Looking Blocked

I looked over the new block editor and decided that it was a little too complicated for me. That was a couple of months ago. At that time there was a little banner at the top of my dashboard with a link that said “Switch to the new block editor” with a second link for “Learn more.” Then last week there was an announcement that indicated that everyone, ready or not, would be automatically required to use the block editor. It was pretty heavy handed the way they told all of the WordPress users. But the reality is that you can switch back with little more than a click on a menu to the Classic editor! I was all in a tizzy over the prospect of having to figure out the new system so I watched a tutorial. Then I watched another one. Then I went to several blogs that I know are using the block editor.

I do not claim to be a techno genius. I’m just slightly more saavy than most 60 somethings but I’ve been around for awhile and I’ve seen some things. So here’s my take on the new, seemingly required block editor.
1. The block editor appears to be geared to those blogs that are being or attempting to be monitized.
2. The blocks are basically designed for business applications.
3. The use of the blocks makes it easier and quicker to place advertisements within a blog since each paragraph is its own block.
4. Advertisements are only placed on blogs that have sufficient traffic and meet the requirements of a specific minimum length.

I believe that the minimum number of words to receive an advertizement insert is ~250 words. I also think that the insertion is most likely between paragraphs. Please let me know if I’m correct by commenting. I was at 250 words at the end of the second paragraph…

Looking at Mental Health

Mental confusion
Quarantine lock-down depression

Sanity requires order
Agenda creation

Viral contamination
Social distancing walk

Hike through forests
Climb mountains

Astral projection
Tip the scales

The above verses are a series of Hay(na)ku and reverse Hay(na)ku. This form is a 3 line stanza where the first line is 1 word, the second is 2 words and the third is 3 words. There is no requirement for rhyme, meter, or syllable count. The reverse starts with 3 words. This series was inspired by a few posts in a private group forum. You see this pandemic isolation has played havoc with the mental well-being of those persons most susceptible to mental illnesses. Heck, it is hard for those of us without problems. Even with the easing of restrictions, I’ve noticed that we are creating a new normal. We are using exercise as an outlet. We are finding relief in communing with nature as we are able – going for a walk among familiar places or taking off for more rugged terrain.

And then there are some who try to search further. Way back in the 1970’s I had a college friend who was all about Transcendental Meditation. She was also very high strung. She eventually dropped out of school. For her meditation was her attempt to escape stress and tap into a higher spiritual plane. She was also exploring astral projecting – where the soul is able to leave the body (an out of body experience that is supposedly something that you can intentionally trigger). I can’t really say if she was successful or not. I suspect that the use of “mind altering substances” was part of her triggering mechanism. It was the 1970’s after all. The drugs were a huge contributing factor to her leaving college. The forum has recently seen an uptick in those who are exploring meditation. It can be a very helpful technique. Though I have been practicing since 2003 the best I can do is reduce my heart rate and calm myself. It has been a great help when insomnia intrudes since I usually relax to the point where I fall asleep. I’m hoping that those trying meditation find some modicum of relief.

Looking Disappointed

Panic at the disco
Status quo
No doubt quiet riot
The police faith no more
Bullet for my valentine
Tangerine dream
Primal scream
Disturbed smash mouth
Why don’t we
Imagine dragons free
Ten years after the killers

This poem is a Cento. For those of you unfamiliar with that poetic form, cento is from the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets. Or in the case of more modern poets, from a collection of any poetic endeavors – including songs, books, or in this case band names (if you didn’t guess). I was trying to find a particular song by a band that I couldn’t quite recall. Seems that kind of thing happens when you are over 60… Anyway, I found the band and then finally found the song and the lyrics. Of course I wasn’t willing to pay to listen to it, leading me down several other rabbit holes. In the end I had read about the most devastating nightclub fires in history and why they started. I had a history lesson about Chicago fires and then riots (that lead to fires). Which then sent me to police corruption which easily skewed into politics. When it was all said and done I needed a shower.

EDIT: This was written several weeks ago, before police murdered George Floyd and before any riots or protests. It takes on a completely different meaning when viewed throuth the lens of current events. And that is the power of poetry. It can change meaning without altering a single word…

The Governor opened the state and the phases have been implemented, perhaps too quickly. We have been trying to stay healthy even as the coronavirus/COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2/Wuhan Virus/CCPV(whatever it is called) still lurks. As is the case everywhere, schools are closed until the fall. Many events that had been postponed until May/June have officially been cancelled. My morale took a big hit when my ceramics class (prepaid) went from postponed from March 19 to April 16 to May 7 to not happening. The geocaching event at the local nature preserve was originally scheduled in May but because they closed we decided to postpone the event to October. Then we realized that with the ongoing problems we would have to cancel it as well. The final blow was when THE geocaching event of the year – GeoWoodstock XVIII had been rescheduled from August 21st to August 28, 2021! Anyway that sent us into a flurry of cancelling the airline reservations and the hotels that we had set up before this pandemic hit.

On the bright side, I’ve finished some procrastinated cleaning projects. I never think about the silk greenery that I have “growing” on the top of bookcase and hutch. As such I decided to take a look. Well, who knew that they were so very hard to get clean?! I had to give them THREE baths to get all the dust removed. I finally resorted to washing each leaf by hand. But they are clean and look like new! I have completed some jewelry crafts that I’d had on the back burner. I even weeded out some shoes and purses to finally let them go. As for personal improvement, I’ve done more online continuing education than is needed (and I had 2 years to get it done)! I know more about leather work than I wanted to because I needed to complete a project (with mixed results – maybe I’ll share if I can get over my feelings of disappointment). I started a new walking routine since it is nice out finally.