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Another Boring Personal Update

[ Photo: Death Starr ] It’s been awhile since I have taken some time to just blog a little bit about what’s been happening in this crazy little world of mine. Normally, I like to keep my articles focused on web design, social media, and other online topics, but every now and then I like to take some time out and share some personal news. Needless to say, lots of awesome stuff has been happening both online and in my personal life, so here’s a brief summary for the sake of prosperity. I’ll start with the personal drama and then hit the online/design and project-related news.

I had my wisdom teeth removed!

After putting this off for literally decades, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get it done. For many years, my wisdom teeth were mesially impacted (i.e., growing sideways and pushing against my second molars), eventually causing some serious crowding of my lower-front teeth. Just about every dentist I saw over the years wanted to yank those things, but as I got older, the wisdom teeth grew larger and their roots began growing very close to the nerve in my lower jaw. After hearing that these two factors (size and location) might complicate the extraction process, I completely avoided the issue for many years. Eventually, by my early thirties, my wisdom teeth had managed to grow in straight, but they were still very large and crowding my lower teeth. Finally, several months ago, the dentist pointed out a few cavities and convinced me that it would be better to remove those bad boys now rather than fight with them for the rest of my life. So I broke down and had it done. And it wasn’t even close to being as horribly painful and nightmarish as I had imagined. Now that I can eat solid food again, I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do. The time off from work was nice, too ;)

Finally settled into our new home

Some of you may recall that, back in January of this year, my wife and I moved into our first home. Moving in the middle of Winter sucked, but now that we are settled and Summer is here, I have to admit that it was possibly the best move of my life. We had been renting for years, and it just kills me that we could have been building up equity this entire time instead of just throwing it away on rent. At first I was shocked at the amount of mundane housework, yardwork, and maintenance work that home ownership requires, but after working it all into the daily routine, it’s really not that bad. I still can’t stand mowing my yard every stinking week, but I suppose the exercise is a good thing.

Some meth addict broke into our new home

Just after getting moved into our new home back in January, several houses in our new neighborhood were burglarized, two in the middle of the day and another at night. After speaking with our neighbors, we had discovered that, over the course of the past couple of years, nearly every house in the neighborhood had been hit! The neighborhood is relatively new, as are most of the houses, so it never occurred to us that we might be moving into a “high-crime” area. In any case, after hearing news of the recent burglaries, I installed a cheap radio-shack alarm system that consisted of a single motion detector and a callout mechanism to alert my wife and I via mobile phone if the alarm was triggered. About a week after setting that up, I was at work in the lab when the call came through on my phone: “intruder alert, intruder alert!” Needless to say, I crapped my pants and raced home at nearly 110mph. Upon arrival I walked into what looked like a battle zone. A giant rock had been thrown through our kitchen window, leaving shattered glass all over our kitchen floor. I felt completely violated, then shocked, then confused, then angry. But thankfully, by the grace of God, that one-piece motion-detector alarm system did its job, sounding the siren and scaring the living crap out of the burglar, who bailed without stealing a single thing. So, although we didn’t lose any property (other than the broken window), the event pretty much changed everything, for better or worse.

Perishable Press doing well

On a lighter note, and moving into some online news, Perishable Press continues to do well, providing me with a place to share discoveries, help others, and bore you to tears with tedious personal updates. Some of you may have noticed that my posting frequency has been reduced recently to around once per week, but this is only temporary while I am working with Chris on our upcoming book, Digging into WordPress. Once that is complete, I intend to get back into some serious posting, not only here, but on all of my sites. In the meantime, I will try to cover all of the usual topics here at Perishable Press and keep the posts as informative and worthwhile as possible. Beyond that bit of news, everything else seems to be flowing along quite nicely. Google can’t seem to make up its mind about my PageRank (whether it’s a 4 or 5), but continues to send me increasing amounts of traffic, so it’s all good I suppose. Also in the news, the number of subscribers has steadily been growing and is now pushing the 2,500 mark. So a huge “Thank you” to all of my subscribers (you know who you are!). Lastly, I have been thinking about running a few advertisements here at Perishable Press. I have always been against doing so in the past, but if I can find some quality advertisers, I would most likely give it a shot. Your thoughts on this are appreciated.

