Goodbye For Now

Ten years ago this month I relaunched this blog. Before that I had a blog from 2000 to 2004. And before that I had various pre-blog personal pages going back to either late 1995 or early 1996. I’m now ready to call it quits. Or at least take an extended break.

I’ve not only lost interest in most of the topics I’ve covered in the past decade, but I’ve lost interest in sharing in general. Long time readers probably saw this day coming. The frequency and quality of content of this blog has dropped off significantly this year. I have developed new hobbies in the last year, but unlike before I don’t feel the desire to share those interests on this blog.

I will likely start some new project. It may or may not be a blog. I might use my real name or it might be anonymous. Maybe I just need a long break. I didn’t blog at all through most of 2004 and 2005, but then came back.


Photo by PROwoodleywonderworks

Thanks for reading and your comments. I will continue to host this site. Some pages might get moved, some might be deleted, but most of the content will stay online. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. If I come out of retirement or start another cool project that I wish to share, I’ll let you know there.


Solving My Email Problem with Siteground

If you sent me an email in the last year and it bounced with a message saying that it was rejected for having a high probability of SPAM, I apologize. It is hard to chase down a problem, when I don’t know it is happening. The good news is the problem is now finally solved.

As much as I love and recommend my web host Siteground, they do something very stupid by default on their accounts. They enable a service called SpamExperts at the domain level. SpamExperts isn’t just rejecting email from sketchy accounts, but also from people I correspond with on a regular basis if it reads a link in the email it doesn’t like. One friend sent me an email with a link to a well respected language learning site that was rejected. Another friend sent me a link to a health article about some recent research that was also rejected.


Photo by Sean MacEntee 

All the email that is sent to me from this domain and the other domains I have is forwarded to GMail. GMail does an admirable job of SPAM filtering. And if they get something wrong, I can always go into the SPAM folder and recover the message. I can also teach GMail what isn’t a SPAM message and create custom filter rules. I can’t do that with SpamExperts, because the message is bounced.

I have referred several readers to Siteground. I stand by that recommendation, but you will need to take the following steps to shut off SpamExperts.

Disable the filtering by going to cPanel – MX Entry – select your domain from the dropdown at the top of the page – Disable SpamExperts.

If you are seeking a fast stable web host, here is my affiliate referral link to Siteground. Just be sure to disable SpamExperts, because they are far from experts when it comes to detecting SPAM.

2016 UPDATE: Siteground no longer lets you disable Spam Experts from the cPanel. You now need to open a support ticket to have it disabled. Trust me you want it disabled. SpamExperts is terrible.


Irresponsible Health Blogging

I need some feedback. Something has been bothering me for awhile now. It has do with blogging about health and nutrition. When hobbyists like myself learn new information and change our views and come to realization that some of our older posts are incomplete or flat out wrong, what should we do?

The way I blog about health topics has changed. I’ve gone from being confident that I had the answers to being confident that the people I was reading at the time had the answers. And I’ve been wrong on both accounts many times.

In recent years, I’ve taken a different approach. Instead of taking sides, I acknowledge that I don’t know and do my best to cover the various sides of the argument. Then I will put forth my current view on how it applies to me. Like the investor who thinks he has a good basket of stocks, but knows he could be wrong.


Photo by Heather Krisman

Every month I receive comments, mostly to older posts from people that are hurting. They get on a search engine, type in their concerns and land on one of my posts. A small fraction of those people will leave a comment asking me to help them.

This is not earth shattering news that people seek out information on sites with no credibility. On search engines my site often outranks real scientists, not because my content is better, but because I have a 15 year old domain, a fast server and the site is mobile friendly.

Over on my coffee site, I continue to go back and improve older articles. New photos and better instructions. But even if I didn’t, the stakes a reader takes by following my article are low. The coffee might be too weak or too bitter. Unpleasant, but no big loss. If however, someone follows incorrect or incomplete information here they could end up in worse health. This is concerning.

There is a date in the URL of each post telling the reader those were my views on that day. I use that piece of information when judging content. I don’t think everyone does. I believe that sites that don’t do that with health or financial information are less trusty worthy. See Blogging and Permalinks.

Some thoughts.

