A Little About Me

I've been writing software for over 25 years now in a variety of languages. My experience runs the gamut but is mostly rooted in UNIX-based platforms. More recently, I've taken up implementing websites using modern CMS systems such as WordPress and Drupal. I write plugins, style extensively with CSS, and fix bugs. My personal interests include photography, competitive swimming, agility training, and of course -- my dog!

My dog

For Hire

My skill set is strong and I'm always looking for a new challenge. I love to solve problems and am often called in to get projects back on track. Contact me and let's talk!

Attention Airlines -- I think I'll just drive

I started this post several months ago with the intention of it being a cathartic rant. Now I find that I can barely remember the specifics of why I was so mad but just the mention of airline flight is enough to send me into an apoplectic fit.

UPDATE: I feel the need to complete this post. After a recent trip, I remember why the thought of driving for 4 straight 12 hour days was more appealing than the 15 hours of airline torture I’ve had to endure. I will give props to the gate agents as they are dealing with incredible stress every day. Without the good humor and kind hearts, this rant would be filled with quite a few unprintables.

The problem with modern air travel is that airlines have found ways to divert any frustration away from their business decisions and pitted traveler against traveler. While reclining seats have been an issue for so many years, the latest of charging for luggage, no entertainment, and meagre seat space has made for extremely

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Derivative Images & Why Imagecache is Busted

Having now spent 2 days trying to track down why I had so many issues with caching images, I came to the realization that imagecache is flawed and has been from inception.

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When Less is Not Best

As I have done for many years, I  look for the hardware/software requirements of any application I’m considering downloading.  Sounds logical, right? It would seem that those few words — requires minimum OS 1.2.3 — would be simple to place on a download software web page. And yet, I would be wrong. Twice  now I have downloaded applications to my desktop after I scoured the product website looking for minimum specifications (none found) only to discover that my version of OS is not supported.

While I might forgive an open source developer who is creating software more from the heart than the pocketbook, the same is not true of Amazon who was the latest to “forget” to specify minimum requirements for their software product offerings. Shame on you Amazon for assuming and we do know what that means!

Drupal -- Getting Colorbox to Popup Calendar Events

Popup calendar events particularly when you have events of different content types and repeating events can be tricky. Setting a Colorbox trigger on your view can save the day.

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Moving - The (not so) Final Frontier

I’ve finally had it with long, cold, snowy winters. Packing and moving is a pretty daunting task and I’m happy to say that we survived the ordeal. I do have a few tips though that can help with making that move a less-stressful event. In previous moves, I’ve paid for professional packers and have always been disappointed. Something was always broken or bent and of course they pack EVERYTHING — even when you tell them not to. Seriously — did I want that empty toilet paper roll? So for this move, we decided to pack ourselves and I’m happy to report that what we packed survived just fine. The added bonus of packing yourself is that YOU decide just what you want to move, what to discard, and what to put together in a box. Except for a few last minute errant items, everything was boxed so that we could find it when we wanted and put other boxes into storage without worry of what they contained.

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Simple Wordpress Upgrade == Similar pain

Round two of the trials and tribulations of the various websites I maintain. I tend to go back and forth between Drupal and WordPress for CMS depending on client need. This means I keep up with 2 similar but distinctly different content management systems (CMS). This round was updating some WordPress websites.  What should have been a simple update turned into another debugging session.

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Simple Drupal Upgrade == Lots of Pain

I’m not one to jump every time there is a new update to Drupal core. Since all of my sites are locked down to a certain extent, I like to see the history list to see if the update will provide benefit to the website. Working production sites can easily be taken down with a single, seemingly innocuous update to core or even key modules. My motto is always “buyer beware”.

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My Love Hate Relationship with a Phone

I’m often amazed at my friends who get new phones so often. It seems like such a waste of time and money to be constantly changing. Now that I’m into hour 3 of trying to get my Samsung Galaxy S3 to connect to a PC to back it up, I’m now thinking that they are on to something.

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Are We in the 21st Century?

I just had to check my calendar to just to make sure that we’ve moved past 1999 and are in fact in the 21st century. Why? Because I went looking for online training and the one of the top websites would only allow me to send off for a brochure. Villanova University — seriously their online training website requires me to give address information so that they can send me a free brochure. This line of thinking takes me back to those short voice-over ads on late night TV where you could “call now for your free brochure”. Hello? It’s 2014 calling!

Breaststroke Rule Changes (AKA What were they thinking?!?!?!)

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart — swimming rules. As a master official, I am constantly reading up on interpretations of the (murky) Fina rules and also following any possible new rule changes. There is a possible change afoot that I consider damaging to the sport and it relates to where butterfly kicks may be inserted during the breaststroke.

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