Never try to change anything using

A few weeks ago I learned of a cool little statistics package that you can install on your WordPress blog that does a really good job of managing your stats. So I installed it here on this blog to see what people are searching for, reading and generally interested in and tied it an API key from account that I have used for my Akismet (anti-spam) plugin.

A few days later I realized that the account I have been using for Akismet was tied to my old business profile name, Everah, and not my newer, more open identity of RobertGonzalez. So I decided to change the API key I am using for Akismet and Stats to the API key for my personal account rather than my business account. And that, my friends, is wherein my biggest pain in the butt for the last two weeks has resided.

It started with the fact that there is really not a clear set of instructions for changing your Stats API key. Unlike Akismet, where you can go to Plugins -> Akistmet Configuration from inside your admin panel and change your API key, Stats requires that you deactivate it as a plugin first, then reactivate it then go through all the rigmarole of setting it all back up again. After finding the instructions to do that – thanks to Google and a lot of pissed of Stats users – I deactivated the plugin and reactivated it again, setting it up this time with my personal API key. Which, in my case didn’t, seem work.

So after playing around with this forever I decided that it was time to submit a help ticket to the WordPress crew. The context of the ticket was pretty simple, I wanted to swap API keys between my personal and business accounts on their end, which in my opinion, would have been the easiest thing to do. Their support response, looking back on it now, were actually pretty good, except they did not answer my questions and actually led to more questions on top of the ones I had. When you get to the end of it all you will see that their initial suggestion (or second one) is in fact what I ended up doing. But it was a nightmare going through all of this.

The following is the transcript of all of our conversations (skip this and continue on the other side of it):

from: Anthony –
date: Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 7:15 AM
subject    [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

You cannot move API keys around. If you wish for us to transfer a blog to a different account, we can do that:

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

What I really want is to use the API key and history from the “everah” account only have it under the “robertgonzalez” account. My self hosted blog has a pretty decent Akismet history from the API key associated with the everah account and I just installed the stats plugin. I really want to not have my self hosted blog associated with the “everah” account at all and would prefer to have everything run from the “robertgonzalez” API key.

Should I just abandon the history I have with the everah account and start all over with the robertgonzalez account?

from: Anthony –
date: Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 10:51 AM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

I can add the robertgonzalez account to the self-hosted blog’s access list from this end – so that it can access the blog stats. If this is what you would like, please verify the blog URL.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

Does that mean if I switch the Akismet and Stats API key then the data that has been collected so far would transfer as well? What I really would like is to not lose the Akismet stats I have collected under the everah account. Both everah and robertgonzalez have the same email and same URL for the blog address ( which is my self-hosted blog.

from: Nick –
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:33 AM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

The stats aren’t stored with the account, they are stored with the blog. So giving another user access doesn’t do anything to the stats.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 7:20 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

I tried that, switching the API key from the everah API key to the robertgonzalez API key and my stat count dropped from thousands down to 8 for akismet. Both accounts have my self hosted blog url registered to it. That is why I thought that switching was going to cause stat trouble.

So if I change the API key then theoretically nothing should change as long as the blog is registered to the account?


from: Nick –
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 7:45 AM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

Correct. You mention Akismet, but Akismet isn’t blog stats, it’s for blocking spam on your blog.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 8:56 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

Right, by my akismet numbers changed too when I changed the API key which led me to believe that the API key was holding the stats, not the blog URL. Also, when I switched the API keys my stats basically vanished and I was told that I didn’t have access to the stats. I am guessing that had something to do with me being logged in to under everah while trying to hook into the robertgonzalez api key.

Really I just want everything to roll into one account: robertgonzalez. But I have history with the everah account that I want to make sure I don’t lose. If I need to massage the stats and akismet stuff though I guess I can.

Also, when are the developers of the stats plugin going to offer the ability to change the API key like Akisment does? Right now you either have to change the API key in akismet or, short of that, edit the wordpress_api_key config value to change it for stats.

from: Sheri –
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 4:42 PM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

Akismet should work the same even if the numbers are different because it’s collective. Are you saying that spam is getting blocked differently if you switch the API key?

Also note that there is no way to look up Akismet stats on the system, so it really doesn’t matter which account you connect Akismet to from our point of view.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

What I am saying is right now, under Akismet stats, using the API key from the “everah” account, I see this:
4,396 spams caught, 228 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 99.805%.

When I change my API key in the akismet admin screen to the API key for the “robertgonzalez” account, that line becomse something like:
8 spams caught, 0 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 100.00%.

That is why I asked about the API keys. Also, when I switched the API key in akismet, the stats plugin seemed to go haywire. Like it didn’t know who I was or something.

I just want to make sure that the few days of stat harvesting and the last few months of akismet data harvesting doesn’t get whacked with a single change to the API key.

from: Sheri –
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 5:17 PM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

The data cannot be transferred between accounts. If you want to keep the same Akismet numbers showing in your blog, then you must use the first API key. If you want to change it, then it should not effect the future accuracy of the spam blocking, you will just see different numbers. It’s up to you if you whether to switch it or not.

When you change your API key for Akismet, it should not affect the stats. However, if you switch the API key for stats, make sure to select the “replace an existing blog” option in step 2.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 9:39 PM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

How do you unregister a blog from I just tried switching API keys and I think since is registered to my “everah” account I cannot associate it with my “robertgonzalez” account. I keep getting this error when I input my API key: Stats
Error from last API Key attempt:

Missing API Key

The Stats Plugin is not working because it needs to be linked to a account.

Enter your API key to link this blog to your account. Be sure to use your own API key! Using any other key will lock you out of your stats. (Get your key here.)

This is after I enter the API key and hit the “Add new blog” button. What do I do now?

from: Nick –
date: Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 6:14 PM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

If you log into with the ‘everah’ account and then visit to send us a request, we can change the owner of the stats for the domain. Make sure to let us know the domain name and the user you want to have access.

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 10:53 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

I can’t submit a contact to you using the link below because the only blog attached to that account is my self hosted blog and your ticket system will not accept messages from blogs that are not hosted on your site.

This is a monumental pain in the ass. I really wish you would fix this. Seriously, it shouldn’t be this freaking hard to make a simple change.

from: Nick –
date: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 6:44 AM
subject [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

There may be a bug in our system them. Because it should let you message us about a blog connected to our system through stats. Is the form giving you an error?

Automattic |

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 9:40 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

Yes. Here are the steps I took:

1. Log in to using the account “everah”.
2. Go to
3. Fill out the form and leave the Blog URL field empty
4. Submit

Error: Let us know the URL of your blog.

I then select the only Blog URL that is on my account, and submit…

Error: We only provide support for blogs here. Please go to the Support Forum for further help.

from: Robert Gonzalez
date: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 9:45 AM
subject Re: [WordPress #252013]: General – That I really only need one. But I cannot merge th

You know, I was just reading the tips above the form and #3 says:
We only support WordPress blogs hosted here on If your blog is running the self-hosted version of WordPress, you should seek support elsewhere.

So dude, what the hell? Am I stuck in the position I am in?

Ultimately what I needed to do was remove this blog’s URL from my business account, where it was primary, and move it to my personal account as the primary blog. But I had to have some way of doing that so I could request it through their system. So I had to get crafty, tricksy if you will, so I could circumvent the stupid trouble ticket form on their web site. Wanna know how I did it?

What I finally ended up doing was creating a new blog under my “everah” username so I could submit a help ticket to the crew. I then logged into that account and sent them a trouble ticket in which I told them to reference this long string of emails that we vollied to one another and asked that they just move this blog’s url from one account to the other. Which is what they suggested in the first place.

They did it. And of course, now stats work properly, but Akismet is now down to nothing again, so I ended up going back to API key from my business for that. But at least stats are working. And at least I was able to get this situation mostly resolved. But if there is one thing I would suggest you never do, it is try to change anything on your own blog and then ask for help from the crew to make it happen smoother.

There has to be a silver lining somewhere

Today I was able to spend the day working from home. This is not that strange a thing, nor is it that monumental of a thing. I have done this before in fact. But generally I work from home because either I am sick and cannot make it into the office or my wife is sick and I need to take care of the kids or one (or more) of my kids is sick and I need to help Sandi take care of the house.

But today I stayed home because I had someone at the house working on my plumbing. See, the other day I was on the side of the house and noticed an awful smell coming from under the house. At the same time my wife was washing the dishes and I heard the sound of water flowing under my house. It was not like the sound of water flowing through a pipe. Instead it was more of the sound of water splashing into a pool.

A small trip into the crawl space yielded a find that I would have preferred to not find: an enormous pool of water beneath the house. And it was no ordinary pool of water. No, this was a full on pond of stagnant water. And it was growing every time the sink was used.

Now there are few things that make me happy about being a renter (no, I do not own my own home) but this is one of them. I was able to place a call to the landlord a few days ago and she set up a time for someone to come out and look at it, and if possible, fix the situation.

So the reason I was home today is because my house sprung a leak. Fortunately for me and my family it was fixed by early afternoon. Unfortunately the pipe leak was not the only thing that needed to be addressed. The fence in the rear yard needs to be shored up because it is at the bottom of a downward sloping easement and happens to be falling into my neighbors yard. The nice thing is that my neighbor has a huge tree in his yard that is holding up the fence right now so it is not as bad as it could be.

The nice thing is that the fence will be fixed within a few weeks. But of course, since these two things got fixed today wouldn’t you know it I found out my heater went out tonight. So while I can sleep tonight not having to worry about the effects of a small lake seaping down into my foundation I will have to do it under fourteen blankets because the heater will not blow any air, let alone hot air.

Someone please tell me that there will be a silver lining to this black cloud. Please? Because I am about at that point where I can just tell the situations to go screw themselves while I go out for drinks. Seriously.

I want kick my own butt

I never really looked at how whiny I sound sometimes until I take time to read my own writing. Like yesterday for example… it sounded like all I did was moan and complain about not having enough money. That really is not what I was trying to convey. What I was trying to do what let out some of the anxiety I have over how the money I do earn (which is remarkably good) has been spent.

I know the situation I am in has no bearing on anyone outside my house (except for those that I am constantly bumming lunch off of – you know who you are and you know I love you dearly). I have firmly put myself in this place. It is nobody’s fault but my own and it has nothing to do with the amount of money I earn. It has everything to do with how I have (mis)managed that money over time.

That said, if you ever get sick of me spewing forth rants about anything I am going through that comes across as whiny and cry baby-ish please tell me. I struggle sometimes listening to, or reading through, that stuff sometimes, too.

And if you don’t mind listening to, or in my case, reading about, my rants, would you happen to have a cheeseburger about you? I’m starving.

Broke as a joke ain’t funny

Every now and again I am faced with the realization that I am broke. Not “down on my luck” or “in a tight place” but freaking broke as a joke. I am so poor I cannot afford to pay attention right now.

Case in point… I left work today and had to use alternate transportation means in order to get home because I did not have the few dollars I needed to put gas in the truck to get it home. That broke.

And at times like these I cannot help but think back to a couple of years ago to when I was not only not broke but was thriving. I had a savings to fall back, credit for emergency situations, a small chance at success based on the availability to use emergency money as needed. I also had a good name in the credit realm, being able to get a loan for almost anything without issue.

Today if I cannot scrounge up a few dollars from my change cup there are days when I cannot eat lunch. There are times when I have to decide between putting gas in the car or paying for certain foods at the grocery store. I have actually had to look at various ways of getting a hold of my money before the bank does because I have accounts that have been severely overdrawn for a period of time now.

My credit is shot. I don’t think I could qualify for a hard case loan or even a high risk loan right now even though I have specific needs that must be met and continue to go on unmet daily. I can for surely say that unless a financial miracle takes place in my life that there may come a time very soon that life as I know it will change dramatically for the worse. I pray that it doesn’t and I am fighting like the dickens to keep that from happening but in all honesty and seriousness, things are financially that bad for my family right now.

I cannot imagine that anyone should ever be in this place. People were not built to handle this level of stress. Ever. Though I know it happens, and that I am largely responsible for this downturn in my life it doesn’t take the edge off the fact that I am usually out of resource four to seven days before my next pay day. This is not living paycheck to paycheck, this is living paycheck to a week before paycheck. And I am scared to death by it.

Of course I do count my blessings daily as well. So I will never lose perspective on my situation. While I might not have money I do have a roof over the heads of my family and for the most part a means by which to feed them. My kids do not lack for much. For some, yes, but not much. Yet as much as I know that I am still richly blessed I still yearn for the days when I was financially solvent and had the ability to make decisions based on want and need as opposed to lack of ability to do one thing versus an ability to do the other.

Pray for me please. I need help.

