Manic Monday = A Bit Too Much Sugar

First of all – thank you folks for all the sweet wishes for my Dad!   Dad has a strict no-blog-commenting policy, even on his daughter’s blog, so you’ll have to accept my thanks, on his behalf. 🙂

Since the Dad-post, things have been a *bit* on the nutsy side over here at RWH Headquarters.  In a nutshell:

1. On Friday, I ran 27 miles.  This deserves a separate post of its own.
2. On Saturday evening, I realized I had some website wonkies that needed to be addressed, ASAP. *#&%*$ !!!!!!
3. On Saturday, about 30 minutes after this ^ discovery, KMN sheepishly confessed that, after “tinkering” with one of the valves at the back of the toilet, there was now water leaking all over the floor in one of our bathrooms.  Double *%^*#&*@ !!!!

I did the only thing I could think of to do: I took a shower.  In another bathroom.  And I went to bed.  No one was going to die from website wonkies or a small clean-water leak overnight.  This was the best move for everyone involved.

Sunday started early, and we were out all day, then returned home in the evening for a lengthy travel-planning session.  “Travel planning?” you may be asking.

Why yes!  Because. . .well. . .we’re taking a long-weekend-vacation to LONDON (!!!!) in a few days.  Thursday and Friday are both holidays in Singapore, and KMN has some business travel to do as well, so we’re tying in a trip to explore a bit more of London (we’ve been before, but certainly didn’t see everything).  By the we had a basic itinerary in place, it was after 8 PM.  I finally snuck out for my last few miles of the week:

Fake it 'til you make it: Happy skort with an extra happy top band, and happy yellow tank.

Fake it ’til you make it: Happy skort with an extra happy printed waistband, and a happy yellow tank. Please don’t mind the skort wrinkles. I only iron formal wear.

KMN took care of dinner, and shortly after we ate, I passed out on the couch for an hour, waking only to shower and move to the bed.

You may (or may not) see where this (very boring) story is (finally) going: Monday morning dawned, and I was none-too-keen to spend my last few days before mini-vacation dealing with website annoyances and leaky toilets.

I'm not big on most candy, but sour gummies are very helpful when researching, tinkering, and finger-crossing.

I’m not big on most candy, but sour gummies are very helpful when researching, tinkering, and finger-crossing.

But heck, London was the carrot dangling at the end of the week, so I sat down with my coffee and dug in to the website.  I – like most running bloggers, I think – am solidly “average” in the Tech-Savvy department.  I don’t have tons of specialized knowledge in database management, server organization, HTML, or CSS.  Nor do I have the budget to hire someone to manage all of this for me.  Thus, I do some research, tinker a bit, and keep things as organized, orderly, and safe as possible.

And one thing that my website has taught me is how techie folks can zone out in front of the computer for hours.  I’m usually the kind of person who can’t sit for more than an hour without hopping up to tend the laundry, get some water, use the foam roller, grab a snack, etc. etc.  But I was totally immersed today, for about four hours straight.  And in the end, I think things have been pretty well sorted out, and we’re back to full functionality.  I have to admit that I’m also feeling pretty accomplished/pleased with myself – honestly, this feeling is not unlike the one I get when I finish a challenging workout!

So go ahead – click on everything.  If you find something that’s broken, please do let me know.  And I know the Header photo is missing.  I had plans to replace the old one anyway, so I’m leaving it this way until I get the new one beautified and uploaded.  We’ll just be headless header-less for awhile.

And the toilet?  Well, it doesn’t leak unless it’s flushed.  That’s good enough for me, at the moment.

Ice cream sundae, on a hard-working Monday!!!  Thank you, UDDERS.

Ice cream sundae, on a hard-working Monday!!! Thank you, UDDERS.

So after a late lunch [KMN says 5:30 isn’t late lunch, but if I didn’t actually EAT lunch (see “immersed”, above), then I’m going to call it lunch], I treated myself to some ice cream.  The ice cream quality was far superior to the photo quality (look right). Post-ice cream, the bathroom floor was still dry, and the website was still functioning.  I’m calling that a WIN.  [And noting that website issues lead to increased sugar consumption. Whoops!]

So now, I think it’s time to pack my bags.  And write some blog posts (workout round-ups, calf rolling, wedding photo blitz, etc.).  And talk to both my husband and parents without getting cranky.  And give thanks that I do regular website back-ups.  Which brings me to:

BLOGGERS: Back up your websites!  This means your files AND your databases (if you have your own server space).  Files AND databases!!!  Not tomorrow, but TODAY!

You won’t need most of these back-ups.  But eventually, there will be a day when you need one – just the most recent one – and you, too, will be giving thanks that you have it.  If you don’t know how to do a back-up, take the time to figure it out, or ask for help.

In the aftermath of this experience, I’ve also decided that my website needs its own journal.  Or, rather, need a journal for my website.  This helps me keep track of the changes and adjustments I make – and how I make them.  Hopefully, this makes un-doing, fixing, or re-doing (as the case may be) considerably easier.  [This is just like a running/training log, ya know?]  And if you’re gonna have a journal, it might as well be pretty, right?

Dear Diary...Today, I installed JetPack, and activated the Facebook like section!

Dear Diary, Today, I installed Akismet and JetPack…

And with that…I’m off to dig my jeans from the back of the closet.  I hear that London is cooler than Singapore.  So I say: Bring on the denim!!

Bloggers: What’s your #1 piece of advice you have for dealing with the technical side of managing a blog/website?
[“Back-up regularly” is a bit overused, albeit critically important. So I would say “Don’t be afraid” – provided that you’ve backed everything up!!]

#1 Must-See and #1 Must-Eat in London?  Go:

29 thoughts on “Manic Monday = A Bit Too Much Sugar

  1. Grace

    Does it count as a back-up if I write every single post in a(n also backed up) Notepad file and then copy and paste it? 🙂
    Enjoy London! Oh man, I haven’t been there since 2005, but I do love that city. Indie used-book shops. The Forbidden Planet sci-fi megabookstore. Thrift stores. Dance classes at Pineapple Dance Studio. Portobello Road/ Notting Hill on a Saturday morning and the vegetarian stall run by British Chinese people. Way too many half-pints at a Farringdon pub. And the incredible Natural History Museum.

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Natural History Museum is only below Tower of London & the British Museum on the list of Places To Go. 🙂

      I can’t wait to explore some of the markets (and possibly thrift stores…I’ll have about a day and a half solo, so won’t have to bore KMN – and the clothes might be more my size!). Wet markets are nice, but I’m excited for a British/American like farmer’s market/craft market/everything market. Maybe some Western summer fruits. And cheese. Mmmm….cheese!

      Reply
  2. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    ugggh you just super stressed me out about website stuff. I don’t even think I know how to back stuff up. I have wanted to switch to my own domain name for MONTHS and still haven’t figured out how to do it. I think I need to pick up like a “blogging/websites for dummies” book.

    I am curious as to why you had a 27 mile training run? Are you just really that intense, or are you secretly keeping an ultra from us.

    London sounds like a fun weekend getaway =). I’ve been there twice and thoroughly enjoyed it (but not the prices) both times. =)

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      I (again, not an IT expert) think that if you’re hosted on blogspot, blogger, wordpress.com, etc – then *most* of the security issues are their responsibility. They upgrade the platform, check for vulnerabilities, etc. Primarily, keep your password secure and change it often (the usual password stuff that is SO annoying to do).

      It gets a lot more complicated (not what you want to hear) when you install wordpress on your own site/server – because now, the responsibility falls much more to you to keep things safe and operating properly. Of course, there’s much more opportunity for customization, etc – but also for hacking, crashing, and screwing things up.

      So I guess I would say this: If you want to switch to your own domain name, it IS something that a reasonably intelligent person can do (I did!) in a weekend. And although I’m not an expert, feel free to ask for advice if/when the time comes. [I was unable to commit to one book, so I went to the library and took out a bunch of “How To” books when I first got started. I ended up not liking any of them enough to commit to buying one, but I used them in combination to get all the info I needed!] However, if you want to keep your site as a fun training log/way to meet other people/side project, then maybe there’s no reason to switch to your own domain name. You enjoy the blogging, let someone else fuss over the details. [That said, it has been a – mostly – fun challenge, and I’ve amassed a new set of skills, which may also be part of your goal. In which case, why not tie your learning to a personal project – go for it!]

      Reply
    2. Amy

      Logan, I am just in the process of doing all of this now and (soon?) plan to move everything over. I am taking a lot of notes and will blog about it. In the meantime, though, I am afraid I am going to miss the super easy to use blogger, but I am ready to move on!

      Reply
  3. Kristen L @ DYL

    Glad you were able to get everything back up and running. I definitely think a post is in order on this 27 miles of running last Friday. Amazing!

    I hope you have an incredible time in London! I can’t wait to hear all about it. 🙂

    Reply
  4. greengirlrunning

    It’s been so long since I’ve read blogs! I feel so behind… will have to do some catch up reading! So jealous of your weekend trip to London 🙂 I have zero advice for dealing with the technical side of blogging because I am 100% tech-challenged! But I’ll take your advice 😉

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Really weird coincidences: I actually hopped over to your site yesterday – JUST YESTERDAY! – to make sure that your feed wasn’t broken in my RSS reader. I saw that , indeed, your last post was in early June. Then, magically, I awoke this morning to see your post in my reader. So strange. Almost freaky, really!

      Reply
  5. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    Thank you for the advice and reminder! I have had a WordPress update waiting for me for a month or so now, and it highly suggests I back up my website before I do the update. I spent ten seconds trying to figure out how to update it, and then put it on the back burner… I need to take care of it ASAP. I was quite proud of myself for getting Jetpack up and running originally. I also explained through email to another blogger friend how to add a badge to her sight. One year ago I was clueless to all of this! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Seriously – UPDATE. It’s best if you back up first, but I’ve done several updates, gambling on an older back-up, and haven’t had a problem. I think the back-up line is, for them, a CYA – juuuuust in case something goes wrong, they want to be able to say that they warned you to save a back up. But generally, the installation takes <2 minutes. Click on the circley arrow, click Update, wait for a few seconds, and you're gold.

      But it is REALLY important to stay on top of updates - many times, the reason for an update is because WordPress found that hackers were exploiting some "back door" into people's sites - and the update is designed to patch the "hole" (just like other software updates for your computer). If you don't install it, someone (or bot, rather) trolling for un-updated sites could find yours unsecured. Then you'll have a lot more than 2 minutes of mess to clean up...

      Saving files is pesky at first, but once you do it a few times, it's pretty easy. You back up 2 things:
      1. WordPress files. You can do all the files in the public_html folder, but the most important one is actually wp-content (more specifically, uploads and your theme). How you do this depends on how you access your WP files (do you have an FTP client?).
      2. WordPress databases. You have to log onto your server to find these. Servers may differ a big, but basically you want to go into MySQL and find your databases, and an export capability.

      Finally - there is a LOT of stuff written in WordPress forums and on WordPress-centric blogs. [For example, these instructions on Codex, the WordPress Support area, are decent. Not perfect, but decent.] Sometimes you have to work a bit to find the info delivered at a level YOU can understand, but be persistent. Again, I’m no expert, but drop a line if you have a question.

      And seriously – at the very least, UPDATE.

      Reply
      1. Debbie @ Deb Runs

        Thanks for the tips! I’ve done all of the previous updates until this most recent one, and it was the one that basically said to stop and backup my web site first. I’ll get right on it. Thanks again! 🙂

        Reply
  6. Allee @ Griselda Mood

    You ran 27 miles?! No words. Well, actually I do have words…”wowwww” sums it up nicely haha! 😉

    Have fun in London, that’s awesome! I would have ONE thing and one thing only on my agenda while there: find baby Prince George!

    Reply
  7. Meagan

    I started my blog in January and have yet to have any technical issues that I know of. *knock on wood!* If I do run into a technical issue that will probably just be the end of my blog, because I will not know how to fix it, nor do I know anyone technical that could fix it for me.

    Wow! Can’t wait to hear about your 27 mile run! Was that one 27 mile run or a total of 27 miles for the day? Either way, I’m impressed.

    I am glad that you got your toilet and website fixed and excited for you for your trip to London! Picture of platform 9 and 3/4 for me (pretty please!) if you happen to be nearby?? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Well, you’re kinda covered by the ‘blogspot’ blanket – in otherwords, blogspot has your back, to some degree. Best thing I can suggest is making certain that you keep copies of your posts as text files, and a separate folder of photos that are carefully labeled to correspond to each post. This way, even if something happened and you lost your “blog”, you’d still have all the posts and history. If you don’t have all this saved for past posts, then just go ahead and start saving this way from now on. Good luck!

      27 miles all in one run.

      Photo obtained. Stay tuned. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Sheila

    Seriously…not sure which is more impressive – running 27 miles in a day (for fun?!? not a race?!?!) or just jet setting off to London for a weekend. The only place I’ll be jet setting in the near future is the grocery store on a weekend 🙂

    Reply
  9. Stephanie@nowirun.com

    I am scared straight by your post. I have two things “items” from GoDaddy that are ready to expire and I only renewed one of them. What if I need the other one? I have no idea.
    London will be so much fun! I can’t wait to see pictures!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      I’m not sure I can help you there…I only purchase my domain name through GoDaddy.

      And at least make sure you have the most recent updates installed for your blogging platform!

      I’m doing more “security” research and may write a post about it…although that’s pretty intimidating, because I feel like a total newbie in this realm myself!

      Reply
  10. Jules

    Argh, I’m guessing I’m too late to comment on London suggestions. Internet in China was patchy at best as you can imagine and I couldn’t log onto Feedly to keep up to date with your blog. :-/

    Can’t wait to read all about the London trip when the post is ready. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Well…we’re here for another 2 days, but already have St. Paul’s, the London City Museum, and one more stop at the British Museum on the agenda! Final suggestions welcome, though! 🙂

      Understood – even here, where the internet is good, I’ve fallen hopefulessly behind on blog posts. Ah, well – can’t forget to love life as you’re living it. So keep enjoying your trip – we’ll be here when you get back. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Pingback: Weekly Workout Round-Up: London Edition (Aug. 5-18) | Run With Holly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *