Life Sories

Miniversaries based on minutes

Kay and I like to celebrate our relationship. We now celebrate every 1,000,000 minutes. Starting from April 19, 2016 they will be every 1 year, 10 months, About 29 days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes.

March 15, 2018 03:45
February 7, 2020 13:25
January 2, 2022 00:05

Salty Jack is a special critter!
Life Sories

My WordPress configuration

What is my preferred WordPress configuration?
Here I will describe it. I will describe what plugins and themes I use and for what purpose. This is meant to make as many improvements as possible automatic. Stuff like email address encoding, CDN usage, Social Media integration, etc. I will publish other articles about specific manual optimizations.


  • These are the plugins I am using and why.
    • Email Encoder – Protect Email Address
      • I use this plugin to eliminate the possibility of email scraping from the site. I tried Email Address Encoder but it needed the premium features to be effective. It might be better if you have a budget. I try not to spend anything on my personal site I don’t have to.
    • Easy WP SMTP
      • I need to reliably send email from WordPress. Using the PHP mailer has issues these days with spam filters. If you are reading this blog, I assume you do not have the expertise to maintain your own email server. I do but still won’t do it because it is a complex undertaking. Easy WP SMTP is easy to setup and has all the basics. It is free. WP Mail SMTP is also easy to use and the free version has basic functionality. If you need more advanced features like logging, controlling which emails go where, etc. this one has a paid version.
  • I have used all of these plugins at one time or another. I am going through them and deciding which ones I like and actually help something.
    • CDN. Need a plugin to put static content on a CDN. WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache.
    • Use my email server to send email. WP Mail SMTP, Easy WP SMTP
    • Use forms to get information from users. WPForms Lite, Form Manager
    • HTML5 Responsive FAQ
    • Ultimate FAQ
    • WP External Links
    • Broken Link Checker
    • GA Google Analytics
    • iThemes Security
    • Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening
    • Wordfence Security
    • WordPress Importer
    • Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster
    • Async JavaScript
    • Autoptimize
    • BJ Lazy Load
    • Cache Enabler
    • Compress JPEG & PNG images
    • Widget Shortcode
    • WP Disable
    • WP Edit
    • CalculatorPro Calculators
    • Absolute Privacy
    • Janrain Engage
    • Classic Editor
    • Easy Accordion
    • Yoast SEO
    • IWP Client
    • CSS3 Responsive Web Pricing Tables Grids
    • Google Maps Easy
    • Jetpack by
    • The Events Calendar
    • Contact Form 7
    • Custom Searchable Data Entry System
    • WP SEO Structured Data Schema
    • wpDataTables
    • WPSSO Core
    • WPSSO Organization Markup
    • WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup
    • WPSSO Update Manager

Life Sories

We had a possum visit the dog house.

While taking the trash out this morning, O. B. treed a possum in the dog house. It was quite noisy for a while. Whity and Earl watched as O. B. and Beau made like they were protecting me from a monster.

I guess the rain for the first time in a month or so enticed him to come inside.

Eventually I pulled the grill from the wall and put a bucket over the possum. I then used a shovel to pick up the possum and bucket and carried them out side the gate.

The next day, it seems the possum wanted some more. I believe it was the same possum. I again scooped him up in a bucket and shovel and threw him over the east fence vice the west.

Life Sories

Lowe’s Fence Install

Here I am going to try to document the fence install. It was a disaster.

2019-06-19 – Signed Contract and paid $8510.23. Expected start date of 2019-07-12. Expected completion of 2019-07-17.

2019-07-22 – Work commenced.

2019-07-24 – Installer reports completion. I inspected the install and signed off on completion around 4:00 pm. I did not do a thorough inspection as I thought I was getting a professional installation.

0830 – Got a call from a neighbor that a tree had fallen on the fence. I came home to find the main gate covered up with a large limb from the nearby pecan tree.
Contacted the insurance company and filed a claim. Contacted the installer and explained the situation. Will provide more info to each as it becomes available.
Began a cleanup of the tree to be able to assess the damage. Paid a tree service $400.00 for the cleanup.

