Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"What I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house."
― Edward Hopper

Wordfence… Taking Down Nginx And Php5-fpm Every 6 Hours

I set up a new server at Digital Ocean several weeks ago. As part of that I switched to nginx and php5-fpm and tweaked the performance. I’m still looking for the sweet spot in stability and performance in this setup, but overall it’s been very fast.

I set up two monitoring services four days ago to watch stability and load times and to make certain the site stayed up. One of those services showed a constant uptime except for known downtimes. The other service… It showed down times after a couple of days at what looked to be regular intervals.


I managed to log in at the beginning of one of these slow-or-no-load times and found:

2015/07/19 18:25:08 [error] 3069#0: *124530 upstream timed out (110: 
Connection timed out) while reading response header from upstream, client:, server:, request: 
"GET /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=wordfence_doScan&isFork=1&cronKey=2e8 HTTP/1.0", 
upstream: "fastcgi://unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock", 
host: ""

Over and over and over, wordfence has been regularly overloading the php5-fpm sockets. I disabled the plugin (there are many other ways to accomplish the same thing without this plugin), and the graph is now level and clean, without the periodic spikes in load times. And no messages in the logs.


Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

Shiny New Server...

Shiny New Server…


Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

A metaphor for: “I think you should leave. Do not pause or delay while you are leaving.” Generally used when the addressed has been complaining about circumstances that the listener doesn’t agree with. It comes from a time when doors were on spring hinges and if you paused in the doorway while exiting, the door would spring closed behind you and hit you on the backside.

from Urban Dictionary

I love making things work right. My website ends up being an obsession every once in a while. It’s an exercise in directed attention, a graphic design emphasis I don’t do as an artist very often right now.

I was getting frustrated because my hosting company had several outages system wide over the past few weeks. This happened often enough that I set up monitoring to start to find out what was happening when I wan’t looking. Even once those major outages were resolved I kept finding my site unavailable for several minutes at different times during the day. The tech people there said it was locking up because something was using up all the memory I was allotted, freezing everything else and taking the website down until the memory usage dropped back into a more normal range and other processes could function. It was hard to resolve, because they would tell me how much memory I would have to work with if I went to the next pricing level, but not what I was allotted at present. Sigh.

I profiled the site with some performance tools, and found some things to fix, but nothing that stood out as a runaway memory hog. And overall the whole site felt sluggish even when it was working. So… Rather than hmmm and hah, and continue to complain – new hosting.

I use a French company as a domain registrar because their contract was rated one of the most advantageous for the domain owner, fair and reasonable and clear. They’ve been outstanding. They started hosting just after I switched the last time, and I would have gone with them then if they had been up and running and taking customers. Their prices have been reasonable, and that extended to their hosting. According to Pingdom, I went from slower than 87% of other websites to faster than 79% of other websites. I’ll take that, it looks alot more professional when your site opens and loads effectively and fast.

So, that’s been the last couple of days. Backing up and restoring mysql databases, transferring and compressing web images, fixing broken links, profiling plugins and finding and fixing bugs or finding replacements.

So far this has been very much worth the unexpected work.

— spence

ADDED 10 November 2016:

This worked for quite awhile. The French company gradually changed their pricing model and it became a bit expensive for my needs. I had 9 GB of space to work with, they used a point system to bill against resource usage and network traffic.

I moved on to Digital Ocean. $20/month, so far excellent uptime, I switched to MariaDB and nginx instead of apache and mysql. All good changes and the site responsiveness went way up.

art wet…

WordPress Stats gives me a view of what search terms cause people to find this site. That’s interesting.

For example: "art wet"


Why? With what intent?

Are we talking “wet canvas”, which is an actual issue for oil painters? One artist (who paints in thick impasto style in oils) has a note on the work that is for sale. It says “drying time may be required”. Most definitely.

I painted a couple of color studies, colors #1 and colors #2, in oils, quite thick. The surface of colors #2 was not solid enough to varnish for two full years. Two full years!

There is Wet Canvas, an online community for artists. A slightly dyslexic interpretation in search, maybe that was what the searcher was trying to find? It is one of the better art communities, and part of the inspiration for the title “nude on a wet canvas”.

With “art wet” as the search, today in google you get Sound Art- Wet Sounds: Festival of Underwater Sounds; Dance.Draw -Exquisite Interaction. Art. Dance. Underwater dance. Which leads to Wet Sounds 2008: A Festival of Underwater Sounds- I want to go!.

You have to get the context of this search string

fantasy nude women
plugin for opera ie
art wet
frank frazetta
female sexual drawings
drink coffee do stupid things faster wit
picasso sexual
fantasy women
cleaning artist brushes
frank frazetta nudes

This brings to mind my SPAM mailbox. It has 30 pieces in it today – here are the titles…

White Paper:Data Privacy Best Practices? - Please open the online version of this message if the html is not correctly displayed
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Incredible Offers from Hasselblad?
Watch yourserlf in this video man)? - Watch
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Make her climax multiple times.? - Family Doctor The
world bank? - Do Not consolidate your debt EliminateE it! Legally ELIMINATE your creditt card and other �
Saved Search Results Deals
HP Entertainment Notebook = $549.99, Westinghouse 32" HDTV = $399.99, RCA Headphones = ...? - Weekly Deals
Breakfast news
Spray to boost female drive? - Family Doctor The"
I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY? - I received encouraging information about you and how trust worhty
I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY? - I received encouraging information about you and how trust worhty you are. I am delighted with �
Most recommended solution for most intimate male problems.? - Why choose the Canadian over a US or UK Online Chemist?
Vavolo PowerMaster Green Laser 50% Off - This Month Only!?
Book Club
If your wife became cold, light the fire in her again with female enhancers.? - What's your HALL of SHAME? The safe way to treat your most embarassing aiments �
ViagraFrom$36/pack, CailisFrom$45/pack, USA based Safe & Fast F.D.A Approved medicines ..
Blowout watches sale! Swiss ETA movement, High quality!! 30 Days Return Offer
SAVE $10 Sitewide at our Weekend Sale--NO Exceptions!? - Can't see everything?
Increase your libido and desire?
A.U GOLD DUST OFFER? - ALLUVIAL GOLD DUST OFFER I hereby write to propose a business offer in alluvial gold dust from
med online? - Healthcare online here
health? - Healthcare online here
Give her best stimulation?
One Time Big Discount: Valiun, Xamax, Ambienv, Phemtermin37.5mg uksc al? - LowPrice pharmacy with Big selection on hot
?Time to be a MAN.

There’s some balance here. It’s not all sex, just perhaps 35%.

In the 1910’s and 1920’s Picasso and other artists put “Jolie!” and “Bass” and other word strings, that seem romantic. To capture the love/lust/culture today you would need a collage with the strings from SPAM, and from sexual references, explicit piercings, to convey it.

A painting of abstract vaguely sexual forms and the words “ART” & “WET” stenciled in there somewhere. Maybe the clarity is in the forms around piercings, the rest undefined and left to the imagination. Abstract but with enough form to ask for interpetation.


— spence


new lightbox plugin and Opera and IE work

I replace the light box plugin with this version that works without throwing secure and non-secure item errors in Internet Explorer.

This version sets an absolute position in the lightbox.css file – therefore it also resolved the Opera web browser positioning error. This one change fixes both issues.

— spence


NOTE 20081001 Wednesday:

It’s back. This seems to be lightbox plugin – if you load the page in firefox 3, and go to tools -> page info -> media, you can find the images loading incorrectly by looking for “http”. The errant images are loaded by lightbox. I have NOT fixed this as yet, at some point it will come back up and I’ll work through it.

— munsinger

IE errors… sigh. and Opera.


image of ie error

With the new site design comes a new set of problems. I worked on screen resolution errors over the weekend. Now on trying Internet Explorer 6 I get the above error. Very annoying. I have a checklist for resolving it – this isn’t a certificate issue, at least, this is a request issue. Some part of the page loads from an http (non-secure) source, the trick is finding it, and it may be an internal page error from Internet Explorer itself – Internet Explorer considers its own error to be insecure. Possibly that’s right…

It is about as annoying as Microsoft Vista asking every second task “Do you want to allow this access?”

In Mozilla Firefox none of this occurs. I’ll try and fix it anyway, but ideally you would be using Firefox and never see this at all.

firefox logo firefox.

The checklist is…

  • Change all http:// resource links to https://. The doctype is not a problem. All others (images, css, javascripts, iframe pages) should be https://.
  • Change all about:blank links (yep, these are unsecure) to a blank file that exists and is a https:// link.
  • Install Fiddler and check if there are any hidden requests to http:// (it won�t show https:// requests with the default setting). Change them to https://
  • Check if any iframes have # for src or the src is left blank. Change them to something that is a https:// link and exists. Looks like # is actually an alias to about:blank.
  • Find any resources that return an error. This one is tricky since it�s not really easy to set up an SSL proxy. Try checking the server�s access logs.

This should be an interesting problem – none of the obvious code requests an insecure piece…� Hopefully I’ll have this resolved in a day or so.

On testing Opera 9.5 I found that the front page text widget won’t load the gallery effect (lightbox) – however – the painting and photography pages allow this to work perfectly… More javascript and xhtml code delving.�� “View page source” is your friend.

opera logoOpera.

— spence

-UPDATE 20080707 Monday –

Opera, anyway, is a positioning problem – the lightbox effect is centered on the WHOLE page, not just the visible portion.� It works in all pages, but the initial front� page buries the effect in the center of the entire web page – if you scrolled down about four screens, there it would be. The paintings.html� page is short enough to show the lightbox effect vertically centered – where the index/front page shown vertically centered is useless. �At least that problem is defined…

The secure non-secure error is a bit tougher – using fiddler in https proxy mode, NONE (really, none) of the connections made are insecure, there aren’t any missing images, no errors that should cause mixed secure/ non-secure content.� However – if I turn the lightbox plugin (javascript that enables gallery effect) off, the error disappears…� Turn it back on – the errors reappear… so somewhere in that plugin there is the creation of and actual non-secure item or the apparency of such a creation.� Very interesting.

And – disabling lightbox plugin and enabling slimbox (similar effect, but the transition effect isn’t quite as clean) removes the errors as well.� New checklist…

  • check for opera positioning fix for lightbox effect (in this case slimbox behaves just as badly in the browser).
  • go through lightbox plugin and if possible remove the non-secure item call
  • test other versions of the lightbox plugin to see if they throw the secure/non-secure error in Internet Explorer
  • other versions of this effect until resolved


thumbnail of hand

This effect seems to be becoming a standard. I’ve seen this set of scripts on several sites, allowing a look similar to what can be achieved with straight css, but better for image presentation. It is very effective. The first step in using it was this integration with wordpress…

Lightbox 2 WordPress Plugin is the plugin I found that actually does work out of the box without alteration.

There is a lighter and possibly better version of this effect called slimbox – but the wordpress plug-in fails to just work, unfortunately. ALL of the plugin versions seem to fail. Sigh. Lightbox it is, at least for now.

MORE – I set up a bare-bones test website, with a raw, unhacked version of wordpress, without the css hacking that integrated wordpress, and found that the slimbox plug-in DOES work in that framework. This is good – this gives me a starting point for re-working this. When I developed this site it started with “desire for something better than the previous” to “learning css” to “enamored of css and using css almost exclusively” to “frustrated with hacking css and setting up multiple css files for each kind of page” to “add some kind of weblog software” to “adding wordpress” to “learning php” to “hmmm… what’s this lightbox effect?” to here and now.

The next re-work of the site has several targets/goals:

  • 1 to 3 css stylesheets in total – preferably one
  • which allows color themes and theme changes with some ease
  • lightbox OR slimbox effect in both wordpress and website outside of wordpress
  • tighter integration between wordpress and site
  • pages rewritten to encompass slimbox/lightbox effect
  • form page for contact and/or comment email, including mailing list addition box

— spence