Posts Tagged 'help'

WordPress Google Docs

I love that WordPress shows search terms that are pulling your stuff up on the Internet. In fact, I love a lot of things about WordPress. I am also a big fan of Google Docs, and when I first began using this “blog” thing, I wanted to use Google Docs to post my entries.

Unfortunately, as my first post indicates, I had troubles getting it set up. I got the following message: Error decoding XML-RPC response.

Now, I’m not technical genius, and I can only vaguely describe what that error message means, but I played around a bit and got things working.

I started posting all sorts of cool stories, technical ideas, and anything else I felt like sharing. Unfortunately, nobody was interested.

At least eight people have searched for a solution to this problem and were sent to my blog and the number one search term that pulls me up online is “error decoding xml-rpc responce” from Google Docs in one way or another. I guess not too many people actually have problems with this message, but those who do have no idea where to find help for it. I may be wrong, but I also want to help out where I can. So, here’s how I solved the problem. It may not be the best way, but it has worked for me.

I’ll provide a screenshot, but essentially I didn’t use the preset settings for WordPress found in the Google Docs options for posting to a blog. At the top of the “Blog Site Settings” window I clicked on the “My own server / custom” radio button. Here are the rest of the settings I used:

(RED text means you should insert your personal information. Black means yours should be the same.)

(Click the image to view it full size.)

API:

“MetaWeblog API”

URL:

“http://mereman.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php”

-(If you really do host your blog at a different URL, the wordpress.com part my be different too. The part before the “/xmlrpc.php” is the address you give to people so they can visit your blog.)

User Name:

mediocrerenaissanceman

-(This is the whole user name you log into the site with.)

Password:

wouldn’t you like to know?

Blog ID/Title:

The Mediocre Renaissance Man

-(This is the title displayed at the head of your pages and at the top of the WordPress site while you are at your dashboard.)

Last of all I have the box checked that says: “Include the document title when posting (if supported)” and I think you should too if you want to use the document title as your posting title.

The only warning I should mention is that when I use Google Docs to post it doesn’t go immediate. When I go to WordPress afterward it says the post is scheduled for seven hours later. If I want to post immediately I then go in and edit the post at the WordPress site, changing the settings to “Published” and the time to five minutes earlier. This works, but if anyone knows of a better way to get Google Docs to do it immediately, I could use the help.

I hope this helps, and if you have any more questions or ideas, please leave a comment.

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Avoid These

I’ve been reading a wonderful little book called The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. I feel that I am learning a lot from the book, but at the same time I know that I’m going to have to really work hard at its principles in order to fix some of the problems in my writing.

Right now I’m in a section of the book called Misused Words and Expressions. I believe this section was an addition by E. B. White, but that is irrelevant to you. I wanted to quote a few segments from this section for you, because I found them humorous.

OK, since this is grammar related, most of it is just interesting (I still got a good chuckle from a few of them). Here’s one that many people get wrong, or they may realize that one variation is wrong and fail to latch on to the correct one. Let us allow Mr. White to enlighten us:

Care less. The dismissive “I couldn’t care less” is often used with the shortened “not” mistakenly (and mysteriously) omitted: “I could care less.” The error destroys the meaning of the sentence and is careless indeed.

I know that has come up more than once with several of my friends, some being grammar fanatics. I think most people get it right, but those who fail to stop and think about what they’re saying probably get it wrong.

Some of the words and phrases listed seemed to pierce me to the core. The author used sharp language that left me wishing I could take back some of what I’ve written in the past:

Character. Often simply redundant, used from a mere habit of wordiness.

“A mere habit of wordiness?” Ouch. I understand that he said “often” and by this he probably means that referring to good character is permissible. However, he gives the example: “acts of a hostile character,” saying it should be replaced with: “hostile acts,” and I know I’ve probably used character in that sense before. I think I do have a habit of wordiness, and I’ve been aware of it for a long time now. That’s why I’m reading books like this. I want to drop the habit.

This one was just interesting:

Clever. Note that the word means one thing when applied to people, another when applied to horses. A clever horse is a good-natured one, not an ingenious one.

I had heard of clever horses with this meaning, but failed to understand.

This one was funny:

Enthuse. An annoying verb growing out of the noun enthusiasm. Not recommended.

He then lists two examples of it in use with his recommendations of how to fix it using the noun rather than the “annoying verb.” I think it’s funny that he used “annoying” to describe this. I too find verbs that grow out of nouns annoying. In fact, I find most modern, lazy speech annoying.

This one was the last one I read this morning, but it made me laugh out loud and I had to share it with you. Careful, the author might be calling you illiterate!

Flammable. An oddity, chiefly useful in saving lives. The common word meaning “combustible” is inflammable. But some people are thrown off by the in- and think inflammable means “not combustible”. For this reason, trucks carrying gasoline or explosives are now marked FLAMMABLE. Unless you are operating such a truck and hence are concerned with the safety of children and illiterates, use inflammable.

The author is obviously expressing his opinion that only children and illiterates would be confused by the proper use of inflammable. If you didn’t know this, or had doubts before about this word (or any of the others I’ve listed), perhaps it’s time to brush up on your English.

Of course, I’m not perfect. Several years ago I saw something correctly labeled inflammable and was thrown off by the prefix. I looked it up and have ever since been aware of this. What a relief it is to not be illiterate!

That makes five words or phrases I’ve shared with you. The rest of what he listed was either uninteresting or unlikely to come up in every-day use. If you’d like to know more, read the book. As I finish reading I might find something else funny, and you can bet I’ll share it with you.

Dear John

I have two friends that have been dating for a while now. They are good for each other, but I have noticed something in them that many couples struggle with. So, I write this letter to my friend, but it could be for anyone:

Dear John,
I think you’re a great person, please don’t ever forget that. As I think back to the first time I met you, I remember not knowing quite what to make of you, and I remember discovering that you were someone I could like.

