Month: June 2017

You Can Actually Find my Reviews now!

When I did the recent redesign of the site, I did so knowing I wanted to do a lot more reviewing of things, but there was an unsolved problem: it’s between difficult and impossible for a casual visitor to find a specific review given the way WordPress displays articles and builds the archives. I didn’t want to hold up the redesign to deal with this but I did add a “need to fix this” task into my queue. I’ve been exploring this on and off the last few weeks, hoping to find a design I liked that also took advantage of some of the abilities of WordPress to automate creating the data, and finally came to the conclusion that the way I want to write my reviews and the way WordPress wants them set up to make them easy to archive are incompatible. So I went back to building a design that was (a) easy to maintain, (b) easily expandable, and (c) actually seems to solve the problem in a way I like. I’ve finally got it, too, at least the first generation. My new Topical Index of All Reviews collects links to all of the reviews I’ve got on the site, broken down into a few broad categories, including fiction, non-fiction, gear and product reviews and a couple of others. As the list of reviews expands, I’ll be...

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Looking to hire someone like me?

I keep forgetting to remind all of you that I’m still looking for a job. Or more correctly, the right job. I’m actually pretty happy with the job search — I’ve been second candidate twice in the last month, which is frustrating in a way but also nice confirmation there’s interest. I’ve also pulled out of a couple of interviews when I decided it wasn’t what I was looking for, and of course had companies do the same on their end. I did have a bit of a drought a couple of months ago where nothing seemed to be happening, which was bothering me, but then I got into deep discussions with a company, and suddenly I had three others in various stages of interviews as well, so I have to keep reminding myself that this stuff can run in cycles. I was kevtching near a friend a few weeks ago about this and he set me straight by telling me the reason I didn’t have a job was because I was being really fussy about it, and he’s dead right. But first, a word from our sponsor: me So, do you have a problem I can solve for you? I’ve recently been involved in a lot of online/digital content opportunities: corporate blogger, marketing writing and content, that sort of thing, owning and cultivating the editorial calendar and acting...

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I hated History in High School

Books in this article Alexander Hamilton A People’s History of the United States Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong The First World War: A Complete History The Second World War: A Complete History I think I’m like most kids in high school: I hated history. It was boring, a waste of time, names and dates and other things I was never going to remember, or want to. When I went to college, of course I had to take another history class, and most of it was, again, rather boring and forgettable. One day, though, they brought in a guest lecturer, and she spent an entire afternoon talking to us about William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States. He followed Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 (defeating William Jennings Bryan), but lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the party with his Bull Moose run. It wasn’t so much what Taft did, but how this professor turned him into a person and made him interesting. And suddenly, I found I enjoyed history, when it was about the people and not about random dates and battles and places. The problem isn’t that history is boring, it’s that how most schools teach it. That started a long time love of mine that’s rivaled Science Fiction and Fantasy in my reading lists: I love reading...

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New prints on the wall

My project to replace all of the prints on my wall has progressed nicely, and the feature wall in my office, which is what you see behind me when I have my webcam turned on, is done. I’m really happy with the results, although I had to redo a few images because, on close review, I noticed some streaking from a clogged print head, then redid them again when I realized I was using an incorrect ICC profile for the paper ending up with some banding and washed out highlights. Despite that, I really like how it turned out....

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The new back yard

As I type I’m sitting on my patio here in the back yard, enjoying the weather while getting some writing done. it’s been one of those on and off projects going back to last spring, when we brought in a firm to basically scrape front and back to the ground, plant a tree and other new plants, and then realizing over the summer that I just wasn’t really able and willing to put the time into keeping it maintained, even though it was designed for low maintenance. So this winter we hired a gardening service — a first for...

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