  1. Go back and remove and/or redirect older posts. This would be a ton of work. Also it assumes that I now know the information on those posts is wrong, which itself could be wrong. In other words, I could be wrong that I got it wrong.
  2. Leave the posts as they are. This shows the journey of how I changed as I encountered new information. This path assumes the reader is going to play catch up, which most won’t.
  3. Although I have honest intentions, I mostly have disdain for sites that remove older posts that make the site look bad. A financial site that I read for years took down years of posts. Many of my links broke. Good content was lost.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts, especially if you are a health blogger.


Back In Seattle and Other Updates

Things have been slow on this site this summer. I spent July finishing up my commitments in California and then returned to Seattle a month ago. My Seattle room is still under construction, which is making it hard to settle in. As a result my main computer is unplugged. I’m hoping to have electrical outlets for it this week. Until then I will keep using my Chromebook.

It really is amazing all the things you can do on a Chromebook if you are forced to. FTP, photo editing, Shell, coding and even Torrent. Not that I torrent, but when a friend out of the country needed help, I was able to assist. 🙂

Since back in Seattle I’ve been catching up on new content for my coffee site INeedCoffee. There are also a lot more articles coming this fall. I’ve been advised that I should post more frequently to build a larger audience. But I prefer to post quality over quantity. There are too many sites creating disposable content. They tend to be hot for a while and then burnout. INeedCoffee has been online since April 1999. I’m playing the long game.


The Perfect Solution For Cold Brew Coffee on the Go was one of the two cold brew tutorials I wrote this month for INeedCoffee. 

My Duolingo streak is now at 107 days. I slowed down my Spanish learning a lot during and just after the move. Now that I’m caught up on coffee content, I plan to increase my language study time. I have no specific goal other than to keep improving. If one day I am fluent, great. If I can only read a newspaper, that is fine as well.

And an update on Waze, which is the app I discussed in the post Learning to Hate Driving Less. I ended up passing all my friends that connected to the Scoreboard via Facebook, except Nikki. There is no way I’ll catch her, especially now that I’m away from the SF Bay Area and back in Seattle where I drive far less.

Now my only motivation has been moving up the ranks. Several months ago I achieved level of Knight, which for the top 4% of users. I was two days away from becoming Royalty, which is the highest rank given to the top 1% when I got denied. The rankings are based upon state. When I informed Waze I was in Washington and no longer in California, the number of points needed to achieve Royalty was 7,000 points higher. So now I am looking at another month or two before I become Royalty.


In California this would be enough points to be Waze Royalty.

I renewed my web hosting with SiteGround. After firing three hosts last year, I may have finally found a place that can keep the servers running, keep them running fast and respond quickly to support tickets. If you need web hosting that isn’t ghetto, use my referral link.

I have several ideas for health and fitness blog posts, but I have more questions than answers. I was going to shelf all those posts, but I realized that many of the commenters on this blog are more knowledgeable than me and that other readers might have the same questions. So look for some discussion posts soon.


How to Send Email Newsletters to Your RSS Reader

In my previous post How to Save RSS, I asked the RSS developers to create a newsletter reader. My wish was to redirect my content newsletters out of my email Inbox and over to my RSS Reader. One of the suggestions I got in the comments was to use InoReader. If you pay for the Plus version, which is $30 a year, you get the Mail2Tag feature. I’m a big fan of free and don’t like paying for features that I can’t test out. I prefer trial periods.

Anyway, I kept thinking about how to solve this problem and with enough searching I came up with a solution that is FREE and doesn’t require changing your RSS Reader.

  1. Get a Google Account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Go to Emails to RSS Feed and log in.
  3. Register an Email Bridge address. This will be the email address you use to sign up for newsletters. They allow you to create multiple addresses. Each one generates a unique RSS Feed. Since I don’t want anyone guessing that email address, I put some junk characters in mine.
  4. Take the generated RSS Feed and subscribe to it to your Reader. Rename it something friendly.
  5. Go forth and subscribe to newsletters with your Email Bridge address. Instead of cluttering up your Email Inbox, they will be waiting for you inside a folder of your choosing in your RSS Reader.


The FluentU newsletter is now inside my RSS Reader Feedly