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Online Training Courses from

I just started taking some courses from (for about 4 months now) and I'm really enjoying them. They have some really great instructors and some really good courses. I've been using Adobe Photoshop more seriously for a couple of years now and recently bought CS4. Deke McClelland of is my absolute favorite teacher of all time. He has a great sense of humor and an un-matched working knowledge of the software. He is the ultimate mask-master.

Slickmap CSS

I found this in my RSS reader courtesy of Paul Boag. Slickmap is a template for making a simple flowchart out of unordered lists. It comes with a set of images necessary to make the connections between the flowchart and some other minor effects, a CSS starter file and a starter html file. They have a demo showing what it looks like linked from that page also (

Mac Mini unboxing

Ok so its not a new product or anything but it is new to me. I got the straight up standard Mac Mini with the slower chip and smaller hard drive. I upgraded the Ram to 4GB though. Here are some pictures I took on the evening when I opened it up. The Mini DVI to VGA adapter I acquired from a friend didn't actually work so I had to pick one up at Best Buy the following day before I could actually get it to work. The one pin is bigger and has smaller pins above and below while the female end on the adapter has a smaller pin and no place for the other pins.

Jigsaw a very bad idea

I got an e-mail today that said it got my information from Jigsaw. I followed up by googling them. I tried the “find out if my information is in Jigsaw” link but stopped short of clicking the link in my e-mail. This service claims to not be spam. I disagree. IMO this is spam and it should be stopped. This article at TechCrunch was quite informative.

Microsoft's underhanded add-on for Firefox

I thought about titling this post “Microsoft's most despicable act to date”. I listened to Security Now number 199 the other day where Steve Gibson from described a windows update that installs an add-on for Firefox that allows websites to run code on your computer. This is truly dispicable. Leo Laporte called it “unconscionable”.
How to remove the add-on
Show Notes from Security Now 199

Twitter changes @reply behavior

This always bothered me so I'm sort of glad they changed it. Now instead of seeing messages from people I follow to people who I don'nt follow, they will be hidden. If I follow both people, I'll see the communication. The downside of course is that I may miss some threads. Occasionally I would follow up on these one-sided conversations by clicking on the name of the person being replied to in order to see what I had missed.

Maryland Christmas Bird Count Circles in Google Earth

I created a Google Earth / Google Maps file of all the Christmas Bird Count Circles in Maryland (those whose centers occur in the state). I hosted the file on my website

I downloaded all the circle centroids from The National Audubon Society and imported them into ESRI's ArcMap software to create a shapefile. Then I created a second shapefile that was a buffer of those points with a buffer distance of 7.5 miles. Then I exported the second shapefile into KML using KMLER.

Looking for an SMS to e-mail gateway

I'm getting a little frustrated. I'm trying to figure out a way to send SMS from my phone to a service that will forward my message to my gmail address. Then I would theoretically set up a filter in gmail to forward the message to a LISTSERV.

New Species Groups Block on my Photography Website

I had been trying to figure out the simplest and easiest way to start categorizing birds into taxonomic groups (families or other natural groupings) instead of the chronological photo albums that I have been creating all along.


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