PenFall


Iran Tech
Friday, June 19, 2009, 11:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In an attempt to keep up with recent events and perhaps to also give a voice to those protesting in Iran, Facebook and Google both added Persian/Farsi versions to their services.

Google translate is here.

Facebook blog post about the new feature is here.

In other news, Friendfeed has been blocked in Iran and it seems that now the main mode of social communication is via Twitter. Lastly, it seems that some “well known Iranian dissidents” are using orange as their color of protest now, instead of green. Unclear why just yet.



I’m back!

I know I’ve said it before, but this time I swear I intend to actually come back to this blog. And by ‘come back’ I only mean actually paying some attention to it, whether that attention is apparent to you or not is irrelevant (to me, obviously). Here are some thoughts on what I’ve been doing and what is to come:

– I’ve become really interested and fully invested in upping my technical skills, particularly w/ php, mysql, Drupal, etc. More to come on that subject.

– Despite my recent struggles with WordPress I’ve decided to keep this blog on WordPress for the time being. I don’t love WordPress for many reasons, but I don’t hate it either. It makes blogging pretty easy, and as long as that’s all you want to do it definitely works. Redesign forthcoming. I have a ‘real’ website in development elsewhere. I started development on it in WordPress and am slowly moving over to Drupal.

– I also have a pretty fun php project in the works. Launches in early September. Stay tuned.

– Check out centerfieldgate.com, a Washington Nationals blog customized and maintained by yours truly. You may remember a post from last year in which I mentioned my work on river-dogz. I’m happy to say that my skillz are a bit better than back then. Granted I’m using a stock theme but all of it just generally looks better. It’s also a recent addition to the NL East Chatter community. Hawt.

– I helped out a bunch on masspoetry.org and attended the festival last October. I’m not helping as much with it this year given other commitments but it’s still a really awesome event so you should probably go to masspoetry.org. Masspoetry.org. Oh also, you’re only cool if you actually attend the festival!

– I developed and was tech support for vetsforobama.org during most of his campaign until the campaign actually took the site over. That’s probably the site I am most proud of on my resume, given tons of custom design work and functionality, trying to manage a massive petition, and pretty much always being on call for any site issues despite my objections (“I have a job!”). They had to take the site down for legal reasons after the campaign ended, but maybe I’ll find a screenshot and post it later. He won, too, so that doesn’t hurt.

– I also did The Truth About Palin and The Truth About McCain. Tumblr is fun.

– I moved to Boston from DC successfully, with my 2 cats. I’m in the same crappy apartment but moving to a better one soon (September 1).

– Oh, I signed up for Twitter. If you came here from me posting a link to Twitter, that’s awesome. If not, email me if you want my twitter name or just want to stalk me.

– that reminds me, I need to set up a penfall.com email address

– I’m getting a new iPhone, suckas.

– I may start to write those Musings again soon. Maybe musings from Cambridge? Ideas are welcome.

I think that’s it. I’m on the Acela to DC at the moment, it’s 7am, I’ve been awake for 3 hours and only got 3.5hrs of sleep. I have a long day ahead, a long week ahead, and I’ve officially exhausted my want or ability to write (or say?) anything creative at least for the next 24 hours. Time to go check Google Analytics and see if Tweeting about this made any difference in site traffic.



The Truth about Sarah Palin
Thursday, September 11, 2008, 4:51 pm
Filed under: News, Politics, Random | Tags: , , , ,

Haven’t written in a while, I know. No excuses, but I have been busy. In the meantime, go here – I love it.



Protected: I love the smell of Woot in the morning
Monday, July 28, 2008, 10:48 am
Filed under: neuton mowers, News, Random, Technology, woot | Tags: , , , ,

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Treating myself: hosting Penfall
Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Blog Changes, News, Random | Tags: , ,

So, since creating this blog (my first ever), I’ve worked on many many wordpress sites – all hosted with bluehost (or similar). Penfall, however, is still hosted for free on WordPress which means I haven’t been able to do anything that cool on it. 

So I’ve decided to get some real hosting (you know, paid hosting…) for this site so I can install fun things and make it more interesting. But I’m nervous about transferring the hosting for this site. Will I lose data? What if something happens? Is it really as easy as going to bluehost and clicking on “transfer client?”

Suggestions, anyone?



My big move: DC to BOS (oh, and cats)
Friday, June 27, 2008, 11:53 am
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

On Tuesday I’ll be driving the 8+ hours from DC to Boston with all of my crap piled high in the back of my truck and my dad following in a UHaul full of more crap.

Also in the back of my car, though, will be two very distressed cats. Well, I hope they won’t be distressed. Here’s what they look like when they’re calm:

Fisher is the fat black cat on the right, Desi the healthier on the left (don’t ask why one is fat and the other isn’t – they both eat exactly the same thing). I’ve never driven long distance with any cat – the farthest we went with Fisher was about two blocks, and a minute into the drive he started whining.

So I’ve been reading up on how to drive long distances with cats but all of the advice is contradictory. Some say to drug your cats, some claim that drugging them will only make them disoriented and nervous. I’m generally against drugging – I’m just overly paranoid that I’ll give them too much of any given drug and will inadvertently kill my cats. Plus, I wouldn’t want to be drugged. Do unto others… right?

Then there are the more “natural” methods of calming cats for a drive, which I just don’t believe actually work. 

Some people recommend buying a dog crate and leaving food, ice cubes, toys, and a small litter box in the crate for your cat. They even go so far as to say “under no circumstances should you let your cats out of the crate during the drive” for fear of them getting stuck under the gas pedal, or any other inconvenient place. Others argue that leaving water, food, etc outside of the crate and letting your cat have breaks from the crate when you stop for gas is the best idea. That way the cat can unwind from being stuck in a crate and have a chance to eat or stink up the car if they so choose. Even better, some suggest putting your cat on a leash to go do its business outside when you stop. To that I say no thank you – I don’t want to lose my cats on the side of the highway because I thought they needed a pee break. It’s an 8 hour drive, they’ll live.

Other articles suggest that using something like Feliway will work to calm any anxiety your cat may have about driving, loud car noises, strange smells, etc. But it’s also used to deter cats from peeing, so what is the logic there? To make my cat hold it for 8 hours?

And then there are the scary articles – the ones that warn about severe motion sickness (see the pic of the cat drooling…), dehydration, cats simply going batshit in a crate, and so on. This is really where my severe paranoia comes in – I’d rather not emotionally traumatize my cats for life, or have them hate me for the next 10 years. You may scoff, but at least one of my cats holds grudges pretty well. When we moved apartments last year, and the move was literally two blocks away, Fisher was grumpy towards us for at least a month. Instead of cuddling he’d hide under the bed, when we’d lure him out with a treat or wet food he’d quickly eat it and retreat back under the bed. 

In any case, as you can probably tell I’m just a little anxious about driving my cats such a long distance. So far I have prepared by buying a medium sized dog crate that the both of them will share. They’re friends, so I don’t see them getting in any fights with each other, but maybe I’m wrong – thoughts, anyone?

I’ve left the crate open in our apartment with a blanket and a few toys in it so they can get acclamated, but so far they’ve only sat on top of the crate, not in it. Last night I gave it a test run, and put both of them in the crate and closed the door. Fisher was okay with it – he sat there, stared at me as if to say “okay, I don’t like this, but I know you’re going to let me out soon. You are. You definitely are.”

Desi immediately freaked out – it wasn’t anything major, but I could tell she was nervous as she started pacing and pawing at the walls of the crate. And whining. I left them in the crate for no longer than three minutes and Fisher proved to be the calm one of the two – he even stayed sitting in the crate for a few minutes after I opened it up again. 

In the end I think it’s a little weird that of all the things I could be worried about with my move, I am focusing on my cats. I haven’t finished packing, the apartment is a mess, I don’t have a parking permit to park in Cambridge (that’s another blog post all together), and did I mention my dad is driving a uhaul? I don’t think he’s ever driven one before. 

But even with all of that, it’s all about the cats. Here’s hoping they whine for a few minutes but slowly and calmly fall asleep for the entire drive. 



Amazon down. Wow.
Friday, June 6, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: News, Random, Technology | Tags: ,