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Quick Updates

I have partially fixed the issue with the deep dives for mobile users. You can see the images, however the layout leaves something to be desired...

 

Also working on my library, I have books that you aren't seeing and now I know why.

Now taking applications

I have come to the realization that I have more things to do than Carter has Little Liver Pills, to use a phrase from my Grandmother.

carters llp

I don't have anything witty, insightful, thought-provoking or anything like that this morning. I became deeply involved with solving a technically complex feature of a spreadsheet for another of my blogs last night instead of generating content here.

In consequence thereof, I am accepting applications for four unpaid staffers. Job requirements include intelligence, able to do light cleaning, plumbing, carpentry, miniature painting and yard work. The ability to discover information way beyond a simple Google search is essential. A high degree of precision in all duties is required. If your orderliness and precision can make someone with OCD weep with joy, you will be given serious consideration. In these positions you will be expected to work 170 hours a week, so bored you will not be.

 

One week hiatus

My apologies, I am taking this week off because I have to lay a friend I have known since I was 14 to rest.

Change is coming

A lot of changes have been happening on this side of the screen that are starting to come to fruition. I am working to upgrade the professionalism and content generation of this blog in my "copious free time."

Filling in the gaps: I am slowly but surely filling in my "missing posts" so someone can see everything I have posted here. I have at least 1,500 posts to work through so this will take a while.

Slight direction change: When I started posting in 2003, I was doing "knee-jerk" commenting on 2-3 news articles a day when my illness let me. Over the past couple of years, I have developed a "wait until it unfolds" policy. This means that by the time I comment on something it will not be part of the current news cycle. That's okay, because I mean to get you the correct and in-depth information, not be "first with breaking news." I do not aim to be first, but the most correct. I may be posting on something that's a couple weeks or months old, but I think it's still important that you know about it.

Timed posting: The previous post I generated on May 4th, then did a "timed publication" so it did not appear until the 8th. I also set up the SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URL beforehand, as well as the posting to my Facebook pages. All this means that I will now be able to post reliably on set days of the week and not worry about being distracted and missing one component of those steps to bring content to you. Look for consistent Monday and Thursday postings starting next week. Depending on other factors, this may change. Let's see how I do with twice a week first. If I need to, I will also do a "We interrupt this broadcast" type post.

Content generation method change: I have started carrying a notebook with me so when an idea hits me, I stop where I am and write it down before it escapes. I use a single page for each topic to give myself an outline of what I want to cover and where I have saved the appropriate links. This allows me to have multiple articles "on the hook" at any given moment. This will also allow me to invest the time to make sure I fully develop my posts. I currently have 17 active articles in my book that I am developing.

Advertising: Once the archives are filled in and I have developed the habit of releasing posts on a consistent schedule, I will be starting to advertise so I can expand my readership. I have not fully explored everything about this yet so I do not know if this would include ads on this website. I intend to avoid that if at all possible.

Email: Another thing that I want to explore is an email newsletter. Again, I have not developed any parameters on this at this point. This will be several months down the road at a minimum.

I hope these changes are pleasing to you, my readers.

Vote for me!

It turns out, you can rate the articles here. If you click on a specific post's title, you can rate it from 1 to 5 stars. Please do so, let me know where you think I'm right on or I missed the mark.

Thanks!

Biting the bullet

Just in case you didn't know, the term "biting the bullet" is meant for someone (Old West) who has to go through great pain (amputation of a limb, digging a bullet out) without the benefit of anesthesia to blunt the pain. They "bit a bullet" instead of their tongue.

I am now doing the same thing, electronically speaking. I have decided to start importing my posts from years ago. I started this blog in September of 2003. It was on Blogspot for several years (it's still there but it's set to immediately redirect you here) before I went to this domain, running WordPress. In early 2015, I decided to switch CMS (Content Management System) from WordPress to Joomla!. However, any converter I found did not accurately convert the data without a lot of work by Yours Truly. So I started entering my blog posts from the beginning, with the intent of flipping the switch with a completely converted site. Considering I had 12 years and about 2,000 posts, I abandoned that and just started posting in Joomla.

I am doing this because I want a full record and account of my words. Please feel free to quote me from my archives. If I am wrong or incorrect, I admit it and move on. Misquote me or quote me way out of context, I'll be all too happy to grab you by the nose and pull you through the loop in a needle.

I say this now because I have just finished posting my posts from 2003. For the moment, you can go to page 12 and about halfway down to see the posts from that far back. I did that first as I had already started from that end and I wanted to give you the chance to see just how messed up I was back then. Now I will start at the newest WordPress posts and go backwards. I am doing like 10 at a time and it takes about 20-30 minutes to do those 10. I already have to redo formatting, find the original posting date and time and lots of other little fiddly tasks. It does longer if I have to redo links or I have to track down images not already in the website gallery. This will not abate my regular postings, as I do this in my spare and copious free time.

