Adventures in Urban Beekeeping

I keep mason bees.

Today was another nice spring day, and the forecast was for continuing warm
temperatures through the week (highs between 15 and 17), so it’s the perfect
time to put out mason bee cocoons.

The cocoons on the left are from last season. My mason bees laid about a dozen
eggs, which hatched into pupae, which formed cocoons. The cocoons in the box on
the right are from West Coast Seeds
— yes, you can buy bees at a gardening store!

The bees will hatch over the next few days, and hopefully one or two will come
back to lay eggs in the nesting tubes in the little house. More about the bee
house next time!

Bad Baby Names are back!

I figured out If This Then That and set it up to email me
the Vital Statistics page from the Hawaiian Tribune-Herald
every time it gets published to the web. This means that I get a fresh new list
of baby names every week, and you get a fresh new Bad Baby Names post every
week! We’re all winners! Except for the babies with bad names, of course.

To tell you the truth, I’m a little underwhelmed with the first week back. There
weren’t any truly horrific names. Nary a y out of place to be found.

Raiden is a bad name though. Good if you’re into WWII Japanese fighter aircraft,
but given Hawaii’s history with Japanese aircraft…

What? Too soon?

Giving a boy the name ‘Legend’ is a bit much. Awfully big shoes to fill there
for little Legend.

The worst baby name of the week is Jaxxon-Taylor. It’s not cringe-inducing like
most winners here. It’s all incredibly anti-climactic. Thanks a lot, Hawaii
County parents. Sheesh.

canspice.org moves to octopress

I’ve decided to move my blog away from WordPress and to
Octopress.

Why?

Simple. I don’t blog as much any more, and I don’t have time for blogging much
any more. Part of being a responsible website operator is making sure your
website hasn’t been hacked to serve out bad things. WordPress, being a
dynamically-generated site, can be hacked (see
here,
here,
and
here
for a small taste of how easy it is). If you run a WordPress site, you have to
keep everything up-to-date, and doing that takes time.

Octopress, on the other hand, only makes static HTML available. You write your
blog posts in static files, then run a Ruby
script to convert them into HTML and copy them into your publicly-accessible
directory. There’s nothing to hack, because they’re all static files that
aren’t writable by anybody but me.

So unless someone hacks my password on my webserver, I don’t have to worry
about my blog being used for malicious purposes.

Of course moving to a new blogging platform means I have to either abandon all
of my old posts or migrate them over here. There are migration steps available, but
it doesn’t look like they generate new posts in a particularly nice fashion, so
I’ll move them over one-by-one. Obviously this will take some time (there are
710 posts going back to 2004) but it’ll get done.

Tweets not posting on Facebook? Here’s the fix.

Sometime after 8:31pm PST on 7 February, tweets from my Twitter account stopped automatically posting to
Facebook. Nothing seemed to have changed, so trying to fix the problem was
troublesome. I finally figured it out, so here are step-by-step instructions on
getting your tweets back onto Facebook:

  1. Go to the Twitter app page on Facebook. If you have previously allowed Twitter to paste to your Wall, you’ll see a checkbox next to “Facebook Profile”. Uncheck it. If the little spinny circle doesn’t go away, refresh the page and ensure it’s unchecked.
  2. Send a tweet.
  3. Check the “Facebook Profile” box. Again, if necessary, refresh the page to ensure the box is checked.
  4. Send another tweet. This tweet (but not the previous one) should show up on Facebook.

Update for 15 February: It would appear that things have gone south again
and these instructions no longer work. I’ll try to figure out another solution.

Update for 16 February: It would appear that things have got back to their
“normal” state of breaking and working again, so these instructions should
work! Isn’t Facebook fun?

Inaugural 2008 Bad Baby Names

January’s almost over, and the first Bad Baby Name post of 2008 is only coming now? What gives? Blame the Trib! I haven’t seen any baby names printed until today. Luckily for us, they seemed to have saved up all the really bad names, because we’ve got a bumper crop. To the Bad Baby Name-mobile!

We’ll start off slow with the horrible misspellings: Jaxson and Reigan. Jaxson is actually a middle name so it’s not quite as bad, but Reigan is pretty horrible. I don’t know if it’s pronounced REE-gan or RAY-gan. At least it’s not spelled Reygan, that would suck. Or Reygyn. Or Ryygyn.

I can’t believe I haven’t come across this name before, as it’s one of those “internet phenomenon” things, or one of those “hey I’m fucking out of my mind” things, or “jesus what the christ is wrong with me” things that have become all the rage lately. That’s right, it’s Nevaeh. Here’s the type of failure Nevaeh is setting herself up for:

The name recently gained exposure on the reality TV show Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, when contestant Heather strongly insisted on being referred to as Nevaeh, a name she had recently adopted to further her singing career. The other participants refused to indulge her in this, calling it ridiculous, and she was expelled in the second episode.

FAIL.

I know the meme of naming your kid after where he was conceived is a popular one, but Shoreline?

And how does that song go? Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys? If Willie Nelson had a pair the second line would have been “Don’t name them Stetson you retard.”

We’ll finish off this week with the unholy trynyty: Shandynce, Jaytin, and Vanysa. Vanysa really grates on the brain, I think you all will agree.

Bad Baby Name(s) of the Week: Dicetin and Alextacy

Every Monday the Hawaii Tribune-Herald
publishes a list of babies that were born in Hawaii County over the previous
week. Given that parents these days seem to have some sort of disease that
turns the name-choosing part of their brain to mush, the list is usually a
source of unintentional entertainment.

Yesterday’s paper was no exception, yielding two choice names. Yes, there were
two horribly bad names that there wasn’t a clear winner.

The first: Dicetin.

I swear that this is true. Dicetin. That’s not a name, it’s what
D&D players carry their
d20s
around in. It’s not even a bastardization of a name, like another entry in the
list, Madisyn (which isn’t the second Bad Baby Name of the Week, amazingly).
What’s next, someone’s going to name their kid Toaster? Or Toastyr? Christ.

The second Bad Baby Name of the Week: Alextacy.

I can’t remember if this was a boy’s name or a girl’s name. In either case it
shouldn’t have been a name at all because it’s just imbecilic I’m going to bet
that the parents’ names are Alex and Extacy and they thought it would be cute
to merge their names together to get the name of their precious baby. Well
guess what clueheads, it’s not cute, it’s idiotic.

I suppose that Alice and I are going to have to name our kids Bralice (or maybe
Bralyce) and Alad. And right after that you all can line up to smack both of us
in the face.