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Sunday, May 02, 2021

A year later...

In early April 2020, repairs to the main bathroom on the upper level were an important preoccupation along with the many concerns relating to COVID-19.

A trip to Lowes for fixtures and tools needed for the repair- provided the opportunity to purchase a new plant, the snake plant shown below.

The two illustrations below, show a photo of the plant, taken yesterday and the set of photos taken when I first replanted the Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Snake Plant) in April 2020.

When I left home after college, my parents gave me a snake plant for my first place. I never had a problem. I hate to admit, I almost killed the new plant, over-watering.

With all of the other plants I maintain around the house, I thought I could water as often as I did the others. Big mistake. I am pleased I realized my mistake before it was too late.

Other recent photos...

Photo Summary
  • Strawberry season, so I buy strawberries... I love strawberry shortcake.
  • Love buttermilk pancakes --recipe
  • Yellow irises in the backyard are in bloom
  • Cascading petunias for the front porch
  • Scenes from the den, including the same snake plant photo
  • Purple irises on the side of the house not yet in bloom
  • Alternanthera Purple Prince - a perennial ground cover
  • Hosta plant on the back deck

There were many changes over the past year, however we made it. So did the Dracaena Trifasciata (mother-in-law's tongue).



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Where Was I?

In the summer of 1995, I decided to take the LSAT. The LSAT is like the SAT test given to high school students who wish to go on to college, however it is for people who already have at least a four year degree- and wish to go to law school. Both tests evaluate a student's potential for success, given their higher education goals.

At the time, I lived in Bowie, Maryland and I chose the US Naval Academy (Annapolis) as my testing site.

So why then? Beginning in 1994, I asked the US Government to investigate an employment issue. I thought the investigation went well, however was surprised when my employer of ten years, rather than correcting the problems, asked me to leave.

When I explained this to the government investigation service, the case supervisor said- "go shopping". I went shopping for lawyers. Should I have had a lawyer when I first asked the US Government to investigate? In hindsight, I believe the answer is yes.

That said, with 10 years, an engineering excellence award, and what appeared to be retaliation for an earlier internal complaint I filed with our corporation's office in Anaheim, the US Government found merit for my 1994 complaint.

In 1995+ (1996 1997) or so, I think, I had a meeting with every single major law firm in Washington. All interested on some level in my case. One of the smaller employment law firms recommended a large law firm which took the case, however handed it off almost immediately, to another large DC law firm. This should have raised flags immediately, however I signed a check anyway.

The US Government had run a 9+ month investigation into my allegations and found my case had merit.

My tenure (10 years) with the Fortune 100 defense contractor and an internal complaint filed about 5 years prior to my leaving the company, complicated things. Most of the small employment law firms in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia felt the defense contractor was too large for them to handle.

One or two of the large law firms in Washington- ran conflict checks, and found issues. A conflict check usually determines whether the law firm has any dealings with an entity- a potential client wants to file against.

I thought, what happened next was because the defense contractor was so large. That is when I decided I wanted to go to law school (Where Was I?).

In earlier years, I had filed suits on my own or handled most legal issues on my own. I had the car plates for a hit and run driver, a traffic ticket I felt was unfair, issues with two landlords, etc.

I mostly handled my own legal issues, and was pretty happy with the results. I fired the law firm in Washington that took my case, because the lawyers would not stop asking me to make it a contingency case. They returned my check upon request. I felt I had no choice. The last straw? I asked to see the Government case file that the law firm had pulled, and my lawyers (a partner and jr associate with a large DC firm) asked, "Why kill a tree?". Newspaper print? Not sure.

Earlier this year, I took a real estate course online with Anne Arundel Community College. I was very pleased with how much I was able to learn in this environment, especially as related to legal matters. This mostly through my own independent study, so I decided to look into other courses that would be useful in running my business.

Business law and contracts are areas I felt would be of great use. When I looked into what AACC offered, I found to take a credited course like Business Law 101, I had to have several prerequisites, i.e., math and english 101, which I have. So I had Bowie send over my transcripts.

The real estate course was a non-credited course and required no advance studies. The business course I wanted to take was part of a specific curriculum offered by the community college- Law and Jurisprudence. This curriculum is specifically setup for students who may wish to transfer credits, if they later decide to look into a JD program with a law school.

The following illustration, shows the 29 undergrad credits accepted by the AACC Law and Jurisprudence program I have selected.

Why would I provide this information? So many these days, falsify school records. I did not go to an Ivy league school, however a Maryland State Police Officer once thought I had lied to him about my work and educational background. I knew the officer socially. I did not know issues like this were still on the table.

Late last year, when I signed up for the real estate course, I was surprised by some of the noise associated with my decision to take the course. I was so hyped by being back in the school environment, I decided to take a business law course.

In addition, at the beginning of the year I began research to help with preparation of legal documents which required notary seals. I was pretty happy with the results of this effort, however I did quite a bit of research and crossed checked everything again. I think if I could have afforded a lawyer, the work may have cost well into the thousands.

Apparently, the transfer of my school transcripts, had some in the legal community asking more questions. I recently took part in a Zoom forum that involved 5 Judges and a law professor. It was promoted as a Judicial Forum based on my curriculum selection, and I was notified after my undergrad transcripts were transfered. Why were some surprised? I am not sure. I have found many have falsified their school credentials. Was it assumed mine were false? Why would I falsify something like that? I can find professors and classmates from my undergrad days. As I have indicated, I am still trying to correct my situation.

Have you checked my finances and asked why? Here are my latest FICO scores for both personal and business related activities.

I said no to everything except DOJ. I want them to come in with the explanations and resolutions. Why would a community college and a request that my undergrad transcripts be sent to another school, cause any noise whatsoever? What am I missing?

I have not had the opportunity to post as much lately. I added statistical graphs to WiredPages, and have been researching a lot of legal issues. I was going to research the legal issues anyway. Something I have known I had to do for some time. I was surprised by the noise that resulted from some of this. I should be easy to check and verify. In the past, I have claimed I have many well known relatives. I do. This is not important to my rights and the rest of my life. I believe many are aware of this. Too many I have known over the years were asked to provide any negatives, in hopes of justifying what was done. I work hard. There was no justification. No one officially said I did anything illegal. I told every employer since high school about limited marijuana use in high school. That is the only illegal substance I have ever tried. I thought I suffered with migraines most of my life. The actual problem, my eyes are offset. This caused dizziness which made it unlikly I would want to use anything that would affect my head. I do not even drink.

The relatives? Should not have been a problem. I did not know most of my life.

I now believe HIV is a factor. Not because my status has changed, but more because I did not know it was an issue for some of the people I have known. I am HIV negative. This should not have caused the issues I have had. When I showed my tests results in a blog post in 2004 or so, I thought I put to rest any questions on this issue. I thought, I was simply answering any questions that may have been on the table. I did not understand everything I should have understood.

That said, where are my hospital bills. I was a heavy smoker (as I hit 30 more for weight control) starting my junior year in college until December 1998. HIV patients cannot smoke the way I smoked and not have medical issues. Where are my medical and prescription bills. I take nothing but Advil. I wear contacts.

Fraud? Does anyone think, I would put all of these ads on my sites and risk a fraud charge because I claimed education I did not have? Do you know what fraud is? If you put up an ad, then claim a law degree you do not have, it is fraud. Those in the know, would suggest- if there was a legitimate charge that could be brought, it would have been done. There should be no question about my undergraduate degree, employment history, or conservative background. DOJ/FBI, I repeat- I said no.

I am not going to go into a lot of detail as to why, I seem a bit upset of late. I am in the public. I zoom, school, business forums. I have to do the shopping because of the health crisis. People are ill and I am worried. Maybe this is why I am feeling a little pressed at this time.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Business Filings Online, Moving Forward

Online registration and renewal services for small business owners are more prevalent than in years past.

