Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And Now For Something You'll Really Like!

I really seem to be losing my touch lately...I don't even know how to start these things anymore, but I will give it a go, pulling some inspiration from my blog title...Random Thoughts, or as they say in composition, Freewriting.  Well, it can't be too free, since I do have a specific something I want to say in here:

I got a new job, and I start tomorrow morning.  I've been unemployed for a few months now, and stress has been mounting considerably, so this is a very exciting thing.  It is also a very scary thing.  Will I live up to the expectations of my new boss?  Will I be able to do what they need of me?  I sure hope so.

I won't divulge too many details about the new job, since I am still too paranoid that someone will figure out who I really am...not that I'm really that worried about any of this coming back to bite me later, but I would rather not find out that I said the wrong thing somewhere, so...anyway.

Okay, quick note about my reading list: the books I am currently reading will only include two at any one time, one tech book and one non-tech. My tech book was Head First Web Design, but thanks to this new job, I've decided to switch it out for now with Head First PHP and MySQL.

I don't know if I am going to go back to that book for my next tech book, or if I am going to pick Head First SQL for the next. Tough call...both are books I intend to read anyway.

One last thing for the night: I have decided to add a new section to the sidebar for recommended webcomics. The problem I foresee with this, though, is it will make an already too-long sidebar even longer, so I was thinking of trying to convert the template to three column. This, however, presents a similar issue to what I mentioned earlier about color changes...the rounded corners span the length of the boxes. Increasing the size of them to accommodate an additional column will be simple, except I need to find permanent, free and reliable hosting for the new borders.

This change will be the most visible one I have made since my return, and will take some definite work. I aim to make the change in the month of April (any point before the end of April will be good enough to make me happy), but I promise nothing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Basic Instructions

Here is a webcomic I like to read off and on called Basic Instructions. This particular strip reminds me of my cat and me. Seriously, this is almost exactly how she and I interact!

How to Modify Your Pet's Behavior

EDIT:I was forced to re-size the image...it should still be readable, but I recommend you click on it so you can see the original.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Randomly Thunk a Thought, and Now I Don't Think At All!

So...yeah, I don't really know what I want to say today, but, in keeping with my "Random Thoughts" theme, I think I will just pound on the keyboard for a little bit and see what comes.

Be afraid.

Anyway, so the last few weeks have been pretty craptastic.  School is all right, though I constantly have to fight off the feeling like I'm not really learning anything, and paying a lot of money so people will believe I know something, all the while the stuff I'm teaching myself on the side (like HTML and CSS) I'm learning at a rate far greater than what I get in school.  The HTML and CSS book I read, for instance, I read in just over a week, and can even recall the vast majority of it.  Anything that I don't remember, I use the book or Google to remind myself.  My Web Design book is taking me longer and giving me more trouble, but that is because it is asking me to be creative in a time of depression (not economic so much as emotional, though the economic one sucks too).  On the other time, I've sat down with it three times and finished three chapters (the first two and a half were in the first sitting, however), so it is more a matter of me sitting down with it.

As for the template changes I had hoped to make...first, I'm having no end of trouble picking new colors I would like to see.  Turns out that even with a wonderful program like Kuler from Adobe, I am simply hopeless at setting up a good color pallet and choosing what goes where at this point in time.  I'm hoping the Web Design book with help me out on that, but we'll see.

Another issue with the color pallet that is making my life difficult is how the rounded corners got to be there, and what they mean.  Those nice little round corners are actually pictures, all of which I will have to download, modify, find a place to store them in a permanent fashion, and update my template to point to the new version.  Steps 2 and 3 are the ones I'm not quite sure how to accomplish, but before I figure them out, I really need to chose the colors I want.

Step 2, though I don't know how to do it yet, I know what I will use for it (warning: shameless plug ahead).  The Gimp is gimptastic in its gimpiness, and if you don't know what the Gimp is...well, go check it out.  It is a fantastic raster graphics editor with power rivaling Photoshop (although different than Photoshop, so if you are used to PS, you may have a slight learning curve to contend with).

