I’m always looking at my blog trying to figure out what’s next. What should I do next to improve and set myself apart from other bloggers that blog on Blogger.
I know that using Blogger has its limitations on what I can do to change it design-wise. But, I really don’t want to which blogging platforms because of it. Blogger is very user friendly and I’m getting used to it.
What makes this more interesting, at least to me, is that I’m a designer. Not a developer of sorts. So, learning the backend of things is a bit challenging for me. But, trying my hand at the HTML, I’m starting to get real comfortable with this. It also helps that there are a million websites out there that tutorials on this subject.
Now that I’m learning new things on how to adjust them or add to them, you should be seeing new changes. So, don’t be alarmed when you see something funky, it’s just me messing around and learning by trial and error.
One of My Favorite Quotes...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I’m always looking at my blog trying to figure out what’s next. What should I do next to improve and set myself apart from other bloggers that blog on Blogger.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated and uploaded new products on my Spotees shop. Now that I’ve found some free time, I’m able to include the following counties…
Here’s a direct link to “I Heart/Love San Joaquin County” cities.
Here’s a direct link to “I Heart/Love San Luis Obispo County” cities.
Here’s a direct link to “I Heart/Love Solano County” cities.
Here’s a direct link to “I Heart/Love Sonoma County” cities.
Those are all working links and each will direct you right to that specific county page. When I’m able to find more free time, I’ll be adding other California Counties on Spotees.
Remember, its summertime and these make great gifts for those living there or just visiting. Check out www.Spotees.com to go directly to the main page. Other cities are ready to be purchased.
For news and updates for Spotees.com and Visualnewbie.com, continue to visit this blog.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I added the grey scale chart as an added design element to the blog as well as a guide...
I know monitor calibration software and tools can cost a lot or enough for you to not want to go out and buy one. I created a chart to help those that just need one right away. Besides, we’re not all photographers or designers. With this method, all you really need to do is adjust your brightness and contrast on the monitor itself or the software that came with your video card, in your settings on your computer. For quick adjustments, I adjust them right on the monitor.
As you look at the chart, also seen at the bottom of this blog, you can see the squares gradually become lighter and lighter. It is important that each color represents itself. On one end, it’s black and should be pure black with no hint of grey. On the other end, it should be pure white and again, with no hint of grey. You should be able to see 26 different tones in this chart.
There are many other charts out there that use this same method. But using this method (tone chart) doesn’t help correct the color. So, you may want to do a search and find a way to do this also by eye. I’ve seen charts that show the Red, Blue, and Green scales and it looks like it should work. But I say this is the best and easiest way to correct your monitor on the fly as far as contrast goes.
Just play around with your contrast settings and color balance to get it right. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the photos a bit more when viewing them.
Please remember, this is the bare minimum method of calibrating your monitor...
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Things are changing and hopefully for the better. Every time I come across a three column blog, I think to myself and always say that I got to do something like that. But then reality sank in, I don’t have the time to tinker with this blog or even read the endless supply of directions from the hundreds of blogs covering this subject.
Then one day, yesterday, I came across Blogger Buster and its instructions. After reading it and giving it some thought, I truly believed I can do it. The instructions given were probably the best I’ve seen. Here, see for yourself…
Blogger Buster – Create a three column Blogger template instructions
I basically followed it and adjusted when needed to fit my needs. I wanted two right sidebars instead of the left and right sidebar that the directions stated. And boy did it work. I finished the blog adjustments in no time. It was a lot easier and faster than I thought. Now that I got it completed, it looks great. Thanks to Amanda’s post!
Now that my blog has increased its width because of the added column, I needed a new header because it was too small. Instead of just using the same design, I decided to create a new header/banner to set off this new look.
Here’s the old/original header for Communicating Ideas... with a length of 900 pixels.
Now here’s the new header for Communicating Ideas, can also see being used right now... with a length of 1020 pixels.
I’m pretty happy right now, but there are other things I need to do to improve this blog. But, I’ll leave it at that. I need other topics to write about to keep this blog rolling...
Monday, July 21, 2008
I originally had my domain, CommunicatingIdeas.com, just pointing to my blog address, visualnewbie.blogspot.com. At first, I felt that was enough for me. After giving it some thought, I decided to just convert the blog to use the custom domain feature on Blogger. After all, I purchased the domain and might as well put it to more use. It’s also not a matter of looking more professional like others may say, but because I wanted to. My constant quest to improve my blog...
The directions provided by Blogger’s Help Center section were pretty straight forward. But I thought that was too easy and also did a search on Google and found other bloggers blogging about this subject. Sure enough, the directions were similar and I went ahead and took this task head on.
