Eclipse Monitoring Station at DM79mq

Peak shadow, if not peak chatter …

MG signing off (to struggle with 5 WPM)

Let’s close this trip out on a good note

INTREPID PHOTOG (WITH THREE CAMERAS, FOUR RIGGED RODS, FIVE LENSES, AND A SIX PACK OF MODELO IN TOW): This looks like a good spot for closing out this trip. I need a really good shot, so don’t splash up the pool when you step in. You’ve been fishing that same fly all weekend … sure you don’t want to change it up? How ’bout a dropper?

YOURS TRULY (WITH ONE PARACHUTE ADAMS, TWO FEET OF 6X TIPPET, AND A THREE WEIGHT RADIAN IN HAND): I’m good.

INTREPID PHOTOG: If there is anything here, it’s gonna be sitting on the right edge. Deeper over there. Sun’s at your back, so watch your shadow. Be careful of that big log behind you. Wanna cast this rod?

YOURS TRULY: Got it. Nope.

Thirty seconds later …

INTREPID PHOTOG: Dude, where’s your fly?

YOURS TRULY: (Sigh)

Another minute goes by …

YOURS TRULY: Satisfied?

MG signing off (because it felt like work, but business was good)

Photo credit: James “You Really Need A Dropper” Snyder

Angler credit: Michael ” No I Don’t” Gracie

Programming the Yaesu VX-8DR on macOS, with the help of CHIRP and Valley Enterprises

In a word, easy.

The quad-band Yaesu VX-8DR is a nifty little radio, but in many respects it also suffers from feature overload. Hence menu pain. Even after several sessions of RTFM, one can still be lost. Programming via computer, please enter stage left on queue.

Unfortunately for Apple users, most pre-packaged programming utilities i.e. cable and software offerings cater to the Windows operating system and/or are designed for serial ports (think DE-9 connector). Those jokers with a spare MacBook Air lying around are almost SOL; they have to assemble their own tools instead.

With a little research it’s a moderately low effort endeavor. Even less if you just continue on here.

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Bring Blogger images into WordPress, the hard way

You migrate from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. Your posts move over just fine, but for some reason (or another) your images forget their bus pass. Those pornographic stupid cat, hastily-prepared food, and trying-to-make-people-think-you-are-wealthy-instead-of-deep-in-debt vacation photos still show on the new site as they are properly referenced in the posts, but they actually remain on Google’s servers. You (or your client) don’t like that.

Meanwhile, the two plugins you found to solve this problem, Archive Remote Images and Cache Images, haven’t been updated in years. You take your chances anyway because you are lazy (if it is a personal site), or consistently over-promise and under-deliver (due to the impossibility of getting real work done at coffee shops). Either way, you must now hope you made a full site and database backup beforehand. If you did, you’re solution is now staring you in the face.

The script I concocted (shown after the jump) will get you a folder full of those images – with clean and pretty naming conventions – that you can upload to your wp-content directory, along with a SQL script to update links in your WordPress posts. Said programmatic wizardry dirty hack is written in Python – debugged using version 3.5.2 Anaconda custom (x86_64) on macOS 10.12.3 to be precise – and does rely on some SQL prep work. If you do not know Python, SQL and how to navigate directories while a terminal prompt blinks back, you have two choices: Google it (after determining what the definition of “it” is), or inquire about retaining me to do your work for you.

I’ll make the decision whether to continue easy too; if you cannot execute the following block of code sans assistance you are officially deemed “without paddle” …

SELECT * FROM `wp_posts` WHERE `post_content` LIKE "%blogspot%"
INTO OUTFILE '/home/dump/blogspotposts.csv'
FIELDS TERMINATED BY '|'

That look easy? Then proceed.

First, decide whether to run on your desktop (for future upload) or directly on server. Next, create a directory underneath where the script is located called /bspics. Lastly, make sure the directory the code is in is writable by all.

The code can be found here -> processblogspotimagelinks.py

Once you have changed the obvious stuff to suit your need, run it. Your /bspics directory will fill up with those images I promised – you can then place that entire directory underneath /wp-content – and you’ll also have a file called bsreplacescript.sql which you will run against your WordPress database to update image links in the associated posts.

Important [final] note: the coding was an iterative process, and some data analysis was done between steps in order to account for string possibilities encountered, generating clean file names, etc. It could be refactored, but wasn’t because 1) the end result works as intended and 2) removing those iterations would handicap attempts to modify it for a different data set.

MG signing off (to solve some not-so-commonplace problems)

“Comply with all crew member instructions” and then some

FACTS: People all over will travel all over this holiday season. They will stuff themselves with holiday joy. They will feign appreciation for useless gifts. They will complain about service, especially that purveyed by airlines.

This is but a public service message reminding everyone to comply with all crew member instructions, as well as those printed on the wing of the plane …

do not step out of this area

DO NOT STEP OUT OF THIS AREA (Photo: Yours Truly)

MG signing off (’cause that next one is a doosie)

Plugging mcrypt into PHP on macOS Sierra 10.12

We climbed up then down El Capitan, yet little changed. We’re still in the Sierras, and there’s still work to do.

