Tag Archives: Wordpress

An Email from WordPress

I’ve just had an email from WordPress telling me what a valuable member of the community I am and telling me that it’s almost my anniversary date. In other words, they want my money. For my money they will provide, amongst other meaningless claptrap, the “Ability to install plugins to give your site more functionality”.

If you remember the story, it was only the fact that I had the Business Plan that enabled me to install a plug-in and keep using WP after they made a number of alterations that made it virtually impossible for me to use the system. So, let’s get this straight, for £240 per annum I have access to plug-ins which, due to the “new and improved” editor system, allow me to carry on using an editor system that is worse than the one I used when I first joined in 2014. That’s progress . . .

However, it isn’t value for money and I have the feeling that I’m being taken to the cleaners.

I have been thinking that I should give the new editor a go now that I have  anew computer and Operating System, but I’m still not sure that I like being shoved around by WP. All the old negativity is coming back. If I go over to the new editor I may as well take this site down and start again with a  new plan – the Personal Plan at £3 a months seems good value and gives me all the features I currently use, apart from the lack of LIve Chat Support and the fact I’d have to get used to the new editor. For a saving of over £200 a year, I think I can do that.

I just need to think of a new name for the Blog and persuade about a dozen people to follow me across to it (the other 2,000 followers being a fictional way for WP to massage my ego, and keep my wallet open). It will, no doubt, play havoc with my photo storage, and I will have to drop back to posting a couple of times a week to reduce my need for photos, but it’s probably the way to go. It’s either that or start making money from blogging, but every time I look at doing that I realise I don’t know what they are talking about. This is a shame as, from what they say in their adverts, these top bloggers are making a fortune. Most of the fortune, of course, comes from gullible people like me who think there is money to be made from blogging.

I did get an e-book from Amazon about how to be a prolific, high-earning writer on the web, and it seems to involve writing lots of poor quality novellas (at the rate of one  month). It doesn’t really get me any closer to earning money, but it does move me closer to understanding why their are so many pitifully poor quality cozy mysteries on Kindle.

Mystery

There are certain things in life that will always be a mystery, such as why things I put down in one room appear, after months of looking, in a completely different room. I haven’t moved them, and Julia hasn’t moved them, so how does this happen?

If I suggest that Julia might be being inaccurate in her recollection, I end up in trouble. If I nod wisely and suggest that we must have a ghost that likes moving my stuff about, I also get into trouble. If I suggest that we must have a stranger living in the attic, the one who never replaces the toilet rolls and empty toothpaste tubes, I also…well, you get the picture.

A similar mystery is why WordPress suddenly decides to send comments to my Spam folder. So, welcome back Lavinia and Malkie.  Not every recent comment had been filtered out, just some, which makes it all very strange. And that, readers, is why there might be multiple comments on the same subject from these two. They haven’t become unusually verbose, they have just posted multiple times to register a comment. There is probably some cosmic plot afoot to prevent us all commenting at the same time and tearing a hole in the space-time continuum with our fearsome combined intelligence.

I’ve just, by coincidence, been reading an article on traits of highly intelligent people and Lavinia qualifies because she has cats. I didn’t realise that, but of you think about it, the decision to buy something that needs long walks in bad weather and holds the fate of your soft furnishings in its dribbling mouth, is not as intelligent as the decision to get a cat.  Malkie, of course, is famous for his top hat. I don’t think I need to say more. This is not the headgear of an idiot. As for me, I have an untidy workspace. That is a sign of genius, as I just told Julia. She seems unconvinced. However, bearing in mind the vocabulary she exhibited in telling me this, and the fact that bad language is also, it seems, a sign of high intelligence, it would appear that I married a genius. .

I won’t post a link as I made the msutake of not noting it down when I found it – now I can’t find it again. There are plenty of them about if you just google it. I may be tall, have blue-eyes, be the the oldest sibling etc,, but I’m still not smart enough to remember to make notes.

 

Monday, a Day of Promise

I rose at a moderate time, washed up and made breakfast. I tried to make Julia a heart-shaped fried egg but the egg didn’t quite spread inside the frame and then it started to stick to the pan and in the end it looked like three-quarters of an egg, as long as you knew it was supposed to be an heart. If you didn’t know what it was meant to be you wouldn’t have known what it was. My own egg was much more successful as I set out to produce an odd-shaped free-form fried egg with crispy bits, and that was exactly what I ended up with.

Once they were shoved into a cob with bacon and mushrooms it didn’t matter what shape they were. All that matters to me is that my yolk is hard. I don’t really like runny yolks at the best of times but they are a hazard to shirt fronts when used in a sandwich. Julia likes her yolk soft, but as my wife of thirty years, she is accustomed to disappointment.

 

I have read the comments on my posts, added the word ‘cyanosis’ to one and added a couple of lines to another.

My first post of the day is now done, my new medication has been delivered by a hospital volunteer and Julia is clinking with menace as she sorts jam jars and emanates expectations. She wants me to start filling the skip with bits of shed. She has dragged it to the driveway and it is now time for me to do my bit. I will potter out to offer support and supervision in a moment, then come back to this.

By the magic of WordPress I am now back.

She had been struggling to dismantle a bookcase which had suffered from years of standing in a leaky shed and is therefore un-salvageable. This is the sad state of quite a lot of stuff, including things that had been safely stored in the dry garage last time I saw them. Married men will recognise the note of pain in my writing.

Anyway. the bookcase fell apart from a few taps with a rubber mallet. If I had been able to access a proper hammer it would have taken considerably fewer taps. With a proper Enoch I reckon one blow would have done it. That’s right, when I am in full swing, we are never far from a Luddite link.

Last night, whilst relaxing, I started to read WordPress. I haven’t really done that for years now. It was a very pleasant experience. I’m going to write another few posts to top my total up to two thousand then I’m going to cut back on posting and increase my reading.

Don’t get me wrong – I like all the blogs I read, but I’ve been limited in the last few years and have struggled even to keep up with sporadic reading of my regulars. Given a little more time I’m going to enjoy more reading, particularly as I was able to catch up with a few people I haven’t read for years.

Despite the weather, which features a cold breeze and a threatening low grey sky, I’m feeling quite sunny today, and am hoping that this frame of mind persists.

I’m going to throw in a few cheerful flower photographs from Harlow Carr Gardens and make beans on toast for lunch.

All photographs are irises in spring from our visits to Harlow Carr Garden, apart from the header which is Julia in the Mencap garden at Wilford.

Musings

If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, I have just loaded 12,000 words from my photos to this post. The theme of my 12,000 words is, initially, that although WordPress can, it seems, develop a new improved editor, they cannot work out a system to allow me to access photos from old posts. They charge me for unlimited photo storage every year but I note, on an old post, that some photos have disappeared. I also note that if I want to access photos from old posts it gets progressively more difficult as I get back beyond a couple of weeks. Once past that the system starts to grind and lock up and flick back to newer photos. At that point it is easier to give up or to search out old posts and either link to them or recopy the photos. That is what I did with the last post.

It would have been a much more exciting post if I had been able to simply access the photos by scrolling down the media file.

If I could access old photos easily, this post would be more interesting too. However, due to the clunky and ineffective scrolling system I can only really access photos from the last couple of weeks. They are nice enough photos but they lack a bit of variety, you have seen them all recently, and they are not necessarily my better flower photos.

If I were developing a proper 12,000 word piece, I would then move on to muse on the mutability of life and how we change and improvement are not the same things. Life is simply a jerk progression, like the WP photo storage, where we jerk from one imperfection to the next. The final display is, like our lives, a poor reflection of the quality of material available, which has been severely limited by circumstances beyond our control. I think that makes sense, though it may just be self-absorbed twaddle. If that’s the case let’s agree to call it “deep”. That’s a useful neutral word to cover many eventualities.

 

There are several things I could move on to discuss as an ending. Cooking with arthritis is a current topic of interest. As a condition, not as an ingredient. Despite the new medication my fingers are actually getting worse. More fingers are being affected and more joints within those fingers are being affected. The index finger on my right hand now has painful swellings in all three joints and I could probably find hand modelling work as something out of Lord of the Rings or for those appalling Versus Arthritis adverts we now have on TV.

It seems to me that the name Versus Arthritis was developed by an idiot and approved, probably at great cost, by a board of idiots. Same goes for the TV adverts they run. In fact, despite the advertising I have spent the last two years not seeking help from them because the adverts are so bad. Today is the first time I’ve actually been on their site, and though some of the stuff appears useful, I may not rush back.

I was amused to see that one of the organisations that merged to form Versus Arthritis was formed in 1947 as the British Rheumatic Association (BRA). Even in 1947 I’m sure bra was a well known term for women’s underwear. Assuming that the organisation wasn’t formed by 14-year-old boys, it looks like the pitiful naming tradition has continued over the years.

Cooking with arthritis used to mean that my fingers ached after kneading bread. Now it means I can’t grip a vegetable peeler properly, can’t (on bad days) cut through veg single-handed and can’t fetch and carry without using both hands, as my grip has gone.

Tonight’s tea is roasted veg with pasties, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. I may be arthritic, and dreading the new improved editor but I’m not malnourished.

Note on the Dominic Cummings cut-out I mentioned a few days back (though I can’t actually find the reference, so I may just have thought I mentioned it). It was taken down but my sister sent me a links after seeing something on Twitter. Here is a link if you want it. I find it amusing, even if the story is now dead and brushed under the carpet.

And at just over 700 words, I think there is just time to sign off, and take my tea, carefully, from the oven.

Gratitude

I’ve just been looking at how to write a Gratitude Journal.  There are mixed views on the best way to do this but one way which is, according to a research study, very effective, is to write a list of three things just once a week. It seems that less is more in this area. Al the information is on the link. Having established that minimal effort produced good results, I stopped reading.

So, here we are. Three things for me to feel gratitude for.

One, fruit crumble. We had apple and dried apricot crumble last night. It was a decision aided by the presence of just one apple and the remains of a bag of dried apricots. The rhubarb is currently looking a bit sparse and needs time to revive. We have, in truth, picked too much. We have been neglecting it, so a good measure of manure will be needed this autumn.

On the crumble, we had custard. We have been having either cream or milk or nothing with it, depending on the supply situation. They are all pleasant ways to eat crumble but custard is the best.

The fact that I have plenty of food, and Julia to cook it for me, are the icing on the cake. This is perhaps not the best figure of speech to employ at this point, but it puts things across nicely, even if it is culinarily confusing. The spellchecker doesn’t like ‘culinarily’, but it is a proper word, so hard cheese.

Two, my health. It might not be the first thing you expect me to say. I’m obese, hypertensive and arthritic with a variety of other faults that keep me involved with doctors and phlebotomists, but in general I’m OK and while I may not make 91 like my Dad, I’m not feeling too bad at the moment. In fact, I’m feeling downright perky at the moment. It could, of course, be a lot better.

I should. I suppose, be ashamed of myself for getting into this state. However, let it never be said that I have gone to my grave with a song still in me. When I am old and huddled in front of Countdown, I will have many a disreptuble memory to bring an enigmatic smile to my lips.

Three – WordPress. What would be the point of writing all this if nobody read it? Or if there was nobody to discuss it with? Plus, I can be nosey, and live several lives apart from my own. Within moments of switching on the computer I can be riding my cycle in the Scottish borders, walking in the New Forest or sitting my Maine woodland garden. Or watching the Oregon sunset with my cats, making demented videos with an iconic yellow bear or gardening in Leeds.

There is just so much to do and so many people to see. And that’s before I start on the other sites. My grasp of American military history, with associated cartoons, and the archaeology of death is now much better than it used to be, as is my gardening and cookery knowledge.

Without the writers of WordPress my lockdown would be a dreadfully dull and lonely place.

That, I think, will do. It seems you can wear your gratitude out if you use it too much, and I don’t want to risk it.

 

 

 

Looking Back, and a False Start

I’m not having a good time at the moment, having just wiped out an entire post just as I was giving it a final edit. WordPress has been refusing to save on a regular basis recently, so there was no previous version to reinstate. It’s been a minor irritant in the last month or so, but after this I’m going to have to sort it out.

Has anybody else noticed this problem?

It isn’t just the annoyance of losing 350 words, which took some writing, as I’m not particularly swift today. It’s also that I feel posterity has been robbed, because the second version never seems as good. The second version, I always feel, should be more polished, but it never seems to be the case; I never seem to be able to recreate a post to my satisfaction.

That is why I’m not going to write about my adventures with Scotch Bonnets, compressors and boiling water just now. I will get back to it later but now isn’t the time.

I may as well just look back on the week – a walk round the duck pond, a damp day in Derbyshire, some new words, birds at Rufford Abbey, some weather and 12 hours bottling jerk seasoning. It’s been, to say the least, an up and down sort of week.

I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s been a case of two steps forward and one step back, as I don’t seem to be achieving much. The exercise is just making me ache and feel old instead of making me fitter and, at the same time, I’m slipping back to eating carbs. Time for a hard look at my life again.

Having reviewed my week, albeit briefly, I’m now going to add a selection of photos from last week and call it a retrospective.