A lot of my attention in the past two days has gone to the new blog I’m setting up. After quite a lot of useless head-banging over the past couple of months trying to revamp this one, I looked for a different strategy.
Setting up a whole new blog … a second blog that will be … for my Lego interests … I will learn enough to re-do this one. At least, that’s the plan. [‘That’s the plan’ is a quote from Serenity (2005) a western-style science fiction film. One of my favorites.]
Above is the banner pic… I got it out of the trashcan just then. Completely unsuitable. One thing I learnt already. Too busy. And as is often the case with my photos these days with an encroaching age-related tremble, it isn’t sharp. That aspect fortunately has one of the easier solutions. Like, use a tripod for pity’s sake! And I will. Next, I need to build a lightbox. Thank you, BrickNerd, for your instructions.
How I imagine the pesky little critters, by Rita de Heer
Despite the Rebuilding the Hardware Store post being downloaded nine times, no one has commented on the irritatingly small size print in the second slide, first slide of the story. Maybe when you download it, it isn’t bothersome?
It’s a puzzle to me that something that seems fixed in a supposedly published text nevertheless changes size when transferred to another platform. Why? Why? Why? And the rest of the slides are fine. Must be a gremlin in the system. One of them above. Painted with watercolors, outlines with black ink.
Wait now, I was going to try a different font.
I see that just talking about it caused the gremlins to cut me down to size by cutting the Albert Sans font down … yet not down to the ‘small’ size mentioned in the box to the right, headed by ‘Typography’, but a size intermediate to ‘small’ and ‘medium’ as the size I’m typing in now is ‘medium’.
Yep. OK. I just customized my size. And so we will type at 20 px forevermore. It looks the same size as the paragraph above. So, something I learned. M is 20 px. I hardly dare to click anything else on the right today.
I was meant to go out … look at this! WTF! I’m not in the habit of swearing out loud but this is very irritating! Small, again. Probably 15 px. I don’t like it.
I was meant to go out today for a medical appointment, a yearly heart check-up. So at nine A/M sat on my couch and fell asleep. Dreamed even. A pair of sharks, visible only by their fins, swam from a moat into a water channel running through a medieval castle. As witnessed by a couple of guards on a pedestrian walkway adjacent. Their surprise woke me.
By about 9.30, with four more completely unrelated dream scenes, I decided a coffee might wake me. Uneventfully washed out my coffee plunger, put in the ground coffee, poured on the not-quite-boiling water. Let it steep for five minutes while I gathered up a load of washing and started the washing machine.
Stirred the plunger with my wooden stirrer, pressed down the plunger and poured the coffee into my favorite mug. As I went to sit back on the couch at the same time setting the mug beside me on a little table, I naturally spilled the coffee all over me and the couch. When did I ever try such a crazy move?
Mopped up. Decided there and then to either have the couch cut apart so I could in a next similar instance–it’s bound to happen again–dry the cushions in the sun; or get a new, different couch. Or probably a different secondhand couch.
I was to leave for the appointment at 2 pm. Plenty of time to get my act together, I thought. With half an hour to spare, it started raining. I had to haul in the washing drying out on the washing line, hang in under the patio. My big plan of catching a bus, walking through a park, catching another bus went out the window. Dithering was my next strategy.
Time went by while I figured out how to get there instead. On foot, rain-coated, walking four kilometres? Not an option while I’m so tired. Cab? None to be had at short notice. Uber? Uber has a problem with my email address that I’ve never been able to fix. Call it an Uber gremlin. Bus the whole way? Four hundred metres to the appropriate bus stop? Don’t think so.
At 1 pm, I called the place to reschedule the appointment. Got to believe I’m ‘sickening for something’ … what I used to call it when I had kids around. I’m fiddling around on this when normally I’m out walking this time of the day. No energy.
Gremlins love it when I’m not well enough to be sharp. What about you, Readers? You have run-ins with gremlins?
[Wayne Thomas is my latest follower, for those of you not graced with his cheery first page, though I expect his first post to be a mass mail out situation]
Where’s the Comments section?
How can we talk about this initiative? I’ve got questions.
Are you a wetware entity called Wayne Thomas pretending to be a software entity called AICHATBOT? Or are in you in fact the aforenamed software entity? Or are you that software entity pretending to be the Wayne Thomas entity?
There are more possibilities but those will do as it is still before-breakfast in my house.
Working on publishing what previously were slide shows …
Part 1, The Hardware Store Rebuild
It all started one day when the gods exchanged presents. The one in charge of the city’s derelict peninsula received a building kit for a large hardware store compatible with the city’s residents.
