Merry Christmas 2008!

It’s that time of year again where I get woken early by my kids and mumble, “just 5 more minutes” while they are bouncing up and down on their Daddy’s tortured body.   It’s that time of year again when I finally roll out of bed and half fall down to the stairs with a big smile on my face as I look forward to seeing my children gleefully shred wrapping paper with wonder in their eyes at the gifts they’ve received.  It’s that time of year again when my wife and I look at each other with that understanding and gratitude for the blessing of sharing this moment with our children and just the wonder of being together.  It’s that time of year again when I’m reminded that if it weren’t for the incarnation, the most extravagant gift of God in Jesus Christ – that none of this would be possible.

Hope you had a great day today folks with family and friends!

Organize Series 2.0.8 released

It’s time to get out of beta and get this version onto WordPress.org/extend/plugins so more users can enjoy all the goodies.  Once again, a big thanks to all the people who have helped test and fix the bugs that first got introduced way back when WordPress 2.6 was released.  There’s so many of you I’ve lost track – but they are in the feed 😉

Click here to download Organize Series 2.0.8

Here’s a list of fixes/features with this new version:

New features

  • Added a new argument to the “wplistseries” function – “number” which enables users to limit the number of series displayed
  • Reworked the layout of Organize Series administration integration with WordPress so it “fits” with WordPress 2.7 – including showing “Series” in the Dashboard “Right Now” widget.
  • Organize Series interface can be floated around and respositioned in the write/edit posts screen for WordPress 2.7
  • moved the “Manage Series” menu item to the Posts submenu area for WP2.7 (previous versions stay in the same location)

Minor

  • fixed an inconsistency with ‘showlastupdate’
  • fixed some bugs with the atom feed (was an early update…not sure if it’s still working correctly now)

New Look: Unfolding Neurons 3.0

Time for a change around here.  A change that’s actually been in the works for quite a while.  I started working on a new theme for Unfolding Neurons at the beginning of 2008 but got sidetracked by changes in my life and never could get back to working on the theme I was developing (realized I didn’t like it anyway).  Part of the prep for the new look involved restructuring my blog and doing a major decompress of all my categories.  I eliminated over 40 categories I was using and decided I would use categories for the major themes in my blog and tags for all the other ways of describing what I write.

When I saw what was coming through the pipes with WordPress 2.7 I decided that rather than developing a theme from scratch, I’d take a look at what other good themes are out there and modify one to suit my needs.  That’s when I came across the excellent “Hybrid” theme framework by Justin Tadlock which he developed with WordPress 2.7 in mind.  What I like about Hybrid is that it is a framework that you can build child themes off of and if Justin updates Hybrid I can switch in the update without having to worry about the custom changes I’ve made for my site.  Unfolding Neurons 3.0 is actually built off of a child theme for Hybrid that Justin created called “Old School“.

Bluehost problems update

Hilarious (in an annoying way)…here’s what I sent off to support after my site went live again.

Thanks for putting my site live again.  What is the threshold at which my site would be deactivated and how can I monitor to make sure it’s within that threshold?  I really don’t want to be deactivated without warning again…especially when I have had the same site up and running for almost a year without any problems!

Thanks for the quick response and help

Important question to ask you might think!  I don’t want to be caught unawares with my websites being deactivated with no warning.  Here’s the “friendly” response I got from support today…

There isn’t a specific threshold.  Your website can not cause performance problems on our server.

Bluehost
Abuse Department
888-401-4678

Terms of Service – https://www.bluehost.com/cgi/info/terms.html

Temporary change to Unfolding Neurons

My host (bluehost.com) shut down my site at about 4:00pm (EST) today and support told me that it was due to excessive MySql queries and CPU load.  Some notes about this experience:

  • Support was very fast on getting back to me when I contacted them.
  • They weren’t very helpful when it came to what I needed to do.  I had to track down information in their knowledge base.
  • A quick browse on the internets via Google showed me that bluehost has received some negative press re their mysterious CPU lockout and suspension issues.  Seems like they aren’t really set up to run trafficked WordPress sites on their shared servers.
  • The suspension came out of the blue (no pun intended).  No warnings, no emails prior to, nothing, nada.  It would have been helpful if I had at least received a notice that my site was causing problems on the servers and I needed to make some modifcations or they’d shut things down…