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Found these photos, I think they’re from the Washington (DC) Car Show in 1990 or so. They had a couple of the “future” cars from Back to the Future: Part II, and I stood in line for half an hour to sit in the Delorean. Fun times!

delorean-bob

carshow-trailer

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carshow-delorean

carshow-bob

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I don’t always agree with Marco Arment, but his post today about the ethics of modern web ad-blocking really struck a nerve.

As a publisher myself I’ve been trying to figure out how to monetize my sites so they will at least pay for their own expenses. I’m not trying to turn my podcast into my sole income source, but it would be nice if it wasn’t a money pit, y’know? However, I want to support it in a way that’s not creepy — I really don’t want to track you, and you don’t want me to track you, I’m sure.

Recently my wife also was complaining about flashing and otherwise intrusive ads on a “free” game site she frequents. We talked about the ethics of blocking the ads on a free site, and she eventually decided that blocking the ads was worth reducing headaches from flashing and flickering junk on her screen. We installed an ad blocker for Firefox, and not only did the ads go away, but it actually improved the site’s performance on her computer (an older white MacBook model). This surprised me at the time, but blocking those JavaScript loads on the page really reduced the amount of work that her browser had to do.

In Marco’s article, he recommended the free Ghostery add-on, which installs in your favorite browser and shows a little pop-up of what tracking scripts are running on a given page. It can also block any or all of these, but the most interesting thing for me today has been just to see them, and realize that there was more going on on my own site than I knew.

Let’s take a look at what Ghostery is seeing on my own sites.

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Recently, I wanted to upgrade my website on ye olde Django 1.6.5 to finally come up to speed with Django 1.8.3 (current, as of this writing). However, I realized that upgrading a WebFaction webapp in situ seemed to be a rather painful process. In addition, WebFaction doesn’t set you up with Virtualenv by default, and I’d like to be able to upgrade Django and the other packages I need for my site without affecting any of my other sites.

I’m going to show how I did my upgrade, but of course, you may have things set up differently, and YMMV. However for a relatively simple site, like mine, I hope this will be helpful.

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Frustratingly, it seems when you sign up for HBO Now on the Apple TV, it just associates it with your iTunes account, and that’s it. No email confirmation. No password to sign in to HBO Now on other iOS devices or on the web.

I appears the best answer is to sign up on your iOS device first, but if you’ve already signed up on the Apple TV, here’s the workaround:

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When we moved out to Seattle two years ago, we knew that earthquakes might be a thing we’d have to worry about, but it hadn’t really sunk in how real of a danger that might be. A recent New Yorker article got my office buzzing about the possibility of a Really Big One occurring on the Cascadia fault, which runs right under Seattle. So, for my own edification, here are some facts, and what we can do to prepare:

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Funny how once you become focused on a thing, you start to notice occurrences of it everywhere. This week, a bit of serendipity came in the form of this letter from Nick Disabato, talking about how he’s been learning to discard things, and being more intentional about the things he chooses to be part of his life. If you’ve been struggling with how to get rid of things, like I have, I highly encourage you to give that a read.

I’ve been trying really hard to make strides in discarding lately, so that letter gave me another boost of confidence that I’m heading in the right direction. We got rid of a ton of stuff two years ago when I moved my family from Maryland to Seattle (and I’m talking rent-a-dumpster levels of stuff), but as we unpacked, and ever since, I’ve been thinking that I still didn’t get rid of enough. As I recently wrote, that thinking has extended to my email as well. I have started to realize that the root of the problem is that I’m letting too many things into my life that serve no real purpose.

Just this weekend, I finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. While it is — like many self-help books — about a page
and a half of decent tips expanded to book form, there were three big takeaways for me:

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I had a conversation with my friend AAl on Twitter, regarding 2,051 emails in my inbox:

bobtiki-twitter-small It’s a stream from which I pluck the occasional tasty salmon. It’s not all Things I Have to Deal With.

aalgar-twitter-small So… it’s like The Den. Filled mostly with stuff you don’t need, but maybe one thing might be useful?

bobtiki-twitter-small oh god what have I done
 

At that moment, it hit me, what I was doing. The Den, as AAl and I have come to call it, is the personification of my clutter; a room in my house that is somehow possessed of a will of its own, compelling me to go out into the world and return with stuff with which to fill it.

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