My brain is full, and I’m tired in that odd way that only comes from doing almost no physical activity while staring into one or more computer screens for hours, navigating directories on remote hosts, installing software, and figuring out where you’ve screwed up so that the damn thing will work.
It’s a good thing that Fox TV is showing the second of the Star Wars prequels in about 20 minutes. I’m in need of a good brain flush. I watched the first one a week ago, and I found that it was actually better with commercials. Kimberly hasn’t seen the one that’s on tonight, but she’s out at a rehearsal. (I told her it didn’t matter; I can’t remember anything significant happening in this one. There were clones and droids, Anakin is a petulant teenager whom Padme marries for no apparent reason, and a whole Jedi-meets-Gladiator bit, I think that’s it.) We’ll be seeing the new one tomorrow night, at the great Cinerama theater downtown.
Why was I banging my head online this way? That’s a bit complicated.
Kimberly has her own blog, which, like this one, is hosted on blogspot.com, a free service of Blogger, now part of Google. Blogger is a pretty good way to get started in blogging, but, as you continue using it, you discover that you are limited. The biggest limitation is that Blogger is often slow, or just downright unavailable, or fails right in the middle of creating a post. After this has happened a few times, it gets really old.
So Kimberly has been dreaming of leaving Blogger behind for a system more under her direct control. We are already paying for a website, nosmallplans.com, with a pretty reliable hosting company, so she’s been imagining having her blog there. Months ago, I put my political blog there, though I was still using Blogger as the front-end, a half-way solution at best.
This weekend we finally started to make Kimberly’s dream come true. There is free open-source blogging software available, and today we spent time installing one, called WordPress, and configuring it. The brain-numbing part of it was figuring out which hoops to jump (or not jump) through because we wanted it in a different directory from my website, to which we had previously pointed Kimberly’s very own domain name.
As is often the way of such things, the final answer, when I figured it out, was blindingly simple, and my problems were the result of misinterpreting confusing documentation, imagining it to be more complicated, and no doubt an occasional typo at the wrong moment. All of which were aggravated by a slowdown at our broadband company, and an unusual technical glitch at the host company, which required an online chat with their support staff.
But I am able to end the day knowing that all the software is in place, and working correctly. Still remaining is all the work of setting up the new blog template, and copying and converting the contents of the old website into the new format, but thankfully, that’s Kimberly’s job.
Still, the experience will make it easier for me to use WordPress to set up version 2 of my coaching website in the form of a blog. And spending more time rooting around in the directories, and using the tools provided with my hosting account, should make it easier if and when I want to add mailing lists, shopping carts, or other bells and whistles. I went to a coaches networking meeting on Tuesday, and there was a presentation got me excited about future uses of my website in support of my coaching business.
(Also at this meeting were a couple of my teachers from my coach training, and they were very happy to see me again, and hear that I was back in action. One of them has offered me the opportunity to write a piece for a book she is putting together. But that’s another post, for another day.)