with that first title, it is just that somebody at GR gave it a very low number, in fact the only three digit Book ID I’ve seen, personally. Interesting choice, I guess.

PPS: Believe it or not, I tried to keep this post as short as I could. I could have talked about the linked table I have from Access to Excel and the other linked table I have from Excel back to Access…only way I could figure to split book title/series name/series volume into separate fields.

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Timesheet/Journal-whining about my ignorance

Hadn’t planned on doing this via embedding, but I’m curious. Of course, WP is gonna rip & strip the HTML to shreds anyhoo.

Funny, since there’s another file on skydrive similar to this. Didn’t realize I’d whined about this issue before.

Basically, my attempt at pseudo-randomness is obviously down the pooper. But I guess I’m gonna have to say “Close enough for gov’t. work,” and live with it.

EDIT: Well, at least they let me have a link. I was more than half expecting the whole thing disappearing. Both files are PDF, both are public. You just can’t read them without clicking on the link first.

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Utterly Unnecessary Post

Edit: A widget. ‘Course that’s what it is. And ‘course they don’t actually say that (well maybe they do, and I just didn’t look closely enough. That can happen too.)

I’m just curious what the heck a “featured image” does. Does it sit on top of all your other posts? Tap dance across the screen like Jimmy Cagney? Well, I’ll know when this gets posted, at least as far as the “sitting on top” if not the tap dancing…

Oh, and speaking of my man Leon Trotsky, somehow I jarred loose a memory of him in a comic book with a guy sneaking up behind him w/a pickaxe. Durned if I actually didn’t find it. I usually suck at searches where I have to fumble around for the correct terms. Not this time. 🙂


Though I must admit I don’t remember the guy doing the sneaking looking like the Frito Bandito, in an ensemble including sombrero and serrape.

To give credit where credit is due, the entire comic can be found here:

This Godless Communism, though it was kind of irritating how it loaded (slowly) as a slide show. But the foreword by none other than J. Edgar Hoover makes it an almost priceless artifact. Here’s the cover. I dig it, man.


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‘Featured Image?’ What u mean, white man?

Bumper sticker corrected for clarity’s sake. Happy face optional, but recommended.





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This is a test.

Theoretically this should post on the Ideology of the Cancer Cell Blog. I’m writing this on Windows Live Writer and bidding it a fond bon voyage with high hopes that it shall reach its destination.

However, If it doesn’t, well I shan’t be a whit surprised. But the various and sundry “improvements” at WordPress of late are driving me batshit crazy. (Or, more likely, crazier. Though given the way the English language is constructed it appears “batshit crazy” is the apex of craziness. I’m honestly not precisely sure what grammatical rules are violated to speak of “batshittier crazy” or “batshit crazier,” or, oddest of all, “batshittier crazier.” But none of them look quite right. That I’ll go by gut on.)  So, I wander back to the evil empire and see what I shall see.

And as I recall Softie actually did a 180° turn on this particular bit of freeware. Earlier versions worked, sort of, but did some very strange things to your posts every once in a while, apparently as a reminder of who is really the boss around here. Not all the time, or even most of the time. Just every once in a while for no reason I could ever figure.

Then they announced they were abandoning WLW altogether. People grumbled, but there was hardly a tidal wave of anger at the prospect, at least that I could see.  And then, out of the blue, Softie reissued/upgraded  it, solving a great many of the previous problems EXCEPT FOR:

  • Images from Photobucket or wherever can be dropped into the post, but thumbnails of the images cannot.  You get a nice l’il red “X,” in spite of the fact that WP does support thumbnails, and this is hardly rocket science HTML (I think? I know beans about HTML so I’m kinda guessing.)
  • WLW does not track post “tags.”  I think if you assign one to the post that is already included on the blog it works, but if you make up a new one it goes to the server in the sky, not into whatever shows up on WP.


Yup, as I suspected. Windows Live Writer(WLW) does “do” images via link from Photobucket or wherever, but gives you the “Red X” treatment if you try to post a thumnail via WLW.

I guess I’ll have to wait and see the actual post to verify whether or not the “Test” tag attached to this message survives. My life is full of such excitement it’s a wonder I can stand it.

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