Testing from new web host

Will this show up on my homepage and can I navigate to the individual post’s page?


Back From the Grave…

I just spent the better part of the last week bringing Erik’s… Hmm.. back from the grave. However, I’m not sure how long this blog had been dead. The last post was about where to eat BBQ in Texas, from the summer of 2017. Some time after that my web host was hacked and prior to that the site had been overridden with spam comments. My web host alerted me to the hack and with personal disgust I just deleted the WP instance without understanding how it occured.

Back to the digital resurrection… It was a multi-step process. First I had to install a new WordPress instance and choose a new theme. Then I had to go find my content. The content revival was a lot harder then getting WordPress installed because I didn’t have a good backup.

Eventually, I got my WP posts loaded, but I was missing some of my more interesting, and earlier posts, from when I used Movable Type. Those posts represented my first 3+ years blogging and had some extremely memorable content. I eventually found an old backup with that content and was able to get it loaded into the MySql db used by my WP instance. Victory!

The victory of getting all my content back on-line was sweet, but that wasn’t the end of the story. I’ve now spent the better part of the week reviewing every post and every comment. Wanting to ensure the hackers hadn’t left behind any land mines you might stumble upon. That process, while lengthy and monotonous, was highly enjoyable. I re-experienced new friendships forged online, as well as relived fun memories I’d blogged about (I’ll write a follow-up with some of my favorite old posts).

This screenshot I grabbed from my WP Dashboard says it all…

Erik's... Hmm... Blog Stats
Erik’s… Hmm… Blog Stats

Lots of good stuff in this blog over the last 17 years and I’m happy to have gotten it back online. Enjoy websurfers. All 2-3 of you wasting time here. Maybe I’ll convince my kids to go back and read some of the nice/funny stuff I had to say about them (first birthdays, diapers, little league sports, etc.).


Where to eat BBQ in Texas

I love BBQ and so do most Texans. That’s why Texas Monthly publishes an annual list of the Top 50 BBQ joints in Texas. I always jump to read the article and see who made the list, which restaurants I’ve been too, and start thinking about how I can TRY ALL OF THEM!

I keep the Texas Monthly article bookmarked and try to remember to call it up while I’m traveling. One issue I have with our great big STATE is struggling to know every city (how the article lists the BBQ joints) and where they are in relation to other cities. My solution to this problem was to create a Google Map that lays them all out for me. Added benefit was playing with a new Google Maps feature I hadn’t used, building custom maps.

Feel free to use the map to plan your attack at conquering all 50. And don’t hesitate to leave a comment below on where I should be going for BBQ that is or isn’t covered on the list!


My boys are now programmers… Proud Dad

With summer coming (and now here) I wanted something to keep the boy’s brains working. Knowing it will take a lot to keep them from video games, the pool, and general tomfoolery I wanted to get them each a programming book that would engross them and keep them going well into the summer.

With Noah (having just finished 5th grade and a huge fan of Minecraft) the decision was easy. My favorite technical book publisher, the Pragmatic Bookshelf, had recently put out a book that teaches Java programming with a focus on Minecraft. I bought him, “Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java“. I knew he would love it and figured I’d enjoy reading it too. 😉

Deciding what to buy Zach was a tougher decision. Zach just finished 3rd grade and is much different than Noah. He’s not really into video games. He’s an unique / strange / awesome combination of bookworm and athlete. He absolutely loves reading *and* sports. Considering how much he likes reading, I wanted to get him something that would really be fun to read, and didn’t have to be read in front of a computer.

I decided on something from my second favorite tech book publisher, the people behind the Head First series. Their books do an amazing job of teaching all kinds of highly technical subjects (e.g., Java, C#, Physics, etc.). I got Zach a new edition of a book I read probably 10 years ago, Head First HTML and CSS.

So now having had their books for a couple days, Zach keeps showing me “websites” he’s built and Noah is becoming a cmd-line guru *and* learning Java. I’m proud of these boys and can’t wait to see what they’ve done by the end of the summer.

Noah and Zach showing off their new programming books
Noah and Zach showing off their new programming books
Noah the Java guy
Noah is busy at work learning Java and having fun!

Test Driving zsh

I have finally decided to give zsh a thorough review. I’ve been hearing about it for a couple years in and around tech user group meetings, technical conferences and from people I follow on Twitter. I guess the proverbial “straw that…” got me to take a hard look was when I moved from Cygwin to Babun (which you should do right now). This was how I expressed my opinion of Babun on Twitter. I obviously am liking it. 😉

Anyhow, this is a post about Zsh, and I have some questions I’m hoping the Zsh users out there can help clear up.

  1. I’m assuming everyone is using Oh-My-Zsh?
  2. While using Oh-My-Zsh, because I’m also using it while test-driving zsh, where do I make edits to shell defaults? I would assume I can just make edits to .zshrc? I’d like to add stuff like (set -o vi, alias vi=vim, etc.). Nothing to advanced, just some minor edits I need before I can even get comfortable with the shell.
  3. Since I just mentioned an alias, where is the idiomatic place to add my personal aliases? I saw a handful added in the .zshrc as examples, I normally source a personal alias file from my .bashrc, is that common with zsh?
  4. Most of my questions come from when I change/customize something in .oh-my-zsh/ over the zsh config files? I’m struggling with when I add to a oh-my-zsh theme over creating my own, or just making the changes in .zshrc

Thanks in advance for any help…


Zach dared me to do this

My third grader (one week away from a 4th grader), Zach, has been talking about building a website. He was asking what he should call it, and various other questions. I told him to call it “Zach’s Website”. He said that doesn’t sound cool… I was like, *hello*, your dad’s site is called, Erik’s Hmm…, and I think that it’s a cool name. 😉

Anyhow, that led to him wanting to see Erik’s Hmm… and then he asked how long it’s been since I updated it. That led to the shame of me showing him Dec, 2013. He wanted to know why so long. That led to questions and me being busy, etc., etc. And finally him wanting me to show him how to update it. Hence this post…

More to come as I talk about the two beginner programming books I got the boys (Noah finishing 5th grade and Zach finishing 3rd).


Which version of Groovy am I using with this Grails version?

Two nights ago [Jack Frosch]( gave a great summary of the new features in Grails 2.3 at the [DFW Groovy – Grails User Group]( At the end of the meeting somebody asked him what version of [Groovy]( shipped with [Grails]( 2.3. I could tell by the look on his face he wasn’t sure, so I came to the rescue.

Considering nobody else in the room could answer the question, I figured I would blog my answer. For starters, you have two easy options to get the version of Groovy used in your Grails distribution.

You can simply look at the Grails installation on your workstation. One of the benefits of Grails is that it ships with everything you need to build your webapp, including Groovy. Just drill down into the lib dir and look at the jar file.

Fri Dec 06 13:43 eweibust@RSNPLALT538 ~/dev/hello
$ ls $GRAILS_HOME/lib/org.codehaus.groovy/groovy-all/jars
groovy-all-2.1.6.jar groovy-all-2.1.6-sources.jar

You can also get the version programatically with the following call:
println “groovy version: ” + GroovySystem.getVersion()
Which prints:
groovy version: 2.1.6
Hey, Google, you should go ahead and crawl this one. Should be useful to others. 😉


Reading Machine…

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been reading a lot more books then I normally do. I normally read technical blog posts, articles, whitepapers and too much garbage from twitter. Occasionally, taking the time to read a tech book from cover-to-cover.

Anyhow, not only am I reading more, but I’ve also got stuck in the middle of multiple books at one time. The brain isn’t multi-threaded, and juggling these books all at once is a challenge but I’m having fun with it. Reading some in the morning before work (the Bible), audio book on the way to/from work (Defending the Free Market). And the others in the evenings.

Here is the list:

And just for grins, for those keeping score. Here are the books I’ve just recently finished:

  • The Racketeer – 1/8/13 – I read all of Grisham’s books. Each one makes me wish I was a lawyer.
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot – 1/6/13 – Great book. Learned a ton about Kennedy. He made Bill Clinton look like a saint. Repeatedly cheated on his wife. Got a lot of people killed over his bad decisions in the Bay of Pigs,  Cuba. Solid job getting us through the Cuban Missile Crisis… Lots of enemies.

Testing Twitter Integration

Sorry for some good, old production testing… Trying to get my blog to tweet when I write a new blog post. I’ll further try my Selective Twitter hack for pushing a tweet into Facebook as a Status Update.


Not making New Year’s Resolutions, but…

I am going to set some goals for the year. 🙂

The first thing I plan to do is cut another 10 pounds this year. Last year, with a very weak effort of eating/living the Paleo Diet I went from 210 down to 200 lbs. I figure with a bit more dedication I should be able to get down to 190 by end-of-year. If I don’t look better come December, please take some shots at me for being a bit pudgy.

Next up on the list is the generic, “Exercise more,” goal. I started working on this one on 12/30. I’m being a bit more serious on this one, getting a 2-day head-start. 😉 Anyhow, I’ve logged 5 workouts over an 8 day period. Some a bit easier than others, but this is a plan for the year, not an overnight crash-course in health.

The third personal goal is running  a 10 K. Back in high school I ran the mile and 2-mile, among the other sports I did. I have run on and off since high school. And have run a few 10 milers, so a 10K isn’t a distance record for me. It’s a distance record since I was introduced to beer and rare steaks, and I’ve had a lot of both since I used to run a lot.

I began my training today by hauling-off and running a 5K around our neighborhood. I haven’t run a 5K in a few years. The longest distance I’ve jogged the last couple of years has been 2 miles. Anyhow, I took it really easy today and finished in 37 minutes (here is the proof).

Please feel free to keep me honest. Ask me if I’ve been exercising (I plan to do it before work a few days a week and once on the weekend). Ask how I’m progressing on the 10K. Ask if I’ve signed up for one (anyone interested?). And lastly, be nice about it, but ask if I’ve lost any weight. 😉