I went on my honeymoon earlier this month. We spent 10 days in the Netherlands – starting and ending in Amsterdam with a 5 day bicycle tour through Haarlem to the North Sea to Leiden, Bodegraven, and Utrecht.

It was a good group for our Beercycling time and we had a lot of fun. Even though it was in the upper 40s with rain, wind and hail much of the time and we both ended up with colds. In fact, we joked that we probably need t-shirts that say “We survived our honeymoon”.

Even though I was on the bike a lot, I did manage to take a few photos. Here are some favorites. It is good to be back on Flickr and to add photos to this blog like the “old days.”

The Holland Honeymoon

I know that data is being collected about me and my actions online ALL. THE. TIME.

But, sometimes that data collection can be entertaining rather than creepy. I guess if you know it is happening, that makes the difference.

The annual Spotify “Your Top Songs” playlist is one example of that fun>creepy times.


When I was growing up, I remember hearing my parents, or other adults, say something about a fashion or design trend coming back “into stye.” Fashion does have its own cycle. According to my research, there are five stages to the fashion cycle: introduction; rise; culmination; decline; obsolescence.

In some ways, this reminds me of the technology adoption curve with its early adopters and laggards. And both industries have planned obsolescence to some extent but there will always be the classics in fashion like white button down shirts. Technology doesn’t lend itself to a classic because the constant innovation and change mean you get left behind. Anybody still use their Iomega Zip Drive? SCSI printer cables? Even my not that old iBook powercable is of no use at this point. (Yes, I’m looking at you Apple with your USB-C only thunderbolt ports now making every cable I own useless)

But, despite planned “innovation” we do see resurgence of seemingly old technologies which I find interesting.

Take the podcast.

I first began listening to Daily Source Code with Adam Curry back around 2005-6. Curry is often credited with beginning the podcast as a medium. I”m sure there are others but he is certainly a name that should be attached to those early days. Then, I found Coverville, which is a great cover song “radio show” I enjoy when driving long distances or at the gym. I even tried my hand at podcasting at my college with limited output and even more limited listeners. And, as that waned, so did my consumption of podcasting. My iPod was jammed with my music and lived in my car so I didn’t have it everywhere anymore.

And now, EVERYBODY is podcasting and listening to podcasts. NPR, as an example, has podcasts for their shows as well as special interest topical podcasts. As a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I have enjoyed Buffering the Vampire Slayer in my resurgence of listening.

So, the podcast is back. (I won’t even mention Serial, whcih seemed to jump start the renewed interest but didn’t grab mine because I’m not a crime genre fan)

And now, for more in the “wait – what decade is this?” mode of thinking….

I bring you the animated gif.

The gif (graphics interchange format) began in 1987 and was used to greatly compress images for this new burgeoning, but very slow loading, world wide web. Everybody remembers the animated gif that loaded while you were waiting for something else to buffer and download.

Or, maybe the site was just:


At any rate, the animated gif was over used (Yes, dancing bears – I’m thinking about you) and went away. Especially when the new PNG format was created and eliminated the need for paying royalties for the GIF.

But, now, animated GIFs are everywhere. I even have a GIF keyboard on my phone so I can search and load the most perfect animated meme for any conversation.

And, its still all about speed.

  • Podcasts
  • Animated GIFs
  • Will and Grace and Murphy Brown are all on television again.

I really am wondering what decade we are living in. (don’t get me started on the political side)

PS. If you really dig the animated under construction gifs, someone has been collecting them from the 90s.

I was asked to speak at the church I am currently attending as part of their “stewardship minute” series, which is a regularly scheduled time for someone from the congregation to make a short talk about why they attend and why they give to the church. I had been asked before but it was never a good time. But, this time around — the timing worked. This is what I said. (I used a prop – a travel ukulele – which is about 14 inches long and about 6 inches wide)


This is a travel ukulele. Apparently, you need a travel ukulele because a regular ukulele is just so cumbersome to carry around…

My partner, Karen Anderson, bought this a number of years ago to add to her growing collection of ukuleles as she started teaching ukulele lessons as a side gig in her photography studio. She loved the happy sound it made and sharing that love with others.

We both had grown up going to church. My background is primarily in the Lutheran tradition. However, as you can probably assume, I have not always felt very welcome within most churches. It does a number on you over the years.

