24 October 2006

FO, and Some Stress Relief

Stylish, yes? It's not blocked yet, because as usual I'm too impatient to get the pictures taken. I know it's short, but I like it that way. The cashmere & silk content of the yarn made me think it was perfect for a cravat/ascot-type scarf. With all those lacy holes, it wouldn't be warm enough and might, I think, look kind of odd as a tradional-length scarf, because it's obviously not for winter wear. I think it's perfect for the kind of weather we have right now, which makes it exactly the kind of scarf I most needed - enough to keep the wind off your throat and fill in the cracks in spring/fall jackets, but not enough to make you sweaty on the subway platform.


I notice that Blogger's frequent refusal to upload images and its occasional refusal to do anything at all is driving lots of people nutso. I used to be one of these people, but then I came up with a solution that makes much life much, much easier. Here's what I do:

1. I compose my posts in another program, and only copy and paste them into the blogger post window at the last possible second, to preview and publish, zap. I use a database program (Filemaker) because I happen to have it and use it all the time for my dissertation, so it's easy. But you could also use a word processor. I like my database, though, because I end up with a nice, easily browsable record of all my posts (though without the images) that's much easier to scan through than the archives of my blog.

2. I copied the code blogger uses for displaying images and for inserting links into the post text, and I keep them available in my database file (you could also put them in a word processing file and either save it as a template, or just always open that same file, but "save as" something different after you've added your original text for a particular post). This way I don't have to wait for blogger's image uploader thingy to provide that code (since the code is very simple and the same every time, and Blogger refuses to offer it half the time...)

3. I store all my images on PhotoBucket.com, and link to them from Blogger, rather than storing the images directly in blogger. PhotoBucket's uploader is much easier and more reliable than Blogger, and all I have to do on Blogger is paste the URL from PhotoBucket into the code I already have ready and waiting for me (see #2).

4. I can take as much time as I like to compose the post - or stop in the middle - without ever even opening Blogger. I log in to Blogger only to paste in and send off the post. 30 seconds, max. That means Blogger is usually working reliably for the length of time I need it. Not always, of course, but usually. :-)

Ah, life is so much better now.

So, here's the code I use - the stuff in square brackets is what needs to be replaced each time. Don't leave the square brackets in, but DO leave in all other brackets and punctuation.

To link to another web page:

<a href="[URL, or address, of the web page]">[Name of page that
will appear on screen]</a>

To place an image on the page at the right size for Blogger, with a link to another page (a bigger version of the image, for example). Note: this code contains the maximum image size for MY template (320 pixels) and the alignment and border settings that I chose (centered, no border). If you want something different, just go to one of the old posts where you did it the blogger way, and look at it in the "Edit HTML" tab. You should see similar-looking code for the images. Copy that instead of mine:

<a href="[URL of the web page the image should link to (can be same as image URL)]"><img style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="[you can put text in here that will show up if/when the image is unavailable or someone is browsing on a slow connection and has chosen not to see images. Or leave it blank.]" src="[URL of the image]" border="0" /></a>

To make text bold, but <b> before the text in question, and </b> after it.

For italics, make it <i> and </i>

For strikethrough, make it <del> and </del>

To center one line of text, put <center> at the beginning and </center> at the end.

To set one paragraph off as a quote (I think it pushes the left margin in and puts it in italics), put <blockquote> at the beginning, and </blockquote> at the end.

I think that's as much HTML as I've ever used in a blog post. If you want more, go to W3Schools.


But I have a question, involving Flickr. I like Flickr a lot, and it has lots of really cool features. But call me a total fool - I can't for the life of me find the URL for the picture itself (not the Flickr page that displays some version of the photo on its own site). I know many of you post your Flickr pictures to your blog - where is the URL??? Please help. Flickr has a much easier means of uploading, although it does involve downloading some software. I think I'd still use both Flickr and PhotoBucket, as a means of organizing different photos for different purposes, but it'd be nice to know how to post the Flickr images directly (btw, I know you can select a photo on Flickr and choose "blog it" but I hate that, as it takes all your control away and seems to allow only one pic per post in any case).


Spider, et al.: balzam is really good in tea, too! Yowza!

Beth: I know, I know. I'm getting to it NOW, I swear, since the scarf is done. The good news is that I don't have to ship it - we're going to see the in-laws for xmas. So, yes, I'm probably even going to wait to felt them until we get there. Officially, this is so they'll get a better fit. Really, it's because I hate felting in commercial machines. But I still need to start knitting asap.

Miscellaneous note: in burbling to Hubbster about all the lovely Rhinebeck posts out there and how sad I am that I missed it, I inadvertantly referred to the event as "Yarnbeck" several times without noticing what I was saying.

I'm going to go sing Laura's song some more now.


Marianne said...

You are *such* a clever woman! Yet another page to print out (talk about a fool? I wish, me? idiot.) must have a hard copy...to work from.
The scarf is fabulous, looks beautiful with both coats.

Ava said...

Hi! Just right-click on your chosen Flickr image, click on "Properties," and all the info about the image, including the URL, or "address" as Flickr calls it, will popup. You can copy and paste the URL wherever you want. Did that work for you?

Ava said...

forgot to thank you for your "How to Avoid Blogger" tutorial and photo code! I just spent hours, or so it seems, trying to, load pictures. I'm going to try your method.

hyunjee said...

OK, I'm coming out of lurkdom to ask how on earth you balance dissertation writing with knitting, blogging, being married, having friends, teaching, etc etc. I've read your very thoughtful pieces on the Mason-Dixon craze and on price fixing in the yarn industry, and now you are writing Blogger tutorials... and you have chapter % bars in your sidebar!? That move?! Maybe you should write a long post telling us underachieving diss writers how to keep all these balls up in the air, because it's pretty damn impressive. OK, back to writing... :)

Dharmafey said...

The way that I add images from flickr is to bring up the main image page, and then just above the image it offers several options, including "all sizes". Click there, and choose the size you want to show up in your post, and it will give two boxes with urls. The first links back to flickr so that you can click the image to see larger sizes, or the second box will just show the image in your chosen size.

Specs said...

In firefox, there's an option to "copy image location" in the right-click menu. I usually go to the medium sized picture (via the "view all sizes" button) and copy the address that way.

cookie said...

Yay, scarf!

What I usually do for posting images to my blog from Flickr, is I click on "All Sizes" at the top of the image page, select the size I want. And then it displays the HTML to cut and paste into the blog. It shows it in link form as well as just the plain URL for the image. Depending on which I want, I copy and paste the appropriate thing (usually the whole link).

Laura said...

you rock, kate! that tutorial on making blogger more user-friendly is AMAZING! it never occurred to me to draft my posts in another program & then cut and paste. yay! will try the next time i post!

i am so glad you like my song. :)

Carrie said...

First off I would like to second hyunjee's comments about being an inspiration to underachieving dissertation writers. You rock! (And it is doubly embarrassing for me because I am only writing a master's thesis. Needless to say it is not at all going well...) How do you do it?

Secondly, I have read a lot of posts by various people about the evils of Blogger. Now I have only been blogging for a little over 2 months, but I have never had a problem with Blogger. Perhaps it has something to do with the size of the blog or the particular internet connection...? (Admittedly Blogger does take a long time to "fetch" the photos...)

Beth said...

You are my hero. I don't know how I ever lived before I vitually met you - some day I hope it happens for real.

HHHAAAAAAAAAA (that's me laughing really loud) Yarnbeck!

hege said...

Your scarf is beautiful! Perfect for this time of year, and very elegant. I wish I had Filemaker! I can't wait to see what bugs crop up when I migrate to the new Blogger Beta, it makes me a little bit nervous, and it's great to have a backup of everything just in case. I usually make copies of my blogger pages and save them on my harddrive... And by the way, your previous post on how to make the title backgrnd photo, that was something I had been wondering about, thanks for posting that.

Brenda said...

Cookie's comment above on Flickr is absolutely correct and is how I do it with one exception. I don't select what size I want, I just take the size I have in Flickr and paste that, then I can change the sizes (proportionally--a calculator is handy here) to whatever I want if I want. For example, I often make a 480 x 360 picture (480 on the widest side is the largest size I save to Flickr) 400 x 300.

Also, I often do what you do, that is write in a different program. I use a Mac, and BBedit and TextWrangler are two good text programs my programing husband uses. BBedit is very nice because it will highlight HTML code automatically in different colors so you can easily tell if you haven't closed some HTML code for bolding, italics, a link, etc.

Great Scarf, and thanks for leaving the link to the pattern in your other post. Good luck on your dissertation!

Ruth said...

Right click on the image you want in flickr and chose copy image location. This will get you what you need.

btw you aren't the only one out there using yarn no one has ever heard of...

spider said...

What a great Blogger photo upload tutorial, Kate! Thank you. My only worry is that I'm in Blogger beta and there might be differences in coding and the like. I do find that since I've lowered the resolution and size of my photos in Photoshop, all has been more or less well in the uploading dept. One weird thing, however, is that sometimes Blogger beta uploads multiples of the same photo - then I have to delete them on the actual blog. Strange, eh? Does this happen to you Blogger folks, too?

Hoping to meet up with you at a future "Yarnbeck"!

The Purloined Letter said...

Beautiful scarf! I just bought some yarn to make something similar. It does seem like the right thing for the season.

Thanks for that absolutely terrific tutorial!