beautiful desktop pictures.

There are some days when I cannot work until I am happy with my desktop picture. I have been known to scour certain web sites for the perfect desktop picture and I like to think I am familiar with the top desktop picture web sites (per my taste) but I was stunned to find a new amazing desktop picture web site that I had never been to before: This web site almost made me want to start using dual displays, and for those who know me, that says a lot. Desktop pictures are important to me because they often set the tone, and color, for my designs. I can often look at any of my designs and tell you what desktop picture I was using at the time when I created the design. I have a new desktop picture and a new design in motion for, so stay tuned. PS. Happy New Years!

flavors from around the world.

Back in November when I went to the World of Coca Cola with my friend Doug, we sampled flavors of pops from all over the world. Today, I have finally had a chance to post pictures of what we sampled. Some good, some bad, but none better than Coke itself.
PS. Stay away from pop from Italy, unless you request a Coke. 😉

access your home computers from anywhere

There comes a time when you are at work, travelling, or somewhere where you “really wish you could access your home computer(s).” Some people are fortunate enough to have static ips so they can simply access their computer by using their static IP. For most of us, we have to deal with dynamic IPs. For years now I have been using a great service ( With dynDNS, you can set up a domain name that will point to your computer, and will update when your IP changes, so you will always be able to connect to your home computers. Sound cool? Here is how to set it up:

There are 3 basic parts to configuring DynDNS.

  1. Create an account. Go to and at the top right of the page, click on the “Sign up now” link. Once you have an account, log in and choose a domain name from DynDNS’s options. Then, from the computer that you want to be able to access from outside of your home, add a host, and your public IP will automatically show up in the web browser form. Once your choosen domain name now has a public ip as a pointer, you will need to configure your router or DNSUpdate software so it knows that a computer on your home network is
  2. Set up your router or use DNSUpdate software. If you are fortunate enough to have a netgear router, there are options (read your manual) where you can configure your router to work with DynDNS. If you do not have a router that supports DynDNS, you can use DNSUpdate software and configure it.
  3. Setting Up Port Forwarding. Once you get your domain set up to point to your home computer, you will need to set up port forwarding on your router so when the request for comes to the router, it will know where to forward the request. You will need to figure out how you want to access your home computer. If you want to access your computer using SSH, you will need to forward port 22 to the computer you set up to point to. If you want to be able to use Timbuktu to connect to your home computer, you will need to set up port forwarding to port 407. Your home computer, behind the router, has a private address. (192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x). In the port forwarding section of your router configuration, you will choose which private IP will listen to all outisde traffic. (ex) forward all incoming traffic on port 22 to if is the computer you want to be able to SSH from outside of your home network. Not sure what port your application uses?

Confusing? Need help? Let me know.

the joys of hotels.

I travel pretty frequently. Not everyone does travel a lot, so I can understand that certain travel specific hassles and the likes would not bother people like it bothers me. Yet, I also drink a lot of water (and Coke (not Pepsi)) so I often have to go to the bathroom. Regardless of how much you drink, everyone has to go to the bathroom sooner or later and often several times a day. My point? How many hotels do I have to stay in where the toilet paper dispenser is out of reach? Who thinks that it would be ok to have to contort your whole body just to get a ply? (which ends up to be about two feet because it is so far away) I cannot think of the last hotel I was at (and I usually stay at high end hotels) where the toiler paper placement made sense. It is either way behind you nearly on the floor (like my current hotel) or perhaps on the other side of the room. My point? Where are all these so called designers when such a simple placement decision is needed? They have no excuses because everyone goes to the bathroom. It is the simple things that could easily be fixed that really drive me crazy. (Think back to one of my first postings, along with other random thoughts I have shared.) My life thesis: take a few minutes out of life to take care of the simple things. If you start with taking care of the simple things eventually the big picture questions appear not so big at all because really, they are just a lot of simple things combined.

Content Management, Rethought

After reading a few messages from my php mailing list, I again stopped to think about a content management system. Plone is amazing, but unless you have access to your own server, or have a host that supports Zope/Plone, you need something else to work with. I was intrigued by XOOPS until I went to my CMS info site. Not too much good stuff to say. I was excited that it was object oriented and that it used Smarty, but looks like I will keep looking, or perhaps make my own one of these days. Stay tuned.

perfume is a side, not the main course.

The county tax office, when the deadline for taxes is a few days away, is like the DMV on a good day. Tons of people, no organization, and weird smells. As I was filling out the paperwork for my exemption, a woman sat down next to me. You know the type…no sense of personal space when it comes to your sense of smell. My goodness…what is it about really bad perfume and some people? Who can possibly think that this perfume smells good, and then who in that bunch decided it was ok to bath themselves in this olfactory nightmare? What company makes this (and why)? Of course there is no escaping this smell…especially when you are jammed in a room with a bunch of people who are not thrilled about being there. On a slightly better note, I did have the plasure of seeing some diversity…you know, the woman with the feathered mullet, next to the wealthy woman with her Chanel glasses, handbag, earings, and necklace on. I enjoy diversity.

css, a voyage.

Oh my. Well, by blog was getting ugly with all of my leftover CSS problems, so I decided to sit down and figure this out. I have 95% of all this figured out, still some problems with Firefox and the li dots. I am not happy with the word/letter spacing, but who knows. All this CSS work makes me want to redesign my site…again, but I need a break, and I need to focus on making my current one better. So many things that I like. Well, I am burned out. CSS…

another day, another design.

This is officially design #4 for My web sites are always evolving, and I am always trying to build my template library, so here we are again. I needed a PSU blue for my site, and I finally have it. I have not used this blue since 1998, and when looking at my site…all I could think of was man, I really miss one of my fist designs, using this blue.
Anyway…back to business of trying to figure out and simply my css for wordpress.

train the brain! (instead of driving me insane)

OK, so how many times have we all heard this: “I have so many user names and passwords, there is no way I can possibly remember all of them.” The solution (and no it is not to write them down)…remember your user names and passwords. How? Make up a user name/password scheme. How? I have several levels of user names and passwords. From highly secure (bank information) to basic (web site forums, etc). If you have look at everything you need to use a user name and password for, you can figure out what level of security needs to be used with each account. Once you memorize 5-7 user name/password combinations, you will be set. Yes…and 5-7 is on the low end, but come on, that is not a lot to think about in the grand scheme of things. Come on. How long do you end up spending waiting for your password to be rest/sent and complaining about how many accounts you have to memorize? Now tell me about your first kiss. Hmm, you can remember information from past decades, but not for a few accounts that you use monthly? Make it a priority or do not complain.