Tag Archives: 5 O’Clock Shadow

Sitestuff: I love SPAM, I hate spam.

5 O’Clock Shadow - 29 March 2007
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According to the stats at MyBlogLog, KJToo.com has 23 readers, which sounds about right to me; there are also a handful of people who read the posts via the RSS feed, but I really have no idea how many. That’s not exactly a huge audience, but the number of spam comments filtered out by the Akismet plugin ranges anywhere from a dozen to several hundred on any given day; if you’re reading this, the comment spammers really want you to see their junk.Or at the very least increase their Google ranking for erectile dysfunction medication, auto insurance and naughty, naughty boys and girls.

Today was a high-volume day for comment spam. The online pharmacies, insurance agents and purveyors of various forms of taboo (if not downright illegal) sexual practices attempted to hit KJToo.com with roughly 500 spam comments in the past twenty-four hours, only one of which made it past Akismet. Since I’ve been using the plugin, less than a half-dozen legitimate comments have been incorrectly trapped and perhaps two dozen spam comments have made it through the filter. Considering that Akismet has trapped more than twenty-one and a half thousand spam comments in the past two years, I’d say it’s a pretty good track record.

There’s some concern that WordPress users are putting all of our comment spam fighting eggs in one basket with Akismet; the plugin relies on external servers to function, and a failure of those servers could result in a flood of unfiltered spam comments on thousands of blogs worldwide. Nasty! It’s a risk I’m willing to live with, though, as Akismet allows me to let people comment on KJToo.com without having to register or enter a CAPTCHA code.

So, comment to your heart’s desire, all twenty-three of you. Akismet has your back, and mine.

Sitestuff: Oops. I broke it.

5 O’Clock Shadow - 28 March 2007
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I really need to start keeping some sort of changelog for this site to make troubleshooting things like the current Slightbox issue a little simpler. Slightbox is the WordPress plugin that used to load images (like the 5 o’clock shadow pictures) in a nifty overlay “above” the main page when they were clicked. The key phrase there is “used to”, as sometime in the past couple of days the plugin stopped working. Instead of getting a nice, smooth image overlay, clicking on image links takes you to a new page containing just the full-sized image.

I was already aware that Slightbox wasn’t working if the image link was embedded in a list, but now it doesn’t work anywhere. I don’t know if it’s a JavaScript problem, a conflict with one of the dozen other WordPress plugins I’ve got installed, or something else I’ve managed to screw up in my endless fiddling.

The nice thing about the WordPress community is that plugin developers are generally happy to help when people encounter problems. I pinged Slightbox developer Taras Mankovski with an earlier issue I was having with the plugin and his response was not only quick, but correct. Of course, it’s one thing to say “your plugin is working but there’s a quirk that I can’t figure out” and an entirely separate thing to say “your plugin doesn’t work at all.”

On the bright side, I did fix an annoying glitch that caused the right sidebar to be rendered improperly in Internet Explorer (which I only noticed because IE is the standard browser at work). I knew that the culprit was italic text and when I Googled Internet Explorer italics CSS, the first hit was a page that described the IE/italics bug and provided a simple solution. That’s because I used the very same page when I was stomping out a similar bug in my own early attempts at WordPress theme design. I dashed off a quick note of thanks to Bruno Fassino, who wrote the page, and he sent me a note indicating the the problem has apparently been fixed in IE 7, but other italics issues have been introduced. Par for the course with IE, it seems.

Maybe if I just stopped fiddling with things, everything would be fine, but that’s just not my way; I’m going to keep adding new plugins or replacing the ones I already use with updated versions, tweaking the sidebars and the comment form and the page layout because it’s fun and interesting, even if I do wind up breaking stuff now and again.

Non Sequitur: Sinuses!

5 O’Clock Shadow - 27 March 2007
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Ah, Spring. ‘Tis the season of high pollen counts and rapidly fluctuating temperatures. Today eighty-five, tomorrow forty-three. My sinuses hate it and for the past few days have been making their displeasure known.

Saturday wasn’t bad, but Sunday put me through the wringer. The pressure was so bad that I was in bed by 7:00, which is nearly unheard of for me. I stayed home from work Monday and today, but I think I’ll be back on the job tomorrow morning at the crack of 9:30.

I’ve been popping generic DayQuil and NyQuil for the past three days and today I decided to try something my mother suggested: NeilMed Sinus Rinse. This basically involves squirting four ounces of warm water/sodium chloride/sodium bicarbonate solution up each nostril and giving the old nasal passages a good rinsing.

Now, I’ve had water up my nose before; pleasant, it ain’t. So I wasn’t exactly looking forward to squirting four ounces of anything up my nose, especially given that the product instructions quite clearly indicated that the solution would be exiting via either the other nostril or the mouth. Yummy!

I do have to admit that despite my trepidation, the process was entirely painless and not at all as disgusting as I anticipated. Sure, there was salty water spilling out of my nose and mouth, but it didn’t feel like I was drowning or like I had accidentally snorted water through an ill-aimed strawIt’s been known to happen.. Turns out that squirting plain water up your nose is extremely unpleasant, but the solution completely eliminates that nasty burning sensation.

So that was an hour ago. I’m still a little drippy at the moment, but I suppose that’s to be expected. We’ll see if adding the rinse helps with the Spring Sinus Curse.

Meme: Friday’s 5 O’Clock Shadow

Five O’Clock Shadow - 22 March 2007
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Today’s five o’clock shadow was aged two hours because at the appointed hour I was hip deep in the Windows 2000 registry and nobody wants to see that.

I actually had some stubble this morning, but decided to shave before leaving for work, despite the fact that I was running about an hour late. The day started off with a bird stuck in the chimney and a trip to the drug store to pick up some cough medicine for Kyle, who is a bit under the weather at the moment.

Meme: 5 O’Clock Shadow

Five O’Clock Shadow - 21 Mar 2007
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Evo Terra is the co-founder of Podiobooks.com. He is also a podcaster, author and cult leader. He is not the handsome devil pictured on the left; that would be me.

Why do I have a picture of myself up next to a blurb about Evo Terra? Well, it turns out that Evo and I have a couple things in common:Not a cult. There’s a simple reason I don’t want to be a cult leader: lack of fashion sense. I can barely color-coordinate my own wardrobe in the morning; I sure as hell don’t want to be responsible for telling hundreds upon thousands of my followers how to dress. facial hair and blogs. Recently, Evo began posting a daily picture of himself taken at 5:00 and tagging it (of all things) “5 O’Clock Shadow”. Always looking for an excuse to post more, I immediately glommed on to the idea and decided to do it myself.

Well, not immediately. I meant to start snapping 5:00 photos with my camera phone last week, but shadow time invariably passed quietly each day and my bescruffled visage remained uncaptured. Yesterday I remembered to take a picture with my camera phone as I was leaving work shortly after 6:00.

Five O’Clock Shadow - 22 March 2007
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The thing is, it takes me two or three days to grow a proper 5 o’clock shadow, and even then my stubble is sparse and patchy, like the grass in my backyard. I didn’t shave this morning, so today’s picture is actually two days worth of growth. Careful when you’re clicking on it; I don’t want anyone losing an eye.

Seriously, my stubble is so sparse that it doesn’t even show up in the pictures. I’ll need a better camera before I revisit How Not To Grow A Beard Month in November.