There Have Been Worse Days

Oct 31

I woke up this morning feeling like crap… it’s now 2 pm and my poor throat is on fire. I’d love nothing more than to curl up for a good long nap, but today is the day they are testing the fir alarm system in my building.

/cry

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A Fate Worse Than Death?

Oct 30

As a child, my parents would take me to Snelgrove Flea Market early every Sunday morning. We’d buy fresh meat, veggies, assorted flea market junk and on one occasion we even bought a puppy. We never skipped the chance to visit the poultry barn, the rabbits or the guy who sold the incredible antiques inside the livestock auction building .

This passed weekend, I convinced John to come with me to Trader’s Village, a flea market way out in the middle of I don’t know where. It was pretty overcast with scattered rain and despite the full parking lot, alot of the vendor booths were closed. Although there wasn’t any livestock or even a poultry barn, there was no shortage of puppies for sale. Ofcourse I had to stop and say hello to each and every one, but I couldn’t shake the puppy mill imagery from my mind.

There were also a couple of cool booths with the kind of stuff that you’d furnish your house with if you were going for the Ponderosa style of decor, and a few people selling bamboo shoots and the usual asian imports.

My fave of the 3 fence boards.Due to the excessive amount of crap for sale, we didn’t do the usual methodic examination of each vendor-filled alley, so it was by chance that we happened to find Worldly Possessions. This little booth run by a very chatty, new age, hippie couple was absolutely amazing. The two of them travel to various part of Asia and South America and bring home the most incredible handmade artifacts. Pillows, stools, sculptures, paintings etc etc etc. The real surprise was the price… everything was so cheap.

After a good hour of inspection and a return visit to their shop, we finally settled on 3 hand painted teak fence boards, complete with rusty nails. The boards were imported from Thailand and cost us a mere $14 each. If you live in the Houston area and you’re into that kind of imported artisan/handicraft stuff, you have to check these guys out.

When we got home I sat down to sort through all the photos we took at the market. Upon examing a picture John snapped of me pretending to kiss a cow head, I was shocked to realize that I’m starting to look exactly like Elly from For Better or For Worse. I’m still undecided as to whether this is a good or bad thing, but I think I’m currently leaning quite strongly in the “bad” direction.



Elly from FBOFW  Me looking just like Elly

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History of a Blog

Oct 29

I spent much of today and several hours this past weekend organizing me pre-GM archives. This amassing of archives included twisting blogger’s virtual arm until it agreed to republish all my archives and sorting thru many old ftp server accounts. I’m happy to say, I now have all my blogs, old and new, archived here at 27things.com.

It all started back in early 2001, though it seems like much longer ago… At the time, I was maintaining a personal site at freespeech.org, where I was posting stupid photos of myself and old journals from my highschool days. I had been following a few sites including evhead despite the fact that I had no idea wtf Blogger was. I remember asking my co-worker what “blog” and “e/n” meant; he had no idea, so off I went on an exploration that eventually turned into a journey.

The first thing I did was open up Notepad and began coding a site that was in the image of many of my favourites. This produced vitaminMe which originally lived on digitalrice.com. I still wasn’t familiar with Blogger, and as a result, this site was updated manually each time i added an entry. vitaminMe was written for an audience of one: my friend Tracy was at home alone taking care of her daughter, so I would post links to weird internet things and bands we liked, with diary-like entries thrown in for variety.

At some point I realized that all the manual updating wasn’t going to cut it for ever, so I signed up at ManilaSites. I didn’t have the patience to make it look nice, so I quickly gave up (side note: i can’t believe this still exists!). It was only a few weeks later that I found Blogger.

I was happy to plug their basic code into my pre-existing site and everything was wonderful. Sort of. The problem was DigitalRice… they were under going mass upgrades and went they weren’t down completely, they were changing my URL. For every link I dropped, 50% of the time visitors were getting a 404. When my buddy Val offered to host me, free of charge, I jumped at the opportunity. I created a new template and 27things was born.

(I have a hard drive full of templates sitting on top of my pc, with hopes that one day I can add Templates I Have Loved and Hated to my history of this blog. Until I get around to actually installing it rather than just using it as a paperweight, you’ll have to live with the text only version.)

While living on surrealmedium (Val’s server) 27things evolved to include the incredible wonder we’ve come to know as comments. Val was also hosting a php powered community portal for me, which led me to investigate other online applications like GreyMatter. It only took a quick look around to compell me to kiss Blogger a happy farewell. Being on a server adminstrated by my friend brought opportunity to do all kinds of other fun stuff like using php to create skinnable sites.

Unfortunately, surreal fell victim to several denial of service attacks, and eventually the whole server was put into “the mail” and shipped from it’s physical home in Texas to Val’s physical home in New Mexico. At this point I was forced to switch back to Blogger and the on again off again DigitalRice, where I reluctantly stayed until moving to Htown.

If he’ll excuse me for saying, John buys URLs like a woman buys shoes. One day while he was at work, I asked him to buy a URL for me so I could finally give my blog the longterm home it so desperately needed. He lovingly obliged.

That pretty much brings us back to today and my hours of archiving. If at any time, after this post falls of the page, you should feel like talking a trip in my Bloglife Way Back Machine, you’ll find links on my regular archive page.

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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a … Sun?

