Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2010’
Note: This post is outdated. The current plugin list can be found on this page.
I feel that I have been engrossed in WordPress long enough that I can put together a fairly authoritative list of WordPress plugins with an explanation of each. These are the plugins I use. I don’t use twitter or facebook, so you won’t find anything related to those two services in here. Presented in alphabetical order:
- AddToAny. This plugin allows readers to add a more profession-looking link to your blog on their networking service of choice. It has automatic options for Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Digg, StumbleUpon, virtually anything you can imagine.
- Akismet. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not, then it automatically files them under “spam” if there is a match. It allows you to manage/review the comments after they are marked as spam, and undelete comments if necessary. This plugin has already saved me from over 600 spam comments on this blog.
- All-in-one SEO Pack. This plugin allows you to setup your metatags for your both your main page and individual posts. You can add comments, craft an excerpt, or add tags for Search Engine Optimization.
- Apture. My favorite plugin. This allows you to contain your links within java pop-up windows on your site. Instead of people clicking your link to a Wikipedia article, they merely hover over the link and the article pops up within your page. This allows people to view material that is pertinent to your articles without navigating away from your page. It works automatically with YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, IMDB, Amazon, and many more.
- Audio Player. A highly configurable plugin that turns your links to .mp3 files into a stylish Play button. It uses Flash animation and expands when clicked. It also keeps the clueless from stealing .mp3 files off your server and forces them to stream the files.
- Better-Wiki-Link. This plugin automatically creates a link to a related Wikipedia article if you put double brackets around any text in your blog entry. When used in conjunction with Apture, it creates a hover-link that brings up the Wikipedia article in a pop-up java window.
- Better Tag Cloud. A more configurable tag cloud than the default tag cloud provided with WordPress.
- Blog Protector. This plugin attempts to prevent people from plagiarizing information from your blog. It disables the highlighting of text (and in turn disables copy-and-paste of text from your blog). It can also be set to a) disable the ability for people to drag your photos onto their desktop and/or b) disable the ability to right-click on your page. I currently do not have this plugin enabled because it causes conflict with some other features of my blog, but maybe after a few more developments of the plugin I will be able to enable it.
- Broken Link Checker. This plugin continually checks all the links (past and present) on your blog entries and validates that no links are broken. I have over 600 links in my blog thus far, so this is a great plugin for me (this post alone has 29 links). Sometimes pages disappear and links in your old posts no longer work; this plugin keeps you from having to constantly re-check all of your links. It runs in the background and is not visible to readers of your blog.
- CommentLuv. When people fill out their information to leave a comment on your blog, this plugin checks the URL they provide. If the URL points to another blog, the plugin will automatically add a link to their most recent blog post. This provides free advertisement to others’ blogs and helps the blogging community as a whole.
- Do Follow. Removes the nofollow attribute that WordPress adds to comments by default.
- Feed Pauser. Allows authors to pause a feed from immediately being published. I frequently make a host of minor changes to a post immediately after it is published. This ensures that the post does not show up in my RSS feed until I have made all of my final adjustments (I have my Feed Pauser set to wait 20 minutes).
- Flickr Widget. A widget which displays the most recent photos from a Flickr account (mine displays in the right sidebar). You only have to set it up once and it automatically shows the most recent photos for you as you update your Flickr.
- GD Simple Widgets. This is a pack of several basic widgets. Most of them are improvements of widgets that come with WordPress by default, such as Recent Posts, Related Posts, Recent Comments.
- Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. It runs in the background and updates automatically every time you make a change to your blog.
- Gravatar Signup Encouragement. Encourages commenters who do not already have a Gravatar to sign up for a free Gravatar.
- No Curly Quotes. Stops WordPress from turning the ‘ and ” characters into curly quotes in blog posts, titles, excerpts and comments. Options can be set for each element separately. Curly quotes cause problems when cutting&pasting text.
- Outbound Links. Forces all outbund links to open in a new window. This helps ensure that people do not navigate away from your page when they click a link.
- Sidebar Login. Adds a sidebar widget to let users login to your blog. I use it as the top widget in the right sidebar. (No one ever logs in, though).
- Smart Ads. Allows you to automatically place Google Ads at certain places in your posts. You set certain rules (ie, minimum wordcount) that determine if and where your ads are placed.
- SubZane YouTube Plugin. Like the Flickr Widget, this plugin allows you to automatically display the most recent YouTube videos from your YouTube account.
- Visitor Maps and Who’s Online. Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar to show how many users are online and a Who’s Online admin dashboard to view visitor details. The visitor details include: what page the visitor is on, IP address, host lookup, online time, city, state, country, geolocation maps and more.
- WordPress.com Stats. Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Similar to Google Analytics.
- WP Super Cache. A fast caching plugin for WordPress. If your page gets a lot of traffic, this plugin can cut down on the amount of traffic to your server while still allowing everyone to view your blog. It creates an up-to-date HTML version of your site instead of the more consuming PHP version. I do not currently have it enabled because I do not get what is commonly known as “traffic,” hehe.
- WPtouch iPhone Theme. Formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android and other touch-based smartphones.
- Wunderground.com Weather Sticker. Adds a sidebar widget to display the standard wunderground.com Weather Sticker for your [chosen] location. Because of this widget, I actually check my own blog to get the outside temp before I go out.
If you believe what he just said in his press conference, Kurt Warner has officially retired (See, Favre? That’s how it’s done! None of this wishy-washy retiring business). His is one of the greatest and most improbable stories in NFL history, to say the least.
After playing in college, he was not drafted by an NFL team. He then tried out for the Green Bay Packers in 1994 but did not make the team. He (now-famously) stocked shelves at a grocery store for $5.50/hr until he signed with an AFL team in 1995. He was eventually signed as a third-string quarterback to the St. Louis Rams in 1998. Teammate’s injuries forced the coach to use Kurt Warner as a “temporary” starting quarterback. In his first four games as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Warner threw a total of 14 touchdowns. He led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory that same year, throwing for 414 yards in the big game (still the most ever in a Super Bowl game). He received league MVP as well as Super Bowl MVP awards in the same season. He had a few more good seasons–including a second Super Bowl appearance–followed by a couple of shaky seasons, and the Rams released Warner in 2004.
He immediately signed a two-year deal with the Giants. After starting the 2004 season with a 5-4 record, the Giants benched Warner in favor of the rookie Eli Manning, who finished the remainder of the season with a 1-6 record. Warner signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2005 and had two tumultuous years in which he was benched and replaced with untested quarterbacks several times. In 2008, the Kurt Warner of old was back. He made all his former teams and coaches look silly for benching (or releasing) him in the past. With the exception of losing the Super Bowl, his 2008 postseason was the best on record. He set the yardage record and tied the postseason touchdown record. The 2009 season saw him break more records and reach career milestones (such as reaching 200 career touchdowns). He had a playoff game with 5 passing touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers but was nearly shut out by the New Orleans Saints the following week. After enduring several sacks and a brutal block-from-behind following an interception, Warner left the game for a time. The Cardinals suffered a 31-point defeat to end the season (and Warner’s career).
Now the talk has shifted to “does Kurt Warner deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?” Some rankings and records in favor of Warner:
- Career pass yards in Super Bowls: 1,156 (1st)
- He owns all three of the highest yardage performances in Super Bowl history.
- Pass yards in a single postseason: 1,147 (1st)
- Career MVP awards: 2 (T-3rd)
- Career Pass Yards Per Game: 258.8 (2nd)
- Career completion percentage: 65.4% (2nd)
- Pass Touchdowns in a single postseason: 11 (T-1st, Joe Montana)
- Highest completion percentage in a single regular-season game: 92.3% (1st)
- Consecutive 300+ yard passing games: 6 (T-1st)
- Number of games to reach 30,000 total yards: 114 (T-1st, Dan Marino)
The common arguments against him are his refusal to rush for yards and his tendency to be very streaky (in both the negative and positive aspects of the word), but the general feeling has shifted and most experts now believe he belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Bye, Kurt. Now who will be my wife’s fantasy quarterback?
We got a package of “leftover” gifts that my parents forgot to bring with them when they visited at Christmas. Stephen has improved at opening presents in the past month. He was having quite the good time with the wrapping paper by the time my wife turned on the camcorder. There is also a compilation of videos from Christmas day that I just uploaded, which I’m sure is terribly boring to people outside of my family.
- As you may have guessed, giraffes are very susceptible to throat infections.
- The Mormon Tabernacle Church in Salt Lake City was built without any nails.
- In tennis, the term “love,” meaning zero, comes from the French l’oeuf which is an egg, as in goose egg.
- Zachary Taylor never voted in a presidential election–not even his own.
- The odds against a flipped coin coming up with the same side showing ten times in a row are 1,023 to 1.
- Abraham Lincoln was carrying Confederate money when he was assassinated.
- The shell is 12% of the weight of the entire egg.
- The biggest playing field in sports? A polo field: 12.4 acres.
- Liberace once used the stage name Walter Busterkeys.
- Paul Revere took his midnight ride on a horse named Brown Beauty.
- In China, the day a child is born it is considered one year old.
- An armadillo can be housebroken.
- Rudyard Kipling would write only with black ink.
- In many species of birds, the eyes weigh more than the brain.
- The P.F. in P.F. Flyers stands for Posture Foundation.
- Before 1859, baseball umpires sat behind home plate in rocking chairs.
- The term “senator” comes from the Latin “senex” which means “old man.”
- Insects can shiver.
- Until 1869, the master’s degree was an honorary award.
- In days of long ago, when railroad men patronized brothels, they left their red lamps outside–such was the derivation of the red light district.
- A bee uses 22 muscles to sting someone.
- The stopwatch seen on television’s 60 Minutes is made by Heuer.
Okay, so maybe Stephen isn’t allergic to pineapple. Maybe the timing was just a coincidence. It seems that what he had was hives that started on his trunk and spread to his appendages before disappearing. This is not uncommon in children ages 6-24 months, especially when recovering from a fever (which he was, at least for the second outbreak). He has been fine for almost a week now. Sleeping 10 consecutive hours a night, no sign of hives.
Stephen is getting faster every day. He is also becoming more of a terror every day. He is like “I can move, and I will move… constantly.” He is even starting to attempt escaping from his high chair. He absolutely hates getting his diaper changed because he has to sit still for two whole minutes, and I don’t let him roll over and crawl around. It takes three times as long as it should to snap his outfit back together because he is throwing a fit and kicking and screaming by then.
All other aspects of taking care of him have gotten much easier, though. I do not have to warm up the milk or juice that I give him–he can take it straight out of the fridge. This means it takes 30 seconds to prepare a bottle instead of 5 minutes. He can also hold his own bottle. I haven’t fed him on my lap in a long time; I just put him in the playpen and hand him his bottle. If he is sleepy, he just falls asleep while drinking it. He is also more skilled at eating solid food, which makes it 3x faster. Also, I do not have to meticulously rock him to sleep. I can just wait until he’s sleepy, take him upstairs and set him in his crib, and walk out of the room. When I go back to check on him five minutes later, he is generally asleep.
He can sit in a regular shopping cart now in the the standard backwards-facing toddler seat by the handle bar. Grocery shopping yesterday was a breeze… he never even dropped the pacifier out of his mouth until we got to the registers. He just looks around, fascinated with everything at the grocery store. After I cross something off the grocery list, I hand him the pad of paper and tell him to “double check it.” He thinks he’s actually helping. When we get to the baby food aisle, I let him pick out which food he wants. His arbitrary selections amuse me a lot more than him.
