My first web page was put up in March 1976. I have been putting material on the web ever since. And everything is still on the web, all updated with modern code.
I have always been good at organizing data. Very good. I realized this in seventh grade, when I learned outline structure, which also fit in with my conciseness (not helpful when schools had minimum page writing requirements).
I like to program, and I'm very good at it. Programming debt in investment banking at Merrill Lynch, reinsurance pricing at Swiss Re, and my BondCalc program, made me money.
After retiring at age 59, I have continued to program. But now for my various websites. Ten of my websites are partially, or almost completely, constructed by Excel VBA code from text databases. The worksheet for all is 3 MB. The code is as concise as possible. There is no redundancy. The spreadsheet finds/replaces with numerous options, resizes images, creates image links, adds page sideways navigation, creates HTML site maps, etc. It is available on request, if you are proficient in HTML 5 and VBA. It is further discussed here Wiss Websites Processing.
In the spreadsheet, each of the sites has a Dashboard, and uses other sheets. Many of the sites can be completely constructed with the press of a button, or two. Links to the dashboards are below.
Some of the sites have a page on processing the site. More will be added.
Webmaster: Don Wiss
Contents to Sections Below:
Primary Sites (VBA Automated):
This was given automated slide shows when it was started in 2007, as the site started with catalogs and the company's 1948 book. I had the book, and a near complete collection of the catalogs at the end of family ownership in 1976. Having material to work with is key.
I have now scanned many books, pamphlets, trade catalogs, price lists, ads, etc. The site now has 85 slide shows. This is my biggest and most important site. It started only on the company, but was later expanded to include extensive material on the family, including the 1926 Grand Tour of the Mediterranean and Europe. My will bequeaths the site, along with some cash, to the Newark Public Library, with the requirement that they keep the site up.
The History of Early Jamaican Hotels
I was curious as to what hotel my widowed grandmother went to in 1959 and where she met her second husband. We did know she flew into Montego Bay. Searching the web I found no historical information on Jamaican hotels. I also needed to learn something about the island to plan my grand tour. [Which I never took. I retired and every day became a holiday.] I asked questions on TripAdvisor. Then, liking old things, and realizing that I had a couple of old Esso Jamaica road maps (I like maps and real estate), this history of old Jamaican hotels was born in March 2011. It helps that the subject matter produced ample scannable ephemera and this site shows off my programming and data organization skills.
Later, based on two pictures my grandmother took on the trip when she met her future husband, it was easy to determine that they met at the Montego Beach Hotel.
There are now 170 early hotels and the site has many hundreds of scanned brochures, postcards, photos, clippings and maps. The site's dashboard. The site has extensive processing notes.
Each hotel will be researched in the digitized Kingston Daily Gleaner. Some have been. This site is bequeathed to the National Library of Jamaica.
Face Nailed Floor Parquetry Borders
My 1892 Park Slope, Brooklyn house only has an original hardwood face-nailed floor in the parlor. The first owner of the house chose to carpet the house with broadloom instead, leaving me with pine sub-floors. Back then, wool broadloom carpet was new (introduced in 1877) and more expensive. The wood floor sellers called this unremovable carpet unhygienic. Powered vacuum cleaners didn't get started in the United States until 1908. Before then, wooden push-pull floor sweepers would have been used.
I had been admiring what I didn't have. I wanted to install a face nailed floor with a border in my new kitchen. I needed some examples to pick from. And to learn how to do it in an authentic way. No centralized information existed online. So I went out and took pictures. Having the material, this website was developed. And I continued to take pictures to get more material by attending house tours and open houses. The site now has over 300 border pictures organized into 16 major groups, which are then split into 66 subgroups. I am the only one that has organized the different borders. Slide shows of old catalogs were added. No other site on these floors exists. The site's dashboard.
This site is bequeathed to the Center for Brooklyn History at the Brooklyn Public Library.
Foragable Plant Photos
235 plants split into: Edible, Medicinal, Inedible, Poisonous, Edible Mushrooms, and Inedible Mushrooms.
In September 1999, at the same time that I got my first digital camera, I signed up for a "Wildman" Steve Brill foraging tour. Foraging is very Paleolithic, the diet I follow. On the first tour, I didn't bring my new camera, but on my own, a week later, I returned and took all I could remember and find. I continued joining tours and taking pictures and creating an album for each tour. Initially hosted at PhotoPoint.com.
After getting many albums of pictures taken on tours – there are now 29 tours – I wrote code to create a virtual album by plant, with the code pointing to the pictures back in the donwiss.com albums. In 2023, all the pictures were moved to the site, which allowed for much more sophisticated processing. The site's dashboard and processing notes.
Vintage Auto Ads from Holiday Magazine (1946-1963)
Some years back, I bought an old issue of Holiday Magazine, as it had an article on Jamaica. I wanted to see if anything useful for my Jamaica Hotel History website. I saw some lovely car ads. I have a long hall wall and figured many framed ads could line it. I bought 45 issues in one lot. Almost all issues were 1952 or earlier. Before the flambouyant period that I wanted. Now, having all the material to create another website, I spent a few days scanning, and then a day automating the site. Very simple VBA code.
Greenport (NY) Walking Tour
I wrote this page, as the walking tour I found online was in landscape PDF format. PDFs are not at all mobile friendly. So I rewrote the tour to be mobile friendly. This is the website where I learned how to make a click/touch sensitive map. Touch where the house is on the map, and you jump to the text. But people are likely to walk in a group. So I found how to get text to voice. Now a second touch map and the commentary on the stop is heard.
One very sunny day I took a day trip to Greenport and took pictures of all the buildings. I created a slide show of them.
This site did not start out automated. The data I'm working with is static. But if I wanted to make a change, I would have to make it on 47 pages. Plus the same commentary was on the home page, and repeated on each house's page. Not good. After one full day of work, I automated all the code. I plan to take more and better pictures -- less sun! -- after my Greenport house is habitable. The site's dashboard.
Tunbridge Ware Treen
In the 1980s, I was collecting 18th century English furniture. It was a hot item at the time. And it did not have the derogative nickname brown furniture. One day, I made a visit to James II Galleries, a James Robinson offshoot upstairs at 11 E. 57th St. They specialized in 19th century decorative arts and jewelry. I found a sarcophagus shaped sewing box. With perspective cubes on top and a Vandyke pattern on the sides. I liked it enough that on my next trip to England I included Tunbridge Wells on my itinerary. These days what I buy tends to be small, as easier to display. And I still seek out the cubes and Van Dykes. The site's dashboard.
I bought my first digital camera in September 1999. I put my pictures on PhotoPoint.com. At the time, for picture hosting, they were the one. In December 2001 PhotoPoint abruptly shut down. Their bandwidth costs were too high.
Now I had all the pictures, but I didn't have my captions. For $25 they sold you a CD with your pictures and captions in an HTML slide show format. I used that as the basis in the spring of 2002 to write my own picture album slide show code in APL. Making it my first automation project. (Instagram started in 2010.)
My photos became popular, as at the time I was taking pictures of the Camera Dealers in Brooklyn, most of which were sleazy. The New York Times article on me.
The site now has over 10,000 pictures. There are thousands of travel pictures, with another thousand not yet processed and on the site. Also featured are the Caribbean, Carnival Pictures, the Mermaid Parade and Ground Zero. The main feature these days are my annual Park Slope Halloween Pictures, which I have been taking for over two decades. The album processing has a rather intense worksheet.
This site was started back in June 1998. People were posting recipes to my PaleoFood email list. I collected them and built the site by hand. Along the way it got automated in APL, and I sought out recipes to add. It grew and became a very complicated site, and near impossible to maintain. It was the last site to be converted to VBA. Everything is text data files and the data is in a normalized structure. An experienced programmer could use my code to create another recipe site. The site's processing notes.
The site is organized like a general cookbook, e.g. The Joy of Cooking of decades past, when game was still included. Recipes are organized by topic, 43 chapters, groups (for some chapters) and 361 sections.
After being introduced to the Internet in January 1995, I joined the still active rec.food.cooking Usenet newsgroup. At the time I was gluten-free, but not yet paleo. I started saving newsgroup articles on potatoes. Looking for material to create websites -- my first web page was in March 1996 -- I put my collected posts on a website. Then I went paleo, but continued collecting for other celiacs. The site has over 12,000 articles, in over 700 threads, organized into 22 chapters. I have another 15 years of saved posts, which with a lot of effort could be processed and added. The site's dashboard.
Other Historical Information Sites:
The Coulter Family of Catawba County, North Carolina
A slide show of Victor A. Coulter's 1975 self-published book. He was Uncle Vic to my mom.
The Emperors Club VIP
After the Eliot Spitzer story broke, I was able to get many images of The Emperors Club VIP model companions from archive.org. See the thumbnail gallery and click a thumbnail for the profiles. The one he hooked up with is not pictured.
Other Recipe Collections:
Product Link Pages:
A page of links to vendors of paleo meals. Fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried. Shipped, delivered, and picked up.
A page of links to sites selling and shipping foods that would be acceptable on the Paleo Diet. There are numerous sites selling grass fed meat, plus other food products: fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, and honey.
The Kitchen Equipment Encyclopedia
Recommendations for Paleo/Primal Eaters. Covers all kitchen equipment, tools and gadgets that can be used in the preparation of: meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, herbs, and spice seeds. There are 250 descriptive entries with pictures organized into 36 categories.
Annotated list of all the gluten-free food vendors. There are now more listed here than you could possibly make use of. But when this started it was just a few vendors listed in a section on the links page. Now grouped into categories. But it hasn't been updated in years.
A page of links to sites selling foods and beverages that are 100% free of dairy; plus links to lactose reduction products. But it hasn't been updated in years.
Other Link Pages:
A page of annotated links to sites for the Paleolithic Diet, also called the caveman or a hunter/gatherer diet. It is gluten and dairy free. My favorite page. There is also a definition of the Paleolithic diet. Also collections of articles and studies on this diet and some disorders:
A page of annotated links to sites on foraging and ethnobotony. Foraging can be done anywhere.
Clams and Clamming (which can't be done everywhere).
The Gluten-Free Page started as my initial home page in April 1996. The page had once been a definitive list of websites on celiac disease/gluten intolerance, and the gluten-free diet. It is annotated. In 2009 it was expanded to cover more than 200 books. Entries have concise descriptive reviews. A snapshot of that time.
A page of many
annotated links to sites for people wishing to avoid dairy products for health or other reasons. Examples are lactose maldigestion, milk allergy, milk protein intolerance, casein intolerance, and the vegan diet. Has Intro.
- Site Map
Ron Hoggan Articles
The table of contents to various articles written by Ron Hoggan, a friend of mine from Calgary now living on Vancouver Island. After writing these articles he went on to write Dangerous Grains. You can no longer buy Smarten Up!, a video of Ron presenting on the topic of how gluten grains impede learning in sensitive individuals, and how they can affect one's behavior. Ron's last book is The Iron Edge. A new book is being written now.
Collected Net Articles of Dr. Kalle Reichelt
Contains articles on the connection between Mental Disease, Autism, Schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, Allergies, etc., and Gluten/Casein Intolerance. My first page in March 1996. Later it got more up-to-date formatting.
A few other collected articles.