Let me begin by saying I am not a web developer, or at least I never thought of myself as one, nor did I ever really aspire to be one. However, I am also a penny pincher sometimes, and am unwilling to pay others for something I can do for myself.

So, today I had the dubious pleasure of messing with this site, trying to get my blog posts to nicely sort themselves into nice clean pages based on their category. All the help files spell it out as a simple two step process. But it wasn’t working. No matter what I did I got the dreaded 404 error – this page can not be found. Ugh!!!

I tried over and over. I added new pages, configured them every which way imaginable, put them in the trash, and then, lest they negatively impact something with their ghost, returned to permanently deleted them.

All to no avail.

I searched the web, my search phrase, “category and page” come up all sorts of ways, always the same simple two step process that wasn’t working for me. Then I stumbled across something too ‘techy’ for me to understand clearly – BUT – it had a new phrase describing my malady, perhaps it would be a valid search phrase to generate the information I lacked.

Well, things got even more ‘techy’ with reference to themes, php pages, and editing templates. All my common sense rebelled at this information – after all, it is a two step process. How difficult can it be?

And then I saw it, the comment that some website templates have a bug when it comes to displaying blogs by category.

At this point I was about 5 hours into a project I previously thought would take, oh, maybe 30 minutes. My frustration was through the roof. I had even sent a note to my “Happiness Engineer” – after 2 hours he hadn’t responded yet either.

And then, a reference to permalink… hum… I know the issue is related to the link. I may as well check it out. Well, what I discovered was enough to fix the problem. Yes, I had the bug in my theme, Wedge, in case you also have it. Buried deep in the permalink screen was a field for category links, and it had a period in the field. Should not have been there.

Removed that errant dot and then everything began working as it ought to. 🙂

About 3 hours later my “Happiness Engineer” got back to me, I told him what the problem was, and suggested they have whomever maintains the theme update it so others don’t suffer the same wasted Saturday afternoon I did.

So, did this experience make me think maybe next time I should pay someone. No, maybe it should have, but it more convinced me if I mess with something, even something I don’t really know or understand, eventually I can figure it out. 

And, all that reminds me of this really good Bible study in the YouVersion called The Last Arrow. It is about not giving up, not quitting. Success may be almost in our grasp, just a micro-inch away, but if we quit before our time, we can’t succeed. We are called to succeed, to move forward, conquer obstacles, and give those things we have committed to our all.

I am very fortunate to work for a company that encourages employee wellness. For the last several years I’ve had a high-deductible health plan combined with a health savings account. One of our benefits is the opportunity to participate in a wellness program in which we have an opportunity to earn cash deposits into our health savings plan by meeting pre-defined daily step goals. So, this backdrop provides the following story.

Years ago I got my first Fitbit, it was a lovely little gadget, a big improvement over the basic pedometer I’d been using. Those 5 little lights indicated my status toward meeting my daily step goal. Over a couple of years I walked a lot, so much my chiropractor challenged me to run in a 5K he was sponsoring. So I did. At some point my Fitbit wristband broke. They replaced it. But, I had moved beyond walking, and wanted more.

I think my next tracker was a MisFit Shine. I really liked the size, and for the time, style of the Shine. And, if you understood the code, it doubled as a watch. I was really moving up in the world of trackers. Then, close to my end of warranty, the Shine slipped out of the bracelet, and was lost. I contacted MisFit, they replaced it.

At this point I began to wonder if the fitness tracker industry had to replace nearly every device sold. My faith in the MisFit began to wane. Somewhere around this time I believe I upgraded to another tracker, my cell phone. RunKeeper was my app of choice. Back in December 2015 they sponsored the first global 5K, if you tracked your run on that date you could purchase a hoodie. I have the hoodie, and was very excited about participating, individually. Running in Small Town America, in a global 5K, with thousands of others, and all alone.

It wasn’t too long after that run that I wanted a real running tracker, something with GPS and maybe even a heart rate tracker. First I tried the Tom Tom Spark + music. It had everything I could ask for, and I loved it, despite it’s large and clunky size. But, alas, there was no method to get the daily steps from the Spark into the health tracking portal. I returned the Tom Tom, ultimately settling on a Garmin 325. The watch was huge, and was a nice smart watch with notifications, and great tracking of runs. Now I had more data than I needed, and ran based on heart rates not how I felt.

I kept that Garmin for about 2 years. Wore out the band, got a nice one from Amazon, but I suspect it will also wear out before long, the little band that you stick the excess strap into is just not robust enough. Speaking of the strap, as a diminutive lady, the strap wrapped all the way around, almost touching the body of the watch, so there was a lot of excess to keep corralled. I spent a lot of time, daily, fidgeting with the band, trying to keep it neat and tidy. It was always springing free and creating a cumbersome bulkiness on my petite wrist.

Then I saw the Apple Watch, series 3. Nice watch. Small, reasonable looking, while perhaps not stylish, it is at least more elegant than the Garmin. Still has GPS, still tracks heart rate, sleep, and all those Smart Watch features – including music! But it doesn’t talk to the health tracking portal. Ugh! I tried an intermediary software that would pull from the Heart app and push the data into FitBit – but it was only pushing the steps taken with the phone in hand, and I don’t carry my phone with me all day!  Finally identified an app that talks with the portal and my iPhone, and now everything is as it should be.

Yesterday I took my first run with the basic running app, it seemed to do well. Unfortunately I paused the tracking without realizing it, and failed to track about 3/4 of a mile. I’m looking forward to using the new watch to train for my first 2018 5K. One of the features of the watch is the ability to store music, and listen wirelessly. I can’t explain the liberty of running wireless. I kept commenting to my husband as I twirled around like Pinocchio, “There are no strings on me!”