September 18th, 2006

Stealing in at the de Young museum!

Aimlessly walking around in the park last Saturday, my wife and I wound up behind the Steinhart Aquarium construction when we saw the air traffic control tower on the other side.  Since there's no airport in the park, we investigated further.

It was the new de Young Museum.  (Good photos there.  Click on it!)  Naturally, we decided to cheat the system and get in for free.  After opting against the emergency exits, we walked in the side entrance like we owned the place.  Huzzah!  We were in.

We waltzed past the admission booth and went straight for the observation floor in the tower.  Everybody had these museum stickers but us.  I oh-so-cleverly crossed my arms across my chest whenever an undercover guard came to inspect me, of which I'm sure there were many.

We got in the elevator, and saw the breathtaking view of the city.  Worth every penny, heh heh heh!

When we came back down, we ventured towards the center of the museum, and went into the museum store.  It had a staircase to a lower level, when then opened up to the bottom floor of the museum.  Aha!  Further ingress!  We consider the wares at the store, then decide to check out the courtyard at the main entrance.

I was admiring an awesome crack in the stonework outside when another passer by said, nonplussed, "So there's the million dollar crack..."   Well, I loved it.

We had a great time.  But when we investigated further, it turns out we didn't cheat the system.  The checkpoints for paid admissions were before the galleries, and we hadn't gone into any.  Everything that we did was available for free.

We were legit after all.  Oh well.  It was still fun.

You've been feeded!

That's a pretty lame dis.  Maybe if I say it with more attitude: "You've been feeded, boyee!"

Ah, never mind.  Let me just publish one entry from the script's prefs file:

# yaml preferences for FeedMaker
# This file is read in and written by the FeedMaker python script
  - url: http://www.[namewithheldtoprotecttheguiltyyouknowwhoyouare].com
    rss: [namewithheld].xml
    etag: None
    last_modified: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 06:45:28 GMT
    md5_tag: <span class="titleHd">
    md5: '\xa1KJ\r\xd6E\x03t\x03Fl>\xc7k\xcd\x08'

The script takes that in, checks the specified tag's content, spits out an rss feed, and updates three fields in the preferences: etag, last_modified (for bandwidth-friendly conditional GETs), and md5 (fingerprint of specified tag's data).  I've got two sites so far, but now I can at least have my machine easily monitor sites that don't publish their own feeds.