Verbum Sapienti (or why I ain’t been around much lately)

Why web design is not a sensible career choice for any sane person.

Advice on working nine days straight – Don’t.

I did so the other week – Monday through to Tuesday of the next week – and it almost killed me. I had to take Wednesday off to have enough energy to work Thursday and Friday.

The reason for this sudden burst of endeavor was two extremely annoying websites. The possibility of legal action prevents me from naming or linking to either of them, or even mentioning what they sell *cough-paper-cough* *cough-medical-stuff-cough*, but they’ve both proven to be major, major pains in many and varied parts of my anatomy for the last three months or so.

Well, one of them has been a pain for three months anyway. What started out as a quick cosmetic upgrade has turned into a nightmare of epic proportions based on an ever dwindling budget. The client has generally had no idea what she wants, meaning that I’ve had to keep making change after change until I stumble over something she likes by pure chance. Also, in the cases where she actually does have some idea what she wants she seems completely unable to articulate it effectively over the phone or by email – so the only way to get things done is to schedule meetings. And then when we’ve actually had meetings I’ve been useless because – well, to be frank – there’s just something about her in person that I can’t pin down but which I find extremely distracting. So I sit there nodding and smiling as she explains things while concentrating on concentrating on the job, as a consequencence of which I’m unable to concentrate on anything. So the job has bloated out on time, cost and stress, and my life over the last three months has been fairly hellish.

The other job is for a perfectionist client who knows absolutely nothing about computers or websites. The kind of client who wants the site to look exactly the same on all platforms and screen resolutions, who wants to know why the ‘print’ button doesn’t result in an exact facsimilie of the screen dropping out of his printer, who complains that (after you’ve moved heaven, earth and budget to set up a print only stylesheet) his huge long page of blather won’t fit on a single sheet of A4. You know, your standard client from hell. It doesn’t help that he’s a big guy (quite tall, a little on the heavy side and with a big frame to start with) with a booming voice and a tendancy to drop into the office unannounced every single day. It’s like being the Bursar (or is it the Dean? I always get those two mixed up) at UU when the Archchancellor decided all he needed was a good shock to sort him out. If the office had any dried frog pills I’d be mainlining them.

Anyway, finally both clients seem to happy with their sites, and both should go live this week. So now I’ll have more time free to devote to all the things that have been on the backburner for months. Like all the other websites that have been collecting around me like planes waiting for a runway at Heathrow. *sigh*.

Of course I have managed to fit some non-work stuff in as well. Like spending far too much money on CDs. This is because there’s quite a few CDs I’ve been wanting to get my hands on, and I’ve finally had the money and a reasonable excuse to do so – throwing together another mix-cd for Helen and Ali. Of course I’ve gone a bit overboard (as usual) and it looks like it might end up being a double CD to fit all the songs on. Which could be a good thing or bad thing depending on how you look at it. In any case my recent CD purchases (which total in excess of $150) include albums and singles by such luminaries as Magic Dirt, The Waifs, Darren Hanlon, Shivaree, Architecture in Helsinki, Charlotte Hatherley, Missy Higgins, They Might be Giants, the Dresden Dolls, the Caesars, Soulwax, Moby, Clare Bowditch, The Delgados, The Bravery, Mylo, Halogen and the Greenskeepers (hey, it could be worse, at least there’s no My Chemical Romance 😉

(I have no idea who My Chemical Romance are by the way, they just seem to be mentioned any time anyone’s picking on Emos so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon 🙂

(Not that I have anything against Emos – ten years younger and I might be one)

(scary thought)

(I’ll stop putting everything in brackets now)

I’ve also been wasting time on the computer (no, really?) compiling a definitive Hellboy timeline, designing a Dalek army for Warhammer 40k and writing a Clacks Tower simulator in Javascript (you know, type in a message, hit “transmit” and watch it clack away). I did this last one for the challenge, and the rest because I’m a lonely and sad individual who needs to get out more 😀 None of them are ready for release to the public yet, but the first one did result in me rewriting Wikipedia’s BPRD article, since the one they had up there (uncovered during research) was rather dodgy and had some truly awful grammar. So you can go and marvel at my prose – assuming no one’s written over it yet.

(And will Dr Who/40k purists at least wait to see the results before hunting down and killing me? Thank you.)

Of course, speaking of the good Doctor there was the Inside the Tardis event at Burswood a few weeks back, which was pretty awesome (I did say lonely and sad before didn’t I? ;D). Colin Baker in particular was hilarious. And he had funky red shoes. Oh, and Tim Fegurson wasn’t as objectionable as one might expect. I’m not going to carry on about it here because it probably deserves it’s own write up – if I ever get around to writing it that is.

Since the last time I did a decent write up I’ve also seen some movies – specifically Star Wars Episode III with Katie, and The Yes Men with Rebecca. Everything that can possibly have been said about Star Wars has no doubt been said by now, so I won’t carry on about it except to say that it was pretty damn good 🙂 Actually I may carry on about it a bit, but later. The Yes Men was also really good – but then any movie where people travel across the world to impersonate World Trade Organisation delegates, complete with a giant, inflatable, golden phallus has to be good, doesn’t it? 🙂

So, that’s a pretty comprehensive round up of the last few months. How about that then?

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