Administrivia Archives

January 17, 2004


So, my home page is now up via "MovableType": . It is a pretty sweet system which I've used for other purposes over the past few months, I think I'm happy enough with it that it will become my main home page.

February 20, 2004

Syndication into LiveJournal

I finally got the LJCrossPost MovableType plugin working just fine. Hopefully this means that my posts should automagically move from my Primary blog on my personal site to my LiveJournal blog. This should make things a bit easier for LiveJournal users to keep up on my blog.

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February 22, 2004

Google searches

One of the more entertaining (if not a little enlightening) things about hosting your own website is that you get to log all of the accesses to the site and then review the logs whenever you want. One of the things that browsers do is send a “Referrer” header along with the web requests. This usually shows the page a person is coming from when they click through a link to your page. In the case of a search engine, you often get to see the search terms people use in order to come across your pages.

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February 23, 2004

MovableType Conversion Complete!

So, I had converted almost all of my website (OfficeCam, Resume, etc) over to being managed through the MovableType admin interface but moving Gallery into it was a bit more difficult than I first suspected. I first tried using the skin functionality present in the newer versions of Gallery, but it just didn’t work. It didn’t give me enough control over the stylesheets and item placement.

Finally, I stumbled across this site’s entry while looking up some other MovableType-related things I had been investigating. The instructions worked like a charm! I created all the templates as described, and with a little bit of tweaking to the stylesheets it looked great!

Now that Gallery has been integrated into MovableType, everything on my site is now managed through one easy-to-use interface.

Now I can concentrate on adding more content. I think getting my recipe database online will be the next project - need to decide how to best organize it. Also need to finish the family page - but to do that I need to scan in the newest family portrait.

Should be fun!

October 7, 2004

Welcome to the new design!

I’ve been playing with different designs over the past few weeks, finally decided on using a fixed width layout based on the one I found at Neil Turner’s site. I played with variable width sites, since I use an ultra-wide screen resolution things look goofy when they are pegged for an 800×600 screen, but since I also like using floats it presented a bunch of difficulties trying to get the CSS to render correctly. I figure most of the people I know browse my site at 800×600 or 1024×768, so I set the fixed width around 750. I apologize in advance to anyone browsing on a smaller screen - if you wanna help me convert the existing CSS to a dynamic width layout I’m open to it!

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October 9, 2004

Technorati Profile

I just signed up with Technorati. Not quite sure what it does for me yet, hopefully this post will generate a ping and I’ll get to see it in action.

October 11, 2004

LiveJournal Syndication

For the past 8 months or so I’ve been using LJCrossPost to syndicate my website into my existing LiveJournal account. It has worked very well, although it has its limitations. As I’ve been doing more and more with MovableType I’ve found the delays necessary for the RPC-XML send up to LiveJournal upon each page rebuild to cause timeouts and other errors. Not to mention the imperfect “backdating” functionality.

Tonight I resubscribed my LiveJournal account for 2 months to add a “syndication feed” to LiveJournal under the damon_durand account. In the near future I will disable LJCrossPost, which means my existing account will no longer be updated. If you want to continue to receive my entries on your friends page, you’ll need to add the damon_durand to your friends list.

My name is Damon Durand and I approve this message.

October 15, 2004

"Suck it", Dick (100th Post)

A great big “Suck it” to the RV/Sport shop owned by Dick in Durand, Wisconsin. (Whom I won’t link to or name, since I don’t want to increase its Google page rank in the slightest)

For years my homepage was the first hit when you searched for Damon Durand on Google. About a year ago I got bumped into number two spot by the previously mentioned site. When I tried to increase my rank through the use of Meta tags and submitting my site for search at Google’s Add URL page I disappeared from the Google index entirely. (Not just demoted; if you searched for any trace of my site you wouldn’t find it at all other than external links pointing to it) A few days ago I noticed that GoogleBot craweled my site once again…I knew it was only a matter of time until I’d be relisted.

I signed up through Google Alerts and waited. This morning I got the first matching alert, switched over to Google and did a search. I’m not only back in the list now, but I’m the first hit, too. Yay!

On a quick aside, this is the 100th post on my weblog. I’ve picked up the posting pace over the past few weeks, so hopefully the 200th post will be here in much less time. I’m sure the blogging activities have helped matters a bit, too, since Google loves linked content and I’ve been doing much more of that as of late, too.

October 16, 2004

LiveJournal Syndication

As I warned in this previous entry, I have turned off the LJCrossPost plug-in which posted entries to my old LiveJournal account. I’ve now setup a syndicated feed on LiveJournal under the damon_durand account.

If you want to continue to have my entries appear on your friends page, you’ll need to add the damon_durand account to your friends list.

My old account will no longer be updated.

