What I Am Doing Lately?

I’ve been pretty busy lately. Busy as in really engaged in life. Busy as in like I’m too busy living to sit down and write about it. So, I guess that means things are going pretty well. Let’s see, what am I doing …

* Working on my web page. No URL yet as I want to wait for the big premier. But it involves integrating my art gallery, my blog, my book library, my book reviews, my essays, my tag clouds, my dream symbol dictionary (and turning it into a wiki), a gift shop of stuff I recommend, and other fun on-line tools that I want to write. It has graphics and a nice layout. It’ll be your one-stop, Web 2.0 pedalinfaith source.
* This means I’ve learned CSS finally (the last time I did a web page, which was years ago, CSS wasn’t much of a force yet). I’m learning PHP so as to write a web interface on stuff I put into a database (e.g., my dream symbol wiki). And I have been refining my JavaScript skills. (Yes, my web page has rollovers and I’ve done without even needing any pesky image swapping.) I’m having trouble with asynchronously reading RSS feeds using XMLHTTPRequest (and its other browser equivalents). Harumph. I think in the interest of time, I’ll scrap my JavaScript and use a prepackaged JS from another web source. Anyone familiar with this issue?
* I have been learning to be an entrepreneur. I’ve got conversations going with a couple of different folks for a couple of different endeavors. Nothing that pays yet (or will for a long time). I have a class this week in marketing databases.
* I’m helping put together a “Boulder Readers of The Sun Magazine” group. I just set up the Yahoo! group last night. Which means more cool friends, oh, yeah.
* I am trying to learn to be a decent writer. <lj user=haywardboy> has given me some pointers lately and I have some homework to do. Some of the folks in my Boulder Sun Readers group want to have a little writing group, so that will be a boon.
* I’m populating my family tree into a cool Web 2.0 site for my whole family to enjoy. I’ve got a line on about 50,000 relatives–dead and alive. Crazy. And addictive. But very cool. As is usually the way my creative endeavors work, other folks have done all of the original research and my contribution is to synthesize it all into something accessible and fun. I’m totally OK with that. It’s what I do best.
* I’m attending to an aging dog whose body seems to require a lot of extra maintenance.
* I’m doing some reading for my thesis. A woman wrote a book that was a lot of the book I wanted to write but now I don’t have to and she’s coming to give a workshop in December so you can bet I’ll be going to that.
* And, last but not least, I’ve got a relationship with a great guy. I haven’t blogged at all about it lately because it’s just that there’s not a lot to talk about. We are in some relationsip zone that’s new to me. We aren’t spending as much time together. And yet we’re still together. He’s not perfect. In fact, he’s downright disappointing sometimes. And yet I still enjoy his company. I’m showing that not all I’m cracked up to be (and in fact have been quite sensitive lately). And still he keeps asking to spend time with me. So, what’s that? I guess that it’s the “we’re in the 6 months to 2 years stage of getting to know each other in which I apparently feel safe enough to show that I’m not the know-it-all stable one who constantly gives and gives in order to keep his attention” but now that there’s not the intensity, I don’t quite trust in the stability nor do I know what to do with myself so I’m just awkward a lot of the time.

Hmmm. Give me a few crackers and I have a hard time working up an appetite. But pile my plate high and I seem to get ravenous for life.

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10 thoughts on “What I Am Doing Lately?

  1. As for asynchronously reading RSS Feeds using XMLHTTPRequest.. ugh.. yeah.. it’s kind of a pain.. but there are pre built API’s out there you can use to handle all that. I believe Google has one .. Yahoo as well. Definitly worth using rather than writing your own. Also.. +1 for making a brand spankin’ new website.. -1 for using the term Web2.0 .

    In regards to the family tree deal, yeah, addictive. I’m apparently vaguely related to Oliver Wendell Holmes.. and Most definitely related to william s. harney. I’m not so impressed with who he was as a person, but more that there is a wikipedia entry about him.. I mean.. *I’M TOTALLY RELATED TO SOMEONE WHO’S WRITTEN ABOUT IN WIKIPEDIA!!!!!111111!!!!!!one” gad, .. I’m such a geek.

