WIP – Work In Progress

As you can see, this blog is still a WIP. I’m planning to put my portfolio and resume back into WordPress. I’m actually thinking about changing “Portfolio” to “Projects” to allow me to better encompass all the work that I do. To me, Portfolio represents finished work and usually is more design oriented. As a Front-end Developer, I tend to work with sites that have most of the design already done. Not to mention some of my best work is in projects that aren’t “done” either because they were shelved or we’re waiting on the client, etc. Also projects is a little more informal, allowing me to simply blog about my work instead of waiting to formalize everything.

I’m using a free theme, which is fairly sparse, so I’ll try to add some color and icons and bits of design here and there to spruce it up. I don’t want to take much away from the content, but it needs some love.

In the meantime I’ll be making sure my sitemaps, analytics, and basic SEO is up and running. Just installed WordPress SEO by Yoast, now moving on to some contact forms (maybe Wufoo), Disqus, etc. Any other suggested plugins?

And we’re back!

Well, it took a year for me to recover from my blog being hacked, but my blog is finally back. A lot has happened since my last post. I got married to my best friend, I started a blog about the Fiat 500 Abarth, and I moved (down the street). After my blog was hacked I decided it was easier and more productive to turn simpixelated.com into a permanent resume. It has served me well, but I’m currently at a job I love and I want to start blogging again.

At SiteGoals we have a lot going on, that’s for sure. We’re creating a project management application that will help our current business, but we think its so good that we can sell it to other agencies like ourselves. So that consumes much of my thoughts during the week. It took several years, but we’re finally at the point where it actually does something very useful and we’re getting close to launching a very limited beta, hopefully by the end of the year. So we’ve started to look into marketing and the whole launch process, which thankfully, has been covered by hundreds of very successful application developers already.

I’m also finally making a little bit of money from blogging, all with AdSense on my blog about the Fiat 500 Abarth. It definitely took a significant amount of time to set up and develop to the point it is now, but at this point it literally requires no time to continue to make money. However to make it grow, I still have to invest an hour a day or so on content development, or improving the design, or social media marketing. But it is essentially at the point where it is cruising and it only requires additional effort if I want to grow it larger, which is great. I’m now looking into how to replicate the minor success into multiple blogs so that I can start to build a portfolio of passive income. Exciting times indeed!

Long Time No Blog

Birth. School. Work. Death. That’s how my cynical co-worker paraphrases life. Sometimes I have to agree. So many things happen on a daily basis, but when I sit down to write about them, all I can think to say is, “School. Work.” I guess the biggest news is that my girlfriend, moved away to start her own business. It is definitely sad times around here without her. I pretty much spent all my free time with her everyday up until a week before she left. So it has been very weird without her, sort of like we’re both on vacation or something. I want the time until I visit her to pass by as quickly as possible.

A Look Back at PAC

A week from today it will have been a year since pacult.com closed shop. Can time really have flown by that fast? Well, I’ll skip the cliché’s because obviously, it has. When we (Kristin, Bill and I) made the decision to close the forum and by extension the entire site, we talked of recreating it from the ground up. That, also obviously, has not happened. In fact other than a few times shortly after the closing we haven’t talked about the website at all. Everyone pretty much moved on. I was so shocked, annoyed, frustrated, and hurt by the reaction from the community that I distanced myself from it for almost a year now. I think we’ve both been better off for it. But am I still the people’s enemy? I wonder, but not enough to ask them. I also wouldn’t want to open any old wounds.

However I did make a visit to their site today, just to see how things are going. Thanks to the community and to Skorpion and Paladin specifically it seems, the forum appears to be humming along quite nicely. I’m glad to see that; I really am! Because I’m human, I couldn’t help but search for my own name. Nothing has been spoken of me since November as far as I can tell, which is fine. The last post was made by Paladin and it reads like so:

“Did you know that Sim has all the stuff he did for PAC on his resume? Not sure I’d think that was very impressive as an employer. Maybe the kind of work he does it makes sense to put it on there but it seems a little cheesy to me. I think he is going through a rough patch right now.”

That made me laugh at first but it also really bothered me. Why should it? It’s just some stupid comment that he probably doesn’t remember typing, but for some reason it gave me this terrible feeling in my stomach like I’d just been kicked in the balls by a small child. I think it bothers me so because it seems to reflect the attitude that a lot of people had about the Cult. They didn’t respect the work that we (again, mostly Kristin, Bill and I) did for it. Because they spent a couple hours a day chatting with their friends, a lot of people felt they had more ownership over the site than we did. While I agree that they were and still are the community and that the site would have been dead years ago without them, I still don’t see how that entitles them to ownership of the site that Tycho paid for, that Bill’s dad hosted, that Bill built from the ground up, that I invented, and that Kristin dedicated her time to running.

I understand that it was a low blow out of nowhere to shut down their favorite forum with little notice and I wish I hadn’t done that. If I could go back in time I would definitely change the way it was handled. But to this day I cannot understand how certain people can say that we “took” something from them by closing our website. We closed down a phpbb forum. It only took a couple days for Skorpion to put up a new one (on his own dime I assume). The community popped right back up! It was impossible for us to destroy the community because it was and still is an entity far out of our control. The only thing we “took” was an address. I can’t believe that would incite such venom.

After reflecting on all this for the first time in months, I came to a realization as to why it all bothers me so much. I believe that most of the forum members used to respect me. I think I earned it by the amount of free time that I put into the website from its creation to closure. Well I lost all of the respect I had built over those six years in one fell swoop. And it hurts to see people that I respected turn around and disrespect me. I can only hope that by being forced to run the community themselves, they have gained a little bit of respect back for the work we did.

