Large parts of the past three days have been spent down the rabbit hole that is modifying a WordPress theme, with extra time recovering from blank screens of death and other assorted niceties, all, thankfully, here at home rather than on the live site.

I had forgotten both how tortuous the whole business can be and how satisfying it can be to succeed doing the least little thing. Tortuous because although there are guidelines and handbooks, every individual theme designer has their own way of doing things. My task is to figure out how they did what they did, usually from a position of profound ignorance. Luckily for me Raam Dev, designer of my chosen parent theme Independent Publisher, was on hand to give me a couple of tips that nudged me on my way.

Satisfying too, that by a combination of judicious searching, plagiarism and trial and error, I was able to achieve most of what I was hoping to do.

Á propos the judicious searching, though, I'm still not sure why most (all?) search engines barely take date into account when presenting results. It's great to be offered pages full of hits for add search to wordpress menu but when the top few seem to date from five years ago and more, it seems a bit pointless. This week's choice read -- "Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance" by Maciej Cegłowski -- which people elsewhere describe as "must read" rather than my own version, "must act" -- contains wisdom on teaching social software to forget. Maybe it would be good if search engines too could remember to be a bit forgetful.

Anyway, I've done as much as I can with this new theme of mine here at home. Time to try it out in the real world. Sunday is generally a quiet day, so here goes nothing.

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