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Quite possibly one of the longest breaks I've taken in writing in this particular section, and there's really no reason. Looking back at my previous entry, I suppose it could seem like I was depressed and simply shut myself off from the world, but that wasn't the case. In fact, soon after writing the post, I decided that I could keep on internalizing every outside element in the world and let it ruin me, or read about it, try to do little things here and there that would help, and keep moving on. So, that's what I'm doing.

Speaking of which, TG and I recently got a catalog in the mail from Even though I feel like I'm a lefty and into renewable resources and all that, I had NEVER heard of this organization and when I started reading about them, it felt like some sort of a mini revelation for some reason. It seems like one of the most logical ideas in the world, and that's why it appeals to me. It's helping people without just giving them a handout. Seriously, I hate to get all preachy, but check out their site if you want to do some sort of charitable giving and aren't sure what to do.

In the time since I last wrote, I've been busy trying to teach myself a new and completely overwhelming computer program for producing music. Since I'm sorta in-between projects (with Marianas in stasis and my ambient and other personal projects on hold), I decided I would figure out some new programs that would hopefully help me along. Oh yeah, and I switched from the darkside and got a Mac. It's shiny and silver and so far has worked quite well. We'll see what happens when I start to really test it out.

I am positively out of shape. I went jogging about 4 miles the other night and it took me well over a half hour. I was huffing after the first mile and although I got into a groove after that, I woke up the next morning sore and found myself determined to fight off the winter weight. Speaking of winter, tonight I craved nothing more than a hot chocolate with some coffee liqueur in it, but we were out of hot chocolate. Tomorrow, I bike to the store and remedy that damn situation.

This weekend, I managed to get out and rollerblade twice in two days, which is much more than I've been doing over the course of the past couple months. In years past, I was absolutely crazy about going rollerblading, and pretty much went every night if the weather wasn't bad. One year, I rollerbladed over 1000 miles, and several others I was up to 750 or so. This year, I've tried to get back into a routine, but I've never really gotten into as serious of a groove as I'd like to. Fortunately, this year has been better than past ones, and I've probably managed 4-500 miles or so since the start of the year. A set of wheels is almost worn out, so that's a good sign. Last year, I gained a bit of the winter weight, but I'm determined to put up a fight this year.

In other news, TG and I attended the wedding reception of a friend this weekend. The friend is one that moved out of town several years back, and although we don't keep close touch, it was good to see her again. At the reception, we didn't really know anyone at all, other than a single person (and another that I'd met at a party years back). Regardless of that, we had a great time, and despite very little face time with the wedded couple themselves (they were, of course, very busy trying to talk to everyone that was there, which is very understandable having gone through the whole process myself), we had a good time. After talking with cool people, I always feel guilty that I'm such a hermit and don't get out as much, because there are interesting and kind people out there, it's just that I'm sometimes too shut-in too appreciate them.

I'm not quite sure what it's related to, but I've been feeling really, really melancholy lately. I'm usually one of those people who can fight my way through a bit of the blues by putting on one of my favorite albums and singing along with it or simply going out for a good bit of exercise, but I've been feeling almost haunted by a general sort of gloomy feeling as of late. Perhaps it's just the events of the world in general all swirling together and saturating in my head as something that I can't quite shake, as there's nothing specific that I could even begin to trace as the root. Hopefully I'll at least figure out a way to make them seem less overwhelming soon.

Damn, well over two weeks without a single post. When I sat down tonight, I thought it had been at least a week, but definitely not two. The time has been flying, that's for sure.

In terms of overall time outside work and my usual routine, the thing that has consumed the most time the past couple weeks was the re-design and relaunch of the music review section. The story starts clear back in June or July of this year, when I decided that I wanted to get my entire review section into a MySQL database and incorporate some more dynamic functions as well as redesign the whole thing in CSS and XML. The design part of it all actually went relatively smoothly and I got something I was happy with. However, I'm still a completel newbie when it comes to databases and anything involving code that is much more than partially-developed javascript.

Luckily for me, I started a thread of conversation with a friend that I work with and he told me that while some of the stuff I wanted to do would be a bit time consuming, none of it was that difficult (to him anyway, looking at some of his PHP code still splits my head wide open). At any rate, he helped me an absolute ton over the course of the past several months, stepping me through the different processes as we went about parsing all the data from the old reviews and getting the information into the database, building a bunch of PHP functions to help the site run a little bit more dynamically, and implementing several new features on the site. In the end, the site was relaunched with the update last week and the response has been very favorable overall.

From my own personal standpoint, I think the site is light-years beyond where it was, both from a design standpoint and a functionality one. With the ability to search different options and the overall leaner and cleaner layout, I think that getting around the site in general is much easier. So yeah, if you haven't been over there yet, swing over and read some reviews or something and let me know what you think.

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