Posting Photos New and Old

I have been on a photo publishing streak lately. I have tried to be diligent to post new photos quickly, as well as going back to post older photos.

Here are a few direct links to new albums:

At the Children's Discovery Museum - Spending a few hours here with Mia. It is her first time visiting this museum.

Celebrating Kayla's High School Graduation - Celebrating at the Crow's Next

Mia and Her Car Seat - Mia graduates to facing forward status!

Photos from 1999 - I have managed to post all the digital photos I took in 1999. They are no a lot of photos, but I posted what I have.

If you need the password to the albums either email me or ping me on Facebook.

And So It Begins Anew

I blame the economy.

The web hosting account for janella.com has come up for renewal. Dotable, where the site is hosted, has been a great web host this past year. Their pricing and support have been great. I have nothing bad to say about their company or service. But money is money.

Granted it only cost “x” amount of dollars a year for the account. But “x”, when factored with “y” and “z”, makes hosting a web site an extra expense I can do without. I must consider alternatives to web hosting.

There are many free platforms to blog out there - Wordpress.com, Vox, LiveJournal, MySpace, Facebook, etc. The logical choice would be to go with Wordpress.com. I know Wordpress well, as my blog ran on Wordpress. But I love how Tumblr works. Tumblr is drop dead simple.

Yes, I’ll need to deal with the fears I’ve mentioned in my old blog postings: lack of control of data and loss of data. But I’ll learn to deal with it. I trust in Tumblr. (Now don’t let me down.)

And so it begins anew…here on Tumblr.

Erase and Rewind

The Matrix has been reloaded.  Reason?  No real reason, just sheer boredom.

Anyone who's been reading these pages knows that I've been having a nasty habit lately of changing things around. I'm not sure why I am so scatterbrained about the blog the last couple of years, but I've learned to live with it.

So I've archived the old and started once again from scratch.  I'll post something worth reading some time soon.

What's Up with Wordpress?

For some reason the blog has been acting up lately.  Pages have been loading slowly and posting has been difficult.  The problem does not appear to be the server, as I'm able to access files by FTP and use other portion of the site that are not built using Wordpress fine.

And so I've deployed Movable Type once more. The feeling of generating static HTML pages is starting to appeal to me more and more.  At least the pages appear to be loading faster.  Now I think I'll need to work on modifying this template or creating my own, as I don't like how it's looking from a design standpoint.

Update: Movable Type keeps f-ing up on me.  I installed it for a few days, then for some reason my mt.cgi files are all screwy, not allowing me to post!  Oh well, back to WP.

My Fault - I Know What Happened

OK, I figured out how I "screwed the pooch" on the web site. I fracked an upgrade to a new version of Wordpress, not following directions because I thought I knew what I was doing. Clearly, I was incorrect in my assumption.

I do have a month old backup of the web site which I could restore. But I am extremely lazy at this point in time and am seriously thinking of simply just pressing on from here.

I pulled a similar stunt earlier this year, thinking I'd start fresh with the site. But I met with slight resistance to do this and so I relented. But because of my latest action, and the fact that I simply do not wish to dig deep into the vault any longer, I am going to just continue to post from this point on.

OK, enough late night rambling. I'm going to look up a few New York tidbits for our trip later this week, then I'm heading to bed.

Thanks for reading.

Care to Comment?

I wasn't sure what to title this post. What I'm thinking is that as of April 1, 2008, I am going to disable comments on the blog. This will effectively make this blog a tumblelog instead. If you read my previous post about tumblr and tumblelogs, then you know what I mean.

The reason I thinking of going this way is: (1) the amount of spam comments I've been receiving lately; (2) my inability to approve comments; and (3) I've been lately doing quick posts which fit the format of a tumblelog better than a blog. Believe me, I love it when people comment on something I've written about or posted. I just feel bad about never getting around to either replying or approving the comment until way after the fact.

I could disable comments now to avoid anyone writing humorous comments about my upcoming milestone birthday, but I won't. The ability to comment will still be available my photos pages. If you wish to post a thought or two on a photo, then please do not hesitate.

Fumbl-log

I'm sure you have noticed another change on ./Janella.com. Yes, I keep fiddling with the look, never satisfied with one layout for too long. Every time I think I have a look I like, I tend to find an aspect that doesn't suit my web site vision.

What is the main vision?

I would like, and hope, that the web site is easy to read and easy to navigate. Some day soon I will probably go back to a splash page for the opening page, similar to Miss Aniela's home page. (I'm sure I could have picked a different example, but she takes such nice photos. Note: some photos might border NSFW items, so click at your own risk.)

For the blog, I was trying the latest version of Movable Type 4. Remember Movable Type?

Back in the day I used Movable Type to run ./Janella.com. Everything was running nice and smooth, but then Six Apart felt like charging for there product. I could still use it without paying, but it simply seemed wrong. In May of 2004, I switched to a free solution which was Wordpress. Wordpress has powered the site for the last three years. I heard there was a new open source version of Movable Type out there and decided to give it a try.

Well, I liked some bits of it and didn't like others.

