The attentive eye may have noticed that the lay-out of this website has slightly changed. Somewhere in the previous weeks, Gangleri.nl has been online for a year, but too much work with the new house made me totally forget about the fact. That, but also in general, I wanted to experiment a little with a new “theme”. I had the idea to have a clear middle part and two bars with an image on the sides. I worked at a theme that used grey and blue tones and it looked pretty nice. I was limited to shades of grey though, because there were a lot of CSS jokes in the theme that were no easy to change. My girlfriend found the theme a little boring… Then I decided to find another theme to edit which would give me a little more freedom with colours and in the end I came to the very theme that I started with a year ago. Instead of images in the sides of the screen, this theme only allowed me to add an image to the background of the whole screen, except the so-called “sidebar” (the navigation on the right). I noticed that I really nuked the theme in my early CSS days while trying to stretch the content-space. This time I played a bit more of a fair game and the result is not only better visually, but especially also CSS-wise. You may find the lay-out more or less the same, but believe me that I completely started from scratch with a blue and white theme with no images in it whatsoever. I messed up the theme so well the previous time that I couldn’t use anything of my reworked version without wrecking the whole thing, so this has been a good exercise for me. I hope you like the new design as much as I do. In the end I think the colours that I used (based on the image on the index of the website) give the website another atmosphere than the often-used shades of grey, so for the time being, you will be looking at something with shades of brown.
Wow, moving from one place to another proves to be quite a job. Besides the fact that I still haven’t installed my computer in the new place, there is way too much to do, preventing me from doing anything here. I guess you have to be a bit more patient for Gangleri updates…
The new Ultra website is now online, and can be accessed via:
Titles published by Ultra, and by some of our friends, will be available for purchase. The site also features a news section, which we plan to update regularly. This section will feature updates about the TYR journal, as well as related projects and other items of note.
We encourage you to link to the site, and to forward this information to any interested parties.
A couple of days ago Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away. The name didn’t really ring a bell until the newsreporter said that this yogi was the ‘inventor’ of the “transcendental meditation” ‘system’. David Lynch is an avid supporter of this form of meditation and even has a foundation with the goal of spreaking it on schools and Lynch’s book Catching The Big Fish that I recently reviewed in the book reviews section is all about it as well. What I also didn’t know was that Maharishi actually lived in my country for the last years of his life and he even has a center in that place called Vlodrop. It’s a small world afterall!
No no, I am not planning on getting a new internetaddress again, but for all those who sent promo material sometimes and who read this, I’m currently very busy with getting a new home livable, so my address will change soon. Please contact me first before sending anything new.
When I laid my eggs on a simple html website, 99% of the work went in the content of the different pages. Every now and then I had a wish for improvement, but since html is pretty easy and practical, that seldom costed a lot of time. Now with a completely dynamic site, I find myself constantly thinking about how things can be better and trying to figure out how to do that. I spend a lot of time on the WordPress forum, trying to help out people with the little knowledge that I gathered, but also for looking sollutions with the next thing I come up with. In the recent weeks quite a few things changed on the background. Simple things, such as accessibility improvements; the “continue reading…” at the end of the so called “excerpts” in the article section, browsing links below articles and bookreviews, that sort of thing. More complex things, such as “site validation” that the builders of WordPress see as necessity. All this again made me learn more about coding in CSS and PHP, understand better why some things work as they work, but it is also pretty clear that I still don’t get the larger part of it all. But I am again happy with the improvements and I keep getting closer to a good website. Of course wishes remain and I wonder when the time will come that I focus more on the content than on the exterior!
