I am Rick Parsons and I
am a computer specialist for a large company in Bristol, England. This is not a picture of me but some people think that I moonlight with a second job.
I use this blog to document, for the benefit of others, things that I discover which were not obvious when I first looked at them. Some have proved surprisingly popular, such as my notes about our car and sat-nav device. Others have proved to be of no discernible interest at all, but at least they remain as a record in case I need them again. I also write about a few things that tickle my humour and get weightier issues off my chest. All opinions expressed are my own, blah, blah, blah. Spelling, grammar and composition in general have never been my strong points, but I think they have improved from the exercise of writing for this medium.
My other “leisure” activities include maintaining the technology (computers, audio, video and website) for our church, the local history of West Cornwall and Mary’s family name (Renowden) which two projects take up the remainder of this web site. The favicon that you may see in the address bar above is the flag of Cornwall, St. Piran’s Cross, turned into a pennant.
The name of the blog “Order of the Bath” has nothing to do with the ancient order of chivalry. Much like Eddie Waring’s “early bath” catch-phrase, when the children were younger, bed-time was bath time and they were given the order of the bath. Later I got the reputation of taking very long baths during which I “put the world to rights” and this developed into the time I thought of posts for the blog, hence the title.
A word about comments
Comments from humans are welcome but if, for any reason, they end up in the spam bucket then I will probably never see them. I used to check them all but don’t have time any more and even then, I found very very few errors. A few doubtful ones do make their way onto the screen and I catch these when I see them. The comment form clearly says “Personal blog/website” for the URL. If it is a business site then I will de-link it unless it is 110% relevant to the subject in hand. Others I will just use my flawed judgement; My decision is final. I leave commenting open on most posts forever as latecomers via search engines may be interested, but be careful to read the date of the post first; the content may no longer be relevant or accurate.
As may be obvious, this blog runs under WordPress. The theme is my own called Bathtub but heavily based on the Default theme for coding, pared down to the essentials. It was created because I am a great believer in pages with a fluid width so that the user is not forced to use a browser window of a specific size, nor is screen space wasted by empty stripes down the sides. The problem with such themes is getting the page-top picture to look good unless it fades out into a nondescript blur at the ends so I set my self the challenge of creating a “fluid image” as well. The coding of the pages is improving all the time, mostly by eliminating unnecessary bits.
The plugins currently in use are
- Akismet to trap the spam.
- Better Howdy, just because the “Howdy” on the admin screen bugs me.
- Comment Referrers to see where comments come from.
Custom Comments to make my own comments stand out a bit.Standard in WP 2.7
- Delink Comment Author to give a bit of control over outbound links added by the commenter.
Filosofo Old Style Upload—because I prefer it.I have got used to the built in system now.
- Get Recent Comments does the section in the sidebar.
- Google XML Sitemaps helps with the search engines, not so much for this blog but for another I maintain.
- Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering make the comments number in the correct sequence.
- iLast.Fm does the “Listening to” section in the sidebar.
- Login Logger does just what it says.
- No Self Pings is supposed to stop trackbacks to the same blog.
Paged Comments reduces the page size if there are a lot of comments.Paged comments are standard in 2.7 but see above.
- SABRE is a clever little admin tool which gives lots of methods to try to stop bots registering accounts.
- Self Comment Notification Filter—avoids me having to moderate my own.
- Windows Live Writer Header Remover (removes wlwmanifest & rsd links) does what it says on the tin.
- WordPress.com stats
- WP Database backup
- WP Exploit Scanner seemed like a good idea to try and detect rogue code but it is not kept well enough up to date.
Worst Offenders which helps me control the spam moderation.This mysteriously stopped working which is a shame as it was good. A version 3 was promised a long time ago but there is no sign of it. WP-Monsterid which does the fall back avatar if the commenter doesn’t have their own Gravatar.Now standard.
Most of them are, unfortunately, not regularly maintained. They also mostly duplicate things that widgets can do but I prefer a bit more control than widgets offer.