That didn’t stop me or Karen from trying from time to time to find a church home. And, we stumbled into the Episcopal church in Knoxville by way of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, which was a congregation associated with Tyson House quite a few years ago. I was even Senior Warden of the congregation when that church was closed by the bishop at the time. That decision was devastating to me and I took it pretty personally and shut down about church stuff for a while. But, the need for some type of spiritual home keep calling.

At some point, around 2011, we visited Good Sam as we took a tour of churches to see if, perhaps, we could find one that would work for us. After hearing Caroline, Taylor and Cal preach and talking with them and others in the congregation, it seemed like this was a good place for me. Karen had found a Methodist church in East Knoxville that she liked so we did what do after being together for over 20 years – find a compromise. We agreed that we would attend each one on alternating Sundays. At Good Sam, I liked the familiarity of the liturgy and music from my Lutheran childhood. I joined in 2012 and engaged with a number of opportunities, thanks to  Mark Brown, such as the youth mission trip to New York City and the newly formed cooking group.

Then, my world collapsed.

Karen died suddenly on June 16, 2013 after an accidental fall at a friend’s house. It was on a Sunday morning and Cal and Taylor were called to the hospital after the services were over. They led a group of about 20 friends and family who were gathered in that trauma ICU room through the Episcopal liturgy for removing life support. One of my good friends told me later that he was so moved by how much he felt the holy spirit in that room.

After that, even though Karen didn’t join Good Sam when i did, they agreed to hold her funeral here. During the planning meeting with Cal and Freddie, we started talking about music. Freddie was going through a list of her favorite hymns, including Silent Night (which he managed to work into the service in spite of it being in June) and then I threw him a curve ball. I told him that I wanted a ukulele choir to play during the service.

To his credit, his face didn’t betray any sense of “What? What the heck are you talking about?” Someone found a ukulele tab for Just a Closer Walk with Thee and I let people know who were coming for the service to bring ukuleles if they wanted to join the choir.

I don’t remember much about that funeral service but I do remember that there were about 20 ukuleles (along with a couple of guitars and a dobro) playing the hymn. And, at one point I heard a bass line. I realized that Freddie was playing the organ pedals to provide the foundation to the song. And, that made all the difference.

Here I am almost five years later. I have more love with a new Karen in my life, just to keep it confusing.And, I’m still going to Good Sam and I still tithe every year.


When you are a ukulele, you aren’t always welcome. Sometimes people don’t want you to even be a part of the band. I will struggle with that for probably the rest of my life. However, I have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime so I hope I’m wrong about that.

Good Sam says it welcomes us all, no matter your instrumentation.  And, the actions here show that they mean it. Good Sam provides that bass line that all good songs need – even a blues song.

That bass line…that foundation provides much needed support in this community here, throughout Knoxville and the world through all of our varieties of inreach and outreach.

To provide that bass line, it needs support from us. It really is all about that bass.

And that is why i give.

I know that the only thing constant is change. I get that.

And, I have been dealing with a huge change in my life for almost 5 years. But, there are other changes that are happening around me all of the time and I have suddenly become aware of one that is more related to my techy-feely self.

I am slmost three years into a new gig at my place of employment. This new job spread out my interests to well beyond what I was doing back in, what I consider, my heyday of my professional life. Back then, I was often sacrificing myself to the gods of Web 2.0 (my description to most faculty.) This meant that I was signing up for every new service that came along to explore how it worked, what it could do and how it might be useful in the classroom.

It. Was. Fun!

Over the long (even longer weekend – thanks snow days!), I saw many folks posting their selfie paired with a painting using Google’s new Arts & Culture app. What a great idea – take your selfie and Google pairs it with a painting of your doppleganger. Who could resist seeing if you were captured years ago by Van Gogh, Picasso, or Rembrandt?

Well, I can. I just feel like I have to.

And this is how I have changed. Now that I have to take into account data security with pretty much every decision I make these days, my first thought when I heard about this new app was – “woah! I’m not sending in my picture to Google.” Which is the exact opposite of what I would have thought ten years or maybe even five years ago. Of course, I have photos uploaded on Google Drive from the old Picasa days. But, I know where those are and they aren’t being scanned to match anything. At least I don’t think they are. I guess I kinda assume they are being scanned at some level.

