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Mar 4 2012

1000th Blog Post

1000-blog-post.jpg

This is my 1,000th blog post. I started this blog on June 10, 2004, and never thought for a second about writing a thousand posts (about one post every 2.8 days, although I usually write them all on the weekends and then pre-date them as appropriate). Without exaggerating, I only have the time to write about a third to half of the family things I'd like to but hopefully I hit the high points. I've almost completely stopped writing about politics which I thought I'd do more of but there just isn't the time.

The blog has really turned into a family scrapbook of memories for the boys to look back on some day. But, also, I recognize that a lot of family and friends stop by to keep up on on how we're doing. I have no idea if I'll write another thousand posts or even if I'll keep the blog public as the boys grow older. If they want, I won't hesitate to take it private and write only for their future benefit. Here's to the future, whatever it may bring.

[Image courtesy of Frank Boenigk.]

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

I have finally completed a major upgrade to the forums with many new features and performance enhancements. The primary new feature is that members can now easily upload images and files to the forums. The long put off upgrade was from phpBB 2.0.23 to 3.0.10.

240-danz-family-forum-upgrade.jpg

All forum members should have received an email notifying them of the upgrade and asking that they come back and take a look around. If you don't remember your password, you can put in your email address and a new password will automatically be sent to you (I don't have the ability to look up your password.)

The registration procedure has been simplified and made easier but will still provide the same level of security. So, if any Danz family members or close relatives would like to join the forums just click on "Register" on the forum page and follow the instructions. You will have to provide a "justification" wherein you'll tell me a little about yourself and about your own Danz family. Each registration is then personally approved by me so as to avoid spammers and mischief makers.

With a little contribution from everyone, the forums will continue on to become a great resource for Danz family history and genealogy. It is my intention to permanently manage the forums and hand them down to one of my children to do the same.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

239-maintenance.jpgI finally got around to a long overdue upgrade to Movable Type 4.37. The upgrade brings numerous back-end improvements, fixes and tweaks. Most notably is that comments are back on for all posts which I had to turn off in December due to the amount of spam the blog comments were receiving. I am now utilizing a different method of combating the spam and anticipate it fixing the problem.

I'm not a violent person, so I would never wish ill will on anyone including spammers. But, let's just say I'd really love to sit on the jury of someone who did do a spammer great physical harm.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Mar 15 2010

Top Dad Blog - 2010

top-dad-blog-badge.jpg Somehow I missed Almightydad's December collection and ranking of the Top Dad Blogs for 2010. Keith Wilcox scientifically ranked the top 125 Dad Blogs from a collection of hundred and DanzFamily.com ranked 31st!

If you are at all interested in Dad Blogs head on over to the ranking, there are some wonderful and fascinating reads there. I can't begin to imagine the amount of work it took to collect and calculate all the data. Even more amazing, Keith is working on a Top Mom Blogs list, a truly insurmountable task!

Thanks Keith.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 10 2009

5th Blogiversary

260-5th-blogiversary.jpg

Today the DanzFamily.com blog is 5 years old! Over the past five years I've written 719 posts, received 2105 comments and 70 trakcbacks (anyone still do these?), and put up about 1900 pictures. Over a thousand visitors stop by here each day and well over a million have dropped in since inception. (None of the public counters have been in place the whole time.)

It all started shortly after my first son was born and my father died. Since then, my mom and Mary's last grandparent passed away and two more sons were born as well as three cousins. Friends too have passed away, while new ones have been made. During this time, we traveled as a family from San Francisco to Washington D.C., from Chicago to Dallas and many, many points in between.

Because of this blog, I've gotten to hold the flag that Rick Monday saved from being burned, had an image I created pirated by the Drudge Report and later used with permission by Dennis Miller and I've gotten to meet, in person and online, some truly wonderful people.

Most importantly, I've gotten to document the thing most important to me...no, not that. I hope the next five years are as fun and rewarding.

P.S. According to Google, "blogiversary" appears on the web 143,000 times while "blogoversary" appears 848,000. While the later is more closely related to the accepted term blogosphere, I prefer the former.

[UPDATE:] After this post, I took an unplanned 2+ months off from posting. The longest break since starting this blog, I think. It's been a busy summer. Instead of dumping a whole bunch of posts over a couple of days, I'll put them up with dates corresponding to when the photos were taken.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Mar 25 2009

Skype Me!

145-skype-logo.pngI finally signed up for Skype. If you know my name, then you know or can find my Skype number/name/ID. I've included the "Skype Me!" logo on the left with all my other stuff. It's just a link to the Skype website and isn't linked up to my Skype ID since I didn't want to invite any more spam than is necessary. Plus, I've already found the built-in online status indicator to often be incorrect.

So, why Skype? One word...video. Plus, the service seems to have grown more ubiquitous than the various messengers out there for which it has mathematically been proven that for any random 146-skype-me-logo.pnggroup of three friends, a maximum of two will use the same messenger. (Yes, I know about Trillian.)

And, speaking of phone numbers, Donelda and I finally canceled our parents' phone number 358-4277 and their private line 358-4055. It was kind of weird and we thought about keeping one and transferring it to something, but then figured there was no real point. We kept it for over a year with the answering machine on in case anyone called who didn't know about my mom's death.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

114-hip-button.pngThe fine folks at the Earnest Parenting blog have awarded yours truly the Heroes in Parenting award! AmyL explains the award as part of a project "to highlight people who are doing great things in their parenting." I couldn't be more flattered, thank you AmyL.

AmyL adds: "If you know of someone else who deserves to be part of the HIP honor roll, please do let me know as I'm always on the lookout for more people to honor." Stop by her Earnest Parenting website and if you have a nomination pass it along.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 17 2008

Blog Upgrade

023-website.gifJust completed a significant upgrade to the blog which is now running Movable Type Pro version 4.21-en with Community Pack 1.6, Professional Pack 1.2, Better File Uploader 2.2.5 and TypePad AntiSpam 1.0. A discerning eye may be able to pick up on some of the outwardly visible tweaks and fixes. I think most of the little gremlins have been exorcised, but if you see or experience anything that isn't right, please let me know.

Many thanks to Dan Wolfgang of uiNNOVATIONS without whose assistance the upgrade would not have been possible.

The additional back-end functionality will allow me to roll out some new things in the near future, so stay tuned. Oh, and I should mention that I was this close -- thumb and index finger nearly touching -- to going to a three column format.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


AllTop Dads
Danz Family has been added to the Dads category of Alltop which "collect[s] stories from all the top sites on the web" and "group[s] these collections...into individual Alltop sites based on topics."

AllTop was formally introduced just this past March 11, 2008. One of Alltop's founders is Guy Kawasaki, one of the original Apple employees responsible for the Macintosh in 1984 (which I used to own, still have my SE/30).

In addition to Alltop, when I die, on my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler, Caddyshack (1980)

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

My web host, TotalChoice Hosting, just doubled the bandwidth and storage space of all their plans. This is a good thing since space was starting to get a little cramped on my server. Now, I'm good to go for a few more years with 3GB of storage space and 140GB of monthly bandwidth.

299webhost.jpgI can't recommend TotalChoice Hosting enough. Just a little research and you'll come across hosting providers such as...picking just one example out of the ether...BlueHost which promises 1,500GB of storage space and 15,000GB of monthly transfer for just $6.95/month...*cough* *cough* bull droppings *cough* *cough*. So what's the catch...speed and/or CPU throttling. I've tried several hosts over the years and either their speeds are so ridiculously slow that you and the rest of the world together could never transfer your allotment or anytime your site gets a mildly busy period your visitors are greeted with a splash page stating, "This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota." These sites might as well offer unlimited space and bandwidth because you aren't going to get to use either.

totalchoice.pngAnyway, I've never had any issues with TotalChoice Hosting. As you can tell, this site is very graphics intensive but always loads very quickly. Any delays are due to some third-party scripts I run (usually one of my stats providers). Just as, or perhaps more importantly, TotalChoice Hosting has the best customer support in the business. They have the most helpful forums run by many incredibly knowledgeable and helpful individuals who go out of their way to help members. Formal tech support is nothing less than amazing. The last support ticket I submitted was fixed in just three minutes. They didn't just respond in three minutes...they fixed it in three minutes! They also have a number of options for live tech support, which I haven't tried...since I haven't had that many problems.

849-bill-kish.jpgFinally, TotalChoice Hosting is owned/run by Bill Kish known as the Head Guru who is always on the forums and available by email, AOL/Yahoo Messenger, ICQ and probably a bunch of other ways I've never bothered to explore. He's a normal guy who gets ticked at idiots and appears to really care about providing good quality, reliable hosting services at very competitive prices. TotalChoice Hosting has sponsored real life food and drink parties, given away computers and tech toys in contests and, otherwise, really makes the extra effort to provide a little more than other hosting providers.

