What I Hated the Least Today 196/365: Stand

What I Hated the Least Today 196/365: Stand

I probably can't sit either
I probably can’t sit either

I can’t stand. No, seriously, I can’t stand properly. I suspect all of my body alignment is all messed up. I wouldn’t have noticed, had I not started to practise yoga. And then I wouldn’t have noticed, had I not occasionally made a video of my workout in order to check to what extent I’m doing it wrong.

I’ve come to suspect that I’m doing it all wrong, even those poses that look right at the first sight. That wouldn’t be much of a problem, except by doing it wrong, I’m likely crippling myself. That wouldn’t be much of a problem either, except I’m pretty much in permanent pain now.

Especially my knees don’t like my daily yoga. My shoulders, arms and neck aren’t too excited either. Perversely, it doesn’t hurt when I exercise, it hurts most when I do nothing. Like when I stand. Standing has become quite an ordeal. I focused on checking my alignment when I stand and found that I tilt weirdly forwards, probably putting undue pressure on the knees. 

Now, the obvious solution is to stop exercising. That’s not happening, as I’m prone to addictions, and I’ve apparently become addicted to my yoga routine. I mean, I get up early when I go to a yoga class so I could practise my morning yoga before that. I have no clue how that happened, as I’ve always been strongly anti-exercise.

Another obvious solution is to seek out medical advice. I’ve been gathering courage, or rather the mental immunity, to do this for a while but so far I haven’t ventured. Now that I’m blogging about it, I’m more likely to pay my GP a visit though—if only so that I could report that it went as I suspected and that no advice was provided.

This sounds depressing, and I’m not sure what about it I hated the least today. Oh wait, I know now, I’ll need to see my GP promptly and report back with a triumphant “I told you so”. I like “I told you so”, it’s part of my culture and upbringing. There’s no better malignant pleasure than in “I told you so”, even when you tell it to yourself.

What I Hated the Least Today 195/365: Blank

What I Hated the Least Today 195/365: Blank

My mind is a blank document
My mind is a blank document

The other day we were talking with a fellow postaday project runner, Rebekah, about how it’s getting increasingly difficult to think about what to blog about. I don’t mean to think about something worth blogging about, I mean about anything to blog about. On which Rebekah admitted that her mind was blank that day. On which I had a free association with the HTML attribute target="_blank". On which we pursued a discussion of what target="_top" does.

I was explaining my understanding of this in two convoluted paragraphs, while Rebekah summed it up in one sentence. I don’t understand how I can be a teacher. I’m presumably as miserable a teacher as I’m a coder. We however reached an agreement that basic HTML deserves some love too. Like the ugly child (the ugly cat, in my case, because I object against children in general). Now, I think I could combine my two absent skills and teach you code. Hilarious, right?

To sum it up, for my own sake rather than anyone else’s (I’m hoping I’ll remember it forever/longer if I blog about it), target is an attribute of the <a> element. The default value is target="_self", which opens a link in the same window. The aforementioned target="_blank" opens a link in a new window/tab. So far, obvious. But, target="_parent" opens a link in the parent frame. And target="_top" breaks out of a frame when a page is locked in one. Hm.

I probably get it, unless I don’t. I wish I could experiment with frames more, but WordPress apparently doesn’t allow <iframe>. There’s less fun in experimenting when you can’t impose your experiment on your followers (and consequently unfollowers). Ha. At least I’ve progressed insofar that I know the difference between a HTML attribute and CSS property and hopefully use the terms correctly, along with elementvalue and other element-ary things I should’ve known earlier.

What I Hated the Least Today 194/365: Minimax

What I Hated the Least Today 194/365: Minimax

Random
Random

Minimax is a time-saving (and ultimately life-saving) strategy in which you achieve maximum effect with minimum effort. I utilise this strategy the other way round. I often find myself undertaking maximum effort and achieving minimum effect. Such as today, when I spent a few hours copywriting an obscure article for an even more obscure online magazine on a subject which I had no knowledge of and no interest in (which no way stops me from writing about it).

The article was to be delivered in my mother tongue (which I hate using, by the way) and I threw it together from a bunch of English-language sources. It didn’t occur to me to look first if Czech-language resources were available. After I finished the article, I viewed the source code of one site from where I was going to steal a picture to go with the text (legitimate theft, the site allows reuse of images if credited). I went in the source code so that I could open the picture on the attachment page and save it on my drive in the original size. Part of my maximum effort–minimum effect strategy. In the source code, I discovered a link to a Czech mutation of the site.

I could have saved myself probably an hour or so on translating, had I looked properly to start with. I wouldn’t have of course copied and pasted any text, but I wouldn’t have had to bother trying to figure out how to translate some tricky terms. The nice discovery was that I translated it more or less in the same way as the official translation, in some cases better, in one case worse. Another curious discovery could be that I’m losing the ability to read output text and gaining the ability to read input code. I wish.

To make up for the time wasted on working with maximum effort for minimum wage, I applied the minimax approach in the right way on the featured image of this post. It’s completely irrelevant to the post content and it’s edited in two clicks. One click was a one-click smart fix in Corel PaintShop, another click was to apply a filter in Perfect Effects. The photo looks about the same as it would if I devoted fifteen minutes to fiddling around with it manually, as opposed to auto filters. I suspect it may even look better. May I serve as a cautionary role model. Don’t be me. Use minimax in the right way.

What I Hated the Least Today 193/365: Tattoo Ideas

What I Hated the Least Today 193/365: Tattoo Ideas

Your code goes here
Your code goes here

I’ve been thinking forever of getting tattooed because that’s the kind of thing you do when you’re in the midst of a third-life crisis (probably an early mid-life crisis in my case, as my lifestyle isn’t consistent with longevity). One gets to see a plenty of tattoos in summer, when people go around semi-naked, which serve as great examples of how not to do it. Of course, I’m hypercritical and subversive, and I’m sure said tattoo wearers are perfectly happy with their creations.

I find it hugely entertaining when people get tattooed with mottoes in a foreign language, preferably one they don’t speak. Latin, particularly. (My apologies to all speakers of Latin with tattoos in Latin.) A friend has a nasty, cheesy piece covering most of her calf, depicting a dove and Latin for “Soar to the stars” (I can’t be bothered Googling how you say it in Latin because I don’t speak Latin, and neither does my tattooed friend).

If I ever finally get down to getting ink of my own, I’ll design it myself for myself specifically. I have one idea (two ideas, in case I like it and want more), which I’m not going to share because it’s so awesome that you’d want to steal it from me (ha). It has to do with my penchant for punctuation (I proofread) and code (I’d like to code). It has nothing to do with the featured image of this post, which is thrown in just so.

Meanwhile, I’m amusing myself with coming up with subversive alternatives for cliched tattoos. A hand-coded HTML table follows (in case you wonder how I got a table in, as WordPress’s WYSIWYG doesn’t do tables). A code for the table follows next, which I suggest you don’t borrow either because it’s not very good.

Inline CSS, apparently the only CSS you can use in WP Text Editor, should override any external stylesheets, however, I can’t get rid of my theme’s default tr:nth-child(odd) property, which sets the background of every other table row to grey. I solved it, probably improperly, by modifying each <td> in the offending row rather than just the entire <tr>. I guess I could overwrite the offending values via the CSS Editor, but I can’t be bothered (again).

The Table
Cliche Subversive
Reach for the stars Whatever
You got this We’re all going to die here
Never give up Just let me die

The Code

<table><caption>The Table</caption>
<tr style="background-color:#cc2a41;">
<th style="color:white;">Cliche</th>
<th style="color:white;">Subversive</th>
</tr>
<tr style="background-color:#44749d;">
<td style="color:white;">Reach for the stars</td>
<td style="color:white;">Whatever</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td style="color:white;background-color:#44749d;">You got this</td>
<td style="color:white;background-color:#44749d;">We're all going to die here</td>
</tr>
<tr style="background-color:#44749d;">
<td style="color:white;">Never give up</td>
<td style="color:white;">Just let me die</td>
</tr>
</table>

Please note that I dot my i’s, close my tags and quote my attributes. ❤

What I Hated the Least Today 192/365: Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie

What I Hated the Least Today 192/365: Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie

R.I.P.
R.I.P.

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

—Robert Burns

I’ve complained (ranted) about my troubles with tribbles (mouses) before. My wireless mouse started to behave unexpectedly, so I dragged the thing by its tail (which is a nonsense, a wireless mouse doesn’t have a tail) to the shop where I got it and placed a warranty claim. A few weeks later, the wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie was returned to me with the note that it is and always was in a perfect working order. That doesn’t explain why it doesn’t work for me.

I think I might have cracked it though. I noticed that owing to the superior quality (*snort*) of my Ikea desk, a shiny spot appeared where I use the mouse. Too much mousing. An optical mouse doesn’t work well on shiny surfaces. That however doesn’t explain why my optical wired mouse works fine on the very same surface. Is it because it’s wired? Or am I just jonsnowing (= of Jon Snow, who knows nothing)?

I’m not much in love with my wired mouse. It’s a spare item I had the good sense to keep when I got a wireless alternative. To see how much I hate my current mouse, please refer to the header image, showing the mouse slaughtered and lying on its scroll wheel. There are mouses that work on reflecting surfaces and after hours of research (no kidding) spanning over several weeks, I picked one model that would be acceptable. What’s highly unacceptable is its price.

