The New Pink Floyd Album

My friend Max loaned me the new Pink Floyd album. Instead of being like smoking dope and going to a laser light show, it’s like sipping Chardonnay and going to a symphony orchestra. I got out of the car and when I came back and started the engine I thought I was listening to NPR.

It’s not that it’s bad, it’s good, but you’ll like it better if you imagine that Pink Floyd went bankrupt, their assets were sold at auction, and the London Symphony Orchestra bought the name and released a Pink Floyd album.

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I’m not running for office …

I’m not running for office, but feel free to put one of my signs in your yard.

No Campaign Sign

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The Worst-Tasting Thing – a Delicious Tale of Halloween Horror

Someone asked what I thought the worst-tasting thing would be.

I think the worst-tasting thing would be the Juice of a Dead Raccoon That Fermented in Spoiled Milk That Ran Down the Devil’s Asscrack and Dripped Into a Fetid, Bubbling Puddle on the Floor of a Horse Stable.

In fact, the only thing I can think of that would taste worse than the Juice of a Dead Raccoon That Fermented in Spoiled Milk That Ran Down the Devil’s Asscrack and Dripped Into a Fetid, Bubbling Puddle on the Floor of a Horse Stable would be Diet Juice of a Dead Raccoon That Fermented in Spoiled Milk That Ran Down the Devil’s Asscrack and Dripped Into a Fetid, Bubbling Puddle on the Floor of a Horse Stable. I don’t know why Snapple even makes that flavor.

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Conversation about the s-word

ME: What did you learn in school?
KATIE: We talked about the s-word.
ME: Which s-word?
KATIE: What mommies and daddies have before they have babies.
ME: Oh. You mean se—ctional sofas, so the family can sit together in the living room.
KATIE: Different s-word.
ME: You’re talking about sze—chuan chicken. Mommies eat it to get pregnant.
KATIE: That’s not what the teacher said.

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Tam’s Blog Has Left the Conversation

Tam has checked out of blogging due to a creepy stalker. I hate that she’s in that situation. I can’t blame her calling it quits, but I’ll definitely miss her blogging.

I started this blog in February, 2003. At one time I averaged five thousand visitors a day. I used to post every weekday, sometimes half a dozen posts daily. If I couldn’t post something in the morning I’d put up an apology about not having any free ice ream that day.

Since starting the blog I got married and had a kid, then another kid, then another kid, and the blog posts have gotten farther apart. Lately I’m happy if I post once a week to whoever still has me in their feed reader – the days are long past that anyone would check the front page for new posts every week, much less every day. Like lots of other bloggers, I post more material on Facebook than I do on my own blog. The daily visitor count is down below 200.

Tam was one of only five bloggers that I still read every day. And I go to them straight from my bookmarks toolbar. RSS? Forget it. There are dozens of blogs still in my RSS feed reader, but I only fire it up once or twice a month if I’m bored out of my mind. I have to use Feedly now because Google discontinued Google Reader, which wasn’t exactly a show of support for the future of blogging.

There are still great bloggers out there, but the fire is gone from the first generation. Jeff Jarvis said that blogging is a conversation. As the number of people talking drops, the conversation gets a lot less interesting.

Posted in Social Media | 2 Comments

iThemes Security WordPress plugin has a great new feature

WordPress installations often get broken into by brute force guessing of the password for the “admin” account. Changing the administrator account to something other than “admin” is the single best thing you can do to improve WordPress security.

My favorite WordPress security plugin is iThemes Security (formerly WP Security). It has every security feature you can think of in one plugin, and is available as a free plugin or a paid version with more features. I just noticed that it has a new feature. It can automatically blacklist IP addresses that try to log in using the admin username.

  1. Install iThemes Security plugin. In the WordPress administration panel, click on Security. It will be on the left side near the bottom.
  2. Before making changes, make a backup of your database on the off change something goes wrong. Click the Backup tab. Click the Create Database Backup button. While you’re in the tab, it’s a good idea to schedule automatic database backups.
  3. Click the Advanced tab. Change the administrator name to something other than admin.
  4. Click the Settings tab. Under Brute Force Protection, check the box for “Immediately ban a host that attempts to login using the “admin” username.”
  5. Click the Save All Changes button.

That will stop 99% of bogus login attempts.

Immediately ban a host that attempts to login using the "admin" username.

Another WordPress plugin I like is Captcha (free and paid versions available). It protects the login page and comments from bots by asking the user to answer a simple math problem.

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Science!

A new study claims that Louis Pasteur didn’t perform his most famous experiments. The paper’s authors believe Pasteur’s dad did the experiment while his mom went to buy posterboard and that “the parents were probably up until frikkin’ 3 AM doing their kid’s science project for him.”

On a completely unrelated subject, photos I made for Katie’s fourth grade science project.

Celery experiment for school science project

Celery experiment for school science project

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Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV vs Netflix and Chromecast

This is a followup to my Amazon Fire TV review. If you haven’t read it yet, you may want to read the review first. The Fire TV is great, but before you buy one there’s just one thing you have to ask yourself…

Are you an Apple person, an Amazon person, or a Netflix person?

Which device you choose comes down to the content ecosystem you’re using. If you have content on iTunes then an AppleTV and an iPad make sense. If you have content on Amazon and a Prime subscription then a Fire TV / Kindle Fire combination is a better choice.

The two systems are designed to work with devices from the same ecosystem. With an Apple TV you can use AirDrop to project content from Apple computers, iPads, and iPhones to your TV. Likewise, with a Fire TV you can fling content from your Kindle to your TV. If you mix a TV device from one company with a computing device from the other you lose that functionality.

Amazon Fire TV and Kindle Fire vs Apple TV and iDevices

Amazon Kindle Fire HDXThe Fire TV has made us re-think some upcoming tablet purchases. We realize now that we’re Amazon people.

Our daughter had wanted an iPad Mini for her birthday. After using the Fire TV she’s changed her mind and decided she wants a newer Kindle Fire. She likes the Amazon Prime content, with TV shows, movies, and music. She also likes the Kindle Lending Library that’s included with Prime. Every month you can read one Kindle book for free. Unlike paid Kindle books that can be read on any device using the Kindle app, the free Lending Library books require an Amazon Kindle device.

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Posted in A&E, Best Of, Home Life | 4 Comments

Review of the Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV Reviewed

We had a TV problem at the house. The kids wanted to watch TV in the living room, because that’s where the TiVo lives. The den only had a Wii that connected to Netflix. We had an Amazon Prime subscription that had thousands of free movies and TV shows, but we could only watch them on a computer or the Kindle Fire.

When the Amazon Fire TV was announced it sounded like just what we needed. The Fire TV is a streaming set top box similar to the Apple TV or Roku. The differences are mostly in which streaming services they support. Amazon has a chart comparing the Google Chromecast and the others on the Fire TV page.

(The Chromecast is a different thing from the rest. The others are standalone boxes. The Chromecast requires a computer, tablet, or smartphone to “cast” content to it. There is no remote and the content is limited, but it’s cheap at $35.)

Fire TV can stream Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Showtime Anywhere, and dozens of other services. The only disappointment is that HBO Go is missing.

Amazon Fire TV Setup

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Court: Not infringement to use competitor’s trademark in Google AdWords

Harvard Journal of Law and TechnologyUsing a Competitor’s Trademark as a Keyword for AdWords is Not Trademark Infringement:

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the use of a competitor’s trademark as a keyword that activates sponsored links in Google’s search engine is not trademark infringement. 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Lens.com, Inc., No. 11-4114, -4204, -4022 (10th Cir. July 16, 2013). The court affirmed the lower court’s summary judgment to defendant Lens.com with respect to 1-800 Contacts’ claim that Lens.com was directly liable for misdirecting customers to click on links to Lens.com after searching for the phrase “1-800 Contacts.” Id. at 4.

That’s what a court found, which isn’t to say that Google has to have the same rules. After this 2013 court ruling, Google changed their policy. Now they allow trademarked terms for keywords. They still block at least some trademarked terms from being used in the text of the ads depending on the usage, and trademark holders can file a complaint.

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My Million Dollar iPhone Idea

I figured out a way to make a million dollars. I’m going to make a smartphone that’s exactly like the iPhone in every way except it vibrates loud enough you don’t miss half of your calls.

Posted in Funny Ha-Ha, Tech | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Game of Thrones spoilers from the books

I just started reading my first George R. R Martin book. I now have a sudden, inexplicable urge to post spoilers on Internet forums, so…

Game of Thrones books spoiler alert! The Bran* chapters are really boring. Plot synopsis of every Bran chapter: It’s cold. They walk from Point A in the woods to Point B in the woods. Hodor!

* I think it’s Bran. It could be Bran, Bronn or Brienne. The easy way to tell them apart is that one has a beard, one looks like a girl, and the other one is Brienne.

Posted in A&E, Funny Ha-Ha | Tagged , | 3 Comments

“Star Wars” is “Gone With the Wind” in Space

My new hobby – Watching Gone With the Wind with my wife and explaining that it’s the basis for Star Wars.

There’s Scarlett and Rhett.
There’s Princess Leia and Han Solo.

Sherman is burning Atlanta.
Grand Moff Tarkin is destroying Alderaan.


RHETT BUTLER: You still think you’re the cutest trick in shoe leather.

HAN SOLO: Maybe you’d like it back in your cell, your Highness.


RHETT BUTLER: No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.

PRINCESS LEIA: I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie.
HAN SOLO: I can arrange that. You could use a good kiss.


RHETT BUTLER: I’m leaving you, my dear. All you need now is a divorce and your dreams of Ashley can come true.

HAN SOLO: You love him, don’t you? All right. I understand. Fine. When he comes back, I won’t get in the way.


SCARLETT O’HARA: Go on! I want you to go! I hope a cannonball lands slap on you! I hope you’re blown into a million pieces!

PRINCESS LEIA: Some day you’re gonna be wrong, I just hope I’m there to see it.


SCARLETT O’HARA: But you are a blockade runner.
RHETT BUTLER: For profit, and profit only.
SCARLETT O’HARA: Are you trying to tell me you don’t believe in the cause?
RHETT BUTLER: I believe in Rhett Butler, he’s the only cause I know.

PRINCESS LEIA: It’s not over yet.
HAN SOLO: It is for me, sister. Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.
PRINCESS LEIA: You needn’t worry about your reward. If money is all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.

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Coffee

I like half and half in my coffee, but what I really like is a third and a third and a third.

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Did someone just try to hijack the lesjones.com domain?

I got this email from GoDaddy saying that the transfer of lesjones.com to GoDaddy failed. I didn’t try to transfer my domain. So what happened – did someone try to hijack the domain? Continue reading

Posted in Ecommerce, Tech | 1 Comment