Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

WordPress Themes

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I hate this theme.  Mostly.  There are a few things about it I like but overall, meh.  But what can I do?  I hate the default themes as well.  Well how about the WordPress Themes Directory that you can click on from inside the WordPress console?  It has 954 themes as of this writing.  That should help right?  Uh… no.  Have you looked at that page?  They have taken usability to a whole new low.

954 themes and no easy way to get to them.  Unless you want one of the ten featured themes on the page or want to hunt through the miscellaneous popular themes on the side, there is no way to find the others.  OH SURE, there’s that big search bar at the top but um… what exactly am I searching for?  Here’s a hint: try typing “A theme I would like” into that search field and see what it comes back with.  Is that a silly example? Yes it is, but what should I search for?  I’m sure there are keywords or tags or something but maybe it could give me some hints.

I like WordPress.  I really do.  It’s a thousand times better than the cybrblog system I cobbled together many years ago on this same domain.  I really like how they keep expanding the features too.  But one complaint I have about the standard installation is those default themes.  WordPress has offered those same two Default and Classic themes forever.  Fine.  But could they at least update them to work with the new versions of WordPress and the new features?  No, the built-in themes don’t have to have the best features and prettiest presentations but couldn’t they at the very least show off what WordPress can do natively?

For example, a few revisions ago WordPress added in-line or nested comments.  Great!  However presenting those in that fashion is controlled by the theme you are using.  I still haven’t seen a theme that integrates that feature although to be honest I haven’t tried many themes.  Because they are unreasonably difficult to browse.  Oh wait, there’s no browse feature on the WordPress Themes Directory either!  Not much of a directory if you can’t browse it.  Seriously though, the default theme should accomodate every new feature built in to WordPress.  Throw us a bone here.

It should be known

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Some of you saw my last post when I originally posted it.  Before I went back in on my iPhone in the middle of a meeting and marked it as Private instead.  Some of you knew then what was going on in our lives or at least my life.  Then I chickened out.  I decided that the post was too personal and that the words proved that I was a bad parent.  The words and emotions I couldn’t express to my wife in words but can in writing were too much to be held responsible for.

Now the post is back up for everyone to read.

After talking to quite a few people it seems that the feelings I’ve had are quite common.  Pretty much everyone in a similar age range to me (and many not) have experienced the same or worse.  Others have gone through this (obviously) and lived to tell the tale.  Except they don’t tell the tale.  They never tell people how they really feel about parenting a newborn with problems.  They don’t tell a soul because they, like me, felt it would prove they were a bad parent.

But in talking to others it gives them a sort of freedom to tell us that yes, parenting for the first few months (or more depending on the persons) sucks ass.  It’s a miserable, thankless job that people without ever having raised a baby will ever understand.  And it’s apparently something that people feel the need to hide from the next wave or generation of potential parents.  Whether to hide what they feel are weaknesses or from fear of people who don’t understand.

I say to hell with that.  It should be known what it is like to care for a baby.  The reality.

That is why I reposted my previous post.  I’m not going back and editing it.  I’m not even going to re-read it.  What I wrote was a release for me and to change it would be counter-productive.  There is therapy in writing.  There is a catharsis in venting the emotions that I can never seem to properly verbalize.  I felt better after writing that post and marking it private took away from that therapy in some small way.

When Muse and I went through the birthing classes, the nurses who taught the class stressed over and over that you should never shake your child.  They said over and over again that if you get angry that you should put the baby down in a safe place and walk away and call for help.  They preached over and again about the damage that can be done to an infant when shaken violently.  And the wife and I would look at each other and roll our eyes.  We wondered what kind of horrible people could even think of doing something so monstrous?  What kind of pathetic lowlifes would do that to a baby?

Now we understand.  We have not shaken the baby (don’t go calling DFS) but we now have a better understanding of WHY some people are driven to do something like that.  The rage I have felt at something so small and defenseless is a heartbreaking thing that makes me feel like the biggest sack of shit in the universe.  But at least now I know we’re not alone.