<plug class="shameless">I've used the Gimp for most of what I have posted over on my Deviant Art page.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Most of my stuff isn't all that advanced yet, but I do feel like I'm getting better...though I haven't really practiced much lately.  Anyway, check it out.  Gimp is also what I used to make that lovely new avatar I use, which is the closest I've ever come to posting a picture of myself on the public interwebs.</plug>

Well, that's all I have for today.  Mostly going to spend my day working around the house, cleaning up the garage, looking for work.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Who was that masked man?

Well, this is the fourth attempt at typing this post, so my nerves are getting very thin right now, so bear with me.

I've been doing some work behind the scenes to update not only my template, but my old posts to a new scheme that I will be using from this post on.  I've converted or partially converted all posts back to my 100 hit announcement.  If you don't notice any difference...good, it should look the same, that's the point.

"So, what did you do differently if I'm not supposed to notice it?"

Well, I changed my template to have the formatting options I use on all my posts built in...although in theory this will not change anything, it means I don't have to specify it each time, allowing me to be a little lazier.  Well, it also removes a potential consistancy issue in case I mustypo spmething in the code, and looking back, there were a few mistakes made.  I've also been stripping out that code from my old posts so it will use the defaults.  This means I can change the style of all my posts just by editing the CSS in the template, rather than having to go through almost 50 posts to make a font color change (which is a number that is only growing).

Anyway, I was looking through my old posts and was thinking about whether or not to use images anymore.  I haven't used a single image on this site since March '06, three years ago.  I chalk that up to laziness more than anything else.  If I had posted this last night like I intended (I hope those three drafts tasted good, Blogger...grr), I would have said I'm going to focus on increasing my post frequency before worrying about finding the right images to use with my posts, but looking through it today, I realized something: My posts were more interesting when I used pictures.  So, I'm going to return to the bright, cheerful days when I happily and gleefuly splattered pictures all over your screen, because it makes me happy.

So, I was reading some of those old posts, and I couldn't help but think to myself "Who is this guy, and whatever happened to him?"  Frankly, I don't feel anywhere near as connected, smart, intense, witty or funny as I came across back then (at least, to myself I did).  Where did that go?  Did something happen to me to make me lose something?  Perhaps.  Maybe it was just my time away from here that did it to me.

A lot has happened in my life since I stopped posting here.  Other than getting married, though, much of it has not been positive.  There have been some cool things, though, and I intend to share them with you, if you chose to stick around and read about them.  Who knows?  Maybe a little bit of my old self will come back.

Testing, 1, 2, 3

Okay...short post.  Just testing to see if the change I just made "worked".  All I did was set a default color and font list so I don't have to manually set it each time (thereby removing one way that I can screw up!  Go me!)

The only difference here is I'm not manually setting my font and color, and checking to see if it shows up "right".

Anywho...ta for now.

Edit:  Yeah, it worked.  Ra.  I rock.  Woo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We all live in a Yellow Submarine

Okay, so as you are probably aware, we don't really live in a yellow submarine...though I'm sure no one told the Beatles that when they sung about it.

Okay, so maybe they were told that. Who knows?

Anyway, that's not what I'm writing about...I'm here to say that I'm here again...at least today. Dunno about tomorrow, but I guess we will have to see what tomorrow brings, huh? Will I ever post again? If I do, will it be tomorrow, next week, or next year? DRAMA! INTRIGUE! GAS! err....yeah, nevermind.

So, I'm going to try to get my sorry rear to actually post an UPDATE on what has been happening over the last almost two years since I've posted. Is that right? My last post was in TWO THOUSAND SEVEN? Ouch.

Well, I'm going to, hopefully, do a minor overhaul followed by a more major overhaul of this site. I may even bring back Of Liberal Intent, which has been dead even LONGER, if that is possible. Actually, OLI was damn near stillborne, but I love the idea and the name so badly, I should be locked up not to use it.

Anyway, recently learned a lot about HTML and CSS, so I may actually be doing some of the site mods by hand. GO ME!

So, to my adoring fans (of which I have absolutely none) and if by chance I even have a single reader after all this time that notices I posted this...I'll see you Soon™! (Soon™ is a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment...and if you don't get it, that just means you have a life, so don't worry)

Oh...and I'm changing from my old standard Tahoma to Arial for now, mostly because it is available on non-Windows machines more often than Tahoma.