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Am I A WordPress Addict?

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Oh boy – this is great! ManageWP posted a list of 34 ways you know that you’re a WordPress addict. I would say I qualify since I’m a hardcore WP evangelist and rock it as much as I can for my genealogy purposes. I’ve done webinars about it – with another talk coming up in October.  Here is their list, with the ones I can admit to bolded.    #17 in particular gets in my craw! (as Kalonji would say…)

  1. Your RSS feed has more WordPress blogs in it than any other.
  2. You have Chrome Sniffer installed just to see if websites you visit are running on WordPress.
  3. The last thing you check before you go to bed is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  4. The first thing you check in the morning is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  5. You’re subscribed to
  6. You stop looking for plugins to solve your problems and start developing them instead.
  7. You can’t code plugins to solve your problems so you pay someone to code them for you.
  8. You refuse to travel to locations without wi-fi.
  9. You find yourself contacting other webmasters just to find out what plugin they’re using for a particular function on their site.
  10. You pre-ordered a WordPress 10th Anniversary t-shirt.
  11. You have to contact us to get custom pricing for your WordPress website management needs.
  12. You’ve written diatribes about the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.
  13. You’ve reacted in horror when someone has told you that they use the WordPress theme editor.
  14. You know who Matt MullenwegMark JaquithVladimir Prevolac and Joost de Valk are.
  15. You cringe when someone spells WordPress with a lowercase “p”.
  16. You have had to get up in the middle of the night to write a blog post that was running through your head.
  17. You feel a rush of irritation when someone refers to a blog post as a “blog”.
  18. You’ve developed a ridiculously basic plugin despite your non-existent coding skills.
  19. You check out our Themes of the Month posts every single month even though you’re not looking for a new theme.
  20. You check out our Links Mashups posts even though you are subscribed to just about every WordPress blog on the planet.
  21. You spend hours choosing between two plugins when the difference between them will barely make a difference to the user experience.
  22. You chastise people for using fake WordPress logos.
  23. You’ve heard of ManageWPWordPress SEO by YoastAkismetDigg DiggEdit Flow andVaultPress.
  24. You consider the discovery of What the File one of the highlights of your year.
  25. You love a plugin that’s only been downloaded a handful of times and make it your job to promote it to the world.
  26. The word “jetpack” makes you think of a plugin rather than flight.
  27. You delete a plugin on principle because it creates an unnecessary top level link on your WordPress sidebar.
  28. You spend more time talking about WordPress than you do working with WordPress.
  29. You dream about meeting Matt Mullenweg.
  30. You act like an excitable schoolgirl when a popular plugin developer responds to your email.
  31. You travel to another country just to go to a WordCamp.
  32. You’ve never even considered using another Content Management System.
  33. You can create a child theme in fifteen seconds flat.
  34. You create a new blog just so you can work with a theme you like the look of.

Well, 18/34 — slightly over half of them.  Can’t say that qualifies me, but it sure sends me in that direction doesn’t it! LOL.  Awesome list indeed! Can I add one more?

#35 – You start teaching your kids WordPress so that they can help you manage all your sites.   Yep. Miles is learning it this year. 🙂

A Night of Education

Earlier this week, Kalonji and I attended an informative lecture at Vanderbilt’s Black Cultural Center. We’d only learned about it after my sister sent me the link, but we were so glad we were able to catch it! The lecture was given by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  The Schomburg Center is the premier place of research of African-American life and Kalonji and I are quite hopeful that we get to visit one day.

Dr. Muhammad’s talk was titled “Partners in Crime: Statistics and The Logic of Post-racialism” and was educational and interesting. His discussion started with the 1890 census, so you know my genealogical ears perked right on up! There were so many aspects to his talk that I couldn’t begin to do him justice here, but he has a book published “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America” so we plan to pick that up so we can read more.

Generally speaking, Dr. Muhammad talked from a sociological-historical perspective on how statistics have been used to argue viewpoints on crime statistics of blacks and how it is important to look beyond the numbers in search of the background context. After the lecture, we had a chance to speak to Dr. Muhammad and even Jihad got a picture!

Now, despite having been at Vanderbilt for close to 12 years now, I’ve never been over to the Black Cultural Center. Guess there’s a first for everything. 🙂 It is a nice building and I enjoyed the current art displays – art was by Tamara Madden.

We had an overall great night! Thanks Dr. Muhammad for the talk. Oh, did I mention that he is also a great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad? Kalonji got the biggest kick out of that!

Virgin Mobile Social Media Fail

I debated whether I should make this my 1st post of the new year, but I have to get it out.

Once again I have been utterly disappointed in a major company’s communication failures via social media. I am a huge supporter of social media and how it can be used for communication; platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide instant ways to communicate yet it is so frustrating to see them underutilized.

