Category: Miscellaneous Tools (page 1 of 1)

How to Add an Address to Google Maps

This post is going to really deviate from my normal content, except for the fact that I am still writing about technology. My husband and I recently purchased our first house, which was a new build. Because of that, Google and every other map service of course did not know that our house exists, and that was becoming annoying while trying to help other people navigate to our new address.

I did a lot of googling and reading of support forum answers trying to find out how to add my new address to Google Maps, but nothing that I found online was possible when I went into the app. A lot of the suggestions seemed to be really outdated for the Google Maps UI. I eventually figured out how to add it myself through poking around the app, so I thought I would share how I did it in hopes of helping someone else who was struggling to find help with other online resources.

These instructions cover how to add an address to Google Maps using the iPhone app, I’m hoping it would work for the Android version as well, or even on a browser, but I’m not sure since I haven’t been able to try with either of those options.

Quick Overview

  • Open the Google Maps app
  • Press and hold on the location of the address you want to add to drop a pin
  • In the menu that opens when you drop a pin, select “Suggest an Edit”
  • In the next menu, select “Fix an Address”
  • Confirm the location you are adding using the map on the next screen. Move the map if needed. Then click “Next”.
  • Enter your new address information in the fields provided and then hit “Submit” when ready to add it.

Open Google Maps and add pin where your address is

In the iPhone app, you can press and hold on the map in Google Maps to drop a pin, and that is what you want to start with. That will bring up a menu on the bottom half of the screen, choose “Suggest an Edit”.

Select the option to “Fix an Address”

In the menu that is brought up after you select “Suggest an Edit”, choose the option to “Fix an Address” (although technically the address doesn’t exist yet).

Confirm the location of the pin is where your location is supposed to be

After selecting to “Fix an Address”, the app will bring up a map again for you to confirm the location of the address you are fixing/adding. You will need to drag the map around until the pin in the center of the screen is where you would like the address to be. When I was adding my address, I put the pin on top of my current location while at home to make sure I put it in the right spot.

Enter your new address information

The very last thing you will need to do is to enter your address correctly into the fields you see in the final screen. Double-check to make sure you don’t have any typos or any other mistakes, then click “Submit”. After you submit the address information, the suggested edit apparently goes through some sort of review process at Google, but you should get your address added to the map within a few days of submitting.

How to Set Notepad++ as Your Default Git Editor

Welcome to another coffee break post where I quickly write up something on my mind that can be written and read in less time than a coffee break takes.

When you start working with Git Bash for the first time (or you have your computer completely reimaged and have to reinstall everything again like I did recently), you will likely encounter a command line text editor called Vim to edit your commits or to do any other text editing needed for Git. And if you’re like me, you probably won’t like trying to use a keyboard-only interface for updating your commit messages. If that’s the case, then I have a quick tutorial for how to make Git use a normal text editor to more easily update your commit messages.

What is Vim?

Vim is an open-source text editor that can be used in a GUI interface or a command line interface. My only familiarity with it is with the command line interface, as the default text editor that Git comes installed with. If you don’t update your Git configuration to specify a different text editor, you will see a screen like the following whenever you need to create or update a commit message in a text editor (like when you complete a revert and Git generates a generic commit message for you then gives you the opportunity to update it, or when you want to amend an existing commit). This is what the command line editor version of Vim looks like (at least on my computer).

I personally don’t like this text editor because to use it, you need to know specific keyboard commands to navigate all operations and I don’t want to learn and remember those when I can use a GUI-based text editor instead to make changes more quickly and intuitively.

How to Change Text Editor to Notepad++

The command for changing your default text editor is super simple. I found it from this blog post: How to set Notepad++ as the Git editor instead of Vim.

git config --global core.editor "'C:/Program Files/Notepad++/notepad++.exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin"

After you execute that command in Git Bash, you can run this command to test it, which should open up Notepad++ to try to update the last commit you made: git commit --amend.

That blog post then says that you should be able to double-check your Git configuration file to see that the editor has been changed, but my file doesn’t reflect what the other post says despite Notepad++ be opened for commit messages after I ran the change statement. This is what my gitconfig file currently looks like after setting the editor to Notepad++:

So your mileage may vary on that aspect. As long as the change works for me, I’m not too concerned about what the config file looks like.

How to Revert Text Editor to Vim

If you ever want to change back to the default text editor, you can run the following command to switch back to Vim, and once again confirm it worked using the git commit --amend statement:

git config --global core.editor "vim"


Changing your default text editor for Git Bash is extremely simple as long as you know where the exe file of your preferred editor is stored on your computer. It’s also simple to change back to the default Vim editor in the future if you want or need to.

My New Note Taking Tool

Note: I am NOT sponsored in any way for this post. Everything contained in this post is my honest opinion and review of the software.

For about a month now, I have been working with a new software for taking notes for my blog as well as personal learning projects, and I have really been loving the tool so thought I would share it and how I get the best use out of it. The tool I am now using is called Obsidian, and it has turned out to be a very simple but useful software for taking notes of any kind for any subject.

What’s in this post:

What I was using before and why I switched

Before I made the switch to Obsidian, I was using good old OneNote, the built-in Microsoft note taking software. That worked well enough for me for several months, but I eventually decided to make the switch from it because I was really disliking the organization and look of OneNote and was finding it hard to customize the formatting of my text in the way that I wanted. OneNote has predefined styles for headings, plain text, and code snippets, and I wasn’t liking those options anymore. In previous versions of OneNote, I swear I was able to customize the styles to my liking, but the version I had been working with before switching to Obsidian did not allow that. Plus, I was really just finding the whole app a bit ugly and outdated looking, so I started the search for a new tool.

In my search of note taking options, there were a lot of different apps that gave the customization I wanted, but they usually required a subscription to use them for more than a few simple notes, and I am adamant right now that I don’t want to add another paid subscription to my life. The one really great looking option was Obsidian.

I sat on my research for about a month until I got really tired of the flaws of OneNote, especially the code formatting options since most of the notes I have been taking recently have been with Python. Then I finally downloaded Obsidian and have been using and loving it since.

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a markdown-based, text-editor-like note taking tool that is more bare-bones than OneNote but allows you to do a lot more formatting and linking of notes than OneNote is ever going to be capable of. Obsidian even includes a graph features that allows you to look at how all your notes are linked together, which it says can help you visually see how your thoughts are connected.

On the back end, your Obsidian Vault (how they refer to what I would call a notebook) is simply a folder structure full of individual markdown (.md) files that each contain one of your pages of notes. Since it is so simple on the back end, it is easy to keep organized and backed up with any software you normally use to backup your local files.

Below are screenshots showing what my Obsidian notebook looks like on my computer in File Explorer, and one screenshot showing what those same notes look like within the Obsidian app.

Screenshot showing the folder structure within my Obsidian Vault using File Explorer

Screenshot showing the individual note markdown files within the Python folder of my Obsidian vault
Screenshot of the Vault explorer pane in Obsidian

As you can see from the screenshots, it really is just simple files stored on my computer, but those files look much sleeker and more organized within the actual Obsidian app.

It took me a few days to get used to using Obsidian, but I got the hang of it quickly and decided it was going to be my one source of truth for notes going forward. It’s bee nice enough to use that I have even stopped using my physical notebooks for now, which I didn’t think would ever happen (where will I put all of my fun stickers now if not a physical notebook??).

How I organize my notes

As you can see from the screenshots above, I currently have my notebook organized into multiple folders. The most notable are Attachments, Blog, and Topical Notes. The best part of Obsidian is that you are able to customize it to meet your exact needs, so I am only showing how I have mine organized to maybe give others ideas for how they might organize their notes. This organization is very specific to my current needs.


I created this folder based on advice I read from others online who use Obsidian as well, and it’s a great way to keep any images you have pasted into your notes organized, due to how Obsidian handles attachments in notes. When you insert an image or screenshot into a note, not only does the image get pasted where you want it to in your note, but that image also gets saved as a separate file into your Vault, at the very top level of the file structure. While that may be fine for others, I was really disliking it due to the number of screenshots I was copying into notes, so the main view of what’s in my notebook was getting very cluttered with all the image files visible at the top level.

(Technically, the image that you see pasted into your notes is just a link to the physical image file, but done in such a way that it appears as if the image is just stored within the text. But since every note page in Obsidian is a markdown file, it cannot store in itself an actual image, so that’s why the links are used.)

So to clean up my vault/notebook a bit, I created the Attachments folder and I copy all image files and other attachments into the folder after pasting them into my notes. It can be a bit annoying at times because I have to move every single image that I paste into the specified folder, but it’s really not that bad and makes the notebook look nicer so I’m happy to do it.


As you might guess, the Blog folder contains all my notes related to my blog, including drafts of posts that I am working on as well as other pages including lists of tasks I want to accomplish and future goals for the blog. Nothing too crazy in this folder.

Topical Notes

This section is where I put various notes about technology or anything else I am working on learning, when the topic isn’t big enough for its own folder/section but needs to be organized somewhere. Currently, this folder only contains some notes for OLAP data storage & processing as well as Snowflake.

How I save my notes

Unless you want to pay for a subscription, you will not have a built-in function for saving your Obsidian Vault to the cloud or have any easy way to sync your files across multiple devices. But thankfully, since everything with the tool is file-based, it is very easy to use an existing cloud storage service you may already have to save and sync your files across devices. One option would be to use OneDrive, another is to use Git and that is the option I am currently using.

To make my notes available to me easily no matter where I may be working, I decided that the best solution for saving my notes off my computer would be to use GitHub, since I already have an account with them. I created a private repository on GitHub and pulled that down to my local and set up Obsidian in that repo. Since creating that, it has been super easy and intuitive for me to save my notes every day by pushing to the remote GitHub repo.

Other Features

One main feature that Obsidian uses as a selling point that I haven’t found useful for my own purposes yet is the Graph View of my notes. The graph view shows you a physical graph (like the data structure) of how your notes are linked to each other. I haven’t found this useful because, while I do link some of my notes occasionally, I am not doing a lot of linking and don’t feel the need to view my notes in essentially a “mind map” format. But others who are more visual thinkers could find it useful. That feature is certainly unique to this software.

Screenshot showing the Graph View of my Obsidian notebook, very few links between files at this point

As you can see from that screenshot above, I have hardly done any linking with my notes yet, so the graph view doesn’t show anything useful for me. (FYI the blanked out boxes are for upcoming posts that I didn’t want to leak.)

Obsidian also has a feature called Canvas, which I haven’t played around with much, but it seems like a tool that might be nice to help you plan out large projects or any type of work with notes or ideas that connect to each other. The Canvas reminded me a bit of LucidChart, but it seems more focused on helping you organize your thoughts rather than to make flow charts.

Screenshot showing a sample Canvas I created using one of my Obsidian note pages and a “card”

Pros of Obsidian

  • Works well with code snippets, since it has simple markdown functionality for that style
    • If you are a programmer or are just learning code, being able to format the code nicely in your notes is wonderful
    • You don’t need to use the mouse to change to code formatting while typing, just use the markdown symbols
  • Notes are stored on your own system which makes them as secure as your computer– no need to worry that the company is going to get hacked and compromise your data
  • Simple yet robust note-taking features, with just enough styling options to make it personal yet not hard to read
  • Modern design and function
  • Can use most keyboard styling shortcuts available in other text editing tools (e.g. CTRL+I to make text italic, CTRL + B to make text bold, etc.)

Cons of Obsidian

  • Uses markdown styling for all text formatting options, so you need to learn that to be able to style text how you want
    • I have been going back to this cheat sheet multiple times to remind me how to do markdown formatting
    • Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to do all sorts of custom formatting
  • Must buy a license if you want to use it for work, even if you’re not the owner of the company
    • I would love to be able to use this tool for all my work notes since it’s so customizable yet simple
    • The current subscription price for one person is $50 USD per year, which is reasonable, I just don’t want to pay for yet another subscription service right now
  • Must manage your own cloud saving and syncing across devices if you don’t want to pay for Obsidian Sync
  • Difficult to add color or other text customizations beyond bold & italic to your notes, must use inline HTML to add colors
  • Can’t specify your own ordering of notes, will always be placed in alphabetic order
    • I think this is the biggest annoyance to me for the most part, sometimes it would be nice to keep your notes in a specific, non-alphabetic ordering
    • The easiest way to keep things in the order you want is to use numbers or symbols at the beginning of note names (I put the date at the beginning of each note to keep it organized better, and then put symbols like ! at the beginning of the title for notes I always want at the top of the list)


Obsidian is a great free tool to use for taking organized and useful notes right on your own computer. While there are a few features of the tool that are annoying to use at times, it has more positives than negatives. I would recommend that anyone in a technical field take a chance with Obsidian for their notes solution if they’re looking to try something new and modern.

Using the WordPress Local Development Tool to Avoid JSON Errors

When I started my blog a couple months ago, I determined a posting schedule for myself of once a week on Tuesdays. If you are someone who notices details and patterns, you may have noticed that I went a few weeks without posting at the end of December and into January, but it wasn’t for lack of me trying. In this post I’m going to talk about the issues I faced that prevented me from posting and how I finally got a workaround for the problem that has finally allowed me to start posting again.


While trying to create and edit my tutorial post about working with Liquibase, I kept running into the same vague JSON error when trying to save drafts, always at the same point. The error was: “Updating failed. The response is not a valid JSON response”.

The point at which it always failed was about midway through the post, either when I copied in text that contained double-quote characters or when I added the first image. I spent several weeks going back and forth with Flywheel (the web host I use) support, trying to figure out what was causing this JSON error when I tried to save a draft.

We tried many different things, including the normal troubleshooting steps of disabling plugins, reverting to the default WordPress theme, disabling all of my browser extensions, trying to work in an incognito window, and several other things. I read so many of the articles online discussing how to resolve this error, and none of those solutions worked. On the Flywheel side, they told me they were trying several different server changes, including extending timeout values and other firewall type changes. I even completely restored my website to default, but not even that worked. And then I had to rebuild everything on my website (except for posts and pages which I exported before restoring).