I already bought my domain name through GoDaddy. I accessed the DNS settings and created a CNAME record. The directions to get to this point provided by Blogger and other bloggers are straight to the point and I would go to those and follow them. There is no sense in me copying their step-by-step when they did a good job at it.
But here is what got me confused. When you click on “Add New CNAME Record” in your Domain Manager, you come to two areas where you fill in, “Name” and “Host Name”. Pretty straight forward right? Well I understood the “Host Name” and entered it (ghs.google.com). The “Name”, I actually entered www.communicatingideas.com. It usually takes time for the changes to take an effect. I know it states it can take 24-48 hours, but that was worst case scenario. In my experience, it averages around a few hours. After a full night, the next morning the domain was still not working and was just parked on GoDaddy. I knew something was not right. The problem was I wasn’t supposed to enter www.communicatingideas.com, I was only supposed to enter “www”. In less than an hour, my blog was back and online.
I know that the other sites directions said to enter “www”, but it wasn’t clear. The whole time I was waiting for my blog to come back online I kept going back to the directions to see if I did everything and not miss anything. That whole “www” still confused me. I took “www” as a general word for your domain or to make sure to add the “www” as the prefix of your domain. That morning when it didn’t work I realized that it was supposed to be only the letters “www”. The directions weren’t wrong; I just wished that it was clearer.
Now it works... hopefully my experience will help those who had trouble just like I did.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I did a test to see how I can send photos from my phone (AT&T Tilt) directly to the Blog. After finding out how easy it was to do this, I can easily see myself sending photos from my phone to the blog on the fly. Making this regular blog into a photo journal blog, this is better for me, since I don’t like writing much.
What I didn’t like was how small the thumbnails are. I would like to be able to choose a thumbnail size a bit larger than the one used right now. I’m not sure if there’s a way to change it, but I hope I can find a way. Maybe it’s just me and I just can’t find that feature/function. It really wastes a lot of space and kills the clean design. Some might not care or bothered about it. But yeah, I know, that’s the designer in me speaking…
More photos from my phone coming soon…
Edit: only the photo was uploaded via the phone. Not the text/content. Here's some added info for curious minds... The phone I used was the AT&T Tilt and has a 3.0 megapixels camera.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
You know football season is just around the corner when you’ve just received your season tickets for 2008. That’s the 2008 San Diego Chargers season tickets to be exact. There’s not much football talk going on right now, except the Favre issue. But now that I’ve received these tickets and so will other Charger Fans, the excitement will surely grow. Not just us Charger Fans, but other fans from other teams as well. Man, this is going to be another great season…
I received my tickets today (2008.07.17) and wasn’t really expecting them this soon. And it really caught me off guard. I remember receiving my 2006 and 2007 tickets a week or two before the first pre-season game. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I got them.
As I open the envelope that it was mailed in, I pulled out another envelope that contained the tickets. A navy blue Chargers letter sized envelope with a slogan/design that states “This is Game Day 2008”. A bit different from the other slogans/trademarks, “Sound the Charge” or “Ready to Strike” from the previous seasons. It also doesn’t have that aggressive feeling, but does have that feeling that they’re all business, no games, type of attitude. Maybe that’s something we’re missing…
Now, on to the ticket photos… this is a photo of the 2 season packs with tickets to all the home games, including the 2 pre-season games. I personally like the design. It really brings back memories with the photos from previous games designed onto the tickets. There is even a different quote under the main photo/image on the game tickets too. Pretty cool, if you ask me…
(BELOW) First pre-season game… Game: Saturday, August 9, 2008 vs. Dallas Cowboys at 7pm on CBS. Ticket: Shawne Merriman #56. Quote: “The Lights. The Colors. The Excitement.”
(BELOW) Second home pre-season game… Game: Monday, August 25, 2008 vs. Seattle Seahawks at 5pm on ESPN. Ticket: Flying Military Jets. Quote: “The Sound. The Energy. The Excitement.”
(BELOW) Opener, first home game… Game: Sunday, September 7, 2008 vs. Carolina Panthers at 1:15pm on FOX. Ticket: Philip Rivers #17. Quote: “The Passion. The Depth. The Intensity.”
(BELOW) Second home game… Game: Monday, September 22, 2008 vs. New York Jets at 5:30pm on ESPN. Ticket: Antonio Gates #85. Quote: “The Crowd. The Endzone. The Celebration.”
(BELOW) Third home game… Game: Sunday, October 12, 2008 vs. New England Patriots at 5:15pm on NBC. Ticket: LaDainian Tomlinson #21. Quote: “The Tradition. The Rush. The Victory.”
(BELOW) Fourth home game… Game: Sunday, November 9, 2008 vs. Kansas City Chiefs at 1:15pm on CBS. Ticket: Jamal Williams #76. Quote: “The Anticipation. The Power. The Trenches.”
(BELOW) Fifth home game… Game: Sunday, November 23, 2008 vs. Indianapolis Colts at 5:15pm on NBC. Ticket: Antonio Cromartie #31. Quote: “The Speed. The Flash. The Roar.”
(BELOW) Sixth home game… Game: Sunday, November 30, 2008 vs. Atlanta Falcons at 1:05pm on FOX. Ticket: Offensive Line. Quote: “The Drive. The Sweat. The Battle.”
(BELOW) Seventh home game… Game: Thursday, December 4, 2008 vs. Oakland Raiders at 5:15pm on NFLN. Ticket: Charger Fan. Quote: “The Fans. The Cheers. The Memories.”
(BELOW) Eighth and last regular season home game… Game: Sunday, December 28, 2008 vs. Denver Broncos at 1:15pm on CBS. Ticket: The Team. Quote: “The Team. The Desire. The Goal.”
Now that we have the tickets shown, GO BOLTS!!!
San Diego Chargers – http://www.chargers.com
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Man has it been hot the past couple of days. I’m here in front of the computer, sweating because of all the electronics running, organizing my photos and happen to come across a couple of pictures. A cold bottle of Hefeweizen by The Firehouse Brewing Company. Just looking at the photo gets me real thirsty. This is my personal favorite when it comes to the Hefewiezen variety. Now, I just got to go out and drink, I mean try more San Diego Beer and spread the word of how great San Diego beer is. It’s something us San Diegans take for granted…
So many great San Diego beers, so little time...
The Firehouse Brewing Company – http://www.firehousebrew.com
7696 Miramar Road, San Diego, CA 92126
Monday, July 14, 2008
I headed out to the Eastlake/Chula Vista (South San Diego) Bimmer (BMW) gathering this past Saturday, July 12 2008. I had a great time and thanks to Bond (bimmerZ5) for throwing the gathering for us BMW enthusiasts in the South Bay (South San Diego), as well as those willing to drive down from other parts of San Diego. I arrived a bit after 11am and the weather was cooperating. After all, we were supposed to have thunder storms going on that weekend, which I thought was funny. It was cloudy and that helped, because east Chula Vista can get real hot. And it did get hot as the day continued. After seeing and greeting some familiar faces from other meets and meetings some new ones, I went ahead and took some photos. It was another hot day in Eastlake, but not as hot as these hot rides…
Visit www.LapadaGallery.com to view the whole gallery of photos from the event. Or click on any photo provided below and it will direct you right to the event gallery.
Lessons of that day… bring your filter and double check your camera settings. I thought I learned my lesson from other events, but I guess I always need to be reminded. I got excited and just started snapping away.
Check these sites out for future events and gatherings...
Or, just come back here, Communicating Ideas, The Blog.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I don’t like talking on the phone while driving. So, the new California Cell Phone law doesn’t affect me much. That’s not to say I agree with this new law either. But, there are times that I’ve used it while driving. Now that the new law is in effect, I’m ready…
I just picked up this Bluetooth Headset called Plantronics Discovery 925 at the local electronics store. It’s a pretty sweet looking ear piece and different than the ones that I’ve seen. I pretty much bought this one based on looks and design alone. I don’t have much experience with Bluetooth Headsets, so I really can’t compare it to others. But it works fine and it fits my needs well.
Enough with this talk, on with the photos, done by yours truly…
Friday, July 4, 2008
Eastlake/Chula Vista (South San Diego) Bimmer GTG & Lunch!! - July 12th / 11:00AM - All makes and models welcomed.
I'm a BMW fan, biiiiggggg fan. Heck, my first car and only car is a BMW. I've been to a few of these and here's the next coming event. The last event had a great showing and I'm expecting the same for this one. I also believe there's going to be a rally after the initial meet too.
For photos of the last event, click here!
TIME: Saturday, July 12th, 2008 / 11:00AM-5:00PM
LOCATION: Parking lot between Walmart and Chic-Fil-A. (There's only one Chic-Fil-A in Chula Vista) We'll grab some food there or somewhere nearby.
Here's a flyer, header, banner, or whatever you call it. Designed by yours truly...
Just finished uploading I Heart Monterey County cities on Spotees. I've also just recently uploaded I Heart Contra Costa County cities too. Since its summertime, these make great gifts for those who live there or just visiting.
Here’s a direct link to the “I Heart Contra Costa County” cities.
Here’s a direct link to the “I Heart Monterey County” cities.
Check out www.Spotees.com to go directly to the main page. Other cities are ready to be purchased.
Come back soon and I’ll have more cities ready to be for purchase…