I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.

ThatGrrl.ca

Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

ODP .sig Code

E+F+D+++++XDN+++G++Q+++++L?A+++HW-O++BC-T++IS-Krg

Saved for posterity. Most of the links don’t go very far.

ODP .sig Code

This little code originated in a forum thread back in late 2002. We have both an encoder (provided by jtaylorj) and a decoder (provided by ciaran)!

The following explanatory blurb is ripped off from the geek code. Make the appropriate modifications in your head, please.

Geeks, of all people, can seldom be strictly quantified. To facilitate the fact that within any one category you may not be able to determine a specific rating, variables have been designed to allow this range to be included.
@ – for this variable, said trait is not very rigid, may change with time or with individual interaction. For example, Geeks who happen to very much enjoy Star Trek: The Next Generation, but dislike the old 60’s series might list themselves as t++@.
() – for indicating “cross-overs” or ranges. Geeks who go from C+ to C— depending on the situation (i.e. mostly “C+”) could use C+(—). @ is different from () in that () has finite limits within the category, while @ ranges all over.
< – for ‘wannabe’ ratings. Indicating that while the geek is currently at one rating, they are striving to reach another. For example, C++>$ indicating a geek that is currently computer savvy, but wants to someday make money at it.
$ – Indicates that this particular category is done for a living. For example, UL+++$ indicates that the person utilizes Unix and gets paid for it. Quite a lucky geek, for sure. ODP Code note: this only applies to staff!
? – Unless stated otherwise within the specific category, the ? is placed after the category identifier and indicates that the geek has no knowledge about that specific category. For example, a person that has never even heard of Babylon 5, would list their Babylon 5 category as 5?
! – Placed before the category. Unless stated otherwise, indicates that the person refuses to participate in this category. This is unlike the ? variable as the ? indicates lack of knowledge, while the ! indicates stubborn refusal to participate. For example, !E would be a person that just plain refuses to have anything to do with Emacs, while E? would be a person that doesn’t even know what Emacs is.

Let the ODP Code begin!

Position

  • E = Editor
  • E+ = Editall
  • E++ = Editall+Catmv
  • E+++ = Meta
  • E+- = Cateditall
  • E++- = Catmod
  • E! = Staff

Forums

  • F++++ = I’m totalxsive.
  • F+++ = Seriously addicted to the forums. I’ve learned several languages by reading each and every World forum thread.
  • F++ = Active on a daily basis. A forum is the first thing that comes to my mind when hearing “Café”, “Penguin”, or a combination of both.
  • F+ = Reading relevant threads quite regularly. I’m even contributing to fun forum threads once in a while.
  • F = I’ve been to the Penguin Café once, and I remember participating in a reorg discussion about… well… whatever.
  • F- = I introduced myself in the New Editor Forum several months ago. Oh, and I read some threads about current reorganisations. Well – at least item0.
  • F– = ODP forums? Boooooring!! I prefer to post to external forums, mocking fellow editors.
  • F!: I’ve just discovered/remembered that UBB code (and similar) doesn’t work here. (now obsolete)

Duration of Editorship

  • D = just joined (less than a year)
  • D+ = 12 – 23 months
  • D++ = 24 – 35 months
  • D+++ = 36 – 47 months
  • D++++ = 48 months – 59 months
  • D+++++ = five years or more
  • D* = I am skrenta.
  • D- = I would like to join.
  • D+++x = I am on a break from the ODP (+++ = total “active” time before the break)
  • D!- = I resigned by my own free will (no abuse etc.)
  • D! = I have been removed from the ODP.
  • D!! = I have an ODP hate site.

Other Directories

Number of Edits

  • N? = 0
  • N— = 1 – 50
  • N– = 51-100
  • N- = 101-500
  • N = 501-1000
  • N+ = 1001-5000
  • N++ = 5001-10000
  • N+++ = 10001-50000
  • N! = rpfuller

Graphics

  • G = I’ve suggested smilies and/or Mozzies in the appropriate threads, but have never made any.
  • G+ = I’ve submitted a couple of smilies or at least one Mozzie.
  • G++ = I’ve submitted at least 2 smilies and 2 Mozzies or I have bea-u-tified my Editor profile page.
  • G+++ = I’ve helped with making Editor Awards, and I’ve submitted both smilies and Mozzies.
  • G++++ = I’ve submitted smileys and Mozzies faster than Business gets spammed.
  • G+++++ = I edit Bookmarks/M/mozzie and/or host Editor Awards on my own server(s).
  • G* = I’m enarra.
  • G- = I wish I knew how to design or make graphics.
  • G! = Graphics, who needs ’em? I view the web in text only.
  • G? = Why can’t we have animated smilies and Mozzies?
  • G?!?! = I don’t understand why there isn’t an all Flash version of the ODP.

Edit Quality

  • Q = average quality edits
  • Q+ = good quality edits
  • Q++ = great edits!
  • Q+++++ = they asked me to become an editall after 100 edits
  • Q- = working on it
  • Q– = oops!
  • Q—: Whaht iz zpellinghk? Geidleighns?

Loser/Luzer

  • Lu = B-ing @ luser’z kewl!
  • Lo = I’m a loser. So what? Peons are a necessary part of any group.
  • Lu(o) = Sometimes my ego doesn’t overshadow my loserness.
  • Lo(u) = I’ll proudly admit to being a loser in the proper context, of course.
  • Lu>o = I’m maturing and one day won’t be so proud of my status, but I’ll still be a loser.
  • Lo>u = I’m trying to be a “kewl” loser.
  • L> = I’m attempting to achieve non-loser status, but I’m not there yet.
  • L? = I don’t get it.
  • !L? = I refuse to designate something I don’t understand.
  • !L = I refuse to participate in (or admit to) having loser status.
  • L@ = I range across the entire loser scale.

Editing Activity

  • A+++++ = I’m a human robot.
  • A++++ = If I don’t do at least 100 edits a day I get withdrawal symptoms. I sleep in the ODP IRC room.
  • A+++ = I’m not going out as much as I used to. My marriage is showing signs of weakness caused by too much late night editing.
  • A++ = I’ve started applying for new cats because I’ve run out of greens.
  • A+ = I log on regularly to edit. I’ve even started adding non-submitted sites.
  • A = I doing just enough editing to keep ‘my’ cats maintained, but that’s all you’ll see of me.
  • A- = I’m still around, just not logging in as much as I used to be.
  • A– = I’m still looking after my pet cats; sometimes.
  • A— = I hardly recognise any of the editor names anymore.
  • A—- = I’ve forgotten how to work the edit buttons. If they don’t ban me for bad editing, I’ll accidently timeout soon.
  • A! = I’ve temporarily stopped all editing for reasons too complex to explain, but I will be back.
  • A!! = I’ve timed out having previously set A!: I thought I’d be back, but evidently not.

Humor

  • H– = Neither uses nor recognizes humor. Probably isn’t reading this.
  • H- = Just the facts, ma’am/man.
  • H = A little laughter helps break the tension.
  • H+ = A lot of laughter really helps break the tension.
  • H++ = Don’t read my posts while drinking cocoa, that crt’s hard to clean.
  • H! = magne

Where Editing Happens

  • W = At work, of course
  • W+ = At work and at home
  • W++ = At work and at home and with a laptop…everywhere
  • W- = At home
  • W– = At home on weekends
  • W! = DMOZ wouldn’t run without me…I own a small computer company so I can edit anywhere
  • W!! = What are you talking about? This is my work, my social life, the reason for my existence.
  • W? = I never edit. I just read the forums on the library’s computer when I get there.

Opinion of ODP

  • O+++ = It’s perfect. I can’t think of anything that could be made better.
  • O++ = It’s very good, but it has a few flaws.
  • O+ = Mostly, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t – but I can live with that.
  • O = It’s just another directory.
  • O- = It’s a good idea in theory, but it’s obviously not in practice.
  • O– = It’s not even a good idea in theory. It was obvious volunteer-run directories would lead to chaos from the start.
  • O— = It sucks. ODP should be taken out and shot.

Bumping

  • B+ = I’m a good editor and never bump any threads that I’m not supposed to.
  • B = I’ve probably bumped the odd thread now and again that I shouldn’t.
  • B- = I’ve bumped 07:10PM, No, Miriamisms, Lycos is using a false editor name and Welcome to the Forum.
  • B– = I’ve bumped all of the above and more.
  • B! = I’ve received a staff warning for my bumping.

This Code (not presently recognized by the decoder)

  • C- = This is cute, but we should have spent the time editing.
  • C = Finally, a system to quantify myself in relation to other editors so that I know where I can increase my involvement in the project.
  • C+ = I submitted suggestions for the code.
  • C* = I’m either etoile or ciaran.

Editor Tools

  • T! = The last time I used a power tool I broke something and autumn had to fix it.
  • T– = I’m afraid to use power tools.
  • T- = Tools? What tools?
  • T = I use tools occasionally.
  • T+ = I have at least one tool bookmarked.
  • T++ = I’ve suggested a new tool or feature that was implemented.
  • T+++ = I’ve created at least one tool.
  • T++++ = I recreated at least one of nurey’s tools.
  • T* = I’m rpfuller or dlugan.
  • T+++!!: I’m autumn.

Interaction Online

  • I— = Instant Messaging is stupid. What’s wrong with feedback?
  • I– = Never used IM for ODP matters, but may consider it
  • I- = I have at least 1 IM system, but never talked to any other editors with it.
  • I = I occasionally talk to other editors online
  • I+ = I regularly talk to other editors and pop into #ODP now and again
  • I++ = I got broadband just so that could IM all day, and spend a lot of time in #ODP
  • I+++ = I live in #ODP, and would suffer withdrawal symptons if it ever went away
  • I! = I host the ODP:IRC server

Social Interaction (not presently recognized by the decoder)

  • S! = I won’t meet people from the internet – don’t you watch the news?!
  • S– = I’ve never met or spoken to another editor offline.
  • S- = I’ve talked to a few on the phone… what a buncha geeks!
  • S = I’ve met one or two editors in person or talk to several regularly by phone.
  • S+ = I socialize with several regularly in person or have newwave on speed-dial.
  • S++ = I’ve attended an editor gathering or meetup.
  • S+++ = I’ve slept in robjones‘s barn multiple times or slept with raggedyrugs at least once.
  • S++++ I’ve organized or hosted an editor gathering or meetup.
  • S* = I met my spouse through ODP (e.g., kfander).

Kategories (yeah, yeah, C was already taken – this is for your main focus)

What does your code say about you? Though instead of decoding with a bar code scanner, these codes have to be looked at to understand them. While a symbol scanner equipped with a touch screen monitor may help in business, decoding ODP code is half the fun!

 

Fes Up Challenge from Facebook

This was posted by Bev. Here are my answers.

‘Fess up challenge!
-bath or shower? Shower
-straight or curly hair? Curly
-favorite movie? Not really.
-favorite holiday? St. Patrick’s Day
-Android or iPhone? Landline only.
– texting or calling? Email.
-Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
– favorite type of food? Mexican but not spicy and no cilantro.
– dream job? Evil villain or horror writer.
-favorite pizza? homemade with mozzarella cheese
– favorite cake? homemade cheesecake
– night or day? Very early morning.
-summer or winter? Winter
-wine or whiskey? Pass the coffee.
– favorite egg style? fried in butter on a toasted plain bagel.
-favorite TV show? Not really
-hair up or down? Got a shorter cut now I mostly just let it do what it wants.Or I tame it with a bandana when it goes too far.
-jeans or leggings? Sort of track yoga pants. I don’t want something clinging to my curves or showing my ass.
-favorite rock band? None.
-favorite color? Dark red, sometimes orange or blue.
-pullover or button-up shirt? Sack, with sleeves.
-flip flops or sneakers? Bare feet or clogs. Boots if there is snow.
-big pursue or small? Massive. I’m prepared for impulse travel.Plus, I always bring a book, a camera… other stuff.
-how many tattoos? None
– how many piercings? Five in my ear lobes have never healed over from a piercing accident in my youth.
-diamonds or pearls? I prefer Rhinestones with a lot of flashy colours.
– favorite animal? Cats, barn cats, feral or big cats.
– Rap or country music? Turn that down!
-Hiking or fishing? Exploring without harming worms or spiders.
– favorite place to shop? Second hand stores.
– best feature? My face. I’m 50+ and no one believes me. (They aren’t just being nice to the crazy, old lady).

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they’re no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called “Punched Cards”. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.