About a flu shot and web sites 2020

About a flu shot and web sites 2020

Get your flu shot!

Went for a flu shot the other day. Yes, I am one of those who diligently toddle off to get it every year. Normally my arm has a powerful reaction, the spot heats up and the entire arm aches for days but not this time. I do however, feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. Hell of a trade off. This too will pass.

But it’s left me feeling whiny and a bit childish so I think I’ll bunker in the apartment today and avoid humanity. Not sure I’m up to dealing with people. I feel like I have low grade malaise, just no energy to do a thing. I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s better than a case of flu. So, yea, I’ll take a flu shot over the alternative any day.

A masked emoji encouraging you to get your flu shot

Mask up & get your flu shot if you can. Protect your friends & neighbours.

Website organization

Instead of working on articles, I’ve spent the last 24 hrs thinking about this site. It’s time to rationalize the categories. I’m going to amalgamate Photography with the Typography and Design section. It makes more sense to have them together. They are related in themes and will be easier to keep the content fresh. It’ll be re-labeled Photos & Design.

Whither now philately?

A lot of time has spent on sorting out newsletters as well. I’ve begun to sign up for stamp related news releases from post offices around the world. It’s time to shake off the Canadian centric view and look at the glorious offerings around the world. Let me tell you, it’s a trip and a half. Some sites don’t translate well. I had to tap a couple of friends for help with a Hungarian translation. Between the too of them, they sorted me out.

I’m playing with an idea of doing a retrospective of stamps around the world from 2020, but that might turn out to be too big a project. But I did manage to line up topics for approx. 100 stamp articles for 2021. As well, I have a number of Christmas themed stamps ready to post. Keep watch in the Philately section them.

What about the rest of the world?

In my travels, I came across a superb website:

Logo for the website "Rest of the World"

Rest of the world – reporting global tech stories

Rest of the world breaks out of the annoying western obsession with Silicon Valley and North America. It offers coverage of important tech and social media issues affecting the world. Well written and insightful. I spent about 3 hours yesterday cruising their website. Subscribe to their newsletter and get the latest news delivered to your mailbox. You won’t regret it, especially if you are like me. I have had a growing dissatisfaction with the smug navel gazing of most tech news sites based in North America. They all report the same news, over and over. That’s partially why I haven’t posted a lot on the tech section of the website. I’ve become bored with technology. Too many sites offer what feels like breathless anticipation of the most insignificant changes but missing the bigger picture.

I’ll have to give thought to the Tech section. It needs a serious boot in the typeface. I will continue to write little reviews and offer advice because I enjoy doing it, but I need to look at tech issues beyond my borders. So many exciting things are happening around the world, it’s a crime to ignore them. I’d be grateful for any ideas pushed my way.

A wee bit of art news

I also discovered a new bit of software – Adobe Fresco and played around with it off an on. So far, I like what I see and will explore it further with my mighty tablet. If I continue to enjoy the software, I’ll drop a few articles about it.

Also in art news, I am arranging an interview with an artist friend. She’s the real deal and I’ve always loved her artwork. When things settle down a bit, we’ll get together for an interview about her work and the thought process behind it. I’m hoping she will discuss with me how she’s evolved as an artist over the years. Will be FUN.

finis

So that’s the round up of my week so far. I originally started out writing about food. The article sat at 50 words for the last 3 days and didn’t get anywhere. I was despairing a bit that I’d never be able to finish it. But here I am. Sometimes you have to let you brain meander where it wants.

Changes done – for now

Well, it took a monumental effort, but I finished the site redesign a few min ago.

Whoa, I wasn’t expecting to do any changes, but one thing led to another and here we are. So why did I change things? Sometimes you have to re-evaluate designs and what you want from a website. As I said in an earlier post, I started to feel the site was feeling dowdy and outdated. I started with designing the new Tech Support part promoting Catpaw Computer Consulting services. I wanted a clean, separate identity for it. Once that was done, I started looking at the rest of the site and felt, now was the time.

New banners, new organisation and most of all continuity throughout the entire site, right down to the individual post page. I was unhappy with certain aspects for awhile. I’m rather pleased with the changes. Sigh, now I guess I have to start posting a lot of new content to justify all the work I put into the design.

Ok, so I changed my mind

Quick update: Yea, the small tidy up and design tweaking has turned into a full-blown makeover. I’m redesigning each page from the ground up so you’ll see changes occur throughout the coming week. The site felt so dowdy lately. Part of it reflects my mind set shift and the other part reflects the extra time I have to consider things.

____

Ok, I changed my mind. After sitting down a couple weeks ago, evaluating the site, I decided it was time to make some big changes.
Change one: I’ve finally added a section about Catpaw Computer Consulting. Long overdue, but I figured it’s time to put it up. Given the difficulties so many have with Covid, I thought I’d advertise my online support. Check it out. Take a look up there ↑. A new section is now happily nested in the navigation bar.

Change two: One change always begets another. 🙄 I know, I know. I was so pleased with the new section, I kept thinking the magazine just looked … well … dowdy in comparison. It was time to shake off old thinking and start a bit of redesign.

Originally, I was going to tweak a few things on a test page to see how it looked. One thing led to another and I’m fussing in real time. Some of that is to test how the speed improves with small changes. Along the way, I’m fine tuning all the SEO details behind the scenes. It’s been fun. A bit risky, but fun. Make a mistake and see how quickly I can fix it. LOL. Keeps me of the streets.

I’m also going to bump up the subscription/donation section. To date, I’ve been very shy in promoting it. Time to get aggressive (in a nice Canadian way) about funding the magazine costs. Haven’t made a lot of changes yet, but they are coming. Since I’ve started working on some video content, I’ll be able to tie into Patreon a little better. Ah yes, I’ve taken the time to learn more about video editing and found a perfect piece of software for it. I’ll write about it later on.

SO, bear with me. Enjoy the ride and see where this all goes.

 

Summer update – design changes

Haven’t made a lot of design changes to the structure of the site in the past year or so. I’m happy with the category changes and removal of a few posts that no longer interest me. I have made a major change to the old diary part. It’s relabelled “I’m getting too old for this shit” to reflect a few thoughts I’ve been mulling over the past year. It also reflects my sentiments about the world at the moment.

One huge change is coming – a new addition. I’m preparing a web portion for my computer consulting business. With so many people looking for on line support, I thought it was time to bump things up a bit. I’ve also diversified what services I offer and the site will reflect that. When it’s ready, I’ll add a line to the navigation bar.

I’ve also removed the Onesignal notifications. Drop down and popup notifications have increasingly ticked me off when I look at websites. I’m thinking of creating a chimp mail style notification when new stuff is posted. That way there’s no nagging “JOIN US” message. It will be opt in only.

I am playing with a new design idea. I’m not sure yet, but something a little less retro feeling. The current design has worked for me, but my mind set has shifted. Might make changes to reflect that. I’ll keep you posted.

 

More fussing

Tweaking a few things again. Not happy with the original graffiti style footer so switched it up a bit last week.  The new black and white silhouette footer still needs a bit of work to make it more readable, but I’m much happier with it. 

The new section Mapping Toronto is now up and running.  Don’t forget to check it out the intro. I’ve created a spreadsheet table of contents so I can quickly add content without a lot of fuss.