So . . . What’s Up ?

This That and Other Stuff

First This

Back in January I went in for a routine cleaning of my teeth, it has turned out to be anything but routine.  A couple of days later, my teeth started hurting, then blisters all over the inside of my mouth.  A roaming infections going from jaws, to ears, teeth, headaches,, like a cascade failure of systems never knowing which one would be effected next.  A trip back to the Dentist and nothing found.

A routine diabetic check up the following week and the same response after listening to lungs, looking in ears, nose, throat and saying without something specific no anitbiotics. (That’s a far cry from a few years ago when if you sneezed they gave you a script)  The following week a cold (yeah) and on day 8 when I usually expect to be finally over a cold, I wake up to a massive sinus infection.  It felt like the front of my face had been shot off.  Back to the Dr.  “Oh Yeah, now that’s a sinus infection”  A Z pack and the admonition that when I got to feeling better to not stop taking the antibiotic.  I didn’t, in fact when it was gone in 7 days of hell I was worse.  This time the Dr. got me right in, holy kow, now he looked worried.  A shot of prednisone (not the best thing for a diabetic (it raises Blood Sugars) but we both reasoned a couple weeks of elevated blood sugars was better than good levels and dead.  A second targeted antibiotic (which he have me a weeks worth of right on the spot)  because now I had congestion in my lungs as well as a fever and looking like the walking dead even without makeup.

These last 21 days have been pretty much pure misery.  I’ve gone through an entire case of kleenex (triple-ply) and a big bottle of Ibuprofen.  I’ve got two days left on the last drug and I’m feeling the best I have all year.

Second That

Of course, you think it is all going to be just a couple days and every thing will be back to normal and life goes on.  For the past 8 months I’ve been looking for a replacement to my Dell latitude 620 running on XP Pro.  It has outlived it design specification.  I almost went with a Macbook Pro, but it was very expensive (1000 more than the system I got) it would mean learning a new OS and all of my programs would need to be bought for the Mac platform,  I would still have office systems that were PC and maintaining both PC and MAC . . .

I ended up getting the new Lenovo T520 Thinkpad.  Core i7 chip 8 gig of memory, 15.6 inch screen, 6 to 8 hr battery life and Window 7 Pro.  It is a screaming fast machine.  Instant on when I open the lid and so far other than it is the Volvo of laptops I like it.  I love form, but functionality has always been more important.  And I’m not a fan of closed systems. I would have liked  a numeric keypad, but I’ve not had one on a laptop yet, so I’ll live.

This thing arrived right at the height of fever, cough, headaches from Mars, so it’s only been the last couple of days I’ve even had a chance to start working on it.  I still don’t know how to turn on the webcam, but who wants to see an 80 dead guy sweating and coughing on screen anyway, right?  It feels good to be at least almost in the land of the living again.

Other Stuff

There is lots of other stuff, I’ve been doing a lot of design work this year.  Half a dozen new Twenty Ten child themes, working with a lot of new plugins, and creating a lot of custom CSS div classes for the themes and projects.  A lot of trusty old plugins have been replaced with new ones.  I’ll be covering some of these in the coming weeks.  WP 3.1 has taken a turn toward “Big Brother” like MS (Microsoft, not Mulitsite) thinking it knows better what we need and don’t need.  This means that some things that used to take one click now take several.  And things that used to be easy to find and change are now “hidden” so as not to “confuse” newbies.  Ex.  The check box to turn off comments is no longer visible.

OMG, sliders have taken over the web.  Every site seems to have these ADD effects, quick move something, they are loosing attention.  Time to read, are you kidding, no body reads . . .

There’s a time and place for a slider, but like comic sans (Enough Already)

I’ll cover a few of these and ways to use them on site without being annoying.

WP Custom Menus

I’ve not written about this little gem which was integrated into WP 3.0.  They have become one of my favorite things.  I no longer have to create parent and sub pages and set an order to get them in the navigation the way I want.  Now with Menu’s I can mix, match, and add custom links anywhere I want.  Drag and Drop  visual menu building is easy.  Creating custom menus is no longer something you need done for you, nor do you need to install and configure a plugin that needs to be integrated into your theme (Unless your theme isn’t configured to take advantage of 3.0’s menus)  Adding a second custom menu nav bar to a theme isn’t hard.  I’ll be posting about this as well.

Screenr integration

I’ve used Jing, but for me Screenr has become my {Explain it in 5 minutes or less) video tutorial builder.  If a picture is worth a thousand words then a 4 min. video tutorial is better than a manual.  Especially since most won’t read the manual.

Non WP tools to help your RE business

In January 2010 my active involvement in RE pretty much came to halt along with our market.  Since then I’ve turned more to building Small Business online solutions with WordPress as the platform.  In doing so I’ve found some tools which work well for what I do that also have applications in the RE relm.  I’ll share a few of those this year as well.

Adding a little CSS is like frosting on the cake

While it is true a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, it is also true that with a little knowledge, you can do some amazing things.  Learning how to add a div class to your style.css file and then calling that in your pages or post can really make your site unique, and you can do it yourself.

The lights are on in the Lab, the only dim bulb has been the head lab rat.  I’m looking forward to getting back to posting and introducing more great plugins and features of WP the rest of this year.

 

 

Comments

  1. So glad you’re not dead!

  2. Kris,

    That makes two of us.

  3. Man, glad you are OK!

  4. Happy you are up and going. But…how much was the new laptop. You laid out all the details but I too am looking to replace my Dell but NOT with another DELL.

    Hope to start working on my searches this week.

  5. Glad your OK

  6. So… which was worse, dealing with the dental infection or setting up a new Windows computer?

    Seriously, a friend of mine had a similar dental situation and it turned out to be some weird bacteria from the Ohio Valley – and he lives in California!

  7. Bob,

    Setting up Windows 7 isn’t bad, it is a different kind of pain. I’m still trying to figure out something, and I miss some things that were in XP. (Like sorting my files by date modified)

    But compared to a sinus infections (well it doesn’t compare) It took three trips to the Dr. ($30 co-pay each trip) And they billed my insurance $110 for a prednisone shot.

    Dealing with the new system is much easier. Not to mention speed. This CORE i7 chip with 8 gig of memory is a screamer.

    dave

  8. Good thing you went in. A few years ago I was a pallbearer at the funeral of the father of a friend of mine.He had had a serious abscess many years earlier that resulted in the infection entering his bloodstream where it settled in his heart.
    His valves were permanently damaged which required replacement with pig valves. Apparently you can only have this procedure done a couple times and then your done. After his second surgery his heart was unable to accept living or artificial valves and he died slowly as his heart lost the ability to deliver blood through his body. It was sad.
    Its amazing how dental hygiene can have such a big impact on our society. I learned to stop hating my dental visits so much after than experience.