The only caveat about TotalChoice Hosting is that they only allow one domain per hosting plan unless you get one of their more expensive "reseller" accounts. The industry standard seems to allow multiple add-on domains per plan. TotalChoice Hosting's restriction has required me to host a number of additional sites I have on a micro-account with A Small Orange where I can host unlimited sites which get very little traffic for just $25 a year. Even taking into consideration this minor annoyance, TotalChoice Hosting gets my highest recommendation for the best web host.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

powered-by-mt4.pngThe upgrade to the software that runs this blog, Movable Type, to version 4.01 is complete. The new version includes an entirely new backend, the part that only I see. Probably the most noticeable thing to visitors is the calendar type date in each post's newly linked title. Beyond that, the changes/fixes/improvements include:

  • Added top 10 "Most Commented Posts" in the left hand column.
  • Elimination of pop-up commenting.
  • Improved comment differentiation by alternating highlighting, indentation and numbering.
  • Added "tags" to the ends of posts with themed search results page.
  • New themed blog search results page.
  • Fixed odd "Most Recent Comments" behavior on archives.
  • Fixed number of trackbacks statistic.
  • Cron job task scheduling (don't ask).
  • Improved template efficiency and organization (invisible to you).

Thanks to Dan Wolfgang of uiNNOVATIONS for his invaluable assistance in making the upgrade and improvements. Dan is also the author of Better File Uploader one of the best plugins for Movable Type.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 24 2007

Upgrade to MT 4.01

The site is in the midst of being upgraded to Movable Type 4.01 so there may be some minor glitches until everything is finished. Commenting is still open. More details upon completion.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

686-third-birthday.jpg

Today the Danz Family blog is 3 years old. We've had the website since March 9, 2001, but didn't start the blog until June 10, 2004.

To date, there have been 454 entries, 1556 comments, 57 trackbacks, approximately a half-million visitors and a million page loads. Not a bad first three years. Thanks to all the commenters, viewers and linkers and to Drew and Will for making this so much fun.

Here's to the next three!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 20 2006

Patent Law Advice

571-indepatent1.jpgThis past week I've been working on putting together a single-page temporary website (left) for a friend who is a patent attorney. The site is IndePatent.com, "patent advice for the independent inventor." Head on over there if you have a patent law question you'd like to get some free advice on.

572-indepatent2.jpgI also worked on putting together a permanent website (right) for him. After trying a number of options and despite being a Movable Type user and advocate, I went with WordPress which just seemed easier to install and customize. It's not ready to go live yet, still working out some kinks and details, so only a thumbnail for now.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Oct 26 2006

Web Empire News

545-a-small-orange.gifI acquired the domains Danz.net, Danz.biz and Danz.us two years ago, but I never found a web host to park them on that provided everything I wanted for a minimal fee. I am extremely pleased with the host of DanzFamily.com, TotalChoice Hosting, but they don't allow addon domains (adding multiple domains to a single account) which meant I would have had to purchase multiple accounts or a reseller account both of which were costly options. Long story short, Danz.net/biz/us are now being hosted with A Small Orange which provides a great full-featured "tiny" hosting package for just $25.00/year.

     

I haven't updated the various statistics/rankings for the DanzFamily.com in a long time so here you are:

Google Page Rank = 5

Google Backward Links = 1,240

TTLB Ecosystem Rank = 382 out of 58,090 blogs (Large Mammal).

Technorati Rank = 4,465 out of 57.4 million blogs.

Alexa Rank = 947,247 out of the entire interweb.

Number 1 on Yahoo search for Danz.

Number 2 on Google search for Danz, thanks to a darn New Zealand dance site.

Number 4 on MSN search for Danz, always knew they were worthless.

Finally, this past September 11, 2006, DanzFamily.com saw the highest single-day number of visitors (3024), page loads (6327), hits (264,811) and bandwidth (15.89 GB).

[Update I:] I just realized that the cool mouse-over effects I have for the images associated with Danz.net, Danz.us and Danz.biz above (as well as the ones in the left side-bar) aren't working for some reason. I hate computers. And, while I'm at it, the new Explorer 7 really sucks the big pumpkin something awful. And Firefox 2, while better, has its own maladies.

I'm off to live in a cabin in Montana...

[Update II:] Fixed the mouse-over effect, simplified the code and somehow eliminated the conflict so everything is working again. Not moving to Montana...but may still work out some kind of time-share deal.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 15 2006

9/11 Traffic Spike

501-traffic-graph.png

As you can see, things were humming along very evenly until the 11th when my 9/11 hijackers image was widely circulated. Thanks to my great web host, TotalChoice Hosting, there was no slow down in performance despite the 20 times normal load on the servers.

502-traffic-stats.png

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

494-2006-okie-blogger-awards.jpgIt's not enough that Mike Hermes of Okiedoke.com is the driving force behind the 2006 Okie Blogger Round Up but he is also single handedly running the 2006 Okie Blog Awards recognizing outstanding Oklahoma Blogs in twelve categories: Overall, Political, Family, Humor, Audio, Layout, Unusual, Writing, Commentary, Culture, Inspirational and Commercial.

There are a lot of great nominees in all categories, most of which I hadn't read before, which is one of the best things about the awards...getting to know and, if they attend the Round Up, getting to meet other local bloggers.

Thanks to whoever was kind enough to nominate Danz Family for best Oklahoma family blog. Voting is open to all active Oklahoma bloggers until September 23. Winners will be announced at the Okie Blogger Round Up. I think I know who I'll vote for for Best Overall Blog, best Political Blog and Best Writing Blog. I'm still reading though the nominees in the other categories...great stuff.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

388-firefox-logo.gifWhoops!, sorry Firefox users. Looks like the YouTube video I posted of Jason McElwain causes problems with Firefox. While little glitches like that bug me to no end, I just don't have time to fix it right now as I'm working on too many other projects. I'll try and fix it in the next day or two. One of the projects which is competing for my time should be ready to go live this coming weekend.

[Update] The problem with Firefox and YouTube is fixed. I had an extra unnecessary snippet of code that was causing the problem.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 15 2005

Maintenance Outage

321maintenance.jpgDanzfamily.com will be down for maintenance for a few hours sometime late this Friday night through Saturday due to my hosting company switching datacenters. The upside is that by Saturday morning this site should load even faster and have even greater reliability.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 16 2005

Webhost Upgrade

299webhost.jpgMy webhost can beat up your web host! TotalChoice Hosting, is upgrading their servers:

* Supermicro X6DVL-EG Dual Xeon Serverboard
* 64BIT 2x Intel 2.8Ghz / 800FSB / 2MB cache / EM64T / HT enabled CPU's
* 2x 160GIG SATA HD
* 3ware Escalade 8006-2LP RAID controller
* 1x 160GIG SATA HD

Their speed and uptime, which is already terrific, should only improve. If you are not satisfied with your hosting company, I highly recommend checking out TotalChoice Hosting.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 14 2005

Google Analytics

297googleanalytics.jpgGoogle released its Google Analytics service today which, if it is everything Google is hyping, should take over the web stats world in no time. It's designed to seamlessly integrate with Google AdWords* (advertisers) and with Google AdSense* (web publishers) but, in the process, may seriously dent or put out of business other web stat programs such as Site Meter and Extreme Tracking both of which I use myself.

298googlegraph.jpgEarly this morning I signed up despite some difficulty due to heavy traffic. It is supposed to start providing analysis "within twelve hours." However, given the fact that almost every tech site has been talking about Analytics today, I'll bet it will be a day or two before reports start showing up with regularity. I'll post again with a review after everything is up and running smoothly.

[* Why in the world is the address of AdWords adwords/google.com/ while the address of AdSense is google.com/adsense/ ?]

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

282movabletype32.gifThanks to the assistance of the Orange Haired Boy, I finally got around to 283orangehaired.gifupdating my blogging software to Movable Type 3.2 and fixing some bugs that had been, well, bugging me. Now if I can just figure out how MTPaginate works.



Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 9 2005

Blogrolling No More

260blogrolling.pngI'm no longer using the Blogrolling service to maintain any part of my blog rolls. Far too often problems with Blogrolling was the sole cause of the site refusing to load. All of my links are now hard-coded.

However, I will still continue to use the Blogrolling service to allow people to easily add Danzfamily.com to their blogrolls.

Blogroll Me!
Blogroll Me!