2019-07-26 – Contacted the installer and provided photos. He would prepare list of materials and provide to Lowe’s for a repair estimate.

2019-xx-xx Ordered a new solar panel

2019-xx-xx Ordered new batteries.

2019-08-14 – Gave up on getting an estimate or repair from Lowes. Went by and ordered a new gate so I could install it. Paid $270.03.

2019-08-18 Lowes called and said they weren’t sure I had ordered a gate?

2019-08-19 – I went to Lowes and got my money back on the gate and asked to talk to the store manager. He made an appointment with me to come look at the fence about 2:00.
I met him with the salesman Wesley. They agreed that the install was substandard. They agreed with my complaints as well as noticed several other discrepancies. They told me not to expect anything in a week or two. I again ask for a repair estimate for insurance.

2019-08-23 – Lowes called and said they needed me to pay for the new gate before they could continue. They took a payment over the phone. They called back 10 minutes later and said I would have to come by and make the payment in person.

2019-09-10 Tuesday It has been more than 3 weeks. I called and was told that I would get a status and estimate on Friday.

2019-09-08 Sunday. Changed the batteries.

2019-09-13 – Lowes called and said they had the gate and would contact me later in the day with a repair schedule. Never heard back.

2019-09-14 Saturday. The gate operator started beeping on operation. Checked voltage. Battery was 11.9 V. Adjusted solar collector to catch more sun. In 10 minutes the battery voltage was greater than 12.1. Decided to see if this would keep the batteries charged.

2019-09-16 Monday. 0700 – The gate failed to open due to dead batteries. Replaced with a fresh set.
0930 – Called Lowes and Terry said he would call the installer and call me back. Never heard back.

Life Sories

Lowe’s Fence install 2019-09-18

08:37 – Got a call from the installer. He offered many excuses. Long story short is he was coming out Thursday to take a look at it. He was not going to work on it Thursday. I ask when he would work on it and he said he would have people there Friday morning. He had a doctors appointment in Sulphur Springs and would not be there till around noon. I changed my day off request to Friday accordingly. He will not be coming Thursday. I got the impression that he was not going to make it Thursday and this call was to replace the Thursday visit.

Life Sories

The poor fence takes another hit from a car.

Saturday an SUV hit the electric pole in our front yard. It also, of course, got the new fence. It took out 1 post and a few feet of fence needs repair or replacement.

Life Sories

The Chain Link Fence

This project started with repeated vandalism and theft from the front yard and cars. The last instance occurred while Kay was home for lunch and a guy went through her glove box and console. I think this occurred around 6/5/2019.

Life Sories

Finally I am SINGLE

Friday I put the rest of Jeryl’s stuff in her truck and got it out of the yard. I now live by myself in my own home for the first time!

Life Sories

Robin was wrong

Robin converted 11:00 central to 10:00 eastern. And admitted being wrong. 


Life Sories

Dry Cleaners Ate my Shirt

I went to pick up a couple of shirts today and when I walked up to the counter, one attendant said to the other that Brad would have to talk to me. I said that didn’t sound good. As it turned out, one of their machines cut the collar of one of my shirts. Good thing there were two since I needed one for the wedding this weekend. They said they could give credit if that was ok. I ask how much, $15.00?  They said it was up to me so I said $100.00. They had a very fearful look in their eyes and went silent. I had to say it ok $15.00. They agreed. Now comes the interesting part. I don’t think the girl talking knew how insulting what she said was but the other attendant recognized it instantly. She said how about $10.00 credit and not pay for the cleaning today?  When I said that trying to rook me out of another couple of dollars was low, the other attendant said no!  $15.00 and no payment today. The first one actually thought it was a good deal since the bill was over $5.00. So I had to explain to her that I was not going to pay for cleaning the shirt they destroyed. 

All was good.