I’ve been dealing with the baby much better since those days.  She’s going on seven weeks now and neither of us has done anything more physical than burp her more vigorously than we probably should.  We are still learning to cope but I have to be honest: It’s hard.  It’s really fucking hard.

One thing we’ve both learned is that the less sleep we get, the less stress we can take.  We’ve both experienced it on multiple occasions.  And the crappy thing about it is that sleep is the hardest thing to achieve with a baby in the house.  Sure with two parents it’s possible to take shifts but when I have to go to work and make money to pay for all the bills and formula and diapers that leaves my wife alone to deal with the baby for yet another shift.  I try and take over for her at night but if I don’t get sleep then I’m absolutely useless at work after a while.  If I lose my job then we can’t afford to live much less have a baby.

So how do single parents do it?  I can’t even begin to imagine that.

My point here is not to whine and complain and fish for sympathy comments.  I turned off comments on the previous post because I didn’t want input or sympathy.  That wasn’t the point.  It was therapy.  My point is to let other new parents or people expecting to be new parents soon know that parenting is harder than you think.  It’s much harder than your friends and family have let on.  They think they are doing you or maybe themselves a favor by not telling you the gory details but they aren’t.

I would have been much better off hearing the horror stories from people before I had to experience them first-hand.  I would have known going into those angry moments that I wasn’t alone and that it was perfectly normal.  I would have much rather known ahead of time what to expect.  So that is why I’m writing this post.  Not just for therapy for myself but as a caution to new parents.

Parenting is hard.  Taking care of a baby is unbelievably hard.  You will lose sleep.  You will miss meals.  You will become a recluse in your own home and despise the walls around you.  You will fight with your spouse over the stupidest shit.  And most importantly, you will get angry at your baby – and you will feel like the world’s biggest loser for doing so.  You will get through it.  But never – ever – expect it to be easy.

It should be known that you are not the only one who has felt that way.
That’s the point of my writing.


Monday, November 3rd, 2008

It’s November and the leaves are gold, red and brown.  It’s unusually warm outside and the spooks and goblins have already been put to rest.  Sounds nice.  And it would be.  Except for that stupid Daylight Savings Time!

One of my favorite things about living overseas was that there was no Daylight Savings Time.  And now we’re back just in time to subject ourselves to this stupid, outdated twice a year ritual of royally screwing up everyone and everythings sense of time.

We had stuff to do yesterday but we had plans to have dinner at my Dad’s yesterday.  We completely forgot about DST.  We were over an hour earlier than we’d wanted to be and lost out on daylight that could have been used working on the house.  Annoying.

Then I was early to work this morning.  Muse went through and changed the time on the clocks in the kitchen last night and I had already changed my black watch I was wearing at my Dad’s at the time of our revelation.  I go to bed and turn on the alarm.  I wake up and get shaved, showered, dressed and go to wake up Muse for her doctor’s appointment.  Only after passing through the kitchen the second time do I see that it’s 6:10am and still 10 minutes before I’m even supposed to be awake!  I forgot to change my alarm clock.  Dammit!

So I was up at that point so I figured I’d just go into work early which is fine.  I’ll leave early to make up for it.  But it’s really freaking annoying.  

The United States government needs to do one of two things:

  • Abolish Daylight Savings Time and quit torturing its people.  We don’t need it!
  • If that’s too difficult for those pea-brains then they need to mandate that every single clock and watch made from now on be synched to the atomic clock so they all change at the same time without us even needing to know about it.  And they need to make a retro-fit kit for all existing clocks and watches.
And since we know that the second option is pretty much impossible… get rid of Daylight Savings Time!  WTF?
And can someone explain to our dog with the internal dinner clock that she needs to adjust back an hour? Thanks.  She’s really annoying and blames us for her starvation.

My computer is broke. Nuh-uh!

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Dealing with technical support at the best of times can be difficult.  Dealing with tech support in Hong Kong can be absolutely infuriating.  The DVD-RW drive in my Dell XPS M1710 computer has been slowly dying for months but Friday it decided to give up completely.  This is a pretty fast PC but it would take six hours to burn 1GB of data to a DVD because it reset every two seconds.  Now it won’t even read a disk.

In a nutshell, here’s how the conversation went:
“My computer’s broke.”
“No it’s not, that’s normal.”

Yes tech support in Hong Kong will regularly flat out lie to try and keep from actually sending someone to fix something.  It’s not just Dell or even computers.  Getting service in Hong Kong is painful.

Actually the Dell Optiplex support line is pretty good and they speak English.  When you call the Dell XPS support line, you get transferred to Mainland China somewhere and they don’t speak English.  Knowing this, I had an admin make the call for me and warned her that they may not even speak guangdong hua (Cantonese).

Sure enough, the first person to answer speaks putong hua (Mandarin) only.  Luckily most of the local staff in my office are at least able to handle most conversations in Mandarin but they still get mixed up sometimes.  Oddly enough, the tech must not have liked the admin’s knowledge of his language because he hung up on her.  So she called back and luckily this time she got someone who speaks Cantonese.  Mind you, this is a Hong Kong phone number we’re dialing.

Instead of going through all the details of what happened, I’ll just give you the excuses that were translated to me.  There may have been more that I didn’t hear or understand.

  • “Has Windows been re-installed?” – This insinuated that it’s not the drive but that Windows is the problem and needs to be re-installed.  No.
  • When the call was made I had a burned copy of Symantec AV in the drive.  He told the admin that “there was just an incompatibility in the way that the burned disk had been created.”  So he told her she needed to put in a CD provided by Dell and if it worked then it wasn’t their problem.
  • So I put in the XPS Drivers and Utilities Disk.  Standing near the PC you can hear the drive spin and reset over and over and over.  I told her to tell him about that noise.  He responded with: “That’s normal.”
  • When the Dell CD didn’t come up, he had her try another Dell CD because it must be a problem with that CD.  We entered another one which made the same sounds and didn’t work.  He told her “the drivers weren’t loaded” even though we told him it’s been working for almost two years.  He had her check Device Manager and sure enough there was no Exclamation Point marking a problem.
  • When I told her to tell him it took six hours to burn 1GB of data to a DVD-R, he started questioning the software we were using and blamed it on that.  He told her then that “the software you use is just not updated.”  By this point I was well beyond pissed and glad he couldn’t understand what I was saying on speakerphone.

The admin started getting confrontational with him at that point because he was wasting our time.  We had spent 30 minutes on the phone at that point.  Finally he relented and told us someone would contact us tomorrow to replace the drive.

Of course I thanked the admin since I’ve made similar calls before and they were just as painful except neither person understood the other.  Imagine trying to convey “video card” to someone who only speaks Mandarin and you only speak English.  Painful.

Too busy

Friday, May 16th, 2008

It’s been a long day and it’s almost time for nighty-night time.  I’ve been swamped at work for the past week and a half to two weeks and I just got off two calls to my management in St. Louis to make a very long day even longer.  I haven’t had time to post, to do any artwork, to work on the comic or anything today.  Granted I was at work and I was working but I hate it when I’m being pulled in three different directions all day long and don’t even get to take a breather for lunch.  Oh well, whatever.

So other than a little whining I got nothing much else to say right now.  Although I do have to mention that I just found out that my boss (soon to be my ex-boss in a few hours) has been diligently reading this site.  I guess it’s a good thing I don’t complain too much about work on here or name names, eh?  If she’s reading this I wish her good luck in her new project.

And with that, I’ll be signing off to go put my shoes on, take the dogs out and then crash.  It’s been a long day and I deserve some sleep.  That cat better stay quiet tonight….