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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Thursday, October 20, 2016

SiteHoundSniffs' Revenue-Sharing Program


I have always taken rejection rather personally, and it especially hurts when being rejected by those who know me.  For almost everyone included in the first round of listings on [SiteHoundSniffs.com] were included in one of the editions of the Sites To See series we had on here over the years.  Yet, only around 10% of those contacted so far have given permission to have their headers displayed on SiteHoundSniffs, and a few of those who did give permission did not know me from before.  No, there was no actual relationship established with most.  In fact, most never even acknowledged being included in a Sites To See edition, but it should have been proven in their mind that I am not trying to run any sort of spam-scam.

What am missing?  For I do not know how having your header displayed on SiteHoundSniffs could cause you any harm.  If anything, it should be of at least some benefit.  For a linked 300 x 150 (pixels) image certainly stands out over just an 18-point text link.

Sure, we are benefiting, too.  For the displayed headers enhance the experience for those stopping by to look for something of interest, but the links are of the greatest value, which are provided out of the juicy goodness of our little ‘ol pea-pickin’ hearts.

Okay, I do have an ulterior motive, but it is as pure as the freshly-fallen snow.  For I hope SiteHoundSniffs will generate enough revenue from outside advertising to make me a contributing member of society again and off of the welfare rolls.  If I could work enough for someone to pay me, I would do about anything, but I have not been able to for over 15 years now.  So, the 2-3 hours (on good days) that I can sit in front of this desktop and do what I do has to do.

Furthermore, I plan on sharing 90% of the advertising revenue with those gracious enough to let us display their header.  Of course, there will not be any advertising revenue to share unless the site has enough traffic.  So, if you could say something (preferable good) about SiteHoundSniffs here and there, it would be good for both yourself and us on this side of the screen.  Besides, if Grayson does not get enough treats…

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Monday, October 10, 2016

SiteHoundSniffs.com has Launced!!!


After a year and a half of setbacks, the new site directory is finally up and open for business.  Well, not exactly.  For any business to be conducted will have to wait until enough traffic comes by.  Until then, everything [SiteHoundSniffs.com] has to offer is completely free of charge, and after enough traffic starts coming by to attract advertisers, I hope to institute a revenue-sharing program.  Needless to say, I need your help with drawing attention to the site before there can any money to spread around.

To be completely honest about it, I am not real happy with the way the site looks so far.  One of the things I have learned is that WordPress will not accept any fancy text formatting that can be done with MS Word.  So, aside from wasting a ton of time upon MS Word formatting, I have had to settle for working with just the Arial font.  There is a plugin to allow for the use of Google Fonts, but it will not work with the current version of WordPress.  I suppose the same situation applies to first copying text to a Google Doc, which will accept a great deal of MS Word formatting, and then pasting it into the WrodPress text editor, which is supposed to work according to last year’s [Tessaract Theme/WordPress tutorial] by Tyler Moore.

Alas, I have made too many mistakes to get into.  At least I think I know a little more about what I am doing, but that has meant that the next disaster just has not happened yet.

The next step is to ask the 1,767, who have not yet given permission to display their header, for permission to do so.  I will then start adding sites.  The original plan was to launch with at least 5,000 sites listed, but when I discovered a better way to process them and had to start almost completely over, the first round was cut-down to 1,785 from 78 countries.  Learning the country of origin for sites has been really interesting to me, and I hope it will be for you, as well.

In regards to our physical health issues, Arlynda has not fallen since the last time almost two months ago, and she has regained almost full use of her right arm.  Her primary care physician moved to St. Louis, and we are now having a hard time finding her another to write the dozen (or so) prescriptions she has for her non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and other things.  Her specialists will not do it.  My primary care doctor also moved out of town, but I have an appointment to see his replacement next month.  My high blood pressure and other “stuff” is being well-controlled by the medications I am currently taking.  So, I am hoping that he will not be hard to deal with.  There appears to still be no treatment for my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome condition.

Please let me know what you think about [SiteHoundSniffs.com].  Hey,  Grayson will probably most definitely agree with you if you think it is not all that.  Sigh.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lost on a Dirt Road

A couple of weeks after announcing that the new site directory was basically ready to launch a couple of months ago, I had one of my epic dreams.  I consider them to be epic because of how realistic they seem to be and how very clear memories of the dream stay with me for days.  This one involved being on the truck and heading across the country with a load of produce bound for Brooklyn, NY.  The dream started with me being behind the wheel and noticing that I was now driving on a dirt road somewhere in western Pennsylvania—not I-80.  Even though the dirt road was firm and smooth, I panicked.  For I did not know exactly where I was, nor if there were any bridges insufficient to hold my weight just around the bend.  Oh no, there was no place to just turn around and go back to where I had got off of the interstate.  My panic grew and grew each time I stopped in a small town (without any side-streets, nor intersecting roads) to ask just where I was and how to get back to the interstate because the only answers I received were that I was where I was at and that they had never heard of an interstate highway, nor where I might be on my map.  Furthermore, I was running low on fuel and only had $100 in cash to buy diesel since no one in the towns I stopped in had ever heard of a fuel charge card—let alone accept the one I had.  The dream ended without me making it out of the nightmare alive and left me with a very uneasy feeling about heading in the wrong direction with the development of the new site directory.

While finding more and more mistakes I had made in the processing of the information the new site directory will provide, I swallowed hard and played with a new process, which would involve starting almost completely all over.  Thankfully, it is a much better way, and I was amazed at how much faster the processing was going.  In fact, I was even planning on launching a scaled-down version of the new directory on the anniversary of the beginning of my nightmarish hospital stay last year on September 4th.

On July 19th, Arlynda was out with her mother and fell hard on her rear on the sidewalk to an auto parts store.  This was the first of four times she has fallen since.  I will forego including anymore details, but work on the new site directory has come to an almost complete halt because of me spending my available energy upon doing what I can for Arlynda.  Be assured that I really miss visiting your sites, and I hope you-all have been doing at least relatively well.  I still have hope that things will at least get back to normal for us, but I have no idea when that might be.

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