Sunday, September 21, 2014

It Isn't "Jaws"

I'm building a new home on the Web. It's just started, so don't expect much content. I've chosen a visual theme, organized categories, and added a few paragraphs and a couple of galleries.

After a conversation on Facebook, consulting with my friend Andy the graphic artist/web site maker, reading reviews and customer love/hate discussions, and watching a few videos, I finally decided on Weebly. The test drive was easy and free, and I liked what the site could do (lots of things, but I especially wanted an easy way to build galleries). The one-hour video tutorial was excellent, although I picked up everything I needed to get a good start before watching it just by playing around for awhile. Weebly was so easy, I started adding final content even as I was experimenting. That's why, if you go there today, it's hard to tell what is experiment and what will stay. I threw in the site name, "Tapirgal's World," and I liked it. But then I had a problem. "Tapirgal's World" was the name of my personal blog, so the blog name would have to change. 

Believe it or not, I have just spent two days trying to come up with that new name (as I write this, the name is "Tapirgal's Journey." (I say that for when it changes again.) It is kind of a boring title, but for now it says what I mean. There is a fun book called, Now All We Need Is a Title: Famous Book Titles and How They Got That Way, wherein we learn that choosing the right title can take longer than writing the book. Would Jaws have become an international phenomenon and part of world culture if they had named it, Why A Lot of People were Afraid to Go in the Water One Summer? Apprently the name was finalized in about the last three seconds before the book went to press. Benchley and the editors had been batting around titles that nobody could agree on and basically nobody liked until they finally went with the one that everybody disliked the least, and the meeting-closer understatement was, "It doesn't matter, it will never sell, anyway."

My new title is not "Jaws," but it does say who I am (in a way), and what the blog is about. I guess you would have to read enough posts to know whether the journey is in interior or exterior space, but it's about both at different times, so that's fine. I had "Journal," but it felt wrong. It's amazing how many titles have felt wrong. The title. among other things, needs to remind me to record something now and then. I have not made many posts this year. The year has been overfilled with work due to building the new web store and training two new employees, In addition, these past four-plus years have been about some pretty intense recovery issues from parathyroid disease and the aftereffects of the surgical cure. The endocrine system is pretty interesting as well as having the ability to cause no end of emotional and physical trauma and make way too many doctors say "I don't know" and send a bill anyway. Fortunately, a big chunk of that part of the journey is beind me. Maybe I will write more about it later. One of the side effects of this whole "event" is that typing comes with consequences. Even dictating does.

I wanted to mention "Welcome to America," Lee's first post about his trip across the US with Sergio. I talk with them many times a day and Lee textx photos. I only wish I were well enough to join them. Maybe in another few months or a year I can do that much traveling - I hope! Also, thanks to Lee for helping me think about blog titles. Lee's Daily Adventure is about perfect.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sergio Arrives in Miami

Lee, Ready and Waiting

Sergio Gets through Customs 

They Found Each Other!

What an exciting day! Around noon Lee picked up my tapir friend and colleague of about 10 (?) years, Sergio, from the airport in Miami. Sergio is also the Tapir Preservation Fund's Vice President. In a day or two they will start their trip across the US to Oregon, where Sergio will visit for a few more weeks. We've never met in person, although Lee met with Sergio in Bogota for a couple of hours on his trip there. Cuban food - a good start! Facebook says I'm with them, but only in spirit. Hopefully both of them will be photoblogging the trip. I will share their posts. This should be fun.

First Stop, Cuban Food and Lots of Coke

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bye-Bye, Fossa

A Fossa in Madagascar
Photo by Lee Spangler

The problem with my digital world (a reflection of my real world) is that it has way too many branches to manage. I can't cut them off, but I can keep trying to organize them. Sometimes I feel like I've done that, then something falls apart, which is where I am now.

I'm still grateful for finding the book, Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher, because it shows me that I'm not wrong, I just have a different way of getting through my life. I should finish reading it.

The latest "catalyst" to put it positively, was the other day when I accidentally deleted about six pages on the website I was building to go along with my store (I've linked to the store, because I don't knoe whet will become of the actual SITE pages). The store platform works great as a store, but the method of building an attached website was not that good, so when I deleted those pages (deleted a top menu page and all of the pages under it went bye-bye as well, without any warning, such as "Six pages you worked very hard on will now be deleted. Are you sure you want to do this?"). I wish I could get text back, but it's gone. They were mostly about animals, but they were not item pages. As bad as I felt, I knew it was a signal to come up with another solution for non-store pages. I still have the photos, so I may try to partially reconstruct the pages when I figure out where to go with it. Joomla!? WordPress? Back to basic HTML? I don't mind working. I do hate being in the unknown zone for too long. Sometimes organizing is a bitch.