FYWP #257-262: wpautop and shortcodes/oEmbed do not play nice at all

It occurs to me that wpautop() is the register_globals of WordPress—a feature that was instrumental for its growth and popularity, but really needs to DIAF. They should rename the function wppeepee() because it finds a way to pee pee on your content at the most inopportune moments, causing unending headaches in your code.

For those of you who don’t know, wpautop can be seen as nl2br() on steriods, or (as I prefer to call it) a poor man’s Markdown. It’s been in WordPress for almost forever, and it’s hard to imagine writing a blog post without it, even if it’s a Really Bad Idea™.

Continue reading about the interaction of wpautop, shortcodes and oEmbed after the jump

Review of The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

I’ve bought this book a while ago, since before I knew that Ridley Scott was working on a TV series based on it. Since the pilot was released on Amazon, Marie borrowed and read it before she started to see spoilers on her social network. Since she read it, we watched the pilot. Since I watched the pilot, I started reading the book in the evening. Since I started reading the book (and it is sci fi/fantasy), I finished it sometime in the middle of the night.

This is why I don’t read science fiction anymore.

Most movies (and I’ll assume this TV show) based on Phillip K Dick are usually loosely based on his books and short stories, where the core ideas (or, more likely, one or two of them) are kept and most of the storyline is not. From the pilot it is clear that this will follow that trend.

I mention this because I find it interesting that when this is done to nearly anyone else’s work readers are angry that either it doesn’t hold true to the original (in the case of contemporary writers), or they clearly list it as an adaptation (in the case of classic writers such as Shakespeare). The only common exception I can think are movies based on comic books—but the source material itself is inconsistent and full of reboots and retellings.

My only real criticism of the book is the use of the I Ching which I found frustrating and boring. After all, you are talking about someone who used to publish “horrorscopes” in college — horoscopes with unfortunate fortunes. This scientist has never taken kindly to that sort of mysticism.

Continue reading some spoilers after the jump


The new version of Ulysses is out for Mac and iPad. (The Mac version is a free upgrade from Ulysses III; the iPad app is new).

Screenshot showing Ulysses for Mac with a three-paned window  editing notes from _Practice Perfect_.
A screenshot of the updated Ulysses for Mac. The theme is “Tomorrow” and the font is Inconsolata.

It’s really hard to explain what this app is. In fact, I’ve been purchasing (and not using) this application for years before I realized that it strikes the right balance for a certain set of work.

Continue reading about Ulysses after the jump


Photo from July 18th, 2009.

Close up of two wasps around a bone or piece of stick
Not Bees
China Camp State Park, Marin, California

Nikon D3, Lensbaby Composer, Tokina .45x macro
1/160 sec @ f/6.3, iso640, 50mm

This was the day of the 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk. On the way back to the car, I noticed these yellowjackets congregating around something. This became an excuse to pull out a closeup adapter and attempt some macro photography. I had to get pretty close though which caused my girlfriend some consternation.

The photo and processing was done a long time ago so I can’t comment on it very much. It looks like I had a predilection for overly saturated colors back then. 😉


Photo from March 14, 2015

Concord, California

Sony DSC-RX1
1/100sec @ f/5.6 iso 100, 35mm

I just was feeling the giant row of carts receding all the way into their garden center.

When Marie was shopping, another shopper was indignant, “I can’t get at [a free sample] because your cart is in the way.” I think if you can’t deal with giant-assed shopping carts, you might want to shop somewhere else.

Shopping at Costco in the ‘burbs is always a study in small contrasts:

  • There they are using new shopping carts that are cut lower in the front and are much quieter than the old metal ones in the City.
  • I also noticed that a shopper had left a half-eaten resealed bag of beef jerky in the book and DVD aisle. You’d think with all the free samples, they could have not been so cheap. Especially since I noticed that there are far more free samples here than in the city.
  • I found a term used by the Costco employees who gather the carts: “leave behind.” As in, “Dude, there’s a whole pizza leave behind back there.”

Terry’s Backstreet Photography

Photos from January 24, 2015.

A weekend away from it all was also an opportunity to try to shoot again with my Leica. I haven’t been doing any photography for a long time, especially with this camera — just having it with me was a minor success, even if I left it in the bag almost the entire time.

Finally, while we were eating a quiet lunch in St. Helena, I got the courage to take the M8 out and to start shooting. It’s frustrating to realize that you have to relearn how to focus and expose manually — even more embarrassing is forgetting to take off the lens cap before pressing the shutter button! But then you remember that photography is about learning how to see, and there is a small joy in experiencing that again as a beginner.

Marie, waiting for food
Marie, waiting for food
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, St. Helena, Napa Valley, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
1/125sec, iso 160, 35mm (47mm)

Continue reading about some photos I took with my Leica M8 and iPhone 6 after the jump

Holiday on the beach

Photos from February 15, 2015.

I turn the ever-boring “Stretch-X” workouts in P90X on the rest days into excuses to go running. On some days, the time and place fall in line with a holiday, in this case President’s Day weekend on a beautiful late-afternoon in San Francisco.

Holiday on the Beach
Holiday on the Beach
China Beach, San Francisco, California

iPhone 6
@ ƒ2.2, ISO32, 4.15mm (29mm)

How lucky I am to live in such a place that I see this on my weekly run!
Continue reading about this photo after the jump