Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I need a pen, a paper and a place to hide

Beloved and I have been chatting up the germ of an idea for a blog banner for a couple of weeks. Finally, the one day this week that I'm home (on vacation - hooray!) and the wee beasties are with the daycare provider, I can ignore the clutter and the weeds and whatnot and just indulge in a couple of uninterrupted hours in front of the computer. Ah, guilty pleasure!

The thing is, none of these design programs are intuitive. There's layers and selecting and transforming and in front of and behind and it's really all quite annoying. What I could do in 10 minutes with a piece of paper and a magic marker I couldn't do in six hours glued to the keyboard.

It would have probably gone a lot faster, except I was drowning in decisions. Do you know we have 179 fonts installed on our computer? No exaggeration, one hundred and seventy nine fonts. It took me an hour just to decide between "ale and wenches", "swingset" and "bottix". And colours... oh, the colours. If someone could just narrow things down to what's in an 8-pack of Crayolas, it have taken me about half the time.

Finally, we get something reasonably close to what I had envisioned. Not quite there, but close. After SIX HOURS! Did I mention I have the attention span of a hummingbird? And I try to post it on Blogger, thinking with my albeit rudimentary knowledge of CSS and HTML, I should be able to figure it out. You need an image tag and somewhere to host your source - simple as that.

Apparently not.

(You think this story is excruciatingly long in the telling, you should have been here in real time!)

After another hour of mucking about in the Blogger template, I resorted to a public plea for assistance, and the effulgent Troy, whom you should admire not only for his extensive vocabulary and rapier wit but for his ability to translate HTML into dippy chick, was quick to come to my rescue. Lo and behold, it worked! Ta da!!!

(Waiting for you to scroll up and make sure that the header is the same old boring header it was yesterday and every day before that. Sighing heavily.)

So why, WHY are computers so evil? I happened to be on the laptop when I plugged in Troy's extra-simple and easy to understand solution, and it worked fine. I was so excited I came right downstairs to our main computer, the only one with Photoshop, to tweak and improve my banner before the big reveal. I opened my practice template and - nothing. I can see it on the laptop, but not on the other computer. I have the same problem with a bunch of my favourite blogs: Ann's, Troy's, Ella's... the really cool banners just don't display reliably.

So really, do I want to spend any more time working on this when it's not going to display properly on my own damn computer, let alone how it might look to you? Really, is there anything more annoying on god's green earth than computers?

To add insult to injury, my darling ÜberGeek, who has also been incredibly patient in offering tech support to the clueless, told me that blog has been crashing his browser since I installed my fancy-ass Flickr badge on Friday.

So screw it. I'm a word kind of chick. Blog is about words, not pictures. You want pretty pictures, go find somebody else's blog. (And if you come back tomorrow after reading this self-indulgent whine, you're a true friend indeed!)