April 2008 Archives

Rad with no coffee for 3 daysDay 3 with no coffee. This is where I usually cave. And to be honest, if it weren't so freaking hot today, I probably would've.

But drinking coffee (espresso) isn't very appealing when it's so dang hot. (Heat wave here.) Thank God for global warming.

I was working earlier on the new Guide to Virtual Private Servers, yawning, with the intellectual drive of a mad cow.

The coffee demon was jumping up-n-down on my shoulder .. reminding me how blissful I would feel after downing a triple-shot, and how much mental energy it would give me. (It would.)

But the temperate angel was perched on the other side, reminding me I'd have to tell everybody (here) what a big, fat failure I was. (Again.)

So I made it another day. (Barely.) And the previous entry here gave enough pause to help keep me from falling off the wagon. Getting by day-3 is a major accomplishment for me.

Funny how the addict's brain works to get its fix. Today for example, I couldn't locate a book I'd checked out from the library (for the Bug). My first thought » "Must've left it at the coffee shop." (I read stories to him there.)

Quitting Coffee: Revisited

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Coffee PlantCoffee. I am so addicted. If you've been Radified any length of time, you know I've tried quitting before (numerous times), succeeding only in achieving a splitting headache.

It's not so much the flavor I like, as the buzz. The amperage. The drive.

I have no qualms with drinking coffee per se. Rather it's the 'addicted' part that bothers me. Drinking coffee cuz we want to is fine. But drinking it because we have to is .. uh, hard to justify.

Actually, I drink espresso (less volume in my stomach). Usually a triple. This time will be different. (Yeah, I know I've said that before, too.) But I really have a good feeling about it.

"Why should this time be any different?" you ask. Cuz now I have a secret weapon. =)

Normally these detox endeavors begin with a 30-day goal, which is quickly revised down to "a week," and end up lasting a few days. (If that.)

Some advise a gradual weaning .. to help minimize headaches. "Weaning is for wimps," I tell them (usually squinting thru a blinding headache).

Have a special treat for you today. Took my digital camera along for a stroll thru Castaways Park (here in Newport Beach), where I snapped a few photos.

Newport Harbor | Viewed from Castaways Park, Newport Beach, CaliforniaBeen meaning to do this for a while now. (Share this.)

Castaways is a great place to go and think. The park sits up on a bluff (25 acres), overlooking Newport Harbor, and the upper Back Bay. A nice breeze usually blows up there (off the Pacific).

I go there often .. to help clear my head. Photos taken Sunday (20th), shortly before sunset.

Oops, almost forgot the linkage. Here ya go » Castaways Park, Newport Beach. And here's a larger, higher-quality version (100-KB) » Newport Harbor

Woohoo! I worked some Apache mojo today to "alias" the file-name of this home page (index2.html) to » index.rad.

That's so cool! Thanks to Nigel (Ghost Developer from New Zealand) for holding my hand. Here's the code I used to work this magic (added to .htaccess file):

Apache Web Server

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^index.rad index2.html

Thus far, this technique has only been applied to the home page (starting with a baby-step). But in the future, I'd like to expand its use .. to 'radify' other key pages.

Rad Web Design Studio

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It has been a week since the home page was redesigned .. with a new table-less layout. Have you gotten used to it yet? Like it? (I'm diggin' it.) Been making slight tweaks here and there...

.. such as adding left-padding to the graphics in the center section, to keep text from butting up against images.

Dreamweaver CS3: The MIssing ManualThis padding also adds a slight indent (6 pixels) to the yellow tri-blade radiation symbols which begin each post.

Speaking of design .. I got a call from somebody saying they wanted to hire me to redesign their web site. (Cool.) My nuclear training instilled in me the notion that I need to know everything about everything before doing anything professionally.

Which might be true in the nuclear world, but friends say that ain't how the real world works, and that I already know more than enough to do web design professionally.

And I must admit, after reading (studying) those excellent books (» Head First XHTML/CSS, » CSS Mastery & » Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual), I *do* feel comfortable wielding web design mojo.

So if you know somebody who needs web work, I'm available. (And cheap.) I don't know PHP yet, but that's coming. Rad Web Design .. has a nice ring, no?

Have a special treat for you today .. my world-famous Puttanesca recipe. Puttanesca is a dirty word, so you must be 18 to read.

I've sent this recipe countless times via email. Finally decided to copy-n-paste it into a webpage .. to share with the world. See here » Rad's Nuclear Grade Puttanesca (I'm eating a bowl right now.)

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » pasta puttanesca recipe

"I Like You, Dada"

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I was laying on the bed last night, snuggling the Bug, watching Pooh's Heffalump Halloween movie (his current favorite title), when ..

.. out of the blue, he turns around, looks me in the eye and says (with a big smile and a sparkle in his eyes), "I *like* you, dada.

Hop inside my mouth if you want to liveTotally unexpected. Caught me completely off-guard. I felt disabled for 5 or 6 seconds .. like a fish flopping on the deck. Couldn't even talk.

The inflection in his voice conveyed a genuine enthusiasm. His words went deep, penetrating.

He'd already ate dinner and had his bath. So we were just chillin' .. winding down, spending time being close. (Good snuggler, he is.)

I still don't entirely understand my reaction. Maybe my defenses were down (being late in the day), and that's why his comment had such an unusual effect.

We exceeded the memory limit on our new VPS today (for the first time). Our current memory limit is 384-MB (256-regular + 128-upgrade).

I noticed the forums set the record today for most guests ever online at one time. So maybe that has something to do with it. See » here. [More info here.]

Note: today's entry applies to the site home page (not this blog entry page).

Notice anything different? The old/previous design was based on pre-XHTML standards mark-up .. which I had *converted* to XHTML-valid (using Dreamweaver). But the guts still contained a table-based layout (kludge).

The layout of this page however, is not based on tables (rather » on CSS). My new CSS page (if you're interested) is aqui » radified_xhtml2.css.

Been meaning to start over from scratch and layout this page based on CSS .. ever since I started upgrading my web design skills.

Now that the site is busy enough to require a VPS, I figure we probably oughta have a homepage laid-out with CSS. (Modern.)

So I finally just put my head down and went for it. Spur-of-the-moment decision. More involved than I expected. A million little details required attention .. in order to massage current content (you see here) into the new layout. And once I start a project like this, I don't like to stop until it's done. (Worked 'til 1AM.)

This CSS-based layout will let me tweak the design more easily as my CSS skills (continue to) develop.

I chose that bluish-green color (sidebars) cuz I was searching for a link-color that doesn't distract from reading this normal gray text.

The old light-blue links I was using before were so bright (on a black background) they jumped out .. which I found distracting, since I tend to use copious linkage. (Design should complement content .. not overpower it, right?) But sometimes we don't notice things, until we're looking for them. My design-aim was/is to present a content-focused website.

Finally have a couple of pages to show you .. regarding the new » Guide to Virtual Private Servers. Been a long time since I cranked out a new Rad guide. Feels good. Tho tired now.

It's still a work-in-progress (WIP), but I have a good start on it. The research has already been done (which is the time-consuming part). And the site has already been moved/upgraded, so I have first-hand experience (which we prize) to accompany the research. All that remains » documentation.

I like the idea of this guide. Has a certain coolness, no? Much easier for me to put my head down and plow thru a guide when it has cool-factor.

VPS is all about speed, power & control. (Nearly synonymous with Porsche.) Oozes cool .. (in a geeky-kinda way). Guessing I can have it done in 10 pages. But I keep thinking of more things I should include. So maybe 10 won't be enough?

Planning to include everything *I* would've liked to know .. back when I began my research. It will be a cool guide. Ultra-practical. (Radified.)

Speaking of cool .. if you use Firefox (and who doesn't these days?), and you like things dark .. check out this theme, called » NASA Night Launch. Browsing the forums with a NASA-theme'd Firefox is .. heaven (at night). =)

If you don't hear from me for a few days, I'll be working on the VPS guide. (Update - Just added a 3rd page.)

Logged into my Paypal account today, planning to move fund$ (from my checking account) .. in preparation for paying this month's web hosting fee (with our new provider) .. when I noticed...

Sydney, Australia .. Home of Good Things.. there was already plenty of cash in the account. (Woohoo!) How did it get in there?

You might've noticed the small Make a Donation button .. found in the left side-bar (have to scroll down). As you know, I don't solicit donations. But if readers feel inspired, there it is.

Timely Donations

Several generous readers donated amounts ranging from $50 to $100 (less a small percentage Paypal keeps for their trouble). Boy, was I stoked!

Funny how donations always seem to arrive when they're needed most.

As a side note, I find it interesting that most donations (by far) come from » Texans. Why is that? Are they more generous than most? .. or drawn more strongly to the site? I have lived in many states, but Texas isn't one of them. So I can't say for sure.

Priorities & Sacrifice

Speaking of money .. all my life, cash was never a problem. I mean (not to brag), I was earning close to $100K fifteen years ago .. (back when 100K was still 100K). I paid ca$h for a Porsche (the Rad-mobile) .. back in the '80's. Even at age 11, I was delivering newspapers 7 days a week. So I've always had plenty of spending-cash .. for long as I can recall.

But ever since I started going to court a few years ago .. well, that wiped me out. And you can't work nuclear just any ol' place. Reactors aren't found on every street corner, or in every town. (Or even in every state.)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2008 is the previous archive.

May 2008 is the next archive.

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