Random 5 for January 6 – Thanks, WordPress, gym, sunshine, gifts

Thank you all for your comments on the loss of Hazel. I forget how painful loss is and how meaningful the most simple of expressions can comfort. You all are a part of the recovery process for this house. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Dang that WordPress – I wanted to do a slide show for this past Friday’s pictures and despite watching the “how to” video at least a thousand times, I couldn’t do it. Maybe my theme doesn’t support it but I wish they would have noted that. I also tried to set up a gallery of photos and that was a freaking disaster with the new editor. Once completed I couldn’t get back in to add or edit. I spent over two hours fiddling with it. Fortunately I did not throw the computer out of the window. (Tempted though)

What? Resolutions out the window already? – After a month of overindulgence many people start January resolved to clean up their eating habits and get some exercise. Those people do not belong to my gym. I was there Friday and there were less than ten of us exercising. I like less crowded as long as it doesn’t mean a drop in business. After spending over a year there, the busiest time is during the fall.

First weather whine of the year – We have had the dreariest week. The lights are on all day. It’s hard work to be upbeat when you haven’t seen the sun in days. I promise I won’t whine all year-long but this week I really needed some sunshine.

A cat after my own heart!

Gift cards – I’ve learned some lessons about gift cards. Many people give gift cards these days. It’s easy peasy but it is fraught with cautions. I’ve had friends with restaurants cards where the restaurant closed without notice. Cards were useless. We had a card from a small local bistro. The first time we tried to use it, the staff didn’t know how to process we had to use when the owner was there. Many retail establishments offer cards but if you are a part of a rewards program, using the card will not allow you to use the purchase as a part of it or get any special discounts associated with it. (That means purchases are at full price.) For giving gift cards it’s best to stay with the biggies (although they can go belly up too). Note: Starbucks gift cards allow you to transfer to your account and are eligible for special programs.

So how was your week?

 

89 thoughts on “Random 5 for January 6 – Thanks, WordPress, gym, sunshine, gifts

  1. I’m so sorry you lost Hazel. I hope the sun will come out to make you feel better.

    I was hesitant to use the new Word Press editor this week, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I didn’t try anything fancy though.

    My financial advisor always gives me a Starbucks card. That’s the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sticking to the current editor until they impose it on us … what a weenie I am. I’ve had some issues with WordPress lately and I don’t know what happened as I didn’t hit a stray key, but doing Saturday’s post, everything went extremely tiny a sudden. I type my draft in Word and cut-and-paste it over, so I had proofed it, but I often like to give it one more quick proof after interspersing the pics. I couldn’t use tags … after I published it I discovered that little cog wheel had altered the editing view to 50% and I raised it back to 100% and was able to put tags in there. I tried to do captions on pictures a few weeks ago and one or two worked, the rest did not. Frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cut and paste from Word as you do. It’s so frustrating when you are sure you didn’t do anything different yet something goes wonky. I have not found the help to be helpful. I have to look around and then it doesn’t have answers. I have emailed and that takes 2 to 3 days for a response and it didn’t resolve the problem. I need a teenager next door.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree Kate. What I really missed was the “Omnisearch” search feature. I used it all the time to ensure I’d not used a title before. All of a sudden, I went to use it and couldn’t find it on the left-hand side. I e-mailed WordPress and asked if it had been relocated – the answer was something like “well very few bloggers used it, and guess you were an exception, so it is no longer available” … he/she offered a solution by putting a widget or some code onto my home page and search that way. I read their instructions and really wasn’t sure what they meant to do, and after the “italics episode” I was worried I’d do something drastic, so I wrote back and asked if they could just put it on my home page – “no” they won’t do that, but that time, the Happiness Engineer made a GIF and it was a small tutorial how to do it – it was very easy, but not the first way they said to do it. A teenager would be helpful many times. About two years ago right around now, I turned on my computer and booted it up and the desktop looked different – a pop-up said I was not using a legitimate version of Windows and would have to put the key code info to have a legitimate version. It was not a virus – it came from Microsoft and I Googled and others had the issue as well. Apparently it is some defect in laptops where the original manufacturer’s info expires after a certain amount of time. I had a devil of a time getting hold of someone at Microsoft and they had to search my computer for the original key code – they take hold of your computer to do this … they wanted $40.00 to implement the code. I gave the tech my Visa information and she said they could not complete the transaction. I have no idea why as there was nothing on the card, so I said “I work from home – need this computer” and a message that it is not legitimate version is not right. She went and consulted with a supervisor and they waived the fee. Unbelievable.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s interesting that the busiest time is in the fall. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the flow since I go at different times in the morning but I always thought it would be busy coming out of Christmas and also into bathing suit weather but I guess I was wrong.
    I’ve had too many bad experiences with gift cards. I don’t like giving or receiving them,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would have guessed coming out of the Christmas holidays too. I’ve had too many friends with gift cards to “no longer existing” restaurants. When we get them, we use them right away. Most close without notice. I stick with Starbucks. Lots of locations and it goes through the rewards program.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gyms. Sigh. I have trouble getting out and there and do better at home normally, but recently been considering rejoining one nearby as they have an indoor pool and maybe I can trim off a few pounds/lumps better – with low impact swimming….still dog walking and floor exercises meanwhile (although being the cat hair tumbleweeds is depressing…the dog got groomed and she smugly says it’s not from her…)
    I vote for Starbucks gift cards – I love those since traveling for work – those are sooo welcome.
    What is not welcome is the grey overcast clouds that are back – we had like 15 seconds of sun today – weekend was good and mild which is why no post was ready to go this morning. At this point, if it’s sunny, I’m outta here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We learned that Visa gift cards don’t always work. Last year, we tried to use one at several different restaurants, and their machines wouldn’t take it. They did work at most stores, except for one, which I can’t remember. At one restaurant when our Visa gift card didn’t work, a restaurant customer offered to pay for our meal. They didn’t realize the card we used was a gift, not a credit card we couldn’t afford. It was sort of embarrassing.

