Site Redesign

I registered back on September 4, 2000 (or perhaps before… but that’s a long story). The original site was very very old school white on a black background with a very fancy (for the time) slide out menu on the left. The whole site was hand-crafted. Adding something new meant hand writing another page. Ah, ancient history. Since then, I migrated the site to WordPress (while keeping at least some of the old look). Then I migrated in lots of my old writing from various places. And then I went to a responsive theme so the site worked well on mobile. And and and… I kept avoiding a full rewrite because there were too many things buried in corners that I was worried about breaking. But, eventually, it’s time to break a few things. Yesterday, I broke everything and started rebuilding on top of the WordPress 2014 theme (aka a Theme That Always Just Works). I wanted to do a few unusual things, like the centered 4til7 graphic, and not muck up the stock theme so the site has a teeny tiny child theme to hold (basically) a couple of tweaks to the CSS style sheet that gives the site it’s look. My writing is still front and center but now you’ll only see an excerpt ending with a ‘Continue reading’ link that will take you to the full piece. The lengths of those excerpts are all over the place but I’ll be standardize them. Beyond that, there are … Continue reading Site Redesign

The Great Stock Market Crash of 2016 – part 2

The day before US markets opened this year, I was talking to my wife and I said the US Economy will crash and then Donald Trump will be elected. I’m not sure what went through her head but her face said I love you but, honey, please. Almost everyone still viewed Donald Trump’s chances candidacy as being more than one of those weird blips as crazy. Almost everyone viewed the US economy as fundamentally sound. The new day, the first day of trading for the US markets, was brutal and things stayed brutal for a while. The VIX (uncertainty index) was frighteningly high. Oil and oil companies took a beating. The news out of China was ugly. But, things seemed to settle down. The professionals kept saying, meh, it’s going to be fine. But, when you dug into the numbers things were, at best, weak. Unemployment has been low but hiring has been week and people have kept exiting the workforce. The monsters –Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft– have been hiring but everywhere else it’s been hold the line or let people go. Economic growth has been edging towards stagnant. And the US Markets have been shuffling sideways for about a year. I’m not the only one who’s been seeing this. For instance, Goldman Sachs announced a few days ago that investors were exiting the market in droves. The only real demand for stocks right now has been companies doing buy-backs; and even that has been dropping off. This … Continue reading The Great Stock Market Crash of 2016 – part 2

Thus it Begins: The Great Stock Market Crash of 2016

What you’re reading is the introduction to a book I knew I was supposed about where the U.S. and the world is headed. I’ve know I had to write it since the fall and to say it scared me as an understatement. By December I was at least willing to start telling people around me, including my wife key elements of the book including that the US economy will crash and that Donald Trump will be President of the United States. Neither is a guess: this is what will happen. On January 3rd, I told my wife the key elements again. The only thing that changed was that the order had reversed and finalized. I told her: This year, the US Economy will crash and then Donald Trump will be elected President. The next day, the U.S. markets opened and had their biggest initial drop on an opening day since 1932. That (1932) is the year the U.S. Great Depress began for real. And I finally went out on the line in public by tweeting the news with the hashtag #ThusItBegins. Tomorrow morning, the markets will open for the third week of the year. The press will continue to fret, wave their hands and mostly say it’s psychological and things will stabilize soon. Unemployment is down. Fundamentals are solid. Blah. Blah. Blah. Just a few things to sort out. But things won’t. We’re past that point. We’re at the beginning of the Great Stock Market Crash of 2016. The stock … Continue reading Thus it Begins: The Great Stock Market Crash of 2016

Dang paper is too powerful

I keep finding there are times that paper is a better technology. There’s no need to ask which app will handle where my creativity is going to go. Plain words? Bold, highlighting needed? Drawing? Worse yet.. a drawing in the middle of the words? Oh wait… where’s that phone… When I’m I go into idea/sketch mode, I often end up on paper. Which is “wonderful” when I end up with three or 20 scraps of paper that have to be turned into a blog. Until someone wires paper to go straight into whatever I’m using to write and edit, I’ve been using two basic approaches. First, plain old typing (or today thumbing). Second, use the phone on my camera to take a picture of each piece of paper then open what I’m writing in (e.g. WordPress) on my phone and insert the whole batch. Simple, easy, done. Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

Scanning Station

Now, for something that will seem completely different because it looks, somehow, a little practical. I used to use an all-in-one to scan stuff. And it always took up a huge amount of my time just to get the beast to work, use it (especially stuttering iiinn NNNammeeess wwwiiitthh a number keypad) and keeping the beast up to date and running. Once I got a phone that was at least 12MP, I switched to using to using that as a scanner. “Installing software” is searching the app store for CamScanner. It’s the best free scanning app I’ve found and it runs on both iOS and Android. Now, naming is just as fast as thumbing a short tweet. I added a fold-up stand so the camera is instantly lined up with the document. And, for the final touch, an overhead light. This is a first pass. I’ve learned to get something working well-enough and then constantly tweak it to work it better. The craftsmanship comes later. At this point, instead of sharing my first draft recipe, I’ll explain what’s behind each of the key choices I made. If the light is even slightly uneven, the pictures give it away any so I hung the light (a cheap hardware store clamp light) overhead and put in a high wattage bulb to compensate for the angle. I’ve never liked actually seeing the glowing bulbs, especially really bright ones, so I’ve angled the clamp light so the bulb can’t be seen while working (and, … Continue reading Scanning Station

Thunk, scribble, create: micropoetry history society culture criticism g*d y mas en minder. Hashtaging #ThusItBegins #After2016 #MommyDaddy