Brock Rogers

I think Microsoft named .Net so it wouldn’t show up in a Unix directory listing.

Today, I walked into the place where I’ve worked for the last 13 odd years and I handed them a piece of paper in an envelope. The envelope said nothing; the paper said that, as of April 25th, I wouldn’t be working for them any more.

Granted, over the last year or so, I haven’t really spent that much time working for them, just a day or two a week, but there was always that option to say, “Hey, I’m ready to come back full-time.” I could have went back to five days, and this four-and-a-half-year experiment of running my own business could have just come to an end. But 10T Web Design continues to grow, and the ‘day job’ continues to be less of a requirement.

Trying to juggle between the two is all about to end. The jump into the 100% self-employed me is two short weeks away. It’s a bit terrifying, really, but there will never be a better time than now. Even the handful of hours I spend working for someone else’s business is now getting in the way of growing my own. Time to check out.

It’s been a tough decision; I’m going to miss a lot of things about that place, the people most of all. It’s by far the longest I’ve worked at any one place; in over a decade, I’ve met a lot of great people, some of which have been around the entire time. I can’t imagine how different my experience would have been if I hadn’t genuinely enjoyed being around all of them, co-workers and customers alike. (If any of you are reading this, thanks.)

Anyway, enough sappy stuff. Let’s do this. Time to go. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Or something like that.

Ever feel like The Man is creeping on your cell phone? These days, it seems like it’s more than just a fleeting chance. The people over at Scottevest have come up with a pretty good solution: a pocket-sized Faraday cage.

If this thing is really a Faraday cage, sticking your cell phone into it would cause it to loose contact with all signals. No 4G, no 3G, no GPS, not even Wi-Fi. Your phone would be 100% not reachable by anyone, friend friend or foe.

And it doesn’t just work on your cell phone, either. Stick your credit card in one, and no one will be able to skim your information using the RFID.

There has been some concern that this thing might not work, but if it really is a Faraday cage, then it works. I would have no reason to believe that it isn’t a true Faraday cage, as they are neither expensive or difficult to make.

Just in time for the zombie apocalypse, learn how to open a can of food using just some concrete and your hands. Just be careful you don’t cut yourself.

image

What a beautiful drive down to New Martinsville this morning to meet with the folks from the Wetzel County FRN. Happy first snow, everyone.

Pretty interesting: you can now read History of Barnesville, Ohio by Richard Taneyhill online. The book is hosted over at the Library of Congress, and you can download it in PDF format, for Kindle, and several other formats for free.

For anyone that’s never heard of archive.org, they have open texts of all sorts, from Library of Congress stuff to texts from Project Gutenberg, all of which are free. If you have an Internet connection, you should never be at a loss for reading material.

Just a few pictures I took on my run today on the exercise trail at the Barnesville Park. For those of you in town, I’ve never seen the trail in better condition, so if you want a nice walk in the woods as the leaves continue to turn, get out to the park.

Dear Mrs. Deer,

I wanted to take this opportunity to apologize for almost stepping on you last week as I was taking my run through the park. It was not my intention to startle you in such a way; I was simply going for a jog, and did not mean to disturb your afternoon nap.

Likewise, I’m sorry that, after you sprang up to run away, I screamed at you and made those ‘Kung Fu’ motions with my arms and legs. While I am sure that you were further alarmed by me doing this, it was simply a result of you startling me as well.

I realize that while I often run through the woods there, it is your home, and there is no excuse for frightening you the way that I did. I would consider it a great inconvenience if you were to barge into my living room, so I can imagine how such an intrusion must have made you feel.

Again, I’m sorry for showing up so abruptly. It’s probably of little consequence, but you may take some comfort in the fact that the encounter almost made me crap myself, too.

Hoping to see you again soon, although from a slightly greater distance,

Brock

Best Bitter
Style: English Pale Ale (8B) Brew Date:
Batch volume: Two Gallon ABV: TBD IBU: 36
Grain Bill
2-Row 3 lbs
Crystal 40L 6 oz
Flaked Corn 6 oz
Red Wheat 4 oz
Total 4 lbs.
Mash

Eight quarts of strike water raised to 159°, then mashed for 60 minutes at a 149° mash temperature.

Time (Minutes)
10 20 30 40 50
Temperature
Sparge

Sparged with 6 quarts of water at 165° for 15 minutes.

Boil

Boiled for 60 minutes with the following hop schedule:

60 minutes remaining Burton Water Salts 1/6 oz
60 minutes remaining Kent Goldings .5 oz
30 minutes remaining Kent Goldings .25 oz
15 minutes remaining Irish Moss 1/2 tsb.
5 minute remaining Kent Goldings .25 oz
Chill

Ice bathed wart to 70°. Filtered trub from wart on the way into the primary fermenter with fine mesh filter.

Original Gravity:
Ferment
Yeast
British Ale White Labs WLP005 1 vial
Date Temperature Gravity Notes
BREWDATE 70°
Final Gravity: TBD
Bottling
Bottle Date: TBD Priming sugar: 2 oz in 2 cups water
Yield: TBD Bottle type: 12 oz. longnecks
Snowbound

Chocolate, as it chocolate malt, not as in chocolate flavor. Bittered to hell with two full ounces of whole, dried Chinook hops, one for each gallon. 10% black roasted barley and 10% chocolate malt. The remainder of the grain bill is maris otter.

