Moving Forward on a Number of Fronts

10 Dec 2001
December 10, 2001

If you remember, I was consumed by preparations for our annual Leaf Blowing Festival. While the weather has been incredibly mild for a DC fall and it seemed more like May than November, the festival was a smashing success! We had a bumper crop this year and the dry weather made it a breeze to blow (it didn’t make my allergies any easier, though)!

The Closing Ceremony was attended by thousands. The roar of the crowd was deafening. It took a lot of work but it was worth all the hours of planning, raking, blowing, and showering off leaf dust. This year’s festivities were worth the sacrifice. Amazingly, a Hollywood-bred film crew documented the finale (Quicktime 2.2 MB).

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horoscopeOn another note, as an artist, I revel in the time I have to myself to work on my own projects. But with a full time job and a family it’s not easy finding the time. After 9/11 I realized how important being creative was to me. It was one of the few things that truly gave me some control in my life. With the attacks and the anthrax scares, diving into new ideas was incredibly life affirming. And this has been a rich last two weeks for me.

I’ve just upgraded Dichotomy: It Was a Matter of Time and Place, my site about 9/11. My first idea was to have both Witness and Participant accounts come up randomly next to each other. However, as I got submissions of stories about that day, relationships between entries began to surface. And I wanted to be able to connect some of these stories. So, thanks to the incredible help I got from my programmer, Sharon Denning, I am now able to connect entries in a number of ways: either between categories or within the same category. The stories people are submitting are pretty amazing.

I’ve also made some major changes to Life Outtacontext. Basically, it looks the same but the backend is now being powered by Movabletype. I’ve tried other weblog management tools but this really fits! And, I’m really appreciative for all the help Ben and Mena have provided, both in their application as well as in our dialogue.

On the frontend, you might notice two new buttons at the top of each month’s page. These allow you to change the font style and size of the text. Those of us who need slightly larger type might want to choose the “Larger Serif” font. Check it out. Paul Sowden, a 17 year old wiz from London is responsible for developing this javascript solution (thanks to Jeffrey Zeldman from A List Apart for turning me on to Paul’s work!)

In addition, you can now leave comments about the stories you read here. At the end of each piece is a link to the comments section. The number in parentheses is the number of people who have left their mark about that story. Since I’ve just added this feature (again, part of Movabletype), it’s a little quiet around here. But I’m hopeful that will change. You can still sign up to be notified via email when I’ve posted a new entry [try to fix a bug in the notification interface —hold on]. That, too, is a link after each story.

Thanks to everyone who helped. I could not have completed these projects with their help. This, too, is life affirming.

© 2001-2015 Jeff Gates ISSN 1544-4074