The peninsula happened to be quite a long way off the beaten track. Building anything there would be a precarious business proposition one would say.
The god in charge of the peninsula pressed ahead. She put out a tender and contracted a hapless construction group, Bosley and Co, to build the hardware store.
Bosley, who preferred to be known as Boss, had just moved his building yard to the peninsula when the river overflowed its banks. When the flood retreated it took most of the tools and supplies with it.
The building kit arrived soon after and Bosley extracted the plans. He studied them closely. His heart stumbled. He crossed to the site, built three courses and knew he had a problem.
“I can’t fit through the door. I knew there was something wrong with plans,” he said and digging deep for optimism, he said, “Gotta laugh!”
More of this should be available on the new Page up in the menu called BRICK STORIES. It’s still in trial mode …
Canteen scene with Drew barely visible on the left, washing dishes; Tim and Trish in the right foreground, sharing their stories; and Wendy, in the right-side rear having a break from the cooking.
About Starting a Second Blog
Inevitably, when an activity starts to take more of the hours in my week, more of the effort I have available, more space on my dining table, it starts to look like an obsession. I’ve been there before. Twelve years ago I lost a beautiful tung nut tree in my backyard to an excess of rain. As the rotting trunk was chopped down, I comforted myself with the idea that I’d be able to see a parade of fungi taking hold of the wood one after another.
The rain continued. Dozens of fungi species helped rot that stump down. I learned about fungi wherever I could find the information. Over the wet months of the El Nino weather pattern, more than a hundred species helped me become obsessed. I took my camera out for walks and recorded the ‘chitinous critters’ wherever I walked.
Fungi cell walls are made of the same stuff as insect exoskeletons. Fungi have more in common with animals than with plants, despite having been umbrella’ed by ‘Flora’ since Linnaeus. Fungi have no chlorophyll, they need plant food to survive. They don’t move around in the same way that sponges don’t. I could go on and on. Have, in fact, given talks about them; walks and talks; I’ve done guest speaking at high school science classes; written articles; IDed fungi on FB, entered fungi sightings on ALA and iNaturalist. Citizen science stuff.
But I’ve probably only seen about four fungi species in the last two years. I have much less energy. More sedentary time. I’ve become rusty on names. Chemo fog didn’t help. It was the right time for a new obsession.
So. Lego seems to be it. With so many platforms where I could post up my finds, I never hankered to set up a separate blog for my fungi finds. Although there are quite a lot of platforms for Lego too, they don’t tend to encourage what I’m interested in. Stories. I like to write about my discoveries while building, and I like to write stories from within the building process.
Though I could write on this blog about my discoveries, I haven’t found a good way to format the stories in this blog’s existing structure. Hence. Designing and planning a second blog.
But keeping this one going is a thing. Usual stuff. Life and about life. Fiction and about fiction. Earth versus World. About media and about reading. Blogging and about blogging.
I’m fated to learn things one at the time it seems, as now my Compiled (working in Scrivener) Document has a title image … but not a page! The other thing I wonder is where the PDF resides once I post a link to it here?
Some good scenes in this, some nasty events, and all the sometimes hard-to-understand stuff in between where I tried to explain what life was like in the alien starship, also known as the “Octahedron”. If you’ve been reading along, you’ll have met this starship in Earth Girl, a mysterious object hanging low in the sky.
In this installment of what was to have finalized the trilogy, Jeb the half shaman meets Kosi Lionhair, the once-upon-a-time Earth Girl. Jeb and her people are in survival mode. As the human ‘face’ of the starship’s bored alien AI, Kosi causes Jeb and her people plenty of grief in the name of fun. A dramatic mix.
What follows is a taster … I’m having to learn a few more moves in the Compile section of Scrivener
Chapter 1: Entry I’m aware. I’m awake. My breathing sounds loud. The space I’m in sounds big, so I’m not in the shuttle. I fall … but only a short distance. My legs seem too long.
I feel around me. Carpet or something under me, my hands and my thighs. I don’t hear Mongoose breathing beside me. I don’t feel him.
Snap! I open my eyes. Mongoose isn’t beside me!
I’m wearing a thin white tunic. Mongoose isn’t beside me!
I kneel up. Stand. I’m in a group of animals, still-as-statues, sitting or standing or frozen in a leap. Each on its own brown carpet square on a raised area in a huge white hall. What is this place? Where’s Mongoose?
Tiled white walls. White ceiling. White floor below the … carpeted podium? Among the statues I see animals I know. There’s a meerkat. A puma. A bear. A woodchuck. An orangutan. They are all life-sized.
No. They are all the size of human beings! There’s a thylacine with a front paw that is a different brown to the other. In the square next to the place where I was, is a mongoose. Sweat springs from me, is soaked up only where the skimpy tunic touches me. Everywhere else it rolls down me. I’m clammy in seconds. My heart hammers in my chest.
Despite the optimistic style of the title and subtitles, this is a story about ‘trying’ to publish a bric-fic fantasy. It’s been a zig-zag journey of dead-ends, so far, and I wrote this paragraph last because even WordPress is not productive when asked to do something a little different.
I’ve always wanted to name a new genre, and here it is. Little did I know it’d be in the arena of AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) but that is also what I am. An AFOL.
The genre has been in existence for a while, I’m sure, since the Lego Group has been going 90 years, and I can’t be the only one who’s ever seized on these bricks and the mini-figs to tell a story. But it’s hard to find them, to compare my work, without a genre label.
Let me know if there is a term already out there?
After producing a slideshow on my desktop, I’ve been trying to find a good place to publish. I’ve tried a FaceBook Page, an Instagram account, and a WordPress slideshow with varying success rates. None of them more ideal than daily FaceBook posts on my Feed.
The slideshow block on this site likes photos, but finds captions harder to deal with. It’s another learning curve of the two-steps-forward-one-step-back variety. Something like a muddy path.
A gallery of photos and text boxes may serve. We shall see.
You can see in the third pic that the caption continues beyond the bottom of the page. Conclusion? A gallery will not do. The ‘captions’ are often too long.
I need a structure to input once, not one that needs me to scroll to the place where it exists, for every photo and every caption, copy, then scroll back to where it’s wanted. Wondering now if a table will work …
Nope! A prefabricated WordPress table does not stretch or accommodate photos and long captions, the way a word processor table does. Lucky last for today, I’ll try the column block:
“After I dump the foundation blocks, fetch what?”
“Park the run-about and help me install the blocks.”
“But Boss, the scaffolding is cluttering up the yard. I should get that first.”
“But Dan, nowhere here to put it until we get the blocks in place.”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Tip them out. Dan, I’ve got Drew here to help me. You go wrangle the forklift attachment. One of the sparkies will help you get the electrics connected.”
“Right-ee-oh, Boss. Hey Drew, don’t let him run you ragged!”
“Boss and I are good, Dan. We’re brothers.”
“Well, that’s good to know!”
And that is it … the ‘column block’ feature stops working after two photos. It lets me input more text, but refuses another photo.
Good grief! The number of ‘blocks types’ available already boggles my mind, and that’s before I’ve invented any because I don’t see any that I can relate to. No, wait! A masonry gallery? What can I do with a masonry gallery? I’ll have to see …
Herewith my so-called Masonry Gallery …
Animals I Have Known. Some were adopted into my family, some were animals I photographed while out walking, and some of the images represent animals I’ve known.
My idea was to have captions. I haven’t working out yet how to do that.
Clockwise from top left: Jesse, at attention; Tibby, saying: “Ha ha, I’m lying on the dog’s bed, get me off if you dare”; Snowy, here as Tintin’s sidekick, dressed in his spacesuit. When I knew him he was the dog of Mr and Mrs Ballantyne, the elderly couple living on my street in Sydney; Shirley Dog, from my home town; Mingey, a fast mover, a friend from walks at the Mullumbimby Cemetery.
Having internet problems meant no posts, again. All my best intentions went astray. Over here, on the east coast of Australia, we are in a La Nina weather pattern. Meaning that in Peru and Chile, people are suffering drought. In between the odd sunny day we had rain, wind, storms, more rain. Flash floods. River floods. Landslides. Road closures. Communication outages. Mobile phone towers down.
You get the picture.
My confusion is about the reason why I had a personal communication outage for two weeks longer than anyone else living in my patch. I’ve taken the modem off the power. Put it back on. Reset it.
I’ve read every Help page and FAQ on my provider’s website … I could do that by Hot Spotting my laptop to my mobile. I discovered that possibly the laptop is having battery problems but that shouldn’t affect my internet connection, what do you think?
I’d do the Hot Spot thing 24/7 and cancel my ISP contract if I had the same level of service. But I don’t. An ISP connection gives me the ability to write this blog and marshal imagery to my fingertips. Without it I can only read blogs.
The Hot Spot gives me wide-ranging shallow paddling. An ISP connection gives me the ability to dive deep into the virtual surf, through the wave and come out the other side where there are new things to discover.
Yeah. I missed my connection to the world.
For some inexplicable reason, when I reset the modem again this morning, the little light for the internet flashed, then steadied, and I suddenly have connection? Huh? Why didn’t it work the first or second time I did it?