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

AIM Notify MeThe AIM Blog Change Bot service provided by Ben Hoskins is no more. I noticed it hadn't been working for a while and emailed and asked Ben if it was still running. Ben provided the following response:

Hi, Not anymore. Once the numbers became high enough, AOL weren't happy with the service and I could not get it 'authorized' by anyone at AOL. Sorry, Ben

MSN AlertI have added MSN Alerts service for messenger, mobile or hotmail accounts. (Public info, Blog sing-up.) Of course, Microsoft couldn't see fit to provide a standard rectangular 80x15 button, so I had to alter their 71x17 oval default button. After signing up to provide the MSN Alert service on my blog, I noticed there was no way to go back into the system and make any changes to the information I had provided. I responded back to the "Getting Started" email I received from Microsoft and got a same-day response which stated:

Hello Don, In the near future we will implement a Microsoft Passport login to the administration page. Access to the administration page will not be granted until the implementation of the Passport authentication is complete. In the meantime please feel free to contact either myself or bizdesk@microsoft.com for any modification requests you may have. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks. - Jim

As far as I can tell, the Passport login hasn't yet been implemented, so just be careful to not to make any mistakes if you sign up.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jul 17 2005

TagCloud

Well this is interesting, TagCloud:

TagCloud is an automated Folksonomy tool. Essentially, TagCloud searches any number of RSS feeds you specify, extracts keywords from the content and lists them according to prevalence within the RSS feeds. Clicking on the tag's link will display a list of all the article abstracts associated with that keyword.

It's basically a do it yourself Technorati tag display for your own blog. I don't think I'll be using it but it's kind of cool.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

220happybday.jpgOne year ago today, I put up the first posts on the Danz Family blog. I've maintained the Danzfamily.com website since 2002 and had some form of internet presence since 1998 (primarily through a now defunct fee service). This is my 180th entry. I've received 424 comments and 32 trackbacks from approximately 28,000 visitors (blog only).

Besides an introductory post, my first post was about the passing of President Ronald Reagan and the opportunity I had to meet him. The most popular post, by far, was about Sgt. Rafael Peralta and the incredible sacrifice he made while fighting in Iraq which has so far received 31 comments and several thousand visitors.

My better half now refers to my efforts here as my "scrapbooking" after I compared it to her real world scrapbooking hobby. I've greatly enjoyed the interaction I've had with my readers and the ability to keep family and friends updated. I'm looking forward to another year...

Posted by Don | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (2) |

My host uses cPanel control panel which provides a nice graphical breakdown of the country of origin of visitors to Danzfamily.com (all of the site, not just the blog). Below are the visitors' countries during January 2005 in order of frequency, top to bottom, then left to right:

143flagsjanuary.gif

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |

I just added at the bottom left of this page, syndication buttons for NewsGator and My MSN. Like the other syndications listed, NewsGator was easy to include. MSN, however, was a royal pain in the derriere like everything Bill Gates puts his hands on. First, the instructions for implementing a My MSN syndication link are wrong! MSN's set-up page included the following graphical code:

141msnsucks.gif

First, at the bottom left, there should not be a space between "rs" and "s&ru." Second, the instructions say to replace "destinationlink.com" with the web address of your RSS feed. It should say to replace "destinationlink.com/rss" instead. Only after much trial and error did I figure this out. I wonder how many hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have incorrect and worthless code on their pages thanks to the incompetent people at Microsoft?

One of my biggest pet peeves is that so many companies think they are too special to have a button that conforms to the standard 80x15 pixel size.

NewsGator thinks they should have a 91x17 image, but I made it the standard 80x15 as shown on the right:

NewsGator NewsGator

While My MSN thinks they should have a 71x14 image, but I disagree. I also didn't like the plus symbol on the right which they only did to be different from Yahoo and NewsGator. I switched it to the left as I like conformity:

My MSN My MSN

Kinja believes their button should be 88x24, I refuse to go along:

Kinja Kinja

Yahoo! really takes the cake. They aren't too sure what their syndication button should look like or what size it should be, but they are certain it should not be the standard 80x15. Sorry, Yahoo!, not on my site. Yahoo!'s four buttons followed by my standardized button:

My Yahoo! My Yahoo!

My Yahoo! My Yahoo!

My Yahoo!

Finally, some sites don't have anything resembling a standardized button. Here are ones I created for my host TotalChoice Hosting and for The Weblog Review:

TotalChoice Hosting The Weblog Review

Other buttons I've just made small tweaks to, such as Technorati's button which they didn't have matching their color scheme. I just couldn't sleep at night knowing I had non-standard buttons on my site...is that wrong? If anyone wants to use any of the buttons I've worked on, feel free, just be sure to host them yourselves.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (1) |
Feb 5 2005

Software Update

Update of my Movable Type software to version 3.15 and MT Blacklist to 2.04b is complete.

With all the latest spam problems every blog author, no matter what software you are using, is highly encouraged to update their software.

I'm still working with my hosting company to resolve the trackback issue. They globally set permissions to everyone's mt-tb.cgi scripts to zero. What this means in English is that they locked down the ability of trackbacks to work in order to stop the incredible load on their servers being caused by the latest spam attacks.

[UPDATE: Trackbacks are working again!]

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Feb 2 2005

Trackbacks Disabled

Trackbacks have been temporarily disabled while my hosting company fiddles with their servers in response to recent blogosphere wide spam attacks. Comments are still fully functional.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

130movabletype.jpgI am very happy to announce a solution to the Movable Type bug that causes the creation of duplicate pages ending in "...name_1.php". If you are curious you can check out the thread in the Movable Type forums where the problem was reported and eventually solved. The following is the final post by the Six Apart Software Engineer Brad Choate:

Thanks DWD, the preview step is definitely the problem. This has been fixed for the next update/release.

You can sort of patch this one yourself by adding this in the form found in the tmpl/cms/edit_entry.tmpl file. Find this line:

CODE
[input type="hidden" name="id" value="[TMPL_VAR NAME=ID]" /]

and put this under it:

CODE
[input type="hidden" name="basename" value="[TMPL_VAR NAME=BASENAME]" /]

That will pass through the existing basename value to the preview step properly, so MT won't reassign it.

If you don't want to edit your templates, another workaround is to choose "Re-edit this Entry" after doing a preview and then save from the edit entry form itself. Another alternative is to use any of the weblog posting clients like Zempt or Ecto or w.Bloggar, etc.

Note, the code shown above has the "< >" symbols replaced with "[ ]" so that Movable Type wouldn't think it was actual code and so that it would be visible in this post. If you intend to use the code you will, of course, have to switch out the appropriate symbols.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

Just thought I'd test this out as a post before considering further whether I want to add it to the page somewhere.


I'm cognizant of the maxim that you don't just add something to your blog simply because you can. I'm curious first, how fast and reliably it loads and second, if I'll actually use it.


I don't have any intention of using the four day forecast version, but just wanted to see how it looked while I am checking out the smaller version.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jan 16 2005

Movable Type Bug

Can anyone explain why Movable Type sometimes creates a new duplicate html/php page when you update a post instead of just updating the already existing file?

The duplicate page is created by adding "_1" to the file name right before the ".php" file extension. Even weirder, sometimes the new updated file has the "_1" added and sometimes it's the old file that has it added. Both, the new and old html/php pages remain on the server in the same archive folder.

It has been brought up in the MT Forums for a while but no explanation has been provided. I added another thread about it.

It's really annoying with trackbacks or links to posts which will often become incorrect if you update a post.

Does anyone have an explanation or know anything about this?

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 19 2004

TTLB Ecosystem

I don't know how or why, but overnight, my blog has jumped from a mere flappy bird to a large mammal in The TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem. This may have changed by the time anyone else is reads this, but I just thought I'd post it for historical sake since I haven't really followed the TTLB ecosystem much I thought it was interesting. For what it's worth, right now, Danzfamily.com is listed as the 653rd most popular blog out of 18,416. I'm pretty sure it's an error in their ranking system.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 16 2004

Domain Consolidation

Not many entries lately. Still busy with work, the holidays and, darn it, just playing and napping with my son.

112dodaddy.jpgI'm in the process of consolidating the registration of the four domain names that I own to just one registrar. They were with catalog.com, domainpeople.com, netidentity.com and register.com. I'm moving them all to godaddy.com.

Each registrar had different login requirements/constraints resulting in four sets of usernames and passwords which took a little work to recall. I have a "system" for remembering such things and it was really put to the test during this process. I've really pushed the limits in maximizing security at the risk of securing myself out. I (and everyone should) have different passwords for different things. This way when I sign up for something requiring a password, I haven't just giving that company, group or person, my one and only password to everything. The downside is that one good blow to my head and I'm locked out of the online/electronic world.

