Bowls and WordPress

And thus, the plan to play bowls when I am older was set in pixels. Here.
I don’t want to take up bowls now. I’m too young. I enjoyed the casual social league that we played in this last month because of the fact that it was casual and despite the fact that it was social. I might even wander along to their other casual, social bowls events. But I’m not ready to commit myself to playing week in week out right now.

But therein lies a problem. If ever there was a sport in which you improve the more you play, it’s bowls. (Actually, it’s pretty much all sports, but that doesn’t particularly suit my rather focussed narrative here.) So when I get around to playing bowls, anyone who took it up at a younger age will probably be a lot better than I am. I’ll constantly be playing catch-up. (And bowls, obviously.) If I am going to play bowls when I’m older I’d like to be quite good at it. I don’t mind losing, but there’s no fun in being beaten every single time you take to the lawn.

Which brings me to WordPress. WordPress is the software that allows me to write my blog. So if you want to complain to someone about my blog, complain to them. I really don’t need to hear your negativity.

WordPress has something called a block editor, which – when they introduced it eleven months ago – scared me shitless. Fortunately, a workaround was found and I’ve never really looked back. I’ve never really needed to.

The block editor was introduced in WordPress 5.0, and we’re now on 5.3.
5.3, they say:

…expands and refines the block editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 with a new block, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility.

…which sounds quite promising.

So basically, not only is the block editor clearly here to stay, but it’s also now really good (according to WordPress, at least). Maybe it’s time that I took the plunge and give the block editor a go: switch off my Classic Editor plugin, safe in the knowledge that I can switch it straight back on again if I don’t like what happens.

Otherwise, the alternative is trying again in twenty years and being really rubbish at it compared to everyone else.

Things we need to talk about

It’s an unusual phrase, “The elephant in the room”, isn’t it? I mean, it works in some ways, because it’s something that everyone is fully aware of – how could you not notice an elephant in a room? – but if there was an actual elephant in a room I was in, I would probably want to do something about it. Like quite possibly leave the room. Elephants don’t belong in rooms and therefore, an elephant in a room is likely to be rather pissed off.

And after this week, The giraffe in the safari vehicle.

Although, we’ve talked about the dangers of giraffes before on here, haven’t we?

Bird tracks

Whether they’re slithering, hopping or walking, animals leave tracks wherever they walk in the sand or on the earth. Equally, you can follow birds this way while they’re on land, but as soon as they take off, their path becomes invisible. Well, until now January 2018 at least, when photographer Barcelona-based photographer Xavi Bou decided to make them appear, through the magic of technology.

…he chose to work with a video camera, from which he extracts high-resolution photographs. After he films the birds in motion, Bou selects a section of the footage and layers the individual frames into one image.

The results are pretty amazing:

A herring gull flies over flamingos in Spain.

 

Fulmars and Puffins around a sea stack in Iceland.

 

I love the way that on that second image, you can actually look at the shape of the track and see which bird it belongs to: the near-effortless, near-gliding of the Fulmars versus the frantic, almost desperate efforts of the puffins.

There are more images on that link above and you should go and see them.

They are remarkable, not just for the fluidity and grace of the movement, but also because it’s a completely different way of viewing something that we all see every day. Additionally for me, the juxtaposition of static objects and wildly mobile bird tracks in these two images is especially good.

 

Photo credits: Xavi Bou

Sting

Another lovely day down at the Southern Tip. I moved some braai wood this morning to find this feisty little fellow:

I’ll update the image when I upload it to Flickr. [Note to self – update the image when you upload it to Flickr.] Yeah, yeah – I did this. [really cool Flickr link]

It’s a Opistophthalmus capensis. But of course you knew that already. Nasty, painful sting, (which he was more than ready to use) but not medically important.

So I was fairly safe while talking my photo.

Footnote: We also found a Parabuthus capensis the night before. [phone pic]

(I was a bit more careful with that one.)

Hidden message?

I’ve been up and about for five hours today, during which time, I have made packed lunches, fed the beagle, done a decent 6.5km run, popped into the lab, picked up some keys from a block of apartments and answered four (yes, four) sales calls from three different companies, each offering me a funeral plan. Two of these companies were full on insurance companies, and this is part of their irritating bread and butter.

The other one was my cellphone provider.

I do recognise that times are hard and that businesses are having to branch out a bit, but Vodacom are notoriously unreliable on coverage and damn expensive on price, so why on earth would I use them to pay for my funeral?

But that’s the secondary issue here.

I don’t get offered funeral plans often. To get offered four in a single morning does suggest that someone knows something. Bit worrying.
Maybe they’d seen me after my run this morning. It is like a near death experience every time.

But then of course, for money to be made on funeral plans, it does rather rely on the insured individual living for as long as possible – or better still, not dying at all.

So maybe someone knows something else.

Glass half full, and all that.