Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Shiny Beetles and Technology

When I was walking on the Heath on Sunday I found this shiny green thick-legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis) -- they're pretty common but I always enjoy seeing them because, as I've said before, they remind me of David Bowie. In fact I always think of them as David Bowie beetles.

Well, I'd like to say I did something productive yesterday but it would be a complete lie. Oh, I guess I did deadhead some flowers in the garden -- so there's that. It's amazing how quickly a completely unstructured day can slip away.

I've been wrestling with the new Blogger. Well, I shouldn't say wrestling -- it's mostly been fine -- but I continue having trouble with using html code. You know, like embedding a video? In "old" Blogger there was a button at the top left of the dashboard that allowed me to toggle between the "compose" and "html" modules. I'd switch to the html module and embed the code, then switch back to compose to write the post, with the video now embedded. If there's a way to do that now -- and I've read online that there is -- I'm not seeing it. I have to switch back to "legacy" Blogger every time I embed a video. I suppose I should figure that out.

Also, Google Chrome (my browser of choice) and Adobe are going to stop supporting Flash at the end of the year. I don't know if this means Flash will instantly stop working -- I suspect it will be a more gradual thing. A couple of my blog widgets use Flash. One is the "koi pond," which I really like and I've had on my blog for years -- it's quite old and although I'd like to keep it, I suspect technology is leaving it behind. The other is my Flickr photo badge, which mysteriously stopped working several weeks ago. It's still in the sidebar way down at the bottom, in the probably vain hope that it will magically reactivate.

(If you're reading this on mobile, like on your phone, I don't think you see any of those widgets anyway.)

Technology! Argh!

I found this little wooden toy (I think?) in the forest on the Heath on Sunday. I have no idea what it is, but I kind of like it, especially how it's all gnawed away around the edges. It looks like it's wearing a parka. Is it a penguin?


  1. The Koi Pond (whatever that is) has never worked on my computer (desktop) in all the years I have been reading your blog. And I didn't know there was a Flickr badge - nothing there either. Obviously I don't have (and never have had?) Flash, so I guess we will all manage somehow without it. I used to use Pagemaker years ago, and lots of other software that has come and gone, causing grief at the time, but now mostly unlamented. and even unremembered.

  2. Safari is set to ask me if I want to use Flash (security and memory issues) to view something. So, I've only seen the Koi pond once. That DOES look like a penguin. I wonder if it went with a game. And that beetle. I think it's called a Stardust Beetle... and it plays guitar (with a group of spiders from Mars).

  3. PENGUIN! So cute!

    I am not enjoying the new blogger either. I also use PicMonkey for editing and it uses Flash (there's a new version that is flash free, but I HATE CHANGE AND WILL NOT FIGURE IT OUT - but I guess I'll have to, won't I?). Anyway, I'm at work where I have FOUR browsers to choose from. Here is a report: Chrome & Firefox don't even show the pond. Edge gives me the option to enable flash, and Explorer shows a sort of low resolution pond that actually works (I can feed the fish). The Flickr button doesn't work on any of them.

  4. The penguin is part of a children's toy bath set - Wooden Sailing Boat with Penguin Toy sold in the Royal Museums of Greenwich. https://shop.rmg.co.uk/products/sailing-boat-with-penguin-wooden-toy

    Now you just need to get him a little sailboat. :)

  5. The wooden penguin is cute. What a good find. Flash should have been shut down years ago. Oddly in spite of dire threats that I will have to move to the new Blogger at the end of last month, I am still using the old. Maybe it's because I tried the new and had video upload problems and reverted to the old. I've no idea about Koi Pond.

  6. I'm still on old Blogger and don't even see an option to change. Weird, huh?
    Yes. A little penguin.
    Doesn't time just slip away so easily now?

  7. I haven't switched to the new blogger yet and frankly I'm dreading it.
    That's a cute little 'toy' you found. It does look a bit like a penguin.

  8. I will have to suck it up and start with the new blogger.

  9. yes a penguin and it probably came from a play set of some sort.

    I hate the new blogger. I don't like the big spacing between paragraphs and have not been able to figure out how to change that. also, everything takes way more clicks and mousing around to find the thing you need to click on instead of everything being right at the top. and in the legacy version you could drag an image from your desktop directly into the post which you can't do in the new version. you have to open the image window and then drop it into that. and it won't let me put two pictures side by side anymore either. I'll get used to it I suppose because I won't have a choice but I don't like it

  10. I used to blog using blogger for my teaching blog, but I found that I liked wordpress better for my personal one. I guess just a personal choice, but I could figure things out better.

