Upgraded to MT 5.2.2

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I decided to upgrade from MT 5.0.4 to MT 5.2.2. Why? Just for the hell of it. I've been home sick for a week with a bad chest/head cold that complicated my asthma. The upgrade would have been more smooth if I hadn't updated the templates in a fit of confusion and lost all custom templates and widgets I'd created. Fun stuff.

A full rebuild of MT on Friday took hours and hours and hours. Unreasonable. I've thought again about converting to WordPress but just can't bring myself to go through the conversion.

Abigail makes four



On Monday evening last week, I stopped at PetSmart to get cat food and flea stuff. I also stopped to look at the cats and kittens in the adoption area.

I looked into each cage and read the tag describing each cat. Abigail came to the front of her cage and looked at me with her big eyes. I kneeled down to get closer, and she gave me her neck to scratch.

I was a goner. The eyes, the purring, the soft hair, the tag that said she is a "cuddle bug" sold me. 

I missed Cleo so much. I need a cat to hold and cuddle with. Jasmine is Bill's cat, Mia is mine but she doesn't like being held or sitting on laps, and Maya is skittish and hasn't chosen a person yet.

I cried the rest of my way through the cashier's line, to my car and home. Bill saw I was distraught and wanted to adopt 9-year-old Abigail, and so he said "What's one more!?"

Abigail came home with me Friday evening, two nights ago. She's still getting used to the house, the sounds, and the other 3 cats. She's friendly to Bill and me, and she purrs a great deal.

So far it looks like Mia is intimidated by Abigail (which is surprising since nothing bothers Mia), and Maya thinks Abigail is her BFF (best friend forever) and follows her from room to room.

The photo is her "mug shot" from the PetFinder.com website. Big eyes! And a big stomach—as in overweight. She weighs only 14 pounds, but to me she looks bigger and feels heavier (my Mom thinks I'm just used to Mia and Maya who aren't large). Abigail waddles and sways left and right when she walks. We're working on her weight issues.

Maya and Mia came home

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Maya and Mia inside the scratching posts house.After Cleo died last July, I would think I saw her when I turned around or looked up. I also thought I heard the bell on her collar as she moved around the house.

But she wasn't there.

I missed her and cried quite often. I wanted to hold her, talk to her, feed her, pet her.

On a Friday (furlough day from work) in early August, I went kitty shopping. I wanted two and Bill wanted kittens. They didn't have to be from the same litter or shelter or be the same age. They just needed to be "right" for us.

After hours of "shopping" local shelters, I still hadn't found the "right" kitty. I called Bill and he agreed to go that night to a Petco in Fremont to see cats available for adoption by Purrfect Cat Rescue. We found the purrfect kittens!

Jasmine and Mia on back of couch.Both are Dilute Tortoiseshell Calico cats, but not from the same litter. Maya is more white and has a smudge on her nose. Mia is more grey with long legs and a long tail. They are similar in size, but Maya is older by 6 weeks.

Maya was 16 weeks old when we adopted her. She was rescued from inside a wall in an abandoned house, and the wall had to be torn down to get her out. Maya is skittish, especially when you walk around or there are sudden loud noises. She spent 95% of the time under our bed during the first two weeks.

Mia snuggling at the back of my head in my hair.I don't know Mia's history, but it doesn't seem to have been traumatic. She was 10 weeks old when we brought her home. Her name was Vidalia (like the onion)—incoming cats were being given vegetable names when she was rescued. Bill suggested Mia (probably because Maya-Mia sounds much like Mama-Mia, but he said it was for women's soccer player Mia Hamm), and I thought Mia (for Mia Michaels the choreographer) was a great name!

Maya's is one year old today! (I subtracted 16 weeks from the day we brought her home to get an estimated birthday date.) She's a happy girl—still skittish, but getting a little less so each week.

Mia snuggling with an unwilling Jasmine on the couch.Jasmine is 14 years old this month. Cleo would have been 14 too.

As soon as Mia met Jasmine, she was determined that Jaz would be her BFF (best friend forever). Jaz growls and sometimes hisses, but Mia holds her ground cuddling with Jaz until she either gives in or goes somewhere else.

Sometimes Maya likes to cuddle with Jaz, but not often. And Mia is usually also there.

Most of the time, Mia and Maya are snuggling in the same cat bed, grooming each other or wrestling.

Jasmine and Maya in a cat bed with Mia next to them.Mia is a petite, athletic, fun loving girl. She likes to cuddle behind my head, rub her face into my hair and drool. She doesn't suckle—she just drools and looks like she's high on drugs. She doesn't like to sit on laps or be held or cuddled, except when she's snuggling in my hair.

Maya is a chubby, sway-backed, runner. She runs down the hall and back again, down the hall and back again. She runs away when you reach your hand out to pet her. She runs away when you're walking around. Under the bed is her haven and usual destination.

Maya belly up playing with a black string.But when you're sitting and quiet and still, she'll come lay next to you. And she'll purr and be happy to allow you to pet and scratcher her head, behind her ears, her chin, her back, her sides, her belly and her feet. When she is picked up, she melts into your arms. She's soft and cuddly and makes you think that she really does like affection after all…until the next time you're up walking around and she runs away!

