WordPress Woes

Just a little rant post to get things out of my system. WordPress has been misbehaving in little areas and it’s really annoying me. I don’t know if it is WP updating in the background (every time something goes wrong it seems like it is because they updated something without fully testing it and so they screw over hundreds of thousands of people all at once) or if it is my browser being updated or some of my plugins.

I use Chrome with adblockplus and Ublock Origin. So far they have played very nicely with WP. Every month or so I do have to clear my chrome cache or wp starts acting funny, but since I prefer to do that anyway as a security precaution, it’s never been an issue.

Recently, nothing I change in the editor has been sticking. When I select the “top tool” option to keep the tools stuck on the top of the post, the next time I enter the editor the toolbar is right back to being on each block. When I open the “category” option on the right, it doesn’t stay open like it used to nor does the “tag” option.

When I write a review, I write everything in OpenOffice and then copy/paste over here. I’ll copy the title and series into the title bar and then copy/paste the star rating after that. Today I am finding that I cannot do multiple copy/pastes into the title bar. If there is something written there and I go to copy/paste, it overwrites what is written there with what I am trying to copy/paste. So I had to copy/paste the title and series into notepad, THEN c/p the star rating into notepad and create one line and THEN c/p that into the title block of WP. That is total BS.

I tried using MS Edge with no addons to see if it was chrome, but the exact same thing happened. Couldn’t copy/paste multiple items. So I shot off an email to WP describing it and telling them to fix it.

I just want WP to work. Instead, they tinker and break things and lie about it to our faces and generally act like nothing is the matter. Little things like this DO matter. It adds up. I shouldn’t be stressing out over a damned hobby. Personally, I hope these issues are because of chrome and the plugins. I can fix those easily enough. But if it is WP, there’s nothing I can do but wait and hope they fix what they broke.

ps, I’m so annoyed I’m seeing red right now….

Out of WordPress Jail!

For the last couple of years my ability to comment on the WordPress.com Forums has been curtailed because I said some things about staff and called them shills, etc when the block editor was forced down our throats and many blogging options that had been available in the old editor were removed. I regret nothing! While the staff are not the creators of the block editor, nor implementers of it, they WERE the public face of WordPress and they sang it’s praises like it had a hold of certain delicate parts of their anatomy and they deserved every word that I wrote.

So this past week I was perusing the forum (you can learn a lot by reading stupid peoples’ mistakes and questions) and realized my ability to comment was back on. What a waste. The flipping Pro Plan and rapacious Starter Plan are already fully integrated into their business model so it’s pointless to go raging after that. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next dumb move by WordPress.com to get banned again.

Sometimes life is hard when you’re me 😉

April ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ↓

Graphic Novels – 6 â­¤

Average Rating – 3.03 ↓

Pages – 3430 ↓

Words – 1043 ↓

The Bad:

Flashman – 1/2star of Pure Filth

Tales of Angria – 1star DNF

Wings of the Dove – 1star DNF

The Good:

A House of Gentlefolk – You know you’re having a rough month when a Russian novel is the best you can muster up at 4stars

Movie:

Fragglerock Season 4 was a great way to end the series!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

I started keeping track of my food intake again. Not trying to chart the carbs or calories but simply list everything I eat and drink. Simply being aware keeps me from mindlessly snacking and since I almost hit 170lbs at the dr’s office, well, time to start the food fight again.

Good news is that my diabetes is getting under some good tight control (my last hemoglobin A1C was 6,8) with the sensor and pump AND my eyes haven’t degraded in over 18 months, which means things are stable. The endocrinologist is happy, the retina specialist is happy and I’m happy!

Work has been much better. My coworker has stopped grumping so much and I got a raise, which is going straight into the massive tax hike we got stuck with this year. We owe a lot and I know EXACTLY who is to blame.