Style: American Stout (13E) Brew Date: 12/29/2012
Batch volume: Two Gallon ABV: 5.27% IBU: 250
Grain Bill
Maris Otter Malt 4 lbs.
Black Roasted Barley 8 oz.
Chocolate Malt 8 oz.
Total 5 lbs.
Mash

Ten quarts of strike water raised to 163°, then mashed for 60 minutes.

Time (Minutes)
10 20 30 40 50
Temperature 156° 156° 153° 154° 150°
Sparge

Sparged with 4½ quarts of water at 165° for 15 minutes.

Boil

Boiled for 60 minutes with the following hop schedule:

60 minutes remaining Chinook 2 oz.
Chill

Ice bathed wart to 70°. Filtered trub from wart on the way into the primary fermenter with fine mesh filter.

Original Gravity: 1.055
Ferment
Yeast
London Ale White Labs WLP013 1 vial
Date Temperature Gravity Notes
12/29/2012 70° 1.055 Tastes like sweetened espresso.
12/31/2102 73° 1.023 Still tasting sweetness. Bitterness beginning to balance.
1/1/2013 73° 1.022
1/3/2013 73° 1.021
1/5/2013 73° 1.020 Racked to secondary fermenter.
1/15/2013 73° 1.016 Bottled into 12 oz longnecks.
Final Gravity: 1.016
Bottling
Bottle Date: 1/15/2013 Priming sugar: 1.5 oz in 2 cups water
Yield: 212 oz / 1.66 gallons Bottle type: 12 oz. longnecks
Notes

Original volume was 5 gallons, but after boil, only about 1.75 gallons remained. Next batch I would go for a 3.5 gallon boil, and adjust grain bill accordingly.

WordPress LogoThe newest version of WordPress, 3.5, (code-named ‘Elvin’) dropped today, three months and five days after 3.4.2. Major changes in this release include an upgraded media manager, a new default theme, dashboard resolution improvements, and some behind the scenes improvements.

Upgrading from 3.4.2 was as easy as it always is for WordPress upgrades. Maybe I have been lucky, but I’ve never had an issue with any upgrade, and this one was no different. Speed has never been a problem, either; the upgrade completed in about 20 seconds, and I’m off trying the new features.

New Media Manager

The biggest change that I see in version 3.5 is the new media manager. The interface has changed drastically, and at first I felt that it might be a bit overwhelming for the less tech savvy. After using it, though, I realized it only looked intimidating. It’s actually quite easy to use if you just dive in.

WordPress 3.5 Image Gallery

WordPress 3.5 Image Gallery

Image galleries have been around since 2.5, but they have never been easy to work with. You had to upload, attach, then manually put the gallery shortcode in. With the new media manager, creating galleries becomes trivial. You can drag and drop the images to reorder, caption them quickly, and with button-click ease, insert them into you posts.

I had always been frustrated by the lack of a good image gallery in WordPress. The NextGEN Gallery plugin always filled the gap, but with the improvements, I have started removing NextGEN from many of my sites. NextGEN’s image arrangement was always lacking, I thought. While it gives you nice pop-ups for each image in the gallery, site visitors can’t comment on individual images, which I hate. I guess it depends on what you are looking for out of your image gallery. I will still use NextGEN in given situations, but it won’t automatically be installed on new sites anymore.

Another new function of the media manager is the ability to insert several images into a post at once, then write the post around the inserted images. I tend to write first, then insert images later, so I’m not sure how useful this will be for me, but I can see how others would find it useful.

New Default Theme

Seeing as how it’s almost 2013, I guess it was just about time for the Twenty Twelve theme release. It’s everything that Twenty Ten and Eleven were, updated and kept light. It’s a fine default theme and its look stays pretty consistent across various devices. As they say on the About page: simple, flexible, and elegant.

Dashboard Resolution Improvements

Even on smaller screens, the WordPress dashboard could get a little grainy if you zoomed in. On higher resolution devices, it could get a little grainy if you stood across the room. Well, no more, even when zoomed in as far as you can. It’s eye candy for the backend, for sure, and really doesn’t have the slightest impact on reaching the people you are trying to reach with your website, but it really does look great.

Square Buttons

Speaking of changes that have no impact on reaching people, the buttons are more square now. I know, not Earth-shaking, but I did notice. Moving on…

Behind the Scenes Stuff

There are some things that you might not notice if you’re not a developer. TinyMCE, the editor you more than likely use to edit all your posts, updates to the latest version, as does jQuery and SimplePie.

The XML-RPC WordPress API, which is used to post from your smart phone or tablet, is now always enabled. I see no reason it shouldn’t have always been by default. Saves me a step when setting up a new site, seeing as how that was one of the first options I changed within the first five minutes after setup.

All in All

I’m pretty impressed. It’s a nice release. Seems stable and as speedy as the previous version, and has noteworthy improvements. And I really like the new media manager. And the square buttons.

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