December, 2007

A Nod To The Fine Arts

Mon, 2007-12-31 12:24

Taking the day off to bring you the finest piece of filmwork ever. Have fun.


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I Am Too Cool For School

Sun, 2007-12-30 15:46

This is an example of an incorrect error message:

facebook screenshot

The full text, for those of you not using widescreens, is:
Sorry, we're not cool enough to support your browser. Please keep it real with one of the following browsers:

It is interesting that they listed some pretty cool browsers and no uncool ones, but in the next screenshot you can tell that I have a completely different problem:

facebook screenshot

Yep, that's Firefox. Sure, it renames itself randomly every day, but that's not what they are whining about. I am pretty sure it would all work if I enabled JavaScript.

Interested geeky types may want to click through to a screenshot of my dual monitor setup. The top screen is my secondary monitor showing the new killer app Prism. It is basically a browser that is tied to a single website. There are lots of reasons why this would be useful, one being that it may relieve some of the security concerns surrounding Facebook.

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I Can't Keep My Mouth Shut

Sun, 2007-12-30 00:48

OK, so I was working in a restaurant a few years back. Ok, quite a few. I was running the cash register and was more or less in charge. I happened to see a customer cross the floor with a plate, headed for the waitress. This really looked like management should be involved, so I started over and intercepted the customer just as she caught the waitress.

Turns out there were bugs in the food. Teeny tiny bugs. Now, you can say anything you want about this particular restaurant, but the place was clean. Really, really, really clean. I don't know how the bugs got in there. I took the plate and instructed the waitress to find out if there was anything else she could get the customer.

I took the plate back in the kitchen. The owner was trying to leave. I followed her around the kitchen trying to get her attention. She ignored me. Finally I stood still and cried "It's got bugs!"

The owner looked at the plate, and told me they were piss ants. She told me to tell the xxx cook to keep the xxx piss ants out of the xxx food. I turned right around, looked at the cook, and said "Can you keep the xxx piss ants out of the xxx food?" He says yes.

I also got permission to give the customer her meal for free.

The lady came up to pay. The original item she had ordered was pigs in a blanket. I did not even know that we had pigs in a blanket on the menu. I was immediately caught up in a dilemma.

Do I say it? You know I gotta.

"Ma'am, I am ever so sorry. That is a new menu item, and we ain't quite got the bugs worked out yet."

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Heading Out The Door...

Thu, 2007-12-27 09:29

It is ok to ignore this post. I had just enough time before leaving for work to install a new module and make a test post to try it out. It is the comment notify module, and I will now comment on this post to try it out.

In case it is too late and you are already reading this, here is a link to a cute comic.

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Editorial Reply by Francis Pharcellus Church - 1897

Mon, 2007-12-24 16:45

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O'HANLON
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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Get To Know Me

Sun, 2007-12-23 17:40

The quest for a new blog post led me to a Myers-Briggs personality type test. I have no idea if these tests are accurate, and I do understand that the online versions of the test are much shorter than the "real" test. The results of that test seemed to be fairly accurate on some things, but dead wrong on others, so I turned right around and took a different test, and then yet a third. I think I am done with tests for a while. Anyway, some of the questions were similar but worded differently. The results were identical. Therefore I hereby announce myself to be an ISTP - Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving.

It is not that I did not like the results. Thing is, anyone who knows me at all would not agree with this:
They are attracted to motorcycles, airplanes, sky diving, surfing, etc. They thrive on action, and are usually fearless.
I have always been a chicken and I am getting worse.

I will choose some of the traits I most agree with.

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Tis The Season

Sat, 2007-12-22 01:34

The whole big 'Net is starting to empty out. Travel and parties all take a front seat to gabbing online. I see that as a Very Good Thing, and it is also nice that there is a whole wide web here for those of us with Nothing Special planned.

It really is a different feeling when you log in on a major holiday. You can actually feel the emptiness. The city is all lit up, the drone waiters are ready to take your order, but the feeling of automation is all too real. A hollow echo.

The closest parallel I can draw to my real life is back when I was young and ran a retail store. I would go in early and let myself in. The potential energy was huge. Just me now, but in a few hours there would be masses of humanity seeking stuff. Energy in the making.

The thing I want is to do is give a big round of applause to the ones who run cleanup. You come in when the energy has degraded to a bazaar. You may or may not have something better to do, but circumstances require you to be right there. I do hope that the spirit is there for you, and that good things are in store.

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My Future Depends On It

Tue, 2007-12-18 01:08

This post was inspired by Beth from over at Ramblings of an Undisturbed Mind, whom everyone knows as the coolest girlie geek or maybe just the coolest redneck girlie geek. I don't know which she prefers, but Lord knows I ain't taking any chances.

It turns out that the aforementioned hot blogging redneck chick is running a most unbelievable contest that could win me no end of Internet fame and maybe a little fortune too if I play my cards right. I must admit, I noticed the contest a couple of days ago, and decided to blow it off. I mean, when you got looks like me, paid employment, and a hot blog such as this one, who needs fame, right.?

Then I read The Article.

The Article was written by one of those oh-so-suave British guys and was intended to be a put down aimed at the ladies of his country. That is fine, I don't know any British chicks, and if he wants to refer to them as lard-butt British frumps I can offer no argument.

The thing that got to me is what he said about American women.

Turns out, when American girls reach the age where looking good is no longer effortless, they are expected and also willing to shell out the cash to keep them at the peak of their game. I clicked through to a previous article and came up with a dollar amount. Turns out that the average American woman spends $700 on basic beauty maintenance and another grand on physical fitness each and every month. That is a pretty good chunk of change, folks.

I am not entirely sure when looking good will become effortless for me. It could be that a half century of natural beauty is all that anyone could ask, or it could be that I am one of the fortunate ones and will have a few decades of the good life yet to come. It is hard to say.

The hard truth is that one day, I am gonna have to pay.

And so, in an effort to plan for the future, I really really hope I win the cool blogging redneck girlie geek contest. Not really sure how I will turn all this newfound Internet fame into cold hard cash, but what the heck, it worked for John Chow.

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Got Hay?

Sun, 2007-12-16 20:29

The spring-like temperatures my area has been enjoying may be over for the next few days. I walked down the road to check out the conditions, and attracted the attention of some hungry neighbors.

PC160028

They were never quite convinced that I was not the one bringing the food. I think when I left they went inside the barn to wait.

We are expecting more snow and temperatures down in the teens tonight. I don't really expect any trouble tomorrow when I drive into town, but I know I will not set out very early.

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How I Tamed OpenID

Sat, 2007-12-15 23:14

I posted yesterday of my trials with OpenID. I have a happier story today. I do not know if I was having a blond or senior moment yesterday, but I also do remember having problems in the past.

There are a couple of reasons I want to figure this thing out. The first is that I think it will be an important part of the future Internet and I do hate to be left behind. For example, if it catches on big time and yet somehow is able to suppress spammers, I would require a sign in to post on this blog. I am too cynical to expect that to happen, but boy would that be nice.

The other more immediate reason I wanted to get this thing in line is that Blogger has just started allowing OpenID as an option for commenting on Blogger blogs. Of course I have a Blogger ID, and in days gone by I would just use that to sign in with. Recently I became annoyed with the entire situation and just decided that anybody who did not care enough about their own ideas to get a real website was not worth my time. Usually I try to hide the fact that I am an elitist snob, but really, some of you people write real smart like and buying a domain and installing WordPress ain't exactly brain surgery...

Back to the topic at hand. Now that I have run off all the non-techie types I can tell you what I did to make myself so pleased. I now use this very URL as my OpenID. It works too, I went right out and commented on a couple of Blogger blogs, entered http://antigrammar.com as my open ID URL, and everything went smooth as silk. I was taken to my OpenID server, which is different from my OpenID URL. That was an extra step for sure, but for me it was pretty cool because I got to choose which persona was submitted to the site. Maybe you have a simple life and have no need for this, but I find I must balance the serious and educated side of me with the all out party animal you see here. This thing actually makes it easier.

So let me tell you how I did it.

I use Drupal, which is awesome enough to provide a module for this sort of thing. I uploaded the thing and it did take me a couple of minutes to find my identity server and all, but after that I just hit save and I am done. Thing is, I feel kinda cheaty like because it is not hard to do this even without a special module. The instructions are all laid out at the Delegation page at OpenID and it just calls for a couple of lines in the head of your template. Easy Peasy.

Today my experience with OpenID was easy and useful. I don't know the advantage from the linky love standpoint of using my own URL to comment on Blogger, because both weblogs had moderation enabled. Poor folks. Have a little self respect, will ya?

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Distributed Authentication Should Be A 4-Letter Word

Fri, 2007-12-14 02:36

Actually right now, I am doing a little cussing.

I got me an OpenID in order to join Zooomr which is a nice little photo storage system. At the time Zooomr required OpenID in order to set up an account, or maybe I just thought it was a fun thing to do, so I went right out and got me one. Never used it for anything else.

Thing is, if I want to know my OpenID URL maybe to reference this post or if I want to log into Zooomr, I gotta look for the sucker. Not an easy task, either. I suppose a sane person would bookmark it, but we don't do things that way around here. I am going now to attempt to log in to Zooomer with my OpenID, and maybe count how many steps it takes. BRB.

OK. So I went to Zooomr, guessed perhaps correctly which of my many online aliases I had used to set up OpenID, choice of servers was easy because they offer only 3 examples. I am then presented with a screen saying I need to log into OpenID. Boys this is getting complicated here.

So I see they have suggestions as to how I might log in. I (for the love of what is precious) Copy and then PASTE an URL into my browser. Turns out I am right and I am able to sign into OpenID.

So now what? I am signed into my OpenID server. Am I signed into Zooomer too? That was the point of the exercise right? Nope. Zooomr says: Uh-Oh, verification has failed. Please try again. But baby I am really signed in. Really. Would a browser refresh help or do I need a new tab? How did I do this last time?

OK, tried again and I am in baby. I feel good.

Thing is, Drupal has had this sort of thing for years. This frightened me at first, I figured every spammer would set up a Drupal and log in and do their thing. I was wrong. Spammers are too stupid to set up Drupal. It was more like a private club: HAHA I has Drupal ID so I am verified. nice

The Good Old Boys Club is now closed, as the next release of Drupal only supports OpenID. It is for the greater good I am
sure.

There is a writeup of things to come at gigaom have a writeup on one option. Let's hope it does not ultimately become platform specific. I have seen how good it can be. Let's make it universal.

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Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt.

Thu, 2007-12-13 02:26

Long time readers will know that I do not celebrate my own birthday, but rather the birthday of my blog. This date is marked by the one that Drupal was first installed, as detailed in last year's post. This date has no bearing on blog posts or lack there of, it is just the date that Drupal gives me on my profile. Actually it was 4 days ago, December 8. Happy belated birthday, antigrammar.com.

This might be a good time for me to give some insight as to why this blog exists. I have had some comments in the past year, and the main theme of the user remarks boils down to "Why is this drivel here at all?" A fair question indeed, let's see what I can do with it.

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Wallop Invites

Tue, 2007-12-11 21:33

In contrast to my real life, I seem to be something of a joiner. I always like to see what new things are being created and give them a try. I am listed as Old Skool on flickr, had my gmail account back when they gave out invites 5 at a time, and had a Wordpress.com address while they were still being sold on E-Bay. Add closed private beta to any site and I am right there asking for an invite.

A the moment I can hand out invites to a few of the new sites on the web. I got swamped over the weekend for invites to Wallop and there seems to be no end to the supply. If you would like an invite, simply leave a comment here and I will send one right off. Be sure and leave a working email! Smiling I also have 27 invites to Pownce and 5 to Streamy.

All these sites are interesting for different reasons, but I do most of my networking right at the good old IconBuffet. I invite you to join me there, too.

**EDIT: If you think I may be away from the computer or asleep (ha) or just can't stand the thought of giving me your email, there is a service at InviteShare that allows people to rewuest invites and have them filled. They even have some sites listed that I have never heard of. How did that happen?

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My Notes On Bloghopping

Sun, 2007-12-09 01:09

I feel like I have been working very hard lately. I am glad you are not able to see me as I write this, because sometimes my work does not appear to the onlooker to be all that strenuous, but to me it is pushing the mental envelope. I am in a situation now where I have a large complicated project that is way past due along with many smaller projects that are beginning to be past due. Today I took a break and cruised some personal blogs.

I can take this sort of thing off of my taxes because it is important research into what works on a website and what does not. It is one thing to read about standards on all the fancy websites, but what really drives the lesson home is experiencing frustration or convenience up close and personal. I am going to put a few of today's highlights up lest I fall back into the specter of work at this hour.

I am not too concerned with the design elements of the blogs I visit, I am there for the story. I do very much enjoy attractive designs but I would rather see a poorly executed original design than a stock template. I do know how to turn styles off altogether if a blog is completely unreadable, and if the story is any good I will subscribe in a feed reader. Problem solved. The only possible exception to this may be white text on a black background. This particular design choice tricks me into thinking it is legible, but after a short time my head hurts, my eyes quit focusing, and I need to take a break. I won't debate that maybe I should get up and move around more, but I doubt the designer had my well being in mind when the decision was made. I am able to read a little longer if the contrast is not so strong, say if an almost white is used for the text and a very dark grey is used as a background, but only if the font-weight is set to something a little heavier than the standard issue. This only delays the pain, though. Having said all that, I wonder if my green text is offensive to anyone?

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I Have Heard It All Now

Sat, 2007-12-08 12:05

To improve security and usability, please enable JavaScript in your browser!

-yeah right.

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Excuse Me, Do I Owe You Something?

Fri, 2007-12-07 03:23

It does not happen too often, but sometimes I meet people in real life who are affected by what I do.

The lady I met today thought the board should change policy because she is not able to make a living otherwise. Hello? If you cannot make ends meet through your chosen path then you might want to try your hand at waiting tables. Always worked for me.

If existing channels do not provide for your to make a living, you are free to petition for change. You are also free to brainstorm towards something that will work.

Folks will not change so that you don't starve. Folks are too busy trying not to starve to care about you. Sorry.

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I Feel So Secure

Thu, 2007-12-06 02:57

There was another security release for Drupal today. I get the security announcements in my email. I open them right away. Sometimes the announcement will be about a module I do not use, and rejoicing ensues. Today, the announcement contained the dreaded word: core. Off to work, then.

Drupal security upgrades are really not that bad. They never break anything on the site, and this one had no database changes. I always back up the database anyway at update time, and for unimportant sites such as this one, update time may be the only time I do a backup. Really must automate that soon...

The thing is that Drupal seems to have security updates fairly often. I get that email every few months. This would be great for business if I was smart, but updates are so very trivial, and the potential for harm is so very great. I just do the update and move on. Don't you just wish I handled your site?

I can't understand why other systems can go so long between fixes. I ain't buying if you tell me Drupal ain't written securely to start with. It also has fewer lines of code compared to other solutions. I don't know why I need to upgrade so often. I do know I feel warm and fuzzy all over.

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My Chance At Fame, Dashed

Tue, 2007-12-04 22:47

Well, the results are in, and I was passed over in the A Blog about Nothing’s $50.00 blogging challenge. Not only will I never know know the thrill of having my server melted by hoards of sweaty circus goers, but the dream I have held even longer, the one where I drape myself in leather and am mistaken for a football, is put on ice as well. Perhaps that is just as well, my husband is not a big sports fan and may have missed the reference. Better a dream postponed than a dream crushed.

I can't let it get me down too much, because a friend Mr O (mind if I call ya Mr O?, cause I think that is cool) did manage to win, and he plans to do something genuinely creative with the cash. As If. Sure is hard to sell out in the current culture.

In other news, and I guess it is ok to write about this since it is posted in the humor category, it looks like I may take over the advertisements for my organization. The person I may replace was a brilliant and funny master of the craft. Just couldn't get the facts right often enough. Opening times are important it seems. I can't really tell ya from here if I will do any better on that, but I already wear so many hats that I can do no wrong.

Power attracts the corruptible. So what am I doing here? I am already gone, ya know. Eye-wink

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