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Welcome Back to ZBlogland

At long last I have a working blog on this site again! I am tickled chartreuse.

It’s been a long time since I was a regular blogger. Well I should qualify that statement: I did start a blog on the main site last year, but that project ran out of steam after only six posts.

I had found WordPress frustrating and didn’t have the patience to learn it, and I didn’t want to continue with Blogger or use some other third-party site, I wanted it to be mine. Well, I thought, a blog is essentially just a page that reads stuff off of a database, and I know how to do that already. So why not just make my own?

So I did. Only it was a pain in the ass. I’m not a developer: I know my way around PHP, CSS, HTML and SQL, but just enough to get the job done. So it looked cool- layouts I can do- but the back end was pretty janky. Besides a few small PHP bells and whistles, I was essentially just writing my posts in a text editor and then pasting those directly into the database. It left a lot to be desired in terms of editing- an extra 2 steps every time you wanted to change something. Plus I wasn’t smart enough to actually set it up with comments, “slugs”, “breadcrumbs” or any of those other fancy-shmancy blog things. So it really felt like a temporary band-aid solution, and as a result I just didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for creating posts.

Well last year was a really busy one for me: I not only sewed together over 200 new ZBQ pieces, I also worked two jobs 5 days a week for a large portion of that time. So there wasn’t a lot left to think about the blog or much else for that matter. After my sewing was done I still had to photograph and catalogue all those pieces, and then I spent several months doing a deep dive into AI art (mainly over at DreamStudio.ai ) to create a bunch of new images of virtual models wearing some of the new actual gear. I ended the year (and started this one) by preparing to launch the first brand new collection on the site, which happened on my birthday (February 2nd). I drank two tall cans of European beer that night. At long last I found myself with an open window of opportunity, and I decided it was finally time to do something about this broken blog situation.

Just tried Urquell for the first time and it’s even better.

Well I had to admit that after trying to create my own blog and then looking into a wide range of other options, WordPress was starting to look pretty damn good again (and no it’s not because I was drinking too much Czechvar). I’ve had the option to create with WordPress built in to my hosting plan for over 20 years now, and I even had a WordPress-based site for my screen printing company Metro (though full disclosure: my son and business partner Jonah created and maintained most of it). But I never really seemed to “get” the whole WordPress thing, and every time I would go in and start playing with it, I would get frustrated. I can be a control freak about certain things, and web site layout is definitely one of them: I need to be able to control every pixel on that screen. So the big problem I had with WP was the whole “theme” system: it seemed to make customization very limited and convoluted, and I found the constant clicking back and forth to try and change little things incredibly frustrating.

After last year’s foibles, however, upon further reflection I stopped and thought: well, it’s just a blog. Surely I can find a very simple theme I’m happy with in exchange for all that great functionality. I also resolved to be much more patient with the whole process this time. Taking a deep breath, I waded back in.

That approach, as it turns out, has paid off quickly. To my pleasant surprise I found a theme that was much more customizable, to the point that I could change it in any way I choose (and in fact have been able to get it looking like it fits in perfectly with the rest of the site ). I discovered that WordPress has a ton of very cool options for displaying images, and so this is not only going to be a blog, it’s also going to be a beautiful gallery as well (working on that now). Not only that, but I was very easily able to import all of my old Blogger posts from BOTH of my blogs into this one, meaning you can now go all the way back to 2008 (and soon even farther as I will reach into the original zblog archives which started around 2004). In short, I couldn’t be happier with WordPress, and with the way this whole blogging situation has panned out. Now, of course, I need to actually man up and start making regular posts- a blog is nothing without a blogger, non? On that note…….

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