The Naked Green

2005.3.26 Saturday

Bienvenidos!

Filed under: Personal — Mr. Green @ 11.17 am

Where in the great city of Juarez right now on a whim. Jamie had a three day weekend and we decided to head for the warmer country since she hasn’t been here before. Now we’re off for more adventures before my 30 minutos runs out.

Update 2005.03.28: What an adventure! We arrived in El Paso Friday night and found a Red Lobster to eat at. Having fulfilled Jamie’s craving for seafood, we went to hotel Wal-Mart for a night in the car. I personally would rather have set up my tent in the parking lot, but I did get some sleep and we didn’t have to worry about sleeping in too late the next morning.

Saturday morning the weather was cold and windy, but we prayed for a change and headed off in excitement to be going to Mexico. We parked in downtown El Paso and got all the way to the border when we realized we needed some extra cash. We wandered around looking for an ATM and soon found out that I didn’t know my pin number. I tried other cards…other pin numbers…called my bank…all to no avail. So we headed into Mexico with $20.

It wasn’t long befor I saw the beacon calling to me: “Internet”. That’s what I need, I thought! I logged on to my PayPal account (trying to be as secure as possible) and changed the pin on my PayPal debit card. A quick update for all my religious readers here and we were off to find an ATM. It took some time to figure a number between “insufficient funds” and 50 pesos on two ATMs and then we were off to the market to be assailed by vendors all inviting us into their stalls. Another crisis averted by the wonderful world of internet!

It was a fun and exhausting adventure visiting Mexico, seeing family friends and listening to some books on CD. Stay tuned for our next three day adventure when we hope to sail to Hawaii (or something)!

2005.3.24 Thursday

Goals or Ghouls

Filed under: Personal, Work — Mr. Green @ 6.16 pm

Goals or Ghouls? This whole post may be a hodge podge of points on a flat landscape due to this very question. Where do I stand? Am I just reacting or is there some sort of goal? I have an idea where I want to end up in the end and what I’m going to do next, but the path seems non-existent. It may be a fear of commitment or some other neurotic aversion, but I think the question deals with more than the spelling.

Starting a “web design” business has set me to questioning myself and what I’m doing. I love doing web design and believe I’m good enough to start charging money to do it. I know it’s very difficult to make a living at it, though, which leaves me in this sort of temporary state. How can I define the path and where am I headed? I design websites and install hardwood floors for Pete’s sake!

That’s where the whole “electrician thing” comes in. It makes sense: A trade that I can make a decent wage while I learn how to do it and then provide for my family…happily ever after. It’s not that I’m against the idea, either…it’s a good one. I go into it hoping that some day I can bring it around to computers, the internet, design…the things I love to do (for now). No problem. So what’s the big deal?

I’m just thinking at the expense of anyone who reads this blog, that’s all. I was in a particularly down mood about the whole thing this morning and just now, I read an article: My Web Professional Career. I feel like he does: Not confident, fearing failure, and lacking direction. It got me thinking and I decided to write…about goals. Where are they? Well, what the heck, here’s a few:

  • I want my business and any work I do to have kingdom impact (God’s kingdom). That’s too vague though, isn’t it?
  • I plan to be able to be the sole provider for my family within…let’s say two years (from next year).
  • I will try to not delete these goals

I can’t even write them seriously! I suppose I can keep the last one, but why is it that I have such an aversion to being tied down? I think you could say I have effectively stepped out on the line quitting my job and starting a business. There’s really no risk, though. It’s more risky to commit to something…for the long haul.

That’s it for now. No closer to a solution, but I have a soup on the stove that needs stirring.

2005.3.23 Wednesday

Update from Code-Head

Filed under: Personal, Web Design, Work — Mr. Green @ 9.21 am

Only in Colorado does a geek ride his mountain bike up and down hills to get to the library only to pick up books on PHP & MySQL, take a drink from his Nalgene, ride back and actually enjoy it.

Soon, I hope to be designing database driven websites that are so simple to maintain, even the client can do it. Why I want to work myself out of a job, I don’t know. My new found knowledge will probably be used on my business website first. There is some serious learning to do before then, though, which explains why I picked up MySQL/PHP Database Applications. I hope to spend enough time with my head in the book to make some headway progress before I get busy again with two prospective jobs in April as well as some flooring.

Side note: Thanks to Simon Wheeler, creator of phpdev, who made it a breeze to get PHP MySQL and Apache running on my Win machine in minutes! I’m excited to get going and the last thing I need is to spend hours trying to configure programs.

2005.3.19 Saturday

Christ’s Company

Filed under: Following Christ, Personal — Mr. Green @ 10.58 am

I’ve been struggling with balance, lately. I’ve been working a lot on web design lately, which is also my hobby. It’s wonderful to do something I love and express the God-given desire and skill to create. I feel like it’s detracting from my relationships, though…my relationship with God and my wife, Jamie. It’s not that I work all the time, but I always seem to be thinking about web design…trying to escape into the world of XHTML, CSS, PHP, etc.

