WordPress Stay of Execution

Due to a great Black Friday deal on web hosting at my existing provider, I upgraded my plan to allow greater resource utilization. WordPress, you get a break until I can find the time to redesign the site.


WordPress on the Chopping Block Again

Despite my various attempts to optimize my site, I am unable to get resource utilization down to an acceptable level for my web hosting provider.

So, I have 48 hours to do something about it, or my site will be taken down. I’ve eliminated everything except the high I/O usage, which happens once or twice a day for only a minute or so. Problem is, I can’t get good detailed logs to figure out exactly what’s going on.

So, stand by to see what happens.

Mystic Heirloom Stamp Album

Old File Moves to Google Drive Part 2

OK, I took the last of the Mystic Heirloom hacks and moved them to my shared Google Drive.

The following pages can now be found there:

  • Page 131
  • Page 395
  • Page 445
  • Page 557
  • Page 607
  • Page 609
  • Page 631
  • Page 667
  • Page 779
  • Page 886

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

I got resource utilization down to reasonable levels for my hosting provider. So, the pressure is off to get the site moved off WordPress ASAP.

I still want to do it, but now I can take the time to do it properly and not rush to do it and do a half-baked job.

For the curious, if appears the Jetpack plugin for WordPress was one of the culprits.

I did the following things:

  1. I blocked a bunch of questionable bots using the Wordfence firewall.
  2. I switched from webcron to cron for WordPress.

Both of those things helped a little, but didn’t help enough to get to me to where I needed to be.

When I checked my logs I saw a LOT of calls back to So, on a whim, I disabled Jetpack. And within 15 minutes, I was no longer maxing out my CPU allotment. But I was still over my php script limit for the day. Another day, and everything seemed to be back to normal.

Mystic Heirloom Stamp Album

Mystic Heirloom Cleanup

Way back in 2012, when I started this site, I would post direct links to download my Mystic Hacks directly from files stored on my website.

Later, I switched to using Google Drive.

Well, it seems some of those older pages never made it from direct links to my Google Drive. The files have always been available. But you had to find my post and download the file from there.

I’m cleaning that up now.

The following Mystic Hacks are now available on my Google Drive:

  • Page 353 Hack
  • Page 387 Hack
  • Page 627 Hack
  • Page 629 Hack
  • Page 637 Hack
  • Page 649 Hack
  • Page 667 Hack
  • Page 701 Hack
  • Page 839 Hack

I’m sure I will find more tomorrow.


Accelerating the Removal of WordPress

My site is using an unusually high amount of resources, and my hosting provider wants to charge a lot more for my hosting now.

I don’t think this is because Ukrainian stamp collecting has suddenly become insanely popular. It’s because bots are trying to attack the site since it’s WordPress.

I have several options available, but they all cost more than I am willing to pay. So, the best course of action is to abandon WordPress. In the future, you will see a completely new website. I just need to work out the details on how people can sign up to get updates to the site.

WordPress has been a great platform, but it has a pretty big attack surface. There are some great tools now that let you maintain static websites easily. I think that’s the way to go.

Stay tuned for updates.

Community US Stamp Album Pages

Introducing the Community US Stamp Album 2006 Supplement

Changes Going Forward

This took longer than I wanted it to, but it’s finally done. This supplement has some changes in it, but this is the “final form” of the Community US Stamp album. All future supplements will use this layout. All previous supplements will be retrofitted and re-released when I find time.

First, I am no longer breaking up stamps into commemorative, definite, special and airmail stamps. Everything just goes in release order for the year.

Second, each stamp box has a smaller 20% gray box in it. This SHOULD BE the size of the mount. It’s there to help you center the stamp mount. 20% grey is light enough that it’s not noticeable if it sticks out from under the mount.

Third, for stamps with multiple Scott major numbers for the same design, the text explaining what’s different about each stamp will be above the stamp image and below the date.

I take all release dates from the US Postal Bulletin. If the Scott Catalog and the US Postal Bulletin are in conflict, I will always go for the US Postal Bulletin.

A Specific Note About This Supplement

2006 saw the release of the Wonders of America 40 stamp se-tenant sheet. One of my cardinal rules is to NEVER break up se-tenants. So, the page for this stamp has a 300 DPI image of the sheet, along with the name, date and description. The bottom of the page has a PDF form box that lets you type in the location of where the sheet is stored. For example, for my sheet, I typed in Full Sheet Album, Page 8.

Scott Numbers

Nothing has changed regarding Scott Numbers. I don’t have a license from Amos to use them, because they won’t grant me one. The entire supplement has Scott numbers in it, but before I release them, I make the Scott numbers white and then generate the PDF. If you want to use Scott numbers, you’ll need to learn a little Scribus and undo what I did.

And finally, here is a screenshot of the first page:

As usual, all files are on my Google Drive, which you can find here:

Community US Stamp Album Pages

A Note About The Community US Stamp Album Font

The Community US Stamp Album uses an open source font from Adobe called Source Sans Pro. Adobe renamed this font to Source Sans 3.

According to Adobe, this is a “breaking change,” meaning, if you have any documents that use Source Sans Pro, they will not automatically switch to Source Sans 3. You’ll get an error that the font is missing. If you’re using style sheets in your apps, you’ll just need to update the style sheets and your document will be fixed.

The change only really affects anyone who’s editing my Scribus files. I’m working on the 2006 supplement now, and needed to make the switch from Source Sans Pro to Source Sans 3.

The two fonts look IDENTICAL, since this is just a name change on Adobe’s part. Here’s hoping when version 4 of the font comes out, they don’t rename it to Source Sans 4.

Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album 2001 Supplement Re-Release

Spent some time this weekend and mounting 2001 Ukrainian Stamps and found some problems. Here’s what’s new:

  1. Ran the stamp descriptions through my ProWritingAid grammar checker. That fixed a LOT of typos and cleaned up grammar mistakes. There is nothing new in the descriptions. They’re just worded far better.
  2. Stamps are laid out in strict MICHEL order number.
  3. Removed the 4th Definitve Issue Stamps (158 III, 156 VI and 158 IV) because those stamps are not in the 2020/2021 Osteuropa Catalog.
  4. Fixed a bunch of stamp box sizes.
  5. There are two pages for the Red Book Fauna stamps. The copy I ordered from eBay was a vertical se-tenant. Almost all the pictures I see are for horizontal se-tenant. So, I made both pages. Print the one you need.

I overwrote the old file. All downloads can be found here:

Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album 2000 Supplement Re-Release

Fixed a lot of little things, including stamp box sizes, typos in the descriptions, and reordered the stamps the best I could in proper MICHEL catalog order number. I overwrote the old file.

You can find all the pages here: