Storm Hits South Jersey

I’ve never experienced one this bad in the eight or so years I’ve lived here in Williamstown, NJ. Hail. Flooded yard. Darn near got the car stuck out in a flooded street long after I thought the worst was over.

Here’s a few pictures. Check out the one with the bed frame, which I was (planning on) loading into the van. The hail is damn near as big as the bed frame’s wheel!

And that one of me? I’m standing in my backyard. My backyard!

Investigating the Montauk Monster: The Story Deepens! — Daily Intel — New York News Blog — New York Magazine

Jumping right in. What the heck is it?

The Montauk Monster

My bet is is that it’s a dog with the top part of its jaw broken off. Somebody floated this idea (at Gawker, I think). Were it’s paws lashed? Seems to be a sad result of some animal abuse I think.

Investigating the Montauk Monster: The Story Deepens! — Daily Intel — New York News Blog — New York Magazine

2008 NJ Festival of Ballooning

I got involved because my company had a booth there. I ended up taking some pictures and having a lot of fun. Of particular interest was a performance ensemble call “Strange Fruit,” who you can visit here.

Here’s a few pics… enjoy!

Adventures in SOAP and WSDL

Got my first real SOAP challenge: I’ve got to integrate Cybersource’s payment system into our newish RHEL5 servers. The challenge is that our OS is now 64-bit, and we were using their Simple Order 32-bit API in the form of php and perl extensions.

Bzzt. No go. Wisely, Cybersource has decided to go the Web Services direction, so the implementation isn’t all that tricky. Although Cybersource says the SOAP kit is supported by php 5.2.1 and above, 5.1.6 seems to be working just fine for me – at least to their test servers.

Cybersource’s docs say that you should do a php -i | grep soap to see if your php is enabled. Don’t do that. Instead yum install php-soap. Same for php-xml. Install those two and you should be fine.

Another thing I found challenging is figuring out what functions and types are available in the Cybersource interface. There is no documentation – only WSDL for that. So I wrote a quick-n-dirty ditty to dump the functions and types of their WSDL.

Of course 30 minutes later I found out I was going to have to cobble together a SOAP client for a Gift/ Loyalty Card service that we’re implementing.

The long and short of it is, I couldn’t find an easy way to gimme the WSDL details. It’s probably been invented somewhere else, but I needed the practice anyway, so here’s the MXWest gimme-gimme page that will dump WSDL for you. Might even be helpful if you’re writing your own WSDL as it should complain about errors.

Bang it here for Gimme-Gimme a WSDL Dump.

P.S. Yes, I stole Firefox’s background for this little fellow. But it had balloons, and my company is sponsoring the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning this weekend. Tweet me if you’re there @MXWest and stop by the booth!