Sunday, December 31. 2006
February 2005, when the water was at about the same level. The weather wasn't as nice as the last time; it was in the low to mid 50s, but the low sun, steep shady banks, and chilly breeze made it seem colder at times. We put in from some slippery, muddy steps near the Key Bridge and were underway at about 10:45am.
Of all the places I've paddled in South Carolina, I think the Turkey Creek is about my favorite paddling spot. It's fairly close to home, has interesting geology and trees, and plenty of wildlife. I think the fact that it's only occasionally paddleable helps to protect its resources.
It wasn't long before we scared up several beavers. They would slip down the muddy banks and disappear in the water. I would scan the area for half a minute, but they didn't resurface. Brian happened upon a swamp rabbit in a rocky nook beside the creek. I didn't realize that they are a different species of rabbit, but they are. Wikipedia has a good writeup on them including an interesting bit of Presidential trivia. Fauna for the rest of the trip included more beavers, a buck deer, and a couple turtles.
We had just passed some small rapids and were chatting when all of the sudden a strange current caught my stern and started turning my boat perpendicular to the current. The kayak quickly began to try to roll downstream. Fortunately I was able to brace with my paddle and get back upright just in time. I'd like to think some of that was the result of several years' paddling experience, but it was probably also a lot of luck. At any rate I avoided a cold bath! We later realized that neither of us had carried a bilge pump, which I almost always have on the water.
We spotted the takeout and the Highway 23 bridge around 2:20pm and hauled our kayaks up the slippery steps and took the short trail (long when carrying a boat!) back to the parking area. It was a fun ride and a special piece of water.
There is so much beauty in these creeks that is hard to photograph while you're moving at four miles per hour. I hope to take advantage of the normal low water level sometime and slog around with my better camera gear. But definitely not until it warms up!
See the full photo album.
Everyone have a happy new year!
Tuesday, December 19. 2006
I'm excited that some of my photos were recently published in a book and a magazine, both firsts for me. A photo of a water strider near Stevens Creek, SC was included in a new kids' book, "The Real Thing! Stinkbugs & Other Bugs." It's an interesting book for a kid, complete with a real stinkbug specimen and scratch-and-sniff stinkbug smell! It was fun to see other BugGuide photographers published in the book as well.
Also check out the February 2007 issue of Backpacker Magazine. There's an article on paddling in the Everglades and they used this photo of Jen in the mangrove tunnel between Coot Bay and Coot Bay Pond. I've got to get back down there and do some more paddling and bird photography.
Now if only National Geographic would put me on assignment....
Tuesday, December 5. 2006
A commenter to a previous article asked exactly how I delete inactive members from a PHPBB forum that I run. So I'll try to explain. This solution runs on Linux/Unix systems...I'm sure it could be done for Windows, but I'll leave the particulars to you.
It's really two separate steps. First, you need a script which will handle the deletion of inactive members. I called mine cron.php. It deletes all inactive PHPBB users who don't activate within 48 hours. It looks like this:
// cron job to delete inactive users older than 48 hours
$strSQL="DELETE phpbb_users u, phpbb_user_group ug, " .
"phpbb_groups AS g FROM phpbb_users u, " .
"phpbb_user_group ug, phpbb_groups g WHERE " .
"u.user_active=0 AND u.user_id>0 AND " .
"u.user_id=ug.user_id AND ug.group_id=g.group_id " .
"AND g.group_single_user=1 AND " .
"DATE_SUB(NOW(),INTERVAL 2 DAY);";
mysql_query($strSQL,$db) or die(mysql_error());
You'll need to make sure the /usr/bin/php points to the location of PHP on your system, and replace the MySQL server name, user, and password with yours.
Now that you have a script, you need to tell the system to run it daily. You can do this with a cron job. If you have command line access to your website, you might be able to do this with "crontab -e". But my webhost has an administrative panel that lets you set up cron jobs on the web. If you can't set up a cron job, you could put the script into a web-accessible folder and periodically call its URL, either manually or through an automated process on your local PC.
This idea works great if the majority of your spam registrations don't activate their account. Usually they just want their spam links in your member list. But I'm finding that more and more spammers are activating and posting, so it remains that we want to stop spammers from registering in the first place. I'm experimenting with another method, which I'll post about when I see some results.
Update 2007-11-28: I replaced my original SQL statement with the SQL in comment #1 below, which I finally tested and it seems to work well.
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