Today is blog action day. 8 green tips even a geek can follow

Today is blog action day and a good reason to get another post up.
Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Blog action day is all about promoting the idea of being “green”.

The concept of being green has been interestingly twisted over the recent years in the political realm. Weird things have happened as the left and right have divided into camps. Somehow “Green” became a left issue as groups like the Sierra Club, to which I’ve belonged off and on have become known as “radical groups”. I don’t fully understand all of that and where the chips now lie, but I do know that even as a conservative, I have always done my part to help the environment.

Helping keep a clean planet doesn’t mean that you are worshiping the planetary gaia. In fact being a good steward of the planet is a mandate that transcends almost all religions.

Me, I do my part several ways that you possibly could apply to your life:
1. Participate in and help promote responsible outdoor activities
2. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. Wherever I go.
3. Support those who try to make a difference.
4. Drive only the size of vehicle I need. This is one of the reasons I’ve ridden motocycles for far longer a time than I’ve had cars as my main vehicle. Still living on the North East/northern mid west, I’ve needed a vehicle. So have also driven a Suzuki sidekick. A mini SUV with a small footprint. And YES, I have used it off road on a regular basis and can justify having the 4×4 option.
5. Drive only as much as you need to. If you live as close as possible to where you work, you don’t have to drive much. Now I don’t have to drive at all ūüôā and when I do it is on my bike or with the whole family in the minivan.
6. Reduce Reduce Reduce. Keep things turned off. We actually use a clothes line for towels and sheets (yes, they still make them). Don’t use what you don’t need to and buy less stuff with stuff in it be it packaging and cardboard or mono sudium glutimate and corn starch. It will improve your life and health. And reduce your footprint by using stuff longer.
7. Use FreeCycle and Cheap cycle to help those less fortunate than you and keep stuff in circulation till it is really ready to go.
8. Associate with those who can make a difference like you do. One of the great things about b5media is the impact we’ve had on the world. We’ve cooperated on investigations that have put some people behind bars that aren’t safe to be out in society, cooperated to fight breast cancer and today we are coming together to help promote a clean eath.

Here are just some of the blog action day posts that b5media has released:


Have I missed any simple ways that you make your life green? If so please feel free to ad them to the comment field below.

Welcome home, Seargant Armstrong, from your second tour in Iraq

Today’s post is a tribute to my brother in law Trevor.

He’s recently returned from his second tour in Iraq. ¬†This time with the 298 Sandbandits, ¬†a transportation unit out of Pennsylvania. My sister and two little nephews were there to welcom him back.

While his unit is a reserve unit, Trevor is regular army, one of perhaps 10 members of the regular army that serve with the reserve units  in Pennsylvania. They came home to a very welcoming croud:

Download link 

My older nephew was very glad to see his daddy again:

How can Unca Brian compare to that?

Welcome home, Trevor. It’s good to have you back…

And he got an 8pt with his bow this evening… lucky dog…

PHPMyAdmin announces drop of PHP 4 support.

I was just over at the PHPMyAdmin site and saw this quote:

 Welcome to phpMyAdmin 2.11, which will probably be the last series supporting PHP 4.


If phpMyAdmin is dropping the whole PHP 4 line, it just might push the WordPress adoption time a bit further.  Where phpMyAdmin goes, I have to think,  the ISPs will not be slow to follow.

New keyboard shortcuts in Windows Vista

OK this is a MAJOR shout out to Daniel Wischnewski for teaching me some new keyboard shortcut.

Did you know that the first ten (upper) programs in the Quick Launch area are accessible with the [Win]+[1] through [Win]+[0] key combos?

For example in my setup [Win]+[1] is ZTreeWin.  [Win]+[4] is the Vista Snipping Tool (C:\Windows\System32\SnippingTool.exe Try it!!!). [Win]+[0] is the DOS prompt.

Brian Layman’s Quick Launch bar

Pretty cool Eh?

Do you know all of my icons? What do you keep on your quick lauch bar? is back

Hi all!

Remember me?

I’m the guy that pretty much disappeared off the face of the earth back in May! I have been THOROUGHLY enjoying my new job at b5media. And there’s been soooooo much to do at b5 that I’ve not been taking the time I should have been taking to visit with you guys. When I started at b5 the posted blog count was 185 or something like that. The count is currently 260 blogs. Yes, we’ve added 75 new blogs in the last four months. And there are a good many more blogs on their way.

As a result of five months of fun and mayhem (Heck, I’ve even been out to WordCamp and had supper with Matt Mullenweg and the whole automattic gang). I’ve got loads of tips to share with you, things I’ve learned to do better. What enables me to do that is that we’ve just hired a great new employee, Corey Shaffer. He was my student for the 2007 Google Summer of Code project. He’s been a tremendous help at b5 and has helped tip the balance between the day to day tasks of mananging a existing network of 22 dozen blogs and the need for forward progress.

So, now I feel that I can responsibly take some time to get back into the WordPress world on my own again too. Oh I’ve still been out helping other with their blogs. I helped my sister with a site for the family of my Brother in Law’s army unit: The 298 Sandbandits. I also helped a friend get his own blog running: Iggy the Biker. But I haven’t done much for just me.

Well in October, that’s gonna change. I’m starting the month by falling back to my old tried and true and I’m posting a Delphi program I wrote tonight. It’s a really simple program that I’m going to find incredibly useful.

All it does is reverse the slashes of what is in the clip board. How is that useful? Well, in my setup I work in a Telnet (SSH) window half the time and half the time I use SFTPDrive to map the b5media resources to my local drives. Well when I am in telnet my paths might look like this: /var/www/blogname/.htaccess. But if I want open up that .htaccess file in Notepad++, I have to change the path to look like y:\var\www\blogname\.htaccess. Now I have a simple way to do that. In fact I just used it to convert the slashes. I’ve got a shortcut to that program on an auto-hide taskbar on the left side of my screen. So I just click it and boom the slashes are reversed (again) like this: /var/www/blogname/.htaccess. That is sooo awesome.

And it was sooo simple. I’ve been wanting to write this for ages. I actually did write it in Delphi 5 but it didn’t work under Vista (which came on my laptop). I’ve now rewritten it using CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 (which is simply awesome). And it works great!

Here’s the code & exe in a zip:
program SlashFix;


Forms, Clipbrd, SysUtils;

{$R *.res}

S: String;
Application.Title := ‘Slash Fix from’;
S := Clipboard.AsText;
if (pos(‘/’, S) > 0)
then S := stringreplace(S, ‘/’, ‘\’, [rfReplaceAll])
else S := stringreplace(S, ‘\’, ‘/’, [rfReplaceAll]);
Clipboard.AsText := S;


Here’s the exe only:

Of course the version I use is tweaked a bit to work specifically with my common tasks at b5 and will be growing even more. I’m sure you can thing of ways to automate the tasks you do everyday in the same way.

Any way, more tomorrow. There’s another b5 blog that is launching tomorrow, and I’ve got to tweak somethinb befor it launches. Here you can check it out: which is all about Women’s basketball. I just wish that the Cleveland Rockers were still around to be featured on it. My kids went to a number of cleveland Rockers games and we have still have some logo material around.