New Job

I started a new temp job on November 21st 2011.  I’m basically a janitor but not really.  I’m working for a company called Enviroserv who is one of the subcontractors on a demolition project.  My job is to go around and clean up the job site.  This demolition project is expected to last until about April so I should have a decent paying job till then.


My dad’s health has been holding more or less steady for the last year.  His kidneys are close to failing but just barely staying at a point where he doesn’t need dialysis.  He spends much of the day sleeping which worries me since I know it’s at least partly due to his failing kidneys, although I think It’s also due to the fact that he’s just old and doesn’t have anything to do (btw why is Judge Judy on for what seems like 5 hours every day?).  I still have to drive him around everywhere and I don’t see that changing.  He still needs new glasses for driving, and his car needs some repairs and renewed registration/smog.  We can’t afford any of that right now, and really at this point I don’t think he should be driving anyways.

Web Site Updates

After being offline for about nine months my web site is back with a new hosting provider and a few changes.

I was previously using bluehost.com for my hosting and domain registrar.  My hosting expired last year in march but my domain name was registered with them till march of this year which was good because at least I didn’t have to worry about losing my domain name while my site was down.  While they aren’t bad (for the price) I didn’t like that I had to buy hosting in 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 month chunks and that they would auto renew, charging my credit card  with out warning.

I am now using Laughing Squid for my hosting and so far I like them.  It’s only $6 a month and I get billed every month.  My only complaint would be that their site management, billing  and support sites are all at different URLs and except for the support site (which is part of the main site already) are not linked directly from the main sites page.  OK they updated their main page since last week I take it all back.

For my domain registrar I’m now using Hover.com and they are great.  It was super easy to get things set up and my registration moved over from bluehost.com.  If anyone wants a domain name for a web site or even just your own personalized email address I highly recommend them.

Most of the changes I’ve made to the main site were some minor coding changes to make the pages html5 compliant and using some of the new features available in CSS 3, most notably drop shadows both on text and boxes to replace some of the PNG images that I had been using.  As a result the site should load a bit faster (not that it was even close to slow before) the downside is that it won’t look the way I intend in older browsers that don’t support these features. (IE 8 and below I’m talking about you)

The blog is now using the new default wordpress theme Twenty Eleven since I like the way it looks and how it works.  I was considering going back to the theme I had which was Inanis Glass or that theme authors new theme Inanis Seven so I went to his blog to go get it and saw that his blog was using a new theme that I really liked but it didn’t say what it was.  After getting my own blog back online I quickly realized that it was wordpress’s new default .  So my blog is only slightly personalized and looks a lot like many others but I think I’ll be OK with that since it’s so nice.

The main bit of visual customization that I can make to this theme is the header image.  I’m not thrilled with what I’m currently using since it was kind of just thrown together.  I’d much rather have a single image that fits nicely in that really wide not so tall space that’s available but I couldn’t find any of my pictures that would really fit which is why I made a semi sloppy collage out of 4 of my more recent pictures.  However I can specify diffident header images for individual posts which I have for my last post The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and While out for a walk.

The other thing is the menu bar along the top which is very customizable and mostly solves the issue of navigating from my blog back to the rest of my site.


I purposely didn’t mention exactly where I’m working since I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about it, and doing so in such a public place might mean no more job.

A New Home For My Blog & Other Updates

My web site’s hosting expired about a month ago and I can’t really afford to renew it at the moment, so until I do my blog will live here.
On a small side note I’m slightly annoyed that someone had reserved but isn’t using patrick1978.wordpress.com which I would have preferred to use.

As you can see I’ve already got all my old posts imported but currently none of the pictures work since I have to re-upload them and fix the links to them.
Also please ignore any links to my old website “patrick1978.com” as they won’t work.

Now on to the other stuff

Here is a quick recap of my current living situation.
I’m living in a two bedroom house with my soon to be 83 year old father and my 34 year old nephew who is blind.
The three of us are living together because none of us could get by on our own.
The house is a 2 unit place owned by a friend of my fathers who is giving us a fairly decent deal on the rent.
Currently no one is living in the other unit.

My dad’s drivers licence expired last year and he had been trying to renew it but various things have been postponing his drivers test that he needs to take. Most recently the fact that he lost his glasses that he is now required to wear while driving and needs to get new ones. His car also needs to be registered and it failed the smog check and will probably cost more to fix than the car is worth. So for the last couple of months I’ve had to drive my dad everywhere. Which I don’t mind too much, but he hates it since he’s stuck in the house all the time with nothing to do.

I’ve once again started working in the rides department at California’s Great America. This is my 12th season working there and my 9th in the rides department. The rides I’m working are Delirium and the Action FX Theater which is showing the Sponge Bob 3D movie/ride that they’ve had for about 8 years now.

If you go back far enough on this blog to 2006 you’ll see that I used to be a supervisor at Great America, but since I left for two years while I was working at Google when I returned I had to start at the bottom. I had hoped to be re-promoted fairly quickly but the general laziness of my coworkers (including my supervisors) has made me lazy as well and I don’t really see myself getting promoted again because of that.

New Web Host and Blog

I’ve moved my web site to a new web host. I had been using tripod for the last 4 years, and while they’ve served me well, I wanted more control over my site and I wanted to use WordPress to create a blog which I couldn’t do on tripod.

So now I’m using Bluehost.com as my web host. Unfortunately I had some problems with transferring my domain name so my web site was down for about a week, but that is all sorted out now.

Since I’ve only just gotten WordPress installed and running on my site I haven’t gotten around to changing the template to match my site better or add navigation back to the rest of my site. So I’m going to have to learn a bit of PHP and how to work with WordPress before I can do that.

Once I get my blog set up the way I want it I plan to post a bit more often than I have been and maybe even start writing some mini product reviews and tech oriented opinion columns.

Site Updates and New Camera

Once again I’ve been mucking about with the site design, unfortunately I didn’t bother to check if it looked alright in Internet Explorer 6 so it looked kind of messed up in that browser but it should work fine now. Granted it won’t look or work quite the way I’d like it to but at least it isn’t horribly messed up. (sorry to anyone that may have visited in the last few weeks)

Some older news: I got myself a digital camera near the end of November. This is my first real camera. (unless you want to count my cell phone) It’s a Canon PowerShot SD750 and it’s a pretty sweet little camera. Since this is my first real camera I’ve been taking a lot of pictures and trying to do some artistic shots. I’ve been posting most of them on Flickr so check them out if you want, and feel free to leave comments on them. (as long as you’re not too mean)

Hiking in Yosemite

My best friend John and I went to Yosemite on Easter. We did the Upper Yosemite Falls trail which is a 7.2 mile hike with an elevation gain of around 2700 feet. We did it in a little over 9 hours, I probably could have done it faster but John is hecka slow. My calves are still fairly sore, but at least I’m not limping around like I was on Monday and Tuesday. I took a bunch of pictures with my cell phone that I’ve uploaded to the site. (moved them to Flickr 7/22/2007)
Yosemite Pictures

While I was working on that I redid all of the thumbnails for my picture gallery’s so that they have rounded and feathered edges. That required me to use PNG’s with alpha transparency, so now they won’t look exactly how I would prefer in any browsers that don’t support PNG’s w/alpha. (like Internet Explorer 6 and below)
So basically I ended up re breaking (but this time intentionally) something I recently fixed. To me the trade off was worth it, especially since it doesn’t look that bad in IE 6.

Site Updates

I’ve made some changes to this web site that I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. The one thing that was keeping me from doing it was the fact that most people were still using Internet Explorer 6 which didn’t allow me to easily do the things I wanted to do. Now that enough people are using IE 7 or Firefox I can finally make those changes.

Here is a list of the changes I’ve made and how they will affect those that are still using IE 6

  • I am now using semitransparent PNG images
    Yay!!! (I’m such a nerd) I can finally use the best feature of my all time favorite image format.
    IE 6 users should see a dark gray instead of the proper transparency.
    I say should because IE 6 should use the background color specified in the image file, however that requires me to actually set a background color in the images, and I can’t be sure if all versions of IE & Windows will do that or not. So if I haven’t set a background color or IE isn’t using the set background color you’ll see either a light gray (in older versions of Windows) or light blue (in Windows XP) background on the images .
    However for now I won’t be changing most of the main graphics on my page over to PNG simply because I want to come up with a new design for them, and I don’t want to just use PNG versions of the images that I’m currently using.
    What the heck are PNG images?
  • My Navigation Bar stays at the top of the screen instead of scrolling with the rest of the page
    In IE 6 the navigation bar will scroll with the rest of the page. Also the background image for the navigation bar has some space between it and the edge of the page, I’m just to lazy to try and fix that for IE 6 since it works fine in newer browsers.
  • Small Code Cleanup
    In IE 6 one way to get tables to center is to wrap them in a div and set it so content in the div is aligned to center. The proper way to center a table using CSS is just to set it’s margins to Auto, but that doesn’t work in IE 6.
    I’ve removed the centering div’s when all they were centering was a table, since this always felt a little hacky to me and it serves to clean up my code just a little.
    IE 6 users will just see some things aligned to the left that were meant to be centered.
  • Fixed Photo Gallery Thumbnail Images
    Due to an oversight on my part the thumbnail images on my photos page didn’t have the proper transparency in IE 6. I have now fixed that and they should look the way I intended in IE 6.
    This is one thing I wanted to work right in IE 6. Problem was I didn’t check to see if it worked right, so they haven’t looked right in IE 6 for at least a couple months.

For those of you still using Internet Explorer 6
If you can, I highly recommend updating to the latest version of either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox