So what does Fall mean?

I took this picture while driving by Trinity Lutheran church on Van Dyke and M-59.

If spring means that god loves you, what does fall mean...he doesn't?
Church Sign about God Love and Fall

How to Make Your Profile Picture Appear on Google Search

If you type "Miguel Cabrera Stats" into Google Search, you don't even have to click on any links to get the results. Google will display them automatically. As you can see below.Miguel Cabrera Stats Rich Snippet
That's because Google is working with something called Rich Snippets. It's a way for web pages to have small images or information appear for certain pages.

I've noticed it a lot of pages have a picture of the author. So i tried to figure out how to get my picture to show up next to a link for my blog. Hopefully this would add to my increasing ways to increase traffic to my blog.

I'm not going to bore you with all of the details, but it's a bit complicated. A summary of what i did is:
  • Sign up for Google+
  • Update your Google+ Profile, checking certain boxes and add profile image
  • Update your Blogger Profile and add image
  • Add a link from the Blog HTML, linking to your Google+ Profile page
  • Add one link back from Google+ Profile to your Blogger Profile and actual Blog
  • Add a rel="me" tag in your Blogger Profile
  • Add a Privacy Policy to your blog.
It took a long time to figure everything out and i thought that i finally got rid of all the errors. I was able to check that my profile was Verified using the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

LinkHere's what it looks like when i checked my blog homepage. It said Verified in green and my profile picture was on the right.
Rich Snippets Testing Tool Verified
Everyone said that it would take between 2 days and a week before it shows up on Google Search properly. So I checked after 1 day...nothing. I checked after 2 days...nothing.

I was confused so i decided to look at the Rich Snippets Testing Tool page again. When i put in my Blogger Author page it seemed to work. Notice my picture on the left under the link. That's exactly how i want it to look on Google Search.
Rich Snippets Testing Tool Verified profile
So i continued checking other pages on the Rich Snippets Testing Tool page, most were like the first screenshot from above, with nothing to the left of the page title. But randomly when i put in the URL from a page i posted 5 days earlier my author image appeared. I thought "Great...it's starting to work."
Rich Snippets Testing Tool Verified author image

BUT, when i went to the actual Google Search and typed in keywords to find the page it did NOT show the image. (3rd link down)
Rich Snippets no author image
Even more confusing was that when i put the URL in for another page, it put the author image up for my sister, who had commented on that post.
I must not have clearly identified who the author was.
Rich Snippets wrong author image
During the entire process of reading about Rich Snippets, I did figure out how to add a Star rating and review number. This is typically used for pages like movie reviews. So what i did was put in 4.7 stars and 216 people, which is totally made up. But it makes it appear like my website has a high rating.
Rich Snippets star and rating
Then a few days later it appeared in Google Search. But only on some pages and only the stars and review, not my profile picture.
Rich Snippets star and user rating
The easiest way to view all the pages at once is to type "site:davewirth.blogspot.com" (without the quotes) into Google Search. It brings up all related pages for that site. It showed me 365 pages, some with stars, some without, but none with a picture.

I feel like this will be an ongoing process and expect that at some point my profile picture will show up next to some of my blog links. I was interesting learning about all of the tricks to get a website noticed. And i think that i will try adding more rich snippet data to my page. That is something that Google will continue to emphasize. But as of right now, for me, it's a lot of trial and error.

A few days later i thought that i might have figured it out with this page, it switches your Blogger Profile to link with your Google+ Profile. But still no change in the result.

Awesome Pole Vaulting - Fierljeppen

Fierljeppen - i'm not sure how to pronounce it but it's Dutch for "crazy person pole vaulting over a giant river." Earlier i had talked about what was my Favorite Olympic sport. This would definitely be at the top of the Summer Olympics.


That's what i thought was going to happen when i tried to pole vault that swamp in Jackson.
River Pole Vault swamp


I Need to Start Eating More Cereal

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you have just been demoted.
Frosted Toast Crunch Cereal New
I guess Sugar Toast Crunch didn't test well with the mom's.

Cool Knit Animals

I saw this book at a store the other day. It was called Amigurumi. It was filled with knit animals and how to make them. It looked super complicated.
Amigurumi Book cover

Chirpy ChickAmigurumi Book Chirpy Chick
This mushroom guy looked like the 1-Up from Super Mario Bros.
Amigurumi Book mushroom
It all reminded me of the Sock Monkey from the Kia commercials.
sock monkey tattoo kia commercial

Game of Thrones - Season 2

April 1st is the start of the second season of Game of Thrones on HBO.

If you don't have HBO you can always watch the show online for free at Project-Free-TV, or one of the other free online TV show sites i wrote about earlier.
Game of Thrones Season 2 HBO
The Game of Thrones series is set in a medieval time where different powerful families fight over who will have the power. There are lots of great characters and story lines that tie everything together.

My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage. Last year he won the Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He plays a character that cannot physically overpower anyone, so he has to outsmart his enemy's and sometimes even his own family.
Game of Thrones tyrion lannister peter dinklage

The show is great, but in the final episode of season 1 i got upset. They killed off their lead character, Eddard Stark, played by Sean Bean. He was also in Lord of the Rings. There's not a lot of TV shows that would kill off their main character in the first season.
Game of Thrones eddard stark sean bean

The show is based on a series of books, the first book was written more than 20 years ago.
Game of Thrones sword fighting

Through all the different characters and story lines, there are several people you like, hate and can relate to.
Game of Thrones brothers

Here is the Game of Thrones trailer for season 2.


Darth Vader at School

Last week at Karrie's nephews elementary school fair, i walked into a classroom and saw this: Darth Vader preparing to do the cake walk.
Darth Vader at School
While some Storm Troopers watched.
Darth Vader Cake Walk
I didn't stick around to see who won when the music stopped.
Darth Vader with Storm Troopers
I did see them later in the library, and he was not holding a cake. But Boba Fett had joined them.
Darth Vader and Boba Fett
"these aren't the books you're looking for..."

Phoenix Airport Time Lapse

While waiting for our plane to arrive in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, i made this time lapse video of Terminal 4. I used my Canon S95 camera with the CHDK program running the intervalometer script. Here's my previous CHDK post.

I took a photo every 3 seconds over about 50 minutes. I then compressed the images, converted them to a video at 8 fps.

Then i used Adobe After Effects to add the intro, sound, motion and other minor effects.


I used After Effects once before to edit a compilation of time lapse videos i created. The video below took several days and lots of reading of how to do each step.

This time though, it only took me a few hours. It goes to show that the first time is always the most difficult, then every time after that goes faster.

Here's my Youtube Channel with all of the video's i have uploaded.

Hunger Games - Movie Review

Last Friday was the premier for the movie The Hunger Games. It was based on the book by Suzanne Collins, which is the first and best book in the trilogy. Several months ago i listened to the audio books for all three. The first book was definitely the best, but the 2nd and 3rd were good too.
hunger games books trilogy

It stars a girl named Katniss who has to fight to the death against other kids from the 12 districts. It was set in the future but it reminded me of communist Russia, where everyone in lives in poverty except people from the Capital.
katniss shooting bow
The movie was almost 2.5 hours long and was actually really good. Though it seemed rushed near the end. But as with all movies that are based on books, like Harry Potter, they always have to cut out several scenes and characters. Otherwise it would be a 6 hour movie.

thumbs up rating


Make Shish Kabob and Pasta Salad

The other day Karrie and i made Shish Kabob. We cut up onions and peppers.
Homemade Shish Kabob Ingredients
And cut chicken into pieces.Homemade Shish Kabob Chicken
Then we each picked different BBQ sauce and shook everything in a bowl, with the lids on, until it was nicely coated.Shish Kabob BBQ Sauce
Then put everything on skewers.Shish Kabob Skewers
All set, but it was a messy job.
Shish Kabob chicken and Skewers
Waiting for the grill to heat up.Shish Kabob Grill
Just setting them on the grill.Shish Kabob Grilling
Almost done.
Homemade Shish Kabob on the Grill
We also made pasta salad. Here's the sausage and cheese cut into cubes.
Homemade Pasta Salad Ingredients
Boiling the pasta.
Homemade Pasta Salad Boiling Noodles
All done with cheese and italian dressing added.
Pasta Salad with Dressing and Olives


Joby Gorillapod Tripod Return Policy

A few weeks ago, when i was using my DIY - polarizing filter and DIY - ND filter i broke my new Joby Gorillapod tripod. It was really cold and as i was shutting the tripod, the plastic leg snapped.
Joby Gorillapod broken plastic
So i emailed Joby Gorillapod, told them what happened, included my Amazon order information and the picture above. They responded that day saying that they would send me a replacement. Three days later a brand new Gorillapod tripod showed up in the mail. It was great. Joby Gorillapod replacement policy
I actually didn't think they were going to send me a new one so i tried fixing the old tripod the day before the new one arrived.

Just gluing the plastic legs wouldn't work so i inserted the two ends in a piece of PVC tubing and then sealed it with some J.B. Weld epoxy. It didn't look so good but it worked.

Joby Gorillapod repair
Now i guess i have two mini tripods.
Joby Gorillapod replacement policy broken


Water with a Homemade ND Filter

While i was out testing my DIY - Camera Polarizing Filter, i also brought my DIY - ND Filter i made from a piece of welding glass. I was really happy with how the pictures came out before when i was at Lake Erie.

Here's a slow-moving river near Flat Rock, Michigan.
ND filter river neutral density water
The ND filter makes a very calm effect. The blurs in the picture are a flock of geese.
ND filter lake neutral density water
I used my new Manfrotto Tripod and it worked great, it was smaller and a lot easier to carry around.
ND filter river neutral density water
The same picture as before, converted to black and white.ND filter river neutral density water dock


Homemade Lasagna

Karrie and i decided to make homemade lasagna the other day, using her uncle's recipe. Here is everything set out and ready to go.
Homemade Lasagna Ingredients
Browning the ground beef.
Homemade Lasagna Ground Beef
Layering of the second row, we used No-Boil noodles which made the recipe a lot easier.
Homemade Lasagna Noodle Layer
Lots of cheese on top of the noodles and sauce.
Lasagna Noodle Layer Cheese and Sauce
Cover with aluminum foil then it's ready to go in the oven, 450ºF for an hour.
Lasagna Noodle Layer Cheese and Sauce
All done and out of the oven.
Homemade Lasagna From the Oven
Cutting Homemade Lasagna From the Oven
The first piece.
Serving Lasagna From the Oven
It turned out great.
Homemade Lasagna