Once again, I’m well out of date here.

I’ve had a busy year and change! In addition to fighting with multi-month-long health issues, I managed to complete my Master of Information Science at Indiana University in the last class to graduate from its School of Library and Information Science before the merger with the School of Informatics and Computing. I’ve lost over a hundred pounds and gotten a lot healthier, and I’ve accepted a full-time job that keeps me busy doing a lot of talking and traveling. My photo on the front page is now horribly out of date, as is the only before-and-after I have, but I hope to be posting some more information on that in its own blog post. I’ve also switched to a more streamlined design on the site because it was time for something new and updated my resume to reflect my most recent responsibilities, although by no means did I give it an overhaul because I’m not seeking new employment at this time (in fact, I recently found out my position’s funding was extended an extra year, through the end of July 2015, so I won’t be going anywhere for awhile). I also added a Curriculum Vitae page; given that my eventual plan is to get a PhD, it is necessary to maintain a record of presentations and publications with which I can be credited, and thus that list will live here.

I’ve also picked up a new hobby: nail art! In July of 2012 I realized that it was time to think about something I could do to take care of myself as part of an effort to improve my mental health. Since I was beginning to get tired of biting my nails all the time, I decided to use nail art as a way to keep myself from biting them. I haven’t bitten since July and I’ve been painting my nails ever since; they’re still in the recovery phase, however, after 27 years of abuse.

I may have just failed at usability.

I thought I’d come write a blog post reflecting on the semester I’ve just finished. I just went, earlier today, to check my grades (which haven’t been posted yet) on Onestart. Because I’d previously had some issues loading the Student Center that I hadn’t yet resolved, I had to clear my cache and cookies and restart Firefox before I could get in to do that. One of the things I also do as routine maintenance whenever I need to clear my cache and cookies is clear my browsing history as well.

So when I came to log-in to the site, I started by relying on my browsing history to take me to the login page (a link to which does not appear anywhere on the actual site). Nothing was there. I tried a search on the site; nothing. Google was similarly useless to me in finding the login page; I had to dredge through my ACTUAL memory to figure out what the address was. I accomplished that within just a few seconds and arrived here to post about it.

When I excluded the log-in form from my site, I did it as a very conscious choice. I did not wish for anyone other than me to be able to log in to the site. Perhaps that might be discouraging return commenters, but my personal preference is not to have responsibility for even as much information as a standard username and password belonging to the people who comment here. The news has been constantly talking about the PSN breach that occurred recently; I feel that it would be in best conscience to just not have that information on my site. I hope the confirmation process for comments isn’t discouraging people from joining in the discussion.

Now, to make things easier for myself I could include a link to the login somewhere on the page, or I could have a login box placed in a sidebar somewhere for me and me alone. I choose not to employ either of these methods because the inconvenience of remembering where to log in to my WordPress site is far less than it would have to be for it to be worth inconveniencing 99% of the people who use the site.

So I suppose I shall have to rely upon bookmarks from now on. There are worse things that could happen.

In other news, I recently fixed that annoying “extra space between paragraphs” issue with the styling on the site, and everything looks a good deal cleaner now.

WordPress

WordPress is awesome. It allows me to have a much more interesting web site with much less work; the dynamically-generated navigation is worth its weight in gold (assuming such a thing had a weight and that said weight was a lot). I can build a page and place it within the existing hierarchy with little or no trouble.

However, being as I’m not exactly a PHP genius (I rank somewhere around ‘rank novice,’ I’m pretty sure), it can be frustrating sometimes. I just broke comments.php so many times that I wasn’t sure I could ever fix it. But fix it I did – the comment form now displays on only those posts/pages wherein comments are actually allowed. This took far more time than it was probably worth wasting, but given that I actually managed to solve my problem, I’m glad I took the time to do it. Back to actual content, I guess!