Caveat: OGF Live

[This is cross-posted from my other blog.]

The OGFMirror became, over the weekend.

This is huge news.

So far the site is working okay. Not great, just okay. There are some issues.

  • The ActionController::InvalidAuthenticityToken is frequent and painful, for users.
  • Possibly related to the above – users keep getting forcibly logged out, over and and over.
  • The render is still playing catchup on the whole world map, and seems to be lagging around 2 hours for high zooms.
  • Incoming email is completely broken – possibly due to errors in the DNS tables at the registrar (and we’re waiting on the old host to fix this)
  • Outgoing email is problematic for some substantial portion of users due to over-aggressive anti-spam efforts by several major email providers, including Apple (icloud) and Microsoft (hotmail, outlook, live). I’m not even sure how to begin fixing this. I’ve implemented DKIM, but this also relies on fixing DNS errors which are not currently being fixed, and that might help. I’ve looked into a blacklisting of my email server by and discovered it is due to my email server sharing the same IP range with a Nigerian Prince or somesuch in the server farm where it lives.

Work continues. Meanwhile, to all the users of OGF: “Happy mapping!”

Caveat: Depseudonymized

I have always operated under a pseudonym on my geofiction websites. But as of today, as I become the official host of the main site,, I had to depseudonymize myself – because a person hosting a website on a server with many users in countries all over the world has a sort of obligation toward transparency. This isn’t precisely a legal requirement – though who knows, with so many different jurisdictions involved. But it feels like at the least a sort of ethical requirement. was created in Germany by a guy named Thilo in 2012. I joined the site in early 2014, and served for many years as a volunteer administrator. Recently, Thilo has become disillusioned (or otherly-illusioned) and no longer wanted to maintain the site. But with hundreds of active users, it seemed unkind to shut the thing down. So I have taken it over, along with some colleagues, also fellow volunteer administrators. Effective today, the site is hosted on a couple of my servers down in California, and I’m the lead technical support.

This is not about making money, exactly. Though I expect some donations to help me at least break even on the rent for the servers.

Here is a screenshot of the “contact” page from the site – showing me depseudonymized for my fellow geoficticians.



Caveat: Tree #953

This tree – located at the center of this map screenshot – is imaginary: a real dot on a real map of an imaginary place.
I placed this tree earlier today because I am testing the functionality of the new opengeofiction map server. As of right now, the “old” server is down. The new server is running, but only in testing mode, so I won’t place a link. I’ll add a link to the tree on the map server when it goes “live” – maybe later tomorrow or Sunday. This is part of a long ongoing project, mentioned before, to build a replacement website for opengeofiction. The moment of truth approaches…

picture[daily log: walking, 1km]

Caveat: Tree #952

This tree is under an elevated metro station from my past. Ten years ago this month I visited the Oksu station in Seoul, and took this picture. I don’t think the tree was the focus or subject of the picture, but nevertheless, there is a tree down there.

picture[daily log: walking, 1.5km]

Caveat: Tree #949

This tree saw a salmon jumping up out of the water. Can you see it? (bottom just left of center).

picture[daily log: walking, 1.5km; boating, 40km]

Caveat: Fishing Report #(n + 28)

Joe and Arthur and I went out fishing today. Joe’s stepson had intended to accompany us, but bowed out.

We got a very late start. That’s because the batteries were dead in the boat. And then, even when we charged them up, the big motor wouldn’t start. It was an electrical problem. Troubleshooting revealed that one of the connectors to the battery was so corroded it had broken through (picture).


We had to repair the electrical connectors to the battery.

We finally left the dock at 9:15. We went to Black Beach, at the north end of San Juan, and trolled for salmon. Nothing.

We went to the north end of San Ignacio and trolled southward along the eastern side. We saw my boss Wayne in another boat. Maybe he was catching a fish – it was hard to tell from the distance. But we caught nothing.

We were skunked for salmon for the day. At about 12:30 we put in for halibut on the southwest corner of San Ignacio (Cocos Point).

Joe caught one humongous halibut. About 70 pounds, 56 inches long.

It didn’t fit in the fish-holding tank at the back of the boat – its tail stuck out.


Arthur and I were satisfied to have assisted, and we headed back. The sea, that had been flat in the morning, was whipped into a frenzy by increasing wind, going home, and we were slapping 3-4 foot waves all the way until we got inside Port Saint Nicholas.

We tied up at the dock at 2:45.


Year-to-date totals:

  • Coho: 15
  • Kings: 0
  • Halibut: 10
  • Mongo Halibut (> 50lbs): 2
  • Other: 3
  • Too-small fish sent home to mama: 28
  • Downrigger weights left on the bottom of the sea: 1


Caveat: Tree #948

This tree saw me raise my first wall-section for my treehouse.

Here are some other angles on the same object.


picture[daily log: walking, 2.5km; hammering and sawing, 5hr]

Caveat: Local Bus Odyssey Across Britain

Mostly I don’t like it when people attempt “essays” or long-form journalism on twitter. It just doesn’t work, jumping from short little message to short little message. It’s a very constrained medium to develop any kind of narrative. But this morning I ran across what I felt was very good use of the medium.

Some guy in Britain decided to see how far he could go in 24 hours traveling by only city / local buses. No coaches, no trains, no anything but local bus routes. He started at Charing Cross, in the center of London, at 3 AM, and made his way, local bus by local bus, up the Island of Great Britain, tweeting all the way. Mostly it reads as a kind of “city and town bus stations of England” travelogue. I’m waiting for the coffee-table book.

He made it as far as Morecambe (a beach town just outside Lancaster) in the middle of the following night. The people following the story had been hoping he’d make it to Scotland – but he fell quite a ways short of that.



Caveat: Tree #947

This tree has been chopped up and turned into parts of a sort of pre-fab modular section of treehouse wall. This is my first try for my plan, but I ran into an issue so I didn’t install it. I think I’m on the right track, though. It got windy in the afternoon so I stopped.

picture[daily log: walking, 2km; hammering and sawing, 3hr]

Caveat: Tree #946

This tree saw me arrive with a trailerload of new ingredients for my treehouse, including the roofing material and rafters. This is the biggest single purchase I have made for this project.

picture[daily log: walking, 3km; carrying and moving heavy things, 2hr]

Caveat: the clockwork programmer

The field of computer programming is not immune from the coming automation-of-everything.

In this video, some guys demonstrate the current state-of-the-art in computer programs that are able to write computer programs. Which sounds weird and tautological. But it’s kind of cool to watch.

At the end, they use their computer programming computer program to use Microsoft Word, which long ago became too complicated for humans to use effectively anyway. So now… they have made a program that can operate Microsoft Word in response to your instructions. Progress!

This quote is relevant, and I like it a lot, by one of my favorite contemporary bloggers:

“Computers are just going to get better and better at stuff, and at some point probably they’ll be as good as humans at various things, and if you ask them if they’re self-aware they’ll give some answer consistent with their programming, which for all I know is what we do too.” – Scott Alexander


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