Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Installs and Stagnation

The trouble with being a wanna-be geek is that trying to rebuild my websites is WORK. And because it’s work the motivation to get it done isn’t always there. Tonight though I had a brief spurt of “let’s get it done” and logged in.

Well, tried to log in. It’s been so many months since I last logged in that I first had to cycle through a few domains to remember where the latest installation of Expression Engine is housed. Nerd people problems, having more than one domain to keep up with. Anyway, found it, logged in and thought again how it’s about time that EE has automatic upgrades. Well, almost automatic. I still have to hit the update link; still, better than before, which is part of the reason why I’m struggling with the task. I have two very old installs still in use that I’ve neglected and which are requiring a fresh start.

An hour later and I figured out the slideshow. :D Okay, to be fair, part of that time was also spent selecting photos and getting them ready to post. Gotta say, not terribly impressed with the image functions in EE. I think there are modules one can buy but, yeah, that won’t be happening.

Whenever I jump back into the web stuff I remember why I enjoy it so much but also how frustrating it is for me. If I were better at it I probably wouldn’t let so many months go in between attempts.

I’m gonna go do a little reading now. I restarted The Brothers Karamazov. I tried to pick up where I’d left off a few years ago but was having a hard time getting back into it so back to page one I went. I’m finding the reading to be going much better this time so who knows, maybe this is the year that both that book and the websites are taken off the To Do list. Wouldn’t that be something?


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Would that it twere so simple

My main website hasn’t been updated since 2006. A fact that astonishes me. When I first started blogging, everything (the blog, my photos, the weekly game), lived at the lunanina domain. And then the blog became a place where I could work some things out and I no longer felt comfortable having it at a place where people who actually interacted with me on a regular basis in “real life” could get to it. And so I moved it to its own domain - and while the blog domain has changed throughout the years, the separation of the main site and the blog continued. Which clearly resulted in a lack of interest in maintaining multiple sites. Even though, behind the scenes, I put in a lot of effort to be able to maintain everything under one content management system(ExpressionEngine) installation.

And then even the blog was abandoned. The only consistent thing being updated was the game; although I’m not sure why since I don’t think many people use it still as a writing prompt. When I decided two years ago to restart the blog I considered using a blogging platform that required minimal effort from me to install. I looked at a couple but ultimately I decided to stick with EE. I’d missed a couple of upgrades and since the original installation was throwing occasional errors, I figured it was a good time to go with the latest version and maybe that would be the thing that would get me back into the coding game, amateurish as it is for me. Best laid plans and all that as the saying goes. I barely blogged, I didn’t upgrade the main site and I was having to use two different installations to maintain things. Two years later, here I am again.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email that EE had been upgraded yet again, to version 4. I was in a geeky mood one day and tried to upgrade my install only to get a bunch of error messages. Well, crap, I thought.

And once again I considered changing applications. I once again looked at other options, I even installed one (granted, one is a very short list but given that I’m not a real programmer, only pretend to be one in my head, installing even one application can be WORK). When I thought about having to learn something completely from scratch though, I just got tired at the thought of it. So I decided to once again stick with EE. Not really the rousing endorsement I’m sure the company is looking for.

This means, though that I am now using 3 applications to maintain my sites. One for the old, main site. One for this current blog. And the latest and greatest version that I’m slowing trying to build to meet my needs. I wish I were smarter about all of this stuff because it would make for easier going (I would hope) but it’s slowly coming back to me why I ever got interested in this stuff to being with. It feeds my geeky, nerdy side. As annoyed as I can get when something doesn’t work and I have to spend long minutes (sometimes hours) noodling through problems, searching for solutions on the interwebs, the feeling I get when I’m made something work is pretty great.

I had visions of doing a complete rehaul, design and site code but that may be a bit more than I can tackle at the moment so I’ve decided to focus on just the bones of the place and deal with the looks later. Lowered expectations, my friends, it’s the true key to happiness.

 

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Domain Fun

“He’s such a dork,” I said about someone today. The person who heard this laughed and laughed some more after I continued. “And that’s not meant in a negative way. I’m a dork,” I said.

This was proven yet again when I was reviewing the list of domains I own on GoDaddy and saw that I own muttering.rocks. Now, I immediately knew why I would have taken the time to buy it; as I’ve had it on the to do list for years now to move the Unconscious Mutterings game to its own domain (I also own unconscious-mutterings.com so the game isn’t lacking a home). What I don’t remember is actually purchasing the .rocks domain. Since it expires in February 2017, it’s a safe bet that I bought it this February but there is not a single teeny tiny whiff of a memory.

Back in the early 2000s I had upwards of 25-30 domains (but only used two of those at the same time, mind you). It was a dorky (see, it came back around) little game (though expensive) but among geeky internet folks buying domain names and sitting on them was a bit of a past time. (Of course, for some people it was an attempt at striking it rich when some big company came calling wanting to buy one from you. Never my intent; mine were so specialized for my interests that I would have been shocked if anyone had ever asked.)

The question, every year that a domain is about to expire is, “Do I still want to have this? What am I going to use it for? Will I ever use it?” Okay, three questions, or one with several parts. Either way we slice it, I tend towards keeping domains because some I’ve regretted letting go.

