Big Changes (It’s Not You, It’s Me)

I’ve been going through a website midlife crisis lately. What started as a small site to store my photos to share with friends and family (because back then, Webshots was the only online option and it…well…it really, really sucked…) has grown, and I’ve done my best to keep up with it. I’ve tried different solutions for storing photos (Coppermine and Gallery2), and different blogging platforms to go along with them. I even used my own hacked together php before blogging software was around!

A few weeks ago I posted about some issues I had to deal with (comment
spam, broken contact form, etc), and in a comment, Kate C pointed me to
Zenphoto. And then it was down the rabbit hole…

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A couple of Administrative Notes

I’m leaving on (another!) backpacking trip tomorrow and have a few administrative tasks I need to do upon my return:

1. The contact page is borked. Somehow I managed to delete part of it so emails won’t send. I’ll restore it/rewrite it soon. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment here if you need to get in touch with me, or go via the contact’ link in the Gallery.

2. I’ve disabled comments in the Gallery for now. I upgraded the software recently and the spam handling is, nicely put, less than optimal. I wrote a short script to kill off the spam comments, but I still have
to run it several times a day to keep up with the spambots, and that’s just not fun. Until I have time to get in there and make my own improvements I am disabling the comments. Old comments are still visible, it’s only new ones that can’t be added.

3. A couple of people have asked me where the header photo was taken. It’s the Mount Whitney ridgeline as seen from Guitar Lake (to the west of the peak).

Okay, enough of this computer mumbo-jumbo. I’m ready to hit the trail.

Gallery2 Upgrade

I need to upgrade my gallery software for some so photos won’t be available tonight.  I hope to have it up and running again before the night is over (she says, knocking on wood).

Update, 7 pm:  It worked just fine, surprisingly (I always screw the simplest things up…).  Photos are now back.

Comments actually work

File under General Geekery:

It came to my attention a while back that the comment submission procedure on Movable Type 4 (and specifically this blog) was less than elegant.  So I turned off the default registration-required settings and set it to allow for anonymous Captcha-filtered comments.  But it turns out that this was even a worse idea because the Captcha didn’t even show up on the comment submission form, leading to unpredictable errors when a comment was submitted.  It went something like this:

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Blog Your Own Blog

When I upgraded to Movable Type 4 several months ago, I wasn’t able to find the time to tweak the style to my liking. I just went with one of the default styles and let it go. I’ve noticed a lot of other Movable Type blogs out there with the same style lately and decided I definitely needed a change. As hikers say, “Hike you own hike,” I say, “blog your own blog.” This week I finally set aside some evening hours to play with the templates a bit and made some changes. The header image is the Whitney Ridge from the west side (sunset view from Guitar Lake) taken from last summer’s John Muir Trail trip – it’s a picture that brings back happy memories of one of my favorite nights on the trail.

I’m still tweaking some CSS (the fonts don’t want to play very nice) and I’ve also added a link to my new wildflowers page in the top navigation (also a work in progress). There will likely be a few more changes since I’m not entirely happy with what I’ve done in a short period of time, but at least I am now unique and no longer using a default Movable Type template.

Apologies to Feed readers

I’ve been sorting through and reorganizing some old posts and galleries on the site, and for some reason this is not playing nice with the RSS feeds.  I’m editing some old posts, updating links or categories, and although this shouldn’t trigger a ‘new’ item in the RSS feed, some entries are doing this (and others aren’t, which is why I am annoyed – difficult troubleshooting).  I’ve only seen two entries go into the feed, while I’ve actually edited close to ten, so I’m just going to accept this as a bug and not deal with it – I hope it doesn’t cause too much trouble to the feed readers.