Yearly Archives: 2006

Playing with my first RAW photo…

Believe it or not, I actually took the picture that is now the background for this site.  I know, it's just a simple picture of clouds… but this picture is special to me since it's a portion of a picture I snapped when I was at my cabin, it was my first RAW picture, and I was later able to alter the lighting via Photoshop (multiple times, I might add).  I have never played with RAW format before, but man… you can REALLY change what a picture looks like by altering all of the values associated with it.  I can see where taking one RAW picture can be more valuable than taking 100 jpg pictures.  I suppose you have to find the happy medium of taking the picture w/ the right light on the camera first and then photoshop it if necessary.  In my humble opinion, I was able to bring out the blue color in the sky so that it matches the color scheme of the site pretty well. 

Bia Securities website upgraded… finally

After mulling over converting the site to WordPress MU and some other
gallery software, I decided to just upgrade to the latest version of
Community Server in the short term.  Who knows if I'll move to
WordPress MU in the future, but for now I'm going to stick with
Community Server.  The main problem was finding a replacement for the photo galleries.  Coppermine seemed like a decent alternative, but I'd really like something that allows me to have "local"
galleries as well as integrating 3rd party galleries like Flickr. 
Until I find something that solves that, I guess I'm stuck with
Community Server.

I love the industrial strength glue on cereal bags

I can’t get over the strength that some glues have to offer…  You find these glues not in a reasonable place like say where a strip of velcro meets an I-Pass transponder, but rather this particular glue held the seam of a cereal bag with a force rivaling jedi mind control.  This morning, after I tore apart a cereal bag in every possible location other than the seam, I decided to finally give in and purchase containers dedicated to holding and preserving cereal.  Apparently there are about 3 choices for this type of container, other than the cardboard box that the cereal originally came with.  You can go with a plastic version, a round stainless version, or the pyrex jars that require an air pump.  After much searching, including reading a thread by some hippies vegans who got side tracked and started talking about microwaving baby sea turtles, I decided to go with Tupperware’s Super Oval 4.  I’m not totally satisfied with my decision, but I feel that it was the best outcome from the choices presented.  Provided my crude math is accurate, I’m estimating that it’ll hold a large box of Crispix with little to no crushing needed.

Dark Side…

I was in Tinley Park this weekend to see Roger Waters perform a show from the Dark Side of the Moon tour.  Man… that was such an amazing show.  The detail in the backdrops was incredible and the quality of the music was superb.  I have to admit that I really enjoyed his new song, Leaving Beirutthe lyrics were touching.  If you get a chance to catch a remaining show in the tour, or a future tour, I definitely recommend it… Despite the weather being bitter cold (around high 40’s or low 50’s) and misting, I know I’ll be at a future Roger Waters show when possible.

Here are some nice related photos…


Fresh coat of paint for the Bia Creations website

I updated the core framework and theme for Bia Creations, today.  Truthfully, I updated the framework last week, and pushed the new theme today.  I ditched rails & typo for a straight php/mysql/apache solution.  It’s not that I don’t like rails or typo, I just wanted something all around more mature for that site.  I have to admit, installing WordPress was like christmas morning.  It still excites me to think about that platform.  The guys behind WordPress really did a solid job with that blogging framework.  As a bonus, it has a ton of themes and addons.  Oh… speaking of themes, the Telligent guys could take a few notes from WordPress.  Designing a custom theme is straightforward and easy.  I am seriously considering moving this blog to that platform as well…

Now, I have to also acknowledge the Apache Friends project.  Finally someone has come up with a simple way for the latest versions of php, mysql, apache, and various utilities to install/run on Windows (and many other platforms as a bonus).  I looked at how they do updates, and they even have that figured out.  Everything is simple and easy.  If they could plug Rails in on top of that, xampp would be a home run.  It’s really worth checking out if you want to use alternate technologies on windows.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the update to the Bia Creations site… let me know what you think

Auto label incoming mail with gmail

There is a really nifty trick with gmail that allows you to auto label incoming emails.  Say you subscribe to a mailing list.  When they ask for your email address, you would enter something like:

You can then apply a filter to apply a label, mark the message as spam, etc.  Basically gmail ignores everything after the plus sign, and still considers the email as yours.  Talk about thinking outside the box.  Way to go gmail 🙂

The only downside is that some regular expression email validators do not allow plus signs in email addresses 🙁

Via this tip

Reflection and a new start

I needed some alone time yesterday, so I went for a little motorcycle ride.  It was a good chance for me to reflect on what has transpired since February and where things are going.  I drove from Milwaukee to Port Washington without hitting any major freeways.  I had no map no real directions, but things worked out just fine… I drove all along the shore of Lake Michigan and managed to stop at and explore 3 parks along the way.  One park in particular, Virmond, stood out as a pretty cool one.  It has some spectacular views of Lake Michigan from bluffs that tower above a nice sandy beach.  So if you’re looking to get away and live in Milwaukee, I can definitely recommend this ride… I could definitely see myself riding along the lake shore like this, from Milwaukee to Green Bay, on a future trip up north.

On another note, I just finished a project that I had been working on for the last two months or so… it feels good to get that out of the door, and today I start on a new project.  This new project has nothing to do with .net, which is a refreshing change.