One year wiser today

Time is a precious commodity, of which we have a limited supply. So many people fall into the trap of merely existing and not living to their full potential. Wow, I’ve heard that phrase a lot throughout my life. At some point in your existence, you’ll start to understand what that means, and start living.I love martial arts, any form of it. Personally, I practice Brazillian Jiu-jitsu and you learn so many valuable life lessons from it.

Here are a few that I’ve learned, that apply to your life, as well as the mat.

Time – more specifically, timing. There is a time and a place for everything. Just because something does not work right now, does not mean it will never work.

Seize opportunities. You only get one chance at it. Life works pretty much the same, you’ll be given an opportunity, what you do with it, is up to you. Let it pass you by, and you might never be so lucky again.

Grow some balls. Life is tough and unfair, deal with it. Some days the new kids who are younger, more athletic, but less experienced, will kick your ass. Don’t go sit in the corner and cry, acknowledge the fact that in that specific situation they were better than you, learn from it, and move on.

Confidence is the key to much success in life. People can smell confidence, it’s like a powerful fragrance. Once you have it, nothing can stop you.

Get comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Put yourself in situations where you think you’ll fail. The more you practice / think of worst case scenarios, the more prepared you’ll be if it happens one day.

Learn from other people’s mistakes. I like having conversations with elderly people, they have so much wisdom and life experience. They can give you advice on mistakes that they’ve made, that you haven’t even thought of yet.

Appreciate the relationships you form. Meeting good people nowadays is rare, making friends with good people is a privilege.

Get all posts for custom taxonomy in WordPress

I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff over at UltimateVelocity and I want to share one thing that caught me out quite a bit recently.

When getting all the posts associated with a custom taxonomy, you should use this codex example.

<?php
$args = array(
	 'posts_per_page' => 8,
	 'orderby' => 'rand',
	 'post_type' => 'albums',
	 'genre' => 'jazz',
	 'post_status' => 'publish'
);
$show_albums = get_posts( $args );
?>

If you want to return all the posts, simply replace

'posts_per_page' => 8

with

'posts_per_page' => -1

Also, by default, the function only returns 5 posts, if if you omit to specify ‘posts_per_page’, you will see just 5 posts returned and you will be puzzled as to why.

Running: Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:11:58

Today I had one of my best 10 km runs in about three months. All the stars aligned, weather was perfect, no wind and I was well rested. I’m still not able to come close to my personal best of 00:50:05 though, I had an average pace of 4:55 per km during that run. I have no clue how I managed that.

 

  • Activity: Running
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Duration: 00:51:04
  • Average Speed: 11.75 kmh
  • Average Pace: 05:06 min/km

A couple of things I learned

I like sharing my life lessons with other people that are interested enough to listen. Here are a couple that I’d like to share with you today.

 

  • Don’t judge people you have a professional relationship with. I’m specifically referring to your colleagues, but this can relate to anyone you do business with. You don’t know them personally, so you have no idea what their situation is at home. People always bring their home problems to the office.
  • On that same note, don’t make business decisions based on emotion, rather make those decisions based on facts.
  • Keep your friends close and keep the people you don’t like even closer.
  • Have genuine conversations with people. It helps you connect with them.
  • Don’t worry if someone does something better than you can. Give them credit for it and immediately you did something that they could not do.

Stay vigilant

Silly season is almost upon us and this is usually the time of the year that you have to start looking over your shoulder. Mall robberies are on the increase as well as breaking and entering. If you walk down the street there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings, if something seems out of place take it as a sign of danger.
  2. Look everyone in the eye. If a criminal knows you know what they look like, they are less likely to attack you for fear that you will recognize them later on.
  3. If you look like a victim, you will likely become one. Don’t look scared or afraid, give the impression that you will fight back if they should try and attack you.
  4. Everything goes in a street fight. Anything can become a weapon.
  5. Practice in your mind what you are going to do if faced with an attacker or robber, be prepared.
  6. Carry a bottle of pepper-spray.

I had a situation the other day right in front of my office building.  As I approached the front door to unlock I saw a neatly dressed gentlemen walking towards me. I knew something was wrong immediately and stepped back to create some space between us. He grabbed the door handle to try and gain entry. I pushed him out of the way, went inside and locked the glass door behind me. I then proceeded to question him through the glass door and found his stores to he incoherent, he was clearly under the influence of narcotics. I phoned ADT and whilst waiting for more than 20mins for them to arrive tried to calm him down, as he was getting agitated.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to remain calm. As long as the other party does not have any weapons or endangers your life, try and diffuse the situation whilst keeping distance between yourself and the potential threat. Don’t get into a physical altercation if your aren’t acting is self defense. Reasoning with someone under the influence of drugs can be frustrating, but don’t take matters into your own hands. If you lay a hand on him, you can be charged with assault.

Stay safe out there.

The WordPress SEO hack

How does it work?Screen Shot 10-23-14 at 06.36 AM

What happens is that a malicious script is uploaded to your web server and is included somewhere in a WordPress header file. When someone clicks on search results from a search engine, and you are directed to your website, the malicious script picks up the referrer was a search engine and 301 redirects the user to somewhere else of their choosing. The 301 redirect tells Google that the URL has changed and Google automatically changes the old URL to the new one on their index.

How can I test if I’m compromised?

You can run this query in Google site:example.com [keyword]. The keyword is optional, if your site has a lot of indexed pages, it might be difficult to scroll through all the results looking for suspicious URL’s. You can just run through the usual list of “viagra”, “penis enlargement”, etc. to test if Google indexed

How do I fix it?

Look for any suspicious files in your web server public root. I was lucky enough to immediately spot a file called “wp-cofnig.php”.

The contents of this file, looked like this:

Screen Shot 10-23-14 at 06.43 AM

What I can suggest is that you run this command on your web server:

$ grep -irl “eval(” /path/to/your/wordpress/install/

This will search through all the WordPress files for “eval(“. Chances are that you could get a couple of legitimate results, but you’ll be able to spot the ones that should not be there if you have some experience.

Once you removed the malicious script, and a user clicks on the fake URL in the search results, they should no longer be redirected away from your site, but will rather now land your site and your 404 error page should be displayed.

How do I remove those fake links?

There are a few ways you can do this:

Risk vs. Reward

This is a topic very close to my heart. In life you get the cowboys, the guys who rush in where Angels fear to tread. You also get the more reserved type of person, who sits back and assesses the situation before making a move.

My whole life I’ve found myself to be the second type of person. I don’t make hasty decisions and so far that attitude has paid off. Some say that being ‘safe’ makes you boring. I don’t think so. Safe != predictable. If you take the time to study your situation or decision, you will realise what it impacts, and not always what but also, whom!

Deciding to take a gap and pull in front of a speeding bus trying to overtake the slow taxi in front of you on the highway is a good example of risk versus reward. The reward obviously being that you’re no longer behind the slow moving taxi and you can continue with your journey at a faster speed, getting to your destination sooner than you would otherwise. The risky bit is not knowing whether you can speed up fast enough to avoid the bus hitting your car from behind. If you’re not the only occupant in the vehicle, you’re taking a decision on someone else’s life, not just your own.

You have to know what you’re risking in order to know if the reward is greater than the risk. Paying R5 for a lotto ticket when you could potentially win millions doesn’t sound that risky. Fixing your own electrical problems in your house, might save you some money in the short term, but how safe is that in the long term?

I see the ability to think like this, and that it comes naturally to me, as a blessing, for which I am truly grateful. This does not only keep me alive (for much longer, at least), but also, helps me be good at my job!