Use a real theme

This one’s for self-hosted WordPress users only. (Apologies to the rest of my readers.)

Ever since I started using WordPress for this blog in February 2009, I have been unable to automatically upgrade my WordPress software. (Manual upgrades worked — but they were a pain.) Then I switched to a real theme by WooThemes. Volia! The upgrade worked ultra-fast and with great perfection!

So if you are facing that problem, just change your theme to a more professionally coded theme.


They don’t make them like this anymore


I saw this beauty, waiting for the dumptruck to haul it away. I nearly cried at the thought of it entering a landfill.

Grundig Majestic. Made in Germany in maybe 1960. Beautiful rosewood veneer. Shortwave radio, along with a turntable. (Of course it doesn’t work.) If we had room, I’d gut the interior and make it into a cabinet of some sort.

Alas, the house is full, so I sold it on Craigslist. The gentleman who bought it wants to use the shortwave. Triumph!


Volunteers? Not a problem.

over-volunteersThis summer Ben is in a suburban swim team. The parents plan all sorts of parties and events surrounding the team’s activities. Sadly, we don’t volunteer much for the team. Ben isn’t interested in many of the activities — and we aren’t much either.

But some parents are. As you can tell, there is a glut of volunteers who happily fill the needs.

The first thing I thought of when reading this email was how I wish some of that extra volunteering energy could go toward a place where it’s really needed… like an inner-city ministry, such as Restoration Outreach Programs.


And no one noticed

checker-oreillyThe Checker Auto Parts store in our neighborhood quietly changed its name to O’Reilly Auto Parts. The only change was the sign. The transition was mandated by some high-level corporate decision… I think a corporate merger was involved.

I’d consider the change to be a waste of money, as long as the Checker name still exists (which it does).

Takeaway: If you’re going to change your name, make it worth your while. Change something else too.


Suburban rites of passage

ben-swimteamSo our son Ben is on swim team for our local suburban subdivision. (He’s the swimmer on the right.) He goes to practice 3–5 mornings a week. They start at 7:00 am! Anyhow, this past Saturday was a swim meet at another suburban pool. We were surrounded by suburban parents and their suburban kids. Some were really intense — yelling like their kids were about to win the Olympics. Others were simply lounging under their pop-up canopies.

We stayed for his heat and left. I felt as if I had betrayed suburbia.


How we walk

pedestrianHave you ever noticed how we cross the road early on our way to a place and cross it early in the other direction on our way back?

Why do we do this? Maybe a PhD student has spent years researching this — but it would probably take a year to find the relevant answer from her research. So I’ll give a guess. I think we like to get the hard part out of the way first and then enjoy the rest of the journey. I realize that is not true for all of us — and it is not true in every instance. But I think in this case it works.

Next time you walk somewhere, observe how you cross the road. Report your findings here, if you can remember to.


Imperfect can be better

postmark-headsObviously the post office’s ink jet printer was in need of repair or more ink. But I think the result is way more interesting than if it had printed perfectly.

Takeaway: Remember that perfection is not always best. And think of ways you can vary things up to make them more interesting — without getting too crazy on us!


Suburban killers

killer-floofOur cat Tiger (whose name is really “Floof” because of his very floofy coat) is a killer. He loves game hunting for birds or small rodents. He usually has his fun and then leaves the small beast in very sad condition. Often, he will bring the animal into our living area as a present of sorts. Needless to say, Heather does not appreciate those gifts.

What do we do? I haven’t found a local chapter of “Bird Killers Anonymous” for pets. If you hear of one, let me know.

In the meantime, we love him. He’s a hilarious cat. You gotta take the good with the bad.