Remembering Why I Retired and Some Advice

Warning: Non Geek Types May Suffer Eyes Glassing Over

As many of you may know, I had a career in IT. I started as an intern working in an IT shop on an Army base in Alaska. I was one of a few women in the field, but my manager was a glass ceiling breaking black woman who was the first of many women who revealed what women were capable of in the work place. My daily mentors were predominately men, who were kind and generous with their knowledge.

After 40 years in the field and experiencing many downsizing and right sizing reorganizations, I left the field to teach art to an underserved population and then after five years went back to school to learn web design. 

When I retired and shuttered my business, I worked for someone else for a while, but it did not suit me. I was no longer able to choose the kind of work I did and honestly, it was not lucrative enough to make it worth losing my beloved retired life. I did retain several clients on my hosting service.

During the last few days, I have been in front of my computer, performing backups and preparing for a forced upgrade of PHP software. Normally this is not a problem except these are legacy WordPress systems, many of which are running themes and plugins that are no longer supported or compatible with later releases of software.

Of course, nothing works as planned. There are glitches and voids where different people have differing levels of understanding. I have been in online chats with the hosting company, often explaining why their process does not work as they thought. It is frustrating and it reminds me why I decided to retire. After experiencing all the latest and greatest software over 40 or 50 years, sometimes the intrigue of new technology loses its appeal.

Now for the advice. If you ever plan to self-host your WordPress site, take some time to learn the basics of the hosting side. A little knowledge can go a long way.

Try not to get tempted to purchase themes from smaller theme companies. If you plan to purchase a theme, do some research on the company. Make sure they are going to be around a while. There are so many themes out there on production sites that are no longer supported. This makes keeping your software updated and current much more difficult.

I have found that Themes by Automattic or the WordPress team are the most likely to always stay in step with WordPress software releases. Some premium theme vendors require subscription fees in order to get support for their products and to receive updates. Always do your research.

Now a couple of every day blogging tips. WordPress suffers glitches. Like this post. I tried to write it with the block editor, but suddenly, there was no place to put in a title. That’s a new glitch to me.

Also, understand the reader settings. I was trying to re-follow a fellow blogger via email. There was already a glitch for this person in that their followers were being dropped. I could not get a follow to work for any email address. BUT, I found that because of a setting I had used in Reader, WordPress used that setting to prevent me following via my WordPress email or accepting an invitation to follow. Here’s the culprit. I had it set so I did not receive both reader and email, but then suddenly I was missing posts in reader:

Now I am again getting his Posts via email! But that still does not answer why he was dropping followers or why I could not subscribe with a different email address.

Bottom line, if you have problems or glitches in WordPress, just ask. I guarantee someone has already experienced the same problem,. 


SoCS – Spin Me a Yarn

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

‘Spinning a yarn’ has two completely different meanings. One references telling a tall tale and the other about spinning wool into actual yarn. It’s a good jumping off place for today’s prompt.

When I lived in Alaska, there were certain things everyone purchased or sent ‘home’ as gifts. They ranged from inexpensive gag gifts like moose nugget earrings (earrings made from moose poop) to hand painted gold pans, jade, ivory, and gold nugget jewelry.

My sister and her family lived in Alaska and they were the reason I ended up there – another story for another day. I remember the year she decided to get our parents hand knit Alaskan sweaters for Christmas. These sweaters (jumpers) were big and bulky with zip fronts. Each one knitted with a typically Alaskan scene with moose, cabins, salmon, etc. My sister bought them matching sweaters with cabins and mountains knit into the design. The yarns were earthy colors and the resulting sweater was warm and heavy.

It is sad that the major retail outlets sell these rip-off sweaters as authentic and are often constructed with polyesters and rayon yarns. I know my sister paid a pretty penny for them.

So I left Alaska with many Alaskan Souvenirs – mostly jewelry, but the one thing I regretted was not getting a scarf or hat knitted from qiviut yarn. Qiviut is the naturally shedding wool of a muskox.

Quartl, Ovibos moschatus qtl3, CC BY-SA 3.0

The color of the yarn is a pale brown and is warmer than wool or cashmere. It is very expensive because it must all be hand combed and carded. The scarves are delightful to the touch, soft, lightweight and SO warm. Unlike wool, it will not shrink when exposed to water.