Hope and Motivation in Trying Times

Crystal L. B. Rion

This Christmas Eve, I thought that I would share a small message of encouragement with you.

Sometimes, it is difficult for us to locate hope and motivation within ourselves.  It may seem that we do not know where we are going, what our next move should be, or what that next right decision really looks like.  This can leave us feeling hopeless, helpless and lost.  We can even feel reduced to a meme, as a friend of mine recently pointed out:


The truth is, sometimes none of us does. But that’s okay. We don’t always have to know exactly what we’re doing; just that we are still trying. If we are striving, then good on us.

Those of us with a kind of pedantic obsessiveness with knowing what will come next, how to prepare, and what to expect know this feeling of “void-space” all too well.  Truthfully, we cannot perfectly…

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Continuing Web Design

I feel like I should update this Blog. My spare time has been spent between learning the elements of web design and trying to hang on to my social life (don’t judge me- friends are important too!) so I haven’t had a lot of energy to write. But seeing as how I’m going to start pushing myself harder with web design I think it’s only right. I’ve also decided to write here solely in HTML.

So it’s self-assessment time.

I’ve got a firm handhold on HTML. By that I mean I feel really comfortable with it. I don’t remember everything (or a lot) but I know how to get around with it. There are still some things that trip me up but I’m finding less and less things that trip me up.

It IS a little difficult breaking myself of some old, pre-HTML 5 habits. EM instead of I? WHAAAAT? Crazy, right? Fortunately there’s plenty that’s exactly the same so I have that going for me.

I’ve got a pretty good grasp of CSS as well. Like HTML, I’ve still got things that I need to look up every now and then, but for the most part I can fully wrap my head around it. One thing I’ve found that’s really helpful is Twitter Bootstrap. As a front-end framework it’s really nice.

Javascript, on the other hand, I haven’t gotten much accomplished with. I’ve barely even picked up PHP. There is DEFINITELY room for improvement on all the things that I need to build up expertise with.

I’m currently building a homepage to showcase all the websites I’ve designed so far. Hopefully it’ll show a clear progression as I go from “baby’s first web page” to “did the same guy design this?” Once I get it uploaded I’ll link it here.

So that’s about it for right now. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. And that’s something, coming from me. I’m my own worst critic. If I like something I’ve done… there might be something to that.

Take care, internet.


Yet another brief update

So I’ve taken a brief break from HTML to prepare for a worthy cause. I’m not just slacking off, honest!

I’m gearing up for a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Here’s the website I designed for the event:


I used a page builder application, but I intend to go back and try to see how well I can design it with pure HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I haven’t been able to do that between working full time and gearing up for my marathon. And this isn’t another excuse. I’m going to be running a 24 hour game of Dungeons & Dragons for a bunch of players who haven’t played the game before. There’s actually a lot to get ready!

I’m hoping in the next few weeks I’ll have some time to get back into web design.

Oh, and if you could check out my website please give me feedback on the aesthetic and design aspects of the pages. It’s my first attempt to build a wholly new and functional website and I can use all the help I can get.

Oh, and one more thing. If you could visit and share my site I’d really appreciate it. 100% of the money I raise is going to help hospitals that help sick and needy kids. Donations are also super-appreciated.

Continuing with Codecademy

I’m steadily picking up more CSS and think I have a pretty firm grasp of the basics of HTML5. Seems like a good time to start in on learning something like Bootstrap, right?

It’s difficult maintaining motivation to get in a good several hours of studying when my work days are about 13-14 hours long including the commute. Though in all honesty, those hours are exactly the reason I need to keep going with this. Any job in which I could telework even once a week would be greatly appreciated.

Once I get to the point where I’m learning JavaScript I think I’ll start using HTML coding on this blog.

HTML Progress- Just a short update

So I’ve been working with two main methods of learning HTML5, and both are free websites. W3Schools.com is the one I started off with, but now I’ve moved on to CodeAcademy.com.

W3Schools was a pretty bare-bones tutorial that helped bring me up to speed on the basics of HTML5, but I think I need something more. CodeAcademy.com was recommended to me a while back by one of my friends, and today I had another friend suggest it as well. Two people is good enough for me, so I’m officially deciding to switch over.

So far, CodeAcademy has a pretty great hands-on system where they walk you through building a web-page. With W3Schools I was having to make my own. Now, making my own had its benefits. For example, I could make the subject-matter about whatever I was interested in. It just so happens that I’m interested in starting up a Let’s Play video series so I started making the page about that. With CodeAcademy it’s some generic content that I’m not too thrilled about, but there’s a little more hand-holding so I think I’m going to get a more permanent grasp on the content.

Starting a new Skill-Set

I know it’s been, like, two years since I posted here. That’s bad of me. I haven’t been idling, but I haven’t had the gumption to document it.

My job has been giving me plenty of experience in Visual Basic 6, SQL Server, and some basic trouble-shooting. I’ve been getting plenty of customer service experience, but I’ve never been worried about my skills in customer service. Not just tooting my own horn, but I think I’m pretty damn great at it.

Tragically, VB6 is rapidly reaching obsolescence and I haven’t been doing nearly as much hardware-related IT work as I’d first hoped. Learning SQL is useful, but I’m not sure doing database work is what I want to do.

Also, as a disclaimer, I am NOT knocking my job. I’m grateful for the opportunity and really like my coworkers and bosses. I’m just saying I’m looking in a different direction.

Enter: Web Design.

Over a decade ago I started working on learning HTML4. That never worked out for reasons I won’t go into, but I formed a foundation that I’d end up building off much later. I remember using html tags when I wanted to spice up my ultra-important LiveJournal back in the day. This isn’t to say it was the greatest coding in the world, but it was a start. It also leads me to believe that I can absolutely, positively do this.

I’ve already started going through the tutorials on w3schools.com and have just about finished the list of HTML chapters and am about to move into CSS. CSS is a bit intimidating, but I’m sure I’ll do fine.

The key at this point is to keep at it. I’ve got a side-project wherein I do Let’s Plays (essentially I play video games and add commentary for those of you not familiar with the odd, new-ish phenomenon) so I’m trying to use that for content while I’m practicing my HTML coding.

I’ll try to keep posting here as I learn, and plan on getting something to display soon.