News for November 2007

Radiation tri-blade 29.november.2007 » Received a notice yesterday .. from my web host (Lunarpages), which begins »

Warning: Excessive Server Usage

Your account is using excessive resources, causing a significant degradation of services on the server. This is a shared environment and we can not allow one user to utilize the majority of resources, as it affects all users adversely. Because of this, your site has been temporarily moved ...

Pirate flagSo it appears we've been banished .. to an exile server .. reserved for bad-web-boys, and other rouge scoundrels who have trouble playing by the rules.

I'm actually flattered .. that the site is generating enough traffic to warrant such a warning. Could be worse. I mean, if the site were using NO server resources .. that certainly wouldn't be good.

Their notice continues by suggesting I upgrade to a VPS account (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server. See here:

Your account is more suited for a VPS or dedicated server, not a shared situation.

I would *love* to host a VPS account (.. for the experience of administering our own server). Magoo says he has the savvy to administer a Linux account. See here:

"Funny how little they consider your fair share of that server. If it turns out your site is operating correctly and just outgrown a shared environment, I can definitely help with the VPS account. I am very comfortable with CentOS, Apache, and Perl. That's easy stuff."

Today's bloggage continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Warning: Excessive Server Usage

Radiation tri-blade 27.november.2007 » Back when I was living in Pennsylvania, a friend there (Michael Matto) was fond of saying » "You'll be the same person 5 years from now except for:

  1. Engines of Creation 2.0 at Wowiothe books you read, and
  2. the people you meet."

I jokingly added, "And the lotteries you win."

Joking aside, I never forgot that saying, tho I doubt Matto was the originator. He claimed the reason books were included was because » you can meet people thru books. [Matto was an extrovert (Sales), so I could understand his attraction to the phrase.]

Taking his concept a step further, I feel the *real* reason behind this principle is cuz » both people and books carry ideas. Ideas are really the things that change people.

Another saying I once heard goes something like » a mind stretched by a new idea can/will never fully return to its original size. This is why I've always enjoyed meeting people from other cultures » they often carry new (stimulating, interesting) ideas.

Free Books

Along these lines, I stumbled upon a new site yesterday called » Wowio, which offers free books (for download, PDF format). I was skeptical at first, but it actually seems legit.

You have to register (via valid email addy), and you can only download 3 books/day (enough for even the most voracious reader). In the spirit of Matto's maxim, I downloaded the following 3 titles:

  1. Einstein in His Own Words
  2. Engines of Creation 2.0. (See the Wikipedia entry for more.)
  3. The Art of War (Sun Tzu)

Today's bloggage continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Matto's Mantra & Downloading Free Books from Wowio

Radiation tri-blade 25.november.2007 » I trust you and yours had yourselves a pleasant Thanksgiving, with lots of bird to eat, and other yummy treats. I spent the day with the Bug (just the two of us), so it was most enjoyable.

President Bush pardons the Thanksgiving turkeyThanksgiving 2007

After tearing up the local playground, the day's highlight came when we took his "froggie boots" to the Newport Back Bay. There we found a feeder-stream he could tromp thru (something new).

The froggie boots kept his feet warm-n-dry. He seemed to enjoy dropping sticks in the water and watching them float downstream, and chasing after ducks.

After his mom picked him up (later in the day), I headed over to Tom's place, where his wife made turkey-stuffed acorn squash .. stuffed with nuts, peppers, cheese, and other nutritious treats. (Yummy.)

Tom & his wife are healthy eaters, so I knew it was gonna be good. They recently joined an organic co-op. Every other week, they get a bushel-basket full of organic veggies (such as the acorn squash we ate).

I think he said it costs $35 for ~35 pounds (of assorted veggies). The only bad part is you have to pay for 6 months up front. (And no, they don't deliver.)

Tom had spent the day tearing out his old carpet and sanding the underlying (concrete) floor. So his place had a distinct post-nuclear feel to it, with a slight echo. (Okay, it was more than slight.)

Today's bloggage continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Thanksgiving 2007

Radiation tri-blade 19.november.2007 » My neck is finally (after 6 weeks!) starting to loosen. I can turn my head side-to-side without pain, tho full range-of-motion remains elusive.

Epazote: secret ingredientThe Neck (6 weeks later)

Tilting » right-ear toward right-shoulder .. is the movement I now find most difficult. Feels like a steel cable (tendon?) connects my left shoulder to the base of my skull (on left side), restricting this (right-ward ») motion.

Forcing this movement causes swelling (the next day) where my neck (left-side) connects to my torso. The swelling (raised ~2 inches) looks scarier than it feels. Nevertheless, I'm hesitant to stretch very far in that direction (.. like they want me to).

The Doc says swelling is a sign muscles are still healing. So does that mean I am re-injuring them?

I'd say my neck has improved from severely jacked-up to (plain ol') "jacked-up." Severely jacked-up is defined as » difficult to deal with. Slightly jacked-up would be » easy-to-deal-with .. (tho, I'm not there yet).

The Doc suggested I wear a scarf around my neck (to keep the muscles warm). Altho this sounds stupid (and looks gay), I've found it helps better than anything else I've tried.

Web Master Skills

In more-technical news, I couldn't resist playing with my new XHTML/CSS skills .. and re-created the site's splash page (a 7-second timer will automatically kick you back here). This is my first-ever web page using XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. I created it from scratch with Dreamweaver CS3.

Today's bloggage continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » The Neck, Web Master Skills & Holy Frijoles

Radiation tri-blade 14.november.2007 » Learning lots about (X)HTML, CSS. & Dreamweaver. For example, I finished reading the Head First book (cover-to-cover, all 650 pages). Currently half-way thru the Lynda.com Essential training video for Dreamweaver CS3 (Creative Suite 3). Also reading the Missing Manual on Dreamweaver (~1,000 pages), which goes into more detail than the video. All great stuff.

