Experimenting with new themes

WordPress will be rolling out Gutenberg soon. It’s a new way of doing things that will be simultaneously easier to use and more powerful. It will also break some old WordPress plugins and themes. So, this blog is moving to Gutenberg-compatible themes and plugins now, well in advance of the event. The previous theme here, Canvas, is officially not compatible. Canvas developers have told people to find new themes and it is not possible to make it compatible. 

I’ll be adding a header image to this theme soon. Wanted to get it active first so I could look at it and experiment with it before adding a header.

So, expect this blog to be changing look-and-feel on an ongoing basis for a while!

Woo hoo, if you can fog a mirror, you can get a mortgage again!

Nothing could possible go wrong with giving mortgages to higk-risk people with bad credit who are already already in debt up to their eyeballs. The allowable Debt To Income ratio used to be 25-30% but happily we shall have no more of that old school, boring, prudent borrowing rubbish. Fannie Mae just raised the DTI limit to 50%! That means 50% of borrower pre-tax income can now go to servicing debt.

Now I hate to be Mr Grumpy here, but if you’re a millennial already choking on student loan debt and you get a high interest mortgage and half your income is going towards debt, then an unexpected dead car, medical expense, or job loss could quite rapidly lead to serious financial problems.

And please. Do not call these subprime loans. They are officially nonprime loans. I’m so glad they cleared that up for us. But then, a pig by any other name is still a pig.

Carrington will manually underwrite each loan, assessing the individual risks. But it will allow its borrowers to have FICO credit scores as low as 500. The current average for agency-backed mortgages is in the mid-700s. Borrowers can take out loans of up to $1.5 million on single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums. They can also do cash-out refinances, where borrowers tap extra equity in their homes, up to $500,000. Recent credit events, like a foreclosure, bankruptcy or a history of late payments are acceptable.

Fannie Mae raised its debt-to-income (DTI) limit from 45 percent to 50 percent. DTI is the amount of total debt a borrower can have compared to his or her income. As a result, demand from buyers with higher debt exceeded all expectations. The share of high DTI loans jumped from 6 percent in January 2017 to nearly 20 percent by the end of February 2018

The Doddering Dotard says maybe I won’t bomb Syria

So, various factions on the left are even more at war with each other than usual, this time over Syria. Is Assad a monstrous butcher or a fearless fighter against Islamist thugs? Are rebel freedom fighters actually fighting for freedom, and if so, just precisely what kind of freedom is it? Might be the freedom to oppress women and torture dissents.

It might well be there are no good guys in this mess. All of this is made worse by the US changing allies there they way most of us change socks, i.e. daily. Constantly. Worse, no little thought seems to go into what we do there. What is the endgame? What result do we want? Do we think our constant interfering is making anything better for anyone there?

Into this quagmire strides the Doddering Dotard, who first says by golly, we’re going to bomb Assad, which of course gives Assad’s forces plentiful time to prepare and hide. Then a couple of days later Dotard says, only kidding maybe we won’t bomb at all.

Some try to divine some deep hidden plan from into Trump’s bizarre ramblings, like he’s somehow playing n-dimensional chess in hyperspace. Nope, he’s not. He’s an increasingly senile old man who knows that law enforcement has closed in on him and that family, friends, close associates may lose everything and go to prison. He may too.

Drought intensifies in Southwest

Drought Monitor

Gutenberg Times. Required reading for what is coming in WordPress

WordPress is replacing its aging engine with an entirely new way of doing things called Gutenberg. Everything will based on blocks, which are little modules of code. Rather than developers writing themes and plugins in their own way (which sometimes step on each others, resulting in plugin incompatibilities, which can be a serious issue) everything going forward will be based on these blocks, and available to all. Themes, plugins, and soon, the editor will be based on these blocks.

Yes, there will be pain. Some plugins and themes will have issues. To stay current with what is happening, I highly recommend reading Gutenberg Times and following their Twitter account. Lots of excellent information, and it’s all in one place.

You can also install Gutenberg for the Editor plugin on your WordPress blog now and test it for any incompatibilities. You can also use the Classic Editor at any time too. The Gutenberg editor will be the default in the upcoming 5.0 version of WordPress. There will be a plugin to allow users to use the Classic editor, so no worries.

I’m creating this post with Gutenberg and really like it. It is easier to use, more intuitive, and more powerful than the Classic editor. Give it a try. (Two paragraphs above has an alternate background color and uses a drop cap. This is complicated to do in Classic Editor and takes just a couple of clicks in Gutenberg.