Careful with that email

When you are building systems like my Keep on Posting or my DNSk9 that send emails there’s always the danger that you’ll accidentally fire emails from your development machine to real users. You really don’t want to do that because it’s annoying and extremely unprofessional.

It happened to me a couple of times. Thankfully, nothing serious. But I learned the lesson. That’s why in my user models now I have a safe_email method which I use instead of accessing email whenever I’m about to actually deliver a message.

The method safe_email ensures that nobody will receive a message unless I’m in production and at the same time it’s good for testing. Obviously most of the time in development and testing mode I don’t deliver emails at all, but sometimes, I make an exception:

def safe_email
  if Rails.env.production? || email.blank? # If the email is blank (or nil), let it be.
    email
  else
    "pupeno+#{email.gsub("@", "_AT_")}@pupeno.com"
  end
end

Hiding suspended blogs and labels

If you have, manage or keep track of a ton of blogs and twitter accounts like I do, I just implemented a couple of features in Keep on Posting that you’ll love: hide suspended blogs and hide link labels.

Here’s a screenshot with everything being shown:

and here’s another with everything hidden:

I got a whip

I got a whip from Noreast Whips. I used it a only for a little while this evening and I already love it. Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?

Most people ask me: why? Well, I grew up watching Indiana Jones, he was badass, he had a whip. Who didn’t as a kid improvise a whip and imagine himself digging for archeological treasures and fighting nazis?

I actually did more than that. When I was 13 years old I got my first whip. Not knowing what I was doing, I got what they call a wall-hanger. Something that looks like a whip that you hang on the wall. I used it and it disintegrated very fast. Well, I knew it was a toy, it was fun anyway.

But I still wanted a real whip. I put my desire away for years until I decided I had enough, researched a bit and got this, a real whip. Look at the bottom of the handle:

I ordered it in black with red details. Isn’t it beautiful? At Noreast Whips they can make them of many colors, but this model, the Catalyst, the one for beginners comes in only a few and only 6 feet long.

No, they are not paying me for the links. I just like the product, the fact that it’s a dream come true and that they were so patient with me, a total newbie.

The top of the handle also has red details:

Some things that surprised me when cracking it was how easy it is to give it a lot of energy. Just moving it around to position it for cracking I can make it whistle in the air.

The second thing that surprised me is that it wasn’t cracking at all. I was doing something wrong. I picked my phone, watched 30 seconds of a video on cracking bullwhips and off I was happily cracking.

This is a random section in the middle:

It’s so amazingly tight and solid (yet flexible).

Cracking was not an easy as I expected, which I loved, because it means there are a lot of challenges ahead and I’m looking forward to it. Look at a professional doing lots of different methods of cracking (hint: I want to learn them all):

The other thing that surprised me is how many parts a whip has. I would have expected it to be one piece, but it isn’t. Where the whip ends, another part starts that as far as I know it’s called the fall:

Normally whips are made of leather. But I have my troubles with leather and it requires more maintenance so I got this one made of nylon. I’m starting to really love nylon.

And where the fall ends, the cracker is attached:

Apparently the crackers are the first to get destroyed so they gave me, for free (thank you!), a few extra ones:

Here’s the whole thing again, on my left hand:

I actually cracked it with both hands more or less with the same effectiveness.

Where’s the video of me cracking it? Safely and privately stored on my own computer. Since I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m wearing a scarf, a hat, safety glasses, gloves and I’m generally dodging the whip itself, so I look like a total dork. When I get good at it, I’ll publish some videos, meanwhile, look at one of my inspirations: