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11:54 a.m. - August 12, 2005
Smed's Corner - All The Gnus You Need - And More
We interrupt these essays for an important announcement from the management here at Smedís Corner:

ďIíd just like to say thanks to some of you all for citing me as a favorite place to visit here at Diaryland and thanks to all who have read and made comments. Actually, I had not noticed that some people had linked to me as a favorite place, and I was just merrily posting my little things in ignorance. Then I got a great comment from Vicki and I started to explore a little bit more. Dang, this thing can be addictive. Iíve enjoyed reading a lot of others postings, and hope to continue correspondence with many of you in emails, notes and comments down the road. Anyway, thanks to all who are reading and I hope you read more in the future.Ē

Now back to our show, already in progress:

On my strolls around Diaryland Iíve noticed that a lot of the great people that have really taken their sites to another level, with the graphics, spiffy custom comments areas, and lots of bells and whistles and various and sundry accoutrements.

Me? My site? Not so much, as you can see.

Iíd like to say itís because Iím all about the content! All of the hard hitting things I explore here in Smedís Corner. Like these upcoming issues: our two cats; why in the world I got my tattoo in 1992; 20 more random songs from the iPod; what Amazon is recommending to me (besides Ritalin); and my adventures covering the Crawfordsville High School football team this year. The hard news no one else is reporting. So I donít have time for fancy bells and whistles. Yeah right.

There are really a lot of reasons Iím a plain jane here Ė a wallflower amongst the belles of the ball.

First off, I have the html skills of a gnu. (And if you know of a gnu that can program html, send it my way. Iím all about employing wildebeests for fun and profit). Iíve dipped my toe into it but just havenít quite got the hang of it. I was lucky enough to add my contact doohickies on this here thing. Give me an excel spreadsheet, an access database, yeah, Iím all over that. Want to ask me about charitable donation rules as it pertains to the IRS regulations and VSE report requirements, Iím your man. But programming in html Ė better find a yak armed with a laptop, wireless access, and some Mountain Dew Code Red.

Secondly, I have no flair for the artistic. I created my little banner and was happy to do that. Itís also fairly plain. I donít think Iím really wired for the visual arts. I am a math geek (math major here at Wabash, and always fascinated by numbers and statistics of all kinds), but unlike other math geeks Iím also into music (no, couldnít tell!), cinema (films, you know Ė not movies, actual films), and reading (history, non-fiction, the history of rock music and the history of baseball, especially the 19th century). I can write (at least I think I can write) both for business and entertainment.

But I could never draw very well. I couldnít really color inside the lines that often, and I didnít get that you could be a Jackson Pollack until it was too late. And as far as decorating the house Ė I leave that totally in Lizís hands. I just have veto power and use it rarely. I know what I think looks good Ė but I have no talent in actually creating visual art.

Third, I have the patience of a sugared up five year old on his way to the toy store. If I canít get something right away, Iím apt not to try it again. I can read music and know some theory and chord structure stuff, but I donít play an instrument. I tried to learn guitar in the mid-90ís but I have rather short fingers and not a lot of dexterity, and besides thrashing out some simple punk rock songs I was pretty much useless (though I did figure out how to make 9th chords, somewhat. I always thought they sounded neat). In retrospect, I should have learned the bass because thatís what I really want to play (very simple, but elegant lines, anchoring the bottom and the rhythm - that would be my style). So in my efforts to add things onto this site (and onto another site that I help run with some other baseball freaks) I get frustrated when it doesnít look right and I tend not to try again.

So those are the reasons, nay, excuses why Iím a plain Jane here.

The thing is Moose, my best bud, does this sort of stuff for a living. Heís runs his companyís web and online business and he can actually draw things that look like things and can program it in so it looks nice on the page. But I feel guilty in asking him to do stuff for me because I should be a big boy and do it myself Ė and also I know heís quite busy with holding down his fort.

I am totally enamored with a lot of the neat layouts and wonder how the heck people think of that stuff, and how they have the time and patience to design it just so. And most of them look great, and they show off their personality.

(Note, though, if some kind soul out there in net land wants to help a fellow essayist out with some ideas on how to spiff up the site Ė Iím not going to turn you away!)

So, for now, Iím just concentrating on the writing thing. Which is really what this is all about, isnít it? So I guess you just heard me whine about my blah site for no damn good reason. Carry on, wayward sons and daughters.


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