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Movin' On Up

1 min read

My blog is moving and I'm excited about blogging again.

Find out why.

 

Monday, February 7, 2022

2 min read

Jeeping with Max

jeep-8-logo.pngSome photos from an outing with my son yesterday. We were a few miles north of North Bend and caught a spectacular sunset.

 

 

 

Speaking of sunsets, I caught a pretty one on Saturday during a last minute road trip to Whidbey Island along with a few shots of the ferries. I love riding the ferries.

Quick Book Review: Prayer, Our Deepest Longing

51ry3kVXWgL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgObviously this is a book about prayer. If you are an atheist you are not likely to enjoy this book. I still recommend athiests read it to better understand why friends who are believers pray. I've read several books by well-known atheiests. I think we can always learn from each other.

This is an incredibly deep and moving book that is surprisingly very short (only 67 pages). I'm unfamilar with this author and look forward to reading more by him. The book focuses on prayer, the different types of prayer, and how to deepen your relationship with God through prayer. I learned several things and adopted some new habits for my own personal prayer practice. I read this book with my girlfriend and we both found it to be extremely moving and a wonderful tool to help us grow in our relatinoship with God and each other. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 14, 2022

1 min read

Chillin' With The Rippingtons

Enjoying one of my favorite modern jazz bands on vinyl while doing a little cooking. 

The Rippingtons are an incredible band - seeing them play live is more like a rock concert than a jazz show due to their heavy drumming and Russ Freeman's amazing guitar skills. I was lucky enough to see them a few years ago when they played at Seattle's Jazz Alley. I had a table right next to the stage - they literally played in my face for over two hours. I LOVED it. My ex, of course, hated it. :)

Here's a couple of shots from that night. These photos were taken from directly my seat without zooming in. What a great show - they sounded flawless. I got to meet the entire band after the show and thank them for all of the great music over the years. I love these guys.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

4 min read

Outlook Crashing On Startup? Check Your Rules!

computer-crash-go.jpgI haven't been able to run Outlook for several months and have been limping along using the painfully awkward web interface to manage my schedule and email.  Today I finally fixed this issue and can run Outlook again. I thought I'd document my issue here in case anyone else is having this problem. Our internal Help Desk was unable to fix this issue and finally gave up on trying to fix it. 

Here is the issue I was having: I'd fire up Outlook and all seemed ok but after a minute or two  then Outlook would just stop working and crash. No error message, nothing. Just crash. I initially thought it may have been an Outlook profile issue so I deleted and re-created my profile. Nope, problem still happening. Then I thought it might be an issue with the volume of email in my Outlook ost so I cleaned it up. Nope. problem still happening. Then I started thinking about what Outlook might be doing when it first starts up - it initially started up fine but would always crash after a minute or two. This is when I realized it had to the rules. I have a ton of Outlook rules and one of more of them were likely causing Outlook itself to crash.  Since I couldn't change the rules within Outlook (it kept crashing) I had to use the painfully awkward web interface again.  Clicking on the gear in the top right of the screen enabled me to get access to Outlook settings and my rules.

Upon reviewing my rules I noticed several of them were referencing a strange GUID value that I didn't recognize. I deleted those rules and restarted Outlook. Problem solved! I never thought I'd be so happy to be able to use Outlook again.

Hope this helps someone out there someday.

You Only Need Three Outlook Mail Sorting Rules

71aYQI5JwBL._AC_SL1500_.jpgSpeaking of Outlook rules, I used to have a ton of them and wasted far too much time setting up a complex series of folders and rules to determine which emails should go into which folders. Now I just have three rules and four Outlook folders. My folders look like this:

My three email rules look like this:

and

and

If I'm CC'd on an email there's no real hurry to get to it. I'll read it later.  All meeting invites and related activity lands in the meeting folder. External email from outside my company is usually lower priority so I'll eventually get to it.

I find this to be a much easier way to manage my email. How do you do it?

Fixing a Broken Known Config

11600-4654-SadMac-l.jpgToday seems to be the day for computer issues. I decided to start blogging again and wouldn't you know it - my blog stopped working today.   My blog is based upon Known, a wonderful open source blogging tool with great support for IndieWeb. Anyway, anytime I tried to create a post I received the following error:
   Something went wrong.  Class 'Ramsey\Uuid\Uuid' not found

Well that didn't seem good and I hadn't changed anything so I wasn't sure what happened. I finally decided to simply try re-installing Known and this fixed the issue. Here's what I did: 

  1. backed up my Known folder
  2. removed everything except for the config and upload folders
  3. cloned a new copy of Known from github and copied all the folders except config and upload over to my Known folder
  4. ran composer install in my Known folder to get all the dependencies set back up

I hope this helps anyone else who may be using Known.

A Quick News Roundup Before Bed

The US still appears to be a free country despite pure president's apparent attempts to change it.

A film of how the brain stores memories.

Alex Leifson, guitarist from Rush, has a new band and the sound is totally unexpected.

Incredible photo of the ISS over the Egyptian Nile Delta

Some car manufacturers continue to insist that you don't actually own the car you purchased

Another reason you should be listening to Joe Rogan's excellent podcast

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

2 min read

A Promise Kept - It Only Took 37 Years

The-Adventures-of-Buckaroo-Banzai-Across-the-8th-Dimension-1984-Hollywood-Movie-Watch-Online1.jpg The film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai - Across the Eighth Dimension" was released in 1984. I'll never forget how confused and delighted I was the first time I saw it. The characters, stories, plot, and music were all so different. I instantly fell in love with the film. If you haven't seen it you definitely need to check it out. I'm sure it's available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, or via your favorite pirate website. I won't bother trying to summarize the film for you - you can read about it yourself. The film famously ends with a promise that our hero would return in his next adventure to fight The World Crime League. Sadly that adventure never happened because the film was simply too interesting for most mainstream audiences (e.g. the film flopped).
Fast forward ahead 37 years and the novel "Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League" was just released. The book is written by Earl Mac Rauch, author of the original Buckaroo Banzai story and script.
I cannot wait to read this thing and will post a review soon.

UPDATE: I am very sad to report that the book is bloody awful. I love this film so much - it hurt to realize that this is such a poorly written book. In addition to being poorly written there are several disgusting and tasteless moments in the book that have a very different tone from the film. I sadly donated the book to my library.       

Thursday, August 19, 2021

1 min read

Howard the Duck Returns (sort of)

HTD-version1.jpg What If Season 1, Episode 2 features an appearance by Howard the Duck. Howard was one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe. Howard's creator Steve Gerber was a mad genius and Howard's original comic book series was way ahead of its time, filled with hilarious satire and commentary on the sad state of society.

It's too bad that Howard only appears in the What If episode for a few minutes.  Even worse, it's the "Disney-approved" version of Howard. In the mid-70s Disney threatened to sue Marvel Comics if they didn't make significant changes to Howard to avoid potential confusion with Donald Duck - the recommended changes appear in the model sheet below. 


This model sheet summarizes Disney's recommended changes to the original version of Howard. Unfortunately Howard has since been changed to become even uglier. Ugh.

Real Howard fans know that the version of Howard in the Marvel Universe is actually a clone. The real Howard fled Marvel, was dyed green, and is now in a witness protection program residing in Buffalo, NY under the name "Leonard".

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

3 min read

Rich Dad, Poor Dad Audiobook

audiobooks_square.jpg

I just realized YouTube has a ton of audiobooks available. 

       0:00:00 Introduction Rich Dad, poor Dad

       0:15:55 Chapter 1 The Rich Don't Work for Money

       1:29:01 Chapter 2 Why Teach Financial Literacy

       2:10:14 Chapter 3 Mind Your Own Business

       2:26:08 Chapter 4 The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations

       2:50:07 Chapter 5 The Rich Invent Money

       3:40:17 Chapter 6 Work to Learn, Don’t Work for Money

       4:11:51 Chapter 7 Overcoming Obstacles

       4:50:32 Chapter 8 Getting Started

       5:41:02 Chapter 9 Still Want More? Here are Some To Do’s

Finally Canceling a Scammer

b2ap3_large_Scam-alert-shutterstock_1012719211.jpgI signed up for phone insurance at a Verizon store many, many years ago.  The insurance was provided through a third party: Diamond Wireless. As many years went by I realized I didn't want or need the phone insurance anymore and wanted to cancel it.  I thought I'd be able to contact Diamond Wireless (who had been billing me for several phones for many years) and cancel the insurance policy. As it turns out it's surprisingly hard/impossible to cancel phone insurance from Diamond Wireless - there are many people across the country who have been unsuccessfully trying to cancel their Diamond Wireless phone insurance policy for years.  I had a similar experice. I found Diamond Wireless was somehow now associated with Victra. I tried contacting people at Diamond Wireless and Victra and no one had any record of my phone insurance despite the fact that I was still getting charged every month.

