“Hmm,” readers are saying. Project 313 had 313 posts (duh!) and these posts cover ten posts at a time. That means … carry the one … HOLY CRAP! There’s gonna be at least thirty-one of these?”

And here me thinking readers can’t do math . . . anyway, they’re wrong. Some of the posts are fairly long, so I cover fewer of them at one time. That means there will be more than thirty-one posts.

Anyway, we’re at Post No. 021. Remember how I said that upcoming posts would be short? Well, I lied . . . we’re actually entering a string of fairly lengthy posts. Post No. 021 is actually one of the shorter posts I’m covering today. It deals with ponderings about Art (again, the result of creative processes and not a guy name Art), quantity versus quality, and the problem of letting bloggers know you visited without engaging too much.

In Post No. 022, I bemoan the state of the Internet, and specifically Google. At that time, Google was obviously heading toward being an evil corporation. Now, four years later, it’s made it, and then some.

What is Critical Thinking? Well, Post No. 23 explains it using Spam. I mean Spam as the delicious and healthy food stuff, and not spam as the tons of emails one gets, all offering the secret to all that is good in the world for three easy payments of $19.99. But wait! act now, and they’ll also throw in — for free — the secret to all that is mediocre in the world.

We’ve established revisiting the Project 313 offerings is primarily an exercise in laziness, but it’s also because I’m busy with stuff. Ain’t ‘stuff’ a great word? I use it for all manner of things since it can encompass pretty much anything.

So, where were we? Ah, yes . . . we’re approaching the teens. Post No. 011 and Post No. 012 are short offerings. Aside from the photos, cartoons, and doodles, there are few words, but, even if succinct, you’ll find quirky takes on both pressing and mundane topics.

In Post No. 013, I comment on what — four years later — is still a common issue with ‘newer’ blogs, although I’ve encountered the same thing in some longer-running blogs. What is it?

You should click on the link and read the post, but, in brief, it’s the lack of — or, incomplete — ‘About’ page. Why does this matter?

The first post of this blog went online (HERE).

Twelve years later, I’m amazed how prescient I was . . . I’m still my number-one fan, and I still enjoy reading my old stuff (someone has to).

My second post is an opinion piece . . . yup! I set the tone early (HERE). Now, since it was the second post in a new blog, I had no expectations for much traffic . . . and my low expectations proved correct. What I didn’t realize at the time, is that all my opinion pieces would enjoy near anonymity.

Of course, it wasn’t just my opinion pieces . . .

WordPress has been blowing its trumpet regarding the new Full Site Editor. Who knew they were Trumpers!? What? Oh . . . trumpeters. Right.

Readers might remember I gave up my beloved 2010 Theme because of the Block Editor’s (Ptui!) requirements. Actually, I was lied to tricked into switching, but, OK.

I don’t mind the current theme too much, but it has a few things I don’t like. I’m told I could wrestle it into Disperser Compliance by CSSing to death, but whenever I try something, I run up against the limitations of the theme (I had chosen this theme from of the themes that WP said were block-compliant — but that was more Fake News).

The point is, I was curious about this much-vaulted FSE thing, and, as it so happens, I have blogs I had created at a time when I thought I might split the main blog into three separate blogs; a Photography blog, a Writing blog, and a Whatever-else blog.

In case anyone is wondering what happened, I did migrate all the obvious posts into the appropriate blogs, BUT . . . I tend to mix photos with opinions, fiction with reviews, and, to make a short story long, it was a mess. So, I stuck with the one blog . . . this blog.

Anyway, back to FSE . . . I took some hours I didn’t have and invested them in playing with FSE. Once I thought I got the gist of it, I picked the photography blog, changed the layout to the Twenty-Twentytwo Theme, and set about editing it. It’s worth saying that it’s a Beta editor, so don’t expect too much from it, regardless of what WP says.

So, how did I do? Well, read on if you’re interested (99% of the people won’t be, so, once again, this is for my future me to enjoy). To be clear, this won’t be of interest to anyone other than someone who has a blog and is thinking about trying FSE.

I used to do monthly calendars, but I discontinued the practice beginning of 2016. The last monthly calendar I posted was for December 2015. Those calendars involved a fair amount of effort and the use of multiple tools. For example, the March 2014 calendar involved processing the Mammoth Hot Springs photos, setting up the Excel spreadsheets for the dates, notes, and holidays, and then merging the lot using Photoshop. The end result (example below) included a link to a legal-sized version for them who might have wanted to print it (very few did and none of you have to for the current calendars, either).

March 2014 Calendar
March 2014 Calendar

Really, I don’t expect anyone — in this digital assistant age — to actually use a paper calendar (although many still do; they get them for free at banks and other places) . . .

I meant to post something yesterday … instead, I spent hours repairing the blog.

So, I figure I would let others know what I experienced. No, I don’t need help. Yes, it’s (mostly) fixed. Yes, I would like WP to stop mucking about with stuff for just a few minutes. No, I don’t think they will.

I’m also sharing the rest of the White-lined Sphinx Moth (a. k. a. the Hummingbird Moth) I was lucky to photograph last September. There’s even a video of one feeding on inpatients. I say “the rest” because some were shared in THIS post.

Anyway, WordPress . . . wait! Here’s the first photo of the moth . . .

