How people found this blog

Every November I have a few thematic topics I like to post. Today I shall start with odd phrases that brought people here along with a commentary where appropriate.

First up is a language I don’t speak but google assures me that the phrase/word translates to

Dumbness inverter Buffy

I can’t even begin to offer an explanation as to why that person was directed here since I don’t speak or write the language in which the search was conducted.

Next up, we have:

  • girl with yarn I like this one, I am a girl, I have yarn. I hope I was what that person was looking for.
  • eight flame dragon I got nothing here, I suppose I must talk about dragons somewhere but not one with eight flames.
  • wordpress confessions of a book This leaves me wondering if someone is writing a book or hopes to read the book, what would said book confess about WordPress?
  • snob Well, searching the entire internet for one word, well, needle meet haystack.
  • crochet piggy slippers I can’t even begin to express with words how much I want to run this search to find piggy slippers.
  • ist of words that are good to put in wordle Really? Isn’t this supposed to be your own set of words? Why would you use words that belong to someone else?

And that’s about it since the rest of the searches were relevant to the topics I write about.

In which I edit a theme, again

So, with the upgrade to WordPress 3.0 and picking a new theme, all the old tweaks I made are gone. It was probably for the best as I documented my changes halfheartedly to the point where if my theme stopped working, I wasn’t going to be able to remember what tweaks I made. I did discover one tweak that I needed to do immediately. I love to check my stats, I’m a stats junkie, I want to know how people found me and what they read when they arrive if they found me via a search. I clicked on a page that was viewed only to discover that it was the most unusable page I’ve ever seen. All the archive, category and a sundry pages displayed the title, tags and categories of the post along with the first 40 characters of the post, not 40 words, 40 characters. My poor readers had to click on each link to each post to see if it was relevant to what he/she wanted to view. I can’t stand it, if I search for something on a blog, I want to see the complete entries for my search because I’m unlikely to discover the info I need in that small portion of the post. I could help my readers by creating a summary of each post in the excerpt field when I create a new post, but why do I want to do that for what amounts to a chronicle of my random thoughts? The answer is, I don’t. So off to The Codex I went. Luckily for me, the theme I am using today is being used my others so I was able to find the solution because someone else already asked for it. I did a quick snip and replace to accomplish a much easier format for my readers.

My friends, if you need to fix a theme, child themes are the way to go, but if you discover on the fly that something isn’t working and you haven’t made your child theme yet, the codex is a wonderful tool as long as someone else asked and someone else answered. I understand that it can be difficult to get an answer if your question is too specific and largely won’t benefit others.


P.S. Next time I say I’m tweaking the theme, remind me to just make the child theme, too many more tweaks and I won’t remember what I’ve done.

How people found my blog, part 4

I’m sorry to report that not many people are finding my blog lately. It’s to be expected as I haven’t been updating. The spammers like to spam a Christmas update post from 2009 which I find hysterical. There is nothing to comment on, it’s a status update of my sewing project for my sister-in-law. It has several hundred views a day and 3-5 spam comments which are usually caught my my filters. Looking at my stats tool shows that someone or multiple someones arrived here looking for information about wool. I understand that, I talk about spinning wool into yarn.

The next most popular searches that bring folks here are numbers. I’m scratching my head over that one. Why would you search the intarwebs (giggle) for the number 38, 42 I understand, but not 38 or 1 or 9 or 10 or 2. It’s beyond me. I got 9 visits from the number 2, am I on Sesame Street?

I am still giggling loudly about the poor soul who stopped by looking for pirate frocks. I can only think an non-native English speaker was hunting for pirate costumes or something. I did post on Talk Like a Pirate Day but it kills me that frocks is from “proefrocks” which is nothing like a frock in my experience.

My goal for Dec 2010 and following is to contribute one quality post a week so traffic should pick up a bit and we’ll have us a good laugh next Fall when we analyze the stats again. When I looked over the posts one this topic, I discovered that my stats program dumped things a while ago so I lost some of the funny words in my admin panel. Here’s a graphic for these search strings.

Museum Mondays

I was given the book “How to be an Explorer” by keri smith at the same time I received “Made from Scratch” and have been contemplating how to explore my world. Keri asks us to look around our world and begin a collection. She suggests that we can find things everywhere and while there is plenty of trash in the ditches around me, it’s mostly cigarette cartons and cups which I have no desire to touch. I’ve decided to start my collection today with a twist. I do not have a physical collection today, it is a graphical representation of all my posts from November of 2009.

The website, wordle, creates word clouds. You put either a list of words, a URL or a del icio us user name. It will use a java script and kick back a graphic word cloud that you can tweak by changing the number of words, colors, orientation of words, font and more. Here are mine from Nov. 2009 posts with 100, 200, 300, 350 and 400 words. I tried 500 but it was too many and the outliers were too difficult to read. My favorite is the one 300 words, but I didn’t force all the words back into line, so I’m featuring the 350. There are a few too many words in small type.

I’m not sure that it is an accurate depiction of my writings the rest of the year, but I’m going to think on it. I admit I love books and spinning. And I have to confess, I love containers and bags are a container of sorts.

Techie Tuesday 1.0 Plugins

I’ve had this blog since 2007 and one of my favorite topics to write about is this blog. I am fascinated by the versatility of WordPress. I admit that once my little guy arrived, a bit over a year ago, I stopped caring much about how many posts per month I wrote. At the minimum, I’ve written at least one every month because I don’t want to see months missing on my archive page. Back to blogging, once I found the Fantastic Flowery 1.2 theme, I stopped looking and changing behind the scenes of this blog. I’m in the process of setting up a second blog which I was forced to start at WP3.0.1. That in and of itself isn’t a problem, it’s just that I haven’t looked at how themes function, what plugins are available to download through WP instead of a separate download and an ftp/ssh up to my host. While I was dearly attached to each plugin I used, I’ve found that there are better options today. This list is basically a comparison of what I’m using on this site versus what I’m using on the new site. I’ll start installing new ones here and deleting old ones that seem to function better.

Plugins I’m using

  • Akismet-spam catcher
  • Article Templates-default templates for posts/pages like my signature file
  • CyStat-statistics plugin
  • Exec-PHP let’s me easily pop code into posts and not break things
  • Fast Secure Contact Form
  • Feed Pauser-let’s me post live but not the feed
  • Smart 404-tries to redirect user if webpage is not available because of typo or other error
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin-I had to tweak this one a lot, so I’m on the lookout for something else

Plugins I’m trashing

  • Blix Archive-replaced 3 plugins with one new one
  • Compact Archive-replaced 3 plugins with one new one
  • Simple Yearly Archive-replaced 3 plugins with one new one
  • Batch Categories-no longer available?
  • Blog Copyright (by BTE)-I can tweak my copyright statement with the theme I chose
  • Dday-it was less than ideal
  • Favicon Manager
  • Now Reading-I can’t be bothered to keep up with it, I may still use it for craft books

Plugins I’m replacing

  • All in one Favicon-pops in favicon code, replaced Favicon Manager
  • Batch Cat-replaces Batch Categories, it lets me update categories for multiple posts
  • Smart Archives Reloaded-one replaces three without any tweaking. I had to tweak the others so much that I’m not sure how much they still resembled the original
  • The Events Calendar-replaced Dday

Plugins that are new idea for me

  • After the deadline-a spell check grammar check of sorts
  • Bulk Post Creator-one text box, each new post is on a new line, a lot of drafts started in once clikc
  • Stats-I used this before and I’m trying it again
  • Twitter-I have a bunch downloaded but not active, I need to update my twitter feed and see if I like any of these.

I would not have found any of the new plugins until the old ones stopped working or broke my theme. I think I’m going to put it on my calendar at least twice a year-check for new plugins. How do I know what I need if I don’t know I need it? Obviously if my plugin stops working, I need a different one, but what about one new archive plugin to replace three old ones? Would I have known to look for that? Did I know I wanted to create blog posts in bulk? I know now because I’ve already mapped out my topics for this month so that I stand a chance at actually completing NaBloPoMo.

What plugins do you use? What can’t you live without?


Election 2010 in Michigan

The first year I moved to Michigan was an election year for governor and many other offices. I moved in mid-June and spent the next several months scrambling for work and trying to feel settled. Election day crept up on me and I have never felt so clueless before or since about what choices to make. I had always prided myself on taking time to see who was running for what office and where the candidates stood on the issues that were important. I think I know who I voted for for governor, but it wasn’t because I knew where that candidate stood. The next time I headed to the polls, I did my research first. I used a search engine to find a site that would show me all the candidates running for all the offices as well as all the referendums listed on the ballot. I came from states where if we had referendum, we rarely used it in the years I was eligible to vote. This year I turned to my search engine of choice once again and found the Mlive Voter’s guide-all the issues, all the candidates, all over the state of MI. I selected my choices, sent myself the email and will print it off when I head to the polls on Tuesday. I have to say, I do love technology when it works. I even found a voter guide of sorts for NY and a few other states, though not as nice as the MI one. The NY one does not let you select the candidate and print off your selections at the end. You’d have to print it and then mark the candidate you want.