    Thanks for letting us know about those other issues with gift cards. I wasn’t aware of those.

    I’m still thinking of you and Hazel and sending you warm, comforting wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I really hear you on the lack of sunshine when you’re grieving and reaching for anything to feel a little better. I know that everything feels just a little easier to get through when there’s a little warmth. I’m a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers and our attendance this week was almost funny it was so light. By the end of the month new members will be lined out the door, but it starts out with everyone in denial! LOL! But like your gym, I like the day and time I go for my weekly meeting, and if attendance drops too low they close out a time and route us elsewhere. I hope your attendance does a quick update, and I also encourage your Starbuck’s intake…you deserve as much as you want right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So sorry to hear about Hazel’s passing, Kate. As for the slideshow problems: I’m happy you didn’t toss your computer too. Yeah, that is a little odd that your gym (any gym for that matter) was devoid of a crowd. Especially this early in the year? No sun? Well, ’tis the season. Gift cards these days are popular for sure, but also tricky business. Also, I’ve been hearing that some (unethical) employees have been going and jotting down the numbers of the cards and watching to see if those cards are purchased. Once they notice that the card is being purchased, they then promptly call a confederate who then charges items on the card and … viola! Card is useless.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I started my blogging break in November, I was still using the old editor… and liking it just fine, thank you very much. I know they switched things up while I was gone and I’m a little reluctant to see what this new Guttenberg editor has in store for me. I’m kind-of a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” type. I guess we’ll all be forced into it one of these days.

    Lots of rain last night (we really need it!) but it is looking to be a glorious day (except that I’m a year older today… boogers (as you say).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy Birthday January girl. My b-day is the 14th. I’ve always hated having my birthday in January. Too cold, people are broke and no one wants to go out. This year we are going to one of my favorite restaurants (hopefully the weather will cooperate).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m happily using the old editor and even encouraged a new WP blogger who recently contacted me to do the same. Although I liked the auto-save feature in Gutenberg, I don’t like the way it treats pictures. I’ve tried going back to it a few times to see if it’s changed. Nope, I still struggle with making my pictures come out as I like them. The old editor works just fine for me; if they ever take it away I’ll be really irked. And, yes, sometimes the actual theme you choose does have limitations, especially with fonts. If I ponied up and spent money on a theme (I use the free ones only), I know I’d have better options. Oh well.

    I snapped some pics at my gym the other day thinking I might have a post about the New Years resolution people. Once again, you beat me to the punch here, Kate. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I write my posts on Blogger and then use IFTTT to add them on WordPress. Sometimes I need to tweak a thing or two on the WP site but for the most part it transfers okay. I started on Blogger so it seems easier to me. I have been considering changing my theme though. I don’t like that the Visa type gift cards charge an extra $4-$5 to buy them so I rarely do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it’s Gutenberg. I am using the really old editor normally. There had been an upgrade a few years back and I think that’s what I used. I chose it because I was trying to use a slideshow which I’ve seen on other bloggers’ sites. Couldn’t figure it out or my theme didn’t support it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, ok. I see. Slide shows are really easy on all my themes, which are about five years old. It’s done through the photo gallery. If your theme does have it, I can try to walk you through it by email, if you like.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I went to bingo years ago and won 9 of the 13 prizes on offer, including the star prize. It didn’t go down too well with the friend I’d gone with as she won nothing. I took the Easter cake to the Old People’s Home as there was no way Hubby and I would eat it all (well we could, but you know what I mean), so in exchange for a piece each, the residents had the rest. It was ironic as their kitchens had actually baked it anyway and they were a little upset at not having any. But I digress…. one of the prizes was a gift card for £10 purchased from the Post Office so you would think there were a lot of outlets I could use it in. Wrong. The only one listed that I went into no longer accepted the card, and the others were computer shops, fashion warehouses, DIY or places I’d never heard of. I ended up using it in Argos for a set of bathroom scales I didn’t really want, but we thought my existing ones were on the way out (which they weren’t). Oh well, the charity shop benefitted, again.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Yes on that sunshine! Even though we are know as the sunshine state there was not much shining in Florida for the past few weeks. Yesterday was beautiful!
    I know what you mean on WordPress. Most of my blog writing I do on the WordPress phone app and it doesn’t give many options. It’s probably not as polished as it could be on the computer. I can do pics but I don’t think I can do slideshows. I keep getting emails about the changes on WordPress and I’m a little afraid to get on my computer to open it up. Why do that always try to fix what’s not broke? ~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have not a single whine about the weather here this week ~ it’s been glorious!

    I realized yesterday that there was no falling snow on WP this year. Did you see falling snow on anyone’s blog?

    We exercise every day, but rarely in gyms ~ usually a 2-3 mile walk and a 2-3 mile bike ride. I tend to walk farther if I’m on the beach. I just keep going and going and going.

    It’s so hard to say good-bye to our pets. I still tear up about Tigger and it’s been 2 years.

    Our favorite gift cards are those that are discounted for places that we already frequent. Publix offers a deal every few weeks for $10 off a $50 gas card with the purchase of $50 worth of groceries. Spending $50 on groceries is easy. And saving 20% off the pump price on gas is great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The snow was only available to blogs that upgrade. That means they cost something. I was just getting over Jake, who passed 3 years ago. Now I’m starting the grieving all over again. That card sounds like a great deal. Much better than what the merchandise retailers offer. Walking is great. I do it in good weather which is in short supply until about April although the sun kind of came out today. Still cloudy with there are glimmers.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I wasn’t aware there was an old or new Word Press editor…what is WP editor? I don’t know anything about this site except how to post and respond to comments. 🙂 We finally got the sun back yesterday, it was glorious after only six days of sunshine during the month of December. Go Eagles! It’s do or die!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It’s hard not to think of Hazel. Nice you have so many pictures of her.

    Gift cards….I like them. Better than something I can’t use like the scotch someone sent wrapped up like a silo of mischief. Came right on the heels of announcing I wasn’t drinking. God sure has a sense of humor.

    WP editors. It’s a blog. I know I make errors but, I never use their anything. I keep complaining to them about the 50 Spam notices I get on porn. They say, gee, wonder why that is. Not a big fan but, hooked in like a big fish.

    Hope your heart hurts a little less though, I know it will take time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Guttenberg is a real cluster. I tried it when it first came out and encountered some of the same issues you mentioned and then some. After more frustration than I care to suffer, I switched back to the old editor and decided they will need to force me to use the new editor before I go back. Easy to use (as they are trying to sell it)? Ha, what a load of malarkey! Even the Happiness Coach I dealt with on one occasion acknowledged it was a ‘challenge.’ Here’s to a lovely week with a few more rays of sunshine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What I love best about blogging is that you all make me feel so much more normal (rather than stupid!). As my old IT guy (from work) used to say, it’s intuitive and you’re not. I say baloney. I’m intuitive and this dang thing was created by unintuitive techies! Not normal people!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I got a Vanilla Visa gift card and even that is difficult — for online shopping, most retailers won’t allow you to split up the transaction, so you have to do a thousand permutations in your shopping cart to try and hit the exact amount on the card.

