Monthly Archives: April 2013

A week’s worth of cleaning

Wow, busy weekend after a busy week.  My Mom came up from Florida this past weekend to review what things were where from my Grandmother’s passing, and to check up on me.  I cleaned all week to try to make sure it was bearable for her and minimize the “Oh, Nathan!” exclamations.  (I shudder and look around for things I’ve forgotten to do, just typing that.  I can hear it in my brain…)

I re-packed boxes that were half-reviewed and rebuilt shelves in the other bedroom to hold those re-packed boxes, organized boxes into roughly similar contents and re-shelved them, cleaned the bathroom by scrubbing all surfaces, moved all recyclable cans into the garage, took all shredded paper into the garage, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

It turned out to be just bearable.  Just.  She did admirably well biting down on the stream of criticism I could see behind her eyes.

We took a drive up to Duluth to visit my Grandparents’ grave on Saturday, but the new snow made it impossible to do more than stand on the path.  And say “Hi.”

Grandparents' grave

My maternal grandparents’ grave, picture taken 20 April 2013.

After the visit, we went to a family friend’s place, where my Grandma’s furniture is being stored.  A desk, three tables, some drawers, and a chair.  It’s less than either of us remembered.

We then drove around town and took pictures of the places we used to live.

My childhood home.

My childhood home.  It’s smaller than I remembered.


Maternal Grandparents' house

My maternal grandparents’ house – it’s also smaller than I remembered.  Well, last time I was inside, I think I was about 3′ tall.

I can tell I’m getting older, I can’t make the drive in one straight go anymore.  I needed to get out and stretch in Hinckley.

Saturday ended with a little more cleaning, to make going through Grandma’s boxes easier.

Sunday we went through each and every item in those boxes, threw away things that were of no sentimental, historical, or monetary value, and re-packed them to await the trip back south with her and her fiancé in June.  Ended up with one less box she’ll have to move.  And I have one large garbage bag to take out.  But, I found a number of photos to scan, for the archives.

Today, my Mom is on a plane back to Florida, where she will, no doubt, be glad to get away from the snows of Minnesota.

And I feel a sinus infection coming on.

Oh, and something like seven or eight feet of snow forecast tonight.

At least the snowblower has gas in it.

I think I’ll spend the evening reviewing my newly recovered iTunes library for any missing items, and importing my DVDs.

Have fun, readers.  I’m going to try.


Completely forgot about the blog…

Guess it’ll take a little work to get back into blogging, but I swear my reasons are good.

I got a call from my Ma on Monday reminding me she’s coming to Minnesota, to handle some stuff of Grandma’s and visit her grave.  I asked her when, and at the pause I realized I had probably better look at the calendar.  Sure enough, as I brought it up, she told me it was Friday.

So…  I’ve been cleaning like a mad little monkey hopped up on caffeine, as I thought (for no good reason that I can figure) that I had another couple of weeks.

The good news – I got all the recycling done, (15 big garbage bags of soda cans and 4 bags of cardboard), got the majority of the to-be-sorted stuff into the spare room, and most of the first floor cleaned.

The neutral news – I have two more shelves in the basement to review, but Friday is coming sooner than later, so they can just stay put.  I still have one more bag of paper to shred, two old boxes to go through, and 87 of 124 DVDs imported for my iTunes library.  And the duplicate file delete on my recovered iTunes disk is almost half done.  (I still should write-up the story of how it got lost in the first place…  I’ll just add that to my ever-growing to-do list.)

The bad news – I haven’t gotten anywhere on this site, nor the sister sites.  I have an multi-site tool I want to test, called InfiniteWP, for managing all updates and plugins, but I haven’t even gotten to creating the database.

So, I think that since I’m at the keyboard already, I’m going to create databases and make ready for the admin site creation.

Oh, and make dinner.  I should probably eat something today.  More than peanut butter on Ritz crackers, that is.

Have fun, readers.


More WordPress work

Okay, all my WordPress installations are more secured than before, without obviously sacrificing functionality.  I’ve built a test site for more aggressive settings, and I’m working out the details to mock-up things before implementing.

While delving into these settings, I’ve confirmed my favorite plugins have withered on their developmental vines – the smileys, the WYSIWYG comment editor, the plugin-listings, and others.  It makes me have a sad.

I’ve found a couple of replacements, implemented two, and now I need to learn more.

So, theme work is on hold while I dive into the devil’s work.

Well, no time like the present.


Well, the second half of this week was busy…

Wednesday ended up being almost 12 hours of chasing around and waiting, Thursday was a whole lotta chasing around, too, and Friday was a whole lotta little things.  Not to mention a bit of snowfall and shoveling heavy, wet snow.

And then late last night, a botnet of hacked WordPress sites was announced.  Of course I checked security on this site (fortunately, I enforce stronger than super-strong passwords, removed the default admin username already, and have two other security detection methods in place,) and implemented a plugin to take care of the rest of the holes:  Better WP Security.

To see an official post about WordPress, click here:  Passwords and Brute Force.

So, to anyone out there paying attention to this blog anymore, I strongly urge you to check out the above links, and take action on your own WordPress site, as necessary.

And now I’m babysitting a 3TB drive defrag that has just gotten to one-third complete, re-ripping DVDs for my iTunes library, and doing laundry.

I’ll post more on the iTunes library/hard drive failure later, that really deserves a post of its own.

But for now, I have chores to do, then more website security and plugin compatibility to review and swear at.  *ahem*  I mean, implement/fix!


Implement and fix.

So, until later.


Wow, WordPress has changed a little bit…

It’s been at least two years since I really tried by hand at WordPress theming, and even more since I’ve really worried about plugins or core.  I’m really surprised by how many different things have been absorbed into core, like photos and galleries, and how different the default themes are now versus a few years ago.

Hrm…  Looks like there is going to be a learning curve, but this is going to be interesting.

Oh, and I enabled sharing to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Yahoo…  We’ll see how much of a mistake that was as soon as I click Publish.

Ready, set…


Finally rebuilt my blog

After moving servers, improving security, then wiping the whole dang site and recreating it from scratch, it’s time to start blogging again.

And, since I found my Photoshop install disc, exercise them theming muscles again.

Although I love me my Facebook, it’s just not the same as logging in here and waxing philosophical.

So, on to it.