blog A Clean Shop <p>Over the weekend I had some free time due to all the rain we have been getting lately. Jessie had been using the shop and after finishing her project cleaned up what she was working with. I decided to go in and clean up a bit of the rest. Since it actually looks kind of decent for once I took a couple of pictures.</p> <p>A panorama of the shop:</p> <p><a title="Shop Panorama by Shawn Parr, on Flickr" href=""><img class="center" src="" alt="Shop Panorama" width="640" height="231"></a></p> <p>And a close up of the bike tools and work area:</p> <p><a title="Shop Bike Area by Shawn Parr, on Flickr" href=""><img class="center" src="" alt="Shop Bike Area" width="500" height="375"></a>I have to say it is quite nice having a decent space to work in.</p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 22:23:54 +0000 Domains Free <p>As an update to my <a href="[sitetree_link,id=22]">previous post</a>:</p> <p>My domains are all now on <a href="">Name Cheap</a>. It took a bit of time as there was human interaction required in order to unlock the domains and get the EPP codes for the transfer. However in the end all of my domains have transfered over, and I now have the ability to configure DNS for all of them in one easy control panel under one login. I also checked for future shenanigans and to unlock and get the EPP codes on Name Cheap is all done via my account interface.</p> <p>Here's to hoping that Name Cheap stays how it is for as long as possible, corporate ownership-wise.</p> <p>I should also note that when I had to deal with people at Westhost duing this process, they were friendly and helpful. </p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:16:38 +0000 Domain Shenanigans: Updated <p>Years ago I registered several domain names, including this one, with a great company called <a href="">Server Central</a>. I had both hosting and domain registration and it always worked great. Eventually they spun their consumer level hosting and domain registration off into its own company, WingSix. Things continued smoothly.</p> <p>In the intervening years however WingSix was bought out, merged, etc, and things got a bit sketchier. Now it is under <a href="">Westhost</a>, part of the <a href="">UK2 Group</a>. During those transitions there was a meltdown on the server where my VPS was hosted and both the redundancy and backups failed, and my old site went offline forever. Luckily most of the content was well out of date so i considered it a an irritation but not a huge loss. At that time I switched from using hosting to self hosting at home with a static IP address, and put up the previous version of my site using Wordpress.</p> <p>Time has marched on, and due to shenanigans with dealing with Westhost over the hosting issues I decided to look at new registrars when getting a domain for a new project. I ended up going with <a href="">NameCheap</a> as the price was okay, they have a good reputation for support, and their control panel is pretty much straight to the point. Since I have a new domain there I decided to try to transfer one of my other domains over to see how the process would go. Turns out there are more shenanigans ahead.</p> <p>As is typical there is a registrar lock on the domains, which I have to remove before I can transfer them. However unlike most companies that include this in the domain control panel I've discovered the WestHost requires emailing a specific address and making the request that way. In addition it has been so long since I've configured my domains that I apparently can't remember the passwords to their domain control panels. For some reason they aren't managed directly within the Westhost main system. Even if this is because of their long history Westhost probably should have brought them into an integrated system. If there was a way I was supposed to do this I was never given the option. I clicked the link to reset my password and low and behold it fills out a form to send an email to a human being, so I have to wait for that to happen. It did take less than an hour (an hour? in 2013?? for a password reset???) and instead of doing a reset they emailed my password to me in clear text. I'm starting to feel like my domains are under siege.</p> <p>I'm not sure which side this issue falls on, but during the transfer process NameCheap also states they can't determine the Administrative email address. I do have this set properly in the domain control panel, and with my general Westhost account, and running whois on my computer shows my name and email address, so I wonder if this is actually a NameCheap issue.</p> <p>Well now I'm waiting to find out how to get the registrar lock removed. Wish me luck, likely I'll need it.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE 1/16/13: </strong><a href="[sitetree_link,id=23]">My domains are free</a>.</p> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 08:26:21 +0000 Early Morning Bicycle Casualty <p>So this morning I had a bit of an incident. I forgot my water bottle, which on it's own wouldn't be that big of a deal. Except it helps keep my left pant leg from getting caught on the water bottle cages. Normally that wouldn't even be that big a deal, just a minor annoyance, as my pants don't get permanently caught just tugged at from time to time.</p> <p>Recently I purchased a <a href="">Blackburn Mammoth Anyvalve</a> pump for the commuter bike. Like many on-bike "mini" pumps it has a bracket that fits under a water bottle cage to share its mount. This bracket has rubber o-ring type clasps on it that hold the pump on. Well, when my pant leg was grabbed by my water bottle cage, it then went over the pump so that the leg of my pants was between the pump and the frame and the pump itself was effectively inside my pants leg. One downstroke and my pump was on the street, I was out of balance, and one of those o-ring type clasps was shot to who knows where.</p> <p>Luckily I was able to recover, and I recovered the pump itself. One of the two clasps is gone. I've often been annoyed by my smaller Bontrager hand pump using velcro for the clasps to its mounting bracket as the velcro is very strong and seems longer than necessary. I now know better as I seriously doubt I would have lost it. I may however had been unbalanced even more, but I like to think I would have noticed and recovered gracefully. There's a first time for everything, right?</p> Mon, 07 Jan 2013 07:13:21 +0000 Measuring Goals and Starting Anew <p>For me 2012 was the year of getting in shape. Just prior to the start of the year I made some life changes and slowly started losing weight. At the beginning of the year I bought a bicycle and started getting more exercise. At one point I had gotten to 280 lbs. Is started 2012 somewhere around 270-ish. I set a goal of weighing 220 lbs by the end of the year. Why 220 lbs? That is the weight I need to hit in order to no longer be officially obese.</p> <p>How did I do? You tell me:</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="weight 2012" width="400" height="225"></p> <p>Obviously I did not hit my goal, however I'm pretty darn happy with the overall loss. Even with the 4 lbs I gained over Christmas traveling it is a pretty good looking chart. As of this morning I am at 225.3 lbs, and while I would like to be much lower than that I am very happy with my progress so far.</p> <p>So what is next? For 2013 my goal is 200 lbs. I think this is a reasonable goal as I've already lost a lot of the easy weight (the left part of that graph above), and it gives me plenty of time to lose the weight while continuing to make lifestyle changes. Thus far when I've had occasion to 'fall off the wagon' either by not exercising properly or by eating poorly for a week or two I've found my weight to be fairly stable, and it doesn't just start to rocket back up.</p> <p>So here is to 2013, and the year I should finally stop being obese. And then I can work on not being overweight anymore... </p> Thu, 03 Jan 2013 12:05:00 +0000 Robert's Christmas Program <p>Robert's Christmas Program was today, and he was selected to be one of the Christmas Gala style black light drummers. Sorry the video is so small we ended up in the balcony.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 14:48:14 +0000 Commuting in the cold <p>Today I had a hard decision to make. On one hand I stayed up way too late last night trying to get the new site launched (2 AM), and this morning it was less than 30 degrees farenheit. 30 degrees is pretty cold any where, but for some reason, probably a combo between acclimation and humidity, it feels <strong>really</strong> cold in Louisiana. On the other hand I've worked hard to lose weight, but I need to keep up some exercise, and I've worked hard to setup bike commuting and have a personal goal to do it more every week than driving.</p> <p>So into the cold an exhausted Shawn went this morning. Bundled in 3 layers of wool, with breakfast of clementines, Clif Bars, and cocoa in my bag. Luckily my new <a href="">wool peacoat</a> works very well to keep out most of the chill.</p> <p>(<a href="">Cyclemeter stats</a>)</p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 07:26:19 +0000 Site Update <p>This is the official launch of the new <a href=""></a>. The site is now built using <a href="">SilverStripe CMS</a> version 3.</p> <p>Right now I have basic blog and article functionality working, and I'll be rolling out new features in the next few weeks.</p> <p>In the mean time, check the articles box for full length articles about technology, product reviews, and general topics, and keep an eye here for updates and general chat. Of course you can always <a href="">subscribe</a> to the blog via RSS/ATOM.</p> <p>And please be patient while I get things up and running. I'm working on a number of new articles, and hope to have more to discuss on the blog soon. I have been developing in SilverStripe for a few years now, but I've just started with v3 of the framework and getting up to speed in my spare time (yeah right) will take a little time.</p> <p>Thanks!</p> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 20:47:16 +0000