Tag Archives: Blogger

Technology watering down existence

At the beginning of my first serious foray into online presence, I had three things: a portfolio to get a job, a blog, and a Friendster account. The first became largely irrelevant after I was hired and moved out to Tokyo two weeks from graduation, and the latter was fraught with a lack of relevance and style, which quickly led it to obscurity. However, the blog, is something that I’ve more or less kept at faithfully for the better part of eight years. I began writing of my explorations in this fantastic land, and quickly supplemented that with the angst of trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to be. If it was one thing you could count on it was my endless stream of diatribes yearning for import.

Over time I began to find my place, through the kindness of others and the occasional burst of learning from my own stubborn demands that the world fit my narrow-minded vision of right and wrong. I moved from writing about stray cats and working on weekends to endless, repeated praise for trance music and what I quaintly cherished as community. Then at some point I decided to start doing something public with my photography, whether people recognized me for it or not, and thus we arrived at end of the decade. In the time since ubiquitous computing (to use a word that was en vogue with SIGCHI when I was in college), the fragmentation of platforms, portals, and people has made it harder and harder to be noticed, with each microtransaction of communication becoming far and far less meaningful, any rare original thought swallowed in a sea of chaff.

Sheepishly I now realize that I’ve probably driven away the three or four actual people I had reading this public journal with the advent of my adoption of that watered-down sinkhole of information exchange Facebook. I say so much more often so much less, that it leads me to wonder in twenty years’ time will my children find interest in reading my journal or my tweets? The answer is probably neither, but just the same I’m glad I took the time to sit down and actually think about what I was doing before six months went by and I was scratching my head why 2011 felt so much more empty than any of the other years in recent past.

It’s most likely not a coincidence that the speed and density of my current background music, The Plateaux of Mirror, is likely nearly half that of the floor-rattling trance I usually have on at this time of night. Thank you Mr. Eno for helping me collect my thoughts and appreciate the last forty minutes a little more.

Now the real irony is I started this entry meaning to write about love… but there we have it, the attention span of mankind pared to a millisecond.

Slow maintenance

This afternoon I was mucking about in FL Studio, but I kept getting distracted because I’ve had it in my mind to streamline my footprint, both physical and digital. I have plans to collapse the site as it is and fold it back to something much more basic. Right now I’m just thinking photography, the blog, and the wiki. No more college-era neophyte attempts at creation. That past has long since outlived its usefulness and now it’s more of an eyesore than anything else.

I brushed up a very few minor parts of the blog template. Headers should be uniform more or less through all category and monthly archives. I think I’ve figured out a way to fix 90% of the broken image links in the history, I just need to risk a global search-and-replace on the DB. The older blogger titles will have to be done by hand, unfortunately. There’s four hundred and eighty-some to deal with.

I put the search form back, it should work all right, though it’ll bring a harsh light onto all of those stupid blogger title entries. Once I get the older posts all marked up with titles, categories, and slugs I’ll add the most dense category labels to the sidebar.

Yesterday I took a one-day course in dark room printing. It was pretty interesting, though as you’d expect quite frustrating at first. There are so many steps in manual printing that are handled for you digitally, mostly alignment-related things. I have a couple of discount coupons to go again in the next few months, though, so I’m looking forward to that.

Communication

[A brief conversation on MSN Messenger, sometime last autumn (paraphrased)…]

B: Why don’t you put comments on your blog?
R: Because Blogger doesn’t handle them well, the interface is all clunky and doesn’t look right with my template.
B: Well, it’d be really helpful if you had them. There’re so many things that you write about that I want to reply to.
R: If I had the ability to comment on my blog, you’d really use it?
B: Of course.
R: Alright. It’ll probably be really tough, but I’ll make something happen.
B: Cool.

Tired

Ok, ok, the cat’s out of the bag. I tried very hard to keep your Christmas present from you until it was complete, and just “ta-da!” wow you with autumn tactics plus seamlessly integrated comments and tags on New Year’s, but it’s clear now that this is going be more than just a one-night effort, unfortunately.

So yes, we’ve finally kicked Blogger to the curb and are using extensible content management software. Oddly enough, Blogger Beta seems to just have figured out tags (that and a lack of unobtrusive comments were my main reasons for leaving).

In any case, I should have the template back to looking like it used to in the next few days, despite being mostly homeless. Top priority now is support for my legacy posts in Japanese, and after that titles. Then I get to learn just enough CSS to get the template fixed. And for dessert, I’m also making the long overdue upgrade to Gallery 2, which dovetails nicely with WordPress.

Let this be the beginning of better-organized, more aesthetically pleasing communication between us.

Just need to get through one more day at work… pray I can find a place to live this weekend.

Good night!

Images

Ok, cool. Now that imaging works at least on a primitive level, I’ll start concocting ways to insert images more intelligently. Perhaps I could put a small picture below the “more tactics” banner on the left, like a photo of the week kind of thing. Of course, if your interests lie more on my photography than my ramblings, please check out my photography subsite or my portfolio proper.

By the way, with summer ending, the photo feature should be up in full swing by September 23rd! I’m looking forward to playing with Photoshop in more creative ways.

Trash

Ok, well thinking about money, and what’s possible with HTML, and bending rules and stuff I figured I’d see if I could put an image in an entry, albeit in a manual and obnoxious way.

Here goes…

If you can see that, we’re sweet and I can start putting up small versions of my photography and such. Kind of obnoxious that it was to be inline with the text like that, but templates are messy with the automation we employ.

Abort, retry, fail?

I just lost a blog about dreams that took 1 hour to write….because I clicked “BACK” and “CANCEL” in the wrong window…this sucks. Moral of the story…”always write your blog in Notepad or some text editor FIRST, something with an UNDO buffer.” :/

Starting out

Huzzah! My own template off of my site, ad-free! Yes, I know the font and layout sucks. I’ll change that later this week…need to use something fancier than just plain HTML and Arial. I’m going to be really tired at work tomorrow because of this little project, hope it’s worth it. Good night!

Sending a dream out into the universe…

or in this case a string of UTF-8 encoded characters to a small portion of magnetic media connected to millions of similarly-minded machines. A couple months ago a warm heart said the word “blog” and that I should try it. I thought it was an MMORPG and forgot about looking into it. Today my best friend told me to use it since we live 7000+ miles apart and never get to talk. Ok, I’ll give it a shot.

Autumn Tactics

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun

My name is David Ventura, though a lot of people call me Rusty. After finishing graduate school in the spring of 2003, I packed up shop and moved to Japan to embark on an adventure both inwards and out, for both glory and peace; though I admit I probably won’t find the latter without acquiescing to the truthful insignificance of the former.

I used to enjoy bourbon and pizza, now I appreciate green tea and raw tuna. I play a lot of video games, ride a beat-up commuter bicycle, listen to electronic music, and try to take a lot of pictures of things that interest me. Professionally I make commercial video games, though I have a history of research and drama. The most important thing I hope for each day is continual growth and to learn from my mistakes.

In this journal I keep a running account of my thoughts about myself, about humanity, and the things I see. I occasionally create a photo collection, but for the most part it’s just a random shot here and there that I may or may not make the time to edit on the computer. Sometimes what I write about is rather personal, and it may be offensive or depressing, but mostly it’s pedestrian and quite boring. Whatever I do write about though, it’s honest, it’s what I think and what I feel; it’s not for posturing or obligation. If it’s of interest then all the better. But to look back and remember with nostalgia the times both rough and smooth, I’m confident I won’t soon forget what mattered to me and how much I tried to make it work out, so perhaps a little wiser in the long run.

Always moving onwards,
David “Rusty” Ventura

Deep river runs its course
To a warm horizon
Shadows of falling leaves
October moon and rusty skies
Ever changing feelings
The seeds of autumn in my mind

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun

Hiding summer’s age no more
No more leaves in summer sky
Turning dark on empty car lots
When summer was my only friend
Sail back this way again
Winter’s one breath away
Sail back this way again
Winter’s one breath away
It’s turning cold…

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun