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.

Daily Junk

Lowe’s Fence Install 2019-09-17

09:30 2:40 – After no call from Terry yesterday, I called again. Terry apologized for not calling me back. He had talked to the installer and the installer would be contacting me today. He was going to install the gate at no charge. I explained that I had also been promised an estimate for my insurance company. He promised that Wesley would call me with that when he got back to the store.
12:26 0:44 – Terry called and said he had a quote for me. He ask how I wanted to get it. He offered email and I gave him my address.
12:48 1:00 – Terry called back to make sure I got the quote. I confirmed it was in my junk folder and would look at it after lunch. He also said the installer would be there Thursday morning.
13:30 – I took a look at the quote and discovered it was worthless. It is a quote for replacing the gate. Nothing else. Useless. I will be voicing my displeasure!

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.

2012 Challenger Autos Projects

I Ran Over a Truck Tire Last Night

Last night I ran over a truck tire on the interstate on the way back from Little Rock.  Yesterday is another story so I will try to write an article about it later.

Long story short, I was driving about 70 mph and came up on what appeared to be a fairly complete tire hull from an 18 wheeler.  I saw it in approximately time to avoid it but it would have been dangerous.  I opted to straddle it.  It of course did some damage to the car.  I will use this as an excuse to replace the now broken front air dam or chin spoiler and front belly pan.  I will try to get under it and inspect for more damage today.  I like the idea of replacing it with the SRT parts that provide front brake cooling air.

The support member is also broken.

Looks like the front bumper cover needs to be popped back in place.  I plan to remove the bumper cover while replacing the chin spoiler.

There are a couple of studs damaged.  This one broke off.  I will try to epoxy a stud to the bottom of the floor pan to hold this plastic cover on firmly.  It is OK for now but needs to be repaired before a long high speed trip.

This the other one.  It is just bent over severely.  It is still holding the heat shield on and I probably won’t do anything with it until the heat shield needs replacing.

The front belly pan doesn’t look to be in bad shape but I will probably replace it when replacing the spoiler.  I want to replace the spoiler with the SRT8 version that requires replacing the front belly pan too.  Total cost for both parts is less than $200.00.

It may be hard to see here but the support member that is inside the spoiler is also broken.  I’m not sure what this part is but may visit the dealer and see if they can figure it out.

As you can see, it is quite ugly from the front.  I will either remove the spoiler all together or (more likely) as a quick temporary fix, drill a few holes and cable tie this back together some.

1957 Ranchero 1968 Ranchero Autos

Getting Ready to Sell the Rancheros

I need to post the Rancheros and the sail boat on Craig’s list.  I’m going to put some photos up here and a description.

Dolphin Senior 15ft. Sail boat. $250.00
It needs some fiberglass hull repair and a sail.  Trailer needs lights, winch, maybe tires.

1957 Ranchero. $2000.00
This Ranchero is mostly all original.  Exceptions are the seats and engine breather.  I believe it came with a column shifted automatic but currently has a 3 on the floor.  It has working power steering.  292 Y block V-8.
It was driven into it’s current location in 2011 when I bought it.  I have spent some time on disassembly but done no restoration.  The floors are completely rusted out but everything above the running boards is in pretty good shape.  It will be a great project car.
Most of these pictures are from the day I purchased it.  It is basically the same now except dirty and partially disassembled.

Isn’t that sweet

1968 Ranchero.  $5000.00
Daily driver.  Most of these pictures are from when I bought it and are for reference.  They are pretty accurate representations of it’s current condition except for the damage showing in the last picture.  I parked too close to the edge of the carport before I got used to it.



Back to posting 

I haven’t posted in a while. Going to get started again. Today I discovered I had locked my keys in the shop. I went to Napa when they opened at 7:30 and purchased a driver set so I could remove the tin from the door. That got me in to the keys and out again to unlock the door. Of course that was just the beginning of a super Monday. You know the Tuesday after a Monday holiday.