My Writings. My Thoughts.

New site host

// May 2nd, 2011 // No Comments » // Web Development

Please forgive me if you find any problems or missing content. I have moved my site to a new hosting provider and am trying to make the change as seamless as possible. Let me know in the comments if you see anything that needs to be fixed.

Second Tooth

// August 12th, 2010 // No Comments » // Family

Ryah lost her second tooth and the other one is starting to come in.

Pic of missing tooth

WordPress 3.0 upgrade

// June 18th, 2010 // No Comments » // Web Development

WordPress 3.0 is out today, and I upgrading with out any issues as usual. Check out the video embedded below for a nice summary of the new features. This is the most anticipated WordPress release to date. The theme I am working on will be built to use all of the new features, but that is a ways down the road for me anyway. But seriously; watch the video!

Camping Trip

// June 3rd, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Web Development

I was hoping to get another post done before my camping trip this weekend, but I didn’t. It’s started so I will have to finish it up when I get back. In the meantime I’m going to have some good fun. It’s been forever since I’ve been camping.

FaceBook Connect and WordPress

// May 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Web Development

So now I’m officially signed up as a FaceBook developer. It started out with me thinking it would be cool to add the FaceBook Like buttons to my website. After a little research I found a very nice WordPress plugin called Simple FaceBook Connect. It’s very easy to set up. You have to sign up as a FaceBook developer and get an API key. So now My Kung-Fu Is Strong has an official FaceBook page. It’s nothing special right now, but it’s another step in the process. I’m pretty proud actually. Even though the “app” is just a link to my website as this point I still think having a presence on FaceBook for my site is pretty cool. Eventually I will do more with it, but at this point I have the Like buttons on each post and you can sign in with your FaceBook accounts to make comments.

Ryah lost her first tooth

// May 28th, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Family

Today, just now, my youngest daughter lost her first tooth. Exciting times for a four year old. She told me that the tooth fairy is going to bring her a million dollars. Makes me wonder what kind of car she is going to want or what kind of money she is going to need for college. I guess we’ll just have to cross that road when it comes.

Picture of missing tooth

Click image for full size

New Logo

// May 16th, 2010 // Comments Off // photoshop, Web Development

I finally got my logo done. Thinking of something to use was the hardest part.

How I did it

  • Once I got the idea for the shuriken made of code I found an image of a shuriken I liked the shape of on the web.
  • Then I used my Wacom tablet to make a selection around it.
  • Created a new file with a transparent background.
  • Copied the selection to the new file.
  • Took a screenshot of my sites code in my favorite editor.
  • Pasted the screenshot onto the background.
  • Created a mask layer revealing the selection.
  • Moved and transformed the background image until I like it’s position.
  • Then added a drop shadow and bevel to the image using layer styles.

Nothing too advanced but I turned out to my liking.
New Logo

Mastering Me

// February 26th, 2010 // No Comments » // Programming, Web Development

I know that mastering anything can take many, many years if you’re lucky; sometimes a lifetime but only if you’re really dedicated.

This year I decided that this is the year that I change the way I am; the way I do things. I turned 30 last year and I was thinking about all of the things that I have said I want to or am going to do, but never get around to them. For me, this list had continued to grow to be a list larger then I can track. You see, I have an undying thirst for knowledge. I like to learn about so many different things, such that if I were given 5 of my lifetimes and never wasted a moment I might be able to learn a little bit about everything I have an interest in today. However, every time I learn something new I also learn that there are more things involved and those things get added to the list of things I wish I could learn. It’s a never ending loop; hence the things I want to learn but never have the time.

I was inspired by a friend of mine who was telling me about his plan to get to where he wants to be. He knew what he had to do and had a detailed plan on how to get there. I let him know that the planning part is where I always seem to fail. I never have enough direction, attainable goals, or structure to me getting things in my personal life accomplished. He offered to help me out and try and get me to the point where I could do this on my own. I am very excited about this and I have been making big changes over the last month.

The first thing he had me do was write out a list of the things that I wanted to do, change, or learn on a sheet of paper. This was not a hard task for me because I had several long lists scattered around with notes of skills I wanted to learn and a few tasks that I wanted to accomplish. I also have a few personal goals that I added in there. Like get myself to a healthy weight so that I don’t have so many back problems and can enjoy being more active. Then he had me pick out three of the things I wanted to focus on or are most important to me right now. At the time I did this I was focused on changing what I do for a living and finally getting into the career that I really want to be in; web development. Even though I have been working with many of these skills my for a while I always feel like I’m not quite at the level I should be at. So I decided that I would start with the basics and get myself to the point where I feel like I know what I’m doing. I chose (X)HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The third step was to rank each of these things, on a scale from one to ten, what I think my skill level is and what skill level I think I need to be at in order to get an entry level position in web development. This was a great exercise for me because my biggest issue is that I don’t think my skills are up to where they should be and it caused me to evaluate where I currently am and how far I have to go. Then he told me to focus only on (X)HTML to start with. Then we can move onto CSS and JavaScript. So I have been working with (X)HTML for a long time and I do know it well enough to put together a web page or two I often need to look things up and I am not familiar with forms and tables like I could be. So I have started out with basic old (X)HTML again to really get it in my head so that I feel a confidence when I say “Yes, I know (X)HTML.” I just started out trying to determine what intermediate and advanced HTML is. Sites like w3schools, Web Developer Notes, and HTML Dog helped me get an idea of what was basic, intermediate, and advanced. I also found this article on (15 Best Websites that can make you a Web Designer) on Twitter yesterday. Also, this article on NetTuts (A really great site), 30 HTML Best Practices for Beginners, is a great read. One thing that I have picked up over the years of learning web development is that it changes fast and there are many really great people on the web that want to teach and share what they have learned. Mentioned above is NetTuts, and there is also Chris Coyier’s CSS Tricks and Digging into WordPress, Noupe, Smashing Magazine, and A List Apart to name a few of my favorites.

So in the end do I expect to master (X)HTML? Not right now, I just want to be able to go into a prospective job and say that I know it and be confident that I do actually know it. Maybe someday I will be a master in what I do.

Me 2 Pro

// January 22nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Web Development

I am currently trying to figure out how I get from me (currently) to Pro. I desire to be the very best at all that I take in, but also realize that goal is not achievable. I am aiming too high; which can be good, but it seems to leave me stuck. I need to take baby steps, but I need instant gratification.

I am back!

// November 19th, 2009 // No Comments » // Web Development

There was a small (cough) issue with my domain, but I am back up and running again.