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    The Washington d.c. swamp

    March 27th, 2020

    I generally do not discuss politics.

    That said, I do get disillusioned with the D.C. swamp from time to time, so I came up with some products, with a sense of humour, I hope, for people to “enjoy” their disillusionment.

    You will see, as you check out the coffee mugs, that I am non-partisan. Take your pick, order one and send one to your friend.

    I hope you enjoy them…I use mine every morning !

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    Scriptcase 9.2 – The Right Tool For The Job ?

    August 7th, 2018

    This will be a series of posts regarding my experience with Scriptcase 9.2.


    I am a person who believes that having the right tool for the job will save a person time, money, and what can be a great deal of frustration.  It is for this reason that I tried Scriptcase 7 as a free download, 8 again, and then decided to dive in and purchase a $300 license for Scriptcase 9.2.

    Over the years I have purchased a number of code writing tools, scripting tools, libraries and have even written my own program generator that, using my library, one could develop whole Cobol ANSI 85 applications in minutes.  I don’t believe in manually writing essentially the same code over and over again when a code generator can do it for me.

    Among the many tools I’ve used over the years are zApp Factory (C/C++) by Rogue Wave Software, the now purveyors of the Zend php tools, CodeCharge Studio – essentially a defunct php generation utility, Zend Studio 12 and framework and, the point of these articles, Scriptcase 9.2.

    As I have time, which will be greatly impacted by the amount of time I have to spend learning Scriptcase 9.2, I will post articles on my experience.  This being the first.

    Initial Thoughts

    I was reluctant to invest in Scriptcase for a number of reasons.  Primarily, the problem for me was the language barrier.  Scriptcase is developed and maintained in Brazil which means the developers speak Portugese.  One may think this shouldn’t be an issue when developing php scripts as the language itself is all English.  This is true, to an extent.

    However, even a cursory read of the manual, which as of this date is vastly improved, one gets the impression that the person writing the manual learned their English from the television or uses Google translate to make translations.  The grammar is poor, simplistic at best, and there are many instances where it is so confusing that it can take you 15 minutes to figure out what the writer is actually trying to say (if you ever do).

    The manual, such as it is is, is an extremely sparse reference manual style.  If you are looking for a manual where you can find an example of something done and how to do it, this won’t help.  In the companies favour, they do have a number of videos on YouTube but again, these are rather superficial tutorials, often presented by someone with English as a second language and zero experience making video tutorials.

    The Code.  Any good programmer will tell you they can read the code the application generates to figure out what it is doing and how to get it to do what they want.  Normally, this is the case however in the case of Scriptcase 9, you need to be able to understand Portugese.  The variables and labels in the code are by the vast majority in Portugese.  PHP is php, in this case version 7, but you can’t read the code without the context of the variables, labels and comments (what few there are are also in Portugese).

    At this point, I have spent about 40 hours with the product over the past two weeks and I am extremely disappointed.  It took me three installations to get it to function at all and I have now spent well over 15 hours trying to figure out just how to get the security module to work with my own database structure, never mind in the most efficient manner.

    More to come…

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    Zemana Anti-Malware

    October 18th, 2017

    I am an experienced technology executive and I have been extremely careful about what I allow onto my computers.  However, and this is a big however, I must confess to finally being the victim of a malware infection.

    This is a really hard admission to make, but I am making it because I want to recommend Zemana – to you.  I cannot speak more highly of them and honestly, after 35+ years in technology I have not been treated better by anyone.  Not by Dell, Microsoft, Apple, HP, Cisco, Avast, Norton and a host of other companies.  Not by Amazon or eBay, Compaq or Xerox, and I’ve dealt with them all.

    To make a long story short, I downloaded something I should not have and after installing it my Opera browser, and only my Opera browser, got hijacked.  I did everything I could think of including uninstalling Opera, manually erasing settings, manually editing the registry.  I ran an Avast scan – I use Avast as my anti-virus software – I downloaded and ran MalwareBytes product and Zemana.  After all was said and done, the malware remained despite Zemana, Avast and MalwareBytes reporting my system was clean.

    So, I sent Zemana an email and told them.  To be fair, I did not notify Avast or MalwareBytes so I don’t know how they would have responded but I do know that I immediately received assistance from Zemana.  They didn’t ask whether I had purchased a license, they just helped.  I did as they said, including running First64 from Bleeping Computer and sending Faysal the report.  Within 12 hours Faysal responded with a ‘fixlist’ file and … voila, no more malware, no more browser hijack.

    I then received an email from Armagan with a link to purchase Zemana at 40% off.  Yes, I did that.  Good grief, they saved me two or three days of reinstallation.

    All this on Microsoft Windows 10 64bit.

    My recommendation…go and get yourself a copy of Zemana anti-malware software.  It really is worth it.

    Here is the link, you need it.  Go NOW:

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    Placerita Canyon 12-06-10

    June 10th, 2016

    This car went around me on double yellow lines on Placerita Canyon, I’d estimate at about 60 mph.  I then turned left on Sand Canyon Road and then watched him go around 2 cars, crossing a double yellow line at which point he got flashed by the oncoming driver.

    CA License Plate 6ZQZ987 with an LA County Fire Department plate surround.

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    Driver’s With A Death Wish

    June 10th, 2016

    It is my intention to post video clips off my dash cam of drivers who drive with complete disregard for other users of the road.

    I happen to live near Placerita Canyon in the Sand Canyon area of Santa Clarita, California, and have reason to spend a fair amount of time on the road around Los Angeles.  Recently a cyclist was killed on Placerita Canyon by an irresponsible driver.  I have been thinking about posting these video clips for a while and the death of this individual has convince me that I should start.

    If your car, truck or motorcycle, shows up in this list of videos perhaps it is time for you to be more responsible ?

    I will create individual posts, but here is the first short video clip just as a sample of what is to come.

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    Woocommerce Tax Not Calculating

    June 10th, 2016

    The Woocommerce tax not calculating problem is the result of a poorly designed query.

    I have been setting up a new Woocommerce store for a the candle company I work for part time.  During the testing process I discovered that the tax calculation had stopped functioning.  I was convinced that this had worked at one time but suddenly had ceased.  Worse, this seemed to occur after importing all the Zip codes and tax rates.

    After much trial and error I discovered that the problem is the algorithm used to determine the tax.

    The data is stored in two tables:


    The first table is the key.  If you create a Zip code based entry, for arguments sake lets use a California code of 91387 which happens to be include Canyon Country areas, then your entry is going to look like this:



    Here is where the problem starts.  On the Cart page the store doesn’t know which ‘city’ the buyer is from and the query appears to ‘AND’ the two entries so it doesn’t find the tax information provided in the cart by the customer as being in the 91387 Zip code AND Canyon Country.  In the checkout itself, once the customer enters the City and the Zip code the tax should be calculated correctly.

    The easiest solution to this problem is to simply leave the ‘City’ blank when adding Zip codes and tax rates.

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    July 2015 Update

    July 16th, 2015

    I am presently winding down one of my projects and looking for additional opportunities.  I am most interested in a general management / executive management position which could be full or part time, whatever your company needs.

    I have well developed skills in IT, budgeting, business plan development, strategic planning and problem solving.  I am excellent at personal relationships and developing, and developing loyalty in, employees.  I am used to getting the best out of employees without being a tyrant.

    You will find that for the right engagement I am very reasonably priced.

    Please see my online resume for more detailed information.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  The only stupid question is the one not asked.


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    February 2015 Update

    February 5th, 2015

    I thought I would provide a quick update for those that visit the site to keep tabs on what I am doing.

    First off, I am excited to say that I have been taking piano lessons now for almost a year.  While I am always frustrated that it takes me as long as it does to learn anything, I do notice that I am making headway and am really looking forward to three or four years from now when I might be able to consider myself a pianist – amateur, but a pianist.

    Other important notes and accomplishments are that I have finally started on the RV-10 building project.  I am still in the early stages but I have acquired the complete suggested tool kit from Avery Tools , purchased the EAA Basics of Metal Aircraft Building DVD, bought the EAA Registering your kit project paperwork and bought the Vans Aircraft toolbox to get started with drilling and riveting.  So, while it has been a long time coming I am at least making a start.

    This photo of an RV-10 is a great example and I hope mine comes out looking somewhat similar.

    AC-Vans-RV-10-3-e1374878923556In addition to the airplane project, my wife and I have purchased and completely remodeled an office in downtown Newhall.  This is the new Honest Lawyer building.  All in, we have done very well with the building adding significant value and the office is really looking good.

    Other changes include starting to build out the music studio, joining / forming three bands and playing regularly at venues throughout the Los Angeles area.

    This year (2015) looks like it is going to be an exciting year !

    Praise the Lord, he has blessed us abundantly.


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    May 12th, 2010

    A rumbling is usually used to indicate that “something is coming”.  Well, that is my intention.  As I find time I would like to start posting my ramblings here.  Perhaps for you to read at your leisure, or ignore, as you see fit.  I can’t promise any particular insights, but likely my observations which, it is my intention anyway, to try to keep upbeat and positive.

    Hope you come back every now and then to check in…


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