I actually had a post ready to go today, and there’s a reason why you’re not seeing it. Early this morning, I decided to go over it one more time and make a few edits. While doing so, I accidentally closed my browser tab, and when I came back to the post I discovered that it had reverted to an early version of the post lacking at least 1,500 carefully chosen words that had been added to it as I completed it last night. Going through versions on the WordPress back end failed to find the missing text. Ultimately, disgusted and annoyed, I decided I didn’t have the time or the inclination to try to reconstruct the missing post given that I had to go to work. I don’t know if I’ll take what remains of the post tonight or tomorrow and try to reconstruct what I had written, the better to publish it over the weekend or on Monday. I might. I might not. Right now, I have no motivation to do so. All I have time to do before heading to work is to post a brief explanation.
I have learned a valuable lesson, though, that never should have been necessary. In the past, I always used to write my posts in HTML using BBEdit and then cut and paste them into WordPress after I finished them. That way, if WordPress did anything odd, I wouldn’t lose any text, and, better still, I’d have a text file copy of every post I’ve ever written. However, the latest iteration of the WordPress editor Gutenberg had lulled me into composing some of my posts right in the WordPress editor, saving me reformatting that was sometimes necessary as I transferred the text. Given that I have a backup service that periodically backs up the entire blog, I didn’t think I was risking much. I guess I was wrong.
What happened, I think, is that Gutenberg sometimes doesn’t like custom HTML. WordPress can now automatically embed elements like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts; all you have to do is to cut and paste the link into the post. However, for some things you still need to use custom HTML embeds, and I’ve found that Gutenberg doesn’t play well with some of them at all. Whenever I use such HTML, it’s not uncommon for me to get messages flashing in the editor that the automatic backup failed, although manual saves generally work. In any event, I used some custom HTML, with copious use of the “Save draft” button. I thought I was OK. Apparently not. After I had accidentally closed the editor tab, returning to the post showed huge swaths of the post gone, basically everything added after the custom HTML embed. In any event, I plan on never letting something like this happen again by going back to composing my posts in BBEdit.
If anyone wants to know what the post was about, it was this:
The last Tweet contains a link to the entire Telegram channel post in which Robin Monotti shares Clapton’s story. Of course, I was going to note that it took Clapton half the post even to get to his story about the vaccine. Before that, he couldn’t help but rant about “lockdowns” and positively reference the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, the eugenics-adjacent recommendation last fall just to let COVID-19 rip through the young and use “focused protection” for the elderly and chronically ill. When he did finally get to his vaccine reaction, he was quite vague about what the heck his “bad reaction” to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine actually was, particularly the first shot. Maybe we can crowdsource a post in the comments.
And maybe, just maybe, I will go back and try to reconstruct the original post when I have time.
In the meantime, I’m cursing WordPress, Gutenberg, and myself! I’ve been at this for over 16 years and really should know better.
ADDENDUM: If you’re a Clapton fan and like the whole “white boy doing the blues” thing that he helped popularize, I highly recommend the latest album by The Black Keys, Delta Kream. I just added it to my Apple Music library this morning and have been listening to it as I work in my office and lab. Very enjoyable electrified covers of blues classics.