    Oh yeah.. and another reason to use a pre-built ajax framework. They’ve already figured out the back button fix.. etc.. well,.. at least you hope they have..

    Honestly the whole AJAX/Web2.0 craze drives me a little insane.. here at work we’ve been doing the asynchronous deal since before the dawn of time, only instead of tags or tags we used the god awful tag. (yes you may laugh now.. but it’s the only thing they had at the time)
    For those not in the know about such things.. The idea behind AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And XML)/Web2.0 is to make a hidden frame/layer etc. that does all the work of calling the server and sending or retrieving information from it (with an XMLHTTPRequest). Thus alleviating the need to actually move from one page to the next. This allows a website to appear more like an application. (Hence the Web2.0 nomenclature)

    Ok.. I’ve clearly rambled waaaay too long about this subject. and for that I apologize.

    • Good to know about AJAX. I saw mention of it on the web but it wasn’t around when I learned JavaScript so I didn’t know what it was or what it offered. (Hence, why I’m not laughing at your frame tags. I had to use those too eons, I mean, 6 years ago or so.)

      OK, now, Mr. Technohip, why do I get -1 for using the Web 2.0 term? What do the cool people call it?

      Here’s another web design question for you. A lot of sites now have menus both on the top and down the side. Are there any general guidelines of good meny layout? What kinds of stuff should go across the top and what kinds of stuff down the side?

      • The term Web2.0 is the equivalent to putting an “i” in front of things..or attaching a USB thumbdrive to ridiculous things. It’s a re-hashing of the hype from the .com era. And, well,.. I guess after living through the .com era, and helping reduce share holder value with the best of them, (can you say 400$ meals and penthouse suites in Manhattan’s mid town?)I’m sensitive to such ridiculous hype. As for what the “cool” people call this new era of internet usage? As far as I know, they don’t call it anything. (And, I’m pretty sure I’m not cool or technohip, but thanks. ) In fact from my understanding the cool people are hiding from the masses by going back to IRC, and *nix talk. Probably even dialing up BBS’s. (ok, maybe that’s a stretch).

        On to your other question, menu layouts.
        Everything I’ve read about good design points to allowing the user to access the information you have (and they are looking for) in as quick and efficient a manner as possible. As well as taking into account that people look for information in different and personal ways. The best example I can give of the concept of meeting those goals, is a a Topo Map. It displays a wealth of information and the user of the map is given several options in regards to how they get to that information.

        But how do you apply this to a website. If you are going to use a dual menu layout, I would put the things that don’t change, on the top, and things that do change on the side. The dominant paradigm is the left side for mutable navigational items. Mainly due to westerners reading from left to right. However users are becoming more saavy, and their eye tracking is skipping over obvious, non-content areas. Dig this link Actually, dig the whole site.

        Anyhoo.. I could go on more but at this point I’m sure I’m driving your readership numbers through the floor. So er.. yeah. We can get together and talk more about all this if you want. 🙂

      • Thanks. I doubt my readership is high, but it’s a nice a idea. And it’s my blog and I can geek out if I want to. Seriously, I am interested. So, keep the suggestions coming.

        Any suggestions on where to start with Ajax? I just looked at this page and maybe I’m already doing AJAX and don’t know it because that’s pretty much what my code already looks like and I’ve still got problems. So, I must be missing something. I just don’t know what question to ask.

    • Oh yeah and BTW, that *is* cool that you are related to someone in Wikipedia. If you really get into and end up getting an account on genebase or some other easy-to-use genealogy site, lemme know. I’d love to check out your tree.

  2. Wow! You have been busy! Sounds like things are going really well – Yay you!

    Give me a few crackers and I have a hard time working up an appetite. But pile my plate high and I seem to get ravenous for life.

    I love it, now to spin it such that I’m in control of how much goes on my plate… 😉

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