Which is a twisty way of saying that I’ve been working on a few tweaks to the new theme that I’ve applied to this site. I’m not entirely happy with my Ravelry progress bars. I dunno. I’m going to carry on poking at it, which is why this post is very very short. ;-)
I broke the photo album / gallery on this site ages ago, and since fixing it is going to be a long and arduous process, I haven’t done it yet. But I’m going to set myself a(nother) challenge for this month, to get that finally sorted out, so I can have access to my photos on this site again. Which, you know, would be (a) nice, and (b) useful.
Basically what happened, as far as I can tell (and as if anyone but me really cares), is that when I installed a WordPress gallery plugin (NextGen Gallery) to have a look at, it violently disagreed with my already installed gallery software (Coppermine), which had a bridge WP plugin so I could easily access my already existing photo galleries from there when I was writing blog posts etc. Coppermine had been installed for years, long before I’d been using WP as my blogging platform. Anyway, I don’t know what exactly caused it all to have a hissy fit, but I do know that none of my photos now show up, despite them physically existing on the server. Marvellous! I tried uninstalling NextGen Gallery, but since that didn’t help, I’m now going to move everything across to NextGen instead, and drop poor old Coppermine. It’ll probably be easier in the long run, and I won’t have to be maintaining two databases etc any more. But moving it all across is going to take a while, and be a pain.
If I do it a little at a time, though, it shouldn’t be too bad. I think I’ll try to spend maybe an hour a day on it. Surely that way it should get done pretty quickly?! And also I’ll know for sure how long it does take me, rather than it just feeling unending. I think giving myself permission to stop working on it after a specific period will help, too. Let’s see how it works out.
I’m just popping by to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from both me and the Xandermog.
I’m looking forward to spending a lovely day with the family1, cooking together, eating til we feel slightly ill, giving pressies2, and of course watching the Doctor Who special and other Christmas telly. I hope you all have an equally excellent one planned if you’re celebrating, and if you’re not, then have a lovely day regardless.
Do I have a New Year’s resolution? Try to post more often, of course! ;-) Probably also some others, but I’ll go in to that more in January.
In other news, if you’ve been here before you might notice that I have a new seasonal theme for the site. I was going to do a little bit of tweaking to get the Ravelry progress bars working with it, and change the non-blog pages a little, but I haven’t had time, and I think it looks fine as it is anyway. Hooray! Thank you to the Amberpanther team for making it available :-)
1 Mum, brother and new sister-in-law.
2 Which is more fun than the receiving to be honest, since I pretty much know what I’m getting already.
My photo album, that is. Ooops. And yes, this time I think it really is gone – I was attempting to set up the new version of it using the NextGEN Gallery plugin within WordPress, and I guess that clashed somehow with the Coppermine script, because it’s all fallen down and the photos themselves won’t even show up as direct links. They’re definitely physically there on the server, but I’m getting 404s when I try to reach them. I don’t know why that is (though I have a suspicion). So strange.
Anyway, that means that pretty much all of the photos on the blog are broken for the time being. I’m going to try to get that fixed over the next couple of days, but I doubt it’ll happen tonight. I have a concert to sing in! But I might be wide awake after that, so I might make a start then after all. Now, though, I’d better finish getting ready. Concert blacks, here I come…
Honestly, I have no idea what’s happened: my photo album section has seemed to vanish off the face of the web. Only, all the files are still there, the database seems to still be up and running… I’ve tried repairing and restoring back-ups, the whole shebang, but with no luck. Eh?! The little plugin that links the album script to WordPress is still working perfectly though. You just can’t get to the album via its URL. Not the front end or the admin section. I wonder if it’s a conflict with a WP plugin, or if I maybe need to upgrade Coppermine?
Or perhaps it’s a sign that I should do what I’ve been considering for a while, and import the whole thing into WordPress. Makes the template easier, that way.
ETA: I upgraded Coppermine, and no luck. But then it occurred to me that the upgrade page had displayed, so it must be something template-related (I hadn’t re-uploaded the template files). So I put up new versions of those, and oh look – the photo album is back. I’m still going to change over to using a WP plugin for it sometime soon, though, to make maintenance easier in the long run.
So, back in March I made some bloggy resolutions about what I intended to do for weekly posting goals. Obviously, I haven’t kept those up… and then I started feeling like I was in catch-up mode all the time with myself, and oh noes, panic!! Which is bad, since this blog isn’t supposed to be a duty! Therefore, I have Made A Decision: I’m giving myself permission to “give up”. In actual fact what that means is that I’m going to forget about Project 365 this year, since taking the photos already wasn’t working out – maybe I can go again another year, but I’ll see how it goes. I’m still going to do the Friday 5 whenever I feel like it, but not necessarily every week. I am going to try to post more about knitting and spinning and things in general. This way, it’s more of an adjustment of my goals to something more realistic, rather than really giving up.
Another thing that I’ve decided to let go of is taking strict part of the Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon ’09. I haven’t been knitting very fast this year, and I’d ended up knitting nothing but those socks and still not finishing them. It all got a bit too much like hard work! So even though I love the patterns for the first two socks, and I really like the look of the third one which has recently been released, I’m not going to start #3. I do intend to finish the first two socks, but not as my most immediate projects. Instead I’m going to go back to my other knitting works in progress and try to get those finished off. They’d been pushed back while I was knitting just socks. That’s meant that I’ve now almost finished the shawl I’ve been making for Emily (I’m casting off at the moment, but that’s deadly boring so I’m just doing a few stitches at a time then putting it down again *g*). And I’m really looking forward to picking up the projects I’ve been neglecting and making some real progress on them. Hooray! I don’t even feel like starting something new, because my old projects are almost like new ones by now.
I’m also thinking about giving in using Coppermine for my photo album software. Yes, I’ve been using it for years on this site, so it seemed like a more sensible decision to keep using it and integrate it with WP rather than migrate to something else. But there’s a good photo album plugin for WP, and the integration plugin for Coppermine doesn’t do precisely what I want it to do – it’s a great plugin, and it’s probably perfect for everyone else… but I’m picky! Also, I do have to do some tweaking of the source code every time it updates because of the way I have my Coppermine set up, and… well, in the long run it might just be easier to change to using something more integrated with WP. It’ll mean not having to theme Coppermine to match WP, too. I’m going to ponder it a while more, but I expect I will change over.
Why am I mentioning this, when no-one but me cares? Because it kind of fits the theme of the rest of this post: I’ve been hanging on to some things that I should have gracefully given in on a while back. Letting go and making a few small changes will make things easier. Note to self: change is good, and giving up on something doesn’t necessarily equate to failure. There we go, that’s my deep personal insight for the day. Now I shall stop rambling, let go of this post and send it into the big wide world (= hit the publish button)! TTFN.
Well, I was going to do the Friday 5, but I’m getting a 500 error from the site, so I’ll have to try again later. And in the mean time, I’ll post something else I’ve been meaning to get to – my Project 365 photos. This is my second attempt at this – stuff got in the way so I tailed off last year and didn’t finish it properly. So, here I go again. [Click through to see the rest of this]
Well, I was going to do the Friday 5, but I’m getting a 500 error from the site, so I’ll have to try again later. And in the mean time, I’ll post something else I’ve been meaning to get to – my Project 365 photos. This is my second attempt at this – stuff got in the way so I tailed off last year and didn’t finish it properly. So, here I go again. These are the first two week’s worth, but they’re also up at Flickr in my Project 365 ’09-10 set and in the Project 365 album for this year in the photo album here (you can see the great-big full size versions there). The next few days of photos are up in those places, too. I’ll do another post of them on the blog when I have a full week’s worth, then keep posting weekly thereafter. I hope!!
Anyway, because I’m posting two week’s of pics, I’m doing these as thumbnails. I’m not sure whether to keep on going like that, or to post the medium size and have the pic titles and some exposition below them, like I did last year. Thoughts, anyone?
PS – I think I’m going to give up on using Live+Press for crossposting to LJ for now… there are two main problems with it for me. The first is an actual bug which should be fixed with the next release (though I don’t know when that is) – if I save a draft post in the WP posting interface, it posts it to LJ, which means I keep accidentally posting half-done entries. And also, I’m not sure if this is related, but I have to re-select the “No Synch” option (the only way to get round the early posting) every time I open the draft: it’s not saving that option, and it won’t default to it either. That wasn’t the second issue though – that is an actual feature of the plugin. I have no way to stop it from crossposting tags into LJ. Which I do in LJXP, even though it has far fewer features otherwise. Oh well, no being able to choose my userpics and moods from here, then. I may change back later, we’ll see how it goes.
