Friday, September 25, 2009

Web Design, Week 2

I taught my second web design course last night at the Genesee Center for the Arts in Rochester.

I love to teach, I love watching students "get it" I love the look on their faces when the vision in their head starts to take shape on the screen in front of them.

I've done web development both professionally and as a hobby for awhile now and while I love delivering a solid product to a customer there is always that disconnect. People simply do not have any concept of how long building a site takes, let alone the effort in maintaining the site, and the content, and keeping everything organized, current, and working.

It's good to work with people who have sat in front of a screen and written code, even a little, it makes them slightly more tolerant of the time, and effort, that it takes to build websites.

With luck this job may turn into one or more lucrative side contracts. It's not much, but it may prove to be a launching pad for my company and hopefully a ticket to securely running my own business.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pages 21-34

One of the great things about growing up is learning to pick your battles. Learning what fights are worth fighting, and which ones are not. I always thought that was one of the crucial first steps in transitioning from an adolescent to an adult. That is, learning when to fight, and when not to.

However, it seems that learning what battles to fight, and accepting the outcome are two different steps on the path to maturity. It also seems that knowing what battles to fight BEFORE they come, and go, is another skill I have yet to master. Or, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

I have few enough regrets, I think I've picked my battles well, at least lately. It's just that there alas seems to be one, or two, or three more I should have fought and only realized they were "that kind" of fight till it was over and done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Four Willing Victims: The First Class

I taught my first web design course at the Genesee Center for the Arts.

Four students, one instructor, in a classroom the size of a large broom closet. Luckily there is AC.

Anyway, I went in thinking we would spend the two and a half hour class going over the basics of HTML, the internet, web page design, and maybe write a little code. We did all that in less then an hour. I decided then to carry on and see how far we could get. After going over most of the basic tags in HTML, having the students try out some samples, discussing color and layout considerations, and touching on the legality, or illegality of nabbing random photos off the internet we called it a night. It was a good class, I'm excited, confident, and happy. We shall see what next week brings!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To My Grandfather


I've thought about writing this for awhile, and finally decided to do it. Consider this an open letter. I know it doesn't do me any good as it comes years late but I'd rather be late then never say it at all.

I know we were not close, I would not say we did not get along, but we certainly spoke a different language. You came from a life of working with your hands, fixing things, building things, and when you were alive I was stuck in a digital world, computers meant more to me then tangible objects. I guess, to a point, they still do.

I was too young to understand the value of the information you could have imparted. I've said many times how I wish you were still around so I could pick your brain, learn from you, work with you. I would imagine you would have had no problem with coming to Rochester to help me tear apart a car, and I'm sure I would have made fewer mistakes under your guidance.

I'm sure a case of beer would have changed hands, but that would have been a small enough price to pay.

I find myself wondering about things, tangible real world things, like 120v wiring, and how best to tear apart my apartments bathroom sink to clean out the trap. Questions I'm sure you could have answered in a matter of moments.

I guess this all boils down to I'm sorry I did not realize what I had until it was long gone.

Dead End

I've been swapping doors on the '99 Subaru Outback Legacy for a few weeks now. Slowly working through the snags, issues, hold-ups, and problems. I would like to say I've been doing so with good grace and tact, but that would be a lie.

I managed to swap the drivers side rear door. I managed to get the drivers door apart only to find that in the door I had pulled there is either a) some non-standard components, or b) a dealer added "feature" and I can not tell what it does, and why it's there.

So, I'm currently stuck. It's frustrating but I'm doing my research and once I know what I'm dealing with I will know best how to proceed.