Weird, when I had the new site up pretty well, the amount of visitors rose enormously according to my stats, From 11-12.000 visits (not hits of course) in July, August and September the amount took a rocket-fly upto over 26.000 in October and November. December was back to 18.000 and if Januari continues as it does, I guess it will end around 15.000. I wonder what October and November were all about. New visitors, spam-bots, webcrawlers, something wrong in the software or database? I guess I will have to start studying logs. It almost seems as if one version of WP resulted in more visitors (or ‘visitors’)…
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the rapid degeneration (Americanisation) of the English language really works on my nerves sometimes. When I learned English at school many years ago, we had this ‘golden rule’ that ing-conjugations cannot be applied to verbs that you “cannot be busy with”. So, “I’m working in the garden.”, very good; “I’m baking a cake.”, alright. For some time people also seem to be able to sit in a corner and feel a little, so “I’m feeling fine.” became alright and “I was wondering if…” as well. Since then people “are having” ideas, “are assuming that you are saying”, “are seeing” something, etc. Yeah, let’s go to the pub and be, asume or see for a little while.
The thing that upsets me most, is that these crooked conjugations are not only found on forums where people usually type something rapidly, but also in books, such as my English translation of GuÃ©non’s books. An American said to me many years ago, that I use old-fashioned English, which indeed may be the case from the American viewpoint (that is why I used the term “Americanisation” which I deliberately don’t write with a “z”), but recently I notice that even the conservative Brits “are taking over” these constructions. Is this developement / modernisation of language or degeneration because in our rapid age, we want to think as little as possible about correct grammar?
How much longer before I can write: “Hi, I’m being Roy” without anyone blinking an eye?
You may get the idea that nothing much happens with Gangleri.nl, but I can tell you that on the background I am making (trying to make) several improvements. I have been working on some security issues. I read about blog hacks a bit too much and try to avoid that the same thing happens here. Another joy of the internet is of course spam. I have a great anti-spam plugin (which is why you have to fill in a code to comment), but my provider’s email spam protection is not quite what I hoped for. I even deleted one of the contact emailaddresses that got a lot of spam (no idea how it got in their files, since I don’t use it), so if you want to send an email, please always check the “intro and contact” page to see if nothing changed there. For the rest you may have noticed minor changed in the “sidebars” with dropdowns for the “categories” (let me know if the previous way of listing them worked better) and I tried to get rid off the term “categories”, but it seems that I have to change the code of the categories “widget”. Also I have tried to find out why it is that Google has no problems with it, but the standard search function does, with searching for words with accents. When I type “DerniÃ¨re VolontÃ©” in a review and you type “Derniere Volonte” in the search box, you will not find the review. This is the reasons why I use alternative spellings in the so-called “tags” (my “browse”), since I haven’t found the sollution yet. Last but not least, I added a “currently reading” block in the navigation part of the book reviews section. There you can see what reviews are most likely to be added soon. And so, besides a few reviews now and then, I keep working on the background to improve the website.
Of course not entirely unexpected, but the interactive surrounding of this website has risen some things to think about. Before visitors found Gangleri, spam-machines started to post spam in the comments, so I installed a “plugin” to prevent that. After that, not so much comments are posted in any section (safe for a short ‘discussion’ under the Battlenoise book review). Apparently people read and leave even when questions are obviously raised. This is not all that strange either, since I myself don’t often post comments on blogs either. Then there was this guy that started to post enormous stories under one article, but his stories have nothing to do with the content of the article and it started to seem like he wanted to use Gangleri for his own writings. Therefor I unapproved (not (yet) deleted) these long texts and only left one with a link to another website.
Also it seems that people comment under the wrong article. Maybe they read a few of my texts and then just start to type under the last one they read. I can’t move comments from one article to the next, I can just copy them to the ‘right’ article and delete the original. I haven’t decided if that is the way I want to handle it.
To close off, last week I came home and had an email of a comment simply saying “YOU SUCK!!!”. Or course the commentator has every right to think so, but since there were no arguments or any clue why this comment was posted under that very article and therefor there is not much use to have such a comment, I haven’t approved it. I guess I do suck, since Gangleri isn’t exactly a ‘freedom of speech’ website if I moderate the comments like I do, but I guess I will just have to find my way around the subject.