A Small Amount about Politics

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I don’t want to write anything lengthy, but it’s tough. I noted in the previous post that I was disappointed. Well, that doesn’t really put it correctly into words. However, it’s hard to say something without pissing someone off these days, the country is so divided.

Being a white, straight, male, means that of the various demographics that are likely to get the shaft (non-white, non-straight, female) more than anyone, I can sympathize, but not truly understand the fears and anger that some people have over the outcome of the election. I am less likely to be targeted than they are. I know people in these categories, I am friends with many. One thing I learned early on is to not care about the color of peoples’ skin, and over time to not be concerned about their sexual orientation (unless they were hitting on me and making me uncomfortable — hasn’t happened in a long time). I adore strong women, and always have. Most of my female friends are at least as smart as me, and many are smarter, and in many ways stronger. However, that doesn’t qualify me to really stand up and say … well … anything really about their fears, their anger, their frustration with the system as it is and is it might turn out under the incoming administration of the U.S.

All I can do is try to remain calm, try to be someone people can come to if they are afraid or worried, someone they can hold onto if that is what is needed. There are friends who have the energy to go out and be really proactive and joining protests and making phone calls and … I’ve never been that politically active. If I were working (let’s not open that wound again) I would cheerfully donate money to some of the worthy causes that can help in the fight to keep the world from going total dystopian.

I doubt I’ll post this anywhere else, but I felt a need to say something. Somewhere. On Facebook, where a TON of discussion is going on, I sometimes have added a comment in a thread, but immediately find I need to turn off notifications because any political discussion these days causes massive commentary, and frankly some of it turns my stomach. I joked with one friend about how I could use the “recovering from pancreatitis and don’t want to upset my stomach” defense, but it really was meant as a joke. However, I know the night of the election (only one week ago), I had to walk away from the TV long before the counts were over, and just go to bed. Not because I was getting past the Pancreatitis (having just been released from the hospital the day before), but because my brain hurt, I felt ill, I just knew deep down that the outcome we got is where it was going. And I couldn’t watch anymore.

I sort of understand (again, I’m not in the demographic) why some people voted for Trump — the disenfranchised — those who lost jobs because they were sent overseas or the company just shut down, those who feel that their jobs are being “taken” by people who are not “them” (usually non-white, but …). They feel that the current administration hasn’t done what they should for them, and the democratic candidate never addressed their issues. Trump did tell them he would fix things. I don’t believe he can or will, but that gave them a little glimmer of hope.The DNC really blew it in this area …

Anyway, about all else I can add is:

  • You have a right to be angry;
  • You have a right to protest;
  • Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

However, you don’t have a right to:

  • Be nasty, bully people, assault people verbally, assault people physically … If you do it because you voted for that guy, he never said this was okay, and on CBS this last weekend he said to “Stop it”. Don’t believe me? Go watch his interview …
  • Vandalize — including graffiti, etc.

We all have base feelings, it’s what we choose to do with them. Violence as a way of acting out your anger (whether it’s acting out now because you think your incoming President says it’s okay — again, he didn’t), or whether you are angry because the outcome of the election didn’t go “your way”, all of the above is ILLEGAL. It’s also not what a “good person” does. We all need to rise above this shit, and find productive outlets for our feelings.

Do I think the country is “going to hell in a handbasket”? Well … probably not. Hopefully not. Already the incoming has backed off some of his campaign promises. However, some of the folk he’s picked for his cabinet are hardly people I would trust to “do the right thing”. There’s a lot to be concerned about. In the eight years Obama has been in office, despite congress, he has managed to get a lot of good things done. I fear much of the good that was done will get trampled on pretty badly. I have the hope that some of what the incoming wants to do may be illegal, or thwarted somehow. But I fear some of it will come to pass.

