Shortly after I first integrated my Flickr photos into jeffcroft.com (using Flickr’s awesome API), the photo sharing site added geocoding features, letting members tag photos with latitude and longitude information. Being someone who is obsessed with metadata, taxonomy, and the like, I quickly and meticulously geocoded my photos.
I wanted to incorporate that geo data in some interesting way here at jeffcroft.com, but the fact that I was (at the time) using dead-end code for this site (I planned to re-write it all) made me hold off until I’d finished the new version.More
What it is: 2006 is over. I’m not sure I’m happy about this. 2006 proved to be the single best year of my life (possibly excepting 1995, when my daughter was born), and I’m a little hesitant to move on.
But move on, I shall. But not before I look back on some of the moments that made 2006 so great for me personally.More
I’m heading off to Vegas early Tuesday morning for a vacation with the family (and girlfriend, as well). I know, it’s an odd place to spend Thanksgiving. But, I will be with my family, which is basically an entire lot of 1-800-BETS-OFF failures. And besides, it’s not like it’s a religious holiday — who says I can’t spend it in Sin City? I’ve never been there before, so I’m looking forward to it.
So, before I go, I’ve got several little tidbits, stream-of-conscious style.More
All my life I’ve been told I should vote. I’ve been told it’s my duty and obligation to vote. I’ve been told to rock the vote. Voting is the right thing to do. I’m not buying it. Voting is just like everything else: if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you just probably either learn or shut the hell up.More
With work on Pro CSS Techniques winding down, I’m starting to have a bit more spare time on my hands. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still busy with the day job and a few other projects — but I’m finally able to stop and take a breath every once in a while, which wasn’t the case a few weeks ago.
So, what am I doing with my new found spare time? Well besides the obvious answers (spending more time with Michelle and Haley, consuming more booze, and watching more TV), I’m trying to get better at web design. So, in no particular order, here are five things I’m either doing or planning to do in the next several months to hone my craft.More
I’ve never rebooted before. Oh, I’ve redesigned, but never on May 1st, and never as part of an official Internet-wide ordeal. But this year, the timing seemed right and I was inspired enough to follow through, so here you have it.
I started working on this shortly after I got back from South By Southwest this year. That event was so inspiring, I knew I had to do something special. I had a million ideas and goals for this site, and most of them actually managed to make it in. I hope you all like it.
In this post, which happens to be my 400th, I offer an overview of some of those goals, what I’ve done to accomplish them, and other things I think are worth noting (because I made them, and I’m an egomaniac).More
I had kind of sworn off blog memes like this, but Ryan Brill tagged me with this one, and I’ve decided to do it for two reasons: one, I haven’t had much to say latley and it’s a great excuse to get a fresh post on here, and two, this one is fairly personal and might be interesting since I don’t tend to post a lot of really personal stuff. So, thank you Ryan…here goes…
Where was I one year ago?
A year ago (2005, age 28), I was living in Manhattan, KS and working at Kansas State University. I was dissapointed to have not gotten to go to South By Southwest, and I was in the process of splitting up with my girlfriend Michelle, whom I have since gotten back together with (yay!). My main axe at the time was a 15” Powerbook G4. I was having a lot of fun (maybe too much?) in Manhattan’s Aggieville district and generally enjoying life. It was a great period, but since then, I’ve realized that I want a bit more out of life than just enjoyment (although I’m still a fun-loving guy who is always ready for a party), and I’m trying to dedicate my spare cycles (as my old boss at K-State would say) to interesting projects and relationships that are important to me.More
Hopefully I’ll get this finished quickly, as I’m typing it on a realitlvey short layover in Dallas on my way home from Austin. But, I figured if I didn’t do it now, it’d never get done.
The rest of the trip was just as great as the start. It was so awesome to meet everyone and put faces to names I’ve known for so long. It really is a bit surreal to, as Inman put it, “have breakfast with your blogroll.”
I’ll follow up this post with a general “what I took from SXSW” one, which should be much more interesting, but in the interim, here’s a recap of the panels and events I hit during the second half of the trip.More
Like the rest of the blogging community, I’m down in Austin now for South by Southwest Interactive 2006. My apologies for not pasting about the event more regularly — it’s been a whirlwind down here. It’s apparently been a whirlwind back home, too — litteraly. The town I live in, Lawrence, KS, was hit by tornados and wind storms yesterday, causing quite a bit of damage. Michelle checked my house and said everything was fine there, so that’s comforting.
The trip has been amazing. Wilson Miner and I got up well before dawn Friday morning to get the airport in time to catch our 6:45 flight. We got to Austin about 11:40am, got some lunch, got our badges, and hung out at the hotel a bit figuring out what we wanted to do. About 5:00, we went out to Sixth Street and met James Asher at a pub. At 6:00, we headed over to a club called Six, where the Friday Night Mix party was being held. Cool club, quite a few people there, good (free) food and (free) drinks. After that, we wandered over to the Ginger Man, where everyone was. Met a ton of people there. Great time! We wandered over to Buffalo Billards, but we denied at the door — apparently you needed a Film badge, not Interactive. Mike Davidson told me the next day I “was on the list” — but that doesn’t get you very far if you don’t know you’re on the list. :)More
1&1 Internet (which might also be called 1 and 1 Internet or 1 & 1 Internet) is a piss-poor excuse for a service company, and I advise you to never use them for your web hosting, web site hosting, webhosting, internet service provider, or as your webhost. 1&1 Internet has possibly the worst customer support of any company I have ever dealt with in any industry. What follows is an e-mail I sent them this past weekend, to which I (of course) got no response from 1&1, not even from Andreas Gauger (Chairman of the Board), Ralph Dommermuth (Founder, CMO and CEO of United Internet, 1&1 Internet’s parent company), Achim Weiss (CTO).
What follows is an e-mail I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, which (of course) went compleltley unanswered, in regard to the twenty seven (27) hours of downtime I had here at jeffcroft.com (and several other sites I host) late last week.
Update: About an hour after posting this, I got a response from 1&1 offering me a free month of hosting. Hard to say if this post had anything to do with it, but it sure feels a little contrived to me. While I wouldn’t really say they’ve made up for the frustration I dealt with, at least they did something. The e-mail they sent me is now included here, as well. Update #2 (March 4th): A week later, this entry is now the fourth result on a Google search for “1&1 Internet”. I don’t feel the least bit guilty. I gave them plenty of opportunity to make things right, and they wouldn’t do it (sorry, a free month isn’t good enough).More
…they’d like to toss my way? :)More
- Packed up a good 85% of my stuff in preparation for my impending move to Lawrence (I’m moving this upcoming Saturday).
- Went out with Ben and Kara Friday night, the highlight of which was a tipsy Kara dropping her cell phone, in mid-call no less, straight into her drink. Hilarity ensued.
- Went out with Michelle, James, and Becky on Saturday. We had a lot of fun, I’d say.
- Watched all of the first season and almost all of the second season of HBO’s Entourage because someone told me I’d love it. While I’m not sure I love it, it is definitely pretty entertaining. Jeremy Piven is a riot. Overall, I’m glad I watched it — I’ll finish catching up this week and probably start watching regularly.
What did you do with your three-day weekend (if, in fact, you got a three-day weekend)?More
Somehow, I’ve managed to win the Superbowl in both fantasy football leagues I played in this year. This is amazing to me, because I’ve been playing fantasy football for four years, in two leagues every year — and before this year I’d only ever made one championship game. This year alone, I made, and won, two. Crazy.
In my “friends” league — a no-money league on Yahoo! with a bunch of real-life buddies — I drafted well and was carried through the season by Shaun Alexander and Chad Johnson. I finished 14-2, losing my first game of the season and then going on an eight game win streak before losing again.
In my “web folks” league — a little-bit-of-money-involved league with several web designers/developers (myself, Mike Davidson, Paul Scrivens, Andrei Herasimchuk, D. Keith Robinson, Wilson Miner, Mike Rundle, Kareem Mayan, Josh Williams, Mike Hill, Abel Rios, Josh Dura, Matt May, Mike Papageorge, Jeremy Flint, Keith Hall, Robert Occhialini, Paul Mayne, Dirk Knemeyer, and Chris Kavinsky), I rode draftees Ladainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates through the first several weeks and then traded for Larry Johnson before Priest Holmes got injured. I also managed to pick up Brad Johnson after Culpepper got injured. While not great, this shored up what was an awful Q. situation (I had a rotation of Tim Rattay, David Carr, and A.J. Feely going to that point). L.J. carried me through the stretch run and the playoffs and into the championship game, where I defeated a shorthanded Scrivs (he failed to log in and set his lineup — which will surely “taint” my victory). I finished 12-4, winning 10 of my last 11 after a 1-3 start.
It was a fun fantasy season — thanks to everyone who played with me for a good time! :)More
It’s time for a new chapter in my life, it would seem. Last night I accepted a Senior Designer position working for The World Company in Lawrence, KS.
Many of you probably know of World Online’s work. They are responsible for several sites that have won bunches of awards and gotten a lot of accolades in the journalism industry, including LJWorld.com (home of the Lawrence Journal-World, local newspaper), Lawrence.com (a community site with associated print publication that features info on Lawrence’s nightlife and music scene, podcasts, blogs, and more), and KUSports.com (sports news site for all things Jawhawk). You may also be familiar with a sweet little framework they’ve built and open-sourced, name of Django.More
Since I’ve not posted in a bit, I thought I’d take a moment to report that I’ll be in Austin, TX from Sunday to Tuesday for the JA-SIG winter conference. For those who don’t know, JA-SIG is a group that organizes open source Java projects targeted at Universities. At K-State we are utilizing their portlet framework, uPortal.
It’s a short trip and I’m not sure I’ll have much time for socializing, but if anyone knows of a couple of hotspots I should try to hit that are reasonably close to the Capitol Marriott (I will not have a car and can’t afford to spend a ton on cab fares), let me know. Can’t promise I’ll get there, but I’ll try! I understand Sixth Street is only a few blocks from the hotel, so I imagine I’ll try to check it out. Should be fun to be in town the day after the Longhorns secured their spot in the national championship game.
For those of you in Austin that are dying to meet me (yeah, right), I’ll be there again in March for SXSWi, and I expect to be a whole lot more social on that trip. :)More
From left: Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, signature models, all by Powell-Perallta Skateboards. What can I say? I was brand-loyal, even way back then.More
Bluff magazine, a popular poker rag, has re-printed my blog post on building a Texas Hold ‘Em style poker table (slighty edited, of course) — by far the most popular and most commented-on post ever at jeffcroft.com. Pictures and all! I was pretty excited about it, as it was always a childhood fantasy to be a writer. Getting an article published in a magazine is something I’ve always wanted to do. So, if you’re at the newstand, pop open the June/July issue of Bluff and turn to page 80 (that ass crack, by the way, is not mine). :)More
You can thank Keith for this one…
On a typical day I wake up, wash the pomade from my butt dimples and put on my dickie. I say goodbye to Beyoncé and I skateboard to Aggieville where I am an interaction designer. I feel giddy about what I do, sure Iâd rather be an NFL General Manager in Budapest, but this pays the bills and buys me lots of gadgets that I can swallow.
I break for lunch and draw with .sara over a gargantuan plate of magic mushrooms. A quick jaunt to da club to headbutt with Mike Davidson, whoâs a total catwoman, and itâs back to the grind, until 3:45 when I jump in my bitchin’ Jaredigital Pink hooptie and head for home.
My evening is spent exfoliating and listening to Prince while handspringing around the laundry room wishing I was J to tha Z (not to be confused with Jay-Z) and drinking all sorts of gin and juice (laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind). Then itâs off to bed where I dream of blogs and Dave Shea in a pair of pasties.
Hello again, everyone. I hope you’re all still out there. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I was quite sick for almost three weeks, which kept me off the computer in my space time. I got healthy again last week, and have been catching up ever since. Here are a few tidbits worth noting today:
I saw SIN CITY this weekend with Michelle, and I really enjoyed it. It’s probably not for everyone, but I thought Rodriguez really captured the essence of a comic book (actually, graphic novel in this case) and translated it very well to the screen. The flick is extraordinarily violent, but much of the violence is portrayed in a sort-of not-quite-real way, a bit like in KILL BILL. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie that is as action-packed from beginning to end. SIN CITY never lets up. It’s a lot of fun. I recommend it.
Adobe buys Macromedia
Wow, this one’s a shocker. Who saw this coming? I think the general feeling out there is that there are more things to be concerned about here than excited about. Exciting is the possibility for integration of SVG and PDF into Flash. Concerning is what this means for the future of Fireworks, which has become the web designer’s graphics app of choice. Hopefully Adobe will recognize that it has always held the upper hand in print, photo editing, and video, but Macromedia has clearly dominated the web, multimedia, and interactive markets. That is to say, I hope Adobe takes Dreamweaver and gives it a few of GoLive’s features, rather than the other way around.
Safari gone wild
In recent days, David Hyatt has been updating his blog like mad, mostly related to the Acid2 test and his modifications to Safari to make it pass. It’s awesome how much effort David is willing to put into making Safari the best browser on any platform.
That having been said, the recent release (1.3) that come with Mac OS 10.3.9 seems to have broken my opacity cleverness in my Flickr box on the sidebar. Using Mac OS 10.3.8, I went from 80% opacity to 100% on hover for those thumbnails. Now, Safari balks, flashing the image for a second before it goes blank. This could well be a problem in my code, but it works fine in Firefox and was working before in Safari. I’ll have to do a little troubleshooting to see if I can’t figure it out.
Hopefully, from here, I’ll be back to my normal posting schedule. My apologies for the lack of recent updates, and my thanks for sticking with me!More
If you’re one of the many who are drooling over the brand new Sony PSP, released today, don’t forget that you can get on free (and help me get one, too), through Gratis’ FreePSPs.com. I’ll just leave it at that — no more begging, I swear. :)More
As most of my peers (or at least fantasy football competitors) spent their weekend traveling, blogging, getting their geek on, and partying in Austin, I was relegated to my usual: Aggieville. Not that I’m complaining. I had a great weekend, actually. I admit to being jealous of yous that are in Longhorn-land right now, but I’m making the best of it.More
Hello all. Just wanted to drop a quick note to say that I apologize for the lack of updates recently. I’ve been pretty busy with client work, and frankly, haven’t had a whole lot to say. I’ll get back to the usual mad posting schedule as soon as possible.
My free Mac mini showed up today, proving once again that Gratis is legit. I’m still waiting on my free iPod shuffle, though — seems the supply is pretty low. Having gotten a free iPod and Mac mini, I’m confident I will get the shuffle, too — I just don’t know when.
Finally, since I’ve been getting e-mails about it, i want to let everyone know that I’m not going to SXSW. I really, really wanted to but it just didn’t work out with my work schedule. I hope everyone has fun there next week, and I hope to see plenty of party pictures in your various flickr accounts. Someone should take a picture holding a sign that says, “We wish you were here, Croft.” It would really make my day. Especially if the person holding the sign was naked. That would be funny.More
Today my order at FreeMiniMacs.com was secured. I also have an order in for FreeiPodShuffle.com. Both products are delayed, but it looks like I should eventually get one of each, thanks in large part to a number of you who helped me out by doing referrals. So, I just wanted to say thanks!
Although I am casually trying for a Free Playstation Portable from FreePSPs.com, this should be the last you’ll hear from me on the topic of gratuitous free stuff for a while.
Note to Mike Davidson: I’d like to preemptively say, “Shut it. I don’t care what you think.” :)More
…I’m only two referrals away from getting myself a free Mac mini. If any of you are considering taking a shot at getting a free Mac mini for yourself, I’d sure appreciate your referral. If you want to help me out, all you have to do is sign up for FreeMiniMacs.com using my link, and then complete one “online offer.” An online offer is typically a credit card application or trial period for a service of some sort. A few good ones to do are the Blockbuster Online offer (I’ve been very pleased with it so far), the printer ink offer (if you’ve got an inkjet printer, you need the ink anyway), and the Lowe’s gift card. The Callwave offer is probably the easiest to complete — it doesn’t require a credit card, either.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me out! :)More
This weekend I received Apple’s iLife ‘05 and iWork ‘05 suites. Additionally, I watched a couple of DVDs from my new Blockbuster Online subscription. Here are my (very brief) thoughts:
- iLife ‘05: Very nice, overall. I was most interested in iPhoto. I love the built-in editing panel, but the application is still too slow. iMovie HD is a very nice upgrade, and GarageBand 2 has some great new features, as well. The vocal transformer is a lot of fun. I wish there was a built-in vocoder, though. I haven’t tried the new iDVD yet.
- iWork ‘05: I’ve not spent a ton of time with it yet, but my first impression is that iWork lives up to the hype. The templates in pages are really great (especially for non-designers), and the application as a whole just seems so great and simple. Being that I opened a handful of complex Word documents with no conversion issues in Pages, I doubt I’ll ever open Microsoft Word again. Keynote’s interface matches Pages almost exactly, which is very nice. I’ve not yet created a full presentation in Keynote, but in playing with it a bit, I’m impressed (I never used the first version).
- Garden State: I absolutely loved this flick. You must see it. Both Braff and Portman put on impressively understated performances, the dialogue is very true-to-twentysomething-life, the humor is deliciously dark, there’s a bit of indie quirkiness, and it just feels good. I won’t go into the plot — you can find that anywhere. But really, you should see this one.
- Shaun of the Dead: With apologies to Brian Ford and the others who told me this movie was “hilarious,” I have to say that I just didn’t get it. It was mildly entertaining overall and laugh-out-loud funny in a few choice spots, but overall it was a disappointment. If you maintain a healthy interest in zombie flicks and/or horror spoofs, check it out. Otherwise, you can probably afford to skip this one.
After a drive of ten hours or so, I returned home safely this afternoon from my ski/ride mini-break in Breckenridge. It was, of course, a blast. We skied three days at Breckenridge and one night at Keystone, hit the town, and did the usual ski trip stuff. I elected to snowboard again (I’ve now rode a total of seven days and one night in my life), and managed to come out of it pretty competent (I’m very solid on the blues, but didn’t try any blacks) and injury free (as opposed to last time). The rest of my group (Michelle, Melissa, Megan, Kevin, Andrew, and Rusty) all skied. The weather was decent — kinda cold and cloudy, but with tons of fresh snow for powder-riffic riding. All in all, it was a great time. Can’t wait to do it again.
As promised, I’ve flickr’d my photos. Check ‘em out:
Please leave comments on individual photos on their Flickr photo pages. General comments can be left here.More
As you may recall, I got a new VW Jetta GLi about two months ago. It has 18” rims and low profile sport tires — not entirely appropriate for winter in Kansas.
Yesterday, the University where I work full-time was closed due to inclement weather. As Iâm leaving for a ski trip tomorrow morning, I took the opportunity to go out to the mall and get a few last minute items. Upon return to my apartment, called âFounderâs Hillâ because it sits upon a small hill, I found my car unable to navigate its way up my drive and into the complex lot. I was able to go around to the back entrance, though, and get into an area of the lot that isnât so hilly.More
The last time I set foot on a snowboard was March 3rd, 2003. The result is shown at right. Ouch. Tomorrow, I’m leaving for a snowboarding trip with some friends in Breckenridge, CO. Here’s hoping I come back sans bandages this time.
Seriously, I’m really looking forward to the trip. It’ll be nice to have a mini-vacation. I went to Breckenridge with mostly the same group a couple years ago and we had a blast.
I’ll be back Tuesday with a whole gaggle of pictures, ripe for Flickring. See you then.More
I used a bit of Christmas money to get a Flickr Pro account and spent yesterday and today uploading photos from the past two plus years. Actually, I didn’t really “spend” the time, since the Flickr iPhoto plug-in makes it quick and painless, and let’s it work in the background while I do other things.
The more I work with Flickr the more impressed I am. It’s very easy to use and is a much deeper application than I first thought. There’s just so much you can do. It’s really brilliant.
In any case, if you’re interested: