I Have Kidney Disease

I have Kidney Disease. My kidney function is only at 17%. That’s total function, not just the function of one of my kidneys. This means that my kidneys are 83% broken. I don’t have any symptoms just yet and we’re hoping I never will. The only way I’ll never have symptoms is if I get a new kidney before I need dialysis. Pretty weird to say but I’m now on a transplant list. The next time you’re at the DMV do me a favor and check that organ donor box!

How I Stole From a Monastery

Ettal Monastery So, I have a confession to make.

Randy Aldrich is a thief.

I stole from a Monastery back in 1998.  Not much, but it happened.  We stopped at Ettal on our way to Neuschwanstein & I took a little booklet that described the abbey and the monastery.  At the time I thought they were free.  I didn’t know that they weren’t until we got back on the bus and someone else asked me:

You bought one of those!?

To which I responded “bought?”

Anyway… turns out they were 5 Marks (at the time Germany had not yet adopted the Euro).  Herr Stoker told me just to drop a 5 in the donation bin at the next church we went to and I’d be square with the big guy in the sky.  Seemed like a good enough Karma move to me, so that’s what I did.

The picture to the left is a scan of the cover of that book, which I still have and will probably keep forever just as a reminder.  However; even to this day, I don’t believe I’ve ever read it… *sigh*.

That being said, the Monastery is beautiful so if you’re in the area, I highly suggest it.

Decoding Nested gz base64 code

Whenever I first install any theme, I make my own modifications.  Sometimes  it’s removing extraneous code that I won’t be using, or changing the size of certain sections, or adding in some calls that I do need.  Whenever I do this I always modify the footer to say ‘Modified by Randy Aldrich.’

Recently After modifying the theme to my liking I went to add my own footer only to find the Author had used gz compression and base64 encoding on the footer.  All I found was the following code:


This was obviously an attempt to protect the author’s copyright on the theme.  However; as I heavily modified the original results, I felt the need to protect my own and so I found a solution to decode the footer.

If you run into this same problem, just place the eval code you found into a file called coded.txt.  Then all you need to do is run this decrypt.php PHP script from the same directory and decoded.txt will be created in the same directory and will contain the decoded code.

NOTE: This solution is not mine, it was found on the web at Taree Internet

Social Network Update Overload

Social Network GraphDifferent Audiences see you in different places. I use lots of different services and for different reasons. For the purpose of this post I’ll use only Twitter Facebook and my blog. The number of people that see my ‘tweets’ on Twitter is significantly less than the number of people who see my blog posts. The number of people who see my blog posts directly is significantly less than those who see my Facebook updates. For this reason I have created synchronization points.

Facebook automatically imports my blog posts whenever there’s a new one. At the same time I use TwitterSync to synchronize my twitter updates with my Facebook status. The number of people my posts reach is far greater on Facebook than it is on my blog alone. Many of my friends on Facebook are not tech savvy and therefor are not into feed reading yet. In fact many of them rely on sites like Facebook to get them updates.

You probably think (like the Technology Evangelist) that this means that the people that subscribe to all these services are suffering from Randy Aldrich information overload. If you’re subscribed to each of the 3 different services without any modifications you’re probably right.

I suffered from the same problem. Some of my friends have many services and end up duplicating their content in more than one just like I do. Unfortunately sites like Facebook do not allow you to ‘ignore imported posts’ from certain users. Until that ability exists in the services which you use I suggest making use of Yahoo Pipes.

What I did was create a Pipe that imports my Facebook notes as well as several friend’s blogs. I then use the unique operator to weed out the duplicated posts and that’s it. It is really that simple. Simply combine all the feeds you need to filter through, and utilize the unique operator to filter out the duplicates.