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Behind The Screen

This blog is a little different to my usual because it is being written with the intention of adding a link elsewhere to try and explain/highlight what has happened ‘behind the screen’ to bring a web page together.

As some may know I administrate, edit and manage a web site about a particular musician and have done for many many years. It is an on-going, complex, multi-layered learning experience that gathers information into one place. I do it for my own satisfaction, to have a one-stop place that collates his work, for the fans and those interested to visit. Yes, it costs me money, but what hobby doesn’t.

Recently he was interviewed by Dom Familaro for The Sessions Artist Series published to YouTube. If you are interested in the workings of the music industry, the various musicians that back, support, perform with many A-list names, perhaps you play an instrument, these interviews are entertaining and interesting to hear so many peoples different life stories, how music became their profession and where that profession has taken them and things they’ve learnt and experienced on the way. But I digress…..

The website has a few interview transcripts and it occurred to me that even though YouTube has the ‘captions’ option (akin to on the go subtitles in language of your choice), there is still a section of the world wide audience who are missing out, so I decided to transcribe the thirty-eight minute interview and find a way it can be translated, thus broadening it’s reach. Sounds reasonably straightforward, doesn’t it. Ha!

Step 1. Using a mix of shorthand, speed writing and longhand I begin taking down the dialogue. Gone are the days when I could audio-type thanks to my depleted dexterity. So it’s listen intently, stop video, write, reread, rewind and listen again, correct script, add punctuation. Continue to listen, pause it, write it down, check it, relisten to the passage, make corrections and proceed ….. you get the idea. It took a few days, working an hour or two per day.

Step 2. Thanks to my muscle disease rendering my fingers/hands/wrists so weak the easiest way to transcribe the written word is to use dictation, no more confidently typing at between 70-75 wpm for me anymore. I create a fresh document, hit the microphone and speak clearly, deciphering my scrawl as I go. Stopping after a couple of paragraphs to read over the dictation, correct the errors, add the punctuation, capitalise names etc. Hit save and carry on. It takes a couple of days but at the end there are nine pages of crisp type, each paragraph a persons dialogue, all checked, proofed and corrected.

Step 3. Now it gets a little technical because I need to add the HTML tags that make it show on the eventual web page. Each paragraph needs a <p> at the beginning. It makes visual sense to have the interviewers dialogue in a different colour to the interviewees, so I add a font=“colornumber” to those lines. I also have to add the speakers name to each paragraph to make it easier to follow who is saying or asking what. So that’s added, all in capitals for emphasise.

Step 4. Using a specific software program I create the webpage, it’s basic style set to match the myriad of pages already there. I add the techie bit of code to embed the YouTube video, making sure it sits comfortably and is the correct size. I add the tab heading and explanation. Then in chunks I add the coded interview transcription. Crossing my fingers I hit the ‘test’ function to see what it looks like as a web page. I am reasonably pleased with the result except the colour is way way off, neon lime green, the hex code is a shade of red! Hmm……that needs investigating, it works on other pages already published.

Step 5. Thanks to an excellent web site that walks you through, teaches and shows how to grapple with HTML coding I can put together the five or six lines of instruction to add a button to bring up a menu of languages that Google will then translate the whole page. Wow! I add it at the top of the transcription coding and hit ‘test’. It’s there, and what’s more……it works! Victory! By chance it answers my query about the text colour coding, I think the issue is that versions of HTML change things, and that’s what has happened here, the code for changing the font colour is now a script command within the <p> notation, so I will need to put together the new bit of code, then copy and paste it at the beginning of each of the interviewers dialogue.

Step 6. I confidently upload the new page to the server, add the link to the main media page so viewers can get to it and voila….well no, not quite yet, actually. I forgot the special text snaffoo, you see when you type characters like & ( ‘ ) “ and then copy/paste them into a coding page, things go a little bit odd, it turns a ‘ into ’ . So I need to go through the entire transcript and remove the gobbledygook and replace the appropriate punctuation mark.

Next time I am at my desk, I will have to go through the coding, change the font colour code and correct the ‘ (oh I hope the find and replace will help me). That a rough idea of what is involved for just one page. I intend to add the translation script to every page of the site, a mere thirty or so. Like the Forth Bridge, there is always something that needs working on to improve.