Well, that’s longer than I expected. I doubt anyone who needs to read any of this will, but oh well. Try to be better, that’s all I can ask. And don’t forget that in two years a large portion of congress is up for election … vote out the people you don’t want in there, try to get some movement going. Having a congress that spent 8 years trying to thwart the President has not been good …

Health Update, and a bit more …

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I still haven’t said much about the election. Partially because others have said it better, and partially because I just don’t really have much I can add to what’s been said. Sometimes silence is good, I guess. Disappointed, yes. Hopeful, a little … cautious, though. Being very cautious. The DNC really screwed up and didn’t address people they should have, didn’t deal with their concerns, and now the whole nation is facing a problem of epic proportion. But … I hope we can get through it with minimal damage. I honestly don’t know.

Anyway … went and saw the doctor today as a follow-up to my “fun” of last weekend. My weight is down to about 193 lbs, the lowest it’s been in many years (I attribute that a little to the exercise I’ve been doing, but more to the nearly a week of low appetite, the hospital stay with very little food (to avoid aggravating the Pancreas), and now the low-fat diet I’m on. It’s not 100% fat-free, but …) I have been worried about my blood pressure, because about six months ago I had stomach pains, saw a doctor, and my pressure was high. It was really high at points during the hospital stay. Instead I ended up with a blood pressure reading today of 125/82 or something very close to those numbers, which my doctor told me is good for a teenager. So … there’s that. I got a pneumonia shot (sheesh) because they’re worried about my immune system (between the prostate cancer and now all this fun).

The next (and hopefully) last follow-up on that issue is the Monday after Thanksgiving, where I get a new CT Scan of my pancreas.

Am very close to done with the base CMS code, only to have the folk at dBASE throw a lot of new features into the beta of dBASE (and it’s time to start testing things and putting examples into the next version of The dBASE Book Plus) … so the “finish” of the CMS is sort of on hold for a bit, until I reach a point that I’m feeling like all is in decent shapes. Lots of bugs cropping up … but thats’ life.

SCA stuff: CJ’s started to feel like sewing a bit, and is starting a new riding houppelande for me, maybe in time for 12th Night. One of our friends who is an amazing jeweler is starting the design work on a new coronet for me (my old one is a) heavy, and b) not really flashy … it is nice, but …). He said last time we talked face to face that he could have it done by 12th Night, but he has a real job, and a wife who keeps him busy (trips, they’ve been to various parts of Europe in the last few years), and … and … so I am not feeling sure it’ll be done by 12th Night. On the other hand, he may just get into a “get ‘er done” mode or something. I dunno. Be cool to have it then.

CJ’s eye is healing, she’s in that weird state where if she has her glasses on, her “good” eye is no longer the good one, but if she has the glasses off, her “good” eye is definitely the good one … it’s a bit disconcerting, I’m sure. She has a follow up in December.

Well, I probably ought to get back to working on something. Or not. Feeling a bit tired, sleep was a little unsettled last night, or at least I feel like I didn’t get enough.

Pancreatitis … Idiocratic Pancreatitis No Less

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Last week was a motherf***er of a week.

So, Tuesday, CJ had her eye surgery scheduled. Great, she’s finally getting the cataract dealt with (that she should have dealt with 3 years ago, but …). That took a while, and she may have to have more work done later, but we’re at a “let the eye recover” phase. She’s doing a ton of eyedrops, has to sleep with a plastic cover over her eye to keep from damaging it, and can’t lift more than 20 pounds. Fun. But … it will be worth it in the long run.

Same day, my stomach started giving me some trouble. Seriously? I decided to be stoic — she had enough to deal with, and it wasn’t bad. Wednesday, the pain was not getting better, my coding project on hold, I watched movies and drank a lot of water, that was about it.

Thursday it was worse, and no signs of getting better. Worse, I hadn’t had a BM since Tuesday morning (if you need an explanation, think about it …). I finally told her I was not doing well, she set up an appointment, we went to the Park Shadelands branch of Kaiser late in the day (first appointment available). Doctor checked me out, sent me to get a blood draw for lab testing (which was horrible — I don’t think I’ve had that much problem with a simple blood draw in ages — pain, nearly passed out — badly handled by student nurse …), get a stool softener (for the BM issue), and put on my schedule that an ultrasound scan of my intestines needed to be done.

Friday morning: around 8, while I was trying to sleep (because sleep is tough when you’re not feeling well), I got a call from the doctor, told me I should go to the emergency room. Herself was trying to work a half day. Oy. Well, her boss was cool. Went down to the hospital.

Checked in, got set up for a CT Scan (Cat Scan). Did that, and then “hurry up and wait” time happened. Waited for results, waited for results of yet another blood draw. Preliminary diagnosis: Acute Pancreatitis. Got admitted to the hospital proper. The doctors I talked in ER (both of them) felt an ultrasound of my gall bladder was a good idea.

I haven’t been in a hospital for a long time. I mean, I dance around the edges for lab work and such, and my regular doctor’s office is in the complex, and so on, but …

Got settled (as much as one can be). Spent a lot of time waiting. In the hospital, waited and waited, got lots of tests, but no ultrasound. Waited. Spent the night (CJ went home with Don and BJ, who also took the van home for us). Sleep was hard, because of the IV. They were giving me saline and also antibiotics. That was because the inflammation of the pancreas might have been because of some sort of infection. They really didn’t know.

Saturday rolls around. Had a blood draw at 5:30am. Good grief, what a horrible time for that. The roommate I had was a bit of a prick, and his family was worse. He was upset because he needed to have his gall bladder out and the surgery wasn’t happening right away. Took his frustrations out on everyone. Felt bad for the poor nurses who had to deal with his ranting. Luckily he slept a lot.

Eventually I got the ultrascan. Turns out the gall bladder appeared to be in perfect health, no signs of stones, no signs of sludge. I get to keep mine. On the downside, if they found that to be the problem, removing the gall bladder and I would have been done. No, turns out I have idiocratic pancreatitis — meaning they don’t know WTF caused it.

Another night for observation, but I was allowed (finally) to have some “food” — chicken broth and gelatin. The gelatin sucked. I ate one of them (they gave me two). Never again. “Clear Liquids”. A tea with pretty much no flavor (Lipton teabag, no caffeine).

Sunday: Early, doofus roommate finally got his surgery and left. Didn’t come back for recovery. Fine by me. I got the room to myself. Niiice. Quieter. Tried some “full liquid” — split pea soup and pudding. The pudding was so sweet I could barely touch it. Not doin’ THAT again. A little pain though after. So back to clear liquid. Figures. Later in the day I got some Milk of Magnesia (hated the stuff as a kid, still don’t like it). Even later I had a BM. Messy, but it cleared out the pipes. The pressure and pain reduced quite a bit at that point.

In the meantime, somewhere in all this fun stuff, I had an endoscopy, which is the opposite of a colonoscopy. They put me under for that, which is just as well. The reason was to check for possible issues at the top of the stomach (the duodenum). Nope, nothing wrong there! Clear liquids didn’t cause problems. So I had more broth, fruit juice … slept with the room empty until about 4 in the morning. (Very old man, nearly 90, had a heart attack, his breathing was rough, he was barely coherent … but he slept most of the time and was really quiet.)

Monday: was feeling much better. Had a shower in the morning, which was nice. Doctor was encouraged. Got “Full Liquids” again for food, to see how my stomach handled it. This time the soup was tomato (kind of a weird aftertaste to this one), and more pudding (and fruit juice). No pudding for me, not falling for that sugar bomb again. However, no reaction — my stomach didn’t give me more pain. Doctor let me go home! Yay!

Don and BJ came and got us. Of course we got all kinds of lecture from BJ about fibers and low-fat diets, and blah blah blah. Oh well. She means well. Was really happy to be home. Spent some time dealing with things that needed dealing with on the computer, and then watched movies and such. I have not been quite as intense on the computer, but doing a lot better. I tell ya’, after all that time in the hospital (it felt like longer — 3 days and nights) sleep was fantastic.

Of course, one problem with all that is that I was in the hospital during the time change. Didn’t notice it because everything was automatic. Got home and the alarm hadn’t been touched. Wednesday morning took CJ to work an hour early. D’oh! Oh well. All is good again.

My diet for awhile will not be as exciting, and because alcohol can be a cause of pancreatitis (none of the doctors we talked to felt that our drinking habits were such that there was any chance that set it off) no booze for awhile. Just in time for the holidays. Yay. But, it beats more hospital time. It’s not like they can remove the pancreas and you can live, after all … Anyway, that’s been my big excitement. Never mind the election, that’s a whole other topic.


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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.

More coding …

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Boy, I fell down a huge rabbit hole on the coding front. Wanted to find a free and easy to implement “grid” for web pages. Most of them are not free, most are not easy. I downloaded a couple that had good ratings and found them confusing as all get-out. Harumph. So I suggested to myself that since I am a programmer myself, maybe I should just create a grid of my own. It’s based on standard HTML (and Bootstrap) tables, read-only (no editing of the data in the grid), but it works really well. Has a lot of functionality, optional sorting of data in columns, optional search options, pagination for large quantities of data, and more. Not too shabby. So now to start actually using it. I documented it as if I might release it, however, it’s really heavily reliant on my own code, and the CMS I’ve been working on. But …

Last week was me coding (about half of it heavily focused on aforementioned grid) and doing the latest web coding course (which is focused heavily on JavaScript). Over the weekend … let’s see … Saturday we ended up going to lunch with friends, and then the ladies (three of ‘em) went off to go fabric shopping in Berkeley, while the guys (two others) and I went to see Suicide Squad (again for me). We then hung out a bit … and then ended up going out for Ice Cream and then one couple went home, we hung out more and did dinner …

Sunday evening we went to see Labyrinth for a 30-year run of the making of the movie. We hoped to meet up with some friends, but one of them was sick. Sad, but oh well. It was fun to see it on the big screen again.

Last night CJ went to SF to have dinner with her boss who is in town (he is based in Utah). The two of them get along well, he relies heavily on her which is great. So they got to talk shop and all that face-to-face instead of over the phone or in instant messaging/email/whatever.

CJ took the plunge today to go see a doctor about having the cataract surgery she’s been needing since after her torn retina several years ago. (She’s been putting it off …) She needs to lose some weight (anesthetics — overweight can be a problem), but has over a month or so, and they’re talking about 10 pounds, so it’s not a lot  — she doesn’t have the date for the surgery, but it will be in November. It may take three weeks of recovery (because of various factors) for everything to settle, but by that point her vision should be much better in the one eye. Hope so.

I have a small skin irritation on my chin. I was supposed to see a doctor this afternoon, but Kaiser blew it on the scheduling front and I got rescheduled with a different doctor for tomorrow … sheesh. Luckily it’s minor (not bleeding, no sharp pains), but it is an annoyance. Mostly it sometimes itches, but I am trying not to scratch it. Ah well. The verities of life, I guess.

I started looking at getting teaching credentials so I could teach Secondary school (preferably high school) … with all the new tech I’ve been learning I could handle computer classes as well as whatever. I mean, I am not sure if I could get a job teaching theater, with so many schools cutting back on arts programs. (argh!) It doesn’t look too complex, but I will have to examine it better. I keep getting sidetracked. D’oh.

We haven’t done a lot of SCA lately because of her work, and things like the latest big event was in Eureka, and hotel space was gone super quickly. The next big one is in Quincy and there’s very little hotel space in the area … so we’re looking at Mists Coronet, then Boar Hunt (haven’t missed that) and Twelfth Night (January). BUT, we’re busy doing stuff in the background. CJ still works with the exchequer a bit to help out (but she is not doing a LOT — partially because of job); I am doing my usual award list, history site, etc. (Part of the reason for all the coding lately is an eventual move of the awards list to the web …)

Well, wanted to do a quick catch-up …  nothing huge going on, but it’s nice to get some social time in … we’re both introverts in some ways, and it’s very easy to just hole-up and not go anywhere or do anything.

Code, code, code … and code …

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Gad, this small project has gotten away from me. It’s turned into a big one. And I’m far from done. BUT, I am learning a lot of PHP, and a few other things as well.

I probably ought to be doing the whole thing with Object Oriented PHP, but the syntax throws me (with -> for separators, rather than a period/dot, among other things).

BUT, I’m making progress. The user login/logout/register/change password/forgot password code appears to be working. The code for building site menus from tables appears to be working. The flexibility issues make things interesting. I have a few options I need to work with. I started one of the configuration pages and that seems to be working (albeit with a weirdness, but …).

On other fronts … well, herself has had the last week off, so we’ve been avoiding being under-foot for each other a lot. We’ve also gotten out and seen some folk, which was nice. Last night was fun, we saw our SCA apprentices (who have been Laurels for a long time) and one of their apprentices who is a good friend. Sandra took a fun photo (below) at the antique shop next to the restaurant.

Still doing the gym, slowly upping my game a little at a time. Not by leaps and bounds, but … I have more muscle definition in my arms than I think I ever have before. My biceps and triceps are getting big. (Well, not huge, but …) Other than that well … not a lot going on. Too much time coding, though. I’m reaching that point where I’m seeing code in my dreams again. Gotta be careful there.

Well, wanted to update a little. There you go. Here’s the photo Sandra did last night:

Ken and Large Brass Stag

A Couple of Young Bucks Hanging Out

Door’s Done and …

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So … the drywall guys came in and worked from Thursday through Saturday, a bit at a time, as some of what they did required the mud (plaster) or texturing or paint to dry.

It’s done-done. Herself has the week off (although she had a couple deployment things Saturday night and Sunday morning), through Monday (Labor Day). Of course, any time she’s home and I’m home we have to avoid getting under each others’ feet, in each others’ way. Sigh.

I decided as part of my learning about Content Management Software to spend some time working on user account stuff, which frankly is harder than I thought it would be. However, I’m getting close to done. I have set up a simple CMS with a complex user system (many options, which is why it’s complex, including no users needed for the site except administrative …). The idea is that the actual content is all kept in a database, including definitions of many things. There are still some things to complete, some issues to work out … but I’m making some real progress, and starting to feel like all these years coding and I can still do things. I can figure out how to do things without asking someone (these days many people have been there before me, so going out and searching the web I can find pages and pages of situations where there might actually be the answer I was looking for). It’s a bit of a rabbit hole some days, but there we are. I actually intend to use some of the ideas that I’ve been working on for at least a couple of different sites some day, and in the process am building my knowledge.

Speaking of which, I finished another course in Udemy on Drupal 8, and started yet another Web course (Web Developer Bootcamp). This one is hard, because the first few lessons are super basic, although I did learn about something in the “intermediate HTML” course that I hadn’t seen before, so there is that. It’s a huge course, and it was “on sale” … list price was $200, I paid $10. Slow going, because I am doing a bit at a time.

Exercise is still happening. One of my friends (a divorcee mother of several kids who is busy all the time) just discovered on Facebook that I am doing it and has been super encouraging, and several others who have been following along have been, too. I’m feeling stronger than I ever have, I have muscle strength in my arms that I don’t recall having for many years, and so on. I am keeping an eye on my heartrate though, as several weeks ago (I’m pretty sure I mentioned this at that time, or around it) I brought it up to over 160, and got light-headed at the gym — ended up coming home. But only the one time …

Since herself is off this week, we went with Don and BJ to Skates in Berkeley for lunch today. That was fun, but the waitress we got was “too cool for school”, and lost our order. We got the appetizers, but 20+ minutes later and we still didn’t see the entrees, I flagged down a manager. We eventually got our food, which was excellent. But that was unusual. They have a good rep, and my wife and BJ really love the place … (heck, seafood, by the bay … kinda nice).

Anyway … just wanted to catch up, throw some thoughts out there … and awaaaay we go.