Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Site Designs

I've been working on several new web site designs for Otter Creations. Those won't be for sale, since they're custom designs, but they were fun to create.

All the more so as they're all in WordPress 3.1.

A bit of a headache to bend it to my will (people who write tutorials assume a lot of knowledge from their readers, and of course their minds never work like mine), but as usual, the reward when it all comes together is worth a little chair dance.

The first one is a future blog on the late Hunter S. Thompson -- as writer, not the notorious Hunter S., it's being done enough. I'll let the blog speak for itself when it goes live, I'm only doing the layout and maintenance.

Right -- because the minimalist design for this one was done by Royal Jelly, who also does other graphic arts like T-Shirts and totes and cards.

Then I had some fun with my graphic tablet, which I don't use nearly enough. Well, that's going to change.

And that has to do with the big computer crash and the new computer acquisition and other geekery. Windows 7 is much more tablet-friendly than XP. I'm still learning the tricks, but it definitely lets me do more and better with the tablet. See me rubbing my hands in glee.

So I did some tracing and some font-searching and some layering and some other fun stuff. And there was the dialogue with the "client" (this was another in-house job so to speak, but Otter Creations takes every one of its sites seriously).

And finally the update to is in the works. Just because I wanted to play. Well, and because updating the site had become a big pain in the... sit-upon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unexpected Benefits

Well, the old computer died, and I've been setting up the new computer. Hence my disappearance.

However, all these weeks of geek heaven and new desktop gadgets, new OS and re-installing everything (and I'm not done yet!) didn't prevent me from going on my daily walks with Percy the Puppy.

And reaping some unexpected benefits.

I knew I had to exercise. Like so many people I hate exercise. I don't hate movement. In fact, I rather enjoy certain types of sports. Give me access to a horse and the leisure to spend time at the stables, and I'll get up before dawn to take advantage of the opportunity.

No, really. I've done it. I would do it again.

But life gets in the way of the best possible solution, and the ideal exercise is totally impractical.

So now I have a puppy. And I walk the puppy.

True, I knew that by getting -- well, going with the "get a puppy" scheme, I would be signing up for daily walks, at least once-daily, and I was fine with that. After all, I am under doctor's orders to exercise daily (who isn't?).

So I expected that I would feel a little better. And that I would make my doctor happy. Nothing much.

But there's more involved in walking a puppy than just taking him outside and strolling for 15 minutes. That is, if I want to survive a day until the family gets home with my sanity intact. So 30 to 40mn of daily, energetic walks, more on the weekends, is what I end up doing.

The unexpected benefits? Oh, sure, the usual, more energy, more enthusiasm, better overall good-feeling.

But there's more. Walking really is a complete exercise. Stay tuned for more about "walking with Percy."