Oh and to address Paladin’s post (unfortunately seven months late), yes, putting all the stuff I did for PAC on my resume did help me land the job I’ve been at for the past two years. Since I only had one real previous job working as housekeeping for a hotel, I needed something more pertinent on there. I figured it would relate since I was applying for web design work and as it turns out, I talked about it for half the interview and I’m pretty sure it helped get me hired. So no, I’m not going through a rough patch right now.

For anyone from the old forums who actually reads this: I’m glad the community is still alive, I thank you for the years of entertainment you provided, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Television’s warm glowing warming glow.

I watch way too much television. I used to be pretty disciplined: The Office and Lost were pretty much my only indulgences. But Lost, The Sopranos, and Entourage are all back at the same time and I just can’t stop watching any of them, no matter how far many people think they’ve fallen. The more I cook the more I want to pay attention to Iron Chef and Good Eats, which really are the only good shows on the Food Network. Somehow I got sucked into watching the second half of The Apprentice this season (Stefani is the only one left that I wouldn’t like to see fired, although Frank is very entertaining). Karen got me addicted to America’s Next Top Model, which I pretty much consider The Natasha Show (for those who know). Oh and I can’t forget Ugly Betty. Plus I just bought season one of Arrested Development on DVD. Do I have a problem?

If you make a comment on this post, you have to include your list of currently watched programs (i.e. still in production) so that I can compare.

Listen to a Movie

If you sit at a computer all day, say working in an office like I do, you probably listen to the radio or CDs or podcasts, or something audible in nature to help pass the time. My work involves updating a lot of webpages, which usually consists of adding or deleting a line of text or sometimes messing with fonts and colors. So the majority of my work doesn’t take a lot of deep thinking. This means that I have my headphones on throughout the day. Unfortunately I crave something more engaging than just music. I get enough background music at home and in the car. Rob, Arnie, & Dawn have been my staple audio meal since I discovered they posted MP3s online. Unfortunately I consume their daily handful of clips rather quickly. I listen to PTI whenever they talk about something besides baseball, but that’s still only 20 minutes per day. I already plowed through the Ricky Gervais archives. So what’s left?

I was loading up my musical playlist with disdain until someone linked this wonderful site from the Something Awful forums (which provides all the visual entertainment I need during breaks). The site is called Listen to a Movie and the title is very descriptive of its function. I couldn’t be happier being able to listen to The Big Lewboski while I work. They have also posted a bunch of stand-up comedy DVDs which are perfect for this. The best part is that it’s all free and streams very quickly.

Time Flies

I suppose I should update this “blog”. Time flies as the saying goes, so I haven’t been keen on writing stuff down. What’s new in the life of Mr. Sim you ask? Well I have been reading financial/motivational books as of late. Namely Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Richest Man in Babylon, and Conversations with Millionaires. If you haven’t read them yourself, I really recommend you do; great books! I am also seriously investigating cologne for the first time in my life. I’ve been playing a lot of the Settlers II, NBA 2K7, and I fell in love with Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (even though I was expecting to get Deadly Alliance; the guy gave me the wrong game, but I’m not complaining because Monks is much better than I ever expected from an MK game). New Years was actally pretty great this year. That is all.

What It Is

I love my job; I’m relearning PHP and getting paid to do it! I just found out today that the sample database I’m building is going to turn into the actual database they use. Originally they just wanted me to see how feasible it would be to plop this gigantic Word document/small telephone book into a database but it has turned out so well that they want me to keep designing the entire thing. Since they don’t have PHP on their normal servers (and most of them don’t understand what it is), they gave me my own server to host it on. I feel bad for whoever ends up converting this thing into ASP two or three years down the road.

Since John (another student intern) left I haven’t worked on a project this big, so it’s great to be able to do something more than just cut and paste text changes on HTML pages. Aside from just designing and filling the database, I’m also creating user pages to display and sort the information and admin pages to let people who have no idea what PHP or MySQL are edit, add, and delete everything in the database. Honestly, aside from the Cult I think this is the biggest project I have been a part of and I am pretty much the only one doing the work, which is both daunting and thrilling at the same time.

About Sunny

Sunny was a proud dog, the proudest I’ve ever personally known. A couple pats, a couple scratches was all she needed to be content with attention. Her independence was not to be confused with negligence however, as the Jacksons doted on her like a third child. She enjoyed the finest table scraps (including her choice of cheeses, of which provolone was not one), long walks around a neighborhood built for dogs, and the love of a fine family. Although I poked fun at her stature, I was always pleasantly surprised by her friendly demeanor in the face of such slights. She was a good dog that I shall not forget.

Notable Permutation

I think I just may want to be a writer.

As you can tell I am not very certain about the subject. Since before I even started college I have wanted to be a web designer and I still love web design. But the best path for me to become one is no longer available to me. Whether because of my own ineptitude, laziness, or some strange twist of fate, I was unable to pass the required lower-division courses necessary to become an official Graphic Design major in my two-and-a-half years at Sacramento State. At this point it seems silly to keep trying.

So for the past couple months I have been waffling between alternate majors in my mind. Although Journalism has always been my fallback choice, I just came to a realization today that I actually hate the news and never want to become a journalist in the classic sense. I want to write for a magazine, write a script, design video games, and talk about sports. I do not and will not cover the news. I am beginning to think English is a major more suited for me. The vast amount of classes required for the major is indeed daunting, but with a focus in Creative Writing I think I will enjoy it far more than I would a class on copy writing, or the ethics of Journalism. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I also think a BA in English holds a little more weight and a lot more potential career diversity than a BA in Journalism.

So for now, in the imaginary registration office in my head, I am an English major. Wish me luck in my new path of study! Now I just need to start writing.