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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 October 15, 2006 No Comment

So a few weeks ago I mentioned we were trying to get a domain name for Melissa. Well we finally settled on YourMelissa.com as the address. Once we got her set up on-line she then immediately titled the site “A Musing Melissa”! Where the hell was that idea when we were picking out a name?!?

So she’s been talking about life, her kids, being single and figuring out who she is as her kids become adults and she gets used to handling life on her own. She’s been posting and I keep forgetting to send some traffic her way. So go on over to A Musing Melissa and say hello. I’m sure she’d love to get some comments and find some other blogs to read.


I think I’ve got her all set up to handle gravatars so if you’ve got one she’ll think that’s especially cool to see your icons, which then might motivate her to post comments on other sites (I think she’s just been lurking so far) she still thinks of this as a “parallel universe”.

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Written By: Gary on September 23, 2006 One Comment

So we’re trying to set up a domain name for Melissa so she can start blogging. I went looking for a domain name for her to buy and of course Melissa.com was taken (but I had to check) and they offered suggestions for us. Suggestions like BestMelissa.com and SuperMelissa.com (my first choice) and then I noticed an odd one, so I’m “Hey, Melissa, They’ve got RayLovesMelissa.com, it’s the only one I see with ”love“ in it, how weird is that?!?” Harry was Melissa’s husband that died last year and Ray was what everyone his family called him. So that was pretty bizarre (but wait!), “Oh Melissa, I was wrong here’s another one DannyLovesMelissa.com so it’s not so strange”. But it turns out that was the name of her first husband! We looked harder and that was the only one with “love” in it, how strange is that?


I always like the idea of having your own domain name. Then you can switch hosts and take your name with you. We’re hosting her at BlogSpot and just frame the page in it (or maybe we’ll redirect). I can’t believe that they’re not set up to use your own name and charge you for it (or make you buy it from them).

So we didn’t pick SuperMelissa so it’s still available if you want it. I’ll tell you her address once she gets settled in.

Written By: Gary on September 10, 2006 No Comment

So it’s a weird web world in MySpace. I’ve been playing around a bit these past few days (and created an account for me) for a few reasons. The original reason was because a few local bands and bars have “space” but not much else in the way of a presence on-line. Then (of course) I found some people I know and linked to them as friends and so on and it consumes a bit of time pretty quickly.

One of the reasons it consumes time is that most of the pages are awful: they don’t load properly, millions of photos and flash slideshows all on one page and the MySpace servers just don’t seem to keep up. Part of this is a million sites with bad layouts that fall off the side of the page, sparkle too much or have transparent text/body and conflict with the background. But like the psychedelic LSD trip that some of these pages resemble, I keep coming back for more. Maybe that’s the appealing part? I’m not really sure. Maybe it should be called MyLSD…


It’s just amazing how awful so many of the pages are. They don’t even render properly in IE on a Windows machine. It’s very bizarre. Please let me clarify, the original layouts load fine, it’s layouts people change (and comments people add). And while you can disable HTML comments, it still shows the HTML code instead of just ignoring it (you can’t edit other’s comments).

But as I’ve said I’ve managed to get sucked in a few times. Adding more people and bands to my friends list (blogroll) and getting exciting when I see another person has added me (you can’t add someone without their permission and vice-versa). Is it worth the time to add myself to the friend roll of some non-local band like the Indigo Girls or Anna Nalick?

All these people have blogs, but most of them don’t blog (or if they tried it gave up ages ago) so it’s just a weird commenting system. A few neat features: Friend’s can blast out a message to everyone who has them as a friend and it shows up in a window at the bottom of your home page (where you can go to edit your pages and be bombarded with advertisements of bands, TV shows and the hot women advertising true.com) where you can choose to read it or not (it’s kinda like a junk mail box from friends but if the title is inviting you may read it). So for example my local bar sent out a message that said something like “Come up tonight because Daniella, Pam and Jane are working tonight” which is interesting since if I was considering going (or actually hadn’t just come home) and knew three of my favorite staff were working I might have gone up.

Some downsides from a Microsoft technical standpoint: The servers appear to get overloaded often, you can’t always login (“technical difficulties”), they seem to force you to have a blog, whether you post or not, the block HTML but still show the code thing I mentioned earlier, can’t edit comments. Every page has just a generic comment place at the bottom of your page (profile comments) but you can’t comment since you are not a friend of yourself nor can you add yourself (just a little odd).

Written By: Gary on September 7, 2006 One Comment

So I picked up The Rough Guide to Blogging by Jonathan Yang at borders this weekend. This is from the folks who do the “The Rough Guide to _____” different places to travel. It seemed to be a decent book, pretty cheap $10-ish. It had the basic ides, rss, hosting, audio, video, podcasting, increasing traffic and making money and (very) short reviews of 250 of the “best” blogs.

It’s a nice intro if you have someone who’s been asking about it or if you’re a beginner and want to learn some more. It’s about 100 pages and then about 50 pages of types of blogs (politics, education, etc.) while mentioned some specific blogs and then a bunch of 1 line reviews. I haven’t read it yet, but all the pages I’ve flipped to look pretty good so far.

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Written By: Gary on September 3, 2006 2 Comments

So I set up a profile at MySpace. I wanted to see what it’s like. So far it’s messy. But I set up a profile and now I don’t have any friends :(

So if any of the readers here are from MySpace (or have set up an account to “see what it’s like”) please pop on by and add me as a friend! This weird Tom guy is the only one I know! I’m at http://www.myspace.com/garyjlapointe


Anyone know how to disable the blogging part, since I’m here I don’t really need to be there too.

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Written By: Gary on September 3, 2006 One Comment

Is anyone getting popups when they come to my (this) site? I just got a warning from FireFox (I normally use Safari) and it says it blocked something. Looks like the offender was something at Link2Blogs (a link sharing place). Please let me know if you do get them, I’ll be glad to remove anything that launches evil unintentional popups.


Any geeky / additional information you can give me on this would be helpful. Thanks!

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Written By: Gary on August 20, 2006 2 Comments

So it’s not a huge change but I was tired of the washed out summer theme that was too bright, I thought I might get used to it, but…

It’s a bit of the same colors, I just got rid of a lot of the bright ones. It’s too soon for a fall theme…

Background image from
CitrusMoon.com

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Written By: Gary on August 19, 2006 One Comment

Here’s an interesting post from over at GirlSpoke. Turns out while looking at the vistor log Meme found a link visitor from “house.gov” (which would be a machine under the House of Reps domain). The question in her mind was what link did they follow to get there? The answer was they got there from a Google search:

The Google search terms were:

“How do I find a chick to f-ck if I am married?”

She’s got more details in her original post.

Written By: Gary on August 19, 2006 No Comment

Whats Your Google PageRank?I know we’ve talked about Google Page Rank before but I saw a new widget on Omni’s page and I thought I’d throw it over here. The nice thing about this one is that it’s supposed to show the main site’s rank even if you have it on a different page (say when it moves to the archives).

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Written By: Gary on July 30, 2006 2 Comments

So I haven’t been blogging lately, but I did do a new background. Since it’s almost August it was really time to get rid o the 4th of July theme. I liked the bright colors so I tried again. I’ve been SO hot the last few days I thought the bright sunny layout was appropriate. I’m nowhere near as happy with the sun layout but I’ll stick with it for now. I got the background image from
aPerfectWorld.com

I’ll try to catch up on some blogging soon…

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Written By: Gary on July 17, 2006 No Comment

So if you’ve every wanted your own domain name it’s only $2.99 for the first year ($9.95 after). You’re not committed: you can host your site just about anywhere (not just Yahoo!) and you can always move your name somewhere else later. (This was a better year the first time around, they’d let you do 5 years at $2.99 each!).

THIS DEAL IS EXPIRED!

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Written By: Gary on July 14, 2006 One Comment

Languageweek4Srah has decreed that July 24-28, 2006 is Language Week. This means that once a day for the week you blog at least once a day (at least a few sentences) in a language you usually don’t blog in. Read her blog for the rest of the rules.

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Written By: Gary on July 14, 2006 4 Comments

So on a slight tangent in class tonight (I give a tech leadership class at a local university) I was passing on some ways to get cheap inexpensive technology (or other freebies you can get). And I gave away some of my best savings sites so I thought I would share them here too:

  • SlickDeals – they have all sorts of forums with free stuff (including free magazine subscriptions)
  • Woot – A daily deal at 1 AM EST every day (generally a tech-ish deal)
  • Grupare – Deals on all sorts of stuff
  • DealMac – which has great Apple & accessory deals and links to their PC, Camera, Memory, Ink and Coupon sites too!

    There’s lots more around but these are the ones I check daily.


    Wait!!! I almost forgot MacZot! a cheap mac software ware deal every day. Today (and for the next few days) they are offering the MysteryZot 5 which is 5 pieces of software bundle for $5. Who knows what you’ll get, but it’s only $5! I bought one. Now I have to wait until it’s over to find it out.

    Actually, I had to mention the class tonight because they kept asking me about the blog and I specially said I never mention the class. They asked about my blog address but I said they’d have to use a search engine if they really wanted to find it.

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    Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 One Comment

    I’m so far behind in things I’ve been meaning to blog about. I’m going to try and catch up this weekend. I’ve got the concert tonight, Superman Returns, what happened at the computer sale at work, stuff from Chicago from weeks ago, a book or two that I’m read, it’s been forever since I got some photos up from my trip to Egypt, I need to do a real review of my Sprint Treo 700p and I’m sure there’s way more….

    I’ll try and do 6 or 7 of these this weekend (that probably means 2 or 3)…

    Written By: Gary on June 18, 2006 One Comment

    So if you’ve seen any short test posts lately it’s ’cause I’m testing blogging clients for my new Treo 700p handheld. Some old some new, some worked some didn’t, some the new versions didn’t. I just updated this post since I got slightly confused between a few of the clients when writing this up. The winners IMHO are:

  • Mo:Blog – easy to use (but I did have to look at the manual a few times), stand alone. I only did a few test posts so we’ll see later. One bug – when getting the blog id from the site the numbering got goofed up somehow, since none of the other clients did this I thought I’d mention it. The other odd thing was you pick the category when you set the blog up, not on individual posts. It’s about $15.
  • Azure – I think this was my favorite on my old phone too. It requires some kind of Java environment (I used IBM’s) to be installed. It does allow for the extended entry (and one category) and will download previous posts (this always makes me nervous on the mobile clients due to field length). And it’s free. See below for install information.


    I’m always surprised at how hard it is in some software to find out the web site of the company that makes/made it. It’s not in the about, or in the manual. I’m especially surprised in the ones that want you to register, it might have been on the page where you got it, but it’s gone (or you forgot where you got it).

    For new users to mobile blogging Mo:Blog is probably better, the Java VM stuff is a little tricky (unless you’ve used it before).
    For those interested:

  • None let me use the extended entry (except Azure).
  • Most clients give an error when posting (but still posts). Flickr does this to me too, so it’s an MT thing or something with my install.
  • The other ones I tried include KaBlog 1.42 (limited but always reliable, couldn’t get newer versions to run once I hit edit post), plogit, blogplanet (stable but missing a few features), uBlog, handx, hblogger and I thought one other but…

    The thing is I can do most of this with the MT quickpost option and it lets me use the extended entry (I compose in memopad first). Several programs seem like they’ll work directly with the photos on the palm (and the camera) but no luck with any for me. But I can use the Flickr e-mail option to post photos and text to the blog for that (which works great).

    Decision, decisions…

    FYI – To install Azure: First download the IBM Java WebSphere Everyplace Micro Environment (CLDC 1.1 /MIDP 2.0) on your computer and install J9JavaVMMidp20.prc and JavaVMCheck_enUS.prc (in the JVM/ARM4T directory) on your treo. Then once that’s installed, launch it, say install and type http://web.vee.net/projects/azure/azure_0-5.jad and it will download it from the net and install it. Keep in mind when running Azure it’s got all the options in the menus (title, body, excerpt, extended, bold, paragraph) and you have to go “Back” for some menus. It takes a minute to figure it out, but it works. When it asks for your blog address, what it really want is the long xmlrpc address for your site.

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    Written By: Gary on June 14, 2006 2 Comments

    4Th1So it was time to ditch the Egypt theme (it’s still at MyTripToEgypt.com). I decided to try a 4th of July theme. With the logo in the upper left and the way the stars show through the upper left, it gives it a flag like look. It is a bit brighter than a I usually use but I really liked the way it came out.

    Written By: Gary on June 10, 2006 No Comment

    I knew this week at work was going to be cRaZy but I did think I’d have time to blog!?! I haven’t even looked at the photos from Chicago yet (other than on the other people’s blogs). I’m in East Lansing again, one of my favorite towns! Eating lunch at Charlie Kang’s, broccoli with beef with no vegetables (but I still want the broccoli).

    I’m off to Bekah’s high school graduation and I’m sure they’ll be lots of eating and drinking after (well, no drinking for her). I’ll see if I can photo blog something for it later :)

    And tomorrow I get to be the Cat in the Hat for a 5 year old’s birthday party (this was the party that I was purchased for at the school auction a few months a go).

    Since I’m busy this weekend and no time to relax, I’m taking a vacation day Monday, I’ll try to catch up then.

    Written By: Gary on June 5, 2006 4 Comments

    We were talking about Google PageRank the other day when we all got together in Chicago so I thought I’m bring it up here. Check Page RankingThis icon shows my rank and should change automagically if/when my rank changes (archived pages do not necessarily rank the same, see below). Today it’s a five, the scale goes up to ten, but it’s a huge jump for a page/site to grow. You can check you PageRank at PRchecker.info. Or include it on your site with the little piece of code that they list on the bottom of their page


    So I can see I have different ranks on my archived pages, as of today:

  • Blog archive ranks 4
  • Web sites ranks 4
  • Individual Archive ranks 0
  • Today ranks 0
  • June 2003 ranks 0 (these usually take a 4-5 months to grow, I think most of my recent month archives rank 3, most older rank 4).
  • Written By: Gary on June 5, 2006 One Comment

    Sorry for some of the odd display problems lately (no content to the post or no images). I’ve been having some odd rebuilding problems with Movable Type and 1 and 1 hosting (at least I think it’s related to 1and1 hosting, even my access to the MT interface has been slow lately). Anyone else having similar problems…?

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    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2006 10 Comments

    So we met at Piece Pizzeria there was a bunch of us. Kevin (with wife Katie and brother and future sister-in-law ), Dave, Jenny, RW and wife, Kelly, Ariana, Steve and Susan, and myself.

    Logo from Dave at Blogograpy.comWe had all kinds of pizzas, I mostly ate the standards and the weirdest was cheese with mashed potatoes (I wasn’t as fond as some of there others were). Chatted, took photos and more. After we were there for a while most of us left and went to a tequila bar but I don’t think anyone got any tequila, maybe I’m wrong and it was just a bar (it turns out it was the Salud Tequila Lounge) and chatted some more…

    It was great meeting everyone and I look forward to doing it again some time. It was night to see some faces and expressions and voices. I’ll be able to put some of that in my head as read their blogs in the future. I’ve met a few bloggers before but never as a group so I’m game for another, didn’t get to chat with everyone very long but I’ll be reading their blogs to fill in some gaps. I need to get a few missing addresses still. I think Dave came the farthest (from Washington) and I was the second (from Michigan) and I think everyone else was within a few hours…


    I got to chat with Jen and Ariana more as we were taking the same train and it was a bit of a walk to get there.

    Sunday (today actually) I’m going to meet Dave and Jen to go to the museum (which one escapes me right now) but I probably should get to bed so I can do that. I need to get my stuff together too since I’ll be heading out of town from there.

    I’ll have to check out the photos later and see how they came out.

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2006 No Comment

    I remote posted the flamingo photo from my phone!!! I had problems getting this to work before but it seems okay now!

    I do have issues with the typing on the phone though, it should say “At the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago” (I don’t have remote blog editing working)
    I’ve fixed it now.

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2006 No Comment



    VERY PINK Flamingos

    Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

    At the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

    The flamingos were very very pink. Thought they were worthy of a photo…

    Written By: Gary on June 2, 2006 3 Comments

    Miscdavecago-2So off to Chicago to meet some bloggers. A few I read all the time, a few that read me, a few I’ve read a few times and I’m sure there will be some introductions between strangers. Plus I know a few bringing some non-bloggers. It looks like it will Kevin, Dave, Jenny, RW, Chanakin, Mocha and me. (I’ll update this if anyone else shows).

    I’m actually on my way there now (blogging courtesy of my new Treo 700p with BlueTooth wireless connection to my PowerBook; review forthcoming) eating at a Wendy’s somewhere along the way. I’m staying at Heather’s (new blog under construction), who’s not coming but coincidentally is the one who got me into blogging.

    That guy on the logo is cartoon Dave from Blogography he’s in from Seattle. I think everyone else is semi-local (other then me from Dearborn/Detroit), but I could be mistaken. I’ll post more on the meet later…

    Written By: Gary on May 26, 2006 2 Comments

    I read a great book yesterday. Please note I didn’t say I finished it, I read the whole thing! Orbit, by John J. Nance, is a novel about a man who wins a day trip into space. An accident causes the vacation to end abruptly and the adventure begins. After determining the ship will not fly and he has no radio contact with Earth he figures eventually someone will find his body either in the near future or the far future so in-between sleeping and watching sunsets and sunrises he starts to write his life story. From his current (disastrous) marriage to his first love (and first time) he blogs writes about it.

    What the heck, he’ll be dead by the time someone sees it, right? And if he’s rescued, he just has to delete it. Here’s the catch: keystrokes are recorded and sent back (one way) to Earth. He’s a hit, in essence it’s the most popular thing (blog?) ever, everyone is reading it and he doesn’t know it, everyone is talking about it (commenting) but he doesn’t know it. Since it’s keystrokes, they even see what he deletes. With nothing to lose he writes about everything: good, bad, regrets, just about everything.


    It’s much better than I make it sound. Partially since I’m not going to give the good stuff away and since I’m really tired (I was up late last night). If you’ve every wanted to go into space, write about your life or read about other lives, check out this book…

    Written By: Gary on May 20, 2006 No Comment

    CaptchaaudioSo I’ve mentioned CAPTCHAs before, probably in regards to blocking spam. One of the problems is that they prevent blind people from using them since it’s just a picture of the text it needs to decode. I just noticed on Blogger/Blogspot the other day that the sites that do turn on the CAPTCHA spam blocking now have a little accessibility symbol next to it (I just noticed it, maybe it’s been there forever). When you click the symbol it speaks a code for you to decode and type in. Try it that way they next time you post!

    I know some people frown against CAPTCHAs because they are a slight pain to deal with. But if I’ve got a thought to share with others and I’m willing to type it up, another six characters aren’t going to kill me. It certainly levels some of the bumps that it had and I’m happy with that. Clearly it still won’t work if you’re blind and deaf so it’s not perfect yet…


    Also, I don’t have to see spam on the sites I like to read also makes it a bonus for me. It’s certainly better than having to log in on a site to get it approved. Although my problem with this is a lot of MovableType sites say they use the TypeKey verification service but they don’t have it configured properly (which is then a pain and annoying and it doesn’t actually work right); it might just never have been registered.

    What’s interesting about Blogspot/Blogger’s way of doing this is that it speaks a number and not the exact text. But hey, as long as it works.

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    Written By: Gary on May 16, 2006 2 Comments

    So it appears these days you can be sexual predator and no one cares. But if you use MySpace to do it you can make the 11 o’clock “news”.

    All this MySpace crap junk on TV makes it sound as if as long as you can keep your kids away from MySpace they’re a-okay. That’s like saying if you keep your kids away from the one hoodlum that you know about they won’t get into trouble (and you’re so busy watching for that you’re missing the rest). Teach them some common sense and keep an eye on them. I’m not saying it’ll fix everything, but it’s a lot more sense than this MySpace sewage that’s on the air all the time.

    Look at these pre-MySpace Rochester U and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) Sexual Assault Statistics.

  • Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
  • One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men.
  • About 44% of rape victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30.
  • And the really amazing part is that “Since 1993, rape/sexual assault has fallen by over 64%”, imagine how high the numbers were previously. (These stats are from the RAINN site)

    I’m sorry I’ve gone on a rant here. I just started with being annoyed at the news covering MySpace from a new angle every day. But once I started looking things up I got on a roll (or maybe it’s a soapbox).


