November 22, 2007

  • Thanksgiving Day 2007


    Today the International House of Johnson was filled with the smells of the feast and the sounds of family celebrating together. Instead of a Thanksgiving dinner, we had a Thanksgiving lunch that filled me to the point where ten hours later I’m not even the slightest bit hungry.

    The feast aside, I have plenty to be thankful for this year:

    • Laura. We’ve been married for eleven years. Sometimes it feels like eleven days, sometimes it feels like forever, but I’m thankful for everything we have.
    • Kyle, my young apprentice. Nothing in the world compares to opening the door after eight or ten hours at work and hearing him exclaim “Dada!”
    • My family. Whether we’re connected by blood or marriage, I’m glad we’re family.
    • My friends. I’m not going to single anyone out here, but I’ve got some very good friends who enrich my life. If that sounds like you, then I say, “Thank you.” If it doesn’t sound like you, don’t sell yourself short.
    • My job. I’ve been with the same company for ten and a half years and things have been a little rocky recently, but I’m thankful that I’m still able to provide for my family.
    • My health. Yeah, I could be in better shape, but that’s my own damn fault. I’m thankful that my body hasn’t just decided to up and quit on me. I should take better care of it.
  • HOW-TO: Not Use Feedburner Properly


    Back in the spring of 1977, a couple of guys named Steve were changing the world of computers, a guy named George was changing the face of science fiction cinema, and a man named Jimmy was flexing his newfound Presidential muscle. That very same spring, 1Plus or minus thirty years. I created a Feedburner feed for

    Though I’m not obsessed with site statistics and number of subscribers to my RSS feed(s), I will admit that I was a little curious, plus Feedburner offered a couple of clever options for making the feed more friendly to various feed readers. Plus, there didn’t seem to be any downside to redirecting my existing feeds.

    Fast-forward to a couple of months ago: In upgrading to WordPress 2.3.x and trying my hand at theme design, I run into problems with a couple of the plug-ins I’ve installed. After upgrading all the plugins I’m using and getting rid of a few I’m not, everything appears to be fine.

    Fast-forward to a couple of hours ago: some random whim inspires me to check my Feedburner stats for the first time since George, one of the Steves and another George who has nothing to do with science fiction or personal computers went eight different kinds of crazy. Immediately, it is clear that something has gone horribly awry. Three subscribers? Just three? I’m responsible for at least two subscriptions to the main feed; surely I’ve got enough geek cred to warrant at least a handful of subscriptions from savvy Intarwebbians.

    Of course I am, though my geek cred may be in some jeopardy as the twisted tale approaches its climax. It seems that in my virtual house-cleaning I had managed to deactivate and delete a very important WordPress plugin, one called Feedburner Feedsmith that handles the redirection of my default RSS feeds to Feedburner.

    The upshot of all this, unless I’ve missed something, is that, for the past couple of months, Feedburner has only been counting subscribers who subscribed to the feeds generated by Feedburner (e.g.,, because the feed published by WordPress ( has not been properly redirected. 2This is a nice, warm, fuzzy explanation, because it means that people are subscribed to the feed and reading the blog but Feedburner isn’t counting them.


    So now I’ve reinstalled the Feedburner Feedsmith plugin and this is the first new post since doing so. If all goes well, I should see the number of subscribers jump back up pretty quickly.

    Either that or I suddenly became very unpopular in early September.

    1 Plus or minus thirty years.
    2 This is a nice, warm, fuzzy explanation, because it means that people are subscribed to the feed and reading the blog but Feedburner isn’t counting them.