My circa 2010 MacBook Pro has been having random kernel panics that I traced back to one of the two graphics processors failing. A little internet research brought me to this site, with some helpful advice on how to disable the bad chip permanently.

Date posted: November 24, 2017 | Filed under apple, geek, housekeeping, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

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.

Date posted: October 30, 2017 | Filed under entertainment, geek, general, housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

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the protests, any deleted messages and files, as well as subscriber information — such as names and addresses — and unpublished photos and blog posts that are stored in the site’s database, according to the warrant…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:

We intend to take whatever steps are necessary to support and shield these users from what is, in our view, a very unfocused search and an unlawful request for their personal information.

I’m happy to say I use DreamHost for my personal website, and if I can get my act together, I’m going to move Idiotking there too.

Date posted: August 15, 2017 | Filed under housekeeping, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

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.

Date posted: August 12, 2017 | Filed under housekeeping, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Bel-Loc counter

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.

Bel Loc 2

* * *

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.

Date posted: March 27, 2017 | Filed under apple, Baltimore, history, housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

In the latest continuation of the tortured Yahoo saga, some of the company has been sold off to Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant. What this means for Flickr is still unclear; as mentioned before, 90% of the photos on this site are hosted there. Just in case, there’s a handy set of instructions for downloading an archive of your images.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Date posted: January 10, 2017 | Filed under geek, housekeeping, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

4001

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.

Date posted: February 15, 2015 | Filed under housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

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.

Happy 2015.

technical difficulties

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.

Date posted: January 6, 2015 | Filed under housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

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.

Date posted: October 23, 2014 | Filed under housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

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!

Fierce

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.

Date posted: September 28, 2014 | Filed under finn, housekeeping, links, list, photo | Leave a Comment »