Mar 302010

It’s been I don’t know how long since I wrote here and a few of you have contacted me to ask where I’ve been.  The short answer:  a good portion of my time has been spent seeking dinner ideas.

Most of my adult life I’ve eaten roughly 75% of my meals at restaurants (fast food or sit-down).  Another 20% has been pre-packaged, prepared food (deli sandwiches, chips, etc).  Well, back in September my job changed dramatically, forcing me to actually stay in my home 24/7.  Obviously this made it difficult to access my traditional food sources.  In February my job changed dramatically once again.  At that point I needed to find another place to live 3 days a week while still spending 4 days at my former apartment 24/7.  Since the only place I could afford has no kitchen, either, this continued to limit my food choices.

As a result, I now eat in my traditional manner while at “home”, but have been forced to learn to grocery shop and cook actual meals while at the work apartment.  Which, of course, led me to the internet in search of better dinner ideas.  Luckily, there are numerous websites dedicated to food, cooking and recipes.  I’ve found myself returning to the ‘Food’ section of iVillage more and more of late.

My diet has definitely become more varied over these last few months, and that’s been exciting.  However, much like the caveman of lore, I’ve dedicated a disproportionate amount of my time, energy and budget to such seemingly simple concepts as feeding myself and Zaira.  Luckily for all of my dedicated fan out there (‘s’ intentionally left off, BTW) I now have a nice little repertoire of dinner ideas and both Z and I are still quite a bit away from starving to death.  Thus, y’all can expect to see more words from me in the near future.

At least as long as the groceries hold out 😉

Jan 192009

Welcome to the second edition of Weekly WordPress Roundup!

Sorry for the late posting!  I was busy making lemonade from life’s lemons…

What Is It?

Weekly WordPress Roundup is a hybrid between a blog carnival and a weblog.  Every Monday morning the editor of that week’s roundup makes a single post linking to the “best” WordPress articles they’ve come across that week.  The choices are made from their own web surfing and from articles submitted via the Roundup’s page.  If you’re interested in hosting the Weekly WordPress Roundup, just drop an email to:

On To The Entries…

General WordPress News-

Our first entry comes from Jackie at Internet Marketing Strategy For Moms and even though it was posted last October, it’s still very relevant today.  The title pretty much tells the story: Deleted All Of My Blogs.  Apparetnly the folks at decided she was a splogger simply because she linked out to her other blogs.  Not good news.  And it’s not a problem that’s going away.  It was a full year ago that I posted Isn’t Freedom Of Expression Worth $5 Per Month? right here at Philaahzophy.

Looking for work?  Well, according to the WordPress Publisher Blog, oDesk Reports “WordPress” Fastest Growing In-Demand Skill in 2008!  So it seems like your blogging skills can pay off in the “real world” as well.

WordPress Plugins-

Madeline Begun Kane submitted her brief article on the wonders of the WP-SpamFree plugin titled Life-Saving, Spam-Fighting WordPress Plugin.  I didn’t investigate WP-SpamFree during my own recent search for a comment spam solution, because it’s listed as only being compatible up to WordPress 2.6.2.  If you know that it’s been upgraded for (or is compatible with) 2.7 then I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

WordPress Tips-

As I’ve started exploring the limits of what can be done with WordPress I’ve found myself coming closer and closer to altering the core WordPress files.  Since any changes to the core will have to be redone manually whenever a new update comes out, this is a very bad thing.  Luckily, the folx over at Cats Who Code have an elegant solution in their How To: Overwrite Core WordPress Functions.

Mike Mueller recently posted a great overview on Setting Up Your WP Blog at his Mike’s Minute Real Estate Blog.

WordPress Themes-

Ever wish you could use more widgets without your blog looking overcrowded?  Well check out last week’s Thursday Themeday review of the Quadruple Blue four column WordPress theme!  Considering many people (myself included much of the time) feel that three column themes are, by their very nature, cluttered, the concept of a four column theme may seem preposterous.  But, somehow, this one pulls it off.

Anthony Delgado’s Free WordPress Themes may not be what you expect.  Instead of listing more free themes he actually discusses how to make a theme “your own” with only minor modifications.

Want to use WordPress as a CMS?  Then you absolutely have to check out the WordPress ReMix Theme I reviewed last week!


That’s wraps up this week’s WordPress Roundup!  Look for next week’s edition over at Gilroy Review on Monday, January 26th!  Submit your WordPress-related article (or someone else’s that you find worthwhile!) to the next edition of Weekly WordPress Roundup using our carnival submission form or by emailing it to  Future hosts can be found on the Weekly WordPress Roundup homepage.  If you’d like to be added to the list, just drop an email!

As always, comments, links and social bookmarks are very much appreciated!

