Bloganuary Prompts from WordPress

que sera, sera

bloganuaryWordPress declared January as Bloganuary. I didn’t even find out until 2/3s of the way through the month. The idea is that one takes the prompt, writes about it, and attaches the Bloganuary tag.

Well, that’s not how I can blog these days, wake up to see what random suggestion I might take to. I suppose when I was first doing this in 2005, I would have leaped at the opportunity. Still, I liked some of the choices, so what the heck.

Write about a dream you remember

I’ve been writing about dreams periodically. One I had in January involved bowling. The ball landed in a manner that, when it reached the pins, it bounced, taking out the back pins first then the ones in front.

I’m sure it related to watching JEOPARDY and seeing this clue. “In 2021 Anthony Neuer, ‘The Ginger Assassin’, converted the first of these splits in a live TV bowling match since 1991.” Well, I have no idea who Anthony Neuer is. But I know bowling. It HAD to be a 7-10 split, and of course, Amy Schneider answered it correctly. I always wonder if others had rung in earlier whether they might have answered it correctly.

Write about what makes you feel strong

I generally know when to ask for help. I found myself in a very frustrating situation, not of my making. It absolutely took up far too much energy in my head, so I had to identify someone with whom to talk about it. I did converse with my wife, who knew about the situation, but then also found a need to vent to someone else. And it helped. A lot.

What is your favorite part about yourself?

I suppose my intellectual curiosity. Without that, I couldn’t write this blog at all. If I went into writing something on a daily basis knowing that I ABSOLUTELY know how I’ll feel in the end, it would not be that interesting to me.

What They Said

 What is your favorite quote and why?

After a ridiculously LONG thought process, I’m uncertain that I have one. Surely, I’ve been known for quoting lines from songs.
Cockburn: The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

King Crimson: Talk, it’s only talk
Babble, burble, banter, bicker bicker bicker
Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo

Paul Simon: Slip sliding way. Slip sliding away. You know the nearer your destination the more you’re slip-sliding away… God only knows. God makes His plan.

MANY others. And most of them are not particularly uplifting, unfortunately. Inspirational quotes I have largely soured on, from ML King to Spider-Man, from vast overuse.

Movie quotes I used to do all the time in the 1980s. “What we have is a dead shark” or “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges” or “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” The only one that I know I’m using regularly now is “I’m walking here!” from Midnight Cowboy.

I considered Bible verses, but nothing grabbed me.

This can’t be this difficult…

Maybe Doris Day? OK, I’ll pick Maya Angelou. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

A variation on the theme: “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Going offline, but only briefly (I hope)


InformationTechnologyAs you may know, visitors to this site have received unexpected redirects. It’s frustrating because I can’t see them. I contacted the vendor on Saturday, who found a specific evil bug. That was fixed.

But shortly thereafter, my friend Catbird wrote: “This is where that latest link you sent goes; it’s a phishing page that spoofs Apple. There’s a blue banner across the top of the page saying ‘Safari Search Contest 2021’. This photo is a screenshot of the message, which is obviously some kind of phishing ploy.

“When I called Apple Support they immediately thought you were spamming me and it took a few tries to explain that you were a friend and not only wouldn’t spam me but probably didn’t know how to set up a computer scam.” This is very true, BTW.

So I contacted the host again.


“After further review of the website, I am seeing that it’s been compromised since at least July 25th. I checked our oldest backup (dated from 7/30) but noticed the hacked files were present in the backups. Performing a restore via the DreamHost panel is no longer an option as we only keep backups for the preceding 7 to 10 days. Restoring the website from the oldest backup would restore a hacked file structure.”

Yes, that WOULD be unsatisfactory.

Earlier that day, my cousin Tom had looked at the workings of my blog via ZOOM – OK, ZOOM is not ALWAYS terrible. He was looking at my plugins, and somehow he was showing one more than I had installed, or had listed.

Dreamhost guy Matthew noted: “When I checked your /plugins directory within your /wp-content directory, I was able to find a directory named /zend-fonts-wp which looks to contain malware that would redirect the website. After further research, I was able to find it is NOT a valid WordPress plugin.

Like magic

Bottom line: “A full reinstall of WordPress will need to be done to return the site to a properly working, updated, and secure state. The following link has instructions on how to proceed with the installation in a way that will help ensure there is no data/content loss.”

This means this site will go offline for an hour or three, probably today or tomorrow. But as the former governor of California once said, “The more knowledge you have, the more you’re free to rely on your instincts.”

Many thanks to Catbird, fillyjonk, Alison, ADD, west coast Bill, Mary R, Tom the Mayor, Kevin, Darby, Jack, and especially cousin Tom.

WordPress classic editor retrievable

WordPress blogging

classic editorMy blogger buddy Chuck Miller wrote this post about why WordPress fixed what wasn’t broken. Specifically, “WordPress jerked its ‘Classic Editor’ function away from me, in favor of this new ‘fill in the blocks and do it our way’ functionality.”

And they did it without any warning, as Chuck rightly complained about.

While he was ultimately able to get the newish Gutenberg Editor to work, sort of, it’s been giving me a headache since the beginning of 2019. As I noted here: “WordPress 5 changed to an entirely new editor… ” This is SUPPOSED to be easier. “Construction of a post that historically just involved typing now involves pasting together a series of blocks.”

I hated it, and I couldn’t figure out how to use it the way I wanted to. Fortunately, the late Dustbury noted I could download Classic Editor as a plugin. And that works on my primary blog to this day.


But before I write my posts, I create it in a test blog. And THAT blog has been changed to the block editor. One of Chuck’s commenters noted: “There are literally hundreds of WordPress users whose latest posts have been complaints about how awful Block Editor is. Will they listen?” Happily, “I found a hidden way to the Classic Editor… Now the link is under ‘All Posts'” So it is.

Another workaround comes from another Chuck commenter, which you can find here. Enter this in your browser, substituting the name the name of your blog. It will take you to the old-style editor where you can create a post. Then bookmark that page for future use.” Sweet!

Know that I have really tried to use the Block Editor. I can do it, but it takes about 50% longer. I’m no more creative. Spending time formatting is NOT why I started blogging.

Analog guy: watches, cellphones, WordPress 5

These instructions, if I understood them, might even be useful

analog guy

I am an analog guy. I was reminded of this yet again when I pulled out my watch from my mail drawer – don’t ask – and started wearing it. It’s SO much easier telling the time with a 90-degree flick of the wrist.

Sometimes, when I needed the time, and no one has a watch, it seemed laborious for people to pull their various devices from their pockets. Why is so important repairs watches? I have to tell you, I found the best! Times Ticking helped me to fix my timepiece.


* My blog briefly became much more difficult to create. As someone explained to Dustbury: “WordPress 5 changed to an entirely new editor where construction of a post that historically just involved typing now involves pasting together a series of blocks that have to be added, for example, just to have quoted text. Am I missing something?”

It was dreadful. Usually, I write in my test blog then cut and paste the whole thing, except for images, into my real blog. The new and “improved” system made me enter the text one paragraph at a time. I didn’t see a way to switch back to the familiar. Fortunately, Dustbury directed me to the Classic Editor plugin, which restores the previous editor.

Oh, the weird sizing in the text of this post – WP5. I could have rewritten it, but…

I’m also using FastCGI, and I don’t even know what that means.

* One of my buds has been experienced the blue screen of death repeatedly on his laptop and asked for assistance. He was sent these instructions, which, if I understood them, might even be useful. I experienced this irritant once myself, but the hard boot seemed to work so far, knock wood, or knock pixels, or whatever one raps upon.

* I pretty much hate my current smartphone.

1. It’s too small. It’s not just that I misplace it in the sofa or between the creases of my backpack. I was in a hotel in DC, sitting at the desk in my room, and it seemed to just disappear. It slipped under this odd, unnecessary ledge.

2. It doesn’t always work. When I fully charge it, then turn it on, it’s already down to 95%. I had it at that conference in DC and the only way to get the schedule was by downloading the app. Well, in this hotel, there were four floors BELOW the lobby, and the app did NOT work on the lower two floors.

So when I get a train ticket or tickets to Yankee Stadium, I order them online but get physical copies rather than getting them on my phone. An analog guy, I tell you.

Here’s another thing. They tell you to “protect your social network accounts with a strong, unique password and use two-step verification, when possible.” Every time I do that, I manage to lock myself out of my own devices because I’ve forgotten the password of the second step in the verification. I know there’s a password saver thing, but…

To quote Brian Wilson, “I guess I just wasn’t made for these times…”

Commenting on this blog

This blog automatically updated to WordPress 4.1.1 yesterday. Since then, my blog requires one to be “logged in” to comment. This is NOT my desire, but I do not know how to correct it.

Suggestions for fixing this problem? You can Facebook to me, or Tweet to me at ersie, or send an e-mail to the link to your right.

Or you can comment here if you can.

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