On This Day

It has been awhile since I just wrote something. OK, so here goes something…

A part of me would like to ditch WordPress and go back to Textpattern. I developed a weblog format that I really like with Textpattern and ran if for many years. That is, until my hosting service decided they no longer wanted to be a hosting service. I guess me having a grandfathered free account, probably along with many others, might have had something to do with that.

So, the original owner of the hosting service, and developer of Textpattern, stated he would take the servers and honor his obligation.

Well he did, to a point. I was hosted on a unit called Pendrell and it failed catastrophically. There was a lot of back and forth about getting data off the backups. But it never materialized.

I had a backup, but still lost about month’s worth of entries. There was a lot going on in my life in 2013 and my weblog was not the highest priority.

I found another hosting service and setup a WordPress content management system. I never did work out how to migrate my old Textpattern content to the new CMS. There is more than ten-years worth of writing in that archive. I still have the backups.

Now I wonder if it is possible, or even wise, either migrate back to Textpattern (which is now open source and richly maintained) or try to find some help migrating my old Textpatter content to WordPress.

WordPress is probably the most widely used CMS. As such, it is regularly subject to attack. I have had to clean up a couple of times after being hacked.

I think that Textpattern is less susceptible to attack simply because it is not so widely used. I might be wrong. But I really liked my design and it was easy to change colors and header image once or twice a year to spruce it up a little.

I have a lot of content here on my weblog. A lot of it does not see much attention because it is far in the past. I was thinking about this and decided to see if there is a WordPress plugin that will display entries that I wrote on the current date. There is — it is called On This Day by Room34.

It is now implemented on the sidebar of my homepage.

In reviewing my work (after adding the widget to the sidebar), I came across an entry Trolls of the Internet Species. I read it and it is still true today.

Why this rang my bell again, so to speak, is that I watched an interview with Dr. Jordan Petersen a couple of days ago. He was answering questions about psychopathy and mentioned in passing Internet trolls. I do not have a link to the interview (The Telegraph was the channel), but it is definitely worth tracking down and watching.

I like the widget. I still wonder what to do with all of my archived content.

Higinbotham Park — Lubbock, Texas

Morning Light, Higinbotham Park, Lubbock, Texas
Morning Light, Higinbotham Park, Lubbock, Texas

My goal, for the moment at least, is to make one nice capture every day. That capture might be with my iPhone, my Fuji X-T1, or my Panasonic DMC-ZS40. I always have my iPhone (6S) on me. Its camera is better than what is needed to get a decent capture for a weblog post. It’s primary lacking is control over depth of field. Both the Panasonic and Fuji cameras offer better control, with the Fuji being the best (of course) and the Panasonic being a lot better than the iPhone, but much less capable than the Fuji. But, I always have my iPhone on me and I always see something that I think is worthy of my Instagram stream.

My second goal, for the moment at least, is to post something every day. That might be a snippet of something I read, heard, or saw. It might be a longer piece… one of my ruminations.

I considered writing a bit about the state of my country. I have a few essays in my collection that are fits and starts in that direction. I might draw a lot more traffic to my site if I did that; or I might not. What I will observe is that American politics are deeply broken. We left constructive dialogue behind decades ago and substituted meaningless rhetoric and vitriol. Our “leaders” and our media lie to us to achieve their goals. I have lost faith in my government and elected leadership to guide the rest of us on any kind of reasonable path. It appears the government is setting itself up to reduce or eliminate the ability of citizens to govern ourselves in substitute for a government that knows what is best for us. I find this disappointing and depressing.

Enough of that… there be monsters there.

So, I write about what I see and what I think. I decided to focus on things that I think bring either insight (as I ruminate on my own thoughts) or beauty (through my images) to those who come here directly or stumble by via that morass of infinite links that is the World Wide Web.

And, my goal is to post something every day. I don’t always make it. I’m not going to berate myself for not making it. But the goal keeps me looking outside my head, observing, watching the light, watching for interesting things, and ruminating. I think that will do.

All that aside, yesterday was a fun day. The Girl and I were out before sunup to go walk laps around Higinbotham Park here in Lubbock. It was cool, but not cold at about 40F when we hit the trail. A few other hardy souls and their four-legged friends showed up as we circled the park. Of course, we were going the wrong way. I don’t care and neither does the Girl. Her squirrely friend was absent, although she was on high alert for “Squirrels!”. But no others showed.

Near the end of our walk, the morning sun illuminated the trees and dormant Bermudagrass. That light captured my eyes. So, we paused along our last lap for me to grab a few captures. I like this one and shared it on my Instagram feed.

And, in the end, it seems I posted something political after all… or at least an observation on politics. But the emphasis was on my thoughts and my observations of the beauty that surrounds me.

It’s Alive…

selfieAfter what seems like forever, my weblog is again operational. At least, it appears to be and to be without the hack I discovered over a year ago.

After such a long time without writing here on a regular basis, I’m not sure what to do with my space. I still have 11 years of archives in another CMS to parse and do something with. I intended to bring those bits into this CMS, but now I’m not so sure.

There are more tales to tell, that is certain. There is a lot of history over the last year and change as well. I have thousands of new images. I have thousands of words.

But, I think I’ll go in a different direction, at least for awhile. I think that instead of an online, public diary, I’ll use this space to write about music, photography, engineering (at least hydrology), and education. My theme will remain random ruminations, but the topics will be a little less personal and a little more technical. I guess we’ll see.

WP Fancy Zoom

HThis is one of the images from the Girl’s and my roams. We often wander by the Home Depot and they sometimes have interesting things, at least to me. One of the items missing from this implementation of Random Ruminations was the image popup. I prefer that a clicked thumbnail image “pop” to a new window, which can then be dismissed. Why this doesn’t happen with WordPress out of the box, I don’t understand.

However, with a bit of Google work, I found WP Fancy Zoom, a plug-in that makes the images work the way I want them to.

Now back to my chores.