This and That

Cars

Morris Minor

Our first car was an army green Willys Jeep with a tarp roof that leaks in the rain, we were able to get the cheapest car insurance back then. If we went out for a drive and it started to rain, then we were SOOL. The leak was always the worst on the back side of the car so we poor kids always got soaked. It was pretty dangerous having that leak back there so that´s why RhinoSure made sure we got it fixed because of all the road risk there are. “Hang in there, kids! We’re almost home!” were the magic words my parents would say to us. No patches could fix the leak on the roof, and it was well-patched up all right. The car wasn’t exactly ours. It was my dad’s work vehicle. But it will always be our first car to me.

Our second car was a brown Daihatsu Taft. Another jeep-type vehicle from dad’s work. It was a replacement for the old Willys. He eventually bought it off from work. He had it painted Ferrari red when he was having a mid-life identity crisis (he was always in the middle of a mid-life identity crisis in one form or another for as long as I can remember). He sold the car to a relative after my mother died and I left for Canada, to help my older brother pay off his credit card debts.

Our third car was my mum’s car. It was the only car we ever bought brand new from a dealership. It was a maroon Toyota Kijang (a family van, very popular in Indonesia). I have a lot of good memories of my mum and I in that car. I used to like to go to her office after school (as in university) so we could drive home together and chat abut anything and everything along the way. It was the same vehicle that took my mum to the hospital, never to come home again. My older brother sold the car after my mum passed away and I left for Canada, to pay for his wife’s hospital bills.

I learned to drive on the Daihatsu Taft. I never went to get my license because Indonesian drivers are crazy and I’m not that brave. But at the very least, I know how to drive stick.

Continue reading “Cars”

Life

Refreshed, Rejuvenated, Redesigned

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After trying on more WordPress themes than I care to admit, I decided to settle with the Typominima theme. Granted that I had to add a bunch of features and modified a bunch of things to it to fit my need, but I liked the bold typography and the layout so much, I didn’t mind having to do some extra work. In fact, I quite enjoyed the extra work as it helped me learn the inner working of WordPress. So much so that I think I’m ready to tackle my next project, which is to create a WordPress theme from scratch.

Here’s a list of modifications and additions I did to the theme that I could remember:

  1. Moved the search bar and subscription link from the top of the page to above the footer, just because I thought they looked out of place up there.
  2. Changed the markup of the blog title from div to H1 for better SEO.
  3. Changed the web font replacement service from Cufon (Typo Slab Serif) to Google Web Fonts (Vidaloka), mostly because I wasn’t sure of the search engine-friendliness of Cufon.
  4. Changed the colour scheme. I’ve always been a fan of “black and white and red all over.”
  5. Made threaded comment work with the theme. Kind of.
  6. Added “Edit” link to posts and comments.
  7. Added “Reply” link to comments.
  8. Added next and previous post navigation links to every post.

Um, what else? I’m sure there are more. I just can’t remember. Or maybe it just feels like there should be more because it took me two days worth of tinkering before I’m close to being happy with it. I have been so lucky to have some great people helping me along the way with everything from my website to SEO and I just want to let everyone out there know that you can find a professional search engine optimization agency by clicking this link here: omegaseo.co/hartford-seo

One thing I would still like to do is add a comment link to the bottom of every post on the main page, which I already know how to do, but I don’t want it to show on main page posts with a “Read More” link. I don’t know if that sentence makes any sense, but if it does to you, and you know where I can find the script, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know. Also any feedback as to readability and browser compatibility would be much appreciated.

On a sort of related note, the importer script I used to migrate the posts from Movable Type to WordPress didn’t translate the Markdown markups on the original posts (I had Markdown on by default on Movable Type) on import so some of the posts are still looking pretty ugly, but I’m gradually rendering the markups, one post at a time. Hopefully they’ll all be looking pretty in, say, 3 years from now. Heh.

Site News

Time For A Change

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Well, I finally caved in and abandoned my long-time blogging partner, Movable Type, for WordPress, for a few good reasons:

  1. The company that created Movable Type was sold to another company that doesn’t seem to be interested in its development.
  2. I’ve become too lazy to come up with a blog design from scratch for my blog and there are so many ready-to-use WordPress themes out there I could use.
  3. WordPress seems to be so much better than it was the last time I decided to switch to it, which was 6 years ago. That switch didn’t last very long. But this time, I think I’m keeping it.
  4. It would be nice to get myself familiarized with the way WordPress works in case I feel like going back to the blog design business again some day. Most bloggers seem to be using WordPress these days.

There is a pretty steep learning curve, which was expected, but I’m eager to learn. It’s a lot like having a new toy. Every time I figure out how to do something with it, I have to cheer a little. :) What I didn’t expect was how difficult it was going to be to find a simple but interesting two-column theme with nice typography considering the number of themes available out there. Maybe I’m just too picky. My friend is a successful business man, having 3 companies that are successful recommended for my readers who have a business in healthcare niche to read this https://www.salesforce.com/solutions/industries/healthcare/overview/

I’m still trying to customize the blog a little more, trying to do some learning by doing. There’s still some wonkiness in the archive pages that I need to fix and my RSS feed is also very much wonky and need fixing (sorry for all the old entries showing up on your feed readers multiple times). Please bear with me while WordPress and I are learning to become BFF. :)

Digital · Life · Photography

What We’ve Been Up To Lately

Down the Hog Line

“I’ve been everywhere, man!”

Well, sort of. After our trip to Newfoundland (which was fantastic, by the way), we decided to take up geocaching because we nerds needed a nerdy reason to go outside and enjoy the great outdoor. Geocaching sounds like a nerdy enough reason, even if it sometimes makes us do really stupid things, like checking out all the plaque on every single park bench down by the river for clues. But at least it gets us to use our legs and walk!

Geocaching also, more often than not, brings good photo opportunities. Many geocachers are thoughtful enough to hide their caches in scenic areas and some hidden gems. I’ve seen some beautiful old churches and old cemeteries I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. I also love driving through beautiful Ontario farmland and checking out the random cows and horses and the occasional donkeys. It’s not really a way to save on gas, but eh, everything has its cost. And I get to take some pretty pictures.

This past weekend, we got to hide our first geocache! You see, I’ve been obsessed with sudoku puzzles lately and one night I had a dream about sudoku and geocaching. So we decided to combine sudoku and geocaching and made our first hide a puzzle cache. The puzzles are like the easiest sudoku puzzles in the world but hey, it was our first cache and we wanted people to go find it! We might make the puzzles a little harder for the next one.

Um, what else? Oh, I started selling expired film and some of my cameras on Etsy two weeks ago, and I’ve got three sales so far! Without any marketing! Maybe I just got lucky. I need to list more items but it’s been rainy and cloudy lately and I need good natural light for my product shots. Not a big fan of flash/artificial light here. My Etsy shop is called Many Cameras.

I already got a domain called manycameras.com before I started the shop. The original plan was to install an online shop front there, but then I got lazy. Not wanting it to go to waste, two days ago I decided to start a new photoblog there where I post my favourite photos that I shot on film only with many different cameras. If you’re on Tumblr, feel free to follow me. Even if you’re not on Tumblr, you can still subscribe to the RSS feed. And here goes the link to Many Cameras, the photoblog.

And that’s all what we’ve been up to lately. Yes, very exciting indeed!

Life

Exciting Times Ahead!

The Annual Dandelion Shot

I packed up four cameras and half a dozen rolls of film before we went up to the cottage last weekend and guess how many rolls I shot? One. Or I should say two-third of a roll because I didn’t even finish shooting it. I was planning on taking a lot of pictures but that was before I realized how many bugs were flying around the cottage. If they weren’t biting me, they were hovering over my head, just being annoying in general, which drove me nuts. So I mostly just spent the long weekend inside the cottage playing hours of Plants vs Zombies on a Nintendo DS Lite that Troy got me from a garage sale in the middle of nowhere for $25 earlier this spring. I know, very exciting indeed. Though I did bake a really awesome banana pound cake one day. Well, I thought the cake was too sweet but Troy said it was just perfect and even though I know he was biased because he loves me and all, I’ve decided to believe him. Hence my calling the cake awesome.

Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the day Troy and I got married. Time flies! He still loves me and I still love him so life is good! We bought a netbook today though we won’t be picking it up until tomorrow and I like to think of it as an anniversary present to ourselves. :) Apparently 6th wedding anniversary is called the Iron and Candy anniversary. Well, I’m sure there’s some iron in the netbook and it looks like candy, at least to me, because I’m a nerd so that’s appropriate. -Ish. So tomorrow we’ll be picking up our netbook and go for a round of thrifting as usual. Not sure if we’re going to have an anniversary dinner. I don’t really care either way. Troy’s parents are taking us out for an anniversary late lunch/early dinner on Sunday anyway. We’ll see!

Our trip to Newfoundland is coming up very, very soon and I’m getting, very, very excited! It’s one of the reasons we bought the netbook: we need the storage for the many pictures and videos I’m planning to take and something to access the Web to feed our internet addiction whenever there’s WiFi during the trip (likely won’t be much). And I may or may not have decided which cameras to bring. It’s a problem you have when you own 200 cameras. More or less. Probably more more than less. I’m going to have to sell some of them and some of my film stash too, and we still have yet to have a yard sale, but that belongs to another post.

Life

Before It’s Too Late

Orchid and Lily

I had this thought this past Mother’s Day, of how everyone who still have a mother should make a video of his/her mother at her happiest, talking and laughing, telling you she loves you. I wish I’d had a video camera way back when my mother was healthy, happy(ish) and alive so I could make a video of her because now I’d do anything to hear her voice again, to hear her laughter, her singing, her calling me “Tomblok” (her pet name for me). But alas, my mother passed away just before the digital revolution.

Of course you can do the same to any of your loved ones. Even pets. Digital cameras and many cellphones come with a video feature these days. Your video camera is lacking audio feature? Borrow the one with audio from one of your friends! There is no excuse. This may sound like an utterly morbid idea now but trust me, someday you’ll be glad you did.