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About blogging: either from a technical aspect or dicussing it or sometimes specific software (generally WordPress or Movable Type).

Written By: Gary on August 26, 2007 3 Comments

So the bloggers met in Chicago again for DaveCago2, about half of us met early June 2006 and we had a bunch of new people too (but we were down a few too). Here’s the “blog roll call” that I’m pleasec to be a part of – Dave, Kevin, Jenny, RW and Mrs. RW, Ariana, Ajooja, Birdcolor, Diane, Kilax (who hand codes her blog!!!) and me. Several brought spouses (or spouses-to-be), it easier to not mention who than to remember who blogs (or doesn’t blog) their private life. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out, it was so hard to keep track of everyone…

Dave made us lanyards and had buttons and shirts and it made me feel like it was Christmas, I’m just happy with meeting new people. We ate at Pizano’s Pizza on The Loop (near Millennium Park) and we got a bunch of different pizza and lots of (different) drinks. Then we wandered around and found another place for more drinks (Congress Plaza Hotel, the Gazebo Ba I thinkr), that too a while since most places didn’t have space for all of us. It was great to put a face and voice to some of the bloggers and just chat and get more info on stories we’ve heard and stuff like that.Neither restaurant or bar had drinks like Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Ice and I was way above my daily caffine limit, so I hard to drink Long Island Iced Tea, it was my only option (really).

I do have photos, but I’ll have to get them up later. I’ve been running around all day and I’m too tired to take a chance at accidentally deleting photos.

Written By: Gary on August 26, 2007 2 Comments

Once I got into Chicago yesterday everything went completely smooth. I got food, I got checked into my hotel immediately, showered and managed to hook up with Kevin and Dave and we went over to that Apple Store to check out some eye candy (iCandy, get it?!?) and wandered around a bit before meeting up with the bigger group later. I had a blast with all of them and I’ll expand on that later, but I’m checking out of the hotel and I thought ager my other problem post the last few days I’d mention that all is well.

And today I feel a whole lot better than I thought I would after all the Long Island Iced Teas, so that’s a bonus too…

Written By: Gary on August 24, 2007 2 Comments

So I’m on my way to Chicago to see a variety of bloggers (to see who, follow the updates over the next few days) and I stop in Kalamazoo (Michigan) for some gas. After I get off the highway, I’m driving along and the truck in front of me swerves and I see a tire hurtling towards my car. I swerved but it managed to clip my bicycle (which is on the back of the car) and and rip it off the rack and drag the bike for a little bit before I’m able to pull over.

It does turn out there is a Jeep minus a tire that I didn’t notice during my swerving, turns out it was out on a test drive from an auto repair shop. They said to bring them the bill for fixing the bicycle and the rack. They sent me to a local bike repair shop and the end result is they’ve done $90 in repairs and then decided that I should get the bike replaced and it’s 3 hours later and I’m still in K’zoo. Everyone is closed now, and the repair shop is closed for the weekend and I didn’t think to get a home number.

Arrgh!!!! Why do accidents happen on the way to places and not on the way home? Of course it could have been way worse but the point was I’m bringing the bike to Chicago for the purpose of biking. I would have taken the train otherwise, I love the train, the station is a mile from my house and I don’t have to worry about traffic or paying for parking, etc.

On a side note I’m in Bennigan’s right now, who has free WiFi (always a bonus) which I’ll keep in mind for the future, eating their delicious Guinness Glazed Chicken Stir Fry. Yummy food and the ability to access the ‘net always helps!

This was supposed to be a nice relaxing weekend and now I’m pretty cranky and stressed now. And did I mention that that I’m three hours behind schedule now? I’ll be better tomorrow, I’m just venting for now and telling you about the exciting part of my day. Now to decide how much further I should drive tonight…

Written By: Gary on August 22, 2007 2 Comments

Mt4So Movable Type 4.0 is out. I thought it was odd that you can’t purchase a personal license any more, just a business one. Don’t panic though, you can still get a personal license for free but purchasing it used to get you “official” support and (it looks like) that’s not available. But I was mistaken, for $49 you can get a year of support(see Anil’s comment below) you just have to buy it from the business page. I really don’t think I ever used the support (or at least not very often) so not a huge deal, but I think it’s odd that it’s hard to realize that you can buy support you just have to go to the business page. And I still think it’s weird it’s cheaper to buy two 5 user licenses than one 10 user license.

Plus, come fall they plan to release some kind of OpenSource version this fall, which will be very interesting…On a side note, while I love Movable Type and I’d love to upgrade, I’ll have to wait for the 4.1 release, I keep my installation too complicated and installing always brings the bugs to light (old plug-ins that break, bugs that I used to my advantage that might be fixed, and obviously the possibility of new bugs) I’ll wait for the revisions so it’s one less thing to worry about. Plus, I’m really afraid MT-Blacklist will stop working; it still deletes hundreds of messages a day for me with no intervention (since May of 2005 it’s deleted way over one-third of a million billion spam messages that I’ve not even had to glance at) that with SpamLookUp keeps me sane.

Although, I must point out, everyone on-line seems to be saying that MT 4.0 is pretty painless to install…

Written By: Gary on August 14, 2007 One Comment

So I’ve been all over the place lately. Geographically and just a lot of stuff going on (all things are good). I’ve been up north, done a variety of odd things to my car, seen movies, been reading, found some good sites and I’ve got a whole lot of “stuff” to blog about. I’ve got lots of photos too. I’ve also had a bit Internet connectivity withdrawal, I’ve either been too busy to surf or on a island (literally) but I’m all better now…

I just need a little down town to catch up with it. Hopefully in the next day or so (or at least by the weekend) I’ll get caught up.

Written By: Gary on July 27, 2007 No Comment

It went down again. And it took two calls for someone to be able to tell me they are aware and fixing it. They need a way to keep customers all up to date. Have they ever heard of a status page (or a blog)? I wouldn’t mind any downtime if I could check on it in just a few seconds.

Now it seems as if my permissions are goofed up in some directories.

I’m not sure why you aren’t/weren’t seeing all the post content all the time…

I’d get rid of them if they weren’t so awesome when they were working!!

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Written By: Gary on June 6, 2007 One Comment

I’ll be back, it’s just been extra cRaZy and I haven’t had time to read blogs let alone post much. I’ll be back in a week (give or take a few days)…

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Written By: Gary on May 16, 2007 One Comment

It’s been extra cRaZy lately:

  • We’re nearing the end of the school year and it just plain gets hectic around then (even though I work year-round).
  • The superintendent just retired, he’s been in the district 44 years(!!!), so there has been work to wrap up and a variety of celebratory events (admin building, district-wide, just administrators, etc.). He sure knew a lot of people, many whom came back for some of the celebrations.
  • I just starting teaching a class at a local university and getting everything started always takes time (even though I’ve done this same class before); plus I’m trying to do more on-line with this group.
  • Life in general has been a little busier lately from Mother’s day to days off and other things.
  • I think I’ve missed at least an extra day a week at work for some meeting and/or conference every week since before Easter and had to take a few vacation days here and there too so it’s been busy for those reasons too.
  • I’ve got a new boss, which is great(!), but it’s stressful figuring out how they want things (what things I should ask about and what things to just do) there’s no problems, it’s just I figured all that out with the old boss and had a good grip on these things.
  • I’ve been having sleep problems too, but I bet that’s partially due to the above and the crazy weather changes affecting my allergies.

    Hmm… Putting them all in a list I realize there are more work related items than life in general, have to think about that…

    I go have good stuff going on, most (all?) of the busy personal stuff has been good, it’s just been making life busier. I haven’t spent as much “fun” time on the computer as usual, certainly not much time blogging lately, but I think things will calm down soon, but we are still getting into the end of the year crunches at work. That’s all for now, just a life in general update, not too exciting but you know I’m alive…

  • Written By: Gary on April 1, 2007 One Comment

    Forget that it lets you create awful looking pages and that it’s ultra slow (partially due to the large quantities of photos and slideshows). We’re just talking about normal software problems that would probably save them bandwidth if they fixed/tweaked things (and make our MySpace lives easier and faster). Let’s get everyone to stop wasting clicks and using it better (which will stop wasting bandwidth!). I might even spend more time there if it wasn’t for all the wasted time…
    So here we go (I hope Tom is listening):

  • If I’m looking at an event it should tell me if I’ve added it to my calendar already when I’m looking at it. It should not make me click it and then add it twice. It should know this already.
  • I need a way to get the calendar out of MySpace. I’ve already got a calendar on my computer, it’s on my phone, it’s every where I go (and it’s all the same calendar). I need a way to get those events from MySpace to my other synchronized calendars. There are standardized protocols for this, if they really want me to see these performers (they really don’t care, IMHO) they need to make sure I know about them.
  • If I add a calendar item from someone’s page it should remember when I got the event from with a link back to the original page.
  • If someone is my friend already say that on the page don’t say “I’m in their extended network”, it says that for everyone. You go to add a band (or someone) and you can’t remember if they’re in your list already and it’s got to go to another page. It should know this already.
  • Artists can set their page to let you download some of their songs (or none) but the filenames are awful (like 89SAD09G89SD0FSDF089SDFS8D00S.mp3) and the songs have none of the tags so you can see who it is when you play it later (on the computer or your mp3 player). Once again, they aren’t helping the artists, it’s whatever they can do to get you to come back to the site for unnecessary things. If you’re hooked your coming back, just let me download something useful.
  • MySpace will send me e-mail reminders and alerts but you can’t choose which ones and it’s hard to get them past your spam filter since they change their e-mail address with every message. If you use some form of disposable address now your friends can’t search for you since they don’t know that address (I only send friends to MySpace to find the links to my bands, I have no real content there).
  • If I go to someone’s page for the first time, I’ll click play if I want to hear their favorite song, don’t start streaming me music I don’t want to hear. I almost want to say the same about a musician’s page too but I can understand that they want it to play (how about a 10 second delay so the page will stop loading first?).
  • They don’t let you subscribe via RSS/Atom to a persons blog, once again, no info unless you go to theirSpace. They could at least let you view an excerpt so then you’d want to come back…
  • If someone has no pics (or videos) it shouldn’t give me an option to view them. There aren’t any there!!
  • There should be a limit of 15 slideshows or 1500 photos per page. That’s sarcasm, have you seen how many photos and slideshows people put on their page? It takes 5 minutes to download them all on a high speed connection!
  • Why can’t I rotate my favorite song? Or my Avatar? Oops, wait those aren’t aesthetic complaints, they’re user wishes. I’ve been spending too much time in theirSpace….

    I really hope I’m not missing an easy calendar solution, I’ll feel kinda silly if I did. If I’m complaining, I suppose it begs the question why am I using MySpace? Because they’ve got my local bands convinced it’s the only place to list their calendars. And occasionally I follow a few other clicks while I’m there…

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    Written By: Gary on March 18, 2007 2 Comments

    I love 1 and 1 web hosting, I really do. Great features, great price, all sorts of configuration options and cheap domains ($5.99 a year). They’ve got decent reports and now they’ll automatically mail me stats. Some of their web interface stuff is a little slow (it’s too fancy) but it’s got lots of options so I can live with it.

    What I hate is their lack of customer communication:

  • They need a blog just to keep us up to date of the cool stuff they are working on.
  • They need a status page to let you know what problems are up.
  • They need their staff to know what problems they are having (it shouldn’t take 3 calls over 3 days to find out they are migrating some servers).
  • The need to let us know when they have problems or in advance when they plan to migrate servers.
  • If thousands of pages are generating 404 errors take a minute and alter to the 404 page and mention to the viewers (my readers) that it’s a temporary problem.
  • Even the utility companies can automate a hold message to say there are problems and they are working on it.
  • They have great up time and I understand that things happen, but had I known there was a major upgrade I could have:

  • Mentioned it on my site (probably wouldn’t have but would have had the chance)
  • Not spent time debugging and wondering if it was my fault
  • Not made 3 calls (waiting on hold each time)
  • Most importantly – Not be pissed about it and blogging about it.
  • I still can’t figure out what took them so long to fix it and I’m only really annoyed because of the lack of communication. An e-mail that apologizes for it either earlier in the process or even after they fixed it would have gone a long way with me…

    FYI: To clarify, they we mostly down for about two-and-a-half days…

    Written By: Gary on March 2, 2007 No Comment

    So every so often I see my site from a computer with a lower screen resolution and the center columns is just way too skinny especially if there are images. So I’ve done some alterations to the main page if you have a screen resolution of 1,000 pixels across (or less) I feed you a different CSS file that pushes the right column off the right of the screen so if you want to see it you’ll have to scroll to the right (I’m thinking the better viewing will make it worth it). JavaScript will have to be enabled for this to work.

    Please let me know if this works better for the lower resolution people (and look the same for the rest of you). I’ll probably move some items from the right to the left if this works out and I’ll do it to more pages on the site (especially the individual ones that you can put the comments on).I used this information from the Movable Type Forums to do this. Everything that you need should be there.

    FYI – Over 10% of my viewers have screen sizes less than 1,000 pixels wide and another 10% are unknown.

    Please give me some feedback on this, I’m only trying to make this better for you…

    Written By: Gary on February 23, 2007 No Comment

    I’ve been using Quantcast to look at some site statistics. As usual noting is perfect, I know it doesn’t count anything from RSS feeds or anywhere else I might have had info pulled some other way from my site (RSS, my PDA version, AvantGo, etc.) and I’m certain I didn’t get their little piece of code on every page on my site. BTW, you don’t need their code to get information from them, I had information already, this just got me a few bits more but I see I still don’t have any on ‘Audience Composition’ and I’m not sure why.

    They have fun data mostly based on the geographic data of the location of people viewing your site. I don’t think I have that many Asian viewers but that out of country viewing has to be allocated to someone. Can we legally get “spammers” declared as an ethnicity?

    Written By: Gary on February 20, 2007 3 Comments

    Do you ever notice that sometimes in the comments you can see an image of the poster? Those are called Avatars. Sometimes they are of the poster and sometimes they are image representing them. Regardless of which one you use anything is more interesting than nothing. It gives a little more recognition / flavor to your post…

    Gravatar has a way to put those on places where you comment. Two cool things about that. One: They’re free!!! Two: They’re retroactive. If you set it up, it’ll automagically show up on any old comments you left on this site and on thousands (and thousands) of sites where you may have already commented! Plus, they’ve just gone back on-line after redesigning their site.

    It’s not a big favor and I never ask you for much so please find a image of yourself (it’ll let you size/crop it) and go sign up! Of course you realize you need to come back here and leave a comment, right? And I’ll need a volunteer or two who already has a Gravatar to leave one so other’s can see how they work…

    Please note: I’ve noticed that after you add an image you have to go to the My Gravatar page and say you want to associate that image with your e-mail address.

    Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 No Comment

    I upgraded my Movable Type yesterday and today (the blogging software that this site runs on) from 3.2 to 3.34 so if you have any problems commenting or even reading don’t be shocked. I’ll post a note here here when I start (and when I’m done) so outside that range everything should be fine.

    DONE! (Well, mostly done, but it’s almost 6 am and I’m off to bed). Details you probably don’t care about (unless you have problems) are listed below…Boring updates below. (Some of this info is for me to recall too too.)

  • 12:22 EST Yesterday – Starting messing with on-line stuff (was reading and making backups, etc. the previous few hours)
  • 12:30 EST – Semi-running on backup copy of MT (where new install will go)
  • 12:34 EST – Sidebars not showing up (many were referenced in old directory path) and the actual trackback is not listed in individual entries.
  • 12:52 EST – renamed to old path and everything seems to be working (didn’t want to do that, wanted some differences but their’s too many changes to find so I’ll live with it)
  • 1:17 EST – All looks good, currently running a rebuild. But all I really did was make a copy of everything. The problem was duplicating the mySQL database, I had to do it via the command line and the file is a little smaller (which makes me nervous) but it seems fine.

    I needed the extra configured backup since I have plans to take Mom out to dinner (and then to see Silent Violet) and if I crash it I need something to revert to.

    All seems well so far, so I’m going to get a burger. I’ll run the upgrade when I get back.

  • 3:39 PM, It’s a good thing I made that backup. Multiple FTP problems. The first is my FTP program (Transmit) has a new feature that it’ll delete directories before replacing them, it didn’t used to do that (not sure when the added that “feature” as the default) so it pretty much deleted my whole 3.2 install of MT. So I had to reinstall the backup. The other problem is now it seems to be stopping the FTP transfer (when pushing up the 3.34 MT install) for some reasons….
  • 3:48 PM, I think the FTP transfer the second time was sort of my fault, it was confused since it new the directories were there and it remember them (even after I deleted them [via command line] and refreshed Transmit). So it was really a caching problem. Althought Transmit does seem to ask me more questions now (merge, replace, skip or resume) and I’m not sure what resume is. It used to just ask me twice (once for files and once for directories) but it probably asked me about 50 times (maybe once per directory).
  • 4:20 PM – It’s all up, but it’s got bugs. Still playing with it to check it out. Gonna start a rebuild if this post updates properly.
  • 4:46 PM – A few minor broke things but I think it’s related to MT-SimpleComments (and there is a new version so I’ll try that after LATE tonight.
  • 1:50 AM – Turns out I thought really broke it and I decided to leave it (I’m so glad I never got to the rebuild), it just got worse the more I messed with it and I was running late to Mom’s (again!). And the problem was SO minor it would have taken me another 5-10 minutes to find it (in hindsight).
  • 2:00 AM – I think I found a minor bug in MT-SimpleComments; if you unpublish a post after it gets a comment it’ll still list the comment. This is rare since the page wouldn’t show up in a listing anyways, but where the problem is is I show a list of recent comments on the front page so it shows up there. I’ve never noticed this before now, but it may be an installation problem, I see a few other minor leaky things (but it might be an incompatible plug-in problem too).
  • 2:28 AM – It’s getting better and better. I think I’ll hit the sack soon, just a few more minutes.
  • 5:45 AM – It’s way better. I’ve got MT-Blacklist working almost all the way. It’s stopping everything, It’s just harder to add things to the list now. I’ve fix a few other things and the only other thing I know is broke is the tops of the Category Archives have all the categories listed instead of just the related subcategories (it didn’t in 3.2). I’ll fix that later, it’s probably simple.

    But I’m done updating this post for now, if something weird happens and you can’t comment, please e-mail me.

  • Written By: Gary on February 14, 2007 One Comment

    I’m always disappointed that I used some other web addresses for my blog (GaryLaPointe.com/blog, GaryLaPointe.com/nice, GaryLaPointe.com/mypointe) before I settled on http://GarySaid.com/. The problem is I’ve been linked by all sorts of sites to the old address and it’s impossible to change them*. Many place on your blogs, search engings, listings in Blogrolls, BlogShares, Techortati, etc. You can’t just delete them since they do point towards you but they’re not correct (and some you can’t even delete if you want). I’ve got good redirects so I’m probably okay with links, but it really bothers the obsessive compulsive part of my brain.

    One of my biggest sets of incorrect links are on other sites where I’ve left comments or trackbacks** to my old URL, well it wasn’t old then, but it doesn’t link back to here (but most times will redirect you to the correct page). I know some of you have changed your address by switching from Blogger to Typepad to your own website, etc. and the old links just go to a redirect, a note that says you moved or sometimes (the worst) an error page. I also know some of you have deleted them on purpose and started over but maybe you’d like that insightful comment you left here 3 years ago to link to your new site…

    Here’s my offer for you: I’ll replace your old comment links on my site with your new site. This will help with people reading the archives and who click on your link so you may get a few new readers since your old dead links will now work (and it’ll probably help with some search engine stats as I get reindexed). Leave me a comment and list some old blog addresses you have posted comments here with (make clear which is the new one) and I’ll see if I can do a search and replace to fix the links. It probably won’t help with any specific page links or trackbacks but at least they’ll point to the correct site (if I see broken ones as such I can redirect to the front page). I’ll fix your blogroll link if I’ve got one too (be sure to point that out). I’ll even fix things like remove/add the WWW if you’ve since settled on one or the other.Obviously, I may have to ask you a few questions if it seems like someone is trying to get me to move your URL to theirs. But it should be straightforward. I’m really hoping it won’t be too chaotic.

    * From a technical standpoint, if you redirect your whole site sometimes you get indexed for each URL. If you set up an error page some people don’t find the site. Different sites treat it different ways. I’ve been playing with Technorati and it’s seems like they index the old sites (if redirected) and the new. Blogrolls that just redirect you never get fixed and other odd issues appear.

    **I’m extra lucky in that while I’ve moved my site around it’s always been my site. So all my posts have the same numbering so most links probably still link back to a specific spot and it’s likely so do the trackbacks.

    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’ve done this before. Taken a look at the TTLB Ecosystem (a rating system for blogs based on links) and I’ve looked at the 10 blogs above me and below me and listed the ones that I liked. Today, I rank 908 (this always varies but I’m much higher than usual) and the list has about 43,000 entries at this time. I wanted to see what was “near” me at this time so I took a fresh look….

  • 898) Pesky’apostrophe – always better than an unexpected period
  • 899) First Draft
  • 900) Dane Bramage
  • 902) High Desert Wanderer
  • 903) Bettnet.com – Musings of Domenico Bettinelli
  • 905) Yankeemom
  • 906) Da Goddess – Friends are like bras, a good one never lets you down
  • 908) Gary Said… (This is me!)
  • 909) OPFOR
  • 910) My Splatter Painted Life
  • 911) Conservative Cowboy
  • 912) Roger Ailes
  • 915) BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too
  • 916) Tennessee Guerilla Women
  • 917) Liberal Common Sense
  • 918) Bizinformer

    My criteria was pretty loose: looked okay, reads semi-okay and has been recently updated. I listed most of them except the one that I couldn’t see through the odd color schemes, ones that hadn’t updated in a while and one that wasn’t a blog. Like I said, I was just curious again. It’s strange I fall right in the middle of a bunch of political, war or religious blogs (although a few less religious ones than last time). Maybe the blogosphere consists of that high of a percentage of them, but I just don’t see them very often(?).

  • Written By: Gary on February 5, 2007 No Comment

    Just testing Digg!

    read more | digg story

    IT WORKED, but unfortunately it doesn’t let me pick any categories (or tags).

    Written By: Gary on February 5, 2007 9 Comments

    Maybe someone can help me with this: When I look at my Technorati page for Gary Said… it hasn’t been showing my posts lately. Any suggestions on how to make my posts show up consistantly in their listing?It showed a few test posts I tried a few days ago and some posts from a few months ago, but it used to show every post and I can’t figure why it stopped (I ping them every post, sometimes multiple times).

    I’ve got their code on the bottom of the page and like I said, I sometimes show up (but I think it used to show up all the time). I have no idea why the two messages work a few days ago and it doesn’t work now.

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 49 Comments

    2000Bloggers2000Bloggers-GarySo I made the 2000 bloggers list that I mentioned last week. It was kinda hard to find my picture (the one to the left) buried in with the other (almost) 2000 but I found it. As of today it looks like there’s still room for about 400 or so more (nope see the update below).

    If you arrived here from a 2000 bloggers list PLEASE leave a comment! UPDATE: Due to all sorts of reason dealing with linking and indexing the 2000 bloggers list has been removed from the original site. Worries and threats of it being considered a “link farm” to trick search engines caused Tino to remove the original list. It’s funny because while the list was replicated, I don’t think anyone was told to replicate it (even though the code was easily made available). And some people were put on it without their knowledge so how can you penalize them? I just wanted on the list to generate some new viewers (and it has). Forget raising my Technorati, since my posts somehow don’t show up on their site (everyone else seems to index me), how does a higher ranking help me?!? Getting a few more readers (and being more findable) is one of the reasons I signed up on Technoriti, but without content, I’m not very findable (even if my rank goes higher). I’m not sure if anyone came here via Technorati (did you?).

    I’m not sure if the list ever actually made it to 2,000. Does anyone know for sure?

    Written By: Gary on February 2, 2007 One Comment

    So while I’ve done my share of dating (friend set ups, personal ads, on-line, etc.) my blog has never factored into dating. I don’t really mention dating on-line and I generally don’t mention blogging to people I’m dating. But when you look at some of the stats from QuantCast and the make up of what they think my readership is you’d think I might have gotten a date (or two) due to that last 3+ years of blogging or at least a little more flirting…

    Garysaidstats

    Now these are stats probably mostly guesstimated from where people are geographically. And since my blog is definitely not a he-man’s sports/gambling/you-get-my-point blog they probably are semi-accurate. Although the Asian stats have to be off (maybe spammers?) since I don’t get any comments that make me think that guesstimate might be accurate.

    It’s just an observation, and some silly points to bring up the fact the the stats here are interesting in the way they present them. You can get a bit on your blog by just putting your site in the search box. Some sites seem to have more information than others, I’m not sure why but it must get some info from other sites.I did put the QuantCast tracker on my site a week ago so the daily stats are probably semi-correct on the web visitors, but I’m not sure how many users use blockers that might stop that tracking, but I’m sure it doesn’t compensate for RSS readers and stuff like that.

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    Written By: Gary on January 30, 2007 3 Comments

    So I kinda jumped on this one a little late. Tino Buntic is trying to compile a list 2000 bloggers with linked mugshots. I see a lot of familiar faces in it, I’m not sure how I didn’t see it before today. I added my name to the list and we’ll see if he gets to me before all 2000 spots are taken. You can try and get on the list too….

    Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m playing with Technorati Tags on my pages (you’ll see some attached to some of my posts) and I’m not liking how they are working from a placement standpoint. I am experimenting so we’ll see where they get moved to (or if I even keep them).

    Tags are supposed to do two things (IMHO):

  • help you find other people’s posts on the same topic and
  • help other people find my posts related to those same topics.

    Some of these topics I could probably direct you to more specific places if necessary, I’m just hoping to have a few more people find my site.

    I think Movable Type 3.34 and the new version of Ecto (in development) will interact in a way better than I’m currently doing this but for now it’ll help me experiment.

  • Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

    So search engines are tricky to understand, especially if you want the search engines to find your site and people to find your site via the search engines. One of the things you may want to do is restrict pages that the search engines find, that might seem silly to exclude yourself but I don’t want people inadvertently finding my site.

    Here’s an example, I don’t let* the search engines search my monthly archives. Because on the page of 20-50 unrelated posts the information on that page is pretty much unrelated by the end of the month. In December 2006 the mention of “iPods” on the 3rd, has nothing to do with any of the mentions of “family” or “Christmas” but if some searched for “iPods” & “family” or “iPods” & “Christmas” they may come upon that page and while I want traffic I’m not trying to lure people here under false pretenses. This is why I have categories like “Apple” and “Friends + Family” that will have related posts in one location (and even then it’s still kinda a wide range of articles).

    So far I’ve just told you why you want a ROBOTS.TXT file but I haven’t told you how and I’m not planning on it, because Google just put together on “Controlling how search engines access and index your website with ROBOTS.TXT”. It’s got a lot of links that take you all over the place but there’s lots of good info there.If you’re just getting started don’t get confused with all the “User-Agent:” rules, just use “User-Agent: *” for now and that will apply to all search engines (that’s all I still use although I’m going to start working on getting some of my pages more mobile-ish).

    For another example, I don’t index my Search Results page, this page lists what search words people have used to find my site. Because it those pages were indexed it would just kind of create a self-fulfilling loop of search results.

    While on the other hand I do allow my “Talked About” page to be indexed since it doesn’t seem to give a lot of false positives to the search engines. plus once someone gets there they’ll quickly see that it’s probably not the page they’re looking for. But if they did put in some eclectic words that they see I mention often, they might hang around a bit.

    * Please note that no search engine is obligated to find your rules, but it they want good results, they’ll probably want to follow your suggestions in your ROBOTS.TXT file. People wanting to steal content from your pages (text or images) will still traverse all the links on your site.

    Written By: Gary on January 21, 2007 No Comment

    I saw this on Google and thought it was pretty funny, so I’m sharing it with you…
    What I thought was extra strange was Google doesn’t seem to have a decent way to share the code as easily as YouTube does. So I ended up getting it from YouTube instead. Google will post directly to Blogger, TypePad, MySpace or LiveJournal (and you need to give them your password!) but YouTube just gives me a line of code to past on my site…

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    Written By: Gary on January 18, 2007 One Comment

    So I’ve just been behind with blogging and posting info from the trip to Costa Rica. Partially since I’ve been so busy and sick in the parts in between. So, some little tidbits:

  • $1.79!!!! – Okay so I’ve mentioned gas prices occasionally and that I get excited with great prices, but today I got it for $1.79, I think that’s my record since I started blogging…
  • Wine bags – So I was cleaning up today and put away bottle of wine that I received for the holidays. It came in a wine bag (which was really cool) but what do you do with the wine bags after you take the wine out? Do you re-gift the bag the next time you take a bottle of wine somewhere? I have more than a few wine bags and I just don’t know what to do with them (I’d probably reuse them but I never think of it when I’m taking wine somewhere).
  • Christmas cleaning – I hate putting away the Christmas stuff when the holidays are over. It’s a pain in the ass for one thing, but I miss the holiday atmosphere and the lights. Actually, it’s mostly the lights that I miss.The lack of blogging also ties into not feeling well, since I’ve been feeling yucky (I’ve been so stuffed up I cannot believe I’m getting enough oxygen to the brain) I’ve been tired. And when I’m tired my eyes get really tired and the screen looks fuzzy, so I’ve been computing less (Have I mentioned I’ve been wearing reading glasses? That’s another story). Today’s the best of felt in days and days so hopfully I’m on the mend so I’ll try and catch up when the weekend hits…
  • Written By: Gary on December 29, 2006 One Comment

    I really don’t know what kind of Internet access I’ll have while I“m traveling. I’ll be writing on the laptop and postdate/time will reflect when I wrote them but who knows when I’ll get to post them (since I’ll need a place that will let me hook up my laptop).

    To make things more confusing, I may have written some posts on the laptop that weren’t posted. But may get access to a computer somewhere else and write up something quick. As a result some earlier posts, may be posted later but will still be dated earlier (and as a result listed earlier farther down the list).

    Written By: Gary on December 16, 2006 No Comment

    So as I mentioned a few days ago it’s been 3 years I’ve been blogging. But here and the last few days I’ve been jotting down some odd stats:

  • 1379 posts so far (counting this one).
  • 1.25 posts a day is my average. Although, lately I certainly haven’t been keeping up with that. But usually it’s more like 2 or 3 a day and then I skip a day or two…
  • 1563 comments! I love comments!!! I’m averaging a little more than one per each post (but most posts get none). I should see which ones get the most, I haven’t noticed a pattern/trend but there may be.
  • 101 trackbacks. Actually, I accidentally deleted all the trackbacks a while back (which was 23) so I currently only have 78. This is unfortunate since trackbacks are so incredibly useful (although spammers have pretty much ruined them for everyone). A chunk of those are probably me making trackbacks to my previous posts, but that’s sort of what they’re there for…
  • 8,800 spam messages per month is what I’ve averaged per month lately. That’s almost 300 a day! The last time I reset my spam filter was May 21, 2005 and since then I’ve have 169,500 comment / trackback spams blocked. I still use MT-Blacklist in addition to to SpamLookup (included with Movable Type). More on this at the end of this post.

    These numbers are huge at least to me), I can’t believe I’ve been doing it this long. It’s a joy to blog, but I do always feel that if I let it go for a while it’ll just kinda die. I hate to blog just for the sake of blogging but I do always try to keep it up-to-date with a few details of life (or tech or TV or something) even if I’m not in an extra blogging mode. I’ve got some other points that make the blogging extra geeky/interesting for me but the list started to get too long, so I’ll finish and post that at a later day. I’m starving right now and need to get something to eat!


    OPTIONAL GEEKY SPAM STUFF: The reason I use both (MT-Blackslist and SpamLookup) is because the stuff MT-Blacklist knows is spam gets deleted without me having to look at it. If I just use SpamLookup, I’d still need to look at those 300 messages a day to make sure it doesn’t have any real messages caught up in it. As it is, I still need to look at the 50 that MT-BLacklist didn’t delete to see if SpamLookup grabbed something important. And sometimes SpamLookup does grab a few (a few a week). And once in a very long while a real spam gets through both and makes it on the web site, but that’s only about once a month (maybe longer).

  • Written By: Gary on December 12, 2006 7 Comments

    So I’ve been blogging for three years!!!

    That’s longer than I generally keep a job (or a relationship)!


    I’m really not feeling all that well or I’d post something a little more retrospective (or maybe something more introspective)…

    Written By: Gary on December 11, 2006 2 Comments

    So my blog has been taken over by comments about “Mynewtemp”. The original post is here and as of today it has 179 comments over two years! It’s almost a message board…


    I refuse to mention the post by name (fearful of diverting people to this post) which is why I used the graphic above instead of text. I did have someone offer to place an ad on the page which I think I might check into since… well… since I can I guess. It’s only gotten busier in the last few weeks so I guess now’s the time…

    GravatarSo as I went to check the page out I see Gravatar has pushed all their icons onto my page for the people who don’t actually have Gravatar icoms on my page. It’s kind of annoying, maybe there is a way to turn them off. I worked really hard to get it set right for people who have the icon vs. people who don’t….

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    Written By: Gary on December 6, 2006 No Comment

    I just haven’t been in the mood to blog lately. I’ve had stuff to say but just not motivated to put it all down on (digital) paper. Just been kinda “blah” lately. I think part of it’s the darn weather: it’s just been swinging from cloudy and crummy to nice and sunny. I’ve been loving the nice days but just haven’t gotten used to the cloudy ones. Now, it’s not that I like the cloudy ones but with the darn daylight savings change and the weird weather I just haven’t adapted yet.

    Now we’ve had these great weather days, I don’t think I’ve every had the top down in the car as late as mid-November before but we just had those crazy nice days a few weeks ago! That usually makes me pretty perky. It’s just been strange lately. Everything else in life is great I’ve just been kinda run down.

    My arm has been bugging me (I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before) and it might be interfering with my sleep a little bit and bugging me a bit during the day (which probably cuts down on my recreational computer use), it might have a little to do with keeping me a little off kilter (I just had new x-rays today and have an appointment with a specialist next month). And the more I think about it my eyes have been bugging me a little more lately, I’ve got an appointment for that next week and I know that’ll result in glasses (I don’t currently have them). So the more I right here and think about it maybe it’s all these little things adding up.

    Although that’s all just a sign of getting older, right? Now that’s depressing…

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    Written By: Gary on October 23, 2006 No Comment

    So I’ve definitely fallen behind in my 101 in 1001 list (23% of my tasks done and used 32% of my time.). I’ve got more than a few things lined up in the next few months.

  • I’m having the family Christmas at my house this year. This covers two items: 1) Having the Family Christmas and 2) Have the extended family over once a year.
  • If I go to Costa Rica this winter I cover several items: 1) Going back to Costa Rica, 2) A warm winter vacation, 3) Possibly deciding if I want to move there some day.
  • I could also succeed in doing one (or two) more Christmas related items: 1) Greenfield Village or 2) The Hines Drive lights tour.

    So I could start to catch up soon. It’s likely I’ll get five items just from the above list (maybe 7). I’ll likely get more done, but these are very likely to happen by January…


    Can you tell I’m feeling a little behind on the list. I’m not sure why, the purpose is to give more time to do these things. And if you consider most people don’t complete any of their New Year’s resolutions I’ve already got 23% of my list done…

  • Written By: Gary on October 22, 2006 2 Comments

    So I think I’ve removed the side widget that was causing popups. I haven’t gotten many complaints (I think since even the most basic blockers stop it, I’ve never even noticed it with Safari) but it annoyed me that it was there. I don’t think that web link exchange widget (link2blogs.com) was generating much traffic anyways.

    If anyone is still getting me popups, please let me know.

    Written By: Gary on October 22, 2006 One Comment

    VisitormapsampleSo I found a new visitor map widget for my site. This one uses the Google Maps for viewing and exploring. It shows where it thinks you are and if you click it, it shows all the recent visitors. I always like to know where people come from (and maps, I like maps). How close does it show you to where you think you are?!?

    It seems like it just counts each visitor (or IP?) once, so that’s good, it takes about a half day to update the chart but I think your location is always correct.

    The image in this post is “static”. To see the “live” image look in the footer of any page.


    I got this from here. It’s set up as a myspace tool but it looks like it’ll work fine if you just copy the image and the link.

    I originally didn’t think this was working but I guess it just took a few hours to kick in (I had actually removed the post and had to repost it).

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