A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was debating a site move. Someone left a snide comment that because this was on the web I could do what I wanted then move on and reinvent myself. I am changing domains, I do intend to blog less contentiously, I do intend to blog better but I’m not doing it to reinvent myself.

This blog started in it’s current form in January 2004. Between then and now my family has changed, we went through bankruptcy, my mental health went from up to down many times and has now settled somewhere closer to the norm, I have aged and now see certain things in a different light, much of my anger and frustration has waned (though it will return of that I am sure) and none of this is reinvention. It’s how things are and things change. This domain is now wrapped around memories and choices which I made at the time and they were right at the time – but much like the haircuts we get, the clothes we wear, the foods we eat and maybe even the music we like our tastes over time change. We are no different than we were 5 years ago because we are still the same person but we are very different on the inside. Just because it is on the net does not mean it has to stay on the net. Just because there is digital evidence at archive.org does not mean you should be able to come back to a site to see the same state. I’m not ashamed of what was here, I would defend what I said at the time, my family all know and have read whatever they wish it’s just that I will feel more comfortable without it around me – in precisely the same way that I left ‘podz’ behind.

In around 2001 I met some people from uk.people.bodyart for the first time. We all shared an interest in bodyart but if we were all to meet up again then while our interest maybe close to the same level our participation would have dropped (I’d not let Martin pierce my hand again for instance…) But we aren’t reinventing ourselves – we are just changing as people do.

I get some comments on really old posts and when I go back to read the post I most of the time have no clue what on earth I was on when I wrote whatever the post was. It reads like it was written by a stranger – and given what has happened between then and now maybe I would be.

Am I doing it because of work? Nope. If you have read this blog for a long time you will have seen the post frequency fall and just recently it fell a lot more. That happened incidentally. The recent part – yes there was a reason and no it was not work.

Anyway…… all the posts and pages here were made private. I’m not deleting it, but it’s just for me should I choose (which is like those embarrassing photos we all have but won’t throw away but won’t show). Some posts are back published – those I like or whose comments are well worth reading ( I apologise for the feed doing what it did). Some other posts will follow because I know they exist I just can’t find them yet. The new domain is bought (today, so there is no history to google…) and when there is a theme I’ll drop back to this post and edit the link in.

There were:
3,150 posts.
2,063 different nicknames represented in the comments.

Post 3152 will not happen.

Thanks for putting up with me here :)

Cleaner styling

Finally got round to ridding the css of stupidly long selectors, tidying up the css, removing duplicate stuff and changing to 2 fonts in a more uniform way. Not that it matters so much looking at it but it’s been bugging me for ages. It’s in proper sections now too. I don’t think I’ve anything bad left in there – I just checked an it even validates. Not that that means a whole lot. Maybe I should switch the sidebar font’s around though it could look odd. The top of the sidebar jars a bit – thought needed there. The h2 in the sidebar could do with being a little less heavy but otherwise I don’t thing it’s too bad – and not curve in sight :)

Coda. I was using Coda. Many many times it said it had uploaded the changed CSS. But what it had done was deleted the old css first and completely forgotten to write the new css. Filesize 0. Verified each time with Transmit. Not the most useful of things to happen.

Server crap-out

Earlier the server this blog sits on disappeared for some time. When it came back the blog was reverted back 24 hours at least. (I also lost email for the period – it’s IMAP – but there’s plenty more where it came from). I have a cron backup every night my time which is sent to a gmail account just for backups. Once I noticed that I’d lost 2 posts and several comments I got the backup file. The .gz file was 4.5mb and it unzips to 18mb. And therein lies the problem.

I could upload the .gz file and import that to the database as I have ssh access. That would take as long as it took to upload. Minutes then.
If I had not got shell access then I’d probably send a ticket, wait to be told to upload the file and send the host the name and location of the file, then email them back with that and wait for them to execute the import. That could lose even more comments. And this is with someone who does the proper thing and backs up their blog nightly.
So when the host breaks the server and reverts you, is having that backup practical? How much effort to go to just to replace a post or two? If the above effort really is too much then the backup can only be looked on as a catastrophe backup. Not a bad thing but maybe I should certainly be telling people who I help out that it is a last hope thing, not a fallback for the loss of a post or 3.

So, my cron job now runs every 6 hours and I need to backup my mail better. This hasn’t happened to me with IMAP before and I don’t want to run it all through Gmail either so there must be a setting in Thunderbird to really actually download it.

And I didn’t include backups of other files. Depends on how you view these things I suppose. And if you made a comment in the last 24-30 hours and it’s gone, that’s why.

What makes you happy?

I very rarely moderate comments here despite the fact that a couple of threads seem to be running out of control. But there is one that I do watch and which I do remove the obviously not good stuff from. It’s the link in the top right and the reason I watch it is because I think it should be as the latest comment puts it: What a lot of beautiful things on one page.

I also hope that Rachel #118 is okay. A comment that made me think anyway.

What made you find here?

I’ve never pretended that this blog was anything other than somewhere to write what crosses my mind. I think there are a few posts which I look back on and still agree with, some I look at and wonder what I was on when I wrote it and others I have no idea what I was talking about. Overall I don’t think it’s too bad a place – but then I found how I was getting visitors.
I never look at stats. I used to at one time but in the past 2 or 3 years I could count the occasions on my thumbs. So when the stats plugin was being produced at wordpress.com I didn’t really give it any thought (and I know this will be taken as me promoting company code but it’s my view and no-one else’s). Then I installed it a couple of days prior to release – and I have looked at my stats lots of times.
Partly it’s disbelief at the top post (Remember Big Brother and “Who IS she?”) and partly it’s the search terms. If you scroll down you will see the search terms that are highlighted by Whoo’s Plugin. A lot are sexual in nature. Then more detail is revealed in the stats at wordpress.com:

There’s a word in there I have never typed here though in one comment thread it does appear more than once.

But hey, it’s more revealing of their thoughts than my deeds.
And it’s still odd.


In Safari, the blog looks good.
If Firefox the sidebar is dropped. I think there is a mis-placed div as the validation errors are all Amazon related.
Is it bust for you?

Update: I think it was a bug in the svn code. I found a missing ” and there’s something else not quite right in the link-template.php file I think. It’s filed, someone cleverer with code can do the next bit :)

My blogging changed

This blog feels – to me – a different place. Not wrong, not uncomfortable, just different. I blog less and I blog differently and I’ve been pondering why…….

Over the life of this blog in it’s WP form (Jan 2004-) various things have happened to myself and my family. In terms of health and money we were disenfranchised.
J’s health problems in particular have no cure, they have little in the way of relief and they can massively impact our day-to-day living. Mine are present but lie subdued in a dark corner where they are chemically coshed every 24 hours. These problems have not gone away but right now the anger/frustration/sadness they generate is much lower than it has been. I have not the slightest doubt that both of these are sleeping leviathans who will return with a vengence.

Financially we were beholden to the Govt. We sat at the end of whatever political and financial processes were deemed to be good enough. It was not where we wanted to be but we were in no position to be able to change. Unless you have been there you have no idea how angry and humiliated the system can make you feel. You literally “get what you are given” and if the computer forgets to give? Tough. I’m not saying it should be easy – it should not – but as people with some pride the way we were made to feel was at times very ….. words fails me. Think humiliated / angry / sad rolled into a tight explosive package. The effects of that still linger and will do for a long time I’m sure. Things have changed though – the dependency is gone (almost) so while financially we are not much better off the direction of the cashflow is different and is more ‘normal’ which is a positive thing. That of course generates it’s own form of pressure – but one all working people have. So financially things have improved.

These two elements I think drove a lot of my anger – and they probably will do again at some point. But they subsided and with that the posts probably slipped away. What I was blogging about also poured some cool water onto the keyboard….

Back in April I blogged about “My first…” and in that entry I said this: I can’t remember the first time I got dumped. I wonder if D’s now ex-boyfriend will remember the event…. well….I thought at that point that D had finally got round to telling the then boy-f that he was no longer welcome. Thing is….. she hadn’t, he didn’t know how she felt and he was reading this blog. First I know is D flying downstairs saying “What have you written on your blog??” after chatting on msn. The boy-f should remember that though – he was dumped by the parent’s blog :) So that event (I didn’t get into too much trouble there) was a wake-up call of sorts. Couple of weeks agao I blogged the cheek piercings? That wasn’t exactly a ‘family harmony’ post either! So I know D is reading this thing. Her friends know of it. I don’t want to blog too much about her because her ex reads it and maybe others and I can’t intrude on her privacy. It would be unfair to blog about P too for similar reasons. There were probably other posts which generated comments here at home. I begin to censor myself.

The fact I work for Automattic has zero influence on my blogging – apart from the fact I devote a huge amount of time to Support. It’s like any job in all respects and if I want to blog stuff I will. It has been suggested that I can’t say what I think. I most certainly can. I just have little to say on that – it’s work and while you might think your boss and colleagues and customers may or may not know what blogging is … ;)
Then what has to be added in to this mix is that in now trying to work for myself I am very aware that this blog will be read by people I will actually meet and they will have the actual power to give me money. Or not. So while I don’t want to brown-nose anyone or anything I equally don’t want to offend unduly – after all, cash is cash.

A year ago I was disempowered. I was angry and saw little direction. That almost certainly was reflected here. Yet now I find myself in a position where I can influence things positively and the focus moves away from negativity. The bad things are always easier to cope with when there are some good things to see just ahead. I’m not uncomfortable with these changes – far far from it – but the depth that I see this has affected what I write has surprised me. I don’t know, maybe if you read this you have detected a difference, maybe not. Maybe you see different reasons from what I write – because I still don’t recall things I’ve blogged about (You know those people who have a “On this day 12 months ago I blogged…” thing? I tried that a couple of times and looked back a year because I do tend to post most days. And when I saw the entries on both occasions I wondered if it was really me that wrote it. I was angry and ranting in both.)

Strange thing is blogging..