Archive for March, 2008

My Upgrade to WordPress 2.5

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

WARNING: Screen captures are a little blurry in this post. Click on them to see the full size, clear version.

I love WordPress, the kick ass blogging software that powers this site and , home of the Enlighten Up Podcast. It’s one of the best products out there period and is best in class for what I use it for. This afternoon they released version 2.5, which is a major overhaul of the software. I always try to upgrade my WordPress blogs as soon as a new version comes out, so let me run down the experience for you. Ever since the inclusion of the WordPress Automatic Update plugin, I do my updates in a specific way. The plugin gives you two choices. You can either have it handle the whole process for you or you can have it do the work, but you acknowledge each step. It’s kind of a semi-auto way to do it. Since I have two sites, I start with and I do the step by step. This prompts you at each step and you are allowed to download entire backups of the site and the database as you go. Assuming this is successful (it always has been) I then do this site,, in full auto. I began by running the Autmatic Update Plugin in WordPress. It had backed up the site files and had me download them. Then it backed up the database and I downloaded that. It put the site into maintenance mode, no problem. It turned off the plugins, went and got the upgrade files, installed them them and updated the database. After this, I was presented with a login screen. “No problem”, I thought. “It installed a big upgrade. I probably just need to login again.” Once I logged in, I was presented with this:


Are You Sure

If you don’t want to look at it full size, it says “Are You Sure You Want To Do This?”, but there is nothing to click. No toggle, no button, nothing. I was a bit perplexed. I decided to click the Automatic Update tab and see what happened. This prompted me to start the whole thing over. “Hmm…I wonder if the site actually updated.” I took a look at it and it looked the same except there were a few things missing. It seemed to have to do with the plugins. A quick glance at the plugin tab confirmed that all the plugins were still off. I went through each and turned them on.

I looked at the site again and everything seemed OK. I was satisfied that, with the minor plugin problem that the update had gone fine. I then turned my attention to HobosLanding. My thought had always been that I check the step by step update first and if anything looked wrong or out of place, I wouldn’t mess everything up with the full auto. But, I decided to go ahead and try the full auto on this site anyway. When I clicked the Automatic Upgrade link to start the ball rolling, I was presented with a screen that told me that it had failed on step 3, the retrieval of the software. At this point, I decided it was better just to upgrade with semi auto and see if the problems before had been an anomaly. It seems they were not. I was presented with the exact same successes and failures as with the EU update, with one exception. When I tried to turn on the first plugin, the ‘404 Notifier’, I got a fatal error.
Plugin Activate
Since the new WordPress tells you when a plugin has an update, it appeared that I had the latest version and I have this same plugin running on and it had activated just fine. I decided that I would try reinstalling the plugin later. But WP 2.5 had a new feature that I wanted to test. It told you when there were updates for plugins and would supposedly install the new plugins automatically. I saw that the WP Automatic Updater was out of date.
Needs Update
I thought I had updated it just a week ago, but I really should have checked before I updated. At any rate, I clicked the ‘Upgrade Automatically’ link. This failed miserably. It was an unhandled code error:
Plugin Upgrade Fail
At this point I decided to step back and type up this post, giving myself a chance to look over the new features and see if anything obvious had failed. A more in depth review of the new features, etc. Will be forth coming.

Can an elected official really believe this?

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

I don’t know if you have heard this, but Rep. Sally Kern, a Representative from the district that includes Oklahoma City, had some rather disturbing thoughts at a recent meeting of a small group of conservatives. Little did she know that she was recorded and her words made public. I suggest actually listening to her speak, but to give a short synopsis: she feels that homosexuals are the biggest threat facing the country, ‘even bigger than terrorism, or Islam, although these are important issues.’ She goes on to say that the homosexual agenda is invading the public schools and that knowledge is not taught in school any more, just the agenda.”I’m not gay bashing,” Kern said in the recording, “but according to God’s word, that is not the right kind of lifestyle. It has deadly consequences.”

In the recording Representative Kern says “The homosexual agenda is destroying our country.”

“Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades,” she said.

She goes on to say that homosexuals are the biggest threat facing the country, ‘even bigger than terrorism, or Islam, although these are important issues.’ She adds that the homosexual agenda is invading the public schools and that knowledge is not taught in school any more, just the agenda.

I was outraged. I couldn’t believe this is someone who actually got elected to public office. I didn’t know what to say. Fortunately, a high school senior in Oklahoma City DID know what to say. Here is that story:
Letter From HS Senior To Sally Kern

Today my nephew attempted to deliver a letter to Sally Kern but was stopped by a highway patrol man. With his permission I am distributing the letter to all news stations and thought I would include it here.

Maybe we can all stand to learn a listen from this smart, loving, young man. He more than most has reason to hate. He lost his mother, my sister, in the Murrah Building bombing.

Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would’ve likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn’t live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you’ll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother’s killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they’ve been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I’ve spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there’s never a day in school that has went by when I haven’t heard the word **** slung at someone. I’ve been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They’ve already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could’ve met my mom. Maybe she could’ve guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won’t be there. So I’ll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don’t want to be here for that. I just can’t go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.



Bummed Out

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Just got a call from my stepmother telling me that my last living uncle passed away.? So that means my dad and all his siblings have passed on.? It leaves me sad.? Not much else to say.

More MySQL Merge Table Ramblings

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Playing with merge tables in MySQL, I discovered a new tidbit that we didn’t cover in Performance Tuning Class.? If you are interested in this post, you probably know that a MERGE table allows you to address many identical subtables underneath it without having to write sql for each subtable.? Well, I discovered that not only do the subtables need to be indexed, but you have to apply those indexes to the merge table to.? Since it simply acts as an interface to the subtables, I assumed the indexes on the subtables, would handle stuff, but these indexes must be in the MERGE table too or it will simply do a full table scan.? That will slow you down considerably every time!

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