CMS Hunting

Oh how I love CMS (or for the layman- Content Management Systems) hunting.

Back in the day- you only had a few CMS systems to choose from. Early attempts at making a site a few years ago had me going absolutely crazy for the Mambo CMS engine. Soon after, Joomla was my pick for a few sites I designed for others, for not only being based on the Mambo framework, but it’s flexibility.

At one point, back in the days I used to help with the Cornstalker Webcomics Collective, an entire site based in Joomla was being designed for the group. I had to ditch the website, along with its commerce systems, because some of the artists did not want to learn another login for it.

Augh. Bad memories, whatever. It was a great learning experience doing that group.

Anyways, today, there is a lot more to choose from. And the dynamic nature of some of them has me really tempted to toy around with them for my upcoming site.

Webhook has been the one CMS project that I’ve been wanting to really play around with- especially considering its design to keep data as crazy as I want it to be. I’ll be holding off on it, however, until it’s reached some maturity in it

Now, the main choice nowadays for websites is, of course, WordPress.

It’s one of the most (and prevalent) CMS systems out there. It’s what this blog is on, and what my future project is going to use. Why?

  • Support for it is unparalleled- even if you’re running it on your own server.
  • Themes are easy to come by- I’m actually really impressed by how good some of the pro themes look like. I’m considering buying one and remixing it to my uses rather than spending extra time getting the site to look similar to what I want.
  • Plugins are plentiful, and can add an extra level of functionality you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

The time I would spend researching and trying to develop with the new CMS would take forever for me nowadays. Now, I need something that will work and will work well.

WordPress it is.

Late Night Chinatown

“Hey, are you busy tonight?”. Those are the words I got from Primo. No warning, just a question. It was already close to about 9 o’clock at night on a weekday when he called me with that query.

However, I knew exactly what it meant. Having Primo calling you for no reason late at night only one thing: a late night photo run. He loves to do environmental photography of Los Angeles, taking pictures of buildings the areas around them. Doing this, however since going out late at night with the camera he uses in downtown LA and its neighborhoods can be somewhat risky. Something that most people would not recommend to do by themselves. He asks random friends from time to time to accompany him, and when he asks me, I’m… honored.

Primo in motion
So a few hours later we set off, with our goal of late night photography in mind. We done it plenty of times before. Primo wanted to try out his new camera so I came up with an idea- why not Chinatown? I’ve taken pictures and video all the time in Chinatown usually in the middle of the day, when the place is bustling with activity. The neon lights in Los Angeles’ Chinatown seems to accentuate the individuality of that district from all the others.

At night, it empties out, save for a bar or two in the area. The idea of its neon lights in the late night on empty streets seemed like a perfect idea, so we set off to LA’s Chinatown.

The streets are deserted, no one around, exempt for the cockroaches that skittered past my feet, daring me to step on them. I simply stood, watching the streets for people as he darted about with the camera, taking pictures of random objects.

He squints his eyes, looking at something in the distance. Examining for a shotHe turns to me and asks my opinion for it. Being someone with some skill in photography (not much, really), I’m happy when he asks my opinion. And I do so with a sense of pride as I give him my two cents. I’ll keep watch out for anyone, as Primo focuses on the photography itself.

We talk about random conversations, about memories of the past, and catching up since we’ve seen each other last. I tell him about the maddening amount of customers at work, and he tells me about his latest photography projects and clients. It’s a nice way for us to have time just for ourselves, even if it’s in a roach-infested Chinatown.

I come home exhausted, usually a few hours later. I’ll see the pictures maybe a week or so later. I look upon them with fondness, a bit of pride as I was able to, in some small way, be of some help to Primo.

(This was something I wrote months ago, but neglected to put on the site until now. Go look at Primo’s work, you jerks, he’s great!.)

Late Night Chinatown

Revisiting the Library

I went back to my old job a week or so ago. I was once a proud librarian/librarymans, working basically weekends at this job that offered me my first real experience at a position I sought myself (I was promoted from page to library clerk during my stay there). It was the first time I dealt with the public, dealing with problem patrons and the library fines they incurred over time. It’s been about 18 months since I had the job. I had stayed away for being bitter for being laid off. There were a lot of things I didn’t agree with, especially in upper management. I had plans to lash out at them, but with some time quietly gave me the chance to ponder the choice and decide against it. Visiting my old job. Former librarian.So on my day off, running errands had me passing by my previous job. I went in and visited the library and my former coworkers. There were previous visits, sure, but this day, I spent a considerable time talking to people and observing my former workplace in a different light- from a workplace to a patron. And its as if nothing has changed. Well sure, it’s only been about 18 months, but I had expected to see something… more to be changed since I was laid off. It’s as if it lived in a snapshot of time, and I was simply revisiting the snapshot, looking into it as if I were Alice peering into the looking mirror.. It felt like I had been laid off only a few days beforehand. It felt eerie, in a sense, to see the regulars still visiting the library, the same people picking up books, reading magazines, or using the computers there. As if nothing happened recently. Children I remember seeing had grown older- but the same patrons still were there, greeting me as if nothing had happened. I went back to visit a chapter of my life that never changed, or if it had, I couldn’t see it my brief time visiting there. And I still don’t know how i feel about it, to be honest. It’s frustrating to see what was a huge part of my life stagnating, but at the same time, almost welcoming to see it never change. I went through the stacks I used to organize as a page, getting a sudden urge to organize a western book that had been placed in the fiction section. I ultimately did, out of courtesy, but it was ultimately my own mind reverting to a much quieter time in my life. In the end, visiting the library so far out gave me closure. I came into work the next day eager to tackle the day’s challenges, knowing that in some way, the previous chapter of my life will always be there in one form or another. Because, in the end, it’s rare for changes to occur in such a sleepy little place.