Mish Mash

Perhaps I should have called this an eclectic mix. Eclectic implies an air of sophistication while mish mash implies confusion, chaos. My tag line does begin with “random thoughts” so I think I’m on solid ground. I will add that, as of 7:30 pm Saturday, my tagline might as well have said nothing at all.

New theme: I reported yet another technical issue to the Happiness Engineers last week. It doesn’t matter what it was because it wasn’t a problem. I was informed that my theme had been retired – like me and was no longer functioning properly – unlike me. It seems that as the Block Editor has evolved, changes have been made rendering previously block editor compliant themes block editor recalcitrant – mine included.

I’m not sure when you last changed the theme on your blog, but that process has changed a bit. It’s as intuitive as it ever was, you know, like steering your way out of a skid, but it seems to have some issues of its own. For instance. The “live preview” of my blog looked much better than my actual blog did after I applied the new theme. I’m trying not to go down the technical rabbit hole, but here’s a list of surprises and the remedy:

The title and tagline of my blog were in a color that was indiscernible from the background image. The color adjustment feature did not adjust the color. I applied some custom CSS to change the color.

Similarly, the title and tagline were centered vertically. This also required some custom CSS.

Speaking of custom CSS, the elements I had previously added (my indent and separator) were not carried over. Fortunately, I had a backup.

I like the new theme, but I still have some configuration tweaks to make.

Advice: Many of the bloggers I follow include the option to share their blog posts via social media. These options (there are many) are a great way to gain exposure, and they are easy as pie (which I don’t understand because making a good pie isn’t particularly easy). But, as the song on Sesame Street suggested, one of these things is not like the others. I sometimes share via Facebook and Tumblr, but I’m most likely to share via Twitter.

If you’re asking me to share via Facebook, the post goes live under my name and I can say whatever I want. It’s easy to tag you because we are probably already friends. If I share your post via Twitter, I don’t even have to know who you are – but it would be beneficial to you if my followers did. The majority of posts I try to share via Twitter are tagged with “via @wordpressdotcom” – why give WordPress credit for your hard work?

If you want your Twitter username to appear when I share your post on Twitter, follow this simple instruction:

From your Admin panel, select Tools -> Marketing -> Sharing Buttons and set Twitter username.

Not only will my followers see your name, but you’ll also see my Tweet in your notifications. You can then re-tweet it and further increase your exposure.

Wisconsin Point: One of the interesting places we visited while in Duluth, Minnesota was a lighthouse at Wisconsin Point in Superior Wisconsin. The lighthouse is small, and it sits at the end of a long barrier made of boulders. It’s not open to visitors. I decided to walk out across the boulders, until they became wetter and wetter and seemed to have slippery green stuff growing on them. Once back on dry sand, we noticed an ore boat turning into the channel. We watched as the ore boat maneuvered through the channel and up to a ore loading port. Imagine parallel parking a 1,000′ (305m) Chevy. There are some pictures from this adventure in today’s gallery. Note: it’s a block editor gallery. If you want to read the captions, you’ll have to open the slideshow by clicking on any image.


  1. Great photos and good move to leave the green stuff alone and not under foot. :-) I like the new theme, but now I’m concerned I’ll get the same notice and for sure I do not have a coding background. I still can’t get your posts in email so what are my chances at changing themes. Hmm. Have a good week, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My problems were mostly related to things I had done – self-inflicted wounds, as it were. My complaint is that there was very little warning that those problems would surface. I complained, again, about the notifications. Apparently, others are still having that problem, too, so they’re back working on the issue. Maybe one day they will get it fixed.

      I hope you have a good week, Judy.


  2. I like the new theme, Dan. Did you chose the header, or is it one WordPress provided with the theme? I only ask because I can change the header on my theme, but it does mean I have to switch between black text and white text (depending on what shows best). I had to get WordPress to write the CSS for me for white text as I’m hopeless at that kind of stuff.

    I change my theme every 6-9 months because I think it gives my blog a fresh, new look instead of making it look rather stale. I’ve always had fun changing it, although you can slip down the time-consuming’ rabbit hole if you’re not careful. Once I find one I like, I stick with it and stop searching for another 6-9 months.

    I don’t know how often I mentioned in blog posts that bloggers need to attach their Twitter account to their blog so that their Twitter user name appears when somebody shares one of their posts on Twitter. I’ve even sent DMs to people on Twitter informing them it’s something they need to do otherwise, WordPress gets the credit for their work, yet they still don’t do it. It could be down to not knowing how to do it, so it’s good that you’ve included some easy to follow instructions.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hugh. The header image is my photo, and some portion of i has been the header forever. Getting it to work with new themes is always a challenge. I’m not wild about the color combination in this, I don’t see the light blue titles very well, but there isn’t an option to change, and it involves lots of CSS to find all the little bits where that color is applied.

      The CSS to change the title color is easy. The CSS to change its location was a mess. Not only did the recommended changes not work, the change that did work wasn’t previewed correctly. So I had to change, then look at the blog, then try again. I shouldn’t have started the project at nigh.

      The Twitter thing makes me shake my head. I hope some people will make the attempt, it really is an easy fix. I remember you mentioning this in the past.

      I hope you have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire the way you meet each “challenge” and adjust accordingly. I have to admit that when I read the part about the unacceptable new theme, my heart sank. If it were me, my first response would not be pretty. Eventually, I’d adapt, but not without protest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If it works, Maggie, it will save me some time, but a year ago mine was a recommended theme. Now it’s obsolete, and I find that frustrating. I hope choosing one written by WordPress (Automatic) means it will be maintained, but I’m sure that’s a false hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AS one who still uses the classic editor, I can sympathize. They tried to force me to use it, but I’m a paying customer, know what I want to do, and going to block editor just added a bunch of unnecessary steps with every post. I hated it and let WP know that.

    My wife agrees with you about the pie.

    Love the light house. We don’t have any in the Waco area. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wanted to stay with Classic, but it seemed inevitable that.I would have to change, I decided to do it when I had the time. I just wish they would fix the things that don’t yet work, and stop breaking the things that do.

      I’m glad to hear someone agree about pie.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved the part about parallel parking the 1000′ Chevy — that describes every car I’ve ever tried to parallel-park. The photos are great; the steel and iron fit in nicely with that landscape, I think. As for the blog, I can only hold my head so it doesn’t explode.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah the sailboat is more my speed. That is one big ship! I’ve always admired people who live in light houses. Always thought their thighs must be incredible! Ha ha Ha. But the view from the top would be spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure if any lighthouses have people controlling them. It must have been a challenge, that’s for sure. I’ve walked up in some, and even the short ones are a good workout. But the view is nice. I had a sailboat for a while, smaller than the one in these pictures, I would not wanted to be near that ore boat.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked the look of your prior theme. It does take a while to tweak a new theme, doesn’t it? I quit using most of the themes put out by other companies as this scenario happens too often. They either quit supporting the theme or they charge for the theme and the support. I had to be careful with clients that I did not lock them in a long term support commitment.

    If the gallery captions are longer, I must click the information (i) button to see the entire caption which shifts the image up. Sometimes the top of portrait style images get shifted off my iPad screen. As soon as I go to the next slide it defaults back. It may have always been this way, but it is a little cumbersome. I find often design for mobile formats are lacking. Loved the images, though. Looks like a great time.

    I don’t use Twitter other than passively, so I never include my Twitter name. This makes me think I should redefine my user name and use it more actively. Thanks for the tip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The galleries, in my options, are a hot mess. When I complained about captions not showing in their entirety, they told me to write shorter ones. I liked the old theme. It took me a long time to choose it and configure it, but I liked what I ended up with. It was a “recommended theme” a year ago. This one is from Automatic. I hope that means it will be maintained. I really thought the way they handled captions on the Classic gallery was perfect. Unobstructed view – hover to see some of the caption – click to see slide show with complete captions. I don’t like replacement systems that don’t function as well as the previous version.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan, you know the entire first portion of your blog went right over my head! The gallery I understand! 🤪. Love the shot of the lighthouse. I LOVE lighthouses and barns. Go figure. Those long boats are incredible. The size of them becomes very apparent alongside the sail boat! Yikes! I remember parallel parking one of those 1,000′ Chevys! Never again!

    I’d like to meet Moccasin Mike. He must be, or must’ve been, quite a character. I agree with you about the pie…..making a pie “from scratch” is an art unto itself. But when you’ve done it right, it’s so rewarding you hate to cut into it and ruin its perfection. But one taste and all you can think about is the next slice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I included the last section so the whole post wouldn’t be technical, Ginger. I’m glad to get some support on the pie thing. I’ve been trying to imagine Moccasin Mike. I’m not sure who he was, but he had a nice view.


  9. I wish I had your skill in working with the “Happiness Engineers”. Inevitably, frustration reigns when I attempt anything, mostly because I don’t understand either the tech or the situation. 🙄 Great photos and explanations, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. Sometimes, I wish I never reached out to the engineers. They solve a lot of problems, but a lot of the explanations are more frustrating than the problem. This bothered me because a year ago, they suggested a “block compliant” theme would resolve my problem. I picked a “recommended” theme. It didn’t solve the problem I was having and now, it’s obsolete.

