Turns out the email notifications for many of our comments of the past two months were lost somewhere on the intertubes. I just freed up a big ole’ logjam of comment goodness. So sorry if it appeared we didn’t want to approve your comment. Lots of new comments are now sprinkled throughout the past couple months of posts.

Time to De-Lurk!!

Ok, Readers, it’s YOUR turn to talk! It has been brought to my attention that National De-lurking Day was exactly two Thursdays ago, so I am a little slow on this one, but seeing as how it’s House of Horne’s first time to celebrate, y’all won’t hold that against us, will ya?

If you visit here and never (or rarely) leave a comment, take a minute to stop and say hello today!! We would love to know who (besides Grammy Ruth and Peter) is reading!


*edited to add: Oh, and I certainly shouldn’t have implied that regular commenters should refrain from doing so. To all my little regulars: Y’all say howdy, too!! For the rest of you: you know who you are. And I know you are out there based on my stats page. C’mon now, don’t be shy!! Step on up, and just say “hi”!

Sorry for the cheese…way too much sleep deprivation going on around our house this week!


For those of you using WordPress, you are probably as grateful as I am for Akismet, a terrific comment spam filter built into the application. Most comment spam just gets swept away, with only a very few being sent up for moderation due to some trouble detecting the true nature of the comment.

Now here is the bizarro-world hole in Akismet that I have discovered these past few months. Probably 99% of the comment spam that got passed along for moderation instead of being automatically removed by Akismet involved one post: Nicolas versus the f**tbo**d. I finally got sick of it and turned off comments on that post.

And where did the comment spam immediately begin slipping through again? You guessed it: New H**dbo**d for Abigail’s Bed. What the heck?!? I get comment spam all over the site, but somehow entries with a f**tbo**d or h**dbo**d just slip right through. I’m shutting down the comments on the h**dbo**d post as well, a simple enough solution, but this is just weird.

Now you know why I used ** throughout this post. Didn’t want to offer the comment spam another hole in Akismet.

Moving pictures

I suppose my link to our “photos” is a misnomer, as Picasa Web now supports short videos. I added a couple to an album I uploaded last night to see how it works. Very easy to use… you simply select and upload them like a normal picture from within Picasa. Here’s an example. I suggest you select “Original Size” from the drop down menu, as these are low-res camera videos.


You’ll find the pictures at the top of the page now change quite a bit and are linked back to the photo album. If you use WordPress (for blogging) and Picasa (for photos), it is pretty easy to set up. There are several Picasa plugins for WordPress. I’m using PicasaWeb. Here’s the code snippet I used to add it to my template:

<div id=”toppictures”>
<? picasaWeb(array(“username”=>”jaytricia”, “showRandomAlbum”=>true, “random”=>true, “num”=>5, “size”=>160));?>

That “toppictures” id has some critical attributes when applied to images. Here’s how it is defined in the stylesheet:

#toppictures img {
padding: 0;
border: 0;
margin: 0;

Picasa can only feed thumbnails of a certain size, and the landscape versus portraits don’t align well. On top of that, I need the images to be exactly 150 pixels wide (times 5 images equals the 750 pixels of width I have to work with). So I start with the 160 pixel size image via PicasaWeb and then max the height and width to 150 pixels. That “overflow” attribute is critical. It says, “hide any part of the picture that exceeds the height and width”.

So with those few lines I have a random assortment of pictures, some portrait, some landscape, all cropped to 150 pixels by 150 pixels on the fly.

WordPress up and running

I think I’ve got the site now fully functional using WordPress. To put the new comment spam capabilities I’ve added with WordPress through their paces, I’ve turned on comments on all the posts in the archive… we’re about to find out how well Akismet works.

If there is a post or two in the archive to which you’ve always wanted to add your two cents, now is your chance.

Porting to WordPress

I’m in the midst of porting from MovableType to WordPress. Though I’m not done by any means, I’ve switched the front page over to the WordPress version to make it easier to port/test. Watch you step.

New banner

Yes, I finally updated the pictures at the top. And for the record, our three year old is not as tall as his seven year old sister. I decided to crop each picture to maximize the detail rather than attempting to crop them so they appeared in their relative sizes.

If you know the password, you can view all the photos from the photo shoot on our photo site. If you don’t know the password, but we know you, feel free to shoot us an email and we’ll pass it along.

New photo site

For those of you who have not yet followed the photo link on the main page, I have been working for several weeks on a new photo site. I’ve switched to Smugmug and have been thrilled with the capabilities of the site (shameless plug: if you happen to join, please enter “” for the referral and you’ll get $5 off… and we’ll get $10 off our renewal).

Anyway, I’ve been in the process of uploading all 4750 photos we’ve taken since buying our Canon G2 back in October of 2002. Most of the albums are currently password protected. Over time, we may change that, but for now, if you are a family/friend, send us an email if you’d like access to the locked albums.

Watch your step

I have begun the arduous task of revamping House of Horne… the only thing more arduous would be to attempt a flash-cut to the new look. Instead, I’m opting for the slow roll, so expect a host of dead links for the next few days.