Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘wordpress

Alternative Route

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I don’t know how long it will last, but on Monday I stumbled upon an alternate route to the “classic editor” I prefer and have used successfully for years prior to the so-called great [cough] “block editor” that became the WordPress default as of October.

Aah, the good old days.

This week we are enjoying an alternative October in the form of very summer-like high temperatures outside. It is strange to have the hours of daylight rapidly changing when the weather is so warm. The two phenomena don’t usually happen together to this extreme. Isn’t it odd to have weather behaving wacky at this point in the history of the planet?

Oh, I guess it’s not odd at all. Scientists have been predicting this for decades. Gee, if we don’t make significant changes in our reliance on fossil fuels, icebergs in the polar regions will melt, weather patterns of storms, droughts, floods, fires, and temperatures will become more extreme, and geographies and economies will be at risk.

Throw in a model of a global virus pandemic at the same time and you have the makings for a real stomach churner.

I suppose the insidious rise of extreme ideologies in multiple nations around the world touting white supremacy or fear of any diversity at all could be the icing on this growing mess of craziness.

The scourge of social media platforms enhancing the idiocy and ignorance could be viewed as the sprinkles on that icing.

Might there be an alternative route to love and enlightenment awaiting discovery by a collective of seekers?

It seems to me that a fair number of individuals find ways to grasp that golden ring, but can diverse populations of multiple nations ever make the bold leap en masse?

Cyndie and I practice an art of recovery from angst-producing situations that our horses helped to teach us by their ability to swiftly return to grazing calmly after a disturbance. When things appear to be spinning out of control, the vocalized phrase, “get back to grazing” helps us to put things in a healthier perspective.

It’s a way of paying heed to the bigger picture. Playing the long game.

Things might be out of control right now, but we don’t need to dwell in the worst of it all.

What I am wrestling with lately is the challenge of claiming my peace of mind in an immediate moment when so many others are enduring terrible suffering.

One alternate solution I experiment with is to fully embrace my good fortune of knowing infinite love, mindfully doing so in proxy for those who are not able.

To the innocents who have been unjustly confined, to those who have become prisoners of their own hate, to people who are victims of every manner of social injustices, I send love into the world in your honor.

It’s an alternate route that I dream someday might grow to become the main highway for all people of the world.



Yard Birds

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********** (Yesterday, an otherwise wonderful Sunday morning, I failed in my battle with learning the new “block” system of editing a WordPress post. I lost my temper, threw my computer, and went outside without publishing a post, where I would be able to work on projects I could control.

Try as I might to format the text and images to achieve my intention, the results consistently foiled me. After repeated unintended results which looked ridiculously wrong, from which I could not find the “undo” option that would at least return to the previous look, I boiled over.

Without going back and striving to accomplish my goal, I am, for now, resigning myself to living with whatever result this new editor mode produces, whether I like it, or not.

The following is the text and images I wanted to post yesterday morning, not as I intended it to look, but as the WordPress software allows me to present.)


The pullets and Rocky are still confined to a fenced courtyard attached to the coop, but the big girls –a buff orpington, an australorpe, and a wyandotte– wander the property freely.

Saturday, while Cyndie was cleaning up the pine needle aftermath left from our removal of another dead pine tree, the three hens showed up to get in on the action.


Never one to pass up an opportunity to offer food to her loved ones, Cyndie had a treat ready to serve.

The girls rarely pass up the offerings of anything edible.

I think it shows in their not-so-svelte silhouettes.



Written by johnwhays

October 5, 2020 at 6:00 am

Change’s Sake

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My immense aversion to changes in software that was working just fine for me leads me to think that perhaps I am getting old.

Is it a problem for you, dear readers, that I don’t have little icons on this blog for sundry social media sites of the latest trend? Has my neglect to format the appearance to best suit the portrait orientation of mobile devices left you frustrated?

Ever find yourself wondering why my blog doesn’t include links to sites for purchasing products I promote, or a button allowing you to donate money to sustain my lifestyle?

These are all features that I have chosen to ignore, despite frequent WordPress marketing messages encouraging me to incorporate.

In March of 2009, I searched for a platform to publish my “take on things and experiences” and found a template ‘theme’ that matched my tastes. I’ve seen no reason to change since.

The word-cloud I selected for the side margin of my posts slowly changes over time, not always to my ideal, but it’s simply a reflection of what I write about the most, so I let it go.

Truth in advertising.

