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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

7:34 am
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This week I performed some maintenance on my blog.  As many of you know, I use the open source (read: free) WordPress software to power the blog, as I find it easy, extensible, powerful and, well, FREE.  My hosting provider actually offers a wizard to just launch a new blog and it’ll do all the setup for you, but I chose to install from scratch and do my own customizations and what-not, seeing as how I’m a geek.

The first upgrade I started with was the upgrade to WordPress 2.2.3 from 2.0.1.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not 100% positive I was on version 2.0.1, although my admin dashboard page said so.  I looked back in my source folders and I had a copy of 2.1.3 floating in there, so I probably upgraded to 2.1 at some point.  I may have even blogged about it but since my search page is broken, I may never know.  Even now that I’ve upgraded, it still says “powered by 2.0.1”.  Oh well, I’ll figure that out later.

I say “first upgrade I started with” because as I was reading the install/upgrade instructions it recommended a Maintenance Mode plugin.  I thought – how cool is that?  So I installed the new maintenance plugin, did my backups of my blog, database, etc, activated the plugin and whammo – I have a maintenance page!

Maintenance mode page

Very cool.  I’m almost professional, even.

So then I started the WordPress upgrade, and it took no time at all.  I un-enabled (is that a word?, er, disabled) the maintenance mode and now I’m all upgraded and safe. 

The next piece, albeit very optional and mostly unrelated to the wordpress upgrade was to upgrade SpotMilk.  SpotMilk is a great enhancement to the WordPress administration console.  The original one that comes with WordPress is nice enough, but SpotMilk is way cooler.  I was at 2.0.1 and upgraded to 2.2.1 with much lack of pain.

Now I’m on the hunt for what else I can upgrade or pimp out my blog with.

Hey, that’s a good idea!  Pimp Out My Blog.  It can be a weekly series where good web designers descend for a week on some poor shlep’s blog and totally pimps it out.  Ok, I just googled it and it seems someone else has taken the domain name and the idea.  🙂

Some things I’m thinking about for my blog:

  • Profanity filter for the comments. 
    I want cuss words to be cartooned out, like s$!t or @#$@@!  I understand some people just use profanity in their normal course of work, and I also understand some people would highly prefer not to see it, and I would understand people who avoid blogs that contain it.  So seeing as how even cartoons such as Calvin and Hobbes has curse words veiled behind punctuation, why can’t I?  I’ve seen a couple out there but haven’t actually tried any of them yet.
  • Tag cloud for categories, or a category browser
    I still have a hard time deciding what to do here.  I have used 343 categories!  Some subscribe to the theory of only using a short list of categories, so as maybe to structure their posts or make it easier to browse around.  I like using more specific categories because they get used as tags in pingomatic or digg or technorati.  If I blog about spotmilk, I want the category or tag to contain it, if for no other reason than it enhances the ability for someone else on the internet to find my entry.  Especially if they’re looking for someone who <b>upgrade</b>d <b>wordpress</b> with <b>spotmilk</b>.  This post has three of those keywords!
  • Search that works
    I don’t know why mine is broken – but then again I haven’t really looked.  I’m thinking it’s because I have # (pound sign) in some of my posts, but still, I have no idea.  But maybe there’s a better search plugin I can load that will solve the problem for me 🙂
  • Pages for better navigation
    Right now, I just have the blog and a sidebar.  I want to add a FAQ, About, Most popular posts, my favorite posts, etc.  Maybe even a rating system for entries so people can “vote”.  I don’t know

What do you like about people’s blogs that’s NOT content-specific?

And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. Avitable says:

    I like Image Headlines.

    Also, you should start differentiating between tags and categories. Categories for major topics, tags for the small varied ones.

  2. whall says:

    I don’t understand either of these.

    What are Image Headlines?

    And I don’t get the functional difference between categories, tags, keywords or whatever else makes up the taxonomy of the content presented in a blog. I like the ‘tags’ on the left of my entries, like ‘wordpress’, where it’s clickable and filters the results to just those ones with that tag.

    So are you saying I shouldn’t say ‘Tags’ when really I mean categories?

  3. Avitable says:

    Image Headlines are like the post titles on my blog. They’re in a unique font that most people don’t have on their computer. The plug-in takes any font and makes the title you type into an image file. It’s more of a creative plugin, but it can be useful, and you can change it very easily.

    Functionally, tags are keywords. Categories are similar to subheadings. So, for example, this post could be in a category called “Blog Mechanics”, while the tags could be things like spotmilk, wordpress, html, programming, upgrading, maintenance, etc.

    Since so few readers read by either of them, they’re best used for SEO. My tags, for example, go to technorati, so that anyone looking for a specific keyword might find one of my posts. Categories are relatively useless, except in a programming situation, where you might want to make a mini-blog category and have that category display in the sidebar, or, in my situation, where I have different images appear in the body of the post for different categories.

  4. Poppy says:

    I like the idea of the profanity censor. I like swearing on my blog but I think it would be adorable if you had cartooned swearing here. I’ve actually been here, wanting to swear, and thinking, “wait, is this a swearing blog or not a swearing blog?” Now I won’t have to worry! 😀

  5. whall says:

    ok, I thought that any response you had would probably confuse me more, but it doesn’t.

    WordPress’ “Categories” are what show upas “Tags” on the posts, with the theme I’m using. I don’t see a “keyword” functionality, but I do know that my categories go to technorati and other ping-o-matic type of places. So essentially I’m using categories *as* tags/keywords because that’s what it supports out of the box.

    I downloaded the plugin and installed it, and will play with it. Out of the box, though, I’m surprised it doesn’t support just key text like [image headline: Make my day] and it just replaces it with the graphic, like the Youtube and video plugins do. That would be super cool. It seems from the instructions that I have to code it. But still very cool, and makes for a more creative blog.

  6. Avitable says:

    Oh, okay – so you just have them switched. Makes a bit more sense. I think I have a plugin called Ultimate Tag Warrior that does the tags: http://www.neato.co.nz/ultimate-tag-warrior/

    With Image Headlines, I don’t know how much coding you really have to do. Here’s the URL to the one I have: http://www.coldforged.org/image-headlines-plugin-for-wordpress-15/

    Once you set the options up, it runs itself automatically. I just type in my title, and the image is automatic.

  7. whall says:

    Poppy, well then just for you I’ll enable it so you can stop worrying. I’m a good host, see?

  8. Poppy says:

    Oooh, yay! Is it enabled yet????


  9. Poppy says:

    Oops, nope. Hehe. 😀 You can delete that comment if you like. 🙂

  10. Cheldear says:

    I like the fact that we are all adults and can handle a cuss word. I don’t understand why, with so many awful things in the world, some of us can’t handle the words “pissed off”. Maybe it’s just me, those who can’t take a f@*king joke and have to f@*king put in @#@## symbols should %$#@$#@$ croak.

  11. whall says:

    Poppy, well I was going to do it later, but since you dived right in there, I went ahead and did it now. YAY! It works!

    Cheldear, you made my point exactly. Oh, wait, except we’re not all adults. My kids read my blog, too. And some of their friends. And my parents. I’d prefer to live in a world with less cussing, but since I don’t want to try to proactively change everyone else to suit my preferences, I’d like it at least if *my* blog is more accessible to the people I care about, and by doing the filter, I can still let the profane do their profane typing and let the filter do the filtering. Works for me!

  12. Avitable says:

    If you want any help beta testing the profanity filter, I can come up with clever ways to circumvent it.

    And while my personal opinion is that profanity only has power because people give it power and that the severity of words are cyclical, I think it’s good that since you know your audience is not something that you’d like exposed to it, you can act on preventing it. That’s why it’s your blog, and not Cheldear’s.

  13. Cheldear says:

    I think that we should just come up with a bitch-slap filter. Anyone complaining about the world too much on a blog just gets a bitch slap.


  14. Poppy says:

    Wait, the word bitch gets through, or is it just bitch-slap?

    Wheee! Yah, I’ve lost my mind.

  15. Cheldear says:

    Bitch probably gets through because you can say it on TV.
    I haven’t blogged in awhile. Maybe it’s time for me to do my “ode to Wayne” bit again. Lots of fodder. 🙂

    He loves me for it.

  16. Poppy says:

    You can say shit on TV too, but after 10pm or something.

  17. Cheldear says:

    That is sooo true. Have you guys watched Saving Grace? OMG. I am the queen of cussing, worse than a sailor, and even that show is over the top for me. It’s weird to watch such explicit sex scenes too. It’s like watching soft core porn. Good show, weird story line, great sex to watch, but man, she cusses as much as I do…

    Wayne, just tell your kids I misspelled the word “corn.”

  18. Poppy says:

    Wayne, just tell your kids I misspelled the word “corn.”

    I just spewed beverage all over myself. (Ok, not really, but it was that funny.)

  19. Poppy says:

    Well, I did try to put that in quotes, but apparently all HTML is FORBOTTEN.

  20. Cheldear says:

    Poppy, I wrote that just for you. I knew you would appreciate it. You have my kind of sense of humor. 😉

  21. Poppy says:

    Note to self: Read Cheldear. Dammit. 😉

  22. Cheldear says:

    Okay. Let’s see if damnit comes through.. Never know how the filters anticipate spelling.

    Yeah, You are on my blogroll.


  23. Poppy says:

    Well, crying out loud, how long have I been there? I had no idea!

    You are now being feed read and therefore at the top spot of my blogroll.

  24. Cheldear says:

    Oh, you are so sweet! Honestly, I never expected you to return the favor. You are there because I really like your blog.

    No one reads my blog. I don’t shamelessly exploit my blog the way Wayne does.

    Although, I think I am going to try now. I gotta give him a run for his money. Literally. He owes me. 🙂

  25. Poppy says:

    Awesome. 🙂 I think you might get a stray reader or two if you’re linked on my blog.

    I had no idea Wayne exploited himself. I found him through Avitable. I think the only reason I read him is because I thought he was quirky, and that’s saying something when hanging out in Avi’s comments.

