WordPress Upgrade Blues

Sometime in the past week this site went buggy.

I am not sure what went wrong, but there have been a large number of upgrades rolling out…Plugins, WordPress Engine…Something just caused all of the dropdown menus used throughout WordPress to quit working.

I have already tried using a different, new install with the exact same results. The place this problem really shows up though is when you try to do anything with the sidebars of this site. You can’t do any thing at all on the widgets page…nada. No drag and drop, no open the second sidebar, nothing.

I have managed to cludge together a semi-fix by editing the actual sidebar files. So, until I manage to figure a way to fix the site, that will have to do.

So, for the time being, please pardon the dust…I hope to fix all of this soon.

WordPress Upgrade Blues

Sometime in the past week this site went buggy.

I am not sure what went wrong, but there have been a large number of upgrades rolling out…Plugins, WordPress Engine…Something just caused all of the dropdown menus used throughout WordPress to quit working.

I have already tried using a different, new install with the exact same results. The place this problem really shows up though is when you try to do anything with the sidebars of this site. You can’t do any thing at all on the widgets page…nada. No drag and drop, no open the second sidebar, nothing.

I have managed to cludge together a semi-fix by editing the actual sidebar files. So, until I manage to figure a way to fix the site, that will have to do.

So, for the time being, please pardon the dust…I hope to fix all of this soon.

It’s Sunday Morning – June 10, 20 O’Seven

I hope Charles Osgood doesn’t get upset with me for borrowing his date format. I have liked the way it sounds ever since he started using in, I think it was Twenty O’One…Sorry for the sparsity of posts. I have been playing with WordPress for a few days now, first on WordPress.Com and then with setting up a hosted site.

Just as a test blog I set up Coffee Muses on WordPress.Com with a play on the way so many of my posts here are titled. I liked the way the interface worked and the program seemed quite robust so I was posting mirror posts from North Carolina Mountain Dreams to try out WP. In the process I got to thinking about all of the posts I was doing at NCMD that had absolutely nothing to do with the NC mountains and everything to do with world news and Texas in general. It kinda made me think this might be a good time to rethink my blogs directions. I already had a hosting contract with GoDaddy from when I bought the name for NCMD, so I started thinking about setting up a WP blog on the hosted account. Which led me to running a search on the coffeemuses.com domain name. Since nobody was setting on it I decided to buy it and setup shop under that name for my daily “Coffee Muses” and go back to posting just “Mountain Dreams” at NCMD.

Needless to say, Saturday was taken up with installs and tweaks and more tweaks and edits till my wife was wondering what the hell I was doing here. She doesn’t understand the hold computers have on some people, especially me even though I have been buying and working and playing on them since the early 80’s. As a mater of fact, her biggest threat around here is to pull the plug on the internet ’cause she doesn’t see any benefit from using it. Anywho, I think I have the new site up and going well enough to start using it. I will be rolling over to it for my morning posts this next week. I’ll probably mirror both sites for a week or so till my brain can handle the new work process. NC Mountain Dreams will continue to be used, just more focused, and I’ll try to get in the habit of posting here (there) in the evenings. So if you have stuck with me this far, hang around through the transition, I hope to make it better…

On another note, my health is going to be intruding on my life more in the short term…Last week I had a lesion cut out and biopsied off my vocal cords. Turned out it was cancerous…It looks like we caught it early ( just not early enough for the person in my life that kept telling me for the past few months to go to the Dr.). I will be starting radiation treatments this coming week. Every weekday for six or seven weeks I’ll get to trek across town and put on a (looks kinda like a hockey) mask while they strap me down and zap my throat with atomic rays…The SciFi fan in me just had to say that…At some point there may come some days where I wont feel like putting my thoughts out here, and when I end up on leave, I may be posting a lot, so there could be days you want to tell me to shut up…Feel free. Everyone is very optimistic at this time that this will come out well, so I’m just going to continue to muddle through my life in the same fashion I have been and pray for the best…

Needless to say, our two weeks in the mountains above Valle Crucis just got canceled. I will miss the summer trek to the high altitudes and the cool nights. If you are looking for a great place to stay, we just released our cabin reservation. Go talk to the folks at Valle Crucis Log Cabin Rentals, they have been taking good care of us each year and I’m gonna miss ’em. If everything works out well this summer…We plan on trying to get out that way this fall. Neither Sherry nor I have ever really seen fall color. You just don’t get that down here in SE Texas…

Later all.

Lunch on the web

Still trying to find work a rounds for the new Blogger problems. I really like using Picasa, but not being able to post from Picasa is rough.

I am finding more that I like about Windows Live Writer (it’s another Beta) (and it posts to Beta, too). It also seems to have some pretty nice picture formatting abilities. And a spell checker that appears to reach out to word’s dictionary. Actually I’m using it here and on the preceeding post about Fred’s Cards.

I see Doug is still on the B+W run of images.  Looking Good…I like this quote:

Photography is a window into two worlds: The one that is and the one that we see. The two are not always the same.

Is this a good photograph? That depends on your point of view. I like it and that’s the point of view that counts most to me.

A List Apart: Articles: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web

I was cleaning up my bookmark list this morning and what usually happens when I try happened. I followed an old link that crashed. Then in trying to find a new clean link to the site I found a article that has more relevance to me now than when it was first published…

A List Apart: Articles: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web: “Snapshot :
Your information architecture is as smooth, clear, and inviting as a lake. Your design rocks. Your code works. But what keeps readers coming back is compelling writing that’s continually fresh and new. Updating daily content can challenge the most dedicated scribe or site owner. Mark Bernstein’s ten tips will help you keep the good words (and readers) coming.”

That was the Blurb on the home page of A List Apart that caught my attention. Which led to a really good article on not only why to write, but how.

In first reading I was struck by some of the points Mark Bernstein had to make. Since I am in the beginning stages of trying to define not only why I am writing but what I am being pulled to say. I was particularly impressed by:

“Write for a reason, and know why you write. Whether your daily updates concern your work life, your hobbies, or your innermost feelings, write passionately about things that matter.

To an artist, the smallest grace note and the tiniest flourish may be matters of great importance. Show us the details, teach us why they matter. People are fascinated by detail and enthralled by passion; explain to us why it matters to you, and no detail is too small, no technical question too arcane.

Bad personal sites bore us by telling us about trivial events and casual encounters about which we have no reason to care. Don’t tell us what happened: tell us why it matters. Don’t tell us your opinion: tell us why the question is important.”

I guess that makes my reason for writing more of the search for the reason, than the reason for the search. If you follow along with my search maybe we can both arrive at the reason together. I promise to try not to bore, and if I do please tell me.

“If you are writing for the Living Web, you must write consistently. You need not write constantly, and you need not write long, but you must write often. One afternoon in grad school, I heard B. F. Skinner remark that fifteen minutes a day, every day, adds up to about book every year, which he suggested was as much
writing as anyone should indulge. You don’t need to write much, but you must write, and write often.”

I like the idea of the”Living Web” which Mark attributes to Dan Chan of Daypop. As I write this I am reminded of something I have seen over and over in the years I have been online and reading others blogs. It is the shared data that is out among the readers. Fred First has seen it when he asks a tech question and gets an answer from his readers. Jerry Pournelle has had it for years, when he would throw out a problem he was having with his technology, he would often get answers almost faster than he could post. It is almost like we are watching the evolution of the first glimmers of a shared human brain.

Then there’s that old bugaboo about writing often. I have always heard that it is harder to get started writing and develop the habit than it is feeding the monster in the long run. Hopefully, like all habits, doing something regularly for 30 days and it becomes a habit…

When he speaks of being good friends, I interpret that as the sense of community that grows from the interhnge of ideas that comes from sharing…

Read widely and well, on the web and off, and in your web writing take special care to acknowledge the good work and good ideas of other writers. Show them at their best, pointing with grace and respect to issues where you and they differ. Take special care to be generous to good ideas from those who are less well known, less powerful, and less influential than you.

Weblog writers and other participants in the Living Web gain readers by exchanging links and ideas…Find ways to be a good friend. All writers thrive on ideas; distribute them generously and always share the credit. Be generous with links. Be generous, too, with your time and effort; A-list sites may not need your traffic, but everyone can use a hand.

There is plenty of useful info in this article, so follow the link and read the whole thing.