February 11, 2007 § 11 Comments

\Tink”er\, v. i.To busy one’s self in mending old kettles, pans, etc.; to play the tinker; to be occupied with small mechanical works.

Having finished with the kettles, I’ve begun the task of categorizing all of my old posts, one that is clearly going to take some time. I’ve decided, somewhat arbitrarily, to limit myself to one season per day. Being mildly obsessive about such things, I think it’s the least dangerous way to proceed.

It’s been an interesting process, as it involves re-reading everything I’ve written here, which I haven’t done before. I’ve always had a tendency to write and run, which I suspect reveals something about my thinking that isn’t entirely flattering. Having said this, I’m noticing the way I circle back to things, sometimes forgetting earlier efforts, more often rearticulating them. No, that’s not quite what I meant; let me write it again. I’m also noticing how often I don’t write about things, even when I do.

The process then shifts to classifying seemingly random posts, and, retrospectively, discerning common themes. I’ve always wished I could be one of those bloggers who sticks to their subject, be it politics, food, or pure autobiography, or even to a consistent style. By contrast, The Smoking Section often feels scattered and indecisive, at least from this vantage point. Reading backwards, though, I’m surprised to discover threads which somehow conspire to hold the whole thing together, if just barely.

A fascinating endeavour, this blogging. I think I’ll keep at it for a while.


§ 11 Responses to Tinkering

  • mare says:

    The category tags under the entries (as opposed to the side bar) go to the main wordpress site, which is probably not your intention.
    It’s nice to browse through your archive with these tags, I hope you don’t look at my click trail :-)

    /should start working

  • I’ve false started doing this a couple of times, but your due dilligence is an inspiration. Organizing these things seems the way to go given the medium…

  • Frank says:

    The obsessiveness is a Virgo trait I think. I keep wanting to do this also and will likely do it when I make the jump. Getting the ship in order before moving on.

    I’ve noticed the same thing about looking back. Though I’m surprised how well I’ve gotten across what I wanted to in the way I wanted to.

    Don’t sweat the variety of topics. It’s what makes blogs more interesting.

  • Vila H. says:

    Mare–Well, that would certainly explain the massive increase in hits I’ve been getting. ;-) Unfortunately, WP doesn’t differentiate between categories and tags, so there’s no way to keep one’s posts out of the larger tag pool. Happily, I’m protected by my nom de guerre, which comes in handy at moments like this.

    Thanks, incidentally, for the back-up tip you sent me earlier. As it turns out, I didn’t need it for the move, and it will be much easier to do from here. Soon…

  • Vila H. says:

    Sparky–While I appreciate your confidence, I will point out that I haven’t finished the task yet. Wish me luck!

  • Vila H. says:

    Frank–Liz Greene nails it:

    Synthesis means bringing together different things, like a good cook performing miracles of culinary genius with a random array of leftover bits from yesterday’s meals. Synthesis also means finding compatible things or ideas or aspects of life which most people find mutually exclusive. Virgo’s compulsion and gift both lie in this area of synthesis. Everything must be fitted together and made to blend. That means finding out where everything fits by naming it, learning about it, categorizing it, classifying it. Virgo is the Great Classifier.

    And there’s another bit I quite like:

    With Mercury, God of intelligence and communication, as the present ruler of the sign, you’d expect a love of acquiring knowledge. The difference between Virgo and Gemini, however, both of which are ruled by Mercury, is that Gemini loves bits and snippets of knowledge for their own sake. For Virgo, knowledge is relevant only if it is useful.


  • mare says:


    You can easily change the template so the TAG links under posts go to “https://thesmokingsection.wordpress.com/tag/blogging/” instead of “http://wordpress.com/tag/blogging/”.

    I think it’s just an oversight in the template, it expects a domain, and not a subdomain.

    O, and I’m also obsessed sometimes, and I’m not a Virgo.

  • Vila H. says:

    Mare–That sounds delightfully simple, but I’m afraid it won’t work. From the WP support page:

    “You cannot add or remove any html to any theme. This is for security reasons.”

    Remember, I am at wordpress.com, not wordpress.org, where I would presumably be able to do this. Any other suggestions?

  • mare says:

    Any other suggestions?

    I’m afraid not. I think it’s very strange, because the tooltip that displays when you hover over the tag shows “view all posts in Meta” and it seems strange that the reader is interested in all posts on the Internet with tag Meta.

    I looked at a couple of other wordpress blogs and they also have this behaviour. It must be a feature then, to draw traffic to the wordpress.com site.

    Workaround? Put something in front of your categories names like SS-Meta, SS-Humour, et cetera. But then you have to tinker all of them again.

    Or you can get get your own hosting. It’s not that expensive, about $US 3 a month gets you a domain name and more GBs of traffic than you’ll ever need. If you click here I even get a referral fee :-)

  • […] As Mare has already noted, the category links under each post will direct you to the WordPress category pool, so I recommend using the sidebar list should you wish to explore.  Please do. […]

  • mtlanglo says:

    I just tried doing this to my blog, too- I’m surprised no one has a Blogger plug-in that would do it for you…

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