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  • Going Mad!
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Going Mad!
    In general, I enjoy fiddling around with Joomla and the website.  There are times, however, when it is maddening.  Last week the site went down.  At first, I blamed the domain server for pointing to the wrong location.  Then I figured it was the NAS box I use to host the site.  I thought I had it nailed when I found it would not update the web location and synch with the domain server.  I spent too much time trying to get it to talk to the Synology account to update the web location.  Then I noticed that NAS box had lost its time sync.  Again.  It's' happened before and I suddenly get fake malware notifications as the system realizes that hackers have gotten into the system to change my computer's time... so evil... the notification goes away when I correct the time.  Apparently, it can nuke my web page too.  Talk about the domino effect.  I really have no idea why my NAS box can't keep time.  Maybe I should add an atomic clock;)
    Written on Saturday, 02 October 2021 22:35 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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  • Not Even Two Legs to Stand On
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Not Even Two Legs to Stand On

    I had some minor surgery on my foot about a week ago.  Nothing serious, just an outpatient procedure.  I have to stay off of it for a few weeks during recovery.  My job has allowed me to work from home for the duration.  Fortunately, I am allowed to walk enough to go to the bathroom and the kitchen but most of the time the foot should be up.  My job has allowed me to work from home for the duration.  My kids have still managed to step on every part of my foot except the part that has the surgery on it.  Am I paranoid or are they really out to get me?

    Written on Monday, 22 March 2021 21:34 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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  • Three Sheets to the Page
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Three Sheets to the Page

    Working with Joomla doesn't make you an internet guru by any means. In fact, one of my friends mocks it as a crutch that keeps you from the really powerful tools. Joomla isn't alone, he mocks all the content management systems(CMS). While I don't completely agree he does have some good points. You can actually make some really good looking pages with just html, css and java. It's just a lot of work, especially for large webpages or interactive pages. Getting good with these three tools is even recommended by people who work with Joomla too since it allows you to do some pretty powerful modifications of the basic Joomla pages and the modules themselves.

    So, why do I even mention this? Well, I am limited in how much I can write with screaming children roaming in the wilds (the living room, the bedrooms, and the dining room) so I turned towards some things that I can mostly put down and pick back up when the wave of children has passed. So I picked up some books on HTML, CSS, java, and Linux and have been going through them. Most of it makes sense though the actual implementation can get messy. Browsers allow you to inspect the Styles that define the webpage's look but trying to pin down a change has been challenging. Fun and frustrating in turns. Also as I make more changes I have to ask myself if I actually made my webpage look better or just messier.

    I think I picked up the basics of HTML pretty quickly, though the fancy stuff is beyond me writing it from scratch. Though I can usually follow it if it's given to me. CSS also wasn't too bad. Writing your own CSS is easier than trying to slip in your own changes in someone else's CSS code. I have literally spent hours trying to track down the correct class name to use. Java is much harder. The basic language looks simple and then you see a shortened bit of code that does what your four lines did and you are back to "Huh?"

    The Unix training book has been slow going too, but that's okay. As some may recall I set up a Synology NAS box a while back and then discovered that the box was a real Linux computer that could run almost all Linux stuff and set up my Joomla website on it. My friend (the same jerk) mocked it as... you got it, a "crutch" that keeps you from working directly with the Linux command line and really taking control of your system. I was mostly okay with that since I wasn't ready to dig too deep into the rabbit hole at the time. Since then Synology messed up a few times and figuring out why has been a pain in the butt. So I got the book, set up a Ubuntu Virtual box, and started to practice on the command line. Then I got a Rasberry pie and practiced on its command line. While I still need a reference book to get the command's syntax right and absolutely use Google to do the fancy stuff, these days I can understand what the commands do and the file structure and permissions don't seem to be written in code (though technically they are....). Yay!

    My wife and kids are out at the inlaws for a few days so I'll probably take a break from learning to actually write a bit.

    Written on Monday, 13 July 2020 11:59 in Daniel's Blog Be the first to comment! Read 190 times
  • Its a Bug Hunt!
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Its a Bug Hunt!

    These last few weeks I have been hunting down bugs on my Joomla website.  I had two web addresses due to the service Synology offers.  So I kept having an issue where parts of the address would be mixed up.  Joomla has a redirect module but it doesn't have a default wildcard redirect.  So I did a little research on htaccess files and, more by trial and error than skill, figured out how to redirect everything to the main address.  So I think most of the 404 errors are fixed.  Googles robots are still sniffing around the old addresses but they should eventually figure things out for themselves.

    I have brought my old fanfiction back onto this site.  I cleaned it up and added a chapter to it.  I have another chapter I'll add once I check it a few more times for errors.  I never get them all.  I added an Archive of some surviving records from older games.  Its a bit dry but for me, it's very nostalgic.

    I also added a UPS to protect my computer and Synology NAS.  It hosts this site so if it goes down so does it.  There aren't too many power outages yet but it should be good for an hour or so.  Of course, PG&E threatened days of power outages so there isn't much to be done about that.

    This is a copy of my authors notes from the fanfiction's last chapter.  Since it says most of my thoughts I didn't want to retype something similar:  As some may be aware of I wrote a few books, a children's book that pretty much dead in the water, as well as another story where I was experimenting with the litRPG genre. However, through this, I have been distracted by the thought that I never really finished my first (and only) Ranma fanfiction. I was also distracted by two screaming six-year-olds (even now, one is crying in my ear), but I can only solve one of them. So, I decided to come back to this and see if I could finish it. I am close to the end so it would be a shame to leave it unfinished. I have gone through the previous chapters and fixed a lot of grammar errors. As with most of my works, I am limited in my proofreaders, and proofing your own stories is a losing proposition. It seems every time I read through it I find more things. Grammarly and Microsoft Word are getting better but each time they find new things. It's pretty weird.

    An amusing side story is that a long time ago (over 20 years), I wanted to continue this story after the Old Ones story was wrapped up. Ranma was going to go to China and learn Immortal Cultivation. Palladium's old China books hinted at this by name dropping "Internal Alchemy" but didn't actually go into any details about it but what they did hint at sounded extremely awesome. In fact, they dropped the entire martial arts concept until its later "new" China books that went in an entirely new direction. I didn't even really realize what "Internal Alchemy" was until I got into Wuxia and Xianxia a few years ago. Then I was "Oh! That's what that is. How cool, Ranma would totally go for that!" Anyway, I will barely finish this series, let alone a sequel but if anyone knows a story where Ranma does Cultivation let me know. I would soo love to read that.

    Oh, one of my kids loves the Ranma anime and the other one hates Ranma but loves Sailor Moon. I was telling them about crossover fanfiction where they meet but I don't think they understood.

    Children's Story Update: See the WP blog to the right to see my original update of this.  Since then I have published the works I completed on the "Books" part of this site.  It also includes the audio of me reading the original version, complete with the Evil Mrs.Potatohead.  My girls saw me working on this and actually remembered it!  They offered to draw in the Princesses themselves and furiously started drawing for at least fifteen minutes.  Then they got bored and as they left for greener pastures they commanded me to include a Prince in the story.  This must be mommy's influence because if I have my way they won't be seeing any princes until they are least 30;)

    Written on Friday, 05 June 2020 12:28 in Daniel's Blog Be the first to comment! Read 210 times
  • Can You Hear Me Now... again
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Can You Hear Me Now... again

    Can you feel the deja vue?  I do!  I published a blog with this name a few days ago.  Then I had an issue with the permissions of the main config file and had to restore a backup. I am pretty sure that when the backup program reinstalls the system it re-sets the permission.  Thus it's an easy way to avoid trying to fix the issue the hard way.   I thought the backup was up to date but it was missing my latest post.  So...this is mainly from memory.  It should suffice.

    So... I installed a lot of features into the web site.  Community Builder you all know about, right?  Of course, you did.  Basically its a set of modules that allow you to put in a profile and connect to other people on the site.  It's a neat little thing, I was vaguely hoping my gamer friends would use to organize their games, schedules and chat about the game.  Usually, we send back and forth about 50 e-mails about the game between sessions and this seemed a decent way to communicate.  One of them actually records the events and I have been posting his recap under his name (with his permission).  It hasn't caught on yet but the dream hasn't died.

    The base package is nice but it isn't configured, so it took a little work to massage it into place.  It has the profile, blogs, and articles for the registrants and connects nicely with the site forum and IM modules.  Then I got the addons such as Video and picture galleries able to add to the profiles and then there are the groups.  Basically groups are clubs, hobbies or interests you join and can post blogs, galleries message boards and private forums.  Then I got an instant messaging module to chat with other members logged in.  I may have gone overboard but it was fun. there's a more detailed breakdown of the features and how to use them under the Community top menu

    Finally, to the title reference... I fixed the Amazon blog reference that pointed to my website blog (as opposed to the Wordpress blog).  So you can now hear that if you want.  Though you might be hearing double on this post.

    Written on Friday, 07 February 2020 02:11 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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Letting people know how my world building is going

I Blinked Again

February 4, 2019

non-blinking eyes

When I first published my book (#1) in 2014 Indie reviews weren’t really a thing.  They may have existed but either I didn’t find them or I simply don’t remember them.  With my second book, I definitely knew they existed but I think I only found about 5 people/sites to request reviews from.  There were others but they were all pay sites.  None of them decided to review my work so I had to depend solely on my readers.

Then I blinked.  Two years later and I am looking for reviewers again and OMG there’s a ton!  I have just been going through one list (The Indie Review list) and there are 297 entries!  Some of them don’t count for me since they only do romance or historical or non-fiction but that still leaves a ton.

The community changed a bit.  They have a lot of pull.  Each site has a review policy and checklist (as required by the Indie Review List).  Some have automated contact sheets and are pretty mechanical others want the personal touch.  There was one site that wasn’t taking reviews but they pointed out that a lot of writers are pretty rude when requesting a review, sending out impersonal request letters that didn’t even have their name.  They had a good point.  Until I went to that site and read that I did the same thing.  She suggested at least addressing the reviewer by name.  A simple but very personal touch.

Now keep in mind that a lot of review sites are run but groups that don’t release their names or enter a queue so you don’t actually know who will read your request.  Others use a contact form that is straight to the point and no frills.  Still, if you are sending a request to a single person this can really change the tone of the e-mail.

Another reviewer had a neat angle.  He required you send the contents of page 69 of your book.  Apparently, there’s a theory that this can decide whether to buy the book or give it a pass.  Fortunately, my MC was doing something interesting on that page instead of brushing his teeth or taking a nap.  Or researching.  He does that a lot, which important for character progress but I suppose would be a somewhat lacking excerpt.  Wow, I really dodged that bullet.

Another thing that is new is author interviews.  I have no idea what they are but they sound interesting.  Well, kinda.  I have a hard time imaging people want to hear how I deal with two crazy twins every day but I suppose I could talk about my creative style… or something.  Maybe my shopping habit.  I did do some question and answers over on Goodreads.  Maybe someone read that.

One problem I am doubtless going to run into is that this is book #3.  I know that if I was a reviewer I wouldn’t want to review a book in the middle of a series on its own merits.  Heck, I am not sure I want them to.  after I had submitted about 20 requests I realized this and I offered to send them the earlier books.  Of course, considering that most of them barely have time to read the book you request I have my doubts they will want to read 2 others first.  Still, with over a hundred relevant reviewers, I have hope that some of them will want to jump in.

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This is a mirror of my Wordpress Blog.  It has no direct way to comment to the Wordpress blog, although if you look to the far left you will see a site blog I have cludged together.  It also does not list any of the comments or replies from my visitors in the main Wordpress blog.  If you want to join in on the fun and frolicking head over to my active blog over at WordPress.  Click the button below to go!

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