Link to the interview ….. The Sessions Artist Interview

Link to the website http://www.stcgibb.com

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2020 in Music, people, Tech, Website

 

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Been doing the do

It’s been a while, so much has happened since I last listed jobs and progress, I had been dreading reappraising my jobs and projects lists. So let’s see if I’m nearer a B- Good Effort than the C- could do better…..

  • Update Management Company spreadsheets ✅
  • Email Agents for update on works pending ✅
  • Liaise with Director over estate business ✅
  • Order Great-Niece’s birthday present (4 already!) ✅
  • Collate care professionals names, addresses, phone numbers ❌
  • Begin DLA to PIP migration (scary) ✅ and blogged
  • Amass medical evidence ✅
  • Do own financial evaluation ✅
  • Source home demo powerchairs – ⚠️ shelved temporarily
  • Update website (1st Aug) – ❌
  • Cogitate Mac ‘big projects’ list ✅
  • Go through and weed 300+ saved read emails ✅
  • Finish cat blanket crochet ✅ and a couple more ✅✅

Blimey it looks like I’ve been super busy, and I am really surprised considering all the extra stress and business I’ve had cross my world these last three months. Now then, what shall we aim for over the next couple of months ……

  • Complete three cat blankets
  • Complete photo organising project
  • Mac back up
  • Add sailing blog to my website
  • Add photo album to website
  • Send letter and photos to Aunt
  • Finish current book and review
  • Sort, weed, tidy desk and draws

That should do for now.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2019 in General, Life, Projects, Website

 

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Fair Winds Following Seas – Farewell Friend

I’m saying good bye to another old friend, a tangible piece of my life’s adventure.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust operates two tall ships that are designed to accommodate many forms of disability, not only things like deafness and sight impaired, but also stroke victims, amputees, wheelchair users and mental health sufferers. We are all involved within the watch rota to sail the ships and keep them shipshape. Across her thirty year history STS Lord Nelson known as “Nellie”, has circumnavigated the globe, chased icebergs, clipped the Bermuda Triangle, tamed the China Seas, she has raced as part of the tall ship fleets and been the floating ambassador and has touched hundreds of thousands of mixed ability lives for the better.

A family friend passed a brochure to me in the eighties and I had toyed with the idea of running away to sea, so when Nellie visited my home port I secretly took myself off, explored her and spoke to a volunteer crew member, over a mug of hot tea and freshly baked cake we chatted, mused, discussed and laughed. After that I made up my mind to throw myself fully into this once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-repeat adventure and booked a four-week passage from Southampton to Gran Canaria via Lisbon.

The experience was nerve wracking, exhilarating, daunting, engaging, challenging, educational, but filled with hilarity, congeniality, and above all else, equality. We were just a bunch of people sailing together. I enjoyed myself so much that I repeated the experience another two times on Nellie before my last voyage on the sister ship Tenacious. The atmosphere and camaraderie onboard is indescribable and so special. It’s where I learnt to tie a bona fide hangman’s noose, take down the shipping forecast, complete obs for the Met Office. I’ve hauled ropes, peeled potatoes, polished brass, coiled ropes, swabbed decks, scrubbed toilets, pulled ropes, brewed tea, repaired flags, and messed about with ropes. I’ve been man handled, hauled, shoved, shifted, and tied down, I’ve laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed; I’ve helmed, watched, hauled, radioed, taught navigation rhymes, learnt a bewildering language of terms and created a few specific to Nellie and many other such useful/less life skills. I even have a qualification, the Department of Transport Steering Competency (sailing) Certificate from time at the helm before the mast. I’ve made friends I still keep in touch with. I’ve had conversations and shared experiences (like being at the helm when we were struck by lightning, playing with dolphins, counting shooting stars). There are anecdotes galore, not all repeatable in polite company.

Recently the Trust has been forced to look hard at its future running. A promised significant donation from a business source failed to materialise resulting in the Trust nearly folding (we raised £1 million in a week to save it). Subsequently the decision has been sadly made to decommission Nellie.

I kept a detailed diary, my (dis)abled seapersons twig (as opposed to captains log) for two of my voyages are on my website www.amgroves.com It’s on my list to add the others.

