This just in… About.com has listed the 15 best motorcycle roads in America. As with all lists of this nature, I doubt anyone would agree that this is a conclusive list or in the correct order. Regardless, in my experience, it’s a good list.
Of the 15 best motorcycle roads listed, I’m fortunate to have traveled the following: #15: WA-129/OR-3, #11: Natchez Trace Mississippi, #7: Cherohala-Skyway in Tennessee, #6: Going to Sun Road in Glacier Park,
#5: Rte 1 in California, #4: US 550 “The Million Dollar Highway” in Colorado, #3: US-129 “Tail of the Dragon” in N. Carolina, #2: Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, and #1: Bear-Tooth Highway Montana-Wyoming (photo above left is Bear-Tooth Mountain).
A group of my buddies plan to ride #8 California Rte 36 this fall. I will now try to work in #10: CA-2 “Angeles Crest Highway” and maybe #8 CA-36 to the coming fall ride.
I use Picasa to edit my photos when I’m being lazy and have a lot of photos to do. It is easy editing. I can apply simple filters, crop, add captions on the fly, and finally export to optimized size and quality. It has worked great for me over the years.
I also use GIMP which is an excellent (free under the GNU license) photo editor. I believe it does a much better job of enhancing photos, but more complex and time consuming, so I use it when I have the time or need for better quality.
As a part of the site theme renovation, I needed to re-edit the 2014 “You Can’t Go Back” ride photo galleries. Some of the galleries had 40+ photos and some had 10. I wanted to balance the number of photos in each gallery so, decided to use Picasa for this since my focus was on getting the job done.
First step was to evenly redistribute the 300+ photos for the ride to folders in Picasa. I then began uploading the folders to galleries via the NextGen plugin. The problem I ran into was the captions were not uploading with the photos. Actually, all the metadata/exif data was stripped from the files, but I was only concerned with the captions.
At first, I considered redoing all 300+ captions in WordPress, but that would be time consuming. Instead I spent a few hours researching the problem on Google where I found a couple of vague hints that the problem might be with the plugin itself.
In a last ditch effort, before adding the caption manually, I turned to trial and error. I discovered that if I set NextGen Options to resize the photos, it stripped the metadata. If I resized photos in Picasa and turned off the resize option in NextGen, the metadata remained intact. Ghah!!! So simple, “…like the jitterbug, it plum evaded me!” (Jimmy Buffet, “God’s Own Drunk”)
Whew!!! I Worked all morning trying to fix tables and lists in the twenty sixteen theme. I actually broke a couple of other items in the process and spent most of my time trying to find and repair the offending code. It took much longer than expected due to, what a friend of mine calls, a rookie mistake.
Before embarking on the change of theme and adding menus to the blog I needed to setup a local site on my pc. This was needed in order to prevent breaking the live (online) site while tinkering with the theme, database, and other potentially hazardous items.
The process for creating a localhost (development) site:
Move all files from my host (Siteground.com) to localhost (my pc)
Exported SQL database from live site to localhost
WordPress admin worked, Yay!!! I could edit, create, and preview work
Problem: local views of posts/pages/photos were still coming from the live site
The database was not setup correctly. I tried many solutions but the thing that worked for me was using directions from mcdspot.comand their recommendation of using the WP Migrate DB plugin to migrate my database from the live to localhost site. Worked!!!
Now beginning full test of the local site
After I insure all is well, I’ll begin working on the new theme again
Then, I’ll continue transferring pages from the old web site to blog posts. Lots to do!
A problem immediately arose in that my host followed up the installation with a notice that I was seriously over my storage limit. I had too many photo galleries. I could have merely deleted some galleries, keeping a few to testing, but chose to create a local server instead. That way I wouldn’t have to pick and choose which photo galleries to keep for testing.
I finished creating the development server on one of my local machines and added my WordPress site to it. This was a major undertaking using XAMPP, WordPress 4.41, and transferring my WordPress database to the new server. There was lots of detail in this and it took a week, several hours a day of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to get everything working. I do have one small (I hope) hiccup to fix, but it doesn’t affect my testing of the development site itself.
Over the next few days, weeks, or months (depending on luck/skills)…
I will customize the Twenty-Sixteen theme.
Create a new menu system
Add the NextGen Pro Galleries and Albums to the blog
Then, back to moving stuff from the web site to the WordPress blog
Note: I’ve redirected the web site “www.hog-blog.net” domain to the www.hog-blog.net/wordpress subdomain. So, the web site is no longer available. You do not need to do anything but you might notice the “/wordpress” in the URL after entering “hog-blog.net.”
This post should have displayed one of my photo galleries using my upgraded NextGen Plus plugin. As you can plainly see, the only thing here is text. What this tells me is, it’s time to do some major deep cleaning and some dusting of the site.
When the plugin didn’t work in my post a little research indicated that my current theme, which had not been updated by the developer in a couple of years, would not work with the new plugin. I verified this by testing the post with the latest WordPress theme, Twenty-Sixteen. It worked.
The WordPress engine recently received a major overhaul with version 4.41 making it “responsive”. This means the posts, pages, photos, etc. will automagically adjust to various devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets and computers). My old theme is not responsive.
I’ve known it was time to renovate for sometime so this is not a surprise.
Bottom line, I have to adapt all the posts and pages to the new theme AND republish all my photo gallery pages with the correct NextGen Plus code. The latter I can easily do live. The preceding would be more dangerous if done live. I will have to redesign my menus and make sure all plugins play nicely with the new theme. I could actually break my site.
To avoid breaking my live site I need to create a development server on which to test the new theme. Setting the server up will take time. Tweaking the theme to suit my needs will take more time.