Recently in Site Information Category

I hope you and yours are having an awesome 2014 already. Blogging has been light, but has anyone been reading now anyway? It's nice to take some time away from the computer.

I just installed the Disqus comment system on my blog. I think it's far superior to the basic Movable Type system that was in place. Please leave a comment and test it out!

I've created a shop to sell sequester survival gear. There are various shirts and clothes, as well as other paraphernalia likes mugs and messenger bags. This is my first foray into CafePress, so I covet your feedback. I've set the prices just about as low as CafePress will allow, so enjoy!



Just got married over the weekend! Yay! What an awesome time with family and friends. I'll probably post a picture once I decide which one I like best.

And of course the blog decides to stop publishing properly just when I don't have time to fix it. Argh! Everything should be working again now. Sorry for the interruption.

Does this show up on my Twitter feed?

I know that the world is anxious because of the long delay, but I'd just like to assure the financial markets that Master of None blog is still active! I've just been busy for the past few days. No need to panic and throw the global economic system into turmoil.

Paul Hsieh brought this link chain to my attention:

9/14/2010: I wrote "Mice on a Plane" about air-dropping Tylenol-stuffed mice in Guam to control the population of brown snakes.

9/16/2010: Paul linked on GeekPress.

9/20/2010: Eugene Volokh linked on Volokh Conspiracy.

9/21/2010: Glenn Reynolds linked on Instapundit.


  • I wonder if these time differences are close to the actual mean-times-between-readings of these bloggers to these linked-to blogs?
  • I have the feeling that these links were garnered passively -- I didn't email Paul about my story, and I feel that none of the other linkees purposefully passed the story on. Confirm/deny?
  • GeekPress and Volokh Conspiracy linked to the story as a standalone item, but Instapundit might have only linked to it because it fit into the context of the possum-rat story he was already linking to. I bet Glenn read the tylenol-mouse story first and it came to mind later when he read about the possums and rats. Two related stories equals good enough to post! This might be worth remembering next time I send a link to Glenn.
  • Does this link chain reflect the emergent hierarchy of the blogosphere?

Apparently people have been unable to comment on the site for a while due to a misconfigured script file. D'oh! Thanks to BM for informing me of the problem. Please leave a comment on this post to confirm that everything is working properly once again.

I know posting has been slow recently, but I'll be back in a few days. As my guitar teacher always said, "don't fret".

Yesterday morning shortly after 8am I was contacted by an intern from CNN about a blog post I had written in May about an NRSC fund-raising letter disguised as a survey. Apparently reporter Carol Costello's husband recently received a similar letter and CNN wanted to do a story about it but couldn't use an employee's husband as a primary source. They were having a hard time finding anyone else who had received the letter until the intern came across my blog post.

After talking to producer Bob Ruff, my wife and I agreed to cancel our museum trip and instead go downtown to a local CNN affiliate to film a segment about the letter for Carol Costello's appearance on Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room. An amusing way to spend an afternoon, sure, but the real lure was that Bob Ruff agreed to have the name of this blog mentioned on-air and to have the URL displayed at the bottom of the screen while Jessica and I were talking.

If you watched the segment you'll know that Master of None was not mentioned in any way, nor was the fact that we're bloggers at all. My URL was not shown and no one made any mention of how they found us and made contact with us. We mentioned the blog during the interview, but they cut it out during the editing process. Carol Costello told us that she and some others had read parts of my blog after having been given the URL, so there's no question that she knew what was going on.

The behavior of Bob Ruff and Carol Costello was extremely unprofessional, disrespectful, and dishonest. My wife and I spent the useful part of a whole day to provide CNN material for their story, and I was promised some national exposure for my blog in return. My blog may seem trivial or meaningless to CNN, but it's a big deal to me. I treated them and their product with respect and professional courtesy, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to receive the same in return.


CNN doesn't seem to understand the whole internet thing yet.

Update 2:

John Murdoch got the same letter and was similarly irritated.

Several people have told me about problems they've been having leaving comments. Apparently sometimes people will log in, but when they hit "submit" to leave a comment they'll be told that they aren't logged in. I'm working with TypeKey to resolve the matter. For the time being, reloading the page generally fixes the issue and allows you to log in properly and leave a comment. Sorry for the inconvenience!

If you try this and it works (or doesn't) please let me know.

At least one reader has reported a problem leaving comments using OpenID. I left a test comment using TypeKey and it worked fine. If anyone else is having problems leaving comments please shoot me an email at plasticATgmailDOTcom. Be sure to include the system you're trying to use to sign in (OpenID, TypeKey, etc.). Thanks!

I rarely use Internet Explorer, but I'm forced to at this hotel and I see that two of the columns on the front page of the site appear to be overlapping. Does anyone else see this, or is it just a visual artifact caused by the hotel browser/connection/whatever?

"Hotlinking" an image is when a web designer embeds an image tag into his webpage that pulls an image from another site rather than making a copy of the image and hosting it himself. It's lazy, and it "steals" bandwidth that the person hosting the image is paying for. The image appears normal on the hotlinker's site, but it's being loaded from the host's site without any credit being given. That's not cool! And so, I've been forced to protect my images from hotlinking by modifying my .htaccess script.

The site seems a lot faster and cleaner to me since I changed hosts and it has been getting plenty of hits, but comments have completely flatlined. I've tested the TypeKey login and it works just fine, plus there are several other options now... and yet no one has anything to say. Is there a technical problem with the commenting system? Is it too hard to use? Should I enable anonymous comments?


It appears that MT won't send out the verification emails required for people to create accounts on my site. That's annoying. For now just use TypeKey, because I know it works.

Someone else please leave a comment so I know the site is working!

If anyone can tell me why the content in the left sidebar is pushed down on individual entry pages and on the most recent comments page but not on the main index, that would be great. Here's the stylesheet.

The individual pages have ad blocks that appear to be doing the pushing, so how can I avoid that? The ads are inside divs that hold content, and the other content in those divs don't push anything down. The recent comments page doesn't have any ads at all! Argh.


Fixed it. It helps if you close your div tags.

As my regular readers know, my website had grown absurdly slow on Yahoo's hosting service. So, I decided to ditch them and upgrade to Movable Type 4 at the same time. It's taken several hours to get everything working, and as you can see we've still got an off-the-shelf template. Fortunately I've got several days left of vacation to get all the details sorted out.

If you notice anything that doesn't work, please let me know.

I haven't been too impressed with Yahoo's hosting service. I'm considering switching away, but I before I do that I'm going to try to speed up load times a bit by removing some external loads. Let's see if this makes a difference.

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