Linking to a WordPress blog post in Facebook with image thumbnail

When linking to a WordPress blog post from Facebook, often the incorrect image appears, or there is no image at all. Not long ago Facebook changed the way that link previews appear in an attempt to limit face news. As a result, images often don’t appear correctly. One fix is to add an Open Graph meta tag. One way to do that is using Meta Tag Manager, a free FB plugin. This tells Facebook to use the indicated image for the link thumbnail. Here’s an example from an earlier blog post:

<meta property=”og:image” content=”” />

The first test seemed to work fine. Time will tell.

Getting coordinates from Apple photo

Photos taken with an iPhone are tagged with coordinates. The coordinates can be displayed on a map in Photos, the lat/lon coordinates don’t appear to be accessible in app. To determine the lat/lon coordinates, export the photo, then open in Preview. Use Tools>Show Inspector and select the info tab (i). One of the options is GPS, which shows the latitude and longitude coordinates. It also lists photo Altitude, Destination Bearing and Date Stamp.

Adding music from a CD without a CD drive

Our new Mac does not have a CD drive. I guess no one uses CDs these days. I still cruise second hand shops to look for old CDs, mostly to replace albums I used to own. I have several discs I wanted to enter into iTunes but without a CD drive I needed an alternative. Fortunately we still have the old computer that does have a CD drive. With that computer on the same network as the new computer, it’s possible to enter a CD disc into iTunes on the old computer, then transfer the music files to the new one and then enter the album into iTunes.

File sharing must be enabled on the computer with the CD drive, using System Preferences>Sharing>File Sharing. Both computers are using the same WiFi network. On the new computer I used Finder>Go>Connect to Server and Browsed for the old computer. Once connected I could navigate to the iTunes music under Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Music. The album was then dragged to the desktop and then entered into iTunes using Add to Library and selecting all the songs and clicking Open.

Note: After upgrading to Catalina OS, iTunes is renamed to Music, and the Add to Library function wasn’t working as I expected. Instead I used Import and selected the album folder. To add artwork, Get Info on the album, click yes to editing the info, then select Artwork at the top, then Add Artwork and select a jpeg of the artwork.

Using ePub docs in Kindle

I recently downloaded a book in .epub format and wanted to transfer it to my Kindle. Since that format cannot be directly imported, I needed to convert to another format. An acceptable format is .mobi. Kindle makes a free app called Kindle Preview to allow ebook producers to preview what their books in progress look like on a Kindle. The app also converts from ePub to mobi. The ePub format was dropped into the Open Book window and after a while was readable. Once imported the book could be exported to .mobi format.

I tried to email the book to my kindle (after finding out the kindle device email address using the Manage your devices option on Amazon, then clicking on Preferences). But the book was too big to send so I discovered that I can simply connect the Kindle reader to the Mac using the usb charger cable. The .mobi file was put into the Documents folder and it then appeared on the Kindle. If emailed, you will receive a message from Amazon? asking you to verify the email request. Once verified the book will appear on the Kindle.

Update: To input a .mobi file into Kindle, download the file on the iPhone or laptop. I navigated to and downloaded an Agatha Christie novel (Ebook-No. 863). The .mobi file is placed in the Files folder on the iPhone and Download folder on the Mac. I clicked on the .mobi file which brings up a blank window.  I then clicked on the send icon and chose Kindle. I could then enter the title and author and select Send to Kindle.

It’s not OK to drive in a bike lane

The other day we encountered a motorist driving in a bike lane. When told he should not be doing so, his reply was that there were not cyclists in the lane so it was ok. Well, it’s not ok.

From an article at

To get some clarity, we contacted Jakob Helmboldt, Richmond’s pedestrian, bicycle and trails coordinator, and John Bolecek, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s statewide bicycle and pedestrian planner. They referred to the Code of Virginia to get a definition for bike lanes.

“ ‘Bicycle lane‘ means that portion of a roadway designated by signs and/or pavement markings for the preferential use of bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds,” according to the code.

The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices defines preferential lanes as being for a special purpose and restricting access by other users, Helmboldt pointed out. “Though the code doesn’t say ‘exclusive,’ the federal regulations and engineering standards make clear that restriction of other users is the intent,” he said.

Virginia code says a traffic lane “means that portion of a roadway designed or designated to accommodate the forward movement of a single line of vehicles.”

“A bike lane is not designed nor designated for motor vehicles. They are designed and designated for bikes,” Helmboldt said. He compared them to HOV and bus-only lanes, which also have restrictions for drivers.

Driving in bike lanes results in unpredictable travel patterns, he said. Motorists driving in bike lanes create a dangerous environment for both the driver and the cyclist, which also creates issues of liability.

From the DMV driver’s manual:

Bicycle lanes are indicated by a solid or dashed white line or green pavement markings, and a bicyclist symbol. A bicycle lane is for the preferential use of bicyclists. Drivers should not drive in the bicycle lane except when necessary to turn left or right. Before turning, check your mirrors for bicyclists that may be behind you and yield to bicycles in the lane.

Handlebar Comparison Site

What Bars? is a great way to compare different handlebars. Specs for each bar are listed on the left. Select a bar to see it displayed on the right. Select several bars to overlay them. I recently switched from regular drop bars to the Jones Loop bar. Before doing so I tried to compare different bars and it wasn’t easy. Wish I’d known about this site then.


Wildcard search on Mac OSX

If you want to use a wildcard behavior in Finder :

For this example lets say you are searching for all files *_modif*.PNG

  • In the finder search box enter .PNG, press ENTER
  • Now appears just below the search box a Save button and [+] button
  • Click the [+] button, then towards your left click on the combo box that says [Kind]
  • In the [Kind] list select “Other” at the bottom
  • Scroll down to “File extension”
  • Now type in “PNG” in the box after the text [File extension] is, then press ENTER
  • Click the [+] button again
  • In the [Kind] list select “Name” (which is the same as Filename if you went into “Other…”
  • After the [Name] combo, open the next combo box and select “contains”, then enter _modif and press ENTER

You can now save this search, and apply it to the folder you started from or the entire Mac

Note most wildcard behaviors can be obtained by selecting the other options from the same place you selected “contains”, ie “begins with”…

Description and Keywords in WordPress

In order for people to find a website they need some clues as to what the site or page is about. One way to do that is by adding a description and keywords to the site. Since I used to hand code my web pages it was easy enough to add a couple of lines of code to the file in the form of Meta tags. With WordPress there is little coding involved. Most changes are made using plugins or widgets. Occasionally coding can be done to avoid resorting to those tools.

I recently researched how to add this type of information to this website. It involved adding the following code to the file header.php. When doing so WordPress warns you that your modifying the code of the site so be very careful:

<title><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?><?php wp_title(); ?></title>
<meta name=”description” content=”<?php if (is_single() ) {
single_post_title(”, true);
} else {
bloginfo(‘name’); echo ” – “; bloginfo(‘description’);
}  ?>” />
<meta description=”Bruce’s website with information about bike trips, artwork, and general bike information.”>
<meta keywords=”bicycle, drawing, charcoal, artwork, bike, bike tours, bike trips”>
For individual blog posts, tags can be used to identify important keywords used.

Organizing photos in Mac Photos

When organizing photos in the Mac application Photos I put a long description in the Title of each photo. When moving those photos to WordPress I realized that the Description field was used for captioning photos in a Gallery. Instead of copying and pasting the title of each photo into the description, I searched for a way to do it using a program.

Found an AppleScript for doing a similar operation so after a little trial and error figured out how to move the title to the description field. As it turns out the variable name for the Title is “name.”

tell application “Photos”
set mySelection to (get selection)
if mySelection is {} then
error “Select photos before using script.”
repeat with thePhoto in mySelection
tell thePhoto
set the description to the name
end tell
end repeat
end if
end tell