gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Meta’

Upgrade hiccups for the WordPress Sociable plugin version 4.x

October 25, 2011 @ 17:04 By: gordon Category: Meta, WordPress

I’ve been using the Sociable plugin for quite a while to offer readers a quick and easy way to share what I’ve written on different social networks. It’s fairly configurable, allowing you to select where you want to make it easy for people to share things with. I have about half a dozen little icons at the bottom of each post that you can click to share the entry with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, or by email, or add it to your favourites, share it in Google Reader or post it to Digg or Reddit. There are other social networks that I could choose, like MySpace (does anyone still use MySpace?), but I don’t want to clutter things up with a zillion little icons.

There was a major upgrade that appeared in my WordPress control panel today bringing it up to version 4.0.3, from 3.whatever. Usually WordPress plugin updates are fairly painless, so clicking on it didn’t really concern me, so I upgraded and then watched as all my icons disappeared.

Grr. (more…)

Blogging burnout

May 13, 2011 @ 12:46 By: gordon Category: Geocaching, Meta, Out and about

I just looked at my blog and realized that it’s been a month since my last post. I think this is the longest break I’ve taken from blogging and given that it came not too long after having blogged most of the days in the previous month it might be safe to say that I suffered a bit of blogging burnout.

It’s not like I haven’t been up to anything. There have been lots of blog-worthy things in the last month, such as chasing an amateur radio weather balloon a couple of weeks ago and successfully recovering it from the St. Lawrence River (see Bob’s write-up and a mention on the LASA blog, too), the start of the 2011 dragonboating season earlier this week, and, of course, the recent federal election. But when push came to shove writing about these seemed too much like work. I may yet write about the balloon chase because there were a lot of lessons learned and I’ll probably mention dragonboating at some point, but it’s unlikely I’ll write about the election.

During the haitus I had a blog entry on geocaching published on the Local Tourist Ottawa blog, but even they had to chase after me for a two-sentence bio blurb. (Sorry Jessey and Amy!) I’m very happy with the way the entry turned out, so I may write some future content and see if they’ll publish it.

The arrival of the nice weather (finally!) has spurred on my interest to be outdoors, so I’ve been getting out to go geocaching more frequently. So far this year I’ve logged 65 finds, compared to 86 finds in 2010.

A recent edition of the Podcacher podcast talked about caching burnout. For myself, geocaching isn’t about the numbers, but there are a lot of cachers for whom it is. They have to hit that next milestone or do a 1000+ cache power trail or fill in the holes in their geocaching calendar (days of the year they’ve found a cache), all of which are excellent ways to burn yourself out because you’ll eventually find yourself caching to hit some artificial goal rather than caching to have fun. I think blogging can suffer from a similar thing where you find yourself blogging to ensure the calendar doesn’t have a gap or because you’re trying to increase your readership.

Neither of these are particularly important to me. If the little calendar on the left has a gap in it, that’s ok. If I don’t have as many readers as my friends who blog, that’s ok, too. While I am always happy to see an increase in the number of hits, ultimately I’m writing my blog for myself. I’m not using it as a revenue generation stream (if I was then there would be ads everywhere) so if only a handful of people read it, that’s ok.

But if you want to tell all your friends about my blog, I’m ok with that, too! 🙂

700 posts and I don’t have to go back to the doctor

March 14, 2011 @ 19:50 By: gordon Category: Health, Meta

Yesterday evening I noticed that I was one post away from a kind of blogging milestone: namely my 700th WordPress post. (In fact, I’ve written more than 700 posts since there are some posts in my old Pivot-based blog that I didn’t import into WordPress when I made the big switch back in August 2004, but I’m not going back to count them.)

So, I’ve been looking for something to write about. I didn’t want to write another rant about annoying drivers on the Queensway or stupid drivers who don’t stop at stop signs(Oh, I had a chance to get run into by a big car carrier today that blew through a stop sign on Johnston and Southgate after work today) and it’s too early to write about the Ides of March (that’s tomorrow). We switched our clocks forward on the weekend in a vain attempt to save energy, but I grumbled about that a couple of days ago.

And then a topic came to me…


Friday recap

March 11, 2011 @ 15:21 By: gordon Category: General, Meta

So, it’s been another busy week – the culmination of several months effort at work on Wednesday and a number of blog entries, too. The weather in Ottawa still sucks, but at least it’s been raining rather than snowing the last couple of days. Can you imagine how much snow would have fallen if it had been just a bit colder? It probably wouldn’t have deterred the diehard winter cyclists who are sometimes on the roads when it’s really not safe for them to be, however.

Fortunately, the weather didn’t interfere with my seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station Tuesday evening. I managed to take a couple of long exposure photographs and I even managed to catch the ISS in a video.

And, of course, the week ended with a massive earthquake in Japan. I took the afternoon off work because I’m waiting for a Bell technician, so I’ve had the tv on in the background. Most of the news channels have coverage of the devastation in Japan. CNN has had the same collection of footage running while various “experts” are talking about whatever they’re talking about. It makes me wonder sometimes if the hysteria surrounding natural disasters like this isn’t fuelled by the news outlets themselves. (Actually, I’m certain that it is a factor.) I wish the Japanese people well as they start their recovery. Two major earthquakes on the Ring of Fire in the last two or three weeks – hopefully the last for a while.

Looking ahead to the weekend: I’m curling on Saturday and looking forward to climbing on Sunday. And it looks like we’re done with the precipitation – at least until 3pm tomorrow afternoon:

TAF AMD CYOW 112014Z 1120/1218 VRB03KT P6SM FEW008 OVC030 TEMPO
1120/1208 OVC020
FM120800 23005KT P6SM OVC020 TEMPO 1208/1215 BKN030 PROB30
1209/1212 1/2SM FG VV001
FM121500 23010G20KT P6SM BKN030

YOURLS WordPress to Twitter Plugin version 1.4.9

March 07, 2011 @ 22:39 By: gordon Category: Meta, WordPress

The author of the YOURLS WordPress to Twitter Plugin has released an update. Presumably, version 1.4.9 will address the brokenness I wrote about a couple of days ago that happened when WordPress 3.1 was released.

If you implemented the solution I wrote about, you should probably upgrade to version 1.4.9.

Fixing the YOURLS plugin so it works under WordPress 3.1

March 05, 2011 @ 11:11 By: gordon Category: Meta, WordPress

I upgraded to WordPress 3.1 at the end of February. Usually, there’s very little breakage, but this time the YOURLS WordPress to Twitter plugin (version 1.4.8) I’ve been using to automatically post a tweet with a shortlink using my dew.is short URL service broke, which was very annoying. I was able to turn turn on the Tweetly Updater plugin as a stop-gap measure, but it uses bit.ly and I really wanted to use my own dew.is.

Browsing through the comments on the author’s website, I came across one from someone else who had managed to track down what appears to be the offending code, so I thought I’d try it out.


Looking back at the week and forward to the weekend

March 04, 2011 @ 12:52 By: gordon Category: General, Meta

It’s been a busy week, both online and in the real world. I haven’t blogged this consistently in quite some time — I think I’ve managed to get past my writer’s block and all it apparently took was a bit of snow. Writing about the weather in Ottawa is often a good way to attract readers, especially if you make a prediction about it. I’m still hopeful that the snow is on its way out, especially given that the forecast for the next couple of days is calling for rain.

My most recent rant about Queensway drivers was picked up by the OttawaStart blog, which was a nice surprise and introduced even more people to my blog. Hopefully they’ll visit regularly!

Some stunning photos of the recent space shuttle launch as seen from a camera in a high-altitude balloon at the edge of space were an unexpected find on the Internet yesterday. I’ve chased and recovered high-altitude balloons, but never one that had take a picture of a rocket being launched into orbit.

Students at my alma mater who whined to the press when they had to pay for the loads of laundry they had been scamming from the pay-laundry in their dorm all year long gave me something else to rant about this morning. Why they believe they shouldn’t have to pay for something they used is baffling at best. Fortunately, not all of the students are behaving like spoiled brats caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but it only takes one or two to paint them all with the same brush.

So, what’s in store for the weekend? I’m going curling tomorrow during the day and then heading to a party in the evening. Sunday should see me heading to the climbing gym with my friends for a (hopefully) good workout on the walls.

What’s everyone else up to?