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If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

One of my favorite books is Tortilla Flat. You may have heard of it, you may not have, but it’s mainly a story about how change isn’t always good. It’s one of my favorite books because of one particular story that has stuck with me for years.


There’s this single mom and she’s a migrant farm worker who spends her days gathering beans on a farm. The guy at the farm tells her that she can have all the beans that fall on the ground, as long as she saves the beans on the bush for paying customers.

So she uses the beans to feed her family. Everyday, breakfast, lunch and dinner, the kids have beans wrapped in a tortilla. That’s all her kids ever eat, tortillas and beans. But the thing is, they’re amazingly healthy. They’re neither under, nor overweight. They aren’t anemic or sickly. They’re happy, energetic kids.

Then, there’s a massive rain fall that ruins all the beans. On the edge of starvation, the lady turns to the main characters for help, asking if they can get her more beans.

So the guys do what they do best. They go around town, stealing as much food as they can for the family. But they think the lady deserves more than beans, so they steal milk, and fruit and white flour and give it all to the lady. They don’t give her any beans but knowing that beggars can’t be choosers, the lady takes all the food and gives it to her kids.

They don’t get healthier. Instead, the dairy gives them croup, the fruit gives them the runs and the white flower gives them stomachaches. Desperate again, the lady returns with a specific request.

All she wants is beans.

So the men steal a large sack of dried beans and give it to her. Soon after, the children return to perfect health. They all live happily ever after…at least until the main character dies in a fire.

The moral of the story? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

WordPress, you could probably take a lesson from Tortilla Flat.

You all might have noticed my page has changed. That was not through any desire of mine. I liked the old format. While some people said it might look a little ‘sex dungeon’, I always thought I was a sex dungeon kind of girl, so it worked.

Then, I installed a long overdue update to my WordPress software and it all went to hell. Suddenly, I didn’t know where anything was anymore. I couldn’t access the coding and change simple things like font color, because the blank template I used in the past was no longer supported.

Here’s the thing. I like a black background with white font. Why? Because it’s better for my reader’s eyes. Contrary to popular belief, staring at a white background with black font on a website is not like looking at a piece of paper. It’s like staring at a 100 watt lightbulb.

So I’m trying to work around this mess, because WordPress changed something that wasn’t broke. Much like the lady in the story, I was perfectly happy with the status quo. Much like the kids in the story, fighting with this new uncodeable theme is giving me the runs.

So I’m going to try out some new themes, at least until I find something that doesn’t give me the runs when I’m trying to recode it.

But Jesus, I do miss my old blank ‘beans and tortillas’ theme.

It just goes to show you, even in technology, sometimes what worked in the past works better now. Simplicity is key and above all…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

3 thoughts on “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

  1. Love Steinbeck. Haven’t read Tortilla Flat yet. It warms my computer-illiterate heart to no end when even tech-savvy people have issues with wordpress, or YT, or FB, or whatnot. I tried to put a video on YouTube once as TTD, but, because of Google’s brilliance, when I tried to do that it changed “all things google” for me, including changing my gmail moniker to Trailertrashdeluxe. So every email to my kid’s teacher had me as “trailer trash.” So apparently if I want to start putting up videos of me desecrating traditional songs or performing 4th-class comedy routines on YT, I have to do that under my real name rather than a stage name. Thanks Google.

    • Steinbeck is one of my favorites, though weirdly, I hated “The Grapes of Wrath”. Far too depressing. Tortilla Flat has some much needed comedic relief and I highly recommend it, along with Cannery Row.

      I get your feelings on Google. My kid signed into Google ONE TIME on my phone. Now, every time one of his friends comments on a game in Steam, I’m given a damn update. Google’s data collection policy is getting to be a bit too much. I’m seriously considering using TOR for all my future dealings.

  2. Yes, exactly. We are all having issues with WP and their desire to make themselves more Android friendly, more mobility savvy. You are so right, if it ain’t broke, please don’t fix it.

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