The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 39

“Almost over”, says the doctor, “One more week!”

That is not really what I wanted to hear and definitely not what Tina wanted to hear. But that’s what we were told. The doc thinks it’s unlikely that spontaneous labor will happen in the next week, and estimates that we will be back next Friday to schedule an induction. Wonderful.

Have I mentioned that we are both completely tired of the pregnancy situation? Poor Tina. She’s really hurting this week but still putting a smile on that pretty face. Looks like it’ll be a few more days, and if the doctor is correct we will have a son on March 4th or 5th.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that a natural labor will begin sometime soon. Until then we will continue to take our walks around Palm Beach Island and lounge around at home.

See ya next week…

SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS and no_found_rows

By default, the WordPress SQL query that selects posts from the database will use “SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS …”. This is mainly for pagination purposes, to speed up subsequent queries for the next set of results. Writing the query that way certainly helps speed up the site as a whole, but is useless in some circumstances.

Remedy: Look through your theme and plugin code for WP_Query objects. On queries that don’t need pagination, add a new query variable to the mix that looks like this:

[code language=”php”]
$a_faster_wp_query = new WP_Query( array(
‘foo’ => ‘bar’,
‘more_foo’ => ‘extra_bar’,
‘no_found_rows’ => true,
));[/code]

(The magic is on line 4 – it must be passed as an actual boolean, not a string)

Use this tidbit on every WP_Query that doesn’t need pagination to make WordPress omit the “SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS” from it’s query, thus speeding up the post selection query.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 38

Good news and bad news this week – Tina is having contractions! What’s the bad news? – you might ask. Well, just ask Tina. They hurt. (EDIT: Contractions are normal for many weeks before labor, so don’t get too excited)

They’re seldom and very intermittent, but they are definitely happening. At least I have something to talk about in this week’s blog post. Other than my obviously deranged dreams over the past week, nothing much else has been happening. Somehow we thought the end of the pregnancy would be more exciting than it is. It’s actually quite … boring.

But it’s for real. We’re having a baby. Soon.

Last night, we picked up the playpen / bassinet that we ordered online (regretfully) from everyone’s favorite major retailer. Aside from the “wonderful” experience we had in the store and the fact that it won’t fit through the door when put together, it’s a great product sporting a pretty neat airplane design and some really cool features. Obviously I like. Hopefully the baby and the mommy will also enjoy it.

I know I promised some photos in last week’s post, but we just haven’t had a proper day to go do these things. Work has been crazy, and I’m doing my best to leave few tasks open when I take leave for the baby. It’s been tough. We will take some pictures this weekend, for sure.

So anyways, I’m hopping on the be-back-bus … I’ll be-back next week. Cheers!

Lionfish and Hormones

Lionfish

Hormones are a funny thing. I know this because I’m not a dreamer. When I was a kid I had the typical nightmares and occasionally would yell out at night. But pretty much since childhood, I drift off at night and experience a split-second of blackness before I am awakened by the sound of my alarm eight hours later.

I am convinced that during pregnancy certain hormones are shared (or produced in equilibrium) by mother to father by means of sweat while asleep, physiological connection, or possibly some sort of brainwave interaction we don’t yet understand. Whatever it is, over the past nine months I have experienced it and it has reversed my realization of just how in-control of my mind I really am.

I guess that old saying “mind over matter” holds little truth. The mind is matter. We’re simply made of chemicals, which found themselves in the proper combinations in a vast universe and came together to create our consciousness. I though I understood myself, but we are no more in-control than the asteroid circling the galaxy, bound by gravity and guided by mass and energy.

Anyways I’ve never really been a dreamer. However peculiar, lately I have been dreaming of Lionfish. Bright, vivid and entrancing visions of packs of the hungry critters swimming below me in pools fill my head at night. True, the baby has been very much on my mind, and there’s likely some primitive connection between raw nature and parenthood … but Lionfish? Really? Couldn’t it be cute little Lion cubs or something?

I’ve arrived at a quandary: why am I suddenly having trouble sleeping? And why, when I do fall asleep, does my unconscious mind entertain me with images of swirling schools of Lionfish in a pool below me?

I can only find one explanation: It must be the hormones.

What Is WordPress?

Several people have asked me recently, “What is WordPress“? Those words are searched over 30 million times per month on Google. I have been working with WordPress for years now so I figured I would take a few moments to explain what is WordPress, what it does, and how you can use it.

So what is WordPress?

WordPress is the software that powers most of the blogs on the Internet, and a great majority of websites that aren’t blogs. It is open-source, highly adaptive, and fully scalable. WordPress is written with PHP technology and utilizes a database to store it’s content, data and settings. So what does that mean to you? The website you’re looking at right now, and statistically many of the other websites that you have viewed in the past, are run on the WordPress framework.

Here is where I might confuse you a bit. There are actually two potentially different things someone could be talking about when they say WordPress. There is WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. Let’s talk a bit about each.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress was first released in 2003 by a couple of open-source gurus who eventually founded a company by the name of Automattic, who now manages WordPress.com. WordPress.com is where you can go to register a free blog and publish your content without the hassle of setting up your own servers and software. It’s easy and anyone can do it.

What is WordPress Self-Hosted?

The down side to WordPress.com is that it doesn’t allow for very much customization. If you need custom functionality, specific design options or your own domain name, you’ll need to register at WordPress VIP ( starting at $3750/month ) or install the free WordPress software on your own servers. Having a self-hosted install gives you the opportunity to modify the system to your liking, install community or self-authored plugins, choose from one of thousands of design themes, and so much more. You name it, and it can probably be done with WordPress.

So now you know what is WordPress, here’s what it looks like!

Obviously, you’re looking at it right now. This website is powered by WordPress. But be open minded – the web-facing side of WordPress can look like anything you can dream up. Here are a few screenshots of the back-end of WordPress.

What is WordPress login screen
Here is where you enter a username and password, just like you would for email or Facebook
What is WordPress - WordPress Dashboard
Once you are successfully logged in, here is what you see. A summary of things you can do or see on the management side of your website.
What is WordPress Post Page
To create a new page or post on your website, this is where you are taken. It’s a WYSIWYG editor like Microsoft Word or a similar program. It’s quick and easy to insert text, images, videos, and anything else you want.

If you need a website that’s easy to manage, secure, and fully-scalable, WordPress is one of the best options. Whether you would like to blog, sell your products, or simply advertise you business, WordPress will do it quickly and easily.

UFOs In Florida

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Let me preface this post with this: When I don’t completely write-off an idea, I am just about the world’s biggest skeptic. I don’t believe in ghosts, Earth-visiting aliens, or sasquatch-loch-ness-boogie-men.

Now that that’s said, I just saw a UFO – a very real, very abnormal, very strange pattern of lights in the sky, fairly close in front of me. And no, I haven’t been drinking or using other mind-altering substances. In fact, this is the second time in my life that I’ve seen a UFO with the last time about six months ago, also here in Florida.

What I saw tonight was a “swirling” group of lights, like a swarm of 747-size fireflies, moving at around 100 knots parallel to the beach, from the North to the South. The previous thing I saw was a single bright light moving across the horizon at about 1000 knots. The previous object I saw could have possibly been some sort of optical illusion since I was driving at high speed down the highway. Tonight’s occurrance however couldn’t have been mistaken. Very strange.

Let me also mention that I am an airplane pilot and have studied the skies my whole life. I promise you I cannot explain what I just saw.

Well, we were on Palm Beach Island. Maybe it was just Donald Trump flying around his house in some sort of rich-guy helicopter.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 37

Robin's nest

After 36 weeks of preparing for our baby we’re finally taking some time to relax. We’ve been taking after-dinner walks on Palm Beach Island and around CityPlace. There’s not much left to do but wait for the serious contractions to start. Tina is moving a bit slower than usual, but she’s as happy and cheerful as ever and doing an amazing job of keeping any discomforts to herself.

One thing left on our schedule is to tour the maternity wing of the hospital, which we are scheduled to do this Saturday. Due to scheduling conflicts, we’re attending the tour much later in the pregnancy than usual. Heck, we might as well just set up camp and STAY.

Anyways, we’re enjoying the final few weeks of non-parenthood. It will probably be eighteen years before we can jump in the car and have adventures without a bit of planning – but it’s a sacrifice that is very well worth making.

Except in the unlikely event of early labor, you’ll hear from me again in seven days. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Seriously, Germany, You Can Quit Now

howsecure

American Black-History month must also be Europe’s “Hack the US” month, or something. My blacklist is filling up with users from Germany, Sweden, and London, who have tried to brute force their way into my admin area. Usually it’s Chinese IP addresses with a few African and US addresses thrown in the mix. But someone over in Europe found my blog and has made it their #1 target. Who did I piss off?

So Europe, listen up. You’re wasting your time. You’re probably not going to hack my site, and you’re almost certainly not going to hack my site at the WordPress level. According to howsecureismypassword.net it will take your crappy Macbook pro 71 quadrillion years (holy crappp) to crack my site.

Just sayin’, there is NOTHING on this site worth that much time.

Footnote: When you get blacklisted by one of my filters it will be system-level, and permanent. And by the way, JACKASSES, WordPress does not have an account named “admin”.