AGHH and AGHH!!

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This has been one helluva week, and it’s only Tuesday freaking morning.

First, I had to halt the online course I am taking because I cannot get the code to work. I finally have given up on NodeJS completely. I will NEVER code in it again. It is unnecessarily complicated (nested callbacks inside nested callbacks inside …), and impossible to debug, as the software gives unusable errors. I will finish the last bits of the course on using GitHub and such, but seriously, this software sucks big time. The instructor is okay, but he moves really quickly at times, and I want to shoot him. But that’s a frustrated me (in case anyone’s worried, I don’t own a gun, so no shootings will occur). He’s probably a nice guy …

However, before that … yesterday afternoon I was minding my own business when I started hearing water in quantities that didn’t sound right. I was correct. I traced it down to our water heater. Damn thing broke and was leaking. The catch-basin was full … eeek! I called the first number I could find (on one of the stickers on the side that seems to be “the thing” for plumbers to do), was told how to shut off the water and release pressure, and then they sent someone out. $2000 later, the water heater has been replaced. Good grief. In a while I will be going to a friend’s house and borrowing a carpet shampooer which will vacuum up the water that got into the carpet (or most of it). Luckily it wasn’t bad because I was home, but still … (also luckily herself paid me back for the cost, that put a huge dent in my bank account).

On the plus side, I’m making progress on my CMS, I have most of the functionality working the way I want, although I still want to revisit the in-content image thing with the editor. I know it can be done through the editor, but I haven’t yet understood how. I have captured links for a variety of sites and will see if I can figure out what I need. A few more things to do, clean up the code, clean up the comments, and I am in really good shape. I can start using it. But not quite yet.

CJ’s eye surgery is in a week. Will be glad when that’s done, and hopefully all will be much better for her after that. It will take some recovery, new glasses, so a month or so, but still.

Have sent out a few more resumes recently, waiting for the usual bounce back/rejection emails, but I can at least say I’m trying. Sigh.

Not much else to add at this time. Wanted to vent about my crappy week so far. Sheesh.

And the coding maniac is back

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The last couple of weeks have seen me just buried in code. The CMS I’ve been working on is coming along nicely, some good features, and my notes list is getting smaller. I still have some tedious things to do, like going through all my code and cleaning up the comments, adding some more “useful” headers at the top of each page, documenting the sh*t out of the thing, and dealing with consistency of appearance all over the place. I’m not done, but I’m making good progress, and feeling good about it. Nice thing is if you run into a snag the interwebs can be useful. Someone else has invariably run into the same problem, and I’ve found my google search skills getting better and better as I work on things. :)

Of course with all this web development I’ve been doing, I look at other sites (Facebook, this one …) and have a better feel for how they work, and a lot more respect for the coders behind them.

On other fronts, herself has been working and working and working, and mostly working. She’s got the eye surgery scheduled for Nov. 1, and is taking part of the week off to recover. This is something she should have done several years ago, but it scared her. Now it’s worse. But, the doc seems to think it’ll be fine once the surgery is done.

Her sister bought the house her mother and father-in-law lived in for years in Sacramento and just moved into it. Tom moved out because his lady friend is in Vallejo, so he’s now in his own place in Vallejo. We don’t see much of him anymore, which is a shame, although Gail is trying to get him to come to Thanksgiving. It’ll be weird going to Sacramento for Christmas and Thanksgiving again, and back to the same house, but not have Tom living there or in charge of stuff. We’ve been going to Livermore (Gail’s old place) for years since their mom passed away.

Let’s see. My youngest brother David had his own heart fun in May (major heart attack), and now his wife was found unconscious on the floor of the bathroom a couple days ago. She’s been in the hospital, and we haven’t heard what’s wrong yet — they’re doing all kinds of testing. She’s awake now, but was out for quite some time. Whatta year this has been.

And thank gawd the election cycle is nearly over. I can only hope that enough relatively sane people vote the right way this year because the wrong way could do some serious damage to this country. Gah. The crazies are everywhere. (I could also wish for a much shorter election cycle — it’s been a year and a half, nearly two years long for the presidential run … that’s nearly half the term the president serves!) Bleah.

So, after all this coding I’ve been doing, what’s the point? I wanted to build something that I could use to base a couple of major websites on for the SCA, and wasn’t thrilled with the frameworks that are out there (customization is complex). So … I wrote something that *I* understand, that *I* can work with and make do what I want. It’s been a bit of a nightmare at times, but I’m close. So there you go … Well, I ought to get back to it. One of these days this project will be “complete”, and I can start using it for something (which eventually will include moving all most posts here over to my own blog based on this CMS …).

Coding Like a Madman

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While I did do some job searching (ugh), and all that, I have spent a lot of this week coding like crazy.

I stumbled across and figured out some ideas, and how to use them, and then went nuts. This CMS project has been fascinating. I still haven’t gotten around to sidebars, which I am a bit afraid to deal with, but I should try to add one (search, that kind of thing). I spent the last several days dealing with an image gallery concept, which is near and dear to me, because of the History project. I haven’t been able to reproduce one aspect of Coppermine that I like — scrolling thumbnail images — they use a filmstrip concept, including the edges with an image that literally is like film, but the idea is that you can have the thumbnails scroll across the page (and off) — back and forth. Click on an image, get a larger version, etc.

I can’t reproduce that, but I can do some other things, and it’s looking pretty good. To do it I am using an add-in that’s already written (JavaScript, JQuery, etc.), but am pretty happy. Thinking for the History site I may do something for events where there are a *lot* of photos sometimes, of having tabs, with thumbnails for each photographer who uploaded images for that event, and then going from there. But … that’s for further down the road. Once I have this project done, then I can consider …

Still have some things to do, and I want to revisit appearance in several places. But, one step at a time. Getting the image gallery done was a big one, as noted, it[s rather important to some of my future project work. But it makes me feel good that I was able to understand how to make everything come together. Okay, I spent a lot of time on the web searching for information, trying ideas, deciding “Nope, that didn’t do it!”, and so on. BUT, it’s getting there. I have notes piled up all over the place, well, really two stacks right now. As I clear out ideas (get them working) I throw the notes away. Eventually I will probably put the whole thing out on GitHub or something. But not yet. As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to try typing up the small stacks of notes and dumping the scribbled mess that’s kind of all over the place.

THEN, I will take a look at styling. BUT … anyway, can we say obsessed much? I know … this has really grabbed me and shook me, and I’m feeling like I’m doing something productive. No one else in the world may ever use all this, but if I can use it as a base for several projects, then that’s good, and I can go from there. This hasn’t been quite as organized as it could have been for a huge project. I didn’t layout a general design as clearly as I could have, and then like some projects do, it just … grew. Ah well.

Anyway, last week is done, this week is starting. It’s Sunday. Herself didn’t have to work yesterday, which was nice. We went out and got a new doorbell button, and then had to call in our contractor to put it in, because stucco is a bitch to work with unless you have the right equipment. Argh. But that’s taken care of. Otherwise yesterday was me coding, herself doing stuff around the house, having a nice dinner and all that. Today we’re going out in a bit to see a movie with Don and BJ … that’s about it. Exciting, I know. I’ve been waking up early this weekend and just getting up and coding. Sheesh.

This coming week I hope to get more things in better shape on the CMS and close to being “done” (as it were). And look at more job searches and … maybe look at the ed certification thing for public school teaching, although that’s a tough place to go, it would be steady if I can get it and get in somewhere. Well, enough rambling. Off to do more research on the web …

Speaking of Rabbit Holes …

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… Gadzooks. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I last posted here, I’ve been so busy. Mostly on the coding project mentioned in my last post. I’ve been coding like a madman. Trying to figure things out, working around issues, finding ways that were not covered in the however-many courses I’ve taken to date on web development, trying to get it all to come together and work.

I have something that has a decent amount of flexibility, which I need. It probably has some issues with security, because that’s an area I’m not as well versed in, although I’ve tried to catch some issues. It’s faster than Drupal (so far, but I’m not dealing with tons of data). I created my own grid that I can plunk into a form (well, “plunk” makes it sound easy, there is setup that needs to be done, but most of the work is done for you …). I’ve searched and found ways to do most of what I want to be able to do. Good lord. There are still things to work on, this is a case of “a bit at a time”.

I’m trying to be methodical, which works most of the time , but sometimes I just go off and spend a long time on something or get sidetracked trying to figure things out. The latest bugaboo was frustration with the two biggest and most well known editors for websites, TinyMCE and CKEditor. Neither of them are easy to configure, and worse, to use things like images in the body of the element you’re working on. Worse, trying to then wrangle control so you can put the images where *you* want them, instead of some arbitrary location on the server … Gad. SO, today I spent a good portion of the day (with a couple hours break to do a lesson from one of my courses) doing it myself. I’m using TinyMCE because the editor doesn’t have as big an overhead as CKEditor. I noticed that loading a page with the latter is much slower than with the former. They both do similar things, although I like the way CKE handles source code better than TinyMCE, I’ll cope.

Anyway, the way I have it working now is: add under the content control (the one that I need this ability for — content on a CMS) a file object so you can upload a single file. The upload completes (hopefully) and saves the image in the folder associated with that content item. It then displays on the screen a new section with the html tags needed to insert the image, and instructions (change the alt text, the caption …), copy it, open the source (there’s a button in the editor) window, and paste it where you want the image to appear in the text. Using some css to make it look nice, and et voila! Not perfect, but it is workable.

I’m mostly done with the administrative aspects (which have been tough — started out as just wanting to get user login stuff worked out, and snowballed from there into this huge-mondo project). Part of the reason I’ve done it is because I have a couple of things I can base projects on. Oddly mostly SCA, but … of course, for the two or three of those I have in mind, this is a starting point/framework. There will be more that needs to be done, but you do have to start somewhere.

So, other than that, things have been the usual. CJ is overworked (working over 8 hours many days, most days … sometimes up to 12 … and too many weekends). We don’t get out as much as we’d like because she doesn’t get her downtime. She was supposed to have last Friday off, that didn’t happen because a meeting had to happen on Friday and she had to be there. Sigh. Oh well. Because of that, and her sister needing her help on Saturday to get ready for a move, and Saturday was shot for downtime (although dinner at the Black Hawk Grill in Danville was nice). Sunday we had plans to go out with friends and celebrate Oktoberfest locally, but that didn’t happen because of the lack of downtime.

Weather’s been all over the map. Too much heat, but last week and this weekend it cooled a bit, and even rained a bit Monday (not much, enough to remind us what that was like).

Still doing the gym, have to re-up soon, but it’s been worth it. Physically I am in better shape than most of my adult life, which is kind of amusing at 59 years old.

Job search still sucks, although frankly I’m not finding much to apply for anymore. Which is really frustrating. Oh well. I suppose I should put more effort into it, but it’s hard after all the rejections. You just feel like “I don’t wanna feel that again!”. I think that’s why I’ve been burying myself in this project.

CJ bit the bullet and has set up appointments to go in and have her eye taken care of in November. This was at the urging of friends (I can’t push too hard or it becomes nagging). She had the torn retina four years ago, and because she’s waited this long her vision’s gotten worse, and the amount of work will be more than just replacing the cornea (which of necessity was damaged to do the repair on the retina). BUT, the doctor may also be able to take care of an astigmatism at the same time, and so on, new glasses, a few days out (well, the glasses may prove interesting because she has to heal first, then get the glasses ordered …), and she’ll be back with better vision than she’s had in a while. That’s all to the good, I think.

Our friend Valerie has had to go through chemo for breast cancer, but is nearly done. That’s been hard to see, because she’s already thin to the point of seeming to be too thin, but really she’s been healthy. Luckily she has a lot of support and friends, but still.

Life moves on. Trundle trundle. Time for me to toddle off and do somethings.