Tag: WordPress

Out of Ideas….

Out of Ideas….

…for a topic to write about for this post.

Well, not really, I have ideas, just not sure which direction to go. Once again I’m direction-less. I’ll sip my beer and decide. Let’s hope the beer helps. I hope it does but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. One of downsides of coming to Brandt’s I’m afraid.

Over the last number of days I’ve been migrating my posts from Skidaddy on WordPress.com to my own domain, skidaddy.ca. I’ve used this site (skidaddy.ca) to post most of my last mundane writing. I think I’ve finally settled on using it instead of the WordPress site. Nothing against WordPress.com, certainly not, I just want to have my sh** on my own site. And that site is skidaddy.ca.

This is/was not a new idea, I began doing it quite a while ago and in fact I copied (what I thought) was all the posts from the WordPress site to this one more than a year ago. It was only just recently I realized that for whatever reason not all of them took, there were a number of months missing. Heaven forbid, my blog is not complete??? Gads!!! So I’ve been copying the offending posts over here a little at a time.

To that end I also just realized/remembered that there is actually a WordPress “feature” that can help with this. It must’ve been what I did the first time. Being over 60 now I’ve obviously forgotten…. haha.

One of the benefits of copying one at a time was that I could re-visit each post as I handled it. That was actually quite interesting and a bit enlightening. Some of the topics I had forgotten (go figure) but most I recall writing. Some I put together shortly after I began blogging. It was, and is, the reason I started and continue write here and elsewhere, to see where I was to where I am now, thus “Then….Til Now”. I also feel after reading those older posts that my writing was better then. I’m frequently disappointed with my posts now.

I still journal on paper as well, and in fact now have a journal for each of my grandkids. I wrote about that on Pay Attention, To the Attention, so you can check that out if you so wish. On the whole the additional writing does complicate things but I believe in the end it will pay dividends. At some point I will be gone, heaven forbid it’s soon, and they can read whatever I’ve put down. There may be no interest but once I’ve left this earth it won’t matter to me.

Madden and Ivy came over last night. I knew they were coming and in some ways wished it were another day. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly but they can at times be draining, as their parents can attest. This was a good day however.

Life is a Journey

Madden came strolling around the corner into the backyard, a first, and found me colouring on some sun-ravaged plaques that had been sitting outside our old house for quite some time.

I had brought the plaques with us when we moved to Kelowna, a connection to our prior life. They were nothing fancy, just ties to memories. The colouring idea was a hold-over from the art therapy I started with Elly.

So Madden’s first question was “can I colour too”. At first I balked, but then as I often attempt to do I re-thought the program and relented. “Of course you can colour, just try to do a good job”.  He took to the concept and ran with it.

It was funny really, as he was very calm and controlled. He sat in the chair and began colouring the plaque in earnest. My only stipulation was that I got to choose the colours for certain areas of the plaque. I had started the process and wanted to ensure the theme continued.

He was good with that and because he was doing such a good job when he took over I let him choose the colours of different parts. He was certain the colours of the lettering should be rainbow so I gave him the green light and let him run with it. I kept saying “do a good job, not a fast one” in hopes he’s slow down and pay more attention. He’s generally detail oriented though and did a pretty good job, for a 5 year old.

Not too bad I’d say, all things considered. Might not be how I’d finish it but still looks pretty cool.

And so, for someone with not too much to say it seems I’ve said a lot. I’ll likely read it shortly after I publish and wonder what the hell I was thinking. For any drabble I’m sorry. ‘Tis what tis’, I’m out of Ideas.

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Well, I am back in, got my 2 factor figured out. Actually the WordPress people were very accommodating so I can’t say anything against my experience there. I am of course referring to the site at skidaddy.wordpress.com.

For now though I am going to post here, more from a ‘shits’n giggles’ point of view than anything else. It was sorta what I’d envisioned all along anyway.

So to the point. My life is proceeding along nicely. I feel no worse for wear, my depression is manageable and other than a recent cold/flu I feel physically well. I did however just have a colonoscopy and while the procedure went well they did find an unacceptable number of polyps. Some were removed at the time but one large one will require surgery to remove. All removed samples are being examined for signs of the big ‘C’.

Interestingly enough I feel rather disconnected from the experience, and the outcome. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism, maybe just another example of a disconnect from my feelings. I don’t know why that is, if I could talk to Elly, or someone, about it then some conclusion might be reached. I don’t recall ever going down that road with her. Elly was my most recent Counsellor (or Counselor, depending on country).

I very much miss my chats with her. She brought a certain amount of clarity to things in my life. I often suspected however that while I may have been an interesting diversion, or client for her, that my needs were not what she considered her most life altering. I’m perfectly ok with that, if it’s true. She was still important to me. I will contact her to update my life.

Otherwise my life here is pretty mundane. I’m not an excitement junky, hanging around the house doing genealogy, some photography, perhaps the odd ‘honey-do’ project, keeps me busy. I’m seldom bored. If I feel the need I take a walk, like today, and maybe frequent one of the local establishments. You never know I might even write.

 

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown

Just recently I attempted to update some info on this blog and found I was locked out of the account settings and security features. Not a good thing! I am obviously still able to post, but not sure for how long. Fear of the unknown.

The reason is largely of my own doing. In actual fact I guess it’s ALL my own doing, by neglecting to remember/follow clear admonitions by WordPress about generating and keeping ‘restore codes’ to access my account should this exact situation occur.

What created this problem was that I changed my phone and my phone number when we moved. When doing that I lost the ability to authenticate my ownership of this blog. This only applies if you have 2 factor authentication set up, and if you fail to prepare for this eventuality.

So, the long and short of it is that I’m in discussion with the WordPress “Happiness Engineers” to possibly resolve this situation and re-establish my authenticity. If I am unable to regain my full access and control of this site I will be forced to begin posting on skidaddy.ca. I have tried to move/copy my posts to skidaddy.ca but at this time only some of them have transferred. That new site is also a bit of a mess visually/organizationally at this time but hey, you do whats u gotsa do.

Wish me luck!

Another Nomination – Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Another Nomination – Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Well blow me over, knock me down with a feather, I don’t know what other mis-quotes I can use but I’ve been nominated for another award, this time the (love the graphic):

Dragon’s Loyalty Award.

Image, Dragon's Loyalty Award
Dragon’s Loyalty Award

While I truly appreciate the attention of Jaie at Kukileaf I’m unable to fulfill the requirements of the nomination at this time and will have to decline. I am pleased with the attention and intent though and feel that I’m in honored company.

Thanks again.

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

Ever have one of those days where you seem to be just a little out of phase with the rest of humanity, where the best laid plans seem to go astray?  A day where after breakfast you put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge. I’m experiencing that today. It’s seems as if everything I touch, anything I do, falls just short of being ‘right’.

morning pages, journal, journaling, writing
Morning pages

Today is a Dad’s day, a day where I take him out and we go to the doctor, optometrist, or in this case to the lab for blood work, and then we go out for lunch. I had planned to leave home a little early so that before I picked him up I could go to Walmart or one of the many electronics type stores to look for a phone case for my new iPhone 5 (and that’s a whole ‘nuther story).

Prior to leaving I was doing my morning pages, you know, that’s ‘writing’ in a book with paper pages and using a pen or pencil. These days I’m not sure how many people still do that…, but I was and before I completed one of my sentences part way through the exercise I became distracted. Well, not distracted at that time really, I put the journal down to check on something I was writing about and that’s when I got distracted. My wife had a question about her ‘new’ iPhone 4s (my hand-me down). There I went, off task, and so far today I’ve not made it back to the journal.

Well that put me behind schedule, not only did I not get to finish the sentence or entry in my journal I never made it away in time to go look at iPhone covers before picking Dad up.

So off on my way I went. I picked up Dad on time (amazingly) and we went to the lab. Fortunately the handicapped parking right in front of the lab was available so we slipped right in, and interestingly enough the lab wasn’t too busy so we waited no more than 5 – 10 minutes to get called. Seems like my day wasn’t a right-off after all, so far things were going well. Lunch was next.

Now that I’m recounting the days events it’s seems like maybe things weren’t so bad after all, lunch went well and Dad paid so life is good and things were looking up. We had a nice visit, he was feeling pretty good and I got him back to his home without further ado. It didn’t stay that way however, or didn’t feel like it anyway.

After dropping Dad off I hit the stores to look for my case, and if I learned anything during that exercise it’s that nothing is cheap, particularly quality iPhone cases. To get the case I wanted, an Otter Commuter, was going to cost between $44 – $50 bucks depending on the store. That’s in addition to any screen protector I bought. My stress was in a holding pattern. A quick look at Amazon (on my phone of course) made me realize that online is where I’ll get them, way cheaper.

