Site News

Martens Woodshop On Instagram

I’ve been using Instagram a lot more than Facebook. I get more interaction with random people who are interested in the same things as me, and it generally feels like a happier place.

I want to use Instagram even more to connect with the woodworking community, but I also don’t want to bombard friends and family who don’t care about that stuff. So I’m segmenting my posts under two accounts. The @benwmartens account will still be normal day-to-day, family-life pictures. The new @martenswoodshop account will have lots of pictures all related to woodworking and will show day to day progress along with the finished project.

If you like it all, it’s easy enough to just follow both, but I won’t be offended if you don’t like seeing lots of progress pictures for my projects.

Some day I dream of supplementing my income with woodworking and maybe this is the first step down that path. For now, it’s still totally a hobby but maybe I can start building a brand.

No Blog Books

I have books sitting on my shelf containing all of my blog posts from 2002-2014. I love the idea of having these all stored in paper form, but the reality is that they NEVER get pulled off the shelf. But I think I’m going to stop making them…

First of all, these books take a long time to publish. I wrote a program that pulls each post from the database and puts it into a Word doc, but it’s very rough and I have to go through each post to clean it up. Then I also add in all my tweets and Instagram photos and whew, it’s a solid couple weeks of effort per book.

I told Tyla I wasn’t going to do this anymore and she thought, “AUGH! What if you die? How will we save all your posts?” So here you go: if I die, someone with WordPress knowledge should ask Tyla for our master Last Pass password and then export it all to a text file. I’m pretty sure you can handle that. And if not, all these pages are probably stored on anyway.

This blog is unlikely to live forever. I’ve had many thoughts over there years (and they’re increasing in frequency) about dropping the blog and regaining a big chunk of time. It will happen some day. Maybe then I’ll decide that it’s wort the effort to finish out the book series to have a complete set. But until then, I’m going to save a bunch of time and some shelf space and not make dead tree versions of my ramblings.

Take a second and check out Ha! That’s right! I finally own it.

What is Rum Friday? It’s pretty complicated. See if you can stay with me here: you drink rum… on Friday. Why? Umm… why not?

I don’t have any big plans for the domain name, but I’m happy to add it to the collection. I should have bought it years ago when I first looked but I delayed and then someone snagged it. They finally let it go and I anxiously waited through the period between their last payment and it being released to the general populace again.

So for now it just points to this blog along with these other domains:

  • (points to Elijah’s facebook page)
  • (points to Tyla’s facebook page)

If you’ve never bought a domain name before, it’s incredibly easy. Use a registrar like or, pay about $10/year and you’re done. You can just have it point to your Facebook page or anywhere you want. And if you pay a little bit more, you can get email forwarding set up so that any email sent to you at that domain name gets redirected to your regular email.

Follow On Facebook

facebook-wordpressFacebook is a monster. They have over a billion and a half unique users who visit every month. That’s a staggering number. So the odds are that many of you are on Facebook and some of you might even preferred to get notified about new posts via Facebook.

I recently added a WordPress plugin that automatically publishes a news story in Facebook for every post that I make here. They all end up on the old, but rarely used, Studio711 Facebook page:

If you Like that page, you should start seeing some of the posts show up in your newsfeed. Due to Facebook’s algorithms, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see all of them, but you’ll, of course, always be able to find the full list once you come to this site.

I will take no offense if nobody follows that Facebook page, but I thought I’d throw it out there in case it’s useful for you.


Azure IP Blocking

A few days ago I noticed that my website was getting a little sluggish. It wasn’t much but it wasn’t as snappy as usual. I checked out the website dashboard on Azure and noticed that the number of requests to my server were steadily rising. A quick scan of the logs revealed that a single IP was flooding my server with requests. It was trying to hit the URL where I used to serve up CascadeSkier data so I doubt it was an intentional DOS attack, but the effect was ramping up to be similar.

I wrote previously about blocking traffic to Azure websites, but new features are always getting added so I looked around again. Indeed they have added the ability to block specific IPs. Check out the final section of ScottGu’s blog post for more info.

It was a one line configuration file change and the results were immediately apparent. Even if you don’t understand any of the geek gibberish that I just wrote, I bet you can figure out when I implemented the change: