Tuesday 28th February, 2023

Some S Ldn planning for the weeks ahead. Make that months ahead. I’m disappearing on another elongated Transpontine holiday by mistake. Let’s call it a month. Can’t bloody wait, Comrades.

I allowed the first cup of tea of the day to sink in before another ONS Covid shit test. I went deep, deep down this time. I’ve no idea what I’ve been doing wrong of late. It seems a little unfair to blag a £20 voucher each month in return for a test failure.

I started looking around at some themes and designs for the school, sites. They could do with a spring clean. But they also just work. Beware of taking things apart that you can’t put back together again.

Installing a new theme isn’t what I really want. I’m happy with the current designs, but they could have a little extra functionality. I contacted the freelance team in the States that I occasionally use for tech shit that is beyond me. My request was also beyond them.

I made the mistake of pimping out the possible work on a freelance site. I specifically stated EMAILS ONLY. My phone went bonkers throughout the morning, as well as the phones in the school office.

I get it that people need to work and want the work. But don’t disturb me with a phone call whilst I’m trying to go about my bloody work as well. I put a block on all the numbers and thought about rolling my sleeves up with a little coding myself.

Chat GPT proved to be remarkable once again. I’ve learnt that to get the best outcomes then you need to treat Chat GPT as a human. It takes on board the learning and revises any answers based on your previous conversations. I even added in some pleases and thank you to get on the good side of the AI.

The code that was being generated was unique to my needs and current set up. I fed in the constraints I’m working within, and what I hope to achieve. Chat GPT understood the needs and came up with some custom code.

It almost worked as well. The issue is some hard coding in the theme functions files that Chat GPT didn’t account for. I was a little nervy to fuck around with these and so let it be.

Album of the Day: Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners

This is just what I needed for my early morning work. Not too demanding, but a burst of energy to get my fingers tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard. I could have been a jazz musician, y’know. Well, a two chord bass player. I lost it a little in trying to match the rhythm with my keyboard, But that’s jazz, YEAH? I never know where to start with the jazz classics. Sometimes just diving in does the job. Nice, etc.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I then went through another box of reggae 12s that I’ve not heard in years. Sorry, but Rita Marley was a little lost musically without her old man.

This led to some more bass playing. I prefer the softer sound I can produce without a pick up. My fingers bloody hurt though after half an hour of plucking away. I’ve been told I should piss on them to toughen them up.

With my OCD? Yeah, right.

I managed to tune the bass successfully using the Fender tuner app. It’s proving to be a lot more difficult keeping it in tune than I thought.

Daisy was all over my keyboard throughout the morning for work. It became a distraction. I had to lock her out of the office.

I did the usual cat talky thing, thinking she might understand from the tone of my voice. I’ve tried to explain that I’m going away for a month. As long as someone is feeding her she won’t give a shit.

The Postman Delivers: Miles, Brian and KDL. Quite a mixed bag, all quality. That completes the KDL set for me.

News dropped of yet another Bragg compilation coming out soon. LOVE Billy, etc. But I can live without another FOURTEEN Billy Bragg albums.

Something weird then happened to my music set up. The CD player was B0rked.


I could hear it spinning around, and the digital reader was counting down. The amp was working for the turntable and cassette deck, so I assumed this wasn’t the issue.

I disconnected the CD player and took the back off it. Everything appeared to be fine. I rigged it up again and soon I had Bobby Darin SPLISHING SPLASHING and SPLOSHING in glorious stereo. I’m not quite sure what happened there.

I returned to the school sites early evening. It’s all part of my continued effort to streamline the workflow, aka less time, same work.

I’ve got an odd set up for one of my themes. The front end allows you to display featured pages. I want to show featured posts. The workaround is to create a dummy page with no content, and then use a custom url plugin to point it to the post I have just published.

This works, but it’s fiddly as fuck matching up a dozen or so posts with pages each time I publish every other week.

Sometimes the solutions are more obvious than the tech assumes.

I found a plugin that clones a post or page. Great.

I then found another plugin that converts a page to a post. Even better.

So my solution is to write the content directly into the featured page, clone this, and then convert it to a post. This means the front end displays the correct content via the page, and a new post is then added to the archive for reference.

A smart way to end the day.