On November 6, 2011, in Miscellany, by Jody Ewing

Tippi Hedren in "The Birds"

Mea culpa. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to shut off the computer, clean the kitchen, go upstairs and talk with my son, and then go down two floors to start running a 50-foot DSL cable up the basement steps, through the kitchen and under a rug, through the dining room behind the sideboard and then over to my desk and hard drive, which is (temporarily) in the living room’s corner. You see, before I shut down my Mac, everything looked fine. I swear!

I won’t go into detail about the number of hours (okay, days, as in a few hours a day here, a few hours a day there) I spent trying to get those pesky little social media icons — Facebook and Twitter and the like — to where they’d show up correctly positioned on our website’s WordPress pages. The posts worked fine from the start, but no matter how many widgets and plug-ins I installed and tried, something always went awry.

Based on a good number of ongoing (and many unresolved) discussions on Internet forums, it appears those having problems are the ones (like me) who opted for “premium” WordPress themes that came with more php “template” (a misnomer; not what you think) pages than the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Ironically, they may as well have been written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.)

More often than not, after following the next and then the next plug-in’s claims of Just-Download-and-Activate-and-You’re-Done! claims, I’d set the easy-to-follow preferences, click the done button, and then peek around the corner to see what happened. There they’d be, all those birds who so silently flew in to perch on every paragraph’s corner and then caw Tweet Me! Twitter Me! Follow Me or Share Me! — which, of course, rendered the home page nothing more than colored and splattered bird droppings.

But, I stayed the course. And even though my current chosen plug-in has neither the “Share this to your posts” nor the “Share this to your pages” box checked, my little feathered friends are finally showing up where I’d wanted them in the beginning. After a few other tweaks to the site and a “preview” that looked pretty darn good (if I do say so myself), I shut things down with the hope that a real live DSL cable would expedite the other tasks that accrued in my inbox while I’d obsessed over way too many obfuscated php hieroglyphics.

More than twice after quickly correcting another mess I’d made on the home page, I’d said to Dennis, “I’ll bet Nancy (my Iowa Cold Cases co-admin) is about to pull out all her hair if she’s been trying to get any work done on here.”

Enter the DSL cable. A faster Internet connection. One that took me with lightning speed straight to a home page that actually resembled something like a lightning bolt. The lines of text — not much more than an inch or so in width — speared straight to the bottom of the page, the photos and upcoming anniversary announcements piled up one on top the other in true train wreck fashion.

I knew it had been a long day when I started laughing. “Boy, if Nancy was mad before …” I said while digging through file folders in search of an “icc_base” css file I knew I’d stashed away somewhere a few weeks back — just in case. Miraculously, after a quick copy and paste (and believing I’d have to start again from scratch with The Birds) the page suddenly fell into place, complete with just four little colored icons lined up at the bottom that, turns out, made it through the storm and survived every post and page.

Second in line is one little blue bird, singing and tweeting as he flies away.

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One Response to OOPS!

  1. Thomas R. says:

    Glad it’s all working now. Yeah.

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