Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Color Opinions?

Progress progresses on the new website. Over the weekend I started putting in text, all but one of the hard and soft pouches is done, now. And Ron's been working on colors. Opinions?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More updates to website

Well actually to the new in development website. There are a lot of pictures on the new site now not much in the way of text but hey it's coming along. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures! We got pictures!

Friday (which Ron had off, lucky duck), Ron got the basic outline of the website laid out. He took a bunch of pictures Saturday afternoon and Sunday, while I rooted through merchandise bins and tried to be helpful, and then named the files once he brought them into Lightroom, cut things out of the background, and did whatever image-processing voodoo.

Last night we started getting the images onto the draft pages. I forgot to suggest that he go ahead and update the draft web site that's semi-available for perusal. Maybe tonight. I also need to talk to him about the belts page, I've had an idea. Not a particularly original one, granted, but it might work.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Website Preview

The beginnings of the new website are now available here. Most of the merchandise links in the menu are inactive, but the rest should be good. I think we've got the general organization worked out, the pages just have to be built.

This weekend: Photo orgy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Now that's odd

The LJ syndication feed of this blog has a bug, such that I can't reply to comments left via LJ. LJ refuses to believe I'm logged in to my LJ account, and won't let me log in concurrent with posting the response. (and thanks for the menu suggestion, mbcrui)

Very very strange.

Website Progress

Ron seems to be re-taking control of the website. When we first put it up, mumble years ago, he created it. A few years ago, I took over, converted things to use CSS, and re-did a bunch of stuff. Now he's the one poking at it with Dreamweaver. (actually, all iterations have been cooperative, it's who's messing with the code that I'm talking about)

We looked at getting away from frames for the side menu, but the tradeoff is having to add chunks of code to every page to include the menu. Given the increases in computer speeds, internet connections, etc., it looks like we're going to keep the frame(s). He's done a lot of invisible stuff, like rearranging where image files are stored, and increasing consistency of file names, which Dreamweaver's auto-updating makes painless. Tinkered with colors and font effects, and still considering a bigger color change. Corrected bugs in the code and typos that propogated themselves due to my inattention and re-using files. We've even deleted a couple things that (1) never seemed to generate on-line interest , and (2) are very likely to be going away in terms of live sales (for various reasons) too.

Which pretty much leaves us at the point where the next step is to start with gutting and major re-construction. The organization of the site, since we don't have on-line ordering, and are unlikely to implemet it, is more complex and/or sprawling than it needs to be. And some of the pictures really suck, Ron says. So, time to use the for-real photographic lights and light tent we got a couple-few months ago, get new pictures, let Ron do the Photoshop voodoo necessary for what we want, and re-build significant sections of the site.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Northshield Coronation

I don't think I mentioned previously, but I had some trepidation about yesterday's event, Northshield's spring Coronation. The merchant coordinator had said that we were downstairs, but she remembered a ground-level entrance. There was also some question if we'd have to be out by 4:30, or by 6.

The time question was a good answer, we had to be out by 6. On the other hand, "ground-level" entrance was . . . a bit of a misnomer. Down a couple ramps that I suspect do not quite meet ADA requirements, and then up two steps into the building. Although we had plenty of space, I decided we'd go with minimal merchandise - just belts, pouches, and frogs (which get packed into pouches). Lunch was served at the bar at one end of the room, which was probably a good thing, bringing more people down there.

It wasn't a bad event, really, but with geetting up before 5 am, and a 2.5-hour drive on each end made for a long day. Culver's pot roast dinner is probably good any time, but it's really really good when you're tired and hungry. We got home between 8 and 8:30.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Otter Migration

Although otters are not normally migratory beasties, OtterNecessities.com has migrated to dreamhost.com. Any existing links should continue to work, although Dreamhost says it may take a couple/few days for the new DNS records to propagate out, but it was working from here within 15 minutes.

We've been on Zarquon for mumble years, but Ron was running into some small problems with Adobe Lightroom and some of the other Creative Suite apps, and elbow room. At least moving web hosts isn't as painful as moving house.

Personal stuff is/am/are/was/were/be/being/been moving to dracos-otter.com. At this point all that pops up is a link to my silly Journal of Geek Studies page, I think Ron's still working on that. He's staying home tomorrow, so I expect that, and quite possibly the Otter Necessities pages, to go through some changes this weekend.

Sometimes I'm good, sometimes I'm an idiot . . .

Tuesday evening, since The Sprout's homework load precluded taking him to karate, I got the books caught up, after picking up a different book on Adobe InDesign on the way home. Wednesday I continued my fit of intelligence, and picked up "The Missing Manual" for Dreamweaver (the books I started with look like good references, but not so good for learning brand new and totally unfamiliar software), and last night I started watching video training on InDesign from Lynda.com.

Ron, meanwhile, has been diving cheerfully into playing with Otter's website with Dreamweaver. This means that while he pokes at things, I scramble through assorted HTML, CSS, and Dreamweaver books trying to find the answers. On the one hand, I probably know as much or more HTML and CSS than he does, and I have a good idea what should be possible and vaguely how to do it. On the other hand, I have a long history of quickly finding exactly the right answer in software manuals for Ron, provided that I'm completely clueless on the subject. So looking for answers on a software subject I know is interesting.

On the Stoopid front, I'm beginning to question my sanity on going to the Northshield Coronation tomorrow. Site opens at 8 am. 2.5 hour travel time. The results of doing the math are Not Pretty. I'm still not sure if I'm taking Ron or The Sprout. Back to the smart side, though, I remembered not to trust Google Maps blindly, and now have a better route, which my Wisconsinite co-worker has concurred with.

Lessee, for tomorrow I have my directions, the event schedule (such as it is, the question if merchants need to be packed and out by 4:30 or 6 is still up in the air, AFAIK), tax rate, and the directions on how I plan to wrap my new sari. Oh, and I got new wiper blades for the truck this morning. I know where the receipt books, cash box, and price list are. I think all I need to do is pick up some cash tonight.