    The problem is not the Internet. The problem is people. And according to the Rochester statistics rape appears to be more prevalent in the US, 13 time higher than England (4 times that in Germany and 20 times that of Japan). Of course people are using the Internet for this, they’re using it for everything (good and evil) these days.

    All these numbers vary slightly from report to report but even if you decreased the numbers by a factor of ten (or even 100) it’s still obscene what happens in the US or the world. And no matter what the news tells you it’s not the fault of the Internet or even MySpace.

    SexualassaultgraphContrary to the belief that rapists are hiding in the bushes or in the shadows of the parking garage, almost two-thirds of all rapes were committed by someone who is known to the victim. 67% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger – 47% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victim, 17% were an intimate and 3% were another relative.
    National Crime Victimization Survey, 2004

    In the above mentioned 12 page “2004 National Crime Victimization Survey” from the Bureau of Justice Statistics I was curious to how much they attributed to the Internet. I was pretty surprised that they don’t mention the ‘net even once. Going to Bureau of Justice Statistics web site I was surprised how much they also didn’t mention the Internet.

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    Written By: Gary on May 15, 2006 4 Comments

    So the spam comments and pings/trackbacks have gone cRaZy again, they aren’t getting posted but they get shunted over for approval (in case they are real) so you haven’t seen them but I sure have. I had to make a few changes, I’m not sure if it’ll really help. If you have any problems leaving a comment please let me know via e-mail. The thing is it’s not really spam, it points to other sites (not generally spam sites) like they are just trying to annoy me or wear me down (or poison my filters)…

    You know, I haven’t gotten many “real” comments at all lately so feel free to leave a comment on a recent post.

    LATER: So I’ve changed the MovableType filenames for the CommentScript and TrackbackScript in mt.cfg and it didn’t see to put a dent in it at all. They’re still flooding me with comment spam (yesterday it was trackback spam). Any suggestions on some other file I should change the name of? I’m wondering if they’re routing it through some other procedure or are they just scraping it from my pages…?

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    Written By: Gary on May 12, 2006 One Comment

    So I’ve always known I’d do a website with photos and video whenever I get around to having or adopting a baby. I even already own the website name for it. But the more I watch Erika-Renee post pictures (and video and stories) of her new little Sammy on her blog it just makes my gears turn or my future options.

    Remember I’m the guy who’s posted a few hundred photos of a few week trip to Egypt and I’m nowhere near done at this point. Imagine the opportunity to having a baby who’s there all the time, if their going to keep me awake I might as well as take photos! S/he is going to think that a camera click is just background noise all the time. The podcasts, photocasts and videocast options are just limitless….

    Written By: Gary on May 10, 2006 2 Comments

    I’m glad I don’t feel the need to talk about sex or drugs much because I get so much spam (comments/pings/trackbacks) related to it I’ve had to block any words related to such topics and no one would be able to comment on such things. It’s gotten worse lately (the last 4 weeks) and I’m not sure why…

    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 No Comment

    Yahoo! is once again offering domains at $2.99 (probably for new customers and I’m guessing limit one).

    THIS DEAL IS EXPIRED!

    Written By: Gary on April 12, 2006 3 Comments

    Just had to try this since all the cool kids are doing embedded links like this to YouTube:
    And yes it’s totally stupid, but still, I laughed pretty hard when I watched it…

    Found at Nicole’s.


    YeahtoastI promise any future links to YouTube will not be this huge ugly embedded display. It’ll be a little link like this or an embedded image like on the right…

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    Written By: Gary on April 12, 2006 One Comment

    Since it’s all I’ve been thinking about lately I finally changed the layout to match the theme of my upcoming trip! If you see any of the old theme (blue and/or snowflakes) popping up please let me know!

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    Written By: Gary on March 29, 2006 No Comment

    Map counter sampleSo I’ve got a new map counter gizmo (here’s the sample from yesterday), it’s all the way at the bottom of my pages (I’ll probably put it in the side later). You can click it and see a larger version (with a little more information). FYI, bigger dots mean more visitors, it only updates the actual map once a day. And yes, you can get your own.

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