Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, March 07, 2015

A Website Reborn

Well, gang, my hard work for the past few months is finally done.  Well, done to the point where I think it's ready for public consumption.

My I present my newly rebuilt and redesigned website, Chaos in a Box.com

Chaos in a Box

My website had been due for an overhaul for quite some time now.  As much as I liked how it looked, my knowledge of HTML peaked in 2003, and it was starting to look it.  And every time I wanted to update it or revise it, I found myself dusting off my old copy of Microsoft Front Page and having to write a new webpage from scratch.

Besides, I never really finished my last rebuild 9 years ago, leaving it a mess of dead links spread across three servers.  It would all get very messy if you started clicking around too much. 

So I started thinking about doing a rebuild about a year ago.  Rather than always having to build a webpage from scratch, I started looking at all the DIY web designers that are out there now.  Having read the reviews, and chatting with friends that are more knowledgeable than me, it looked like WordPress was the way to go.  I had one of those more knowledgeable friends install WordPress on my server for me, and I was off to rebuild my website!

Then I kinda got bored with that and finally opened a Netflix account.

But then, as 2015 started, my employers realized I had two weeks of leftover vacation time from last year.  And they really wanted me to get it off the books.  With two weeks off, I figured this would be the perfect time to just sit down in front of my computer and get it done.  Once I tweaked the settings in WordPress and got a layout and design I liked, it just a ton of cutting and pasting as I copied all my old webpages, and pasted them into WordPress's templates. 

I put in almost full workdays, taking breaks occasionally to enjoy some sunshine, eat, and watch episodes of Jem on Netflix.  It was a lot of cutting and pasting.  But at the end, I had some statistics:  248 podcasts, 188 movie reviews, and 348 entries in my original blog were all copied over. 

It's all there now.  It's searchable.  You can dig it all up.  The best thing I discovered about WordPress was its embedded MP3 player, so you can now easily listen to my podcasts in your browser. 

When I did my last rebuild 9 years ago, a friend of mine was sad that I dumped all my movie reviews prior to 2004.  So, just for him, I found all my older movie reviews in my archives, and my movie reviews section is complete once again, all the way back to when I started doing them in 1998!  The first movie I reviewed was the first American Godzilla film, in case you're curious.  And re-reading those early reviews, I'm almost embarrassed at how much I loved LOVED LOVED The Phantom Menace when it first came out. 

My original blog is there as well, but I buried it a little bit.  I mean, I haven't updated it in 9 years, so there's no reason for it to be so front and centre.  Besides, back then, I had no qualms whatsoever about naming names and calling out people who pissed me off.  I did have instructors at NAIT who pulled me aside and said, "Gee, Mark, if you keep saying stuff like that online, you're going to find it really difficult to find a job," and I do know of at least one job the blog cost me.  Reading it again all these years later, I'm a touch embarrassed at it all.  But I can't help but remember how passionate I was back then...how serious I was about my writing.  I really remember posting my articles on Sunday night, and getting excited e-mails from my friends on Monday morning telling me  how awesome my article was and how amazing a writer I was.

So, for those reasons, I kept it.  However, some articles are "special editions," where names have finally been changed to cover my own ass protect the innocent.  And besides, as I observed when I first attempted this rebuild a year ago, most of this stuff has been online now for 10 years or more.  If it was going to come back and bite me in the butt, it would have by now.  (The one incident I mentioned happened a mere month after I posted it.) 

It's all there for the world to see.  As Dinobot said with his dying words, my tale is told to those who ask, the ill deeds with the good, so that I may be judged accordingly.  Head on over to chaosinabox.com, and read my tale.

Click on over to Chaos in a Box.com!

Oh, and as promised, my first new content at the website, my review of Kingsman: The Secret Service

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