Best Laid Plans of Dust and Blogs

I prepared the Thursday Doors Recap post earlier than I normally do on Saturday. I was worried that my new theme might not cooperate with the URL-gathering-program I wrote that drives the recap. It seemed to work alright, but it did miss a few links. Or the participants linked to my post instead of theirs – that happens. I took note of all the things that seemed to cause problems and I added a series of messages to Thursday Doors participants regarding steps they could take to make the process smoother.

My process for building the recap page is a kludge, but it works. It involves a JavaScript program I wrote, and a spreadsheet in Excel. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say I (or someone with more skill) could probably do the whole thing in JavaScript but using Excel for what Excel excels at is much easier. Once the non-door links are eliminated, I am left with a formatted table in Excel that I copy and paste into the block editor. The editor creates a table block. Well, it used to.

Something happened two weeks ago, and the block editor no longer creates a table. Also, the mess that gets pasted in can’t be turned into a table. I’ve been having to use a classic block and create the table there. That works, but the resulting table is not as easy to work with and it doesn’t look as nice. The Happiness Engineers – I have a hot-link to them now – said they know about the problem. They suggested that, for now, I paste my Excel rows and columns into Google Sheets and then copy those rows and columns and paste them into the block editor. There’s nothing I like better than making a kludge kludgier.

The other side of the title refers to recent activity in my workshop. I installed the dust collector I purchased a year ago. I should say “permanently installed” since I’ve been using the unit for quite some time. If you followed my progress on the shop, you may recall about a year ago when I was framing the raised floor area in the back of my garage. I located the brace between two floor joists farther back than all the others. That was where I had planned to install the dust collection ductwork. The plan was to bring the port up through the floor, along with 220v and 110v electrical service and be able to handle the table saw on a regular basis but wheel in other tools as necessary and connect to power and dust collection as needed.

I didn’t install anything ahead of time because I wanted to use the shop for a while and see how it felt. I moved things around as I settled in. The layout feels great, but my table saw is nowhere near the place I thought it would be. Also, I realized that it would be easier to connect the other tools to the dust collector and electrical outlet if they were on the wall. I finished the installation on Tuesday. I have dust collection to the table saw and to my bandsaw. Each circuit is controlled by a “blast gate” so only one machine is being serviced at any one time. The hose to the bandsaw is long enough to service other tools, when I wheel them into position, and the outlet for the bandsaw can be used by those tools.

The dust collector is mounted on the garage side of the wall but controlled by a switch in the workshop. The ductwork is installed through the wall to the bandsaw and under the floor to the table saw. I had to drill through the (outer) rim joist, and one of the bracing blocks. That require another kludge – one of mechanical pieces parts. The slideshow below provides details for the DIY aficionados out there.

Back to the Thursday Doors recap page for one last twist. On Sunday morning, one blogger notified me that their URL was missing. I opened my admin page, navigated to Pages, selected the Recap page and clicked “Edit.” A message popped up – “Cannot edit page. Page has been deleted.” I’m not sure what happened, but this has happened once before, and the engineers were adamant that “the page was deleted by an authorized user” and they refused to even open a ticket. I restored the Recap page from a backup and went on with my day.

81 comments

  1. I have read this with my first cup of coffee. I should have waited for the second. There is nothing in either saga that I understand except how complicated. Your workshop looks like a place many wonders will happen. I love the leaf photo, and even more I love the thought of the last dandelion. As if! Thanks for the word “kludge” — a new one for me, and a very useful one!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m glad you stuck with it, Maureen. I know this post had little to offer the non-DIY non-bloggers, but the two subjects consumed a lot of my time. I’m sure we will have more dandelions, but they keep spraying the park for weeds and bugs. This little guy is a survivor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. With coffee in hand, I headed here first to see what you and Maddie have been up to. :-) I understood what you were saying about WordPress but no way could I do it or be dedicated enough to even attempt. I find enough challenges in my little WordPress efforts and really pull a few tacky words out when I can’t even go back and edit a paragraph. I enjoyed reading about your shop adjustments and additions, but you knew I would. I surely do wish we were neighbors. I would trade gardening, sewing and baking projects for mechanical projects. :-) Happy walking in this nice fall weather.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You make it look so simple, Dan. If truth be known, I’m the fix-it person at our home. But – I don’t mess with electricity or roofs. Your how-to’s are fascinating and make me wish I had “shop” and not “home ec” in high school. 😊 Love your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m laughing, Gwen because there are times I wish I had “Home ec.” I wish they still had shop classes in school. There are things I don’t mess with. I do basic electrical work and basic plumbing, but I won’t go near our heating system. I don’t want to burn the house down or risk freezing because I was trying to save some money. I no longer work on cars, as they have become too complicated. I’m glad to hear that you are the fix-it person at home. Many homes don’t have one. I hope you have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You approach your workshop the way you approached your job. A place for everything and everything in its place. You research everything thoroughly and you’ve learned an important lesson: to live with something for a while before you put your stamp of approval on it. Long after you’re rearranging clouds in Heaven, some young DIYer will be the proud owner of your home. When he is working in the shop, he will ‘think’ he died and went to Heaven! Lol. ‘Course, that won’t be for decades!