  11. To post a video on your blog, check the line of icons at the top of the area where you type your post. At the end of the icons there are three dots. Click on this, then scroll down to import video. It all there, just placed differently. You don't even have to use the html. Mostly it's drag and drop, depending where the video is coming from. Check it out. Good luck. That toy looks like a cute little penguin. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

  12. I was struggling with the new Blogger until I noticed a link that allowed me to switch back to the old (classic) Blogger. So I did and have stayed with it.

    I believe that is an anorak-clad penguin. (I'm fond of the word anorak, which the Great Google tells me is just another term for parka. But I think it sounds classier.)

  13. No it is not a penguin, it is a poppet as described in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" - connected with witchcraft and voodooism. An exorcism may be required.

  14. such a pretty bug! fancy- I would marry it if I had been a fancy bug in this lifetime.
    Just scooting through this lifetime in a broken down old human body. NOT ideal.
    You certainly find the cutest trash- I thought it looked very South Park-ish. A Kenny penguin.

  15. So far I have not been forced on to the new blogger. They're going to have to take the legacy version from my cold luddite hands.

  16. Videos could be embedded in legacy Blogger without using HTML. There were upload buttons to click for adding pictures and videos. I suspect Edna, above, has found the new Blogger way to do the same thing. I don't like change, so I've tried out the new Blogger but reverted to legacy and will stay there until they push me over the edge!

    The koi pond worked for me years ago when I first started reading your blog, but hasn't for a long time. I assumed it was because we hadn't updated something on our computer.

    Fancy pants beetle! Very irridescent. There is beauty in many tiny things, even things we'd otherwise avoid or even back away from :)

  17. I love your little Koi pond. I used to have a moon widget on my blog but it stopped working years ago. We really are the old folks here, still on Blogger. I've been looking at Substack and thinking about asking for subscriptions, but I don't know...

  18. David: See my subsequent post for a video demonstration of the koi pond! The Flickr badge is definitely dead. RIP.

    Mitchell: Stardust beetle! I love it!

    Bug: I knew you'd like the penguin! I thought of you when I found it! Thanks for the browser comparisons -- I've always wondered whether what I see on this blog is also what everyone else sees.

    Mary: You are a ROCK STAR for figuring that out! I ran to Dave and showed him the toy set. We couldn't believe it. I even tried a Google image search and came up with nothing myself, so seriously, kudos to you.

    Andrew: Blogger is telling me that new Blogger will be the "default" at the end of this month, but I think even after that I can continue to use old Blogger if I choose that option (bottom left on dashboard). I don't know. It's all so crazy.

    Ms Moon: At this point you have to opt to try new Blogger. You should get a message on your dashboard or a "try new Blogger" option on the lower left of the dashboard screen. No?

    Sharon: It's really not terrible. I could live with it. But it does require some small changes in my workflow!

    Red: Well, you can hold on with the old one as long as possible! I think it will continue to work, for a while anyway, if you go with that option.

    Ellen: Mary (above) figured out the penguin! As I understand it, new Blogger is supposed to be better for mobile users. But that's not me!

    Michael: When I first started blogging, back in 2006, there was a big debate about whether Wordpress or Blogger was the way to go. I chose Blogger because a friend used it, but I could have gone either way! Wordpress always seemed a little nicer, though.

    Edna: OK, I tried that video button. I usually put my videos on YouTube first and then embed them in Blogger, rather than upload them to Blogger directly. The video button worked, but it doesn't seem to allow me to adjust the size of the embed, so the embedded video was quite small. I think the only way I can enlarge it is to, once again, go to the html code. Argh!

    Catalyst: I agree! Anorak IS a good word. Some people in England use it when referring to a heavy hooded coat. I'm not sure I ever heard it in America, but maybe I did. (Clearly you did!)

    John: It's cute, right?!

    YP: Why does the word "poppet" automatically connote evil? Years ago I found a little cloth doll and posted it on the blog, calling it a "poppet," and one of my readers advised me to discard it IMMEDIATELY. Did Arthur Miller ruin that word?

    Linda Sue: Ha! It IS very Kenny!

    Allison: Ha! I think even after the new Blogger becomes the default, you can always revert back to the old if you prefer it.

    Jenny-O: I also format the code a bit to adjust the size of the video, and I don't seem to be able to do that without getting into the html. New Blogger is fine for most things, but I may stick with legacy too, for just that reason.

    Elizabeth: Yeah, no one on Blogger is a spring chicken! I think Jennifer of "Sparrow Tree Journal" is the youngest of our little blogging circle. To perhaps overgeneralize, younger people aren't into writing in long form, it seems to me. They prefer short little posts on Twitter and Instagram. That is just NOT my thing. (And I also think it's destroying our culture, but don't get me on that soapbox! LOL)