I’m also not too thrilled with the mouse’s atypical rechargeable batteries. I’m stocked on AA batteries for my mouse and I own no remote controls, kid toys, cat toys or sex toys to use them in instead. There’s an older model of the mouse with standard AAs (as of the battery type, not Alcoholics Anonymous). It’s also cheaper. It’s also unavailable for purchase via my usual channels. It’s also probably unwise to buy something old. I began this post thinking I have it figured out, and I conclude it seeing that I’ve found nothing. Error 404.

What I Hated the Least Today 191/365: Lost

What I Hated the Least Today 191/365: Lost

Bridges
Bridges

I’ve run out of my Ginkgo Biloba and I’m lost. I suspect that the memory pills might have been actually working. I hate to admit it (I always hate admitting things). Since I’ve stopped taking them, I’m constantly finding myself lost.

Yesterday I got on the wrong tram. In a city where I’ve lived for quite a while and which has exactly eight tram lines. Not much space for confusion here (but I’m resourceful). I saw my mistake on the next stop, duly got off and back I went on another tram in the opposite direction. (The right tram, this time.)

Today I thought I’d take a shortcut on my way home from a yoga class. I did get home but it was the opposite of a shortcut (a longcut?). It would’ve been a shortcut if I could fly over buildings (but I didn’t have my broom) and walk over water (but I’m clearly no Jesus). Well, at least I’ve seen a part of the town where I wouldn’t normally wander.

They say that not all who wander are lost. I strongly disagree. I am lost whenever I wander. Otherwise I wouldn’t wander. I’ll probably want to restock on brain pills. Unless I forget where I was going or get lost on the way. Or unless I forget. Full stop.

What I Hated the Least Today 190/365: functions.php

What I Hated the Least Today 190/365: functions.php

Don't. Just don't.
Don’t. Just don’t.

The following applies to self-hosted WordPress sites and is of zero interest to WordPress-hosted bloggers. Or simply, it’s of zero interest. It needs to be however recorded as a cautionary tale. I’ll start with the moral: PHP is different from PhD and having the latter doesn’t mean you qualify to mess with the former. Unless you like a challenge, like me. And unless you don’t mind taking your site down, unlike me.

I’m working on a site for a particularly annoying customer who earns ridiculous money on providing human resources consulting. It’s weird how come that I think so little of such vaguely defined, immaterial and probably unproductive jobs, considering that I’m trained in English Literature. What’s more vaguely defined, immaterial and unproductive than literary research? (That wasn’t a real question, that was a statement in disguise.)

I CSSed the shit out of her site because I enjoy cascading. I can’t cascade really, but I don’t consider it an obstacle to trying. On which the lady tells me that she basically wants a 1990s style static site with white background and black text. Hm. I could probably even do this in HTML from scratch. The lady however insists on being able to edit the texts herself, hence it needs to be WordPress and it needs to be in Czech. (*sigh*)

Czech WordPress is semi-translated, which means that for some sections of the site to display in Czech, I need to translate manually. Reiterating old news, the wrong way is to edit the files of the theme directly as all changes are lost when the theme is updated to a new version. The right way is to create a child theme and edit the child theme files. So far, so good, except when it comes to functions.php.

I was unreasonably encouraged by my success in editing footer.php—of course, it took multiple attempts, but wrong code didn’t take the whole site down, only the footer didn’t display—so I thought I’d try to modify the functions file. I broke it at the first try. Took the entire site down. Parse error. Couldn’t fix it (of course). Locked me out of WordPress admin too. My unadvised and unqualified effort to crack this was quite hilarious. I was even having fun, in a way, because I like a challenge.

I exchanged some emails with a very unsupportive support of my domain and hosting provider, who advised me to try to restore the backup of the site and sent me a link to a manual saying: “In our admin area, export the MySQL database backup and then import it via phpMyAdmin.” Full stop. Not too detailed. I tried and failed (of course). I resisted the temptation to complain via the link that came with each email from the support and asked me to evaluate my support experience.

In retrospect, I think they should probably have told me to go to the FTP client in the first place and try deleting the offending child theme file. Based on what I Googled, this might have been the elegant solution. Well, I went inelegant, and I helped myself—I located Delete Database and Install WordPress options in my hosting admin area, I checked with support that this would help, and simply deleted and reinstalled the whole thing. It did help.

Sure, I ended up with a fresh WordPress install and it took me two hours to set the settings again and import the content again from my various dumb backup files (dumb because I’m pretty sure you don’t save website texts in .docx files and code in .txt files on your computer in lieu of a backup), but I did it on my own, without help. Which I didn’t hate at all. I mean, better than waiting several days for support to fix it for me and paying them for it. Also, be warned: hide your kids, wives and sites, I’m recuperating and considering further ventures into functions.php. I haven’t had enough.

