Blogging in Geological Time, Day 160: Site Seeing

March 9th, 2011

The hero of the day is Bonnie Riley.

Those of you who don’t wander around inside this website, who come to the blog and then go away, may have been aware that there was some wonkiness recently with the navigation bar to the left — that little list of places in the site that you never visit.  “Why,” you might have asked yourself, “is this going all weird?”  before moving onto more pressing concerns.

Well, that bit of wonkiness was the only telltale that Bonnie Riley, whom you’ve all met in the comments section, was turning this site inside out, picking out all the bad bits, replacing them with cleaner code, and doing a total update on this virtual representation of my existence.  And now she’s finished (for the moment), and I no longer have to ask the famous Ronald Reagan question, “Where’s the rest of me?”

For the first time ever, all my available books are online here. This means quite a bit to me.

I no longer seem to have sprouted, as fully formed as Athena, from the brow of Zeus.  Now people who stop by will learn that I wrote the Poke books, will see that Junior is emerging from the spectral fog of the unwritten. Eventually they might even learn about PULPED, assuming I decide to loose it upon an unexpecting world.

And QUEEN OF PATPONG, complete with its Edgar nomination, is online for the first time.

I think this is very, very cool.

Bonnie accepted this assignment at a flat rate that turned out to come down to about 38 cents an hour, since much of the site’s underlying code had to be rewritten, the cylinders had to be re-bored, and the cam shaft shifted overhead.  In other words, I have no idea what she actually did, just that she toiled on it for months, in good spirits even when she was sick.  I just sat on my baronial wheeled office chair and let the guilt mount as it grew increasingly evident that Bonnie probably qualified as slave labor.  I kept expecting a revelation in The Huffington Post: WRITER EXPLOITS LAWYER.

Talk about man bites dog.

No, no, no.  No lawyer jokes.

So now it’s pretty much done (until we put INCINERATOR online in a few weeks), and I hope you’ll put your feet up and stay a while, wander around in the site.  Try to find the hidden clue to the two hundred million dollar contest. It’s easy to win, but not if you don’t find the clue.

My heartfelt thanks to Bonnie, to whom I also say, the check is in the mail.  And thanks also to Maria Sandamela, who designed the beautiful page templates.  (I especially like the design for the Simeon books.)

Drop Bonnie and me a comment.  Let us know what you think.

12 Responses to “Blogging in Geological Time, Day 160: Site Seeing”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    Well, shucks. Tim knows not entirely of what he speaks of course. Far from “cleaning up” the code, I added to the chaos. When he’s humbly accepting the Oscar for best screenplay, I’ll try to blackmail him into letting me do a complete re-write. In the meantime, whatever you do, don’t click on “view source,” as otherwise I cannot promise your hair will grow back.

    I’m a pretty pedestrian web “designer”; in fact, my design credentials are pretty much nonexistent; I love putting it all together and creating a nice, tight structure. It is a pleasure to be able to get even false, nominal credit for Maria’s beautiful art. My only job is to make it all work. I have lots of ideas for improvements, to both the site and the blog, but we’ll continue to take it one small step at a time, I suspect, at least until Tim gets his 7-Rafferty movie deal someday.

    Anyhow, thanks for the flowers, Tim. And keep writing!

  2. Larissa Says:

    As an amateur code monkey-in-the-making I have to congratulate Bonnie for all the wonderful work! It’s hard to see how much effort goes into this stuff but I’m here to tell you, it’s a helluvalottawork!


    Well done! Nice, clean code is so very refreshing. And, it means that the next person who has to get in here and work on something, won’t be pulling their hair out.

    oh yeah, and good job Tim for, uhm, doing all the great writing! Without that, there wouldn’t be a site to fix!

  3. EverettK Says:

    As Clark Kent said to Lois Lane, “Swell!”

    Great job, Bonnie, you’re tops!

    As for your scum-sucking, exploiting boss, he should be cut loose to descend with the hook, line and sinker. Talk about a no-win employment opportunity. I’d pity you, Bonnie, if you weren’t so enviable!

  4. Beth Says:

    Everything looks terrific. The Simeon covers are fantastic; they really stand out. The colors are perfect because they don’t remind me of California with the golds and reds everyone uses to convey sunshine unlimited.

    Bonnie, you can have an alternate career if lawyering gets tiresome.

  5. Laren Bright Says:

    Loved wandering through the site. Easy to navigate & read, fun stuff. Was even able to put up with the photo of Tim.

    Nice job.

  6. Suzanna Says:

    Bonnie, you deserve a big round of applause! Sounds like a lot of work and everything looks great.

    Congratulations Tim for upgrading your site to include all the latest work. It’s great to see.

  7. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Wonderful work, Bonnie, and I am totally in awe by the work this took. The graphics are lovely, and it’s fun to play on the site. I don’t know anything about what you did, but I am an enthusiastic user.

  8. Debbi Says:

    Wow! A lawyer who can upgrade Web sites. That’s a rarity.

    Looking good, too. Nice job, Bonnie!

  9. Philip Coggan Says:

    I had a look through the site. It looks good, it’s easy to navigate, and everything works (when I click on a link, it goes where I want).

    Good work – tho I have to admit I have no idea what code looks like.

    (What I really hate is Captcha – but here goes).

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Vot a bunch. Bonnie is being over-modest — she streamlined and simplified the site, worked out the new structure, added one creative innovation after another, and still accepted payment in bottle tops and those ring-tabs from Coors Beer cans. And I LOVE the way it looks and feels now — she even unilaterally put up the “Edgar” headline on the QUEEN page, inspiring me to do a headline for each book page – usually a review quote – when we do our next round of changes, which will be when INCINERATOR goes up, and also after I pay her.

    Riss, didn’t know you were a burgeoning code monkey. Is there anything you DON’T DO? Thanks also for noticing that I write the books. I feel all alone over here.

    Everett, the Obama administration has decided to take instant and decisive action against me — oh, wait, they’re waffling — well, they’ll take care of me later because they’ve decided to take instant and decisive action against Khadafi – no, wait, they’re waffling on that and they’re back to me . . . now they’ve called it all off to accept the Jimmy Carter award for Public Fretting As An Alternative to Action. Boy, every time I think I can’t be more deeply disappointed, I learn there are miles to go yet.

    Thanks, Beth — I think it’s pretty sprauncy myself. And I’m not budging from that opinion no matter what the Obama administration says.

    Laren, MUNYIN took that picture. You’d better hope she doesn’t read this, although privately I think you’re safe.

    Mo to come.

  11. Larissa Says:

    lol. Jack of all trades, master of none=story of my life. But it’s ok. The only reason I got into coding at all was for two very specific reasons: I was unemployed, needed a job and told someone I’d be happy to build their webpage for them. No problem! …and then promptly had to find help learning how to code because I’d never done it…

    and two: I’m phenomenally bad at it and it makes my brain hurt and I think that’s always a positive thing. I’m good at the design side but boy do I suck at the mathematical aspect. But I’m learning.

    And, you’re welcome. I didn’t want you to feel left out of all the praise. (C:

  12. Bonnie Says:


    Sounds like you and I need to get together! Feel free to email me: bonnie l riley at sbc global dot net. 🙂

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