October 22, 2004

Spam Spam and More Spam

While I’ve gotten a bit of comment spam here and there over the past few months, it was nothing like what I was greeted with this morning when I got into work and opened up my email. Every entry on my blog had a spam comment added to it.

I started deleting comment after comment but soon realized there had to be a better way. 15 minutes later, I removed all of the comment spam in one action with MT-Blacklist. Worked great! I’ve heard others talk about it, but I guess it wasn’t until I got picked up by Google that it became a huge problem.

October 24, 2004

Family Photo

The first of the 82 photos has made its way up to the website. I skeleton of the Family pages have been uploaded and are ready for your consumption.

Pay special detail to the imagemap…ugh. Took me almost an hour to imagemap that photo!

Also pay attention to the photo…it is proof that I come from a long line of goofy people!

The individual bio pages will be filled out as time allows. I’ve got a huge stack of scanned photos and digital shots which are just waiting to be mated with words and added to the pages.

October 31, 2004

Monthly: 58/28

Well, in the month of October 2004 I racked up an impressive 58 posts, with at least one post every 28 days.

I almost doubled my public, published posts from 71 to 129.

Hopefully I don’t get too bogged down in my NaNoWriMo effort this month to go back to sporadic posts.

There’s a lot to look forward to this month:

  • Getting 1.0 of “The Project” out the door and into the hands of beta testers at work.
  • Having Thanksgiving at my apartment on the 21st.
  • Going down to my sister and brother-in-law’s place in Texas for the official Thanksgiving feast.
  • Having 50,000 words somehow assembled into a coherent fictional story.
  • and the normal assortment of unusual happenings, thoughts and reflections.

December 31, 2004

Mensa Calendar Hint Service?

I’ve been keeping an eye on the server logs. I guess I’ve become some sort of Mensa Puzzle Calendar answer source…since for the last month, at least once a day, I receive a hit from someone obviously looking for help on the puzzles. (Even on puzzles I’ve never posted about!)

Accounting Nicole purchased the 2005 version of the calendar; JManDoo, her and I are really looking forward to it.

Now, I certainly can’t post each question over the next year. But I’m thinking it might be fun to post a hint each day regarding the calendar. For those of you playing alone, you still get the enjoyment of figuring out the puzzle after a slight nudge.

I’ve been looking for a content-specific blog. This certainly wouldn’t be that…but it might be a nice sideblog, no?

March 19, 2005

Wow, What a Logjam!

The previous post sat in draft state since Monday, jamming up the portion of my brain responsible for blog updates. I knew I had to get it out there, and nothing else pending wasprocessed until I got that status toggled to “Publish”. So, an update on the previous week:

  • I found my digital camera. There was much rejoicing amongst fans around the world when I found my digital camera in a pile of holiday decorations here at home. I had thought it lost for the past few months while I searched hi and low for the elusive camera. You know they say you miss things the most when you don’t have them…well, over the past few months I’ve time and time again been bitten by the desire to snap a photo of something. Now that I’ve found the camera, of course, I expect all photo desires shall immediately cease.
  • The 2.6 GB bittorrent download of the free MP3 collection from artists appearing at the South by Southwest Music Festival finally completed. Get it while its hot, there are some great gems in there.
  • I got my premier issue of Make. I meant to sign up well before the initial issue hit the streets, but it wasn’t until it did that I finally got up the courage to sign up for a year. So far, I’m nothing but pleased. It is a tinkerer’s dream - tons of projects and neat tricks to keep the curious entertained.
  • Booked tickets to fly down to Dallas to help my Sister and Bro-In-Law move into their new home. I expect a lot of work…but I also expect a lot of Chick-fil-a!
  • Speaking of Chick-fil-a, if you examine the container from an 8-piece order of nuggets you’ll notice there are punch-out holes for “N”, “S” and “K”. While all participants of our visit to the U of M - Twin Cities campus (the only Minnesota Chick-fil-a location!) on Monday for lunch agreed that the “S” stood for “Strips” and “N” for “Nuggets”, JManDoo hypothesized that the “K” stood for “Knuggets”. (Neither the “K” nor the following “n” are silent, according to JManDoo). Research later revealed the “K” must have stood for “Kids”, since the kids meal at Chick-fil-a has a 4 or 6-piece nugget option. JManDoo is still sticking to his theory, tho.
  • My review was due yesterday at work…so I sent it in at precisely 11:59pm last night. Double-B (the boss) did say I had until midnight to send it in. I hope I’m not the only one who sees humor in it, tho!

That’s not everything (my life isn’t THAT dull and boring!), but it is the stuff I found blogworthy over the past week.

June 8, 2005

Power...We Need More Power

I finally drifted off to sleep last night around 2am. As my eyelids began to droop, I got to watch quite the show outside as the winds and rain battered the outside the apartment window. Lightning all over, trees being whipped back and forth by the wind, it was all there.

I wake up around 6:30am. I can’t read the clock…not all that unusual in the morning, due to the light coming in the window glaring off its display. Walk over to the bathroom…the light doesn’t work! Sure ‘nuff, the entire apartment is out. I checked the only wall-powered mechanical clock I have in the apartment, on the stove, and find out the power went out shortly before 4:00am. To eliminate the possibility that the power issue was contained within the apartment (circuit breakers, etc) I opened the door to the hallway…yup, only the bright red EXIT sign illuminated the hallway.

Continue reading "Power...We Need More Power" »

October 12, 2005

Well, I Guess They Do Mind

I thought that just posting one Far Side cartoon when talking about the The Complete Far Side 1980-1994 gift wouldn’t be a big deal, but as you can read below, they take it very seriously.

So, the “Midvale - School For The Gifted” Far Side cartoon I put up has now been removed.

Sorry folks.

Continue reading "Well, I Guess They Do Mind" »

November 11, 2005

Time Flies

A thousand pardons to everyone out there who cares to review, on a regular basis, this little corner of cyberspace.

Work has been crazy, and I mean CRAZY, busy.

Over the past month or so, I’ve had almost no social life outside of work. Working late almost every night - even had to work a few hours this past weekend. Trying to make a deadline that was unreasonable, but I knew I had to make it nonetheless, otherwise the next few months would be boring. (‘cause no one announces new products in December!)

Luckily, as of 7:30 last night, my crazy assignment has finally been turned down from a rolling boil to a simmer. This happened just in time, as tonight was my Mom’s birthday celebration at Kincaid’s. Not only would I never miss my Mom’s birthday celebration, but I’d never miss a meal at Kincaid’s, either!

Now that the meal is over, I finally had some time to get around to bringing three items out of draft, and there will be a few entries I’ll be writing over this weekend. Hopefully, they will include installing the new Gumby server into production. That’s what I’m working on now. ‘course, considering that it has sat here languishing in the server stack near my desk for most of the past month, I now need to upgrade things before I can even contemplate putting it into production. Oh well, might as well test the upgrade process before I put it into production, right?

August 2, 2006

Ah, Blue And Orange Again...

When I upgraded/changed servers a few months ago, I had the best intentions. I replaced my old, comfortable, reliable stylesheets with new stylesheets and templates that promised all kinds of wonderful new features. I thought I’d make time to nuture that new style into something wonderful.

Turns out, I didn’t need those new features, and I didn’t make the time. So, for now, I will return you to the relative comfort of my old style. Love it.

February 26, 2007

A Little Change of Color

Old Website Screenshot I’ve had the orange and blue design for a few years now (According to this old post, I rolled it out on October 7th, 2004) and I had been meaning to make a change for a while now. I had looked everywhere for inspiration, but eventually found most of what I wanted on The Style Archive in Newsline.

The Newsline style needed some polishing to fit my site, but eventually I’ve massaged it into shape as what you see here. The main thing that I’ve always looked for when contemplating redesign options is a variable-width layout. There are simply too many different resolutions people view the web at nowadays, having a static-width layout could leave a large amount of a user’s web browser window unused…or even worse, on a small screen you may end up having to scroll back and forth just to read the entire thing! The second thing major thing that drew me in to the Newsline style is that it didn’t rely heavily on graphics to get things done - it was a neat, polished style with few graphic embellishments. The fewer the graphics, the easier it is to mod a style in my opinion.

There is still some work to do on the site, I’m thinking I need to bring back a menu again for easy access to OfficeCam and the other major areas of the site, but for now I’ve created a “Features” heading on the sidebar. Also need to reformat said OfficeCam page for the new CSS stylesheet, as well as many of the other static pages. For now, tho, most of the main site is rendering just fine.

December 9, 2007

This thing still on?

I’ve been really lame. I haven’t been updating this at all. Although life has been kinda run-of-the-mill, there are plenty of things I should have written about but didn’t. So, to catch things up…

  • Ended up going to the Minnesota State Fair a total of 7 times
  • Had a wonderful day at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival
  • Enjoyed a 10-day vacation to Disney World
  • Took a weekend trip up to the North Shore
  • Celebrated the birth of my coworker’s son, Devon
  • Went to Sever’s Corn Maze
  • Spent a bunch of weekends (and weeknights) working on my sister and brother-in-law’s new tile floor (all 500 sq. ft. of it)
  • Had a wonderful, bountiful Thanksgiving
  • Started learning a new programming language that I’m falling in love with, Ruby on Rails

All that, and our first “real” snowfall happened about a week ago, so everything is all nice and white.

Otherwise, I’ve been working too much, projects are piling up, what’s new there, eh? Soon Christmas will be here, then New Year, then the KVSC 50-Hour Trivia Contest. Maybe I’ll take the time to drop an update here about those? We can all wish, can’t we?

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