Rumblin’ to Life

I open the lid, dust off the keyboard, and sit in the driver’s seat.  I’ve been driving a lot of other blog traffic lately, but I don’t have the same history with them as I do this one, my blog from before the term “blog” existed.  I miss it, and I need to spend time with it.

I put my username in the login screen, then my password, and the blog rumbles to life.  It seems to be running just as well as when I last visited, despite my neglect.  I need to update the version, turn comments back on, and get back in the habit of driving traffic.  It’s key to getting in the mindset of actually writing, if I’m ever going to do it.

The look and feel needs a facelift, too.  I need to get back to the format that the rest of the blog has, and then I need to add all the static content to the database so it truly becomes part of the real blog.

In due time … in due time.  You can’t take a trip without making sure you have a course mapped out and the time and materials to get there.  I’m gathering all of that right now, and hopefully I’ll get back to the daily updates I was doing several years ago.

From Database Debacle to Unintended Upgrade

You may notice that this page does not look like it used to. That’s because I realized tonight that I accidentally blew away the directory on my host server that contained all the files to display this blog.

I choose to see this as a self-created opportunity.

My personal blog software was behind by several stable versions, and my data was still intact in the databases. So, I took this self-created opportunity to upgrade to the latest blog software, and will be tweaking the design to better match the overall site design in the near future.

In the meantime, my data is back, this page is blue and white, and that’s as far as I’m going to go tonight.

Liking the New Blog

So far, I’m really liking the new blog format. I’ve been able to customize it some to get rid of the stuff I didn’t really want, I’ve been able to add other things, and I’m considering playing around with the default skin to incorporate the blog into my regular site design. First, though, I should probably see if I can import all my old blog entries into this one. There’s not much future in continuing the exercise if I can’t do that.

I’ve also been working on websites for a couple of other people, and I’m pleased to say that I’m really happy with the way they are turning out.

I did just notice that my timestamp is an hour off. I must have specified the wrong time zone somewhere …

We’re supposed to get another half a foot or so of snow tomorrow. We just dug out of the one-two punch of what has become known as the “Holiday Storms of ’06.” I don’t mind the snow, personally. It’s nice to have it again, frankly. I grew up with lots of snow in Durango, and it brings a smile to my face to see piles of snow taller than I am in my front yard. This is Denver, though, and snow never hangs around here for long. By this time next week, I suspect that all of the snow from tomorrow’s storm will be gone, and much of the snow still on the ground from the Holiday Storms will be gone, as well.

As one of my resolutions from a few days ago, I pledged to write every day. Although I haven’t been writing in this blog every day, I have been keeping true to my self-assigned task. Just before New Year’s, I purchased a book at West Side’s Book Annex in Denver. The book is A Writer’s Book of Days, by Judy Reeves (1999, New World Library, Novato, CA.) It consists of many essays about writing and the lifestyle changes that come with a commitment to heed the muse, as well as writing prompts for each day of the year. I’ve been dutifully using the prompts for the first four days of the year, and I’m surprised to see what has come out. So far, I have an essay, a self-reflective journal entry, a prose poem, and a piece of humor written in the style of the old Zork text adventures. Where the hell did that come from?

At this point, none of the above are suitable for publication, and I probably won’t even develop most of what I write in these exercises. But it is nice to feel the juices flowing again; it’s been a while.

Well, I’m off to do my homework.

Contemplating Modernization

I’m considering making the move from my hand-coded Creativity Journal to the blog system you are are reading now, which is provided by my ISP.

Advantages for this blog system:
Easy formatting – 2
Easy entry – 1
Better security – 3
Multiple blogs – 2
Multiple categories per blog – 2
Comments – 2
RSS – 3
Motivation for redesign – 1
Online site design – 2
Total advantages for new system: 18

Disadvantages for this blog system:
Uses an extra MySQL database – 3
What to do with the hundreds of old posts – 3
Total disadvantages for new system: 6
Total ads minus disads for new system: 12

Advantages for the old system:
Hand coded (prideware) – 1
Matches my site – 3
Cool indentations – 2
Phone compatible – 2
Total advantages for old system: 8

Disadvantages for the old system:
Poor security – 3
Micro$oft dependent – 3
Design getting old – 1
Total disadvantages for old system: 7
Total ads minus disads for old system: 1

Winner: Go to the new system.

Kind of a no-brainer when I look at it this way, eh?

Watch this space for future updates.

Hello … Again

I won’t be ranting much in this installment of the rant archive.  I need to ease back into it.

As I write this, the sky is a menacing, roiling gray, and my neighbor’s roof is already under two inches of water.  My son just informed me that his window ledge is also covered with water, despite his window being closed.  A quick towel does the trick in his bedroom; the neighbor is on his own.

Life has not stood still in the many months that have passed since I updated this site regularly.  I’m working a stable job in a perilous IT career track — perilous only because of the short-sightedness of dot-com startups with no real business plans or revenue streams.  I have rededicated my spare time to family and creative efforts, to the mild disappointment of some of my friends.  I know they are my friends because they have remained supportive, despite my withdrawal.  (Thanks to all of you.)

My family (especially my wife) has been supportive as well, encouraging me to write stories, play music, build a guitar.  And with every finished story draft, they have perched silently on the bed as I read out loud, pausing now and then to make a note when something just didn’t sound right.  They have offered some critical feedback, and they have occasionally offered more praise than the work deserved.  Fortunately, I have been able to get less biased feedback from two writing groups as well.

Over the last three years, a couple of new poems and rants found their way to my old website.  Beyond that, there was not much activity, and it’s time for that to change.  I have procured the domain name, changing the spelling slightly to accommodate the net gods.  I have redesigned the site to reflect my commitment to writing, giving the pages the look of a spiral notebook.  There has always been a lot of information on these pages, so I added a much needed search feature.  The site now has a separate section for special features, like my son’s artwork, and I have added a list of writing-related links.  The site has undergone a critical proofreading, as well, but if you find any mechanical or stylistic problems, or if you just want to tell me you agree or disagree with something I’ve said, please let me know.

It’s time to post this page.  Thanks for listening, and be sure to whack me upside the head if I become lazy again and haven’t updated the site in a while!