Output Where it all comes gushing forth.


Radio Silence

So it's been nearly two weeks without content. I am a terrible host.

Why the silence? Well, partly due to my sinking neck deep in coding to get the main page up and running. I managed to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, all while trying to make the thing just work. I think I succeeded.

Another part would be my pronounced procrastination and apathy. I'm not into the rhythm of updating and any excuse not to is enough to allow myself to slip. I'm working on it. I hope I'm getting better.

However! In the next week I should have a new essay up, a review of a ridiculous foodstuff, and other interesting tidbits to share. Heck, maybe I'll even pull in a reader or two.

I can't promise daily content. I know myself too well for that. But there will be content, and I hope you enjoy it with me.

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Avoiding Catastrophy

Less than a week in and I nearly blew the whole operation! I wrote nearly 1000 words of a draft, but they aren't the right ones yet, so that got shelved. Instead you get this status report-y filler post.

I managed to finish the home page background image today, as well as learn the code I'll need to implement it. Now I just need the header image and a few stylistic pieces and we're in business. Also, once I settle on the header I can take a crack at a color scheme that's more exciting than the current B & W. In the process I also retaught myself Photoshop, which was...interesting.

Hopefully by midweek everything will be coded and moved server-side. Until then, it's back to the grind.

With a short break, that is, to see if I can make something palatable out of this:

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Nothing In Particular

So. Here's the deal. I've been trying to think of something to post about most of the day that wouldn't take too long to throw together, but everything I want to say is on the aspirational side, which therefore kills any progress I'm making on site beautification, which is currently a process of learning two-three new languages and at least two new skills.

So instead I'll post about not posting. Nyah.

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Progress, By Hook Or By Crook

Carrying out the chair with the dog buzzing my legs sucked.

This was only the half of it.

Well, I got a bunch of pictures taken today. Meaning I hauled around lights and props and cameras and stands and set it all up. And then I set both cameras' delay timers, slid into position, tried to look presentable, and hoped for the best.

Self-sufficiency is a mofo. Just ask that guy who tried to replicate a $5 Walmart toaster from scratch. There are some serious benefits to social interaction and large-scale economies.

With any luck, at least one of the photos will give me enough to work with. And with just a bit more luck, this place will start to feel lived in.


WordPress Themes, PHP, CSS, and an unrealized childhood urge

So, in the process of trying to make this blog appear both spiffy and unique, I've thrown myself into the deep end of web programming. Well, really more like the shallow end as far as aptitude or agility go, but I am thoroughly soaked in it.

I find myself picking up on some of the structural ideas, the sort of framework at work behind what I need to be doing, but man, I haven't felt like this since high-school. Even then the most I coded were a hundred or so lines of BASIC, maybe played around with HyperCard a bit. I took a C++ college course my senior year of high school but ended up skipping it most days for various flights of fancy. Ever since I have dipped my toes in various wells of code, only to jolt back at the shock of it. This time, though, I didn't bother testing the waters. This time I jumped right in.

Good lord let me not drown.


On the Question of Art

Consider the Critics of the Field...

The latest from the brilliant Karl Kerschl and his The Abominable Charles Christopher.

It's a question pulled into the fray by the evolving nature of our times and our culture.  What is Art?  And has there ever been a definitive definition agreed upon by all?  Sure, maybe there have been majority opinions on just what art is, but unless the opinion is unanimous, it cannot be considered definitive.  And why unanimous?  Because of what art is for.

Ostensibly, art has no other reason for creation but its own need for existence.  When it is created, there may be motive behind or influence towards its creation, a sort of impetus, whether from without or within, at work behind art's genesis.  But ultimately, art is the result of expression, the end result of framing thought and emotion and the raw negentropy at work within the human mind.  It is the end product of our human impulse, an impulse that also leads to conspiracy theories and optical illusions, to create order out of a disordered universe.  Art is a form of order.  It is a way for expression to be made whole, whether through words, read or recited, images or objects, in any number of dimensions, actions, whether bounded or not, sounds, of any source, style, or arrangement, or experiences, of the physical or mental nature.  Even this extremely open ended definition of artistic creation surely excludes an array of differing ways in which art is made.  The key, however, to all artistic expression, is order and not, at least in my opinion, appreciation.

The appreciation of art is merely a byproduct of its observation.  By interacting with art (and all art, as inviting or repellant as it aims to be, is in some manner interactive) we are able to have our own personal entropy ordered, if only for the briefest of moments, in the manner of another's conception.  We look at a Picasso and share his struggle with what it means to see.  We listen to jazz, experiencing the distillation and synthesis of the beat and the tremor and the timbre, raw and immediate.  We read the poetry of a Baudelaire and experience what Stephen King so accurately relayed in his On Writing as the magic of time-delayed telepathy, smelling the grit and smoke and musk of Paris in another age, though all we have are words.  Art is, from the creator and to the observer, a way of conveying order upon a disordered world.  What appreciation of art is, is our judgment, whether personal or societal, of whether the effect art has on us is correct, in any manner of "rightness," at a moment in time.  We can turn up our noses at a urine-submerged crucifix or gasp in wonder at a painting made of a woman rallying atop a pile of fresh corpses.  The important point is that this appreciation is a value inherent in the observer, but that the observation comes after the creation of art.  Whether one likes it or not, art is still art.  The question of appreciation is that which is argued over and over again.  Art is still art, whether you like it or not.

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The Cavern

So, being as this is the dirty beginning of my blog (as well as my writing career) it feels a little like I'm sitting at the mouth of a cave, shouting into the dark, vast, hollowness. The only words that I hear are those in return, a caucophony of echoes in familiar timbres.

And I'm alright with that. For a long time I've been living a socially hermetic existence. My only real connections to any but my family are through social frameworks: school, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'm living in these artificial networks, trying to cull from them a human experience in quips and asides. It works, kinda.

I applied to grad school seeking the same sort of thing, a community to belong to, of the like-minded and driven. And then I got shut down by all ten schools. So now what?

Now I turn around. Rather than face the cave, I face the world. Instead of being greeted by my own voice, I am empowered by it, its self-same echoes only adding strength to the message. If I'm real lucky, other voices will build in the cavern behind me, tuning and toning the message, the voice. If not, I know I'm capable of solo performances. This time, however, it will be a sole voice to a sole end, made outward, into the open air.

So, yeah, that's how I feel.

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From the phone

Thought I'd try publishing one through the iPhone WordPress app. I like the interface. Minimalist but powerful.

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And so it begins, here, under the shade of the canopy on a warm Spring day.  Changes are constant, evolution underway, but here and now is where it starts, where the petals unfold and life blooms anew.  Take a deep breath.  With this first step the journey begins.

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