Idiom correction

A person parks a vehicle and begins canoeing at a point along a stream, B, which is equidistant from two points on the stream, A and C. The stream flows from point C toward point A and beyond.  If the person canoes to point C, “up” stream, and loses all means of locomotion then the person can simply ride the current back to point B.  However, if the person canoes from point B to point A, “down” stream and loses all means of locomotion then the only way to get back to point B is by portaging the canoe.  Therefore, the idiom should be “DOWN shit creek without a paddle.”  QED.

Changing directions: Just veering off a bit

I admit I’ve all but abandoned my blog.  With the proliferation of Twitter, Facebook, Stack Exchange, and a host of other social networking tools, in addition to my time commitments this has just slipped off my radar.

My twins are now in first grade and they’re involved in soccer 3 days a week plus cub scouts.  The rest of my free time has been pretty much dedicated to competitive shooting – mostly practice.

I haven’t had much interesting to say about software of the business of software either since I haven’t been working on anything cutting edge, or what I would consider interesting beyond a very small niche of programmers.

So I thought I’d try writing about shooting for a while.  I’m heavily involved in competitive shooting, and since most of my free time goes into that I thought why not?  I’ll try that and see how it goes.

Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby

This is the internet routing around a problem.

Since Why The Lucky Stiff disappeared and the poignant guide domain with him, I’ve made the PDF available here:  Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby

It’s also available online in html format here: if you prefer that format.

Hoping Why reappears soon.


You found me!

If you’re reading this then you’ve found my new host.  I’ve been migrating web hosts for a couple of weeks and I’ve finally got it sorted.

My first attempt at picking a new host was a tragic disaster.  I was looking for a *nix (Linux or FreeBSD) host and preferably a “green” host.  After some research I chose… poorly.  The first host I chose was a FreeBSD shop.  Their problems are too numerous to mention; suffice it to say they had better get their act together if they want to stay in business. I made the mistake of changing my name servers before I had everything set up properly and it bit me by losing a few comments and a post from my blog.  That’ll teach me.

My second attempt went much better – here I am!  I’m not in the business of advertising or reselling, so the only thing I’ll say is I’m very happy with this new host so far.  My current host is a Linux shop and from what I can tell it’s well run.

So here I am – all “green” and Linux.  Welcome.



WordPress 2.7 + cformsII 10.1 plug-in

The cformsII 10.1 plug-in is designed for PHP 5 and will not work with PHP 4.3 until it’s updated. If you’re trying to use the cformsII 10.1 plug-in with wordpress and you’re not having any luck getting it to email, then you might not have PHP 5 on your webserver.  If you do have PHP 5 and you’re still not having any luck then this isn’t the place for you.

If your webserver is running PHP 4.x then the cformsII 10.1 plug-in needs to be updated to work with PHP 4.  There are two files in the wp-content/plugins/cforms/phpmailer directory that you must update:

  • class.phpmailer.php
  • class.smtp.php

Open the files in your favorite text editor and change all of the variables from “public”/”private” to “var” and remove the access specifiers on all of the functions, including the static.


  public $Priority          = 3;
var $Priority             = 3;
private $smtp            = NULL;
var $smtp                = NULL;

For functions:

  public function IsSMTP()
function IsSMTP()
private static function RFCDate()
function RFCDate()

It’s very simple to do and it will get your cformsII mailer working with PHP 4.x.