Stupid htaccess Tricks featured in Joomla! Web Security book

I am thrilled to announce that my in-depth article on HTAccess, Stupid htaccess Tricks, has been published in Tom Canavan’s book, Joomla! Web Security. The book includes nearly the entire article in the chapter on “htaccess and php.ini”, and seems to serve the purpose of the book very well. Even though I primarily work with WordPress, the book is very informative and provides lots of excellent advice on how to secure your Joomla!-powered website. Seeing my work published in a actual book is pretty cool, and hopefully it will help some folks to boot.

Work on Digging into WordPress book continues

Hopefully everyone knows about the new WordPress book that Chris Coyier and I are working on, entitled Digging into WordPress. The book is planned for a Fall release in PDF format and will be packed with as much WordPress goodness as we can possibly squeeze in. Working with Chris is awesome, and we are both having a blast with the official website for the book, Digging into WordPress. Most of this Summer will be spent writing and designing the book, but so far everything is going very well. Our quest to find a publisher led us down several interesting roads, but in the end we decided that we could better produce a product that would achieve our goals by doing it ourselves. We are really putting a lot into this book and hope that it will benefit many WordPress users. And, for those of you who have yet to subscribe to DiW, here is a taste of what you’ve been missing:

And lots more on the way!

Progress on my other websites continues

Finally, allow me to summarize recent progress on some of my other websites:

Monzilla Media
Monzilla Media is my “official” website for my personal web and graphic design business. I recently updated the site with a couple of new projects, and have a growing number of portfolio items that need to be posted. I tend to procrastinate with this site because writing portfolio articles is rather tedious.
Still very much a work in progress, Perishable.biz is a site designed to showcase my expansive graphics collection. I have tons and tons of collected chunks, photos, images, artwork, and so on, and finally decided to share them online with a dedicated content management system. So far, I have only managed to post a few of my graphics online, but the site itself is pretty complete and built entirely with 100%-pure WordPress: no plugins, no hacks, no functions.php stuff — like a virgin.
Dead Letter Art
For those of you who continue to insist that “DLa is dead,” you may very well be correct. DLa is basically me and some old friends getting together once in awhile and sharing our artwork online and in printed format. Sadly, as we all continue along our own paths, there are increasingly fewer opportunities to collaborate and produce new material, but rumor has it that there may be something coming relatively soon. Shhh..
August Klotz
This site will someday help me to share and organize my biblical studies with other people on the Web. Right now it’s still in the Default-WordPress-Theme setup phase, but it is definitely on my list and should be in effect before the end of the year.

That’s all for now. Thanks again to all of my loyal subscribers and regular visitors for your continued and generous attention. Thanks for reading and may God bless each and every one of you.

About the Author
Jeff Starr = Fullstack Developer. Book Author. Teacher. Human Being.
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.

40 responses to “Another Boring Personal Update”

  1. Jeff Starr 2009/07/19 8:45 pm

    Thanks Mark — good info there :) Will use your referral link when it’s time to dive in. Cheers.

  2. Hey Jeff! Great post – I found it to be quite the opposite to, uh… *searches*… “Another Boring Personal Update”. ^^

    Just to ask: How did you know it was a Meth Addict? xD That was funny reading the title – I didn’t know if it was truly a meth addict, or just a guy you assumed was a meth addict.

  3. Jeff Starr 2009/07/20 5:04 pm

    Hi Monkey, glad you see the irony of my post title ;)

    As it turns out, they caught the guy who had been burglarizing our neighborhood (multiple houses), and he admitted in court (by agreeing with statements from both prosecutor and defense attorney) that he had a meth problem and was in the process of going thru rehab. Sadly, in this part of the state, meth addiction is a serious problem that continues to destroy many lives.

  4. There were two burglaries in our neighborhood a few months ago, us included. This is how stupid they were. It was about 10:30am on Sunday morning and I’m going through my RSS feeds (like I’m doing right now) and I hear the backdoor open. I run down the hall with my dog howling and see this kid run out the backdoor with a handful of stuff. He ditches the stuff on the side of the house and runs to the road, then stops and walks like he owns the neighborhood (he wasn’t even from the neighborhood). Cops had him within 15 minutes.

    With our economy how it is, I think people will do anything and are getting more gutsy.

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