Things I Liked

The templates provided with Movable Type are nice. They mirror some of the templates provided at Vox which is not surprising since Six Apart owns Vox as well. I especially like the cityscape templates created by .tiff - one of my Vox neighbors. The layouts are clean and easy on the eyes.

Comments

Notice the red "V" icon? Nice touch. Anything that encourages comments and makes it easier is a welcomed feature, especially since BossaNova, Fina, and MJ use either Vox or LiveJournal.

Things I Didn't Like

The install is better than before, but it still takes a little tech knowledge to do. It's not as simple as a Wordpress install - which basically requires you to create the database, upload the files to your web site, access a URL and - poof! Instant blog.

Movable Type is still something like: Upload file into the cgi-bin. Make sure the *.cgi files have the right permissions. Move the mt-static files to a directory and .... Well, it can be a bit to follow. After my fourth install I have it down pretty well.

The Wordpress import of entries into Movable Type wasn't smooth either. There was a bit of formatting problems here and there. I managed to work it out by first installing an old version of Movable Type (3.3), then installing Movable Type 4. A lot of work. I'm sure the final release of version 4 will be easier on tasks such as this.

I didn't enjoy that generating your pages produces multiple static HTML files based on categories, years, months, etc. Why have all these files?

Editing templates, styles, and using widgets isn't as straightforward as it is in Wordpress. I had a tough time creating links in the sidebar, as well as incorporating standalone pages. These things should be easy!

My Final Thoughts

Would I use Movable Type again for the blog?

Yes. Overall it is a nice piece of software, but it has room to improve. It does a good job of handling multiple blogs - if you write on a variety of subjects. But knowing there an alternative that is easy to use and easily has hundreds of different templates, plug-ins and widgets to customize a blog, makes it difficult proposition to change.

My choice is still Wordpress.

Easter Photos Available

Photos: SmugMugFlickrZenfolio

Photos from Easter day at Auntie Tina's home in San Jose are now posted at the above links.  Yes, three different ways to view the same photos!  I'll write more about why this is the case later.  Until then enjoy the photos!

You might also want to see Jane's posting of Tiana's Easter photos as well on Vox.

Any comments welcomed.

Back Home

I'm posting again directly to Janella.com using the famous Wordpress. Yes, I have left my irregular blogging on my Vox account. Actually, I will continue to do irregular blogging on Vox, but my regular musings will occur here.

My Vox Baby!!!

Don't get me wrong, I like Vox a lot. I like it better than MySpace, Friendster, Multiply, Facebook, and LiveJournal. Why?

  • Nice templates
  • Friendly community
  • Easy to use blog posting screen.
  • Great privacy controls. You can let everyone, friends, family or neighbors view what you post.
  • The ability to upload photos, videos, and sound files.
  • The ability to access your accounts like Flickr, Photobucket and such to post.
  • Meeting new people.

What ended up NOT working for me was:

  • Lack of personal customization. Recently added was an ability to add a banner images which is cool, though. I would like to have had the ability to add links to my other 'Me Sites'.
  • Inability to for non-registered users to comment on your blog entries.

While the pros seem to outweigh the cons, the cons felt pretty big as time passed. If I never had a web hosting account or used Wordpress or MovableType, I guess I wouldn't know what running my own blog/site would feel like. But that last pro, Meeting new people. is a big reason why I keep my Flickr account and will keep my Vox account.

There are so many interesting people out there, posting funny personal musings, intriguing thoughts. and stunning photographs that it's hard to pry yourself away from a community you've joined. So I will be a visitor there from time to time. But for now, and the foreseeable future, I'm right here and will write here.

I'm home.

Tru dat!

Changes and Updates

If you are reading this on //Janella.com then you know there have been some navigational and layout changes -- again!  Well, I've listened to feedback I've received and readers have had a problem reading and navigating through the Hemingway theme I used for //Wordpress.  I've decided to go with a cleaner, meaner, and leaner theme.  With the implementation of the new theme, I've also decided to incorporate my photoblog which previously resided on soulsofourfeet.com.  The photoblog now servers as the front page -- a little like a splash page -- for the website.

On the top of the front page you should see this element:

Navigation element for Website

From there you should be able to access other photos on the photoblog, go directly to the main blog, or simply go to one of the photo galleries on Flickr or Smugmug.

You can also click on the comment link.  This will give you a description of the photo you are looking at and the opportunity to comment on the image.  I plan to post photos that either Farrah or I have taken, where I happen to like the result of what we have captured.  I would hope people would comment on whether they like the photo or not.

On the footer of each page  you should see this element:

Foot image for website.

From the footer you can access other family and friends' photo pages.  The same links are available through the main blog.

If you have any feedback you'd like to give on the new layout, please write to me or talk to me.  I'm open to any comment to make the site easier to use.

Website and Photo Updates

As i mentioned previously, I've been updating the website.  The 'theme' that is implemented now will be the default look.  If you have any feedback on how the page looks or navigates, please feel free to comment on the page or write to me.  I'm guessing feedback may range from the page being too dark or the font being too small, but I'm not sure.  I find it easy to use and read, but do you?

Viewing photos also has a new option: viewing via //Smugmug

The reason why I chose Smugmug is the look and feel appeals to some of our visitors, as opposed to my //Flickr account.  I'm guessing people do not want to sign up for a Flickr account (which is free) or simply don't want to sign up for a Yahoo! account.  I still prefer Flickr as a service, but understand the appeal of Smugmug.  Either way, you now have two methods to view photos.

I do not have all the photos posted to Smugmug yet, but I will work on it.  I have password protected several photo galleries on Smugmug, as individual photos cannot be password protected.  In order to view those galleries, you will need to provide the password to the gallery.  It's a simple question, but if you do not know the answer, please write to me for guidance.

Photos can be ordered from both services.  To order photos from Flickr, you need to be on my Friends and Family list.  When you are a member, you can order photos, which are printed by //Target, and either have them mailed to you or you can pick them up at your local Target store.

You can also order photos through Smugmug.  They will mail you the photos.  I think the photos are more expensive than ordering them through Flickr, but I do not know if there is a quality difference.  I'll need to order some photos for comparison.

Anyway, back to more web stuff.

Hawaii, Pictures, and the Photo Gallery

Farrah and I took a quick trip to Hawaii last week, from the 9th to the 13th.  We were meeting vendors and looking at other items to use for the wedding. Boy, it's only a couple more months away!!!

We took off on Friday night and landed in nice humid Honolulu.  The first thing I noticed when we got our rental car were the gas prices they were charging.  If you wanted the car rental company to fill up the tank, it was $3.15/gallon.  If you didn't choose that option and they still had to fill it up, it would be $4.63!  The average they posted for the island that day was $3.33!  Boy, I thought prices were bad here!?!?  By the time we left regular gas prices jumped to $3.60/gallon to as high as $3.99/gallon depending on what island you were on.  Crazy.

We arrived at auntie's house greeted by everyone.  A yummy dinner of ahi poki and beef stew and I was off to bed.  Farrah stayed up with Ann and auntie gossiping, and with the time change only got 3 hours sleep.  Funny thing is she wasn't that tired the next day.

We ran errands here and there, meeting our vendors the following days.  Most of the meetings were very positive, so it looks like everything is moving forward very well.  We did manage to eat at several good places.  We had very good malasadas at "Leonard Jr's Hot Malasadas & Espresso"; kim chee fried rice with two eggs sunny-side up for breakfast at the "Kapiolani Coffee Shop" (Roger had the Oxtail Soup); and another visit to [Kua'aina] for a burger.  Yum!  We didn't make it to the North Shore or to Zippy's, or even the mall!  Later this year will hit those places though.

On Tuesday it was Tiana's birthday (and Tessie's as well).  We celebrated Tiana's birthday at auntie's house that night.  The big party was still going on when Farrah and I left.  I managed to take about 100+ photos before I left the party though.  The excitement didn't end there as we ran into problems in the check-in line.  It seems our frozen goods weren't packed to the airline's specifications.  A call to the house brought Roger and Francis running to the rescue.  We managed to board the plane with about 20 minutes to spare.

The flight back was a little bumpy, but very quick.  We parked at [ParkSFO] for the first time, since I had a two-day free coupon.  It was pretty convenient and I think cheaper than parking in the long-term lot.

Overall, we accomplished a lot on the trip and got to enjoy a mini-vacation as well.

Taking Pictures

This was my first use of the DSLR on a vacation, along with the [Wolverine FlashPac] to download photos.  It was very nice experience using both on the trip.  I shot about 3GB worth of photos and downloaded most to the hard drive without problems. I was a little worried if they were actually on the hard drive, since it doesn't have a screen.  But when I loaded it on the computer, I didn't have a problem accessing the files.  Whew!

I got a lot of good shots of Tiana (mostly) and others at the party.  I think, no I know, I relied too much on the auto focus again.  I need to go to manual focus as some of my shots were off the mark and I wasn't pleased with the results.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.

The Photos Gallery

The photo gallery is back up!  Yeah!!!  Ok, so here's what you need to do because there was a database problem.  First off, the photo gallery is [accessible here] or by the side link that says [Photos @ Janella.com].  You will notice that some of the albums are public.  For the private type albums that are public, you cannot view the full photo unless you are logged in.  Clicking on the photos will only make it look like the thumbnail.  All photos are about 640X480.  The login link is at that bottom.

Ok, so the database with passwords got corrupt.  This means you will need to go through the steps to reset your password by clicking the recover password link.  Enter your username and it will send an email to the email address I have on file.  Follow the link in the email sent.

If you have any problems getting a new password, let me know either by email or by phone, ok?  As always, if you see a photo of yourself or someone you know and don't think it should be up, please send me an email and let me know what photo. I'll take it down.  Cool?

Ok, that's enough writing for now.  I'm sure I'll make more changes to the Photo Gallery in the coming months, as well as the site.

The photos below are posted on my Flickr album.  You can see all the photos in the new [Photo Gallery] mentioned above.

Pooltime

This photo always makes me smile.  She's actually posing for the camera!

Gaze

I like this shot I taken front of the blowhole of the inflatable whale.