News archives imported into blog, work done on websites, thoughts about job hunting.

I have put all my old News items from my website into the blog here.  The WordPress visual editor helped out with this (but also caused some problems).  It helped in that I was able to copy the contents from my web browser and then paste it into the editor.  All the relative links were automatically converted to absolute links and the underlying code such as definition lists were also kept.  I did have to tweak the 2005 and earlier archives as they used a javascript toggling feature to expand/contract sections.  The editor would keep messing up the javascript when saving.  Anyway, I eventually solved that whole problem by just adding that javascript to the blog’s header theme file.  Now it’s available for any page I need to use it on.  I also changed the default style for DT and DD elements.

I have still not begun actively looking for a job; however, that does not mean I have not been doing any “work”, at least recently.  I decided a couple weeks ago after I got back from getting over the oral surgery, that I would spend a day’s worth of work on my website endeavors to get me back into the work frame of mind (as opposed to veggin’ out in front of the tv) and to keep my programming skills fresh and my mind from going stale, if I am not involved in the “looking for a job” activities.  I’ve been out of work since November, if you remember.  Financially I am still okay.  I could probably go 5 months without finding a new job.. and still not use any of my credit cards.  But, I don’t want it to go that long.  Thank god I am debt free.. no car payments or credit card balances.

Anyway, what have I done during the past couple weeks:

  1. Added a new database to my main website to keep track of spammers trying to post junk into my Guestbook.  I’m recording their IP address, hostname, date/time, and why the post failed.  Then, any sufficiently abusing or re-occuring IP address or range can be banned in my .htaccess file.  This was a combination of PHP and MySQL stuff.
  2. Modified my NASCAR page (PHP) to grab the name of the latest race that the driver standings are based from.  Mom asked if I could do that and obliged.
  3. Over on the Pelicar Forum, I added the ability for users to tell when their private messages had been received/read by the recipient.  Amazingly, there were no existing SMF MODs to accomplish this. So, I figured it out myself!  Ha! 🙂 This was a combination PHP and MySQL thing.  Being that we do alot of role-playing on the forum, I added a couple drop-down boxes to the posting form to choose your character’s post color.
  4. On the Pelicar Campaign website, I added the ability to see the updated Devotion Point chart and added a general Notes field to the character storage so we could put any information (spells, equipment, goals, skills, training reminders, etc). Corrected the Strength and Stamina tables with new information.  I did not include a link since it’s password protected anyway. 
  5. I also just recently created a MySpace page.  Well, I wanted to put on there my most recently played/currently playing song in Winamp in the Music section and I wanted to put my recent blog entries’ headlines on here, there and not use the MySpace blog.  I also wanted to adjust the appearance somewhat which took some research into how to change the styles within the page using inline CSS.

    Well, my Winamp currently playing/recently played image is a dynamically created image using a PHP script.. only problem is, MySpace doesn’t allow you to reference a PHP file in an image tag, which I don’t blame them.  So.. what to do?  Well, I renamed the PHP file to have a .TIF extension and then edited the .htaccess file on the webserver to make it handle .TIF files as PHP files and run them through the PHP5 handler.  Problem solved.

    Getting the WordPress blog entries to appear on MySpace also took some trickery.  Since MySpace doesn’t work with RSS feeds from other sources, I had to reference a dynamically created image using the .TIF method again and the PHP script would handle parsing the RSS feed from here and constructing an image based from it and sending that image out.  I’ll make a separate page on here that describes that whole process and source code as I’m sure other WordPress bloggers would be interested.

So, as you can see, I have not been doing nothing.  The next thing I need to do is start waking up at around 7:00am each morning to get myself back on a “normal” schedule. My sleeping habits are so screwed up.. no consistency from day to day and even a few all nighters when I’ve become so involved working on something.  I think I should make my “job” next week to look for a job and to figure out what kind of job do I really want and/or willing to do.  All for now.. 🙂