New to-do

todoThe last to-do list I published on the blog had the effect of spurring me into action fairly well.  So well in fact, I thought I’d do it again; not because I’ve stopped doing stuff, more so I have a reasonable list that I can work to and tick off against.


  • restructure db for better stats, better season handling & for ‘new concept’ season 3
  • separate the reg/login audit from the answers
  • calculate elapsed time and puzzling time per question on completion of question
  • calculate these valuse for past users
  • amend HoF to show both elapsed time and puzzling time
  • amend HoF to sort the players in ‘first past the post’, ‘elapsed’ and ‘puzzling time’ order
  • apply my new found CSS skills to the site, progressively (but not extensively)
  • look at the structure of things to cater for the ‘new concept’ for season 3 proper
  • see if we can bang out another wordle-based music one to keep things moving
  • run through the ideas book and see how many decent questions are kicking about


  • put some structure to the working concept
  • write the first chapter
  • write a synopsis
    (but not necessarily in that order)


  • Write a review of CSS Mastery
  • Write a review of Don’t Make Me think

Extra long posts: how to

It's a long postBackground: I made a massive post some time ago, when I compiled my Desert Island C90 tape.  It felt really long as I created it and subsequently edited it quite a few times and added to it.  There are 24 tracks on the post, each with a little bit of blurb and embedded video and, added to that, some introductory blurb and ‘buy it’ Amazon MP3 options.

The thought occurred to me that maybe I should come up with a method of splitting it up into manageable chunks to make it easy for the reader.  So, how to do…?

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Amazon widget

Buy it at Amazon
In my continuing quest to beef-up the blog with useful content, I went through and added links to corresponding content to my previous posts (evidence the videos on the C90 post).

I had to do a reasonable amount of digging to find an Amazon Associate plugin that would do the job. Google comes up with many links, and a few WordPress widgets that looked promising.  But, here’s a bit of info to save anyone following this blog for WordPress tips the hassle of hitting a couple of dead-ends.

The first I tried was “Amazon Widgets Shortcodes”, install and setup was OK, but following the instructions didn’t produce the desired effect.  Not sure if I missed something, but was getting nothing from it, so had another look around for something better.

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Social Bookmarking

social** Note: This plugin has subsequently been replaced by another **

Added the ‘add-to-any‘ button to allow social bookmarking. A great implementation, easy to include and configure. I went for a bit of repositioning of the default location for the button, to slip it in on the same line as the post footer.

I followed the instructions on manual deployment, but found that I had to modify 3 of the php files from the theme, as opposed to the two mentioned in the ‘readme’.

Maybe it’s the theme I’m using, not altogether au fait with all this yet. I had to modify (i) index.php as that displays all posts, (ii) posts.php as that displays single posts and also (iii) archive.php as that displays posts batched under an archive, or otherwise grouped by category.

That said, once I found the necessary locations to mod, it was a simple paste of the code into the file and all was good.

Twitter integration

Twitter BirdI just implemented the ‘Twitter Tools‘ plugin. Again, surprisingly easy to bolt-on, no issues and looks to be working just fine, first time. I could get used to this level of ‘fit for purpose-ness’.

I went mainly for the defaults in terms of configuration. Simply set it up with my login for Twitter and away we went.

Some great features in this plugin; (i) It displays your recent Twitter activity in the sidebar, (ii) You can Tweet directly from the site if you’re logged in and (iii) It automatically consolidates your tweets into a daily/weekly blog-post.

WordPress convert

I heart WordPressI moved my blog from Google’s Blogger across to WordPress today. Why? Well, partly because it’s included in my hosting package with QIQ, so I can run the code on my hosting server, and partly because my good friend reckoned it was the pro bloggers’ blog tool of choice.

It was astonishingly easy to move from its original location on Blogger; literally one click and a sign-in and it was done. Now we’re live on the manicmorff domain!

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New site completed & launched

www.kayleighmccallum.comI’ve been working on developing a new website on and off for the last couple of weeks. It’s a site for my daughter, who is venturing out on her own as a Marketing Advisor.

It’s a fairly straight-forward site of half a dozen or so pages, and a chance to try out some of the nifty CSS techniques I’d learned from the previously mentioned CSS Mastery book.

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CSS Sensei

Bought myself a new book: “CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions” by Andy Budd. It’s fab. I’ll do a proper review of it at some point, but suffice to say I learned a few good things from it (and some really good things too).

Weirdly, the Amazon ‘favourites’ widget doesn’t seem to like my WordPress template styles. Despite a straight cut-n-paste it displays with a strange padding and border thing going on. Looks like the as-provided widget is built up using sliced images in a table. The response from Amazon to my question about it was less than helpful. (Note: now fixed)

So, look out for better coded CSS stuff from me in the future. Although obviously if it’s that good, the end user won’t notice, but the techies will… 🙂

New Domains

domainsI got some new domains, for future projects.

  • – for my daughter’s start-up marketing site.
  • – for my design/dev (and other things) site, and this blog, in a rejuvenated and organised state will end up there too.
  • – just because.

So that should keep me busy for a while.