  26. whall says:

    Cheldear, you should check out Avi’s cartoon corn.
    Poppy, I exploit myself less than I should. and most HTML is ok – looks like you tried to do the “i” tag, and I’m not sure why it didn’t get through.

    on a side note, I think this is the highest number of comments I’ve ever had.

    I think I’m going to cry I’m so happy. (sniff)

  27. whall says:

    Actually, I’m noticing that even my own tags are being stripped, so I think it’s the new profanity filter.


    Oh well, you can’t win at everything.

  28. Cheldear says:

    Poppy (god, I misspelled and had to respell; I wrote “Poopy”), don’t worry. I have known Wayne for 11 (or is it 12) years now. He expects me to be mean to him. He has a HUGE ego, and I am smarter than him and he knows it. So it’s my job to keep him in check and strip his masculinity from time to time.

    Oh, that and he taught me to derive IP addresses without a computer. I had learned it, but had no ability to do it. Still can’t, but god love him for trying…


  29. Poppy says:

    Wayne, we’re playin’ in your comments. Wheeeeee!!

    Chelle, oh???? Teach me, teach me!! Or, do I need to be there in person? I know I learned this in security bootcamp, but… heh, they threw about 3000 pages of varying degrees of good stuff at us and only 3% of it stuck. 😉 Even I occasionally misspell it Poopy. My real name (Stef with an f) has the same issue. People want it to be with a ph. Those people can die a horrible death. I don’t mind.

  30. Cheldear says:

    Wayne, I think you have your next blog. Deriving ip addresses.

    Something you can handle, yes?


  31. Cheldear says:

    Or was it that you wanted me to teach you how to strip Wayne of his masculinity? I reread, and realized that is what you may have meant. 😉

  32. whall says:

    FYI: I’ve disabled the profanity plugin because it is stripping HTML in the comments, and I’d rather put up with the few profanities in this one comment thread than the lack of HTML. I found another plugin called WebPurify, but 1) their recaptcha is NOT friendly and 2) it only works on new comments going into the database, NOT as a viewing filter for all comments. That just seems useless to me.

    And this plugin just doesn’t seem well designed anyway. For example, it changed a word in Avi’s comment up at the top from “titles” to “boobieles”. That’s just retarded.

    Secondly, you have to define a list of words and their replacements. And you do it with two different lists, with each replacement word being in the same position in a second array as the original word in the first array. That’s also retarded – it should let you set up word pairs so at least adding new words and finding their replacement is easy.

    Good thing the word “retarded’ isn’t profane. yet.

  33. Poppy says:

    Chelle, I don’t think I know Wayne well enough to want to emasculate him quite yet. Gimme another month. 😀

    Wayne, “retarded” is the new “stupid”. And “stupid” is the new “awesome”. I still say awesome. But I also say tarded or r-tarded. I shouldn’t; I do.

  34. whall says:

    Poopy and Cheldork, I’d appreciate it if what I have left of my masculinity is left alone. Chel is way too good at blasting my ego to pieces, and I’d prefer there to be only one of her around, thankyouverymuch.


    and by deriving IP addresses, do you mean subnet masks, and octets and binary representation? Determining how many systems and networks are in a 27-bit mask, and what the last digit of means? If so, then yes, I don’t need a computer to derive those. And I have some tips I could type up into a blog entry, so maybe that’ll be a topic this next week.

  35. Poppy says:

    Wah, I promise not to emasculate you quite as badly as Chelle. 😀

  36. Poppy says:

    And from now on I am TOTALLY calling you Wah on my blog.

  37. Cheldear says:

    Yup Wayne, that’s what I mean. Do a good job, and maybe I will let you be a guest writer on my blog. 😉

    I know how much you want to do it… You guest blogged elsewhere, and I offered mine up to you, but you weren’t all that interested because I don’t have a large audience like Poppy and Avitable.

    Shame on you… You become famous, and what’s the first thing you do? Drop all your friends that supported you and provided the brains to get you to the top… 😉

  38. Poppy says:

    I have a large audience? Heh. I did for a while! But I think my numbers have dwindled since I took a hiatus. Apparently if you take a life break everyone jumps ship.

  39. Cheldear says:

    Stupid question; what does Wah stand for?

  40. Poppy says:

    Wah as in crybaby. “Wahhhhhhhhhh!” 😀

  41. Poppy says:

    Glad to know it wasn’t clear so that I can go fix my blog post…

  42. Cheldear says:

    Okay, you be up on my site as latest blog, you ‘tard.


  43. Poppy says:

    YAR. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  44. whall says:

    FYI: I’ve fixed my search – YAY! Turned out to be a misconfiguration in the Scary Little Theme configuration file, and it even points out “your live search may not work if this is not correct!” 🙂 – by default it uses “wordpress” as a url ending. I use /blog instead. So I fixed that and it started working.

    However, it doesn’t fully support it because the “more results” link at the end of the results is hard-coded to only use “/” and it doesn’t use $urlend. So I fixed that too. Maybe I should let the author know.

  45. webpurify says:

    Thanks for your comments. We fixed the recaptcha. Just to clarify the two issues you mentioned regarding creating lists and the odd replacement of regular words with profane words. This occurred with some other profanity filer with WebPurify, correct?

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