As of the time of writing this, I still don’t officially have a resolution from Flywheel for this error that keeps popping up and generating 403 errors on the backend (I figured that out myself by inspecting what happened when I clicked the “save draft” button). However, thanks to some kind folks on a WordPress forum, I finally figured out a viable workaround that I am actually enjoying using more than the online WordPress admin portal.

The Successful Workaround

The workaround that I am now using, even as I write this, is to use the development tool for WordPress called Local. This tool gives you a local development environment for WordPress that can seamlessly connect with Flywheel and other hosting providers. The setup for the tool was super easy, took me less than 5 minutes. After going through the setup, all I had to do was pull a copy of my site to local and then I have been able to locally edit my website through the tool.

Once you’re done making all your changes, you only need to select to “Push” to your production site, then select which changes you want to be pushed, then it’s quickly sent to your actual production website. It takes a few minutes for Flywheel to update with the changes, but then you can see your locally developed changes on your real site. All without the hassle of the ever-present JSON error when trying to save a draft.

I will be continuing to work with Flywheel to try to resolve the error on my production site, but at least for now, I am able to keep working and posting, back to my normal schedule.


If you are facing endless errors when trying to create posts for WordPress and you’re hosted with Flywheel, try using the Local tool to develop on your own local machine to see if that helps you in the same way it helped me.


We finally seem to have resolved my issue after going back and forth so many times with the Flywheel support team and continuing to escalate it through all their support levels. I’m not sure if this is what finally resolved the issue as I wasn’t provided any further details, but the last detailed message I received seemed to indicate that something was set up incorrectly with their Web Application Firewall (WAF) that was preventing me from editing. Before getting the issue fixed, I also found that I couldn’t edit the footer of my site because I was also getting 403 errors when trying to save those changes, and that along with my post creation issue has been resolved.

The moral of this update is that if you’re having this same issue and your site is hosted on Flywheel, keep pushing them to try more things on their end, don’t let them say that it must be something with your local environment. They were super great in continuing to try as long as I kept pushing and saying it still wasn’t working. It also seemed to help when I started showing them the exact errors I was getting with the Inspect tool in Chrome so they would have something to work with.

How to Clean Up Old Local Branches With Git

If you use Git Bash or another form of Git on your local development machine for version control in your organization, have you ever looked at how many branches you have from old work? Sometimes I forget that Git is keeping every single branch I’ve ever made off of master in the past unless I manually go in and delete it. This means I end up with an insane number of local branches hanging out on my computer, some of them months old. It’s not necessarily bad that these local branches are still around, but I know that I will never need them again after the related ticket or software change has been deployed to Live. Any pertinent information that might be needed for reference for that branch is stored in our remote repo which means I don’t need it hanging around on my machine.

When I finally remember to check how many local branches I have on a repo (using the command “git branch”), I am shocked to see dozens upon dozens of branches like in the above screenshot (which is only about half of the old branches I have on that repo). Then I want to get rid of them but also don’t want to use “git branch -D <branch>” for every single individual branch to clean them up one by one since that would take me quite a while to complete.

The faster way to get rid of all local branches, taught me by a coworker, is the following: “git branch  | grep -v “master” | xargs git branch -D”. Note: use this with caution because it will delete everything and you don’t want to delete something that you still need. Also, there are some caveats with which this command won’t work, and you can read more about that on StackOverflow.

TL;DR: the above command will fetch the list of all branches available on the current directory/repo, will get all branches except the one you specify with “grep -v” (so that you can keep the local master branch), and will then delete all of those branches with a force delete.

Let’s break down each part of that command:

  • “Git branch”
    • This is the command that will list all local branches on the current repository
    • Using a pipe character (the vertical bar “|”) will tell the command to feed in the results of what’s on the left of the pipe into the command on the right of the pipe, which in this case means we are feeding the list of local branches into the command “grep -v “master””
  • “grep -v “master””
    • The grep command will print output matching a specified pattern
    • The option “-v” signifies that the inverse of the list matching a pattern should be output
    • In this scenario, the two above points mean that this full command is going to take the list of all local branches and print out all of them that aren’t the specified branch, which in this case is “master”. If your main branch isn’t called master, you can change that value to whatever branch you don’t want to delete with this command.
  • “xargs git branch -D”
    • I haven’t been able to definitively figure out what the xargs command is doing (if anyone has documentation on this, please send it my way!), but essentially it seems to be taking the list of branches created with the two previous commands and running that list through the normal “git branch -D” command which will perform a hard delete on those branches.
    • “git branch -D” is the command used to force a delete of a branch (the -D is short for using the two options “–delete –force”)

This isn’t the most necessary Git command you’ll ever use in your work, but it does come in handy to keep your work organized and decluttered if you’re someone like me who values that.