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Creative Web Development - CSS, XHTML, Javascript and RTML for Yahoo Store

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Well, it's been a while. The past 6 months have been life-changing, in a very good way. I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'll make it real easy:

  • Kris and I bought a house in Delaware. It's absolutely wonderful.
  • Kris and I got officially engaged. She's absolutely wonderful.
  • I got a very exciting (and well-paying) job that will (hopefully) set my mortgage woes at ease.
  • With this job and house I can finally get my German Shepherd.
So, there's my past few months in a nutshell. I haven't felt this happy and complete in quite some time. (ever, perhaps?) I start with the new company on Monday, and I'm very excited. I don't want to post any specifics about them until I find out the policy on things like blogs, but they're a very large (if you're in my industry you've probably heard of them) rich media company. It's a little bit of a commute, but it's going to be worth it, in my opinion.

And that's that. Packing and moving (we filled a 26' U-Haul truck and still had to rent another 16' one the next week) were hectic and looong, and I haven't been around the computer much for a few months. Luckily, this job is going to put me on a very normal schedule, so I'll be able to make time for blog posts much more often. Hopefully I'll be allowed to write about work; otherwise it's going to be boring to just about everyone but me.

Oh, and I took the plunge and set up my MySpace page, feel free to take a look. Now I feel like I have to go wash myself.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Long time no see...I hate it to be on these terms.

So, it's been quite a while since I wrote a blog entry. To both of you who read my blog regularly, I'm sorry. :) Google AdSense suspended my account, one of my friends, or possibly my co-workers (we have a shared WAN IP for 35+ machines) was probably clicking the links often (which is apparently a policy violation). I have yet to write them because I've been wrapped up in life, hopefully they don't care about time (like me). That line about "getting head on work" in my last post...well...ha! ;-)

After getting back from Yahoo, I spent an awesome weekend with some Delaware friends and the one and only Mr. Odenheiser playing too much beer pong and cards. If only life were like that every day...[sigh]. Anyway, I have pictures of that, and the Yahoo trip, but they're going to have to wait until the weekend so I can sort them. After the weekend in the Poconos I flew down to Georgia (near Marietta) to visit a client, that was a fun trip - no pictures though, it was a very short, hurried trip. Since my return from Yahoo I've been working like a maniac on a bunch of projects, one of which is getting back into PHP - so far so good. But the main reason that I haven't posted is because I'm re-working my site - I plan to actually make it usable! There will be a new design that isn't stupid like the way it works now, and posts will be divided into categories - one major section for work-related things (like Yahoo Store tips and tricks) and a separate site for my personal stuff (animals, gardening). Speaking of which, it's about time to clear off my extra desk and start seeding indoors, the season is rapidly approaching. I'm going to stick with sunflowers, morning glories (and some other nice-looking flowers), tomatoes, peppers, and herbs as my main crops - but also experiment with some things I've not done before - daffodils, onions, and I'm not sure what else right now.

But none of that is the reason I came back to my blog. Almost a year to the day we lost Rascal, our second ferret, Smoke, is looking pretty bad. He probably won't make it through the night, and if he does we're going to take him to our vet tomorrow (she's not open tonight). I have a strong feeling it's not going to be something we can fix, so we'll probably have him put down so he can stop suffering and be reunited with his brother Rascal at the bridge. Although it's the most heartbreaking thing in the world to lose a pet, it's an inevitable part of pet ownership and something you have to be willing to accept in order to allow yourself to share in the type of love you can only get from an animal. Although it obviously saddens me more than words can describe, I don't like to think of it as a sad thing - instead I feel that it gives me an opportunity to reflect on what they've meant to me, the happiness that I would have never had without them around, and the things they've taught me. So, I wanted to write about him as my outlet, and take a moment to share with anyone here how great it can be to share your life with a pet - take a minute to read it, even if you've never met a ferret before - and let him make you smile. What Smoke has given to me makes all the pain in the final days unbelievably worth it.

Smoke's an old ferret who's lived a long life, originally a pet store ferret that we liberated (with the help of a friend who worked there) when he had been there for over 6 months, nearing the end of his tenure in this particular pet store. Because he was the pet store's only white ferret, he got handled a lot - but nobody wanted to take him - so when we got him, he was a biter who didn't trust humans. I'll never forget the time I was visiting Kris at Penn State, and cuddling him a little too close (I don't generally fear animals, and try to radiate love when I'm near them, which sounds insane but has worked out to my advantage most of the time) and he latched on to the thing between my nostrils. And man, do I mean latched - I was crying like a little girl and even let go of him at one point, and he just hung there. In hindsight it makes for a hilarious picture - anyway long story short, I had to turn the shower on him to get him off - and having never felt water on him before (I assume) he screeched the most horrible noise I've ever heard in my entire life. But then we were both all good. :)

We got him over his biting habit relatively quickly, except feet with socks on them - he's always had a fetish for dirty socks. That took a while to break - so then he'd just steal them off the floor, literally by the twenties and thirties - we could tell it was nearing laundry time when the mountain of white started to spew out the bottom of his favorite black chair. He's like a big dumb jock with a child's awe - in fact, he got his name because unlike almost every other animal in the world, his raw curiosity always led him into drifts of smoke around the house. He never did come to like other ferrets, probably because of his pet-store life, but he and Rascal were inseperable best friends who formed a stronger bond than I've ever seen two animals (and maybe even people) make. I'm truly shocked Smoke made it this long after we lost Rascal; I always thought they'd go together like an old married couple. He came to have a very full, enjoyable life - when we lived at my dad's house, he and our pup Bella used to love to play together. He'd latch onto her jowels, she'd swing around until he fell off and swipe him with her butt and fake-sit on him - he'd dive at her, and she'd put her entire mouth around his back (but never, ever close it). I feel privileged to have been able to share in it.

Smoke was the biggest ferret I've ever owned, weighing in at over 5lbs in his prime (he's lost weight as he's gotten older), and that meant for a good cuddle - probably the reason he's my sister Kate's favorite of our ferrets. He's also the only ferret we own who 100% of the time used his litter box (except for human stupidity weeks, ie: me forgetting to clean the litter box often enough), and he had complete loyalty to me, Kris and Rascal. Those of you who own ferrets can understand this sentence: he was a completely honest ferret. He didn't look up at you and poop on the floor because he was mad, when he saw you walk by the gate between rooms the only thing on his mind was jumping up and down saying "come see me! come see me!" - he truly has been an amazing ferret, like his older brother Rascal, and a pleasure to have in my life. I couldn't have asked for more in a pet or a friend.

So this post is a request to anyone reading this to think about Smoke, smile, and wish him the best you can. Pray, meditate, or just sit and think about how nice it is to have someone so special touch your life, even if just for a fleeting amount of time. If there's one thing Smoke taught me it's that the best thing in the world is complete, trusting, unbiased love. I'll never forget him, and I know he's going to be happy when he finally gets to meet up with Rascal on the rainbow bridge.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Go West, Young Man

Headed out to California tomorrow with some people from work to visit and meet with Yahoo again. We'll be gone Tuesday-Thursday, which is why I haven't posted lately...spent the last week preparing (mostly catching up/getting ahead on work).

Also, spent the entire weekend programming PHP. I've got some small database apps that I need, and I'm tired of not having them. The first one should be ready soon; I'm taking Kris' laptop on the plane with me so I can work on PHP the whole time I'm not at Yahoo. Good times, good times.

I may post from out there if I get a chance, but most likely I'll just throw a bunch of pictures up when I get back, with my wonderful digital camera my family got me for Christmas. Hopefully when I get back I'll be back up to 100%...everyone at work seems to be getting sick and Im'm still not feeling like I should. Maybe it's just the sun that I miss...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

RTML Ship-weight as a sequence, removing parenthesis

Another post on the forums about the ship-weight variable, and why TEXT @ship-weight will output something like this: (1.0)

Ship weight, for whatever reason, is actually a sequence (in general, if something outputs parens, it's a sequence - try TEXT @contents or TEXT @price). I think they were going to build in a feature where, similar to prices, you could have different weights for bulk packages? I'm not sure - maybe it even works. Anyway, the PAT-SUBST command (which uses Regular Expressions) works perfectly; another means to achieve the same end is using ELEMENT:
TEXT ELEMENT position 0
             sequence @ship-weight
Nothing too fancy, but I was sick yesterday and had to take a half day and I'm still not feeling up to speed - January is the worst!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Adding custom properties in RTML; Adding a JavaScript onsubmit handler to a FORM

Someone on the forums today needed to add a Google Urchin (Analytics) onsubmit handler to their FORM command in RTML. I'm not sure if my answer solved their problem, but it leads to today's post, "Adding custom properties in RTML".

RTML used to be limited, in that whatever the Edit screen showed was what you had. For example, the TABLE operator has width, but not height. FORM only takes an action. And so on...until the latest RTML update. When I was out visiting Yahoo a while back, I was working with their RTML developer and he had this neat "Add" command on his Edit screen, where he could add custom properties with ease to any operator. My jaw dropped...I saw a piece of heaven! I told him how much this would help development and reduce hacks (see below) to the system, and he looked into it...a few weeks later, it was public. I'm just ecstatic about that.

The hack mentioned above went like this: if you had a command, say TABLE-CELL, and you wanted to add a class parameter to the TD tag, you had to trick the string to combine two parameters in one. What used to look like this:

TABLE-CELL align "center"
<td align="center">

now had to look like this

TABLE-CELL align "center\" class=\"someclass"
<td align="center" class="someclass">

The underlined quotes were created with the \" in the string, while the outer two were created by the TABLE-CELL operator.

Well, that's a thing of the past, since you can now add any parameter you want to any RTML command. Here is the example I typed up tonight using the FORM operator and the onsubmit handler.

  1. In your RTML, if you go to the ordering template...usually STORENAME-order, however this may be modified.
  2. Find the FORM command in RTML, usually it says FORM ORDER id.
  3. Click the FORM command in the RTML.
  4. Click Edit at the top of the screen.
  5. In the bottom box, type onsubmit and click Add (do not press Enter!)
  6. On the next page, where it says onsubmit, put this "javascript:__utmLinkPost(this)" (include quotes)
  7. Update the screen and give it a test

<form method=post action="...wg-order?yhst-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX+itemid">

<form method=post action="...?yhst-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX+itemid" onSubmit="javascript:__utmLinkPost(this)">

Also, Pirates still exist. Garrr!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Default search input text, and using CSS to clean up your search box

Quick one tonight, a nice simple script so your search box is a little more informative. By using the following code your search input will have the text "Enter Keywords", and it will disappear when the user clicks in the box. If they don't enter anything, it will reappear, otherwise it will let their entered text remain.

Is it necessary? Nope. But you might as well make it as simple as possible for those who are newer to the web - especially considering how little code it actually is.

 value="Enter Keywords!" 
 onfocus="if(this.value=='Enter Keywords!') 
            this.value='Enter Keywords!';" />

And you can add the following CSS code to make it a little cleaner looking.

.search {
    border: 1px inset #000080;
    width: 150px;
    font: normal 11px verdana;
    padding: 1px;
    height: 18px;

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hard Drive Temperature Monitoring with DTemp and SpinRite

Well, today's post is short, because tonight was our bowling league, then we had a fundraiser for the local CYC. I shot a 224 (surrounded by some crap 160+'s) in the league, and then threw 8 in a row during the fundraiser before getting two stupid splits to end the game near 249 or so. Blah.

Anyway, like I mentioned earlier I set up my second PC, and am cleaning up Windows XP step by step for a long detailed blog post. However my initial concern is, "is this really a safe drive?" It whirs a lot when it's just sitting idle, so that scares me - 120gb is very tempting, and I don't want to fill it with files just to have it fail.

First, I installed a temperature monitor program. It's wonderfully small and it runs in the systray, showing a constant temp right there. Get it here: DTemp temperature monitoring program. This is important because I have a LOT of electronics running in a small upstairs bedroom with the door shut 90% of the time. Also, the PC is under a desk, and in an effort to get it hooked up faster I haven't cleaned the 2 years of dust that's collected inside yet (that's for this weekend). So, it's much likely to run hotter than a normal machine.

Then, I installed SpinRite, a general hard disk monitoring utility which tells you of failures, etc. From their website:
SpinRite now brings its legendary data recovery and drive maintenance magic to the latest file systems, operating systems, and hard drives. It runs MUCH faster than ever before, can help maintain all of your drives in tip top shape, can warn of impending disaster, and wrestle data from dying and nearly dead drives . . . before it's too late.

Sounds perfect - and so far so good. Drive seems OK, though I'm going to monitor it daily for a while, so I'll post if I have any more information on SpinRite. I read on a login-only forum the following user comment:
Just to comment on this. I had 2 x 200 GB drives spanned to appear as one 400 GB drive when one of them died. Thereby loosing ALL 400 GB of data. I used this app and ran it on the drive - it did a sector by sector analysis / repair of the HD. Took a LONG time because it was a spanned volume, but it DID recover 99% of the data. All but one 100 MB folder was recoverable. AND the disk is still running fine today over 5 months later! Totally recomended !!!

That's good enough confirmation for me to give it a solid shot! Also, from the same site (grc.com) I also recommend running the Shields Up utility, which is web based, and checks for any vulnerabilites your PC might have as far as allowing traffic to and from your PC. I'll post more on that later.

So, that's it for now, some hard drive utilities for your installing pleasure. I also read an interesting Digg post about freezing your hard drive to recover data, but I'll have to post about that later...gotta be prepared for a Friday at work by actually getting some sleep tonight!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Quickly adding many posts in Movable Type - without import/export

Back on the 10th I posted about Movable Type, which I've been using a lot more as I prepare to move my blog over after the redesign is done (also, I've just finished setting up our work blog on it). In the ongoing debate between Movable Type and Wordpress and which is better, I really think it depends what you need. I started with Movable Type, (after Blogger of course) since it was the first one Yahoo released with their hosting package. I already know the language, like the clean interface and the easy access to the php, and how easily it interfaced it with phpMyAdmin, also available on Yahoo Hosting with our Yahoo Store. Whatever, that's not the point of this post.

One thing I don't like about Movable Type is how when creating a new post, if you set the status to "Published", it automatically publishes the post when you click Save. When I have 15 HTML files I'm ready to paste in and publish in bulk, I don't want to have to keep waiting for each to publish. At first I was Ctrl+clicking in Firefox on the New Entry link, so I would open 15 new tabs. Then I'd go to the first one, paste, publish. As it published, go and get the second HTML, and by the time I get back to the first tab it's done, so I close it and paste the second post. If there's one thing I learned from visiting the Edison estate (besides the fact that Banyan trees are wonderful and gorgeous) it's that the assembly line concept is solid. Repetition leads to increased efficiency in most cases.

So sure, this is more efficient than waiting each time...but if there's internet lag I'm still waiting a while (waiting just 1 second for my computer to keep up with my thought process aggravates me enough)...and having to even do this is just plain annoying. I can only imagine how long it will take when our work blog is huge. Well, there is a better way, which is awesome.

Basically, when you make new posts you set them to Unpublished instead of Published. Instead of publishing each it will save them, and mark them in your Entries list with a pencil icon. When you're done entering the 15 posts, go to the Entries page and click Power Editing Mode. Simply change all the Unpublished dropdowns to Published, and Save and Rebuild.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 extension replaces Console; Javascript errors no longer cluttered with CSS!

So, I upgraded to Firefox 1.5 not knowing that you couldn't easily install it side-by-side with 1.0. Most things work ok, though there are some annoyances - but there's one HUGE annoyance, which is how they changed the way page errors and warnings are handled. It used to show the JS errors in the Console window, which made it pretty easy to skim. With 1.5 they decided to include CSS errors as well, making the list extremely long and annoying.

Well, today Greg at work found a great extension to fix it, called Console 2 (squared). It allows you to filter the results into JS/CSS/XML, choosing any combination of the three. I honestly don't know what I'd do without it. Now if only they would make the classes in the DOM Inspector copyable so I didn't have to keep retyping them when I'm debugging a page...

ConsoleĀ² on Mozillazine Forums

Friday, January 13, 2006

How to Disable Windows XP Security Center Alerts

Sick again today, worst day of the week (hopefully that means it's OVER!). Had to use a sick day at work, which I hate doing so early in the year. Oh well, what can you do? I know, get rid of one of a million Windows XP annoyances.

The Windows XP Security Center is sloppy and it's much safer to use 3rd party programs for the same tasks. For a firewall, I recommend ZoneAlarm Pro, though I have my router set up pretty strict, and a lot of antivirus/antispyware installed, so I don't actually use a PC firewall. McAfee's firewall is pretty strong, too - I use that at work.

Anyway, Windows doesn't always detect your firewall, and thus tends to give you a "your computer is insecure" warning in your systray. I HATE things cluttering up my cherished systray. So, here's how to kill that alert.

To turn off Security Center alerts
  1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Security Center.
  3. In the Security Center, under Resources, click Change the way Security Center alerts me.
  4. In the Alert Settings dialog box, clear the Firewall, Automatic Updates, or Virus Protection check boxes, and then click OK.
From: Microsoft.com

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Drawings of a PSP by a 9 year old

Well, I didn't have time to post last night, I'm still sick and pretty much slept. So I'm just going to post something quick...since my blog redesign (which is finally past the conceptual stages!) will include a section just for fun links, such as those I find on boingboing, fark, slashdot, digg, etc.

Anyway today's is about some kid who REALLY wants a PSP, so much that he clips pictures of them, draws them to scale, and sells the pics to his friends for 50 cents (I remember when I used to run a Slim Jim ring in 5th grade before I got busted - I bought them wholesale at my dad's work, and sold them for a quarter to people at school - or a dollar if I didn't like you). Anyway good for him, kind of - obsession is never good, but having a goal and working towards it really is. Hopefully he can find a balance (or already has).

Anyway, I really agree with the last quote on the boingboing page: I think it's a great idea to get the kid a PSP, but I also wonder if he isn't having more fun dreaming and drawing than he would playing the games? Amen.

9 year old craves PSP

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Remember Roxi and Sign the Petition

To sum up her story, she was a 15 yr old deaf german shepherd mix who wandered into the neighbor's yard during a Memorial Day BBQ and was kicked so hard in the abdomen by a 40 yr old man that she later died from her injuries in another neighbor's yard under a tree. Frank Aquino will be sentenced for the crime of animal cruelty on January 12, 2006, so get your signatures in fast, just in case they actually matter. And go to the third link and email the Justice as well.

Remember Roxi
Sign the Petition
How to Help

Wilkes-Barre Companies Lead Way As Computer Jobs Take Off In Region

Times Leader Staff Photo/Don Carey

There's been a lot of press about Solid Cactus lately - we were on the news last week (I was interviewed and on TV, but missed the 5pm broadcast). This week we were featured on the Times Leader business front page (I'm told), luckily for me it was reprinted online: Times Leader - Silicon Wyoming Valley?. One of my favorite parts is the bottom of the article, "If their plans hold up, the three companies interviewed for this article will add nearly 200 IT jobs this year alone." It's nice to be part of something that helps the community, even if it's only in a passive way.

I'm still feeling pretty sick and I'm in the process of making some Javascript training documents, so that's it for tonight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Scary - Remote Control Device 'Controls' Humans

This is actually somewhat old news (2.5 months or so), but it's interesting and scary nonetheless (also I just noticed it's been a saved draft since 10/27).

Remote Control Device 'Controls' Humans - Yahoo! News

Plus, I want to keep up with somewhat daily content, even on nights I'm not feeling well. I slept a lot of the night after feeling pretty sick, and then woke up to work on some training material for CSS and Javascript for our team. Of course, a day or two after posting about being healthy, I start to feel sick - that's ok, I'm going to assume it's my body realigning itself, and ride it out.

Someone very close to me had a very spiritual/religious experience this weekend. It was a truly beautiful thing to see - more people in this society need to find faith in something, and the most important part is that it does not matter what that is, as long as it encourages curiosity, discovery, growth and most importantly, promotes positive interaction between people. For some, like Catholics, it's the Lord; for Buddhists, it's the Self; for Islamics it's Allah. Some churches stick with strict Latin mass; other churches (like the one I went to on Sunday) have a live band with guitar, singing, and people dancing everywhere; Buddhists quietly meditate on their day and their problems. Whatever it is and however you do it, it should an important part of everyone's life to at least some degree. Only through attempting to discover unknown truths about these mysteries can one truly grow as a person.

The greatest part of the experience, for me, was hearing a piece of literature (Catholic) read to me, the "thought" for the day, so to speak. It (as well as the day's sermon) was about spreading what you've found to others - but not with the preachy "Have you accepted Jesus" talk that makes people uncomfortable - instead, through compassion and loving for others, and it specifically used the term "loving kindness". I know this term very well as a Buddhist term, so to see it touted as a Catholic teaching strengthened my faith in my belief that no religion can truly be right or wrong, the only important thing is the morals it teaches. (honestly, does anyone think we're going to get an answer in this lifetime? what's all the debating for ... let everyone choose for themselves. we'll all find out if we're right or wrong when we're dead ... or maybe we won't ... woah, deep)

And on that note, back to bed for me.

Quick CSS code for Movable Type Power Editing Mode

In Movable Type, there's a Power Editing mode that allows you to bulk-edit the following: Publish State, Name, Author, Category, and Date. It's a bit clunky (like most web forms tend to be), because it's made to be accessable...but I like small fonts. So, here's the code I use in my Firefox sidebar (Ctrl+Shift+E if you have the Web Developer's Toolbar installed) that allows it to fit perfectly in my 1280x1024 monitor with the sidebar as small as it can be.

select {font-size: 10px;}
#list-entry table.compact tr td + td input {font-size: 10px; width: 525px;}
#list-entry table.compact tr td + td + td input {font-size: 10px; width: 110px;}

Friday, January 06, 2006

Is Splenda (or any artificial sweetener) safe? Living healthy in 2006...

This year, I'm trying to return to the healthy eater I used to be. Over the past few years (thanks to habits I easily picked up in college) I've eaten a lot of fast food, drank a lot of soda, and in general not taken care of my body. Besides the fact that I've gone from a basketball playing kid to a computer programming adult, like many Americans the convenience of Arby's, Grotto's Pizza, and Chinese Food delivery has beaten out my desire to go food shopping more often than I'd like to admit. Granted, I did give up Mountain Dew (almost cold turkey - from about 8 cups a day in November to 5 or 6 total all of last month) - but I still ingest a lot of random crap, especially in place of meals (the big problem).

Sure, I love healthy food - when they're there I eat my vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach and collards (with hot sauce, of course); I like to go out for sushi; most importantly, I truly enjoy cooking and eating a healthy, home-cooked meal. But I just don't eat it as much as I should.

So, with the disappearence of a significant amount of sugar, caffeine [1], and carbonation that used to dance all day in my stomach, my insides took some time to balance, obviously. I now drink tea, Snapple and sometimes Sierra Mist, which is caffeine free, at work. It's amazing what an effect something as simple as Mountain Dew can do to a person's insides. I can seriously say I feel hundreds of times better with it out of my system, in many aspects. As everyone knows Mountain Dew is especially loaded with caffeine, having 10mg more caffeine in a 20oz bottle than Coke.

Check out school cafeterias: Kids are bypassing milk for cans of Coke (45 milligrams), Pepsi (37), Mountain Dew (55) and Sunkist (40), bought at school pop machines or served at the fast-food franchises now at 13 percent of the nation's schools. Glance at family shopping carts: Sodas are the best-selling product at grocery stores--$11.7 billion annually in sales. And four of the five most popular soft drinks in the United States are caffeinated, with No. 4 Sprite the sole exception. The top drinkers, teen boys, pop open an average of three sodas a day. [1]

Anyway, my family is prone to diabetes, so I feel much healthier and safer overall. I feel much less "randomly hostile", and my ups and downs have decreased significantly. I wake up with a "hangover head" (that heavy, need more sleep feeling you get after a great night out...or a night programming for 10 hours) about twice a month (not including nights I drink of course), compared to 3-4 workdays a week when I was doin the Dew. I have never been a morning person, and I stay up stupid late, so I always attributed those side effects to my terrible sleep habits. But, with the Dew gone, I still have the terrible sleep habits - but not the morning stomach and headaches I used to. So with Dew gone, it's time to phase out something else unhealthy that regularly sneaks its way into my life. Enter artificial sweeteners.

The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes it's claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, making it have zero calories.

It is not that Splenda is naturally zero calories. If your body had the capacity to metabolize it then it would no longer has (sic) zero calories. [6]

Now, with all the crazy news about Aspartame possibly (probably?) being extremely toxic [3], and now Splenda being under the knife [4-6], I think I'm going to drop artificial sweeteners from my diet altogether. I've already completely given up Coffeemate, whose first ingredient after water is "Corn Syrup Solids" and contains no milk, but instead Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative, not a source of Lactose). I won't even go into details on what that stuff did to my stomach (brewed tea was my replacement for Dew at work, and the Coffeemate made me feel almost as bad as the Dew did, in much shorter order). Let's just say from now on it's milk, or nothing.

So goodbye, Mountain Dew - I'll see you again occasionally, I'm sure. And don't let the door hit you on the way out, artificial sweeteners. You're just no good for me - or anybody.


[1] Caffeine and Children
[2] Diabetes.org
[3] Aspartame on Wikipedia (see section 3.1 and 4)
[4] The Hidden Chemicals In Splenda
[5] The Secret Dangers of Splenda (Sucralose)
[6] 12 Questions You Need to Have Answered Before You Eat Splenda

The IVR (interactive voice response) Cheat Sheet by Paul English

If there's one thing about technology that drives me insane, it's the fact that companies think that it can replace human interaction. I develop e-commerce stores, so you'd think my stance is automate, automate, automate. In fact, that's kind of the entire point of this blog. But...there's a time for automation, and then there's a time for old-school human conversation. When I'm on a short lunch break or between meetings, and I have to call a company - especially if it's about a mistake they made - I don't want to have to sit and navigate through screen after screen, listening to some slow bot drone on and on about options that I already know don't affect my situation.

My general response is to say "operator", and if that doesn't work, I press 0. If that doesn't work, I start randomly pressing *, # and 0 in rapid succession. This almost always gets me to a human - otherwise I try to go straight to sales, because they tend to be waiting to talk to me.

Well, screw that from now on. Paul English has saved us all an unbelievable amount of time and frustration with his wonderful compliation of ways to get around interactive menus. The page is logically organized and has an amazing number of companies. Make sure when you go to his site, you read the info page at the top, there is a lot of good information there. Thanks for the link, mom!

IVRs ("interactive voice response") are the annoying computers that answer phones. They can sometimes be useful (check flight status etc), but consumers should be able to decide when they want to speak with a human, simply by pressing 0.

The IVR Cheat Sheet by Paul English

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yahoo Store - Deleting one item deletes multiple items?

On the Yahoo Store forums today, someone asked why, when they deleted one item from their site, it removed other items as well (assuming I read their question correctly!) So, since I need to get to sleep before work, that's the topic of today's post - why does my store delete multiple items when I try to delete one?

The reason is because when you delete a page, all the Contents of that page are deleted.

This can come in handy if you want to bulk-delete items - create a temporary page, paste a ton of ids into the Contents, and then delete that temporary page.

But, it can also have its downsides - delete the "Dog Sale" section, and any items from "Dog Sale" that are also in "Dog Treats" or "Dog Toys" are deleted as well.

Ultimately, you should add a custom variable called "cross-sell" (for example) to your item Type (do this on the Types page in the Editor - you can't add type "ids" to Catalog Manager) and have your RTML templates use that variable instead. Because this variable is type "ids" and not "objects", they won't have the parent-child relationship, and won't delete all the other items on the page like the Contents variable does.

So, in order to safely delete a page, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure you are in Advanced mode in your editor (if you see two lines of yellow buttons on the home page, you are. If not, click the red arrow to the far right of them and you will be).
  2. Navigate to the item you want to delete.
  3. Click Edit
  4. Scroll to the Contents field.
  5. Select everything and delete it (use Ctrl+X so you have it on your clipboard in case you change your mind).
  6. Update your changes
  7. Press Delete in the yellow button bar.
Now that item, and only that item, is deleted. Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Top 10 Free Time Wasting Sites on the Net

I use Yahoo Widgets to stay on top of a lot of RSS feeds (I'll post about both widgets and my favorite rss feeds later - Slashdot, Digg, A List Apart, and Snopes to name a few), and will be posting them into a new category (which I have yet to create) full of interesting links.

The first interesting link to kick in the new year will be one that everyone who works on a computer needs - the top 10 ways to waste your time on the net. Is this comprehensive? (flips hair) Pshaw! But, it's fun nonetheless. So...have at at. (warning...this is on About.com, so prepare yourself for a popup or two)

The Top 10 Free Time Wasting Sites on the Net [via Digg]

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year, and Cheat Sheet Roundup

Happy New Year, everybody.

What a year. I'm not going to get into all that sappy memories mumbo jumbo. Let's just say it was a year, it's over, and leave it at that. What's the new year got in store? Who knows...but it should be an interesting one. For me...a lot of woodworking and gardening, to say the least.

Now that my hell season at work is over and I'm done working 12+ hour days for a while, I'll be able to get back into the swing of things and start posting every day or two as I had originally planned (until I realized it was September, the beginning of every Yahoo Store programmer's worst nightmare).

So, I'm back in full force, and for the 3 loyals readers of my blog (thanks, Dad!) plan to see more updates (and a full blog redesign and restructuring) in January. I'm also considering moving this blog to Movable Type, so I can actually dig into the source code and customize more than just the design.

And for those of you who actually come here for information, I can't just post drivel, so here's a link to a page I found on PeteFreitag.com that I found most useful - some of these are just so convenient, you can't NOT print them and put them on your desk at work.

Cheat Sheet Roundup - Over 30 Cheatsheets for developers [petefreitag.com]

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Notorious B.I.G. vs Frank Sinatra Mash-Up Hip Hop Mix

It's 7am, I've been up working all night, and I have to tell someone about this mix I'm listening to, which I downloaded at some point in my travels this evening. It's a mash up of Notorious B.I.G. over Frank Sinatra done by...Jon Moskowitz presents - DJ Cappel & Smitty. I found it online, so you can too if you look hard enough, or contact me if you really have to have it (and you really have to have this). It's titled Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy, the tracklist is below. Runtime 36:27.

This is as good as (I think slightly better than) the Danger Mouse/Jay-Z Grey Album (which is a mashup of Jay-Z with the Beatles White Album). Maybe it's just because I tend to be more of a fan of Biggie than I am of Jay-Z. Anyway, for fans of this genre, look for The Mouse and the Mask, which is Danger Mouse and Danger Doom (MF Doom) together doing a concept album about Adult Swim from Cartoon Network.

