Friday, March 8, 2013

Just when you forgive, the hypocrite doesn't disappoint

Years ago, back in the Paleozoic area - er high school, I had a friend I was 90% sure stole some money from that mom had sitting on the counter. It was only $20 bucks, but my mother is a type I diabetic and it's the money my father had left for her insulin. All my life, it had been indoctrinated into me that she needed her insulin to live and you didn't mess with that.

Well, over the years, I had thought about how I accused him of that, and eventually began to feel sorry for the guy. Perhaps I was wrong. And if even if I wasn't wrong, I decided I would forgive him.

Now I should say, he was part of a group of eight of us that ran around together. Well, three of which (besides myself) I drove to school each morning, the $20 thief being one. Fast forward years later, I am living in Florida and one of the "ride to school buddies" is down and wants to visit. The wife and I head over to see him (we will call him Ozzy Osborne, because he now looks like him). Upon visiting, Ozzy asks me if I had heard from the $20 thief. I told him not since that falling out over the money, other than on Facebook. Then he proceeds to tell me that he and the other guy had a gay/bi thing going on all through high school (Ozzy had since come out). Well, I NEVER KNEW.

Fast forward a couple of years. I get a call from one of the other guys in the eight. Lets call him "Sales Guy". Well Sales Guy likes to call me every now and again. Either for some advice on a project/product he wants to sell or when he is slightly tipsy. Well it just so happens he has made contact with $20-thief guy. He calls him on a 3-way calling feature. As we are talking about old times, laughs, fun etc., Sales Guy asks about Ozzy. Before I can say anything about seeing him, $20-thief says, I heard he was gay. Well. Calling the kettle black aren't we? I didn't say anything on the phone, but I should have. That is the one regret. I said I met up with him when he was down and what he was up too (he's not actually doing all that well).

Now I could give to shits about your sexual orientation. Hell, our 3 year old calls one of our good friends (that's coincidentally gay) Uncle D. I do mind when someone lies to everyone at the expense of someone else. The truly sad part is they are lying to themselves.

Anyway, to wrap it up, I felt it was pretty hipocritical of him to say that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back Again (me and the snowbirds)

For no particular reason I decided to pick up my blogging again. I have decided to turn this blog more into a piece about my local environment of South West Florida. Currently living in Cape Coral (the largest city by land mass in Florida) I have the honor of having a fairly geriatric population of neighbors, a large amount being snow birds.

Now being in the thick of snow bird season, I tend to think of them more and more. They are a double edge sword as any tourist town knows of seasonal visitors. Albeit ours stay for longer stretches than the typical American vacationer (which is 1-2 weeks at most, and ours stay 1-3 months). This leads to longer lines, need for bigger infrastructure of services (private and public) and general dislike from some locals. However, all and all, I don't mind the snowbirds (and my income doesn't depend on them either). They do bring vital income to area and some what of a diversity of character.

However, what I do mind is the homogenizing of local color. If you go to a place other than your home, do a few things, namely be respectful of environment, the peace of community you are visiting, and local traditions/customs. If things must be "how things are done up north", well frankly, just stay there. Likewise on bad behavior that would violate the peace of community. The phrase that comes to mind is "if you don't shit where you eat, don't do it where I eat". This little part of the rant stems from the seasonal bad behavior we witness year and year.

However, I must admit, I am thankful we don't live on the beach or in a full blown party town like Key West or Cancun.

All and all, snowbirds and tourists come for the same thing that drew many transplants here. The weather and Florida lifestyle. I cannot fault them for that.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Lost Coconut Tree and a Bee

This Sunday morning after breakfast I decided to weed the "weed patch". Everyone of our plants was absolutely filled with them. Mind you we have about 20 potted plants.

Our new lawn guy (I used to be the old lawn guy) doesn't take care of them, nor does the flower beds and I let them get away from me.

So I was checking out this coconut tree I have had since 2001 in a pot. I actually brought it back from Big Pine Key to Ohio on the last big "family" trip down there (we stayed a month). I grew this tree in a pot from the nut.

Well, I think it got sick and had a lack of water this last dry season and didn't recover. It saddens me as I had come to think of the tree as Mason's tree (our first son, born an angel). My old boss had suggested I buy him the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom where the letters go up the coconut tree. See the connection?

Well, as I investigate the tree to verify I cannot save it, I sigh and realize it's time to move on. As I look up, I see a small honey bee buzz on the flowers next to me. We never, NEVER see honey bees. That means something is growing and food is being produced.

Life moves on.


Vibes at the farmers market

Saturday Jessica, Parker and I were coming back from breakfast at Annie's (local greasy spoon in Cape Coral - decent price and portions, bad coffee, and friendly service) and decided to pass up the house and head to Cape Harbor (BTW Cape Harbor, somebody else has your domain name now) for their summer farmers Market.

Well, after getting some green beans and sweet potatoes, we went to look at the non food vendors. There were two next to each other that caught my eye.

The first was a guy selling items (wood, shells, cloth) laser etched with images. Apparently he did it with "some program" after doing the images in photo shop. I found it interesting he was very secretive about this "program", as it reminded me of some of the inventors at the Edison Inventors Association. Fair enough.

The second man and his wife were promoting his website Now if you are a boater here locally, and have looked up tide charts from NOAA, you know they are not the most user friendly looking things in the world. Well, Brian Fuller and his wife Kim made them friendly (coincidentally, Brian is also they guy responsible for the Newspress' Hurricane Tracker App). Brian showed me how things worked, and we talked shop on development and mobile programming. A very different vibe than the first fellow.

I personally like Brian's approach much better than the other fellow's. It probably comes from working in computers with open source. I do think he will do well with it on his new website. I wish them both good luck.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Nerd Post: Hacking Wordpress's admin pages to add a hidden link

As some of you know, Kinetic Thoughts is working in partnership with another firm to produce some niche Wordpress plugins. In creating the plugins, we wanted to create an admin menu, with sub-menu entries. No problem. Wordpress has mechanisms for that.

Now, when you add in a menu choice (or sub-menu choice) the URL generated when the menu is click is something akin to: http://host/wp-admin/admin.php?page=your_custom_menu_handle

This handle is actually created with the code like (assuming it is a sub-menu, the menu's function has a slightly different signature):

, 'Page Title (seen in browser)'
, 'Menu Link Text'
, 'administrator' //security level
, 'your_custom_menu_handle' // here's the page handle for page one
, 'page_callback_function' //the function that renders this menu's page

Now, I want to get to my sub-menu page and preserve the URL structure of:
One way to do this is to add a sub-menu entry pointing to your first sub-menu's handle:
'your_custom_menu_handle' // set the parent to your first page and it wont appear
, 'Hidden Menu Page Title (seen in brower)'
, 'Hidden Menu Link Name' // unused
, 'administrator' //security level
, 'your_hidden_menu_custom_handle'
, 'hidden_page_callback_function' //the function that renders this menu's page

I want to thank the guys on this post at StackOverFlow.

This works quite well. Now I don't condone hacks usually, but sometimes you just got to get to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and fix things later. More than likely, Wordpress was coded to allow for multiple levels of sub-menus, but only displays the first. Something to investigate in the future.

Nice, huh?