Strange are the ways of the Internet. Somehow my blog has become the leading global source for pics of sports celebrity Charles Barkley. Continue reading
With help from the peerless Wade Kwon, I now know how to make a single blog post take up less space on the home page. (In newspaper terms, I know how to jump the story to an inside page.)
Hopefully that will make it less time-consuming to scan this blog’s home page for something worth reading.
For those who do WordPress blogs: I assumed that the “more” button on the editor toolbar simply added more buttons to the toolbar. I type in most of the tags anyway, so never felt the need to mash that “more” button.
That’s what I get for assuming. Actually the “more” button inserts the comment
<--more-->, which tells WordPress server-side software to chop the text at that point and create a “(more)” link.
This is why Wade is the one who runs a blogging school and teaches stuff like this.
I’ve deliberately stayed away from blogging for more than a month now. I figured there was more than enough text being generated by others, and my own tiny cracks and witticisms were not really needed, not even by me.
It is easy to get angry and to rail. I have not been able to avoid doing so in conversations with friends, or in reaction to some sound bite or other. Then I feel a rich frustration with some of the things my friends and neighbors choose to get exercised about. We are so disappointed in Obama! We went to all that trouble of electing him, and we projected all our hopes onto him, and now there he sits, failing to fulfill all the fondest desires of our hearts. Oh, how dare he!
Well, I have now and then fallen into the trap of letting my spleen run away with me online. I’m determined not to let it happen again. That’s what the Delete key is for, after all. I’ve been thinking critical thoughts of one previous blog post in particular, and have been tempted to delete it. My statements there were too categorical and judgmental. Calling this a “casual” medium does not justify irresponsible writing, and I think mine has been irresponsible at moments.
So I’ve taken a holiday, and have deliberately kept silence about all the tempting political developments here in Birmingham, the U.S., and the world. Some of my views went into letters to politicians. None of them were blogged.
This week a neighbor helped me remember that there is no point in nursing anger. There are many beneficial ways to direct anger, but it’s flat wrong to culture it, like a mold or a germ weapon. Much less to stoke fear and anxiety at the same time.
So I’m refraining from hurling barbs at either of the candidates in today’s special mayoral election. I have nothing to say about health care, Afghanistan policy, control of the U.S. Senate, or whatever happens to be topping Google News at the moment. Hope that’s OK with everyone.
In an effort to make this blog a bit less diffuse in its subject matter, I’ve decided to start a separate site for my odd predilection for chicken jokes. Chickenjokes.wordpress.com was available, so that seemed the obvious choice. Enjoy or avoid, as you prefer.
Several years ago I was teaching students in my web-design course how to use frames. The frameset is a dodgy way to cut a browser window into smaller pieces, each piece containing its own web page. (The internal frame, or iframe, is the accepted way to do this today.)
Even back in the day, before frames were formally deprecated by the W3C web gurus, I encouraged my students to believe that frames are evil. But they still had to know about them. So instead of a canned exercise, I gave students an archive of text files containing alternative answers to the classic chicken joke, and I told them to present them in a website using frames.
You already know what I’m talking about, right? People sometimes invent answers to the chicken joke that make fun of some philosopher, artist, politician, or celebrity. For example:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Karl Marx: It was driven by the lash of economic necessity.
After creating a few versions of this chicken joke assignment (for successive classes), I became a connoisseur of chicken joke answers. For instance, the Karl Marx answer cited above is the best of three or four that I’ve seen.
Before long I went from evaluating other people’s answers to writing my own. I think I’ll post some of them here occasionally.
Andrew Sullivan has a piece in the Atlantic, called Why I Blog, full of strongly held views and doctrine about what blogging should be. I’m not convinced of the necessity of letting it all hang out, as he imagines one must. But the piece has persuaded me to take up this project again, for whatever reason.
So has the fact that my mother has started blogging. No one can accuse her of being leery of the social Web. She preceded me onto Facebook as well.
I let this blog lapse while in Basel this summer, as I felt unprepared to write about my experiences. It seemed presumptuous to expect an audience, for one thing. Sullivan would say I have entirely the wrong attitude for the new media. Maybe so.
This marks the start of this blog; that’s all. Is WordPress going to be worthwhile? We’ll see.
Welcome to anyone who stops by.