Knitting by Judy @ 9:58 AM
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Wildfoote Socks

And here’s the proof!

I used a pair of 24″ #1 Addi turbo needles. The yarn is Brown Sheep Wildfoote Handpainted in the Brown Sugar colorway. The socks were knitted toe-up using Queen Kahuna’s “no-wrap, no gap” heelsfrom the Crazy Toes And Heels book. I used an “invisible” figure-8 cast on and a super-stretchy grafted cast-off (the dreaded kitchener!). The instep and ankle are worked in “blueberry waffle” stitch (2 rows 2×2 rib, 2 rows stockinette, repeat).

I think I’ll call them Waffles With Brown Sugar.

The socks fit great! Super comfortable, stay up, etc. Hopefully I’ll get to wear them a couple of times before it gets too warm for wool socks.

As always, click on the pic to see the larger version. You will also be treated to a close-up of a tiny slice of my messy home office.

Techie Talk by Judy @ 6:34 AM

In the last two days, in a quest to get my transfer bandwidth back from those who have gone over to the dark side, I’ve learned more about 302 and 403 redirects and other nefarious hijacking schemes, spambots, spiders and the .htaccess file than I ever expected in my wildest dreams.

I think — think — that I’ve finally come up with a solution that appears to be working.

But, since I’m not an .htaccess expert by any definition of that term, I may have hosed something up. I know that anyone trying to get to this site last evening received only a 500 server error. Oops.

If you click on something and get an error or anything else looks hosed (more hosed than usual), please post a comment or write to me at jabecker at persistentillusion dot com and let me know.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:39 PM

What a beautiful day it is today! According to the weather report over on mommymonster it’s about 67 over at the airport. Here downtown it feels warmer.

I took a walk at lunch — well, actually I have a business lunch with a couple of colleagues and we chose to walk to a restaurant down on the waterfront, about 5 blocks from our building. I loved getting out in the sunshine and watching the river flow by while we ate.

Every morning I pass a small neighborhood pond. This morning standing on the sidewalk by the pond were two geese and their squad of little goslings. The parents looked very proud, and the babies were just too cute and fluffy. I smiled all the way to work.

Techie Talk by Judy @ 3:14 PM

Thanks to the .htaccess tweaks I made yesterday I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in transfer bandwidth on this little site. So dramatic, in fact, that I’m a bit worried that people that want to get through can’t. But from a scan of the log it looks like it’s just the bad guys that are getting blocked. It doesn’t appear now that I’ll need that free transfer capacity that my host added yesterday.

Ah well… it was nice to feel popular, albeit briefly!

It’s even nicer to stop those bandwidth-sucking spiders from hell in their tracks. (cue background music from Ziggy Stardust)

Techie Talk by Judy @ 10:34 AM

This morning I received a nice e-mail from my website host regarding my transfer limit. It seems that PI has used 85% of the available limit for this month. Did I want to buy more?


After a brief (very brief) moment of pride, I realized that this in no way could be attributed to the popularity of this site. I mean… let’s get real, folks. The other two sites I own, both of which have similar traffic, use a tiny fraction of the available bandwidth.

The difference between PI and the other two sites? A glance at the traffic logs revealed that the number of bandwidth-sucking hits received from spam bots has risen exponentially since this site first came up. Its been ages since there were any spam bots that have managed to write comment or trackback spam, but that hasn’t stopped them from stealing my transfer allocation and leaving me holding the bill. I’ve put in a few new features that will hopefully stop them in their tracks.

My host (Successful Hosting) is in the process of “migrating all accounts to our new, better systems and servers” and thus will not allow me to upgrade or buy more bandwidth at this time. The new accounts come with “one free dedicated IP address.” They don’t have any free right now, but the nice service tech would be happy to move me over right now to a shared account and give me a month free hosting. When I explained that no move would happen until a dedicated IP address was available and asked what I was supposed to do until then,the nice tech was kind enough to double my transfer allocation for free, at least for now.

Having been through the “new, better servers, and don’t worry about sharing your IP address temporarily” bit with a different host, I am now in the market for a “new and better” host for my sites. Suggestions are welcome!

Knitting |Techie Talk by Judy @ 2:01 PM
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I’ve been busy the last few days!

Both of my readers may have noticed that the skin changer option was removed for a while from the sidebar. This was because I wanted to create a new theme — a real WP 1.5 theme and not something remade from an old skin. The only way I could figure out to do this was to remove the skin changer, upload my new theme in its own folder, and use WP commands to access that theme while testing.

Then I found this great tutorial from Tamba2 on how to use XAMPP on a PC running Windows. XAMPP sets up an Apache server right on your very own desktop, complete with PHP and MySQL. And thus, by loading in a backup of my blog database and a copy of my WordPress installation, and a bit of extra work to get the Carp Newsfeed and Homeland Security scripts working, I am able to test my new format locally just as though I were running it out on the web. But you, gentle reader, are not subjected to the vagaries of my new design, which in no way works correctly yet.

So the theme switcher is back. Feel free to use it. When the new theme is ready I’ll make it the default and post an announcement.

I can see that having a local, working copy of Persistent Illusion is also going to be way convenient next time I want to upgrade or try out a new plugin!

In other news, on the knitting front I’m more than 1/2 way up the ankles on the Wildfoote socks. I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed in this yarn. For the price one has to pay for a 50 gram skein, one would think that The Brown Sheep Company could at least provide a single, unbroken strand of yarn. But I’ve found at least two knots in both skeins I’m working with. I like working with this yarn, but I’m less likely to buy it in the future if this is common.

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