While on the playground with my boys I noticed my oldest burying someone’s trash in the little rubber playground mulch. It was a little empty box of Milk Duds. I caught myself about to say “Don’t bury trash under the…”, sic. [Trash. Wait, yes trash. Old tires ground into little pieces is in fact trash.] Nevermind son, carry on.

This blog is now hosted on GAE, Github Pages, and Heroku. This means that I am using three free cloud hosting providers hosting my content. They all allow the use of CNAMEs, which is important for using a custom domain. It costs me no money. I don’t have to provision, configure, or maintain a single server. And there are speed benefits and even more redundancy from using three rock solid auto-scaling hosting providers. This should provide me with sufficent resources in the unlikely event that any of my content ever becomes popular enough for the so-called “Slashdot” effect.

If there is enough interest in how I did this I will write up a how-to. Suffice it to say that it is fairly simple and straight-forward. I just wanted to brag a little. :-)

Introduction

I like free and I like simple. What could be simpler than opening vim, writing a blog post in markdown and publishing via git pushes? I don’t know either. But I can explain my current blogging work flow. It’s free, flexible, secure, and redundant. Best of all I can do it all from the shell never having to open a browser if I don’t want to.

This is primarily written as a reminder to myself for the next time when I go looking for a tool that converts Wordpress posts to markdown. It is called Exitwp. I find this useful for moving sites away from Wordpress and onto Octopress, which of course is based on jykell. Octopress is appealling for it’s low server-side requirements and resources. It’s a static site generator. Meaning no database, no server-side scripting languages, cgi’s, ssi’s, etc. Plus I can write my posts in vim and manage them in git. All of which means that I’m more likely to blog since I don’t have to open a browser to do so, if I don’t want to.

The tool is called exitwp, as in exit wordpress and can be found here.

History

I stopped using the browser to store my passwords about 8 years ago after I discovered that Firefox stored them in a plain text file on the file system. Even with a master password in place the file was completely unencrypted. That discovery prompted me to find another solution. Only at the time there really wasn’t any other option. A few years latter Firefox started offering to sync passwords and other settings, as well did a few third party services and related extensions. I didn’t try any of the third party ones, but I did allow Firefox to sync some things for me. The automatic syncing was nice for a while. Until the fact that it was all unencrypted started to really get to me. It got to me to the point that I stopped syncing and removed my account. I needed some other way to manage my passwords. I dumped what I had in Firefox to a local file and managed them locally. I figured I couldn’t do worse than what the browser was going but I still wanted some way to encrypt them.

Everytime I think about the tooth that my dentist had to pull I think about this scence in the Fight Club. I suppose on some level it makes me feel better about it all. It makes me laugh about something that otherwise makes me sad.

Here’s a thought exercise for ya. Suppose I’m ask for your input about something. And that each time you try to provide your input I knock it down. Was I ever really interested in your input? Was I just looking to be right?

Jump to the video

Every so often I need to remove a solid color from the background of an image in order to use the image with what ever background I apply. Since I don’t do this everyday I end up fiddling around with the GNU Image Manipulation Program for some time before I remember the easy way to remove the background color. I could always ask my wonderful Graphic Designer wife to do it for me, but sometimes I just like to do it myself. So this is as much of a reminder post for me as it is intended to help others who may be looking for an easy way to remove a solid color background from an image. A quick search only turned up many how-tos to remove an actual background from an image which involve masking and painstaking use of the pencil. I just don’t have the patience for this. So this is how I remove the solid colored background from an image, and replace it with a transparent alpha channel.

This is awesome. I’ve had my beard for almost a year now. So far I keep it somewhat trimmed. Over the last year I have been noticing more beards on men. I thought it was due to the same reason that once you buy a car you start to notice that same car everywhere. But this article suggests that there could be a growing trend here. No pun intended. If so, I find it very exciting. Maybe I’ll allow mine to grow a bit longer.

I’ve been wanting a recliner for a while now. The other day I decided I would look for one with a laptop stand built into it. A quick Google search turns up something from the WebTV era. Which is sad. There should have been advances in the field of mouse potatoes (I have never heard that term before) by now. I couldn’t find anything else that even came close to what I was looking for. Just a bunch of different variations of these stands that work on the bed, couch, and arm chair. So I search for lay-z-boy Explorer since that was the name of that particular model. Then I found this. Too funny! Very perplexing. Looks legit, including the logo link in the upper left. I have to admit. I thought it was real until I looked at the address bar. Very clever. If anyone is aware of a recliner for the home that also offers a built-in sturdy laptop stand please add a comment.