Photo Friday: Best of 2005

The photo:

photo: shells

A while ago I contemplated occasionally taking part in the Photo Friday weekly photo challenge but forgot about it, not giving it a second thought. This morning I decided to create a photo category for the blog and remembered about Photo Friday.. somewhat ironically right at the end of the year but heyho. :p

Anyway, I picked the photo above because although it’s not my best photo it does remind me of one of the best times I had this year — my first break at the seaside with Karl. Although the weather was pants, I got to have a proper rest and saw some cool little sea creatures. Oh, and that’s when I found my heart-shaped rock, too. :) So, yes.. this is my best of 2005. (Click for bigger, unedited version.)

(Ps. new theme.)

Cough! Splutter!

To Karl: “I think I’ll have a glass of orange juice to increase my CSS levels.”

I think I meant Vitamin C levels. You’d think this cock-up would be to do with my terrible illness minor cough, but in actual fact these geeky man eating penguins.. eh.. where was I?

Oh yes.. geeky moments. They seem to be happening more frequently. I blame the television (everyone else does). The point? I think I need a life.

Edit: Note to self.. it’s not a good idea to dance in the first proper snow of the season whilst wearing slippers on a piece of concrete thick with ice under said new snow. Ow. I think I almost broke my poor little toe then!

ho ho ho!

Christmas was good. Karl and I didn’t get much sleep on Christmas Eve because of my excited fidgeting and the fact we were sleeping on one of those crappo airbed thingies on my Mum’s front room floor, and the kids (my younger brothers & sister) wouldn’t stop bickering.. but I got some great presents for which I’m incredibly grateful, and Christmas dinner was just delicious. Nothing beats my Mum’s roast potatoes, I swear.

I feel somewhat spoilt this year because Karl got my three quite ‘big’ (not size) presents — a new watch, a big book on crochet stitches and patterns and a bottle of my absolute favourite perfume (Chanel No. 5; I’ve expensive tastes). I also got a set of crochet hooks from Karl’s mum (from 0.6mm — 5.5mm) which is awesome, because I only had two before. My Mum got me a Perl book (which I asked for) and some other bits and bobs including one of those Galileo thermometer thingymajigs with the little glass blobs inside that float up or down depending on the temperature. It’s pretty and practical! Then there was my other stuff which I’m not going to mention because you’re all bored already.

The best part of Christmas was just seeing the family together this year without all of the big arguments and having to choose ‘sides’ to be on. I got to see my niece Charlotte opening presents at my Mum’s — and see her running around excited shouting “hello hello” and counting on her fingers like I’ve been teaching her. She’s one smart little kid. :) Dylan slept through most of it, heh. I think Karl would have too if he’d had chance — he looked knackered on Christmas day.

Boxing day we did the “family thing” ..going to see Karl’s Aunts/Uncles and his Nan and then going back to my Mum’s. We had a laugh, but unfortunately seemed to have developed a minor cold along the way somewhere. Oh, and I’ve got no coffee in so I’ve got to go shopping today. Heyho.. best go and make the best of the rest of 2005!

E-mail Replies

If you’ve sent me an e-mail recently (asking questions, tutorial requests, etc), chances are very high I won’t reply until after Christmas (possibly New Year) now. The same goes for posting on forums, qbee patch trades, etc. Although I’ve managed to finish my Christmas shopping I’ve got lots of things to do around the house and babysitting my niece/nephew. So.. speak to you all soon, and happy holidays everyone! :)

PS. Got my card Katy, thanks. :D

Ubuntu, baby!

So. Karl was fiddling with Ubuntu on his Desktop PC last night and after stealing my wireless key managed to get it working on Linux. Wooh. I took the mega scary oh-my-god my-laptop-is-going-to-die step this afternoon and HOORAH! I am now a linux n00b! My wifi key picked up the network straight away, and well.. here I am. Blogging. On Linux. Who’d have thought it, eh?

All I need to do now is figure out how to get Apache up and running so I can use that for my website (so used to Abyss on Windows). Ooh, so many new toys. I’ve not been this scared of an Operating System since my Windows 3.1 days about 8 years ago when I deleted a load of system files and it stopped working…

ETA: I’ve got Apache2 running, PHP running and MySQL is probably doing something somewhere but I’m not quite sure yet because I fiddled with the user permissions earlier and haven’t had chance to test it yet. All is well, you’d think.. but no: I’m having an issue with permissions. I cannot create files in the /var/www/ directory. I used sudo chmod [permission] /var/www to change the permissions on the directory and it worked.. but then suddenly all of the files/folders inside “changed” and didn’t seem to be associated with anything, So, how do I un-root this directory? Un-root. Hah, coming up with my own terms already. :p

Review of

Reviewed: Vixx
Site URL:

I’m reviewing your default layout.

It’s hard to sum up a first impression when I see a site at least three-four times daily to check to see if there’s any new weblog updates. You must be doing something right to keep me coming back so regularly though. There’s something so endearing about that little plant-pot angel in your default theme, even more so when you realise that you were the one who gave it the angry face to tie in with your website. I love the little dangly legs and the colours remind me of melted chocolate *mm*.

You’ve opted for a typical two-column layout with obviously beneficial results. It’s given you space for your generally lengthy blog entries and a nicely packed sidebar too. I like the title touch — how you’ve put it down the middle instead of giving it the generic over-the-top position inside another image. You know all this stuff already though — nobody needs to tell you you’re unique, heh.

Functionality-wise, I don’t like the font (Lucida Sans Unicode, because I don’t have Lucida Grande). I don’t know why because originally I thought it was well suited, but after a while I just find it hard to focus on. I’m pretty sure this is just me though, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I do think you could make the text darker in the sidebar though; on my laptop screen there’s not enough contrast between the text and background colours. I found #6F615A to be much better, and ties in better with your colour scheme too.

I noticed that “angel?” in your navigation is emphasised. The problem with this is that it’s currently trendy to place some sort of detail on the link of the page that the user is currently visiting, so at first glance it gives the impression that I’m on “angel?”. I almost missed that entire section of your website, and I’ve visited before; does this mean that those that haven’t are not seeing content?

I can’t see anything else immediately obvious to point out. You’ve got links that are clearly different from your text, blog entries are well separated and an interesting layout. If I was being picky and forcing accessibility on to you I might suggest that you use % or em font sizes to allow all users to resize their text and switch your title/date header tags (because I think the title would be more appropriate as the top level header).

On to the “content”… The “angel?” section amuses me before I’ve even clicked one of your subpages. “I do not do pink. I do not do fluffy.” — no, me neither. I like how you’ve included the various names that you ‘go’ by, helpful for those that know you from different parts of your online life. You seem to have the perfect combination of a basics page and autobiography. Where I tend to ramble on a page that’s supposed to be brief, you have to-the-point bulletpoints and on a page that’s supposed to be personal — you have made it personal. Your Online History page is incredibly in-depth — I’m too generally to write something like that and keep it updated. I could do with following your example I guess!

The geek in me wants to point out that where you say “Bobby and Cynthia Web Accessibility guidelines” on your Domain page, you really are talking about the W3C’s web content accessibility guidelines and could perhaps mention this. Maybe I’m just being completely anal though?

Still on the domain page, I think the links that are currently unavailable would be more appropriate completely unlinked because lazy people like me don’t read descriptions and then wonder why we’re not going anywhere when we’re clicking the links. Oh, and I couldn’t help but laugh at your review from Uptown Reviews. Sorry! ;) As well as clapping my hands for providing full credits for all your plugins (something that some people seem to forget, which makes finding things I might need difficult) I am also grateful on behalf of your visitors for your tutorials — always good to share your knowledge!

Although I found your spelling and grammar mostly impeccable, littered amongst the occasional “:p” were a few spelling mistakes:

offguard = off guard
inbetween = in between
specificially = specifically
cliched = clichéd (é for the acute accent)

pasttime = pastime
cliches = clichés
fetus = foetus

internet = Internet (now that’s anal for you!)
accquaintances = acquaintances
secondhand = second-hand

installment = instalment

sophisicated = sophisticated
implusively = impulsively

defense = defence (I *think*)

There were also a few coding issues I noticed. Mostly minor, and some just to do with invalid characters (’proper’ characters not ‘escaped’ properly).

On furious.php?bio you’re missing a <p> before “I think it’s time to conclude this now.” which is causing the text to align in the center. On furious.php?contact your form input fields are not closed (in XHTML, they’re ’self closing’ like <img />). The same on your faq (!/ask/index.php) page — which also features deprecated <b> tags and <br>s instead of <br />s. Still on your faq page, your next and back links have invalid characters (which I assume are supposed to be « (&laquo;) and » (&raquo;)) next to them which aren’t showing in my browser and preventing the page from validating properly. I’m assuming this is because of the script you’re using and you know about this already?

On furious.php?about (domain) you’ve forgotten the equals sign in the link to (<a href"">) and strictly speaking align="top" in the table <caption> tag on both furious.php?about and skins/skins.php is presentational and therefore irrelevant in a valid XHTML document. Your contact me link on skins/skins.php has an extra ‘a href’ in it for no apparent reason. Other than that your code was perfectly valid. You set a shining example to those who look up to you. All in all I had no problems browsing your website and no real problems with your coding.

I hate reviewing the websites of friends because one slip of the tongue and a well-meant criticism can be taken as an attack and bang goes that friendship. I had the opposite problem here — I was so unsure of what compliments to leave for you because I don’t want to ruin my reputation! Safe to say, you have a great website with interesting designs and generally witty entries. I would be proud of it, if I were you. Well designed, well coded, well written.


All he wanted was a best friend…

I forgot to mention that I made a Katy fanlisting a couple of weeks ago. So, if you thing Katy is great you should check out Geekerific. Don’t you think it’s the most original name ever? And of course, you could always check out my fanlisting while you’re browsing about.

Oh, I have been adding things here and there to the site. I added a new theme a while ago that can be found via the site map / domain page. It’s surprisingly spring-inspired, which is weird given the time of year. There’s free forum/lj avatars from my own photos and other completely random and generally pointless stuff.

I’m off to see Harry Potter this evening. About time too! You know, one day, I might actually read the books…

I’ll probably be quite busy this week. I’ve more presents to buy (what the hell do I get my mum’s partner?), wrapping to do, rice krispie cakes to make, family/friends to visit, etc.. so, if I don’t remember to say it nearer ‘the day’: have a lovely Christmas everyone. If you don’t celebrate it, have a nice winter season or a groovy whatever-you-do-celebrate. Gosh, religion confuses me.

Boss’s Orders!

My Boss told me before I left work this afternoon that I had to blog about how he has educated my musical tastes over the past two days because he’s been playing some old Christmas music. I actually want to blog about how much I’d love to shove the CDs somewhere not-so-CD-shaped because now I can’t stop humming Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Jingle Bells. However, as I know there’s a very good chance that he’s reading this I’m just going to pretend that his obviously superior taste in music has brightened up my Christmas.

So, thanks Boss. Merry Christmas to you too!

More on the Q*bee

This, this, this, this, this and this, this, this and this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this …all reasons as to why I love the quilting bee.

One simple idea, a thought.. it’s taken, turned, adapted, thought about, added to and in the end it becomes a magical collaboration; an activity that only a close-knit community could possibly achieve in such a short space of time. Every one of those links above has an entry (some directly linked to) about the Quilting Bee. They talk about their love for the club, their favourite activities, the friends they’ve made, their patches, the bee*bee*s, the Pixel Academy where pixeling lessons are taught.. everything that sums up what the qbee means to them.

So, if all of those people can’t convince you to believe how good the the q*bee is, I’ve no idea what will. Maybe I should just spam you all with q*bee-related entries and e-mails to persuade you, heh. I will say: don’t assume you’ll be rejected if you’ve not even bothered to join.

Style Loading Time

I have known for a long time that there is a difference between the load time of a site using inline styles and a site using a stylesheet: I didn’t realise how much difference!

I uploaded my own without finishing things off, really — I’d forgotten to move my style to a stylesheet and hadn’t noticed this at all but HAD noticed a massive pause before my layout loaded. I thought maybe I’d forgotten to optimise the photo, but no.. all fine and dandy there. Tiny pages, tiny page structure, relatively tiny top image and still a huge delay in loading. I was checking my source just for errors and such and noticed the style in the of the document. Fixed it up, re-uploaded and.. wow. Instant load.

/random insight.

‘New’ Archives, New Clique

I’ve been slowly but surely moving over some of the updates from my wordpress weblog/s over the years to this blog so as to give a better picture of my website over the years. It’s actually not as interesting as I thought it would be because most of the posts are “omg new layout!!” — at least I only do it once a month (or less!) now. ;) I’m not moving these posts though, only ones ‘worthwhile’. Well, in my opinion.

I have a new clique! I’ve been working on it for quite some time but have been putting off the release because I’m dreadfully lazy. I’ve got it labelled as an “elite” clique.. you’ll have to read the FAQ to see what the quotation marks are about. Anyway, welcome to: my own. Go and plug it on all of your websites, forums, etc.

The web developer toolbar Disable Images function has stopped working in Firefox 1.5 *grr* I am severely tempted to roll back to 1.0.7 at this point in time.

Web Page Updates

Review-You now has its own RSS Feed which, if you like to read web page reviews, you can add to your Firefox Bookmarks and see ‘live’ when new reviews are added. So, that’s um.. just me adding it to my feed reader then? ;) (Vix: I’ll finish your review by the end of the week.)

I’ve also been adding completely random bananas to “stuff” — mostly out of boredom. Check back occasionally, you might see something interesting.

ETA: Oooh! If you’ve got livejournal, you can now add the syndicated feed to your friends list thanks to the wonderful Mia of moooooopy dot noooo! :D