Now if only I could teach him to stop unplugging every lamp in the house. I’m slowly replacing all the outlet covers with these nifty ones that snap shut when you unplug something from the outlet. They have little spring-loaded covers that you slide to the side when you plug something in. I’m sure I will end up losing the original cover plates in the next few years, and everything will have these ugly kid-proof plates.
Wow. Way to go, NFL. Worst playoffs ever. There were so many blowouts and boring games, I don’t even know where to begin. Despite there being some upsets along the way, the two teams with the best records made it through to the Superbowl. How boring. We could have predicted three months ago that these would be the two teams that made it to the Superbowl, and we would have been right. Where’s the drama? Where is this “parity in the NFL” that we hear so much about?
The playoffs ended on a pretty deflating note last night. Brett Favre, after coming out of retirement again and exceeding everyone’s expectations, proved he is still Brett Favre (and that is not a good thing). With his team in field goal range, he decided to make a risky throw on 3rd & 15 that was intercepted. Keep in mind that it was a tie game with fifteen seconds left in the 4th quarter. The reckless gunslinger had to take one more shot–had to throw away yet another season trying to be a hero. All he had to do was hold onto the ball and run a couple of open yards and the Vikings would have been able to kick a field goal and win the game in the final seconds. Instead the Saints marched down the field in overtime and won the game 31-28 because Favre had to try to win the game all by himself. It was all too similar to the NFC championship game in the 2007 season, where Favre was an interception machine and single-handedly lost the game for his team.
What a letdown.
Well, Steve spent maybe ten hours here yesterday. I think we finished our album, at least the recording aspect of it. I just have to get everything in order and make sure all the fade-betweens are perfect. I’m happy with it. It’s the best of everything we have, and it’s 78:45 out of a possible 80:00 that can fit on a cd. Couldn’t squeeze more on there if we tried. So, we’ll see what happens. It seems the rates for mastering have gone up, but I’ll try to get the old rates honored. With the new rates it will cost us between 900-1000 dollars. Ouch. We now have gathered about a hundred bucks through our bandcamp site, and Steve has put forty bucks into the pot. Not quite there yet by any stretch, but we’ll make it happen.
Steve and I are going to try to set up a scheduled weekly time to work on stuff. We can’t exactly call it band practice because we don’t practice, but it’s like a combination Super Nintendo and audio recording time.
We went bowling this morning and Stephen’s nap schedule is completely screwed. He has slept for a total of 30 minutes all day, when he should have woken up from a 2+ hour nap a little bit ago. I just made the suggestion that we go grocery shopping right now so we could be finished by the time football starts, but then I realized the error of my ways when Stephen started to lose his temper and remind me that he needs to nap very badly. Jaime is upstairs feeding him and trying to put him down right now, and it doesn’t sound like she is having much success.
I contacted a title company to get the title of this house transferred to me and Jaime’s names. It is currently listed in me and my father’s names. We’d like to get it squared away before it becomes an issue down the road when/if we sell this place. I throw the “if” in there because ideally we would rent this place out when we buy a new house. We have less than 9yrs to go on this mortgage. Money situation is good right now. Hopefully we can pay off our new car or Jaime’s student loans (or both, but probably not) after taxes this year. Will be nice to not have a car payment again. If we paid off the car (which we just got last April) then we’d have 303 more dollars per month to play with. We shall see.
I am typing this from my new laptop. And by “new laptop,” I mean Jaime’s discarded ex-laptop, circa 2005. I just did a system restore and spent about THREE HOURS uninstalling AOL and all the other crap that comes pre-installed. Then, after I did all that nonsense, I find out about the PC Decrapifier–made for removing all superfluous software at once. Maybe next time, sigh… maybe next time. I’m already getting used to hitting the missing ‘x’ key on this banged-up keyboard. So, since this computer is older and needs some help being fast, I installed Google Chrome. I think I like it. I mean, the tv commercial said it was fast, and commercials don’t lie, right? Right? It has some cool ideas, like running a separate process for each tab within the browser, so if a website crashes the browser it only takes out the one tab.