• Tag Archives TRC
  • Adventures in Calendering

    I spent the past week working on overhauling the TRC Community Calendar.  It was in some need of some updates some TLC.  I updated the submit pages to make them a bit more user-friendly to start out.  I spent two days trying to add a fancy pop-up calendar picker for the date entry, but had to give up in the end. The submit form is too complex to try and shoehorn in some javascript or the CSS to do the pop-up magic.  It has too many levels and built-in checks and madness for me to fully understand.

    I even got some help on updating a ton of events from Susie at the Milo Town Office. I got to overhaul a good portion of the calendar, which has needed to be done for some time. We had a lot of outdated stuff in there.  I’ve got a few events that still need to be checked, but the calendar is looking much better now.

    Lately I’ve been pretty focused on making the site mobile-friendly, and I was concerned about the calendar.  It actually gets pretty messed up on mobile viewing in Portrait mode, but it works perfect if you’re in landscape. This made me pretty happy, as overhauling that calendar would be like having a root canal.  The code is old, and pretty clunky in places, but it works GREAT.  Every time I go in to edit, I make sure I clean it up a bit and improve things.

    Thats all for now.  For my next trick, I’ll be overhauling the TRC Local Directory 🙂

    TRC Community Calendar

  • Weekend Report

    Weekend Highlights:

    • I have a driveway again
    • Fishing Derby Prize Drawing a success
    • Random Buddy pictures

    Yesterday the City of Old Town became my hero when their bucket loader and fleet of dump trucks came along the street clearing snow.  Not only did they finally clear the sidewalk, but the cleared the massive snowbank ALL the way back TO the sidewalk!  The sidewalk sits back like 6 feet into the lawn, so thats impressive.  In the process, they cleared out the end of my driveway so its now fully passable again!

    Today was the annual prize drawing for the Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby in Milo.  This was the 16th year that I have streamed the prize drawing live online with TRC in some form or another.  I believe this was our best year yet, with no technical difficulties and around 260 live viewers! Click here to watch video of the prize drawing.  You can also view the full Prize Drawing Results on TRC.

    Random Buddy Pictures:

  • Lazy Sunday Tech Report

    I started working on a web design project I’ve been putting off for awhile.  I’ve been planning to make all my website secure with HTTPS, but its been a bit of a process.  All my WordPress sites are secure, but I’m still working on figuring out the Drupal websites.  I did a test-run on TRC months ago, and it went horribly.  I know what I need to do, but the insane part is needing to go through the entire database and update all http links to https.  It can be done, I’m just afraid of breaking the whole thing.  The TRC database is pretty enormous.

    I should probably start testing with a smaller site, like the Schoodic Lake Association. Either that, or make a dummy copy of TRC to play with.

    Although, I also need to see what kind of madness its going to take to upgrade TRC from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.  That is, if I even want to –  I’m still not sure.  It looks like it can be an intense project, riddled with issues.  Problem is that EVENTUALLY, I’m going to have to do something as there will come a day when they stop supporting Drupal 7 🙁  But one thing at a time, I need to figure out HTTPS for Drupal first.

    So as I sit here contemplating all this tech-related stuff, with my cat Buddy looking out the window beside me, I realize I should be outside cleaning the driveway before the blizzard starts….

  • The Time Has Come

    I’m afraid the time has finally come for something I’ve been putting off for a handfull of years now.  The Milo Historical Society website needs a massive overhaul.


    I’ve been dragging my feet with this, as its one of my oldest still-functioning websites, and I’ve always liked its color-scheme/design.  The problem is that I designed it so long ago, it doesn’t come close to meeting current web standards.  Nowadays most of the traffic on the web is done through mobile devices, and let me tell you, that site does not work great with mobile.  It was built in the era BEFORE mobile devices had real web capabilities.  Thats what’s given me the final kick in the pants I needed to start to plan out this project.

    WordPress is the way I think I plan on going.  More modern, mobile-friendly, and with the ability for anyone to make updates (instead of just me).  I could use Drupal like TRC, but I think that might be overkill this size of a website.

    Step #1 is going to be finding a WordPress theme that I like, and that fits for a historical society.  Or at least one I can modify to fit for them.  This is honestly the part I hate most about doing a new site – the theme.  I can never find what I want it seems.  Not to mention there are bajillion WordPress themes out there.

    I am completely open to suggestions.  If anyone wants to go digging through some themes and show me their picks, I’d love it!

  • TRC 8.1 Progress & Setbacks


    Thanks to Fred Trask of Trask Insurance and Mike Russell of ProTech Solutions, TRC now has 12 all-new, live-streaming webcams!  We still have a few more in the works, up to a possible total of 19!  We’re also working on acquiring permission to use existing webcams on Sebec and Ebeemee lakes 🙂



    Today we released 8 new Facebook pages, one for each town in TRC.  These pages will have news and local events more geared towards the individual town.  They also help expand our visibility on Facebook, as these pages show up in searches for our local towns, where TRC does not.


    I also ran into a cumbersome setback today.  Part of our plan for these new Facebook pages was to have news articles and such from TRC pushed up to them, the same as our main news feed is pushed up to the TRC Facebook page. I have used RSSGraffiti (a Facebook App) to post our RSS feeds up to Facebook for quite some time now.  Well, today when I loaded them up to setup these new feeds, I stumbled across a notice that informed the service is shutting down on May 1st.  Hooray.  I use this app for 5 different feeds and 3 different pages 🙁  And here I am, trying to add 8 more feeds and pages to the damn thing.

    I spent the afternoon researching alternative methods and didn’t find anything that was awesome as RSSGraffiti.  I discovered one service that has a free option that will JUST cover everything we currently have running.  Their base payed plan which is about $100/year would JUST cover this expansion to the 8 new pages.  And we don’t have that kind of regular money kicking around.

    Needless to say, we’re going to be posting content to these new pages manually, at least for the time being.  I may look into some other methods first. I do have till May 1st after all.

  • New Gadget: USB Microphone

    I am the proud new owner of a USB Microphone, picture below.  I’m hoping this will help with the horrible audio issues I ran into last year at the Prize Drawing for the Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby.  I’ve broadcast the event live on TRC for quite a few years now, but the last few years we ran into some pretty horrid sound issues.  The built-in mic on my usb webcams just haven’t been cutting it.  This is a nice looking microphone!

    I’m actually contemplating buying a nicer webcam to go with it now.  I currently have a pretty decent one I picked up at work, but it failed me this past summer when trying to broadcast a parade outdoors.  It had some issues with white balance, and washing out to white when encountering reflections.  I think a nice new Logitech camera might be in order…