Site Update 3

3:08pm – Wow. 12hrs. I did get some sleep, though! Updated a LOT of the stuff in the sidebar. Did a bunch of links, changed/updated pages, um, bunches of stuff along those lines. Changed the color of the sidebar background. But…I think it is all a little too….pastel-y. I ain’t a pastel-y gal. I like soft colors, soft textures, yeah. But….I don’t know. Wood tone colors aren’t that fun to look at sometimes. Gonna look for images of trees now. When I’m done, I’ll link to all the images I am trying out or, rather, the ones I at least liked enough to leave up for more than a few seconds.

3:42am – couldn’t sleep. About the time I was ready to, the sound I’d been hearing finally made it’s way to my brain. I thought a fish filter had gone kuput but it was a helicopter. It had been flying around for at least 45 minutes at that point. It finally changed it’s grid or something and I could no longer hear it at about 2:30, about 2hrs after I first heard it. No clue what it was looking for. We locked the doors and turned on the porch light juuuust in case.

Anyway, looked for a photo of my own and put up two photos. One in the header (our garden shed) and one in the sidebar (purple iris bud). But they no longer match the color scheme I had before so….

I’m going to bed. More later.

Site Update 2

Okay. Done for the day. Done enough damage I think.

I would really like to put the sidebar below the header (and still to the side) but I can’t seem to figure out how. I think it has to do with the placement of the ‘body’ tag but…me brain be fried.

I like the image.

Going to lessen the blue in the area where the posts appear. Probably will leave everything in the sidebar alone other than background color and putting it below the header.

Opinions?

Site Update

I am looking into changing the site’s theme. Right now, what you see is something I came up with using bits from two other basic themes. While I like it a lot, I’m no longer fond of the colors. I strive to make this site (and the main one) as accessible as possible and colors are the most difficult. “Web safe” seems to equal “boring and plain”.

So, anywho, if the site seems wonky with odd errors here and there, it’s ’cause I’m mucking about.

If the site doesn’t even load, it’s because the webhost is wonky. Again. I’ve been with them a loooong time (2002 or ’03?) and would rather not move. The price is good. I like the flexibility. But….come on, enough with the crashing!

Mike’s Website/Blog

I have too many websites. Really, I do.

Anyway, Mike’s website/blog/whatever (aptly named Mike’s Doghouse) is alive again. He and I are going to re-try our training for him to be my service dog. We had so many delays earlier but it worked out in the end. He needed time to mature, to find himself I guess. He’s still young but the time is right. I won’t post a note here every time I post a note there but I figured I’d tell you here that I was also back over there as well as here. You get all that?

Post Notification Subscriptions

If you are already subscribed to be notified of new posts, you will need to re-subscribe using the new method.

In two weeks (or whenever I get around to doing it), I will delete the database section for all current subscriptions registered with the old form (the one that was in the sidebar). If you do not re-subscribe, you will no longer receive notifications. Basically I am switching from a non-WP plugin form to one that is a plugin and easier to manage spam (yes, the bastids get me that way, too).

New subscription page link

As always, if you have any difficulties with either process, just let me know.

Spam River Dammed Again

I tried using a new comment form that included a “human verification” bit in it. But, for some reason, it wasn’t working. The form works well as a Contact form, but I couldn’t talk it into being a comment form. I tried to fix it but decided, for various reasons, that it wasn’t worth it.

So I dumped that and now have am trying a new plugin “Math Comment Spam Protection“. It doesn’t seem to be supported very well by the designer but it does work. The idea is to stop spammers from even submitting a comment and clogging the database and site resources.

As an example of this, I took down the cforms version and put up the one I had been using for years. I uploaded and turned on the new plugin. In that span of time, maybe two minutes tops, I got THREE spams. THREE. What a mess. Luckily, SpamKarma caught them and dumped them with glee but still, geez people, get as freakin’ life!

Please let me know if the form works for you or not. If it does not, use the contact form to, well, contact me about it. Or email me if you know the address.

Dam the Spam River

Okay, what happened the other day tried to happen again today. But, I happened to be one step ahead of the bastids!

I had already changed the comment form over to one that has a simple pre-filter installed. In the midst of making it look purty, I got the File 500 error again. I checked the webhost’s resource chart and while it said it was still within limits, the time-stamp said it was 45 minutes old. So I went to the database and SpamKarma’s log was stuffed full again. Nearly 700 spam just in the past 24hrs. So I deleted them all and the File 500 errors went away. Yay me!

I set the Settings>Discussions to turn off all Trackback/Pingbacks but all that does is uncheck the box for all future posts/pages. I went to WordPress’s Extension list and found what I needed. “Auto-Close Comments, Pingbacks and Trackbacks” is a plugin that allowed me to turn off ALL comments and trackbacks to ALL posts and pages. I could even leave open one that gets regular valid comments.

The comment form I am using now is called cforms and while the look of it is kinda gross, I do like the built in pre-filter. By pre-filter I mean it stops spammers from even submitting a comment. It doesn’t make it to the comment moderation where it clogs up the pipes. I opted to not go with the captcha images because I hate them myself and wouldn’t want to inflict them on others. Instead, it has a set of simple questions that the commenter must answer before the comment will move on. The questions are simple stuff (what is two plus two?) BUT they work. Yes, spammers can make their way around it eventually. But Shirley To Shit they aren’t that driven for this little known blog!

If anyone has any trouble with the comment form, let me know. I’ve not checked the accessibility issues of it (Elena?) yet and hope all is well on that front.