New Theme – Forgotten Skills – Old Junk

July 7, 2009 at 6:41 AM (Uncategorized)

New Theme
Since I am actually using this blog now (that’s my intention at least – I slacked off bad last month) and since it is no longer centered around a space-based video game, I decided to change the theme. I added a few widgets too. I might even go nuts and start using categories, since I seem to be all over the place with what I write about.

If the new look is so terrible that you wish to commit ritual suicide about it, please remember to write me into your will first. Thanks.

Sorry, but the old one *had* to go. It was terrible. I only picked it because the banner image was vaguely space-like.

I can’t really do much with the design, since this is hosted by WordPress and not by me. They provide dozens of approved themes and I pick one, add widgets and that’s all the control I really have. After an hour of looking around, this theme seemed to be the least horrible.

Also, see the ‘Share’ thing at the bottom with the little Twitter button? Yeah, I’m doing that by hand. Old fashioned copy & paste. If anybody has a clue how to do something like that automatically on a NOT self-hosted (which means I can’t use javascript or php) WordPress blog, please let me know.

Forgotten Skills
I realized at one point tonight that it’s been at least five years since I so much as peeked under the hood of a web page. I’ve forgotten how to do some of the most basic things with HTML and CSS.

I built and designed a few web sites myself several years ago, two of which became very popular. One of them (my own) was so clean and sleek that it would have fit right in with the look of today’s “Web 2.0” (God, what an idiotic phrase).

I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to do that again without some serious studying. I actually had to sit here for a minute trying to remember how to do an extremely basic little task (remove the blue border from around an image used as a link).

But that’s all right. It seems that nobody but professional web developers actually build their own web sites any more. Everybody else just downloads WordPress and installs that.

WordPress these days seems to be less of a blogging platform and more of a Content Management System. Sometimes I have trouble telling that a site is running it.

Old Junk
Earlier tonight, I went digging through boxes filled with my old junk trying to find a CD. Journalist Tommy Christopher made a comment about an old song on Twitter and I felt the urge to listen to it. I have it burned to a CD *somewhere* around here.

I never did find the damn CD but I did find a bunch of years old crap. Apparently I am a pack rat and have only just now noticed it.

I found install discs for two different versions of Mandrake Linux, an install disc for Redhat, several old audio cassettes, a two-year-old unpaid water bill (oops) from a city I no longer live in, several VHS video cassettes and an old journal that has to be more than twenty years old.

I took a picture of some of the junk. Don’t ask me why, because I have no idea.

The journal was an interesting find. It contained some of my first attempts at writing fiction. I was just a kid in middle school when I started writing in that thing. Much of it is pure crap but not all. One section is actually a fairly decent story about the origin of vampires that I might try to rewrite at some point.

It also contained some of the very earliest pieces of a story I’ve been trying to write for most of my life. I don’t know what the problem is – it must be a psychological block – but I have started writing this story several times and never been able to stay with it to the finish. It would be enough to make several novels, if only I could just sit still and DO it.

I have a vague understanding of the events and the plot. I’m not sure what the exact name of the genre is – I think ‘military space opera’ or something like that. It would end up on the shelf labeled ‘Fantasy / Science-Fiction’ at Borders probably, if I ever got it published. It’s sort of a mix of Saberhagen’s ‘The Berserkers‘ and ‘In Death Ground‘ by Steve White and David Weber.

I just can’t make myself sit still and write the damn thing. I did once write a fairly large part of it and showed it to some family and a couple of close friends. They claimed they liked it and wanted to read the rest, though they might have just been trying to be nice. Maybe I’ll finish it one day.

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