I also remember when I found out that you and our friend [Sally] began dating. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, then I saw how you loved her and how much she loved you. All of my worries disappeared. The most important thing between any two people in a would-be couple is love, and you two had it. Through the time that has passed since then, I have watched the two of you grow and work together. I am aware that you have sometimes spoken together about marriage (I think I asked you about that once) and I remember thinking it sounded like a great idea for you guys.

John, I know you are a good man doing his best to succeed in life, keeping up with work, keeping the girl happy, keeping yourself happy, etc. I know how difficult it can be to do all of this, because I have been doing it for a while and sometimes I’m not sure how I’m going to keep going.

The reason I wanted to write to you is to tell you one thing: Don’t be stupid.

This is good, free advice that may seem readily available (and it is) but it is often missed or misunderstood. I bring it up because I have noticed something amiss between the two of you, and especially in [Sally]. Keep in mind, I don’t know anything outside of what I can see, but I see much more than you think. I do not know everything, but I know relationships and I can see it when there is something wrong.

Again, I don’t know exactly what is going on with you guys, and I don’t feel that it is my business. However, I decided to write this for you because I wanted to send a few messages to the two of you, as well as sharing these ideas with others. I have noticed in [Sally’s] face and demeanor that she is sad. It’s the kind of sadness that happens when a guy is being a guy. Men are naturally jerks (as everyone knows) and as hard as we try to fight it, we will invariably be a jerk from time to time, mostly by accident without even realizing it, sometimes on purpose only to realize our mistake after it is too late.

Besides being jerks, I believe that men are absolutely stupid when it comes to women. Being naturally stupid jerks, we have a huge responsibility when it comes to relationships with women. This responsibility has two, simple parts: 1) love our woman more than we love ourselves and 2) remember that the man is always at fault when there is something wrong in the relationship.

I don’t care what happened. You are to blame. Keep in mind, you can only take this to a certain point, but it always needs to be the first reaction. It works as long as both the man and the woman of a relationship are of similar levels of maturity and have similar levels of commitment to the relationship.

Thus, if there is something wrong in your relationship (and I really think there is), you need to start by asking these two questions:

1. Am I about as mature as she is?
This question may seem difficult to answer, but as long as you both are close in age (within five years or so) and close in mental capacity (none of you is retarded or mentally ill) then the answer is yes. You two are both smart, so I know the answer is “yes” to this one.
2. Are we both 100% committed to this relationship?
You may need to gently, lovingly bring this up in conversation with her when you both are thinking straight and you aren’t mad at each other. If either of you has his/her heart somewhere else, then nothing can save the relationship except recommitting and trying again. I happen to know that her heart is in the relationship, and I thought yours was too. We’ll assume it still is, and the answer is “yes.”

If you can answer “yes” to both questions (and I know you can), then you are ready to fix the problem. Are you ready for the solution? Here’s the answer: take responsibility and fix it.

Do you want to lose her? If you are both at similar levels of maturity and mental capacity, and you both want the relationship to work, but there is a problem, there is nobody to blame but yourself. I don’t care if she started the argument, or you did, or the neighbor did. Once the two questions above are in the affirmative, it is your responsibility to make things work, not hers.

That’s right, not hers. Sure, you can go ahead and leave her, telling yourself, “If she were only willing to admit she was wrong, then we could still be together,” or, “If only she weren’t that way, then we could get along fine.” Is that what you want though? Don’t you love her? If she never admits she was wrong, or if she never changes that one little habit, you would still love her. Rather than trying to change things you have absolutely no control over, why don’t you take charge and do what you can to keep her? Don’t lose her, she’s special, beautiful and in love with you!

Over time, if you patiently accept her for who she is (mistakes, bad habits and all) she will eventually mature and grow past those little things. Besides, don’t you think you probably have things that you need to change too? Are you so perfect? What if it’s your mistakes and errors that she’s always getting mad about? So what? If she really loves you, and you are patient and loving with her, then she too will learn to look past those things on her own.

You are adults. You are an adult, and so is she. If you treat her like an adult (without trying to “help” her grow up), she will learn to see you as one too. This is part of the process of growing up. Everyone has to do it on their own. It takes time, support, and tremendous effort, but it can be done.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t let that woman go. Do everything in your power to keep her. Remember, do everything in your power to keep her. You cannot change her, that’s not in your power. You can change you. So do it. Just get it done.

I think you are both really wonderful. I have met a lot of people over the course of my life and travels, and people like you and [Sally] are not common. You will never find another woman as great as she is. Take my advice and stake your claim. Let your love for her tell the world that she is yours.

Good luck, and if you ever need someone to talk to, you know where to find me.

Your friend,
Brian

New Page!

I know a lot of you have visited the page I wrote about me called About the Man. Now, due to my belief that a lot of my friends and family could use a little schooling on what I’ve got going on here, I’ve written a page that I’m sure plenty of people could benefit from. This new page is called About the Site. If you are already subscribed to my web log, you don’t need to read it. The new page is for people who I would like to see subscribed so they can keep in touch with me, but they don’t understand what all of this is about.

So, if you’re subscribed already, I thank you. If you’re not, go visit the new page!

Oh, and by the way, I spent two hours on that page then quit without rereading or revising it. I’ll probably go in tomorrow morning and do some editing, but for now I need to get on with my day. If you find errors or find any of it confusing, just let me know and I’ll fix it.

Oh, one more thing. I know a lot of people visit this site to find my Google Web album (not that it’s that special, but we post family pictures there), so I included it in my list of links (Blogroll) on the right so there is a more permanent place to find it rather than coming here and looking for the original posting I had the link in. It’s listed as the Family Web Album.


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