Archives for July 2015

Old WordPress

It’s no secret that I really love WordPress. Almost every site I’ve made in the last decade has been based on it and I’ve powered my own website with it since 2004.

Yet, I have to say I kind of miss this:

The 'write post' screen from WordPress version 1.2

Sure, it lacks a lot of the frills that WP core has implemented over these many years. There was no need for a “distraction free” writing environment because, well, there wasn’t much there. The only organization for posts was categories. And there was no auto-save feature, which has admittedly saved me a fair number of times when my router has decided being connected to the Internet isn’t a thing it should do!

The “famous five-minute install” was touted a lot back then. And, in fact, if you didn’t have a god awful connection, you could probably upload all of the core files and still manage to get that install done in those five minutes. That is definitely not a thing of today. I have fiber and the last WP site I had to fully upload and install took me almost a half hour.1

Of course, the userbase has evolved and WordPress isn’t just a blogging software. Rather it’s become a full content management and publishing software.

I think that’s wonderful, but sometimes I think it’s just too much for what is needed. I’m going to sound like a senior citizen yelling at children to get off my lawn, but damn it if sometimes I don’t want or need a full C.M.S. to power the site I’m building despite the simplicity WP provides in pushing content to visitors.

Sometimes, I just want that small, little blogging software from 10 years ago!

  1. To be fair, I was also poking around on YouTube to bide my time and there are at least six other things connected to the router sucking my bandwidth.

Dolly’s Blog

“What ever happened to Dolly’s blog?”

Good grief! There are still people around that remember that thing?!

I mean, just, wow. That was back in my LiveJournal days and I moved this blog off of there in 2004! I also moved Dolly’s blog to a WordPress site and basically it was never updated after that.

As disappointing as some people found it, though, the reason the blog was abandoned was simply that I got too busy. Writing snarky posts on a daily basis in the guise of my guide dog wasn’t nearly as amusing when I didn’t have acres of free time. That graduate thesis wasn’t going to write itself no matter how much I willed it to happen.

There is a bit of irony in the timing of this question, however, since I very recently contacted someone about possibly commissioning some artwork for I’m still not 100% what I plan to do with it, but no I will not be starting up another blog. I barely can manage to keep my own blog updated after all!

Oh, and before you ask, there is no archive of the blog. Any backup I had of it was eaten during the Great ‘Puter Crash of Aught Six and whatever was still online has long since been lost to the ether of the intarwebs.

Do you have a question for me? Comment below, email me, or utilize any of the social links to the right.

  1. Yes, I’ve kept the domain all these years. I’m rather attached to it since it was the first domain I ever owned.

Footer Fixed

Turns out when I “fixed” the site after the massive breakage from upgrading to WP 4.2, I broke my footer. That was only three months ago and I literally noticed the issue five minutes ago!

Anyhow, I’m sure you will all be thrilled to know it is now fixed. Huzzah!

One Week

Uschi’s been eating all of her meals in the kitchen for an entire week.

It’s significant enough to mention because it’s been literally years since she’s routinely eaten in the kitchen.

I haven’t referenced it because frankly it was embarrassing. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was and honestly I still don’t quite understand what her problem was.

According to Jason, the instructor we trained with, she definitely preferred to eat in her crate. It’s quite likely she was raised eating all of her meals that way and just associated it as a comfortable place to dine. I wasn’t particular fond of this concept since I like to have blankets and other bedding in the crate.1 At first Uschi was reluctant to eat her meals in the kitchen, but then we had the crazy incident with the cat at the bookstore.

I don’t know what happened. She stopped eating her food if I left it in the kitchen. In fact, she basically avoided the kitchen entirely. If I called her in, she would reluctantly obey and flee the moment she was released from any commands. Her entire behavior in the kitchen screamed how stressed and scared she was.

Initially it was more important to deal with the more active issues from the aftermath of the bookstore drama. I needed her to be solid in harness and so long as I wasn’t pressing the kitchen thing she was totally fine.

Slowly, oh so slowly, over the years she’s become more comfortable with the kitchen. First I couldn’t even convince her to take a drink from her bowl. She’d just stand there, glancing back at me from her elevated diner with white-rimmed eyes. I made sure to add extra water to her meals to make sure she was getting enough each day. At some point she started to sneak her water. I really can’t explain the logic of it since she’s always had free water, but the only way she’d voluntarily drink seemed to require her feeling totally secure that I wouldn’t be in there. Every time I’d go to the bathroom, for instance, she’d make a beeline for the kitchen and drink like she might never have water again. Sometimes the momentum from her eager running caused the bathroom door to open causing her to either run back the way she came or poke her head into the bathroom like she was really intending to visit me. Eventually I was able to use those times to get her to accompany me into the kitchen. I’d casually try to get her to drink and at first she would literally just dip her tongue in the water.

The whole process was a high-wire act. She was so tentative and inexplicably fearful that I never wanted to press her, but no matter how friendly and enticing I tried to make the kitchen I just couldn’t get her interested. If I tried to feed her a treat, she’d ignore me like she didn’t really want it or snatch it from me and bolt away. If I tossed a toy in the direction of the kitchen or one randomly rolled too close, she considered it lost and wouldn’t go near it. I was content, however, when she finally started to drink of her own accord. It was excruciatingly slow progress, but at least she wasn’t acting like her water was a protected resource that she had to steal. I figured it was as good as it would ever get and so the years have passed.

And then one day earlier this year I was cooking dinner and tripped over her. She was just lying there behind me like it was the most natural thing ever. She ran off like I’d beat her and I thought I’d broken all the progress we’d made. But then she was back another day batting a tennis ball around. Another night, I looked over to find her sitting demurely by the stove and watching me intently. Some time after that she tried to counter-surf while I was dicing up chicken. I gave her a soft “nuh uh” and bopped her gently on the nose. I expected her to dart off, but instead she sunk to the ground at my feet.

She didn’t join me every time I cooked something, but I noticed if I spent any great length of time in the kitchen she’d eventually come and investigate. Sometimes she’d bring a toy as a peace offering, dropping it at my feet and glancing over at whatever food was being cooked. At some point I started to randomly give her a treats when she visited me, trying to entice her to eat them in the kitchen. The first few times she ran off, leaving the treat on the floor until I let her take it away.

After a few tries I finally got her to stick around, but I still wasn’t convinced I’d ever get her to eat a meal in the kitchen. Then one morning I set her food in her crate and called her over. Rather than crawl into her crate with her food, she just stuck her head through the kennel door and ate. She did the same thing the next day, too. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. Honestly, I didn’t give it much thought at all.

Except a few weeks later when she flatly refused to eat at all. Brooke had spent the night here, before heading back to Canada and Uschi was too distracted by what Canyon and Rogue might be doing than bother with her breakfast. By dinner she was appropriately famished and she was so interested in her food that I just set her bowl on the floor. She ate ravenously and I was flummoxed.

Curiosity compelled me to see if she’d be as willing to eat in the kitchen the next morning. And, well, as you can probably guess she was and has been every day since.

I don’t know if she’ll continue to take her meals in the kitchen without issue since I still don’t know what the actual problem was. The trigger seems to have been the stress from that encounter with the horrible cat, but how it related to my kitchen is baffling.

  1. I’m sure it’s more comfortable, but it also helps keep the crate cleaner because the dirt and oils aren’t deposited primarily along the sides and bottom of the crate.

Play More Dragon Quest!

“Are you still planning to play through the Dragon Quest games?”

Yes, I fully intend to continue the playthrough and I apologize for not being more forthcoming with why I stopped posting.

If you were following along you probably gathered that all the grinding in DQII was really a drag. Coupled with the ridiculously tedious task of organizing each post, I was more than a bit burnt out. I had intended to spend the majority of my dog-sitting time playing some catch up, but I ended up being a lot busier at Dad’s than I expected.

The main reason the project’s been on hiatus, though, is because the Tech-pocalypse1 has struck yet again and this time it seems focused on various game consoles. This is not only a huge money sink for me, but really sad and frustrating. Every time I’d shift my focus on to a different game to bide my time until a console was fixed and/or replaced, I’d end up with another randomly broken console. Rinse, repeat. I literally spent an entire month where I didn’t play anything because it was just that depressing for me.

Anyway, barring any unforeseen financial woes, I expect to finish the console replacement by the end of this month. I’m honestly really looking forward to getting back into this project; I’ve been itching for some DQ fun times.

Do you have a question for me? Comment below, email me, or utilize any of the social links to the right.

  1. The semi-annual thing where random electronics of mine all start inexplicably dying.