How WP affected me

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Since everybody else is doing a blog post about how they got started with WordPress, figured I might as well give up my story too. Hey, a blogger’s gotta blog. ;)

Originally, this was a story about WordPress. But I’m not posting it on my WordPress blog, because as I wrote it, I found that this isn’t a story about how I use WordPress, as such. It’s a story about how using and working with and on WordPress has impacted my own life. So it’s on my personal blog. This may reduce the number of readers, but whatever. :)

This is long. So, click through the more link to read it.

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How to cook properly

MAN COOK MEAT WITH FIRE

Not “man show fire to meat and then eat it while it still squirts and pulses.”

KILL IT DED WITH FIRE YUS

“Medium rare” = “good vet could get it up on its feet in an hour or two.” That’s not cooked with fire. That’s threatened with fire.

I DO NOT SEASON STEAK

Start seasoning steak and before you know it? You’re French. No. I go to my personal butcher and say, “Give me a piece of meat that’s been sawn off an animal.” And they throw me a chunk of animal. And then I say “Show me the animal this meat was sawn off.” And they show me a picture of a crying cow with a gaping hole in its side. And I say “Did the animal cry when you sawed my piece of meat off it?” And they show me a Ziploc bag full of cow tears. And I say, “Rub that on my steak! Let that be my seasoning!”

Hidden Doodles in the Thanksgiving Google Doodle

Google has a pretty neat interactive Doodle for Thanksgiving…

There’s more, but I haven’t found them all yet. To find them, just get the right combination of shoes, hat, and feathers and poof, it transforms. :)

The Most Dangerous Game

The general smiled. “No,” he said. “Hunting tigers ceased to interest me some years ago. I exhausted their possibilities, you see. No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I live for danger, Mr. Rainsford. I live… for Grizzly-Boom Tennis.”

The Most Dangerous Game - Grizzly Boom Tennis
It's more dangerous if played on the edge of a volcano...

http://www.smbc-comics.com/

The Debt Keeps Rising

… while the Republicans keep using non-free software.

Anybody examine the difference between http://republican.senate.gov/ and http://democrats.senate.gov/ lately?

Hint, one of them is complaining about the debt, while the other one is using the free and open-source software package, WordPress, to create their website.

Guess which is which. No points if it takes more than one guess.

The Republican website seems to be running on ColdFusion, a software package that kinda went out of style in 2002-2003, but for which Adobe nevertheless keeps releasing version after version, hoping somebody will notice. Well, at least now I know they have one client, I suppose.

On the other hand, the Democrats site is clearly running on WordPress 3.1.3 (not the latest version, but they’re only half a day behind, and probably not even that by tomorrow), which is a free software package that runs roughly 14.3% of the sites on the internet, including all the major websites that the people who read my blogs read every single day.

Hmm… I wonder who’s more in tune with the times.

Disclaimer: I work on WordPress, but would be heavily biased against the Republican party regardless of who my employer was. #justsaying

The future is awesome.

This tweet got me to thinking about the myriad uses of technology used for rather simple things.

Weather Station Example
Weather Station Example

For example, the weather. The National Weather Service has set up climate observation stations throughout the US, at places like airports, on top of tall buildings, alongside freeways, random places in the countryside, even on ships and buoys in the ocean. These monitor the temperature, humidity, and a bunch of other things of that nature. Sometimes they’re integrated into the overall system, like at an airport tower, sometimes they’re just self contained boxes mounted somewhere with power, like on a freeway sign or beside the road. Anyway, these boxes record this information and generally use radio transmitters to send updates back to some centralized location in each region. Usually a local university, TV station, NWS local offices, etc.

This information is then sent on to the next stop via various methods. As the technology evolved, old methods like phone lines got replaced with the internet, or on other more secure lines. They call this overall system The Gateway, and it has its own special protocols and methodologies along with it as well. Anyway, the data is sent back to the NWS’s central server center somewhere. Probably in DC, although they likely have multiple redundancy in various other locations. This information is naturally combined with all the other information from all over the world, so that a complete up-to-date system of meteorlogical data of the entire world can be maintained.

Thousands of other organizations read from this data via various protocols of their own. For example, The Weather Channel gets a lot of their information from this large, distributed, database via some kind of real time feed. They even re-serve the data themselves using various formats, such as the XOAP system.

That XOAP system is interesting because it’s a pretty good feed of weather related data for various regions. I use it myself, indirectly. On my iPhone, for example, I have the Typophone Weather application, which uses the 3G network (which is itself a highly connected system of radio towers using multi-spectrum packet switching technologies), to connect to the internet (this big system of pipes which is in reality not all that well put together but nevertheless works because of incredible fault tolerance in its various protocols), in order to query that XOAP system (which uses XML and SOAP standards for its interface).

All this happens in order to display the current temperature on my iPhone’s lock screen, while I sit here on a couch, not four feet from a friggin’ window.

The future is awesome.

Woot Bag O’ Crap

I got lucky on Woot on the April Fool’s Day sale they did, and ended up being able to order a Bag O’ Crap around level 8 of their game. First bag of crap I’ve been able to order from them.

Got it in the mail the other day. Here’s the haul (with links to their previous sales of the same items):

2 sets of Woot TrueFire Cedar Grilling Planks: http://www.woot.com/blog/viewentry.aspx?id=12309

2 180s Adjustable Ear Warmers: http://www.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=15075

3 Reusable Strawberry totes: Can’t find the previous sale on Woot, but here’s the same thing on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Shopping-Tote-Bag-Strawberry/dp/B0032LO96K

1 Digital Photo Displaying Snowman Ornament (working): http://sellout.woot.com/blog/viewentry.aspx?id=15078

 

Also got 2 Black and White tote bags: No sales on woot, this is just some random crap, I think.

Not a bad haul for $8. The cedar grilling planks may be useful this summer. I’ll probably give away the bags to somebody. Mom is definitely getting the snowman. Spent an entertaining half an hour trying to decipher the instruction sheet, and find the software for it online (it had a CD of software which didn’t work on Windows 7). Works fine. The photos displayed on the low-resolution 1.8 inch screen look like photos displayed on a low-resolution 1.8 inch screen.

Like they say, thou shalt not get the crap you want, want the crap you get.