Online Community… Buh?

I participate in a lot of different online communities, believe it or not (I mean, it’s not like I wrote a 50 page treatise on the subject or anything).

I’m a general participant on IRC over on the Aniverse servers (#applegeeks, #machall, #megatokyo, #utopianpigs, and #inquisition), but I don’t “connect” with the users all that much (for reasons I’ve gone into before, mostly a matter of a large percentage being teenybopper idiots who haven’t a brain in their head, and EVERYONE looking for a fight).

I’m a sporadic regular on the Penny Arcade Artist’s Corner (PAAC), posting regularly for a few weeks, then disappearing for a month or two. It’s not that I get bored or fed up or anything… I just get distracted and forget to log on for a while.

I’m an aging veteran on Avatar, having logged in literally thousands of hours there, both to play, to chat, and to administrate. I don’t log on as much as I probably should anymore, because the thought of logging on just makes me feel tired. Not sleepy tired, either. The weary aching feeling in your bones tired. I have a niggling feeling that I should retire, which is hard, since “Nadreck” has been a part of my life for going on 7 years now. One of my justifications in not retiring is the feeling that I should go out with a bang, write the very best area I feel I can, and retire as it is put in. It is an area that I have not yet felt capable of or ready to write.

I have Final Fantasy XI which, while I thoroughly enjoy, has not yet given me the feeling of cohesive community yet. Only time will tell on that on.
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“Like Gutting a Fish”

As some of you are aware, I am not overwhelmingly happy with my website right now. My website is, in a lot of ways, a reflection of who or what I am. It is a metaphor for my life. If I am unhappy with the content and presentation of my site, it is highly likely (and certainly has been in this case) that it is indicative of my self-image and self-worth.

This is not a complaint, however. This is, after all, a two way street: by cleaning and improving my site, I improve my personal self-worth. My previous design honestly could have lasted quite a while longer: it was not a bad design, not in the least. It felt stagnant to me, though.

I apparently gave the impression that I took the feedback on the redesign pretty hard, for which I apologize. While I was slightly frustrated that some of the feedback had not come sooner in development, I was glad to have the feedback at all. The relatively poor response I received about the new design was not devastating, merely a bit of a bummer that happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I guess that’ll teach me to make major changes and call for feedback when I’m feeling fragile emotionally. ;)
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Nadreck v4

The site redesign is in.

I decided to buckle down and finish the site redesign tonight. As you can see, it’s about 90% functional (and if you can’t, clear your cache and reload, you’re probably using a cached stylesheet).

– Navigation is functioning.
– Layout is mostly functioning (in the gallery, I’m happy with the index page, less happy with the per-entry layout).
– I still need to make the links page (shouldn’t be hard, just haven’t done it yet).
– The search page still needs the new layout applied to it.. The comment section, too.

I’d appreciate feedback on the design, even if it’s just a “I like it” or “I don’t like it.” I’m going to try and finish up the last few things tomorrow sometime, so in theory the few things I’ve broken will be working again by the beginning of next week.

Hope you enjoy the redesign!

Ebb and Flow

Forgive me if this post is a bit sporadic.

Barring the necessities of breathing, eating, drinking, et cetera, I have done five things in the past two days. I went to my chiropractor appointment this morning, which is one of those five things, and is the one I don’t plan to talk about further (not that it was bad, so much as that it was a non-event).

I have, in fact, been working on my schoolwork, at least a little bit each day. I’ve been reading through the Kitab-i-Aqdas, and feeling very sluggardly about my progress. We’ll see if I kick up the pace some more in the next few days. Something that is interesting about the Aqdas is that (after the introductory remarks), a great deal of the first part of the book is updates to the Laws of God declared by previous dispensations. I don’t know why, but I do find this somewhat humorous, looking back at some of the things that had been forbidden previously. Less humorous but interesting is the part where he addresses the leaders of various countries, and pretty much foretells World War I.

I’ve also been working on getting the site redesign ready for a smooth transition. If I stay on task, it should be ready by the end of the week, like I said before. Basically, what’s been keeping me is the minor variations that I have between the different sections. For instance, the visual gallery is currently set up to show 2, sometimes even 3 images across, assuming they were all posted on the same day. Also, the layout of the archives is slightly different, so I need to make sure I don’t break anything when I implement things there.
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Big Changes Coming

Designing (or in this case, REdesigning) a website is a process, much like designing anything else. There is the brainstorming phase, then the process of fleshing out a concept you like. Once you’ve got an idea pretty squarely in your head, the process of creating a mockup, creating a one or two page mini-implementation just to see if the concept works in practice, and to refine the little things that give a site polish. Then comes the task of implementing the changes. If you’ve done your homework, then the implementation should be relatively easy. Otherwise, it becomes an arduous task.

Well, brainstorming is complete, and mockup is complete. I’m implementing the changes on my local machine first, at which point it will be a very easy, smooth, and quick transition. It might be an unrealistic expectation, but I plan to have it implemented by the end of the week.

A temporary link to a static (non-working) mockup is here.

Travel Music

America, by Simon and Garfunkel.
Road Trippin’, by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Take Me With You, by Morphine
Sleep Alone, by Moby
Thela Hun Ginjeet, by King Crimson
Life is a Long Song, by Jethro Tull
Postcard Day, Ian Anderson
Ride Across the River, by Dire Straits
Space Oddity, by David Bowie
Five Years, by David Bowie
#34, by Dave Matthews Band
Where Do I Begin, by The Chemical Brothers
No Distance Left to Run, by Blur

Please, add your favorite “travel music” to the list. Feel free to argue some of my choices, too.


I received an interesting email from my friend Randy today (no, not RK). He’s apparently applying to JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching program) to teach English in rural Japan for a year, and wanted second opinions on his statement of purpose. This is a program I’ve always been intruiged by (I’d love to go to Japan for a year), so I really hope he gets the position.

Reading over his statement, it really got me thinking about what my own purpose is. It is often easy to lose track of your goals amidst the chaos and little deaths of day to day living, and sometimes you just need a swift spiritual kick to the head to get back into the swing of things.
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Well, there goes THAT little streak of post. I’ll try to do better, blah blah, yadda yadda, you’ve heard it before and frankly I bet you’re as tired of hearing it as I am of saying it. My GOAL is to post daily (barring life interfering), but like any other goal, it’s something that you have to work at and don’t always succeed in hitting.

So why haven’t I posted since I got back into town? Something profound and rewarding? Tragic and horrible? Nope and nope. Mostly it’s just been getting back into a routine with my life. I got in at midnight on Sunday, which means I was in bed by 1am, and then up at 8 for my chiropractor appointment. Did various errands (got diagnosed with Lyme Disease at my physical, so I’m on an antibiotic for the next month, which I needed to go pick up), and got some shopping done.
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