I’m Baaaaaaaack! (Once Again)

After not blogging for 3 1/2 years and not having the blog online for 2 1/2 years, I’m back again.  The blog disappeared in August 2018 when I changed web hosts.  Migrating a WordPress blog from one web host to another is NOT as easy as hosts say and I consider myself tech savvy. Just back up the WP site and database, download to a local computer, upload them to the new web host, install, and presto, they said.  Simple, right? WRONG.

I perused the literature, looked at my 3 gigabyte WP directory and opted for the techs to handle it.  Several times the old techs failed in giving me uncorrected files or even all of the files for the new techs to install.  Several fruitless attempts and much aggravation later, I became discouraged and gave up, thinking that I’d probably lost seven years worth of blogging.   Winston, that damn dog also got in the way.  Then I embarked on a Sooper Seekrit Projekt (which I’ll talk about in a later post).  Suddenly I needed my blog online and working.  Oh dear me.  I started again.  However this time some cosmic deity and the planets and sun must have been aligned because techs on both ends finally got the blog online intact.  Things are a mess behind the scenes; the layout is old and dated but the blog is back. Over time you will see changes to make it better – and different.  How so?  Stay tuned.

Since this blog started as a Richard Armitage appreciation site, I’ll leave this picture of him here looking older, wiser and doing his best to weather this pandemic lock down.

Richard Armitage
Richard Armitage courtesy of Gratiana Lovelace’s archives (via @MsSarahLena)

My Name is Geek

Pong, the first video game I ever saw. It was captivating.

Yes, I’m a geek from way back.  It started with a fascination of all things electronic beginning with my oldest brother’s reel to reel tape recorder. (Yes, I’m really dating myself.)   We all crowded around the first cassette tape deck recording silly voices and bad but funny singing.  No more bulky unspooling reels.

The golden age of arcades began.  It’s funny now but Pong was captivating back in the day.  Games changed to blazing color with the advent of color televisions.  Pac-Man debuted in 1980.  Video games entered its first golden age.  Soon I heard about the astonishing idea of playing games on monitors – at home instead of arcades! 

With breakthroughs in technology, these games entered my home and rested on a table next to a small television that we bought just for gaming.  Two televisions in the house!  That was incredible.  I could now play Bowling and Golf on a relatively compact home console (we sadly opted for Intellivision instead of Atari 2600 in the gaming wars.  However we chose VHS over Betamax in the videotape format war, so we scored there.)   Gaming continued to evolve as I grew up and away from it.  Life got in the way. 

Legend of Zelda. This was state of the art console gaming circa 1990.

Around 1991, my older brother introduced me to a new home console, the Nintendo NES and an amazing new game, The Legend of Zelda.  Instead of performing inane tasks like like chasing balls across a screen, I could follow a high-fantasy adventure story-line and solve puzzles in addition to fighting the usual baddies.  But I didn’t rush out and buy a Nintendo console. I’d fallen head over heels for another emerging high tech – personal computing.  In 1984, my parents gave me an IBM PCjr. (Yes, I again backed the wrong horse; others had gone over to Radio Shack’s TRS-80.)  In college, it was still the day of Fortran, punch cards and mainframes that were perpetually “down” and I was unable to complete my computing assignments.  This dissuaded me from a career in computer science.  The idea that I could now sit down and finagle programs on my own time blew my mind.  But I quickly learned that the PCjr wasn’t a “real” computer (by today’s standards), and cast it aside.  More adulting happened.   But Dear Reader, you know what happened next.  It was the early 1990’s.  I discovered THE INTERNET.  The World Wide Web opened to the public and I wanted in it.  

Thus began one of the most expensive hobbies outside of car collecting.

The PC that started it all for me – the Packard Bell 386.

Developers released software for word processing, data-basing, rudimentary graphics, as well as access to the internet through Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL.  I ran out and purchased a Packard Bell 386 (fondly known as Packard Hell) with a 120MB hard drive and 2MB RAM, and a 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives.   I cruised the internet at a snail’s pace on a 24 baud modem. It was heaven.  When the 386 reached the end of it’s usefulness, I chucked it for the faster 486.  It too reached it’s upgrade cap (which occurred roughly every two years) so out it went.  Because it cost less to buy the parts than buy a complete computer, I started building my own.  On and on the cycle went of upgrading components and building or buying new computers.  I’ve happily remained on this wheel for over 25 years.  Since manufacturers have miniaturized chips so much and the speed of components have far exceeded the needs of the average user other than a gamer, graphics artist or architect, the turnover time for new computers is much longer. 

But I told you I was a gamer, right? 

The Nintendo Switch Zelda: BotW Edition. Because you can never spend too much money.

For the last month I’ve become enamored over a home console again, the brand spanking new Nintendo Switch and it’s pilot game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Yes, I’ve come full circle.  No, I don’t own it yet.  I’ve been watching other gamers play it on TwitchTV.  Yes, a gamer watching other people game is a thing.  Don’t laugh.  This looks awesome.  You can play it on a television then “switch” instantly to a portable hand held device without missing a step in the game.  Its manufacturer suggested price is $300 but retailers have hiked the price to over $400.  The game is $70.  So this new wave in gaming high tech is expensive which gives me pause. 