As I’d mentioned in the other post, the shooting conditions were not ideal; setting sun combined with shadow areas made for a difficult exposure situation, but I’m not displeased with how these turned out, especially considering how difficult they are to capture in flight (they move like a hummingbird, and hummers are not slow) . . .

In my previous post (LINK), I discriminated against two groups . . . them who don’t have color printers and people who are colorblind.

Some comments (indirectly) pointed to the folly of providing a printable calendar in this age of the digital phone with integrated and sinched calendars across multiple platforms. And, in fact, I rarely print a calendar because I put all my events, reminders, appointments on my Google calendar and schedule email reminders and alerts so that I don’t miss or forget an appointment.

I occasionally have the need to consult calendars in a more tactile way, so I like the option of printing either a few months at a time or a yearly version.

For the rare people who don’t know, you can find free Word and Excel templates online for almost any type of calendar you might imagine. Not to mention, but I will, many, many, PDF versions of different styles and formats ranging from weekly to yearly (and some longer). Obviously, but I’ll still mention it, you can customize the templates (if you have the skills) but the PDF you just print as is (unless you have serious skills and a PDF editor and the files aren’t locked).

If you don’t have Microsoft Office, you can get free Office Suites compatible with MS Office. And, further, those templates could be uploaded to Google Docs or Sheets, and, if you don’t like Google, ZoHo offers online office suites free to individuals. I have a ZoHo account and it includes email and apps very similar to Google. For the xenophobes, be aware that it’s an Indian company.

But, none of them options will get you a calendar with one of my photos! … er … unless you get the PanosFx add-on to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, and you have either of those apps, and you steal one of my photos (please don’t do that without asking). But, why go to all that trouble when I give these versions to you for free?

. . . here are a few more . . .

I used to do monthly calendars, but I discontinued the practice beginning of 2016. The last monthly calendar I posted was for December 2015. Those calendars involved a fair amount of effort and the use of multiple tools. For example, the May 2015 calendar made use of at least four different PanosFx actions (most of them free).

Let me show you another example . . .

The other day, I tested embedding/linking photos from SmugMug.

I hit on a limitation that’s inconvenient: I cannot create a tiled gallery by linking photos in SmugMug. More specifically, I can only create a tiled gallery by either uploading photos (and using up my allotted storage) or by choosing to link from Google and from a stock photo site I assume is associated with WP (Pexels Free Photos).

Note: this isn’t the first time I’ve linked photos in WordPress. In fact, for the first few years of this blog, I would upload small files and then link them to the larger versions in SmugMug Galleries. All that stopped when — because of constant “upgrades” — WP would wipe those links. That’s why there’s a note on the sidebar (sidebar on the PC, bottom of post on phones and tablets) letting users know that if I mention SmugMug, the links may have been wiped by inconsiderate and user-unfriendly WP developers. Well, it’s likely management, not the developers who are to blame, but the developers should have argued more vociferously against changes that would ‘break’ how the site worked in the past.

Anyway, here’s my first link from Google (single file test).

WAIT! I first have to connect my Google Account to WordPress. Meaning, I have to give WordPress access to my Google Photos . . . but, even after doing that, it seems to hang up.

Uh-oh . . . that’s not ‘linked’ or ’embedded’ the same way as when I link or embed from SmugMug . . . it’s actually downloaded and added the file to my media library.

Furthermore, unlike when I share a SmugMug photo, it downloads the full size, costing me multiple MBs of storage.

Note: that’s not the photo I loaded from Google Photos. The copy above was already in my Media Library. I replaced the one I linked/downloaded from Google and deleted it from the Library since it took up 4MB of storage.

Also, the interface to find and choose photos or albums is (to say the least) crappy. What do I mean by that?

This will be a quick post (I hope).

Here’s the deal . . . I’m nearing my storage limit for my WordPress plan. Mind you, I still have enough for probably more than a year of posts (depending on how nuts I go with photos), but at some point, I’d be forced to either delete some stuff or upgrade to the more expensive plan (for which I currently have no use).

But, I found an advantage with blocks. I’m still playing with them, but here’s the thing . . . my workflow goes something like this: after inserting resized photos here, I upload the full-size photos in SmugMug. I then link the SmugMug gallery back here, and maybe two people visit it. The same two people are also the only ones who might click on the photos in the blog post to see the larger size.

Now, I can kill . . . er . . . show two birds with one photo. Well, it’s the same bird, but work with me here.

The above photo is embedded from a gallery on SmugMug, and it’s not using up any of my WordPress storage. Furthermore . . .

Well, 2021 hightailed it outta here at the last possible moment of the last possible day of the last possible month of the year, and it’s now up to 2022 to dazzle us with normalcy (we hope).

I’m reusing a photo from December 2016, our first New Year’s Eve in Hawaiʻi . . . a time that now seems centuries ago. It’s been three years since we left the islands, and I can’t say they’ve been great years.

And I’m not just referring to the pandemic and the apparent stupidity insanity running rampant in the land. Still, we’re healthy (for now) and there are some things we can be grateful for. For now, that will have to do.

As we head into a somewhat uncertain 2022, I wish all my readers, be they family, friends, or just passing through, good health, peace of mind, and the fortitude to navigate these sometimes difficult times.