The following instructions are for peeps a) developing on macOS Sierra 10.12, b) need mcrypt for their PHP development i.e. PHPMyAdmin and/or encrypting personally identifiable data before storage (unlike your health insurer, Yahoo! and/or pretty much every other knucklehead out there), and c) do not want to recompile PHP or run MAMP. Mcrypt will load dynamically with PHP after completing this tutorial.

We begin by acquiring the following stuffs …

1) libmcrypt-2.5.8, which you can find here; download by clicking the one of the two file links (author used “libmcrypt-2.5.8.tar.gz”);

2) PHP 5.6.24 source code, which is available here; [NOTE: you may someday update OS X beyond 10.12, and PHP may get updated along with it; the author used 10.12, and PHP 5.6.24 was included with that OS version. If necessary use php -v to check your version of PHP and then download the PHP source for that version.];

3) Xcode 8.0, which you can get from the App Store. You will also need the Command Line Tools (macOS 10.12) for Xcode, which you get by selecting “Xcode/Open Developer Tool/More Developer Tools…” from the Xcode menu, then logging into your Apple Developer account (yea you need one of those too); and

4) Homebrew (http://brew.sh) which can be installed by typing ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/ install/master/install)" at the command line.

But before we really wind up, let’s turn off System Integrity Protection (SIP):

  1. Click the Apple menu (upper left hand corner of your screen)
  2. Select Restart, then hold down the Command-R keys to boot into Recovery Mode
  3. Select the Utilities menu and then Terminal
  4. In Terminal, type csrutil disable and then hit return; then close Terminal
  5. Click the Apple menu and select Restart

NOTE: When you are done installing mcrypt, you can restart SIP by following the above steps while substituting csrutil enable in step 4.

Proceed.

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Very Average Naknek River Rainbow Trout

Could be considered trophies most anywhere else, but quite average as Naknek River, Alaska rainbow trout are concerned. The fact they are taken sight casting into smolt feeding frenzies puts them in a class all by themselves.

Piggy …

averagenaknekrainbow1

After piggy …

averagenaknekrainbow2

Busted with these …

naknekrainbowflies

MG signing off (a true believer in the power of smolt busts)

Debt crazy. Make that insanity.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Grant Williams does a heck of a job explaining the situation

MG signing off (because owing nothing means you can)

Blocking Facebook, Completely

A long while back I deleted my Facebook account. Yes it was a large pain in the ass, but not nearly as bothersome as the potential risk of having such a thoroughly untrustworthy group – downright devious if you consider they change their privacy terms seemingly by the hour – holding a constantly updated dossier of oneself. I have avoided the site like the plague since. If I accidentally passed by I would immediately clear browsing history and caches.

Nevertheless, a few months back I observed browser cookies showing up from Facebook, so I added a Little Snitch rule to block all processes for facebook.com.

fb-ls-rule

Soon after I noticed that Instagram photos embedded in sites no longer displayed in my browser. Bonus! I was henceforth free from drunken selfies, cat gonads, and $30 spinach salads laden with moldy cheese and anchovies.

But the question lingered: How many other points of entry might not be blocked here? After all it’s a huge ‘organization’, and they’ve probably conjured a myriad of stealthy domains for the purpose of pinging, tracking, recording, and otherwise intruding. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one asking.

Enter one Jonathan Dugan, technology consultant and entrepreneur from the Bay area. He offers a blocklist for Facebook, via Github, and from the looks of it is an extremely thorough one indeed. Over 880 distinct domains, one heck of a long list.

dugan-github

It is constructed for use on Windows, Mac and Linux; all you need capability-wise is editing your computer’s host file. You can find this dream come true right here.

process-blocked-lsThank you sir.

Meanwhile, I’ve downloaded and edited this blocklist, removing the loopback IP addresses so it can be utilized easily within Little Snitch. You can find that here (plain text 26kb, which will not be updated past today). 100% credit goes to the previously mentioned originator, and copy/paste works like a charm.

MG signing off (safe from prying eyes)

The Little Scott Radian 753/4 That Could

gear bagIn early 2013 I received a package. The note within said “play casually with the contents, and if you find the time drop us a few words summarizing your thoughts”. So yours truly delivered back some long-winded blather a dissertation, finely detailed results of functionality testing across a myriad of conditions. The subject of the study was a generic nine-foot five that would later become the infamous Scott Radian. Breaking the non-disclosure agreement was an afterthought.

Then the inquiries began. “What if you built this same rod in a three-weight, say sub-eight feet?” “Hey, any thoughts on a 3-weight Radian?” “Don’t you think a Radian Three would be the coolest?”

YOURS TRULY: Man, a fast-action rod with this kind of sensitivity, this tippet-protection, seems perfectly suited for a light-line … uh um … three-weight rod, eh?

ANYONE WITH THE FACTORY’S NUMBER IN THEIR PHONE: Jeezus, will you shut the hell up about that already?!

I will now.

Now will you? Please?

What should a three-weight be able to do? First off, keep 6x-8x tippet intact. Add covering ten to twenty feet with minimal effort. Plus, make do with small flies on standard leaders. But what if it the angler wielding it could also stretch to twice that distance, entice the bite with fluffy terrestrial patterns, and tangle with fish bigger than a six-inch Colorado River cuttie?

“We thought you would leave us alone.”

Fat chance.

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