My Oldest Postage Stamp

2018 07 15 Stamps

I found my stamp collection today. I had written it off as lost for at least ten years, so I’m very happy about this.

The oldest stamp I have in my book is a 10 cent Thomas Jefferson from 1873. This makes me want to start collecting again.

The Red Trailer Mystery

Red Trailer Mystery

The first real book I ever read was “Trixie Belden and the Red Trailer Mystery”. I read it, I think in one sitting, while camped out under my grandmother’s kitchen table. My original copy is, sadly, long gone. I’m feeling nostalgic this week, so I picked up a replacement copy of the book from eBay. I can’t wait to read it again.

A Remaining Problem with Title-less Posts

When showing title-less posts in the archives, I would prefer to show the first few words of the post rather than nothing. Is there an easy way to do that?

UPDATE 2018-07-15: I ended up making a child theme and hooking into the simple-yearly-archive plugin, which I’m using for the archives page.

The only catch is that the plugin doesn’t include the post content column in the query so I had to edit the actual plugin query to include the column and also pass the entire $post object in the sya_the_title hook. I’ll have to watch out for updates, as they’ll overwrite this. Or I’ll just need to fork it.

add_filter( 'sya_the_title', 'my_sya_filter_title', 10, 2 );

function my_sya_filter_title( $title, $post ) {
	return $title == '' ? jab_truncate(strip_tags($post->post_content)) : $title;

function jab_truncate($string,$length=50,$append="…") {
  $string = trim($string);

  // break at word
  if(strlen($string) > $length) {
    $string = wordwrap($string, $length);
    $string = explode("\n", $string, 2);
    $string = $string[0] . $append;

  return $string;

It makes me so happy to have found my first computer. It’s a TRS-80 Pocket Computer PC-1 from 1980. I spent many, many hours making tiny programs with it.

I was thinking about learning more JavaScript but maybe I’ll freshen up on my COBOL instead

There goes Facebook

Delete Facebook

I finally, officially deleted my Facebook account today. No need to make a big deal about it. We all know by now that getting away from Facebook is the right move. My account has been deactivated for months, but today felt like a fine day to be done with it for good. It is, after all, “Independence Day” 🙂

I just wanted to write it down.

Contention on

Chip and Dale

Conversations on have been getting a bit feisty lately. I like this, as for a while things were maybe just a tiny bit too nice. Difficult topics tended to be silently stepped around, which could make for a bit of a Chip and Dale vibe. Nothing wrong with politeness of course. has been a welcome reprieve from the toxic awfulness that Twitter tends to generate. Still, this newfound friendly contentiousness has added a bit of spark to the place and it’s been fun.

People are posting and discussing things that are Capital-I Important to them. This brings out new levels of enthusiasm. It also brings out rebuttals and countering viewpoints. These are all good things.

So far threads have been, while sometimes heated, relatively polite and productive. On the few occasions someone went a bit too far, there have been apologies and the conversations continued. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Feels right to me.

I’ve even unfollowed someone for the first time. Not because I didn’t agree with him, but because I wasn’t interested in the topic he was so passionate about. Or at least I wasn’t interested discussing it within Again, it works.

My hope is that’s follower-count-hiding social-network-atop-personal-blogs model is the secret sauce keeping things interesting but civil. It remains to be seen if this is sustainable with growth over time. Contention can lead to antagonistic hostility if left unchecked or in the wrong hands. is my favorite place online right now and I would love to see it thrive in its own way. I’m optimistic.

My Org-mode TODO keywords are all the same length

It pleases me that all my tasks line up nicely in org-mode. I used to use keywords like “TODO”, “WAITING”, “CANCELED” etc. but that made for a jaggy, harder-to-scan list. Now I use “TODO”, “WAIT”, “CANC”, “NEXT”, and “DONE”. Aah, much prettier.