What I Hated the Least Today 189/365: Public Humiliation

What I Hated the Least Today 189/365: Public Humiliation

Colour coordinated feet hip-width apart
Colour coordinated feet hip-width apart

After a year and a half of home yoga practice, I ventured in a public class, hoping this would help me with the correct alignment of the poses. Well, that didn’t work out. The class was however hugely humorous, so it helped me at least with mood boost. Not to be confused with zen boost, as I’m strictly a zen-o-phobe.

Generally speaking, in a first-world yoga class, I would expect the instructor to take rounds and advise the students on what they’re doing wrong, to the accompaniment of instrumental music and burning candles. In a second-world yoga class, I was unsure what to expect, and while I hate surprises, this surprise was fun.

The yoga studio (yoga den, rather) was in an outbuilding in the yard of another building, which was entered through a garage door. It consisted of a small anteroom and the main room. No changing room, no showers, but one restroom, which I neither needed nor dared to check out. Well, whatever, I arrived first, so I changed into my yoga set while no one was around.

Hardly did I pull my leggings up when a guy materialised behind my back. I didn’t expect there would be guys. Because yoga. I was wondering for a while if I accidentally wandered in a tantric sex class. Well, I didn’t. It was an intermediate yoga class, which was about the right level. It wasn’t the poses that confused me as much as the fact that the instructor spoke in Czech, while I practise with English language yoga videos.

I didn’t particularly like the instructor, which doesn’t mean anything, as I don’t like people. I was mildly puzzled by her choice to say Warrior One when she means High Lunge. Maybe she doesn’t know how to say high lunge in Czech. Neither do I. It’s impossible. I manifested the good sense not to argue with the instructor.

After the fun class, I had some more fun because I chose public humiliation rather than changing clothes in public—really I just didn’t feel like putting on clean clothes when sweaty—so I walked home wearing spandex, which should never be worn outside of gym. No one cared, of course. I’ll probably just leave the house straight in my workout clothes next time. Whatever.

What I Hated the Least Today 188/365: Server Down

What I Hated the Least Today 188/365: Server Down

A wake for a deceased server
A wake for a deceased server

I blogged before about a marketing software I use for work in an attempt (so far unsuccessful) to earn my living. I also mentioned how this software developers most likely hate me fiercely. I’m the poking and prying kind of person, so I check in regularly with them to report bugs.

I’m probably in love with what appears to be the chief engineer of this thing. We correspond regularly. I send him naughty screencasts—videos of what’s happening on my screen while I’m using the app—as proof of bugs being at their end and not me being an ignorant who misclicked and blames the machine. (Of course I am an ignorant in general, but not in this case in particular.)

My favourite engineer sometimes responds as early as within an hour after I announce a new bug to notify me that the bug has been fixed. That’s all nice, but I’m thinking (haha, I’m thinking) he should have programmed it properly in the first place so he wouldn’t have to fix it later. To show my appreciation, I prepared a lovely surprise for him during the weekend.

I set up the software so to send automatic welcome emails to all contacts in the address book. About 2.500 emails should have been sent. The behaviour of the app did strike me as unusual after I set this up but I blamed my own ignorance (see above for ignorance). Well, later I learned that my action took the company’s servers down. I’m such a badass.

It was yet another bug, which caused 27.000 emails to generate over the weekend. Nothing much happened—I mean, at my end, as the emails were never sent, they just kept on generating on the server. The company should get better servers. And better engineers. And better software testers, preferably me.

I’m perversely proud of myself. (I’m always proud of myself perversely and I’m most proud of my most perverted achievements.) See, you can give me any software and I’ll prove you it’s poorly programmed. Without any knowledge of programming. Sure, I can’t fix anything, but I’ll break things that you thought were foolproof.

What I Hated the Least Today 187/365: Kitty Earrings

What I Hated the Least Today 187/365: Kitty Earrings

Crazy cat lady accessory
Crazy cat lady accessory

I have a new pair of kitty earrings. I thought you should know. I mean, they’re awesome. No one should be deprived of the pleasure of viewing anything cat related, especially when it’s cute without being too cute.

I think my earrings seek to represent the Siamese cat. It’s a slim, sleek and elegant breed. So are the earrings, as far as a cat-shaped accessory can ever be elegant. They are so light that I hardly feel the weight. That’s quite convenient.

I’m a fan of big badass earrings, and this stuff can be rather heavy to wear. It can also get somewhat painful when it’s windy and the earrings keep on hitting your face. Not my new kitty earrings though. Here’s another picture. 🐱 ❤

A shitty picture of kitty wearables