Sunday, January 4, 2015

GoDaddy and WordPress Error - The Problem, The Work-a-round and The Fix

Friday evening, I was hit by series of errors from WordPress.
When uploading images, I was confronted by these error messages:
“Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2015/01. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”
“The uploaded file could not be moved to wp-content/uploads/2015/01″
Obviously, my permissions were off, but I couldn't figure out where.
The quick and dirty work around was to log into GoDaddy's file management tool and create files and upload images via the tool. Back in WordPress, I needed to select a previously existing image and edit the code to match the files and directories I created in the previous step.
That is not optimal.
The correct answer is to correct the permissions on the server via the file management tool. I made several attempts, but it didn't seem to work:
After calling GoDaddy, I found where I was going wrong.
First and always, log out of WordPress. Second, the items Web Visible and Web Writable need to be ticked on the WordPress upload folder. The directory location is: /wp-content/uploads/. You likely don't have permission to edit the webroot directory, and you shouldn't give that much permission that high up.
In the image above they are not checked, because the Inherit tick disables those options. Untick it.
The other two become active. You can see the problem right away, the folder isn't Web Writable. Tick it.
Yesterday morning, I was not really happy with GoDaddy as the first tech via chat had the correct basic idea but didn't realize that "Inherit" tick disabled my visible/writable ticks. He added insult to injury by telling me he was having my permissions reset. He did not seem to know if this would fix the problem or enable my ability to fix the problem. His "solution" would take 30 minutes to four hours.
Obviously, nothing happened and I called support. These guys are much better. The next agent walked me through the exact same troubleshooting as before, this time informing me that the Inherit boxed disabled the other options. I was on hold longer than it took to fix the problem.
I am general happy with GoDaddy, but the tech I chatted with really didn't know what he was doing. He also didn't actually "reset my permissions" after promising. He also created a bunch of duplicate folders on my peice of their server and didn't delete them. I guess that is easily fixed, but I am annoyed.
The phone tech did every thing I needed, first time but I shouldn't have experienced this problem in the first place. I can't really fault the techs as someone else flipped the wrong switch on me and it certainly wasn't either of them.
At the end of the day, I can't really suggest chat as a support option. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Maps – The Stave Church

Last week, I did a quick drawing of a Norse themed building. Today, for the winter solstice, I knocked out a floor plan for a fantasy themed stave church.
When sketching this church, I imagined that the parishioners are followers of a river goddess and that the church is very old. From the exterior, this church would appear to be several storeys high, but the interior shows a largely, airy nave.
The church is orientated to the north, is a mirror of a river to the west of the church. Most rivers do not flow north, so this one is special.

The sacristy is in the north and is rather spartan. It features a large stone urn for the storage of offering. Next to the urn is a small trap door leading to an short under ground tunnel. This tunnel often floods, so escape by this route is in the hands of the goddess. A pair of tables, stools and two curved shelves round out the last of the furnishings of the sacristy.
A small concealed door leads from the sacristy to the sanctuary.  This is more of decorative feature as all parishioners see it in use during every service to allow access to the apse.
A large tree stump was brought into the building to serve as a small altar. When a more suitable table was found, it was dragged to the eastern side for use an ab. On the western side is a stone capped well. The water contained within is both drinkable and holy.  The well also serves as an ambo during high ceremony requiring water.
The nave contains ten smaller pews which can be moved as needed. Two larger sets of pews are affixed to the south wall. Along the southeast and southwest inner walls are leper windows, for those who cannot enter the nave.
Three sets of steps lead down to doors, a change in elevation of just four feet. This outer floor area is often covered in reeds to prevent mud from being dragged into the nave. The east and west doors swing inwards, while the south doors swing outwards. All interior doors swing inwards.
It should be noted that this church is not orientated as it would be in the real world. Churches also tend to have an ambo in the center and not to the side, there is also the issue that lectern is general not found with an ambo. This church placed the ambo to side closest to the river.

Half Baked Idea - The Demon Core

In my last post, I mention a device called the demon core. I know what it looks like, I know that it seethes with power. It is wildly dangerous. Aside from that I know nothing.
There was a real device called the demon core. It was 3.5 inch, subcritical mass of plutonium used for testing. In this capacity, it killed two scientists.
Nasty stuff. I may have to revisit this item and flesh it out for use in my campaign.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Serpent Bay – Five Minute Vinette

A user request from Google Plus – post-apocalyptic maps. I am horrible with colored pencils and I have never tried a post-apocalyptic map. What I ended up with was a sketched vinette.


“They brought the demon core, blood hexes and shells. They pushed us to the sea. In the woods we moved like eidolons hunting, as the skies sizzled with hot brass and steel rain. The sea frothed blue and white; the gnashing of frustrated and frenzied selkies.
“Desperation rose within us, fanned by orisons, curses and automatic fire.


“You tell ’em, we held those bastards at Serpent Bay.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Of #Blackstormtroopers or How Right was My Mom

When I was a kid, my parents took me to see Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In the case of the last two, they let my sister and I ditch school. How cool are my parents?

My parents were largely silent on Star Wars. We knew they liked it, but in retrospect, they obviously enjoyed our love of the series more than their own pleasure. They stepped over countless Star Wars toys, sat through endless monologues, and fielded wacky questions about Tie Fighters and X-Wings. Now that I have children, I totally understand this.

However, during our first viewing of Return of the Jedi, my mother offered a singular and powerful opinion. I have to count it as one of the most important formative moments of my life.

Picture it:


Luke is standing over a crippled Darth Vader and Vader's voice is distorted, failing. He requests that Luke remove his mask, ending his life, so that he may look upon his son with his own eyes.

With great sorrow, Luke complies and we see that Sebastian Shaw is the actor playing Luke's father.

My mother was mortified. She spluttered "Where is hell is James Earl Jones!?!"

I hissed: "Mom! James Earl Jones is...."

Then I got it. She knew that James Earl Jones was Mark Hamill's dad. She just knew that was the right thing, and somehow I knew it too. That piece of accidental advice has stayed with me all my life. Skin color doesn't matter.

There is a corollary to this story. My wife purchased a set of Star Wars DVD's for me. One day, the kids and I watched all three movies. This was one of the special edition sets with all of the modifications George Lucas had time to throw in.

I was stunned when Hayden Christensen was cut into Shaw's role as Anakin.

I howled: "What the hell? That should be James Earl Jones!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chromebook's Task Manager

I have recently been suffering from some lockups and crashes. The need for a task manager was incredible and I lamented the lack of one.
How wrong I was. The hot key is Esc+Shift. Well. I feel stupid.
What I discovered using the task manager was that Adblock Plus was eating my RAM. Google Drive Sync, the ability to use and edit drive documents offline is also chewing on my memory.
As valuable as I find Adblock, I decided it to turn it off.
We shall see what happens.