Testing the Live+Press WordPress to Livejournal crossposter…
Once again, this post may be deleted. Or may not! Oh, the suspense of it.
Testing the LJXP WordPress to Livejournal crossposter…
(this post will self-destruct in 3,2,1…*)
*may be deleted v soon
Version 4 of the site is done at last: all moved over to wordpress, and with a nice springlike design – Sheep in a Field by Nikki Jeske. It feels a little bit like cheating, using a theme by someone else, but I couldn’t resist because look: SHEEEEEEEEP! I have done some tweaking to make it work exactly how I wanted it to, especially since I’m using WP pretty much as a CMS for the whole site.
Anyway, I hope everything is working – please do let me know if you come across something that’s broken!
And now, the end is here, And so I face the final curtain, My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
Yup, the time has come. Not the end of the blog, of course, just the end of this chapter of it! After this post I shall be importing all the entries from my Movable Type blog installation into the new WordPress one. Once I’ve done that, I think I’ll still have to manually edit in the tags, and set up some page redirections, but everything else should come on over.
(I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway)
What that means from an ‘outside’ POV will be a period of radio-silence (so nothing new there, then!!) during which time the MT installation will still be up and running. Then the whole site will go down for a short time while I make the final changeover, and then ta-daaaaa: new site version! It’s taken me longer than I thought, but the new site will be omg so much easier to run and update, so it’s worth it. Hooray!
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, When I bit off more than I could chew, But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all and I stood tall and did it myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy way!
This is a bit of a strange time to be doing this, since I’m about to import the whole blog to a new system, and who knows what will happen… but I’ve decided to make those blog resolutions that I was thinking about back when I tried the BloPoMo thingy. Assuming all goes well (and right now, it looks like it should!), a NewNew Blog should be the perfect time to start a NewNew blogging habit to go with it. Especially since the new setup makes things like importing from my photo album, and crossposting to LJ, all the easier.
So, this is what I resolve. I will:
- Re-start / resume Project 365, which faltered in about August last year… then picked up again for a bit, but ultimately didn’t make it the whole year. I’ve started taking the photos as of yesterday. Like I said above, the new blog (WP with the Coppermine Integration plugin) will make inserting photos from the gallery quicker and easier, so I should be able to keep up with the whole thing without a whole load of fiddly copy-pasting and so on.
- Be more structured in my posting in general – start doing the Friday Five again, for example, so that I know that I have specific things to be posting about, rather than a big blank space to fill with randomness. Not that randomness is bad… I just want more of a mixture of, er, stuff.
- Therefore, try to be posting 2 – 3 times a week:
- A weekly Project 365 update.
- The Friday Five, or some other meme or similar that makes me think a bit.
- And most importantly, knitting / spinning / other stuff content. All the stuff I usually post, but more regularly, and with photos more often, and … things. Hopefully some things about the course I’m starting soon on Bipolar. We’ll see how it goes.
I think all that’s do-able and should be fun. I have to get the new website version up and running first, of course, but I pretty much have all the background stuff for that done now. It’s just a matter of importing the content from the old site version and making any edits that I want… and there are bound to be lots of those since I haven’t done any actual updates on this site in forever. The thing that will probably take the longest will be importing the several hundred entries from this blog – I’ve actually already done the old-old one (“So Far So Good”) and that went well enough. I’m trying to decide what to do about redirecting the old pages to the new ones… it’s going to be fiddly so I think I might not bother on the most part. This is hardly a big-name website, after all. My own internal links can be done gradually and I can set up some redirections for pages I know have outside links, like my Knitting Patterns category. If I find I get a lot of hits looking for anything in particular, I can sort it out then. I think that’s the most stress-free way of going about it.
Recently, I’ve been spinning as much as knitting. Jo has lent me her spare spinning wheel which is an Ashford Kiwi and I’ve been having lots of fun with it. I still need lots of practice, and so far I’m using some of the fibre that came with my drop spindle. There’s no fear of me running out of stuff to spin, though: even before Jo lent me her wheel, I had some of the yummy fibre from her Etsy shop. I now have six 100g-ish braids of hers, and I’ll post some pics here soon. Not right now though, because I’m about to upgrade my photo gallery as a prelude to the whole site upgrade – which should be quite soon now! I’ve got some really gorgeous colours in BFL and Merino, and the Merino/Tencel is even more delicious, but you’ll just have to take my word for it until the upgrade is all done and dusted.
In other Etsy news, my friend Rae has opened her Etsy shop,. She’s selling some very cool (and cute) fridge magnets. I love the buried treasure one (which is from a photo taken when she was visiting me a few years ago!), and also the caffeinated cat one (painted) which really reminds me of the Xandermog. *g* The original one’s been sold already, but she’s done some more that aren’t identical, but very similar. Yay!
Oops again: I managed not to blog for yet another whole month, and missed my 8-year Blogoversary in the bargain (thanks for the ‘versary wishes!). So what have I been doing?
Well, I’ve done a couple of websites for my brother and another group in his year at uni, for one of their group projects (no, I wasn’t doing the work for them! They’re allowed to ’employ’ people for various jobs that they can’t cover themselves in the group). Gave me a chance to do something new-ish with embedding streaming video and audio, and play with some CSS3 as well. Hooray!
Talking of websites… I still haven’t got the redesign for this one sorted out. Really must buckle down and do that. I had to delete the (MT) search script for the blog because it was being hammered with spam and overloading the server… hopefully when I switch over to WP I won’t have that problem. However, I want to get the new design done before I change over (so I don’t have to faff around turning this one into a wp theme as well), especially since I’m going to be running the whole site apart from the photo album through it.
Other than that, I have got some knitting done: I finished Em’s mittens, and I’ve even managed to blitz through the rest of the WFS [RavLink], which is actually Mum’s birthday present… from last year. Ahem. But it’s done now! All except a bit of weaving in, and the all-important blocking, that is. I’m thinking I’m going to evict the cat from the bedroom tomorrow, clear off the bed, and use that for blocking it on. If it doesn’t get dry in time, I can always sleep on the sofabed for one night. I’ve actually been quite organised with my knitting so far this year: I still have several unfinished projects, but I’ve put most of them to one side and worked on just two or three… which has meant I’m finishing, or getting towards finishing things! My final pair of SKP08 socks, and the gloves I’ve had hanging around for ages with just one done are both well on their way. No pictures today, though. Site redesign first! Off I go again to work on that :-)
And…. oops! I completely gave in to the Dreaded Lurgy, and failed to keep up with my BloPoMo challenge. D’oh! I did make 22 entries (23 including this one) though, so that’s ¾ of it achieved at least. Yep, let’s look on the positive side of things! Also on the positive, I’m pretty much over said Dreaded Lurgy and can now speak (and breathe) again. Well, I think that’s a good thing ;-)
I didn’t do much for New Year – mainly I was huddling indoors keeping warm! But that’s fine, I didn’t have any big plans that I had to cancel through feeling grotty, so I was quite happy with watching the Hootenanny and drinking hot chocolate.
I haven’t done much knitting since Christmas, either. I’ve done a bit on the second sock for the fifth Pentathlon pair, but I didn’t get them finished (obviously) by the 31st December deadline so I’ve slacked off on those again. And I’ve cast on for E’s second mitten now that I’m no longer coughing all the time. But that’s pretty much it! I have had some post-knitting-gratification, however: I’ve found out that both the hat that I made for little H, and the fingerless mitts I made for my brother are getting lots of use and are very much appreciated and liked. Wheee :-D
Anyway. Since this is now the Twelfth Day of Christmas, even though I didn’t manage to finish the challenge, I now declare my BloPoMo officially over! I am going to make a new blogging resolution, though: to blog, um, more often. I think I should probably be more specific about that, but I shall have a think about what’s reasonable and likely for me to maintain. I could say three times a week, or I could pick specific days of the week with the option to swap if I had something specific to say. Not sure which would work best. Hmm. What to do, what to do?