Installed WP Super Cache

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I’ve installed WP Super Cache. It’s supposed to be transparent, but holler if you notice any problems.

Pair Disabled the Cafes

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

It really is time to switch to a more reliable host. Last night as I was at the vet with my cat (sadly, for the last time) Pair Networks turned off The Cafes with little to no notice. They sent a form e-mail with no useful information:

Due to problems it was causing on the server, we were forced to disable the
following script located in your account:


For future reference, please take a look at our script usage policies:

Please take a few moments to look over your script for any obvious problems
before using “chmod 755” (via ssh) or using your FTP client to reenable
the executable permissions of the script.

If you have any questions about this script, please contact our friendly
support specialists at or 412-381-7247 (option 2).

The message is inaccurate. /usr/www/users/elharo/cafe isn’t a script. It’s the complete web site.

I’ve turned the site back on, but since they didn’t tell me what the problem actually was, I have no way of knowing if the problem is still there or not. I posted a new article on Friday, and it hit Hacker News yesterday, so there’s been a spike in traffic but still in the 10,000 hits a day range, nothing serious.

Upgrading WordPress to 2.8.4

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

If this blog goes dark, you’ll know why. This always scares me. I wish WordPress had reliable XML export and import, not SQL.

All done. Automatic upgrade failed, but manual upgrade seems to have succeeded. Holler if you notice any problems.

My Subcategories Vanished

Monday, January 26th, 2009

OK. This is weird. WordPress has lost all my subcategories. E.g. I can assign a post to Software Development but not Software Development/Haskell. OK, I seem to have gotten them back by clicking “Add New Category.” Probably some strange AJAX bug.

Turning Off Captions

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Let’s see if this worked. If you don’t see a caption it worked:

A Jumping spider on top of my monitor

Big Finish for a BGBY Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

I had New Year’s Eve off so I decided to see if I could add a few final birds to my BGBY list. I could have tried for the Northern Waterthrush at San Joaquin or a possible Yellow-throated Vireo at Mason Park. However, those sites are just too familiar. I’ve been to each of them many, many times over the last year; and they hold few surprises any more. Instead I decided to get on my bike and head down to the beach; more specifically to Robert E. Badham, where a lot of the rocky shorebirds and pelagic birds hang out. I hadn’t yet been out to the shore on my Bigby travels this year, and thus there were at least two guaranteed new BGBY birds on almost any trip–Heermann’s Gull and Brandt’s Cormorant–and another dozen or so were possible. so I pumped up my bike tires, packed my scope and a lunch in my backpack, and took off down the Mountains to Sea trail.

The morning was incredibly foggy, not the best climate for viewing birds. Plus high tide was coming at Badham about 10:00 AM and low tide at 4:30 AM. On any other day, I would have called it off, and gone back to Mason or San Joaquin; but this was really now or never for the beach in 2009. When I started I could hear a few birds but visibility was severely restricted. I was very glad that most of the trip would be on bike paths and very low traffic roads since I wasn’t sure cars could see me. I could hear some Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Crow or two, and just barely make out a couple of Mallards in San Diego Creek. I heard Canada Geese honking long before I saw them fly down the creek. I hoped the fog would lift quickly, but by the time I reached Upper Newport Bay, it was still thick on the ground:

Fog, ducks, and bridge

I could make out the American Coots in the water, a few Lesser Scaup, a noticeable group of Redheads, and a few shorebirds including a Long-billed Curlew and a Spotted Sandpiper. However, I didn’t even bother pulling my scope out of my backpack since I couldn’t see far enough to need it anyway. Searching for the Loggerhead Shrike or Short-eared owl would have been hopeless. Sidenote: Willet calls from out of the fog are really eerie.