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Web Site Update – February 2020

Hi everyone,

I hope the first part of the year has been sprinkled with some challenges (because we grow from them) and some small or big successes.

As for an update, I spent most of the month of January redesigning my Web site, I first launched this site about 15 years ago, and our son, Josh, helped create the original graphics for the site. The main purpose of the site is to introduce learners to a variety of idioms and slang that they might hear in conversation or in see in the media (e.g., movies, the newspaper, books, and magazines). It was a fun project to do with family, including my brother, wife, and oldest daughter. I hope you find it useful.

My plans, as they have been for the past 20 years, is to create something useful and meaningful for teachers and language learners, and to have fun in the process.

I also want to share some background information that could help users if the encounter problems with the site. Specifically, I had someone contact me this week about not being able to access one of my sites. It wasn’t that the site wouldn’t play an audio file, but an error message (a forbidden 403 error) appeared. For teachers, it might be that the site loads on their phones, but in the computer lab where they are working with students, this message appears on the students’ computers.

So, what can this issue be? Well, in order to prevent attacks by hackers on a server, settings on the server can be put into place to block unauthorized access. However, sometimes, the server might perceive an attack, but being as cautious as it may, it can block completely legitimate activity. When this happens, everyone using the site from a particular IP address might not be able to access the site. I generally error on the side of safety to my sites, but if this ever happens to you, just describe your situation and your IP address (a number of Web sites can look up your IP for you), and I will remove your IP on the block list to get you going again.

So if you see a forbidden 403 error (and you still can access the site from a different location on a different IP address), then contact me.

I’m sure you can imagine the amount of work it takes to run Web sites, and I appreciate your understanding if this ever happens to you.