I am the automotive black angel of death

I do believe there are things that some people are just naturally good at just as there are things that people are naturally bad at. Likewise there are circumstances that some people are prone to while there are other circumstances that people are totally counter to.

It would appear that in my case I am prone to killing vehicles.  Little ones, big ones, new ones, old ones. Not sure what the crap this is all about but no sooner did I use my sister’s truck for a time then the check engine light came on telling me that I had once again been stupid and did something to an otherwise healthy vehicle.

To be honest I am not sure what the problem is. But I do know that there will be no driving of this truck for a while. I need to make sure I don’t kill this one into the grave like I did my own car. I cannot afford to have two dead cars on my hands. I am not sure I can handle the guilt.

A marriage that perhaps should not have taken place

Editor’s note: I know sometimes I write about some pretty stupid stuff here. And sometimes, like yesterday, I write about stuff that is a little personal. I hope I don’t give the impression that I am trying to air my dirty laundry in public. It is a pretty well know fact that all of about three people read this blog of mine and I am fairly confident that those three people either have had some experience with what I talk about when it comes to things like marriage or they simply don’t care what I write about. Either way, I am good with it. I find blogging to be wonderfully therapeutic and I know it is helping me get through a really tough time in my life.


Last night I had a good talk with my wife about our relationship and our feelings toward one another, toward our children and toward our God. While I have to say that most of the conversation was my wife telling me, in the form of “just some guy that is asking” how her marriage is holding up, I can say that I was able to get a lot of my chest. One thing, however, stuck out to me and I feel compelled to write about it.

One of the things that came up in our discussion was the topic of why my wife said yes to me when I proposed. The answer astonished me to a degree, though I am quite at peace with what was said. Essentially my wife told me that the reason she said yes to my proposal is because she didn’t know how to tell me no.

Regret is a terrible thing to live with, wouldn’t you say?

I know being married to me is no bed of roses. How could it be? After all, I am me and that in itself is enough to make anyone cringe. And I can say that I totally get her response to that. For the most part she has been miserable in our marriage since we got married. Scratch that, she has been miserable since we got back together in 1993 after breaking up for a few months.

But I can’t help but wonder how a person can stay married to someone they didn’t really want to marry and cannot find joy in being married to. My thought is divorce would be a much easier one-time miserable situation to live with than a lifetime of staring at your worst nightmare in the face. Wouldn’t it?

How crappy would it be to wake up every morning knowing that you are married to someone that you would much rather not be married to? Worse, what if every time you looked at that person you were reminded that for the last 13 years your life has been the worst it has ever been and it is all the fault of the person that you are sharing your life with?

So I asked these questions to my wife and her response was pretty simple. She is not a quitter. She would much rather be miserable in marriage than say that she gave up on it. Somehow trying to work through 13 years of a marriage in hell is redeeming when you can say that you stuck it out. I am not so sure.

Personally I am of the mindset that your marriage is what you make of it. You can make it crap or you can make it work. Regardless of what you want out of your marriage you are always at the helm of what your marriage experiences. You choose to say things, to do things, to feel things that have an impact on your relationship. I choose to make my marriage good or bad. So in effect, I have chosen to do things that have made my wife miserable in our marriage.

Sadly I am not at all aware in most cases of what I am doing or not doing that makes my wife miserable. In other cases I know that something I do has a negative impact on my wife but the thing that I do is a part of who I am as a person. No matter how hard I try to kill that part of me for her sake it always creeps back in and always has the same effect.

All of this leads me to the conclusion that looking back on 16 years of hell would almost certainly make a person want to stop the bleeding. How much misery can a person take? How long will a person choose to sustain their position in a relationship that reminds them of a 13 year (and counting) mistake they made? Wouldn’t it make more sense to count your losses and start afresh with half a chance at finding what you want in a person other than the bastard you are married to?

I hope I don’t come off as angry with this post. That is not the case at all. I am more than aware of how miserable my wife is in our marriage. I am in that same marriage with her. I see it and hear it every day. And as weird as it sounds, I really do want what’s best for my wife and children. I don’t want my wife to be miserable. I want her to have everything she expects to have in the man of her dreams. Hell, I want that sort of happiness too. So I am not mad to find out that I am not what my wife wants in a life partner. I just wish I could give her what she wants so she does not have to be miserable all the time.

All I’m good for to you is sex

WARNING: Some material in this post is directed squarely at married men and women and may be of an adult nature. If you find the topic of sex offensive or you are not in a position to read about matters of sex and relationships, please move on. And no, there will be no imagery in this post.

Last night on my drive home from work I found myself drifting off into sleepy land while at the wheel. This is not an unusual occurrence for me as I am usually exhausted and when the weather gets warmer, like it was yesterday, I find myself taking little cat naps during the last few minutes of my drive home. Last night was a little different though.

Given the heat of the day and the time of the day I was coming home I found myself dramatically more tired than normal. I felt my eyelids getting heavier and heavier and was awoken to the very fast correcting steer of me almost sideswiping another car at 75 MPH on the freeway. To combat this I decided to call my wife.

I explained that I was fading fast and asked her if she could make small talk with me to keep me awake for the remaining 20 minutes or so of my drive. She said she would and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I told her to talk about anything that would keep me awake. Her response?

“Sex sex sex sex sex.”

My response?


“Well that’s all I’m good for to you is sex right?”

“Uh, yeah. I gotta go.”

I think I would have rather crashed and died right there than to hear that crap. Seriously, why in the hell would anyone say that to anyone? From a husband’s perspective you can surmise by that statement that she is feeling neglected, hurt, worthless and angry. Ok, I get that. From a man’s perspective… well, what do you do with that?

I have to admit I was pretty pissed off that I was told, yet again, that all I wanted my wife for was sex. Seems pretty stupid an idea to me to think that. I mean if that was the case, what use would I have for her if sex was never given? Why would any man invest anything into any woman if all he wanted from that woman was sex? It just seems categorically judgmental and unilaterally unfair.

But I suppose that marriage isn’t fair. I am sure I am not the first man to hear those words from his wife. I am sure my wife is not the first woman to feel as though her value stemmed only from her vagina because of some action(s) (or lack thereof) on the part of her husband. This has to be something that has been brought up before in some marriage somewhere.

And to that point I have to say that it would be easy for me as a husband to say that the only thing I am good for to her is a paycheck and house cleaning services. But I would never say that because quite honestly that is a pretty hurtful thing to say.

So I was mad, and more than just a little. And I got to thinking to myself “Do I really convey to my wife that all she is good for is sex? If so, how do I do that?”. Apparently the answer lies somewhere in my not pursuing her heart enough to make her know by my outward actions that I am interested in her heart more than her body. And by telling her that she is beautiful, pretty and wonderful when I have not told her that she is someone I want to get to know better I am telling her that my interest in her is completely of a physical nature.

That sucks.

Here’s a little note on men: we really like sex. We physically need sex. Regularly. No, not regularly like once a week. Like once every two days. That’s just a little heads up to what is coming up next.

Married men, as a whole, I think like sex with their wives. I think that men in general are really not that much about the physical appearance of their wives so much as they are interested in intimacy with them because of the love we have for our wives and the deeper sense of connection we seek with our wives. Men can be faithful to our wives with a strong, burning desire for our wives. Not all men are sexually ravenous creatures looking to devour a body for the sake of satisfying our sexual appetite. Sex, like that, is nothing more than masturbation with a partner. Men don’t want that.

Nor do men want to be chastised for a characteristic that is essentially within the core of their very make up. Men are built to want sex. We are built to appreciate and admire the beauty of our wives. Some men have screwed that up pretty bad by the way we have gotten attached to things like pornography or flirtatiousness. But I will stand fast to the position that married men who are in a regularly open, communicative and sexual relationship with their wives are not nearly as into looking for sexually gratifying items as men that are in relationships in which their need for sex is constantly being minimized or worse yet, devalued.

Women, as I am led to believe, have a need to be wanted, pursued, appreciated, admired and desired. That is awesome. I have all of those feelings for my wife on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. But somehow only the physical level is ever noticed. And that really gets on my nerves.

I am more than a penis with an incessant and insatiable urge for release. I am a man that desperately loves his wife and longs for intimacy on every level with her including sexual intimacy. Being told that all my wife is good for to me is sex is just flat out insulting. It deflates any desire I would have to want to pursue my wife and literally makes me draw back from her to protect my heart.

That said, I know there are actions that can be taken to prevent this from coming up again. As a man I know that I can make a stronger effort to get to my wife’s heart. I can not touch my wife when I want to tell her I love her. Sometimes that means not even leaning in for a kiss (no matter how bad I want one). Sometimes it means letting her beat the crap out of me emotionally and still sitting next to her on the couch and asking how she is doing without so much as putting a hand on her knee.

I could also try not watching TV when she is wanting to talk. Or I could be nicer to the kids when they do something that would normally anger me greatly. Or I could simply ask her if she needs anything when I get up to go to the kitchen. In essence, putting her needs above mine is a great way to let her know that she is more important to me than the physical desire I have for her.

And on that note, there are a few things that a woman can do to really open her man up. You could stop kicking your man’s butt over his sex drive. He has one. Get used to it. No it is not some superpowered hyperactive sex drive. Physiologically we need sexual release about once every two days. It is natural that we always want it. It is special that we want it with you (our wife). It is very easy, and all to common, for a man to seek this need to be met elsewhere where it is freely given rather than to continue to fight off an angry lioness who only throws your needs in your face.

Let your man be a man without condemning him for being a man. Men are sometimes sharp tongued. Sometimes we are rude. Sometimes we are rough in the way we handle situations. Again, we were built to be rough, rugged and dangerous. Women, well, they were built to be the softer side that attracts the rough edges of a man. Be soft. Let him want you. Let him pursue and let him catch you.

But no matter what you do and no matter who you are in the marriage, try not to use the other person’s natural needs against them in some manner of attack. That will only drive them farther away from you. Imagine, ladies, if your man told you one day that all you ever do is talk talk talk talk talk and if you would only take your clothes off and let him have you he would so totally want to talk to you and dig deeper into your emotions. Sounds almost belittling doesn’t it? Imagine if that was how you were approaching him about sex.

There is give and take on both sides of the relationship. My wife will be the first one to tell you I do all the taking and she does all the giving. That would explain a lot as to why this conversation came up to begin with. That needs to change. Either in action or perception, but it needs to change because it is terribly unhealthy to any marriage when one half of the relationship sees the other half as something that is only a draw on their resource. And I intend to change it. Lovingly if I can figure out how to do that. But I really never want to be told again that all my wife is good for to me is sex.

That just hurts.

Consumed by the fires of hell…o, it is dang hot

Today was day two of an expected four day heat wave. I am not sure if I can handle another two days of this hellish weather. I am all for nice, hot, sunny days, but when I leave work at 6:00, get in my car and see this…

How hot was it today?

… I start to get concerned.

That is hot. In some parts of the country heat like that draws the distinction of being “dang hot”. It is inescapable heat. Not even an AC seems to be able to do anything with it.

For me all heat like this does for me is make me tired and cranky. I want to sleep with three fans blowing all over me. I just want to get cool. And I want to be sleeping while doing it.

My biggest concern though is for my family. My kids end up being outside a lot because A) the weather is pretty nice, and B) my wife is sick enough where she really can’t do anything with them. So that means that they spend the day in the kiddie pool in the backyard while mom tries to stay cool on the couch. Which is near impossible.

So I try to get home so I can handle that situation with a drive or a trip to the store or something. Because after all no one likes to taste the firey flames of hell’s heat. At least I don’t.

Expensive lessons are the worst lessons

I am a huge proponent of learning. I love learning. I believe that the only way to grow effectively in your life is to allow yourself to learn regularly.

But there are some lessons that, when you learn them, you almost wish you could go back and try to learn what you are learning a different way. Lessons like these make me not want to learn so much as get mad and cuss loudly.

Today, while I was in the shower, I noticed the shower started to back up. I didn’t worry about it too much seeing as this has had happened before and had actually corrected itself when it happened last time. So I got out of the shower and went about the rest of my very busy day without giving it much thought.

Later on in the day I checked on the shower and the water was still there. Plunging the drain was totally fruitless so I decided I would try some Drano gel stuff to try to break through the clog. So I headed for the drano and stopped along the way to move laundry down because of the many things I had to do yesterday, laundry was a priority.

Before too long I was back in the bathroom and pouring the remainder of the half full bottle of Drano into the shower. I then went back to work for my family by getting some meat prepared for cooking. A short time later I went to check on the shower and to my surprise I found my shower drain not only not draining but to the contrary, it was spewing water like a fountain. And it was not just any water. No no. It was Drano ridden.