But, to just take and send a face photo into the unknown seemed too creepy for me. Where are these photos going? How is the facial recognition working? WHat will it be used for later? I am assuming that Google is using this to finetune and perfect its facial recognition based on if you share it and what reactions you get to how well (or not well) the match works.

So, I have changed. I’m much more privacy aware. I’m also aware of how often others are trying to get to data. It’s a strange, new world out there.

But, it is a world that won’t have my selfie in the Google database just yet.

I have been a casual user and fan of GeekTool for a number of years.

GeekTool provides a means to add images, code, logs or web content to small, pre-defined locations on your desktop so they lay behind your application windows and can refresh at a time rate that you set within the code.

GeekTool allowed me to explore a bit of coding and customize my desktop with geeklets that provided me both useful information and needed distraction during my workday. I explored the (now aging) repository of geeklets from time to time and through trial and error, found a desktop array that did what I needed. I had to install Perl and iCalBuddy to get some of them to work so I was always learning something new during that time.

When I moved to two monitors, I did learn something. Geeklets don’t like to live on a second monitor. They want to live only on the primary monitor. And, as luck would have it, my desk arrangement was so that I actually used my secondary monitor as my main screen. I tried and tried to get my geek lets to live where i wanted them to live but ultimately, I found that I had to move them manually every morning. That was fine.

For about three days.

After that, I had to acquiesce to having them live where they wanted to live and I went about my way. However, over the last couple of month, I noticed that a few of my geeklets had stopped working. The main ones (involving my calendar, to do lists and other information located on my computer) still worked but any that relied on RSS feeds or external information worked sometimes and mostly just didn’t work. So, when I had a free afternoon, I did some research. I had heard of NerdTool, so I gave it a look. However, I felt like it would have the same issues as GeekTool so I kept on looking. During my search for a GeekTool replacement, I found Übersicht which provides the same kind of customization but with less demand on system resources and using Coffee script and Javascript along with CSS/HTML. I knew I would find this much easier for me to customize.

So, I challenged myself to make my desktop pretty and useful again using this new tool. After gathering all of my scripts from GeekTool into Notational Velocity (I really should write another post about how useful this text only tool is for keeping things like this together and searchable)

My main widgets/geeklets that I wanted to recreate were:

  • Link to my calendar to show the events for the next two days
  • Monthly calendar with current date highlighted
  • Date/Day/Time
  • Current weather and forcast
  • Satellite of weather
  • RSS feeds
  • Server status


I managed to find replacement widgets for all of these or re-wire some to do what I wanted. I did learn that, while there is a decent directory, most of these are in Github and that is the better place to find updated code and forks of existing codebases.

Then, I figured out how to customize them via the index.coffee file to position them where I wanted and change font size, type and color to all match the layout I had in mind. The only major hoops I had to jump through were creating a todo list in plain text and naming it ToDo.list rather than using the .txt extension and creating some server monitoring links within StatusCake to keep my server status on my desktop. I even managed to get the current xkcd comic on my desktop, which was one of the failing geeklets that led me down this path to begin with!

I am hoping to play with this some more in the future when I get another free afternoon but for now, this will work and I have all of the code on my desktop to continue to explore it.

Hi there! I’m back. I would love to write here more regularly but I find myself writing in other places more often so this site gets pushed to the proverbial back burner over and over. But, I have something I want to capture so here it goes.

I hit Twitter yesterday and saw this post go by:


As a YUUUUGE fan of Delicious back in the day (circa 2005), I had to see what was what. And, I discovered that, for the FIFTH time, my favorite little social bookmarking site had been sold. (Of course, I didn’t even know about 3 of the sales so that is how much I was paying attention.)

This sent me down a bit of memory lane. I really was taken by the Delicious storm back when I joined in 2005. November 2005 to be exact. In fact, here is my first URL I saved:

link to Educational Technology Services at Pellissippi State Community College

Back when Yahoo bought Delicious, I assumed it would be shut down as that was the modus operandi for Yahoo at the time. I even wrote my most popular post here about how to move to Pinboard  (which I did back in 2010) and Scuttle (2012) My experiment with Scuttle failed but Pinboard worked well and continued to work as I shifted from saving bookmarks manually to more importing them from things I liked/favorited in Twitter. And, it is interesting to note that the final purchaser of Delicious is actually the owner of Pinboard – which seems full circle in some sort of way.

As the hoarder of electrons that I am and as someone who has learned the hard way that multiple backups and archives are the way to go, I decided that I needed to export my Delicious bookmarks one more time. Just in case.

Sadly, when I hit the Export page in my Delicious account, i was greeted with this:

We’re sorry, but due to heavy load on our database we are no longer able to offer an export function. Our engineers are working on this and we will restore it as soon as possible.


So, I did just like I did in my post from 2012, I hit up my friend Google to see what my options were. I found that I could use a web scraper tool to export the pages of my links thanks to a very helpful post from a coder in Belgium (thanks Ringo!)

I was able to follow Ringo’s process pretty well but I did have to fumble through a few things first so I thought I would document the process a bit more here for folks who might want a more step by step process. You will need to have the Chrome browser installed (you do, don’t you?)

So, without further ado: Exporting your Delicious Bookmarks using Web Scraper

Step One: Log into your Delicious Account and make a note of how many pages of bookmarks you have (at the bottom of your page) and just leave this page open. Then, go to Ringo’s post and have it open in another window/tab

Step Two: Install the Web Scraper extension in your Chrome browser

Step Three: View the Developer Tools in the Chrome browser (use menu or keyboard commands

Menu for Developer Tools in Chrome

Once you have the Developer Tools open, be sure you have them docked at the bottom of your browser window and you will see the Web Scraper tab then.




Step Four: Click on the Web Scraper tab and then click on Create Sitemap -> Import Site Map.

Import Sitemap location in Web Scraper menu


From there, you will then copy the code on Ringo’s site and paste it into the JSON window, name your site map, and import it.

IMPORTANT: At the bottom of the code, you will see these lines:

   "startUrl": [

Be sure to edit the <your_account_id> with your Delicious username and the <your_maximum_page> variable for your total pages. (I did a test run first with a few pages to be sure everything worked and then edited the script again to maximum pages – I had 195!)


Step Five: Under the Sitemap tab, you will choose “Scrape” and then click the Start Scraping button.


Scrape option in Web Scrapting

A popup window appears when the script starts scraping so just that stay open until you get the notification that the job is completed. My 195 page import took about 14 minutes to run.

Step Six: Export the scraping to a CSV file. Same menu as the Scrape. Just choose the last option. Depending on how many bookmarks you have, it might take a second but a link will appear that says “Download Now.”

After that, you will have the CSV file that can be opened in Excel or processed further. The file has each bookmark with these properties:

Bookmark_title, bookmark_link,tag, description

And the tag format is this: [{“tag”:”bad12″},{“tag”:”from twitter”}]

If you want to also include the date you saved the link, etc, someone else has added that code in the comments on Ringo’s page so you can add that to your sitemap when you import it. I haven’t tried that yet, but it seems helpful.

AND, If you want to import these links now into Pinboard, Ringo has written another post about how to process this file to prepare it. I haven’t given that a whirl but I am sure it works just great!

So, there you have it – a way to export and keep all of those great links from 2005+. I wonder how many of these are still active and/or useful. Maybe not too many but I find the history aspect fascinating as you can see what was important to me at any given time. More data mining, for sure.


And, here I am again changing out cell phones. For someone who resisted joining the smart phone “revolution” for as long as I could, it is kinda comical that I keep finding myself blogging about the updates and changes to my phone.

But, my new plan with Sprint allows me to always get the newest iPhone when it comes out and I decided to take them up on that offer. Thus, I spend about 3 hours on a beautiful Saturday morning getting my new phone to act just like my old phone (but faster and with a better camera, of course.)

My last switch was between Android and iOS so i expected it to take longer and to have more glitches along the way.  And, those expectations were met. Apple Android “swtich” app = MAJOR FAIL.

But, I thought this would be smooth sailing. It is mostly was. I backed up my old phone (I use a direct wired connection to iTunes for this – just not ready for wireless to iCloud backups just yet, I want to know where those files actually live) to an encrypted backup so all of my personal data was also there. Second, I broke the connection bertween my Apple watch and the old phone. Then, after a quick visit to the Sprint website to activate the new phone, I connected the new phone to iTunes and restored from backup. Thirty some odd minutes later, the phone rebooted and looked pretty much like my old one.

Looked is the key word here.

The apps were there (or were loading) and in the right place. Photos were there and in the right place. Contacts: same. Calendar: same. And, so on.

Then, I visited my authentication folder on my phone. I use two different 2-step authentication apps: Google Authenticator and Authy.

Both of the apps were there, but none of my account information transferred over. From a security standpoint, this makes sense. The 2 step authentication is tied to a device and this was a new device. This makes sense. But, it is important to note that to EASILY make the transfer to a new device, you need to have both devices with you and both working.


For example, I wanted to change my Google Authenticator app for my personal Gmail account. It is not hard but the steps are:

  1. Install Google Authenticator on the new device (should already be there from backup, but that is a first step)
  2. Log into Google Account (using Authenticator on OLD device if necessary)
  3. Go to your account security settings
  4. Go to two-step authentication (enter password again)
  5. Click the EDIT icon (image above)
  6. Enter the code from OLD device
  7. ADD the new device by using the QR code provided on the screen
  8. Enter the code generated by the new device
  9. Done.

I then also printed out new backup codes for each account and stored securely. If you lose your device or don’t have it for some reason, these are useful to get into your account.

For Authy, it was a similar process.

Another hour later, I was pretty much back in business with all of my 2-step sites working from the new device.


TL;DR: if you use 2-step authentication ( you are, aren’t you?), be prepared for a little more time in setting up your new devices.


This week is not one that I have looked forward to for the past three years. Today marks the anniversary of the death of my partner from an accidental fall. The sudden ripping away of her life from mine was terrible and still resonates through my being. Some days more than others, of course. It has softened and I have made many strides in building a new life and finding my new normal including finding new love.

But, I still dread this week. And part of that dread is because of technology. Primarily Timehop and Facebook Memories or On This Day (which came along after TImehop as best as I can tell).

I had enjoyed and have enjoyed seeing little reminders of what I had posted in years past. Reminders of fun times like holiday parties, Father’s or Mother’s Day, travels and adventures. Interestingly, there has been some research about nostalgia and it does promote several positive outcomes.

But, this week, I get reminders of a death. Of memorials. Of condolences. It kinda sucks.

And, my thoughts have turned to the families of those who have also lost loved ones so suddenly this week. Last year in Charleston, South Carolina in a church. Sunday of this week in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As I saw my own TImehops appear and I knew what was coming today, I fast forwarded in my mind to what those families from Charleston were seeing this week from a year ago. And I also am thinking about what the families and friends of the 49 victims from this week’s shooting will be seeing a year from now. Will they find these “forced” trips down memory lane helpful or hurtful. I guess it could go either way.

I have written what feels like a lot about technology after death on this blog in the past three years. I hope some of it has been helpful to someone. Maybe. Maybe not. It gave me something to focus on at the time and, thus, it was helpful to me. But, this “memories technology” may or may not be helpful. I wish there was a way to selectively let Facebook or Timehop know that I don’t want the memories from a certain day or time period. Perhaps in a few years, it will be okay to see those memories. But, I would rather have the control. I guess I can uninstall Timehop. Right now, I just don’t open it on my iPad. However, it seems like this is something that would benefit form more granular control. Of course, we cannot granularly control our own memories so perhaps I am asking too much.


UPDATE (June 23, 2016):

I did some poking around in Facebook and found that you can indeed add a filter to their memories function (called “On This Day”). Facebook added this function this past fall, apparently.

Here is how to filter those memories either by person or by specific dates:

  1. Point your browser to facebook.com/onthisday
  2. Click Preferences
    • To edit for specific people: Click Edit next to People and enter the names of the people you don’t want to see memories with
    • To edit by specific dates Click Edit next to Dates and choose start and end dates for when you don’t want to see memories, then click Done

Haven’t found that same function within Timehop as of yet. I would bet it is coming.

It has been a LOOOOONG time since I have had/given/allowed time to sit with some photos that I have taken and worked on them within an editor to make them more than just snapshots. (today, I chose Lightroom CC since I need to learn more about how it works)

It was fun and from the ~300 images I took during a recent trip west via Minnesota to Yellowstone National Park/Grand Tetons National Park and on to Portland, Oregon, I gleaned 19 that I liked enough to call “art” for me. [BONUS POINTS: This trip also took me through North Dakota and Montana so I have finally made my goal of visiting all fifty states in the USA]


The Art of Yellowstone