Winter’s log, earthdate 201703.10

02.37 pm

Just a quick update for any of you who might be wondering what’s going on in the “Winter and the Increasingly Recalcitrant WordPress” saga… Goodness knows how WordPress intends for their users who rely on phones and tablets for their blogging needs – I feel for them, poor dears, but at the moment that’s not my worry. Julian and I are about half way through the process of finding out how we move to, and/or cross over from¹, to I’ve threatened to move away from WordPress many times, but this latest stupidity with the mutilation of their perfectly good and eminently usable Editor has been the straw that’s finally broken this poor old camel’s back. I’ve had enough, and I’ll be moving on.

Essentially, and are the same – I suppose you could virtually call them sister-sites – however dictates to you what you can and can’t do, which Templates you can use, and charge like wounded bulls for other, “Premium” Templates… and they can pull silly and unnecessary swifties on you – like this latest piece of nonsense – whenever they like. In return, they do all the backups, administration stuff, and sort out any software problems if and when they occur. on the other hand, still run the WordPress software (it’s a piece of blogging software, you know, as well as being the name of a well-known blog-hosting site!) but you do “the lot”! The backups, the admin stuff, the bug-fixing – everything, including finding your own kitchen sink uhhh… blog host. If anything goes wrong with the Template you’re using, well, you have to work out how to fix it – no-one else will do it for you! There are quite literally hundreds – probably thousands – of extremely nice-looking third-party WordPress Templates from all over the ‘Net that you can download – won’t let you use them, but that you can install and use them with – or if you’re clever enough, you can even write your own Template from scratch! If you’re not too technically minded (like me!) has (or say that they have – I haven’t had a good look yet!) a very large and helpful user-base and forum where you can get help if you can’t nut it out yourself – so I reckon it can’t be too hard, especially as we already have a hosting site that we can use to host my blog – we’ve used it for our own personal Web Sites (now largely abandoned, unfortunately!) for years and years…

So “Watch This Space” for the latest updates on our imminent move away from Dictatorship!

¹That should really read “I’m in the process of”, because it’s my blog, but I use the term “we’re in the process of” because it’ll be Julian doing all the setting-up of, and organising of, the Big Move!

Winter’s log, earthdate 201703.08

05.41 pm

Yes, I’m still here – a bit more frazzled around the edges, but hey! That’s progress, innit?! 😉 As usual we’ve been super busy – Saturday was the Great Big Birthday Bash, a joint affair for himself, who was in hospital for the actual Big Day, and moi-même, because – well, crikey! Why not? It was only five days before the ninth… A very good day was had by all – we had Nandos chicken tenders, and Nandos chips – both of which suffered – just a teensy bit – from languishing in the oven whilst we got on with the materialistic bits of Birthdays. Then Julian tizzied up the Caesar salad from the supermarket a bit, with some yummy diced Feta cheese, olives, some organic and home-grown tomatoes,  and a few commercial croutons, and we finally sat down to dinner.

And there’ll be a dramatic pause right here while I go and find out what’s happened to my editing functions! Most of which are…. suddenly… missing! NOT impressed or amused, WordPress!

10.55 pm

Soooooo…. After changing the ruddy Template, thinking that might have been the problem, and getting into all sorts of problems with my graphics, because all of a sudden Photoshop has decided to do something truly unspeakable to my styles (sort-of shortcuts to the final look, if you will) I finally managed to get something semi-decent done, get back to this again and find out…

Yes, it damn-well is WordPress wot’s fiddled, totally unnecessarily, with the controls and functions of the Editor – supposedly making it more “streamlined”, and efficient, I presume? Well it’s NOT more streamlined and efficient! They’re bloody useless and idiotic changes! To underline something? Instead of just ranging and highlighting the word or words you want to underline, and clicking on the “U” (for “Underline”) in the Editor, they’ve removed that “U”, and you now have to range and highlight the word or words you want underlined…. and then click CTRL U! Now, this is a real time saver, isn’t it! Instead of just clicking on one letter in the Editor, you still have to range and highlight your word (or words), then use two hands to hit CTRL and U! As for “Justification”, or getting the left and right hand sides of the text nice and even, instead of clicking on the squared lines for “Justify” in the Editor, you now have to hit “SHIFT ALT j” HOW is this an improvement?