It is unknown what her next adventure will be, but I wish her fair winds and following seas, as we salty dog types say; and another piece of my heart is broken and another tear will fall.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2019 in In The News, Life, people, Projects, Website

 

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Game, Set, and new strawberries please

The past two weeks have delivered a rather welcome distraction from the trials, woes, chaos, stresses, bureaucracy and struggles I am wading through. With the BBC having such extensive Wimbledon coverage online I could switch and flip through numerous matches from 11am until almost bed time.

Boy have there been some thrilling and entertaining games, from the rocketing prowess of the 15 year old Coco Gauff, the epic men’s doubles games and the men’s singles to the antics in the Gents and Senior Gents Invitational Doubles (affectionately known as the old and the dead) with such characters as Mansour Bahrami, Paul HaasHois and Henri Leconte. It has been lovely. But that’s ended for another year *sigh*

Time to get back to my lists of jobs, chores, tasks, bureaucracy and such. So here goes

  • Update Management Company spreadsheets
  • Email Agents for update on works pending
  • Liaise with Director over estate business
  • Order Great-Niece’s birthday present (4 already!)
  • Collate care professionals names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Begin DLA to PIP migration (scary)
  • Amass medical evidence
  • Do own financial evaluation
  • Source home demo powerchairs
  • Update website (1st Aug)
  • Cogitate Mac ‘big project’
  • Go through and weed 300+ saved read emails
  • Finish cat blanket crochet

That should do for starters. None of them are exactly five minute easy jobs and seeing them it looks a little daunting, but I’ll get there one tick at a time.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2019 in General, Life, Projects

 

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Reporting Menacing Phish


Well, it’s not exactly what I had planned for my afternoon.  Firstly, I am fine, these things don’t bother me.

Today I was intending to do a spot of cyber housework (it’s easier than off screen house work). I logged into the server and headed to the emails, a mixed bunch of fan query, fan fawning and spam, but there was one that caught attention.  I knew it was phishing for personal details, financial fraud, general trickery but it was the manner and topic that was a little different.  It threatened to release to all my contacts a video of me that was sexually explicit, as well as pornographic images and spread rumour of deviancy with children unless I sent x-thousand via Bitcoin to a specified account.  The hacker generously explained how the deadline could be extended and even bragged about being able to hide his identity, seek sanctuary from all laws because they were not in my country, and that any ‘federal’ involvement would mean the stuff would be circulated immediately.

As this particular webmail client is tricky to manage, junk wise, I get regular emails from phishing fake accounts trying to get me to click a link, rearrange courier delivery, download court non-payment papers, etc.  Apart from being quite a savvy person, I know these are scams as the email address isn’t really used for anything other than web site business, so they get deleted and a new junk filter created to redirect others.

However, the particularly articulate, menacing, intimidating language of this email made me stop and think, hmmm I can fully see why the more nervy would fall for this, panic and stress over this, maybe send funds, even if they are completely innocent of all allegations (mud sticks and all that), so I decided to file a report with the Cyber Crimes people.  It was very straight forward, we shall see what occurs (if anything).

Well, well, hmm, there ya go!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2019 in General, In The News, Tech, Website

 

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Burnsy Woz Right

With Big Sis away for a weeks break, I decided to allocate this week to getting to grips with the video issues on the website. I had already googled and bookmarked a few how to pages and had mentally mapped out my productive days.

That’s where I went wrong, having a determined plan.

As some may know I’m pseudo consultant to the Resident Management Company that I used to run before handing it over to an agent when it got too much.  To say that the Agent have had ‘issues’ is a bit like calling pneumonia man flu.  Staff changes, lack of communication, confusing cross communication, time delays, etc have been adding to the general rumblings of dissension around here.  Consequently for every email sent, it generated two more, needing immediate attention. The Director and I decided to get to grips with everything and lick em into shape, we were going to go through the invoices of the past two years noting anomalies, we listed general running issues and we’re trying to get the next (already over-due) residents meeting organised.  

I did manage to list all the videos that need converting into three different file types (devices use different formats, desktop v tablets and phones, Apple v Microsoft v Android).  Apart from a couple of snaffoos that skipped along nicely, even managed to save the relevant back-ups.  This brought a recurrent issue, getting FileZilla to transfer the large files to the server. I’m three desk sessions into trying and I just cannot get it configured, nor find the instructions and answers online, it’s just something further than my limited knowledge and ability can handle.  So I’ll have to hope the web hosts ftp can cope with the file sizes.  It’s a time consuming process.

Each video page needs the HTML re-writing, all eighteen of them.  Some are videos I’m hosting, others are on YouTube, but I cannot start these until the video files are uploaded.  It’s already Saturday, that leaves a heck of a lot to go wrong right before Big Sis gets here at 9am Tuesday (her hubby’s car has a garage appointment first thing, so he’s using her car for work).  I’m polishing a draft for a new web article before coding that into a fresh HTML page as well.  BFF’s visit is coming up and I so want it all done by then.

Who was it who said, if you want something done, give to a busy woman, well if you find him, shoot him! 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Rebuilding

under-construction

Over the past few days I ave been getting to grips with rebuilding my website that I accidentally managed to delete.  Rather than use any fancy program that is on the iMac, or download an app or such like I decided to use the ‘site builder’ function on my hosts server.  There are numerous designs to try and most have been produced to work easily on all platforms.

It is nice putting it back together, weeding out the crap and stuff that is going to need constant maintaining.  I have decided not to include any photo albums of my last trips, they get tired easily and well, it is not like it is getting much visiting traffic.  It is scaled down to a simple home page bio, a page about my genealogy experiences, and I am currently working on my sailing pages.

The initial page has been toned down and I have moved across two of my sailing logs.  Each entry has an associated photo which all need to be uniformly sized, same with the heading and entry type.  Curiously with trip three’s log there were a couple of entries missing from the original so i had to root about my backed up back ups and find the missing days and source a new photo.

It is quite time consuming but at least there is none of that confusing html code to work through.

Feeling rather exhausted – I have also found a neat jog-saw game to amuse, medium sized puzzles take up 10 minutes where the hard ones take more like 45.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in General, Projects

 

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Don’t Press THAT Button!!

brokenblog

I was doing something incredibly dangerous the other day.  I was logged into my hosting service where I work the two web sites I edit and caretake.  As with everything these days, they have a tendancy to ‘up-date’ and ‘improve’ things so I like to reappraise myself of what is where and what new toy they are trying to foist upon their users.  I have been intending for at least a year to revamp and begin from scratch my personal website.  The original one was created via iWeb on the Mac [free software] and while I sort of liked the pre-sets it was so folder heavy it took a mini lifetime to transfer all the folders and files to the server and then correct any snafues.  It was tired and needed a rethink as my life has been rethunk over the past couple of years, but it was not a task I was eager to begin, the thought brought a melancholy sigh.

I clicked something.

It went poof.

There is no un-poof button.

Brain needs as espresso hit to get kick started to have the minds eye idea of what I want the new one to look like.  Then create the various images and words for content. There is a great deal that goes on behind the scenes before it is all put in place and published [hopefully snafu free].

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Projects

 

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My Spring has sprung a kink

RoseLilly

Things have all been going on since I last reviewed my jobs list, so lets see if my C- of a while ago can be regraded.

  • Factory reset old Mac and contact recyclers
  • Wade through desk paperwork left over the past three weeks
  • Begin turf out sort of draws, cupboard, boxes etc [be ruthless]
  • Put Aberdeen photos and stories in the book
  • Find photo for new frame
  • WebSite update
  • Finish crochet shawl
  • Write the letters

The Mac has been taken to the recyclers who haggled but I settled for £50 just to be rid of the thing *tick*
Desk paperwork is sort of being kept on top of and put away more frequently *tick*
Turf Out has been completed [as per last post] poor recycling bin has never been so full *tick*
Photo Book – it is still on the desk, waiting for inspiration 😦
Photo has been found for the two frames and they’re standing on the dresser *tick*
Website has been updated. Done nothing with mine, but its not exactly necessary
Crochet shawl was already done by the last review
Letters are still waiting.

However, I have also

Booked the train tickets and wheelchair assistance for our London adventure
Bagged up all the delightful stuff for the carboot sale
Found the right Scalextric wheels and ordered new sets
Found leather necklace to hang pendant on looks fab]
Finished last tweaking in the family tree book

So, I think that all things considered, I recon I should get a B+ 

What’s next???

  • Get the photo book done
  • Write the letters
  • Redo my website [time consuming but not difficult]
  • Finish the cross-stitch design
  • Tidy up project box beside sofa
  • Get the books on Gumtree

The photo is from the beautiful birthday flowers my BFF sent me, that central rose is at least 3 inches in diameter, it is huge!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Decisions ….. yes or no

yes-no

After a visit from a work colleague for a few hours of free flowing chit chat, she said that I had really lost my mo-jo.  That sounded wrong, I was talking to her about some thing and how I cannot get enthused with jobs or projects, that I hanker to do something but the rest of me cannot rise to it.

There are two ‘things’, projects, activities that I take part it that I do not go into detail about but over the last few months to a year a great deal of disheartened melancholy has crept it and I have found myself wondering whether to bother continuing or not.  Now I know me, I will cling on to the grim death on things I should have let go long before. I don’t just flog the dead horse, I continue cpr, banging the breaths, singing the lullaby and holding the candlelit vigil until the bones disintegrate.  I also know that at present I should not let how I feel be a deciding factor in anything because my despondency, my resignation, my self-sense are not to be relied upon.

First is the forum I moderate, along with two other fabulous excellent colleagues.  For the past four years we have battled to get the forum included and used by HQ, we have stamped our feet about it being used as the HQ uses other social media, we have protected, defended and policed against advertising spam, posters seeking to garner personal info etc, as well as walk beside parents devastated by a diagnosis of their joyous bundles.  We are quite protective of our little board.  Since December last year there have been a series on small incidents that have left us feeling insulted and patronised.  Our LineManager [LM] went off long term sick, no one told us so we did not know why he was not answering our emails.  LM returned, apologised and arranged an online meeting.  LM forgot to turn up to meeting, we emailed LM’s boss to get an auto response saying Boss had left the charity and to contact a name we did not know.  LM apologised again and arranged second meeting, which ….. yes ….. he forgot to attend, well no he did not forget, because we got the auto reply email saying he had left the charity and to contact unknown name.  So despite numerous emails back and forth neither had said that they were leaving nor the other was leaving and nor who was replacing.  The over-stressed info person is taking part of the forum remit under her wing and although she always thanks us for our efforts and recognises the efforts we go to, it feels a touch patronising for her to say that on behalf of HQ when most have no clue who we are or what we do.  I have come so very close to going “I quit”, it is only the friendship and to support my fellow mods that I have not.

Second there is a web site that I edit and maintain.  Over a decade ago it began and I as a back room supporter became involved and eventually circumstances changed and I took over.  I enjoyed the putting together of the information, the researching and finding and then the programming of code to produce a page that did not look fan scrap book amateur but something often mistaken as ‘official’.  But there is an element of fan who feels it is their right and duty to personally attack me and the subject of the web site, they talk of “reporting me” to authorities or getting my internet block.  One even threatened to set mosad on me, laughable really.  There are so few who openly offer support, to help through these times of trial and as getting information, as well as permissions from copyright holders is such hard work – I often feel I, in my effort to do things the right way, am swimming against the tide of everyone else.  The other day as I was tidying files and deleting emails my button hovered over the “delete website” button and I was tempted to click, it was the thought of throwing away all my hard work [and my buds], all the effort in producing the product that stopped me.  I thought about setting up a poll on the web site asking if the web site was not there would you miss it – but that feels like I am trying to seek attention and praise.

But I am almost constantly pondering whether to let these things go or not.  On one side I do not want to lose all my hard work and efforts and on the other I do not feel I am getting the satisfaction nor support to warrant continuing, plus if I don’t do these things then what the heck is there for me to do other than eat, drink, pee and sleep.  Then there is the third hand that the greatest driving force behind the negative feelings and worn down efforts is my over all mood.  Would stopping be a decision of spite aimed at myself.

I am sort of in a wait and see mode, semi pessimistic that nothing will change but I will be of a mind to better deal with it.

*sigh*

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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