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Return to Blogging

I have not updated my blog in well over a year, so I thought I would do that. I do not care if anyone ever reads it or not, but I will use it to practice writing. I started this blog as a classroom assignment while in the Applied History Master’s program at George Mason University. I’m not going to get rid of these older posts, though they are the remnants of the class assignments. There are some dead links to a website that I made and allowed to wither of the vine. Perhaps I’ll get back into website design again someday. In the meantime, I’ll write about some of the fun things that I find at work or home that amuses me.


The first order of business is that I’ve been doing research on Marine Corps vehicles. After many years of looking for photos of a particularly rare truck built for the Marine Corps by the FWD Company, my co-worker and I hit paydirt at the National Archives. We found around two dozen, and were able to use the photos for research in the restoration that our museum owns that is likely the last one built for the Marine Corps that still exists. There will be more to come on this restoration progress as the Marine Depot Maintenance Command in Albany, GA is roughly 65% complete with the restoration process.

A1-G30-Sharp363N-1@nara.gov_20161031_145951_001 - Copy

Getting the hang of this. Maybe?

I’ve been struggling a little when it comes to this class. I am certainly not used to this type of work, but I am having fun. Many of the components of the Lynda Videos are easy to do when watching and following along, but when I try to set off on my on, I go “high and to the right.”

I would like to give a sincere thanks to all of my classmates who have been posting helpful links and resources for use in building pages. They have been tremendously helpful to me, and I suspect others as well. So keep that up!

I had some experience using SQL, language building reports in for enterprise logistics management in the past. It was very cerebral and not a ton of fun. I got pretty good at it too, but I have a problem with bloating my code too much, which makes things slow at best or hard to work with at worst. For example, I used two different spanners for the same footnote so that I could make the book I cited be italic, and wrapped another wrapper around the entire bibliography to standardize the size, color and font. I know that there has to be a better way, but at 2 AM and a full workday in a few hours and class afterwards, I’m not going to keep banging my head against the wall to figure that one out! (If I seem tired tomorrow, you’ll know why.)

But the main takeaway that I have from my former days with SQL and I guess it still applies is that the less language that you can put into any program, the better. I have to practice at that. I am also very guilty of using keys to turn off lines of text to test new things and never cleaning the obsolete lines of text.

Thus type of coding is more fun than the data manipulation that I used in the past, because of putting in parameter and getting data back, I can write code for my website and make it responsive. Slowly I think I am improving though.

I would like to give a sincere thanks to all of my classmates who have been posting helpful links and resources for use in building pages. They have been tremendously helpful to me, and I suspect others as well.

I will end on this final note: I think I have learned more about the internet in the last couple of weeks than I knew before.

I commented on Pearl’s , Amy’s  and Kimberly’s blog.

Edit: Here is a link to my Type site. It is pretty ugly, and I would like to refine the colors and layout drastically. I just wanted to get the components in for practice and experiment.

I am trying to figure out what I am doing in the digital age. I have never really had to do this type of work before. I have only had to blog for one other class and I find this format interesting, but still challenging. I must admit, that I was confused about the nature of the blog and that it tied into the final project, so that I am late to the game in the weekly posting. So these are my first blogposts. A day (or a few weeks) late, but hopefully, not a dollar short.

Jumping right in, structure is a pretty hard thing for me to grasp. Most of my school work and professional work to this point has been pretty structured and within the confines of a laid out theme. For school assignments, most everything has been given parameters from the length, size and font of the writings,  to the way in which the headers and footers are marked. For my work assignments, there is a structure to our museum that everything that I write has to follow and I have a usually 500 word caps for the largest artifacts, down to 75 characters for the smallest. The museum pays graphic designers to fit the words and photographs that I write and select into the thematic layout of the museum. Sometimes they come back and tell me that I have to tell the same 500 word story in 350 words and an 5×7 photograph, which can be challenging.

The image that I affixed to the blog is an example of what I mean by fitting the copy and photo fitting into the structure. The image is a proposed layout to the museum’s 9/11 exhibit. Curators and historians wrote the text and chose photographs, but graphic designers set the structure for us to follow.

This project is allowing me to practice putting a structure together, which I have never really considered before. Considering all that goes into making a successful page, I am more aware of what websites do well, and not well. As we saw in some of the Typography classes this week, websites work for a variety of reasons, which I will need to study more.

This week I commented on Kimberly’s blog.