I just made the leap into (semi) uncharted waters with a development version of WordPress. When I saw that the cool cats @ HappyCog did a reimagineering of the WP admin interface, naturally, I had to see what kind of candy was in the bag. There are some really nice bits and bobs: admin navigation, tool-tips, and some little ajaxy-features really make everything feel new again. I’d say “spring fresh,” but up here, spring means that when you slip on the ice, you fall in the mud. Fucking spring. :-/
My only real complaint is that the happycoggers picked an obnoxious color of light blue for the main boxes and bars. As far as complaints go, that’s not so bad. And besides, that’ll just give me a chance to dig into a little cog code to change things. And see how they did what they did. And learn something. So maybe I oughtta even be saying “thanks” for the blue.
I’ve been a busy boy for a while, but have a little down time, so I figured I’d bring you all up to date. I know: “oooooooooh,” right?
Anyway, my balls are damn near healed, and that’s a good thing. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, I was kidding when I was talking about putting pics on the ‘net. Unless I get paid better than I currently am. 😉
Picking brewing up again has been really nice as far as hobbies go. As far as I’m concerned, it’s *totally tits* to have a keg of brew in the basement. I’ve even helped The Boy refine his pouring technique (his main problems were that he didn’t hold the tap all the way open, then didn’t close it soon enough; heh). In fact, having a keg in the basement might be a little *too* tits, if that’s possible. My friends and I (but mostly me) have swilled almost the whole thing in a month. And of course that puts me in an awkward predicament: I don’t have enough homebrew to last until the next batch (an IPA which I’m going to try to make tomorrow with The Boy and my dad) is ready. Fortunately, the Beer Drawer is full. Whew — that was close!
Work has been good. I’ve been charging forward with implementing the MODx content management system in a few different contexts: some development work I’m doing for a designer friend, a couple sites I’ve designed and built on my own, and at the county.
Getting the CMS rolling has been cool. I’ve learned (so far) a little about how PHP and MySQL play with each other. The great thing about all this work lately, though, is that my css and xhtml chops have really gotten blasted into shape. So much so, in fact, that I’m working on a plan to open a small shop to do build sites that look great, work flawlessly, and have fab code. It’ll be a side thing because I can’t give up the great benefits that come with being a county employee, but hopefully, it’ll make the difference between qualifying for food stamps (which this branch of Clan Van Beest currently does) and being able to go to The Beach.
Well, The Wife and The Boyz just rolled in, so I’ll continue my update later. As you were.
Here’s my beginning shot at videoblogging…
I’m even working on a good ol’ leftist essay about how ethanol fuel is stupid from almost every angle. But you’ll have to wait, because for a change, I figured I’d actually revise the thing a little. You know, that whole “work on it and polish it until it’s better than a first draft” theory they keep pushing in writing classes around the nation’s middle schools? I thought I’d give it a try for a change.
I’m looking for Twitter streams from my friends. Do you Tweet? If so, either comment here and lemme know, or drop me an e-mail (ajvanbeest … at … gmail). Unsurprisingly, you can get my tweets at theaj42.
Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? Go to the link above and learn more!
Well, sorta. It will be once I get off my dead ass and get the links in my theme somewhere. But for now, check out “Brews you can use.” Chris is a funny, funny man. Sometimes. But he’s always poignant. And it doesn’t hurt that a) we went to school together, and b) he officially (as of now, when I started the damn thing) belongs to the “Geeks Who Can Kick Your Ass” club.
One of my other web projects, ajvanbeest.com, is slowly coming together. I’ve wireframed parts of it. I’ve posted a tiny bit of content there. And now, I’ve posted all the poetry that I had up at my old blog. Boo-yah!
*Note: There’s no new writing up there, yet. That’ll be on its way next. But the old stuff is nice, too. Especially if you haven’t seen it yet/in a while.
While my new blog template looks pretty fab on any of my LCD screens (the laptop, the 19-inchers at work, the *22-inch-widescreen* at work [drool]), on an old CRT monitor, it looks like how a pile of bloated, rotting wildebeest corpses smells.
So. My quest is not yet over. In the meantime, if any of you poor souls are torturing yourselves by trying to make out text that is exactly one-tenth of one-percent lighter than the background of the page, my I humbly suggest you try reading from my RSS feed. At least, if you don’t want your eyebulbs (a story for another time) to explode. And let’s face it, vitreous humor has been known to stain Dockers (that’s why I’m a Carhart man).
The basics of RSS
Don’t know what this RSS malarkey is? Check it: basically, it’s a way to pull info from all your favorite sites (like this one, right?) into one place so you can read all the latest info without having to actually go from site to site to site to… You get the picture.
All you need is a (free) RSS feed aggregator, and a couple minutes to set things up. There are plenty of RSS client applications out there, but I’m a particular fan of Bloglines. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s online, so you can access it from any computer that has an Internet connection.
See? I really *am* good for something.
The saga of the hijacked blog continues, sort of. J.D. wiped my content from his database, as per my request. I deleted all my files from his server. So far, so good.
Now, however, when you go to the old address, a page (insert image here) pops up with huge text screaming that “This blog is suspended.” Like it got into a fight on school property. Or wandered down the hall with a Geiger counter lying on top of radioactive sample checking the radiation levels from the fluorescent lights by a particular English hag’s teacher’s door (“Is it bad?” “I wouldn’t be standing out here if I was you.”).
Why can’t there be a notice that says something a little less stern, like, “Sorry this page doesn’t exist,” or “Hey, man, like, we’re pretty sure that dude moved on, you know?”
So my great Facebook experiment continues. I have a page — that I’m not going to link to because it’s lame — and a fair number of people — OK, eight, to be precise — have consented to be my “friend.” I feel so loved.
It seems like Facebook is a great way to dig up people from your past if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, but the actual exchanges between people are, from what I’ve seen, seemingly limited to “Hey, I haven’t seen you for, like, twelve minutes, man! What are you doing?” Sometimes, the pages have one half of a conversation, which is pretty *f-bomb* annoying, too. I can’t even get a cheap voyeuristic thrill by lurking on someone’s online reunion with an old s/o.