Hey! Look at that. I’m not a complete moron and I can still fuck around in code and CSS and make it work, usually. Years ago, when I set up the Scout blog on my other domain, I found a way to syndicate it over to this blog so that posts there would show up here. Partially because this weblog is the running history of my life, and partially because I wanted to see if I could do it. That was years ago and I’ve always been annoyed with how the syndicated posts show up in the feed. A while ago I hacked at it a little bit and got WordPress to spit out the category name as a class so I could restyle the header and link colors (that’s why they show up as blue) but there was never any real context for what those posts were. I fooled around with conditional statements this afternoon and now there’s something that explains what these are and why they’re there.
* * *
The doctors told me that coming down off the steroids I’m on would cause emotional issues this week; I’m going to blame them for the following. SPOILER ALERT.
Watching the end of the first episode of Stranger Things this evening, when Hopper came home to his cabin with two meals set at the table, and Eleven sat down with him, I cried in happiness.
Apparently the Department of Justice wants an internet provider, Dreamhost, to turn over IP addresses of everyone who visited a website built to coordinate protests of Trump’s Inauguration.
The request also covers emails between the site’s organizers and people interested in attending the protests, any deleted messages and files, as well as subscriber information — such as names and addresses — and unpublished photos and blog posts that are stored in the site’s database, according to the warrant…
This is some chilling shit right here. Dreamhost responds:
A quick housekeeping note for myself: I used this article to fix the Add Media function within WordPress, which was disabled with the installation of Jetpack. Jetpack is handy for lots of small things, so I had to get the two to play nice. One parameter string changed and we’re back in business.
Update: This fix broke the Update function in the main editing window; after a minute or so the Update, Preview, and Publish functions timed out and became unavailable. So I set it back.
I found out through a post on Instagram that the venerable Bel-Loc Diner has closed after 53 years, due to be knocked down and replaced with a fucking Starbucks of all things. I’ve loved the Bel-Loc since I moved to Baltimore 28 years ago (damn); in college we made pilgrimages up to the Parkville area for breakfast, haircuts, and the Hechinger’s when there was no diner food, weekend banking or lumberyards in the city. It’s been a landmark since I’ve been here, a shining neon constant. I think I’ve shot pictures of it with every camera I own save one. In a world of cavernous fake modern diners with no soul, it was a cozy room made of curves and angles and stainless steel. You could sit in a booth and feel the conversations around you while you ate; it had a communal sense about it. Much like the departed Forest Diner, it was an experience. And we don’t have too many authentic experiences left anymore.
* * *
I made some updates to the backend of both this site and the Scout blog, which were both being unreliable (the Scout blog was actually going down and up for a few weeks). Shutting off all of the plugins, updating them, and selectively turning on just the crucial ones brought full functionality back, and tweaking the settings in Jetpack helped fix a couple of strange bugs (the Media library wasn’t loading, for example). I was thinking my ancient handmade template was obsolete for a while there, but everything seems to be working correctly now. Thankfully I run this blog fast and lean, because if I had to deal with multiple dependencies or outdated plugins, I’d be sunk. At one time I could make WordPress sing, but I’ve forgotten most of it in the last couple of years.
* * *
I got a freelance check in the mail for the job I did on the flight to Paraguay, so I’m researching the iPad Pro, paired with an Apple Pencil and an app called Procreate. My hope is that I can use this combination of hardware and software to emulate scratchboard and also work in Illustrator. The big question here is whether the smaller model would be big enough for my needs or if I should shell out for the larger one. Unfortunately the education discount is only $20 for the iPad, so I’ll have to consider carefully. I think a visit to the local Apple Store is in order.
This is the 4,001st entry here on Idiotking.org. Given my sporadic posting around here lately, I wasn’t expecting to hit it quite so quickly.
What shall I waste time writing about here? Well, we got hit last night with a blast of icy Arctic air and about 4″of snow. With wind chill, it’s about 5-10˚ out there right now, so we wisely decided to stay inside today. Finn has been battling some kind of flu that sends fluid out both ends, so she was mending quietly on the couch all day. I went down into the basement and finally wrangled piles of stuff strewn about the place, building a rack for our spare dining room chairs, a rack for our spare lumber, organizing the recycling, transferring the IPA to a secondary fermenter, and about 30 other small jobs. When I came back upstairs we heated dinner up and did a double-feature of How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Up before getting Finn in bed. Tomorrow is due to be as cold as today, and there’s snow in the forecast. I also have to teach tomorrow night, which means I’ll eventually have to go back outside.
Some asshole attacked my WordPress install and temporarily blew it up. I’m working to clean things from the ground up, which means I’m defaulting to this ugly template for the time being. It also means my automatic FTP backups weren’t working properly, so I need to rebuild my theme template.
Update: I hadn’t upgraded to WP 4.1 yet and someone made some sneaky changes that I didn’t find in my server logs. Looks like most everything is back up to date, minus the entries I’d made between Dec 29 and yesterday.
I try to take pictures looking at changes over time, and realized I’ve got a bunch of them on the website. I added a new category for posts that feature comparisons, and went as far back as 2008 collecting them last night.
Well, that’s it. All of the old hand-coded log is now here in WordPress. After I-don’t-know-how-many-years, I finished migrating it the other night, so everything from 2001 is included here.
