Has this terrible thought ever crossed your mind while you were sitting on a plane trying to relax? The chance of this happening is pretty slim. But, if you have seen movies like Final Destination or Non-Stop, you get the idea of what would happen.
Garry felt we should leave the hallway gate open, or, to put it another way — stop closing the gate. He is worried that one of these days, Duke will get hurt leaping the gate although to be fair, I see no evidence of this.
Nonetheless, Garry has a point. Duke has grown up. He isn’t quite as much of a flyer as he was when he arrived. He has filled out. His chest is deeper. He’s got jowls. He’s a dog, no longer a puppy.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to leave the gate open when I went to bed. I gave the furry ones their last biscuit of the night. Grabbed my bag of medications and my drink, and headed for the bedroom. I turned around and started to say “Good night, fur persons,” which I say every night, but instead, all I started to laugh.
All three dogs were lined up at the place where the gate normally would close. Not in the hallway, but on the other side. They stood there looking at me, then looking at each other. I could hear their conversation in my mind.
“The gate is open. Why is the gate open? Is this a trick?”
“I don’t know Gibbs. Duke, what do you think?”
“I don’t know either. This seems so … wrong.”
“It’s got to be a trick,” says Gibbs. “I bet she’s going to come back and yell at us. I’m going back to the sofa for a nap.”
“I better do that too,” says Bonnie.
“Yeah,” says Duke. “A nap. Good idea. When we wake up, the gate will be closed.”
“Good night, fur people,” I say. They wrinkle their foreheads. They are worried. Something is weird. A night’s sleep will fix everything.
There is nothing more hilarious than dogs who are dealing with … change. Change is not something welcomed by dogs. They want everything to always be the same. Except dinner. They want dinner to be a delightful, ever-changing selection of yummy things. Leftover steak. Remaindered meat loaf. Spare chicken parts.
Change? Stifle that. Do not move the furniture. Do not move the water dish. And now that you mention it, close the gates like you always have. Today needs to be just like yesterday and the day before.
Without thinking, I briefly closed the gate yesterday. They seemed relieved. Life was back to normal. But then, I remembered and reopened it. My last look at the dogs last night was the three of them, all lined up in front of the open gate looking forlornly at me. Why was I changing something?
I know it’s a bit demented on my part, but I might change something else — just to watch them fret about it!
Yesterday I decided to put a new header on my template. I do this regularly and there doesn’t need to be a special reason. I just feel like it. I used to put up a new one daily, but that got old after a while, so now it happens when the spirit moves me.
In the beginning of January, I re-upped my “customization package” with WordPress. This package gives me more space for photographs (I need it!), my own domain, no advertisements and recently, unbeknownst to me, access to all the templates. This was not true in the past, so I was delighted to discover it.
It didn’t change anything for me because I’m always looking for the same basic shape and format, mainly because the material I’ve created fits easily into that format. I don’t have to start reformatting the entire template. But you never know. I might decide I want to try something really different. Anything is possible.
Little did I know that much more change was on the way. This time, when I went to change the Header Image, the design format for my template had changed. Big time.
All my previously embedded headers were gone. What had been my header image (including my site information) had transformed into a logo which seemed etched in virtual stone and was part of the format of the theme.
I couldn’t find any way to remove it. If I put in another pictures in the header image area, my old image was glued in the middle of it — not what I was trying to accomplish. But I was sure there had to be a way to dislodge the old image and I stuck to messing around with it. I am nothing if not tenacious.
Finally, I tried a different (not very different) format, but it had the same problem. Next I returned to “Plane,” my previous format. Having move to different theme in the middle, then coming back, I hoped that might have dislodged the old header image.
It hadn’t. But I kept messing around with it until finally, hosanna, the old image went away. I’m not sure exactly what I did that was different. It seemed I was just repeating the same stuff, but this time, it worked.
This was my existing theme, called “Plane” and no, I have no idea why they name them what they name them. Even though it’s the same theme, it looks quite different.
On my computer, it is wider. The pictures are wider too. Both important pluses for me where how a pictures displays on-screen is a big deal.
As far as typeface issues go, WordPress added some newfonts. Oh yay! Excellent! The site’s title now appears on top of the picture, so I don’t have to keep creating special headers and can use any picture and my site name with tagline will appear above (on top of) it.
Aside from that glitch where it didn’t want to say good-bye to the old image, this is an excellent set of improvements for those of us who with a customization package. It would have been a nice touch had someone mentioned to me that this was going to happen, however.
What is it with WordPress that they can’t bother to tell you anything before they do it? For a company deep in communications, they really don’t communicate well.
I’m happy with the changes. Very happy. I can only imagine what less computer savvy customers are making of the changes, though. I hope they’ve put some explanations online for us to read.
I don’t know what they did or why they did it, but it’s a major improvement and one for which I’ve hoped for a while. They’ve been removing pieces of the customization package for years. This is the first time they have ever expanded it and done it well. The wider stretch on the computer screen is a major improvement for photography. The text is also a slightly bigger and my eyes are saying “thank you.”
I like the new fonts, one of which I’m using for my headings and a different new typeface for writing.
Well done, WordPress. Next time, you think you might consider sending a notification? Please?
I didn’t know it growing up, but I have several learning disabilities, including ADD. I was actually diagnosed with ADD in my sixties. The medication works wonderfully but it keeps me from sleeping, so I can only take it once in a while.
I learned of my other learning disabilities when my son was diagnosed in college. I realized that I have been plagued by the same disabilities that he has. When I was young, I was just considered anxious and a slow learner.
From high school on, through college and law school, I had to put in way more time than my peers did to learn class material and do well in school. Here’s what I had to do to master the material I needed to know for exams. I had to underline the reading material when I read it for the first time. Then I had to go back and reread the underlining, highlighting the most important parts. Then I had to reread the highlighting and turn it into an extensive outline. That detailed outline then had to be condensed into a shorter outline that I would read over and over until I had it memorized.
I also had to take copious notes during classes. I filled several notebooks by the end of each semester. It puzzled me that often, when I read over my notes, it was as if I was reading the material for the first time. I often had no memory of parts of the class lectures.
It turns out that this is a symptom of a learning disability. I forget what it’s called. But it basically means that I can’t aurally absorb the content of the lecture while I’m physically taking notes on it. The act of note taking itself cancels out my ability to learn and retain what I am hearing. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – and remember what I was doing.
To study for a test, I went through a similar process with my notes than I did with the reading material. I had to read over my notes and highlight the key passages. I then had to go back and reread the highlighting and incorporate the information into my voluminous outline from the reading material. My master outlines were often 20-30 pages long.
It turns out that there’s a physiological reason why I had to go through that laborious process just to learn what I needed to know for a test. Another learning disability involves short term and long term memory. Some people only need to hear or read something once or twice before that piece of information is transferred from the short term memory section of the brain to the long term memory section. For me and for my son, we have to be exposed to that piece of information maybe four or five times before our brains move it from short term to long term memory.
The good news for us, is that people like us are often better able to use the information and integrate it with other information in our brains. But it takes us longer to remember it in the first place.
My first husband, Larry, was at the opposite end of the spectrum learning wise. He had a mind like a sponge. He heard or read something once and he knew it. It was very frustrating for me to watch him study when we were in law school together.
Larry just listened in class. He took minimal notes, usually only jotting down a word or two to remind himself of the subject matter discussed that day. When he studied for a test, he just flipped through the text book, refreshing his memory of the material covered. He used to urge me to stop taking notes – to just listen and absorb in class. He didn’t understand that I couldn’t. I would never remember what had been discussed unless I wrote it all down.
Larry’s quick study abilities got him into trouble with his first year study group. Study groups are an essential part of the first year of law school. Five people get together and study for tests. Each person outlines one of the five first year classes for the other four. One person would have a hard time outlining all five classes. There was just too much material.
Larry was assigned Torts as his subject to outline for his study group. When they met around exam time, everyone brought their ten or so page typed outlines. Everyone except Larry. He brought a single legal sheet of paper with, basically the chapter headings of the text book hand written on it. That was all he needed to study for the exam. He had ‘learned’ the material as he went along during the semester.
His fellow classmates were livid. Larry didn’t understand what their problem was. He didn’t even know how to write a detailed outline. The four other study group members had to divide up the Torts material between them and go home and outline the class themselves. Larry got an A in Torts. None of the others did. They were not happy with Larry!
So I have first hand experience with the wide range of learning styles that people can have. I am, unfortunately, on the slow end of the learning curve. But at least I now understand why. It’s not my ‘fault’. That’s just the way my brain works. I don’t beat myself up about it any more or feel bad because of it. I’m jealous of faster learners, but I accept that this is just who I am.
I went to a birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been playing with the pictures ever since. The goal? To make portraits look like portraits, yet make it difficult to see specific facial features. Of course, if you know the people involved, you’d recognize them, but I’m guessing you don’t know them.
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