Where You’ve Been, Marv?

Its hard to believe its been over two years since I posted an entry on this site. Time gets away from you when you’re having fun. Since then, I’ve gone back full time to a great company, I’m still teaching my web design class, and raising three kids.

I’ve had ambitions to get this site redone. It’s been stuck on its original theme since 2006. That’s downright ancient in web design. However, with everything else going on, there seemed to never be the time to do anything about it.

The time is now. I decided to follow Jeffrey Zeldman’s lead and design this site live. I’m hoping to have it complete by the new year. I then have some plans to write semi-regularly, which I will share about soon. Thanks for the patience.

Things Have Been Busy for Awhile

Over the past twelve months, things have been quite busy for me, both professionally and personally. During that time – and for me the most important – was becoming a father for the third time. I also began teaching a self-developed class at CCAD aimed toward helping professional print designers transition into web design. This fall will be my third time teaching the semester-long course. On top of those things, I’ve had plenty of work at my full time job building websites, and a few freelance projects thrown in there in case I considered taking a breather.

Because of that, things around these parts have been extremely quiet. I plan to change that soon. I have a backlog of blog ideas piling up that I want to thin out. Also, this site’s current design is about eight years old and long overdue for a makeover. When this current look – version 4 of this site for those that are counting – it was my first real venture into blogging, and first experience with WordPress (WP) and PHP. It didn’t go smoothly. I always felt the design was incomplete, but due to my newness with both WP and PHP, I wanted to get something in place, polished or not. I figured I would have time to come back and put the finishing touches on it.

Later has turned into several years, and my knowledge and skills have improved greatly. Plus web technology, especially CSS and HTML, and improved dramatically. So much has changed that tweaking this design is no longer time worth invested. Instead, I plan to roll out a new design for this site before the end of 2012. If you follow me on Dribbble, you’ve seen a few previews.

A new design was been long in coming, but it seems every time I begin the process, either something more pressing enters the fray, or the direction I was going with the site wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to. However, I was determined this summer to get the ball rolling and not let it stop. The new design is progressing, although slowly. I’ve also been contemplating borrowing a page from Jeffrey Zeldman and launch a new design in an incomplete stage and finishing it live. I’m not decided on this yet, but will post something once I make a decision. Also, follow me on Dribbble and you will get some glimpses of the new design, as well as other projects I’m working on, before they land here.

How Jeopardy Ruined the Great Gatsby

I am a fairly avid reader, especially of early 20th Century period pieces, whether fiction or non. One classic I had meant for years to read was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but never got around to it. At the urging of my wife, I finally got around to reading it last fall.

I was about half way through the book when my wife happened to be watching Jeopardy one night with our two daughters. As fate would have it, I was in the room at the time when a particular “answer” came up on the program. Without getting into too many details, the answer, with the following “question” gave away the ending of The Great Gatsby as I happened to be reading the book at the time. I was pissed. Regardless, I finished the book and still consider it one of the great novels of the 2oth Century, despite the ending being spoiled.

Why tell this story? Because I happened to come across this:

Needless to say, I’m excited about this movie. The trailer is awesome, and the cast is one of the best. I honestly can’t think of any movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio that I didn’t enjoy, and the same goes for Tobey Maguire. If you’re planning on seeing the movie, I highly recommend reading the book first.