BlankSlate theme

I’ve been using the “Sandbox” theme for a while and wanted a change so had a look at some other WordPress themes.

A lot of themes seem to add quite a bit of “bloat” and I wanted just the basic theme that I can then customise.


My “style.css” file is pretty basic just:

html,body{background-color:white; color:dimgrey; max-width: 625px;margin:0 auto;font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;line-height:1;}
a:link    { color: slategrey;text-decoration: none }
a:visited { color: slategrey;text-decoration: none }
a:hover   { color: darkslateblue;text-decoration: none }
a:active  { color: darkslategrey;text-decoration: none }
.form-allowed-tags{display: none;}

This gives a white background with “dimgrey” text and a 625 pixel wide page centred in the screen with Arial text.

Links are “slategrey” with a “darkslategrey” hover colour.

The last line removes the annoying html tags next to the comment box


Phpmyadmin problems

Seem to have been having some annoying problems recently with phpmyadmin – I think it got upgraded by the upgrade was not properly configured and it kept causing mysql to crash.

After a bit of searching I found that using

sudo dpkg-reconfigure phpmyadmin

seemed to do the trick – I can now use phpmyadmin normally again and it seems fewer mysql crashes

Italic Smile Theme

I have been using the “Sandbox” theme since starting wordpress at the start of 2013 but I was starting to feel there was simply too much white space in the blog.

There are a LOT of themes if you go to the “add theme” menu so I have tried the “Italic Smile” theme which seems quite good and still fairly minimalistic.

The homepage for this theme is

I like the way it deals with images, and it makes it easier than my previous theme to open, view & close images




I’m trying to decide if flash or no flash works best for this type of shot, and manual flash at 1/64 power seems to work best.

Other settings are ISO154, 1/30s, f/1.9


I have discovered a new trick with the GRD IV if you need to view photos without fully powering up the camera. Pressing the “play” and “disp” buttons at the same time allows this. If you actually need to take a shot you need a full powerup which extends the lens, but this “view only” mode is handy.

A thing I have noticed with WordPress is that everytime I upload a photo it saves FOUR versions, full size, 625×467, 300×224 & 150×112. I never use the smallest two versions, so in order to avoid creating them I have set the “medium” and “thumbnail” sizes to “0” pixels wide, so it no longer creates these two sizes.


Still testing out different focus setting on the GRD4 , yesterday I was testing the setting just below the 3m mark, and today the setting just above the 3m mark.    As the GRD4 has a small sensor it has a large DOF so one focus setting will cover many situations, which is good in many ways, unless you want narrow DOF.

I have noticed that this garage in Staplegrove road is derelict – not sure how long it has been like this.


This also shows the quick response of the GRD4 shutter when used in manual focus mode.  My aim was to get the cyclist in front of the white garage door which required split second timing.   Had I used autofocus then he probably would have passed the garage before the picture was taken.

I have been checking my wordpress sql database with phpmyadmin and have noticed the huge number of revisions in the database.   I have installed a handy plugin that has cleaned out all these now redundant revisions and it has reduced the size of my database from about 1.4mb to 0.8mb which is useful as I like to take regular backups.    “Better Delete Revision” is a handy plugin I now use to keep my database free of no longer required revisions


My W3TC plugin seems to have caused some problems and crashed my server.

I have had to reimage the server but have left W3TC off for now.   Perhaps the saying “if it ain’t broke” comes to mind.

Update:  Have now re-enabled W3TC but have not selected all the options

W3 Total Cache for WordPress

I have been noticing that my page has not always been loading too fast, so I have now installed the W3 Total Cache (W3TC) plugin for WordPress.

I’m hoping it has started to improve the performance of the site.

I’ve been running some tests on the GTmetrix site

Screenshot from 2013-03-07 22:54:25

and it looks like some improvements have been gained with this plugin – I have enabled some of the Apache modules that were shown as “disabled” in the plugin’s control panel.