For example, in 2004 when I first registered my sole proprietorship (QiSoftware) with the state of Maryland, everything was done- mostly via US mail with limited services for facsimiles (faxes). You can search for my Maryland business entity here use "qisoftware" for the search name.

In 2019 or so, when I registered online with the newly created Maryland Business Express site (came online March 26, 2018), I could not link my existing business records (since September 2004) with my new Maryland Business Express registration.

This meant, in 2019 when I had to renew (every 5 years) my business registration, it was all done via US mail.

Earlier this year, I found I could link the existing business records with my Business Express registration, so now, I can renew and update business registration information online.

Are you doing business in Maryland? No, is your state online insofar as business filings, renewals, etc.? I am so pleased Maryland is coming online with all of these new features.


Friday, April 02, 2021

Course Grades...

The final for the real estate course was Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

I misread one or two questions and totally missed an easy math problem associated with straight-lined depreciation and appraisals. Why? Because, I assumed the structure, when built ten years earlier- was a lot cheaper.

Really wanted an "A" (90% or better) for this course, however happy I passed (B 83.87%). Needed a C (70%-79%) to pass.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Capitalization Rate, Intimidating?

The final for the real estate course is Tuesday, March 30, 2021. I will be studying for most of the week, however feel ready to take the exam.

Was this an easy course? In my opinion, if you do not have time to study, you will probably find it is not as easy as you may think. That said, I have learned a lot and happy I had the opportunity to do this.

Financial terms I may have looked up in the past, simply because they were mentioned in a news story, now have new meaning as applied to real estate finance. Some of these terms include:

  • Capitalization Rate (also known as Cap Rate). Example: a property in Maryland has a ground rent of $2160 annually. If a buyer is looking to obtain both land improvements and the land, the ground rent in this example would be capitalized by dividing $2160 ÷ 6% = $36,000 (the price the buyer would pay for the land). Six percent is the rate the State of Maryland sets for most redemption cases of this type.
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI), the State of Maryland uses this factor to determine the filing, delivery, etc. fees for some of the services it provides.
  • Loan To Value ratio (LTV). Principle Loan Amount ÷ Sales Price (or Appraised Value). A conforming mortgage loan normally requires an 80% LTV. A mortgage lender considers a lower LTV more attractive, i.e., 80% is better than 90% to a loan officer.

I purchased real estate years ago. At the time, some of these terms may have been mentioned in the loan and settlement processes, however probably forgotten. I appreciated this refresher course, in that the definitions now have broader meaning across a wide spectrum of uses.

New features, recently added to WiredPages, provide a myriad of statistics for everyday use. Below, illustration of new resources added to the WiredPages Real Estate page.


I consider myself well versed in consumer news, however if I never looked up uses for the CPI, I was not overly concerned. I thought, if needed, I could easily look up anything. I say this to say, some of the new features may seem a little intimidating, however in real life (& business), these numbers may be useful and easy to lookup.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Real Estate Course Midterm

Last evening, I took the midterm for the real estate course. In preparation, Friday, March 5, 2021, I opened my books (something I have been doing since the course started <February 2, 2021>) and began studying.

I stayed in the entire weekend (+Monday and Tuesday), re-reading and taking practice exams.1   The midterm grade...

On Sunday, I began taking the sample exams in the back of the book. I started with the Math quiz. There were not as many math questions on the midterm as I thought there might have been. That said, I felt fully prepared for those types of questions.

I feel all of the study time paid off, and I know a lot more about real estate, associated laws, the process of buying, selling, conveying, and leasing real property than I did before.

Below some of the exam questions...

Any surprises? The amount of legal knowledge required to become a real estate professional.

1Over the weekend, I also added one or two new graphs to the WiredPages Employment page in case you happened to notice.


Friday, February 19, 2021

eForms

The real estate industry is heavily regulated by both State and Federal (to a lesser degree) guidelines and laws.

To assist with understanding the procedures and processes used by real estate brokers (coursework), I began delving into the many forms, agreements, statements, and contracts used by these professionals. Shown below, a directory listing of some of the forms I have collected to date.

