Wednesday, April 04, 2018

There must be away to turn this into a marketable skill

One day last week a coworker said to me, “you’re so good and fast at finding stuff.” This was after she mentioned a story she’d seen from Oprah on 60 Minutes (?) which she thought might interest me. In less than a minute I’d found the Oprah piece and the corresponding study and articles. Now, this isn’t terribly impressive as anything Oprah related is bound to be pretty easy to find but this is just another moment when my web search skills have been complimented. And I take a weird satisfaction in being able to hunt information down. I must have been a research librarian in a past life.

I mention this because I finally found something that I’ve been looking for for a while now. Not diligently mind you. Off and on when bored. I can’t even tell you why this has stuck in my head. Maybe it’s just that it proved to be so elusive and I can be stubborn. But today, I finally put in the right search terms and I found this sci-fi book I read in the 80s. Given how simple the terms were I’m amazed that it’s taken me years to track it down. (dudes. YEARS. If I dedicated this amount of focus to creating a new energy source I’m sure I’d be a gazillionaire by now. FACT.)

That this became a task for me is a mystery given that I don’t really have much interest in rereading the book. I do feel as if I should after the amount of time I’ve spent searching online for it. For now it’s enough to be able to say, “Yes! That’s the cover I remember!”

The Visitors cover

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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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