Over the last day or so, there has been a lot of news about the WHO (World Health Organization) coming out and saying that processed and red meats cause cancer.  I tend to believe this, as processed meats are loaded with preservatives and antibiotics.  My issue, however, is their phrasing: Bacon, Hot Dogs, Sausage, and maybe red meats.

There are a lot of DC and AC-powered saw sharpeners available, and they seem nice, but I didn't want to buy one.  Mainly because I can bring a chain into the local shop and they will sharpen it for about $6.  And for $6, you walk out with a chain that is "like new."  However, they can only sharpen a chain 5 times using their big machine before there is no more teeth remaining.  I wanted a sharpening solution that would accomplish a few things:

  • It must work without electricity.  I don't want to bring a battery, inverter, or need to stand near my truck in order to sharpen my chain. 
  • It must be simple to operate.  I am not a professional lumberjack and never intend to be. 

Goodbye, Facebook.  Goodbye, Twitter.  Goodbye, Youtube.  Goodbye, MySpace.  Goodbye, Google+.  

For now, I’m keeping my LinkedIN account up and running because I’ve found numerous clients from it, and I have a handful of good recommendations from clients on my profile.

I’ve been becoming increasingly frustrated with my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts lately.  It seems that social media is a great tool, but it’s becoming too centralized.  Too corporate.  Newsfeed are censored: unlike traditional communications tools, just because you post something, doesn’t mean that people will actually see or read it.  

I’m tired of these large corporations earning a profit off of me, signing into Facebook every day like a sucker.  

We recently received this announcement from Google, they are replacing the "old" reCaptcha system with a newer, smarter, easier to use system.

Many of our clients have asked about adding a reCaptcha anti-spam mechanism onto their site's contact page (get a quote form, etc) and our advice was typically as follows:

  1. Avoid adding a reCaptcha field at all costs because it makes it more difficult for legitimate people to send messages through your site.
  2. Typically, we start by adding a security mechanism called Project Honeypot onto the site, which blocks malicious visitors based on their IP address. 
  3. If blocking malicious IP addresses still doesn't cut down enough on the amount of spam that is sent through the form, then we look into adding a reCaptcha system.

I recently read this article on CNBC about a company called Beepi.  It’s middleman company that helps you buy a used car from across the country.  It will inspect and take photos of the car you want to buy, and help with delivering it directly to your home.  We recently purchased a vehicle from Alabama (from Pennsylvania) without the use of a 3rd party service like Beepi, and I had a great experience with it, so I figured I would write an article to share my experience and provide some pointers.

These steps and ideas are relevant whether you’re buying from a dealer, or from a private party.  For our purchase, we were looking for a full-size pickup truck; our requirements were a diesel motor, no rust, manual transmission, extended cab, and 8 foot bed.  (Good luck finding a rust-free truck up north.)  We found one on AutoTrader or but it was down in Alabama.  Not exactly close enough to go test drive it!

Building optimized sites has always been a major part of our strategy: they are easier to maintain, easier to upgrade, and they load more quickly.  I have never built a site using only Flash, and have always built sites using HTML-and-CSS based navigation menus.  They are search engine friendly and easy to expand or rearrange.

With that in mind, I have recently come up with a few other ways to speed things up.  A faster site will generally rank better in the search engines, plus it will have less people abandoning the site while waiting for it to load.

I find it ironic that humans are the only animal ‘lucky’ enough to walk upright, when so many suffer from lower back pain. I’ve got a slightly bulged disc in my lower back that was diagnosed in 2007. I've been through the whole process: X-Ray, MRI, pain medication, and physical therapy.

Some people suffer from lower back pain due to an injury or accident, I believe mine is mainly due to bad posture and lack of exercise. I seem to go through cycles; one week, I’m doing push-ups and sit-ups, my back feels great, and I start slacking on the exercise. I get lazy. Then the pain comes back and I start doing push-ups again. Rinse, lather, repeat.

A Discussion Drupal vs Joomla Theming

I think this might be my first post specifically about Drupal.  I’ve been using Drupal for a few years now, but as many know, I’ve been a Joomla guy for a lot longer.  One of the nice things about Drupal’s theming structure is their “content” is rendered as a regular block.  So, when you’re managing blocks in the admin panel, you can assign a contact form block to the content area block area, and it shows up right below it.  No need to tweak the template files create a new block area (in Joomla speak, a module position).

To the right, you’ll see the chicken coop that my wife and I built ourselves. We’ve been working on it over the last year or so, making adjustments and enhancements, so I want to write about what we’ve learned. We refused to spend hundreds of dollars on just their coop so we got some free pallets from down the street and scavenged for scrap wood.

First, a bit of clarification because my clients frequently ask this question: what’s the difference between "social icons" and "social sharing icons”?  Social icons are links to your company’s social pages, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN.  On these pages, people can directly engage with your organization by posting photos, asking questions, and the like.  

Social SHARING icons are visually similar as well, they will typically include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest… these are used for sharing content from your company’s website on your site visitors’ social media accounts (newsfeeds, or pages).  When your site’s visitors share your content throughout their social circles, it translates into free exposure for your content.  Assuming that you are producing relevant, high-quality content, this should translate into increased revenues, profits, and market share for your organization.

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