Such is the case for vain-girl.com. About a decade ago, I thought that maybe journaling about my attempts to lose weight and exercise would help the cause. I didn’t want to bore the regular readers (so cute, like there were many. But, there were more than one so readers is the right word!) of the blog so I decided to start a new blog at that domain. Thing is, it never really got much traffic so it was hard to maintain an interest without some outside accountability. So I stopped journaling and eventually let the domain lapse.

A year or so after that, a friend asked me if I still blogged at vain-girl.com. No, I said, why do you ask?

Because it’s a porn site now.

I paused and then asked, “It’s a porn site and you still felt the need to ask me if I was active on it?”

He shrugged and said, “Well, who knows with you?”

I laughed and called him a dork (it’s a theme!) and regretted that my pretty little domain was being used for such tawdry purposes. A year ago, on a whim I pulled up the domain on my browser and was elated to see that it was once again available! I rushed (how does one rush online?) to GoDaddy and brought the domain back into the fold. Funny how I recall that moment and that decision with such detail but muttering.rocks is such a mystery.

The brain, who can predict what will stick?

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Blog Resources

This will be a running list of tips, tricks I might use to tinker with the site.

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Wanna-be Geekiness

Part of the joy of blogging for me was always about being able to tinker with the site, the behind the scenes stuff that makes things run smoothly. When I said I would start blogging again I determined that I would put up a bare bones site so that I could focus on the writing. That decision was based on my need to not use the technical aspects to procrastinate further. The fact that I haven’t had a personal computer since March of 2015 helped with that decision. It’s hard to try and be geeky when I no longer have all the applications that I used to use to play around and experiment.

Thankfully I discovered that I had installed a more up to date version of Expression Engine (which I use to power the site) on the server at some point before the Macbook died. I could have used the old version, of course, but it’s buggy and I decided I’d start with a clean slate. At some point I’ll see about importing some old entries but I doubt I’ll bring back every single entry. That’s a decision for another day, however.

By mid-January I’d coded the templates for the home page and individual entry pages but left the archives template for another day. Mostly because I couldn’t quite remember how to get it done. In the last week not having that set up has been bugging me. So, last night, around 9:30 p.m. I opened up the dashboard, opened up the help documents and started tinkering. Five hours later, I’m finally finished (for now). I’ve been aware of the late hour for several hours now but I was enjoying myself - despite the frustrations I encountered. I am geeky enough to install a content management system, figure out how futz around with the code, but I’m not geeky enough for all of that to not be work.

Still, this has me thinking that I really need to figure out when I’ll be able to afford a new computer so that I can really spend time getting this place looking and working like I want. For now, it’s way past my bedtime.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

How does blogging work again?

How is it that it’s been fifteen years since I discovered blogs and decided to start one and I’ve not quite figured out what should go here exactly? I distinctly remember pondering this question fifteen years ago; especially on the days when I was posting multiple times a day. What matters? What is interesting? What will I want to remember? Asking those questions curbed the many many posts about the day to day that is my life. But it also sometimes stalled me.

There’s also the added fact that we don’t always know what’s going to matter, do we? A random phone call or message easily forgotten in the moment can, after a time, take on more meaning. “Oh, if I’d known that was the last conversation I was going to have, I would have done it better-” Or, hell, sometimes angrier is the way to go. In this case I’m thinking specifically about a conversation I had on April 11 of last year. That call deserved some angry words. Not mean words, mind you, but a better, stronger articulation of my disappointment and emotions. But that’s a story for another day.

Enough rambling. (Why, hello, 2001! Didn’t think I’d see you again.) This really was just a poor way of saying, I know this space is here and I know I want to use it better. I’m just trying to figure out what better means. I’m open to suggestions.

2 comment(s) | Filed under: Techy | Writing

Friday, January 22, 2016

Don’t Call It A Comeback

I have been here for years. If by here we mean the world wide web and not this blog or this domain specifically. I moved away from the blog for reasons that I can’t now remember and took to micro-blogging on Facebook and then Google+. And while I certainly have enjoyed the social aspects of those networks, I have missed the ability to really write, to do the brain dumps, the emotional word therapy that got me through much of the 2000s. I have also missed the creative outlet that coding and designing the blog (and sites) allowed. Granted, I don’t by any means harbor any grand delusions that I became a master coder or designer but it was fun to learn new coding tricks or to see something on the web that I had dreamt up and been able to give life to.

So, when Miss Bliss and Jules told me that they were reviving their blogs and asked if I wanted to join in on the fun, well, how could I say no?

It’s taken a little while to really get this back up and running, however. Being without a laptop (since March 2015) was a bit of a challenge and I had to get over the need to start over from scratch. To let go of the idea of bringing this back bigger, faster, stronger because, quite frankly, that sort of perfectionism is just the killer of dreams sometimes. So, I dusted off some old code, some old css (circa 2006, thank you very much) and here we are. I’m going to try and focus on the words for now. Maybe when I am able to get a nice shiny Mac again, I’ll shift some of the energy back to the coding, to tinkering with the behind the scenes stuff but for now this works. I have a box to type in, you have a place to comment if you wish. The rest will get sorted along the way.

So, thanks as always for reading. And let’s see what comes of it, shall we? I have stuff to say. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it again.

7 comment(s) | Filed under: Techy | Writing