ALMOST … is so frustrating sometimes …

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I’ve been working, on and off, on the CMS that I’ve been building. Huge amount of time the last few days on one control (an HTML editor). It’s free, it has some amazing functionality, but the docs suck. Searching the web, I see solutions for what I’m trying to do, and I’m VERY close to being there. I want to do something in the status bar (or path bar or …) and I cannot figure out how to write the text there. It’s so frustrating. Every other part of the code works, as far as I can see. It’s always something, I guess. I’m ALMOST there, but just not quite.

Almost forgot. The contractor came on Monday, did the light switches, except as it turns out we had four of them that are “three-way” … meaning there are two (or more, I suppose, but in this case) switches that affect the same lights. I hadn’t realized that they were different, and didn’t buy three-way switches. D’oh. Tuesday I went to the hardware store, bought some of those (needed four, bought 5), and cover plates to replace the switch covers, as some of them were just in bad shape, one was broken, and many of them didn’t match the color of the switch. Replaced the cover plates, and then said to my self “Self, how hard can it be …?” and attacked the three-way switches. Started with the kitchen. Took three tries to get the wires in the correct places, but then I made a picture showing where the red wire goes, the white wire, the black wire … and then did the matching one. Worked first time. Did the next set, and the builders were inconsistent — two black wires, no white one … argh! However, I guessed, and it worked the first time. And the matching switch … same thing. Got lucky. :) But the light switches shouldn’t be a problem. All the light switches in the house were replaced, so hopefully they’ll last awhile.

Decided to take an online course on creating online courses. I’m hoping to get some good technical stuff out of it, and maybe do some courses on dBASE (heck, I might do some stuff with the CMS I’ve been developing — I’m combining things learned from three other courses, and completing some of what (IMO) should have been taught in those courses). No matter what, though, it’s a huge undertaking.

I’m also working (slowly) on revamping my Golden Stag Productions page, using some of the techniques learned in one of those online courses. That’s been slow because I’m not that great at photo manipulation, although I have software. I discovered how to fade a picture out for a background image yesterday, and wrote it down so I can return to it, as I will need it again, I’m sure. :)

Still doing very badly on the job search. Sigh. I would rather get a full-time job, but it’s tough out there. I keep seeing things like “The San Francisco Bay Area is a great place to get tech jobs.” REALLY? Oh well. Feeling tired and wiped. I’ve been mostly sleeping pretty well, but still …

CJ’s really exhausted lately, what with working until 2:30am last Saturday (real-world job, not SCA), and not really ever catching up after. And tomorrow we have Mists’ Bardic. Sunday I assume she’ll be doing Exchequer stuff … I can’t wait until she gives the Exchequer job up (June of next year).

Busy busy … nope …

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So, decided I needed to get some things taken care of.

Went to Kaiser this morning: Blood draw for PSA done (should see results in a couple days), flu shot. This was weird, because the blood draw was at 8; the flu shot was at 9:30. Normally when I go to the lab, it takes a bit of time — today: got there almost exactly at 8 (due to fun with traffic), and as soon as I got my ‘number’, I was called to the reception station, and as soon as he was done printing things, I got called to the blood-draw station. Done and done. A couple minutes after 8. Took a book — good thing. Hung around and read for well over an hour, then wandered over to the clinic. Was second in line for flu shots, and waited there. In and out and done.

Before leaving for all this I had my coffee and grapefruit; and worked on this CMS project. I decided to do a more involved encryption scheme for the passwords, mostly so I would have something I could use for other situations. I doubt anyone’s going to be that interested in hacking the GSP website. Got the encryption worked out. Then when I got back from Kaiser, I worked it into the CMS. Then had to (because I’m being anal-retentive that way) move the actual encryption routine into a separate function, so it’s harder to find the source.

Then because a contractor was scheduled to come over and replace all the light switches in the house, I made a quick lunch, and waited. He’s now come and gone. All but four switches replaced. (Sigh.) The four not replaced: three-way switches (two different switches toggle the same lights, for example, our kitchen has switches at either end …). Sadly, of the four switches that are broken, two of them are three-way switches. I will probably deal with that soon. But the rest of the switches are working fine, and the two that were broken in that lot now work without any complications. So that’s something.

Now that he’s left, and I’ve dealt with clocks and such, I have … no energy to put into anything. Figures. Tomorrow I need to get back on track (walk, look for work, work on the CMS …).

One other fun bit: A guy contacted me over the weekend about private dBASE lessons. He seems willing to pay, but … I am wary. Something stinks. Told him I’d think about it; second email was extremely obsequious, but I told him at that point “No”, and suggested the tutorial that is online, etc. Got a third message a bit ago that suggested I come to Thousand Oaks, which is where he is at, he’d put me up in housing, we’d have a room with a projector, etc. I told him flat out that I’d have to decline. Wonder if I’ll hear again. The guy is too pushy here, I really just don’t feel comfortable with it.

What a week … glad it’s nearly over

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Between depression (again, not clinical, but …) over the job situation; frustrations galore with the coding I’ve been doing, and more … not to mention the difficulties with my wife’s job/SCA-job … it’s been a mother-f***** of a week.

My darling spouse is so exhausted these days, she completely forgot to tell me that she needs to go to Lodi on Sunday to pick up the cash from a Kingdom (SCA stuff) event. This is on top of her having to work Saturday from about 1 to 11(pm). Ergh.

I found out about the Lodi thing yesterday when bringing her home from work. On the plus side, it appears her best friend (BJ) can take her, and they can yack it up, something they both love.

On the plus side:

Saturday we saw “The Martian” — fantastic; Wednesday we got together with Niki and Diana and Meg and Walkyr and saw the 40th Anniversary “Quote-Along” version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail — that was just silly and fun. Sunday we hung out with the GSP while they worked on masks and ended up going to dinner with the group that were there. That was fun, but tiring.

The rest of the week … weird. I actually got something approximating real sleep for a few nights. Last night – not so much.

The CMS I’m building for the Golden Stag Players (to replace the current website) is coming along nicely — I figured out some coding issues, and have it doing what I would like it to do … so that’s something. And I have template files I can use for other parts of the site for listing/adding/editing/deleting records (admin issues) that look pretty nice, and appear to work. Just modify for appropriate tables, and so on. I am sure there will be issues, but … getting there.

This also makes me feel better about my coding abilities, and that maybe I could make some money doing this, since the job market is so sucky right now.

Two big things I need to do today still (well, neither is huge, but …):

  1. get my hair cut
  2. find an electrical contractor to come in and replace all the light switches in the house … there are four that are broken – they work, but you have to play with them … the others will likely go at some point, it’s easier to just have someone do ‘em all. CJ wants a pro to do it, because she is worried I’ll burn the house down.

So … other than that, I was thinking of a short nap before I go get my hair cut and get some lunch. Feeling a bit frazzed around the edges, but feeling good about the code for the CMS coming together.

Still blue …

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I’ve been trying to avoid depression, and while not really depressed, far from at my best.

Job situation still sucks. Trying something different — reaching out to some folk on LinkedIn through messaging. Starting with one of the publishers I’ve worked with and had a good relationship with for awhile. Had a friend help me out a bit there by editing what I had written and making it much more succinct. Maybe it’ll help.

Have been trying to take the knowledge I’ve gained from the three web courses to build a full CMS from scratch. Have hit a wall with a function (file validation for uploads) — it bombs out consistently, but all the examples I’ve seen show it working. Argh. Sent code to a friend in Scotland who knows PHP really well, just in time for him to be heading off on a vacation trip to France, so no clue when he can get back to me. Have played with the database design, and dealt with the ‘static’ pages for the site, but am just not feeling the urge to jump back in and tinker with it. I’ll get back in there.

Yesterday I could blame some of it on a lack of sleep (woke up around 2ish and didn’t really get back to sleep until just before the alarm …) — was in pretty bad shape most of the day. Today … well, I slept fairly well, just feeling blahs.

Feel like nothing will be right again in the universe … I know things “get bad before they get better” sometimes, but sheesh. I am beginning to wonder when the “get better” part is. Cripes … I’m 58 years old, I have a huge and interesting background, I’m a great employee, but I can’t manage to get a freaking job.

No one wants to be around you when you’re down (and understandably), but I am having a really hard time maintaining “up”. CJ’s trying to not let the exchequer thing drag us both down (we haven’t had a huge amount of socializing with friends or family — “Can’t, have to exchequer …”), and get us out there, but seriously …? All she wants to (and really is able to) talk about most of the time is the exchequer office, and all I really want to talk about is the lack of work, or my PHP projects, both of which can get boring pretty damn quickly … just feeling more and more disconnected. Which doesn’t help pull me out of my funk. Sigh.

Oh well … just felt like dumping this here, rather than on Facebook. Some days getting the frowny faces to a post doesn’t really help … I mean, knowing people care is all fine, but it doesn’t help me get a job, it doesn’t help me feel better about my situation … so … “Am I blue?” Um, yeah. Pretty damn blue. And getting tired of it.

Just feelin’ … blue, I guess …

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The job search still sucks … as in SUCKS BIG TIME. Making little or no progress there, finding fewer and fewer jobs that I feel I can and should apply for. Getting rejection notices more than anything else, when I hear ANYTHING about a job I’ve applied for.

The courses I’ve been taking have proven fascinating. I started working on a full CMS (content management system) for the Golden Stag Players — I figure there’s enough content there to make a good trial run. Ran into some problems, one which I still haven’t worked out, and some are just the enormity and complexity of the database I need to build. Mostly complexity. It’s not really that big … just number of tables, etc. Feeling overwhelmed by this today.

Sleep has been off for a few nights (except last night when I slept like the dead). Still feel out of it though — one good night of sleep doesn’t make up for a couple of bad ones.

Feeling run-down, wiped out, and being crushed by the universe. I know, the universe doesn’t have a brain and isn’t really out to get me, but lately it’s felt more and more like that was the case. I suppose I’ll get over it, but man, I hate feeling so wiped out and down.