Yeah, I submitted my question on a Joomla Forum, but no response. Last week, I was on two Joomla Webinars, and the moderators had no idea what I was talking about. The Joomla moderators wondered why I don't have a directory of these images ready to go to insert into these Joomla templates. I explained that the charts are pulling data from three different MySQL databases that all get updated at different and irregular times. I suppose I could run a cron to generate a new chart image file several times a day, as the moderators suggested, but generating the chart at display time works, both in my current pages and in the Joolma templates. The moderators seemed surprised that an image insert in a Joomla template could be a url to a php script.
The other area where we were unable to understand each other was my question of "frames". I never want to get involved with frames again. I've only had to trouble shoot other colleague's pages with frames, never authored one myself, but they drive me nuts. The Joomla templates have these module maps (http://joomla30.gavick.com/index.php/module-positions https://www.cloudaccess.net/joomla-1-5/39-module-manager/148-module-maps.html ) that suggest they are using frames. However, when I look at Joomla pages source with Firefox tools, I don't see any frames. All I can find are CSS tricks. But when I ask the moderators if there are frames involved, they have no idea what I'm talking about. They'll say stuff like "sure, module maps are like a framework showing you where to hang your modules." And then I say "Yes, but are they using frames" but they don't know the distinction. Maybe frames are so last decade that everyone has forgotten them.
It seems to me that Joomla and CMS are deceptively and alluringly simple. The templates are attractive. But it takes a whole new skill set to use them. Like anything that starts simple, when you need to add in more power and flexibility, you can't preserve the ease of use. It seems like the CMS skill set is finding the right templates and modules online and learning how to use them, and that's no small task. My current skill set of html and css editing with Dreamweaver, and a little php scripting, and finding the right php libraries is no help to me in this CMS world.