Enjoy!

You can like me now!

I finally went ahead and researched and installed code for my website to add Facebook "Like" buttons for each of my posts. It will take a while for me to delve into my archives, which my take a while due to my amounts of copious free time. Please like me whenever you can.

 

The scope of this operation

This is a "year start" disclaimer, just so all of my readers knows where I am coming from.

To tell you the truth, The Conservative Zone is a one man operation. Because I am working 40+ hours a week at my day job, spending time with my family, working on my home repairs and improvements, plus "me" time, I do not have the time I used to have to devote to generating content.

I refuse to sell advertising space to monetize this website because I do not want to have advertisers say to me, "We'd really like it if you would emphasize this or not cover that..." This content of this website is what is important to me. It's not everything that I want to say because I don't have the time to properly research and artfully craft everything I want to say. I would love it if I could spend my day generating quality and interesting content and make a good living at it. I also know that will never truly happen. I realize my voice is not that different from thousands of other Conservative websites.

I do what I can, when I can do it. And that's all I can do.

 

More Sea Stories

Well, considering they are a collection of my experiences while "sentenced" to Guam, they aren't "Sea Stories" per se. If you have heard one or two of them, they are now all together in one place for your enjoyable consumption, here.

Big Things Coming

In the next couple of days, I will be traveling to an undisclosed location for an unspecified period of time. Actually I am going to training for my job for a couple of weeks.

The point is, I will have a fair amount of time sitting in a hotel room with nothing better to do. I have no interest in being a tourist (I've been there before), so after dinner and my studies I will be spending my remaining time writing. I currently have over 8,600 words invested in five "big" posts and one "small" post. The big ones will likely end up in one of the top sections just below the banner because they wouldn't fit into the standard front page blog posts. I probably have almost an equal number of words to go to complete all of them.

I also have three more "big" posts that will take at least a dozen hours just of research before I can move forward off the premise and actually start writing content.

I believe you will like what I am working on, all of them.

Link updates

This doesn't rate a FB post. I have fixed, updated and added some links to the left. I discovered that there is a Zig Ziglar podcast and I have had great pleasure in the last week listening to their archives as I drive around my territory delivering my services to my customers.

My apologies

Over the past week, if you have noticed some interruption in the access or quality of this website, that's because I have been trying to improve my administration of it using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This service is designed to improve security against malicious bots and improve page loading time. Because of how it works, I cannot use my testbed website for testing and working out bugs and other issues. It turns out that there were several IEDs in this CDN road and I hit them all.

I have brought this website back off the CDN and I will try to work with them to get it working. Once I get this CDN issue resolved and working, I will let you know who this provider is, how I was treated and whom I eventually ended up with.

Link updates

If you haven't noticed, I have added some new links to the right.

I added a whole new category, Podcasts. I listen to several of them throughout the week. Follow each of them to their pages, or you can signup using your favorite post cast app.

Under the Miscellaneous listing, I added "Wait But Why" which I discovered listening to a The Art of Charm podcast. This guy thinks like me. When he writes on a subject, he finds multiple sub-subjects that he has to research and explain to support his main point.

Housekeeping

This post will probably not make it to Facebook, this is more of a "housekeeping" post than anything else.

In the 14 months I have ran this blog using the Joomla! CMS, this template has minorly irked me. This was the default font color for basic text in this template. I don't know about you, but that was very hard for me to read. Up until now I have "fixed" it by manually declaring the font color and I had to do it in every post. I finally got fed up with it and dug down deep into the 11,551 files and 3,088 folders (yes, I counted) that comprise this website.

Which leads me to the title of this post. This is one of the things I do well. When pointed to a problem, I can deduce the root cause, trace it to its source and permanently apply a constructive solution. Not many people have the ability to troubleshoot problems of this kind. Usually frustration sets in and they quit and suffer with the issue.

I don't give up. I might yell and curse at my screen, I might take my frustrations out on inanimate objects but I do not give up and I will solve the problem. This particular one took about 6 hours and I found the offending code on line #10 of a file under 3 levels of folders.

More changes are also coming. Research and testing are underway.

Also, it seems that one change that I could not do on my "testbed" (a copy of this website you do not see where I test all potential changes) really screwed up my text editor, necessitating the use of a backup. Hence the prior post was lost. I will rebuild with the same meaning soon.

Ringtones updated

For those of you who don't like the standard ringtones that come with your phone, I collect and make them. If you visit my Ringtones page, you will find the most esoteric, strange and geekiest ringtones. You can download a zip file full of M4R's for Apples, or a zip file with the same ringtones in MP3 format. The page includes a list of all of the ringtones. Enjoy!

It ain't cold...

On this December day, less than 2 weeks before Christmas, it's 71 degrees outside. Unseasonable for Memphis. However it has prompted me to post in my "Other" categories of articles the Cleveland Temperature Conversion Chart.

Do Not Panic!

If you're getting errors while looking around, do not panic. I am working on files in the background and you'll get that if I set something incorrectly.

Another Step Closer

I've been working in my copious free time to update and standardize the URLs of my websites. I finally got the status of this part from "active working on" to "maintenance mode." Now all I have left to do (besides posting new content) is to standardize the format of the posts and fill in 10 years or so of back posts.

Breaking Things

... In a good way.

I purchased a module for Joomla that gives me total control over the URLs of my websites to improve my Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Because of this, if you have permalinked anything to my blog, you need to update your links unless you used the "raw" Joomla URL.

Also henceforth, all of the links on my past FB posts are now "broken" as well. I will have to see about going back and fixing them.

Blog updates

Using a few free minutes here and a few free minutes there, I have managed to get the appearance and layout of this blog more to my liking. It's not 100% the way I want it, but it's good enough. I have some placeholders for articles that are in various stages of production. Again, it depends on what time I can devote to here rather than to, say, survival.

You can enjoy the new features in the three areas directly under the main header. They will take you down various rabbit holes. See just how deep they go.

Enjoy.

Flipping the Switch

Okay, folks.

I got tired of going through years of old posts, trying to get things just right before I cut over to Joomla. So, I cut to the chase. I started at the newest posts and worked my way backward into March for a start. I will be filling in the old posts as I can while enjoying Joomla rather than struggling with WordPress, as I have for a couple of years.

Enjoy.

Change is Coming

I am moving forward with an upgrade project for The Conservative Zone. This will likely take a couple of months because of what I have to do, how I have to do it and how much time there is in a day. I am moderately sure you will be pleasantly surprised when I “flip the switch."

I’m going to be a bit…

The upgrade I am performing, is turning out to be very labor intensive. I am looking at 80 hours worth of effort to perform this conversion. Between work, the lodge, the family and the house, I will be lucky to get 4 hours of work on the conversion a week. Which means it will be 4-5 months before I can flip the switch. It is the volume of my work on this blog over the past 11+ years that is the major barrier.

I have been screwed by “conversion utilities” in the past. They get everything almost right, with the end result of having to spend at least the original amount of time to go through all of the content to make sure nothing was missed.

Scylla and Charybdis are a matched pair of bitches.

UPDATE: I did a timed run, and I have a rough average of 99 Seconds a post. This works out to 64 hours of conversion work. While still daunting, it is better than 80 hours. And I’m going to try and knock 8+ of it off between today and tomorrow.

Blog is acting up

The page is acting up again. Please go to the archives and then hit the back button. That way you can see the whole page.

Finally Back On-Line!

Okay, this weekend has been a very...frustrating maddening infuriating affair.

After moving everything over to the new hosting, an automatic scan done by them found massive infections in several of my domains. In response, my account was locked and I could access it only from a single IP address so I could access the files and clean out the infections. I had to wipe and reload every domain. I am currently still rebuilding all of the little stuff in my domains from that.

Lessons learned:

1) Make sure all software is up-to-date. That is your CMS (Content Management System, such as WordPress or Joomla!) software, all of the extensions/add-ons you may use, AND the servers software. If any of these are not current you most likely have serious security holes.

2) If you can afford it, use a Virtual Private Server or full Private Server. My domains don’t generate any income, so I can’t afford the $20+/month to pay for a VPS. With a shared server, if one domain on that server isn’t up to date, an attack on that domain can spread to every other domain on that server, even if you’re secure.

3) Backup, backup, backup. Make sure you do regular backups of your configuration, content AND database. If you have all three, restoring will be a whole lot easier. When tape backups was current technology, I would tell my clients rotate three tapes, one on-site, two off-site in different locations, and read from the tapes once a month to make sure the tapes were still good.

4) Know how to recover. Having a backup is useless if you don’t know how to use the files to restore back to your last KGC (Known Good Configuration).

By the way, the Joomla! test site that wasn’t working, is now properly working now that I am using PHP 4.5. I managed to do more with it today than I did with it all last week.

Rebuilding. Please Stand By.

Having to wipe and reload. I'll be back.

 
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