Pre-Historic Migrations

We all know what happens on great migrations when the trail boss doesn’t have a map.


You may have noticed something strange going on around here.  Bleating and mooing.  Jostling and trampling.  Lots of dust in the air.  Parched skeletal remains lining the dune crests.  Jawas in dune crawlers.  (Wait, that’s a different movie.)

Well, it ain’t The Land Before Time XXIII, but it may as well be.  The site formerly known as has begun a great migration.  Yes, the whole herd of web pages.  Flocks of images.  Schools of articles.  Judgments of crows.  Which, by the way, is my favorite term for a group of a species, even if pretty much irrelevant here– except for the web critics, who tend to perch from the nearest high point and… judge.  OK, it is relevant, even if a digression.

Why is the herd migrating to the Great Valley?  Because, frankly, the old watering hole dried up.  Ye former web host never had many features going for it, and the support  had become a barren wasteland of unanswered emails and unreturned voice messages.  Ergo, when WordPress announced a sale on domains, I whipped up the menagerie and off we went.

Of course, we all know what happens on great migrations when the trail boss doesn’t have a map.  Hubristically I just thought that I would be able to plunk down my existing HTML pages and flip some magic switch– a switch that I assumed would discover later– and viola! A website would be (re)born.  Kind of like flying to Mars, hoping that somebody would invent a way to generate oxygen after we got there.  Or, like voting to make New Mexico totally dependent on renewable energy, hoping that some vague population of engineering interns somewhere would one day invent a storage architecture so vast that we can actually use our lights at NIGHT.  Kind of like that.

As things turn out, under WordPress’s system, there are several things one cannot do:

  • Create subfolders to organize images or files
  • Hyperlink directly to an image, unless one knows the internal, unique code that WordPress assigns to each image.
  • Compose web pages externally and upload them in a turnkey manner.

As a result, instead of dropping in my pages fully formed and hitting the [START] button, I am forced to recreate each page, upload images into a common bucket, and manually link each and every image into each and every page, thumbnails and all.  For about seven THOUSAND images.  7,000 pictures.  6.836K photos.  1101101011000 pix.  Or, to put it simply:  A lot.

A big, fat, time-consuming, tendinitis-inducing lot.

For the past three months or so I have gamely soldiered on, revising and recreating techniques and templates to simplify things, then going after the low-hanging fruit, expanding the reach, discarding or deprioritizing content, and slowly I am filling in the gaps.  For instance as of this writing (April 8th 2019) I have mostly completed the D&RGW section, the Ski Train, the Rio Grande Zephyr, the BNSF section, the SP and UP sections, the BN and ATSF sections, the model railroad area, and have even begun the D&SNG segment.  It’s coming along.

Originally, I had considered just letting Actionroad die a natural death, but was persuaded by someone dear to me to keep it going and rebuild it.  Knowing what I know now, I probably would have administered coup de grace last December.  But, I’ve paid for 2 years of service, so it’ll keep going that long at least.  Maybe by then I will get to the more obscure areas.  Or just leave them out in the desert to die with the rest of the weaklings.

Git along, little dogies.


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