Enhancing Web Master Skill Set

Was surprised to read over at Coding Horror that the average programmer reads less than 1 (technical) book per year. Given that tech books often contain ~1,000 pages, that doesn't mean Programmers aren't adding to their knowledge base. Yet I thought the number would be higher.

Note that it *is* possible to learn Dreamweaver (to create web pages) withOUT ever becoming familiar with the underlying technologies it uses (e.g. XHTML, CSS, etc.), but I feel better having spent the time to get a handle on those technologies before learning how to wield the tool (Dreamweaver).

My web skills are vastly improved over what they were a few months ago. I would feel comfortable designing and developing most any type of site .. except one that is primarily database-driven. (But that, too, is coming.)

I also now feel comfortable delving into more advanced treatments of CSS and Dreamweaver, such as (the book titled ») CSS Mastery, and (the training video titled ») Beyond the Basics for Dreamweaver. Plus I'd like to learn some scripting, such as PHP, JavaScript and AJAX .. along with XML. Cool stuff, especially for the age in which we live.

Today's bloggage continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Continuing to Enhance Web Master Skill Set (XHTML, CSS, Dreamweaver)

Radiation tri-blade 12.november.2007 » Woke from a dream this morning .. where I was enmeshed in a game of high-stakes poker .. (interesting, seeing I haven't played cards in years).

Dreaming of the Queen of Hearts

Queen of HeartsIf I lost, that was the end. Adios, me. Everything would be lost. To win the final hand, I needed either a queen, or a heart. Odds were slim, requiring something of a miracle .. and I drew » the queen-of-hearts .. (immediately before waking).

Not sure what (if anything) that might mean. Felt like somebody was trying to tell me something. Interesting how I needed either one or the other (a queen, or a heart), but got both-in-one.

Used to date a girl who had a knack for interpreting dreams. Don't think I have her number any more, tho. Reminds me of that song by the Eagles » Desperado .. where it says:

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy.
She'll beat you if she's able.
The queen of hearts is always your best bet.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Dreaming of the Queen of Hearts

Radiation tri-blade 11.november.2007 » The DC power jack on my laptop is loose. I've tripped over the cord once too often. I'm actually surprised it has lasted this long, considering how many times I've (accidentally) yanked it out.

Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose

DC Power Jack for a Laptop ComputerIt hasn't become a major problem yet, as power is easily restored with a quick jiggle or slight adjustment. But a few more well-placed yanks could render it useless. (If I can't get power to the laptop, it becomes a hi-tech doorstop .. soon as the battery dies.)

Google queries reveal this problem is surprisingly common (especially with Dells). If you're handy with a soldering iron (I've learned), you can try repairing it yourself. (My particular jack costs only US$10.)

Unfortunately, soldering is more difficult than it looks, especially when dealing with tiny connectors .. not to mention disassembling the laptop (and its subsequent reassembly). Best to let an experienced pro work their magic.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose

Radiation tri-blade 05.november.2007 » Second physical therapy session today .. for my neck. Last week, the doc assigned me to one of her therapists (or vice versa). "Today," she said, "you get *my* hands working on you."

Physical Therapy More Painful Than Original Injury

Extraordinary Rendition | A Frontline Special (PBS) broadcast Tuesday eveThis made me a bit nervous, cuz last week, the girl working on me suggested the doc applied more pain .. cuz "she's never been on the other side of this table."

The doc is tiny, but in good shape. She had me working on range-of-motion exercises. (Last week was more of a deep-tissue massage.)

I honestly cannot say which hurts more. Both involve serious pain. I'm feeling beat up (baseball bat style). But I can turn my head to the left now (~45-degrees). Couldn't do that yesterday (maybe 10 degrees max).

She had me at a place (turning head to left) where the slightest movement represented the difference between "comfortable" and 90% pain-threshold. We spent a long time (seemed like an eternity) fluctuating between 20 and 80% pain-threshold.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Physical Therapy More Painful Than Original Injury

Radiation tri-blade 04.november.2007 » Took the Bug trick-or-treating for Halloween. (A first for me.) He was dressed in a Dorothy costume (à la Wizard of Oz), complete with ruby slippers. Not an outfit I would've selected, but that's what he was wearing when I picked him up.

First Halloween with the Bug + 1st Physical Therapy

Yellow brick road | The Wizard of OzDid it make me uncomfortable to see my boy wearing a dress? Uh, a little. But he's only two. If he were five, maybe I'd be more concerned. Everybody agrees on one thing » he would've made a cute girl. =)

I almost didn't go trick-or-treating, cuz my neck was pretty sore that day. But Tom made it easy. He came by, transferred the Bug's car-seat (from the Rad-mobile) into his SUV, so all I had to do was hop in & go along for the ride.

As a side note, I find it interesting that Tom is probably the safest driver I've ever ridden with, especially considering how he prefers to indulge in sports which some might deem hazardous ..

.. such as mountain biking & rock climbing. He has even climbed El Capitan (which he calls "big wall" climbing). Yet he spent 10 minutes making sure the Bug's car-seat was fastened securely, and always lets the other car go first.

Tom has a 7-year-old daughter. She held the Bug's hand as they walked up to each front porch and rang the doorbell. Very cute. Many of these homes sported elaborate Halloween decorations (such as fog-making machines and mock graves that open & shut automatically).

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » My First Halloween with the Bug (Dressed as Dorothy) + First Physical Therapy Session