Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lifetime Piling Up

Like the song says, things are just heaping on top of each other.

I know I post frequently about having too many things to do, and I equally know that most of the time, it's due to poor time management on my part. Once in a while, yes, it's because there are too many reports, too many deadlines, too many things to read and places to drive kids to and events to attend and trips to take and bathrooms to clean and all the rest of it. But mainly it's just me, procrastinating.

And sometimes, of course, it's me again, but this time taking too much on. Like the report I agreed to co-author last year: lucrative, yes, but also far more work than I really had time for. Or the consulting I did recently, ditto, despite my best efforts to read mounds of paper on the bus to and from work. Somehow, a quick nap halfway through listening to the latest bargain-bin CD purchase always seems to win out over dry articles about the genetics of this, that and the proverbial other thing.

And then there's blogging.

Inspired by my good friend (and by good friend, I mean "bloke who currently lives in Australia, whom I've never met, but I bet we'd get on like a house on fire, if he didn't cause my untimely death as a result of a home-made hovercraft explosion), Black Knight, who at last count has no fewer than four blogs, I've agreed to contribute to a blog over at this place, where I already spend copious amounts of time. Shh. It's not a done deal yet, although I've vaguely promised (and I quote myself, or at least an email I bravely sent) to "manage one post a week reliably". Stop laughing, Rik.

This on top of the editorial piece I've also promised to write for them. I wonder, if I manage to produce all this stuff more or less on time, if they'll send me on another nice trip like the one to Arizona where I took this picture in between working very, very hard on their behalf (oh, and lounging around the pool too, I suppose):

two cacti

Anyway, if all goes well, I'll soon be joining Alethea and a few other characters over at that place. I've promised something related to modern technologies, the difficulties in using thereof, and the frustration resulting therefrom. Sound familiar?

And, to start things off, having (more or less) wrapped my head around Blogger, I'll need to learn WordPress. I'm sure it will be dead simple, and not provide me with any annoyance or irritation whatsoever.*

*Certain aspects of this statement are almost certainly going to be proven false.

P.S. Speaking of Blogger, technology and irritation, can anyone explain to me why the newly-installed Internet Explorer 7 is now cutting off the top half of my blog's title? Standard kibbitzing about Microsoft will be gleefully ignored, but I'd really like to know. Thanks.

P.P.S. Thanks to a tip from Mosher (see the comments), I bravely adjusted the blog header's "padding", after intrepidly Googling to find out what the heck it is and how it works. Seems to have done the trick, although his comments (like Debi's before) about the teeny tiny text in the sidebar when viewed in Firefox, still need fixing. Any thoughts?


zoe said...

Rik may not be laughing, but I certainly am. Are you going to write pomes for him?

.....tiptoes out ....

Mosher said...

The missing masthead is likely a stylesheet issue. I've got a doodly little plugin for Firefox that lets me use the IE engine within Firefox and it does it with that as well.

Incidentally, if I look at the page in IE (or Firefox with IE rendering) the fonts are fine - but if I use Firefox proper, then the fonts down the right hand side are *minute* and unreadable.

Check your CSS files and try to use relative rather than absolute font sizes. That may help.

As for Wordpress, I'm gradually moving all my blogs onto it (two down, one to go) as it's more configurable and faster than Blogger, at least when posting to your own webspace.

I found Blogger horrendously inefficient when I started using tags/categories as I'd end up with multiple copies of each post - one in each category file, one in the date archive and one on the index page. Wordpress shoves them in a database and produces each page on the fly based on a query so is much more efficient. The free online version is a little limited, but if you can get a host that supplies your own webspace and MySQL database, you can really tinker with plugins and the like.

Rik said...

me? Laugh? *snerk*

Re: IE7, what Mosh said.

As for having no time. I have just had the busiest 3 months of my life evah, and I have still managed to post. Shame on you.

WV: zaljty, a new iraqi policeman.

Ricardipus said...

Mosher.. thanks.

*scratches head

The font on the right hand side thing was also spotted by, um, Debi I think... resulting in this post. There didn't seem to be much consensus as to whether or not the fonts need re-jigging, but I guess they do.

I'm no html jockey, so if anyone feels like looking at the sidebar source html and making some suggestions, plz to go right ahead. The small is using [small] and [/small] tags, but might be explicitly specified somewhere... this is really exceeding my knowledge of such things though.

Alethea said...

Well, come on by! Great to have you.

Disadvantage of that place: you don't get to play around with WordPress at all (except to add in some links if you like).

Advantage of that place: you don't get to play around with WordPress at all. One less source of procrastination. And the comments bugs seem to be more or less worked out.

Also, it's not like ScienceBlogs, where you actually have pressure to post. So, don't sweat it. I had only signed up for a post a fortnight in the first year, and here I am some time later, still procrastinating, and more frequently at that. Progress, eh?

Mosher said...

Just had a chance to look and your tiny text problem is fairly simple to solve - it's down to the <small&rt; tag you've used. I notice it's dropped before a lot of the <h2&rt; tags, but there's no corresponding </small&rt; closure.

IE is just ignoring it entirely, I guess, whereas Firefox ignores the fact that it's not closed. So the first time you get small text. Then it hits the next one and makes the following text "smallsmall". Then it hits another and goes "smallsmallsmall"...

Easiest solution - locate each <small&rt; and close it after the text you want to be that size.


use h3 instead of h2 (it's smaller anyway and it seems to be the h2's that you're trying to make small)
Best solution - use the style at the top to define the size you want. Either customise h2/h3 within the sidebar or create a new tag.

Ricardipus said...

*scratches head

Thanks, Mosher.

*toddles off to prod Blogger, possibly resulting in disaster