Archives for Month: June 2015

It has been a while since I have properly written anything about concerts or music in general. I tried my hand at a Music Monthly segment last year, but lost interest. I had made regular playlists in Spotify then ported them to 8tracks, but I could no longer bother keeping it up. Apart from that, I also haven’t listened to a great deal of new music. There also haven’t been many interesting gigs and concerts this year, and last year it died down as well – I went to a total of 41, whereas in previous years I would have easily gone to at least double that.

So I’ve decided to at least sum up my gigs, music I’ve discovered, stuff I am listening to, and other similar things. I have named this segment Pop 101 after the Marianas Trench song. 😀

I will still write in-depth about any gigs or concerts or music when I like, so the purpose of this is to write a quick summary. I’m thinking of doing this every quarter/three months, but to allow it to be more flexible in case I change my mind, I’m just going to number them with volumes rather than writing “Q1”, “Q2” and so on. As this volume recaps the last three months, it’s a tad long… but let’s roll!

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One of my favourite lines from Doctor Who is from series four, when Rose asks the Doctor the last thing he said, and he responds with “Rose Tyler”, she asks, “And how was that sentence going to end?”

The Doctor replies with, “Does it need saying?”

It’s not a favourite line for me because it conjures up slight warmth. It’s not because it gives you the knowledge that the Doctor said those three difficult words, and it’s not because it confirms to us that the uncomfortable silence we felt has disappeared. It’s because it’s a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking few words that makes us realise how important those three words might be.

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Nothing is perfect. But like most people would, I was insanely proud of the current design for my blog when I released it, and I thought it was perfect.

A bit over a year later, I’m noticing bugs, or thinking about how I can improve the overall UX – that is, user experience 😉 – of my blog. But instead of doing an overhaul and just deploying something totally different, I’m going to do this incrementally, pushing small changes every now and then, and I need your help.

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Michelle has gone through a lot in her life. But she’s a fighter, a brave girl, and passionate about all her hobbies. She writes about her daily life on her blog, as well as everything (and everyone) she loves. She’s definitely not a serious character, and she’s got a fun side to her which I was so glad I squeezed out of her in this interview! 🙂

I’m a little weird, unique, and always myself in a world that can be unforgiving. I suffer from a mental illness and not just one, but three of them, and found ways to survive with a therapy dog Marley, meds, and all sorts of therapy to not bat an eye at. I am a survivor of abuse inside and out, and has life time experience surviving and thriving in the world, no matter the ways it turns and twists. I’m planning on being an advocate and social worker for my mental illnesses, which in turn can help others in worse positions than myself, and possibly make a difference. Though at the end of the day, I am always me, at 4’10”, tough, tenacious, and dependable.

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It didn’t take me long at all to realise that I hated frameworks. Presentational classes in Bootstrap? I didn’t dare touch it. HTML5 boilerplate? Let me do it myself. JavaScript for a carousel/slider/gallery? I tried to avoid it at all costs.

CSS resets, though, are another story.

What is a CSS reset?

In a nutshell, a CSS reset file is a file that you can either build upon or let sit under the rest of your CSS. It is designed to ensure consistency across different browsers, particularly with regards to margins, padding, font sizes and other features that may be present in only one browser (Firefox-only or Chrome-only).

Building future-proof (and browser-proof) CSS

I started using a CSS reset about a year ago. I used normalize.css as I had used it at my workplace at the time. I was admittedly sucked in from the moment I read “consistent” and “all browsers” in the same sentence. I didn’t think much further than that. I thought that if I had base CSS like this, it would help prevent browser compatibility issues down the track.

Putting aside the fact that I test my designs meticulously in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and IE (often right down to IE8, and IE7 if I feel like being a ninja) anyway, browser compatibility issues can’t necessarily be solved with just CSS, much less a CSS “reset” file.

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I’m quite excited for this edition of Fashion Friday – wait, aren’t I like that all the time?! 😄 – because it was suggested by one of my loyal readers, Tara! I reached out in some of my older posts for readers to suggest a name for a FF post, and I would use that name as inspiration for an outfit.

Tara mentioned me as one of her favourite bloggers. She said that although she isn’t big on fashion, she loves my taste in clothes and accessories. I knew she would love to make a suggestion so she went for Blue Moon, based on the famous song.

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It wasn’t until late last month when we had our work hackathon and a lady already in the elevator saw the balloon letters reading “HACKATHON” that I remembered that ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books existed, and were one of my favourite “genres” of books to read.

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I’ve decided to write more about web development on my blog, so this is my first post on that topic. It’s about how I converted my CSS from Stylus to Sass. To begin with, I ramble a bit about my experience with preprocessors.

What is a preprocessor?

A preprocessor is basically a tool that allows you to write more “powerful” CSS, by offering functions and variables to make your life easier, and then outputs it as the CSS you already know. Preprocessors have a number of advantages. You can catch syntax errors as you make them. You can minify, outputting your CSS in the smallest file size possible. You can separate meaningful CSS “blocks” into separate files for organisation, then compile it. You can nest CSS rules – which to humans – makes a lot of sense.

Really boring intro about my history with preprocessors.

I first learned about preprocessors in 2010, when I got my first part-time web development job. It later became full-time, and was probably, to date, the job I’ve learned the most at (relatively). I was at a very junior level, knowing nothing about the developments of HTML and CSS. I’d gone as far to validate my code, nest properly, check my website in different browsers, and not just let HTML be its normal forgiving self. But I never got to the point of thinking about structuring CSS and the importance of semantics until then. Preprocessors were completely new to me, and at first I didn’t understand why anyone would want to make their lives easier (because knowing me, I always wanted to make everything hard).

Hello Stylus

At that point I was so in love with vanilla CSS that I didn’t like the idea of using a preprocessor. I liked doing everything manually and writing everything out, character by character. I think it didn’t help that Stylus was the preprocessor I learned about first. Stylus was terribly, terribly forgiving

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