As I think about that experience it dawns on me perhaps one of the reasons I feel so stressed and out of sorts is that I am so worried about dropping my phone, and have been ever since I picked it up. Perhaps that is the underlying cause, the reason for my ‘out of sorts’. Whatever the cause….. I feel how I feel and it continued through the day, that ‘skin don’t fit’ kinda feeling.

After arriving back at my home I had to turn around and go back out to run a couple more errands, one of which was to pick up quilt batting for my wife at the local fabric store. I’m afraid I scared the lady in the store, I feel like I went in there with a chip on my shoulder and although I don’t think it’s true I felt like I was surly and abrupt. Damn underwear starting to crawl again.

Next stop was an auto parts store to try and replace one of my malfunctioning wiper blades, that I paid $40 bucks for no less. I went in through the door and must’ve looked like I was ready for bear as the attendant approached my apprehensively and quickly passed me off the reps at the service counter. I suspect he wanted nothing to do with me, if he could see how I felt he was probably wise to defer me. The counterman listened somewhat sympathetically to my plight. I explained the driver’s side wiper leaves a streak in front of my eyes and when I just paid $40 bucks for 1 blade I had hoped it would last longer than 3 months. He murmured back “Well, I guess I could replace it”. Well, thank you very much. Perhaps he could see I was itching for a fight too.

So that sounds like another win doesn’t it? Hang on, not so soon.

Unfortunately when I went outside to swap the bad blade for the good I must’ve touched the fender of the car with my jacket. As I pulled back after installing the blade I noticed a nice brown smudge of dirt/mud on my nice clean black jacket. Argggh, %$”*”&#*, use your imagination to translate. Now I’m fussed and I’m dirty, and if you know me you know I don’t like to get dirty. Especially on tight underwear day.

All I can do is wipe the mud off my jacket and try to wipe my mood clean at the same time. I was relatively successful, nothing damaged and nobody hurt in the process, and proceeded to the next stop. Fill up with gas.

Things went relatively smoothly after that, although getting out of the car prior to filling I noticed yet another blotch of mud, this time on my pant leg. Will it never end I thought (how about wash the car dummy). I exited the car and holding it together somehow inserted my credit card into the gas pump. Perhaps I was too fast, perhaps too forceful, the pump would not accept my card. Another ARGGGH.

Take a deep breath, try again, success this time. The gassing up exercise completed with few casualties, only my spirit.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.
Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home I went. But wait, I had to get my wife a Slurpee (Slushy). I don’t understand her penchant for ice cold ice based drinks on a cold winter day but hey, who am I to argue with the light of my life. She wants a Slurpee, a Slurpee she shall have.

Knowing that this stop would be part of my day I came prepared, I had her refillable Slurpee cup at hand. The Slurpee machine operated flawlessly and I proceeded to check out. It was when I went to pay that I was met with a surprise.

Now it’s not like I’ve never used the plastic refillable cup before but when I paid and found the tab higher than expected I gasped.

“Are you sure”, I asked? “How can it be that a Slurpy with a re-usable cup can be more expensive than if I’d used one of the disposable cups?”

“Well”, she said. You never told me it was YOU’RE cup”.

I guess she had me there. And mentioning to her that I ‘assumed’ she knew it was my cup did NOT help the situation. She only replied “when you assume you make an ass out of you and an ass out of me.” She sighed heavily, refunded my money and then charged me a more appropriate, smaller, amount. Personally I think her underwear didn’t fit either, or maybe it’s the moon.

With my chores pretty much completed I forged home, stewing all the while about how I was out of phase, how my skin didn’t fit, how my knickers were too tight, and in my mind plotting what I would write here. It’s a good thing an animal didn’t bolt or a car pull out in front of me, my attention was not all there. I was too busy thinking of what I’d say here.

I did arrive at my home safely though, I don’t think I maimed anyone in transit, at least as far as I know.

After backing into my driveway I did notice a couple beer cans laying on the snowbank in front of my hedge (not mine, I have enough decency to toss mine in the neighbours yard). Here I go again, I feel that familiar tugging sensation near my private parts.

Knowing it’d be futile to pick up the beer cans and carry all my acquisitions (quilt batting, Slurpy) and Dads’ medical history file (that I try to take every time I see him), along with my camera bag and sweater etc., I choose the smart avenue. Pick up the cans, drop them in the recycle, and make not 1 but 2 trips back and forth to the car for the rest of the stuff. That way I can be sure not to f*** up and either drop half the stuff or wipe my clothes OR the new quilt batting on the side of the muddy car. Mission accomplished, all goods arrived in the house unscathed.

Once inside I dropped everything (not literally) and quickly logged on to my WordPress account to quickly disgorge my thoughts into a post, to try and enlighten you to my day and what made it ‘special’. I hope I didn’t bore you too badly and you arrived, like I did at the end of my afternoon, with underclothes that fit. I know the constricting feelings were all just fleeting experiences, tomorrow will be another day and hopefully one where I am in alignment with the universe. Until that time, if your underwear doesn’t fit go without.

Cheers

I Have to Ask…

I Have to Ask…

Does anyone….sorry that’s kinda negative… how many people really follow a blog for any length of time? I ask because I am quite curious. The question could really be put to any type of social media.

I’ve been blogging for a relatively short period of time in the big picture, lets call it 2 years for arguments sake. Certainly many bloggers/writers have hung in longer, many almost as long as the medium has been available, and my question would also be put to them. Do you know many followers have hung in there for the duration, ie how many of the xxxx number of followers one might have are :

  1. current, still reading/following your blog
  2. real, living, followers, ie not dead links or bogus accounts that somehow slipped through the cracks,
  3. still a follower/subscriber, but never (or seldom) read the posts

When I look it up on my ‘Site Stats’ I have a little under 80 followers listed and yet when I review the list on an a person by person basis a number of them are either invalid sites or no longer show as a current WordPress account. Now I’m not really that hung up on readership numbers, it’s just nice (great) to have people interested in what you say. The only real way I can measure what I’m doing is by the followers or subscribers, or any ‘likes’ or comments. I do essentially write for my own needs but let’s face it peer acknowledgement is better, heck it’s awesome. We all like to have our ego’s stroked.

mappa_blog
mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)

While on this topic of readership, the idea of which was sparked by my most recent interest in SEO, I came to think if we can’t trust the number of ‘followers’ how do we really know how well we are doing? Of course if I ask questions in the body of my posts and those are answered by some number of readers I will know immediately if I’m reaching anyone. That’s good blogging (according to most ‘good blogging’ practices), and I know I don’t do that well. Partially that’s due to the type of posts I usually generate (journal entries) and partially because when I do create questions they come off as forced, at least to me. I don’t want my stuff to be forced. So I guess I’m stuck, either ask questions, intelligent questions hopefully, take the number of followers at face value, or just not worry about it.

Hmmm, don’t think ‘not worry about it’ is an option. May be a good idea but it’s not my nature, I’m more the type that’ll perseverate over the smallest thing. Just who I am.

So I’ll dig into it a bit further, try to improve the site(s) to generate more notice, and then ponder the results. I might even throw in a few questions, just to mix it up.

If you do have the answer, or would be kind enough to comment anyway, I’d love to hear what you say. I just have to ask…..

Here I Sit, There I Sat

Here I Sit, There I Sat

The mall is not really where I want to be. We left the kidlets, our daughter and family, and began the drive home when my wife determined she needed something she could only get at the mall. My future flashed before me, I knew where my day was headed, certainly my morning.

I shouldn’t begrudge her the mall visit I guess. We didn’t really have an opportunity to do any shopping as this was a short visit to essentially get some ‘Madden time’ and do a little babysitting so our daughter Ayron, and son-in-law Stefan, could get out and have a quiet day sans Madden. I guess what annoyed me was I purposely tried to get us on the road early so we do all of our 3 1/2 hour drive in the daylight.  Leaving Kelowna around noon or later could seriously impact that desire.

All that said I spent some time in Chapters while I waited for her, browsing the shelves and perusing books I liked, heck even wanted to buy.  I considered hitting Starbucks, and getting a coffee or Americano, but since I already had a couple cups of  joe at Ayron’s I chose to forgo the treat.

I primarily scanned books on WordPress, and in those I specifically peaked at sections on child themes and self hosted blogs.  If I understand it correctly a “child theme” is like a sub-theme of your blogs primary theme. More research needed obviously. I have this real yearning to get more involved in web development and that kind of thing lately.

I came away from the book store empty handed though. I couldn’t, I can’t, justify spending the $25 or $30 on a book I’m really only interested in 2 or 3 chapters of. Especially if the book is already 2 or 3 years old.  That 2 or 3 years is a lifetime in computer related stuff. So empty handed I left, to sit on a mall bench awaiting my queen. If nothing else I could start this post, while I sat.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

In order to try something new I decided to enter a photo in the WordPress Weekly photo challenge.  Let’s see where this process takes me.

I took this shot while on a ferry ride from Vancouver Island.  The fisherman at first appeared to be struggling a bit with his boat, but shortly after successfully beached it.

Man pulling on boat
The Pause that Refreshes

The Pause that Refreshes

We are beginning the second leg of our trips now.  We finished one tour of camping duty and have gone back out to battle the roads again.  Yesterday and the day before give us a chance to get caught up on laundry, pick up a few supplies, and take care of one or two personal appointments.  At least one of the appointments was for Dad, taking him for things like blood work etc..  The outcome of that was mentioned in “I Saw an Old Man Walking”.

We drove as far as the Colville Walmart last night, arriving around 8:30 pm or so.  Made for a long day but with some luck we’ll make up for it at the tail end of our trip.  I really do not like the drive-camp-drive scenario, much too tiring for me.  As long as we can get a few days of downtime after these first couple days we should be ok.

Spokane was the destination of choice today.  We only drove as far as Deer Park this morning where we came across an inexpensive municipal camping spot so we decided to bunk there.  $10 bucks a night is within my budget.  That’s good too because I blew the budget a bit while shopping at Costco.

Photo 2012-07-26 5 55 15 PMI’ve been a tad frustrated trying to navigate while using maps and reading road signs so an investment in a GPS was considered.  I didn’t have to consider too long though, actually it was a foregone conclusion.  I picked up a Garmin nuvi 2595LMT.  I hope it’s a good unit.  Too late now anyway but it’s always nice to know you made a good choice.

My posts are likely to be a bit disjointed from here on out, at least for the next week or so.  Nothing new you might think, but because we’re on the road it has been a bit more challenging to put up a good post.  Somehow the preparation on my iPhone just doesn’t do justice to the appearance of a blog.  I can get the content in alright but making it look at least a little interesting is more challenging.

I’ve been using an app called Penzu to write them and then copy/paste in the WordPress app when I get cell service.  I don’t think I can insert pictures as easily though and they seem to lose all formatting when I do the paste.  I have just used the WordPress app to prepare the post but I’ve also lost them that way too.  No chances are taken when I do it this way.

Anyway, I’m off for now.  Time to move on.

Blogging Adventures

Blogging Adventures

I never appreciated how complicated, yet so simple, something like a blog can be.  I’m sure the designers have an appreciation for the complexity etc. and I figured I’d have it figured out in a snap, but such is not the case.

In an effort to improve the looks of my blog I felt some changes were needed.  Perhaps a theme change, some posts re-organization, and category creation would be beneficial. I’ll rewrite my “About” page and just generally update things. To streamline the process and minimize any collateral damage I thought that creating a second blog and making changes to it would be the key.  That way I should be able to learn the various processes of making any changes, see them in action, and hopefully not destroy or delete any original posts that have collected over the past year or so.  For the most part that was how it went down.

After creating the second blog in the theme I desired I felt I needed a good selection of posts/categories/pages etc to play with.  To generate this quickly (it’s all about fast don’t you know) a wholesale importing of another blog would be required. It seemed like this blog would be a perfect candidate as it was the one I wanted to change anyway, so I read through the various WordPress instructions on “Importing blogs”, followed the steps, and badda bing badda boom we were off to the races.

Before I go any further I have to say the documentation I found was excellent, if anything went wrong it’s only because I failed to read about it, or I did read the info but was to arrogant to actually “read” it and just skimmed over the highlights.  That is certainly one of my character flaws.

So the “test” blog now has the new theme, has all my copied posts/comments etc., and I’ve played with the categories and created new menu items.  Did you know you could convert a tag into a category and visa versa?  Too cool.  Made organization a breeze and made it easier to find posts on certain topics.  To whoever invented that my hat goes off to you.

I think I’m pretty much done with my testing now and ready to go whole hog on the original blog.  Unfortunately I’ve realized after the fact that in the original set up of this blog I renamed some pages, such as the Home page, and it has created some potential wrinkles.  Before I go much further I will have to see if I can undo my change and try to get back more to the original structure.  Not a biggy but when I made the original change I didn’t appreciate any potential implications, specifically the blog opens up to “About Me” instead of the primary posts page.

At any rate I’ll do a bit more concerted studying and then make my changes.  I hope I don’t lose anyone in the process.  Hang in there.