Thomas Boutell

Just some guy who made a thing.

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Oops, I forgot to take a picture before enjoying.


1 red rose black tea bag

1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 cloves

1 scant handful almonds

A few raisins

1 teaspoon brown sugar


Bring a mug's worth of water, less an inch or so, to a boil. Steep the tea for a few minutes.

Pour the tea and everything else into the vitamix.

Run a smoothie cycle.

Pour into mug.



Tastes as good as a "chai latte" and who the hell knows how much sugar (and perhaps fat?) is in those.

If you haven't worked with whole nutmegs before, the "small holes" side of any grater can handle it just fine. Ditto grating fresh ginger.


Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg and cloves

That's what gave me this shiny red nose.

This looks divine.
Innit tho? And prep time is almost nothin'
A splash of brandy and I'd call it an ABC (Almond-Brandy-Chai) Alexander.

That looks like a well-loved mug!
Like something out of Beauty and the Beast. I like the "t" on the side. Did you make it yourself? Or was it made by your offspring?
Anne Mollo 8/15edited
Brandy Alexander always gets me into trouble 🎶
Yeah, that seems mighty delish.
Jenn A 8/16

... You are looking cute!

Specifically, you'll note there is now a little picture icon after you hit reply.

Currently you can post either a picture, or text, not both in a single comment.


10/21 '18 18 Comments
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Excellent. That's something I've been wanting here. :-)
Rachael 10/21 '18
Anne Mollo 10/21 '18
damn you people for continuing to raise the awesome bar
Waider 10/21 '18
That's ridiculously adorable.
Dinner out at the new restaurant in Winooski, with the kiddos +1 (someone else's kiddo), after performing in the Sunday matinee show. From the angle, you can't see how much hair spray is in my hair or how much eye makeup is weighing down my lids!
Anne Mollo 10/22 '18edited
Oh, wow, look at you, Anne!
Karen 10/25 '18
Here to confirm it works with Chrome on iOS. :)
Hey, Tom, the picture thing doesn't work with the Grammarly plugin on win10 + chrome. The picture icon appears briefly and then disappears. Not sure if Grammarly is widely used enough for you to care...
Weird. If you start typing it's supposed to disappear... not that?
Thomas Boutell 10/24 '18
It reacts when the text is no longer empty. Grammarly must be putting some kind of marker in the field, maybe an invisible character.
Thomas Boutell 10/24 '18
Karen 10/25 '18

I just wrapped up the followup work I mentioned on making sure existing notifications in the system go away when someone gains or loses access to a lock, or the lock is removed, or the locks of a post are updated.

I need to be realistic about this: I'm one guy, alas, and there will be issues. These were minor in terms of people affected and likelihood of impacting someone. I think I've designed well to avoid more serious problems. I could be mistaken.

So the best I can do is try to be proactive, be responsive when things are pointed out, and oh yeah, be straight with y'all that I'm one guy.

So yeah: I'm not the entire Internet security department of Amazon. Consider yourself reminded. (:

If OPW were to grow, making sure there is a second engineer involved regularly and a code review process in place would be a priority for me. It's not intended as a high-wire act.

(Edited to add: Sean made many large contributions to OPW, including tons of code. Grateful for that! I'm thinking more of what would happen if we had a real budget in terms of best practices for review.)

So how big is OPW anyway, and will it grow? Well: it's tiny. There are about 25 posts per week.

And: it's constant. There have been about 25 posts a week since things settled down in 2015.

But everybody who's here really likes it here. So!

We'll see if little changes like the new Network posts indicator help bring the occasional newcomer more successfully into the fold. But if not... hey. It works for us.

9/15 '18 5 Comments
Thank you for this hard work, Tom.

is there a way we can contribute to making OPW easier/better/more beneficial for you?
What she said.

I can’t imagine what skills I possess that could possibly be of use to you. But if YOU think of something, please please ask.

Also, I love it here in our tiny little village and am daily grateful to you for providing it.
Anne Mollo 9/16 '18
I too am not amazon’s internet security department but if you want an informal code review let me know.
Waider 9/16 '18
Informal code review is a great idea. I will let Sean know we're reviewin' as well.
Thomas Boutell 9/16 '18edited
Hey, thanks for all the care and support. I appreciate it. I've accepted Waider's invitation to code review. And in response to the rest...

Public posts help; inviting folks who would enjoy the place helps a lot; and just enjoying it as you always do is the most important thing.
Thomas Boutell 9/17 '18

I made two security fixes just now:

1. Previously, if you knew the id of a post and were a mutual follower of the poster, you could comment on it, even if you did not have the keys to the post. Note that this did not mean you could see the post. However, see below.

2. If you had commented on a post, you would continue to receive notifications of later comments on that post, even if your own access to it had been revoked. Notifications contain roughly 100 characters or so of each comment.

Both issues have been fixed. I apologize for these mistakes in my code.

At no point was it possible to read an actual post you should not have been able to read. But, security issues are never good.

Many thanks to the user who brought issue #2 to my attention, which led me to discover issue #1.

Edited to add: notifications already in the system are still there. I will be working to purge those, and also to purge notifications as needed whenever the privacy settings of a post change. Of course an email sent is an email sent, but I should do what I can do.

9/7 '18 6 Comments
You're the best.
Thank you.
Robert Bryan 9/7 '18
Danke schön
Anne Mollo 9/8 '18
I didn't know that these security issues existed. isn't it nice that we're a rather morally gentle bunch? :) Thank you for keeping us safe.
Thank you, darling.
Karen 9/9 '18
You are goodness personified.
Love you!

On OPW, it's tough to get in the game. Newcomers make public posts, hoping to connect; the rest of us might see them if we're already connected to that person, but otherwise not. There's a "Network" button, which shows public posts from second-degree connections... but nothing calls attention to new posts there. Or did, anyway.

So I've taken a stab at improving on this: there is now a separate new-posts counter for the "Network" page. You probably see it right now, singing its siren song.

Since we didn't keep track of the "last read" post in the "network" feed until just now, that counter is probably showing you a big number at the moment. And hey, that might be right, if like me you weren't in the habit of checking it out.

In the future, though, it'll know when you last read the "network" page, and limit itself accordingly. So I think this will be much more useful as a way of discovering new folks.

While I was at it, I also changed the other "Network" button to "People." Hopefully emphasizing its separate role as a place to edit your connections. Because yeah, confusing. Little things matter.

And speaking of little things: kitten!

8/22 '18 6 Comments
Kitten!!! So pretty.

Thanks for the changes/updates. :)
Anne Mollo 8/22 '18
This seems like a good idea, and it looks nice too!
Sean M Puckett 8/22 '18
Thank you!
Robert Bryan 8/23 '18
That is a beautiful kitten!

I have only a few friends here on OPW and I barely post updates myself; it barely occurs to me to look for other people to connect with here. Sometimes making connections across all these multiple social network platforms gets tricky. But every now and then I think, could maybe connect with other people here, that might be this seems like a good opportunity, with that new posts on network siren gleaming thing, to say hello.
Rachael 8/23 '18
Is it possible that nobody in my second-degree network has posted anything since 19 August?
I don't see any traffic since then.
Robert Bryan 8/27 '18
Thomas Boutell 8/27 '18

iPhones have a new feature: as of iOS 11, they don't save photos in the familiar JPEG format. They save them in a new format called HEIC. It's very nice. Web browsers can't handle it. Until today, OPW couldn't handle it either.

However, Rabbit was kind enough to point this out with some useful pointers in the right direction, and I found tools to convert HEIC to JPEG.

So, please enjoy the ability to once again attach photos to your OPW posts from your iOS devices.

For those who haven't tried it before, look in the lower right corner of the editor, where you see the words "Add Media." To the right of that, click the little picture icon, then the browse button that follows.


7/8 '18

In fulfillment of Shelle's longstanding feature request!

You can now export your One Post Wonder posts. Just:

1. Click "Me" (top bar, third from right).

2. Look at the little buttons above your tags: Account, Edit portrait, Edit bio... Export!

3. Click "Export." Big shocker there.

4. Wait a few seconds and KAFLOOP: big HTML page downloads to your computer.

5. Save that puppy!

6. Open it up, just by double-clicking it, for most of you anyway. Admire your fine words.

7. Want to print just one tag? Click on that tag first, then click "Export." KAZOOM: an export of just that one tag.

OK, now some catches:

1. It's not phantasmagorically beautiful. I haven't had time to fuss with the print styles much. You do get page breaks between articles. You don't get a table of contents because that requires a Considerably Different Approach.

2. The images you see in your export are being loaded from the website. So if you were to delete your account, they would be gone. The easiest workaround is to hit "Print" and then "Save as PDF"; this will take a while, but you wind up with a PDF file that permanently includes copies of your images. Heck, you could even print it. Hope you've got plenty of paper and ink.

My near-term intention is to change this feature so you get a zipfile that includes your images without the need to make a PDF or use any mirroring tools.

Hope you enjoy! I'm pleased to have finally delivered this feature. In addition to how nice it is to be able to export your stuff as a "book" sometimes, it also fulfills a more fundamental promise: the freedom to leave without strings attached. Speaking of which, the markup is semantic and fairly easily parsed if you want to Do Things With Code; article elements are exactly what you'd expect them to be.

In deployments today and yesterday I also updated some security matters and made sure OPW is running on reasonably up-to-date and maintained Node.js modules. That took a lot of moaning and groaning, and introduced a few minor bugs (like momentarily invisible comments) that have since been fixed. Mutter, mutter.

But it's worth it; I care about this little blog on the prairie. It's where I keep my stuff.

6/4 '18 9 Comments
You friggin rule. This isn't news, but it sometimes should be reiterated.
2 additions thing:

1. Please ignore the two bug reports I submitted. Obviously you were working on this, and the issue has disappeared.

2. This is a really fantastic implementation. I was going to ask about comments, but they're already included! Have I mentioned that you rule, because...
Matt Lichtenwalner 6/4 '18edited
You are made of awesome. Thanks.
Anne Mollo 6/4 '18
Thank you so much! We appreciate all the work!
Rabbit 6/5 '18
Many thanks! This place is important to so many, and it's because we trust the creators and maintainers so much. Xoxo!
Thank you, this is amazing!

I wanted a cheap, super-portable, lightweight Linux computer good enough for occasionally working at home. Something that would also be small enough to open easily in the most cramped of airline seats.

Many people have found that adding some extra storage to a Chromebook and installing a full Linux distribution it is a good way to get that cheap Linux "light development" machine. And GalliumOS is the flavor of Linux tailor-made for that.

So I tried installing GalliumOS Linux on the Samsung Chromebook 3.

TL;DR: this was not a good idea. There is a major issue that wasn't mentioned on the wiki page. It wasn't very well known or consistently diagnosed until I started beating the drum and other users came out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, still not fixed.

I'm not angry about this. GalliumOS is a volunteer project, the issue is tricky, and nobody owes me an open source rose garden. If I wanted a sure thing, I should not have bought a new model. Linux tends to run best on slightly older computers people have simply had more time with.

So this time around, I posted to the GalliumOS Reddit and asked for personal accounts of 100% happy GalliumOS experiences. And lo, there were many. But the machine that really sounded spiffy was the Dell Chromebook 7310. It is strongly recommended by "Mr. Chromebook," the guy who writes custom firmware to let you boot these machines directly to Linux, without weird startup prompts and a risk of a family member quite inadvertently reverting the whole thing to ChromeOS... arhgh!

Only thing is: it's not available new anymore. And because it's as nice as it is - for instance, you can upgrade the SSD, and it contains a proper SSD, not soldered-in eMMC storage - and is available with several different processors and an excellent screen, it costs a little more.

I decided to leverage the first to address the second. In other words, I bought a used unit on eBay, with an i3 processor. And I am super-very happy with it.

So far everything just works. And it's fast - the experience so far feels zippier than my i7 Mac at work, because GalliumOS deliberately goes light on flashy stuff that slows computers down... but also because an i3 is still a whole lot better than a Celeron. Don't get a Celeron. Just don't.

At 13" it's a little bigger than I initially wanted. But I work from home far more often than I fly. 

Here, I hope, endeth the saga. Except for the bit where I'll be flipping the two (!) Samsung Chromebooks I bought, in my zeal to prove it was a real issue and not just the hack job I did removing the write-protect screw from the first one. Sigh. I think I might donate them to a school. On the whole, I'd prefer getting back 100% of the karma over getting back 30% of the money.

5/26 '18 1 Comment
Happy to hear you've got a solution!