Often in my prayers, I have been telling God that my budding business (really a seedling now) is His. Today, I echoed that saying, “Father, you are the owner of this business.” I started to say, “if this business gets in the way of my relationship with you or Jamie…” then I remembered that I just made Him the owner. How would God’s business detract from His primary concern of relationship? It’s good to know that Jesus is the CEO and I’m going to have to trust Him to do what’s right for the business.

I’ve got a lot of great ideas for design and I want to recognize the source of creativity, Jesus Christ. I have also said it before, but I’ll say it again: Jamie is my inspiration! If you ever want to make some good art, find yourself a wise and creative queen and do whatever it takes to marry her.

2005.3.17 Thursday

Green Holiday!

Filed under: Obsessions — Mr. Green @ 4.21 pm

I guess I should have waited to reveal the latest Green Cite winner until today. What kind of a boring day would that have made St. Patrick’s Day Eve? I mean, we get to open one gift on Christmas Eve, why shouldn’t we extend the Green Holiday?

I don’t know why I never really noticed St. Patrick’s Day before. I’m not one for holidays in general, but here we have the perfect one. It’s not all jumbled up with different meanings because it lost its meaning long ago (just kidding). It’s not very commercialized (that speaks for itself). Best of all, it’s full of green!

St. Patrick was a slave who escaped and converted to Christianity. He felt his calling was to evangelize which he did quite effectively all over Ireland. He made many enemies on his mission and was arrested several times, but is known for great things such as raising the dead and driving the snakes out of Ireland. Sounds a bit like the Apostle Paul, doesn’t he?

St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

- st-patricks-day.com

The green color comes from the shamrock…

Patrick traditionally used a shamrock to teach about the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Trinity symbols are used in many different cultures and symbolize unity in diversity.

Jamie and I are celebrating tonight by going to Bennigan’s for some great food. I think I’ll stay away from the green beer, though.

2005.3.16 Wednesday

Green Cite: Dezire

Filed under: General, Green Cite — Mr. Green @ 1.18 pm

I have not died, nor have I forgotten to bestow upon some poor unsuspecting soul the glorious Green Cite award.

We have come to the paragraph where I ramble on about random things to make it look like it has content and to bother the reader. Hey, it’s not like you can’t skip these sentences if you’re in that much of a hurry to find out the winner, but you’ll never know what you may have missed. Actually, if you’ve read up to this point, you haven’t missed much. So, with no effort at transition, the winner: Green Dezire “the personal blog of Andy Kettle, a web designer and developer from Worcester in the UK”! His love of green extends all the way into his eyes! With all the web design I’ve been involved in, I figured I would pick on a colleague. Congratulations on winning the award you never knew you wanted, Andy!

Brought to you by Mr. Green. All contestants will receive “really cool points” just for qualifying. Stay tuned for more wonderful greenery right here on The Naked Green.

2005.3.9 Wednesday

Floor One

Filed under: Work — Mr. Green @ 9.46 pm

Work has taken on a new meaning as I’ve been pounding on a floor (very carefully) since Monday. My desktop calendar still says it’s Sunday, but my knees, hands, back…actually, my whole body tells me otherwise. We’ve been putting in long hours to get a small town home with enormously large floors covered in prefinished oak. Tom decided it would be good to throw in a border for free (called advertising or something…something like “my head hurts”).

It’s all the debut performance of a well honed (we will be by the end of this job) new company on the block: Hardwood Cafe. Tom is the owner and has sentenced the two of us (my brother and I) to appear each morning as far away from 8.00 possible. We’re enjoying our duties, but the help gets a bit out of line (I’ll let Stephen tell you about it). Humor aside, it’s great to be working with my hands and I appreciate the job.

As hinted in previous posts, I am also the proud papa of hardwoodcafe.com as my first commercial project. I hope to add more clients to the list of “The Portfolio of Mr. Green” on my own company’s website (yet to be built (yes both)). An exciting new leaf is turned and it must weigh about as much as a box of hardwood flooring because I’m beat.

Jamie also has some work excitement, but that’s a story for another blog.

Now it’s time to finish up the laundry.

2005.3.3 Thursday

PHP Includes and XML

Filed under: Web Design — Mr. Green @ 5.54 pm

Today I realized that I could use PHP includes to make a more modular website design almost like a template. What I realized was that I could use PHP without knowing anything about it! So I went crazy adding <?php include('filename.txt'); ?> all over the place and breaking up my XHTML into smaller bite size pieces. I quickly learned that the file location is from the server root (/home/user/public_html/filename.txt) and not the URL.

A problem that came up (there has to be at least one) was with my <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?> line at the top of my document. It was causing my newly made PHP document to break. I figured it was because of it being similar to the way you begin a PHP statement. I didn’t want to get rid of it is part of W3C’s Recommendation for XHTML 1.1. I found out found the answer had to do with the short_open_tag variable….
(more…)

2005.3.1 Tuesday

Typing Methodology

Filed under: General — Mr. Green @ 1.49 pm

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at SimpleBits about typing. Hunt and peck vs. ten finger and then there’s the hybrids. I don’t feel so bad after seeing so many people that don’t type “properly”.

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