after living in my new neighbourhood for almost a full year, and in spite of the tablet-revolution that has become the preferred method for distributing and consuming digital comics, this weekend i signed up for a comic book file at my local comic book store. the store is Pendragon Comics, a whimsical if somewhat ramshackle store at the western end of Lakeshore Boulevard here in west Toronto. the experience reinforced many of the beliefs that i already held about why some traditional models of retail and communication are better, and some are not. Continue reading
it has been a long time since my last post. blogging has become more of a chore and an inconvenience of late, and i have to wonder why that is. i can remember a time… heck, i can read about a time in this very same blog… when the thought of leaving blogging for something like social media and Facebook was so strange and distasteful, and now that the world is engulfed in the fires of social networking, it’s easy to see that blogging has become a second place communication platform for me.
Right now I’m getting ready to take Hans to the vet. He’s found a quiet place to hide and rest – which is a huge improvement over how he has been spending his time over the past two days. He has been pacing around in circles in the basement groaning softly.
sorry to all of you who have come to believe that i have abandoned my umbilical-like connection to the interwebs. i know that i have been neglecting my blogging commitments, and for that i apologize. hopefully, you have all come to love google reader like i have, allowing it to let you know when the objects of your affection have both the time and inclination to share their thoughts and musings with you.
before i left for my vacation in april, i had to cram in as much development effort as i could to get things ready for my absence. while i was on vacation, i made a conscious effort to enjoy my time off and rejected any notion of obligation to inform you all of what i was experiencing, thinking that it would make great reading after-the-fact. since i have returned, i have been cramming all of my duties into the all-too-tiny 24-hour time frame with which all of us mere mortals are forced to contend. as my current project approaches code-completeness, i can see the light at the end of the tunnel and an opportunity to report on the past month's experiences. i already have reams and reams of stuff to share with you – like chocolate-flavoured beer, why life is better closer to an oceanic body of water, and extremely-recent emotional disturbance. since we have a long weekend coming upon us here in canada, i will try and get out a post per day (or so!) to get you caught up on where i am nowadays.
special gratitude goes out to everyone gracious enough to make my last trip out west the most enjoyable experience of my young life. you know who you are because i slept on your couches or your spare rooms and drank your chocolate-flavoured porter! i love you (chocolate-flavoured porter)!!!
song of the day for needing more time: time, sarah mclachlan.
for the past three years, i've been using my own homemade content management application to blog. as part of my new years resolution to relax more effectively, i went to the open-source community to see if i could give myself a few days of spare time by not reinventing the wheel in replacing my blog engine, and i couldn't be happier with the results. i installed the blogengine.net application on my website, and this is the result – a far more fun blog to use and to browse than i could possibly have crafted myself over this holiday break!
i wanted to include a tool that would enable user comments and ratings, and this engine came with those features built-in! i wanted a tag-cloud so that you could browse the postings by keyword and subject matter – and that was built-in also! i wanted a site that i could tool in .NET and reskin in CSS, and that was no problem either! and i wanted a new look and feel that was more glossy and less dark and gloomy and i managed to use all the time savings coding to make that happen also!
this new site has so many goody features – even i don't know all the things that it does yet! i imported the last year's worth of entries to get a feel for how the thing should work, and it's super-fantastic (in my humble opinion). i have to apologize a bit for the immense tag-cloud though – i will try and trim that down to a more reasonable collection of keywords as time goes by. in the meantime however – holy crap!!! i love it so much (as only a programming geek can)!!
on a personal note, the holidays have been good. i've relaxed and taken things at a very comfortable pace. i've had lots of projects (replacing my blog engine being at the forefront of these) to do this week, and i'm getting through them spectacularly – more on that in subsequent posts. life still isn't quite perfect, but it's mine, and i'm doing it the way that i want and choose – and things rarely get better than that.
song of the day for making things go your way: heaven in my hands, level 42 (with one of the best bass players ever to grace the face of the earth, mark king).