How people found my blog, part 3

I like to check my site statistics every now and again to see how people arrived here. Sometimes I can’t understand how his/her search engine directed them here and other times I can. I hope he/she was greatly entertained if the search was a bit errant in sending the traffic here. I present a random assortment of phrases that landed many people here:

  • writing prompts generator software
  • prompt generator
  • random writing prompt generator
  • christmas prompt generator
  • writing prompt generator
  • tigerheart club
  • books by janette walls
  • the glass castle book club
  • curious case of benjamin button
  • the shack book club questions
  • the shack book club guide
  • bookclub reviews of the shack
  • the shack bookclub review
  • schacht matchless spinning wheel
  • best travel spinning wheel
  • suzie spinning wheel
  • louet s51 dt
  • lime and violet cant listen I admit, I don’t completely understand why the poor person was directed here for this one, the l&v part-yes, the can’t listen part-no
  • alan dart finished knitting projects
  • alan dart patterns
  • spinning wheels have to go round
  • tessellating fish pattern
  • tessellated fish pattern
  • yarn traverse pattern software I admit, I have no idea why the poor person was directed here for this one.

Library Plugin gone wacko

I have used a WordPress plugin called “Now Reading” for several years to track the books I’ve read. Though it is designed to be more for my library collection, I use it generically. Some of the books I list I own, many I borrow from the library or friends. After the latest “upgrade” the plugin broke. I’m not heartbroken, but I am bit upset as I have over 150 books listed as read, reading or planned to read since Nov. 2007. Less than 10 books are listed as reading or planned to read. The error I get is, “You are not authorized to perform this action.” Creating a new users on my blog with admin privileges didn’t change the problem. I did find that if I worked backward from the blog to the plugin I could edit “currently reading” books, but received the same error if I tried to add a new book. Part of me things it’s a WordPress problem as my WordPress hiccuped a week or so ago, but I also upgraded this plugin around the time it hiccuped. I didn’t notice the hiccup until Friday. I do have a work-around since I know how to edit MySQL databases but man is that a pain. The plugin wrote a nice little interface that runs information across 4 databases in one little form. I’ll keep using the silly thing until I’m too annoyed with the upkeep and then I’ll switch. If anyone out there uses something similar, I’m taking recommendations.

Ok, after setting my categories and scrolling down the page, I can say it’s a WordPress problem. WordPress has merged my admin account with a contributor account, grrr. I thought I fixed this last week.

Well, after deleting all author/admin/contributor accounts except the admin one, I have had no luck in forcing Now Reading to work. Maybe it’s time to uninstall and reinstall or just replace it with Now Reading Reloaded. I seem to have fewer consistent errors with the new plugin. It’s written by someone else but based the original plugin, so it works with minimal effort.

It seems to be stable now, 20 minutes later. I’ve had to disable another coolie plugin as the install went totally wacky after a recent plugin upgrade-YARPP-yet another related post plugin. As of Aug. 28, an updated release of YARPP seems to have addressed the issue so I have reenabled the plugin and fixed the template to show the related posts on the index as well as the single post pages.



I completed National Blog Posting Month 2008 in November. I am satisfied to be able to say I blogged every day for a month with only a few pre-planned posts. For the most part I wrote every post every day. Many posts I started ahead of time so that all I had to do was add the content or details. I can honestly say that I will not likely participate in Blog365, too much work and not enough to say. Having to blog every day did force me to have or plan some adventures to write about, how bad can that be. I’ve finally setup daily writing themes in the event I’d like to use them.


Wordless Wednesday

As the name implies on Wednesdays, during NaBloPoMo, my posts will be graphic in nature. At my former place of employment, I did a fair amount of graphic editing with Photoshop. If I had $1,500 I didn’t know what to do with, I would still use it. Since I do not, I have happily switched to GIMP for Linux and Windows. The above graphic features letter tiles created with GIMP after viewing a PhotoShop tutorial. I didn’t translate into GIMP this time, I searched for GIMP tutorials. The site that linked this tutorial featured all the tutorials I just viewed for Photoshop and I’m not sure what to think about. I’ll link to the actual GIMP tutorial, not the repository, yet. The tutorial was nice and simple, easy to follow. Even someone without previous graphic experience could follow it. I am also investigating Inkscape to replace Illustrator.