113splashid.gifActually, I've started to keep track of such personal information as usernames/passwords, account numbers, etc. with a secure personal information manager, SplashID, which works on my PC and PalmPilot (Tungsten T). It uses 256-bit Blowfish encryption, which in layman's terms means, if I lose my PalmPilot, no one will be able to extract my information. Given the explosive grown of digital identifiers, the usefulness of such a program cannot be overstated.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 4 2004

No News Lately

I'm still alive. I've just had a bad cold, lots of work and been busy with the holidays. So, no posts lately.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 22 2004

Weblog Review

110weblogreview.gifThe Weblog Review has just rated Danz Family a 4.75 out of a possible 5.0. Both Wendy and vanvan gave the site a 4.75 rating. Both reviewers surfed beyond the blog portion of Danz Family accessible through the navigation links on the left and commented:

Different portions of the site are filled with video clips and pictures garnered from the internet, clips from speeches Don’s found worthwhile of sharing, and huge collection of links from all over the Internet. It’s a nice collection of add-ons to make this site more than “just a blog”.

Vanvan added:

Ok, I'm definitely coming back here, this family has just become really really cool...time to bookmark this site with my browser, because these guys have made a fan out of me.

Finally, vanvan provided a dose of reality:

I found some spelling mistakes and typos, so don't worry this family isn't all perfect.

My longtime friends would surely question whether I was actually writing the entries myself if there weren't spelling mistakes and typos. Thanks for the reviews. I encourage other webloggers to go to The Weblog Review and put your site in line for your own review.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 10 2004

Host Change Complete

The changeover to the new web host and update to MT 3.121 is complete. Comment notification and MT Blacklist are now working for the fist time ever.

I highly recommend my new host TotalChoice Hosting for all your website and blog hosting needs. They have an unheard of combination of terrific support, tons of features and options and low prices.

Also, I can't recommend highly enough the fine people at Moxie Design Studios. Julie has proven herself not only a phenomenal designer but also a highly skilled technician. I could not have made the move to my new host without her assistance.

I'm off to clean up a few items, like apostrophes that have universally turned into question marks, and some other minor backend odds and ends.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 2 2004

Changing Hosts

I was going to post something witty and intelligent about voting. But, instead this is a notice that I am in the process of changing my web host from the problem-a-week-we-don't-really-want-anyone-running-blog-software host ReadyHosting to the already-impressed-with-their-support-and-MovableType-friendly TotalChoice Hosting. The last straw was my site being down (or up but not functioning) every weekend this month and RH only figuring out they had a hardware problem by little old me repeatedly telling them they've got a problem.

The icing on the cake was when they put up a green light on their little server status page after they replaced their hard drive since, after all, it was spinning just fine. They apparently weren't concerned about the fact that my site (and presumably others) stored on that new hard drive still weren't working because they didn't have the software associated with that drive up and running. But, hey, that little detail shouldn't get in the way of their bogus uptime stats now should it? Arrrgh!

Feel free to keep commenting, the transition should be relatively seamless to visitors.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |

092blogger.jpgAs Blogger users are no doubt already aware, the default Blogger setup only allows comments to be made by other people with a Blogger account and by people who don't mind posting anonymously. While I have on occasion posted anonymously, I generally don't see the point. If I'm going to take the time to post a comment, I don't want it to be anonymous. Certainly there are those who don't mind commenting anonymously, but wouldn't you like to know who's posting and also open up your comments to the much larger viewing audience of non-Blogger users.

091haloscan.jpgWhile I'm sure there are many ways to allow non-Bloggers to post in an easy and identifiably fashion, the way I see most often on Blogger blogs is through the use of HaloScan comments. From their website:

HaloScan.com provides a free, easy to use commenting and trackback system for weblogs and websites, allowing visitors to leave instant feedback. By copying and pasting just two lines of code into your site, you will enable your visitors to easily leave their feedback, opinion or a comment on the subject at hand.

So do all of us non-Blogger users a favor and check it, or something else that does the same thing, out.

Posted by Don | Comments (15) | TrackBacks (0) |
Oct 11 2004

Website News

Finally, after much effort, experimentation and exasperation, the upgrade to MovableType 3.11 is complete--or, at least, as complete as it's going to be. MT Blacklist and comment notification still don't work due to some bizzaro interaction and/or lack of capabilities between MT and the Windows 2000 servers of my host ReadyHosting. But, at least, I have the option of comment registration should I so choose and the other benefits of MT version 3.11.

Interestingly, MT Blacklist or something must be working as I just found two spam post which didn't show up on the website but did show up when I listed all comments administratively and they weren't from IPs I've banned.

Danzfamily.com has amazingly jumped to number two in the search results for "danz" on Google.

