Refreshed, Rejuvenated, Redesigned

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After trying on more WordPress themes than I care to admit, I decided to settle with the Typominima theme. Granted that I had to add a bunch of features and modified a bunch of things to it to fit my need, but I liked the bold typography and the layout so much, I didn’t mind having to do some extra work. In fact, I quite enjoyed the extra work as it helped me learn the inner working of WordPress. So much so that I think I’m ready to tackle my next project, which is to create a WordPress theme from scratch.

Here’s a list of modifications and additions I did to the theme that I could remember:

  1. Moved the search bar and subscription link from the top of the page to above the footer, just because I thought they looked out of place up there.
  2. Changed the markup of the blog title from div to H1 for better SEO.
  3. Changed the web font replacement service from Cufon (Typo Slab Serif) to Google Web Fonts (Vidaloka), mostly because I wasn’t sure of the search engine-friendliness of Cufon.
  4. Changed the colour scheme. I’ve always been a fan of “black and white and red all over.”
  5. Made threaded comment work with the theme. Kind of.
  6. Added “Edit” link to posts and comments.
  7. Added “Reply” link to comments.
  8. Added next and previous post navigation links to every post.

Um, what else? I’m sure there are more. I just can’t remember. Or maybe it just feels like there should be more because it took me two days worth of tinkering before I’m close to being happy with it.

One thing I would still like to do is add a comment link to the bottom of every post on the main page, which I already know how to do, but I don’t want it to show on main page posts with a “Read More” link. I don’t know if that sentence makes any sense, but if it does to you, and you know where I can find the script, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know. Also any feedback as to readability and browser compatibility would be much appreciated.

On a sort of related note, the importer script I used to migrate the posts from Movable Type to WordPress didn’t translate the Markdown markups on the original posts (I had Markdown on by default on Movable Type) on import so some of the posts are still looking pretty ugly, but I’m gradually rendering the markups, one post at a time. Hopefully they’ll all be looking pretty in, say, 3 years from now. Heh.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately

Down the Hog Line

“I’ve been everywhere, man!”

Well, sort of. After our trip to Newfoundland (which was fantastic, by the way), we decided to take up geocaching because we nerds needed a nerdy reason to go outside and enjoy the great outdoor. Geocaching sounds like a nerdy enough reason, even if it sometimes makes us do really stupid things, like checking out all the plaque on every single park bench down by the river for clues. But at least it gets us to use our legs and walk!

Geocaching also, more often than not, brings good photo opportunities. Many geocachers are thoughtful enough to hide their caches in scenic areas and some hidden gems. I’ve seen some beautiful old churches and old cemeteries I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. I also love driving through beautiful Ontario farmland and checking out the random cows and horses and the occasional donkeys. It’s not really a way to save on gas, but eh, everything has its cost. And I get to take some pretty pictures.

This past weekend, we got to hide our first geocache! You see, I’ve been obsessed with sudoku puzzles lately and one night I had a dream about sudoku and geocaching. So we decided to combine sudoku and geocaching and made our first hide a puzzle cache. The puzzles are like the easiest sudoku puzzles in the world but hey, it was our first cache and we wanted people to go find it! We might make the puzzles a little harder for the next one.

Um, what else? Oh, I started selling expired film and some of my cameras on Etsy two weeks ago, and I’ve got three sales so far! Without any marketing! Maybe I just got lucky. I need to list more items but it’s been rainy and cloudy lately and I need good natural light for my product shots. Not a big fan of flash/artificial light here. My Etsy shop is called Many Cameras.

I already got a domain called manycameras.com before I started the shop. The original plan was to install an online shop front there, but then I got lazy. Not wanting it to go to waste, two days ago I decided to start a new photoblog there where I post my favourite photos that I shot on film only with many different cameras. If you’re on Tumblr, feel free to follow me. Even if you’re not on Tumblr, you can still subscribe to the RSS feed. And here goes the link to Many Cameras, the photoblog.

And that’s all what we’ve been up to lately. Yes, very exciting indeed!

Exciting Times Ahead!

The Annual Dandelion Shot

I packed up four cameras and half a dozen rolls of film before we went up to the cottage last weekend and guess how many rolls I shot? One. Or I should say two-third of a roll because I didn’t even finish shooting it. I was planning on taking a lot of pictures but that was before I realized how many bugs were flying around the cottage. If they weren’t biting me, they were hovering over my head, just being annoying in general, which drove me nuts. So I mostly just spent the long weekend inside the cottage playing hours of Plants vs Zombies on a Nintendo DS Lite that Troy got me from a garage sale in the middle of nowhere for $25 earlier this spring. I know, very exciting indeed. Though I did bake a really awesome banana pound cake one day. Well, I thought the cake was too sweet but Troy said it was just perfect and even though I know he was biased because he loves me and all, I’ve decided to believe him. Hence my calling the cake awesome.

Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the day Troy and I got married. Time flies! He still loves me and I still love him so life is good! We bought a netbook today though we won’t be picking it up until tomorrow and I like to think of it as an anniversary present to ourselves. :) Apparently 6th wedding anniversary is called the Iron and Candy anniversary. Well, I’m sure there’s some iron in the netbook and it looks like candy, at least to me, because I’m a nerd so that’s appropriate. -Ish. So tomorrow we’ll be picking up our netbook and go for a round of thrifting as usual. Not sure if we’re going to have an anniversary dinner. I don’t really care either way. Troy’s parents are taking us out for an anniversary late lunch/early dinner on Sunday anyway. We’ll see!

Our trip to Newfoundland is coming up very, very soon and I’m getting, very, very excited! It’s one of the reasons we bought the netbook: we need the storage for the many pictures and videos I’m planning to take and something to access the Web to feed our internet addiction whenever there’s WiFi during the trip (likely won’t be much). And I may or may not have decided which cameras to bring. It’s a problem you have when you own 200 cameras. More or less. Probably more more than less. I’m going to have to sell some of them and some of my film stash too, and we still have yet to have a yard sale, but that belongs to another post.

Before It’s Too Late

Orchid and Lily

I had this thought this past Mother’s Day, of how everyone who still have a mother should make a video of his/her mother at her happiest, talking and laughing, telling you she loves you. I wish I’d had a video camera way back when my mother was healthy, happy(ish) and alive so I could make a video of her because now I’d do anything to hear her voice again, to hear her laughter, her singing, her calling me “Tomblok” (her pet name for me). But alas, my mother passed away just before the digital revolution.

Of course you can do the same to any of your loved ones. Even pets. Digital cameras and many cellphones come with a video feature these days. Your video camera is lacking audio feature? Borrow the one with audio from one of your friends! There is no excuse. This may sound like an utterly morbid idea now but trust me, someday you’ll be glad you did.

Pinhole Day

Cherry Blossoms

Pinhole Day is only two days away! Well, technically, it’s three days away, but since the last Sunday of April this year is also Easter Sunday, they will accept pinhole photos taken between April 23 and May 1. You don’t get three days a week to come up with a pinhole photo to submit to pinholeday.org every year, I can tell you that much! That’s why I urge you to participate. It’s fun, and you’ll be amazed with the results if it works out. Emphasis on ‘if it works out’ because sometimes it doesn’t, but you know, there’s always next year.

Last week I built myself a pinhole camera out of a smallish cardboard box for the body and stuck to it is a roll film back from a vintage press camera we won in a live auction in Paris (Ontario, not France) years ago. The pinhole is made from my favourite material: pie tin (the thin, disposable kind; easy to puncture). I meant to take it out for a test roll last weekend, but alas, the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. I’ll just have to guesstimate the exposure time this weekend.

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Failing Memories

Messy Kitchen

Don’t you hate it when you have some memories from a long, long time ago come back to you just when you are about to fall asleep and you promise yourself that you’re going to blog about it the next day but when the next day comes you can’t remember anything about it anymore? I had three of those memories last night. Three! I wish I could remember what they are because those memories made me feel warm and fuzzy. Oh well. Maybe they’ll come back to me again some other time. I keep meaning to put a notebook and a pen on the night table to help me remember things like this, but I keep forgetting. I’m having trouble remembering to do something that’s meant to help me remember! Ah, the irony of getting old.