October 23rd, 2013 | Tags:

Pushing spam comments to a separate queue is not enough to keep spam comments from shutting your weblog down. This site had the plug pulled for an hour or so earlier today because there were 158,388 spam comments in the 30 day rolling queue.

There were more real comments here (down to four) before I wiped them out trying to recover from bugs in Akismet. I think all this is saying that I need to pay more attention to what is going on.

January 12th, 2013 | Tags: ,

строителство на къщиDo not sign up for Skype while traveling, or you may find yourself in a situation that you can’t fix. See this support chat with George from Skype:

Skype: Hello! Welcome to Skype Live Support! My name is George. How may I help you?
Me: Emails sent to my address are in a foreign language that I cannot read.
Me: I would like them reset to English.
Skype: Well. I apologize for sending you an email in the wrong language.
Skype: Our newsletter is sent per country, not per language, because it contains country specific promotions.
Me: When I signed up for Skype, I was visiting Ukraine.
Skype: Your country is identified by the geographic IP address that you had at the time you registered your account.
Me: Please reset my country to United States.
Skype: At the moment it is not possible to modify the country setting and we are working to implement this possibility.

December 14th, 2012 | Tags: ,

I was looking for information on how to get MS Outlook to auto purge items that have been deleted for thirty days. What I found was this gem:

The Deleted Items folder only contains 30 days worth of deleted emails. I’m losing old deleted emails that I some times need to reference. I can’t figure out how to fix this.

Tech support should be guaranteed employment.

November 19th, 2012 | Tags: , ,

I will never understand how some documents manage to make it out of peer review — apparently without people ever trying to actually perform the processes that are supposedly being documented. Like this gem, which came out today:

How do I login to the portal??
Once you reach the login screen, you need to enter a login ID and password to access the portal. Your login details depend on whether you have Windows 7 or you are still on an NT4 machine.

If you think I am complaining about having to know what kind of machine I am using, that is true, and misleading. The truth is a great deal simpler.

“Once you reach the login screen,” which you will never do, because we didn’t think it important to tell you how to find the link for the login screen…

November 8th, 2012 | Tags: , ,

Here are all of the episodes in the Animal Stories series, Seasons 1-4:

s01e01 Big Pink Pig
s01e02 Trevor the Frog
s01e03 Helen the Penguin
s01e04 Smelly Dog
s01e05 Big Bold Lion
s01e06 Hugh the Worm
s01e07 Edwina the Aardvark
s01e08 Simpson the Slug
s01e09 Win-stanley the Sloth
s01e10 Polar Bear
s01e11 Billy the Giraffe
s01e12 Ron the Crab
s01e13 Crocodile Lou

s02e01 Bobby the Ape
s02e02 Ant 2954
s02e03 Tommy the Bat
s02e04 Tony the Tortoise
s02e05 Susie the Kangaroo
s02e06 Camilla the Camel
s02e07 Oliver the Owl
s02e08 Dinky the Dolphin
s02e09 Clive the Hamster
s02e10 Fred the Dragon
s02e11 Bruce the Goose
s02e12 Eric the Elephant
s02e13 Jake the Snake

s03e01 Brian the Leopard
s03e02 Pointy the Hedgehog
s03e03 Peter the Peacock
s03e04 Lewis the Cat
s03e05 Horatio the Rat
s03e06 Cyril the Centipede
s03e07 Bob the Bee
s03e08 Jimmy the Mouse
s03e09 Keith the Caterpillar
s03e10 Maurice the Magpie
s03e11 Eddie the Catfish
s03e12 Sammy the Hippo
s03e13 Ernest the Hyena

s04e01 Ralph the Rabbit
s04e02 Austin the Oyster
s04e03 Felicia the Humming Bird
s04e04 Philip the Fly
s04e05 Drew the Whale
s04e06 Clara the Cow
s04e07 Charlie the Cheetah
s04e08 Dinosaur Tim
s04e09 Des the Donkey
s04e10 Ross the Rhinoceros
s04e11 Carla the Koala
s04e12 Melvin the Moose
s04e13 Dodo the Pigeon
March 20th, 2012 | Tags: ,

All of the episodes (starting with Season 31) are available to watch on the This Old House website. Unfortunately, I would much rather be able to watch them on my television. The following steps show how to download them from the website for playback anywhere.

Note: I consider this fair use of the videos and, as described in the outdated original source I used, this technique should not be used to steal content.

These instructions are based on using Safari in Max OSX. They may be adaptable for other browsers or operating systems, but that is outside of my interest.

  1. Remove the Flash Video Player from Safari (if it is installed). Make a backup (for re-installation), then delete these files using the Finder:

    • /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin
    • /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/flashplayer.xpt
  2. Ensure the Develop menu is available in Safari. Enable it on the Advanced pane in Safari Preferences.

  3. Go to the the page of the This Old House video that you want to download. You should get an error that Flash needs to be updated.

  4. Change the User Agent to one for Safari iOS. Select Safari iOS from ‘Develop > User Agent’ in the menubar. (The iPad version seems to work more successfully than the one for iPhone.)

  5. If a preview of picture of the video loads:

    1. Right click the video and choose “View Frame Source”.
    2. Use ‘Edit > Find > Find…’ to search for “mp4″. Find the second occurrence.
    3. You are now looking at a list of videos, each with a different encoding rate and frame size. (The size of the smallest video will be about 30 MB, the largest 300MB.) Pick the video file that you want to download and copy what looks approximately like a URL from the line, starting with ‘http’ and ending with ‘mp4′. If in doubt of which one to pick, use the one with the largest encoding number and largest frame size.
    4. Close the Source window.
    5. Paste the text into the address bar in Safari.
    6. Edit the text in the address bar to remove all backslash characters (backslashes travel from upper left to lower right). (This replaces each ‘\/’ with a single ‘/’.)
  6. If a preview picture of the video does NOT load:

    1. Right click in the black box and choose “View Frame Source”
    2. Use ‘Edit > Find > Find…’ to search for “video.pbs”.
    3. Copy the URL, stopping before the question mark.
    4. Paste the URL into the address bar in Safari and press “Return”.
    5. Use ‘Edit > Find > Find…’ to search for “mp4″
    6. Copy this URL and paste it into the address bar in Safari.
  7. Hold “Option” and press “Return” to initiate the download.

  8. Wait for the download to finish.

February 17th, 2012 | Tags:

A toast to fatherhood and the crap people will convince you to buy
Fancy clothes instead of just a one piece sleeper
Newborn clothes which be worn once before being outgrown
Pee-Pee Teepee which will fall off as your kid pees all over you
A baby wipe warmer which will never be in the location you need

A Toast to fatherhood, and the inane things you will find yourself saying:
Don’t put your butt on the patio door.
The Christmas Tree is not a potty!
Don’t mop the tree!
Stop mopping your sister’s head!
Don’t suck your toes until after your bath
Stop drinking the bathwater.
The refrigerator shelf is not a seat
The only person you can hit in the head with a hammer is yourself
Thank you for sharing, but puppies don’t eat with a spoon.

A toast to fatherhood and the indescribable feeling
of getting home at the end of a long day
and having a little one who thinks the world of you
scream out daddy
and come running.

To fatherhood.

December 7th, 2011 | Tags: , ,

I am still trying to figure out this recommendation from Amazon:

Assholeology Reccomendation

November 5th, 2011 | Tags: , ,

I have found a number of ways of how not to update an iPhone to iOS 5, yet I still haven’t figure out the proper way. I would like to update my wife’s iPhone, but i get this happy warning message:

iTunesScreenSnapz001.png

And deleting everything off the iPhone (especially since it is not backed up) is NOT what I want to do. So maybe i should establish a syncing relationship with the computer.

ITunesScreenSnapz002

Except that also wants to obliterate the iPhone. So how do I tell iTunes to sync itself to what is on the phone (without deleting anything)? I have no idea.

October 12th, 2011 | Tags:

Vicki Poteet of VIP Real Estate is the best realtor in Indianapolis.

  • Instead of putting an unwanted sign in our yard (we’re on a corner and many relators would like to use our yard), she took the time to ask if she could put it there. We always say yes–but most people don’t have the courtesy to ask, so the signs get ripped down.

  • And, she came back after several weeks and took the sign down!

  • And, she dropped off a business card, thanked us for letting her use our yard and left a $5 Starbucks gift card. (I don’t drink coffee, but that is not the point.)

Though all of this may seem obvious, and like common courtesy, in my view of the world, it was uncommon. And that is sad.