    This is where the tradition of Chinese lucky money in red envelopes is superior. (My grandmother is rolling in her grave over the crassness of cash as a gift BUT IT IS TRUE.)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I actually like the new editor. It solved a few problems for me that I used to have and after I got over the initial what-the-hell? when faced with virtually a blank page, it’s pretty easy to use. Having said that, my posts are straight forward and I rarely use galleries and slideshows. The one thing I am missing though is the word count.

    I don’t use gift cards. A number of years ago I was given a gift card with a rather large dollar amount. I managed to lose the card before I could use it. It then occurred to me that many other gift cards likely never get redeemed, because the owner lost the card. In that case, the sender of the card has therefore given a gift to the company. I’m pretty sure I have a couple of gift cards in my wallet right now that are at least a few years old that I’ve never used. hmmm – thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For straight word blogs with a few pictures I can use either editor but setting up a gallery seemed beyond my skill set. So true about cards. A year and a half ago I received a $50 restaurant card from a store for a promotion. I still have it. It’s good for multiple restaurants but none I really like so I’m waiting. At least in this case no money was lost.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Good Morning, Kate. I am still using the WordPress old editor and I will never leave it till they take it away. Of course, I’m not posting lately but I have been playing with drafts and pretending I’m posting… Ha. I switched to a new theme, hated it, went back to old theme, freshened it up. Still not happy. I kinda feel like there are so many people that just use the reader and don’t visit the blog anymore that messing with pictures and headers and other stuff is not worth it… I do it for me, I guess… And that’s important. That is my whine for the day… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I use the reader but click to go to the blog itself which I like better. I use the old editor too but I couldn’t do a slideshow with it (or I couldn’t figure out how). I have been collecting themes from blogs where I like the look. One of these days…

      Liked by 1 person

        • I was looking at 2017 but now they’ve come out with a newer one. Not familiar with Colinear but I’ve added it to my list to investigate. Part of it is that I don’t want to “learn new ways.” If I get to a dead end, I’m stuck there for a long time until I finally figure out why it’s doing something. I so wish I had a teenager living next door!

          Liked by 1 person

                  • hahaha! Yes, there are oaks here, one right outside our lanai but like no oak I have ever seen. I would like something totally different… in case we move again… oy. I probably need to get away from Under the Palm Fronds, too. Maybe I need to delete the blog and start out fresh. Truly befuddled is what I am.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Don’t delete it, just start another one. That way you have the archive of your old one. Be sure to tell us since we won’t get a notice. You can send out a “last post” from your old one giving us your new address to subscribe to.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • You aren’t going to believe this but I did start a new one at Thanksgiving and paid 48 bucks for domain and no ads BUT WP couldn’t decide who I was. It was really confusing and I was signing in and out of two all the time. I couldn’t comment because it still wanted me to be Under the Oaks. Then Google got in the mix and wanted to mess with my profile and THEN my Gravatar went spastic. It is such a mess… It’s parked and I am stuck like you talked about being stuck. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but I will figure it out. That is the blog I used Colinear as a theme. Ima drive you crazy this morning. You are off the hook anytime… you are too nice Kate!

                      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi, Kate – Good news about Starbuck Gift Cards. When I gave gift cards, that was the one that I typically chose (lots of coffee drinkers in my circle). Call me chicken, but I haven’t switched to the new WP Editor yet. After my wonderful easy-street of switching to WP.com, I wanted to milk out the honeymoon a bit longer.
    Thinking of you and your family at this time. Hope all is well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I haven’t gotten the hang of the new wordpress editor, but it looks like I’ll have to.

    I spent the last two chilly, dark winter days reading White Death by Christine Morgan. It’s a fictionalized account of the Childrens’ Blizzard of 1888. Reading it in the winter made it extra scary. (And fun if you enjoy scary books like I do.)

    Odd that your gym wasn’t crowded on the first week of January. Then again, maybe families were still out on vacation. Perhaps things will pick up next week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scary? No not me! As I remember the gym didn’t pick up in January. It did a little closer to spring (swimsuit weather!). I go at a time when it’s mostly retirees and people who don’t work days so that factors in too. Starbucks is slow in the mornings too. Do people only drink coffee during the fall (pumpkin latte season)?

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