Banner Images

Here are all the pictures I use in the blog’s banner and how those pictures came to be.


For my 50th birthday in 2015, I took a trip to San Francisco. San Francisco has a couple of great bridges including the Golden Gate bridge and the Bay Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Bay Bridge

I drove south of San Francisco to Monterey and beyond that where the Pacific Coast Highway runs along some beautiful coastline, including this picture and the Bixby Creek Bridge.

Big Sur

Bixby Creek Bridge

In that same area is a great state park called Point Lobos State Reserve which lets you get up close the shore.

Point Lobos


On Mom’s 75th birthday cruise, one of the stops was Cozumel, Mexico. We hired a van and stopped at a beach with some neat rock and a blowhole that wasn’t working due to low tide.


Colorado National Monument and Arches National Park

In September 2013 I drove a U Haul truck out to Salt Lake City and we stopped by these two national parks. This first image is Colorado National Monument, a panorama image from the Grand View viewpoint:


And here is a shot from Arches National Park of the South Window:


Yellowstone and Grand Tetons

In May 2013 I went out to Salt Lake City and visited the Bonneville Salt Flats, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. This first picture was taken at Golden Spike where they have replica trains and replica train tracks from the completion of the transcontinental railroad:


Later that day I drove out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and took this picture:


Also at Bonneville I took this picture of the sun setting over Nevada:


In Grand Teton National Park I took this picture of the Tetons from the Willow Flats area:


On the Cascade Canyon hike from Jenny Lake, Susan said she liked the texture of this log:


Then in Yellowstone, I took this picture of the Sapphire Pool hot spring:


Also in Yellowstone, I took this picture of travertine terrace formations at Mammoth Hot Springs:



A lot of pictures come from my July 2008 trip to Ireland (gallery). In chronological order, they pretty much tell everywhere I went. We started in Dublin, and while Susan’s choir was practicing, I walked down to the River Liffey and took pictures of a lot of different cool bridges. This is the Mellows Bridge. I uploaded this picture to Wikipedia.

Leaving Dublin and heading south, we stopped by the Rock of Cashel, a hill with some old churches on top of it. This is a neat picture, not as good cropped as at full size.

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301 Redirect

Now that the new blog is in place, it needs people to be able to find it. I looked in the logs and nobody is getting to it via search engines. Jeb was going to set up some redirects at some point to automatically forward people from the old pages to the new ones. Sometimes you will run across a web page that tells you the original page has moved and will transfer you to the new page in a couple of seconds. You can do this with meta tags or with some javascript. But the best way to do this is through a 301 redirect which users won’t even notice and Google and other search engines accept as an official move of your site. The “301” number means the page has moved permanently. If Google was sending people to your old page, when they see the 301 redirect they should keep sending them to the new site. With websites, it is all about keeping your page rank with Google. For instance, on the Flashlight Wiki this month, 3,553 visitors were referred by search engines. 3,296 of those were referred by Google (93%). Second place is Yahoo with 93 referrals (2.6%). Not that the blog is a money making site, but it’s nice to be noticed. Continue reading

Sorting Like an iPod

At work we use drafting software called Microstation. It originally ran on UNIX workstations, but was soon ported to PC’s. However there are still little UNIX touches. One weird thing in UNIX is how things are sorted. Usually when you sort things with numbers and letters in the name, the numbers sort to the top. In UNIX for whatever reason, the numbers sort to the bottom. Since Mac OS has been based on UNIX for a while (I guess this is why, I don’t know for sure), the iPod sorts songs the same way. So 10,000 Maniacs is at the end of my Artists list instead of the top. Continue reading

Wiki Customizations v1.18.0

Recently I upgraded the MediaWiki software for the Flashlight Wiki I made in 2010. I had a list of customizations I made for version 1.16.0, but the upgrade is version 1.18.0. So based on the old customizations, here are the slightly different ones I needed for 1.18.0 and its new skin, Vector (old skin was Monobook). Rather than make a new list every time I upgrade the software, I am just updating this post, so really these customizations are for the current version which is v1.20.4.

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Did You Mean

Today I was on Wikipedia and wanted to look up some information on a movie I watched last night called Crazy Heart. But when I was typing “Crazy Heart” in the search box, my hands were moved over to the right by one key of the keyboard. So instead it came out: vtsxu jrsty. Wikipedia asked me “Did you mean vsxu jesty?” There was a link for this and I was thinking that Wikipedia now has so many articles that you can type in jibberish and there will be an article about it on Wikipedia. But I clicked the link and, sadly, it said no article existed. I’m really not sure how they thought it would be helpful to suggest a slightly different piece of jibberish that also did not give any search results.

Roth 2012

Last year after Europe seemed to have been hammered pretty well, I decided to put my 2011 Roth IRA contribution in Vanguard’s Total International Index. This turned out not be so great because Europe continued to have problems and a tsunami clobbered Japan. US stocks (where the rest of my money is) stayed about the same, but it was a roller coaster ride. Continue reading


Jeb has moved the family blogs from Movable Type to WordPress. He did a great job of moving over my hundreds of blog posts which includes tons of pictures that also needed to come over. I hate to think what all it took to bring everything over. I found a couple of problems where pictures didn’t show up, but for the most part everything looks intact.

The appearance of the blog is pretty similar except that the picture at the top of the screen is huge, wider and much taller than the pictures I had on the old blog. I was able to fix that eventually (towards the end of this entry).
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