As I stood in awe over the mess that was unfolding in my bathroom I began to wonder how in the name of all that is good and cuddly I was going to get this thing handled. In the time it took me to think of options my bathroom had about an inch of Drano water in it and the level was rising.

After some (brief) deliberation with myself and my wife we decided that a call to the plumber was in order. Can you feel a lesson about to me learned coming on?

I called the plumber and he showed up about an hour later.

Brief sidenote: Given my wife’s distaste for people seeing our house dirty I experienced a tremendous bonus… my living room, my hallway, my laundry area, my hallway bathroom, my bedroom and my bathroom we are cleaned in the hour or so before the plumber got to my house.

After looking at my blocked up shower and running two very brief checks, he determined (and I concurred) that my entire plumbing system for my house actually leads into one pipe. At the very least, the hallway bathroom, the laundry area and my bathroom all tie into a single drain. So he gave me two options: 1) he could go up on the roof and, using his electric snake, cable the drain through the roof stock vent; or 2) he could try to cable the drain through the shower. Of the two choices, the roof cabling, he said, was the most effective.

Of course the roof cabling fix would cost $225 as opposed to the less effective shower cabling process that would cost $175. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of a lesson not being learned yet.

I gave the plumber the go ahead to get on my roof and cable the roof stock vent. 20 minutes later, as I signed the credit card charge for $225, it hit me.

Why couldn’t I head to Lowe’s or Home Depot and rent a power snake and do this myself? Did you hear that? That was the sound of an expensive lesson being learned out loud.

Once my signature was on the contract and I had the yellow copy in my hand, my plumber, Rudy, made sure to tell me that if this ever happens in the future I could save myself some pretty decent money if I just head to Home Depot and rent a power snake. Did you hear that one? That was the sound of stupidity being confirmed after an expensive lesson was just learned. Thanks Rudy, that hurt more than just a little.

On the bright side I now know that if I ever have 20 pounds of hair clogging my shower, or for some reason my washer machine doesn’t drain, I don’t have to spend $200 on a 20 minute plumb job. I can just go to Lowe’s and rent a power snake for $40 and be on the road to clean showering once again.

Lesson learned. Just wish it was learned a little cheaper.

I hate you Microsoft and your registry hive files

Sometimes I wish that Microsoft were something tangible that I could grab hold of and slap 32 different ways from sideways as I watched it writhe in anguish begging for mercy. Why? Because it does that to me almost daily. And I am sure I am not alone.

Tonight my wife showed me that she had installed Opera 9.5 on her computer. I was very impressed with her technical savvy that she showed in doing this. So much so that I told her that Firefox has just come out with a new version and, since Firefox the previous has all but killed my wife’s computer, updating may be the order of the day so that she could use Firefox instead of Opera.

So I had her load up Firefox and attempt to update from within the application. And you know what? Two words: Epic. Fail.


Firefox froze and took the entire system with it. Not wanting to watch Firefox think about dying on the spot, I decided to power down the computer and start afresh. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I killed the windows.

Apparently the registry was being written to/read from when Firefox decided to crap all over itself. And as such, shutting the computer down in the middle of that process freeze basically wiped out the registry. Thanks Microsoft for the awesome idea of the registry. I so love that.

So I got a blue screen of death (BSOD) on the boot. I tried logging in to the last known good configuration. Nothing. Safe mode? No dice. Safe mode with networking? Nada. Safe mode in any capacity? Pukage.

I was crapola.

So I hit up the Microsoft Support site and did a search for a corrupt registry hive file and found article #307545 – How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting. Remarkably, this article saved my hide.

Now I will be the first to admit that Microsoft is the bane of all even semi-smart people’s existence. I hate them with a passion that is unrivaled in normal circumstances. But tonight… well, tonight I actually applaud them.

There knowledge base article actually worked almost to the letter the way they said it would. I had to guess a couple of times, but the guesses were logical and easy to make based on what I was seeing. In about an hour and half’s time I was able to get my wife’s computer back on its feet and ready to be (ab)used once again.

So tonight, for the briefest of moments, I thank you Microsoft for putting out a halfway decent article on getting a Windows XP machine back up and running after your stupid registry hive files go belly up at a time when they shouldn’t have. You actually earned your $32,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 USD tonight, in my book.