After much frustration I finally contacted my credit card provider and requested that they block billing requests from Diamond Wireless.  My credit card provider initially told me they were unable to do this. After much discussion they finally relented and agreed to block all future requests from Diamond Wireless.

Today I noticed another charge show up from Diamond Wireless. I soon received a call from Diamond Wireless about a charge that was denied. FINALLY! I asked the woman to cancel my insurance and the matter has finally been resolved,

My call from Diamond Wireless came from (877) 770-1555. If you are trying to cancel your Diamond Wireless phone insurance you can try calling this number or, as a last resort, request billing requests from Diamond Wireless to be blocked.

I hope this post helps someone.

Dad's Site

mark-on-beale.jpg

Finally got my Dad's site cleaned up and re-hosted. He had built it many, many years ago using a combination of tools from Angelfire and WebTV (it's an old site). The HTML generated by those old tools was absolutely horrific.

Monday, August 17, 2021

4 min read

Keep It Simple...

Keep it simple stupidI haven't created a new Twitter app in years. The new process requires you to apply for a dev account. Before getting a dev account you must describe your intended use of your dev account to Twitter. Apparently the approval process is so slow and tedious that people are actually selling pre-approved Twitter dev accounts. Unbelievable.

Most open source docs suck

Lost

Pro tip: if you're an open source developer you need to ensure the installation instructions for your product are well-written and accurate. How do you expect someone to adopt your product if they can't install or configure it?

I finally got my blog updated to the latest version of Known. It's taken me a while because most of the "official" docs focused on details that I never needed to worry about. Installing the latest version of Known is MUCH simpler than the docs would lead you to believe. I'm posting the directions here in case I need to re-install in the future. I hope this helps someone else that might be struggling to follow the official directions for installing Known.

  1. Set up the database
    Go to cPanel and choose the MySQL Database Wizard icon.
    Now you're going to be creating a database for your website and a user for your database. 
    You may want to write down the details that you choose here, because you're going to need to refer back to them a little later.
    In the database wizard, give your database a name. It should have a database prefix listed. Mine is evdemon1_. I named my database "known" for clarity, but you can choose anything that you want.
    Next, you need to create a user by setting a username and a password in the wizard.
    Once the database and the database user have been set up, you need to add them to the database. Select "All Privileges" for now to give your new user all of the database privileges.
  2. Log into your hoster and go to cPanel...Terminal
  3. Navigate to your public_html folder
  4. Clone from github: git clone https://github.com/idno/known.git
  5. Go back to cPanel and go to Domains..Redirects
  6. Change the redirect for your domain to point to the warmup folder under public_html
  7. Navigate to the URL of your website. Your URL should forward to yourdomain.com/warmup/ and you should see a Known screen that says "Let's get started."
  8. After you click the button, you should be on a requirements page. 
    This page is a check to make sure your  space meets the requirements for Known. 
    Known needs PHP 5.4 or higher to work, you can set this in cPanel if needed:
        In CPanel, navigate to ntPHPSelectorFrom the folder list there, choose public_html
        Select PHP 5.4 (or whatever version Known needs)
  9. On the requirements page, green items are good and red items indicate that something isn't compatible. If you see a message that says it can't detect Apache mod_rewrite, you can continue anyway. Click the "Hooray!" button to move on.
  10. Now it's time to enter the database details that you recently set up.
    First, name your new website. This will show up in the navigation of your site.
    Next, enter in your database name (with the prefix), the database username (with the prefix), and the password. You can leave the field that says "localhost" as is.
    Under the section for "Your upload directory" leave the field as is.
    If you didn't enter in the correct database name, username, or password, you'll get an error message saying that it can't connect to the database. 
    If this is the case, you'll need to go back and enter in the correct details.
  11. Create user account
    Now you should see a screen asking you to create a new user account. This will be your site's admin account. 
    Fill out your details and make sure you include a relevant email address. Site notifications will be sent there.
  12. Once you've registered a new user account, you have an opportunity to fill out your profile. 
    You can upload an image, add in a short bio, and include some of your websites. If you don't want to fill this out now, you can always come back and add these details in your site later.
  13. Once you've saved your user profile, you can start using your new Known site.

Quick Review of What If.. Episode #1

whatif_lob_crd_01.jpgThe review is here.

Apparently there is a Howard the Duck episode coming up (at least the previews teased it anyway). 

UPDATE: Howard only appears in the second episode for a few minutes. Bummer.