I kind of broke a rule on my blog/site.  I remember studying web design and having it drilled into my head that you should never-ever post a site until it’s complete.  We’re talking flow charts and color swatches.  Meetings and usability groups.  It should not go out to the public until it’s been beta tested and sparkles

Well, technically, a blog is never complete and it can change design-wise from day to day.  The idea of posting a-little-thing-here and a-little-thing-there totally goes against the grain for me.  The fact that I downloaded a free blogging system and used one of their design templates (which I totally modified and Cobbanated of course) is unheard of.  I’m supposed to be the one drawing thumbnail sketches, mocking them up in Photoshop and executing the HTML code in Dreamweaver. 

Fuck that.

Why was I sitting there trying to manipulate code to embed video into my site when I can post it (and host it) for FREE on YouTube and then put it into my blog from there?  I wanted to make some cool music player to play my songs but this free blogging software had a ton of free plug-ins that do it for you.  Plug-ins that you can modify in design!  Plug-ins that work!  Did I mention that they were free? 

It does help that I have a background with HTML and all its brother and sister codes.  I know enough to make my site look the way I want and work the way I want, but nowadays I feel more like a web administrator than a web developer.  The web’s been developed and it’s all about open source.  Well, I shouldn’t say it’s been developed.  There are hard-core coding people out there and god bless ’em!  Keep doing what you’re doing folks! 

For some, coding is fun and challenging.  For others, it’s evil.  Hey, I can manipulate code. I understand how it works and it may take me a while sometimes, but I can always figure out how to get the results I want.  But I hate doing it–I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it.  I learned the coding side of design out of sheer necessity.  I wanted my site to do something and no one was around to do it or show me how so I just started figuring it out.  I used to author CD-Rom’s in a program called Director using “lingo” and the Flash came out.  Some of the coolest sites I’ve ever seen were done in Flash but man was that program a bitch. 

I am accepting this new open source thing.  Why reinvent the wheel?  I spent months trying to figure out how I was going to get my words, music, photography and ideas out there online and just days actually doing it with free software, templates and help from a great guy named Gary.

Ray making dinnerLast night Ray and I were at the grocery store.  We eat a diet consisting of whole grains, fruit, veggies and very little meat. 

Some would say we follow the Mediterranean diet but with a lot more wine and some vodka thrown in for good measure.

The haggard overweight woman at the checkout stand was making a comment about all the “healthy stuff” we were buying.  She was going on and on about how it’s a waste to go to all the trouble to eat that way when you could “drop dead from an aneurysm at any moment”.

She also told us that she has a thing for Taco Bell.

Yes, Ray and I could drop dead from anything at any given moment.  But while we’re here, we like to feel great and look as fabulous as possible.  One of these days, the Checkout Lady’s Taco Bell body will start to fail and then she’ll need medical care and then the whole insurance system gets even more out of whack and in the long run we have to pay for it.  I want an insurance discount!

Anyway, Ray was buying stuff to make Stir Fry.  In the summer, he tends to cook without his shirt on.  And I’m OK with that.
Stir Fry Dish
The stir fry was delicious. Ray made it with carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, onion and oven roasted tofu cubelettes on a bed of brown rice.  Out here in the middle of nowhere, there’s not much in the way of restaurants. I’m lucky that Ray is such a great cook.

Bon Appétit!

So…what’s a blog without a YouTube video in it?

This was some time-lapse I shot while we were living in Old Bisbee. I love time-lapse.  The only problem is that my digital still camera can only shoot one frame per minute at a minimum so the clouds are sort of jittery.  The point comes across though.  Never take for granted the passage of time.

Oh yeah, there’s no sound on it either…

Lightning in my front yardLast night we had a good storm roll by.  That’s one of the many things I love about living out here.  During Monsoons, we get kick-ass thunder storms and since we live in a remote area with no obstructions, we can watch the storms roll through the valley.  It’s very cool-except when you’re in the pool.  Then it’s kind of scary.

Ray is on the floor doing sit-ups.  He’s so good about keeping in shape.  I think it’s because he’s mesomorphic and sees instant results.  I, on the other hand, am ectomorphic and don’t bulk up quite as fast as he does.  I don’t bulk up at all.  If I ever gain any weight, it’s in my neck!

Well, I’m off to get ready for work.  We are flexing every other Friday now which means we have to work an extra hour a day.  I’m not much of a morning person so getting up and going to work by 7:30 AM is, well, a bitch.  But hey, I get every other Friday off.  And that’s a good thing.

MotionI finally got my act together and made some major changes to my website.  The old Lopaka Lounge site had become stale.  Gone are the static HTML pages and gazillion party pics.  Nowadays, we have things like Flickr, YouTube and WordPress for all of our Internet needs and even though I fancy myself a professional web developer, I now find that it’s better to go to the digital dark side and just let someone else deal with all the fancy schmansy coding issues and besides, this stuff is FREE!

I am excited to start up again with my web site blog.  (I gotta get used to calling it that.)  Web sites are so 1999.  So last century.  Today we blog.  Get it?  Weblog.  Web log!  Oh, I kill me!

I guess I’m kinda old-school when it comes to web development.  Back during the turn of the last century, I was working for a start up called Zefer.  I made good money and was totally up to speed on the latest technologies.  When the bubble burst, I just walked away from it all.  I have been out of the loop for so long.  I just recently became the Database/Web Specialist for the county in which I live.  I guess I still had enough experience left in my memory banks to get the job.  I think the real fact I got it was the substandard salary and that only one other person applied–and declined to be interviewed at the last minute.  This is the dawn of a new age for me.  I need to get back up to speed with technology so I thought I’d redo my own site and try to establish an online presence.  So far, this has been a most frustrating experience.  It’s amazing I still have hair ’cause I’ve been yanking it out by the fist-fulls.

…film at 11.