Asterisk Web Design

How To Add Open Graph Tags to your WordPress Site (and Twitter too)

Facebook like buttonThere are plugins out there to help you add Open Graph tags to your WordPress site. But like all plugins, sometimes they work how you want, other times they don’t.  In my case, they didn’t.

So here’s a short tutorial on how to add Open Graph Tags to your site in a way that makes sense. We will:

  • enable thumbnails
  • add a like button for single post pages and the index page
  • for single posts, display post thumbnail and permalink url
  • for index page, put post permalink into Like button URL
  • allow for a default blog thumbnail

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How To Make Realistic Looking String in Illustrator


Recently, I was thinking how to upgrade the logo for a friend who owns Offramp Designs (, a clothing company for those on the road less-traveled.  Of the many possibilities, I thought it might be cool to incorporate the clothing tag into the design. As part of this, I wanted the logo to appear like it was hanging from something… thus I needed to create small length of string to hook through the logo.

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Getting Started with iPhone Development


O.K. I am no expert iPhone developer. I’m not even an intermediate level programmer.  To be perfectly honest, I’m as close to the bottom of the food chain as you can get, save “what’s this shining box in front of me” kind of iPhone developer. I own an iPhone and a Mac, as a start, and that’s about it.

What then can I offer someone interested in iPhone app development? A lot, actually. This article is a compendium of materials and resources I’ve found in the past few days that I’ve found immensely helpful.

I’m all about the free. Everything you’ll find here is available to you right now, for free. While these things are not going to match a master class in getting started, I think it’s pretty darn close.

First thing first: Download the iPhone SDK.

What is the iPhone SDK? It stands for iPhone Software Development Kit and it contains applications you’ll use to write your apps, extensive documentation and a library of templates to get you started today.  There are a bunch of other resources as well like videos, manuals and forums.

Now that you’ve downloaded and installed the iPhone SDK what next?

1. Stanford University CS193P

This course offered by Stanford University is a good place to start.  Download all of the course materials as well as the lecture videos and follow along as if you were really taking the class.  I’m having a little bit of difficulty with it, but that’s a good thing.  The lecturers are good and they explain things well.

If this is too hard, then I suggest taking a step back and going to your public library.  Here in San Francisco, the public library offers books for checkout ONLINE, and for FREE.  When I’m really stuck I’m going to check out “Learn C on the Mac”by Dave Mark.  That’ll give me a grounding in C, essential for understanding Objective-C and Cocoa.

2. Learning Objective-C on the Mac

The next book in the series is “Learn Objective-C on the Mac” by Mark Dalrymple and Scott Knaster.  Also available through the public library, it has a pretty good grounding for iPhone app developers.  If you haven’t already pick this up, the library has a bunch of free books that’ll help you out.

3. iPhone Development Central

I haven’t extensively used this resource, but it seems like there are a lot of good videos to watch that give you a decent background in iPhone development.

Hope these three resources help you get on your way and excited about iPhone development.  Onwards and upwards!

Sesame Chard



1/2 bunch of  Swiss Chard (about 1/3 lb.)

2-3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 Shallot

1 tsp. grated ginger (optional)

1/4 diced red pepper (frozen is fine)

Sesame seeds

1 Tbs. Soy Sauce

I was messing around the kitchen and I realized I had a mess of Swiss Chard in the fridge.  Threw together this recipe and turned out pretty well.  To make, wash the chard and remove the leafy green parts from the red stalks.  The smaller veins are fine.  In a pan, place the olive oil, heat it up, and add the shallot and optional ginger to it.  Let them saute for a short while, definitely before they get golden brown.  Add the diced red pepper (for this I used Trader Joes’s frozen mixed peppers and it turned out fine).  Put the peppers in the pan.  Once the shallot has turned golden brown, add the Swiss chard.  Don’t worry if the pan can’t initially hold all of it; the chard has a lot of water in it and will reduce to a third or less when all said and done. As the chard cooks, it will become soggy, but as the water evaporates, it will firm up a bit.  Let that cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring so nothing burns.  Once cooked, add the sesame seeds (very attractive against the dark green), sesame oil (for taste) and soy sauce.  Be judicious with the sesame oil… you don’t want to make the whole thing oily.  Turn off the burner and the residual heat from the pan will evaporate the soy sauce but not burn it. Goes well with a salmon burger.