Despite the Google climb, the Alexa ranking for Danzfamily.com has dropped to 1,255,481.

Also, corrected some miscellaneous problems that were occasionally interfering with page loading.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 24 2004

Test Entry

This is a test. I'm upgrading from MovableType 2.661 to 3.11 and regular entries are suspended for the time being.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 12 2004

Website News

I am now the proud owner of the domain www.danz.net which nicely rounds out the Danz collection which also includes, besides this site: www.danz.us and www.danz.biz. I wonder what Drew will do with one of these some day?

I'm still having issues with email notification of new comments--as in it doesn't work and never has. It's a problem with my host and their set-up which makes implementation of my blogging software particularly difficult. Simply put, do not use ReadyHosting if you want to use MovableType--or probably any other blogging system.

I got rid of Nedstat since it was causing pages not to load. It looks like they've resolved the issue but I don't want to risk the problem of pages not coming up again. For reasons I don't want to mention here, it was more useful than any other tracker in one respect. (Email me if anyone is curious why.) I replaced it with Extreme Tracking which appears to be a good compliment to Site Meter and both seem to load almost instantaneously.

I added a linking banner to Blogs for Bush in the left hand column. I'm sure that's a real surprise to everyone. I also added a Blog Rolling link which, for those who don't know, allows people to easily add Danz Family to their list of blog links.

This website is back in the top ten search results for "danz" on Google--number eight.

Alexa ranking is at 1,163,803, but given recent trends it should get under a million in the near future and stay there.

Finally, I got my first TrackBack.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Aug 22 2004

Google Ranking Drops

Ack! The site's fallen to 16 on Google for Danz and to 1,121,986 on Alexa overall. OK, so I don't really care that much, but it is fun to watch and try and figure out what Google is up to. It must really drive the people who actually rely on Google rankings to send traffic to their commercial sites nuts when they see their site jump up and down for no apparent reason.

I did finally notice that I had not included keyword and description meta tags in the main index blog template. I have remedied this which in theory should boost the site back up Google's ranking.

As evidence of how screwy Google is, the site currently one rank above Danzfamily.com is a new web hosting company who's site is "under construction" and which does not contain the term "Danz" or anything close to it anywhere on its site--go figure.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

According to Alexa, Danzfamily.com ranks in the top one million of all websites for the amount traffic.

The Alexa ranking is based on a three month average and Danzfamily.com is currently 935,392 out of all the websites tracked by Alexa which is a lot since they claim to have a web crawl of 3.5 billion unique URLs.

Oh, and the Google ranking of Danzfamily.com for the search term "Danz" is now up to 7.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

Danzfamily.com currently comes up number 8 in a Google search for "Danz." A few years ago the site was also in Google's top ten results for Danz, but then Google reworked its algorithms and the site dropped almost overnight to the 30s and 40s from where it has slowly crawled back over the past year or two. One reason it's not higher is that I don't particularly mention "Danz" very often. So please excuse me now if I throw in a gratuitous "Danz" here and there--Danz.

Most annoying is the fact that the site's search result placement would be significantly higher for every search engine if there weren't so many people worldwide that think it's cute to use "Danz" with regard to things associated with "dance." And, don't even get me started on the jerk guy who's first name is Dan and last name starts with a Z who apparently thought it was cool to register Danz dot com. I know every time I type f-a-m-i-l-y when I'm logging in somewhere, I think about how cool it was of him to do that--/sarcasm.

Speaking of logging in, here are a few tidbits from my web statistics report for Danzfamily.com for the month of July:

Sessions served: 17,215
Hits made on server : 188,136
Time spent by all sessions : 1,900,645 seconds (22 days)
Bandwidth : 2,285,952,370 bytes (2.28 gigabytes)

Oh, and one more thing: Danz.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

Welcome to the newly redesigned Danzfamily.com homepage. Extra-special thanks to Julie of BlogMoxie for her design assistance. She really nailed it far beyond my expectations! The old homepage was simply too static for what I want to do. For those familiar with the old home page, links to the rest of the website can still be found on the left under "navigate." Here's what the old design looked like:

001originalpage.jpg

The new design will allow me/us to more easily provide our friends & family with news and information. Among other things, in the column on the left you will find a random photo along with a random quote. I also anticipate the new design will be a soapbox for my rants and, ultimately, it's cheaper than professional therapy. So, come back often and please don't hesitate to leave comments if you are so inclined. Take care.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |