Construction Zone

So I was tired of the Lex Valentine website. I put up a temporary one for release day this past Friday. If you have a new book out you often get lots of hits on your website. I’m not a stat checker so I don’t know for sure. But I did know that I wanted something new. I wanted something sleeker and more code-modern. I couldn’t find anything that I liked that I could tweak. I put up a really simple template, slapped my pen name on it and let release day happen.

Late last night, I got an idea. Like a dog with a bone I couldn’t let it go. So I tweaked on this thing and messed with it and studied it and messed with it some more and tweaked on it some more. And then, I really started to like it.

Now, I’m no code whore. I know enough to make me dangerous with a template so I always have backups of backups because God knows no one can render a template useless faster than me. But for some reason, last night I looked at that CSS and the logic of it just fell into place in my head. At least where color is concerned. I may not know CSS very well, but I know a hex code when I see one! So I figured out how to customize the color.

It still has issues that I haven’t been able to wrap my brain around yet, like this whole featured article stuff and how to make a static header, and how to make it start on my welcome page and not my blog. (No, it’s not the standard WordPress setting, it has it’s own specialized settings just for this template.) But I’ll figure it out and if I don’t and I get stuck and frustrated, well, I’ll throw some money at someone and let them fix it for me. I know I’m more than halfway there now so that’s very satisfying.

The funny thing is that I used the same template I used for Jason Edding’s site. If you look at his and you look at mine, you’ll do a double take. They don’t look very alike at all. That’s the beauty of a template that has customizations built in and then gives you the option of changing it even more.

Now, my reason for wanting the site in better shape than the temp template I had up? I got a release date for Where There’s Smoke. Yep, May 3 – Rott’s birthday. Although, I have to admit, when I told him about it, he put his hands over his ears and said, “I can’t hear you!” when I said it’s a gay book. For another, he said he doesn’t have birthdays anymore and he’s still 21. (He’ll be 44. LOL) But yeah, I’m excited to have this book come out. And eventually, the construction zone will move here, but I’m just not there yet with ideas. And yes, the bats stay.

So this morning, tired as I am from a lack of sleep (I have a cut on my leg and it throbbed so badly I couldn’t really sleep) I’m feeling jazzed about some things. So I need a very nice Marcus today.

I wish I had a bigger image but it’s kinda cool anyway.

I was gonna talk about my trials and tribulations with a very cool tribal cut out aluminum computer case by Raidmax, but I’m too disgusted to even put the facts on paper as it were. Just UGH. BIG UGH.  Suffice to say, I’m not ever buying an aluminum case again no matter how cool it is or how many features it has that I want. It’s steel or nothing baby. Okay, maybe I could be talked into a plexiglass case…*eyeroll*

Here’s hoping you all have a simply awesome Monday!

Cruising & Guesting

I know I’ve been MIA. I’m sorry. The power supply went out on my desktop and apparently it had been shorting out for awhile unnoticed. It tweaked a lot of stuff on its way out and I ended up having to reformat my hard drive AGAIN. This has been the 3rd time in 2 years. I’m so not happy. I do have Mozy backups of stuff so I mostly didn’t lose things, but I’m having issues restoring my email and I think I’ve lost it all which is really a serious thing because I’ve got fulls and partials of submissions for Freya’s Bower and Wild Child Publishing there.

I need some kind of new system with email I think. Or I need to reassess how I’m doing my Mozy backups. I should have been able to restore the folders and emails. No dice so far. Anyone who is good with Outlook (an old version) care to try? I could use the help. I’m at wits end here.

Anyway, I’m not really here today. I’m guest blogging at my pal Selena’s talking about length. Click the link and come by. You’re more than welcome to disagree with me about length. Hee hee.

Selena Illyria’s Blog

Rott and I went on a late night run for Mexican food last night. Ahh. Cruising in the SUV. Ten pm on a Saturday night, the county is clogged with traffic because the fair is going on. We went all the way to Alberto’s in Fountain Valley and found… a line out the parking lot onto the street. Seems Alberto’s is very popular late on a Saturday night. Rott got a little turned around going home. I can’t say I blame him. I never go there so I didn’t think he was doing wrong either. We weren’t lost or anything. We just took the wrong freeway exit – south instead of north.

I gotta say, I wasn’t all that unhappy with the wrong turn despite the fact that it frazzled Rott’s nerves. (He doesn’t like to do stuff wrong. And like me, he never gets lost. So the wrong exit thing kinda upset him.) The wrong turn meant we got to drive longer. For me it had a twofold plus, one I got to spend more time with Rott. I love watching him drive. Always have. I love his hands and forearms so watching him steer and shift has always been a secret pleasure of mine.

The second thing that was cool was getting to ride in the truck. It’s a really nice SUV. Infiniti Q45. It’s not a stick so no shifting like in his Prelude, but it’s a seriously nice ride. He was finding it to be a pain in the ass because he couldn’t just zip around the freeway and change lanes like he used to. It bothered him that the blind spot was so huge and you have to rely on your mirrors a lot more and be more cautious changing lanes. It’s an adjustment and last night it added to his frazzled nerves. Still, for me anyway, it was a nice outing. Upped my hope level that maybe things can be worked out.

Hopefully, I can find my Marcus photos and get a Monday Marcus up. At the very least, he’ll back the following week. I think I know where the images are. Meanwhile, have a great Sunday!


Tired of Setup

Still working on set ups here. My puter is not ready yet. I have to reload everything. The thing that is freaking my shit out is that I can’t find my Photoshop CD. I’m really frightened that I won’t find it. I haven’t seen it since September. I can’t live without Photoshop. I’m gonna lose it if I’ve lost it. Really.

So I have a non-stop headache just thinking about what I lost: all the email in my inbox and save boxes, all my bookmarks… not files thank goodness. In September, when I had a meltdown of my old machine, I promised myself I would get Mozy and back up stuff online. Once I built the Green Machine, I kept putting off the Mozy thing. Well, I got Mozy today. A few days too late to save my bookmarks and email, but next time I’ll be better prepared.

Also, I bought a better mobo this time. We use Asus boards at work a lot. I feel more comfortable with this board for all it gave me fits in the install. I know they don’t go out very often. And out of this mess I now have a 160 GB hard drive for Motley and a Sempron 3400+ if I can bend the pins back up from where they got squished in the corner. I’ll take my time with that little project. All I need now is a motherboard and some memory. I already have a nice black and silver tower for her.

I’m not sure why I’m planning to build her a puter. She still hasn’t come home.

I’m tired now. As soon as my Porsche Cayman screensaver installs, I’m gonna have a bottle of water and hit the hay. If you like the Cayman, get the screensaver from Porsche’s website. I love it. And actually, the Cayman is the first Porsche I’ve ever liked. Always been a bit of a Ferrari girl myself going back to the days when Nikki Lauda drove for them…

I digress. Must be time for bed. I WILL catch up on blogs. I promise. I love you all too much to skip you.

New = Painful

New computers hurt. They are really painful. I can’t find anything. I have to look for all my CDs. I need to reinstall everything. My desktop is naked. Ok, it’s not really. It WAS. I found a Sixx AM wallpaper in Motley’s stuff though and slapped it on the desktop. No more XP green hills. Whew!

I basically replaced my motherboard and my hard drive. I also got another gig of memory. The old hard drive is still good, but I’ve gotta move all the files, wipe XP off of it and when it’s time for Motley’s new machine, reinstall XP.

I ran a little test and tried booting to that drive from the upgraded machine. No dice. It locks up at the login window. So perhaps my old motherboard is ok after all. Maybe it’s all Windows related. (In my head, I can hear Dave yelling that Macs rule.) At any rate, I’m back online.

For all of Tuesday I was thinking I was going to have to call my friend Liz’s husband Jim. Jim is a pretty awesome guy. He would help me. My worst case scenario was handing it off to my tech Joe. That would have cost me money. Ugh.

At any rate, I went back over everything. Carefully. And I got everything to work this time. The new puter is fast and has more space.  Now I have some really good pieces for Motley’s new machine too. Soon I’ll get the rest of what I need and build her a new computer. She’ll be really happy.

Whew. I’m tired. Thanks for all of the good wishes and comments while I was down. I appreciate it!


Yeah, well I blew up my motherboard yesterday. At first, I didn’t think it was the board because Windows booted up, but I got to the login screen, typed in my password and the computer froze. Nothing I did worked. I put in a new hard drive I had, thinking, “I’ll take the easy way out. I’ll install the new drive, load XP on that and boot from there.” I figured I’d transfer files from the old drive to the new one, and later reinstall XP on the old drive when I built Motley a new machine. Oh, and I had a new stick of memory too. I figured if I have to open the case, I’ll add that too.

Nothing worked. Basically, what happened was that the motherboard stopped seeing anything. It didn’t see the keyboard or the mouse. The video display looked like a Scottish clan tartan. Even if I took the new drive and new memory out… same thing. So I bought a new board. A better board. Did that end my issues? Of course not! The freaking CPU would not come off the old board. Well, it wouldn’t come free of the heatsink really. By the time I’d managed to wriggle it off… the pins were bent. FUCK ME.

That is where I gave up for the night. Today, it’s a new CPU. I think. I’m not sure I have enough money for this. I’m way, way upset. So… I’m down. I’m hoping I can get my hands on a CPU for this board today without having to spend every cent I have on it. If I can, all I need to do is install it, plug in all the fans, and – God and Karma willing – it should all work.

I’m typing this from work. If I don’t start commenting on your blogs tonight… pray for me. Something will need to keep me from going ballistic.