      I’m glad you like the photos.


  10. I died a little when I read about your theme being obsolete. I dread the day WP notifies me that I have to change mine. This is the only social media platform I am on, so no tweets from me!
    Little boats and big ships….we love to watch the interaction at the marina downtown. The ships could swat those boats like a fly, but the boats try to hold their ground. Which is both ridiculous but fun to see. Have a great week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was wondering why the sailboat didn’t swing wide right as soon as it cleared the channel. I know I would have.

      If you aren’t having problems, I think they will let you continue using a “retired” theme. I was having problems, and they said it was due to the theme, so I changed.

      I hope you have a nice week. Is the storm in the Gulf far enough away from you? I hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That storm is centered more toward TX/LA…again. We had rain yesterday and it is forecast all week, but tropical storm Nicholas is not scheduled to become a hurricane. I hope it stays that way. We’ll be OK. Thanks, Dan.

        Liked by 1 person

    • When I was younger, I might have kept going, Cheryl, but it seemed too dangerous, and my camera’s zoom feature was good enough. Watching that big ship maneuver in the channel was amazing. They really make it look easy.


  11. That Lighthouse is sweet! My son-in-law enjoys me sending him survey markers I find. He looks them up and learns about the place…he’s a surveyor so it’s his thing.

    I don’t think I could parallel park that ship! No, I couldn’t. I can’t even back up a trailer right. 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Small trailers are harder to back up than longer ones. I have a hard time with my utility trailer. Maybe it’s the same with ships. Still, that ship was huge!

      My daughter liked the survey markers, too. I like the lighthouse, but zooming in with my camera seemed safer than walking any farther.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ?Happy Monday Dan. I use the reader instead of follows. Everything seemed okay this morning until I neticed your post did not show up in the reader. So I went the direct route. Hmmm 31 comments already. I guess I am late to the show. Rhetorical question – what is broke my theme, the reader, or all of the above and more….? cheers !

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey, I decided my next post would be a mish mash, but I think it will be more like unorganized chaos. We shall see.

    I like your new theme because now when I got to your post on my phone, the gallery is not a mess. With your old theme, I had to go to Samsung Internet to see the pictures without them and your taglines being jumbled together. I thought it was my phone, but guess not.

    I love seeing the ore boats again since it’s been a long time since visiting Superior. Thanks for reinforcing a childhood memory, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good tip on the Twitter feed. I see so many posts that I want to share on Twitter come up @Wordpress.com. Some I put their handles in. Others I just cancel. They will never see the Twitter post anyway. Great photos Dan. Can you imagine working on an ore boat? Look out, Edmond Fitzgerald.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The fact that they call themselves “HAPPINESS Engineers” is started to insult and offend me, tbh. Because they bring anything but happiness!!! This whole “retired theme” business is disgusting and has actually scared me pretty good, Dan. I hate change, especial change that is NOT for the better, or is forced upon you. I admire that you’re able to take this crap in stride, but you shouldn’t HAVE to. I’m so sick of the way that social media “advancement” is nothing but constantly taking 4 steps back.

    Okay, rant over. Let’s just say that if my last name was Fremont, there’d be a whole cornfield full of UNhappiness Engineers right now……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good thing that you ranted, Wendy, it’s a very good thing ;-)

      I understand the need to make progress, to not stand still with the platform, but progress should NOT involve giving up good features that worked well. At a minimum, the Block Editor should do everything the Classic Editor did. It doesn’t have to look the same, but it should work the same. The block galleries are a total mess. I complained about them over two years ago, and they still haven’t addressed the issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree on liking the lighthouse shot. I’ve never changed my theme even though I know lots of people have without problems. I think something or somethings will go wrong and I won’t know how to fix it/them. Not very adventurous of me, is it? There are themes that would probably highlight my photography better. Maybe one of these days….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. I have changed themes several times, but the last two times were not my choice. I liked the theme I had before these two better. I’ve had to add some custom CSS to each to regain the look I wanted.


  17. These are really great pictures, Dan. I have got the hang of viewing them in a large mode now with the tags showing properly. I have always had my twitter linked to my blog but I had a period of about six months where it just didn’t work and WP couldn’t help me fix it. Then, it just came right on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had so many problems that WordPress says aren’t problems and then they go away after a few weeks. They don’t make the captions easy to read. Even in the modern galleries, you sometimes have to click the little “i” in the circle.

      Liked by 1 person

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