Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A quick update

I have been slacking on the blogging because I have been crazy busy working on websites and various other real life situations that I need to deal with. I just wanted to stop in for a quick hello.

And while I'm here I have to give a quick shout out to the local McDonald's for keeping me awake these past few weeks with their surprisingly good coffee. Yes, I am a bit of a coffee snob but I have to admit that I enjoy their coffee. And when I say coffee snob, I mean it. I have a grinder, about 5 different kinds of coffee makers, an espresso machine, etc. I don't think twice about spending $15 for a pound of coffee beans.

But, man...

It is really pretty damn good. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

1and1 Hosting + Magento = Epic Fail

Ok, so I decided to go with Magento for my little project. I am confident that I made the right decision. However, I am in no way confident that I made the correct decision about my hosting company. I have a hosting package with 1and1 Hosting that I use for random testing, FTP, email, and random other geeky goodness. So far, for the small tasks I have thrown at it, it has been a solid host. However, after spending several hours trying to install Magento and dealing with several failed connections, corrupted files, and random other annoyances, I am ready to throw in the towel with 1and1.

Please understand, I do not in any way claim to be an expert when it comes to web-design, coding, or computers in general. However, I have over 15 years experience in the field and would describe myself as "capable." I have worked for companies where I was entirety of the IT Department and I have worked for companies where I was but a cog in the wheel. My experience covers the gamut of computer related specialties. Competent at all, Master of nothing; I suppose.

The first issue, which should have been a key indication as to their level of support, is that fact that they are still using PHP4 as their default. PHP5 is available if you simply place a line of code into your htaccess file. No biggie. Got that sorted. FINALLY got Magento installed after setting up the database and squaring away all of the pre-reqs. Did a couple security updates and... CRITICAL MASSIVE UBER FAIL.

Ok, maybe not that bad. But it seemed that every time I made a simple change in code I would run into problems. I admitted that it might have been me so I did another fresh install and did things by the book. I made no code changes myself and simply went with the bare stock files. Still had problems. So, I conned a friend into setting me up with some space on one of his GoDaddy accounts. Uploaded Magento, got everything running, and went at the code. Not a single problem. Everything ran extra smooth.

So, boys and girls, daddy is switching hosting companies and starting over.

Moral of the story? Fuck 1and1 Hosting.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Project: First step... E-commerce.

Ok, so I have had a project idea in the back of my mind for several years and am finally going to tentatively takes a step closer to putting that project into motion. I won't reveal too much at the moment but I do want to get some opinions about one aspect of it. This project will involve the retail sale of several products on a website. While I am fairly experienced with most web-design aspects, e-commerce is not something I have spent a lot of time on. I am looking for a cart system for my website and have it narrowed down to two:


The reason I have it narrowed down to these two is fairly simple. I want an open source cart. Not only is it much cheaper but they are much more customizable. I know they can sometimes be buggy simply due to the open source nature of things but I am starting small so I don't really see it being a problem.

I have researched these two quite a bit and just from the specs I am leaning a bit more towards Magento. However, I was hoping to get some feedback from those of you who have actually used one or both of these. Just to give you a better idea of what it will be used for I am looking at starting with 8 standard products. There will be only two options; color and size. I haven't decided on a payment gateway yet but I will most likely go with, Quickbooks, or maybe even PayPal. If you guys have any experience with these carts I would really appreciate some comments about them. Any input would be appreciated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm back!

Hey everyone, sorry it has been so long. After my uncle passed away I took some time to myself to get some things in order. There were several things going on in my life that I needed to get worked out. Things are looking up and I am back at it. I will have a post in just a bit that I really hope I can get some feedback on. I have a new project I'm working on that is in the planning stages. Hoping to get the ball rolling on it soon. Just need some opinions first. So, I will be back in just a bit!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sorry I haven't been around lately...

I just wanted to stop in and apologize for not being around and updating lately. I have had a death in the family and have been away from the computer for a bit. My uncle passed away so I have been spending time with my family. I hope to be back to blogging very soon. Please be patient with me as I deal with this.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sassafras Tea. Mmmmmmmm.....

So yesterday my buddy from over at Saturday Sports Blog and I were hiking through some of his family's land when we came across a stand of Sassafras trees. I am absolutely addicted to fresh Sassafras tea so we pulled, dug, and cut some Sassafras root to take home. This morning I washed the roots and sat them out to dry. Once they were dry I put a few in a pot of water to boil and made some Sassafras Tea. If you've never had, or even heard of, Sassafras Tea you are really missing out. It is a very light, flavorful tea that is great either iced or hot. Sassafras trees can be found in most areas of the lower 48 but is most prominent in the southern states.

Sassafras was banned from commercial sale in 1960 because researchers found that extreme doses of an ingredient found in Sassafras, called safrole, caused liver cancer in rats. These findings were very controversial for several reasons. The main reason being that it would take MASSIVE amounts of Sassafras being consumed to cause any negative effects. However, if you're concerned, please do the research before you try to make yourself any Sassafras tea.

If you'd like try some, here is the process from harvest to the glass:

1. Find a Sassafras tree.

2. Dig up some roots. Take them home and wash them really well then throw three to five roots about 4" long in a pot of boiling water. I normally do about a gallon of water for this amount of root.

3. Let the roots come to a rolling boil and sustain that boil for 30 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 3 to 4 hours. The water will have turned a medium pink to a darker red color. Carefully pull the roots from the tea and strain the tea to get any small particles out.

4. Enjoy! If you like your tea strong you can drink it straight. Or you can dilute it with water like you would normal iced tea. I prefer mine diluted, with a bit of sugar, on ice. Just experiment with the variation that works best for you. You can also adjust the recipe to find the strength that you like. Just add more root to make it stronger or leave some out to make it weaker.

Or, you could just buy some commercial Sassafras Tea. The commercial teas use a safrole-free Sassafras flavoring to skirt by the safrole ban, so it won't be as tasty as the real thing, but it is better than nothing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What gadget/tool can you absolutely not live without?

I realized something today. There are a few things that I carry with me everyday that I feel absolutely lost without. The first is my phone. Not because I feel I have to be connected ALL the time but simply because the damn thing is handy. I have an Iphone (haters gonna hate) and it has a ton of useful stuff on there. I have GPS, my geocaching app, weather info, a calculator, notes, voice recorder, etc. etc. etc.

The second thing I never leave home without is my knife. I mean, come on, when are knives NOT useful? You can open boxes, pry things apart, stab people, etc. The uses are endless! I carry a Smith & Wesson M&P. It is a spring assisted knife so it is easy to open with one hand. It is a carry over from when I was a firefighter. It is an amazingly durable and reliable knife.

And last but certainly not least, the ONE item that EVERYONE should always have with them... A good Multi-Tool. These things come in a variety of options, sizes, qualities, and finishes. A good Multi-Tool can save your ass in a number of ways. I don't carry a tool kit with me all the time so when I come across some small repair I can usually just pull out the Multi-Tool and get it taken care of without having to carry a ton of different tools around. My current Multi-Tool is the SOG Power Assist. It is fairly simple as far as Multi-Tools go but it does what I need it to do; day in and day out.

So those are the three things that I absolutely cannot live without. I feel completely naked if I don't have these three things on me at all times. Now, some of you might say that carrying a knife AND a Multi-Tool is overkill. After all, most Multi-Tools have a knife in them. So is this overkill? Absolutely. I'm a MAN, dammit. Overkill is what we do. Especially geeks. And while it very well may be overkill, there really is no substitute for a high quality knife. While some Multi-Tools, such as the SOG shown above, contain pretty decent knives, they will never compare to a high-quality stand-alone knife.

Now that you know what gadgets/tools I can't live without. What is your top three?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Linux for Beginners

In the comments of my last post, Eldis asked for an introduction to Linux. I began writing one but quickly realized that I would not be able to explain it as well as someone much more knowledgeable on the subject. There is an excellent introduction over at Linux Online that is written for those who have little to no experience with Linux. It is very informative and is written in a way that even the greenest n00b can understand.

Click the image below to go to the ultimate n00b's guide to Linux:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Linux Vs. Windows 7

The other day I blogged about Linux and the comments seemed to be about 50/50 between Linux and Windows users. Several comments mentioned Windows 7. I admit to having little experience with 7 so I was interested in doing some research. During this research I came across a really good article over on TuxRadar comparing Linux and Windows 7. It was posted a year ago so obviously more recent updates to both could have changed things a bit, but I think it is still relevant. Obviously it is written by Linux users so keep that bias in mind as I did.

You can read the article here:

One thing I forgot to mention... The version of Windows 7 used in the tests was a Pre-Official Release version so keep that in mind as well.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taking the day off...


Taking the day off to watch Arkansas Vs. Alabama. I hope you guys have a great Saturday. Relax, watch some football, geek out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yes, I'm a Linux Geek.

I know there are probably several hardcore Linux geeks that read my blog so I have to give them a shoutout. I'm not as intense into Linux as some of my friends but I do enjoy playing around with it and have for years. A good friend got me started on Slackware many, many years ago and for a while it was a bit of an obsession. I still prefer Slack over any other distro just because it is what I learned on and I have a bit of sentimental attachment to it. I do run several other distros though. SuSe, Ubuntu, and DSL being some of my other favorites.

Linux Geeks, let yourselves be known! What distros are you running at the moment?

Dave Canturbury's Pathfinder Concepts Video

One of my readers, Sadistic, commented on the last post about wanting to make a 3 day trek through the Canadian Rockies with very little equipment. I wanted to post this video in response to that comment. I am a firm believer that a person should be as prepared as possible whenever venturing into the wilderness. Dave Canterbury, of Discovery Channel's Dual Survival, is a great resource for anyone looking for survival information. He has some great video on YouTube. Here is one of my favorites. It is basically a "primer" of the concepts he teaches at his Pathfinder School. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Pathfinder School

Ok, so this isn't what you would normally find on a "geek/tech/whatever" blog, but survival and preparedness is something that I have been passionate about for a long time. As a geek I tend to obsess about things and survival is one of those things I rabidly obsess over.

Some of you may have seen a television show called Dual Survival on the Discovery Channel recently that stars a man named Dave Canterbury. Dave owns and operates a survival school called The Pathfinder School. His school is based out of Ohio but he does survival classes all over the country. I would highly recommend checking out his website. There is a lot of great information there.

ESPN Fantasy Football... Hack?

So one of my addictions this time of year is Fantasy Football. I'm not as hardcore about it as some. I control four teams; two on Yahoo and two on ESPN. These are just friendly leagues. We play for bragging/shit-talking rights. So while doing a bit of tech reading I came across an article on The Register about an apparent "hack" for ESPN Fantasy Football.

Apparently, by making some minor changes to the URL string, you can edit your opponent's roster, drop and add players, and generally run amok with their team. Someone is getting JaMarcus Russell as their starting QB this weekend!

Read the full story here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's... It's.... It's GLORIOUS! (NERF Guns FTW!)

I am just old enough to remember the first NERF guns. They had a range of about 4 feet so the combat options were limited. I admit that over the years I have lost interest in NERF guns. I got older and started getting interested in real guns so, yeah. Well, it would appear that the NERF gun community has continued to flourish. I came across this earlier while surfing ThinkGeek:

(Click image for more info)

This monstrosity of awesomeness is the NERF Longstrike Sniper Rifle. Length? 36". Range? 35 feet. It comes with a six round quick-change clip. Close-combat NERF attacks are a thing of the past. Grab a couple extra clips, find yourself a nice hide, and start sniping.

One thing is for damn sure; if I woulda had this back in the day that bastard Derreck Longman woulda been fucked!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've never been filled with so much WANT...

Yes please!

BOFH-Style Excuse Generator

So any of you who are fans of BOFH know all about the excuse generator.

The next time any of your users call with a problem, just fire up this website. If the first one doesn't suit your needs, just hit F5 until an appropriate one pops up:

The Infamous Bed Intruder Song (Antoine Dodson is my hero!)

There is nothing that I can say that will explain this so just watch it...

Yeah, that just happened.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cubicle Warfare! (Courtesy of ThinkGeek)

Anyone who has ever worked in a cubicle has taken part in their fair share of Cubicle Warfare. Wads of paper, paper airplanes, hard candy, Swingline staplers, etc. All sorts of things randomly flying over the walls.

How would you like to take your next campaign to the next level?

Yes, as a matter of fact that IS a USB controlled Rocket Launcher equipped with a webcam for the ultimate in remote cubicle warfare!

Someone sneaking candy bars out of your bottom drawer when you step out for a smoke? Hide in another cubicle and control your rocket launcher and tag them as they try to sneak in! 

This thing would be ENDLESS fun around the office.

Thank you to all of the geeks!

This blog has been an idea of mine for a while and a lot of planning has gone into it. I didn't expect it to grow so much so fast. I just wanted to say thank you to you all. I will do my best to make sure there is always good content here for you to read and enjoy.

If anyone has any suggestions on things I can do to make the blog better, please leave a comment and let me know!

Kayak App for iPhone

For those of you who do a lot of traveling, surely you have heard of the Kayak website. It is one of the most comprehensive travel booking sites I have found. Not only does it compare prices from many travel sites, it pulls all of that information together in a very clean way. Kayak has the most user-friendly interface I have found for a travel site.

I recently came across the Kayak App for the iPhone. It does everything the website does and does it well. Officially the best travel booking App I have found. Best part? It is FREE! Check it out at the link below:

Bluetooth headsets (And other annoying gadgets)

I love gadgets as much as the next guy. Hell, probably a lot more than the next guy. But there are some gadgets that are just abused recently.

Case in point, the bluetooth headset:

Yes, they are extremely convenient. They can even be a safety tool. We have all read the research about talking on your cell phone while driving. That's fine. Please, feel free to wear it while you drive so you can hopefully keep from cutting me off in traffic and forcing me to greet you in a rather ungentlemanly way.

However, it is NOT necessary to wear this thing ALL THE DAMN TIME. Are you really expecting to receive an urgent call while you're walking around in Wal-Mart? You're only going in to buy cat food and Q-Tips. That call from your husband asking how long to put the lasagna in the microwave can wait a few minutes, don't you think?

What's that? How did I know you were only going into the store for cat food and Q-Tips? Why, because I followed you, of course! My friends and I discretely mocked you from a distance while I silently formed this blog post in my head.

And speaking of annoying gadget use... Please, for the love of God and all things holy, save the laser pointers for presentations or entertaining your cats! The next time one of you little bastards shines me in the eyes with one of those things, I'm going to give you the beating your parents should have given you YEARS ago.

Oh... And you. Aspiring writer guy/girl. Is there really a need to record your every thought into that nifty little voice recorder your mommy got you for Christmas?

Just stop it.

ThinkGeek is the HSN of our generation.

No geek blog would be complete without mentioning ThinkGeek from the early stages. My home and office are cluttered with random gadgets from this site.

I mean, seriously, where else can you find Lord of the Rings etched barware?

I have one of those mugs in my freezer right now. You're jealous. I can feel it.

My Addiction.... Geocaching!

Ok, so it doesn't get much geekier than Geocaching. If you're not familiar with Geocaching it is, according to, "...a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online."

I have been geocaching off and on for several years but just got serious about it around a year and a half ago. A good friend of mine and I discovered our mutual love for geocaching quite by accident and it was an adventure from that point on. We immediately set out on a months-long geocaching quest.

One of the easiest ways to get started in geocaching is by using the iPhone Geocaching app. Obviously you need an iPhone to do this but there are geocaching apps for most smartphones out now. With the iPhone Geocaching app you can browse geocaches based on your current GPS location. There is no need to logon to the website to find caches. They are all right there in the palm of your hand!

I will be covering a lot of geocaching information on here in the coming weeks and months. It is, by far, one of my favorite hobbies and is something I am very passionate about. It is a good way to get people out and about and enjoying the outdoors. Especially us geeks that are more prone to sit in front of a computer all day!

So go to, get a GPS device or get a geocaching app for your phone and go have some fun!

First order of business.... BOFH!

Ok, so anyone that has worked in the IT field for any period of time has met a BOFH. Hell, if you've worked in the field long enough, YOU may be a BOFH.

If you've never read BOFH, do yourself a favor and click below:

Welcome to Geek's Paradise

Ok, so I admit it. I'm a geek. I say this proudly. I am not ashamed.

I love geocaching. I love linux. I love Adult Swim. I love all things geeky, nerdy, etc.

And since I am a geek I know there are more of your out there.

Here you will find all things geeky. If I see something that catches my eye, I will post it. If I have something geeky to say, I will say it.

So, geeks of the world, check back often for updates!