A little geekiness

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that occasionally it changes appearance. That’s because I change WordPress “themes,” the templates that determine how everything displays. Many themes don’t allow full-size photos. In my last change, I found one that did. So I was thrilled…

…OK, stop right there. Today I notice that this theme has decided to replace my changing Uruguay header pictures with a black and white photo of mountains with snow, of which Uruguay has neither. How the hell did that happen? Actually, I kind of like the irony. I think I’ll leave it for a while.*

But this theme had something I didn’t like: when I wanted to make something italic, the theme displayed it as bold italic.

So for weeks my daily to-do list has had a reminder to fix it.

But how? I went to the theme developer’s site to find a helpful forum, only to find that the theme hasn’t been updated in two years. Bad news. Kind of on my own.

I downloaded the theme’s stylesheet. Nothing amiss there: the <em> and <i> tags were probably mapped to italic. So what next? I looked at the source code of a blog entry, downloaded the header.php file, and there it was!

html code

OK, not exactly in-your-face obvious. But in line 36, the theme is calling for Google web fonts, and font Open Sans italic is only specified as 700 weight, which as you know — because doesn’t everyone work with Google web fonts every day? — is bold. So I got the correct “call” code from Google fonts, created a “child” theme in WordPress, and inserted the “correct” code in the header.php file there, which overrules the original (without the risk of your changes being wiped out with a theme update, even though that seems unlikely after two years).

And it works!

I still have no idea how header.php was invoked by my blog posts, but perhaps that’s because…well, I did look into PHP programming at one point and essentially decided life is too short.

I’ll leave it at that.


* No doubt it has to do with my messing around with code I don’t understand.


On foot again

I walked the few blocks to town today to take a bus to pick up our car from the mechanic, who spent the last couple days doing a couple hours’ work.

I saw this gnarly tree at the bus stop, then realized I had also never noticed the “expo” lot behind it, in the middle of town, where I have also never seen any activity. I’ll be watching it now for any signs of life.

Expo Rossi, Atlántida, Uruguay

It’s a pleasant treat, walking instead of riding a bike or driving, having time to see things I wouldn’t otherwise.

Of course, not having a muscular 30 kg leashed dog doing his best to dislocate my shoulder as I walk is also a pleasant treat.

dog with collar

As is avoiding the occasional interaction with loose dogs of irresponsible locals, which recently required preventing said dog access to certain parts of his anatomy for over a week.

I’ll spare you the details.

You’re welcome.



My family, back a ways

The Mayflower connection

General Society of Mayflower Descendants

Founded 1897

Anyone who arrived in Plymouth as a passenger on the Mayflower is considered a Pilgrim, with no distinction being made on the basis of their original purposes for making the voyage. Proven lineage from a passenger, approved by a Historian General, qualifies one to be a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  – source

I don’t qualify.


Sarah Wardell, Mayflower

You’ve probably already guessed: Sarah Wardell, one of my 2,048 9th-great-grandparents, was of the family that owned the ship. Time for a

“General Society of Mayflower Owners” — ?

Oh, but it gets better:

Samuel Wardell, Salem Witch Trial victim

Did you know that the Salem Witch Hunt victims included men? Me neither. And there he is, one of my 2,048 9th-great-grandparents.

His son moved to Connecticut in 1735, where I was born over two centuries later.

Special thanks to Charles, husband of one of my two nieces, both named Amanda.