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Jan 052009
Part of the Top Hosting Center Series - Previous in series         

Top Hosting Center is once again offering their Rudolph web hosting plan for “lifetime web hosting”.  This time around they’ve got two different Rudolph web host plans, but it’s still the same scam they were running last year (and which I, unfortunately, fell for).

They’re up to the same old tricks they were running last time around – having employees pose as independent bloggers, etc, but they still can’t seem to keep their servers online.  If you don’t believe me or think I’m just bitter try reading the comments section of any of my past posts on Top Hosting Center.  They simply can’t handle the load they have now, but are looking to sell more space on their already overloaded servers.

Oddly enough, my old nemesis “John Raul” never wrote about the new Rudolph plans.  He’s the THC employee who was running all around the internet last year claiming to be a satisfied customer when he was, in fact, on the payroll.  Top Hosting Center’s CEO, Eric Vanier, even replied to his various John’s various comments as if he was a customer while sending him a regular monthly paycheck.  Those of you who have followed this story here at Philaahzophy will recall that John claimed I got him fired a few months back.  Well, according to his latest blog posts not only is he still working for THC, but apparently he has fallen in love with Eric Vanier as well.  Very strange indeed.

BTW, THC has finally stopped pretending to be the “#1 Budget Hosting” company and is, instead, touting their “Top 10 Fastest Growing” award from HostReview.  Knowing how much Eric likes to make things up out of whole cloth I looked into it and it turns out that the “fastest growing” category is compiled completely by votes solicited by the web hosting companies themselves.  HostReview still has not reviewed the company itself and does not endorse it in any way.  Rather, this “award” is just a matter of Eric, John, and their cohorts gaming the system by repeatedly voting for themselves from various IP addresses.  Not very impressive as far as awards go, but very sad indeed for a company that tries to project a profesional image.

As for the word “scam”, regular readers know I don’t use it lightly.  But what else can you call a company that regularly advertises “Guaranteed 99.9% Uptime”, delivers around 85% uptime, and refuses to even acknowledge, much less grant, their users request for compensation?

If you’re just looking for a cheap place to host your own domain, then Top Hosting Center may serve your purposes.  But if you want to know that your website’s going to be online whenever anyone wants to visit it, I’d consider any of the thousands of other web hosting options out there.

Part of the Top Hosting Center Series - Previous in series        
Jan 022009

As usual, I’m a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to Google PageRank updates.  Apparently a major toolbar PR update occurred on New Year’s Eve.  It’s not too surprising that I’m slow to notice these things as Philaahzophy has been condemned to an eternal PR0 status due to my refusal to bow down to the Google Gods.

The good news is that the only websites I manage that dropped in PR were those dedicated to a now dead collectible miniature game, HorrorClix. Their dropping isn’t surprising as the pages that linked to them have all ceased to exist leaving them the sole sites of their kind on the internet. Of course, that also makes them the definitive sites in their niche, but Google doesn’t really care about relevance, they only care about backlinks and following their arbitrary rules.

The wacky part has to do with Zaira’s sites. Her personal blog, Butterfly Diaries, finally managed to score a PR after being around for two years and more than 100 posts. She’s got a shiny new PR of 1.  However, a new site she just started a month ago has a grand total of 6 posts, one backlink (from a PR2 blog carnival), fewer than two dozen unique visitors in its lifetime, and a shiny new PageRank of 3!  Say what?  The site doesn’t even rank in the top 20 for its primary keywords but Google has decided that it’s more trustworthy than the only site linking to it and equally as trustworthy a site as John Chow’s.  Well, at least my little girl has something to brag about 🙂

Nov 302008

Banner__bf08_300x250_google Despite their monopoly status (which is enforced with the government’s guns, of course) Charter is having to try harder and harder to get people to sign up for their cable television, internet and home phone services.  In fact, as the ad to the left shows, they’re currently offering a free gift card (to the business of your choice) worth up to $250 with you sign up for any of their black friday deals.

Whether you’re just looking broadband internet service ($24.99/month for 6 months plus a $25 gift card), want their Charter Communications Ultimate Service Bundle with 10 Mbps High Speed internet access, Digital Home television with Charter HD, Sports View, HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Unlimited Calling on your home phone ($165.97/month for one year plus a $250 Gift card with purchase), or something in between Charter’s got you covered withboth some of the best prices available and free gift cards.

Not sold yet?  How about the fact that any person who places an order through December 5thwill also be entered into a drawing to win one of 45 Xbox 360 gaming systems.  If you’re not currently happy with your television service provider or have simply been looking for a better deal, than Charter is willing to pay you to give them a shot.  Me, I just suggest you check out the current deals and run your own numbers.