So I just did a little hacking on the Greymatter source code so now I have some additional functionality:
- In the configuration, there’s a spot where you can specify your Amazon Affiliate ID (for link creation)
- When you add or edit an entry, you can hit CTRL-SHIFT-E to create a link to an Amazon product by entering the ASIN for the product
- Links that you add to other sites, etc., all open in a new window by default
I’m pretty pleased. This makes it much more usable, especially for the way I blog.
We’re partway through the first module and I’m kinda bored. It’s the same “overview” module they have in every single other class I’ve been in and I can almost recite it along with the teacher.
It’s amazing, though, how few folks in here have really done any web development. In a class of six, only two of us really have done anything. Some folks don’t know HTML even, which could be an issue considering that’s a prereq.
This guy Albert is in my class, and he’s been in two other classes. It’s cool to see him again; he’s a nice guy and it’s good to see a familiar face when you come to these things. Sort of “small world”-ish. He’s on a certification track, too.
We just finished the first module, and so far, so good.
Let me quickly go through the weekend. Actually, there’s not much to go over. Um… oh! I found the dinette set I want, but now I’ve got to find a couple of different places that carry it so I can get the best price. It’s called the Bordeaux Bistro Set by Hillsdale House, Ltd. Jenn digs it, too, so I think that’s what we’ll end up with. It’s free shipping right now, so maybe I’ll just go for it.
Went to a barbecue at my friends Dmitri and Holly’s house on Saturday. It was good to see them (and some other friends) there, and met a couple of new friends. They have a poker night at their house every couple of weeks. I suck at poker, but it might be fun to get together with them anyway and lose a couple of bucks.
Oh, and remember the meager drink selection we had in class last week? This week there’s no drinks. You get to pay $0.35 for a $0.25 can of Diet Pepsi if you so choose. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but it’s free, sooooo…
My friend Aaron has started a blog. That’s pretty cool; I’ll have to stop by regularly so I can keep up with him. I’ve found that I don’t keep in touch with people very well, so it’s hard to catch up with folks. I’m telling you people, this is the best way to go if you want to make sure folks know what you’ve been up to. Centralized, easy maintenance. Plus, from a time perspective, you can put a LOT more thought into your entries online than you can into 30 different “hey, what’s up?” email responses.
We’re going through the “how to start Visual Stidio.NET” section. Yawn. I guess that’s good for some of these folks, but I’m surfing.
I’m pricing computers at various online places and I’m finding that any computer with the stuff on it that I want will run around the $2000 range. Sigh. More than I really want to spend for a machine that won’t get too much use, but then, when I do use it, I want it to be good.
Looks like I can get a decent machine from HP for about $1700. Better than $2000, but with a few less features than the Dell $2000 machine I was looking at.
Lunchtime! I think I’ll head over to the local supermarket and get some lunch on the cheap.
I went to the supermarket down the street which is supposedly some sort of gourmet place (you know the type - they cater to the well-to-do so they charge too much for everything and offer weird products you don’t want) and ordered a half-pound of their lasagna.
It’s Chef Boyardee if I’ve ever tasted it. Seriously. And that’s not complimentary.
Tomorrow I think I’ll try something different, or maybe just buy ingredients to make something myself.
So I thought of a few projects that I need to get on, and maybe will work a bit on one of them tonight.
First, we need a really cool home page at the MildPeril top level and I have a cool idea, so I’ll see if I can get something together for that.
Next, I use Greymatter right now for blogging, and while eventually I want to move to Movable Type, I need to do a little customization on Greymatter to hold me over. For example, when you add a link to a site while you’re editing your blog entry, you can type CTRL-SHIFT-A and it will automatically insert the link. I need the link to be inserted with a **attribute, though, so links will open a new window instead of taking you out of my site. Also, I add links to stuff I buy (a la Amazon) and I want to add a hotkey combination to automatically generate those links so I don’t have to. That’s probably like 10 minutes of work, but it’ll save me some time in the long run.
Also, I have a couple of t-shirt designs in mind that I want to do. One is the “I (Heart) Toxic Waste” shirt like the one you see Val Kilmer wear in Real Genius. Another is the Turd Ferguson shirt I’ve spoken of previously.
Finally, I have a really cool idea I’ve been toying with for a configuration file editor in .NET. I think that if I could get it to work, it’d be really, really handy, but I am lazy. I won’t lie to you. It will probably never see the light of day, but it’d be pretty cool.
I’ve been studying for my next test and while it felt very complicated at first, now that I’ve been through the questions on the practice tests a couple of times, it’s feeling much more familiar. I think I will schedule the next test for sometime next week so I can get it out of the way and move on with life.
I just went looking at some different Flash animation products out there and…
You know, I used to be totally into Flash and front-end technology. I was pretty decent at it, and getting better all the time. That was, like, two years and two versions of Flash ago. Now I look at this stuff and all the things it can do and feel completely overrun. Which really feels bad because when I got into web development in the first place, it was specifically to do the front-end development. Now I spend so much time coding and doing the back-end stuff, I can’t remember how to do the fancy front-end stuff anymore.
Further and further away from where I wanted to be when this started out…
And now I don’t see that there’s really any way to go back. I’ve got too much experience programming and not enough practical design experience to get a job doing anything but programming. I’d do it at home for my own benefit, but I’m so wiped out when I’m done with the day at work (programming well and truly takes all of my energy) that I don’t even really turn on the computer at home.
I wonder how many people this sort of thing happens to - trying desperately to go down one career path but being dragged by your ankles down a totally separate path.
I went to this La Femme Nikita web site and it looks like (as of July 27) they may or may not put out season two on DVD. I really hope they do; I love that show. Right up there with Alias in the “suck-me-in” factor. I can’t not watch.
I just got some more web site stats from Marty and it seems my average visits count just keeps going up. Who are all you people?!
Well, that 30 minute lab just took about eight minutes.
People might ask, “If you already know this stuff, why are you in the class?” I have an answer for that.
This beginning stuff - the first, say, five or six modules out of 17 - are definitely review. The rest, though, are going to be complementary to my existing knowledge: reinforcing the stuff I already know and filling in the gaps for the stuff I don’t.
Plus, it’s very validating to see that I’m so familiar with this stuff
- it shows that I have, in fact, learned the stuff I’ve set out to learn. That’s a good feeling.
Besides, not being at work is almost the same as being on vacation. Isn’t it?
We just started the next module, and I just finished with the lab for it. Maybe I’ll get out really early…?
I just wrote a really cool VBScript that I can use in these classes to quickly set up a machine’s environment for use. It automatically adds the “Command Prompt Here” functionality (like the Windows Power Toy), updates the registry so the command prompt will automatically set up the environment for Visual Studio.NET when you run it (rather than having to use the “Visual Studio Command Prompt” all the time - what a pain!), adds a shortcut to Notepad to your SendTo folder (so you can right-click on things and send them to Notepad), and sets the path completion character to TAB. I’m stoked.
Looks like we’re way ahead today, so we’re outta here. Rock on, man.
Last night while I was watching movies, our kitchen sink started dripping so I had to turn the water off and go down to the apartment office this morning. The repair people still aren’t here and I’d like to use the kitchen sink, if you know what I mean. I’m tempted to fix it myself, but… nah.
Jenn’s at work today, so I’m tooling around alone. I decided that I should go to Fred Meyer to get a look at the chairs and tables they had since (thank goodness) our dining room set sold at my parents’ garage sale. (For a while there I thought I was going to have to go the classified ad route and fight this thing out the door, but got lucky.)
I found that Fred’s had the chairs I want, but no matching table. Looking online, I found a nice set I liked, but for more than I am really willing to put out. So now I’m going to have to keep looking.
Decided then to go to The Wherehouse to look at the used CD selection. On the way there, saw that a video game shop had a giant inflatable Mario standing on top. I need one of those for my cubicle at work.
My dad, as usual, tried to pawn off all of his unsold stuff on me, which I, of course, denied because it was all junk. At the time, my table hadn’t sold yet and I was worried for a while that it wasn’t going to, but by the time I got home, Mom called to say that just as soon as I left, someone came along and bought it. Crisis averted.
Got home and found my tiny cat sleeping with her ear all wonky. That’s pretty typical for her. I wonder how she can think that’s comfortable. Then again, maybe she doesn’t even notice.
And while I’ve been typing this stuff up and surfing the web, Jenn’s sister - knowing that Jenn’s at work - has left two voicemails already. Ridiculous. She’s not home, so don’t call here for her. Sigh.
I’m liking the whole picture-taking-thing here. What do you all think? Are pictures really worth a thousand words?
Well, I’ve got training once again next week, this time for, uh… ASP.NET. Damn, I go to so many of these things that I can’t even remember which class I’m going to. I just sort of show up and learn stuff.
I got a statistics report from Marty to show me how many folks are visiting. According to the report, I average 83 visitors a day. Let’s assume that up to half could be either repeat visitors or search engines, that’s still like 40 people a day coming to read about how clever and funny I am. I can probably pick out maybe 10 folks I know show up… who are all the rest of you people?
This is an official APB for comments - if you read this bad boy, leave me a comment so I know you’re out there. It doesn’t even have to be anything special, just a “hey, I’m out here lurking” sort of thing. I’m really curious how many folks are coming in from out of town, so to speak.
I bought the Evanescence album Fallen today and I’m really digging it. I like the song “Bring Me To Life” from the Daredevil soundtrack, and the rest are just as cool. If you’re into the alternative rock scene, go get it. It’s sort of like Sarah McLachlan goes Linkin Park.