Stop Me If…

Stop Sign
…you’ve heard this before. I’m going to try to use this damn blog more. I’ve been tweaking it behind the scenes in my rare spare time the last couple of months, and I think I’ve gotten enough of what I want to be able to use this little corner of the web as it was intended–my digital hub. While i have found myself using Facebook more and more due to keeping tabs on IRL friends, I’ve used Twitter less and less due to a busy schedule and finding it difficult to follow conversations. I’d love to find an interface that made it easy to see all of the accounts I follow and put them into lists (does that exist on twitter.com?), in the mean time, I simply want to start collecting everything back here and sharing it to social media as I see fit.

New but Not New Laptop

My late 2010 Macbook Air had run out of hard drive space. It was a never ending battle to find space, constantly cleaning caches and removing large, mostly unused apps. Something had to give. Then on Twitter, an internet friend @jptoto mentioned he was adding an SSD drive to his MacMini. When I looked at OWC, where he linked to, I discovered there was an option to upgrading the SSD in my Air. I have no complaints about the 4 year old Air, other than the regret I didn’t get a larger SSD drive to begin with. Buying a new laptop was not in my budget, and save for more RAM and faster processor, which I don’t really need, didn’t make sense. If Retina display was an option for an 11” Air, I might have rethought the option.

Once I decided that I was going to upgrade the SSD hard drive in my Macbook Air, I had to decide how I was going to go about setting it back up after the upgrade. The instructions on OWC walks through migrating your old content back via the enclosure as part of the kit I purchased . However, after 4 years, I was ready for a clean start.

I had to decide how I was going to back everything up. Well, I already have all important files/data backed up, but I needed to run through what I was doing to make sure my bases were covered. First, I use iCloud for all of my contacts, calendars, Safari day-to-day bookmarks (I use Pinboard for most of my bookmarks) and surprisingly more and more app data. Second, I use Dropbox religiously, so all of my text notes are synced inside Dropbox (as well as with SimpleNote). Additionally, all of my work files are saved into Dropbox, as well as other misc files. I may revisit my organization of Dropbox once I have the extra 180 GB of data on my laptop to work with.

From there, I use 1Password for all of my, well, passwords, but also software licenses that are not bought through the App Store. Which is another is another method of backing up software these days. It really is a convenient way of having your apps just there. I followed that up with a full backup using SuperDuper. And not to be outdone, I did a Time Machine backup to an external hard drive.

The result? Complete success. I did a clean install of Lion, loaded up the App Store and upgraded to Mavericks. Easily added my iCloud credentials, downloaded Dropbox (I did have to reference that password via my iPhone which also has 1Password installed. I needed Dropbox to load my 1Password keychain.) After Mavericks, again using the App Store downloaded said 1Password and selectively installing apps I know I’ve been using. It is easy enough to go back and add one already purchased when needed, but the goal was to start clean. There were a few things I didn’t think about directly such as ssh keys for Github/Bitbucket and my VPS, but since I had redundant backups of my entire system, I simply copied those over to my home directory. Certainly I could have generated new keys, but this was obviously easier. I also had to copy over my Hazel license, as I do not use the email address it was registered under, but I had already looked into that prior to the upgrade.

So far it has been liberating starting clean, as I was carrying over more than 4 years of cruft from this Air; I migrated the user account over from the Powerbook I upgraded from. I am looking to use this momentum to carry over to other areas of my technology world, most specifically in my task management. I tried to be an Omnifocus convert (from being a half-assed Things user), but the delays in a desktop update slowed my enthusiasm for the suite of apps to the point I wasn’t using it any longer anyway. Perhaps the beta will drop soon and I can revisit it, but I’m now looking at some of the Task Paper options on the table.

The one area I am still on the fence on is for development. I thought I’d use Vagrant and Virtualbox, but the closer I looked into it, the more I wasn’t sure I really needed to get that deep. I hack for fun now (mostly, I do have a company website I’m building), and MAMP really does cover my local development needs. I can always play with Vagrant at a later date, if for instance I really wanted a local dev environment to match my VPS. But for general hacking, and to get down to it, I’m thinking I’m sticking with MAMP for now.

If you can’t do a clean install of your computer, I highly recommend a strong spring cleaning. It just might get you focused on other aspects of your life.

Grand Ole Opry

I didn’t grow up listening to the show, but I did listen to enough AM country growing up traveling around the country and out and about with my father to have a deep appreciation for what it meant to those who did. Visiting the Opry is still on my bucket list.

It appears the Opry house in its current incarnation turns 40 this month, and Garden & Gun’s article Lordy, Lordy, the Opry’s 40! has a few quotes from artists who’ve performed there over the years. My favorite is from Ricky Skaggs.

“I used to go to sleep on my grandfather’s lap, listening to the Grand Ole Opry in his Ford pickup truck out by the barn. The sound would come and go up in those Kentucky mountains, but when it would come back in, it was the greatest sound in the world.”

Perhaps the reference to sleeping on his grandfather’s lap as the music came and went is what struck me, as I my earliest memories of music were with my head asleep on dad’s lap as we drove across country.

I Choose to…

I’ve long been a fan of David Seah, but something he wrote today really resonated with me in relation to getting things done.

I was armed with a new insight from The Now Habit: say “I choose” instead of “I have to”. When I say “I choose”, I am putting myself in charge of MY OWN MISSION and rising above whatever primordial slug-like fears lurk in the darkest recesses of my psyche.

I often recall a similar exercise a wise man shared with me. He handed me a tennis ball and asked me to “try” and throw it. I easily tossed it across the room. He retrieved the ball and handed it back to me. He said, “no, try and throw it.”

At this point I was confused. I just had. So I threw the ball with a bit more force. His response was the same. Finally, he told me, “you either throw it or you don’t. There is no in between. The next time you say ‘I am trying’, remember the ball.”

This was all in response to a conversation about me saying I was trying to be a better boss/boyfriend/person.

Tomorrow I will choose to be a better partner/boyfriend/person.

Use Pythonista to Get Weather of Current Location into Drafts App

My quest began when I began using Drafts app (among many other ways) to keep a fishing log. I created a TextExpander fill-in snippet to quickly enter what (if anything) was caught, the date, the type of lure(s) used, etc. I really wanted to automate adding the weather conditions as well, but alas, my search for that solution turned up nothing…until yesterday.

It started when @drdrang shared a Pythonista script to leverage the location inside iOS. Later he shared another version, from @hiilppp.

Armed with that knowledge and a rudimentary knowledge of the forecast.io API, I set off to steal crib some Python usage of their API. Enter @jayhickey and his PySky script. While written for the v1 Dark Skies API, it gave me enough Python to convert to the new v2 of Forecast.io.

The result?

original gist

This version simply grabs the current weather summary and temperature from your current location, meant to be used with @draftsapp as a URL action pythonista : / / py_forecast?action=run&argv=[[draft]]. Dr. Drang suggests using New From Gist, however I had better success using iOctocat. There is an “open in…” dialog when viewing your gists or starred gists, and pick Pythonista.

Certainly for my fishing log I am expanding on this to include wind, sunrise and set times as well as the recently added moon phase. I figured a more generic version would be best shared, but please do not hesitate to leave a comment or ask me a question on Twitter @miklb. I’ll do my best to help, as I’m indebted to the aforementioned gents for sharing their code and helping in the first place.

Reboot 2014 Style

I’ll have a lot more to say in the coming days, but suffice to say once again things are wonky/broken around here. I am sporting a nice new look that I completely fell in love with, compliments of Mark Otto. I’m porting his theme to Habari and will write more about that soon too.

Here’s to kicking 2014 off on the right foot.

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Passion vs Desire

I stumbled upon this quote from Thomas Keller a few days ago, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook. If it’s only about passion, sometimes you’ll be good and sometimes you won’t. You’ve got to come in every day with a strong desire. With passion, if you see the first asparagus of the springtime and you become passionate about it, so much the better, but three weeks later, when you’ve seen that asparagus every day now, passions have subsided. What’s going to make you treat the asparagus the same? It’s the desire.

Via Fast Company

While I certainly can relate to the culinary element of this – I think I had the desire – it strikes a nerve more so in my career as a web developer. I think I had the passion, just not the desire. Three weeks after the first time I used some new tool or trick, it lost its luster. I didn’t get excited, I wasn’t the type of person to want to get up early and do it all over again. So I spent the last year or so of being a developer chasing the newest shiny thing so I didn’t have to deal with the everyday.

Even after reading this, I’m not sure it would have struck a nerve if I didn’t think I’d found a new profession that I do have the desire for. Long after the bloom is off the rose, I’m still excited to do the routine.

Around the Web 03-24-2013

​n​v​A​L​T​ ​2​.​2​β​ ​1​0​4​ ​-​ ​B​r​e​t​t​T​e​r​p​s​t​r​a​.​c​o​m

Updated for new Simperium syncing. Testing now…

​A​m​a​z​o​n​.​c​o​m​:​ ​S​e​n​d​ ​t​o​ ​K​i​n​d​l​e​ ​B​u​t​t​o​n

Write long form articles? Want your users to be able to read your content on their Kindle? Now they can.

​L​A​C​M​A​ ​C​o​l​l​e​c​t​i​o​n​s

Unbelievable collection of over 20,000 photos available to the public domain.

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Around the Web 03-13-2013

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Eighth Anniversary Redesign Underway

I originally started this blog 8 years ago. A lot has happened since then. While I learned a lot building out the last design, a lot has changed regarding HTML, CSS and more so, responsive design.

I will try to update with what I’m working on as I continue this, rest assured, it’s going to be very rough around the edges, but that’s a sure fire way of making sure I complete this. I’m not even sure if comments are working, or I’d say leave a message if you see something you’d like to see more of, or is so horribly broken the site doesn’t work.

I’m still trying to figure out how to bring back my old content, and am leaning now towards manually moving over posts that I’d like to have around for posterity. Doing so manually sounds tedious, but will allow me to clean up the markup.1 I’ll probably do the same with all of my old food blog posts as well. I’m using a little plugin that Owen whipped up for using post-formats. Similar to how WordPress does, but much better in my opinion. I’ll definitely write more about that after I get the kinks worked out.

Update Seems I can’t remove localhost from the free pictos account I set up and add the live domain. Waiting on support, but not holding my breath. Not willing to pay for the service until I can see it live. Might start looking for alternatives. Also, reading their support threads, seems like a big headache.

Update 2 Ran into some issues, switching back over to previous theme for now.

  1. Which means converting everything over to using Markdown and cleaning up broken links and images.

Around the Web 03-8-2013

​T​h​e​ ​M​i​d​-​C​e​n​t​u​r​y​ ​M​e​n​u​ ​—​ ​R​e​t​r​o​ ​R​e​c​i​p​e​s​ ​T​e​s​t​e​d​ ​H​e​r​e​!

I admit I too have a fascination with mid-century food stuffs. I have several boxes of those little recipe books put out by various companies pimping their products. I also have a hand-bound collection of recipes from magazines that I thrifted. Might need to dust off the scanner and start sharing some after seeing this site.

​M​a​r​k​s​y​​ ​:​:​ ​w​h​a​t​’​s​ ​i​t​ ​a​l​l​ ​a​b​o​u​t​?

Looks like the perfect tool for those who want to help write documentation but are put off by a particular markup (read, Mediawiki).

​M​a​r​k​d​o​w​n​ ​S​e​r​v​i​c​e​ ​T​o​o​l​s​ ​2​.​0​ ​-​ ​B​r​e​t​t​ ​T​e​r​p​s​t​r​a

If you are on a Mac, use Markdown and don’t have these, get them now.

​T​o​d​a​y​’​s​ ​R​e​c​i​p​e​ ​o​f​ ​t​h​e​ ​D​a​y​:​ ​Z​i​p​l​o​c​ ​O​m​e​l​e​t​ ​|​ ​N​O​L​A​.​c​o​m

Another brilliant idea for over night guests. Or a brunch party. Just add pitchers of sangria and mimosas.

​4​ ​i​n​d​i​c​t​e​d​ ​o​v​e​r​ ​c​o​n​t​a​m​i​n​a​t​e​d​ ​p​e​a​n​u​t​ ​b​u​t​t​e​r​ ​l​i​n​k​e​d​ ​t​o​ ​9​ ​d​e​a​t​h​s​ ​|​

This is a pretty big deal. Finally the government is holding big business responsible for food safety via felony charges directed at those at the top of the, ehem, food chain.

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Around the Web 02-20-2013

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Around the Web 02-11-2013

​C​o​n​f​i​g​u​r​i​n​g​ ​a​n​d​ ​O​p​t​i​m​i​z​i​n​g​ ​P​H​P​-​F​P​M​ ​a​n​d​ ​N​g​i​n​x​ ​o​n​ ​U​b​u​n​t​u​ ​(​o​r​ ​D​e​b​i​

Well written post demystifying running nginx with php-fpm. Wish this was around when I set up my server, but won’t be long until I take note and adjust my setup.

​M​a​k​i​n​g​ ​a​ ​m​i​c​r​o​w​a​v​e​ ​r​o​u​x​ ​w​i​t​h​ ​C​o​l​l​e​t​t​e​ ​W​e​a​v​e​r​ ​-​ ​V​i​d​e​o​ ​|​ ​N​O​L​A​.​c​o​m

Just fucking brilliant. I also learned when I first started cooking that you can cook a roux in the oven at 325° and it will never burn. Restaurants in New Orleans that serve massive amounts of gumbos and étouffée use the technique over night.

​E​m​m​e​t​ ​D​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​a​t​i​o​n

The evolution of Zen Coding. Looking forward to running this through some paces this weekend.

​R​e​c​i​p​e​:​ ​Q​u​i​c​k​ ​C​i​n​n​a​m​o​n​ ​R​o​l​l​s​ ​-​ ​S​a​n​ ​J​o​s​e​ ​M​e​r​c​u​r​y​ ​N​e​w​s

I like the idea of being able to make the dough the night before and bake fresh in the morning. Not sure can be as good as yeast version, but definitely will try it soon.

​i​O​S​ ​A​u​t​o​m​a​t​i​o​n​ ​a​n​d​ ​W​o​r​k​f​l​o​w​s​ ​w​i​t​h​ ​D​r​a​f​t​s

I am totally in love with the Dropbox actions in the latest version of Drafts. This is the best overview I’ve seen so far outlining the workflow.

​O​b​j​e​k​t​i​v

Nifty looking utility to let you switch your default browser in OS X.

​H​o​w​ ​t​o​ ​m​a​k​e​ ​s​p​a​e​t​z​l​e​ ​-​ ​c​h​i​c​a​g​o​t​r​i​b​u​n​e​.​c​o​m

More recipes should be written like this. Less about the specific amounts, more about the why and how.

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Around the Web 02-3-2013

​G​e​t​t​i​n​g​ ​S​t​a​r​t​e​d​ ​o​r​ ​J​u​s​t​ ​G​e​t​t​i​n​g​ ​B​e​t​t​e​r​ ​W​i​t​h​ ​O​m​n​i​F​o​c​u​s

I’m tempted to test out Omni Focus since they are offering a free license until 2.0 is released. Seems like a nice starting point for jumping into the system. Just not sure ready for the outlay of cash for iOS versions and desktop since I’ve bought Things already…

​R​e​s​p​o​n​s​i​v​e​ ​D​e​s​i​g​n​ ​B​o​o​k​m​a​r​k​l​e​t

Nice little bookmarklet for testing your design in common resolutions. Provides a handy toolbar to click between layouts or add your own custom size.

​R​e​c​i​p​e​s​ ​f​o​r​ ​u​n​d​e​r​ ​£​5​:​ ​b​a​k​e​d​ ​m​a​c​k​e​r​e​l​ ​w​i​t​h​ ​p​o​t​a​t​o​e​s​,​ ​t​h​y​m​e​ ​a​n​d​ ​o

Always nice to have a couple of mackerel recipes. This one reminds me of Lyonnaise Potatoes, which I learned to brush the potatoes with a little dijon mustard. I think it would be a nice touch to brush the mackerel with the mustard in this recipe.

​T​h​e​ ​S​e​c​o​n​d​ ​A​m​e​n​d​m​e​n​t​ ​w​a​s​ ​R​a​t​i​f​i​e​d​ ​t​o​ ​P​r​e​s​e​r​v​e​ ​S​l​a​v​e​r​y

why am I not surprised?