Changing the length of the Basename in Movable Type's settings will change the Basename length for new entries. The Basename for existing entries will not change.

I tried using Brad Choate's EntrySetBasename plugin (which was written for MT4.x) to change the Basename for all existing entries, but the plugin would not install without an error in the Movable Type 5 admin interface - and MT would not work with the plugin installed.

I wanted all blog entries to have up to the maximum of 250 characters for the Basename length, and I was willing to delete, if necessary, all entries (about 775) and import them with new Basenames. So, these are the steps I took (I am not responsible for any problems you may encounter. Backup all files first.):

  1. Export all blog entries to a backup file (important in case you mess up)
  2. Back up the source blog to a backup file (same reason)
  3. Create an index template in the format used for MT entry export files
  4. Change the Basename field in the template to the EntryTItle but with hyphens removed and dirify-ed with spaces changed to underscores
    • change:
    • to:
      BASENAME: <$mt:EntryTitle regex_replace="/-/g","" dirify="_" trim_to="250"$>
  5. Set an Output File for the template
  6. Publish the template to generate the output file (which is an export file of all entries with a maximum 250-character Basename)
  7. Copy the output file into the mt/import/ directory
  8. Delete all entries from the blog
  9. Import the output file that is now in the mt/import directory
  10. After the import finished, remove the output file from the mt/import directory (important so you don't import the entries again by mistake)
  11. Check to make sure entries with long EntryTitles also have long Basenames - and they do!

The export template format I used is below.

Another note to myself and others who may not know this…

If your MT installation is in one domain, but your blog or website is in a different domain (on the same server) - and the mt-static directory is located outside the MT installation, the stylesheet included with an MT theme won't work unless you set the StaticWebPath in the mt-config.cgi file to include the full URL where the MT installation is located.

So, in the mt-config.cgi file, you need to change:

StaticWebPath  /mt-static/


StaticWebPath  http://www.domain.com/mt-static/

Go to the MT Documentation page about StaticWebPath.

Another note to myself and others who may not know this…

Changing Settings > General> Archive Settings > File Extension to "php" does not change the extension for the "Main Index" index template. Check other templates to ensure the extension on the Output File setting is what you want.

To change the Main Index file extenion to "php", you must manually change that template's Output File from "index.html" to "index.php".

A note to myself and others who may not know this…

If your MT installation is in one domain, but your blog or website is in a different domain (on the same server), MT's Search Widget and Tag Search (the link on the tag names) won't work unless you set the CGIPath in the mt-config.cgi file to include the full URL where the MT installation is located.

So, in the mt-config.cgi file, you need to change:

CGIPath /cgi-bin/mt/


CGIPath http://www.domain.com/cgi-bin/mt/

Go to the MT Documentation page about CGIPath.

Upgrading to Movable Type 5.04

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This morning, I decided to upgrade to the latest version of Movable Type - v. 5.04 - from a new installation (vs. upgrading over the old version). After creating a test site and seeing how the new interface worked, I exported entries from the MT 4.x blog and imported them into the new MT 5.x blog. All went perfectly from what I can tell right now.

I'm still working on copying custom templates and widgets to the new system, but at least the home page is working - even though the sidebar isn't quite right...

So, things may be wonky here for a while... And, links will be broken here and there since I'm now using MT's default filename schema.

Responding to blog comments

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Whew. I have just responded by email to a bunch of blog comments going back to early last year. I replied only to those for which I had an answer or other response.

I will try to be better at responding to future comments… (but no promises - life gets in the way sometimes).

My heart broke


My heart broke. And it is still broken. The Favorite, my Cleo died. In June 2010, she wasn't feeling well and had been moping around, not eating much for a day or two. Tests found a lump in her abdomen.

Cleo had surgery on July 5, but the lump was located where it couldn't be removed. The area had begun bleeding so the vet stopped the bleeding and sewed her up. After recovery, I was going to take Cleo home and spoil her for as long as she lived, was happy, and not in lots of pain.

However, two nights after the surgery while still in recovery at the vet's office, Cleo was having bloody diarrhea. The vet called me around 5:00am to ask permission to give Cleo a blood transfusion.

I didn't want her to suffer more. I had hoped she would be cured, and when that wasn't possible, I hoped she would recover from surgery and come home with me. But that didn't happen. The bloody diarrhea was a result of the bleeding lump in her abdomen. I elected to have Cleo "put to sleep" which the vet did the morning of July 8, 2010 after Bill drove me to the vet's office to say goodbye.

It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I still cry when I think about it.

I know I tried to help her by arranging surgery to remove the lump. But I caused her more pain. And I feel so bad about that. Guilty. Rationally, I know I was trying to help her - to save her - because I loved her. But in the end, she was in lots of pain. Caused by my decision.

If given the choice all over again, I would not have chosen surgery. I would have cuddled, loved, and spoiled her until she indicated it was time to go.

I miss her.

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