• 2014 Wrapup

    One word to describe my 2014? Fabulous! Really, I don’t think that I’ve had a better year. Why? Well let’s take a look at my plans for 2014 and see how they turned out.

  • Making Xmas Gifts Fun

    This year I wanted to do something different for Xmas gifts. I hate just buying gifts to buy someone a gift. I want my gifts to be unique and hopefully liked. I decided that I was going to make my own gifts this year. And after watching this video, I decided that I was going to make stationery for people.

  • Forms and Tables

    I had a very weird situation today where a simple form I had created in rails would not work for the edit action. It would work ok for the new action. But if I tried to edit an entry, the submit button wouldn’t do anything.

  • Compiling Bootstrap

    I’m using bootstrap a lot these days for a couple of websites I’m setting up. In addition to bootstrap, I had been using a css file for my own changes that I wanted to make. However, now I’m starting to make more than just a couple of changes, so I want to learn how to recompile my own bootstrap file. Here’s all I’ve done.

  • Sloppy

    I bought computer parts for my nephew to assemble his own computer. We got it all together and it didn’t work. After taking out lots of parts, it looks like I bent some pins in the cpu socket when I put it in. This was after I specifically told my nephew that you had to be careful doing this. I’m an idiot. Tomorrow, I think I’m going to take it to work to see if I can perhaps straighten the pins using our microscope. If that doesn’t work (and I have a feeling it won’t), I’ll probably just have to buy a new motherboard.

  • Bootstrap

    I’ve been playing around with Bootstrap for the past few days and have grown to like it. I just switched over one of my work webpages to it and have to do the other one. Once I have those done, I’ll probably redesign coldandheartless with it as well. It is nice to be able to easily read and navigate my sites on my phone.

  • Talk Too Much

    I have picked up some bad habits of late. The biggest one being I’m talking too much. I don’t like myself very much when I talk a lot, especially when I’m just talking to make myself look good. And that’s what I’m doing, no matter what I might think. So the first thing I need to start doing is talking less and listening more. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’m being very rude and judgmental with people. This is ridiculous. What right do I have to judge other people? That needs to stop. For some reason, I’ve recently gotten a rather large ego. Here’s the thing, I know I haven’t done anything to earn that. And I also dislike other people who have huge egos and have a sense of entitlement. Thus, another reason to not like myself. So before I do anything else, I need to quit thinking I’m so important and start seeing how I can be more helpful to others.

  • PHP Notes

    Mainly I use Rails for stuff on the web. But now I’m making a simple website and I’m using php for it. One of the things I really like about Rails is the use of a layout to keep pages consistent. I’m sure there’s a php framework I can use for this. But all I’m really want to do on my current site is have some static html pages loaded. I’m mainly using php to load the navigation bar. The one difference here is that I want the site to be responsive. So I’m using bootstrap for this. I want to make a function that lays everything out and then loads a specific page in the right place. Basically, I’m looking to recreate the Rails yield function.

  • Holiday Work

    My original plan for today was to go and cut down a Christmas tree. But since my nephew (who wanted to actually cut the tree down), has not yet finished his homework for tomorrow, this plan is now on hold. So last night, I started looking at the hosting for this website. I was on Rackspace (since they bought Slicehost years ago) and was paying around $44/month. It was ok, but I my virtual server was running Centos 5.5. I know that Centos 7 is out now and I figured I should upgrade. Since this was going to mean basically making a new server and copying everything over, I looked around at my other options. Paying another $44 to Rackspace for another server seemed pricey. So instead, I set up a new server on Linode and have been moving everything there. I’m hoping Linode is going to cost me less than $20/month, but I’ll see after a few months how it’s looking. Right now, I’m copying all of my old data from my laptop to the new host. This will take a few more hours, but then I think I can delete the old Rackspace host, as I have everything set up on the new one.

  • Is it selfish?