After some trial and error tinkering, sometimes requiring mystery clicks on vague icons with unclear popup titles, I have reached a mostly functional equilibrium that reasonably matches my previous editing experience.

I do miss the running word-count information that previously displayed at the bottom of my view as I typed.

With time, I will learn whether or not that’s a feature I can add back, as I explore the myriad other repackaged ways WordPress has changed my blogging experience to make it so much better.

Okay, never mind. I just clicked the “help” icon at the bottom of my view and learned I can click an information icon at the top of the screen to find that information.

That was at 308 words, if you care.

Which is more than enough to call for an end to my whining about change for change’s sake.

How about a bit of boasting about the other burden I so often face as the spouse of one who loves to bake?

I keep getting asked to sample and review the latest delicious morsels being baked under a constantly changing mix of ingredients and techniques.


My judgements might be influenced unfairly by the fact I usually enjoy the advantage of performing these tests on goods fresh and warm from the oven, but the taste analyses are probably universal.

Cyndie is gaining proficiency with each refinement she makes.

We make a pretty good team.

I credit our ability to change with the times, albeit sometimes kicking and whining all the way.



Written by johnwhays

October 3, 2020 at 8:28 am

Planting Acorns

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When all around you the world appears to be unraveling in every direction, try planting a tree.

In our case, we’ve decided to take a crack at planting many. Last week we buried over a hundred acorns in a line outside the fence of the paddocks.

Since nature does such an amazing job of producing oak sprouts everywhere on our property, we decided to see if we could organize some of them to pop up right where we’d like to have them growing for the shade they would eventually provide.


Note: WordPress has done another update to their format, changing the look of my editing space and eliminating options that I previously used when formatting my posts. I do not have the control I once had, so things may appear different from what you were used to seeing until a time when I figure out a new way to achieve the results I desire.

Already, I miss the good old days of composing my posts.

Disgruntled-ly yours,




Written by johnwhays

October 2, 2020 at 6:00 am

Totally Unexpected

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I have been using to host my blog from the time I started it in 2009, publishing one post per day from the beginning. Long-time readers will note that I make very few changes to the appearance of my blog. I chose a theme I liked, and I have stayed with it. I have been focusing my energy on content, not the vessel, which is/was supposed to be the advantage of Now it appears that a change has been forced upon me.

Yesterday was an interesting day for me, as I monitored the forum activity on the topic of the recent WordPress update to the image editing option. I am not alone in my grief and frustration over the loss of control. Plenty of other people were struck with the same brutal discovery, a fair number of them trying to maintain multiple blogs and/or business blogs. All of us bewailing the unexpected and unwelcome loss of features.

At this point, the limited response from WordPress representatives has been distant, somewhat evasive, and pretty unsympathetic. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

It is like someone turning off a light while you are working, and you holler, “Excuse me, I was using that!”

Would you be satisfied with this response? “Well, we made some improvements in the way you can open and close the curtains. It is much easier now. You don’t have to walk over to the end of the window any more. Now you can just grab the curtains anywhere and move them. Many people have worked long and hard on this change. It may take some time to get used to this new way of doing things, but we’re confident you will enjoy it after you become used to it. We welcome constructive feedback, but we will not be going back to the old way of doing things, so if you have something constructive to offer, we will seriously consider it for future versions.”

“Um, what about the light I was using? Could you please turn it back on?”

From WordPress “Happiness Engineers” [yes, that is how some of the staff responders are labeled in the forums], the response we are getting to the equivalent question we are asking has been mostly silence.

Hmmm. What is up with that?

Written by johnwhays

March 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

Dangblasted Updates!

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Curses! Progress has foiled me once again. While trying to compose today’s post, I discovered I could no longer format the images I upload in the “advanced” way I have previously.

This is a view of the old editing tab that has been eliminated in the latest update.

This is a view of the old editing tab that has been eliminated in the latest update.

I was very fond of the previous version and the control it provided me to make things look the way I wished them to look.

Thank you for “improving” your software, WordPress, by removing features I used. You have completely taken the wind out of my creative sail.

Dear Relative Something audience, please forgive me for my loss of interest in posting what I had in mind for today. I will be whimpering in the corner until I can compose myself enough to return and investigate my options. With luck, it will just require a short learning curve to master a different way of doing things to get the results I seek. If not that, I may need to pony up some funds to purchase the control I hope to gain, if that is possible.

Time to consult with my much more tech-savy son… Stay tuned, I hope to be back to regular programming as soon as possible.

Written by johnwhays

March 25, 2014 at 6:00 am

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