Oct 29

Imagine my shock this morning when I went to walk the dog… there was this big, glowy yellow thing in the sky. It hurt my eyes, made me feel kind of warm and cast these weird shadow thingies.

As soon as I’m convinced it’s not going to suddenly switch back to torrential downpours, I might just take doggie an extended walking adventure. Here’s hoping this weather keeps up for a few more days; a got a letter from the management telling me that this week they would be testing the fire alarm on and off for 3 days!

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print “blah\n”;

Oct 28

Serious lack of post-age today. I attempted (again) to set up Moveable Type on my server, finally surrendering to my lack of a proper db. Three things prompted my desire to switch from GreyMatter: the ability to create multiple blogs from one installation; the ability to easily import/streamline all my old bloggers/GM into one site; active development including upgrades, add-ons, mods and hacks.

I can live without multiple blogs, and I’ve decided to make a cool archive site for my old blogger… but I’m less than pleased about being stuck with the BETA blog in a VHS world. MT isn’t the end all be all of blogs and plenty of people do great things with GM. It’s just a shame to see it fall to the way side.

I could always get off my butt and learn perl so I could finally have my way with GM, but these days there are much more practical db languages. More advanced skills that I could not only use to build my own site, but also put to use at a future workplace.

So what’s a wanna-be script kiddie like me to do? Since I can’t have my way with GM, I decided to have my way with something off Brian’s wishlist: a method by which he can easily update his random QooC* generator script. It’s a far cry from weblogging software, but it makes me feel useful and sufficiently numbs the brain.

*QooC – quotes out of context.

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Weblog Central

Oct 27

I don’t follow much mainstream media, with the exception of the daily dose of Fux News that John forces on me. Recently, Dayna pointed me to Weblog Central (an MSNBC site), which I’ve since been casually following ever since.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Andrea Tomkins of “A peek inside the fishbowl,” mentioned in the first line of the most recent update. Adding to my pleasure was her recommendation of Exploding Dog, one of my most favourite websites. Anyone that has been following me for the past year and a half will know that not only has this site moved across the web and back, but I really, really love Sam Brown.

Scrolling down the page revealed Christine’s “Big pink cookie” at the top of this week’s Best Blogs. Christine is one of the h-town bloggers and she also contributes to scripty-goddess, among other things. You go, Christine!

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That Time Again

Oct 27

“Why can’t people understand? I’ve got a short attention span. Short. Attention. Span.” -Fizzy Bangers

I’m already completely bored with my current layout. I am itching for a redesign but have been feeling utterly uninspired. This has led me to scour the internet in search of ideas which may or may not get my creative juices flowing. In the course of combing thru eatonweb, the bloggys, diarist and various webrings I’ve been inadvertantly forced to look at some bad, bad things.

If anyone can suggest any portals or places or anything that might lead me to get some spark of something, I would be so, so, so happy.

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Photo Time

Oct 25

Parking lot lighting Last night John and I went to see The Transporter. It was a great movie, and especially fun because there were a few jokes in french that no one else in the theatre seemed to get.

On the way home we stopped to pick up some wine – John ran in while I sat in the F150 taking self portraits under the yellowish orange parking lot lights. Quite a few people give me weird looks as I tried balancing th camera in various places in my attempt to capture the moment. Time to clean the mirrors One couple gave me a dirty look when they caught me pointing the camera in their general direction… the truth is, I was taking pictures of myself reflected in the mirror of the sun visor. For a full size view of the pics, try here and here.

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Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Oct 25

Is this really me or just a very convincing look-alike?

In related news, John’s new site is leaving mine in the dust when it comes to traffic. I was reluctant to post about the rifle range escapade, but I’m starting to wonder if I too might benefit from posting pictures of that Canadian chick sporting the AK.

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Believe Me, I Could Say Much Worse

Oct 24

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was nominated at The Bloggys for best design and blog of the month. Ofcourse, I shamelessy voted for myself immediately only to discover that by voting, I was no longer able to view the other nominees.

So, I whipped out ye olde Netscape and headed on over to the Bloggy pages to size up the competition. Saddly (or not, depending on how you look at it), I wasn’t able to accurately size up anything, because so many people don’t bother to make their websites Netscape compliant. And when I say compliant, I don’t mean “the same as it looks in IE,” or even “nice to look at” … but come on! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a site that’s freakin’ readable.

Now before you get worried about my high horse crapping on your shoe, let me add that I am not above and beyond exclaiming, “screw you, Netscape!” and doing whatever the hell I want, compliant or not. Infact, the blog I was using in between GreyMatter(s) was a big middle finger in the face of Navigator… but at least there was some kind of disclaimer; some indication that the site wasn’t supposed to look like hell.

So I turn to John, who as usual, is beside me making up nonesense for your viewing pleasure,

“Doesn’t anyone care about browser compatibility anymore?” He replies with some jargon about Netscape’s share of the web browsing market or some such other. Well it’s obvious that Navigator makes the internet look ugly, but it hasn’t gone away yet.

This brings me to mention what happens to websites when you look at them on a mac; an obstacle that isn’t vanishing as quickly as Netsacpe… But I think you get my point.

So what do you think? Do you care if your website looks like hell and/or is unreadable due to browser compatibility issues? Do you thumb your nose in the face of Netscape users? Do you even know wtf I’m talking about?

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