CB&D Weblog Going Down? Maybe/Maybe Not

sinking.jpgEarlier this week, I received notice that the version of PHP used by this website is going to disappear from the Internet Service Provider we use. Pursuant to their notice, I dutifully went to the ISP control panel and directed that this site be switched to the newer, supported version of PHP. Well, when I switched to the new version, it resulted in a big crash. When attempting to view the site in a browser, I get a “This Page isn’t Working” message in my Browser.

Image: An artist’s rendition of the SS Kalifornia’s Final Voyage. We certainly don’t want to be doomed like them. Click to enlarge.

After consulting the WordPress help pages, I tried a few thigs to see if I could wake the website up, but to no avail. Since I am using a VERY OLD (ca. February 2008) version of WordPress, it appears that I am going to have to upgrade the WP package in order to proceed.

WordPress recommends that I do the upgrade incrementally (all old versions of WP are available) to avoid potential problems that could be encountered by trying a “long jump” upgrade. I am at version 2.3.3 and need to upgrade to the current WP version which is 5.7.2. That sounds like a lot of incremental upgrades but there is a saving grace; if I can get version 3.7 going, the WP team tells me that there is an upgrade “button” that will take me to the latest version.

I do have some time to get all this done, not only to this blog, but two others I maintain on the same ISP. The deadline for removal of the old version of PHP is not until December of 2021, so there are a few months in which I can get thigs fixed. I will probably start on one of the blogs soon and others to follow later.

Some of the custom gadgets I use will be gone since I modified their code to do a few things I like to have like the image viewer and a few others. I also expect the overall appearance of the blogs will change since I do not think the old templates to be compatible.

Maybe this is all for the better, but if you get a splash page saying the blog is gone, then I might either be working on it or it is gone forever. I will let everyone know the results.

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Beltane - A Celtic Cross Quarter

beltane3.jpgThis 5th of May, 2021, Damsel and I have decided to skip the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” and celebrate “Beltane” instead. The Cross-Quarter day (midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice) of Beltane, an ancient Celtic day of importance, occurs on May 5th this year according to the “Grand Octal Clock” which can be seen at the Archaeoastronomy.com website.

So, to celebrate the Celtic First Day of the Summer Season, we will be preparing a traditional Irish dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage along with some boiled vegetables. I know, we just had that on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day, but we like to have this meal more than once a year.

I discussed our Irish Ancestry in a post on St. Patrick’s Day last year. I also have English, Welsh, Scottish and some other mixed Northern European heritage along with a couple of Italians and one Choctaw great6th grandmother. Doing the math, that Indian ancestor qualifies me for Native American heritage benefits four times greater than Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Of course, I wouldn’t do that - I’m not a Democrat.

So, since neither Damsel nor I have any Hispanic Genealogy, we will probably be more inclined to celebrate Beltane than Cinco de Mayo in the future on May the 5th. That being said, we will still, of course, indulge in Tex/Mex Cuisine from time to time.

Happy (Insert Your Preferred 3/5 Celebration Here) to you!

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Remembering Kate on Her Birthday

Morro Rock

We remember our Mom, Kate, on more occasions than just her birthday, but today she would have turned 101. She passed from us in September of 2013 and we still miss her.

The image above is of Morro Rock in the California town of Morro Bay. It’s a charming place to visit and the rock is where Kate wanted her cremains to be distributed. We can’t see the rock without thinking about Kate. She always told us how much she loved that place on the Pacific Coast west of San Luis Obispo, CA.

Image courtesy of Damsel taken 24 July 2009 at Morro Bay. Click on the image to enlarge.

Out of respect for our Mom, we will refrain from inserting a rant here about the liberal slimes running the show out in K-Stan these days and how we are reluctant to visit in person.

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Spring in the Desert

Beavertail Cactus Flower Pink Hedgehog Cactus Flower

For the past couple of days, some of our native cacti have had flowers open up. The one on the left is a flower on one of our beavertail cacti and the one on the right is on a hedgehog cactus. Both species are native and were growing here when we moved in over ten years ago (that long?).

Below are a couple of male House Finches who are engaged in their spring rituals of trying to attract the attention of female Finches with their spring songs and aerial dances. These are so nice to watch in addition to Cardinals, Doves, Thrashers, Woodpeckers and Phainopeplas doing their things as well.

There are many other species of birds and mammals running about this patch of desert in the springtime. It’s like having our own private zoo.

House Finch Singing House Finch on Rosemary Shrub

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

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Easter Sunday 2021

cross.jpgToday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will be conducting an in-home Easter service wherein Communion will be taken in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross.

Image at right borrowed from the Patriot Post’s “Resurrection Day Meditations” webpage. Click on the image to visit.

Later, we will have a Sunday feast consisting of smoked turkey breast with trimmings similar to, but not exactly like, Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be multi-tasking in the morning between conducting services and attending to the smoker. Damsel will similarly be engaged in preparation of the sides for our glorious feast. We’ve done smoked turkey on several occasions and they always turn out very good.

We wish everyone a very Happy Easter Day and hope that you enjoy the celebration as we shall be doing.

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Another New Camera Lens

SL1 w/New 250mm LensI posted here before about acquiring a 400mm telephoto lens for my little Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and that lens is worth every dime I spent on it. The only drawback is its size and weight when you want to go out into the desert to capture a few photos of critters. It is a bit clunky lugging it around on a walk up the road or for other events where you might want to get photos of subjects that may be dozens of yards away or perhaps more than that.

Image - Camera with the new EF-S 55-250mm Zoom Lens attached. Click on the image to enlarge.

The SL1, when I purchased it in 2014, shipped with the standard 18-55mm lens and an additional 75-300mm telephoto lens, neither of which were of really decent quality. The latter, after a couple of years, developed an autofocus intermittency and had to be scrapped. Plus, in 2019, we replaced the stock lens with a superior quality 18-135mm lens.

So, the bottom line is that I wanted a lightweight intermediate zoom lens for those times that I mentioned above. So far, since I received the new lens last Thursday, I am pleased with its performance. I took the cactus wren photo today at a range of about 35 feet and the lunar photo last Friday during the full February “Snow Moon.” I cropped both images down from the full-frame size to enhance the subjects. Click on either image to enlarge. I am especially pleased with the sharpness of the mountains and craters on the moon which is not bad for an intermediate telephoto lens.

Cactus Wren on Saguaro Snow Moon

I other news, I renewed my expired AZ Driver’s License yesterday. The expiration was covered by an extension due to the pandemic, but that extension ran out at the end of February, so I drove to the MVD and got my renewal. I should get the new license by mail in a week or two.

In other other news, our COVID-19 vaccines have not yet arrived in our area. There are two venues in town through which we can be vaccinated but neither on-line registration is yet available. We’re both eligible for the vaccines by virtue of age.

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Arizona - We’re Still Number One

I received this via email from AZCDL. Despite the tainted results of Arizona’s election in November, we still came out on top for 2020. I and many others are now engaging with our politicians to keep Arizona safe from those who would infringe on our God-given rights to self defense. In the coming year, we will do our best to keep our state at the top of the list.

azcdl

In the February 2021 issue of Guns and Ammo, Arizona is rated the best state for gun owners. This is the EIGHTH consecutive year Guns and Ammo magazine has rated Arizona as the #1 state for gun owners.

Arizona’s #1 rating is primarily because of what AzCDL has accomplished. Prior to AzCDL’s involvement Arizona’s CCW system was onerous and discouraged applications. Permits were only good for 4 years and required training, testing and additional fingerprinting to renew. Court cases narrowed the interpretation of open carry to a point where the only way to safely openly carry your firearm and avoid arrest was by having a CCW permit. In self-defense situations, the burden of proof was on YOU to prove your innocence – after you admitted to the “crime.” Firearms preemption was Balkanized. Castle doctrine and “no duty to retreat” laws were weak.

AzCDL was created by a handful of activists in 2005 who didn’t like the status quo. By 2010 we achieved Constitutional Carry. CCW permits are now optional and the process to obtain a permit is more realistic. Arizona permits are recognized in the majority of states. Arizona is also one of the few states that recognize all permits from all states – again thanks to AzCDL.

Because of AzCDL’s efforts, you are now “innocent until proven guilty” when defending yourself. Firearms preemption has been strengthened. We were even successful in getting the Arizona Constitution changed to protect law-abiding citizens from law suits when they defend themselves. Visit our Accomplishments and Why AzCDL web pages to learn more about what AzCDL has accomplished.

We are proud that AzCDL’s efforts, with the support of our members, have again garnered this high rating for Arizona from such a prestigious publication. However, from our perspective, there is a lot more that needs to be done to make Arizona truly a free state when it comes to honoring your constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. With your continued support we can achieve that goal.

Here’s the link to join or renew with the Arizona Citizens Defense League:

joinrenew.jpg

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