Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RSS Feeds

So, thanks to Andrew, I figured out that Blogger puts a footer at the end of RSS feeds. I've found and eliminated the issue. Now my blog should display properly in Google Reader.

Thanks Andrew!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taco Night

Ok, so I don't understand this... Every time I got to Taco Cabana, they ask me "do you want hot sauce with that?" and don't get me wrong - I like the stuff, but they're spooning it into a paper sack. Thin red water all over my foil makes me a bit uneasy. I don't like having a soggy bag of tacos - so I always say no... and yet somehow they ALWAYS manage to throw the shit in there. Now, I'm not saying that they shouldn't give me condiments, but if they're going to ask, they could at lest pay attention to my response. I mean how difficult is it to just NOT PUT FUCKING HOT SAUCE IN MY BAG?! GAH! They just want to taunt me.. like "this could all be avoided... but FUCK YOU! - I'm not listening!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mike's Helpful Guide to Avoiding Blame

Today's Topic: Avoiding Blame.

There are many times in life when people will try to blame you for something. Sometimes you deserve the blame. Other times you don't. One thing is certain, however. You never want to be blamed for anything. I've got a few surefire ways for you to avoid being blamed for your mistakes and the mistakes of those around you.

Step 1 - Hide the evidence:
  • Don't let anyone know what you've done. Just cover up the mistake and forget about it. If someone asks about it, just pretend you have no idea what they're talking about. It's much easier than it sounds.
Step 2 - Blame the intern/new guy:
  • Sometimes, you get caught before you have the opportunity to destroy the evidence. If this happens, blame someone else. Don't have anyone else to blame? Make someone up! Memorize this phrase: "If [insert name here] had done what I asked [him/her] to do then this never would have happened!"
Step 3 - Think fast:
  • Always have an excuse ready. It is good to prepare several of these in advance. Try not to use the same excuse every time. Make it believable, but don't be afraid to exaggerate a little bit. If someone has recently quit, been fired, or is frequently in trouble, try to work them into your excuse. Chances are nobody will ever doubt your story. Be creative!
Step 4 - Act cool:
  • Pretend like there isn't anything to be blamed for. This approach makes you look innocent. If you pretend you can't understand how it's your fault, people will find it harder to blame you. Acting innocent makes you look innocent. Try looking at them like they're crazy when they confront you. Say things like "This is how I was told to do it!" or "Can you show me what went wrong?"
Step 5 - I told you so:
  • Set yourself up for an "I told you so" situation. Before you start on any project, make sure you file a list of objections. Try and think of every possible way the project could go wrong. This way, when you screw up, you can always say "I told you so!"
Step 6 - Lie:
  • Say anything to save your ass. You've got to look out for number one!
There are many other ways to avoid blame. How do you get out of trouble?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finally, a great blogging application!

I've finally found a quick and easy way post Blogger updates. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but I like it. If you use Firefox and Blogger, go download the "Deepest Sender" extension (available here). With a simple hot key (ctrl+\), you're posting a new entry in no time. I'm using it right now!

It's loaded with features, too!
There are 3 tabs in the pop-out window.
Normal - This is the edit window where you compose your message
Source - Here you can edit the HTML source for your post
Preview - See how your finished post will look!

There are options for bold, italic, and underline as well as left, middle, right, and justified. Additionally, there are bulleted and numbered lists.

You can easily add URL links and images (with an array of options and details). There are also increase/decrease indent buttons and font color options.

The program is compatible with several popular blogs (including Live Journal) and features a post history option that actually pulls your history from the web! Not only that, but you can edit your old posts directly from Deepest Sender!

There are a few other neat features, but you'll need to play around with the program for yourself to see them all. David Murray did quite a good job on this one. Highly recommended.

Cons:
  • As of this post (DS version 0.8.0), there is a date/time error when posting to Blogger accounts. This has already been brought to the attention of the creator, and there is a fix. (Todd Brannam was nice enough to figure this out for us.) I've listed the fix details below.
  • This extension is primarily designed for LiveJournal, and does not support all Blogger options. Font selection would be a great addition to the application.
  • When opening blogs from the history viewer, it automatically adds the text from your RSS Feed Item Header - by default, "Thanks for reading my Blog! I hope you find it as interesting as I do." I found this to be quite frustrating because it would add it each time I edited a post. After editing the beginning of your post 3 times, you might end up with that footer 3 times! This can be solved by removing the footer under Blogger's Settings - Site Feed. If not for this problem, I wouldn't have realized that there was a footer option.
Blogger Date/Time Fix:
  • Make sure Firefox and Deepest Sender are closed.
  • In windows XP, navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[current user name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\hz4x3hq1.default\extensions\{B9DAB69C-460E-4085-AE6C-F95B0D858581}\chrome
  • Please note that this path may differ on your computer and you may have to hunt for it manually. It should be similar, however.
  • The file you're looking for is "deepestsender.jar" - this is an archive file. the easiest thing to do is rename it from .jar to .zip and then extract the files to a temporary folder. (Note that if you use WinRAR then you will not need to change the file name.)
  • Next, you'll need to locate the "atom.js" file. (Located in the content/protocols folder)
  • Edit atom.js in notepad or your favorite text editor (I recommend Notepad++).
  • Find and replace "var iso8601 = this.date.toISO8601String(4);" with "var iso8601 = this.date.toISO8601String(5);"
  • Save your changes and zip your files back up (Right click on the folder and select send to - compressed folder). Rename the archive to "deepestsender.jar".
  • You're done. Restart Firefox and crank up Deepest Sender. Happy Blogging!
Please keep in mind that David Murray has a great system for reporting/fixing bugs in the program and does a very good job of creating fixes.

I hope this review/tutorial is helpful!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mike's Helpful Guide to Starting The Day Off Right

Today is the first in a series of "Mike's Helpful Guides". I hope to enlighten you, the reader. With luck, my words of wisdom will somehow permeate your skull and you may benefit from my way of life.

Today's Topic: Starting The Day Off Right.

On a good day, I tend to adhere to the following routine. The key to following this routine is improvisation. If it feels right, change it up!

Step 1 - An alarming situation:
  • If you've set an alarm, or in my case several, make sure to hit that snooze button multiple times. I'm pretty satisfied with 3-4 snoozes. When choosing to postpone the day, it may be best to turn the alarm off or unplug it altogether. This will insure an optimal delay in rising and shining. Lord knows I hate shining.
Step 2 - Clothing optional:
  • No shirt, no shoes, no problem! I like to sip my morning coffee (or day old brew, as the case may be) in the buff. Putting on clothes is part of my post shower routine (assuming I make it to step 4).
Step 3 - World News:
  • I've got an insatiable lust for knowledge. I must start every day by logging onto the interweb and checking 3 things.

    • First, I check to make sure the world hasn't exploded. The best test is to simply verify I've got an internet connection. If you have access to the internet than you can safely assume that everything is OK.

    • Next, I check for messages and emails. If something horrific has happened, chances are that someone I know is already aware of the situation. Come on, I hit snooze like 4 times! Someone out there is bound to work for a living.

    • Finally, I check my lifeline to world news - Google Reader. (If you aren't using Google Reader to organize your RSS feeds then you're living in the past.) Here I find the foremost authorities on world events. For example: Dilbert Blog, Penny Arcade, Bunny, and The Mitchener Mind, just to name a few. I feel I cover all the major bases with these comics and blogs.
Step 4 - The three S's:
  • This portion is optional if you're running late for work, but trust me when I say it's worth it (to you and your coworkers). Invest the time.
Step 5 - There's no step 5:
  • Like I said at the start, improvise! Let step five take you where it may. For example, I seldom eat breakfast, but I guess you could work that in if you have the time (and food).
I hope this guide has been helpful to you in some way. Please stay tuned for my next installation - Mike's Helpful Guide to Avoiding Blame.

I'm going to hell...

I wonder if anyone has ever discovered the cure for Alzheimer's and promptly forgotten it. The only thing worse than not finding the cure is not remembering it. Imagine. It's right there, you had it! You were just about to write it down... But now it's gone.

The people most likely to develop a cure are those directly affected by the disease. For example, Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's research or Christopher Reeve's paralysis research. In the case of Alzheimer's, someone suffering from its affects wouldn't be a prime candidate for the research team. It would suck to start every day thinking, "I'm finally going to start on that research," only to find that you'd already started... Several hundred times. You plumb forgot.

Sure, family members of an Alzheimer's victim might be good candidates for research, but think about it... Why would you cure something that makes it so easy to screw with your loved ones? Who doesn't get a good laugh when grandpa forgets to wear pants? Hell, I'd try to convince him that pants went out of style years ago!

Where was I going with this...?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Almond Joy's got nuts

Did you know it was possible to unearth mounds? Seriously, have a look: Ancient burial mounds unearthed in Armenia. Yeah, I was shocked too. I'd have thought that a mound, once covered, couldn't so much be unearthed. Think about it. How? How do you know you unearthed a mound? It's a freaking mound! You add dirt to a mound, and it becomes... A BIGGER MOUND! Unearthing a mound is like leveling a mountain and saying "Hey, look, we've unearthed a hill!"

How does someone explain that they've unearthed a mound, anyway? I'm assuming the conversation goes a bit like this:

Guy: Friend, get over here!
Friend: What is it, Guy?
Guy: I've unearthed a mound!
Friend: Then I suppose you've still got some digging to do...
Guy: No, there is a dead body under there!
Friend: How the crap do you know that?
Guy: Because it's a mound!
Friend: It was a bigger mound when we started... you didn't know there was a dead guy under there two hours ago.
Guy: But I do now.
Friend: Bloody How?
Guy: It's a mound! what else would be under there?

I wonder if you can unearth a crater...