Mid-January

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with this blog. I love this blog, but it’s got this weird glitch–not only does it often not show the current posts, but it’s draining a lot of bandwidth–way more than my modest little blog should pull, which makes my hosting provider very unhappy. (They’ve cut me off twice for going over my bandwidth allotment, and since I can’t figure out what the problem is, I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut it off a third time. At which point I’m in serious trouble because they’ve also got a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy, of which I am currently living in terror.)

You see my dilemma. I WANT to write new posts, share pictures, tell you folks what I’m knitting and doing, but am terrified that inviting you to come, you know, read stuff is going to cause me to exceed capacity.

So, you know, try not to crowd.

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Ideally, I’d re-install WordPress completely on the server and re-install my blog (with the hopes that the problem isn’t stored inside any of the blogpost/comment code), but I have no idea how to do that. I know how to do WordPress upgrades, but stripping the entire site back to the beginning and starting fresh? Way outside my coding skills. (Considering my programming skills are of the “click here to install” “Yes, okay” variety, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.)

Or, I could change hosting providers, which is an option but certainly involves a fair amount of work–the research, the agony of moving everything. And it’s not just Chappysmom, either. It’s Knitting Scholar, too. But there’s no way I can afford to switch to their more expensive hosting plans, so…

Anyway, in other news and speaking of being able to afford things, the newest thing here in Chappy’s house is the living room television. Our old TV, which dates back about 18 years, finally gave up the ghost yesterday. It’s not entirely a surprise because it’s been showing signs of failing for a while. We weren’t even sure it would survive the jostling of the move 14 months ago, so we’re grateful to it for hanging in there as long as it could. But, obviously, we need a television, so last night the three of us went out to buy one.

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As much as I prefer to buy things on the internet (if only because of sheer laziness and entropy so that, once I’m home from work, I want to STAY there), this required an in-store purchase. Like trying on shoes, it’s definitely best if you can SEE the screens beforehand–the clarity, the brightness, the color. All that stuff you can’t see on a computer monitor.

More importantly, buying from PC Richards means that they not only deliver (and install) the television, they take the old one away. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of this. Our current television is, in a word, huge. Massive. Monolithic. It’s an old-style console tv with shelves, speakers and screen all in one, big piece of furniture. And I mean big. Not only that, it has a swivel base–the bottom inch is a piece of wood on which the rest of the (enormous) unit sits. This is handy because, sure, if you want to turn it an inch or three because of glare from the sun, you can do so without having to move X-number of pounds of electronics. But it’s also incredibly UN-handy because it means moving the actual television becomes impossible without actually lifting it. If you want to move it 6 inches to the left, well, you’re out of luck unless you have a body-builder in the family. (Especially when you’re in a townhouse with wall-to-wall carpeting so you can’t even slide the thing.)

So, Saturday, they’ll bring us our new television and take away the old, and in the meantime, we’ve got this little 14″ television that used to live in our old kitchen balanced on the top for our television-viewing pleasure.

Oh–the other thing? Since we’ll now have a flat-screen tv, we need someplace to put it … which means a table. So today, Mom and Dad headed to IKEA to buy a television stand that I’ll put together on Friday to be ready for the PC Richards delivery sometime on Saturday.
The delivery also includes setup, but I don’t think they’ll be able to handle it. Not really. Because we’re still so old-school a family that we still own and use our VCR. Not only for watching old VHS tapes (yes, we still own a few dozen), but also to watch basic cable when the DVD-recorder is busy recording something on another channel from the cable box.

We also have a DVD/hard-drive recorder that we use to temporarily record shows … it’s not a DVR. (Much as I would love one, that’s not an option.) No, this is the kind of recorder you need to manually program, but it gives the option of recording to the hard drive (like a DVR) or to a DVD. Which is great, because I like having hard-copy of shows I want to watch again … except the actual DVD drive broke last summer, so we also have a stand-alone DVD-recorder which stands between the HDD-recorder and the television so that we can, in theory, play something off the harddrive, record it to DVD on its way, and watch it all at the same time.

Hey, I told you we were old-school. It’s a fairly elaborate system of not-entirely-current technology, but it works.

The trick is that I am the only one in the family who understands where each item stands in the system. The cable comes in from the wall and gets split to the VCR which goes directly to the tv, but also into the cable box, to the DVD/HDD recorder, to the DVD recorder (which we also use to play movies) to the television.

Adding in high-def into this mix is going to be interesting. Because it’s not like we have a multitude of high-def cables for all of this!

So, there’s that. I wanted to buy some of the pretty newly-dyed yarn from Juniper Moon Farm, but, well, I just bought a television. (Or half a television since Mom, Dad and I are splitting the cost, but still. You know what I mean.)

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In knitting, I’m making the Celtic Dreams again, did I tell you? This time in Juniper Moon Farm yarn.

The difference is that I’m turning it into a cardigan because, let’s face it, I wear cardigans about 98% of the time and pullovers almost never. This means I need to choose a cable for the front edges, even though I love the center-back cable. I thought about just putting it at both front edges and overlapping them with buttons, but it’s 22-stitches wide and I don’t think it would look right. (I think it would look dreadful, to be entirely honest.)

We celebrated Dad’s LXXIVth birthday this week, too. Just in case you were keeping track.

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I also spent a lot of time last weekend going through my recipes. I’ve got lots of recipe. I’ve shown you before, a long time ago.

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So, I went through all my recipes … all of them … and weeded out the ones I didn’t need anymore. And I went back to the original sites of all the ones that came off the internet and then copy/pasted the recipes into Word, so I could throw away the paper printouts. Then I went through yet again and took all the photo copies that I had taken of recipes from magazines and typed all those recipes into Word, too so I could throw away THOSE paper copies.

What’s left is just index cards. SO much neater! I can actually flip through my recipes without having to cram my fingers between cards. Ultimately, I’d like to get all of these typed into the computer, too (for backup if nothing else),but at the moment, I feel I can live with this (grin).

11 Responses to “Mid-January”

  1. Rudi does tech support for a living, so I asked him for advice. He suggests a couple things:

    1) Scan your theme for a malware. He suspects that if you modified your theme from a freeware design that it may have a bug embedded in it that generates fake hits. He recommends a plugin called Exploit Scanner (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exploit-scanner/). He says to look at the Other Notes section for help interpreting your results because it does come up with some false positives. We’ve used Theme Authenticity Checker (builtbackwards.com/projects/tac/) for a while (after a similar problem on Rudi’s blog), but it’s older and Rudi suggests trying Exploit Scanner first.

    2) If you want to move to a different host, ours, Dreamhost, doesn’t have a bandwidth cap and we’ve been very happy with them for years. We have a referral code, which would get you a discount, should you end up wanting to go that route. Drop me a line if you’re interested in the code.

  2. And, ugh, a good host should help you determine where the drain in bandwidth is coming from. Do you have any way to tell which pages/images/etc are getting hit the hardest?

  3. Recipes on index cards — what a great idea! Never thought of doing that so my recipes are always on scraps of papers (if I can remember to do so). And I probably forget 50% of the others I’ve done.

    To add to the above comments, you might want to perhaps change ur feedburn to summary so that people can read direct on your blog? (Might just save double traffic since currently it’s full post + pictures…would it?)

  4. Try posterous.com. import your wordpress blog, and just have a go at it. it’s free. you can keep your domain, and it’s so much easier than anything else.

  5. I was getting spam cannoned, which was causing issues with my hosting provider. Installing WP Super Cache did the trick.

  6. You are paying your hosting company for a service – you should not be living in terror of them! Sounds like it would really be worth the effort of finding a new host, because if you are now scared to doing anything with your blog, what’s the point of paying for hosting with your current company?

  7. Enjoy the new TV. Our litlte crappy snowblower stopped working properly during the 29 inches we got on Wednesday and I decided to buy my father a new one. It was delivered Wednesday at 5 or so and cost me more than a Schacht wheel.

    Love the recipe cards, we still use them.

    Your TV setup sounds very interesting. I thought we were the last ones with a VCR and a DVD player hooked up.

  8. I agree with the posters above that it sounds like you need a new host firstly and that secondly something may be wrong. I use GoDaddy and they are cheap, have really great customer service and horribly tasteless commercials (you can’t win ‘em all).

    As the the recipes, your next step is to import them into Google Docs because then you can do what we do and just share the folder with all the recipes with the entire family so everyone can add as they go and everyone has access to everything…

  9. Happy Birthday Dad B! I am playing Taps for the old TV (I remember the day it was delivered). How are you? I hope you are all well.

  10. Sounds like its time to change hosts. I could earnestly recommend the one I switched to last year. $9.95 for the year with far more than I was ever getting at GoDaddy.

    https://www.siteground.com/friends.htm?referrer_id=139905

  11. I have no suggestions for fixing stuff where you are. I’m using wordpress with bluehost as my server and have had no problems. It took me way less than a year to download all the photos from the old site and re-upload them. The posts themselves were pretty easy to transfer.