Meanwhile, poking around my other site, I came across a bunch of stuff I’d forgotten about. From 2002-2005 (pre-Flickr) I used to use a small script to generate galleries of photos and then post them to my website, but there’s never been any real good list of links to the whole cache. Here’s a master list, in date-correct order:
6/7/02 – Backyard pictures from my old house in Canton 6/11/02 – More backyard progress shots 6/22/02 – Assorted pictures, Jen’s apartment kitchen 7/6/02 – Fourth of July weekend and some more backyard pictures 7/15/02 – Model T Club meetup in Ellicot City 7/30/02 – July vacation in Aurora 9/1/02 – Labor Day in Aurora 9/14/02 – Matt comes in from San Francisco, and our group of friends meets at Rob & Karean’s house in Canton 3/18/03 – Snowfall in Canton 3/17/03 – St. Patrick’s Day weekend 3/29/03 – Checking out a old building on River Road in Ellicott City bimini_photos – Bimini pictures divelog – Bimini trip writeup with pictures 5/27/2003 – Engagement trip to Savannah, GA 5/10/03 wedding – Tim & Betty’s wedding in DC 5/24/03 – Engagement trip to Aurora 6/7/03 – Lockard reunion in Orlando 7/4/03 – Fourth of July 2003, up in Aurora 7/25/03 Stas & Vicki’s wedding in NY 9/8/03 – New Catonsville house pictures 12/21/03 – Christmas dinner on Tyndale Ave. 4/4/20 – Spring flowers Wedding – Wedding pictures Rome – Honeymoon trip to Rome with writeup 4/10/9 – Matt & Sophie’s wedding in San Francisco 4/11/26 – B&O Railroad Museum Baby – Finn’s progression in Jen’s belly House – Shots from the first day we looked at the house House_photos – A few pictures from the house inspection House_progress – Semi-updated gallery of house renovation pictures
Oklahoma – Pictures of the crazy roadside signs in Oklahoma, 1992
Panoramics – Test panoramics (needs a Java applet, which I don’t have a link for)
At some point, I’d like to upload all of these to Flickr, but I don’t know of a way to backdate them so that they list in sequence. I’ll have to look into that some more.
Our weekend was full and fun. Saturday we started out with a soccer game under bright blue skies. Finn claimed she was nervous on the ride over, but as she got onto the field and comfortable, she guarded the goal well.
On one play toward the second half of the game, she collected the ball in front of her own goal and drove it all the way down the field to the other side–and past the opposing team’s goal. She’s come so far in a couple of weeks!
In the afternoon she hung out with me while I got a bunch of boring house chores done:
Hauled brush to the dump
Brought in the AC units
Closed the storm windows
Cleaned off the front porch
Cleaned up and closed up the attic
Closed up the cracks in our foundation with hydraulic cement
Then we walked over to the neighbors’ and grilled on their deck. As the sun set we built a fire in the firepit, enjoyed adult conversation, and let the kids play until long after bedtime.
I’m wrapping up a lot of small projects here today:
I’ve got a sick iMac on my desk waiting for a fresh install of Snow Leopard. The hard drive died on it last week so I had R&K drop it off to let me do a little surgery. I put a new 1TB drive in it and got it back up and running. Now I have to find out what OS it tops out at and attempt a rebuild from their backup.
I’ve had another sick MacBook Pro come in and out of the office, the victim of an overstuffed email database and general malaise.
I’ve got a web project for Finn’s old pre-K school that’s going pretty well. It’s a church site I built in WordPress with some nice calendar functionality and some other custom features, and I’m waiting for them to start adding content so that I can style it and fill out the pages.
I’ve got another client who’s going through a move and needed two MailChimp templates for a pair of email blasts, as well as an updated address to all the pages on their site.
We’ve got a friend who’s been looking to get a personal WordPress site off the ground for a while, and has a renewed focus on making that happen.
I was able to wrap up a lot of small things this afternoon, which feels good and should open my weeknights back up. Last week I was bouncing from one thing to the next but not making a lot of headway, so an afternoon’s full attention made all the difference. I like having paying work, and I’d like to solicit some more, just as long as it’s not overwhelming–as it has in the past.
Train employees well enough they could get another job, but treat them well enough so they never want to.
Compliment people behind their back. It’ll come back to you.
Don’t aim to have others like you; aim to have them respect you.
Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
When you are stuck, sleep on it. Let your subconscious work for you.
When making something, always get a few extras — extra material, extra parts, extra space, extra finishes. The extras serve as backups for mistakes, reduce stress, and fill your inventory for the future. They are the cheapest insurance.
So today Apple announced some ugly colored iMacs and some other stuff, but what caught my eye are AirTags, which are going to cost $29 and will run on a replaceable battery with a year worth of power. One of these will go under the seat of the Scout, hidden away from prying eyes, and provide another measure of security through the Find My network.
Here in Maryland, a police Bill of Rights was enacted in 1974, ensuring police had extra protections unavailable to ordinary citizens, including time limits on alleging brutality complaints, allowing only other law enforcement officers to investigate misconduct, and allowing a delay before questioning an officer. Last week this was struck down by our state legislature over the objections of our Governor, ensuring that police will need to begin to rein in their worst impulses and be held accountable for their actions. I'm proud of our legislature this morning.
Wow, I'd forgotten about this excellent site: The Internet K-Hole, which is basically just posts of old pictures from the 70's through the early 90's. I am guilty of several of the fashion disasters here, as are most of my peers; I'm just glad I haven't found pictures of myself yet.