From the Instigator-In-Chief

I am moving. Have been in the same place for ten years. You know how things accumulate.

I spent Monday and Tuesday packing. Yesterday I loaded a borrowed truck. Then I attempted to drive the truck out of this town. It broke down in a way that can only be solved by a wrecker followed swiftly by a mechanic.

I hit a deep pothole while heavily-loaded. (Trust me. You don’t want to go yanking the steering wheels of heavily-loaded trucks around very much. They might turn over.)

The part that connects the wheel to the axle gave way, is what happened. (It’s called a ball joint). We thought we had a blowout. There was smoke and stuff.

moving_meme

The truck just stopped. In the middle of what passes for a busy street in this town.

I called a tow truck (and you know that means cash only right?) I had the truck towed to a repair shop I trust (and you know that means you don’t get the vehicle back until you pay in some way, but thank goodness mechanics take post-dated checks from upstanding citizens, right?)

My son-in-law and me directed traffic for an hour-and-a-half while the one person we know who has the towing equipment to handle a fully-loaded one-ton moving truck finished the run he was doing when we called and came to tow our property to a safe place. Police never showed up and we took photos so we can file a pothole claim and get some of the damages reimbursed.

If you are wondering why we didn’t just call the police and file a report, here is why. For a lot of reasons, we do not call the police for something like this. Where I live, we pretty much only call the police if there’s real violence going down and we feel so unsafe we have no other alternative. We know how to direct traffic, and we know how to file claims without police reports.

My property is locked up in the back of a moving truck, sitting in a repair shop right now. I have no bed, no pots and pans, and very little clothing. But I know where the people and things I care about are.

  • The rest of the family is staying with relatives.
  • The MOST TREASURED POSSESSIONS are still in this apartment, watched over by me, and locked up when I am gone to work. I am writing this from a room that is so empty it has an echo. Using an end table as a desk.
  • Elsewise, there’s me, some goldfish, a single firearm which is like an ancestral weapon because it was manufactured in 1939 and gifted to me by my maternal grandfather on the day I was old enough to handle it properly. There’s a late Cold War Era globe. There’s a 24-inch Darth Vader figurine that belongs to a little person.

Never load your possessions into a borrowed truck. But if you do, make sure you don’t put the things you care about in the truck with your possessions. Drive the truck yourself, and don’t more than one of the people you care about along for the ride. A son-in-law that helped you load it and understands the risks is acceptable. Give the rest of them jobs to do, like getting the rest of the vehicles to the new place and vacuuming the floors and hanging clothes in closets.

Because the borrowed truck might break down at an odd moment. You might stand on a busy street and direct traffic with your son-in-law for an hour-and-a-half. And then you might have a conversation on the way home, when that finally happens, about how glad you are it happened on a street instead of a highway.

That truck would have rolled right over if this had happened on a highway, and I am not being dramatic.

Meme by David of Comparative Geeks. And let me just toss in a couple of hashtags, since it’s Thursday and all. #SummerOfSandman #GeekPastiche.

The already-published Tolkien that you only didn’t read because you didn’t see it last year will be back on Thursday next week.  I needed this moment today and I needed it here on Sourcerer. 

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Bonus Post: WordPress Trick #1

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I figure since I asked you to read 2,000 words about my long-term planning today, the least I can do is give you a laugh at my expense and a WordPress trick you might not be aware of. Thanks, Diana, for the meme, and Luther, for the awesome conversation on Twitter that prompted her to dig it up. David, this is the post I promised you last time we talked about the technical side of WordPress. Join us all on Twitter, folks. It’s a laugh-a-minute over there on Saturday afternoons!

If you go and look at your WordPress account settings, you’ll see a checkbox right under the interface language that says “Surprise me (Fun mode).”

WP_FunMode

When you check that box and save the change, it enables a check-box in your dashboard called “This post is super-awesome.” You can find it right beneath your publicize settings and check it or not for individual posts as you see fit.

SuperAwesome

And what does it do, you ask?

I have no freakin’ clue. So far, the Internet has refused to yield that secret to me. Diana and I discovered it by accident. My two favorite theories are that it makes your post more likely to be seen by Freshly-Pressed editors and that it introduces some random bonus element into news feed placement. Both of those are speculation, though.  Diana tends to use it only for Part Time Monster’s best posts. I use it for just about everything.

We discovered it almost a year ago and I have yet to figure out what the point is, but it still counts as a WordPress trick. I’m assuming that whatever it does is entertaining at the very least, and I did get a trophy notification that included a Leetspeak reference once.

Notice how this is #1? That’s because I’m planning to do more of these once I get next year laid out and settle back in to the Sunday social media blogging for spring.

EDITED: And . . .  the Internet has yielded the secret. Or actually, All Thoughts Work yielded it 😉

In another recognition of the solitary nature of blogging, Mullenweg and Roth also wanted to celebrate the publishing efforts of the individual writer. Or, at least, allow the user to celebrate him or herself. So they added a “this post is super-awesome” button authors can check when particularly pleased with a specific post. And they’ve introduced video snippets of scenes replete with whooping, high fiving, slamdunking and general celebration that might play when someone hits the “publish” button. The Tiger Woods hole-in-one footage seemed off to me but there were some great clips. Randy Kennedy from the New York Times even filmed a little segment saying “from the world of publishing, congratulations on publishing.” I’d definitely smile if that played after I’d just sent my pearls of wisdom off into the ether.

From Businessweek.

One more reason to love blogging! Thank you very much, Anna!

Snowmageddon 2014: A report in memes

– If you missed this at Part Time Monster yesterday, you should check it out now. It’s not only hilariously funny, it’s shaping up to be our most popular post ever, so you know it must be good 😉

It must be Friday!

patrickstewart

We’ve been having a conversation about Internet sexism lately. It is one of those conversations that just happens around the edges of the party. This post will catch you up, just in case you have something to say about it. You should go and read it. I think it is the only post we’ve done so far that has generated 29 comments, and we wouldn’t mind continuing that conversation.

Here are some links we’ve collected this week about sexism on the Internet.

First, this one from the Pacific Standard. I am not sure any of us have examined it as closely as it deserves yet, but we filed it away in the archive because it inspired a New York Times editorial and a post at The Mary Sue (which we picked up on twitter via CompGeekHolly, who does fabulous work).

We also found NOLA Feminizer, Feminist Philosphers, Lisa Wade, and a very well-thought-0ut Tumblr page. I like them. I hope you do, too.

Just in case you are wondering how Feminist Friday works:  Every Friday is Feminist Friday. That means you have at least 50 chances per year to write about women needing more equality and less aggression in their lives. If you don’t think this is important, perhaps Alva can persuade you otherwise.

image: I got it here with a Google search. Beyond that, I have no idea, but I am grateful to whomever snapped the pic, and will happily credit them if I ever find out who it was.

[Dwarf Vader is on vacation this week. We are hoping he makes it back by next Friday, because we miss him.]