The reading bump I had gotten from getting covid back in January finally ended and I’m back to a bit more “realistic” numbers. The upside is that I won’t have to write so many reviews each month; the downside is that now I have to be more “creative” to come up with other things to write about. It might turn out to be a bit more work than expected. Of course, with how April went in terms of numbers (every number!), I’ll be glad to start a new month. This was the worst reading month I have had in a VERY LONG time 😦

With all that good stuff, there has to be something poopy too. WordPress. Of course. If you didn’t know, WordPress scrapped all of their plans, changed everything to a free or expensive plan and pretty much killed off the chance of any casual new blogger from starting out. Those who had existing plans can still renew them at the old rate, but there is no guarantee of how long that “promise” will last. Basically WP gave the free bloggers the old heave ho and told all the inexpensive plan users to pay more or fuck off. AND even now, a month later, pertinent details like pricing and addons are still a mystery. I have never seen a business transaction handled this badly. Never.

Cover Love:

None of the covers this month grabbed my attention, and since I don’t believe in the Participation Trophy mentality, NOBODY gets the cover love mention.

Plans for Next Month:

Since I started reading Sherlock Holmes I wanted to watch the 2010 series by the BBC. I plan on watching Season One and reviewing each episode on Sundays. SavageDave will be joining in so your Sundays will be filled with more Sherlock than you can shake a stick at!

To keep the Muppet theme going for movies, I am also planning on watching the Muppet’s Wizard of Oz. Everything I’ve heard and seen leads me to believe this is going to be the worst Muppet movie I’ve ever laid eyes on, so hang on, because who knows what will happen!

Is WordPress Dying?

Yes it is. FaCT!

In fact, WordPress.com (not org mind, but those guys have huge problems of their own) is probably going to shut down tomorrow and the internet as we know it is going to go kaput! I suggest a brisk regimen of running in circles, waving your arms wildly and screaming as loudly as you can. It won’t stop WordPress from going out of business but it will prepare you just in case any assassin dinosaurs jump out of black helicopters while attempting to kill you. Always be prepared is my motto.

In a less serious vein though, has anybody else noticed that their feed and general interaction have been down this summer? I thought it was just me and wasn’t sure that it was accurate, but both Jeroen and Wakizashi mentioned it earlier this week in my comment sections so at least I know I’m not alone in my paranoid delusions!

I’ve included a snapshot of my “Monthly” stats from the last 2.5 years. Why 2.5 years you ask? Because that’s what WordPress gives me and you. You can see a big drop off in May of this year. Right at the beginning of summer. Now while the stats show things improving in later months, that is only because I started posting 6-7 days a week in July in stead of the 4-5 like I had been previously. (thank goodness for google calendar. a nice visual reminder of what’s getting posted when). So what I think that means is that my core group of followers picked up the slack from all the casuals who seem to have disappeared.

Anecdotally, I’ve had more than a handful of people I follow announce they’re going on hiatus, whether for a week, a month or to be determined. I’ve also had more than a handful of people, who used to post 4-6 times a month cut back to 1 or 2 times a month. And I’ve stopped following almost 10 people over the summer who stopped posting even once a month (that’s my determining factor by the way. If someone stops blogging for a month without notice, I’ll stop following that person). So those data points, backed up by Jeroen and Wak’s observations, lead me to the conclusion that bloggers in general are either getting burned out or the casual blogger is just stopping. It makes me wonder how much the Block Editor has to do with this.

I’ve written several times (Peeved) (Beaten) (and Others) about the forsaken editor and have nothing good to say about it. While I am now completely used to it and use it without a second thought, it never fails me to remind me that it was not created to write casually, like you know, for a blogger. How many casual bloggers got sick of trying to use the block editor and have just given up? That would definitely feed into the downturn I, and others, are seeing.

At the same time, there seems to be more stress and pressure in the world (whether there actually is or not, it all depends on how much you believe the mainstream media) and when people are stressed, they burn out easier on hard hobbies. And blogging is a hard hobby. Covid, and peoples’ fear of covid, has changed things drastically and when you are on the edge, you retreat from anything that takes effort. And blogging takes effort. Sometimes just following people takes effort and you can forget about writing posts.

I’ve mentioned to others that I’m going to have to change my blogging habits in ’22. I don’t plan on taking a hiatus or quitting, but I’ve got to reformulate my schedule because writing 15-20 reviews a month is exhausting, even with my “reviews” usually being under 600 words 😉 But part of that reformulation is figuring out what is going on with others and to see if it is going on with me. Once I know, I can deal with whatever it is much more effectively.

No Giving Up Allowed on this Blog! (even if the flipping block editor won’t allow me to center the caption like the old editor did)

I’m writing this in hopes of getting some more input from anyone who reads this. Has your blogging changed or have you seen a change in those who follow you? Hit me with all the gory details, because “I’m Listening”.

Capital Murder (Arcane Casebook #7) â˜…★★★☆

Capital Murder

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Capital Murder
Series: Arcane Casebook #7
Author: Dan Willis
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 336
Words: 110K





Synopsis:

Alex Lockerby gets snagged into going to Washington, DC (the capital of the United States of America) with one of the Sorcerous Six. Of course, he immediately gets sucked into multiple investigations, all of which are “Top Priority” by the clients.

Then it turns out his girlfriend Sorsha is involved in one of the cases and the papers are publicly speculating that she can’t solve it without Alex’s help. As a top FBI agent, this doesn’t sit well with her. Placing more strain on an already irregular relationship, Alex and Sorsha have to figure out if they can both have their careers and each other.

The main case ends up involving The Legion, a secret society of Runewrights dedicated to Evil, wanting to abscond with a whole military base’s worth of secret runewright papers. They partially succeed but Alex manages to stop the majority. In doing so, he gets a target on his back from the Legion and the book ends with Sorsha in a coma and an up and coming Legion member preparing to hunt Alex down.

My Thoughts:

Another thoroughly enjoyable entry in the Arcane Casebook series. As convoluted, over the top and larger than life as usual, this hit all the points that continue to intrigue me about this series.

I do hope that Willis can slow down the pace here a bit. Alternate World War II is looming and it’s obvious Runewrights will be largely involved. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I don’t like intensive ramping up of the plot “just because”.

Sorsha and Alex’s relationship hits the skids and while they haven’t broken up and have decided to really make it work, they haven’t addressed the issues that are causing the problems in the first place. I’m concerned that Willis will treat it shallowly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since the series is pretty light but you can’t treat a heavy subject lightly without a disconcerting dichotomy in your literary tone.

Willis is really churning these out and I’m pretty happy at the pace he’s setting. Book 8 is already scheduled for April of ’22. Yee-haw!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ps,
the bleeping editor has changed YET AGAIN. I hate wordpress for their continual messing about under the skirts. Having to re-learn the damnable block editor every couple of weeks or months, it’s too much. I need stability in my blogging platform.

My REAL Promise To You

Mr Bojangles. THE Tap Dancer!

This first paragraph is going to be me tapdancing and covering all my bases so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelingz. Because I hold feelingz in as high regard as anyone. In fact, My middle names is Feelingz. Bookstooge Feelingz Kickyourassrightnowsosuckitscumbag. (yeah, makes filling out paperwork a real bear!) So, let the tapdancing begin. This post was not written with anyone but myself in mind. I am not applying this to post to anyone but myself. I am not applying this post to other bloggers or trying to tell anyone else how to run their blog. This post is to tell you how I run my blog. Period. Ok, stop the music Vincent, I’m done dancing.

Dr Phibes knows how to have a good time

I went Dotcom in January to get rid of the ads and the damned “native sponsored” posts by WordPress, posts inserted into free wordpress blogs that are just gigantic ads you can’t do anything about. I didn’t want anyone following me to be subjected to seeing such things on my site. So I paid and went to dotcom. Hopefully, now if you ever visit my site you will not see ads of any kind. That is why I went dotcom.

I did not go dotcom to make money in any way, shape or form. I am not a part of WordPress’s Adsense Program. I do not use affiliate links for any products I review. I do not have any sort of donation widget setup. I am not writing this to say that that makes me a “better” blogger than anybody else.

No it isn’t. Which is why I don’t pimp my blog

I blog because I have to write but I do not want to be an author. I’ll leave that tortured lifestyle to those that want it. Me, I just want to blab and have some fun with people. So my promise is that you’ll never be used by me to collect money for myself. That is what my job is for.

Dr Lord Bookstooge Has Been Subsumed

Yes, this sad day has finally arrived. Dr Lord Bookstooge is no more. After #wordpress.com began Whoring Us Out, I’m sure you all realized this day would come too. I also realize it has been a mere 10 days since I wrote about it and maybe I’m over reacting. In that 10 days, I’ve seen more of the damnably evil “native sponsored posts” on active users blogs and I don’t want that on my site, period. I will do what I think is necessary to prevent that. Hence this post giving you all the heads up.

I have gone Dotcom. In my defense, I did use the promo code “FLASH50INSTANT” at checkout so I saved 50% for this year. I don’t know how long that code will last but I am thankful it worked for me. I have been using free blogs (blogspot since ’05 and wordpress since ’13) for years but the cost of free has become too high for me.

This is exactly the outcome WP had in mind when they started those NSP’s and it makes me feel dirty, used and manipulated to do this. But the other choice was to stop blogging. I don’t have the “oomph” to fight the fight of blogging on dotorg and as I’ve mentioned before, I like the security and comfort of the ecosystem here at WPdotcom. So here my butt remains. Plus, my Blogging Project has pretty much nailed me down here.

To commemorate this momentous occasion, not to qualify that with a rejoicing or crying, I have put away such childish names as Doctor and Lord. Today, before your amazed eyes, of which you can tell your children and grandchildren about, The Bookstooge was reborn!

ps,
if you notice anything hinky, let me know. The Incredible Bookstooge (you won’t like me when I’m angry) doesn’t like hinky and wants it dealt with promptly. Thanks.

WordPress is Forcing Me to Double Dip (and that is disgusting and gross)

Starting sometime this week, possible last weekend, WordPress.com began forcing me to double dip. Double Dip on “likes” that is. Every time that I have “liked” a comment, whether on my own posts or on someone else’s, after about 30-45seconds, it magically “unlikes” and I have to hit the “like” button again for it to stick. How unhygienic and disgusting is that?

I might as well be making out with Corona-chan! And here I thought WordPress had the best interest of their users at heart. I mean, if they forced the block editor on us because they knew better, I’m really surprised they aren’t embarrassed to be encouraging such behavior during this time of pandemic’ness. Shame on you WordPress; I claim the Dishonor Meme against you!

I am doing my part though. Washing my hands between double dipping AND I’m wearing a mask. So don’t worry, those “likes” from me are completely hygienic and totally covid-free. No thanks to WordPress though. I’d go protest peacefully by burning down a few cities but honestly, I’ve got a Wild Mike’s pizza just waiting for me. Ohhh baaaaaby…….

Oh Hurray!

I just finished editing the blog (for today, not as in “It is Finished”) and have gotten 2007 done. This was a huge step, as 2007 was when I started recording the volumes of manga that I read alongside the novels, which meant that my numbers exploded on a monthly basis. With 2007 and up done, what I still have to do back to 2000 is much more manageable.

I’ve been working on this Project for the last 2 1/2 years and I must admit, there are times I wonder if it will ever get done. Then there are the times when something like the Block Editor happens and I wonder if I’ve wasted my time. Thankfully, little milestones like this keep me going. It is also a milestone in that I have now passed the 3400 post mark.

While the end of this project isn’t exactly near, it’s a LOT nearer than it was 2 1/2 years ago 😀 I guess I should probably start thinking of what my next blog project should be.

Anyway, this just felt good to accomplish this today and I thought I’d share. Cheers!

Bookhype – Exceptional Or Execrable?

I recently joined Bookhype when a fellow wordpresser left WP because of the forsaken block editor. It seemed the best way to keep track of what she was still reading. I’m usually willing to experiment on new book sites just to see what they have to offer. Who knows, maybe I’ll find another Booklikes (well, it COULD happen). You can find me HERE.

I have to admit, it’s pretty limited. I can add all the data I want and even like and comment but the notification side of things is almost non-existent. There is no way to be notified if someone likes or comments on a review (at least not that I could find). You can import your devilreads export file (which is what I did to get all the books I’ve read this year quickly onto Bookhype) so they do realize most people don’t want to start from scratch.

They do have a cool looking “stats” page with all the graphics I could ask for. The problem is, I can’t save any of them as pictures to use on my own blog. I’d have to screen shot, edit and then faff about and with all that work, I might as well make my own graphics. So close and yet such a fail.

It seems to be very Twitter oriented. I’m not on Twitter and have no intention of joining that cesspit, so that isn’t a plus for me.

I’m going to keep using this until at least the end of year just to see how it shakes out. If they don’t get some sort of notification system for the likes and comments though, I don’t see myself staying there.

Have you used Bookhype? If you have, what’s your experience been like?