Blogging while distracted

Lately I’ve been trying to blog more often than I did before. Before what? Well, before I started trying to blog more often. I’ve realized that some of my favorite bloggers simply rabbit on about their everyday lives and random thoughts. Others among my favorites put serious thought and research into their posts.

In a spirit of blatant self-indulgence I have to confess that I’m too lazy to emulate the second kind – at any rate, not on a consistent basis. Also, who am I to pose as an expert on anything except my own small life? Fact: this blog is intended to entertain (mainly me) and also to record Thoughts And Happenings That Are Interesting (at least to me), as well as getting the old verbal juices flowing so that I’m able to glide smoothly into Serious Writing Of The Novel. So that’s why I want to blog more often, and if I manage to do so in a way that makes you want to stick around for the coffee and donuts served after, so much the better!

The problem I have with blogging … Well, there are several problems, actually. Sometimes the Black Dog pins me down and … I … just … can’t. Other times I’m so busy Doing or Being Done To that I don’t have the time or energy to write about it. That’s frustrating, because I’ll be going through the doings, and quite often my primary link to sanity and a sense of “this too shall pass” is the mantra “blog fodder”. I write so many posts in my head while on the run!

Road trips with Argos
Road trips – so much more fun with a Malinois!

Somewhere I have one of those little digital recorders. I really need to learn to use it.

Actually, I think my phone might have a digital recorder app. Hmmm.

Right … where was I? Oh yes – another problem is the perpetual presence of distractions. I mean, just two paragraphs up I was about to abandon this leaky little boat and go in search of the digital recorder. The only thing that stopped me was the recollection that the Evernote app on my phone might do the job.

Do you know how much I want to get up now and rush off and find my phone and test it???

Seriously … where is my dang phone?

Moving on! Then there’s deciding what to write about, and when to write about it. Should I start a post in the middle of the events I want to write about? If I do, will I remember to come back with a second post to tell how the story ends? (So far that would be a no; usually I wind up telling the ending in the comments, if people ask.) If I wait until I know the ending, will I still feel like writing about it? (Quite often not – either because I’m in the middle of something else, or because I’ve blogged about it so relentlessly in my head that it’s just not entertaining any more.)

Anyway, all this is merely a prelude to telling about what happened yesterday, which I can do very quickly because it’s not that big a story, but it caused some palpitations and foaming at the mouth all the same.

There’s this blogger I follow, David Bennett – his photographs are lovely. You should go take a look. Not now – later! For now I’ll just tell you they make me want to rush out and take pictures – which is a challenge all on its own because a few birthdays back I bought the Hubbit a rather nice camera after years of listening to him boast of his photographic prowess, and he has lost the charger.

Okay, it’s possible that I put the charger Somewhere when I was reorganizing his Hubbit Hole while he was in rehab early this year – which, by the way, is a classic example of an activity I blogged about extensively and hilariously in my head for so long that I could not bring myself to sit and write it all down … The point is, the charger wasn’t in the fancy camera case I also bought him. So now the camera is friggin’ useless.

Not that I ever really figured out how to use it. Cameras have changed a lot since I bought my first one, a Box Brownie I got for R5.00 (that’s five rand, South African money, which back then was worth US$10, but today would be worth around US$0.75) that I carefully saved up when I was ten years old. I take pictures with my cell phone, and sometimes I’m pleased with them – they’re better than anything I managed with the Box Brownie, anyway. In fact, since this post really doesn’t lend itself to illustrations, and just for the heck of it, I’ll include a few of them here.

Suffusion of yellow
A suffusion of yellow. I spent fall gorging on colors until I was ready to burst with pleasure.

The reason I mention David today, however, is that in addition to sharing his photographs he tends to write his way through various technical challenges, and lately he’s been fiddling around with the design theme of his blog. So there are these posts referring to this theme and that theme that he’s been trying out, and to be honest I don’t read those in depth … but I notice them.

So yesterday I slapped myself around the head because it’s been more than a month since my last post, and I’ve been writing and writing inside my head but never quite making it as far as butt-in-chair, fingers-on-keyboard. After the head slap I plonked myself down, fired up the laptop, and prepared to Expound.

Garcia
Two-dimensional horse – Cherry Garcia at the vet a couple days after he moved in with Vos

But … about what? I have things to say about Trump – but those require research if I don’t want to be just another liberal whiner. I want to update you about Zeus, and I have other thoughts to share about rescue. I read a post recently that calls for a response. I don’t think I’ve ever told you about Garcia – did I  mention I got my horse a horse? There was a minor disaster with our Thanksgiving turkey, which has led to the production of fabulous bone broth, and I really should tell you about bone broth. So Many Things!

Well, I clicked over to see what other people were writing about – not so much for inspiration as to give my subconscious time to chew over the matter – and there was David, with a gorgeous picture of an iris, yattering away about his latest blog theme adventure.

He distracted me! It’s his fault!

Because obviously after that I wandered over to the WordPress collection of themes to take a look. After all, I’d been thinking my blog needed sprucing up. One theme looked interesting, and I wondered how it would look on my blog.

There were two icons – one labeled “Activate”, the other “Preview”.

Just then, the dogs broke out in an uproar, and as I irritably rose from my seat to find out what the problem was … guess which icon I clicked?

Just like that, everything went beige! It was horrible! And there was no way to un-activate it!

I wrote a frantic appeal for help to the WordPress Happiness Engineers, and spent a palpitating few hours restlessly clicking between forum responses to people who had also accidentally destroyed the careful design of their blog, and also bouncing around the house distracting myself with chores, and, of course, periodically clicking hopefully on my blog to see if it had magically returned to normal.

It hadn’t. Also I learned, during the course of all this clicking, that the theme I’d been using was “no longer supported”.

So eventually last night, at only about half an hour past my intended bedtime, I went “Screw it” and sat down and test drove a bunch of themes. Found one I liked. Got it all set up. And here it is! Voila!

It doesn’t do all the things I want … but for that I’d need to (a) spend a lot more time searching through hundreds of themes, (b) probably pay for it, and (c) figure out how to make it work. Ehhh … Life’s short. I think this one works, and the picture I took last summer of our little farm and our cows is okay – don’t you agree?

Author: Belladonna Took

Well into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, perpetually at risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic.

22 thoughts on “Blogging while distracted”

  1. The Hubbit (me) found the battery charger for the Canon SLR camera where you had squirreled it away as part of your “reorganization” of my man-cave.
    Fie on thee, Madam, for having the audacity to mess with my mess.
    I also decided to purchase a second lithium-ion battery, which should preclude us ever running out of camera battery whilst in the midst of a photo-shoot.

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  2. Well this was a load of fun, and look at that! A happy accident and a fresh look. Love what you’ve done with the place.

    But, can’t seem to find the name of the theme – if you care to share, please do? But if it means setting yourself up for another potential foobar, perhaps wait until the full moon has passed.

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    1. Hi, Maggie – thanks so much for the encouraging words! Sorry about the slow response – I couldn’t remember what theme I’d picked and didn’t know how to figure it out from my phone. I’m finally back on the computer and it’s Twenty-Sixteen – so not a particularly new one, but it works for me…:) (Took a while to figure it out, I should tell you – and yeah, I waited on the moon!)

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    1. Lol – I hope you don’t object to being blamed for distracting me! And thanks for the compliment. I just wish I could figure out how to make pictures bleed left … It seems to happen at random.

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      1. I don’t mind. On the contrary, it’s lovely, it’s funny 🙂

        To make pictures position as you want, try this. Clicking on a picture will bring up a row of icons. Hovering over the icons will. bring up an explanation of what each of those icons represents and what the feature does.

        Working from left to right, the first icon will read ‘Change block type or style’. The next block is the one you want: It reads ‘Change alignment’. Click on that icon and it will bring up the options that are available.

        I can’t be sure what all of the options will be, but ‘align left’ should be one of them.

        The reason I say I can’t be sure what all of the options will be is because I think that that some themes are built to take full advantage of the Gutenberg image sizing, while other themes are not.

        The theme I am currently using was designed ‘post-Gutenberg’ and therefore has options ‘Wide Width’ and ‘Full Width’ whereas older themes (unless they have been updated for Gutenberg) don’t seem to have those options and you have to look over in the side bar for some of the sizing options.

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        1. Thank you … Maybe I need to switch to the new block editor? I haven’t done that yet; I tried once and made a horrible mess. At present when I click on the picture I get a set of alignment options – left, right, center, and none;p and then caption, edit and remove. I’m using the Twenty-Sixteen theme.

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          1. Ah, my mistake. I assumed (wrongly) that you were using Gutenberg, the new block editor. If you decide to make the switch, you should know that it doesn’t change your previous posts. They remain in the old Classic editor style unless and until you change each one. Are you familiar with how to change an existing post to Gutenberg. Holler if you want guidance 🙂

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  3. After four years of so of blogging I think the only sustainable option is the Random Rabbit – you’ve just run through the whole file of nifty blog post titles and well-reasoned arguments, all those little scraps of paper and envelope -backs. The blog then becomes a kind of diary, or Imaginary Friend.

    And if you spend days, even weeks, researching and craft some school essay type thing, nobody will be bothered to read it. They don’t want to be educated, they want to be distracted, entertained, or included, briefly, in your world. Or maybe that’s just me. ⛄

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    1. I like the idea of an imaginary friend! And yes, I think of this as a journal … I’ve never been any good at journaling for myself; I LIKE knowing that someone out there might choose to read what I write.

      And … well, when I talk of research, I mean the kind of research Ellen does. Time and thought are involved – it doesn’t just all pour out of her fingers. I respect that and enjoy reading her blog – as do you. And then when it comes to politics, I have opinions that I’m inclined to share, but I do want to back those up with data, which will involve spending at least some time poking around the interwebs … and I haven’t been sufficiently energized to do that yet. That said, I do enjoy just blathering… 🙂

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  4. I just left a comment but not sure where it landed. WordPress is a mystery to me but every time I go read your blog, because I have a WordPress account, it makes me comment from my account. I’m afraid I am not very tech savvy. Anyway, being inspired by this post, I’m going to go try to write a quick one on mine.

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    1. Hmm … Well, first, thank you for stopping by. It’s good to hear from you, as always! And second, it’s odd that your comment disappeared. I’ll check my spam folder… There’s rarely anything interesting in there, so you might provide a pleasant surprise!

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  5. Interesting and amusing post, but fear not you would not be alone on the island called…I must blog a lot! Indeed the island would be full …though i did smile at the delightful picture of the malinois with the stick!

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    1. Hi Maria, yes, you’re right – most of us would like to blog more, I think! That picture of Argos with the stick doesn’t do it justice. He’d managed to lose his ball in the stream, but he’s always happy to offer a substitute, and that was it. It was half buried, and so long it kept getting tangled up in the growing things. I think it took him 20 minutes at least to bring it to me, and when I obliged and threw it into the pond it promptly sank. He was so disgusted! I have so much fun with him…

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