    Love the lone dandelion. He has some grit left in him. Old Glory is a beautiful sight, and the shadows are fun to see. If Maddie even notices them, I wonder what she thinks they are.

    You know, we haven’t had any bunnies here either. Smokey’s cousin looks like he’s practicing Yoga on the fence. Show off! 🤗

    Wishing you a great week.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. Truth be told, my motto is often best described as “a place for everything but everything wishing I had put it back in its place.” I am trying to get this shop organized around the way I work. Toward that end, I want things to be easy to put away and painful to leave out. I have removed most horizontal surfaces so I can’t pile stuff on them. The reason I worked to get the dust collection right is so I won’t be tripping over hoses and extension cords.

      The lone dandelion has survived the elements and the weed whackers and the chemicals they spray in the park. I like that little guy.

      Sometimes, I get down to see what Maddie sees while we’re out. I used to periodically post a picture from Maddie’s point of view. It’s a different world from down there.

      The Editor saw a bunny this morning, but it was dark. The bunny had tripped one of the floodlights in the yard.

      I hope you have a great week.

      Like

  5. Oh, Dan…I read this and recognized the word ‘Excel.” 😆 Unbelievable the problems you are having that WP cannot fix. Right. You’re deleting your own page and then complaining to them. Oh my gosh… Smokey is such a cutie! And the photo of the squirrel jumping on the fence–excellent! Bring on the leaf photos! Those and the pinecone photos are so pretty–and artistic. Ending with Maddie and her puddle. Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Lois. “Excuse me, I deleted my page and now it’s gone…” But hey, that’s what the log shows so it must be true. I think I have stepped into my admin page at a point where some kind of maintenance is going on, and triggered an errant response. The first time it happened, I was able to restore the deleted page – no harm done. This time, the page was completely gone. That is a multi-step process when you’re trying to do it. I can’t imagine doing it by accident.

      I think Smokey knows just how adorable we think he is.

      I did eventually join Maddie in the puddle ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, John. I think all of the problems I mentioned today are the result of the engineers implementing “improvements.” Maybe they will finish someday. I also think the apparent random behavior of the galleries are the result of the same thing. Fix A, break portions of B,C and D.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan, I would be so frustrated with the WordPress glitches by now. I commend you for your fortitude.

    Your dust collection system looks nice and I’m glad you took that step. So many people do not use protective gear of any kind and that is unfortunate. I am all about health and safety.

    Our Rose of Sharon still has about six flowers – unusual, but I attribute it to the warm weather. Fall is definitely on its way. We saw our first female rose breasted grosbeak yesterday, so the migration south has begun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This time, the shop plans are all about safety. Dust collection and no cords or hoses running on the floor. Plenty of room to walk around and lots of light.

      WordPress is driving me crazy. I’ve been posting the Thursday Doors recap since February. For it to break in September is very bad in my book.

      Like

  7. Your dust collector installation looks really good. That’s a tool I’m sure you’re really glad to have more for your own lungs than the mess in the shop.

    I love the squirrel on the run atop the fence image! The flowers look wonderful. They’re all just about gone here. Only the Rabbit Bush is in bloom while just about all the cultivated flowers around here are on their last legs. The Cottonwoods are starting to turn yellow, and shed leaves already too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Block Editor and most modern components rely on a thing call reusable components. Which is an interesting theory. The interesting part comes when you expect changes in the other components to be compatible. Which takes us directly to the part where some component passes along something the other component was never designed to handle. Which takes us directly to the Mars lander scenario. Extremely bad juju happens and the landing just does not happen. Table limit exceeded, incompatible variables, parsing error, and a couple of other bad juju descriptions and there you are suddenly something is not working. And despite all the good intentions and seemingly rigorous testing you just never know when somebody or something is going to change one of those other components. It is a great theory right until you plug reusable components into the internet. And proceed to test it under real processing conditions. And then there is the explanation “an authorized user deleted it.” Even though you know you are the only authorized user and you know what you did and did not do. I will go with answer B – unforeseen automated processing events. Even if they a preceded by the “No that could never happen” comment. Go ask Alice…

    Liked by 1 person

    • What bugs me, John (pun intended) is that the developers install and move on. They don’t bother to circle back an check things a week or two later. When bugs get reported, the developer who caused the problem had moved on leaving Skippy to figure out a) what his intentions were and b) what went wrong. I did this long enough to know. Languages change but people don’t. People make the same mistakes today as we did in 1968 they just cause more damage.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hubby doesn’t have a dust collector. He has a table saw and usually cuts wood in the backyard and sweeps the sawdust onto the grass. Well, he has many toys on his work bench but he doesn’t do any major projects. Even with his small projects, he likes to have gadgets to do them right.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Titania photo my fave this week.  A lot of work for the dust removal but would have probably saved a lot of old timers bad lungs in the old days of working their shops.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, as usual, the details cause my eyes to cross, but seeing any man make his workshop a place of successful endeavors warms my heart. WordPress. Harummmmphhh….I hope you and Maddie had another great walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl. Getting the workshop set up is a labor of love. Working with WordPress…not so much. We’re getting ready to walk in about 40 minutes. I hope you have a great day.

      Like

  12. I understand everything. I have experience adding Excel tables to websites. I use Dreamweaver. Sometimes it works well unless the developers mess with it. Seems WordPress techs in their efforts to dumb things down keep breaking what used to work.
    At least you can get your workshop to behave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to use Dreamweaver, too. I have to say, I’m glad this doesn’t require that level of effort, but at least then I knew I could fix almost anything. The block editor would be great if it worked and if it worked consistently.

      The workshop is under my control – that’s a good feeling. Thanks.

      Like

  13. Hi Dan – I see your last comment about the workshop being in your control – I can see that’s a good feeling. I’ve given up with ‘things’ at the moment – and am happy with my not brilliant blogger – but am not trying to impress, just post some interesting topics.

    I would really like to be more with it – but no hubby or partner around that sort of thing is what I can deal with … simple is fine. However I’m about to get an iMac – which will be very interesting … so my brain will be engaged and I’ll have to get into modern gear with google sheets, drop box, et al … as the newbie machine will be able to cope.

    I enjoyed the post – vaguely understanding … and realising that thank goodness I didn’t go with WP at the beginning … I’ve got various posts to write up that will interest your engineering, techie mind … once life is somewhere near normal again here – with the new things. Always good to see all four leggeds and squirrels guzzling away. – so glad the shop has turned out as you want it … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. Good luck with the new contraption and all that awaits you in the cloud. If you’re looking for a way to organize your thoughts, I would suggest Trello. It’s available in a free version, and that version has more than enough features to let you enjoy the program. I’ve written about it here, so you can search for “trello” on this blog if you want more info.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yesterday I noticed a very strange flash of something with your blog. I thought at first it was someone else’s blog trying to come through to my Reader, but it seems to be yours. It lasts part of a second so it’s really hard to see what it’s about, but I think it’s your gallery photos from your walk. It doesn’t interfere with the appearance of your blog or cause any problems that I can see, but I don’t recall that’s happened before, and I thought it might mean something to you. It happens a nanosecond before your blog displays.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I like the way your Recap page looks. And you say you did that by coping and pasting an Excel page into the body of the page? I might try that with the list of blogs I follow, so my sidebar would look congested.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I learned a new word – kludge. It’s a great word! I love your shop. The dust collector hose can really go from machine to machine? The bag looks small. Do you have to dump the dust often? I have no comments on your WP dilemma, as it is way to techy for me. I still fear the day the classic editor goes away.

    Liked by 1 person

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