A Delicious post on life

Just a miscellaneous post on life etc. I’ve started using del.icio.us a lot recently. I just got tired of lots of links I didn’t use that often in my browser.

Prior to Oct. 10, the last time I added anything to del.icio.us was Dec. 11, 2005. Anyway you can have a look at my links if you so choose.

In other news I’ve changed departments here at Hodges, from Outreach to Library Technology Services, a.k.a Systems. So I have a bigger cube and an office that my cell phone works in, but sadly no pay raise.

Work has started on our new house, earth is being moved. 🙂

One post a month….

Seems to be my pace these days. One day I my get back to blogging. I’ve been pretty busy spearheading the redesign on the UT Libraries site. It officially launched August 13th and it’s a slow process getting a site that big with dozens of people involved updated to a new design. Kind of like turning an aircraft carrier.

In other news still working on getting a house built, the construction loan will hopefully close soon and then the fun will start.

Busy May

May is almost over and I’m not sure where it went. Work has been going ok, the UT Libraries version of the new UT web templates should be ready in the next couple of weeks. Then the long and probably painful process of converting the libraries over to the new templates can begin.

On a personal note, I spent most of May getting the family finances in order. Cashed in some stock and paid off all our credit card debt, which was a sizable sum. Next on the agenda is looking at buying or building a house. Building on the land we have now is one option, or we may sell our current place and move a bit closer to work.

Anybody want to buy a Mac mini or a couple of Pentium 4 Windows XP machines? The only computer we ever turn on at home anymore is the laptop, so I’m on a mission to get rid of our desktop machines and reclaim some cash.

But for now we’ll be taking a break and headed to Arkansas for Memorial Day. Should be a nice change of pace.

Library Podcast… file extension issues

I’ve been working on putting a podcast up for The Commons at work. Which is a little harder than it sounds. First I had to figure out podcast RSS feeds. The University of Washington has a good site for that.

Then there was an issue with the .m4a file that GarageBand saves podcasts as. .m4a is not an official MIME media type, which means it’s probably not going to be in the Apache mime types. At least it wasn’t for the library web server. And it might not hurt to add .m4v as well.

AddType video/mp4 .m4v
AddType audio/mp4 .m4a

MPEG 4 has various (and mostly interchangeable) file extensions, although .mp4 is the only official extension. But Apple has popularized .m4a and .m4v into what appear to be defacto standards.

Tennessee Library Association Conference

Just got back from the TLA Conference in Chattanooga. I had a good time, saw several people that I hadn’t seen in a few years. The presentations were good, Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect was the keynote speaker. Sadly I didn’t get to hear her speak since the room was standing-room only by the time I got there. I attened sessions on IM reference, wikis, and library website redesign among other things. I also toured UT Chattanooga’s Lupton Library.

Work and a post worth keeping at the top

Well work on new UTK templates has kept me from blogging much lately. But I still read blogs, Walt at Random among them.

So when he posted today about Kathy Sierra of the blog “Creating Passionate Users” receiving death threats and canceling speaking engagements, I had to go to her blog and read her latest post.

This is sad, sick and disturbing. So taking a cue from Walt and Robert Scoble I’m leaving this post up a while, which lately isn’t a big deal. I’ve dealt with a few nuts out here in blog land but this is just above and beyond.

Templates, web design, and work

When I started my job at Hodges, I knew 95% of the designs I came up would have to fit in the UT template which is ugly, brown/beige, and table based, with minimal CSS. When the templates appeared in 2003, Matt Grayson and I were working on a new site design for SIS, so we were forced into the design, but we still used CSS.

Fast forward to 2006 and I was once again making a CSS version of the templates. The SIS site had evolved to the point where I couldn’t use that as a base anymore, it was too integrated with Drupal now. Neither Matt or I had any of the pre Drupal code saved anywhere, so I was starting from scratch and dealing with new bugs and browser issues. I was almost done when I heard about a new design/templates coming soon.

New templates were supposed to arrive in October sometime, and the new design for utk.edu was supposed to debut January 1. Units could roll out designs based on the new templates on or after that date. But the templates never came and January has come and gone.

Well this week the new design for utk.edu appeared and it looks good. Much better than the old design. I’m really glad that even with the delays, they took the time to get it right this time and got some feedback from other UT web folks along the way.

The lead designer for the new look, Darren Hughes, has a nice blog entry about the design process. My hat is off to you Darren, I can only hope you’re well paid for all your headaches.

While the templates based on the new look aren’t quite ready yet, hopefully they will be soon. Then I can let loose with some work I’ve been waiting on for quite a while.

Another Year

Well, I haven’t blogged it a while. Lots of stuff happening, trying to get settled into the new place in South Knox County. Also trying to get into a rhythm with the new job. And going to doctors.

In the midst of that Christmas happens. We decided to spend Lisa’s first Christmas with as much of the family as we could, which was stressful, but worth it. But that was a week of solid travel and I don’t think we’ll be doing that again. 🙂

My job has been in slow motion almost since I started thanks to new university wide web templates that were supposed to be done in November. After much delay the templates should be released next month. Added to that there is some question as to what department I should be reporting to in the library. But hopefully that will be resolved soon as well.

I think I’ve finally got the right combination of doctors, we seem to be making progress in improving my health. This is thanks to finding a family doctor who listens (purely by luck). He in turn is referring me to good specialists.

Once my life settles a bit more, regular blogging should resume….. (I hope)

Update on work, life etc.

We’ll I’m moving to South Knox County, extreme south, almost in Seiver County. Stephanie has more on that. We’ll be moving in the next week or two. Work is okay, still attempting to carve out my territory, a problem with any new position I guess.

My health stinks at the moment but at least I can afford to go to doctors now. In fact I’m going to the doctor tomorrow afternoon. I’m getting tired of this, I haven’t felt well in months, except for a few days here and there, like the last time I posted. I just need to string more of those days together…

Maybe I’ll feel like blogging more sometime soon.