More Maps

Generally clickbait (those links that say things like “2 dogs sat on a bench: You won’t believe what happened next!” or “Suzy was only 12—But this is how she amazed her parents!”) doesn’t interest me too much, although I have to admit there are some people who are damned good at it. But occasionally it actually engages me on a level I  am genuinely interested in. Like maps.

And this week post a link to 25 maps that explain English that really intrigued me so I soon found myself clicking away like catfish striking at a morsel of PB & J… (Actually I have no idea if catfish like PB & J, but in my imagination I think they would. They seem like that kind of fish.)


This was one of my favourite maps. Now I know where to be less freaked out about travelling to as I hate the idea of being one of those people that speaks English ‘louder’ to try and make myself understood. And, while I try, I suck at languages; just ask C about my ‘Italian’ accent. It might play into L’s hands though as she really, really wants to go to Sweden.

I also learned that a lot of the East coast of Britain used to be swamp, enough so that York and Cambridge looked to be almost coastal cities. I will have to look into it more as I find that concept utterly fascinating.



But I encourage you to visit the site and see all the cool maps and graphics that range from where the English language came from to where the major regional dialects are in the U.S. It’s really cool…

Books are Heavy

Well Leslie finally bullied me into buying shelves. I think it was sort of a quid pro quo. So the pile of books that have lived in our kitchen is now gone. There is an entire wall we have never seen before 🙂

A busy trip to Ikea, hundreds of hard-earned dollars and several knee wrecking hours later we had a bunch of shelves set up in the basement. We went for the deep Kallax units and angled them perpendicular to the wall so we could use both sides. 2 4 x 4 units with a 1 x 4 unit on top as well as two lower 2 x 2 units to act as a table and some spare shelves. You would have seen the Instagram image from a couple of days ago. I will likely have to make one more trip to Ikea for another unit or two but they are all down stairs now. Oh, my aching thighs…




And wow, is Leslie ever happy to see some old friends.

More book spaces in our condo:


Sci-fi still in boxes


Bedroom books: the new stuff.


Books Bruce has worked on


Books Leslie has worked on and her current professional books


Twitter Digest

Missing Races

Back in 1997 or 98, I wandered over to Bill Hole’s house to watch qualifying with him between the staff orientation sessions. Qualifying for those of you who haven’t met me mean F1 qualifying. I had previously been mildly interested in F1 during the McLaren Honda years, although it more of a keeping-track-to chat-around-coffee type of thing.

And then, for one reason or another, being it sucking up to the boss, a genuine interest, or just to be ‘different’ from all my hockey-following friends I started to watch the F1 races.


For the first couple of seasons it was tough as I had an old VCR and generally resorted to getting up in the middle of the night to watch the European races. Eventually I got a PVR on my computer and it became a lot easier to record and watch qualifying and races. Since then I have watched religiously and the only time I have missed more than one race in a row was when we spent three weeks in Europe. While not a passion it was most definitely a hobby. As far as I know, Bill gave up watching the races years ago but I soldiered on.

And now I’ve missed the first two races of the 2015-16 season. Huh. Change is weird.

WordPress nonsense: Solved?

I have been having trouble using the WordPress app with my site. It  gives me an error (NSXMLParserErrorDomain Error 111) and then locks me out of the site. So I have been unable to post using the WordPress app at all. After much Googling and a few go-rounds with my hosting provider, I had a solution that involved disabling ModSecurity but even that failed to be a long term fix. I mean, who wants to disable anything that has Security in it?

So for the 10 millionth time I stretched out pleading arms to Google and voila! This Topic turned up on the site. Using all the right words the OP asks the right questions an get the right answers.

I’m having some troubles with the XMLRPC requestes that the iOS app generates. I manage a WordPress 4.1.1 set as a Network install.

My hosting company has the ModSecurity activated and, for that reason, it blocks every time the users that have the App:
Message: Access denied with code 403, [Rule: ‘user:bf_block’ ‘@gt 0’] [id “117”] [msg “IP address blocked for 5 minutes. More than 2 XMLRPC POST requests within 60 seconds.”] [severity “WARNING”] [MatchedString “1”]

My question is: is it possible to limit the amount of XMLRPC requests if someone only open the stats page (and not, for example, the Post or Comments page)?
Or, better, limit the XMLRPC requests only if the user opens the Post, Page or Comments pages?

Thank you in advance,


After browsing some other topics, I figure out that the issue comes from the latest App version that makes too many XML-RPC requests that are interpreted as a potential attack and blocked.

The block works at IP level and that’s the reason why if you use WiFi for example, you won’t be able to connect to your website anymore (you see 403 or 406 errors).

At the moment the only possible solutions are uninstalling the App or temporary disabling the ModSecurity, waiting for a solution for the App developers.


Hi Gabriele

More than 2 XMLRPC POST requests within 60 seconds.

That is a ridiculously low limit. Who is your hosting company?

You might also try the steps in this FAQ to rename your xmlrpc.php file and avoid triggering the block.

Right there, in the FAQ, that I couldn’t find in any of my previous attempts is the answer:

  1. My Host Blocks XML-RPC Access! How do I fix that?
    1. Rename your xmlrpc.php file to something different, but only change it after the ‘xmlrpc’. Ex: xmlrpc_wp.php.
    2. Install this plugin. (Rename XMLRPC By Jorge Bernal)
    3. Read the installation instructions and activate it.
    4. Remove your blog from the app and add it back again.

And now, for now, all is golden. I guess even in this age of the internet and instant info, the maxim of “Try, try again…” is still in force.

Because someone recently said

George once said to me and I quote

He said, “Never wait or hesitate
Get in kid before it’s too late
You may never get another chance”

“‘Cause youth’s a mask but it don’t last
Live it long and live it fast”
Georgie was a friend of mine

—The Killing of Georgie, Rod Stewart (1976)

I loved that song from the first moment I heard it. It was on my brother’s album “A Night on the Town,” which incidentally was my young adult self’s favourite ‘romantic’ album (it had a fast side and a slow side and featured Tonight’s the Night…).


The song as a whole is a lovely ballad about the narrator’s gay friend and his tragic end, but I’ve always loved the sentiment of the last verses…

A 70 year-old gentleman said something similar to me yesterday. His comment was a bit regret-filled…

Cutting, Horses

The hardest working horses in town! I’ve seen working horses all my life, but nothing but nothing is as a smart, graceful and powerful as a great cutting horse. Just watch his eyes, he can read a calf’s mind and move before the calf does. For those you don’t know, the rider’s job is to hold on… this is all horse.

Go to youtube and search for more and you will find tons of videos. And if you are like me you won’t be able to stop watching. I have long admired the cutting horse but am in no way ever tempted to actually get on one. One trip around the barrels on a professional barrel horse cured me of that in my 20s. You need to be a world class athlete just to stay on the damn things 🙂