Of Blogging Platforms and Silk

After several months on Drupal, we decided that working smart was the wiser course. So, the websites built on Drupal got wiped, and they were started anew from exports of the old sites. So far, it seems that links are working.

However, this is a work in progress to be addressed when we’re not teaching/weaving/resting/or doing some other thing that we want to do.

This weekend, we are going to silk farming country to look at some silk worms, hopefully get another mulberry tree, and to buy some silk, yarn and fabric. Some old ladies have yards upon yards of beautifully woven silk that they are keen to get rid of. The fabric was woven in 1980, and when you consider that the kind of looms on which they worked, likely without temples, the edges are remarkably straight.

Sadly, weaving is a lost art in much of China because the young are content with store-bought and see no value in hand-wovens. The elderly say that the young think hand-weaving is too much bother, too much time, though some of them know how to weave, if they live in farming country, that is. Such a pity that so great a skill is dying out.

Perhaps if we have time, we may return to the silk farming community with the new Ashford and sit at the feet of the old women and learn a thing or two.

Back in China

I left the USA 5:30 AM on Friday and arrived at the apartment 8:03 PM (8:03 AM EST) on Sunday.

Why so long a journey?

Fly to Atlanta. Five hours wait for a flight to Tokyo. At Tokyo, three or four hours wait for a flight to Hong Kong. Land in Hong Kong around 10:30 PM on Saturday, HKT. EST is 10:30 AM. No flight to where I want to go until 4:35 PM Sunday from Hong Kong.

Next morning, I try for an earlier departure. A 7:00 bus to Shenzhen with the usual exit and entry delays at the border, and another delay finding the SUV to take me to the Shenzhen airport. By the time I get there, it’s too late to make the 10:10 AM flight, and, contrary to what the Chinese airfare websites say, there are no hourly flights from Shenzhen to my destination. So, I sit and wait in Shenzhen’s no-free-wifi, moldy-smelling, fast-moving-roaches roach-infested airport, which looks like its ceilings need cleaning, until boarding time at 3:35 PM.

The plane lifts off somewhere around 4:35 PM and lands around 6:00 PM. There’s a short wait for luggage, then a 20 RMB ride on the airport bus into the city. Upon disembarkation, there is a long wait for a 15 minute taxi ride to the apartment. When I enter the front door, it is Sunday, 8:03 PM. I know because my iPhone was in my hand and lit up.

My body can’t and doesn’t want to do this anymore. This is my last year in China.


I’ve been away for almost a year and had no time to work on my new site even. God willing, this last quarter of the year will yield no surprises, and I will be able to work on the site on the new domain name.

This post is getting through here because right now and for the next couple of days, I’m in the great US of A.

Definitely fits!

So I started building my site over at http://simplywarped.com, backed it up and canceled my new Arvixe.com account cuz they had this great weekend special, a lifetime account at 50% off. So, I thought I’d restore the site from backup. That didn’t happen, so now I have to rebuild it from scratch. After a weekend of no Internet because the account password was somehow mysteriously changed, there’s ‘net again, so last night I brought the site back up.

This blog is supposed to be about weaving and such, but the only weaving I’ve done is box weaving. It’s nice, but tedious. I’m weaving this bag for my friend and she doesn’t want any pictures. No tapestry, and I don’t have time to do any lazies to create a pattern, so I’m bored to death by the bag.

Anyway, I’ve yet to add the blog to the website, and once I do that (it may get done before the store is completed and populated), links here will direct there. The irony of it is now that I spent the cash on getting my own domain, I’m going back home!

So, lots of packing during the day, after teaching, of course, and website building at night. Box weaving between the breaks.

Giving Myself Fits!

It’s been many a year since I quit website building, and now I’m paying the price for not keeping my hands in.

At first, I was going to stick with WordPress, but, then, I decided I wanted the site to be a store, a weaving blog, an English research paper writing class, and a place for continuing novel writing. Therefore, I looked to Drupal, and that’s where the fits have come in.

Drupal has changed much since I ran a blog on it years ago. While it’s still an exciting CMS, it comes with a learning curve, or, in this case, a re-learning curve. So, I’ve installed, deleted, re-installed and so on a whole lot over the past few days. Finally, today, the store site was fully installed.

Over the next few days, configuring and modifying will be the order of things. Then I will move the blog over post by post … unless I can find a way to download all the posts and reload them in Drupal.

The point of it all is to avoid the whole can’t-access-the-site nightmare, and to expand.

Why do I want to have an online English writing classroom? Frankly, a lot of people can’t write, and it’s tiring reading poor prose chockfull of grammatical, spelling, and sentence construction errors. Besides, I want to do this. There’s somebody out there who wants to and has to write a paper and doesn’t know how, and wants to learn how. The is somebody out there who won’t mind brutal criticism–eh, sorry, I don’t sugar-coat. If you want to learn, take it bark and all. There’s somebody out there who won’t mind being told to re-do from the ground up, who won’t mind learning how to think in a logical and very structured manner. That person would be quite welcome at Didaskale, the name of the new site, when it goes up, of course.

So, when I can get on here, I will post here. When I can’t, I won’t hurt my heart over it. What I want to retain is the marvelous WP community of people with like interests. So, this site will remain active.

On again…

Today, I am able to access the site. I am stunned, shocked, and amazed that I got access on the first try.

Anyway, my connection blues will be over soon because I must return to the USA shortly. I will return to China for a visit and for business, but not to work and live. I won’t miss the traffic, but I will miss seeing the social and other physical changes occurring right before my eyes.

Fun and Adventures in Setting up a Website

So far, I’ve tried two website providers, one is Webhostingpad.com. No doubt, they are a nice company, but the setting up of the site was hanging up on them noticing that I was in China whilst the address I gave is in the USA. That’s my billing address for my credit card, I said. Since I couldn’t call them, you can’t call international direct without a calling card, they sent me a PDF form for me to fill out and fax my card number with signature.

I’m in the land of copiers, people who can duplicate anything, and I’m supposed to fax credit card and signature info? I told Webhostingpad to make my day and cancel the order. They were asking for the same info I’d already given them, and they wanted me to out it at risk via fax. Genius.


It seems I have no choice but to move the blog since the VPN I use is blocked more often than it opens a tunnel. Some days, nothing happens, no matter how many retries.

So, I’m going to set up my own domain at Grapson!. I will try to maintain this blog. The new site will also be a WordPress site.

Note, the URL for the site will be simplywarped.com, since I’m combining the two. The store stays at Etsy, but it would be nice for folks to find me should they forget the Etsy address.

I should be set up on the new site by next Monday or Tuesday, and I will blog about it if I can get through.