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Life is a redesign

While I was in here typing and uploading and reloading, the sun came up. Outside, it’s overcast, and chilly for the first time this year. Everything looks a little worn and sad, but the cold is refeshing.

A little more than five years ago, I was walking with a friend down a road in outside of Weil-im-Schönbuch. It was a little hot, the way southern Germany gets in summer.

I’d just graduated high school a little less than a month before, and was mostly enjoying the freedom of being away from home for the first time and with nothing to do. I’d been accepted to UH a couple of months before, and was looking forward to college, which I figured would be a fun four years. I’d had plans for a long time to move on from there to teaching literature at some small, unpreposessing liberal arts college.

I was tired, the way you get when you’re in another country for the first time and you put off sleep until you get home. I may very well have been hungover.

It was about half an hour before sunset when we passed a farm down in the valley below us. It was a scene that could, except for a lone electrical pole, have been from just about any century; fields and a small farmhouse. I took a picture, figuring it wouldn’t really capture too well the scene.

I was wrong; it did capture it, very well. That’s not the only thing I was wrong about. College has been fun, but it’s been a lot more besides. And I have no idea any longer what I want to do with my life. I certainly hadn’t planned on getting as involved with the internet as I have, or with weblogs. I hadn’t planned on getting bored with academia. I certainly hadn’t planned on taking an extra year to graduate.

But the picture’s followed me through these five years, and I’m glad I have it, since my memory’s so shabby I probably wouldn’t remember that day without it, just like I wouldn’t remember a lot of days without this weblog. It seemed natural, then, for me to put them together in the culmination of a redesign that’s been in the works since early August.

It’s the only redesign I’ve done that I haven’t been unhappy with in some way before I finished it. I’ve learned a lot about webdesign since I started this weblog, though, most of it having less to do with the actual process than with the philosophy behind it. Things like attention to detail, and the marriage of form and function. More of this design works than is normal for me, and (time constraints allowing) all of it will work in a few days.

You may not like it; that’s ok. Because, really, it’s not for you, is it? As usual, though, I’d appreciate your input, and am ready to fix all the errors you’ll find.

Filed by shaun at October 6th, 2001 under fidelite

i think it’s beautiful.

Comment by alison — 6 Oct 2001 @ 10:18 am

and i like it too, in spite of being ‘THEM’

Comment by ryan — 6 Oct 2001 @ 1:01 pm

Eh, looks just like home. WAITAMINUTE that IS my home!! (J/K) Heh. Seriously though, I grew up in an area that looked a bit like that. THANKS FOR REOPENING OLD WOUNDS BUDDY!!! lol.

Keep up the good krow (that’s ‘work’ spelled backwards… from someone who is really bass awkwards)

Critter =^_^=

Comment by Critter — 6 Oct 2001 @ 3:44 pm

Yes. YEEEEEEEEEEEEES. Good things. Good house. Yeeeeeeeeees.

Comment by Risusa — 6 Oct 2001 @ 5:22 pm

are you sure there’s a picture?\ummm the comment boxes are really weird and I can’t see what I’m typing until I tab out of the box. also, mac ie doesn’t have a picture, but I’ll take your word for it that it’s there. :)

Comment by rabi — 6 Oct 2001 @ 11:04 pm

If you’re using a browser that supports the CSS1/2 convention background (url), there should be a picture.

Which means, of course, that if you’re using Opera or Mozilla (or Netscape) that there might not be. Opera decides to load it sometimes, and Netscape/Mozilla seems to load it, but not quite right.

Opera and Mozilla go crazy because of the no-repeat part of the background, but only on this page. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Comment by Shaun — 7 Oct 2001 @ 12:58 am

actually, the picture did show up in netscape for mac, but not the scrollbars, so I couldn’t get to the comment link. it didn’t show up at all in ie. but now I’m in windows on my own computer and it looks great.

Comment by rabi — 7 Oct 2001 @ 11:11 am

This new design is absolutely breath-taking! It makes me think of so many things just by looking at the picture. Great work!

Comment by Heather — 7 Oct 2001 @ 2:59 pm

Looks just breathtaking from my end: IE 5.5 on a PC. Only complaint is that the sidebar and parts of the comments window are a bit hard to read, but that’s certainly not a deal-breaker. Good show!

Comment by J. Dunn — 7 Oct 2001 @ 5:13 pm

Looks good in IE6.0b on PC. Nice design.

Comment by Aaron — 8 Oct 2001 @ 5:40 am

jesus! will you update this thing already?

Comment by alison — 9 Oct 2001 @ 10:54 am

No.

Comment by Shaun — 9 Oct 2001 @ 4:22 pm

Lovely. Picture, site and story.

Comment by Martha — 9 Oct 2001 @ 5:26 pm

oh. fuck off, then.

Comment by alison — 9 Oct 2001 @ 6:17 pm

So much SPACE!

I know nothing about the stuff that sits behind all this but the, um, the, uh, THIS stuff, up here, is great. There’s a sense of peace, which is imbued, I guess mostly by the font and the photo – I’m getting solitude, dislocation, nostalgia … although that could be the weekend still wearing off …

I like it.

Comment by Duncan — 10 Oct 2001 @ 3:26 am

yeah, i really like it too. except all the writing in the top left corner of the screen has other writing over the top of it. I’m not sure how or why – I’m using netscape if that makes any difference. Oh, and I’m down under, that’s probably it :-)

Good schtuff mate!

Comment by sarah g — 11 Oct 2001 @ 3:18 am

okay. please?

Comment by alison — 11 Oct 2001 @ 3:26 am

Uh… I’m on IE 5.1 and all I see is a white page, a black and white “ID” logo, and black courier text. Generally speaking, thugh, this browser is about standards-compliant as they come. What am I missing?

Comment by awol — 11 Oct 2001 @ 7:12 pm

The background. 5.4 and above should be able to see it, if I remember correctly.

Comment by Shaun — 11 Oct 2001 @ 9:39 pm