The most amazing website on the internet is going away

Today I got an email from Telus telling me they are shutting down personal webspace as of May 31, 2021:

The notice is amusing in how they try to avoid saying, “Everyone totes uses Facebook now, move your cat pictures there.”

So I went to the URL to see what I had put up (if anything) and it turns out to be, in fact, a picture of my long-deceased cat (who was alive at the time, I should note).

Here is the amazing HTML code I wrote ALL BY MYSELF back in 2008 or whenever it was.

<html>

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 4.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<title>Ned's homepage</title>
</head>

<body bgcolor="#000080">

<p><font face="Verdana" color="#FFFFFF" size="2"><b>Kitty!</b></font></p>
<p><img border="0" src="hello_kitty.jpg" width="618" height="461"></p>

</body>

</html>

For a brief time you can see this wondrous site here: http://www3.telus.net/public/a4a98643/

For anyone checking in after May 31, I have carefully replicated the webspace below:

Posting from MarsEdit

Yes, once again I have found another way to post to my blog. I am getting ever-closer to posting from a fridge or toaster.

This time I am posting from MarsEdit, which is software specifically designed to let you write blog posts and then post them…to your blog. Setting it up was dead simple and it works offline, which is nice if my connection flakes out but I SIMPLY MUST BLOG.

I can already do this in Ulysses, too, so I will have to see how MarsEdit makes things better or sexier.

And to conclude, a funny cat:

External content duckduckgo com

This blog of mine and a bonus fat update

I’ve decided that it’s time to give the entire site an overhaul. As groovy as the Cooper black logo is, the overall design of the site is stale and a bit cluttered, as some sections have been neglected and others are a bit too buried.

I also need to find a way to make the running posts optional. Or maybe start a running blog. And then start running again.

My current thought is something like this:

  • Come up with a new compact logo that can sit in the top-left
  • Remove the entire set of menu bar items along the top
  • Add a left sidebar with simple links to all the usual stuff (archives, etc.)
  • Have “noteworthy items” in the right sidebar
  • Continue to post the usual nonsense for the actual blog part in the middle
  • Try to allow for a “customized feed” so people can skip stuff of little interest to anyone but me, like my running updates (or maybe post them elsewhere, like in a journal or a private/separate blog)

This is going to take a while, and I’m going to try to make it work with my current theme, GeneratePress, because I have grown so used to it (and it works well). For now, I will be frequently playing around with different fonts and things that are easy to change on the fly.

BONUS FAT UPDATE: I have hit a high of 179.7 pounds. This is ominously close to 180 pounds, which would be a bit devastating to hit psychologically. Today I weighed in almost two hours earlier, which usually results in the weight being higher. I watched the numbers flick past 180 before settling back to…179.7 pounds (again).

This week I have returned to work and I have experienced an odd combination of stress, frustration and simple boredom. I have partaken of crackers, but not excessively so.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten very good at not eating anything after dinner. Yay on that. I am also drinking more water, as I find more than a little (diet) soda now seems to be giving me heartburn.

Further incentive on losing weight: I have a bunch of old t-shirts that still look great but are too snug to wear right now. I tried on a pair of cotton shorts I normally wear in the summer–they are a size 31 waist, which is one size higher than my usual 30–and could not do up the button. It was physically impossible. I was embarrassed. But I vowed not to buy new clothes that would fit–I’m not going to backslide and give myself an out in the battle against fat.

I will lose the weight. Just weight and see (ho ho).

The unbearable-ness of being

It’s been awhile since I actually just rambled about something on the blog, so here I am posting words and stuff.

I feel behind on the Making Art Everyday thing and have not, in fact, been making art every day. This month switched to people, and it started okay, with the different facial features. I missed Friday, which was bad, then I missed Saturday, which was worse. I caught up on Friday and Saturday, which is good, but then fell behind on Sunday, then Monday and now Tuesday.

I’m not sure if I’ll do anything tonight, which means I’ll have to catch up on three days:

  • Heads
  • Happy
  • Sad

It is appropriate that it ends on sad. I am sad. This may change, we’ll see. But right now I am anti-inspired. And looking at the hair sketch still makes me weep. I may have to redo it even if I never do another drawing after that, just to know it’s been replaced.

I have no more thoughts on this so I’ll end here. Perhaps I will post again soon. Perhaps it will be an amusing cat.

Or maybe I’ll post an amusing cat RIGHT NOW.

Every tag on this blog, lovingly made available again

If you’d like to see a massive, alphabetical list of every tag I have used and misused on this blog, you’re in luck–I have a new page showing them right here: Tags (all of them).

My new site logo

Hey, I finally checked out Canva, that logo-making site all the cool kids are talking about and I’ve come up with the perfect new logo on my very first try:

Isn’t it a delight? How could I ever improve on this?

I cannot, that’s how.

Posting from Safari

Not posting from a safari, which would be equal parts exciting and gross (and weird), but posting from the Safari browser on my Mac mini because I can’t stop trying other browsers. Help.

Safari seems better than before, but the fact that it has no Windows version means it is pretty much dead to me, unless I completely give up PC gaming and the Apple silicon Macs aren’t that good–yet.

Because this is largely a content-free post in order to boost my post count for the month, I present another image of an amusing cat:

Oh right, this blog

The reasons for not posting much this month are varied and mainly uninteresting. I will try to post more.

Here is a cat packing another cat to partly compensate:

https://www.drodd.com/images10/funny-cat-gifs6.gif

Goodbye, Ellen

For many years I had the following quote by Ellen DeGeneres on my website in the top-right corner, to underscore the absurdity of writing (especially writing for publication):

You know, it’s hard work to write a book. I can’t tell you how many times I really get going on an idea, then my quill breaks. Or I spill ink all over my writing tunic.

I like absurd humor, so this quote resonated with me.

In recent years Ellen has come under fire for cozying up to George W. Bush, for treating guests and crew on her show poorly, and for generally seeming to be the opposite of the nice, wholesome image she presents.

So I’ve changed the quote. I still wanted something funny and my search will go on, but for now I’m going with this from Gene Fowler:

Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.

Not quite as absurd, and darker, but it will do for now.

February shmebruary

This month started out with a fizzle, but is ending on a mostly better note, or series of notes:

  • My weight is down. Yay.
  • I am exercising again. Also yay.
  • I think I’m sleeping better in general.
  • My writing is…well, more on that below.
  • Work is [redacted]

On the poop side of things, my writing has gained no traction at all, whether it be fiction or this blog. I fell way behind on my usual one-post-per-day average, just as I did last month, and despite a few posts today, I will still come up short, unless I post ten haikus or something. I’m pretty sure I won’t do that.

I have also fallen behind on my modest reading goal this year. To meet it, I need to read a book every two weeks. To date I have read three this year, so I’m one behind. This is due to a combination of wanting to veg out during my commute and often not getting a seat because the [redacted for adult language] SkyTrain car will be standing room only at 6:30 in the [redacted] morning. It’s insane. I get on at the fourth stop on the Expo line. After my stop, Sapperton, there are 16 more. I’m pretty sure it’s SRO by the second station, Lougheed. It’s silly. Does everyone work in downtown Vancouver? Yes. Yes, they do.

For the writing, I’m not sure what to say. I think about it, sometimes I start, but nothing much happens. The latest book on writing (I’ve read oodles of them now) has the author assert there is no such thing as writer’s block and technically that’s true. Unless you are in a coma or otherwise physically incapable, you can always write if you have some time. So it’s not that I can’t write, I just don’t. And I’m not entirely sure why, because I’ve read some of my stuff recently and while I’m not trying to toot my horn (heh heh), I quite like some of it and think I should write more.

And maybe I will. Soon. I do actually have some additional thoughts on this and will spill them out of my head in another post.

(I’m not talking about work on a public blog. You’ll need the key to my heart diary to find out more about that.)

This site stinks

Well, not really, but it needs a refresh. The design has been the same for a long time in internet years. But I’m also kind of lazy and undecided on what to change.

Maybe a logo in Comic Sans to be ironic? Post-ironic? Perhaps Papyrus would be better.

A new color might be in order. I like the green, but perhaps blue, not because I am blue, but because blue looks clean and soothing and who doesn’t want to be clean and soothed?

So many decisions.

I’ll decide later.

EDIT: Okay, I went for the blue. I may fiddle with the logo and shade of blue but for now it’s a tiny bit different and a tiny bit different is better than the same old thing, says I.

For two days the internet ignored me :(

It may be partly my fault.

Awhile back I was having some issues with the site and it turned out the fancy newer version of PHP was causing some problems. I’m still not sure why, because WordPress supports the latest version. But whatever, I’m not a webologist. It was rolled back to version 5 and the issue went away.

Then a plugin update became available and said it couldn’t update because it needed PHP 7. Well. I investigated and found out I can switch the site from versions 5 and 7 through the control panel. I did this, updated the plugin (the real impetus was to clear that update notification badge) and all is well.

But not quite!

Because now the site is acting up (or down) again. This means that sometimes you’ll hit the site and see this:

When you see the above appears to be arbitrary. You may never see it. You may see it every time. It’s like my own site’s version of a lootbox, the costs measured in how many times you need to refresh the page (which fixes the issue).

Because most people/bots are just going to move on rather than refresh to see what happens, I suspect the trickle of visitors to the site basically stopped for June 21 and 22. (For added fun, I sometimes see similar errors when loading the admin dashboard. Fortunately a refresh fixes this, too.)

I am too lazy to put a lot of time into further investigation into fixing this and suspect my hosting service wouldn’t have much to offer, either, so I’ll just live with it until it either goes away on its own or I get fed up and rollback to version 5 of PHP.

Anyway, that’s my theory for why my site got two days of absolutely no visits, proving such a thing can happen on today’s internet. I will never become a social media influencer if this keeps happening. :(

Bonus annoyance: I went to choose the category and tags for this post, but sometimes these fail to load, too. Maybe I will roll back after all…

UPDATE: I rolled back to PHP 5. At least now people should be able to reliably see my carefully curated selection of amusing cat images.