Since our move in October our primary means of online access has been through Virgin Mobile’s pre-paid broadband access. I was looking for cheaper options for getting online and their $40/month unlimited 3g internet seemed worth trying out. Especially the MiFi device, which allows multiple computers to connect to the same wifi signal. The speeds/quality of the streaming videos we watch are not ideal, but tolerable, so overall it’s been okay.

Yesterday afternoon however, an outage began. After multiple attempts to call customer service I finally reached an agent who was able to confirm the outage. Yet, no idea of when it would be back online. I checked Twitter too and found people reporting outages.

28 hours later as I write this my service is back online, but in this time frame despite the fact that VirginMobile has at least two Twitter accounts (here, and here — one of which explicitly states is the customer service account) and a Facebook page, they were absolutely silent until about 1pm today. The Twitter customer support account did not respond to tweets nor provide any info despite this occurring during their stated support times. Very frustrating.

VirginMobile, you could at least let us know that you were listening.  If you couldn’t handle the volume of phone calls, you could have announced that on FB, Twitter, and your website earlier than you did. I hate to even think of customers who may have been purchasing devices during the outage – were they informed? You have so many options and ways to manage the incident via social media.

And to top it all off, I just received a tweet from customer service asking me which outage I was referring to in my tweet to them earlier today, when there is a notice on the Facebook page several hours old about the outage.  How unfortunate.

Family Vacation to Florida: Days 5 & 6

Saturday June 5th, 2010

Saturday was our last full day in Florida.  My mom was off work so she was able to venture out with us.  We had hot dogs for lunch, which Miles was kind enough to make (he totally rocks!) and then we went out to play miniature golf on the beach @ Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf.

Their golf course was 18 holes and unfortunately, we went out at the hottest point of the day.  The course was neat though – themed with decor of palms, pirate ships, cave taverns, etc.  As well as beautiful views of the ocean and intercoastal water.

They also had baby alligators that we were able to feed.

Miles & Jihad quickly got ahead of me so I didn’t get many pictures of them playing, but they did play the whole course! Kaleya decided at about hole 8 that she was too tired & hot to continue. I didn’t blame her! Before she quit she took this picture of me and I just love it!

Following the miniature golf, my mother found another free site for us to visit – the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is is the largest wild bird hospital in the United States and was just down the street from the miniature golf. A quick trip down Gulf Blvd and we were there. Let me tell you, birds were everywhere!

Even Kaleya got into the spirit and started taking pictures.

The Sanctuary is right on the shore, so even though we were not dressed for it, we decided to go play on the water — Miles was insistent on “touching” the Gulf of Mexico. 🙂 We had such a great time on the water! The kids found more seashells and it was so beautiful out.

In this video clip Kaleya runs from an approaching wave.

After the beach we went back to my mom’s, had a big spaghetti dinner, then called it an evening. Sunday was spent on the road coming back home to Nashville. Utterly exhausted, but we had a great trip!

High Blood Pressure Survey Results

I would like to thank EVERYONE who filled out the high blood pressure survey for me. You are all incredible!  The information I learned from your answers was fulfilling in more ways than just the one I anticipated.  For my thesis work, I will be working with colleagues to ask these questions of some of our patients in the medical center.  We are planning to study how effective an educational intervention we put together can be for improving how much people understand and know about hypertension.  These questions come from a quiz developed by the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute back in 1994. (Publication #94-3671). 

Many of you have asked to see the answers so I thought you would be interested in this overall information.  If you supplied your email address, I’ll email you your individual results directly.  Overall, there were 34 responses and the average score was 75% (which would mean you answered 8 out of 12 questions correctly).

Some even asked how I created the survey.  To do so, I used a WordPress plugin called “Surveys” and it is fantastic! I was able to create the quiz very quickly and results can be seen in aggregrate or individual view.  You can even export to CSV file.  The only drawback I see is that inablity to make an answer be “required” and as such, I had one person’s data who is not counted here because that person did not answer all the questions.  Other than that though, everyone answered all questions. 

Disclaimer:  This is not intended to be medical advice, i’m simply sharing the facts. 

Question 1:  The correct answer to “There is nothing you can do to prevent high blood pressure” is FALSE.  94% of respondents answered this correctly.    There are indeed steps that you can take to prevent high blood pressure (HBP) that include keeping a healthy diet,  exercising regularly,  limit salt & sodium intake, and moderate intake of alcohol. Read here for more.   

Question 2:  The correct answer to “If your mother or father has high blood pressure, you will get it too” is FALSE.  94% of respondents answered this correctly.    You are indeed more likely to get hypertension if it runs in your family, but this does not mean you will get it.  Your chance of getting hypertension are also higher if you’re African-American. But,  HBP is not an inevitable part of getting older and it can be prevented as outlined in Question 1.

Question 3:  The correct answer to “Young adults do not get high blood pressure” is FALSE.  Everyone answered this correctly! It is estimated that about 3% of children have high blood pressure and it often goes missed in this group.  Once you have HBP, you have it for the rest of your life.  So, even kids and young adults need to maintain healthy behaviors to prevent it.  Read more

Question 4:  The correct answer to “High blood pressure has no symptoms” is TRUE.  76% of respondents answered this correctly.  Hypertension usually has no symptoms and this is the reason it is called “the silent killer.” You can have HBP for a VERY long time and not know it precisely because of this.  That is why it is important to have it checked.  Now, I might be one of these people that would argue the wording on this question b/c there are times when you do display symptoms.  However, if you’re displaying symptoms, you are likely to be in a hypertensive crisis which is a SEVERE increase in blood pressure.  But, regular HBP is asymptomatic. 

Question 5: The correct answer to “Stress causes high blood pressure” is FALSE.  Only 18% answered this correctly.  This was interesting that so many people answered incorrectly, but I personally think it gets at one of the common misconceptions about HBP.  I even hear my husband say repeatedly how stress causes HBP, but the official word from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute is that stress does not cause HBP.  Stress can cause a temporary increase in your blood pressure, but spikes are normal.  Stress can contribute to HBP, but it is not considered a cause for CHRONIC high blood pressure.   Continued stress over time may contribute to high blood pressure, but there are other factors in people who have high stress levels over time that are more likely to be the culprit rather than the stress itself.  Therefore, it is still important to reduce your stress levels.  Read some tips how

Question 6: The correct answer to “High blood pressure is non life-threatening” is FALSE.  Everyone answered correctly! High blood pressure is the main cause of stroke and factor in the development of heart disease and kidney failure, and heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States.  Looks like you all know this!

Question 7: The correct answer to “Blood pressure is high when its at or over 140/90 mmHg” is TRUE.  79% answered correctly.  But, it is important to note that even values slightly under this can put you at risk.  If your blood pressure is between 120-139/80-89, you can be what is called “pre-hypertensive” which means you don’t have high blood pressure now, but are likely to develop it in the future

Question 8: The correct answer to “If you are overweight, you are two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure” is TRUE.  Everyone answered this correctly! I’m not surprised by that. 🙂  I don’t think much of an explanation is needed here. 

Question 9:  The correct answer to “You have to exercise vigorously every day to improve your blood pressure and heart health” is FALSE.  82% answered correctly.  The trick in this question are the words “vigorously” and “every day.”  While it is true exercise helps keep blood pressure down, all you need is 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.  

Question 10: The correct answer to “Americans eat two to three times more salt and sodium than they need” is TRUE. Everyone answered correctly.  Looks like we are all well-informed on this aspect! The sodium in salt is the part that affects blood pressure and the current recommendation is to consume no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of table  salt)  per day

Question 11:  The correct answer to “Drinking alcohol lowers blood pressure” is FALSE. 79% answered this correctly. Drinking alcohol raises blood pressure and the current recommendation is 1 drink/day for women; 2 drinks/day for men.  

Question 12:  The correct answer to “High blood pressure has no cure” is TRUE and 70% answered this correctly.  HBP is a chronic disease, which means that once you have it, you have it for life.  It cannot be cured, but it can be treated and controlled.  The best way to avoid the dangers of HBP is to prevent it! (see Question 1). 
Thank you all again for anwering the quiz.  It has been helpful for me in thinking about how we can approach our project and to get a sense of how people do w/ this quiz.  Thanks!

Cross-Stitch Magazine Database Has A New Home

Back in 2003, I started an online database of patterns from all the cross-stitch magazines that I owned, it was a project that I very much enjoyed doing. Over time, it became a resource for other cross-stitchers as well for helping look up patterns. It was never comprehensive, but I was always presently surprised by how much others seemed to enjoy it and use it. My site usage from Google Analytics from just June until now show more than 42,000 page views with visitors from all over the US and many countries elsewhere. I always thought that was cool.  Doing the site was also a way for me to further learn PHP and MySQL and while it was a challenge, it was educational as well. 

But, since having Kaleya and beginning to enjoy genealogy as my main hobby, I’ve not had the dedication nor interest in the database as I used to have. In 2008 I tried to revive my interest and began a redesign process, but did not complete it – again, the passion was not there. So, I knew that fellow stitcher Anita and her husband of were interested, so I transferred the content to them and they now have it up and running.  They have made some modifications as well as enhancements and I am glad they were interested enough to take it on. 

Please visit the new home of the Cross Stitch Magazine Database.  You can get there by clicking on the image below. 


Jihad on his Skateboard

This video is not the best quality since I took it with my digital camera, but here’s a short video clip of Jihad on his skateboard a couple of weeks ago. He and Kaleya were having fun going down our driveway. And yes, I know it looks like he’s going into the street but we were very careful to watch for cars!