J driving a tractor at age 4

A Simple Test: Reinforcing Listening and Kindness with a Child

“I need you to listen the first time.” | “Be nice to your brother!” | “If you can’t follow directions, we can’t go.” | “Can you hear my voice?”

Any of those phrases sound familiar? Knowing that children respond to games as a way to reinforce behaviors, I came up with an idea recently that was very successful with our 4 year old. Using this test is a good idea sparingly; don’t use it every time you are about to do something fun. Novelty goes a long way with most humans, but when you’re at your wits end and you are trying to engage them in a fun activity (e.g. going to a community event), then say it is time do a quick test to make sure your child can follow directions, listen, and be kind. As their parent, it’s your job to evaluate how well they do on the score; remember, you want to take them to this fun thing, so your goals is to set them up for success and evaluate them as passing.

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Lorcana ink colors at one sixth width

Lorcana Unofficial Brand Style Guide

Disney’s Lorcana by Ravensburger is a popular, though hard to find, Trading Card Game (TCG) that launched in September of 2023. I couldn’t find any brand or style guide found the official brand guide, but I couldn’t find the hex colors for the different card colors, so I’ll start with those and expand this post as needed.

Hexadecimal colors for Lorcana cards:

  • Amber: #F5B202
  • Amethyst: #81377B
  • Emerald: #2A8934
  • Ruby: #D3082F
  • Sapphire: #0189C4
  • Steel: #9FA8B4
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Piwigo: Configure Custom SMTP on Dreamhost

Piwigo is open-source software for sharing image galleries easily. Installing it on Dreamhost (I’m using a VPS but any type of hosting works) was super easy, but by default any emails sent would have Mail System Delivery Failure due to email security problems.

Luckily, the solution was to create an email account in Dreamhost and configure SMTP in Piwigo. Here are the steps in a new installation:

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child reading book

Installing Castopod on Shared Hosting

Castopod is podcast hosting software that allows you to easily serve your podcast(s) from your own server rather than through a secondary service like anchor.fm, blubrry, and libsyn. While I personally use anchor.fm for some podcasts which I wanted to easily monetize, for a new podcast, Story Suggest, I had no desire for it to get monetized by me or anyone else. Furthermore, I also wanted to dip my toe into integration with the fediverse. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, it’s not critical to any of this.

Either way, while the installation documentation for castopod is relatively clear, I felt like there were a few quick notes/tips I could add for those installing on a shared host like Dreamhost. While I maintain a VPS at Dreamhost, the functionality and installation is the same. Below I’ve highlighted some clarifying points to help others quickly get setup with Castopod.

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Fixing Yarn ESOCKETTIMEDOUT Error During Discourse Setup

While installing Discourse on a free tier instance in a Google Cloud Compute Instance, I was following this discourse install tutorial with only minor adjustments:

  • Used Ubuntu 20.04 LTS minimal
  • Standard Disk (default is Balanced)
  • e2.micro instance

However, when I was waiting for Step 9 to complete (after running ./discourse-setup) and everything being built, it would fail with an ESOCKETTIMEDOUT error related to yarn. The last message that tries to run is [ ! -d 'node_modules' ] || su discourse -c 'yarn install --production && yarn cache clean'.

Here’s what is going wrong. Yarn has a default timeout that is fine if you are using the minimum recommended for Discourse, but with a micro instance, it takes too long. To fix this, you have to manually edit one of the install scripts that runs for the new Docker container Discourse is building.
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Solving “No Supported Authentication Methods” for PyCharm and GitHub on Windows

Fatal Error: Disconnected: No supported authentication methods available.

I lost so many hours to that little error. Here was the problem:

I followed the steps in this lovely PyCharm tutorial which walks you through creating your ssh key, saving it to a profile, and applying it to your GitHub account. This was successful in getting the terminal working. However, the error noted above was happening when I tried to use PyCharm’s Git integration and pull or push with the GitHub repository.
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Introducing reMarkable 2

Template file for Creating PDFs for the ReMarkable 2 Paper Tablet

I recently received the reMarkable 2 paper tablet and it is everything it promised. I’m excited to use it for work and personal adventures, but for work I wanted to create a document template that would allow me to always make content that is pixel perfect for the tablet. This way there is no scaling necessary and I can even leave in margins for the menu options to stay visible.

So, here it is: reMarkable 2 OTT Template

This was designed for OpenOffice or LibreOffice, but since it is an open format, I’m sure it can be opened by Microsoft and other document programs. Once you open the file, you can save it as a template using the File menu. After that, it’s simply a matter of selecting File > New > Template and selecting reMarkable 2 from the available templates! When you’re done, Export to PDF and transfer to your reMarkarable using their convenient applications.