Friday Favorites: Fruit & Veg, Great Pottery Throw Down, Bruce Hornsby and The Range

Today is a typical Maine March day—gray, drizzly, depressing. In Maine, Covid-19 cases have not dropped, and according to the New York Times, Maine’s Covid risk is deemed very high. In addition, there are forces throughout the country that are on the rampage, trying to make voting as hard as possible for people who don’t look like they do, as Bruce Hornsby would put it.

Plus, WordPress has cast its wicked magic, and I am trapped in the kingdom of Block Editor. I know some bloggers actually like it, and that’s great. But for a poor old hack like me, who has more projects to fill my time than there are hours in the day, the last thing I need is a new blogging format to figure out. (Whine, whine, whine just might lead to wine, wine, wine late this afternoon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Eventually I’ll get used to Block Editor. I just hate spending this much time on it when I have other writing to work on.

Therefore, this Friday I really, really needed simple pleasures to cheer me up, and just in the nick of time, all the way from my blogging friend Betsy in California, came this assortment of deliciousness. An added bonus is that I had never had kumquats before, and what a treat to sample these tart, citrusy gems, which come from Betsy’s backyard. (The lemons come from her backyard, too, and the artichokes from a farmers market.) Many, many thanks, Betsy!

Onward to media! For a soothing, fun show—much like The Great British Baking Show—you can’t beat The Great Pottery Throw Down, recommended to me by my blogging friend Quercus. Several things make Throw Down a bingeable series: quirky judges, plenty of time spent getting to know the various contestants, and the sheer audacity of some of the items that are made. For example, toilets. Have you ever thought of constructing a toilet out of clay? And then actually have it flush? No? Neither have I, and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to go about it. While I could probably manage a badly constructed plate or mug, a toilet is an engineering feat far, far beyond my capabilities.

We watch the show on HBO Max, which requires a subscription. You might be able to get the show on other channels.

Because I mentioned Bruce Hornsby in my opening paragraph, this week’s featured music is “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Some of you might remember this terrific song from 1986. Unfortunately, Hornsby’s message is still relevant today.

But on a happier note—dang, that man can play the piano.

Here are favorites and simple pleasures from other blogging friends.

Ju-Lyn, from Touring My Backyard, is enjoying a new extension of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

From Thistles and Kiwis, so many delightful simple pleasures, including food, dance, books, going to the hairdresser, and blogging friends. Hear, hear for blogging friends, who not only expand horizons but remind us that there are so many good people around the globe.

74 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Fruit & Veg, Great Pottery Throw Down, Bruce Hornsby and The Range”

  1. I am bereft! The Great Pottery Throw Down’s latest series has just finished. No more oddballs and a lachrymose Wreck It Ralph look alike for another year ๐Ÿ˜ข
    As for the WP editor๐Ÿ˜ต I have been using a loophole to continue using the classic editor but this morning the loophole had been closed. It makes me feel weary just thinking about tackling the new editor but I would like to keep blogging and I suppose it must be done. Your blog looks fine apart from the video being unavailable.

    1. Same thing happened to me. I had been using the loophole, too, and now it is closed. Another overseas blogging friend mentioned that she couldn’t play the video, either. We—meaning my geek-boy husband—will be looking into it. Thanks for letting me know.

    2. Closed loop hole flummoxed me this morning ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      And they keep asking me to pay for a site – no way if this is they way they behave! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
      If they said I could have the old easy to use Classic , I might consider paying – is that their dastardly plan I wonder!

      1. I think it’s a case of Those at the Top believe they have to keep innovating to stay relevant. Unfortunately, they already had a system that was very good and didn’t really need improvement. So by “innovating” they made things worse. Probably put a heck of lot of time and money into development and aren’t about to back down.

  2. Thanks for the mention! How lovely to receive fruit fresh from someoneโ€™s garden – a real small pleasure. I loved that Bruce Hornsby song too. The link was not available to me either – maybe a copyright thing?

    1. Wow! My husband had no trouble getting it on his computer. I wonder if it’s another Block Editor quirk, and there are trouble with overseas links? Who knows? Wonder how my next podcast will do? Anyway, will continue to check into it. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. I got locked out of the Classic Editor loophole this week, too. I was able to at least choose Classic Block, but I had to google how to do pretty well everything I wanted to do, and the online articles, which were helpful, were not written by WP. I havenโ€™t tried a video link yet. As a retired CS prof, I would give a 4-year student team producing this new interface a C-, and that would be very generous, with many comments about its user-unfriendly shortcomings. Sigh.

  4. Whine to wine. LOL … good one … Great song by BH. In terms of the Block Editor. I don’t know where you draft/create – but I do it outside of WP, then cut/paste into a new post and go from there. Good luck.

  5. Fresh produce, direct from the grower, doesn’t get better than that!
    I have grown used to the Block Editor, but it still has parts I can’t figure out, alas. It is definitely one of the biggest challenges they’ve thrown our way since I started blogging. But the WP blogging community makes it worth the learning curve. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Kumquats and lemons. homegrown from California, sounds wonderful! I have not been trapped in block editor, yet. Last time I posted I still had choice. I might be surprised one of these days.

  7. I loved the video. It played for me just fine. As for getting things back in order, there are ways. I’ve reclaimed both the old Admin sidebar and the Classic editor. If you haven’t figured it out yet, drop me a line and I’ll send the instructions. Then, if they work for you and you want to post them here, they might help others.

    Those look like Myer lemons — my favorite! We have loquats here (I don’t know if we have kumquats or not) and the birds and squirrels love them as much as some people. They do tend toward tartness, though, and I confess they’re not my favorite.

    1. Thanks for the offer, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and “Attack the Block.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ As for kumquats…I’ve become hooked! Love those little burst of tart delights.

  8. Hi, Laurie – I avoided the Word Press Block Ediitor like the plague for years. Then, somewhere during the pandemic, I thought ‘how bad could it be?’ and took the plunge. It honestly was easy-peasy and I have never looked back. In my case, I spent more time worrying about the switch than actually making it. Wishing you a very smooth transition to ‘The Block’ as well! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I really feel for you, Laurie. I struggled with Block a year or so back; even with the tech help from Older Daughter I was very much disgruntled and kept sneaking back to Classic. I wish it were a better tale about perseverance etc etc, but as it turned out, I took a blogging break for some weeks, returned to write again and suddenly, Block was just the modus operandi. But I am also the person who can reread books countless times because I seem to forget enough from the previous read to still make it exciting!

    So, I know all this is absolutely no help to you, except to say, I feel you.

    P/S How wonderful to receive the care package all the way from California. I have to ask, would this be any chance Betsy K?

  10. You frighten me! I have been sneaking around to use the Classic Editor – why, oh why are they insisting on this change? Unfortunately I am told that your video is unavailable. I will have to look for a version online. I really enjoy your Friday Favourites ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hope you can continue using Classic Editor for a long time. Checked into the video problem, and it seems that some videos in U.S. are blocked to play overseas. Don’t know why, and it’s not easily evident to me which ones will play for everyone.

  11. I hope you and Clif are able to get the vaccine soon if there are high cases in Maine. These are unsettling times, but better than last year!
    Just as everyone has said, I felt a bit overwhelmed by Block Editor, at first. My daughter made the good point that Block editor has to be for everyone, from hobby bloggers to graphic designers…and the ”how to” Utube videos I’ve watched give much more information than most bloggers like us need.
    Good luck with it all. Maybe time for a glass of wine!

    1. Next week, we’re going to be looking around for more places to get the vaccine. We feel as though our names slipped through the cracks. Your daughter makes a valid point. However, why can’t WordPress offer both Classic and Block, a simple version for simple folks and a more complicated version for those who want it? Well, into every life some rain must fall. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Whine to wine! Great idea!!

    I am glad I’m not alone in needing distraction from the state of affairs in our country. It’s beyond belief. I wish I could see the future and could be reassured our democracy pulls through. But I’m worried that if I could see ahead I’d be disappointed.

    1. I am bereft that there are no more season of the Throw Down here. HBO offers the first three and I understand you all are watching Season 4, which will eventually make its way across the pond. Now, onward to The Great Flower Fight, which Netflix has just started offering. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Enjoy your fresh fruit and veg. I enjoy having surplus to give away so the act brings joy to both the giver and the recipient. Homegrown has so much more flavour than commercially produced stuff.

    I have several blog posts in my head and am now wishing I had written them and saved them! I had been using the new editor but I guess even that will have been ‘inproved’. Luckily my tame geek is coming next week so I can have help if I need it. I suspect he will be pretty scathing about it all too.

  14. As you know, I do two blogs. Suddenly this week, the volunteer blog classic loophole was gone, and I had to do a couple of posts. I said a few not so kind words about those WordPress engineers and had to google every step of the way. The most ironic step was hitting ‘immediate’ to publish in order to access ‘schedule’ a post. I don’t like it, and it certainly annoys me that I’m paying for it and being required to jump through all these unnecessary hoops. Okay, now I need some chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Love your whine to wine idea! A week ago, I discovered that the Classic editor was no longer available. My primary complaint with WordPress is that every time they change the editor it disrupts my image placements. I do know some code, but it takes me awhile to get it right so I would rather not brush off my coding skills. So now, I had to bite the bullet and figure out the block editor. I was surprised that it only took me about an hour or two to get the hang of manipulating my images. Good luck to you on learning to deal with the changes. Perhaps another glass of wine will help?

  16. Oy. Don’t get me started on Block Editor! For me, it has no advantages. As grateful as I am to WP in general, I don’t know why it decided to focus on becoming more of a design program than a writing platform. And I’m really bothered by the new insistence on making non-WP readers sign in every time to make a comment. Terrible!

    1. Excellent point about focusing on becoming more of a design program than a writing program. An awful lot of us just want to write and add pictures. Nothing fancy. It’s a good thing for WordPress that there is such a warm, worldwide community, or people would be leaving in droves.

  17. I love that Bruce Hornsby song. That came out when I had just graduated college and it spoke to me then as much as it does now. I’ll have to look up that pottery show. I’d never heard of it.

    1. Such a good song. Alas, still relevant today. The Great Pottery Throw Down is so good, and I am feeling bereft now that we have watched the three seasons available in the U.S. However, Netflix has announced that The Great Flower Show is now available. Bring it on! It’s a winning formula, that’s for sure.

  18. Yes, each โ€œupgradeโ€ in WordPress (and all these other apps) makes me less concerned with bothering to figure out how much better things might be… guess Iโ€™m not too interested in all the options other than writing (Iโ€™ve maxed out on media/photos data storage, so until I take the time to delete stuff, I do not need to figure out the latest easy way to drop and drop photos). I did notice that you are doing podcasts now. I havenโ€™t tried to figure these out (listening to yours).

    Anyway, I grew up with a kumquats tree in the neighborโ€™s yard on the way home from school. They never made the trip home, where I probably should have washed them off before eating them… Iโ€™m still alive. – Oscar

  19. I love the Bruce Hornsby song Laurie and remember getting the 12″ vinyl version when it was first released! I’ve been using the block editor for a year and a half now and prefer it to Classic Editor any time. It’s very straightforward and worth getting to know ๐Ÿ’œ

  20. Great song!!๐Ÿ™‚ I know the health experts kept telling the states that this was not the time to ease restrictions, but I never thought the COVID-19 cases would be surging this much in our state since there are many restrictions still in place. Luckily the weather has improved enough to sit out on the deck occasionally.

  21. I like Hornsby, Laurie. And yes, sadly the message is the same. Things in the US are mind-boggling between covid-deniers, voter suppression, and gun violence. Not to mention block editor! What strange creatures human beings are. Thank goodness for fruit and a creativity! Have a lovely week.

    1. It’s a good one. And when you have finished with that, you can move on to the Great Flower Fight, which, to quote a blogging friend, is absolutely bonkers. But fun!

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