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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 - 8:42 PM

"All Good Things Must Come to An End"

After approximately four and a half years of onlinedome I with some hesitation and melancholy announce today the impending dissolution of this here web site, fondly come to be known as Esotropiart. I should qualify that "fondness" I suppose, for in reality I think I was the only one who was ever "fond" of such a strange name.

In reality, I never really liked the name Esotropiart. It was more of a forced choice. All the domain names I really wanted were already registered. I always wanted this particular site to be called "crosseyed.com" or something like that. Every decent variation of that theme I could think of was claimed. I researched more thoroughly my desired theme using a thesaurus and through general web searches. I learned that "esotropia" is a medical condition that is often described as "cross eyed". Esotropia.com was taken, so I settled for esotropiart, which obviously indicated my initial intention to speak my message by way of "artwork", if mine can be called that.

I added a number of features over the years, most significantly perhaps being EsoBlog. Of course everything is hand-coded in PHP/MySQL/XHTML/CSS/Javascript. In the beginning, Esotropiart was my playground, where I employed the latest and greatest web technologies and tricks I learned. The last couple years have been exceptional in this regard. I haven't made any significant technological advances to my own web site, and the scripts have stagnated. My attention has been demanded elsewhere

All along, the message or theme of Esotropiart has always been "Life is a process". It was my original dream to show every single piece of artwork I ever created, which sums to probably a couple thousand to date. I never found the time to add all that artwork and fill in the database fields for various information about the artwork. I wanted the complete set of my works to show a development of skill and technique over the span of a lifetime, from early childhood to "maturity" (I'm still not there!). I have never considered myself a greatly talented or gifted artist. I fall somewhere in the line of "above average", but I'm no prodigy or naturally born genius like some people I know.

The focus of my site's content shifted largely to my blog in the second half of Esotropiart's existence. I felt that my ability to communicate verbally, though also no master's craft, was more effective than mere random drawings in illustrating the message, "process of life". I shared much from my heart, starting with "trivial" things like movie reviews and graphics articles. Later I shifted more and more to divulging the inmost parts of my being, trying to communicate the profundity of the great and powerful work the Holy Spirit of God - the image of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior - has worked in me.

While I can't promise I will flee from having a "web presence" forever (sorry, if you were hoping!), for now my decision is to allow Esotropiart to vegetate for a while. I never really achieved any of the goals I wanted to with it. Of course perhaps prime among reasons for this failure was a lack of time and energy invested to the degree I had originally hoped. At any rate, it is a fairly final decision to bring Esotropiart to an eventual, anti-climactic end. I'm still mulling it over, but I don't feel it will be much of a loss as far as the internet community is concerned. I wish I had vast crowds of disappointed fans to apologize to. If you are reading now, you are among about 10 or 15 faithful readers - and I think you'll get over it :)

Even so, thank you for your faithful reading and viewing over the years. Don't worry, I'll back it all up. If a time comes to revive it some day in the future in some other form, you can be sure it will be something I'll consider. I may have plans already in the works, but that would be "giving too much away" :)

God bless you all,

I love you with the best dose of Christ's love that is capable of being displayed through this broken vessel of self known as Phil. May the Spirit of Christ enrichen your life as He has mine, yet two or tenfold if He wills. His "blessing" will not likely be riches or fame or constant cheer... but it will be good. Your life's journey will not be wasted, not a single tear or heartache, if you allow Jesus Christ, His comforting Spirit and the Almighty Father to enter your life and reside in you. I know it is His desire. What is yours?

Some "Historical" EsoLogos

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Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 - 11:23 PM

"Bike Stats Future Feature"

So there should no longer be any painful bike stats on my blog. I finally created a database table to hold the information. Eventually I may use this to create a stats displaying page with graphs and such. Knowing me, it might be years before such a thing becomes a reality - if ever. At least now I have a proper way to record the stats without annoying my very few readers!

P.S. Since I've been properly recording my bike statistics from my bike computer each day, I've traveled 633.04 miles! That's after 3 months, 67 days of those days being riding days, averaging 9.45 miles per day. My fastest maximum speed so far is 33.5 miles per hour. My average speed over all this time so far is 10.55 miles per hour.

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Friday, October 24th, 2008 - 12:28 AM

"Church Doodlers Don't Go To Hell"

Beethoven Calls Me Custard Movies

Woah, zesty title, eh!? Yes. Whoopty-do.

I just remembered I intended to append that Mechanical Pencil post with a testimony about last Sunday's church service. Oops! I forgot. Now that I remember, I simply gotta say it.

Last Sunday everyone was invited to draw with some simple art implements on a big table at church - yes, during the service! WOW! Is that cool or what?! Why aren't you going to this church? :) Yup, when I was a kid, I was the king of drawing. Now I suck royally, but I was a genius in my day... or at least that's what all those compliments from adults made me feel like! In all honesty, I've never been that great. Any skill I have is from ridiculous amounts of practice... and by practice, I mean worthless doodles. Seriously - I could prove it if you looked at my early drawings! (or just take a look at my galleries, which include many of those! HA! Bet you didn't know the purpose of this web site was to show everything I've EVER done! Yep... but I have a long way to go... need to scan thousands of junks in).

Looking back, I can honestly say that my drawing almost assuredly stared in church - or thereabouts. It's the primary reason much of my artwork is either 1) totally senseless, or 2) divinely inspired :) Huh? What a combo! Yup. Most of the time I feel like I can't do anything at all artistically. Then all-of-a-sudden I feel empowered to change the world with art, a gift to be able to create. You could accurately say this very web site wouldn't exist at all if I didn't doodle in church. Story of my life. I've always understood art as a gift from God. If only I had such powers to create beautiful things like He does. Yet it's good that my skills are weak. For His power is perfected in weakness, eh? Yup.

So yeah, I was wishing I was one of those adults around the table last Sunday. But the table was too full. And as I mentioned before, I haven't had a mind to do anything artistic lately, much less something inspirational. But I'm feeling quite a bit more revived after getting that new Papermate Pro Touch II 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil. Woo hoo! Watch out world, here I come!

As you can see, my skills are honed to perfection and haven't lost their charm over the years - this "Beethoven Calls Me Custard Movies" is my latest creation. Hot off the press...ure of my prized Papermate Pro Touch II 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil! Don't you lecture me about which side of the hand the thumb goes on... I learned that a long time ago... the answer is: it doesn't really matter.

I got a dog, and her name is Breta! She's half Brazilian, just like my nose.

Breta and me

I can hardly stand having to explain myself... but for those who don't know me too well... I'm not quite insane... I just like to look the part sometimes... with blank stares and very silly things... oooo... it's Wordnesday again, like dancing wiffle ball supreme! Weeee! The primary annoyance is having to Google everything I come up with, to make sure it isn't somehow suggestive! Man it sucks to have to change my ideas sometimes!

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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 - 9:39 PM

"Please, Make My Code Complete"

Code Complete by Steve McConnell (2nd Edition)

So I've been thinking about what I'm doing in life as far as occupation goes. It's not something I like to think about much because I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And well, let's face it, I'm pretty much all grown up by now. At any rate, I chose one path several years ago: web design and development. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. I don't particularly regret it, but I'm not absolutely certain it is what I want to be doing.

Even if I don't do it as a "career" per se, it's where I'm at right now. If for no other reason, I enjoy learning for the sake of improving my own web site, even if the professional jobs aren't as interesting to me. In fact, I have a big list of ideas in my head about how I want to improve my site. I've been rather hesitant in the last year or two at making significant changes. I have skill enough to implement just about anything, but I feel my methodologies will be pretty shoddy at best. So I've been wanting to learn more about good development skills.

I don't feel I'm horribly lacking in design knowledge. HTML, CSS, and such things are rather simple to get the hang of, even the advance trickery stuff. But my programming and coding style I feel leaves much to be desired. I have a bunch of artwork I've been wanting to add to my site, but I'm getting sick and tired of how I have to manually enter stuff into a database. I started working on adding admin screens to make it more practical to add content to my site, but I felt I wasn't approaching it in the best possible manner. I found myself repeating some of the same steps, writing the same code as when I made the blog writing admin screens. It's about time I learn some better coding practices.

In order to improve my programming gung fu (and general nerdiness), I've decided to read a programming book. I've read several before, mostly in part. I have a decent grasp of scripting languages, but I don't have many good examples of how to write good code. Most programming books really stink at describing the reasoning behind well written and badly written code. Of course this is somewhat subjective, and there are tons of "experts" out there who contradict each other on what "the most excellent way" is. Nevertheless, I am choosing to pursue better knowledge in the area of software construction, for the betterment of Esotropiart :). Oh, and it will probably help my future occupational prospects too, but that's beside the point.

I'll be reading a book titled, "Code Complete" (2nd Edition) by Steve McConnell. It comes highly recommended through a good programming friend of mine, Marquis Eden. And of course anyone in the field of programming probably knows all about - it's rather famous and highly regarded throughout the industry. I borrowed the book once from the library already. Finishing a book in time before having to return it (especially an 800 page one, full of boring technical information) is pretty much a hopeless venture for me. I'm a slow reader. I decided after a pointlessly long delay to go ahead and buy the book, in faith that it would help me in a manner that justifies the price. I rarely buy books. I just received the book today and have started the slow process of parsing the material found within. In other words, I'm still making it through the Preface. Hopefully Code Complete will give me some direction and help me make sense of and give structure to all this useless code floating around in my head.

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