All posts by Dan

Intrepid Traveller

My drive to work is 45 minutes, and the majority of it is on an interstate at 70 mph.  Yesterday afternoon I ran a short errand (nearly five miles round trip), and after work I drove about a quarter of a mile to a relative’s for a get together.  When I was driving back their driveway I heard what sounded like a cat meowing several times.  When I got there I checked the trunk – nothing.  I then looked under the hood and there stood this kitten.  I reached down and lifted him out.  He was fine – but he had sat there the whole way up to work in the morning, didn’t move all day (including when I ran the lunchtime errand), and stayed put until I pulled him out in the evening around 7 pm.  This picture of him was taken when we got back home yesterday evening.

Free SSL/TLS through Let’s Encrypt

I just set up my first SSL certificate from Lets Encrypt.  An easy way to create the certificate is via ZeroSSL.  Lets Encrypt certificates last only 90 days (this is for added security), but they also provide a way to AUTOMATICALLY renew the certificate before the 90 days is up.  After installing the certificate, go to the LetsEncrypt Getting Started page and follow the easy instructions on how to install their certbot on your server.  The certbot will automatically renew the certificate before the 90 days expires.  Also, if you use WHM and/or CPanel, getting a Let’s Encrypt Certificate through CPanel is about to become even more streamlined.

Let’s Encrypt is a great service for basic domain validation, but if you need extended domain validation, I highly recommend my registrar, NameCheap.  They have an extremely well-designed user interface so that managing certificates (or domain names) is very straightforward.  As their name implies, their domain names are very affordable, but I must say that their administration site and their service is far better than the word “cheap” implies – both really are outstanding.

Another Poem by my Nephew: Remembering Pearl Harbor

This one was written for an English quiz.  Quite good, I think, especially for having to produce within a small amount of time.  When he told me about it, I told him about one of his/our relatives, Vernon Swain, who was a Pearl Harbor survivor.

All was peaceful on that day
Before the planes flew in,
Not an hour later, we didn’t know
If we could begin again.
Friends, neighbors, comrades lost
To Japan’s destructive hand,
That night, on my knees, I mourned for those
Lost on sea and on land.
Now, fifty years later, I write these words,
Maybe they can read them on the wings of the birds.
Now, fifty years later, the anniversary
Of that day which shall live in infamy,
I pay tribute to those who lost their lives
So that today I might still survive.
And as we honor those lost, I still pray yet
That we should never repeat and never forget.

An Interesting Poem about Trigonometry by One of my Nephews

Today one of my nephews shared with me this poem that he wrote in his free time.  He recently had to write a poem for one of his classes, but he wasn’t even required to write this poem.  I told him that I would really like to teach him to like trigonometry because, apparently, he finds it more than a little troublesome!

I would like to explain my hatred degree,
Of that ruinous subject called trigonometry.
The epitome of sorrow, despair, and grief,
I may as well be a crumpled up old dry leaf
It is a darkness that covers my every waking day,
When all I want is to go out and play;
But no, that terror holds me in my room,
Writing down problems of impending doom.
Radians and degrees invade my mind,
It becomes a blur. O have I gone blind?
For I cannot tell between real and unknown.
O how can I tell between real and unknown?
My thoughts have been put in a blender and whirled,
I wish I were back in Walt Disney World!
But for now, I guess, I’ll wait on my knees,
While I ponder and cry over trigonometry.

National Pi Day Challenge to an 11-Year-Old

One of my 11-year-old daughter’s uncles challenged her to do a writeup for National Pi Day March 14, 2014.  After reading online about Pi, she sat down and wrote this for him:

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of the circle. The i told pi to “be rational” because pi is not a rational number. A rational number is any number that can be written as a wonderful fraction in which the numerator and denominator must be whole numbers. Another reason why pi is not rational is because it is an infinite number.  An infinite number cannot be written as a simple fraction. Therefore pi (3.14) is not rational.

Pi told the i to “get real” because i stands for an imaginary number.  When you square an imaginary number the result is a negative number. However, when you square a positive number you always get a positive (or zero) result. When you square i the result is -1.  Consequently, i equals the square root of -1. An imaginary number cannot be written as a rational or finite number. Therefore i is not real.

In the picture i told pi to be rational because pi is not rational .  Pi told i to get real because i stands for an imaginary number (not real).  Therefore you have the pot calling the kettle black.;)

Jamaican Crafts and Buildings

In March I traveled to Catadupa, Jamaica (St. James Parish) after flying into Montego Bay.  I traveled with several other men to a convention at the Church of God there.  It was a very nice time, and I met a lot of wonderful people.  There is so much talent in Jamaica including great singers, builders, and craftsmen.  One man who I bought some souvenirs from, Bobby Campbell, asked that I post his information and phone number online, so I told him I would include him in a blog post.  Below are the two items that I bought from him.  They are hummingbirds.  One of them is a Red-billed streamertail, Jamaica’s national bird.

Bobby Campbell:  876-544-5401

Red-billed Streamertail, Jamaica’s National Bird

Carved Jamaican Hummingbird

This is a church building that we traveled to see. The pastor drove us for about two hours to get there.  The building is made completely of concrete. The floors are tile, and the ceiling is hardwood. The pastor is a builder and so built it himself with help from a few other men. It was beautiful.

The Sanctuary

The ceiling