While researching for my (real estate) course, I found other legal forms and agreements I wanted to add to my Microsoft Word template sets. The lower image in the diagram above, shows some of the other forms.

For some reason, I feel smarter having done this research, and wanted to provide a great resource for DIY research and creation of legal forms.

eForms

Should you retain a lawyer if you have questions? Yes. That said, some agreements are pretty straightforward and most services like eForms.com probably use lawyers and/or legal staff to help with the creation of the documents and services they offer.

In my case, I always want a lawyer to fax a copy of an agreement so I can study and research (without interruption) the document before further discussion or signatures- are added.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Trying New Things...

Let me just say, "I love Red Baron Pepperoni Pizza with the Classic Crust". I am funny about frozen pizza, and will not try most. That said, last week I tried a DiGiorno Pepperoni Pizza with a Croissant Crust, and have decided I can do this one too.

Other things I have tried lately, include this LandOFrost Honey Ham lunch meat. It was on sale around the holidays and I am happy I decided to try it. I added diced slices of the ham to the Red Baron Pizza before baking and it turned out great.

We do not often have food delivered, however over the weekend relatives sent a "Well Wishes" gift...

This is a great gift idea.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

How is my class?

I have been busy, but feel I am keeping up with my coursework. Mainly, because I stay ahead with the reading.

Other things going on...

  • Filed my taxes.
  • Preparing paperwork for course completion related efforts
  • Renewed several of my domains (yes, tend to do this yearly rather than longer periods of time)
  • Site issues, sports scores (WiredPages), etc.
  • Researching problems with header bidding ads used on several areas of my sites
  • Updating online résumés to reflect current coursework for real estate license
  • Paying business bills... addresses, hosting, etc.

Just really, busy...


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Continuing Preparations for Online Real Estate Course...

My real estate course starts next week, and I have been busy with continuing preparation efforts.

Recent preparations:

  • Joined the Microsoft Teams for the class
  • Setup student calendars
  • Digitizing Maryland laws and regulations as related to real estate for easy search.
  • Coming up to speed with a newer version of Microsoft Office (365)
  • Zoom (online) classroom attendance- continuing preparations
  • Research as related to the real estate market, jobs, and online forums
  • Studying

Researching Microsoft offerings as related to real estate.


I have also been trying to plan my days for the next two months, in that I will continue to do most of the shopping. In addition, I have several business related tasks coming up, so I am hoping I can accomplish everything as efficiently as possible.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

I Could Be Jealous of This Mobile System...

On two occasions over the last week, I had the opportunity to witness the use of a Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot unit used with a HP laptop. Thought this was pretty impressive.

I own several computing platforms, however most are not true mobile systems, in that I am tethered to both my dedicated wifi service and electrical current. These days, I prefer working in this more secure environment, however if I needed to be truly mobile- would definitely look into the acquisition of similar hardware. My choices shown below:

I also checked into current pricing options for mobile hotspot plans and found an interesting article on the Android Authority.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Put In Some Study Time, Too...

Over the years, I have avoided using facetime and capturing videos of myself. I am not photogenic. This was never really a problem until now.

I worked in a male dominated field and found I liked conservative suits for daily office wear. Though I wear little in the way of jewelry, hair and makeup always important.

Today, when out, I tend to choose the same types of styles. With online video conferencing about to become more important in my life, I am researching options. I am concerned about mistaken identity issues, so want the same look for all public appearances, even video conferencing (sans the mask).

The real problem? I wear black- a lot. I am going through my closets for more colorful options that will project a better contrast for video conferencing, however I am not coming up with a wide selection.

So why all of the previews? Still thinking about all of this. Happy the online course is business related.


Friday, January 08, 2021

Real Estate Class Update

I received notification on January 6th, 2021, the real estate class start date has been postponed until February.

Several plans based on the original class start date- have also been postponed. Still very excited about this project.


Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Real Estate 101

For years, I have thought about obtaining a real estate license and in November (2020), I finally decided to sign up for an online course with the local community college.

