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When a blogger’s day is as a thousand years

May 14, 2008

Earlier this week, in terms of time usurpation and frustration,’s image uploader was the new Moosejaw.

The thwarted aspiration was simply to insert a photo of some rather spectacular socks in a post I had hoped to launch on my knitting blog last Saturday.  When I clicked the “Insert Into Post” button, a white screen came up and the photo never went to the edit screen. I tried this an embarrassing number of times; this is the bane of the ADD personality.

WP Support is closed weekends, so I checked the forums and discovered a lot of people were having the same problem and that the problem remained unresolved.

On Monday, I wrote WP Support. I identified my browser and flash player version; I provided assurances that I had indeed refreshed my browser and cleansed my cache and cookies before requesting that the golden scepter be shown and help be given. I outlined the steps I had taken to conduct the routine task of uploading a photo. I described the white screen of death that reared up on my screen instead of the photo appearing in my post.

A cheery note came on Monday afternoon, requesting all of the information I had already documented, plus a few other things. “We don’t see what you see. . . .Could you provide me with information about your environment?”

Um, I think I live near a watershed biome…is that what he means? Does he want to know if there’s a Cat in the house? Should I close the blinds in case sunspots are aggravating the problem? I withstood the urge to call Laura and ask her to ask her husband what a geek means by “environment.”

The word “environment” is so terribly open to private interpretations. To some, an environment is a sort of immaterial ethersphere; for others, the word connotes a plexus of interaction between the living and the threatened; still others might say the environment is simply the arrangement of living and non-living matter in any given place. Depending on whom one queries, an environment might be sacred or profane.

In any case, the gist of his help was this: I have no direct line to any particular WP server, and the problem, if any, could be anywhere down any line between my server and some ultimate WP connection that was substituting the white screen of death for a functioning image uploader.

Later on Monday, after several more encounters with the white screen of death, I must have hit an airhole, and the photo finally uploaded to the post. But that launch is recorded in the Journal of Irreproducible Experiments; I could not repeat this success. The forums were still roiling with the unresolved problem.

I had exhausted my golden scepter interview, and no more was forthcoming from Support.

I was disheartened, to say the least, that I would be unable to continue my knitting blog. Its whole purpose is to chronicle a gallery of my and my co-authors’ work. My co-authors and I never meet in person, as we are dispersed across the country, but through the blog we can share our sagas, works in progress, and completed works. It’s a virtual knitting klatch, meeting on no regular basis. Without photos, it would not be possible.

Most WP bloggers were still launching photos.  I suspected there had to be something in the line peculiar to the routing affecting my image uploader’s server and those of the people on the forum and those suffering in silence.  Maybe it was a West Coast thing; people on the forums weren’t identifying their locations.

Tuesday evening, I tried again to launch a photo to a test post.  It worked. Life As We Know It was restored; I could maintain my knitting blog.  I can only posit that, thankfully, somewhere between Seattle and San Francisco via Okemah, Oklahoma, a server line hiccoughed a hairball, liberating all the image uploaders.





  1. May 14, 2008 10:41 am

    I think the data from your experiment may be able to extend this graph a bit:

    Be thankful that you only found an airhole. It’s the wormholes that do the most damage to the length of day.

    As always, great mysteries occuring beyond our senses drive many into gnosticism. After all, we now need “wizards” to manage our devices.

    I like the photo. It reminds me of a time when hairballs came from cats and ether was used in surgery. In other words, ancient history.

  2. May 14, 2008 11:14 am

    That’s a wonderful link.

    You really need a low-pH wit to survive what gnostic technology hath wrought.

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