Friday, June 2, 2017

Is Anybody Out There?

And would you mind letting me know?

Hey, I'm in a screen!

Tap… tap… tap… this thing on? Hello?

I used to be much more prolific on this blog! Shame on me for not posting more often, I suppose, but if you’re one of the elite folks reading this now, could you let me know with a like or a comment, please? I’d appreciate knowing this goes somewhere… maybe? Thank you! 🙂

So where have I been?

When I started posting a few years ago, it was to educate myself on the nuances of WordPress and blogging, which I feel like I accomplished to the degree I was after. Then I got into my art site (, which has become my primary creative outlet, even creeping into this blog with posts about what goes into my art and the occasional exhibition. Add to that the fun but demanding task of raising a toddler, and well… you get the picture.

Many posts over here still get regular activity, like the one on Cheap Trick and the occasional blogging writeup, and there will remain forever those I’m especially proud of for connecting with authors (like Alexis Madrigal, Neil Strauss, or Jon Ronson). There’s just now a bit more time between them (more like a lot, but hey). Nevertheless, I’ll keep this thing going.

So anyway, thanks for reading, and know that I’d love to hear you’re out there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What I Like About Surrealism

What appeals to me most about surrealism is a sense of connection and transcendence – or even just the possibilities of their taking place. I think we’re all looking to transcend in some way, to explore or become part of something outside ourselves. And yet mostly we go about our routines amid similar scenery so much that our days can seem to blur into one another.

Flying Into the Doric Sea - Richard Smith

Flying Into the Doric Sea – Richard J. Smith

I like to think of my art as an expansion or slowing down of time, taking a focused approach to those moments where ordinary elements from our regular experience become magnified and juxtaposed in ways that achieve transcendence on multiple levels – from the first sighting (“oh, hey, that’s cool”) to a deeper study (“woah… what is that???”) – so that my compositions not only bring dissociative elements together, but also offer deeper appreciation of elementary surroundings. And then all this coalesces in viewers’ minds in fashions unique to individual experience and interpretation. I’ve actually seen it take place in real time when I’ve shown my work, and it’s a great thrill to get completely unique reactions from others looking at my art, something I’ve put together on with my own hands, using pieces of my own ordinary scenery, magnified and blended with any number of disparate elements from all over the country. To me, that’s the ultimate and most rewarding transcendence, maybe even happening right now.

The above is a quick rundown of my thinking on and appreciation for surrealism that I wrote for, where I am a featured artist, among many other wonderful creators. The goal of the site, in its own words, is “to promote contemporary surrealism and surreal artists. Whether it’s Pop-surrealism, visionary art, psychedelic, or dark art, we love fantastic art.”


And just for fun, here’s a live version of “What I Like About You” live from 1980 that seems a bit surreal with the random crowd footage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to Exclude a Post or Page from WordPress Search Results

I needed to have one post in a site I’m building not appear in search results. I came across this handy bit of code that totally does the trick, and it works for a page, too:

/** Exclude from search */
function mySearchFilter($query) {
if ($query->is_search) {
$excludeId = 199;
$query->set('post__not_in', array($excludeId));
return $query;

Copy and paste the above code in your theme’s Functions file:

Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Editor > Functions.php

Then, replace “199” in this example with the ID of the page or post you want excluded. To find the ID, edit the page or post in the dashboard and look for this number:


You might need to access the Functions.php file in your themes folder via FTP if you have a custom install.

This right here is one of the main reasons I love WordPress. Because it’s open source and so widely-adopted, chances are there’s a solution for whatever basic issue may arise. To find this result I just Googled, “How to exclude page in WordPress search” and was taken to this support discussion from several years ago. Even though it’s from a previous decade, the advice still worked, and I hope it might help you also.

What do you think? Have you ever been led to WordPress forums via Google search for a how-to type of question? How do you prefer to find answers to these issues? Let us hear from you in the comments.