The Naked Green

2005.5.9 Monday

Upgrading The Green

Filed under: Blog Publishing, Web Design — Mr. Green @ 8.21 pm

I finally upgraded to Wordpress 1.5 with little trouble! It didn’t take long to get it running and move my theme over. It’s strange to see the same old blog staring at me from a whole new backend.

Wouldn’t you know it? The day I decide to upgrade, Wordpress 1.5.1 comes out! Two upgrades in one night, that’s pretty good!

I’ll need to add plugins and probably tweak the design a little, but for now I’m up and running again in style.

Update 2005.05.10: Podz has started a support forum post to help people upgrade from 1.5 to 1.5.1.

2005.5.7 Saturday

Learning Lending

Filed under: Homefront — Mr. Green @ 9.13 pm

The past several days have been filled with crunching numbers. Not exactly what you would expect from the one who forgot how to divide, but I had the help of an Excel spreadsheet with an abundance of equations. I was trying to ease my mind into the world of loans after our traditional FHA was denied due to my income not being kosher (I’m “self-employed”*).

I guess I failed to mention that Jamie and I are in the house market. Planning on looking in a year or so, a zealous friend hooked us up with his realtor. Less than a month later, we find ourselves on the last free-fall of a roller coaster ride that is home buying. We close on the house next Friday if everything falls into place with “the Js”: Joel, Jason, Justen, John, Joe and Jerry all taking some integral role in our future. Because I am self-employed, we have had to go off of Jamie’s income which has made for an interesting and educational time getting a loan.

The solution: an 80/20 loan which means that we’re getting two loans, one for 80% of our home’s value and the other for, you guessed it, 20%. After some extensive thinking, I figured it would be better to add an “interest only” option to the first loan (80%) meaning that for the “term” (ten years in this case), I would only be required to pay interest, not principle. The loan then amortizes for the remaining 20 years, making the payment higher. It provides increased flexibility which, in our case, means we are able to pay off the second loan (20%) with a higher interest rate off quicker. This essentially lowers our interest mean interest rate and by the time our payments jump in price, we’ll have the second loan payed off. This will essentially save us $8,000 over a traditional loan at the same mean rate!

*Word to the wise: If you plan on buying a house soon, don’t start that business venture of yours quite yet. FHA requires a small business to have two years of tax returns to prove income.

2005.5.2 Monday

Satanic Verses

Filed under: Personal — Mr. Green @ 1.54 pm

I just finished reading Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie’s writing is quite different and hard-to-follow at times. It is certainly well done, though. I must admit that my head was spinning and dreaming along with Gibreel and Saladin. I was captivated after the first section of the book in that must-get-back-to-sleep-to-finish-the-dream sort of way. It’s mezmerizing, thought provoking and insane which are great components of writing in my opinion.

The only problem is that I come away with not much. The dream has ended and it lingers in that morning melencholy, but fades quickly. That and my aversion to the work and tearing-apart which is “book review” leads me to talk of the experience of reading with no real explainations.

A friend of mine dogged me about reading the book for a while, which I ignored fairly well until he gave it for a birthday present. It was harder to ignore then, but I still avoided it. Couldn’t get rid of a gift book and couldn’t read it. It was the name that got to me as you may imagine. After reading, though, I say “thank you” to my friend for the gift. It’s hardly a read for children or those needing no encouragement toward immorality. Language, sex, blasphemy and I digress.

2005.4.27 Wednesday

Googlebot Art

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 6.55 pm

Who says a data center can’t have some inspiring artwork? Ben Rathbone, a Google employee at a new data center (undisclosed location, of course), was asked to draw a mural on the wall for some visual stimulation. The result is actually pretty cool and displays the googlebot’s global domination. :)

The permalink is not working, so just go to Google’s blog for now.

2005.4.20 Wednesday

Life Trickles By

Filed under: News, Personal, Work — Mr. Green @ 9.11 pm

It’s when life gets busy and full of things to talk about that the blogging slows to a trickle. It’s sad that the best amateur writing is about the most boring things because there’s so much time to embellish. You have to have some pretty good material to make it interesting without embellishment and even that takes talent and time. I digress.

It’s official! Green Light Works, my business, now has a website and I’ve been littering the town with business cards. This is the time to try making money out of a hobby I love: web design. You laugh? Well, it’s also a time to help my Dad out with his flooring business. Add in a math class to meet the criteria for an electrician apprenticeship and you start to get the idea: I’m busy and my mind is working faster than it likes to. Emotions are…well…emotional.

I’m not at all saying that my life is somehow unbearable or “too busy”. Others work hard for that title and I have no intention of taking it away. There is a lot going on in my life for me personally, though. More than the volume, it’s the alien feeling I get doing such crazy things. I mean, living the “American Dream”…who would have thought?

2005.4.8 Friday

Rhythmic Symphony

Filed under: Web Design — Mr. Green @ 7.03 pm

It may be hard to spell, but you don’t have to worry about that as you listen to the enchanted melody. Rhythmic Symphony is a synthpop band and a brand new link on my sidebar. I helped put them on the www map to reach all those online ears with the dark and yet somehow light music. I’m sure you’ll want to check out my latest web and graphic design project to at least be able to write some sort of snide comment here.

If you don’t know what synthpop is or why someone would name a band Rhythmic Symphony or what one is supposed to sound like, there’s no clubs for you to join. No, unfortunately none of the poor souls that can relate to you have organized. Maybe they just found the answers for themselves instead of reading silly propaganda. Maybe you should go find out what Rhythmic Symphony is about…or go start a club.

Yes, there are song samples on the website.

No, I have no idea why you’re still reading my answers to questions you haven’t asked.

No, I don’t really have anything technical to say about the design. It actually went fairly smoothly, especially integrating my design with Wordpress 1.5 That’s nice for me, but doesn’t make great blog posts if you want something with <tags>.

Yes, I’m going to stop writing now and let my wife get on the computer and maybe watch Dodge Ball.

2005.4.1 Friday

The Joke is on Me

Filed under: Personal — Mr. Green @ 11.38 pm

It must have been a big practical joke or something that shut down the internet for at least my client and I. I spent most of the morning designing another logo. I guess I’m trying to make up for lack of skill with a multitude of ideas and attempts to find that “image” that defines my business. How many layers is a logo supposed to have, anyway?

I did get some work done, sticking my head [Wow! <opening>Just the other day I was wanting to search my bookmarks and was having a heck of a time figuring out how. I downloaded an extension to do it which was lost when I had to revert to an older version of my profile due to another extension that was causing weird bugs when I updated it. The problem was when I tried to install an old version, it didn’t work and then wouldn’t uninstall. So, I reverted to the old profile and copied my bookmarks over and wouldn’t you know it…I ended up with the old bookmarks some how. The latest is gone! I take my bookmarks seriously and that was frustrating! It put a kink in my work at any rate.</opening> I just hit some key that brought up a sidebar for searching bookmarks. I wonder what buttons I hit and why I didn’t find out how to due that in my search the other day.] into WordPress for another remarkably smooth transition of a design I just did into a theme. I love WordPress! The joking and fun seemed to pass me by unnoticed until recently…is what I was trying to say.

Yep, I guess the joke’s on me…or you for reading this far. Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not even going to bother looking up the history, it was probably some sort of joke gone bad anyway. A curse to endless yearly mayhem or something.

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.

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