07 August 2007

Tuesday Randomness

I'm waiting for the paint to dry on my front door---it's a nice rich red. Perhaps people will mistake me for kin to Elizabeth Arden. Or maybe they'll just think I'm superstitious and painted my door for that colour for good luck. The fact is, the red makes a great contrast with the green the house was painted and makes the entry stand out. (I'll leave the symbolism to others.)

In the meantime, I was thinking that I might share a few thoughts on using FTP to publish a blog. I switched over a couple of months ago. Having a site outside of blogger was something I had thought about for some time, mainly because I wanted the capability to share files, not just links. I have not done much of that yet, but once the school year kicks off, I hope to make the tools I use in my work available here for others. The biggest lesson I've learned is that FTP publishing is not for the faint of heart. I can't tell you the number of times I've felt a bit panicky because blogger and my FTP server weren't playing well together---I couldn't get a post to publish. There are all manner of terrible thoughts that run through one's head at those times, most importantly "What if I can't ever publish to my blog again?!" Even now, every time I hit the "publish post" button I feel like it's a crapshoot. Blogger tech support is notoriously poor. If you can't figure things out on your own, well, it sucks to be you.

My particular style of blogging is just to do my posts as "quick writes." I have my idea, I try to capture it in a post, and I publish. There is not much in the way of the revision process involved; however, I do occasionally find typos, grammar errors, or poor wording that I want to go in and tweak afterwards. FTP isn't as friendly for this because of the reasons above.

I have also learned that up until the "new" blogger platform was in place, once you started publishing via FTP, you could never go back to just having your blog show up at a blogspot address. You can now, but it's still fussy. "whatitslikeontheinside.blogspot.com" was automatically redirected by Google to my new URL home...but "www.whatitslikeontheinside.blogspot.com" was not. According to Blogger, the "www" shouldn't matter, but the fact is that it does. If I ever decide not to publish via FTP, the second blogspot URL will still be hosting my posts. In the meantime, I have installed some javascript code (another learning curve) to take care of all redirects. This has the unfortunate side effect of endlessly redirecting (and reloading the page) if I don't temporarily remove the code every time I publish a comment or post. It's a bit of a pain.

I don't regret my choice to change my publishing format, in spite of the problems I've encountered over the summer. There's a certain freedom and security in having planted my own flag on an unclaimed spot in cyberspace. It feels like the next logical step in my blogging. Not only can I continue to reflect and write about the things I see in my professional life, but I can also have a way to share more of the documentation and expand the conversation. I also like being able to have my own "favicon," which is the little red book you see (depending upon your browser version) beside my URL.

Yesterday, I mentioned some nostalgia about high school and my upcoming reunion. I picked up another piece of nostalgia today: the Flash Gordon Saviour of the Universe DVD. I remember going to see this movie on a Friday night with my parents...the teen girls in the audience howling and whistling every time Sam Jones made an appearance on the screen.

My current grad class is winding down. I finish it a week from Sunday and pick up with the next one Labour Day weekend. I revised my paper for the class today. I feel like it's the best paper I've ever done for my degree program, although it remains to be seen what the prof thinks about it. I need to get back to writing up my dissertation proposal and things organized for my study this year. I picked up the information from the district about conducting research, so at least I know and understand the hoops that lay ahead. I hope to jump them early.

It's back to the paint can for now. Who knows? After another coat, perhaps I'll come back and add on to this bit of randomness. If FTP publishing allows me, that is.


Clix said...

My husband introduced me to that movie. It... well...

There are no words.

The Science Goddess said...

There are aspects of it which can leave one speechless. :)