And do you want to know how I managed to find all this out, after wasting my entire afternoon and evening trying to work out what had happened? Sheer luck, is how! After examining just about everything still available in the Editor several times and coming up empty-handed, I finally moused over a small, insignificant question mark on the bottom row of the Editor, and the mouseover read “Keyboard Shortcuts (SHIFT+ALT+H)” OK, I thought – maybe there’s something here that might help. Well, it pops up a small window. The first part tells you “Default shortcuts, Ctrl + letter:” which didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. The second part tells you “Additional shortcuts, Shift + Alt + letter:” – ditto! But wait! They knew we’d want more! So you scroll down a bit more, and lo and behold, it says “j …. Justify” Finally! Who’d a thunk it! So I now have to range my text, and hit SHIFT+ALT+j to get my text nice and neat!


Sorry, it’s damn late! More tomorrow. Maybe. 👿

Winter’s log, earthdate 201703.02

05.04 pm

Satai is not allowed on my desk, because (a) he chews paper, and there are always a lot of bits of paper, magazines, and general “flotsam and jetsam” on my desk, and  (b) he likes to play in my desk top fountain, and violently splashing water around electrical cords and equipment isn’t usually considered to be a very good idea – so clambering onto my desk is verboten!  Now, there are – or there were – two main ways he favoured for trying to sneak onto my desk – one’s via the cabinet that acts as a sort of a “return” on the left hand side of my desk, and the other is – or rather, “was” – from the bottom shelf of the large dresser-slash-bookcase unit that sits on the wall facing my desk, on the right hand side. It’s closest to the fountain, and if I was concentrating really hard on something like WoW, or graphics, or… this blog, even though it’s right in front of me, and in plain sight, I often didn’t see him until he had his two front paws in the water!

So I decided to thwart him, good and proper! 😉 This morning when I was cleaning out the Library, and completely changing the three litter boxes, I also cleaned up the somewhat chaotic mess of books, magazines, bits of computer chair, more magazines, a telescope, and boxes of little souvenir match packets that my parents had collected every time they went to Europe – which was about every second year – when I was growing up. I trundled them all into the Den, and Julian and I proceeded to completely pack out the two bottom shelves of the dresser-slash-bookcase with these books and magazines – until Lord and Master Satai couldn’t even get half a paw onto either of  the two shelves, let alone use them as a launching spot to get onto my desk! I gave an evil cackle, and went off to the bathroom… When I came back, Julian gave me a funny look, and pointed silently to one of the shelves we’d just stuffed full of books and magazines… I looked with horror – and amusement – at what Satai had done… the cheeky little brat had demonstrated his total and nonchalant disrespect for our efforts by tipping over and half pulling out one of the “designated cat barrier” books! What can ya do?! Ya gotta laugh… 😀 Canny little devil! Sometimes methinks he’s almost a bit too clever for his own good!

On the finny side of the household, we were most perturbed last night to find that Auric has injured himself! He’s the one with the long, “floaty” tail. I give the fishies their breakfast in the morning when the cats get their breakfast – i.e. as soon as we get up! We get no peace until they get their breakfasts, so to simplify matters, I feed the fish then too! And I give the fishies their dinner at night when we feed Sal and Satai – then with furred and scaled animal tummies full, we have our dinner, then go and watch television until about nine thirty – in full sight of the Fish House at all times.  Anyway, last night when I gave the fishies their dinner at about 6 o’clock, they were both totally fine! At half past nine or thereabouts when I went to say goodnight to them and turn their tank light off, Auric had a wonky tail! It didn’t seem to be bothering him, and it wasn’t affecting his swimming in any way that we could see – but it looked pretty messy! Can you see the small, roundish, slightly thicker bit of white on the top of his tail?

Poor little Auric has injured his tail! :(
Poor little Auric has injured his tail! 😦

You can see it better here… It looks as though he might have got it jammed in between the big rock behind him and the wall of the tank or something – but I don’t think there’s any part of the rock that’s that close to the tank wall – or maybe he caught it in between one of the filters and the side of the tank? Who knows! But it doesn’t look nice! Julian left the ultra violet steraliser on last night – it kills off algae and bacteria – in the hopes that it would prevent Auric from getting any sort of an infection in his “wound”. Auric is still swimming around as though nothing at all was wrong, but we’re keeping a close eye on him, nonetheless. I mean, it’s one thing to stick a cat in a carry basket and take it up to the Vet if it’s been injured, but it’s another thing entirely to stick a fish in a carry basket and take it up to the Vet if it looks poorly! :/ I’ll keep you all posted on his progress…

So this morning I cleaned out the cat boxes and tidied up the Library, then I played WoW until lunch time. After lunch I went and read my book for a while because Julian was putting my computer onto its own UPS (Un-Interruptable Power Supply) so that if there’s a blackout, I’ll still be able to use my computer! The bloke from the Solar Panel place came, and then left, with a bunch of questions we’d given him to find the right answers to, and that was about the sum total of the comings and goings chez nous today! 🙂

And so on to the good stuff! 😉

Last night for dinner we had herbed lamb sausages, with oven cooked chips, snow peas, and half of really delicious and fleshy, organic and completely home-grown, Black Russian tomato each! Then I had a Beurre Bosch pear – which was really nice – and an Apple Le Rice for dessert. For lunch today we had sourdough sandwiches with basil pesto hummus as a butter substitute, and peri-peri chicken sandwich chunks – very yummy! 🙂 Tonight we’re having the first of two leftover meals of the “Honey-Balsamic Baked Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Mushrooms” that we had the other night – again on a bed of plain steamed rice, mixed with finely chopped spring onions. I’d bought three of the Beurre Bosch pears, and the one I had last night was so nice, I thought I’d have another one tonight, with a MOO Sticky Apple and Organic Honey yoghurt for dessert.

Weigh-in this morning. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – maybe it’s the knowledge that I don’t have to take those revolting little fluid retaining pills, ever again that’s making me more relaxed, or something… I dunno! Anyway, despite the yummy and delicious Baker’s Delight lunch that I ate yesterday, I only went  up one point – from 74.2 kg yesterday, to 74.3 kg today. I’ll probably go up a bit more tomorrow, but hey! Easter’s just around the corner, and after that Julian and I will both be doing our Optifast best to get down to our new “goal weights”! I don’t know what Julian wants to get down to, but I’ve set my goal weight at somewhere between 63 and 64 kgs…

And that brings me up to tomorrow, when my very favourite eldest daughter will be over – for the last Friday in a while! She goes back to uni next week, and she’ll be there on Monday and Thursday from 10 until noon, and Friday from three o’clock until five – which will give her Tuesday and Wednesday free to come over here, if she’s not too busy with assignments and so forth – bearing in mind that she’ll be writing a two-part Thesis this year! So, we’ll sit back and enjoy what might be our last splurge of “Supergirl”, “The Flash”, “Arrow”, and “Legends of Tomorrow” for a while! On Saturday we’re having our double “Big Birthday Bash” for both me (though my Birthday isn’t until next Thursday!) and Julian (who was in hospital on his real Birthday!) We’re not going out to a restaurant anywhere – although he’s coming along well, Terry’s not really up to that yet – so we’ll have a “Nando’s Lunch” of chicken tenders and chips, home-made salad, and some sort of nice “Birthday Cake” or other 😉 And that’s really about “it” from me again this evening! Do drop in again tomorrow night, and find out what we girls watched, if Auric’s tail is any better, and whether “Lord Satai” managed to get up onto my desk via the stuffed-to-the-gunnels shelf of the dresser-slash-bookcase! Until then though, please do your very best to bee good, don’t forget that when you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it, and remember to always drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on your preferences… but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201703.01

04.27 pm

Hey! Guess what! It’s my Birthday month! My parents had been expecting me to be born somewhere between mid to late February, but being the lazy sod that I am, I dithered around and delayed my departure from my warm and watery world until it was my maternal Grandfather’s birthday, and arrived then – on the Ides of March – you know, the one they warned Caesar about!? Nah – I wasn’t really born on the Ides of March – though because of my predilection for trouble, a lot of people say I should have been – the 9th of March is my Birthday, not the 15th! And of course, today was the day I was going to see the Great and Wise Dr. Y., so I was doubly jittery and anxious this morning! My appointment was for 11 o’clock, and we arrived at about five to eleven – and sat there until about five to twelve! Thank all the powers that be for ebooks, because it’s really difficult lugging a shelf-load of even slim paperback novels around, especially in this hot weather! Anyhoo, in we went, and sat and waited for another fifteen minutes or so, before he finally made it to us. Greetings and the usual small talk ensued, and then (“ring-ring”) went his phone! “Excuse me,” says he, picking up the handset… and after trying very politely not to listen in to the one side of the conversation that we could hear from our perches, when he finally put the phone down he explained to us that he’s been having heaps of difficulties finding alternates to some medications a patient of his is on, because she’s very lactose intolerant, and it seems that nearly all of the medications that she needs contain lactose! A colleague of his had managed to track a few of these non-lactose substances, and had rung him to let him know what they were. Well, he’d received the report on my last lots of tests, which as I think I mentioned yesterday were extremely good, and we  told him exactly how much I hated taking those wretched little pills… to which he replied “Well, stop taking them then!” He then went on to say that I’ve been doing really well for quite a long time now, and that unless there were any major upsets, I don’t need to see him any more! I have to get another ultrasound done in twelve months, and the results of that will go to my GP, so unless she thinks I should see him again then, and barring any untoward mishaps in the meantime, that should be it! He seems quite over the moon with the amount of weight I’ve lost – and managed to keep off – for nearly two years now, and I suppose it really is kinda hard to reconcile the sort of person I was when I first met him to the sort of person that I am now! Yanno – I’m really happy that hopefully I will never have to see him again about my health, but at the same time, really sad that I won’t see him again, full stop! He’s a really fantastic doctor – and a really, really nice man! I couldn’t even say to him “I’ll catch up with you on Facebook” or whatever, because he never goes near any of the usual social media types of places – in fact, according to him, he gets online as seldom as possible! He’s probably too busy to, anyway! Oh well, I’m the richer for having met him, and I’m quite sure he saved my life… (Winter raises her defective and almost empty coffee cup in a silent toast) So here’s to you, Dr. Y., may you have as much success with all your other patients as you did with me!

We came straight home after that – via Vermont South shopping centre, both to check the PO Box, and to grab something for lunch – our lawn mowing man was due early this afternoon and we had to be home to open the side gate for him. After lunch, I played WoW for a bit, then, because it was niggling me, did a bit more work on the Template – yes, I changed it again (just in case you hadn’t noticed! 😉 ) And that’s pretty much been all I’ve done today! I haven’t even done the cat litter boxes yet – I haven’t had time! I’ll do them this evening before bed – or just give them a cursory “sift”, and change them all out completely tomorrow morning. I’d also really like to get hold of a really good new “wand” (??) type of vacuum cleaner – at the moment I’m using a reasonably good electronic carpet sweeper, but the little container that holds all the dust, cat fluff, and occasional granule or so of kitty litter, is very small (read: “minuscule”!) and extremely awkward to remove, empty, and replace. Oh well, one day… *sigh*

So, now onto all the good bits!

Food stuffz: Last night for dinner we had a new chicken dish that I found in one of my many and varied foodie emails the other day. It’s called “Honey-Balsamic Baked Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Mushrooms” – you’ll find it here, it’s utterly delicious, and the recipe printout is about to be laminated to become one of our “Keepers”. I suppose you could have it on its own, or with mashed potatoes and vegetables, or whatever you like – last night we had it with plain steamed rice and finely chopped spring onions. There’s plenty left over, too, which has been parceled out into two and a half meal-sized portions and put in the freezer for future use. For dessert I had a brown Nashi pear and a MOO banana caramel sundae yoghurt. For lunch today I had half a cheese and mushroom savoury roll, and a half a chorizo and tomato pizza-type roll from Baker’s Delight, and a fruit and white chocolate scone, with just a smattering of butter on each half. Tonight we’re having some sort of fancy sausages for dinner (Julian can’t remember what sort they are, and he can’t go and look either, because Sal is using his heel for a pillow!) with chips, half of one of our very own organic and home-grown tomatoes, and steamed snow peas. For dessert I’ll have one of my Beurre Bosc pears, and probably an Apple Le Rice.

Weigh-in this morning – was annoying! Why does my body do this to me? Does it think it’s funny, or something?! (don’t answer that!) I went from 73.8 kg yesterday morning, to 74.2 kg this morning – the same as I was on Monday! S’not fair! *pout* 😛

And that brings me up to tomorrow… I don’t think anything much is happening tomorrow, apart from a guy coming around tomorrow to talk to Julian about putting on some more solar panels, but it looks like I might get a nice clear run at a bit of worthwhile WoW-ing! 🙂 And that’s really about “it” from me again for this evening! Do feel free to drop in again tomorrow night – find out what my weight decided to do, whether we decided to get some more solar panels or not, and if I got any decent WoW-ing in or not! Until then though, please do your very best to bee good, remember that words are but pictures of our thoughts, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather and whereabouts you are in it… but most importantly, please don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

I wonder if he's dreaming that he's flying... upside down!
I wonder if he’s dreaming that he’s flying… upside down!
Sal is trying to tell me that he's fainting with hunger... I think that's my cue to go and feed them!
Sal is trying to tell me that he’s fainting with hunger… I think that’s my cue to go and feed them!