USE THE CODE, BEV...
2 July 2005
I'm not sure when entries are going to be posted for the next few days. We are leaving for Santa Barbara for Tom's annual barbeque on the beach. I have lent my laptop computer to Shelly, because she and Ellen have taken off to Yellowstone. I am assuming that I will be able to use Tom's computer to continue to post entries, but I have no clue what time of day, or when. So I'll write entries for each day, but it will be catch as catch can as to when I post them.
I have gotten leaving for a trip like this down to a science. For some that would mean "packing," for me it means "setting up journal entries." (Packing? Do I need to pack too?)
I create a "shell" for each of the days I'll be gone, which includes the "This day in my history" entries with the proper links, fixes the "previous | next" links and leaves a space open for the actual entry and a place for the Photo of the Day. Then I get all uploaded to the Funny the World site and all I have to do when I want to write an entry is compose it in Notepad and do a cut and paste. And then try to fix all the programming errors I made when writing the code! If I'm lucky, I'll be OK the first time, but it rarely works that way.
I'll tell you, the very best thing I ever did when I was learning how to design web pages was to learn HTML code. I had no "FrontPage" software and never dreamed I'd be able to afford it, so I learned code out of a very small, very simple book called "HTML for the World Wide Web," supplemented by lots of assistance by my friend Mike in Houston.
There are hundreds of HTML coding books out there, but for someone like me who didn't need to know a lot of complicated stuff, this was ideal. Find a photo of what you want to do and copy the code for it. Over the weeks, I learned how to place photos, how to put white space around them, how to center, how to set off text, etc., etc. It has served me well on so many occasions I can't even begin to tell you.
The advantage of knowing code is that even when you graduate to a WYSIWYG program, when things don't quite look the way you think they are going to and you are tempted to tear your hair out because it should work, dammit! you can go to the source--the code--and see where you made your mistake.
The beauty of codes was made apparent to me long before there ever was an Internet. I learned Word Processing on WordPerfect, which still allows users to look at all the code for whatever they have typed. Even today, I frequently check the code on a WordPerfect document trying to analyze what I should do differently when what I am seeing on screen isn't what I meant it to look like.
One of the biggest frustrations I have with Microsoft Word is that it does not allow you to see all of the programming codes. When I was working at the local homeless center, I frequently was called upon to design flyers. Things that could be done in a split second in WordPerfect took me hours in Word and ended up with my throwing up my hands in frustration and coming home to do the whole thing in WordPerfect.
So I learned early on the value of learning coding language and it was a fairly easy leap to HTML coding, something I have kept up despite having FrontPage for web page design.
"Why did it do that?" I may wonder as text looks weird when I get it on the screen. Check the code. Always check the code and you can almost always find out where you went wrong.
As advanced as computers have gotten, they still only do what you tell them to do and not what you meant them to do.
Wouldn't it be nice if we had a "life code" we could check now and then to see where we went wrong and why a certain section of life didn't go quite the way you intended it to?
I leave Davis with some worries. Ashley called about Paul, trying to decide if he might be sick or not. I could hear him crying in the background. (She said she had NO trouble figuring out which one was Paul). She thought perhaps he was looking for a dog to nurse on, but when her Bessie got in with the puppies, that didn't seem to have any effect either. She's concerned that he might not be getting enough air, which is why his tongue is always hanging out.
She says that when they are this young, there's little they can do, but she was going to start him on antibiotics just to be on the safe side. Funny, but I suddenly feel a bond with this little guy and I hope that he is going to be here waiting for me when we get home from Santa Barbara.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Hoping Paul, the Puppy, will still be around when we get home.