​M​y​ ​n​v​A​L​T​ ​S​e​t​u​p​ ​—​ ​R​o​c​k​e​t​I​N​K

Always interesting to see how others are using nvAlt. Not sure where I’d be without it.

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Leave it to the Wayback Machine

I have been lamenting on whether or not I wanted to bring back my old content or start completely from scratch. I’d been leaning towards starting over, but today in Habari IRC channel, someone linked to their blog on the Wayback Machine, which led me to checking this blog. My earliest records are sans any theme. I’m not sure what determined what got cached visually, but the earliest version of this site that includes design got me feeling nostalgic about having had this site active off and on for almost 8 years. Between that old theme and this one I think I will work out bringing back the old content.

For reference, I’ve been running on Habari since September 2008, never looking back.

Terminal.app & Solarized

This was new to me, but I’ve been using Terminal.app a lot lately setting up my new VPS. As a big fan of the Solarized Color Scheme, began to wonder if I could use that with Terminal.app. A quick Google search quickly returned OS Lion terminal colors – Solarized. As I’m still on Lion, it’s a simple as downloading the zip, extracting, double clicking the preferred scheme (light or dark) to activate it. The readme file says Mountain Lion users can import the file via preferences. The only hitch was as a user of TotalFinder I couldn’t get it to use the new default Solarized color scheme.

Another quick search turned up that this was not a bug, but a (bad IMVHO) design decision. If the Visor color scheme is available, regardless of the default scheme in Terminal, it will use Visor. Apparently the options are renaming the color schemes, or, as I chose to do, delete Visor scheme from Terminal.

Though I use the light scheme for all of my text editors, I’m leaning towards the dark for TotalTerminal. My next step will probably be to edit my .bash profile to change the prompt colors, but I’m not sure I’m that big a geek today.

Terminal.app & Solarized

This was new to me, but I’ve been using Terminal.app a lot lately setting up my new VPS. As a big fan of the Solarized Color Scheme, began to wonder if I could use that with Terminal.app. A quick Google search quickly returned OS Lion terminal colors – Solarized. As I’m still on Lion, it’s a simple as downloading the zip, extracting, double clicking the preferred scheme (light or dark) to activate it. The readme file says Mountain Lion users can import the file via preferences. The only hitch was as a user of TotalFinder I couldn’t get it to use the new default Solarized color scheme.

Another quick search turned up that this was not a bug, but a (bad IMVHO) design decision. If the Visor color scheme is available, regardless of the default scheme in Terminal, it will use Visor. Apparently the options are renaming the color schemes, or, as I chose to do, delete Visor scheme from Terminal.

Though I use the light scheme for all of my text editors, I’m leaning towards the dark for TotalTerminal. My next step will probably be to edit my .bash profile to change the prompt colors, but I’m not sure I’m that big a geek today.

I’m Back…

This site has been down for several months due to a multitude of reasons. That said, I’m still not 100% what I’m going to do next, but I’m leaning towards keeping it completely free of any and all content that I accumulated the first seven years. While there is something to be said for posterity, an equal argument can be made for clean starts.

Currently I’m running the latest stable version of Habari on an inexpensive VPS that is only running Ngnix and Sqlite. No Apache, no Mysql. That part will stay. From there, I’m just not quite sure, other than I will not have a filter on my content ever again.

For the one or two people who stumble into this new incarnation, I am no longer doing any type of web work/development professionally, save for a business that I’m helping ehem, “bootstrap”. I’ll be writing more about that for sure, suffice to say this NY Times article touches on where I’ve been mentally and professionally the last couple of months.

Using APC and Subversion Checkouts

I am in the process of moving my sites from Slicehost to Linode, as most are aware Slicehost is being phased out for Rackspace Cloud. Anyway, I upgraded my VPS at Linode last night to Debian “Squeeze” and installed APC, which created a problem with the WordPress installations I had there. Basically, I couldn’t access the admin. Through the power of Twitter and the invaluable help of Mark Jaquith, I learned that by default APC doesn’t play nice with files that are checked out via Subversion. I think the root of my problem was a stray apc config for overriding include once, but certainly the subversion issue could have been at play too.

Anyway, a little Googling on the subject, I discovered there’s a configuration option for APC to use ctime instead of the default mtime. Adding apc.stat_ctime=1 is all that is required.

While I’m on the subject of migrating from Slicehost to Linode, Andrew RIley pointed out that someone had written a ruby script to migrate the DNS information for you.

Addendum To be clear, I install WordPress using Subversion and the appropriate tag. My Habari installs are also all Subversion checkouts from trunk.

Technology, Civil War & Parallels

Telegraph KeyI’ve been really enjoying both the Civil War Day By Day Blog, as well as the Disunion series in the Opininator from the NY Times. Earlier this week Disunion had an article, Morse, The Telegraph & Civil War. The gist of the article is that the advent of the Telegraph allowed for quicker and faster communication, and coupled with advances of the printing press, allowed for more newspapers to take hold, each with their own partisan orientation.

This speed of communication allowed for the schism between North and South to broaden.

Instead, of course, national unity unraveled as antagonistic North-South stereotypes hardened during the 1850s. The dominant modern narrative of mid-19th century American history suggests that North and South began to see each other more clearly — and that each discovered how genuinely different the other had become. While a fast-changing North embraced progress and improvement, the South remained wedded to an archaic, retrogressive labor system. Under the circumstances, Northern and Southern outlooks and values necessarily diverged.

What struck me most though about this article is how it parallels today’s current events and how the advances in technology and the internet can be directly attributed to the uprising in the Middle East, as well as to some degree the political discourse in our own country. The 24 hour news cycle, and the fact that anyone can start a blog/website to argue their stance has really changed the way politics is done in the United States. We just had our first presidential candidate announce his candidacy via Twitter. A politician was run out of Washington due to his use of Craigslist and the ability of a website to get a hold of the email exchange and image to quickly get it out, being picked up by mainstream media, resulting in his resignation within days of the story hitting the web.

Guess it goes to prove the old adage, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Technology, Civil War & Parallels

Telegraph KeyI’ve been really enjoying both the Civil War Day By Day Blog, as well as the Disunion series in the Opininator from the NY Times. Earlier this week Disunion had an article, Morse, The Telegraph & Civil War. The gist of the article is that the advent of the Telegraph allowed for quicker and faster communication, and coupled with advances of the printing press, allowed for more newspapers to take hold, each with their own partisan orientation.

This speed of communication allowed for the schism between North and South to broaden.

Instead, of course, national unity unraveled as antagonistic North-South stereotypes hardened during the 1850s. The dominant modern narrative of mid-19th century American history suggests that North and South began to see each other more clearly — and that each discovered how genuinely different the other had become. While a fast-changing North embraced progress and improvement, the South remained wedded to an archaic, retrogressive labor system. Under the circumstances, Northern and Southern outlooks and values necessarily diverged.

What struck me most though about this article is how it parallels today’s current events and how the advances in technology and the internet can be directly attributed to the uprising in the Middle East, as well as to some degree the political discourse in our own country. The 24 hour news cycle, and the fact that anyone can start a blog/website to argue their stance has really changed the way politics is done in the United States. We just had our first presidential candidate announce his candidacy via Twitter. A politician was run out of Washington due to his use of Craigslist and the ability of a website to get a hold of the email exchange and image to quickly get it out, being picked up by mainstream media, resulting in his resignation within days of the story hitting the web.

Guess it goes to prove the old adage, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Blog, Blogs, Blogging – A Rant

I have had this draft sitting around for awhile, but in the last two days I’ve seen the word “blog” used incorrectly several times, and decided to dust this off and publish it.

You have a blog. When writing for this web log, you are blogging, “I think I’m going to blog about the movie we saw last night”, I blogged about how I built the best mouse trap. You can call yourself a blogger. A blog however is not each individual entry or post you write. Please do not tell me you wrote 3 blogs last night. You can tell me you blogged 3 articles, or you wrote 3 entries for your blog, but you did not write 3 blogs. Do not tweet “my new blog” and link to an entry. When I see “new blog” I’m expecting a completely new site from the one you already have.

Now, I don’t claim to be a grammar nazi or even have the best grammar. But this is less about grammar and more about semantics and something that simply gets my goat. Feel free to contradict or refute my position. I’m all ears. Also, I came across a great blog post sometime back, on the history of weblogs you may find interesting.

A Loquat By Any Other Name…

So LoquatI tweeted

I’m thinking most folks in #SHeights & #Tampa are confusing kumquats with loquats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoquatTue Mar 29 22:14:07 via Kiwi

that I’m guessing folks in Seminole Heights and Tampa might be confusing kumquats with loquats. Why? It’s a little late for citrus in general. Also, my native ass says kumquats are an even earlier citrus. Also, they look similar (not really). Taste: no comparison. A super ripe loquat to me is a cross between a mango and peach. And heaven. Relish the wild loquats our fore fathers planted and the birds have spread Ybor and Seminole Heights neighbors. They are a treat.

Using Latest DailyBooth Image

If you are not familiar with Dailyboth, at it’s core, it makes it easy to snap a picture of yourself and share it on the web. They have a lot of other “social” aspects, like comments, following, etc, however I don’t really use any of those. I started using it track my mustache growth for Movember, and then while I grew out a beard. It’s easy and it can be fun. I got to thinking today it would be cool if you could leverage that image else where besides within their network, and set off looking if they had an API and how might I do so.miklb dailybooth

I discovered they do have a basic API, along with some sample code in GitHub. All I really wanted for now was a to pull my latest picture. A little more digging, I realized I didn’t need to leverage the API, rather you can reference that image in a simple HTML tag.

You can also swap small, with medium or large. The one downside is that their images are not square, rather they are rectangular, which doesn’t work in most ‘profile’ environments. I experimented with taking it a step further and using that latest image link with Gravatar, however from what I can tell, while Gravatar will allow you to choose the latest image, for performance reasons, they cache the various size images and don’t ever check that source again.

This may not be useful to many people, but in my case, with my ever changing long hair/short hair and various states of facial hair, I often find that I’ve had a photo on my about page that becomes outdated. When I meet someone in person, they hardly recognize me. It happened when I met my current employer. Due to the nature of working on the web these days, in person meetings may not occur often or right away as most correspondences occur via email and the phone. Having an outdated image that people are using as a visual reference isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s nice to be able to really put a face with a name, even if it’s from 2000 miles away. Thus, I’ve updated my about me page with my latest Dailybooth shot, so I don’t have to remember to change it. I’m also experimenting with using it for the author bio pic at the bottom of posts, but as you can see, the aforementioned issue with rectangle vs square is an issue. I may investigate the CSS clip property for a short term solution.

It would be nice if there was a mashup somewhere between a service like Dailybooth and Gravatar where you could keep an up-to-date profile pic handy. Possibly even being able to update your Twitter avatar at the same time.

Firefox 4 HTML5 Forms – Input Types

Speaking of Firefox 4, I’ve gotten a few comments on my post about Firefox 4 app tabs, and while trying to respond, I discovered another new ‘feature’ in Firefox 4, support for HTML 5 input types. Inadvertently I was using the same input for my URL field as my email. I had created some custom formcontrols for Habari’s FormUI templates for HTML5 support, which had the right input types, so at first I didn’t see why I was getting the error. However with help in Habari’s IRC channel from Mike Lietz, he pointed out in my theme.php file I was calling the email formcontrol for URL as well as Email. Fixing that, I was able to submit my comment.

Firefox4 HTML 5 input type email errorA quick Google search turned up that , indeed, Gecko 2 (Firefox 4) supports HTML5 input types. I had also checked in Chrome 10.x and it too gave the same error, which means it also supports the input types. IE 9 nor Safari 5 have support for the input types (Mac, ironically the Windows version seems to support it). Finally, Opera 10 has supported this for a while, as well as iOS Safari.

So what does it all mean? Why use it if it’s not really supported in all major browsers? Well, first, using type="email" or type="url" won’t break anything. Browsers that don’t support it treat it like a text input. But those that do, well, as you can see in the screenshot, you get instant validation without any heavy lifting by your site. As support grows, you won’t have to update any code. iOS Safari support includes providing a different default keyboard layout (the ampersand and .com keys are on the home screen). I can’t speak to Android’s browser, though I’d suspect it has similar behavior. Really there’s no reason not to start using them.

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