1/17/2021 |0 comments
When I set up my first “real” blog aka hosted on my own domain, using a content management system I had installed, I took the time to develop a commenting policy. I remember spending time on that, wanting it to be fair but also clear in that I wouldn’t allow people to get out of line. The amusing thing about this, now and then, is that no one knew I was setting up a blog. I told very few people I knew offline (or as we used to say back then, ‘in real life’.) But I wanted to be ready when the comments started rolling in. Even at my blogging peak, comments rarely rolled in. At best they trickled. Once spammers got good at their craft the comments were more often spam than an actual response to anything I’d written.
I’m reminded of that as I work on the back end of the site; again I’ve told few people I’ve restarted the blog and I haven’t set up a way to track web traffic so I’ve no clue if anyone is stopping by. The spam, however, is hitting every day. So I’ve been playing around with ways to block that annoyance. I briefly considered turning on the CAPTCHA option but opted to not do it when I read the disclaimer in the EE manual about how CAPTCHAs can be hard for folks with visibility issues. I have no true expectation to be getting many comments. I have no idea if anyone who does stop by to comment will have issues using the CAPTCHA and yet - on the chance that someone wants to contribute a response it seems unwelcoming to put up barriers.
This is the way my brain works. As people have often told me, I over think things. I do. I can’t even say I would want it to be any different. Under thinking things doesn’t seem terribly appealing actually.
So, the comments are open albeit through moderation. An annoying compromise.
1/4/2021 |0 comments
Maintaining a personal website, as with anything, has its pros and cons. The desire to have an online presence hasn’t changed since those early days in 2000. I like having the space to write, experiment with coding, post photos, etc. But liking something and actually doing it are different beasts. Over the years I have to admit that I wasn’t diligent about keeping Expression Engine, which is the software that powers the website, up to date. This means that when the hosting company made some changes to the way it handles files some months ago, my outdated copies of EE just stopped working.
I didn’t worry too much about it for several reasons:
- I wasn’t using the site much; the only section that was getting regular updates was the weekly game
- I (mistakenly) assumed that updating things would be simple.
- I didn’t properly anticipate how little interest and energy I would have during a pandemic to making the needed changes.
So, after months of trying to cobble time here and there to get things back the way they once were (except with updated guts) I had to admit that setting things up exactly the way I wanted just was not going to happen. So I simplified the idea. The game and the blog, which used to live on their own domains, are back under the main URL. Something that hasn’t happened since the mid-2000s I think. What’s old is new again, I suppose.
I tried out different content management systems in my attempts to put things back together but I just don’t have the bandwidth that I used to have to learn new things. Gone are the days when I would spend hours, whole weekends, teaching myself how to make my site do what I wanted. Now those are hours are spent taking care of a incredibly cute, curious and very mobile toddler. And when that’s not happening I’m vegging out in front of the TV or in a book, trying to steal a little rest from work and childcare.
But I do still want to have a space to write so here we are. It’s bare bones, using the default EE templates. I have this thought that I’ll spruce things up a bit but we’ll see. I’m trying to remind myself that what matters most is just getting back into the habit of writing. A bare bones, simple site facilitates that just as well as something with more bells and whistles, right?
7/24/2017 |0 comments
My personal computer died several years ago.
Well, having typed that I feel the need to clarify. I might have had a slight role in the killing of said computer. It was a refurbished laptop that my brother had kindly gifted me due to the fact that my old old computer had decided it no longer wanted to do more than five minutes of work at a time. It booted up fine but after a couple of minutes the fan would kick on, give it the old valiant college try and then say, “Nah, girl. Your Facebooking isn’t worth this heat. Bye!”
So to the rescue my brother came. And that new old computer did the trick for a while. And while it was tricking (wait, what?) I would hear tell of this thing called the cloud. And articles and people would marvel about the flexibility and portability of the cloud! The cloud would solve all problems and I am certainly a fan of a problem-free life. But I also have this thing sometimes called procrastination. So I didn’t back up anything to the cloud. Besides, anything and everything I cared about (my photos and thousands and thousands of songs) was saved to my trusty external drive. Pfft. I’ll be fine, I figured.
You see where I’m going with this, yes? Of course you do because you’re smart. Smarter than me, definitely. So where were you when I most needed you?!? Hmm. That’s trouble of a different kind, no? Let’s move on.
One day I decided to upgrade the OS on this old new to me laptop and that’s when that laptop also said, “Nah, girl. Bye!” Except, perhaps knowing that the afterlife of any computer used by me (which means a drive full of badly Photoshopped images and messy CSS files) would be lonely, it decided to take with it, the external drive that I had neglected to disconnect prior to the upgrade. Really, when you think about it - it takes a special kind of skill to kill not just a computer but an external drive too.
I despaired for months over having lost thousands of mp3s collected over more than a decade. I’d say maybe a quarter of which I can recover if I take the time to rip my CDs, which thankfully I still have so that’s something but there’s other music that I’m just not going to be able to recover. Upon hearing my sad tale of musical woe, a friend tried to salvage the external drive and he ensured me he’d been successful. So for a year and some change I’ve been content with the knowledge that once I got a new computer I’d be able to pull my music back in and then do what I should have done ages ago, which is back it up to the cloud.
Sadly, so far the friend’s had no luck figuring out how to extract my music from his iTunes library. So close yet so far. You’d think that after almost 3 years of doing without my music library I’d not miss it anymore but I still feel a slight ache whenever I think of it all being gone. Granted, that’s probably due to the memories attached to many of those songs. Someone I cared for a lot ages ago helped me build that collection and that person and I are no longer in touch. And if we know anything about me, letting go of people I care about deeply isn’t the easiest thing for me to do.
Speaking of music, during the second adoption training class the group somehow got to talking about music and I made a joke about how my poor kid will grow up hearing 80s music and there was a collective groan. “Oh no,” someone said, “Don’t let that happen!”
So who knows. Maybe the loss of the music is the universe’s way of helping me to move on or sparing any poor child that I adopt from endless rounds of the Cover Girls or Expose’s greatest hits. Really, one shouldn’t question the Universe. It knows best.
10/5/2016 |0 comments
“He’s such a dork,” I said about someone today. The person who heard this laughed and laughed some more after I continued. “And that’s not meant in a negative way. I’m a dork,” I said.
This was proven yet again when I was reviewing the list of domains I own on GoDaddy and saw that I own muttering.rocks. Now, I immediately knew why I would have taken the time to buy it; as I’ve had it on the to do list for years now to move the Unconscious Mutterings game to its own domain (I also own unconscious-mutterings.com so the game isn’t lacking a home). What I don’t remember is actually purchasing the .rocks domain. Since it expires in February 2017, it’s a safe bet that I bought it this February but there is not a single teeny tiny whiff of a memory.
Back in the early 2000s I had upwards of 25-30 domains (but only used two of those at the same time, mind you). It was a dorky (see, it came back around) little game (though expensive) but among geeky internet folks buying domain names and sitting on them was a bit of a past time. (Of course, for some people it was an attempt at striking it rich when some big company came calling wanting to buy one from you. Never my intent; mine were so specialized for my interests that I would have been shocked if anyone had ever asked.)
The question, every year that a domain is about to expire is, “Do I still want to have this? What am I going to use it for? Will I ever use it?” Okay, three questions, or one with several parts. Either way we slice it, I tend towards keeping domains because some I’ve regretted letting go.
Such is the case for vain-girl.com. About a decade ago, I thought that maybe journaling about my attempts to lose weight and exercise would help the cause. I didn’t want to bore the regular readers (so cute, like there were many. But, there were more than one so readers is the right word!) of the blog so I decided to start a new blog at that domain. Thing is, it never really got much traffic so it was hard to maintain an interest without some outside accountability. So I stopped journaling and eventually let the domain lapse.
A year or so after that, a friend asked me if I still blogged at vain-girl.com. No, I said, why do you ask?
Because it’s a porn site now.
I paused and then asked, “It’s a porn site and you still felt the need to ask me if I was active on it?”
He shrugged and said, “Well, who knows with you?”
I laughed and called him a dork (it’s a theme!) and regretted that my pretty little domain was being used for such tawdry purposes. A year ago, on a whim I pulled up the domain on my browser and was elated to see that it was once again available! I rushed (how does one rush online?) to GoDaddy and brought the domain back into the fold. Funny how I recall that moment and that decision with such detail but muttering.rocks is such a mystery.
The brain, who can predict what will stick?
2/14/2016 |0 comments
This will be a running list of tips, tricks I might use to tinker with the site.