Site Stuff

OK, so I’m back! The missus and I went on a short vacation to Myrtle Beach, then came home and left around 40 hours later for another trip. But we have nothing planned for the next several months, so I should be able to get back to the Mad Men recaps soon!

I swapped out the banners on the site. It’s kind of funny: I saw a cool picture on the Internet that I wanted to use as a Facebook cover image. I opened it in Paint.NET and edited it….then I thought of another cool image… and the next thing you know I’ve created a stockpile of Facebook covers. And today, for no good reason at all, I decided to convert them to banners for this site:

The Clash London CallingThe Clash: The iconic cover of the infamous London Calling album.

Joy DivisionJoy Division: The famous pic of the band on the bridge over Princess Road in Hulme.

Japan PolaroidsJapan: Details of the cover of the 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

Lord NelsonLord Nelson: British naval hero of the Napoleonic Era and all-around bad ass.

London UndergroundLondon Underground: The world-famous map of London’s subway system.

Kate flipsKate Winslet: The greatest actress of my generation flips you off, British style!

Art RooneyArt Rooney: A.K.A. “The Chief”, the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

Jack LambertJack Lambert: One of Rooney’s all-time best players: the much feared Jack Lambert!

Edwin HubbleEdwin Hubble: American astronomer and all-around awesome dude!

Category Maintenance

Just a heads up: I’ve done some pruning to the categories. The “Time Warner” category is gone, and all posts that were in that category have been moved to “Geek Stuff”. I also killed the “Life On Mars” and “Hotel Babylon” categories and moved those posts to “TV”.

– Jim

ShareThis Updated

Hi Folks!

Just wanted to let you know that I have updated the ShareThis options at the bottom of every post. I’ve changed the look from large buttons to small icons, and did so because I also added support for Pintrest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and the Google+ “+1” feature.

Note that you can choose from dozens of other sharing services including Orkut, LinkedIn, Digg, Xing, Technorati, by clicking the green “ShareThis” icon at the bottom of each post.

Going down faster than…

Sorry for the downtime earlier today folks. My web host disabled my site again this morning. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what happened, but from the looks of it, my WordPress backup plug-in – BACKWPUP – once again went crazy on the server. It’s been disabled, and I’m doing manual backups until I can find a plug-in that doesn’t randomly eat gobs of CPU and memory space. Suggestions?

New Banners!

Yep, it’s been a while… so here are a bunch of new banners for the website! Enjoy them… until July or so, when I update them again!

Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton: As George Will once said, “we worship Jefferson, but live in Hamilton’s world”.

Bobby DoddBobby Dodd: Georgia Tech football coach from 1945-1966, compiled a record of 165–64–8.

Bernard CornwellBernard Cornwell: Author of historical fiction, esp. the “Richard Sharpe” series from the Napoleonic Wars.

Katy PerryKaty Perry: I just don’t care what anyone says… Katy is America’s Sweetheart!

NeptuneNeptune: This gas giant, the last in the solar system, is my favorite non-Earth planet!

Pecan PiePecan Pie: Why? Because it’s just the best damn dessert in the whole world!

Richard HookerRichard Hooker: Along with Thomas Cranmer and Matthew Parker, considered a father of Anglicanism.

SylvieSylvie: This is taken from the cover of Saint Etienne’s “Sylvie” single.

Steven LevittSteven Levitt: American economist and co-author of Freakonomics.

Marsheaux 2Marsheaux: Greek synthpop band. I’ve fallen in love with them the same way I fell for Jenni Belle in 7th grade:

MarsheauxMarsheaux: instantly, overwhelmingly, and giggledy. Seriously: I get love pangs when I listen to them!

StiltonStilton: Is there any cheese that can compete with Stilton? It’s the King of Cheeses!

Thomas AquinasThomas Aquinas: Highly influential theologian, one of the 33 Doctors of the Church.

The VarsityA meal from The Varsity: Because sometimes you just jones for hometown deliciousness!

Thomas MoreThomas More: English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist.


I use the WP Random Header plug-in to change the header image each time you load a page here at the site (a feature that is now built in to WordPress, by the way. I guess I’m too lazy to reconfigure it!).

I sometimes add or remove one of the banners, and every so often I’ll go nuts and replace all of them at once. I did just that this past weekend. In case anyone’s curious, here are the new banners:

wp_lisa_gerrard_tLisa Gerrard, lead singer of Dead Can Dance; has also done several movie soundtracks, including Gladiator.

wp_jh_newman_tJohn Henry Newman, Anglican priest and founder of the Oxford Movement.

wp_hubble_tEdwin Hubble, astronomer who confirmed the existence of other galaxies and that the universe is expanding.

wp_walter_tBryan Cranston as Walter White from the TV show Breaking Bad, one of the best shows ever!

wp_harrison_tJohn Harrison, an English clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer and solved the “longitude problem”.

wp_luther_tIdris Elba as John Luther from the BBC series Luther, one of the best modern cop shows around.

wp_newton_tIsaac Newton, the English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, alchemist and theologian.

wp_grace_tGrace Kelly, American actress, later Princess of Monaco, and most beautiful woman in history.

wp_borleag_tNorman Borlaug, agronomist and Nobel laureate who saved a billion people’s lives in the Green Revolution.

I hope you enjoy the new banners!

Site Downtime

Hi folks!

My site was down for approximately 9 hours today. This is because of a WordPress plug-in I use called BACKWPUP. The plug-in is supposed to back up the MySQL database this site runs on and email that backup to me every morning. However, latest version of the plug-in contained a script which kicked off multiple backup threads, which ended up eating 89% of the CPU on the shared server which runs this site. Ooops! My host temporarily disabled my site until I could delete the plug-in. I have done so, and now I’m back!

Sorry for the downtime, but you know how it goes sometimes.

– Jim

Website Update

Hi folks!

I have, ONCE AGAIN, disabled the AllConsuming widgets in the sidebar (the “I’m reading” and “I’m listening to” widgets). This is because AllConsuming is ONCE AGAIN having some kind of issue which causes the widgets not to load properly. This was not only greatly increasing page load times for my site, it was also causing other widgets not to load (especially the “Share This” widget, which allows you to easily share my posts on Facebook to Twitter). When (if) AllConsuming gets their act together, I’ll put them back.

In the meantime, does anyone know of a FAST and RELIABLE WordPress plug-in that allows me to post the books I’m reading and the music I’m listening to?



A Brief Update

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’ve been going through some old stuff on this site and will be releasing updated versions of things over the next few days. For instance, I deleted the old “Useless Facts” page and copied everything to a standard post. I’m also going through the Old Stuff Archive and updating older articles that didn’t make the cut when I converted this site from FrontPage to WordPress.

– Jim

Urbanspoon and Other Stuff

Hi folks! A couple of quick website updates:

– I created an account at restaurant review site a few days ago, and have cranked out 65 quick reviews of eateries in Charlotte, Atlanta, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and London. If you have time, check out my profile!

– I’ve added new icons to the sidebar. In addition to the existing RSS icon, you’ll now find ones for my Facebook, Twitter and Urbanspoon pages.

– I have also added a link to my Urbanspoon profile to the “Links” section at the bottom of the page. I also removed the link to my old Rotten Tomatoes page, since I haven’t written a movie review there in a few years.

– Obviously, the AllConsuming widgets are working now.