delusions of grandeur browsing by category


How to Update HootSuite Icons/Thumbnails/Avatars

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

It’s been bugging me that my HootSuite profile icons have been old or, worse, blank. Finally figured out how to update them… courtesy of the HootSuite help desk:

To update the icons for your social networks, you should click on your Profile icon in the top left corner of your dashboard. From there, simply click on the ‘gear’ icon next to the social network you want to update, then select “Sync avatar.”

How to Restore Items (Including Calendar Entries) Deleted by Outlook Auto-Archive

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I spent 20 minutes trying to figure this out today. Nothing online is very complete.

Outlook 2007 (other versions act similarly), by default when you install it, auto-archives your email every 14 days. This includes deleting many calendar entries older than 6 months, which makes using Outlook for archival purposes almost impossible.

If you forgot to turn auto-archive off, here’s what to do to get that stuff back.

In the left hand “Mail Folders” pane, find the Archive Folders text. Right-click and select “Close Archive Folders.”

Now, go to Tools > Options > Other > AutoArchive. If it’s not on, turn it on for a moment. You’ll see a button next to “Move old items to:” and below that a location string, such as: C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst. COPY this string with CTRL-C. Close this window after turning AutoArchive back off.

Next, back in the main screen, click File > Import and Export. Select “Import from another program or file.” Click Next. Select Personal Folder File (.pst), click Next. Now paste the string from the previous step into the “File to import” box. Click Next and use defaults for the remaining prompts. After a few minutes of work, all your mail and calendar items will be back where you expect them to be.

Lance Armstrong + Oprah: Here’s How It’ll Go Down

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Here’s a digest so you don’t actually have to watch the Lance Armstrong shame-fest.

Gosh Oprah, it feels so good to finally admit to the doping. Living with this shame for years has really been impossible. I’ve let my fans down. I’ve let America down. But mostly I’ve let myself down. I take responsibility, but you have to understand the pressure they put on you in professional sports to do this. I never had a choice.

I want to put all that behind me now, though, and I would love to find a way to educate people so no one else has to go through what I did. I want to do this for the children of America. So I’m announcing today that I’m going to start a new foundation dedicated to educating kids about doping. I want to make sure this never happens again! (applause sign)

What’s next for you, Lance?

I’m going to write a book and tell all the details. Maybe a talk show, we’ll see how that goes. I’m really excited about the future. Don’t do drugs, kids.

Gosh Lance, this is all so honest and brave of you. You’re welcome back into society. Now take a seat next to Hugh Grant!

iPad Storage Made Easy

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

ipad stand - napkin holderI hit on this idea after watching our iPads fall over on the kitchen counter for the thousandth time, where we (attempt) to store them vertically against the wall, but which I have always had to prop up with a bottle of wine lest the slide across the counter. My brainstorm: A paper napkin holder. This $12 job from Amazon is solid metal (so heavy enough to not tip over), compact (to take up minimal space), and looks pretty stylish. Two iPads (both with cases) fit in it side by side perfectly.

Lifehacker has a similar idea using an ugly Ikea napkin holder and a MacBook.

Best Spammer “Name” Ever

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

“Lazarus Nielsen”

Top 10 Movies of 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

By popular demand, here are my picks for the year.

1. Argo
2. Silver Linings Playbook
3. Promised Land
4. Compliance
5. Safety Not Guaranteed
6. Flight
7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
8. This Is 40
9. The Queen of Versailles
10. Cloud Atlas

Better Even Than a Tazer

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Best question from Cub Scout visit to Presidio Park Police Station today: “Do you have a morning star?”

Also popular were questions about swords, machine guns, bazookas, and flamethrowers.

Stuff People Give Out at Food Drives

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Spent several hours going door to door with my son’s Cub Scout pack this morning collecting canned goods for the San Francisco Food Bank. Among the items received for donation:

  • A jar of “Goober Grape” PB&J combo
  • A bottle of Trader Joe’s Thai curry sauce
  • Multiple 12-packs of Coca-Cola
  • Bag of dried lentils from a bulk bin
  • Jelly (expired)
  • A frozen “Claim Jumper” apple pie
  • Individual snack packets of Annie’s organic Bunny Grahams
  • Boxes of frozen stuffing (thawed, rank, very expired)
  • A canned ham (these still exist!)

Why “New York Times Bestseller” Means Nothing

Monday, November 5th, 2012

What does it take to get on the New York Times Best Seller list? A lot of money, that’s all. Here’s how publishers looking to cash in on those golden words do it. The secret: “bulk sales” — where a few bookstores receive massive orders driven by a small number of buyers. The NYT now reveals the reporting of bulk orders in the footnotes of its listings.

In related news, it’s true: Nothing is sacred.

Quick Tip: Speed Up Firefox Data Entry

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

I work pretty much all day in Firefox and big text fields in WordPress. Some strange bug between the two causes performance to bog down, especially when (oddly) deleting text.

Finally I’ve found what looks like a solution.

In Firefox, click Tools > Options.

Under the Advanced section, click the General tab. Uncheck the box next to “Use hardware acceleration when available.”

Reboot and be happy.

Should You “Sleep On It”?

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Yes, if it’s a tough problem…

Previous research has shown that performance on problem solving improves over a period of sleep, as compared with wakefulness. However, these studies have not determined whether sleep is beneficial for problem solving or whether sleep merely mitigates against interference due to an interruption to solution attempts … We conclude that sleep facilitates problem solving, most likely via spreading activation, but this has its primary effect for harder problems.

If none of that makes sense, try reading the research tomorrow.

My Author Page on

Monday, September 17th, 2012

So I have this author page now. Nothing you don’t already know, but now you can buy my books more easily than ever ;)


The Shoulders of Giants

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

The worst thing is thinking of an idea for an awesome blog post during the night, then forgetting it completely by the time you wake up.

Pop Quiz

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Pop quiz: Which has more in it, a barrel of whiskey or a barrel of oil? (By volume.)

Interview: James Carville, New Spokesman for Maker’s Mark |

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Interview: James Carville, New Spokesman for Maker’s Mark |

James Carville isn’t just the kingmaker behind Bill Clinton and other Democratic leaders from the last several decades, he’s now the spokesman for Maker’s Mark. Along with wife Mary Matalin, Carville is stumping for the massive Bourbon brand with a cheeky political spin, promoting “The Cocktail Part…

What’s a Pinterest with You?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

In case you want to see more funny pictures than you normally do during your workday: My Pinterest Page.

If You Use Firefox, Install This

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Lazarus has saved my butt many times. What it does: It recovers text you have filled out in Firefox forms or text boxes so when you accidentally close a tab, or if a login screen suddenly pops up when you’re in WordPress and you save a document… only to discover that, no, WordPress can’t save a thing if you’ve been inadvertently logged out. Lazarus fixes all of that with a simple plug-in.

Get it now before you need it.

Back in the Saddle Again

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Florida and Aruba down. One more trip to the ultra-hot weather (Texas) to come.

WordPress and CAPTCHA Systems

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Just installed my first CAPTCHA antispam system on today at the behest of my web host. (We don’t get much spam, but, well, long story.) Installed SI CAPTCHA and it seems to work as advertised, page loads aren’t significantly impacted, and the images are easy to read. Anyone else have in-depth experience with CAPTCHAs on WordPress? Anything I should look out for?

Chris Null: International Cocktail Magnate

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

From today’s inbox:

Dear Sir:

Hello! We are pleased to see that your company can supply The Noodle & Boo Cocktail on the Internet. And our company needs this kind of products now. However,the information about this product is limit, and we hope that your company can provide more details about The Noodle & Boo Cocktail. In addition, we want to know if we can purchase it in China?

If we cannot, shall we directly purchase this kind of product from your company?

Looking forward to your reply as soon as possible, thanks very much.


Henan Zhuliu Jiapin Trading Co.Ltd

Tel: +86-(0)371-55910420

Fax: +86-(0)371-55697092

Zip code: 450000

Add: # 67 Wenhua Road, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, China