Archive for July, 2007

I LOVE WordPress!

July 30, 2007

Actually I’m addicted to blogging, and WordPress is the hottest thing out there.

I made two interesting steps forward today:

  1. I upgraded a blog using the Custom CSS Upgrade
  2. I installed WordPress from WordPress.org onto my company’s server

Let me explain. As you’ve been reading, I’m actively designing/writing/preparing a new blog to launch probably sometime this Fall. There’s so much to do – I’m completely overwhelmed. I’ve drooled over that Custom CSS Upgrade since Karl pointed it out to me back in April, and since my company wants its own blog launched sometime in the near future, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and upgrade my blog for $15.

I promptly asked for a refund.

Was I unsatisfied? Well, the upgrade did not allow me to do everything I want with my blog, though perhaps I could have done almost everything I envision with the use of plugins and the like. Is the upgrade worth it? Absolutely. For someone with the patience to read WordPress documentation and the desire to design, the upgrade can open a LOT of doors and completely change the way people read your blog.

That said, I decided to move to WordPress.org and install the WordPress framework onto our company’s server for experimentation. It’s great. Having designed a framework myself, I really appreciate how well constructed WordPress is and how neatly their code is written especially for the functionality they offer.

WordPress is beautiful.

Now I’m back to the “grind” working on the shiny new company blog. 🙂 Sometimes I love my job.

Guestbook section up!

July 29, 2007

I know you fellow bloggers were waiting for this one: the Guestbook section of our site is up!

Leave us a message!

I’m also working on the photos section, so be on the look-out for that! Everything gets an exclamation point! Yay!

Web usability consult, a job I want

July 23, 2007

Steve Krug wrote a book called Don’t Make Me Think. He’s a web usability expert that will review your website and explain which areas of your site will likely confuse users. Here’s what you’ll pay him.

Checkers solved!!!

July 20, 2007

Beware, this is nerdy.

They finally proved that perfect play in Checkers results in a draw! I couldn’t find anything from an independent source determining if this proof is valid, but I know Chinook is reputable. Test the proof here by playing against Chinook.

What does this mean? It basically means that if you ever want to know the correct move for any board position, Chinook can tell you it. And, if you and your friend played flawlessly, you’d draw every time. This blows my mind.

Fun with Maps

July 19, 2007

After playing with Google Maps for a bit to get directions for our wedding website, I found this very interesting blog.

Strange Maps Blog

Here the author reports that each of the US states/commonwealths/whatever has the same GDP as another country and replaces each state’s name on a US map with that of it’s counterpart. It really makes you feel pretty lucky to be here. He also later did an update with some additional information and some better maps.

And, some of the maps are humorous. Here’s a reason guys in our area have no reason to complain. There’s another map, which I’ll let you discover for yourself, with some interesting groupings of the US states (look for a map with “Ha’waska” as a state). As always, here’s one for the geeks or the online socialites.

JonathanEmilyWedding.com live!

July 19, 2007

This is perhaps a beta version or something as not everything on the page is up yet, but you can check it out here. Please let me know what you think, and for you fellow geeks out there, know that I did it with 100% CSS code. It’s a beautiful thing …the code at least. Hope you like the site!!!

(Please make suggestions and comments, so I know what else should be on the site/don’t feel insecure that nobody’s commenting at all)

JonathanEmilyWedding.com in the works!

July 18, 2007

I’m putting the final touches on the site, and it should be up this week. Hopefully we’ll have a place to write in our Guestbook, download pictures, and get some much needed info on our big day (Yes, we could have just done all this through theknot.com, but where’s the fun in that – plus I’m learning CSS).

Elton John improvisation video

July 13, 2007

I found this video today. Here Elton John is challenged to put music to some rather peculiar lyrics…

Visit to Bel-air, MD, day 2

July 9, 2007

Second day in Bel-air was a lazy one. Not a bad thing.

We did get up quite early, resulting in a measly three hours of sleep before church, but that’s alright. Brian ran sound, so we were there early for practice and stayed for both services. Don’t let this deceive you into thinking he goes to a big church; the first service had three people. I really like his church, and Stan, the pastor, gave a great sermon with some insightful thoughts. Here are two points he made:

– Nowadays we often can examine Scripture better than we can understand it. We need to be able to tell Jesus’ story in our own words and be able to feed ourselves daily with Scripture.
– Paul said, “the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you’.” (1 Corinthians 12:21) Stan’s point was that Paul consistently described Jesus as the head of the Church, so we should look at this verse differently, which he unabashedly admitted throws a lot of theology out the window.

I really thought about the second point for a while. Essentially, God needs us. If God wants to do something, He will do it no matter what, regardless of people obeying or disobeying Him, and we’ve all had similar conversations about this and have stopped here. We feel lucky to be apart of His plan, and we should. But, it makes more sense that God chooses to need us in this way. Look around at the world. It’s so messed up, because we’ve ruined it. If God didn’t need us, there wouldn’t be such a deficiency in this world.

This goes back to Jason’s thought on day 1: God really does love this world in spite of all this. He wants it redeemed. He sent His only Son to die a horrible death to redeem it.

This is pretty new to me still, so… thoughts?

Visit to Bel-air, MD, day 1

July 8, 2007

The easy drive down to Bel-air (easy = relatively little traffic) made visiting Brian all the more exciting and energizing. Here’s the skinny followed by three insightful thoughts (not from me).

Brian and I caught up in his apartment, then got some pizza, and caught up some more, …then we re-located once more to a coffee shop, played a game of chess, after which we caught up some more. Haven’t missed a beat, though.

We hit up a local Irish Pub, the one Brian’s been raving about. It was everything I imagined and better. I met some of Brian’s friends from church – under the assumption he has more than eight friends here (Zing!). The chicken fingers looked like whole chickens, they were so big, and they were beer-battered to perfection. I now know what true jealousy is.

Finally, we headed over to Jason’s house after the pub. Jason is one of the coolest guys you would ever meet. Jason, let’s just say I would love to be discipled by you (I’m sure he’ll read this). We talked about many topics being with my occupation and leading to blogging, to Ruby On Rails, to IT/dorky jokes, to the seven-minute conversation lull/Abraham Lincoln, to the differences between guys and girls when constructing games …and the punishment/reward systems for said games, to discipleship and faith. While certainly the longest and most meandering conversation I’ve had in a long time, it was certainly among the top 10-20 conversations of the year (I’ll go there). I hope it was equally received by the other parties involved.

One interesting quote from Jason that I’ll leave you with today, though there will probably be more to come as I process everything that was said, was this: God likes this world very much, and we need to stop waiting for God to destroy it. In fact, God sent His only Son to die a horrific death and redeem this world. Jason asserted and I strongly agree that we often forget this. We sometimes fall into a mentality as Christians that we’re waiting around on Earth until Judgment Day, so we can finally be rid of the sinners around us and go up to Paradise. God likes this world. God loves this world. And, we need to embrace what God has created, his children. I hope this thought doesn’t seem pessimistic or depressing – I can’t seem to describe it how it was talked about earlier. It was intended to be a re-focusing on reaching out past our circle of Christian friends and influences to find where God is moving now and get on board with our prayers and with our actions.

Two other insightful thoughts quickly from this conversation:
– “Church sometimes becomes a safe place for Christians to avoid God and find spirituality.”
– Discipleship starts with following (and obedience). It is often a prerequisite to faith, not the other way around as we usually assume. Jesus called the disciples and somewhere as they were following, they realized, “Hey, You….You’re God.”