2011: In the fog

Posted on 1 Jan ’11 by Earl Moore

The future appears a bit foggy
The future appears a bit foggy at the moment

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow

And so the year 2011 began with a foggy morning followed by rain later in the day. The up side was the much milder temperatures, almost balmy compared to what we’ve been experiencing these last couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s already 2011. I’m developing a theory that as you get older time compresses until days are as minutes, months as days and a year hardly seems longer then a month.

You may notice the new look for Meandering Passage continues to evolve. Suffice it to say there’s been a “do-over” in the last couple of days, beginning with a completely new blank theme (Catalyst) and much hard work to make it look and feel like the slightly less new theme I switched to (DeepFocus) who’s appearance I liked so much and announced a few days ago. The back end or “engine” of this theme fits me better then DeepFocus (a personal preference) and there’s real power for future growth and creative endeavors. From a blank white page to what you see now without have to directly touch the guts (PHP or CSS code.)

Happy 2011 Everyone!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Journey Photographic 2 Jan ’11 at 7:16 am

    I like the simplicity of the new look. I like the simplicity of this shot too :) Happy New Year!

    • Earl 2 Jan ’11 at 10:36 am

      Thanks I appreciate that. Happy New Year to you also.

  2. Mark 2 Jan ’11 at 8:08 am

    At first I wasn’t sure how I would like white text on grey, but I have found I like it quite a lot.

    I hear ya on not wanting to touch the php or CSS very much. I am sure when a theme update comes around, you usually have to redo all of those mods again. So I try to keep them to a minimum. It is one of the reasons I haven’t updated my Coppermine gallery. I have tweaked the PHP so much there, that upgrading would mean hours of work for me to try to get it back to the way I wanted it.

    I tend to agree with your theory on time. But why is it that hindsight seems to pass so fast, while waiting for the future takes so long? :-)

    • Earl 2 Jan ’11 at 8:26 am

      Mark, I like the text too. I believe part of the secret is it’s actually grey on grey — it’s not pure white reducing the harsh and eye straining contrast a bit. All the changes and settings I’ve made so far to this theme can be exported and saved in a configuration file so I’m hoping an upgrade would only mean importing and reapplying those changes. I’ve already successfully used that process once, I first created this look in this theme as an off-line version and then moved it online by importing those settings — it worked well.

      Your right waiting for the future does seem to take longer then hindsight but it’s still faster then it seemed when I was a kid waiting for some “big” event. Have a great day!

  3. Paul 2 Jan ’11 at 8:15 am

    I, too, took a walk in the fog yesterday. It was nice and a great relief from those bone chilling temps we’ve had over the past few weeks … very un-North Carolina-like to be sure! I’ve wanted to change my theme, but didn’t want to go through all of the tweaks and such. :)

    • Earl 2 Jan ’11 at 8:32 am

      Hi Paul, maybe that’s the new North Carolina…weather doesn’t seem to be a constant any longer.

      While walking in the fog yesterday morning, I was thinking of you and how your current contract was to end at the end of December. I hope you’ve found something that is both enjoyable and profitable.

      It certainly can take a lot of time doing up a new theme but it’s also a creative process — then I don’t directly code every day for a living. ;-)

      • paul 4 Jan ’11 at 2:42 am

        Thanks for the thoughts, Earl. I started my new job yesterday. No interruption at all. And yes, as you know, I code for a living so getting home and tweaking code is not on my list of things to do. Notice, I didn’t say at the bottom of the list. It’s just plainly not on the list! :)

  4. Monte Stevens 2 Jan ’11 at 8:53 am

    First I like this look. The white text looks good but I do struggle a with the aqua colored print on the gray. I really like the home page view with that awesome slideshow.

    The fog sure messed up the day for air travel yesterday, I was suppose to be in Sarasota but I’m sitting in Burlington, VT. However, the weather is on the warm side and only a slight drizzle to deal with. We should be back on schedule by this afternoon.

    I agree, Earl, there is some sort of time compression that happens when we reach a certain age in life called the hump and then start on the downward side. Curious phenomenon.

    Have a great 2011, my friend!

    • Earl 2 Jan ’11 at 10:34 am

      Monte, thanks. Agreed, I’m not totally sold on the aqua color for the links either. It’s very easy to change to a different color — I’m just not sure what color. I’d like it to be slightly different then normal text so one can tell where the links are. Any suggestions??

      I hope your schedule gets back on track.

  5. Anita Jesse 2 Jan ’11 at 2:46 pm

    I love this photo. At first, I wasn’t so keen on the fact that foggy mornings especially are a regular occurrence here. But, I have come to appreciate its beauty.

    I think you have done a great job adapting a theme. While the gray on gray is easy on my eyes, I admit that it would tire me if I were reading for a very long time. However, since blogs aren’t like novels, it doesn’t produce discomfort.

    I have given up on that time issue thing. It flies so fast I get dizzy thinking about it.

    • Earl 3 Jan ’11 at 7:56 am

      First impressions of fog are it’s no good for photography — lower light levels, limited visibility, even tones, little contrast. Yet we soon learn that by it’s very nature it can add mystery and emotion to what would be an ordinary scene, for example in this photo of trees in my neighborhood.

      Thank you on the theme, Anita. It was a lot of work but rewarding at the same time. I’m happy with it for the most part now. But, experience has taught there will come a day when I again seek a change. At least now I grapple with that impulsive need. :-)

  6. David Leland Hyde 2 Jan ’11 at 11:29 pm

    Beautiful photograph. I like the mood and the softening of the trees by the fog. Tastefully composed as well. Sounds like an enjoyable morning. In California fog usually means you are close to the Ocean but not always. I have very fond memories of foggy mornings in the places I have lived on the coast. Here in the mountains, fog, which we usually call mist because it is so fleeting, shows up in our canyon only a handful of times a year. Misty mornings always brought excitement to the Hyde household when I was growing up. I remember on those mornings my father landscape photographer Philip Hyde bustling around the house and his studio quickly gathering his view camera and shoulder camera bag and out the door he would disappear into the mysterious white beyond. He made some of his best images as the fog cleared.

    As for coding CSS, etc., my theme is difficult to decipher. I often wonder if another would be easier to find my way around. The guys on the forums seem to rattle off information as though of course I ought to know where this or that is supposed to be. But I image once you’ve switched themes a few times you might get better at this stuff. I have such a high-piled plate as it is, it is hard to justify spending time tinkering or reading books on this. With a lot of it there is much more to learn than many of us can manage in a lifetime and get anything else done. I am impressed by the look you have achieved here and find it easy to read. I even became inspired to try to change a few things on my blog. Hmmmm, the simplest tweaks are so complicated to do sometimes… Happy New Year!

    • Earl 3 Jan ’11 at 8:12 am

      David, thank-you! I usually find being out early in the mornings both enjoyable and rewardable…especially when the weather has something pleasantly “special” in store. Those memories of your father sound wonderful and I’m sure they have shaped your own impressions of fog and mist.

      The real problem with changing the underlying code of a theme comes about when there’s a release of an update to the theme that has new features you desire. Now your changes, which enhanced the theme for you, become a liability. You either have to give up those changes or make the same ones again in the new version hoping they will still work as they did before, knowing if a newer version of the theme is released in the future you’re back in the same boat again. Thus, when most people customize a theme they never upgrade it again. :-) I’ve been there and didn’t want to be there again.

      Not to sound cynical, but I’ve come to believe things we perceive as simple often are a case of not fully understanding the situation. ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  7. don 3 Jan ’11 at 10:52 am

    The fog is so enhancing of this view. I always like the fog effect for the way it creates a sense of depth and mystery. Well done.

    • Earl 3 Jan ’11 at 11:40 am

      Don, “Depth and mystery” very apt words for fog. Thanks!

  8. Don Cooper 4 Jan ’11 at 11:41 am

    I really like the looks of this blog and really enjoy the photos you post. I have been having problems with my PC and scanner but I hope to be posting more and especially with my new blog 2011: Image a Day

    • Earl 4 Jan ’11 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Don,
      Thanks about the blog theme and photos — I appreciate it! I noticed you haven’t been posting much lately and I hope those PC/scanner issues can be quickly settled. I look forward to your post this year!

  9. Chris Klug 4 Jan ’11 at 10:36 pm

    I like the look of the blog and the texture of the background (at least it looks like texture to me. I am trying to get to the point where I can modify my blog as well. Maybe we could chat some time about what you did and how you did it.

    • Earl 4 Jan ’11 at 10:54 pm

      Chris, definitely texture…the repeating background image is called “noise.” How easy or hard a blog is to modify has almost everything to do with theme selection. For my purpose I wanted to avoid changing the code. Choosing the theme, “Catalyst,” gave a blank slate and over 600 different options to control almost every aspect of the look and feel with out directly changing code. Takes some time getting just what you want but it makes future theme upgrades easier and possible. I’d be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

  10. Ove 6 Jan ’11 at 2:28 pm

    Nice background grain, I like the overall layout too. Clean and easy to overlook. I wish you a wonderfully creative 2011.

    • Earl 6 Jan ’11 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks, Ove. May you also have a great and fulfilling 2011. I look forward to following your blog again this year.

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