Jul 092017

So I made the leap to my fancy new flat HTML blog site…and now I’m back on WordPress. The experience made me think of William Hung singing “She Bangs”. (I hadn’t thought of that in what? fifteen year?)

Tinderbox gave me the tools to punch way above my weight class: I have a site that works like a dream on my computer but making it work from a server…is not something I can do reliably.

I’ve retreated to WordPress, laughing (because the fact I’m back here is funny) but also with tail very much between my legs.

More soon… ūüôā

 July 9, 2017  Moments Tagged with:
Jun 252017

For awhile now, I’ve been working to migrate this site off of WordPress. This has happened behind the scenes and has been slow going. The new site isn’t complete—most of the images still need to be placed for example—but all of the text is there and everything is functional.

What that means is that now I’m sorting out when to make the jump from here to there and how I’ll cope with the inevitable change in permalinks that I lack the skills to deal with invisibly (if that’s even possible).

The rough and still evolving plan as it stands now is:

  1. to place the new version of the site in a subdirectory for a while and to publish a link to it here. This will give me a chance to see if things work for real and for people to see the change is coming. Once the link to the new site is published, all new posts will be published there and this site will go dormant.
  2. to set up the new site to serve the root address and to displace this WordPress blog to its subdirectory. I’d publish a link to the old blog’s location on my new site. The date for the move will be announced here before it happens but will probably be in the week following step one.
  3. to write up a series of posts explaining how and why I’m going to use Eastgate’s Tinderbox to manage the new site.

So major changes and exciting times.

Stay tuned…

 June 25, 2017  Moments Tagged with: ,
May 262017

Posting has been slow here. Partly it’s because of standard end of term business. Mostly it’s¬†because I’m experimenting with the possibility of moving this blog off of its database and translating it into a set of static pages.

This is a mad enterprise but an interesting one. I’m learning a lot and at this point have a working prototype hidden away. Much tinkering is happening.

More soon…

 May 26, 2017  Moments Tagged with:
Apr 152017


There are few things in nature that astonish me more or that I find more beautiful than the simple impossibility of a bird’s nest.

 April 15, 2017  Moments Tagged with:
Mar 242017

The neighbouring village had a temporary stoplight for a few weeks as road crews did some work on the bank of the river. Seeing as how the village is a sleepy, stop-signs-only kind of place, the change—I could get caught by a red light! Grrrr!—felt big time and sophisticated, especially since the light wasn’t around long enough to actually become annoying.

Stopped one day last week on my way home, I stared out over the fields rather than at the river. My mind was wandering around elsewhere, and so I only realized how beautiful the scene was as the signal flipped to green. There were cars behind me, but I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick pic before taking off.

And no one honked.

 March 24, 2017  Moments Tagged with:
Dec 262016

George Michael has died.

He is the first man I ever saw wearing earrings, which mattered to me enormously as a young boy going to school in the Deep South.

I could link to any number of songs that I know by heart and that were important to me for all kinds of reasons that would seem odd or incidental to others.

The song I have in my head today is “Praying for Time.”

 December 26, 2016  Moments Tagged with:
Dec 232016

I’ve used Suffusion as the theme for this blog from¬†the beginning. It was always a bit overkill—you can tweak anything and everything—but it let me make my blog¬†personal and I stuck with it.

For the past few months, I’ve been forced to live in iOS. Suffusion can handle that no problem, but the mental shift has been a bit of a challenge for me. Drastic change that throws everything up in the air will help.

So I’ve installed a new theme. It’s simple and clean, but nothing worth tweaking is tweakable. That’s odd—I like to tinker—but it also feels a bit like clearing the pipes. Which is always a good thing, even if, in the end, the change turns out to be¬†temporary.

 December 23, 2016  Moments Tagged with:
Dec 132016

Earlier this Fall, I¬†hurt my¬†shoulder and elbow. Right shoulder, right elbow, and yes, I’m right handed. In the worst weeks, I couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit for more than a half hour or so and could barely hold a book to read. Writing by hand for more than 20 minutes was basically signing up for night-long pain, sitting at a computer for more a five or ten minutes was worse. Healing has been painfully slow.

So what do you do when your work and a great deal of your leisure involves reading, writing or sitting still to watch something and suddenly all of those things become competitors for pain-free time in a zero-sum game?

That’s the unexpected experiment I’ve been running chez moi since September. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Work plays trump cards. When I have a stack of papers, all available handwriting time is spent there. Same goes for keyboard time: when assignment sheets or grade entry or email has to be done, nothing else is done at my computer.

My iPad has served as a lifeline to my non-work, digital worlds because I could use it without aggravating my injury. So in the past few months,¬†I’ve had to discover how to¬†make an¬†iPad¬†do real work for me in a way I’d never had to make it do before. Living on an iPad (as opposed to just using one casually on the couch) is not just a device switch though. It demands¬†a different state of mind. I love the physical realities of interacting with¬†iOS, but the virtual realities on the other side of the glass slab are like trying to talk to someone who likes Bill Compton or polka. You can understand the words but not the spirit behind¬†the thing. I want a file system¬†(DevonThink to Go helps with that) and RTF (Devon again, sortof), but I miss Nisus Pro and Tinderbox, both staples of my virtual life. (So many of TBX’s map, outline, text and link functions seem¬†perfect for the iPad’s direct interaction that its absence is a bit haunting.)

And blogging? It turns out that I love the¬†wordpress web interface. I open it on my desktop and I start writing. Open the mobile version and the various iOS stand-ins¬†I’ve tried¬†and, nothing. Maybe it’s¬†the loosey-goosey feel of things without a keyboard, or perhaps the¬†absent file system. Whatever the reason I’m still trying to adjust¬†to the dashboard on iOS.

So what is the point of all this rambling?

As virtual as I am day-to-day, as digital as my work has become, I’m a¬†bodied creature. Physical states¬†matter.

I don’t think I’d taken that into account before quite the way I have done recently.

 December 13, 2016  Moments