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Coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed programmer, musician, and curler.

NextScripts goes offline, dragging my website performance with it

February 23rd, 2015

Dave Umrysh


Being a use of the Pro version of the Social Networks Auto Poster {SNAP} from nextscripts I was a little disheartened to see their website disappearing from the Internet yesterday afternoon.

Mostly because their auto-updater script pings back to their website during every page load thus causing my own website to take forever to load. Looking through the plugin code I found that they set a timeout of 45 seconds! After a quick change to only 2 seconds, my website loads at a manageable speed again.

Here is the code to change if you are interested:

$arr=array('method'=>'POST', 'timeout'=>2, 'blocking'=>true, 'headers'=>array(), 'body'=> array('lk'=>$t['lku'], 'ukver'=>$t['ukver'], 'ud'=>$u));

I really hope everything is alright with nextscripts as I am really enjoying their plugin.

My First Attempt At Comic Binding

February 17th, 2015

Dave Umrysh

Open Book

Last September I turned the big 3-0. As a birthday gift to myself I decided I would begin binding one of my favourite comic books runs, the 2005 Geoff Johns Green Lantern series.

I had the issues bagged/boarded and stored in long boxes but I found I rarely (if ever) would pull them out to re-read them. Having them bound makes it easy to pull the hard cover off the shelf and read some comics. I decided to complete just my first three volumes at this point with the plan to complete the rest in the near future.

This being the first time I have ever had comics bound I wasn’t to sure what to expect. I had heard great success stories from way back when I used to listen to the Comic Geek Speak podcast but they of course discussed binding companies located in the USA. With the current CAD being worth almost 20% less then the USD I needed to find a Canadian library binding company.

After some searching I came across Wallaceburg Bookbinding in Ontario. I wrapped up my issues, put them in the hands of UPS, and waited anxiously for them to return. I was either going to be really excited or completely disappointed in the results. I am happy to say they turned out fantastic!
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My Simplistic Mailgun Webhook

January 30th, 2015

Dave Umrysh


I thought I would quickly post my extremely simplistic webhook that I utilize for my accounts. Before I threw it together I searched for something similar online with no success. By posting it hopefully I can save somebody else the time writing their own from scratch.

To set it up you need to fill in your Mailgun API Key (so the script can verify the messages submitted to it are valid) along with a sending and receiving email address.

Then it’s as simple as uploading the file to your webserver and setting it’s location in your Mailgun account.

I have also posted it on

$key = "<API Key>";
$from = "";
$to = "";
	if(isset($_POST['timestamp']) && isset($_POST['token']) && isset($_POST['signature']) && hash_hmac('sha256', $_POST['timestamp'] . $_POST['token'], $key) === $_POST['signature'])
		if($_POST['event'] == 'complained') {
			$subject = "[Mailgun] Spam Complaint";
			$body = "Recipient: " . $_POST['recipient'] . "\nDomain: " . $_POST['domain'] . "\n\nMessage-headers: " . $_POST['message-headers'] . "\n";
			mail($to, $subject, $body, "From: " . $from,"-f". $from);
		}elseif($_POST['event'] == 'bounced'){
			$subject = "[Mailgun] Bounced Email";
			$body = "Recipient: " . $_POST['recipient'] . "\nDomain: " . $_POST['domain'] . "\nCode: " . $_POST['code'] . "\nError: " . $_POST['error'] . "\nNotification: " . $_POST['notification'] . "\n\nMessage-headers: " . $_POST['message-headers'] . "\n";
			mail($to, $subject, $body, "From: " . $from,"-f". $from);
		}elseif($_POST['event'] == 'dropped'){
			$subject = "[Mailgun] Failed Email";
			$body = "Recipient: " . $_POST['recipient'] . "\nDomain: " . $_POST['domain'] . "\nCode: " . $_POST['code'] . "\nReason: " . $_POST['reason'] . "\nDescription: " . $_POST['description'] . "\n\nMessage-headers: " . $_POST['message-headers'] . "\n";
			mail($to, $subject, $body, "From: " . $from,"-f". $from);
header('X-PHP-Response-Code: 200', true, 200);

A Sunday Spent Web Scraping

December 14th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


I had some free time today so I thought it would be fun to write a quick little web scraper to alert me if any new land comes up for sale near where I grew up. I guess you could boil the reasoning down to a little bit town-gossip and a little bit curiosity. Finding out that Farmer John is selling the old homestead makes for interesting Xmas dinner conversations :)

The code currently scrapes the Remax website once a day looking for any properties withing a specific radius of my set middle-point and will ignore any town addresses.


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Adventures in Wine Making (part 5)

December 14th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


The day has finally arrived, bottling time!

Due to other plans coming up I wasn’t able to bottle the wine at exactly 14 days from stabilizing. Instead we bottled the wine a full 30 days after step 4!

Full Carboy

Again, I can’t recommend enough the use of old milk crates for holding your carboys. I had to carry the full carboy up two floors in the house for bottling and having nice handles to hold made it so easy.

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November 28th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


After mining Bitcoins on Eligius for some time I somehow just recently realized they provide merged mining of Namecoins. According to chatter in their IRC channel it appears payouts are processed manually. Even so, after only a few weeks I came to posses over 3 Namecoins. Yay!
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Time-based One-time Passwords for Email

November 16th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


A few months ago a thought crossed my head why no one had ever integrated TOTPs into the existing email protocols. I’m not talking about adding it as a second factor but rather replacing passwords entirely with TOTPs. I’m sure there must be a reason as to why no one has done this but I thought it would be fun to see if it was possible.
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Adventures in Wine Making (part 4)

November 9th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


After 11 days it was time to test the specific gravity of the wine :)

Specific Gravity

With a specific gravity below 1.010 we are good to go to move on to step 4: Stabilizing.
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Update: Ham Exam

November 9th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


Thanks to an email from an awesome user it was brought to my attention that Industry Canada had updated the exam questions for both the basic and advanced amateur radio exams. After a quick search on the Industry Canada website I was able to track down the complete exam questions. Unfortunately they decided to release them in PDF form this time rather then posting them in HTML as a webpage.
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The Battleford Trail

November 6th, 2014

Dave Umrysh


I’ve driven by this sign [53.17614817, -112.24546515] countless times in my life and always wondered about the significance. After numerous searches online I decided to begin looking through the local community history books. That’s when I stumbled across the following article in my trusty copy of “Hemistiches and Hackamores – A history of Holden and district”. Seeing as though the book is out of print I thought I would reproduce the information here for anyone else who is curious about these mysterious signs1.
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