Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nick V's Hedge, Site Badges/buttons and Nasty Bugs


If you are wondering about the new background to [SiteHoundSniffs], it is rows of [Nick V’s Hedge].  The rest of this mess is an attempt to connect the dots.

I have been fairly open about Grayson not being all that impressed with the appearance of our site directory.  Quite obviously, my best efforts have not been making his tail wag.  So, it especially stung when I received a reply to an email I had sent to a particularly-proper English lady about displaying her linked site badge/button.  She started off with saying that I really did not need to ask for permission, and then she went on about the fact that she would not normally want a link to her site on such a woefully outdated and homely site as SiteHoundSniffs.com.  To be perfectly honest about it, I was a little miffed and removed all traces of her site from our site directory.

As I was trying to go asleep a little later, the thought about using a high-definition image of mowed grass (in honor of Reenie, Arlynda’s long-gone love of her life, who needed a patch of grass to go on) crept in.  The first thing I went to do after getting out of bed six hours later was find such an image.  I quickly found a suitable one and made it the new background.  When Grayson saw it, he gave me one of his looks and pranced out of the room to leave me a present in a strategic place (he has never required a patch of grass to go on).

Plan B had to formulated, but my best efforts were getting in the way again.  Miraculously (I am really not joking about that) the solution was already in hand.  For after I read the emailed reply from the particularly-proper English lady and took action, I sent an email to Nick V about displaying the linked badge/button to his [Floral Friday Fotos] site and asking permission to display the linked headers for his [Melbourne Fresh Daily], [NixPages] and [NixPixMix] sites.  In his reply, he suggested that I might want to also include his [My Desktop Daily].  While going through this site to determine which categories it should be listed, I came upon his high-definition photograph of a hedge, and Grayson did his [Whirling Dervish] dance (he is always lurking about) to signify his delight.  For Yorkies feel right at home around hedgerows.
   
Linked site badges/buttons?  It was brought to my attention that I had been ignoring the fact that site owners with a linked badge/button wanted backlinks to bolster their search engine rankings, and displaying them avoided having to always obtain permission first before displaying a linked site header.  This made me literally grunt, “Duh,” to myself.  For I had already been clued in on the absolute truth of the matter truly being that most could not care less about whether or not their linked headers were displayed on SiteHoundSniffs, which included not caring enough to actually give permission.  So, site owners with a linked badge/button are sent an email informing them of what I have done and given the option to have their site removed.

If you are wondering about backlinks bolstering search engine rankings, there are several things that go into getting to the top of the results list when you search for something with Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other search engines.  One of them is the amount of quality backlinks a site has, and according to the research I have done, SiteHoundSniffs is a quality backlink site.  What determines a quality backlink is whether your link seems to belong on a site, such as links to other pet sites on a pet site, and since SiteHoundSniffs is a site directory, links to all legitimate sites most definitely belong.

Another thing that was recently brought to my attention is that I have been lax at making as sure as possible that a site is safe.  For a little notification thingy shows up on our Google Chrome address bar when an unauthorized script or Adobe Flash Player tries to download something onto our computer.  Our BitDefender anti-virus program also gives a notification when something funky is going on, and the image below is a screenshot of this.


In all fairness, one has to be looking for these notifications, and I have been focusing on other things.  Therefore, I am now going back through all of the sites listed to see how many I may have missed for the benefit of visitors with lesser anti-virus protection.  I am sure that there are not many, but it only takes one nasty bug getting through to make for a really bad day.  Yeah, most of the nasty bugs out there these days only seek to steal your information—not shut down your computer, but those are the kind that can stay on a computer for a long time before being detected and removed.  When you have one, you can change your passwords to sensitive sites all you want and the bad guys will still know what your passwords are.  Sigh.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Littermates, Bi-Petuals and Kidney Failure


[Littermates] is a new page added to SiteHoundSniffs.com, which can be accessed through the link on the left of the footer.  Contained on it is a message about the dream being to eventually attract advertisers and share 90% of the revenue with those who have allowed their site header(s) to be displayed and that they are considered to be littermates by Grayson.  It also addresses that we have decided to invite into the litter those without sites, who will say something (preferably good) here and there throughout cyberspace about SiteHoundSniffs.com and the great sites listed in the directory.  To be clear, they will receive an equal share of the advertising revenue (if there ever is any) and I posted about it on [my Facebook page].  Be assured that it was made clear that we do not want any spamming going on.

Speaking of spamming, I was attacked again by a cranky old man, who considers my requests for someone to give permission to display their header on SiteHoundSniffs left in a comment on their site to be spam.  Oh no, he did not do so directly.  He left a comment after mine informing the site owner that he had already ran me off from his site.  I then replied directly to him about there being a difference between an unsolicited ad and a sincere request made for the benefit of all involved.  He did not respond, and the owner of the site deleted all of our comments.  No, she has not given permission via email, either.  In order to avoid this very unpleasant situation in the future, I will endeavor to make the requests via email when an address can be found.


I also ran into some trouble after releasing an earlier version of that new video ad.  For the owner of one of the co-starring sites took exception to the wording and that I had not received prior permission to include her site.  Not only did she want the ad pulled, she wanted her site completely removed from SiteHoundSniffs.  So I had to produce the current version (and replace the old one with it on YouTube, Facebook and Google+) and remove her site from the directory.  I understand where she is coming from, but I certainly do not agree with it.  For in my mind, no one publishes a blog or website without wanting people to see what they have to offer, and they should want all of the free promotion they can get.  Yeah, it would be wrong for me to use their property in a bad way, but is it really so wrong that some love both dogs and cats?  Now, I consider even a public Facebook page or something like it different, but it utterly baffles me when I run across someone who acts like I am some sort of Peeping Tom Provocateur for daring to offer my help with others finding their site.  Therefore, I will endeavor to obtain prior permission for also including a site in future video ads, and I was given a way to do so.  For videos can be uploaded to SiteHoundSniffs, and I will keep the page private until it looks like the coast is clear by sending a link to it to the owners and asking for them to grant permission in a timely manner (within two weeks) before I go ahead and unleash the beast upon cyberspace.  [Video Ads] contains links to all of the SiteHoundSniffs video ads in order of release, and it can be accessed through the link next to Littermates on the Footer.

Before I move on to a more personal matter, Littermates contains the HTML codes for the new SiteHoundSniffs.com badge (in three sizes) that site owners can add to their sidebars.  Be assured that it does not include a tracking code.  In fact, there is no way for SiteHoundSniffs to affect a listed site other than to help attract more traffic to it.  Grayson has made me learn some new stuff about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and being listed on SiteHoundSniffs is most definitely NOT a bad backlink.  To save you the trip over, the badges and their corresponding codea are as follows:

<center><a href="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/"><img border="0" src="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SHS100.jpg"/></a></center>

<center><a href="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/"><img border="0" src="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SHS150.jpg"/></a></center>

<center><a href="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/"><img border="0" src="https://sitehoundsniffs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SHS200.jpg"/></a></center>


In any event, my primary care doctor thinks that I may not be around much longer to bother people, anyway.  For the last two blood tests show that my kidneys are failing.  It is not to the point of requiring dialysis to remain alive yet, but that does not matter.  For I ain’t doing dialysis because of how extremely difficult it would be for me to have to go to the hospital 1-2 times a week.  Even though I do have a much, much, much better place to go after my time as a part of this world comes to an end, be assured that I really do not have what would be considered to be a death-wish in the eyes of this world—certainly not to the point of me doing things to hasten my own physical demise.  For suicide is absolutely not allowed for anyone in their right-mind, and refusing to reasonably care for one’s health is suicide.  Of course, it all comes down to what is reasonable, and an ethical ping-pong match for the ages could be waged upon establishing a correct definition in our sight.  Quite honestly, I do not believe that the blood tests were done correctly, and even if the results are accurate, our Heavenly Father can easily fix what is wrong if He wants me to remain incarcerated in this prison of world for a while longer.  Be assured that Arlynda fully understands, and she even asked a doctor if it would be a painful death, He said that a person would simply go to sleep, fall into a coma and quickly expire without being hooked up to a life-support machine.  No, it cannot go that easily for me.  Sigh.

P.S.: A tornado passed over the top of the house last night.  I am not aware of any serious damage being done, but our neighborhood lost electricity for around three hours.  The lights came back on at 1:45 a.m. (Central) and despite despising the management, we are most blessed with utility workers willing to go above and beyond to serve the public.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SiteHoundSniffs Remodeling Completed


I really hate to admit it, but I suppose Grayson ain’t as full of it as I thought he was.  For he said that remodeling [SiteHoundSniffs] was not going to take all that long, and considering just how much was changed, a little over two weeks is really not all that long.

Oh yeah, A LOT was changed.  Most of it should be rather obvious, but getting there took a great deal of effort.  For all of the linked headers displayed on the All and United States pages had to be redone—not to mention moving the additional text links for every category and country to their own pages.  Will I get a raise out of it?  According to Grayson, one must be getting paid to begin with before they can expect a raise {Insert groan here.}.


Yeah, I finally got around to adding a [Humor] category.  We hope it will be a place where you will want to hang out with [Crotchety], [Chatterbox] and [NoNameDufus].


Going clockwise and starting on the left of the front row, that is me, Steven Vaughan, Eric Fields, and Gary Sanders in the newspaper clip from 1972.  The [Preppers(+)] sites featured in order of appearance on the rest of the ad are [Rational Preparedness], [Off Grid and Free], [Reality Survival], [Plan and Prepared] and [Backdoor Survival].  By the way, Grayson says that I ain’t prepared for diddly.  Sigh.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

https:


When I first heard of Google rating whether a site was secure or not, I did not pay all that much attention, but then I started hearing more and more about it might not being a bad thing for [SiteHoundSniffs], I decided to get’r’done.

If you do not know what I am talking about, the http: at the beginning of a site address is changed to https: while a padlock shows up to the left.  This involves having at least a shared SSL certificate and removing any “stuff” on the site.  [SSL] stands for Secure Sockets Layer,  which is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

To accomplish it for SiteHoundSniffs, I had to upgrade my hosting plan to a business level in order to have a shared SSL certificate.  A private SSL certificate is available, but it costs more than we can afford at this time.  I upgraded several weeks ago, but there was still not a padlock showing up while my upgrade seemed to be on hold (according to my HostGator dashboard).  I was finally able to get in touch with someone to help me (the trouble was probably my fault) and they said I had the certificate and suggested going to [Why No Padlock?] to determine what may be the problem.  If you look up at the address bar here, you won’t see a padlock, nor an https:.  Blogger/Blogspot sites share a SSL certificate, but there is some “stuff” on here keeping the padlock away.  One of the things is the Feedjit widget on the sidebar, which would be easy to remove.  I have no idea what the other thing is.  Hence, “stuff.”

Yeah, there was some “stuff” on SiteHoundSniffs, and after doing some research, I came upon a WordPress plugin that got rid of most of it after three passes of increasing the setting.  Ah, but Really Simple SSL was indeed simple and finished the job in one pass.  Needless to say (I hope) you can now see a padlock and https: on the SiteHoundSniffs.com address bar.

I do not know if something broke in the code while removing the “stuff,” but when I went to start adding a new round of listings to SiteHoundSniffs, I could not access the All category on the backend.  The others I checked seemed to be fine, but I still had a major problem on my hands.

After failing to find a realistic (for me) way to easily fix the problem, the only recourse seems to be deleting the page for the All category and building another.  Since Grayson has been somewhat less than fully satisfied with the way the site looks, it will be undergoing some major remodeling for the next week or so.  He promises that it will not take all that long, and I have rued the days I have called his bluff in the past.  Sigh.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

BlogDogIt on SiteHoundSniffs.com



This is my second attempt at producing a video ad for SiteHoundSniffs.  I think it is a little better than the first one, but Grayson says, “Just a little—not so much.”  Sigh.

In regards to Super Bowl LI, since my beloved Cowboys did not make it again this year, I do not really have a dog in this fight.  Quite frankly, we will be cheering for offense, and we will not mind either team winning.  After all, the continuing excellence of the Patriots should be rewarded, but the Falcons have never won it.  Of course, when my beloved Cowboys win the next one, I will not care who they beat.  I will start holding my breath now.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Get a Snootful at SiteHoundSniffs.com


A star is born?  Hardly.  Not that it is Grayson’s fault.  For as he loves to tell anyone within his considerably range, he has a seriously sorry lot to work with, which the quality of that first ad attempt clearly indicates.  Maybe being really bad is really good?  Just ask the Sharknado movie series producers!

Speaking of producing, I have had an idea for this ad and several others for several weeks, but the Windows Movie Maker and Sound Recorder went away after installing Windows 10.  It was fairly easy to replace the sound recorder, but the movie maker was an entirely different story.  After weeks of searching for a suitable free replacement, I decided to investigate just how complicated Adobe’s Premier Elements 9, which came installed on this computer, would be to work with.  No, it would not be impossible, but with all of the “stuff” that I do not have the time and energy to do, I was sure longing for the very simple Windows Movie Maker.  As I know all too painfully well that one can find almost everything they are looking for on the web if they know the right question to ask.  Well, I was finally given the right question, and it turns out that one can simply reinstall the 2012 Windows Live Essentials Suite on a Windows 10 computer, and the Movie Maker is included.

As if our normal life around the house is not tornadic enough, Arlynda’s mother, who has lived with us for the past almost eleven years, decided to have one of her “spells” on New Year’s Eve, but this one was more serious than her others.  For she actually wanted an ambulance called to take her to the emergency room.  It turned out that she had a massive heart attack, which left half of her heart no longer pumping.

Yeah, “spells” conjures up visions of an old witch working her magic, and if I did not know better, I could argue that a bad spell had been broken.  For as soon as the EMTs arrived, Arlynda’s mother became the sweetest little-old-lady ever.  She even told them that she did not want to be a bother when they asked if she wanted to be carried to where she could be placed on the stretcher.  This wonderful persona continued until she died a week ago last Sunday (January 15, 2017).  She would have turned 79 last Sunday (the 22nd).  No, I do not want to go into any details, but be assured that the sweetest little-old-lady ever did not live with us for the past almost eleven years.

Her funeral was held last Wednesday (the 19th) which Arlynda’s sister arranged.  Thankfully, Arlynda’s sister has been doing 99% of the work at going through their mother’s “stuff.”  Be assured that she crammed quite a collection into our small house.  Is there a market for empty catfood tins?  Around 100 have been found so far.  I gave up on throwing them in the trash after she kept digging them out and voicing her added displeasure with me.

In regards to Arlynda’s physical health, she has been getting along as well as possible.  She has not fallen again in weeks, and she has full movement in her right shoulder back.

Nothing has changed with me.  So, there is no need to elaborate.

Our two pups and two kitties are all doing well.  I have taken over the catfood duties.  I was already scooping the litterbox.  Grayson always laughs at me when it’s time.  Sigh.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rocks in the River



Just go with the flow is a popular saying that sure sounds good if there is nothing other than water to contend with, but what about the rocks in the river?  Some particular jagged ones I have smashed into while trying to go with the flow of managing [SiteHoundSniffs.com] has been technology and people.  Yeah, that pretty much sums up the whole deal with the new site directory, which has left me grimacing in agony more than once since the beginning of this ordeal dream.

In regards to technology, adding new sites in alphanumeric order has been a serious pain because of having to do it manually because of not knowing the code so that it can be done automatically from the database.  What made it especially painful was having the displayed headers mixed in with the text links.  Now, I can sort the lists with MS Word during the processing, but I have not found an app that will do this on WordPress.  To make it somewhat easier on me, I have moved all of the displayed headers to the top, with the text links underneath in each category and country.  When it comes time to add new sites, I will delete the old text links and replace them with the updated listings.  When someone allows their header to be displayed, it will be added in alphanumeric order at the top and their text link is deleted.

What I continue to be beat up by the most is people—especially those who just do not get the simple concept of replying to their comments on their sites.  Maybe it is just me not getting their logic behind returning comments everywhere but right there under where a comment was left, but it is a genuine pain trying to figure out what site is theirs when they give permission without letting me know where it is coming from.  I have even had 5-6, who answered my comment on someone else’s post on my Google+ page!  You see, Google+ works a lot like Facebook, in that when you leave a Google+ comment somewhere else, it will show up on your own page.  Then when someone leaves a comment for you on that thread, their comment also shows up in the comments on the original post (as if they were leaving a comment for that person).  Hopefully, having this post at the top of my Google+ page and not leaving anymore Google+ comments elsewhere will solve that problem.

I really need to get rid of Google+ altogether, but it has shown some potential.  When I checked how many had visited my Google+ page a year and a half ago, the number was just short of 2 million, which is double how many have visited here over the years.  In all fairness, I cannot attest to just how accurate that headcount may have been.  For a year before, the number was over 6 and a half million.  I have no idea what the count is now.  For that statistic is no longer available.  The biggest reason I am sticking with having a Google+ profile is that I am afraid of going back to just a Google profile will mess up access to my Google stuff.  For my old Google profile has been evidently deleted, and the thought of making a new one has me spooked.  After all, all it would take is a half-microsecond glitch in the data stream to have me locked out in the cold with no way to claim my Google account.

Okay, I will continue to just go with the flow.  I suppose I have no other choice.  By the way, have I failed to mention that I have an aversion to drowning?

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