English Regional, Midlands, Scottish, Northern
1 Small stunted trees or bushes collectively; a thicket. Now Scottish.
2 Broken bricks or stones, rubble; waste material; (more generally) rubbish. Now English regional.
3 Shale, occurring in a thin stratum, often found just above the coal seam.

Middle English (in an earlier sense). Probably partly from Anglo-Norman ramail, ramaile, ramayle, ramale, from rame branch + -elle.


Ronnie rambled through the rammel and the rubble. A kid can make a playground from just about anything.





A tightrope walker.

Late 18th century: from French funambule or Latin funambulus (from funis ‘rope’ + ambulare ‘to walk’) + -ist.


Ray was proud of his skills as a funambulist, but he was working to become a funcurroist to run across the rope.
[One should probably note that unlike a baby learning to walk, it is far harder to crawl on a tightrope than walk (to be a funserperist).]



I just updated my recent reading page. I keep short notes about each book I read on that page to help me remember. Some books are less memorable than others these days, at least for me. At the same time, I noticed that the associated RSS feed page was not showing the dates correctly. I write my own XML file in a text editor, and I had improperly left off the year portion of the date field.

It was an oversight. In other RSS feed files, I was doing it correctly, but all during 2018, I had been forgetting to add that “2018” data.

Fortunately, the page worked in Firefox without the year component. I hope it worked in other people’s feed readers. I don’t know.

Nobody complained.

Was that an oversight, too?

404 Errors and Site Cleanup

spray cleaner

Maintaining a website is not too difficult, but it does benefit from some periodic cleanup. Occasionally, I make a typo and other times I mangle a link. No matter what the problem, it is a bother to anybody who visits the site. Therefore, I watch the error logs and make an effort to find a fix.

Recently, I noticed that somebody, probably a bot, is trying to take control of the site by doing a login. It isn’t the first time, but it is the first time I’ve decided to to write notes about it.

There are unscrupulous people out there. Some of them write software to cruise the Internet for sites where they can plant malware to spread it more widely. In geek terms, they want to “pwn” the site. They want to “OWN” it. I don’t want them to succeed, but I dislike the 404 errors.

The logs recently showed that “someone” has tried to access a folder called “login” 59 times, 2 times just this week. Up until today, that folder has not existed, which caused the webserver software to generate the error, affectionately known as a “404 – File not found” error. I am not happy when my typos have caused a useful file to not work, especially when somebody wants to access my 3D printing stuff. I’m equally unhappy that the creeps want to capture my site.

My solution for a typo is easy. I fix it. A broken link, also easy if the file is mislabeled on my site.

For the missing login folder, the solution was to make one, and to fill it with a couple of files designed to waste the time of a bot, or to inform a visiting human of the reason they won’t get in by this pathway.

You are welcome to go see the new pages and try to log in yourself. No matter what you enter into the form, the same message comes up again and again.

Just in case you want to see it, I’ve also created a custom 404 error page. I think that it is better to make the missing file give more back than just a numbered error. I recommend everybody with a website set up one of their own.