B&P Problems

Apparently, some posts aren’t showing up for several hours and then a bunch will show up all at once. They’re supposed to be spread out about an hour apart. I think it is a plugin related problem but I’m not sure. Plugins are being updated fairly often and that has a tendency to muck things up for other plugins on occasion. The posts are showing up in a timely manner for me but apparently not for everyone else which makes it hard for me to troubleshoot the problem.

So for the time being I’ll be deactivating some plugins including the Like Button plugin. You also might see Test Posts pop up from time to time.

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New Donate Button

We were having trouble with the Donate button on B&P. It worked but it was sending irrelevant error messages to the dashboard or the editing side of the website.
So we’re using a different plugin to collect your generous donations which help keep this site going, year after year.

It would be helpful if a few hundred of you would make a donation so we can make sure it works right. Or a few dozen of you… or a few of you…. or just you. Somebody… please!

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Jonco’s True Bits – The B&P Inbox…

I get a lot of emails and spam comments directed at B&P (and other sites) for one reason or another. 

Puzzled: I used to get 4 or 5 emails a week in the form of complaints about products ordered from the puzzle company bearing the same base name as this site but using the .com suffix. I had created a canned response giving the writer the correct email address where they could contact the people who could (I didn’t say would) solve their problem. I guess they just Google Bits and Pieces and find my contact info.  The puzzle company, and many other online companies, do a pretty good job of burying their contact info.  So I did some research and found the correct email address for their customer service department and put it into my canned response. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak started they must be selling a lot more puzzles because I get 3 to 5 complaints every day now. (The puzzle business must be good!)  I don’t mind directing them to the right place and I even get a couple of ‘thank you’ replies, but not that many.

Guest posts: I get quite a few emails from people wanting to do a ‘guest post’ on the site.  These ‘guest posts’ are almost always hyping some website, product, or niche that isn’t of general interest, or at least I don’t find them interesting. Some even offer to pay me to post them. I almost always just ignore them.  Some seem to get upset that I don’t reply to their email.

Foreign Affairs: I get A LOT of spam email and comments on posts in foreign languages and contain a bunch of foreign language links.  I just delete these. I get some that have been loosely translated to English.  I understand if English is a second language and it’s not perfectly clear but in some cases, English must be the 8th or 9th language. Here’s an example of a comment on a post that I received this morning, apparently translated from Polish:

I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish
be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

It had a link to some kind of gaming site, in Poland I assume.  I considered replying in an altered English, but ‘I ain’t got time for dat!

The Good Shit: Of course, I get quite a bit from readers/friends sending things that they think I’d like to share. I appreciate these submissions and do post many of them.  Some I don’t because I’ve posted them recently or sometimes I just don’t understand them.  I rarely reply to these submissions mainly because of the time it takes but, rest assured, I do sincerely appreciate your submissions and the time and effort it took to send them to me.

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Website News

After a couple of updates, we were able to reactivate the Jetpack plugin yesterday and it seems to be working okay. It had been disabled for several weeks because it was causing problems with comments. The old Like button was also disabled for the same reason. The old Like button still isn’t working so we’ve enabled a new Like button that is part of Jetpack. Hopefully, there won’t be any problems, but if there are we will disable the plugin once again.

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Website Maintenance

We’ve reinstalled the main part of the theme we use for this site hoping to stop an occasional glitch where the theme doesn’t display properly. There is another premium part of the theme that I can also reinstall but I would then have to reformat some stuff on the site so I’ll wait to do that in hopes the first part fixes the issue.

Update: The website is still experiencing an issue with the theme changing to a different display intermittently. I have posted a support ticket with the theme support group.

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B&P Turns 17

Today, March 31, marks the 17th anniversary of the start of Bits & Pieces.  It was on this date in 2002 that I started B&P over on Blogger.  After a short while, we moved to a self-hosted WordPress blog.

It has been a major part of my life these last 17 years.  And I’m sure I wouldn’t still be doing it if it weren’t for the wonderful people that have come together as contributors, readers and especially commenters to make Bits & Pieces what I like to call our little worldwide neighborhood.  

Read more

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