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 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) . . .

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 . . .

These summaries always stall when we get to the fourth quarter . . . I mean, that was just a few weeks ago, right?

Well, here’s the thing . . . it’s a few weeks ago for regular readers, but digital media archeologists hundreds, if not thousands, of years from now, probably won’t have the time to sift through three months’ worth of posts and likely will appreciate this summary.

I mean, do you know how much content they’ll have to sort through? Well, let me tell you, but first, a photo . . . a photo from one of the first non-reminder posts of the quarter<<link . . .

Anyway, the number of 2020 tweets future digital archeologists will be confronted with? … roughly 200 billion tweets (an average of 6,000 tweets per second) . . . think your tweet will go viral? The odds are not good.

What about Facebook? … well, as of October, 2020, there are 3.21 active Facebook users. Sure, a billion of those are probably Russian and Chinese bots making sure we stay mad at each other, but that still leaves 2.21 billion users sharing all manner of dubious information and pet photos . . . daily. 

What about blog posts? … here are the (depressing to bloggers) statistics (LINK). . .

The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories and the reminders to vote once again made up the bulk of posts for July, August, and September. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

By July, I had (mostly) shaken my habit of mentioning COVID-19 and concentrated on writing reminders to vote for stories. It wasn’t until the middle of the month that I wrote something else . . . but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Again, I’ll begin with photos . . . 

This masked opportunist gave me the first set of photos of the Third Quarter. Side note: you can use the calendar option on the sidebar to see all of the posts for a given month or individual dates.  

I’m I was on a 186-day streak . . . meaning I’d posted at least one post per day for 186 days. It’s not my longest effort, but it’s still significant.

Again, a lot of the posts had to do with The Alphabet Challenge. Still, 2020 saw me put up 414 posts . . . which had an average of 7 comments per post (2,809 total comments, although at least half of those are mine since I answer every comment).

I’ll explain the monochrome part in a moment.

The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories and the reminders to vote continued — and will continue as we go forward — to contribute the bulk of the blogging content. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

I had erroneously mentioned on my previous update that in March I had pretty much given up writing about COVID-19 and related stuff. Well, I must have shut a lot of it out of my mind because April 2020 saw many posts relating to COVID-19 and associate issues. This LINK brings up all the posts where I mention COVID-19, even if only in passing. But, to be sure, there are many posts (too many) dealing with masks, social distancing, statistics, bat-shit theories, misinformation, disinformation, etc. etc. . I’m posting it here because I really don’t want to keep mentioning it as I go forward. If interested in revisiting what was on my mind about COVID-19 in April, May, and June, knock yourselves out.

So, was there anything NOT involving COVID-19 and the Alphabet Challenge? A few things, but I’ll begin with photos . . . 

Once again, the bulk of the photos come from the ‘reminder to vote’ posts. A few exceptions are covered below, but the short reminder posts with a few photos each pushed my photo processing along.  

From the previous year-end update, it should be obvious to everyone that — by volume — the big contribution for the year has been from The Alphabet Challenge<<link stories. Note: that search result is just for the stories (in reverse order). If you want the results, click this LINK.

The Alphabet Challenge disproportionally contributed both directly and indirectly because not only were there five posts relating to it every few weeks (three stories, one voting post, one results post for each round) but I also had daily reminders during the rounds.

I’ll mention some exceptions below, but The Alphabet Challenge also dominated in contributing photos. It’s tough picking a favorite from the first quarter’s reminders . . . but it’s easier picking one for each month’s reminders, starting with January’s . . . 

The photo I liked best for January is this, from the  Orphans<<link posts. . . 

This year has been something, I tell you what. So much so that I decided on a bit of a year-end summary.

A summary of my blogging efforts, my life, what I observed and think about the year, and whatever else comes up as I write these posts. That’s right . . . posts, because it would be difficult — and draining — to write about all those things in one post.

Therefore, I begin with is by far the easiest thing to write about . . . numbers. Specifically, numbers pertaining to this blog, and more specifically, numbers for the year and numbers for the ten years this blog has been in existence. 

Here we go . . .

The big jump in visitors and views for 2020 is due to The Alphabet  Challenge (LINK), as can be seen below.

The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories seems to mirror another race that’s going on, with the lead changing hands almost daily. For a while, only one point separated the three stories. As of this writing, two points. As I wrote this, one story surged ahead and taken a three-votes lead. Impressive move this late in the round.

Regardless of who wins this round, it’s nice to see a good turnout at a time when people’s lives have many other pressing considerations.

I’ve been meaning to let all the procrastinators know of the impending deadline, but I’ve been putting it off . . . until now.

At noon tomorrow, this race will be called. If you plan to vote, please engage your posterior and get a move-on.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon (Chicago time) tomorrow.

Yesterday I posted a few “Westernized” photos. The bold colors are a big part of the characterization . . . but would they still be Western landscapes in monochrome? Well, let’s see . . .

Western scenery in monochrome
. . . You know what? It still do looks kinda Western-like . . . in fact, it reminds me a bit of the Tex Willard(link) comics I used to read.