After some fiddling, I have finally taken the leap and ported across to my new Joomla-based site. There are still a few old pages that I will need to transfer across -- and I hope to do some mapping of the old URLs to the new Joomla urls, so hopefully no old bookmarks will break, but please be patient as we go through this transition!
I believe that, ultimately, this new site will be worth the wait, and that I will be more likely to make updates on a regular basis. Until I have everything working properly, however, you might be interested in some of the old links (such as they are) that will still work for a while! (As I replace these with the new pages, I'll remove the old links from this page!)
If you run into any problems, please let me know via the Contact Pete page (under the "Pete's Place" menu.)
Enjoy your visit!
It was October 2001, barely a month after the attack on the World Trade Center that changed the world, when I had the encounter that changed my world.
I came downstairs into the garage, on my way to work. My garage was fully enclosed, but there were several ways in which a small animal could get inside, not least of which was the pet-hole that the previous occupants had carved into the rear door. (There was also an interior door into the rest of the house, usually kept closed.) This particular morning I came down to discover a cat making itself at home on the bonnet of my car. This was not uncommon—there were several cats in the neighbourhood and they all seemed fond of my garage—but usually they would bolt as soon as I opened the door. This one simply stared at me. I shooed it off my car, and it bolted out the hole in the back door, launched itself to the top of the six-foot fence between my place and the neighbour's yard—and paused there just long enough to give me a look that said "you don't get rid of me that easily!" I went to work and thought no more of it.
The next day I came down into the garage again, to find the same cat sprawled comfortably across my bonnet. I shooed it away. Instead of running away, it jumped down, trotted fearlessly across the floor towards me, rubbed itself around my ankles and demanded loudly: MeeOOWWWWW! Feed me!
I've always been a writer—although I haven't always thought of myself that way. Indeed, for many years after leaving school, the only written output that I considered relevant consisted of one short story, a couple of unfinished attempts at short stories, and perhaps a dozen poems. And most of those were haiku, which aren't exactly wordy.
That long dry spell seems to be at odds with my claim; when I look back on that time, however, I realise that I was spending night after night on a couple of online forums, pouring thousands of words into the sorts of arguments that nobody ever seems to win: Evolution vs Creation was probably my most popular topic of discussion. It became apparent quite early that many of the people on both sides had no idea what they were actually talking about—and while I couldn't do much to educate everyone else, I decided that I could at least improve my own understanding of both sides of the coin. I bought biology texts, I bought religious holy books, I read as much as I could squeeze into my day—and still I would spend hours each night, writing. Perhaps I never changed any opinions, but that period certainly helped cement my own ideas.
The next thing I wanted to do was take a copy of the index page, move it (and all its complicated layout) elsewhere, and put my own choice of content on the front page. Easy, right?
Except I could not find the front page anywhere!
What we do have is several distinct items which seemed to control content:
I haven't really investigated the bottom three on the list yet. The big question was: how do the top four combine to form the pages of the website? Fortunately, the answer turned out to be simpler than you might think -- while managing to be just a little complicated...
I want to document my explorations, findings, and lessons learned as I feel my way through the process of building a new website with Joomla. I am very much a Joomla virgin, and every tentative step provides me with something new to remember. For instance, the very question of what to do with this Article once I've finished typing it (or rather, once I finish this first little section, because I'll be coming back here as I make progress) is not one that I have an answer to. What page will it appear on? How do I link to it? Add it to a menu?
"If you are squeamish stay at home!!!"
So I’m watching Frogs. After my nights in the caravan, up in Darwin, surrounded by billions of the ravenous beasties all thirsting for my blood—or at the very least, determined to slightly hamper my attempts to sleep—it seemed the thing to do. If you really want to watch this movie for yourself, if you really don’t want any spoilers, look away now… No really, read no further if you ever want to find out for yourself how this gem of cinematic excellence turns out!
Here be spoilers…