But it’s still my latest shiney.

The geek in me is still strong.


I’m Baaaaaack!

grand openingAs you might have noticed, my blog has been down since March.  My site was hacked and infected with nasty malware.  The web host therefore took the site down until I did something about it, never mind that it was on their server.  They gave me a list of 91 infected files and left me to it.  Needless to say, the development didn’t help my shaky mood so I let the whole mess languish… and languish… and languish.  I could have erased everything and started fresh but didn’t want to lose all my posts.  A computer friend looked at it and said I was pretty much screwed unless I had a clean backup (nope) or somehow puzzled through the server language to do a clean sweep.  OR the web host could do it for me- for a one time hefty fee.  Lovely.  So I bit the bullet and forked over the cash. I’m now back in service.

So a lot has happened in six months, although poor The Man is still stuck in London playing in The Crucible.  Will have to rectify that.  Stay tuned!


Monday, Monday; or the Pot Stirs

Oh wait – I retired.  I don’t have to go to work.  (Sorry, had to rub it in once. I’ll be good now).

Returning to blogging again means dealing with WordPress.org – again.  The recent version is causing tech problems with subscriptions and postings.  Lovely.   If you’re having issues, please let me know.

I’m baffled to have acquired new subscribers in my absence.  Don’t have a clue why that happened.  So, hello New Readers!  This blog is parts irreverence, snark, stream of consciousness, and a showcase for sojourns into fiction and drawing.  It’s brought out the contrary and perverse side of my nature, so expect much pot stirring to ensue.  I even gleefully point out the emperor wears no clothes, even if he’s a certain British actor.  Please remember that I try to do so with love and humor.  I aim to remind fans that we are here to enjoy our crush and each other, and not take him, fandom, and ourselves too seriously.

Speaking of not taking RA too seriously, there’s a six month backlog of things I’m dying to say about him: the premiere and DVD release press junkets, his new groomed persona, his … interesting… utterances – Richard Armitage 3.0.  Then there’s the fans’ reactions – both old and new ones.  It’s a veritable treasure trove of things from which to pick.  However, one of the downsides of having too many options is indecisiveness.  I don’t know where to start.

So, Dear Reader, what would you like me to tackle first? Are you dying to hear my opinion about something? Please keep it simple; my brain can’t handle meta at the moment.

Oh, here’s another pic.  I know what you come here for.

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft


Behind the Curtain: Blog Maintenance

There seems to be a problem with some people getting push email notifications of comments.  Since WP.org is integrating the capabilities of some of my add-ons, I going to disable some of them to see if that’s causing the problem.  If anybody would like to be a guinea pig, please reply, subscribe to comments, and let me know if you get an email.

Checking In or Hailing from the Deep End

I’m still alive Dear Reader.  Like a victim with a hypthermia, I’ve been marshaling all my mental energy dealing with a serious Real Life problem.  It’s not how I pictured my transition, but there’s not much I can do about it right now. In a few months, there might be a bit of breathing room to accommodate other activities like blogging.  A friend is coming to for some face time and powwows on how to wedge a tad more social interaction into the mix.  This has always been the bane of my disorder; I critically need to engage with people, but it’s the first thing that falls by the wayside.  Damnit.

My inner trio (Jada, Jodi and Quiet One) have decided to institute Plan B to get me going as well: Christmas.  Yes, I’ve broken down and not waited for November 11th, Trinalin.  Sorry.  The holiday is playing on my iPhone.  I’m seriously contemplating breaking out the Christmas blog banners.  An elf has to do what an elf has to do.  (Halloween has always been so unnecessary).

Also, my blog comments have decided to take a walkabout in my absence.  I have no idea what’s going on now, but I’ll fix the problem this weekend. 



Internet Woes 2

My internet has actually stayed on for the past few hours.  Dare I hope my ISP solved its DNS server problem?  I just *knew* I couldn’t have been the only one affected.  Will wait and see until Monday before cancelling the appointment.

*hugging and kissing her internet*

I’m becoming waaaaaaay to dependent on it methinks.

Internet Woes

As I sit leeching free wi-fi at a not-late-hours cafe, my internet is down at home.  It will remain that way until experts come out to service it next Friday.  As soon as that happens, yours truly will return with regularly scheduled programming.

Meanwhile, I’ll weather internet withdrawal.  *Sniff* *Shiver*


HAL, Is That You?

Strange things are happening here.

WordPress.org is becoming sentient.  It just took a draft post and published it – dated three days ago.  If some of you saw the “Patty Takes on Winston” post, that’s not supposed to go live until next Tuesday. For once, I’m not trying to be a tease today. So if you see any other strange goings-on here, HAL is messing with me.

Anyway, how about another kind of tease?

RA 2004 promo

Richard Armitage in 2004 promotion shoot; Courtesy RichardArmitageNet.com

More Tinkering: Test 3

Thorin looks like he had extensive plastic surgery to have those Klingon ridges removed.  Did I writes that?  Whoops, I did it again!

Hope this motivates anybody who received motivation to comment.   😀



Tinkering behind the Curtain Again

It’s again come to my attention that auto notification of posts have ceased on its own.  So, I’m messing behind the scenes and disabling certain addons to see if there’s a conflict.  Oddly, I receive notification for everything in triplicate.  Sigh.

So if you received notification on this post, please comment below.



Back to Reality

I’m back home after a relaxing weekend, having survived with no limited.  Well, except for those 5 hours at hotspots on Saturday and my phone the rest of the time.  It was an interesting experiment but if I return later in the summer, I plan to bribe her folks to reconnect.  Yes, I’m sad.

My guru also fixed my WordPress problem which took all of 5 minutes of tinkering on my server.  It was so simply, even I could have done it, if I knew how to work php, SQL, and databases.  Thinks have changed a lot in the 15+ years since I learned HTML.   A whole world opened before me.

Speaking of world and server, I got to thinking about the live chat we did on the Christchurch Rise Up site.  People seemed to enjoy the experience of talking in real time.  Could I set up something like that on my server for the community I asked?   Yes, yes, I could said my guru.

So what do you think?  If there is a demand for it, I could tinker about and set up a chat room, or several, we all could access depending on what we doing.  We could have weekly get-togethers, celebrations, a place for blog discussions, whatever sounds feasible.  It will be an interesting experiment.

Let me know in the comments below.

In the meantime: shiney!

RA promo shot; Courtesy Richardarmitagenet.com




The Case of the Missing Comment Box

As you might have noticed, WorPress.org and I aren’t getting along.  There are cosmetic formatting issues but the biggest problem has been it keeps globally closing comments to all my posts.  Ticky boxes check and uncheck all by themselves.  Subscriptions even disappears for awhile. After wracking my brain all month, it turns out the problem is not WordPress but my internet host.  Something they are doing on their end is affecting my WordPress database, so every time they reset the servers, things go haywire.  They are also known for not being terribly responsive to users.

Happily I found a Magical Fix but it involves real programming geekery.  I’m visiting my guru this weekend and she will Take Care of It (TM).  I will also look for another internet host for the blog. 

In the meantime, I will manually check each day that the comments section is open.  I just reopened them for the last post which is all I can seem to affect at the moment.  The contact page does work, so if you encounter problems,  you can notify there.  If you have subscribed in the past, please do so again.  Or you can use a RSS feed, or bookmark this.

Please bear with me.  This will be resolved one way or another.

Technical Difficulties

Not tryin’ to be funny but WordPress is having technical difficulties.  It’s come to my attention that the ability to reply to any of my posts has vanished.  I’ll trouble shoot and then beg my guru for intervention if it’s not resolved soon.

Please standby.

EDIT: I updated WordPress two days ago and it hasn’t been playing nice since.  Comments seem to have defaulted to none and must be manually allowed for each post.  Hence previous post comments are closed is which really annoying. Time for my guru.

Welcome back!

Well, that was interesting.

My IT buddy left after massaging HP back to good health since its trauma at the hands of Geek Squad.  Long story short, after having HP for almost six weeks, they only thing they successfully accomplished was wiping the HD and installing Windows 7, oh, and a new video card.  They did not correctly identify the problem (the possible virus I mentioned six weeks ago); misdiagnosed alleged problems with the old video card, fans and power supply (nothing wrong with any of them); and my favorite – botched backing up my stuff.  In what must be the Epic Fail of Back-ups, I had a restored hard drive full of empty directories and folders.  Yup, they neglected to COPY THE DATA.  Thankfully none was critical but several gigabytes of data are a lot of files to lose and reconstruct.  The moral to this story is: avoid the Geek Squad at Best Buy!

Because of my frustration over the WordPress Service limitations, she also migrated this blog to my own server.  So bye WordPress Service, hello WordPress at Judiang. If you hadn’t noticed, you were redirected to a new URL at www.jagrant.com/watcher. You will probably need to bookmark, RSS, or subscribe again to the new URL. Everything here is a la carte as far as personalizing is concerned, so I’ve been adding plug-ins to at least be on par with WordPress Service before I can dabble with the fancy gizmos.

Sadly the move wasn’t damage-free.  While posts arrived basically intact along with comments and links there have been some big problems, the move has stripped paragraph breaks, borked image placement and broken embedded videos.  I’ve been painstakingly parsing and fixing code, although I fear some aesthetics simply can’t be mended.

So, watch out for the boxes scattered around and don’t look at the wallpaper. Be sure to bookmark my new URL, RSS, or subscribe in the right panel.  I’ll get things in some semblance of order while I finish birthday feting.

But I’ve got posters.  Here’s one:

Richard Armitage in 2004 photo shoot