RSS Feed Spam

I had a couple of faithful readers who use Google Reader to get my posts through RSS report they were getting spam in the feed.

I did some research and found some info on this problem. I’ve taken the suggestions to fix the problem so hopefully the issue won’t recur. If it does, please let me know right away (preferably via e-mail) so I can look into it further.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I’ve officially taken the Red Pill

I’ve unplugged from the network and there’s no going back.

I deleted all of my google accounts today. I’m sure the remnants of my old blog, picassa account, youtube account, etc will all still be around for a while, and the web crawlers will still have them archived, but I no longer have any active Google Accounts.

Granted, it was a pain to move the blog completely over, but it still has surprised me that more people haven’t taken this step as a result of Google’s new Lack of Privacy Policy, but to each his own.

Personally, I have no desire for any company to be able to compile that much information on me from disparate services and sources. It’s not that I have anything to hide…it’s just the whole idea of it. Maybe I’m being silly about the whole thing. Maybe it’s the era I grew up in. I don’t know, but the shades of Big Brother watching my every online move just makes my alarm bells start to jingle a little too much.

Anyway, the deed is done and can’t be undone so it just doesn’t matter at this point. I’m living the google-free life from here on out.

Making Progress

I finally finished getting all my videos hosted locally and I reformatted the posts that had some image alignment issues.

If anyone happens to stumble across any posts that the images don’t seem to be aligned with the text properly, please let me know so I can fix them.

I used SQL queries to fix some idiosyncrasies introduced by importing the images from Blogger and to change all internal links from the old blog url to the new one.

Once I figured out the queries to use, it was cake.

All that’s left is to finish recreating the blogroll (which has been slow going as you can probably tell) and delete all my google accounts and the transition will be complete.

I was originally planning on deleting my Google accounts at the end of March, but Google’s new Lack Of Privacy policies go into effect on March 1, so I think I’m going to pull the plug tomorrow. I’m actually a bit surprised that I got it all done this quickly. Considering that I’d been blogging on blogger for almost 6 years, and the sheet quantity of posts, images and links I have up, I really thought it was going to take longer to get everything done.

Anyway…as of tomorrow, I cut the Google apron strings.

I hope that was enough time for people to update links and blogrolls and such. I was expecting to lose some readership over this, but if I ever get off my duff and start posting regularly again, It’ll build back up. If you write it they will come.

Anyway, just wanted to give an update. The way work’s been going lately, the only blog time I’ve had has been spent on this transition. I’m still hoping to get back to blogging more after I get all this done.

Update and Observation

I haven’t had much time to work on the blog lately.  I have gotten some of the linked youtube videos hosted locally, and I’ve gotten a few more of my daily reads added to the blogroll, but I’ve been working 10 to 12 hour days, had to work last weekend, and just haven’t had much time for it.

Hopefully things will calm down soon.

In the meantime, The Wife added Top Shots to my Netflix Queue for me the other day (thanks hon).  Last night I watched the first show from season 2.

I watched Season 1 until Caleb finally got eliminated but stopped watching after that.  The personal drama and silly sensationalism of the show (which is, of course, the trademark of the reality TV genre, and the aspect of that genre that I dislike the most) rendered the show unwatchable for me.

What I discovered last night, though, is that the ability to fast forward past the petty, political infighting, the breathless attempts to manufacture suspense, and the silly “look at me” self-aggrandizement of the more “colorful” participants and just watch the good parts, not only can I watch an ostensibly hour long episode in about 15 minutes, but it is quite enjoyable to watch when all the stereotypical reality TV claptrap is filtered out.


I was thinking today (after reading a comment) about why I haven’t been posting much lately.

When I started this blog, it was back in 2005 (I know my posts don’t go back that far, I actually lost a good bunch of early posts during a transition period long ago) and blogging was really just catching on.  There were some very good gun bloggers out there (most of them are still around and still providing excellent content), but I felt that I had something to add to the conversation.

Also at the time, most news outlets didn’t have commenting features so when I read a ridiculously inaccurate anti-gun article or editorial, I could either send in a letter to the editor and hope it got posted (which I often did anyway), or I could comment about it here.

This blog was a way for me to vent, to openly counter the inaccuracies, fallacies and outright lies of the MSM, and to contribute to the conversation.

Along the way I started blogging about my experiences with amateur gunsmithing…which have become my most popular and most sought out posts.

So, what happened?

Well, my wife lost her job several years ago and because of ongoing medical issues has been unable to work.  As a result, our finances have been pretty strained for quite a long time and I just haven’t had the money to continue my gunsmithing experiments.  I even let my range memberships lapse mostly due to lack of funds.  I haven’t been shooting much, I haven’t been doing gunsmithing stuff so I just haven’t had anything to contribute on that front.

As far as the political/media front.  I think that this is a prime example of why I just haven’t felt the need to berate the media on these pages.

The article just screams out to be fisked, debunked and otherwise excoriated…but…check out the comments section.

250 comments at this writing and only a handful support the premise of the article.  Comment after comment pointing out the flaws in the piece and correcting the record.

And this is on the decidedly left leaning Washington Post.

How could I possibly add to that?   We’re winning and more and more people are coming to see the truth.  Even on the Huffing and Puffing Post (which doesn’t deserve a link), anti-gun articles and posts garner huge responses, primarily from those pointing out the flaws and fallacies presented.   I just don’t see the need to repeat the same arguments here when they are being so thoroughly and effectively presented at the source.

As I said, when I started this, there were some gun blogs around…but now just transferring my blogroll from the old blog to the new is a daunting task.  There are literally hundreds of excellent gun bloggers out there, all providing great content on everything from politics, to product reviews to keeping up with the ridiculous rantings of the anti-freedom fanatics, to shooting and self-defense tips.   Good Stuff.

I simply haven’t felt like I had anything to add.  Anything I could possibly say about the myriad subjects out there has already been said, several times, and much better than I possibly could hope to do so, by other and better writers than I.

No…this is not a segue into why I’m shutting the blog down.  I still like to have a place to spill my thoughts when they come to me and I do believe I still have something to contribute, I just haven’t quite discovered my niche yet.   I will.

Basically, I just wanted to share what little I could in the way of explanation and to take this opportunity to thank those who’ve stuck with me all these years, even during the times that I just haven’t had much to say.

Thanks for hanging in there.  So will I.

It Worked!

After a simple 27 step process (I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t that bad) my old blogger blog posts now redirect to here…which also means all of the links in my posts that link to other posts, also work now.

I’ll leave that running for a couple of months while I finalize everything and get all of the internal links fixed (I think I can do that through a fairly simple SQL query), but then I’ll delete the old blog completely.

For now, though, everything is working pretty well.  I’ve still got some old blog posts that have alignment issues after importing the images, but I don’t need to be in a rush to fix those, the content is there, just looks a little strange.

What a relief.

Making Progress

Many thanks to commenter Greg for pointing me to a wordpress plugin to help with importing images from blogger. That one got the bulk of them…but then stopped working.

I had something like 125 posts with about 400 images left and I found another plugin that got some more of them. I finally hit a wall and had to do about 85 images in 25 or so posts by hand. I think I figured out what the problem was with the last of them right as I was finishing up, but I’ve gotten all of the blogger hosted images moved over now.

I’ve been downloading the 25 or so videos I have hosted on youtube so I can get them hosted here too…or maybe vimeo or photobucket…I haven’t decided yet, but after this fiasco, I’m a little leery about trusting them to be hosted by a third party.

I backed up the site today because the next major change is going to be to try to get all of the internal links to old blogger posts to point to the new posts over here, and that entails changing the permalinks for them all and doing some coding in the .htaccess file.

If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to try to fix all those links by hand…another daunting task.

So…I’ve still got a long road to go, but I’m getting there.

Thanks for your patience.

Still in Work

Still working on getting things set up. I’ve been very busy with work and had to take a dog to the vet this morning so I haven’t had a lot of time, but you may have noticed that the sidebar is growing.

I haven’t come up with a solution to the image thing yet. I’m thinking that, since the blog content is stored in a database, it might be possible to use an SQL query or script to simply find image links, strip the existing path, and replace it with a new path.

I’ve asked a couple Database people I know what they think about it, but if anyone out in internetland has any input on that possibility, I’m all ears.

In the meantime, I’m going to start at the beginning and work my way forward and just replace the blogger hosted images with locally hosted ones. Doing that will probably take several months if not a year to get them all changed over, but that’s my only other option, so I may as well get started on it.

At any rate, just wanted to give an update.

Taking off the Training Wheels

If you’ve been reading at my old blog location, you already know that I decided to cut the blogger apron strings and move to my own site as a result of the new Google privacy policy.

Well…here it is.

I still hope that Robb finishes Ansible at some point so I can switch to it, but in the meantime, WordPress will have to do.

As threatened, I did update my theme, partly because I didn’t feel like trying to learn enough about WordPress Themes to match it exactly, but also partly because the old theme was just getting…well…old.

Feedback on the new header image and general format are welcome and appreciated.

As you can probably see by the dearth of information in the links and the lack of other sidebar content, this is still a work in progress, but I think I’ve gotten enough done to bring it online.

I did import all my blogger posts over here, so all the content that was available there is available here, and I set my blogger template to redirect to here.  Eventually, I’ll delete that blog completely, but there are still a bunch of links out there to my “how to” posts and I don’t want to just break all of those links.  I do find it satisfying that all those people find my stuff useful and don’t want to leave them in the lurch.

At any rate, I’ve moved, so please update your bookmarks and, if you have a link to me in your blogroll, please update to the new and improved Captain of a Crew of One at



Looks like it’s time to get off my duff

I have a private url and plenty of server space that I’ve been renting for over three years, and I’ve thought, off and on, about moving my blog over there and hosting it on wordpress or whatever (I’d buy Ansible to use, if Robb would ever finish it).

Looks like it’s time to evacuate my bowels or unseat myself from the lavatory.

The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.

Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.

Among the google products I use are Youtube, Blogger (and the linked photo hosting site Picasa), and I recently opened a Google + account for no particular reason (I wanted to see if it’s better than facebook).

All of those things have non-google alternatives and I actually already have accounts with alternatives to all of them but blogger.  All I need to do is set up blogging software on my domain, move my blog over to there, and cancel all my Google services.  

I’m on it.

I’ll let you know when my url changes.  It would be a shame if my readers (all three of you) couldn’t find me any more 

It may be a little while because I don’t have a lot of spare time to do these types of things, but it will happen.

Maybe I’ll go for a little re-design while I’m at it.  Heck, this could be the impetus I need to get back into blogging regularly…who knows.  Stranger things have happened.