Juicy - New York, New York
Everyday Struggle - A Day In The Life of a Fool
Nasty Boy - For Every Man There's A Woman
Come On - My Way of Life
Interlude - The World We Know (Over & Over)
Dead Wrong - In My Room (Nancy Sinatra)
Let's Get In On (feat. 2Pac) - Rain In My Heart
Hypnotize - Little Green Apples
10 Crack Commandments - Fools Rush In
Runnin/Victory 2004 - A Long Night
Unfoolish (feat. Ashanti) - Out Beyond The Window

Monday, October 10, 2005

Life, The Windows Address Bar, and Everything

It's been a hectic few weeks. Unfortunately, that means the blogging fun is on temporary hiatus, which means I'll only be able to update it at completely random times, sometimes 3 days in a row, sometimes not for 3 weeks. For my 7 loyal fans (I wish) I'll try to update as often as I can.

I got my first migraine of the busy season last week...and it didn't seem related to work at all. In fact, it was perfectly timed with Sophie (our only female ferret, and a complete daddy's girl) going into a very scary seizure. Krissy was on the ball and got her some Karo syrup and brought her back...and as she recovered, the migraine went away...it was strange to say the least. A lot of strange coincidences like that have been happening lately...enough to freak me out a bit.

As far as work goes, released the RTML Toolbar v1.0 (alpha) this week. It's basically a set of macros and keyboard shortcuts that helps to write RTML templates locally, as text, and then upload them. Sunil is already using it, so far he says it's worked well. Hopefully this can help with productivity at the office, because there's a LOT of people who want work this time of year, and we want to be able to accomodate them all.

The reason I found time to write all this is because I'm locked out of the store I'm working on (are they publishing at 4:20am? who else is up at this hour?). But, it looks like I'm back in, so back to the grind. In the meantime, here's a tip so I don't feel like I just wasted 10 minutes of your life.

Using the Windows Address Bar as a clipboard and Run box
I love visual clipboards, but have a hard time finding places where I remember to use them. In Firefox, I constantly paste Store IDs into the upper-right corner search box so I can always easily access them as I work. In IE I do the same with the Google Toolbar. In Slimbrowser (IE with Tabbed browsing, which I use for Autotask because it is popup-based) there's a search box as well.

But what if I'm not in a web browser, or want a clipboard that is global across all programs? Using Ctrl+C isn't safe, because you're likely to overwrite that (often!), and installing 3rd party software is a pain and weighs down the system. Instead, you can turn on the Address Bar in the Windows Taskbar. It's simple to do, just right-click the taskbar, go to Toolbars, and choose Address. Its real function is like a Run dialog (with Auto-Fill), allowing you access to your common folders quickly. In the screenshot below, you can see how it saves the folders you've accessed recently. However, I use it as a temporary dump for text. As long as you don't press Enter or Go, you can paste text in here and it will stay there until you reboot (or crash, heh). When you click it into focus, it auto-selects all, so you can just Ctrl+C it back into your clipboard. I use this all the time now for Store ID, so I can easily go between Favelets in different browsers with this string. I keep mine short even though I have multiple monitors because I rarely need to see what I'm copying and pasting there. If you want to get crazy with it or don't have a wide screen, you can make your taskbar two levels high, so the Address bar stretches the entire width of the screen. Then you can have as much text pasted there as you want (hit the spacebar about 6 times between each set) which you can access all you want.

Windows Address Bar in Taskbar Shortcuts

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Solid Cactus Partners with Yahoo!

For the next few weeks, the blog posts are going to be short and to the point. This one is freaking AWESOME!

Solid Cactus Partners with Yahoo! Small Business for Affordable Ecommerce Solutions: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Quick Update

Wow, has it really been 11 days since my last post? That's 11 days of saying "tomorrow, I'll find an hour" - geez. My girlfriend and friends are already starting to see me less and less...and it's only going to get worse for now. It sure did become our busy season fast this year...just a few weeks ago, I remember having enough free time to spend at least an hour a day with Kris, and another with my plants (luckily it's near the end of the season with those).

During September through early December, our Yahoo Store clients are all trying to redesign/update for the holidays, and boy do we have a lot of them right now. We also temporarily lost two programmer (but luckily hired another one, who seems very on-the-ball) so that increased our team's stress for a little bit. They're both on the mend and coming back very soon, thank god.

In what free time I am finding I'm working on a local RTML editor, which is being built in four stages: 1) Typing templates as you would see them on the screen and uploading them; 2) Same as 1 but with a "button bar" interface like the one in Y! Store so you can paste within, paste after etc; 3) full editor with variables page and objects (items) so I can work locally in the same environment. Phase 1 is near completion, but phase 2 is the hard one. I have it conceputalized but as all programmers know - the reality is much more difficult. From phase 2, phase 3 should be easy.

We also went to two weddings I didn't blog about yet. First, my friends Craig and Jen from Delaware got married (congratulations) and THAT was a fun party! I got to see some people I hadn't seen in a while (check out Brian's Deals Blog!) and that's awesome. Hopefully I can find another weekend to go down there and party with them again soon.

And then, my mom got remarried last weekend. The service was small and cozy, and beautiful - the preacher told some really great stories in a very atypical ceremony (should anything less be expected from my family?). My mom looked beautiful (I got to give her away and present the rings), and she seems really happy, which is the most important part. Rick's a really cool guy, I hope they're doing well.

So, that's what's been taking up my time. I've got to get back to work, I'm working on a project that I'm not sure if I'm allowed to disclose until it's done, but hopefully it will turn out very profitable for the company. And, if I get it done in time, more work on Phase 1 of the local RTML editor, which is expected to be finished by Tuesday morning (because I'm training my guys on it Tuesday afternoon).

Until then!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gmail Conversation Preview Bubbles - Firefox Grease Monkey Script

I have a problem with sorting my email - I set up filters, but never remember to archive everything. Plus, I'm plagued with a habit of marking an email as unread (when I'm busy) so I don't forget to reply - and then forgetting to check unread messages that have moved off-screen.

Fortunately, there's a great script[1] for GreaseMonkey[2] (a FireFox[3] extension[4]) that I've been using for a little while now. By giving the ability to right-click a message in your Inbox to preview, archive, or keep unread it really makes using Gmail much smoother and easier to use. The implementation is excellent and Gmail doesn't load any slower in Firefox for me than at all.

Gmail Conversation Preview Bubbles [persistent.info]

[1] Script (Right-click and Install User Script)
[2] GreaseMonkey Home
[3] Get Firefox
[4] Firefox Extensions from Mozilla.org

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) User-Agent Spoof

Anyone using IE7 who is locked out of OrderMotion or any other applications that don't officially support IE7, here is how to get around it (thanks to MickeyMouse of Tech-Recipes.com for the original post):

IE7 User-agent Spoof for IE6
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. In the textbox type regedit and click OK
  4. In the registry editor browse to the following key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Internet Settings\ 5.0\ User Agent]
  5. Click the Edit menu
  6. Select New
  7. Select String Value
  8. Name the string: version
  9. Right-click this new string
  10. Select Modify
  11. In the value data box, place this text: MSIE 6.0
  12. Click OK
  13. Close regedit and restart IE
Very special thanks to Justin Rattigan for emailing me the tip!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Difference between Fruits and Vegetables

I was reading around on the internet researching peppers and tomatoes (my two biggest crops this year) wondering to myself, "Is a pepper a fruit or a vegetable?" and found a random posting about the difference between fruits and vegetables. Here's what I IMed to myself at home (I can't find the link anymore - [edit: Difference between fruits and vegetables, thanks Andrey!).

I think the fundamental problem here is that people think that the words 'fruit' and 'vegetable' are mutally exclusive.

Here is a dictionary definition of a vegetable:
The edible part of a plant, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

And a dictionary definition of a fruit:
The ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms.

A tomato (or pepper) is an edible part of a plant. It is also a ripened ovary which contains seeds. Therefore it is a fruit AND a vegetable.

I've heard a million things about the difference and people's takes, but based on everything I've read and heard, as far as I'm concerned that's the definitive answer. I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts on the subject.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Join our Google Talk Pros/Cons Discussion

My friend and I have been discussing the pros and cons of Google Talk and it has raised some interesting points on both sides. Feel free to join us in our discussion at Andrey Smagin's Blog.

[1] My post when Google Talk was released

Traybar Part 2 - Using it to EASILY replace the Start Menu

I posted a few days ago about Traybar, but missed one of the most vital shortcuts - how to actually use it to replace the Start Menu! Here's a quick step by step guide. The screenshots are embedded in the instructions in an attempt to try something new. :) I do this procedure immediately after any new program is installed. The backup is always in my start menu if I need it (which is rarely) and I can immediately delete any crap off my desktop as well.
  1. Navigate the Start Menu to the shortcut you want to add.
  2. Right-click it, choose "Properties", then click "Find Target".
  3. This will take you to the folder with the executable file.
  4. Right-click the .exe file and choose "Add to Traybar".
  5. Choose a Traybar folder on the "Add to Traybar" screen.
  6. The shortcut will be in the bottom of the folder you choose.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Speeding up your Internet Connections in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer

There are a lot of tweaks out there for speeding up your internet browsing (and downloading) experience, but a lot of them are flim-flam. Some of them do work though, and I plan to post about both types (debunking the former of course), including a pretty nice Word Document I wrote for a few friends and teammates at SolidCactus who I know use Firefox a lot. Unfortunately, I'm away for the holiday weekend and don't have my full resources at my disposal right now.

So, the first one I'll touch upon is the "Max-connections" tweak. Does this work? In my experience, it does immensely. Here's why: when you're browsing a website that has, say, 50 images on it (like a Flickr thumbnail gallery) - HTTP specifications say you're only supposed to download 2 of them at max at a time (4 for HTTP/1.0 servers)[1]. While these numbers reduce load on the servers[2], it also slows down the display of the page, as you're only getting images 2 at a time.

You will also notice this if you try to download multiple files from a site, for example 3 executable or movie files from the same server. If you have two already downloading, the third won't allow you to setup the download until you've finished one, which can lead to a lot of wasted time at the PC if you want to (for example) set up 5 large files to download overnight and then go to bed while they transfer.

As far as what numbers to use for each connection type, I have mine set to 10 (http) and 15 (http/1.0) and it seems to work great. Some recommend using 4 and 8, then trying with 6 and 10 if that's too slow, testing and increasing as you see fit. This is really a matter of personal preference and as I'm constantly downloading batches of files from servers, sometimes I will change mine to as high as 24 and 48.

So, how do you increase this number?

  1. Start the Registry Editor (Start|Run|Regedit)
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Internet Settings
  3. Select New > DWORD Value from the Edit menu
  4. Name the new value MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
  5. Right-click the MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server value and choose Modify
  6. Under Base, click the radio button next to Decimal
  7. In the Value Data: box enter the number of simultaneous connections you want to set *see note above, and click OK
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 using the new value MaxConnectionsPerServer
  9. Exit the registry editor
  10. Close ALL Explorer windows (I've found it safest to close all Folders too, and/or Reboot to be safe if it doesn't seem to work immediately).
  1. Open Firefox
  2. In the browser address bar type about:config (shortcut to the address bar using Ctrl+L)
  3. In the search box that appears type network.http to shrink the list down to what we need
  4. Find and modify the following values:
    • network.http.max-connections to 128
    • network.http.max-connections-per-server to 48
    • network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy to 24
    • network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server to 12
  5. The reason I use higher number in Firefox is because I tend to have many tabs in firefox and will open a large number at any one time (for example, "Open all Blog bookmarks in new tabs")
  6. Or, if you are very familiar with Firefox and know about user.js you can add the following lines: user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 128);
    user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 48);
    user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 24);
    user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 12);
  1. Open Opera
  2. Go to Options > Network
  3. Change Max connections to server to 48
  4. Change Max total connections to 128
  5. Change Size of network buffer to 32KB (this one might not actually do anything, I don't use Opera enough to have noticed a difference)

[1] W3C HTTP/1.1 Connections RFC
[2] Hacking Firefox (and why this might be a bad idea)
[3] Firefox Speed Settings explained (MozillaZine)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Setting the Default Font in Microsoft Word and Excel

This one is a pretty simple shortcut that stops a major annoyance for me in Microsoft Office. I really hate Times New Roman and much prefer Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Georgia, or even Arial sometimes. And Lord help me if I ever go back to Comic Sans MS...but that's a whole different rant.

So, how do you change the default font in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel? Piece of cake. 3 screenshots for Word, 2 for Excel - what could be easier?

Changing the Default Font in Microsoft Word

1. Go to the Format menu, and choose "Font". (Alt+O, F)

2. Choose the font you want, and press "Default" (Alt+D) at the bottom.

3. Click "Yes" to the dialog that pops up.

Now I bet you're all cocky, and want to try it in Excel too. Lucky for you, it's even easier than Word!

Changing the Default Font in Microsoft Excel

1. Go to the Tools menu, and choose "Options". (Alt+T, O)

2. Go to the "General" tab and change the "Standard Font" area.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Photos from Miguel and Stephanie's Wedding

Ok, ok, I finally got the pictures up. A lot of them were very dark and/or blurry so I wanted to do some touching up and red-eye removal. I have more, but these are the ones that came out best. Sorry about some of the low qualities, I'm still tinkering with the camera. You'll have to go to my Flickr account to see them (you convinced me to sign up today, Andrey!). Enjoy!

Photos of Miguel Younger's Wedding

Free Opera Web Browser - 24 HOURS ONLY!


Note: For one day only, you can get an ad-free version of Opera. Simply e-mail registerme@opera.com to obtain a registration code. This offer is valid from 12 a.m. Tuesday, August 30 to 12 a.m. Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT). [edit: chicka-derpa, thanks Justin, I'm zoomtarded]

You can also go to this URL: Register Opera Free. Thanks Matt, you are the fastest!

For those of you waiting for pictures of the wedding, they will be up this afternoon/evening. I had to reinstall Photoshop at home last night and couldn't get them resized and cleaned up before I had to get some sleep. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Miguel and Stephanie Younger!

The wedding yesterday was great, everyone looked amazing - especially the bride and groom. I've got a busy day ahead of me, so I won't be able to post photos until later tonight, but I had to share this one with everyone as soon as I got up.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Traybar - FREE Start Menu Replacement Software (Freeware)

Sometimes, the Start Menu just doesn't cut it for me. Ok, most of the time, the start menu doesn't cut it for me. It's slow, disorganized, easily cluttered when any new program is installed, full of things I don't need, and lacking some of the ones I do need.

I keep my most often used shortcuts on the left side of my middle monitor[1], but there are a few reasons I only keep a minimal amount here. First, Windows will randomly lose the formatting, even if I've organized them and rebooted multiple times (implying it should save the settings) - one crash of an IE window could take the whole thing down, and upon reboot it's back to a random, or alphabetical order. Second, there's just too much chance for an accidental click with them there out in the open. I've already quite a few times gone to grab the scroll bar in the left monitor, and click Photoshop instead. With how many programs I have open at a time, a resource hog like that could take minutes to open. Not very efficient!

Instead, TrayBar[2] allows you to fully customize what I like to call a "start menu replacement", which acts very similarly to a custom start menu, except it runs faster and is cleaner looking[2] (and more easily customizable [3,4]).

TrayBar Features
  • Runs in systray (starts with Windows)[2]
  • Extremely fast loading and responsive interface
  • Clean, usable interface with no learning curve[2,5]
  • Simple options, no bloatware, uses low resources/overhead[7]
  • 600K average mem usage (winamp, open not playing: 1,240K; services.exe 1,308K) (my machine[8])
  • Integrates into context (right-click) menu in Windows perfectly[3,4]
  • Multiple folders and separators for easy organization[2]
  • Customizable icons[6]
  • Ability to open emails with the TO field filled out (see note below)
One of the best features, which I don't have in my screenshots because I use gmail at home, not Outlook, is the ability to add an "email" folder to the top of Traybar. This will allow you to pre-fill a bunch of email addresses - for example I have each of my family, closest friends, and co-workers in there. Now, to email them, instead of opening Outlook, starting a new message, and typing/browsing to their name, I just click Traybar, hover "email" and click their name - an Outlook email pops up with their email address filled in. VERY handy!

The author no longer supports/is writing this software but if you have any questions he has responded to my emails and is a very very nice guy. I've never had any problem with the software at all, everything has always functioned exactly as expected, so I can see why he isn't going to mess with it! This is by far one of my most often used tools, and I can't imagine life without it now that I have it installed both at home and at work. Check it out!


[1] my left-side shortcuts
[2] traybar!
[3] context-menu integration
[4] context-menu "add shortcut" dialog
[5] config screen
[6] config a custom icon
[7] simple options
[8] task manager memory comparison

Friday, August 26, 2005

HOFA Buckeye Bash and Ferret Pictures!

This is going to be a short post, mostly because I'm running behind today. Why, you ask? Because when it comes to alarm clocks, I'm technically retarded. I have a habit of staying up way too late, and then sleeping in. Luckily, my girlfriend Krissy submits herself to a surly Me every morning and helps get me out of bed (thank the lord). Otherwise, I'd probably be about 4 hours late for everything, all the time. My body works on L.A. time and I live in Wilkes-Barre, PA...something isn't right here.

Anyway, that little ramble is because Kris is gone until Sunday! :( She's at the HOFA Rescue Ferret Buckeye Bash[1] in Ohio this weekend. HOFA is the Heart of Ohio Ferret Association and Rescue, one of the bigger ones across the U.S, and the Buckeye Bash is one of the biggest ferret shows of the year. Bob Church, the most well-known ferret expert and inventor of Bob Church's Chicken Gravy[2], which has saved many a sick ferret, will be there speaking (I'm a little jealous, I'd like to meet him real bad). It's on Saturday, Aug 27, 2005 - so if you're in the area, stop by! Kris will be at TheFerretStore.com's[3] booth, which is where she works (TheFerretStore, not the booth, obviously) as an Internet Marketing Specialist. TheFerretStore is sponsoring/presenting the event along with HOFA. Check out their Ferret Store Interactive[4] site, there's some excellent resources and information there.

But, since we have 6 ferrets (7 until recently...sniff), she also does ferret shows for them with our friend Carissa, who also has ferrets. Jason[5], her husband, works with me at SolidCactus. And that my friends was the point of this whole little post - to show off pictures of our ferrets. This is not a full representation, as I can only presently find one small folder of the thousands of pics I have of them. Lucky for you, I'll be finding and posting more soon! For now, this should quell your appetite for cute animals...

Cute Ferret Pictures
That's it, sorry if today's post was a little boring. This weekend I'll be separating this blog into two sections: one for technology, PC efficiency, and Yahoo Stores; the other about my pets, garden, and life. Until then!


[1] HOFA Buckeye Bash 2005
[2] Bob Church's Chicken Gravy
[3] Ferret Products at TheFerretStore.com
[4] Ferret Information, Resources and more at FerretStoreInteractive.com
[5] The Great and Powerful Jason Longo!

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