    For Christmas this year, I’m making gifts for some people. Yes, handmade gifts are all the thing. However, normally I think people mean that when they get something really nice as a gift. If I, as an adult, were to color them a picture, I don’t think it would be received as well as if I child did it. However, I like to try to learn new things. So I’m using Christmas as an excuse to build a contraption (can’t go into any more detail in case anyone who I might give a gift to might be reading) to make gifts. Here’s the thing, so far, my results are about the equivalent of a crayon drawing done by a five year old. Personally speaking though, working on my contraption has made me as happy as a five year old. So can I give my horrible drawings to people? Making them has made me really happy, giddy in fact. I’m grinning and giggling to myself as I write this. And in looking at my results so far, I’m laughing out loud because they’re so bad. I want to give them out because they’ve just made me so happy. But seriously, they’re crap and no one is going to want them. Is it selfish of me to give people a gift that makes me way happier than the person I’m trying to make happy with my gift? I have to think about this. Ok, yes it is selfish. But I’m ok with being selfish. 🙂

  • Why Do I write

    I have never considered myself a blogger or writer. Yes you are reading this post on a blog right now, but I still wouldn’t label myself a blogger. (I tend not to like labeling myself or others, but that’s a post for another day.) For the most part, I post here for myself. Usually, it’s because I spent some time looking up how to do something or just thinking about some topic and I want to organize my thoughts. When I was in school, I remember a teacher telling me to write things to down to help me remember them. I might never look at the paper again, but the act of writing it down would help me remember. Posting to this blog is a lot like that. Every so often, I will come back here to look up how I did something. But it’s pretty rare.

  • Responsive Webpages

    I’ve started using the twitter-bootstrap gem to get responsive webpages. It worked fine on my laptop and resized things correctly as I changed the size of the browser window. However, when I checked it on my phone, it was showing the full-size page. To fix this, I needed to add the following to the head in my layout.

  • WordPress Updates

    I had a very old computer (running FC3), hosting some very old wordpress blogs that got broken into. The good news is that I had backups of all the blogs. But since the computer was still working, though not allowed to be online, I could also copy the data directly from that computer. I ended up copying data from both places to get the blogs back up. Here’s what I did.

  • Favorite Memory

    Recently, I saw a website where people were asked to tell their favorite memory. I was a little bummed because I didn’t have an immediate favorite come to mind. But after I thought about it, I had a few come to me. One that holds a very special place in my heart is from grade school. My Mom was very involved in our school and at times she would be the room mother for my class. Basically, she would come in during lunch to give the teacher a break from the students and vice versa. When she would watch my class, she would sometimes bring me a grilled cheese sandwich. I remember eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in school and I liked them a lot. I’ll admit to still eating one every now and then. However, I remember being really happy when my Mom brought me a hot sandwich. It made me feel very special. So much so, that to this day, I tend to equate hot food with love.

  • Changes

    I deleted this post. I wrote it earlier today when I was mad at myself. I just realized how stupid it was.

  • My Oatmeal Recipe

    After many, many attempts, I have finally come up with a recipe for oatmeal that I like.

  • A Roast

    I cannot recall having ever cooked a big piece of red meat. I’ve made burgers (from ground beef) and chicken (breasts only), but not a roast or other thick steak. Since I may have possibly set myself up to invite people over for dinner, I thought I should probably find something to cook. I found a recipe for Pot Roast for Two and figured I’d give that a try. It’s currently in the oven and has about 3 more hours to go, so we’ll see how it turns out. I can say that it smells good so far.

  • Kickstart Changes from RHEL6 to RHEL7

    I’ve just started installing RHEL7 on some systems at work. I usually use a kickstart script to set everything up, but the syntax of the command has changed with RHEL7. Here’s the way to get the kickstart file from our satellite server using both RHEL6 and RHEL7.

  • Maybe Unstuck

    A few days ago I ordered the book, “The Art of Electronics”. Today, it arrived. I’ve heard that it’s a great book for learning practical electronics. I’ve been meaning to do some serious study of electronics for a while. With my job, I should know more than I actually do. So, I think I finally have my plan. I’m going to try to work my way through the book. Nothing drastic and I have no real time table. But I’m going to try to study like an hour a day. And to limit distractions, I think I’ll work in the library at work. I’m thinking this is also how I got started in learning Rails programming. I want to say it took me a few years before I could do anything usable. I’ll have to check my old notebooks for the exact dates. But there’s no deadline or anything that I need to hit. So I can take my time. And when I get a decent feel for things, hopefully, I’ll be able to make the game that’s been floating around in my head for a while. And once I start working on this, it will hopefully kick me in the butt to get moving on the rest of the stuff in my kitchen. Tomorrow I’m going to see a ballet. So perhaps I’ll start at the library on Friday. Or I’ll just wait until next week and start off on Monday.

  • Stuck

    The good news is that my kitchen is almost done. The bad news is that my kitchen is almost done. What’s left to do? I have to caulk around the windows, finish painting the trim around the big window and finish installing floor trim. Nope, not a lot to do. Why haven’t I done it? I don’t know. I did go to the store to try to buy the trim for the floor and I can’t find the same stuff that the contractor put in. That’s annoying. I was also thinking of installing another cabinet for storage. And I just found out that Ikea is discontinuing my kitchen cabinets. So if I want to buy it, I need to do it now. Already the first cabinet that I had picked out is no longer available. You’d think that would make me jump up and drive out to Ikea, but no, I haven’t done that.

  • Latest Events

    Even though my cousin Annie’s birthday is in July, we celebrated in September with a hike at Starved Rock. It was a lovely day and I got some great pictures here.

  • To All Who Have Ever Received Email From Me

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my apostrophes being turned into question marks because of a stupid setting of Apple’s. I finally got a little time today and had a chance to figure out what was going on. If you go to System Settings – Keyboard – Text, there’s a selection called “Use smart quotes and dashes”. In my opinion, this should always default to off. But due to Apple’s arrogance, they had it on by default. So if you ever read my email on a non-Apple computer, all of my apostrophes would show as question marks. This bugged the heck out of me when I’d get a reply from someone and see all those question marks. So I finally took some time today to get rid of them. Yay!

  • Long Bike Ride

    As is quickly becoming a tradition for me, I took a long bike ride on Labor Day. I biked down to my Mom’s house with my brother Paul. We stuck around for a barbeque and then biked back in the early afternoon. The only bad part was Paul got a flat about five or six miles from our house. Aside from that, they were pretty good rides.

  • Calumet Bike Trail by Indiana Dunes

    One of the trails on my list to ride this summer was the Calumet Bike Trail, which is a 9 mile gravel trail by the Indiana Dunes. As I had nothing planned for this three-day weekend, I thought that I’d get up early and get out there to ride it. Part of my concern was that the only parking lot I saw was pretty small. I wanted to be sure that I’d get a space, so I figured I’d be better off with an early ride. I ended up getting there before 8am and was the only person there. I got on the trail and only did about 1/2 mile when I had to turn back. The trail was still very, very wet and completely submerged in places. While I really don’t mind getting muddy on bike rides, I actually felt that I was doing damage to the trail and just wasn’t enjoying it. And, as you can tell from the pictures below, I hesitate to even call it a trail. To me, it looked like tire tracks. As far as I can tell, this was not a well-maintained trail. It had no drainage, which is why there was all the standing water. And I think that gravel trails probably need to be groomed every so often. It didn’t look like much had been done to this trail in a while. So I think that I’m going to cross this one off my list. Now I’m also a little concerned about my plan to bike a gravel trail from Kankakee on my birthday. I may have to take a test ride and see what kind of shape that trail is in.

  • Deleting Autorun.inf Files

    I don’t know why Windows 7 or the antivirus software I have, doesn’t let me delete autorun.inf files. To delete the file, do the following: