• How to find RV Parks

    For RVers looking to research RV Parks or Campsites to visit, there is a new website that is great for that at FindRVParks.com. I use it’s RV specific Google maps feature a lot to narrow down the RV Parks I research to those in the general area I want to visit. 

    Then I use the filter feature to filter out sites I don’t want by filtering on rating, has 50amp service, has wifi, has sewer, allows pets, etc. There are a bunch of different filters you can apply.

    After I have narrowed down the sites I want to research, I just click on them on the map and it brings up an info page with contact info, Website and amenities, as well as tab links to reviews, photos, videos and weather report for that RV Park or Campground. Along with these pages is a close up overhead satellite view you can access by clicking on ‘Locate on Map’. I use that to see if there are any good places or trails to walk our dogs in the area.

    These features give me all the info I need to make a good decision on which park to stay at. I highly recommend FindRVParks.com.

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  • Four Diet Rules

    Four Diet Rules:
    1. Plants
    2. Eat
    3. Discipline
    4. Patience

    Plants: Emphasize plants in your diet.

    Eat: Don’t miss any meals, even eat more meals per day if possible. Eat a balance of nutrients, but don’t over-emphasize this.

    Discipline: measurement, diligence, incremental changes - do I really need to explain this? It will become a habit, and no longer require discipline.

    Patience: This is not a quick fix, it is a way of life.

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  • Why I switched from Google Search to DuckDuckGo

    The main reason I switched from Google Search to DuckDuckGo is because of their  !bang syntax. I use the Chrome browser, and with DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, I can bring up searches on ANY website that has search capability directly from the omnibox. Just add a bang syntax after the search term and DuckDuckGo will forward my search to that website. Here are a few that I use regularly:

    • !g                  Google Search
    • !b                  Bing Search
    • !w                 Wikipedia Search
    • !d                  Dictionary Search
    • !t                  Thesaurus Search
    • !clseattle       CraigsList Seattle Search
    • !a                  Amazon Search
    • !eb                eBay Search
    • !mc                MetaCritic Search
    • !i                   Google Images Search
    • !gweek          Google Search this week
    • !gs                Google Shopping Search
    • !gh                Github Search
    • !so                Stack Overflow Search
    • !scala            Scala Language Search

    This list goes on and on and on and on…

    And you can add your own custom bang syntax for the rare search that is not already supported. Or if you want to add custom search options.

    Plus, unlike Google and others, DuckDuckGo doesn’t do any tracking. As you can see from my personal list above, I still use Google Search a lot. But now I have plenty of options - directly from the omnibox.

    PS The omnibox is near the top of the Chrome browser where the webpage URL is displayed. Just below the tabs.

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  • Javascript solution for the Github tree slider

    Want to know how neonguru.net does the dynamic page transitions? Here’s a post I put on stackoverflow answering how they do it on Github:

    I looked through their source code and they are NOT using CSS3 or a plugin. It uses jquery animate. And the code snippets they give on the Github blog are a good start, but the popstate handler is misleading. Try this instead:

        $(window).bind('popstate', function (e) {
            if (e.originalEvent.state && e.originalEvent.state.path) {
                $.get(e.originalEvent.state.path, function(data) {
                    $('#slider').slideTo(data);      
                });
                return false;
            }
            return true;
        }
     

    The actual sliding uses more tricks:

    1. set #slider overflow: hidden
    2. get the width of the section to animate.
    3. create a transfer div twice this width (transfer).
    4. copy the contents of the original div to a temp div (current).
    5. put the new contents in another temp div (next).
    6. put current and next side by side into transfer.
    7. remove content from original div and put new transfer div in (should look the same).
    8. animate transfer div - new look complete.
    9. replace original div contents with new data (looks the same as previous step).

    Here’s slide left:

        $.fn.slideTo = function(data) {
            var width = parseInt($('#slider').css('width'));
            var transfer = $('<div class="transfer"></div>').css({ 'width': (2 * width) + 'px' });
            var current = $('<div class="current"></div>').css({ 'width': width + 'px', 'left': '0', 'float': 'left' }).html($('#slider').html());
            var next = $('<div class="next"></div>').css({ 'width': width + 'px', 'left': width + 'px', 'float': 'left' }).html(data);
            transfer.append(current).append(next);
            $('#slider').html('').append(transfer);
            transfer.animate({ 'margin-left': '-' + width + 'px' }, 300, function () {
                $('#slider').html(data);
            });
        }

    And here’s a working example: Slider example. Click on the menu with a browser that supports history. I started to use CSS3, but detecting when the transition/transform is complete is easier with the jquery animate callback.

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  • Switching from Outlook 2007 to Thunderbird 8 and Lightning

    I’ve been having problems with Outlook 2007 locking up lately. And it wouldn’t connect to my work exchange server for some reason, even though my phone had no problems doing so. And it’s not as friendly about syncing with other apps through caldav and such.
     
    So I decided to give the latest Mozilla Thunderbird with Lightning a chance. Turns out it works great and handles all my email accounts just fine. It can even 2-way sync with my google calendar and Remember the Milk Tasks. And if you add the Google contacts extension, you can do stuff like auto tag groups in your gmail address book and easily filter for them.
     
    The only hiccup I had was accessing my work exchange account. There is an exchange plugin but it didn’t work. so I installed the DavMail gateway and it works fine.
     
    So if you’re looking to upgrade your existing email client, try out Thunderbird. It’s particularly useful if you want to see different accounts in one app. Then add the lightning plug-in to get great calendar support as well.
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