Dead Air

April 30, 2004

It's been a little quiet around this website lately.  I did add a new feature, take a look to the right and you will see the "Monthly Poll".  I thought it would be neat to have a poll here that is changed on a monthly basis.  So, be sure to vote before the time runs out!

The reason it's been quiet here is because of the work I've been doing in secret.  I'm rebuilding the site from the ground up.  No more frames, the entire site is going to be formatted using CSS.  I am also attempting to make the site friendlier to 1024x728 resolution as I am fairly certain that most of the people who visit this site have at least a 17-inch monitor (part of the reason for this month's poll...).  In addition, whenever possible, the site will conform to W3C standards.

Here's a preview of the new site: TRANSMATRIX.NET 2.0
I should be rolling it out sometime in the next two weeks.

Oh, and check this out:  This is the first list of houses that the realtor put together for us.

Aesthetic Changes

April 20, 2004

I have applied my new photo navigation script to all of the existing sets of pictures.  Now I just need to get the new pictures up... 

The new format of the picture sections relies pretty heavily on PHP.  I am pretty proud of my design, and I am thinking of putting together a picture navigation package that people could download and use on their own sites.  If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll work more seriously on it.

I have started dabbling in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) now.  The change in background color when you put the mouse over my links to the left is as a result of CSS.  I have been having so much fun playing with CSS and PHP that I haven't been posting to my ramblings...  However, I think that the new way I am doing pictures will save time in the future, and the CSS will allow me to make format changes to my site more easily and quickly.

Another change you may have noticed is my links section.  I am not done with that section, and if anyone would like me to link them just shoot me an email.  I have also changed how you change between sets of pictures.  I think the change will allow more flexibility for expansion down the road.  To change between the sets, click on the number corresponding to the set you would like to see at the top of the pictures section.  A lower number corresponds to the more recent pictures.

Heather and I watched Haunted Mansion tonight.  It was pretty silly, but entertaining enough to watch once.  That reminds me, we are talking with a mortgage broker and a realtor now.  I will let you know when we start looking at houses.  Maybe I'll take the digital camera and everyone can go house hunting with us!

We still haven't started on improvements to our current place, but our condo is the cleanest and organized it has been in a very long time.  There's still stuff I want to take down to Ginny's, and we are still exploring options on what exactly we are going to do for improvements.  A trip to Home Depot is definitely in order :).

I'll keep everyone posted!

Oh, and I'd like to make a public service announcement.  Spyware is becoming more and more of a problem on computers.  Nowadays it isn't enough to just have virus protection.  Spyware can seriously impact the performance of your computer if you aren't proactively eliminating it.  I an using Ad-aware and Spybot: Search and Destroy.  I would recommend downloading at least Ad-aware.  It is very user-friendly and does a good job of catching most of the stuff out there.  They also seem to release updates on almost a daily basis, so I get the impression that they are on top of things.  If you already are in the fight against Spyware, pat yourself on the back.  Now we just need to find a way to eliminate Spam...

Heather and I met with our financial advisors last Thursday, and discussed our current status and our goals.  It was decided that we are ready to start looking for a house.  We are going to be talking with a mortgage broker soon, and then to a realtor.  The big thing now is getting our condo ready to sell.
The place we are living now is right down the street from Arizona State University, and I feel that it will be easiest to sell the place over the summer because that is when new students will be looking for housing for the coming semester.  Based on that, our goal for a move-in date is August.  However, we want to make improvements to our condo before we get it appraised, so that is what we have been working on the last week.
We would like to replace the carpet, the linoleum, and our washer/dryer unit.  The problem is, we have too much crap.  I have nowhere to put all the stuff that is currently on the carpet in order to replace it.  Luckily, Heather's mom has agreed to let us use part of her house and her garage as storage.  So, for the past week I've been cleaning, throwing junk out, and boxing stuff up so that it can be stored.  My plan is to gut our place so that all we have are the bare essentials.  The emptier the place is, the better, because that will make it look bigger.
For the first time, I actually feel that moving into a house is becoming a reality.  I imagine it will become even more so when we start talking with the realtor and looking at houses.  I will keep you posted on our progress, and maybe even take some before and after pictures of our place to show the improvements.

Last Saturday we visited Grandma Howland in Mesa.  We visited and ate dinner with her, Jenifer, and Darby.  We took pictures, and I'll work on getting those up soon.  Grandma told us about her recent vacation to Thailand as well as showing off her pictures.

I've been working on using php to improve the way I post pictures.  I came up with a bit of a different way to navigate pictures.  I made it so that when you click on a thumbnail the picture opens in a new window like before, but now the caption is also on the big picture and you can progress to the next picture without clicking on the thumbnail.  If you want to check it out, (Link Removed).  Realize, this is in the testing phase, so some stuff may be a bit off.  Let me know what you think.

Much Better

April 1, 2004

Okay, I can talk to my site again. I still don't know what happened...
The Florida pictures are now completely up. I think that might be the last of the pictures. I guess I can start taking pictures again now that I am caught up.

I just recently started using php for some of my web pages. I am having fun learning a new program language and empowering my web site at the same time. You may notice that when you click on a link on the left now that they all point to the same file. I am passing variables to the same file to identify what pages to then load. It's pretty neat, and allows me to change one file instead of many if I want to make some formatting changes. I am still very much a novice at this, though.

Time to go to bed...

Well, I was going to post new pictures to the website today, but for some reason I cannot connect to the site from home. I am currently remoting in to one of the office computers to make this post. Hopefully this will not be a persistant issue...
The weird thing is that I can ping my site, and do a trace route, but I cannot connect via a web browser, ftp client, or over ssh. I have no idea what's going on.

I only need to upload some files, so I should have the updates in the morning.