As I mentioned a few posts ago, this site has received a major theme overhaul. Aside from a couple form element styles, this change was mostly structural and behind-the-scenes. The new theme is my first foray into using the SASS CSS preprocessing language. Let me tell you, it was a revelation. SASS allows you to write CSS using a super-clean tabbed coding style and (finally) allows the use variables and expressions in styles.
Robert Gomez's blog
Well, recently I've been trying to learn how to use SASS for styling Web pages and have kinda fallen in love with it. So here is my first go at it in the form of a new site template. Not much has changed visually, but, trust me, there have been a ton of changes behind the scenes. I will post more about this and the trials of retrofitting a Drupal theme for SASS sometime in the near future. In the meantime, look at the neat comments buttons I made!
I've been having some technincal issues with this site lately. Strange links to content within the site have been appearing at random. I would insert a hyperlink to an archived post and then, days later, I would come back to see that the URL has been rewritten with a random sub-domain prefix. My domain would appear as www.wqw.robertgomez.org or similar.
So, here we are post mid-term Republican take-over of the legislature. As one might expect, my Facebook feed been awash with bitter and angry lefty losers (Although it hasn't been quite as bad as I expected. I guess the election outcome was not much of a shock). Posts range from the typical "I don't know anyone who would have voted for these monsters" to expected sour-grapes cries of cheating, etc. Fortunately, there were none of the usual calls to violence and injury as I have seen in the past:
Taking a break from my usual and completely unnecessary review posts, I thought I'd take a moment get a little technical. This site and many others I have developed use the Drupal open-sourced content management system. Drupal is great. It's incredibly flexible, powerful and yet moderately easy to use if you have a little Web design experience.
Other systems I have used in the past, including Microsoft Sharepoint and Wordpress, don't hold a candle to Drupal. Sharepoint is an abomination and the only reason you should ever use it for a public facing Web site is if you work at Megacorp, Inc. and some idiot I.T. guy bought it as part of a multi-million dollar corporate enterprise package. Customizing Sharepoint is an exercise in futility and self-immolation. Just assume that your clean standards-compliant code with get destroyed and converted into a stew of redundant tags and impossible-to-style markup. Wordpress is much better than that but it still falls short of Drupal when it comes to customizing your content types and controlling look and feel. You can hardly do anything custom in Wordpress without having to hand code PHP. Simple tasks like adding an extra field to a post-type are just a pain and require some sort of third-party plugin (of which there are many and all of them do it differently). The only area where Wordpress is better than Drupal is in installing and updating plugins and core systems. Drupal is getting better at this, but it still has a way to go to match the ease of use that Wordpress offers.
For all my Drupal love, it still isn't perfect right out of the box. Any Drupal install is going to require also installing a number of add-on modules to get your site fully reach its potential. So here is a list of the modules that I will include in every Drupal site that I create.
It was a rainy Halloween here in Chicago so my usual program of manning the front door, blasting creepy sound effects records and watching old (mildly) kid-friendly horror movies was cut a little shorter than usual. I did manage to watch Mario Bava's Baron Blood. Not his best work but it has its moments. If you think burnt pilgrims are scary, this is the movie for you.
I managed to watch a couple more Halloween themed films this weekend. This included another Fulci film, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, which I rank as his best along side The Beyond. Unlike most of his other work, this one is tightly plotted and suspenseful. It features a bunch of deranged hippies, surreal dream sequences, a fantastic Morricone score and a compelling performance by David Horowitz of TV's Fight Back:
Each year around this time I always tell myself that I am going to watch a different horror movie every night in the lead-up to Halloween. I never seem to get around to it and end up cramming two or three films in at the last minute—usually Halloween evening while the rest of the family is out trick or treating. Well, this year I have managed to be a little more on top of things. Especially now since we have a DVD-ready laptop positioned in front of my treadmill. There's nothing like a bit of Fulci close-up gore to motivate the fat burning.
Okay, how about this: I just spent around a week updating this site and, in order to celebrate(?), I'm going to hold a little contest. I get a little trickle of traffic every day and I am always wondering if anyone actually reads this stuff.
Well, I've finally decided to upgrade this site to the latest verison of Drupal. The actual process of migrating to version 7 wasn't too bad. The majority of issues came from Views and fields not being named or typed the same way they were in Drupal 6. Changing all the views by hand was not that difficult and it allowed me to do a bit of how cleaning withing views. Views in Drupal 7 is sooooo much better!
After years of searching through record bins and online auction sites I have finally purchased a copy of The Golding Institute's Sounds of the International Airport Restrooms! This was Planet Pimp's final release and it has become the rarest title from that catalog. I am not sure why this one became so hard to find but I think when Sven-Erik decided to close shop he ending up destroying a lot of his stuff (just a guess).
Another year has passed here at the Pages of Fun so it's time for my annual assessment of the year in media consumption. This was a pretty underwhelming year for movies. If it wasn't for The Hobbit, which squeaked in at the last minute, there would have been no stand-out films for me this past year. To be honest, I haven't really been keen on getting out to see movies for a while. I did love the Icons of Suspense DVD collection I bought even though I didn't rate the individual movies that highly. I need to seek out more obscure foreign horror films this year.
I had thought that the whole occupy Wall Street thing had lost all its steam but then some cop had go and kick it up a notch by spraying a little peppery spice. Bam! All the sudden pepper spray policeman has become a rallying point for the OWS supporters. I suppose this is good for the cause, because, frankly, up until now they haven't had any sort of unifying message around which to rally. Personally, despite my general agreement about wall street bailouts and corporate cronyism, I never was a big fan of the movement.