Please, no more improvements

Oh my.

Have just logged onto the blog, and discover that … WordPress has made improvements.

More improvements, looks like. After the improvements of just a few months back.

User interface a mystery.

Fleeting, pop-up directions for restoring old user interface, now seeping out of working memory as I type. (Pop up is stored where, exactly?)

On the bright side, apparently I can now change text color.

Block editor no fun

WordPress’s new block editor is the pits.

I used to be able to easily change the color of a font, now I can’t.

Used to be able easily to change font size by inserting html code, now I can, but it’s super-hard to do inside a blockquote.

Plus I don’t really grok what a block is anyway, so it’s not like I’m thrilled to finally have blocks.


I’ve just successfully changed the light grey default color of a blockquote to black (below). Let’s see if I have any idea how I did it when I want to do it again.

test: a blockquote in black, not grey

UPDATE 6:04: I may have just found the Classic editor. Time to stop obsessing over this & go make some more union calls.

Housekeeping, Chrome edition

This is annoying.

The template we’re using doesn’t show up on Chrome.

Our blog posts are supposed to be framed by a sea-foam color.

Firefox and Safari both show a sea-foam frame. 

Chrome doesn’t.

Plus we now have a logo (designed by Katie’s artist daughter !) for the express purpose of posting stuff to Twitter & FB . . . and the logo doesn’t show up on Twitter & FB.

I foresee hours of instruction-reading and code-wrangling in the days to come.

GoogleMaster is the Google Master

GoogleMaster found it!

I’m trying to remember if I named GoogleMaster GoogleMaster.

It was either me, or Carolyn, back at the original Kitchen Table Math, which is languishing in Internet limbo because someone stole the URL & tried to sell it back to me for $400. 

Since I don’t negotiate with terrorists, I have to pick a new domain name before GoDaddy can restore the site elsewhere.

Actually, I do negotiate with terrorists; I think I told whoever it was that took the name I’d pay them 200 bucks to get it back. I didn’t feel like paying them $200 any more than I felt like paying them $400, but I figured what the hell. At least we’d both be unhappy. 

They blew me off, so I blew them off. 

Now I have to pick a new domain name, and it’s taken me two years not to get around to doing it.


And see:
All guess, no check
Not a potted plant
No guess, no check
Google Master is the Google Master

Someone is wrong on the Internet

I’ve just noticed that the Financial Times has a “Someone is wrong on the Internet” series.

I love it !

We need one, too.

I’m thinking I should start by posting my collection of danglers. 

Here’s a good one:

When approached at his home at the end of a leafy cul-de-sac, Kennedy’s stepmother Deborah, refused to comment and drove in through the automatic gates. 
– Exclusive: This is the 22-year-old ‘heroin addicted’ convinced armed robber who was Aaron Hernandez’s prison lover and the last person to see him alive – now on suicide watch by Martin Gould | 4/24/2017

Something is dangling on the Internet.

Also, someone is putting commas between subjects and predicates.

(Kennedy’s mother Deborah, [SUBJECT] refused to comment … [PREDICATE] )

And see: Are danglers wrong ?

Catherine and Katharine


Catherine: Katharine Beals and I have a new project coming out this month: a linguistically-based, do-it-yourself writing curriculum embedded in Ed Berenson’s textbook for Oxford, Europe in the Modern World: A New Narrative History since 1500.

It’s one of a kind: all of the exercises use sentences from the text, so students learn how to write about history using the history they’re actually learning.

Writing should be taught inside the disciplines, not outside, but for many history professors that’s really not feasible. Today’s students enter college needing help with sentence structure, paragraphing, cohesion — they need extensive work on the fundamentals. It’s too much to manage inside one course.

That’s the problem. Only a handful of colleges and universities offer discipline-specific writing classes situated inside departments; most rely on stand-alone composition classes and writing centers.

Our solution: a sequence of step-by-step, do-it-yourself exercises that begin with the sentence and end with the history paper. Professors can spend as much or as little time overseeing the exercises as they wish.

We’re excited.

I’ve been blogging at Kitchen Table Math since 2005, mostly about math education, but more recently, after becoming an instructor of freshman English, about grammar and composition.

I’ll pick that story up later on. Here’s Katharine —–

Katharine, here: I’ve been blogging at Out in Left Field since 2008, and posted my final pieces this past week–including a couple on penmanship and one on my autistic son J. I’m excited to join Catherine here at

You can read more about each of us here.