Minor Update

Nothing special has been going on. I’m still going to Zumba classes on Sunday mornings and it still hurts like a mofo when I’m done. I hate being the fattest chick there but I keep sticking to it. Plus I can see changes in me that I like, so pain is worth it.

Art-wise, the only thing I’m working on at the moment is a map. I’ve been interested in cartography for a bit, even tried making some maps for a friend’s campaign but it didn’t come out too well. So I’m working on something new and trying out a few different techniques. I’ve seen some nice examples over on the EN World site that have given me some ideas to try out so that’s my current project. I’ll post something eventually.

Otherwise, just waiting for it to warm up here so I can do some more work outside on the landscaping. We’ve already put down some more mulch to fill in new spaces and patch some areas where the mulch was thin. To be honest, the landscaped areas could absorb another 10-15 bags worth of mulch and it would be fine. We plan to start adding actual plants this year and building up those areas slowly.

More new discoveries

So something seems to be up with my old jump drive (flash drive, pen drive, whateveryouwanttocallit).  I’ve had this thing for years, dating back to when 512MB was HUGE and it cost me $60 to buy it (thankfully expensed to the old employer).  So, jump drive not working in Win7 for some reason, even though I’m pretty certain it’s worked there before.  Now, I don’t use the drive all the much but I do happen to carry it in my purse all the time.  Why?  No idea.  And now it’s not working for some reason.

This is a problem because the only items I kept on there were my stories in progress, and I’ve been a bad girl and not backed up the jump drive to the main computer hard drive.  So when I was wasting time at work on my lunch hour and wanted to just take some of my old stories and upload them straight from the drive rather than deal with the old Joomla database back-up, I couldn’t do it.  No drive.  From researching the issue I don’t believe the drive is dead, just not working in Win7 for some reason.  I have an older laptop hanging around I’ll boot up and see if the drive works there and if so, then I’ll back-up all the stuff there.  Mostly because I have a story I’ve been poking at writing for a few years now and eventually plan to finish.  And because I don’t want to try rewriting it all.  If I lose the drive, then I’ll just never go back to those stories and in at least one of them, I’m far enough along that it would be a shame to give up on it.

The bright spot though was when I was poking through my old computer back-up file and I found a back-up copy of the database from the blogging system I used before Joomla!  So there are even older updates and files in that database that I can save here.  It really is a PITA, but I think once I have all the various writings and other updates reloaded here, my online “life” will be as complete as I can make it.  Why does that matter?  It probably doesn’t in the long run, but it is rather interesting to go back through some of my old posts and read about what I wrote then.

 

State of the something-or-other

So as I’m adding older posts back in and trying to create new content (*laugh*), I’ve realized that the category/tag system is defeating me.  Right now I have a mix of each kind depending on when I created an entry.  I’m thinking more that I should use broader categories (Art, Design, Gaming) and then use tags for more refinement (Fanart, names of each game, type of graphic) instead of creating categories to further refine searches.  It would be a PITA to have to redo everything once I decide on a method, but what’s new about that for me?

2012 has started out pretty good.  I got a NOOK Tablet for Christmas and have found several really good, free ebooks on the Barnes & Noble site.  I need to sit down and write some reviews of the stories, because I want to and because I want to get back into the habit of writing again.  I used to do so much more sharing of my thoughts.

 

End of year babblings – 2011 version

Once again, I’ve decided that changing the purpose of my website here is the thing to do, so that’s what I’ve done.  I ended up not liking the whole portfolio on the main URL and blog updates on a sub-domain URL.  I ended up not updating either site then and that bothered me as well.  Finally, I’ve decided to just use my main URL for updates and blog posts and any artwork/writings I’ve done and I’ll worry about a formal “portfolio” later on.  So since I’d barely updated the blog sub-domain site, transferring those posts to the main site was easy.

The harder part was adding in all the old posts from previous iterations of the site.  All that internet history was missing and I was determined to get it back online somehow.  I’ve since found an old localhost file which is a backup copy of the site back when I was still using Joomla.  This is a good thing since that particular version of the site was probably the most complete it’s been in years, and now I just need to copy-paste it all into WordPress.  Easier said than done, but it’s actually not too onerous either, especially not once it dawned on me that putting the text from the CSV file straight into the HTML tab of post entry makes all those random characters go away (or get rendered properly as punctuation).  Now things are breezing along much more smoothly, although getting that L2 review entered was a chore because it was contained in multiple cells.

Which is another reason I’m glad I found this file – it has all my old articles from when I posted for Grimwell Online.  Multiple commentaries, game reviews and general information – all of it in that little file and soon to be back up online.  It does surprise me how old some of this stuff is; I’ve really gotten out of the habit of writing about my gaming or anything else.  Maybe finally completing this “upgrade” will prompt me to get back in the game again.

Poking the bear

Why do some idiots insist on poking the bear, aka aggravating the admin of the forum they post on?

I get that occasional members on the OneManga forums think they should be allowed to post whatever they like without regard to the rules.  You get all kinds and the crying/whining/bitching that results when the rules are applied by staff can be amusing.  Most members will simply apologize and go on.  A few will try to reasonably argue their point for why they posted as they did, and in a few instances, have even won their cases.  It does happen.

But then there is a rare member who decides that the mods/admins are just out to prevent their free expression of speech on the site (despite the fact that the First Amendment doesn’t really apply to a private run forum) and so they become commandos, out to defeat the oppression.  Or something like that.

It’s even more cute and endearing when the member starts creating duplicate accounts to sockpuppet their way under the radar.  Except that staff has ways to tell if duplicate accounts are being used.  It’s really not that hard to figure out, to tell you the truth.  And yet, the sockpuppet thinks they are invisible and unknown and therefore able to poke and try to aggravate the admin at their leisure.

Except that I know who you are, dude.  I know about your “original” account and now the two other accounts you’ve logged in on since the big threat you left on my profile wall.  Honestly, if you’re going to try to attack me or make me mad, at least try to post differently on your various accounts.  I know, I know.  Roleplaying can be hard if you’re clueless, which you obviously are.  The first rule of not giving yourself away – don’t come onto my profile wall on one of your other accounts and start commenting about how much of a meanie I am to your original account, which you supposedly have no connection to and no reason to be associated with or commenting about.  How hard is that?

Right now I’m still in amusement mode, which means I reply in a vague fashion, poke back a bit and just hand the idiot all the rope he needs.  It’s fun because this person obviously doesn’t seem to get  that I’m really not invested in their tantrum and only responding for as long as I’m entertained.  Once the entertainment goes away, out comes the ban hammer and away go those other accounts.  I’m debating on whether or not to leave the original one active or not.

Ah, the joys of being a forum admin.

More Farmville stuff

So, note to self – never post your profile link in the “looking for neighbors” thread on the Zynga boards unless you’re open to being swarmed.

I did exactly that on my “FB game only” account and ended up with almost 200 friend/neighbor requests in a only a few hours.  While it’s been pretty cool for this Farmville character, it’s just crazy when it comes to accepting gifts and returning them.  And the requests to join pages, causes, events, other games…. YIKES!  I think I was very, very naive to think something like this wouldn’t happen, but it did surprise me.

I’m getting over the “guilt” of not responding to each gift request by returning a gift.  I’ve blocked other games I know I have no interest in playing ever.  I’m contemplating just ignoring requests for games I don’t really play any more on that account.  I’ve rationalized it by telling myself “these people aren’t friends.  You owe them nothing in the long run.”

I’ll always make sure to respond to people on my real FB account, especially gifts and requests, but this gaming only account?  Yeah, I’m not turning this into a full time job just to keep up with things.  Sorry, faux FB friends.

Blarg

That about sums it all up.

I had what I feel was a good interview yesterday for a PM position, but I’ve felt that way about all the interviews I’ve had so far.  I’m planning to be more aggressive with my follow-ups and my determination, because this would be a good fit for my current skills.  It’s just somewhat hard because I have been out of work for a while and you can start to lose confidence in your own abilities.  I know I can do this work, though.

Beyond that, I’m just… blah today.  I have no motivation to do anything at all.  I have to get up early tomorrow and head to my next PMP training class (fourth of five) but that’s tomorrow.  Today?  I just feel like stuffing my face with chocolate (of which I have none) and snoozing in my big comfy chair.  None of which helps me accomplish anything around the house.

Decisions, decisions.

Social Gaming

So, I’m an online gamer, but particularly since I was laid off in October 2009, I’ve started playing social games such as Farmville much more often.  Partly because it’s really easy to slip in some time on the farm in between filling out internet job applications.  Partly because even though they are called “social” games, there isn’t a whole lot of interactivity to them.  But that I mean real-time interaction with another player.  Oh sure, I can head to a neighbor’s farm (or homestead or cafe or house, depending on the game in question) anytime to do some work such as fertilizing their crops or feeding the chickens, but beyond leaving a message, there is no avatar-to-avatar contact between us.  It’s lacking that part of the social interaction.Continue reading

Added a new portfolio piece

I added the screenshots and information about the vBulletin 4.x forum skin customization I did for Matt James over at Loremaster.org.  I think the skin turned out great and it was just what he wanted.  I’m glad I’ve gotten into the habit of taking full page screen grabs after completing a project so I can have pics for my records.  I didn’t do that properly for some of my older works and now it’s too late since those sites are offline now.

One of the biggest frustrations I have with redoing my entire portfolio online (and the reason I don’t have anything up as of today for Illustration and Colorings) is because I’ve changed how I want the thumbnails to look.  Presenting the whole artwork image or screenshot of a website is easy, but over the years I’ve done the thumbnails in several different ways.  For a while I used tiny 50x50px images, then I went to 100x100px size ones.  I used some slightly larger, vertical sized images and most recently, I’ve settled on the 150x75px images now on the site.  Changing the look of the thumbnails isn’t a huge problem, except for all the work going opening each piece of work, putting the spot I want to feature into the master template file, tweaking how it looks, and then creating the thumbnail.  It’s not particularly hard or anything, just tedious to a certain degree.  Which is why I haven’t finished those two sections yet.  I really do need to get them completed asap.