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.

Welcome to our new place…

After a couple of years of hanging out at Blogger with this blog, I’ve decided it’s time to move into roomier digs. It wasn’t that the folks at blogger weren’t treating me right. They have been nothing but hospitable since I first signed on to their service.

But the paint on the walls was getting old. I had spun off Coffee Muses to a self hosted WordPress blog and was happy with the freedom to paint the walls at will, put in a new picture window if I wanted, even raise the roof on occasion to let in some fresh air. I wanted the same freedom with this blog.

Granted, this site has been neglected somewhat in the year or so since I rolled my daily muses out of these pages. Believe me, it wasn’t intentional. I just felt then, and I continue to feel, that a blog with the name this one has shouldn’t spend so much time talking about living on the Texas Gulf Coast…

So anyhow, I am in this process of slapping a coat of paint on these new walls, hanging a few pictures, putting up a handbill or two to try and pay for the hosting account at least. I’ll be adding some relevant link pages, searching out news and sites that have a North Carolina Mountain message.

Consider the welcome mat out at our new home. Come around and check on the progress. If the light switch doesn’t work, or the door knob falls off, send me a note…I’ll try and figure out what I screwed up. You can reach me here in  the comments or send me an email at gwboyd at gmail.com…I’ll keep the light on out on the porch in case it’s late when ya stop by…

Zemanta Pixie

Happy Birthday NC Mountain Dreams

It was two years ago today that I posted the first on this site.

It’s been a long and a short two years…I can hardly wait to see what the next two will be like.

Happy Birthday NC Mountain Dreams

It was two years ago today that I posted the first on this site.

It’s been a long and a short two years…I can hardly wait to see what the next two will be like.

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.

Thursday Morning – June 7, 20 O’Seven

What a difference a day makes…Yesterday morning I was in Medical Mode and not hurrying out the door, so I drew my first cup and glanced up at the “Weather Station”. The outside temperature was 68 and the humidity was lower than normal, just in the 80% vicinity, so I took my cup and myself out into the backyard to sit and enjoy (which is part of the reason for no post yesterday, I enjoyed it immensely). Today, I grabbed so garbage bags for the trip to the curb while the laptop loaded up. The minute I stepped out the door for the trek to the curb, I felt like I should be paying for a spa treatment. 6:00 am and the heat and the humidity were in your face. Once I was back in the kitchen for that first cup I read the truth…79 degrees and 89%. What a change.

Yesterday was still with a light layer of dew on the world. But the air was clean and clear, the mockingbird was singing loud and cheerful above my head, and the sun was bright on the trees in the yard and woods. The dew on the sunlit cypress tree gave it a kind of green jewel quality, but softened in a way.

I was reading US News this week and I see the secret is out as Boone makes the top 10 in budget retirement locations…I would say congratulation but I was hoping the secret would stay hidden (at least until we moved to the mountains). I was happy to see that one of our earlier retirement hopes was on the list also…Fredericksburg, Tx is where we go many years for our anniversary runaway from the kids weekend. It is also about as close to the Houston area as you can go and find what passes for mountains.

Garrison Keillor takes a long look at the state of the world in Salon and brings back this look of the future for thee…

You look at the Amish and you see the past but you might also be looking at the future. Our great-grandchildren, faced with facts their ancestors were able to ignore, might have to do without the internal-combustion engine and figure out how to live the subsistence life. Maybe someone will invent a car that runs on hydrogen, or horse manure, or maybe people will travel on beams of light like in old radio serials, but the realist in you thinks otherwise.

Source: Amish like me | Salon.com

Mr. Bush must have done Harvard Business School about like he has done everything else in his life…

The White House said it would hold firm against concrete long-term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a major priority for Merkel, the host of the Group of 8 meeting.

At some point in his college career they must have mentioned that in oder to set goals they have to be achievable and measurable. Setting goals without actual…well, you know…goals is like…cheating. Oh (slap my forehead) that’s right…We are talking about George W Bush aren’t we…
Source: U.S. rejects greenhouse gas initiative at G8 summit | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Time to run…catch you later.

Memorial Day 2007

As I sit here in my quiet house on a rainy Memorial Day morning the thunder rumbles in the distance. Later today the family will gather for some good food and company, but now I am wandering the web reading Memorial Day posts. Eventually I’ll get around to my email, but for now it’s the thoughtful posts of memory that are holding my interest.

Leon Hale, in his newspaper column today talks of remembering the 14 friends he lost in WWII. There was one line in his column today that summed up Memorial Day in a whole new way for me…

I don’t need Memorial Day to remind me of these friends. I think about them all the time. Fourteen lives that didn’t get lived.

“Lives that didn’t get lived”. That’s what Memorial Day is, a honoring of the sacrifice of a life, a life not lived to completion. The families not formed or left unfinished, the friends left behind and the friends unmade, the wives and children, both left behind and never created…The lives unlived.

Spend some time today and think on the lives that didn’t get lived…There have been a lot of those unlived lives in this nation’s history. It’s our responsibility to all of those unlived lives to be sure that their sacrifice was justified, that the many lives that will never be because of those cut short are worth the sacrifice we demand of our warriors.

On this Memorial Day as more lives are being put on the line in battles around this world, we must always remember it isn’t the life that ended we are memorializing…It’s the life that wasn’t lived.

Wednesday Muse – Climate Change

My email yesterday brought me the weekly newsletter from Earth Observatory a part of NASA. The first article they referenced was their updated Global Warming Reference. It is a good overview of what we are probably in for in the coming years.

Earth Observatory Reference: Global Warming

by Holli Riebeek • design by Robert Simmon • May 11, 2007

Over the last five years, 600 scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sifted through thousands of studies about global warming published in forums ranging from scientific journals to industry publications and distilled the world’s accumulated knowledge into this conclusion: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”

Far from being some future fear, global warming is happening now, and scientists have evidence that humans are to blame. For decades, cars and factories have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and these gases caused temperatures to rise between 0.6°C and 0.9°C (1.08°F to 1.62°F) over the past century. The rate of warming in the last 50 years was double the rate observed over the last 100 years. Temperatures are certain to go up further.

One of the facts they mention that I wasn’t aware of is that during the last ice age the average temperature was only 9 to 15 degrees cooler than right now. That’s kind of scary to my way of thinking.

Source: Earth Observatory Reference: Global Warming

Follow that up with this years hurricane prediction and life looks very interesting…

Experts: Expect a busy hurricane season

Oceans warmer than last year, and there’s no El Niño to ward off activity

Federal scientists weighed in on the upcoming hurricane season Tuesday, and their report echoes that of other forecasters: The 2007 hurricane season will produce a greater number of storms than usual.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s report calls for 13 to 17 named storms, up to 10 of which might become hurricanes. About 10 tropical storms and hurricanes form during an average year.

And if that doesn’t make you feel warm and cuddly here on the coast, and remembering the damage from just a few years ago on the Blue Ridge from the rains spawned by these monster storms, they offer these words of encouragement…

Sea-surface temperatures are even warmer this year than in 2006, and climate scientists say they could approach levels of the record-breaking 2005 season — the year of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Hurricane activity has been on the upswing since 1995 as Atlantic sea-surface temperatures have been rising. Scientists say this period of increased activity could last another 10 to 30 years as part of a natural, decades-long cycle.

I just love the editing that went into that last statement…”natural, decades-long cycle” indeed. True as far as it goes, since man is part of nature, anything we do to effect our environment is natural…Right? It seems to me this is about the same prediction I recall from the season before last. Didn’t it last into January? Didn’t we run out of assigned names and have to go to the Greek alphabet or some such convention?

Source: Experts: Expect a busy hurricane season | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season Track Map

It seems that even Verlyn Klinkenborg is thinking thoughts of global warming. The sight of wildfires burning in California started a chain of thoughts that almost have a spiritual feel to the imagery.

It began to seem to me that we are a species of fire-starters, and that all of our imprisoned fires are just so many versions of yet another cook-fire on the edge of night in a land where fuel has grown scarce from all the cook-fires of all the people.

I thought about this sudden vision for a couple of days. At first, it seemed almost overwhelming. I tried to picture all the combustions that are essential to the human ways of life in all their global diversity. I wondered what Earth would look like from our neighborhood in space if we could see all our incandescences, in all their forms, glowing at once. There would be only a faint corona of anthropogenic combustion, but it would be more than enough to have begun overwhelming the atmosphere, which is, after all, such a thin, faint halo around this planet.

The image of the cook-fire kept coming back to mind — the cook-fires I saw burning last June in a village in Tanzania, where every day the problem of fuel presented itself all over again. Sooner or later a wildfire burns itself out for lack of fuel. The question, I suppose, is whether our species will do the same.

It’s that final image that will live with me, the need for fire to cook with and the lack of fuel to start the fire. The unending hunt for new fuels and new methods of burning to sustain life here on Earth.

It seems to me that the Earth had been banking it’s carbon for eons then along came man. Man started to release the carbon, first before it was banked but before long it was easier to pull it out of the bank in it’s more concentrated form. All of this was no real problem when we were few and scattered about in small communities. Peer pressure kept everyone from getting too outrageous, when the neighbors are close and mostly kin no one person will be overly abusive of any resource. It’s only when the neighbors are unknown that resource abuse goes unpunished by the peer group.

Source: Letter From California: Some Thoughts on Living the Combustible Life – New York Times

It’s been a long morning but it’s time to start winding this down…Y’all have a great day.

Sunday Morning on My Google Reader

I slept late this morning and once the coffee was done I started with my Google Reader feeds for a change. Some of what led me on to the full story are…

The Rural Life

The Scent of Lilacs

By VERLYN KLINKENBORG

Published: May 20, 2007

I am writing from a mile high in a small Wyoming town on the edge of the Wind River range. The snow on the nearby buttes — the gift of late April — has finally melted, and the creek bottoms and pastures and hayground are an unhoped-for green. The drift of cotton from the cottonwoods is almost over, but the lilacs are still in high bloom. The town is nearly damp with their scent.

Source: The Scent of Lilacs – New York Times

I come late to my appreciation of Verlyn Klikenborg. Now that I have discovered “Rural Life” I chase his writing to wherever I can find it.

Coming clean about mess of peas

By LEON HALE

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

On the way home from Winedale the other morning I stopped at a vegetable stand in Hempstead and bought a mess of purple hull peas.

These were peas still in the hull, so they had to be shelled. Took me about an hour to shell this particular mess. Purple hulls have the reputation of being easy to shell, and they do sit loose in the pod and come out easily once you get the ends snapped off.

Source: Hale: Coming clean about mess of peas | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Go see Leon’s recipe for cooking up that mess of peas. He’ll also explain how you can turn that mess of peas into a three course meal…

I guess I’ve killed enough time this morning, so I better start moving (though I did manage to fix breakfast and eat with Sherry already). If you have a moment swing over to Fragments From Floyd and check out Fred’s post today. He is pushing us all to be who we like to think we are…Go see what I mean.

So far the doors are open and the kittens are all over the floor…I expect to be shutting the house within the hour as the heat heads above 80 for another Texas spring day…You all enjoy.