Published June 1st, 2008 by

wordpress logoI just upgraded to WordPress 2.5 and it was deceptively simple. Now, I can use the Visual Rich Editor, which was not supported in earlier versions of Safari and WordPress! I actually liked coding the posts manually, but truth be told… I’m kinda sloppy and I’d have to go back and edit my posts about a million times.

Second, I can try out the latest plugins, including Akismet. That should save me even more time, not having to deal with SPAM.

Finally, I like the new look and feel… it’s almost like beginning all over again. So far, I highly recommend WordPress 2.5.… Read the rest “Upgrade A Success!”

Published January 30th, 2007 by

That’s the vista or view of Julio Ojeda-Zapata in his review, Vista’s pretty, but it’s a shameless Mac OS X imitator Bottom line. He sums up Windows Vista this way:

Get a Mac with OS X unless your home-computer needs are Windows-specific, or if the fine Media Center is a must for you. You likely won’t regret a Vista-PC purchase, but I’m betting you’ll enjoy a Mac much more.

An amusing tongue-in-cheek video by David Pogue covers the same ground in a more creative fashion. I have to say that I use Windows XP at work and I really don’t mind it that much.… Read the rest “The Vista From Microsoft Is Just Another View of Mac OS X”

Published September 30th, 2006 by

MySpace SucksYoung People Flock To Second-Tier Sites Amid Shifting Tastes

This is welcome news, as far as I’m concerned. I just signed up on Facebook and the interface was noticeably less cluttered and usable. I’m not a huge fan of these new-fangled social networking sites, but from a design perspective things are starting to look up. As I pointed out when Ditty Talk rolled out, the MySpace design is just plain ugly and whenever someone adds a photo or video to their page, it gets pushed all out of shape and the user ends up scrolling in all directions.

These new contenders have some neat features that MySpace lacks:

Among the new social-networking sites is one called XuQa.com, run by San Francisco start-up business iVentster Inc., which lets users play games against their online friends and offers awards to the top scorers.Read the rest “Move Over MySpace”

Published June 2nd, 2006 by


This weekend, I’m cleaning up all of my eMail SPAM and webforms on my sites. So far, success! The highlight is this anti-SPAM plugin for WordPress that really works. It’s called Did You Pass Math? and requires the commenter to solve a simple arithmetic problem before the comment is submitted. Fortunately, robots aren’t smart enough to know that 2 + 2 equals 4… yet.

Next, I’ll be checking out some spell checkers… The last one I tried didn’t work.… Read the rest “Oh, Joy! A SPAM Plugin That Works!”

Published April 8th, 2006 by

Today I checked out the statistics on my sites for the first time since moving to GoDaddy ten months ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Overcoming Necrotizing Fasciitis site had over 1.5 million server requests and 213,000 page hits in less than a year. When the flesh-eating bacteria is in the news, traffic picks up and we average a couple prayer requests a week for someone in the hospital suffering from the disease. Students of all ages contact me for interviews or permission to use the materials on the site for assignments, papers and other class projects at least a couple of times a month.… Read the rest “Site Stats”

Published January 16th, 2006 by
Published January 8th, 2006 by

I have a plan. PietyHill Press, hosted on my own domain, will be my main blog; the hub from which all spokes will emanate from. I will be reworking and tweaking this blog before the watching world. Well, actually, before myself and the one or two folks who may wander in here from time to time. This will be the vehicle I will use to learn PHP/MySQL, WordPress and related issues. The goal is to become an accomplished, sought after designer in about four years, when I will retire from the Postal Service.

I also hope to get a few dedicated blogs going on Blogger, which I will link to from this blog.… Read the rest “I Have A Plan”

Published January 4th, 2006 by

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Well, it starts here… Thanks to Levi for explaining Mac file structure, while passing along PHP/MySQL installation and configuration secrets. To show my appreciation, I am in the process of bidding on some obscure CDs on eBay.

Kudos to GoDaddy. After reading all the horror stories in preparation for installation, I can honestly say your MySQL activation and configuration instructions were absolutely simple. I can close the 40 tabs I have open to various GoDaddy/WordPress discussions and installation nightmares. The big problem it seems is hosting on a Windows server vs Linux.… Read the rest “Hello world!”

Published November 25th, 2005 by


Back in February of this year, I began this blog in a fit of pragmatism. With youthful exuberence I set out to set the blogging world on fire about a year ago:

That brings me to this blog. It was supposed to be designed in WordPress and I intended to learn PHP/MySQL to exercise full control. But, I found that I am not prepared for that level of commitment yet. The dream of designing and implementing a beautiful, functional blog continues to live on and it will be realized, as time permits. But, I cannot bear to put off blogging and publishing a moment longer.Read the rest “Pragmatism Wins Out II”

Published November 13th, 2005 by

My pal Dan reminded me this week that November 12 was the 390th birthday of Richard Baxter. I can’t believe I didn’t have that marked on the calendar. I am known to refer to Baxter as “my old friend, Dick Baxter,” because I feel that I came to know him personally over the past fifteen years.

Back around 1990, a friend asked me to research and write a brief biography of Richard Baxter for his publishing company, highlighting the puritan’s abilities as a pastor and evangelist. He was looking for a book, which could be read in one or two sittings, spurring church leaders on to energetic, effective ministry in their local congregations.… Read the rest “Happy Birthday Dick Baxter!”

Published March 24th, 2005 by

I’m tired… and, when I’m worn out, I can’t stand the thought of losing productive time. If I’m in pain, I will rent a film or do something creative like work in Photoshop or fine tune some HTML or CSS. I’ve found these to be the most effective pain management techniques. But, when I’m just plain tired, I’ll do busy work, like add links to the left column of the blog. I hope you like some of the new ones.

Oh, and even though it says to “Read more” down here, don’t believe it… there’s no more to read.… Read the rest “Fatigue Spawns Links”

Published February 12th, 2005 by

It looks like I’m ready to roll. I’ve finished my first post, created my profile, set up some files on my domain to link to and I even tweeked the template just a bit.

This is a real load off of my shoulders… now I can relax a little, redesign my old sites, perhaps come up with a few other designs and settle down to learn PHP and MySQL. PHP looks like it should be pretty straightforward, but I ran into a roadblock with MySQL. I think that’s because (I hate to admit it), I am still ignorant when it comes to the inner workings of Macintosh OS X.… Read the rest “I Feel Much Better Now”

Published February 12th, 2005 by

Pronunciation: 'prag-m&-"ti-z&m
Function: noun
1 : a practical approach to problems and affairs

Many years ago as a young man, I read very little, wrote even less and never dreamed I would write a journal of any sort, let alone a personal log on a space-age device like the computer I am tapping away on. That has all changed.

Now, I read a lot and I write even more!

So, I conceived a plan — a very pragmatic plan, really. Since I would never be published, I decided I would create a website and share my thoughts with anyone who may find them entertaining, enlightening, encouraging or exasperating (strange, but some people do find a certain level of satisfaction in exasperation).… Read the rest “Pragmatism Wins Out”