saint louis

Drupal News from the Midwest!

Some random bits of news from Midwestern Mac, LLC:

St. Louis-area Drupal Group

After taking a hiatus for the month of December, the St. Louis area Drupal Group will be meeting up (hopefully) on the third Thursday of the month as normal. We're hoping to have more structure to our meetups, and there are already some great ideas for meeting topics in 2013.

If you live in or around St. Louis and use or contribute to Drupal, please make an effort to join us and build up the Drupal community here in St. Louis!

As an aside, we still have a separate website for the St. Louis Drupal group—if anyone has ideas for how we can use that to spread the Drupal love in the center of the U.S., please let us know!

Server Launched

A couple weeks ago, we (Midwestern Mac, LLC) announced our newest service, Server, a website and server monitoring service that checks on your sites and servers every 10 minutes, notifying you of any problems. The service runs on Drupal, and integrates with services like Twilio and Stripe to handle SMS messaging and payments, respectively.

I (geerlingguy) wrote up a case study for Server and posted it to the Community showcase on This is the first application-type service built on by Midwestern Mac on Drupal, and we've already been hard at work improving the service.

If you have any questions about Server, or how it was built, please ask away; I had a great discussion with some other developers in this thread on Hacker News.

Hosted Apache Solr Search updated to 3.6.x

At the request of many people who wanted to do some neat new things with Solr on their Drupal sites, we've finally followed Acquia's lead and updated some of our Solr search servers to 3.6.x, meaning things like Location-based searching are now possible. And our servers are happier :)

'Stir' over Facebook comment caused by breach of privacy [Updated x2]

I was disheartened by the following news story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch: 'Mormons: 1. Indonesians: 0' debate post by STL Catholic exec causes stir.

The story notes that Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, a Democrat in the 28th ward in St. Louis, tweeted a comment made by an employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on the employee's personal Facebook wall—which is set to private, and only accessible/visible to the employee's friends. (Note that the same employee has a public Twitter account that she uses for public communications).

Lyda Krewson public tweet about private affairs stltoday

Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities sue federal government over HHS Mandate

From the press release announcing the lawsuit:

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis are taking legal action against the federal government of the United States of America. During a press conference today, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announced that a lawsuit challenging the legality of the HHS mandate was filed in court this morning.

Archbishop Carlson stated that the Church “had pursued every other imaginable option to correct this problem,” and added that, “Right now the future is unclear, and any scenario that forces us to violate our moral convictions is unacceptable. At the same time, any sce- nario that forces our St. Louis area hospitals, schools, and charities to close would be dev- astating to the many people employed and served by these institutions.”

See the press conference video, posted to the Archdiocese's YouTube channel:

St. Louis Catholic Business Owner Sues HHS over Contraception Mandate

O'Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC

Frank R. O'Brien, owner of O'Brien Industrial Holdings, has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services because the recent contraception mandate violates his right to freedom of religious belief.

CBS News reports:

The lawsuit marks the first legal challenge to the HHS mandate from a private business owner and his company. Until now, only religious organizations or institutions have brought lawsuits challenging the mandate. ...

Crestwood Mall - Ghost Town

[January 2013 update: there is only one store still open in the mall—a LensCrafters. It's weird. I went to the post office the day before it closed, and the mall seems to not even be heated anymore (glad I brought my coat!). Entire portions of the parking lot (including all underground parking) are barricaded off, and the place looks even more like a post-apocalyptic site!]

A week ago, I needed to drop off a package at the post office, and I noticed there was a post office inside Crestwood Mall—an old shopping mall in southwest St. Louis County. Since this post office was on my way to another stop, I decided to venture into Crestwood Mall to the once-mighty mall that was in dire straits.

When I pulled into the mall parking lot, I noticed a few things:

  • There were two other cars in the entire lot where I parked.
  • There was a huge, black crow sitting on a handicapped parking sign, watching me walk towards the door.

Not very encouraging.

St. Louis Coalition for Life Launched 11/11/11

Last night I was in attendance at 40 Days for Life St. Louis' Benefit dinner, and was happy to hear about a new initiative, the St. Louis Coalition for Life, to help put an end abortion in St. Louis (and Missouri!), and to raise awareness about other life issues.

Coalition for Life Logo

Browse around their website and check out some of their upcoming events. This coming year, the 39th since the passage of Roe vs. Wade, promises to be interesting, as Missouri is one of the states with only one Planned Parenthood providing abortion 'services' (the one at Forest Park Pkwy in the Central West End.

Rally Squirrel Says "Relax..."

Got this in my email inbox this morning, and couldn't resist posting it here. Though I'm very much not in favor of animated gifs in general, this one isn't too bad :)

Rally Squirrel - Relax
Kind of reminds me of this relaxing squirrel.

This year's World Series has been awesome; last night's walk-off home run by our hometown hero David Freese was one of the best moments in baseball this year!

Follow @BuschSquirrel on Twitter, and GO CARDS!