Category Archives: General Ramblings

Website Changes for September 2012

For a long time back in the past I used to post little news snippets on the home page of my main website at www.markheadrick.com about changes I’d make to the site; however, I haven’t been sure if each little change really warranted a separate blog posting so a lot of things have never been mentioned unless it was something radical. Yes, I am well aware that 99.99% of the people out there couldn’t give a flying fruitcake about any of it; however, that’s beside the point. LOL :) So, what I thought I would do is create a monthly post about changes made to my various sites and update that post during the month with updates. The primary focus being on my main site as the others have the own “news” sections about changes made to them. If it’s something major with code examples and what not then those will have their own post with a reference to the change in these posts. Yeah.. that’s the ticket!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I noticed that I had the title of one my movies slightly wrong. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is now correct. I missed one of the “The”s LOL. While I was at it, I also added the DVD Empire and ImDB links as well as a trailer for the movie! Naturally, I also updated my main DVD/Home Theater page.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

After reading The Guide For Fixing & Preventing Hacks a few days ago, I decided to go through my various directories (at my webhost) and delete old and no longer used files (many being renamed versions of other files for backup purposes) and create some .htaccess redirects for pages that once existed that were now just pages that said to go to the new page.

Today, I also tweaked my hardware page to use locally stored copies of my cable modem’s speed test images with links to the originals at the speed test sites to slightly improve page load time and to reduce the dependency on those sites actually being up for the page to render properly. I also completely removed some of the older speed test references.

 We’ll just have to wait and see how this approach goes. :)

Blog Updated to WordPress Version 3.4.2 and Other Changes.

I just finished updating my blog to WordPress Version 3.4.2 which is a maintenance and security update. This post is just as much a test of the upgrade as it is anything. It’s been a long time since I made a post about upgrading WordPress because there’s really not much to say about it. All I do is backup the database and files, click “update” in the admin section, and I’m done. The whole process takes like 30 seconds. Since only modified files are updated now, the code changes I make to vars.php and wp-login.php rarely need to be added back in.

I used to add little news snippets on the front of my main website every time I changed something on one of the pages. Most recently, I changed the Entertainment/Now Playing page where I merged the TV and Movie section and added the GetGlue Check-In and Sticker Widgets on the side to show what I’ve watched most recently. I’ve probably made other tweaks here and there but I can’t remember where and what LOL. I suspect after I hit publish on this post I’ll uncover some issues that I’ll need to address.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend and I’m looking forward to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this weekend at Richmond to determine the final chase line-up! :)

It Seems I’ve Become Addicted to GetGlue

GetGlue StickerAs many have figured out by now, I’ve managed to get myself playing around with GetGlue. As the About page states: GetGlue is a leading social network for entertainment. Users check-in and share what they are watching, listening to and reading with friends; get fresh recommendations, exclusive stickers, discounts and other rewards from GetGlue partners.

I’ve been using it for awhile now and my profile is http://getglue.com/mrheadrick. It’s kind of cheesy but it’s fun and addictive (surprise.. I get addicted to things easily). You’ll also notice to the right (if you’re looking at my blog’s main page and it’s still there) a GetGlue widget that shows my latest check-ins. As you check into, like, or review items you unlock stickers. Some stickers are always available, such as the Ice Cream Superfan while others are only available for a limited time such as a TV special or while a movie is in the theaters. To date I have earned 220 stickers. At the moment, after every 20 stickers you’ve earned, they will mail physical copies to you. So far I have received 4 batches of GetGlue stickers. They are about 1.5 inches in diameter.

So far I’ve been pretty much on the up-and-up and only check into items that I am actually watching, listening to, eating (yes, you can check into food and drinks), or doing.  There seem to be some that just check into things to get the stickers as there’s not enough hours in the day to watch all those shows LOL.

As of this moment, it has the ability to send updates to your Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts and you can check which, if any, to update with each check-in. There is a GetGlue API that I’ll hopefully be able to figure out at some point to allow my Winamp now-playing script to automatically check into artists with song title and album information. Doing it manually is somewhat of a chore LOL.

Anyway, check it out and you might get addicted to it like I have. I think the fact that it’s unique and not trying to be another Facebook, like Google+, helps. :)

Hey mom! I got that stain out with Dawn!

OK. First, some background. Back on Father’s Day, I had dinner with the folks at Luby’s Cafeteria here in Oklahoma City. By the way, their food is always great and their cakes are awesome, always moist. Anyway, I noticed after we left that I had this big stain on my shirt.  Only place I think I could have got that stain was from rubbing my gut against the railing where you get the food or against the edge of a table because of where the stain was located. Or, upon reflection, I could have leaned over into my own food while in line.

On the way home, I rubbed it with a Shout Wipe stain remover they had in the truck and then tossed it into the washer when I got home. When it came out of the dryer, all I managed to do was just make a bigger darker area in the shirt. “Look ma! A new truck rag!” LOL. I tossed the shirt on the dryer and there it sat until I did laundry again which was a few days ago. So, it just sat there for some time.

While was I doing laundry, I looked at the shirt, looked at the bottle of Dawn on the sink and decided why not. You know, “Dawn, it takes grease out of the way!”, or whatever their slogan is. So, I squirted some on the spot, lathered it up, and tossed it in with the rest of that load.

When I took the shirt out and looked to see what the damage was this time, I was actually shocked that it was completely gone! 8-O Hot damn! It worked! LOL

So now, not only is Dawn the only thing I clean my glasses with (the kind I wear on my face to see with.. those alcohol things just spread the gunk around), it will be my most frequently used pre-wash stain remover now.  Yeah, I know in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal, but it was for me at the moment. :)

Why all this 3D technology does nothing for me.

AvatarWhat with Avatar, ESPN and Discovery announcing 3D networks, and 3D Televisions appearing at CES, there’s been a lot of talk about 3D technology lately, which is certainly warranted and understandable. However, none of it means anything to me because my brain and eyes are just not wired for it.

I was born with one (maybe more) of the muscles in my left-eye missing or otherwise defective. As such, that eye was pointing to the side. This generally results in what is called a lazy-eye. I went through 5 eye surgeries by the time I was 5 years old. I also happen to suffer from astigmatism.

Due to my sight issues occurring at such a young age, my brain essentially re-wired itself to deal with it and how I see is perfectly normal to me. 75% of what I see in my field of vision is my right eye. When I close my left eye, I only loose a certain part to the left of me, basically, what my right eye doesn’t physically see (the nose kinda gets in the way LOL). However, what I see does not shift any.  Now, when I close my right eye, things change a lot. My brain lets my left eye now “see” what my brain had only been processing from my right eye and images shift to the right and down.

Because of this non-convergence in my eye-sight, none of this 3D stuff works with me. With those red and blue glasses I either saw all red stuff or all blue stuff. The images simply do not combine to form a single image. Needless to say, I will not be buying any 3D HDTVs, 3D DVD/Blu-Ray players, or watch any 3D television networks.

Thank god Avatar was released in a 2D version at the local AMC theater; otherwise, I would have skipped it. If you look now, you’ll notice that only the 3D versions are still playing there.

My only hope is that movie studios keep releasing 2D versions of their movies. Well, the ones worth seeing anyway LOL. :)