Yesterday, the textbooks for the course arrived via UPS.

In a post from late November, I discussed an upcoming project which required acquisition of a new pc to allow access to the Zoom service. This online Real Estate Course is the reason for my new mini pc.

Since November, I have been preparing for the course. This included:

  • Understanding Maryland Real Estate Law and the requirements for a real estate license
  • Researching Real Estate Terms
  • Understanding the Zoom classroom environment, video, audio, settings, etc.
  • Installation of all sorts of student resources, including Microsoft 365 Professional.
  • Creating student profiles... (which really look like my business profiles)
  • Experimenting with lighting, camera resolution, makeup and style options for the online class.

Below, screen shots of the Zoom camera using a monitor with 2560x1600 resolution.

I am making adjustments based on these tests, including the elimination of gray from my hair. I wear contacts, so there is not much I can do about the glare of my inexpensive reading glasses. My prescription glasses only correct for nearsightedness, and I prefer contacts and readers while working on a computer.

The course starts next week and goes through the first week in March. I am not sure if I will sit for the license exam right after the completion of the course. I am excited about learning more about this area of commerce.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Windows 10 Screen Capture Utility

Today, while searching for a Windows 10 utility for screen video capture, I discovered Windows 10 comes with a screen recording utility called "Capture" "Game Bar".

To activate the program, on your keyboard use the Windows key in combination with the "G" key.

I recorded the following video using the capture program. The video discusses a new Java servlet I started work on today, which uses the Share This API.

The resolution on the monitor I used for the screen capture was 2560x1600. The original output file was over 34MB. Since I am not using Youtube for this demonstration, I converted the file to a smaller format.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Zoom Ready

I have a new project in the works that requires live video/chat interaction. Popular online resources which provide this type of support, include:

After taking inventory of my hardware resources, I found that only two of my online access devices could handle today's live video/chat applications:

  • Android
  • Windows 10 Pro Mini PC

For various reasons, I decided I would need a dedicated platform to handle all aspects of the new project including interactive video/chat and collaborative/file sharing.

The problem with the Android, I felt it would be easier to share files and collaborate using software on a desktop or laptop system.

The Windows 10 Pro Mini- I purchased last December (2019), is dedicated to software development. Online sharing in a group environment using this dedicated platform would allow security issues I would rather not deal with.

So, I researched the purchase of a new laptop or desktop and decided again on the least expensive option, a new Windows 10 Pro Mini PC. Shown below, side by side the two Windows 10 Pro Mini PCs.

My other concerns: lighting and backdrop for these live sessions so in addition to the new Windows 10 Pro Mini PC, I also purchased a light ring/tripod stand and desktop stand to mount a standalone webcam or microphone.

Pictured below, these new additions to my live office/studio.

As I have already indicated, my new project will be part of a group setting and therefore certain aspects or requirements of the project, were preset. Though I have been a long time user of Skype (business line, etc.), I needed to setup an account with Zoom to be inline with other members of the group.

In terms of costs for the hardware for my new project, I have spent under $230.00. Yes, I did find some items on sale.

I feel this new project is a good investment and will provide more details over the coming months.

    


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

It was a busy week. Shopping, cooking, preparations for a new project.

I liked this quiet holiday. I have several projects in the works, so it seemed- everyday over the last week, had any number of tasks that had to be completed, to be able to move on to the next step.

Over the last 8 months or so, I have been out a lot more doing most of the shopping and running errands. People seem busy. I am happy, because I am busy.

Sometimes people seem more upset at the holidays (for years, I have felt more like a bystander at the holidays, giving me the opportunity to observe more). This year is different. People seem busier. This makes me hopeful. Hope you are having a nice holiday.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Dinner In...

Yesterday was a celebration of sorts. Normally, the birthday celebrated, is with extended family members and dinner out. Yesterday, it was dinner in.

On the menu...

  • Thin Sliced T-Bone Steaks
  • Baked Potato w/Sour Cream
  • Broccoli
  • Garden Salad w/French Honey Dressing
  • Dinner Roll
  • Apple Pie

One of the gifts received, an inexpensive point and shoot camera that is very easy to use. I have to say, I am pretty impressed with this camera.

 

Side by side comparison of photos from the inexpensive Digital Camera 2.7K Ultra HD Mini Video Camera 44MP 2.8 Inch LCD Rechargeable and my Canon EOS 50 using a Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM Lens (need an EF-M Adaptor for this lens and camera):

  

The camera has plenty of features and a very useful user's manual.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Autumn 2020 Projects- Scaled Back

This time of year, I am normally out taking photos of beautiful autumn colors. This year is different. I find, I am spending more time ensuring the shopping, and other choirs outside of the house, are getting done.

That said, I have pulled out my camera- to take photos of the spectacular color just outside the door.

Another Fall 2020 project- "Shop My Sale" is an online marketing experiment I am undertaking, after noticing a new feature being offered by PayPal-"Sell on Social".

I have been going through rooms and taking photos of items never used- now. Things I thought about, but decided I really did not want to sell- are shown below.

Why show them here? Just to show, what I have been up to. I really did not want to sell my earrings so when I came up with a $2000.00 price tag (I paid under a $1000.00 for them in 1993 or so), I decided, I really should not add them to my sale.

Other things I have been up to?

  • Yesterday, received a Cash Rewards check from one of my credit card companies, so that made me happy.
  • Trying to resolve a new problem with Facebook Page Plugins. I use this resource in various places on WiredPages and this blog. For some reason, the plugin will not show the fb page content unless the visitor clicks on the Like link. The thing is, you do not even have to like the page (happens if you are not logged into Facebook), for the content to then render correctly. This is a new problem, and I am still looking for a work-around. Visitors to my pages should not need to login to obtain the public content I am trying to provide. I have been using Facebook Page Plugins for over 2 years and loved the way this worked.
  • Online shopping for birthday and holiday gifts. This year, mostly, needed items and no- would love to have items.
  • Attempting minor repairs to my car.
  • Perusing market sales flyers (I am surprised by how much time I spend doing this, is it paying off? Yes.).

Hope your holiday planning is going well.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Business Correspondence Template Updates

I use the Microsoft Office Professional Suite (Microsoft Office Professional 2019 link is for the latest version) for most of my business productivity needs.

Examples of how I use the Microsoft Office Professional Suite of products include:

  • Business Letterhead MS Word
  • Fax Cover Sheets MS Word
  • Presentations MS Publisher or MS PowerPoint
  • Vector Graphics MS PowerPoint see note below
  • Affiliate Database MS Access
  • Contacts MS Access
  • Savings Daily Interest Tracking MS Excel

Note, I use Microsoft Image Composer for most of my graphics work, which is not part of the Microsoft Office Suite of products. I use PowerPoint to create and manipulate vector graphics.

Recently, I put together a presentation which required my business letterhead and a Publisher presentation. I designed the MS Word Letterhead template for business correspondence several years ago, and decided it was time for an update.

Searching online, I found several options for MS Word templates and chose the following set:

I customized the set for my requirements and very pleased with how this might work out for business productivity efforts. The original template set was designed for Microsoft Word 2007 or later. I use an earlier version of the productivity suite.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Camera's Image Sensor

The Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Digital Camera I purchased last year, came with a number of accessories, including a cleaning kit.

Recently, I noticed imperfections with some of my photos and tried cleaning the camera lens to resolve the issues. I noticed the problem after a series of shots of a midday moon against a blue sky.

While researching this problem, I read- shooting a blank white wall can also highlight photo image errors.

Dirt on the lens was not the problem, so I then checked the Camera's Image Sensor. Yes, I noticed a smear and dust on the sensor, so I used the blower that came with my camera kit and also tried the camera's internal "Sensor cleaning" feature.

Neither of these solutions corrected the problem. What worked? A non-abrasive, ammonia free wipe that I had on hand which I normally use with glasses, mobile devices, and monitors.

My caution, most of the videos and articles I researched, as to what to use on a camera's image sensor- indicated a special kit should be used to insure no damage is done to the sensor. The concern, a wipe that is too dry or soaked in a cleaner to abrasive- may damage the sensor.

Below, I provide some of the more popular cleaning solutions I found for use with a camera's image sensor.


Thursday, October 08, 2020

Homemade Enchilada Seasoning

Enchiladas are a favorite and I try to keep on hand, ingredients for this dish. My version of this entrée includes:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • McCormick Enchilada Seasoning Mix
  • Old El Paso Hot Enchilada Sauce
  • Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Mission Super Soft Corn Tortillas
  • Colby Jack or Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Sometimes I add extra tomato sauce and water

Over the summer, I discovered local markets could not keep the McCormick Enchilada Seasoning Mix I normally use with this dish, in stock. With the many restaurant closings, perhaps many found themselves in the kitchen trying new recipes.

I researched several options and found I liked this homemade recipe for Enchilada Seasoning.

I like mild banana peppers and Tabasco sauce with this dish.


Friday, September 18, 2020

WiredPages' New Database

Yesterday, I noticed the WiredPages "What's New" interface located in the lower right corner of the home page- showed nothing. The tool was a Java Servlet powered by Facebook, which accessed the Facebook WiredPages Notes page and provided the 3 most recent posts.

After a moment of research, I found, a Facebook app permission that I had requested in December 2017, had been revoked because of new policy changes for app developments.

When I first requested the Facebook app permission (Page Public Content Access), I thought I would be using the access to power an events interface I wanted to use with the WiredPages Style & Events page. Initially, Facebook allowed programmatic access to events associated with a page, however changed the policy.

Long story short, I used the app permission to access the notes of the WiredPages Facebook page and not the events-- and believe this is why the app permission was revoked.

The initial app permission request- provided a video and details explaining the events tool I wanted to create, and not the What's New interface I eventually created using the app permission.

Yesterday, when I discovered the issue, I thought about my options for a moment and decided to create a new database which would power a new Java JDBC Servlet. Factors in this decision process:

  • The original servlet was a little slow, accessing the Facebook data pool the most likely cause.
  • I have several tools accessing the WiredPages Facebook page, and when I added a new note, I had to insure the real estate plugin also powered by the Facebook page, was not affected.
  • Honestly, tired of worrying about policy changes.

I developed the Java JDBC Servlet and database in local mode and then ported everything to hosting-q.com (around 7pm last night), where I maintain most of the tools associated with WiredPages.

A couple of minor glitches installing the new database and servlet on the live site, however happy to report everything is working again.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Image Update...

Folks in my area are allowing their hair, to take on beautiful shades of gray. I wish my coloring allowed me to consider this option.

Over the weekend I did my hair...

I was watching a review of the Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler for Multiple Hair Types and noted the total time- the young lady took to achieve her blowout.

I set my hair at night. It takes about 40 minutes. I use a very hot Conair 1" Curling Iron and then set each curl in a soft roller for overnight wear. I use an ISOPlus conditioner on the ends, just before winding each section of hair on the curling iron. My hair is deceptively full (lot thinner than it looks).

Why does it take so long? To achieve longer lasting curls-- each curl (16 total), has to stay wound on the curling iron for an 80 count. Eighty seconds? No, just an 80 count which is probably less than 80 seconds.

Do I take my hair out every day? No. Do I use weaves or other sources of hair? No. I keep my hair straighter, by using a blow dryer and curling iron to take out most of the natural wave.

I wanted to snap new photos for Linkedin and other business services I use, however I am not sure I want to use the photos shown here. They are screen grabs from my Android as taken by my Canon EOS M50 (see info in the blog header) using the portrait setting and the two second timer. The hair length for a business photo- the problem? No. My conservative earrings are overshadowed and I am not sure why.



Monday, September 07, 2020

Apache Tomcat

In 2009, I switched from a shared to a private Tomcat jsp hosting plan for use with qisoftware.com.

What is Tomcat?

Apache Tomcat is a long-lived, open source Java servlet container that implements several core Java enterprise specs, namely the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and WebSockets.

The switch [on qisoftware.com's servers] enabled me to restart my private Tomcat service whenever the need arose.

The switch for hosting-q.com, where I maintain most of my Java Servlets, occurred in October 2018.

When I started using private Tomcat services, I only needed to be able to restart Tomcat so updates to the web.xml file and new Java .class files were recognized.

This to say, that if I ever had a problem with either shared or private Tomcat services-- I simply decided my web hosting providers should research and fix the problem.

In October 2018, a newer Tomcat private service was established on hosting-q.com, for which (quite frankly), I had to do a bit of research- to have it work correctly. Last week, I forgot I had to do this. Yes (even then), I tried asking the web hosting provider to resolve some of the issues, however now I realize, they feel if you ask for a private Tomcat hosting plan, then you know how to run a private Tomcat service.

Last Wednesday (September 2, 2020), when I okayed the update for the current Java JDK version 1.6, the web hosts also indicated they would update both Tomcat to version- 8 (8.5) and the Java JDK to 1.8. When this happened, the site dropped almost immediately.

Java JDK 1.8 is considered a must have to handle today's SSL issues, and since I have been developing in that environment (JDK 1.8) since December 2019, I knew it was a must have for qisoftware.com servers.

Preliminary tests showed, I could not even install a simple Java JDK 1.8 test servlet on qisoftware.com servers without dropping the entire site (keep in mind when you use a private Tomcat service the Apache Tomcat server is used to run the entire site).

The other issue, for the last year or so, I have been migrating new tools, or updates of existing tools to hosting-q.com because qisoftware.com's versions of Java and Tomcat simply could not handle the new interfaces.

Two weeks ago, when hosting-q.com experienced an overload, I knew I had to do something about qisoftware.com- to assist in the efficient distribution and deployment of Java class files, between the two sites.

I had errands to run Wednesday (September 2, 2020) morning, and knew before I left- I had a lot of problems. When I returned, I was able to figure out how to map qisoftware.com and reginadenisethomas.com to the new Apache Tomcat Server.

By the end of Wednesday evening, I had the following sub-domains mapped.

  • forums.qisoftware.com
  • personal.qisoftware.com
  • remix.qisoftware.com
  • wiredpages.qisoftware.com

I probably should not admit to this, however here goes. While trying to get the sub-domains mapped, I inadvertently deleted all of the files in most of the sub-domains, reginadenisethomas.com and the rest of the lower directories under the main level.

No problem- remix.qisoftware.com and personal.qisoftware.com are Thingamablogs so I simply ran the local software and reinstalled each blog (personal.qisoftware.com took over nine hours to reinstall on a Verizon FiOS network-- think we are sharing some of our throughput with neighbors).

As requested two days before (August 31, 2020) by my web hosting providers, I made a backup of the entire site (oddly enough, Tomcat & WiredPages directories were missing), so it was easy to use a secure copy command to replace the deleted directory structures.



Other issues I had to resolve:

cgiemail-- though the cgi-bin directory appeared to be mapped, the MIT Form to Email application I have used since 2004 or so, simply would not work. Created a PHP Form-to-email Function to handle qisoftware.com/contact.html and wiredpages.qisoftware.com/busdir/SubmitListing.html.

index.php not recognized for forums.qisoftware.com. The following command set did work for 10 minutes and then suddenly dropped the Tomcat Server.

Had to come up with another way, which I am not happy about.

Continuing to look at this problem.

All of this to say, at this time, qblog.qisoftware.com (Q's Wire, MySQL Database uncorrupted) and blog.qisoftware.com (original Business Blog) are not installed. Very easy to use the secure copy command to load these sub-domains and the associated directory trees. I am simply weighing the options.

Did you want to ask if you should use Java Servlet Technology or use someone like me to develop custom tools? Yes. Most big sites use Java technology. It is more secure and executes faster than most scripting languages. Smaller sites can use a shared Tomcat environment. Developers like me-- need the Private Tomcat Server.




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