Shake the Lake fireworks

Madison, WI June 25, 2106

presidential trivia motivation

Here are some inspirational facts about US Presidents!

Draw your workout inspiration from sixth President John Quincy Adams, who was known for taking nude early morning swims in the Potomac River. #presidentialtriviamotivation

Don’t be President Taft, the fattest president who topped out over 300 pounds. He had the White House bath tub replaced after he got stuck in it. However, he is also the only president who also served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so it never seemed to hold him back! #presidentialtriviamotivation

Be more committed than James K Polk (#11). He ran for president on a promise not to run for a second term, a pledge he kept. #presidentialtriviamotivation

You know who else was bad ass? Millard Fillmore (#13). He was once captured by pirates, lived among them for months, and then over threw the ship and commandeered that shit back to Boston harbor. The pirates were hanged. And Millard became president. #presidentialtriviamotivation

Get sexy to snag a hunky bachelor, like fifteenth president James Buchanan, the only president to remain single his entire life. Oh, yeah…(Grover Cleveland was initially single but got married in June after taking office.) Of course there are rumors Buchanan was gay. There is actually a case to be made that he had a love affair with William Rufus King, the only unmarried Vice President. #presidentialtriviamotivation

The harder you work out, the harder you can live it up. Like 17th president Andrew Jackson. He was noticeably drunk during his inauguration speech. No wonder he is only one of two presidents to be successfully impeached. He is also arguably the worst president in history and a racist douchbag. Pretty much. #presidentialtriviamotivation

If you, on the other hand, are more like Rutherford B. Hayes, however, you may need to loosen up. He banned alcohol from the White House to get support of the Prohibitionists (though history of course blames the woman. his wife is known as Lemonade Lucy and though she did frown upon alcohol, but it was really the dude making political moves that made the decision. or so i hear). So, that’s not the weirdest thing about Rutherford B. Hayes, though. He is a hero is Paraguay. A real hero. He signed some treaty that granted them most of their land, and they celebrate him like he is Abraham Lincoln. The have towns named for him, a museum, a freaking holiday. Asuncion, the capital city, named its soccer team “Presidente Hayes Soccer Club.” Crazy, right? #presidentialtriviamotivation

Working it too hard? Slow down, fella, or you’ll end up like US Grant (#18) who once got a speeding ticket. On his horse. #presidentialtriviamotivation

email the Wisconsin state legislature

Ever wanted to send a message to every Wisconsin state senator and representative in the legislature? Here are their email addresses: Continue reading “email the Wisconsin state legislature” »

results of a recent wardrive

During a recent Sunday afternoon cruise, I collected the names and locations of all the WiFi routers in range of my car. Some of the access point names are creative, listed here. (I omitted the many openly vulgar ones one would expect to find in a college town.)

Plays on “WiFi”1000px-Osa_device-wireless-router.svg

Pretty Fly For a WiFi
So fly for wifi
WiFi Art Though Romeo?
WiFi? Why not Zoidberg?
4OH!4–Dont Trust Our Wifi
4Fer my wife-i
99 Problems, but WIFi ain’t one
A Lannister always pays his wifi
Bill Wi the Science Fi
The Creepy Wifi from Doctor Who

Continue reading “results of a recent wardrive” »

life is like a dream right now




list of US metropolitan areas

This is a list of US cities with population over ~15k

Continue reading “list of US metropolitan areas” »

essential and useful WordPress plugins I’ve tested and used

After installing and removing zillions of them, here are my faves:

BJ Lazy Load

Lazy loads images and other embedded media so that they are not sent to the client until the client scrolls near it. Saves bandwidth and makes for speed.

Breadcrumb NavXT

Automatic breadcrumb links on pages to ease navigation

Child Theme Configurator

Easily create and edit child themes based on themes already installed. This way you can update the third-party theme without losing custom changes to it.

Easy Updates manager

Allows disabling of updates of specified resources (WP core, themes, plugins, etc.). Useful if you don’t want your client bothered by update notifications.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

GA integration which inserts the tracking code on every page and also gives you a nice traffic history report on the admin dashboard.

Insert PHP

Allows insertion of PHP code in the WP content editor using tags like [ insert_php ]

Public Post Preview

Creates a link to an unpublished version of a page or post that you can share with anyone. Viewer need not be a registered user or admin. Perfect for in-place-UAT.

SEO Ultimate

Handles automatic metadata generation and tons of other SEO features.

TinyMCE Advanced

Must-have enhancement for the WordPress WYSIWYG content editor which adds many features.


Automatic backup and restoration via S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, email, etc. I use this for weekly backups to my Google Drive.


Extensive security and virus-prevention package with automatic scanning and malicious user lock-out.

WordPress HTTPS

Helps WordPress cooperate with SSL/HTTPS-configured sites.

WordPress Visual Icon Fonts

Makes Font Awesome and Genericons icon sets available in WordPress.



does not contain juice


firing background tasks in PHP

Background case is a collection of near-real-time information about a metropolitan area. Traffic, weather, parking lot usage, and loads of web cam images are displayed on one page. Data come from a wide variety of sources: images come from cameras, weather data comes from a web API, and parking lot utilization come from good ol’ fashioned page scraping. All these transactions are triggered when a user wants to view the page. It is a challenge to get near-real-time information to the client from so many sources without a lot of pre-processing on the server end, and without the client having to make connections to a myriad of hosts to get images and other data. I found that asking the client to load all this makes the page too slow to load.

The solution is to build a server-side caching mechanism, so all the data and images are ready to go when the page is hit, and so that all transfers are between and the client without having to wait on anybody else. This can cause the data served to be a little older, but is much better than asking the client to open connections to dozens of hosts and wait for every one to completely reply before the page can render. Under the caching scheme I developed, all data on the page are loaded from my server in order to give the user a smooth experience when expanding UI panels after the client renders it.

Continue reading “firing background tasks in PHP” »

single floppy disk


I came across this Commodore 64 floppy disk drive in its original box at the hackerspace. Remember the days when floppy drives were this big? I don’t… just a little too early for me.