Fixed up yet still mixed up

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If you've made the mistake of visiting this here website between some time on Monday and now (not to imply that visiting it at any other time is any LESS of a mistake, but I am not here to judge you, honestly), you would have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing, firsthand, my first (and last, I swear) attempt at coding...

Sadly, I can assure you that it was even less successful than my attempts at writing.

Here's what happened (and anyone with half a brain and even the barest minimal knowledge of HTML should avert their eyes right now, because they will find this excruciatingly painful):

Some time on Monday afternoon, I was overcome with a desire to spring clean. Now, there are several reasons why that urge of mine was cause for extreme alarm:
- It was DAY. I don't DO sunlight. That's when I rest, like the weary old bat that I am.
- It isn't spring in South Africa. It is autumn.

Blame it on the fact that the nectar of the gods (AKA Starbucks) has not crossed my lips in almost two and a half years - I am certainly blaming it on that very valid reason - but I suddenly realised that the SA Blog Awards Vote for me widget was still on here, mocking my spectacular yet expected clean sweep of losses with its very colourful presence.

Yes, alas... I didn't win. No, let's rephrase that. Me and win shouldn't even feature in the same sentence. I lost. But as I've said, no surprise there. I mean, I might not be able to wrap my simple brain around basic HTML - despite the fact that HTML for Dummies is in my collection of How-To books - but even I know that in order to win something as important as a Blog Award, one needs to have real readers, as opposed to the scores of imaginary ones that I have. But I adore and value you so much, that I count every last three of you! Oh, and having any real talent would help even more than having any real readers. Bit of a pesky Catch-22, really, because one can't seem to have one without the other...

But no, before you think I am bitter about the losses, I really am not. Yes, of COURSE winning would have been unbelievably awesome (unbelievable being the operative word here), but luckily I lost properly. I think it would have been far worse to take second place, because that's close enough to almost taste it - definitely to smell it - and trust me, if you have ever been on a diet? You would KNOW how much it sucks to be so close to something you crave but know you can't have.

Also? Just the fact that I was NOMINATED - even if I am still convinced that it was a gross oversight/technical error/typo on someone's part - is already reward enough for the likes of me. Those surprise nominations couldn't have come at a better time, because at one point this year, I had seriously, SERIOUSLY considered simply giving up on writing once and for all. So being nominated gave me a little more encouragement to maybe not give up just yet for a little while longer. Also, all the winners MORE than deserved it. (For a full list, go here... It is underneath the video of the event. Perhaps you can even take the time to scroll down in the appropriate categories to see exactly how far I had lost.)

My inexplicable urge to get rid of the widget, then? Well, the awards have been over for so long, it is almost time for next year's. (Okay, so it's only been, what, two weeks? Still... we all know that in terms of technology, two weeks could easily equal about 14 human years.) So I was beginning to feel like the freak in the neighbourhood whose Christmas decorations are still up in June, because she is too lazy to take it down.

Which is why I, on Monday, marched down these back corridors of redsaid armed with fierce determination and... my finger poised above the delete button.

In hindsight, I really should have left well enough alone. I actually can't believe the audacity I had! Normally, when faced with anything requiring even remote brain power, I turn into a trembling, cowering mass. But even more unbelievable is the fact that I even managed to find the correct page in the first place!

To cut a long story short?  Without copying and pasting the code that was there and sensibly saving it in Word or somewhere where it could be salvaged again later, I simply found the widget's code and deleted it...

Imagine the unpleasant surprise I received when I looked at the blog... Oh, make no mistake, I had deleted the widget, alright, but I also happened to delete crucial code that had, until that moment, served to neatly keep my sidebar to the side. So suddenly, after my little deleting jobby, the sidebar found itself NOT to the side but smack dab in the middle of the blog's body. The end result was not pretty...

Australia was notified. But due to the time difference, Australia was blissfully asleep. So hey ho SilverSabre was recruited. He took one look and - after he had laughed for a good ten minutes (hey, according to the end results of the 2008 SA Blog Awards, I AM the fifth funniest blogger in SA, remember) - he went: Oh, Red... WHAT have you done?!? And then, on behalf of IT people everywhere, he wept for this blog...

He told me that I had probably only deleted a comma. Unfortunately he couldn't quite figure out WHICH comma, but bless him for even trying to figure it out.

Luckily for all of us (but especially for me), the sun had to come up in Australia eventually, so Miss Dee awoke, and as per usual, swooped in on her angel wings to come in and save the day. Thank you, Dee, for once again saving redsaid from Red. My staggering pile of IOU's has now officially surpassed the Taipei 101 in height and my debt to you has become infinite...

Oh, and it turns out that Silver was right. Who knew that these few letters (and I'm taking the liberty - yes, again! but this time it's precautionary, honest - to remove the little brackets and some of the other squiggly bits, because goodness knows what will happen to the blog if I leave it in) div id=beta div id=beta-inner could be so crucial in keeping a sidebar in its place?

Now if only someone could come up with code that would keep ME in my place...

P.S. Okay... I did not forget that the Win-A-Date-With-Roommate-Kate contest still needs a winner. To tell you the truth, since most of the votes I received (and was made aware of) happened before I had even resorted to the contest, and since no voters after the contest adhered to the rules (I'm sooo glad that I inspire such obedience),  it's starting to look like a Ménage... I mean, a three-way tie between Miss Dee herself, Pylorns and TimT. Since coffee will be a bit difficult, what with two of you being in different locations in Australia and one being in Texas, I'm thinking that maybe you could at least become Roommate Kate's friends on facebook? (Of course, I need to run this by her first.) Congratulations and thank you all for voting AND for going to such great lengths to recruit even more votes for me!

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Deeleea Author Profile Page said:

OOoh, I'm in the middle of a 3 way tie between Pylorns and TimT... looks like it's MY lucky day... ;)

pylorns said:

I'm glad I speak some french!

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Miss Dee: What? You consider yourself LUCKY?!? Have you SEEN those guys? JUST kidding... they are perfectly dashing specimen. The debate is still raging on about exactly which species they are a part of, but never mind... ;-)

Pylorns: But they don't speak French in the unfortunate Zimbabwe (which is where the lovely Roommate Kate hails from). Mais oui, monsieur, I know wheech part of le blog post you were makeeng your jokeengs about.

TimT said:

Wow. Like wow. This blog's case of the collywobbles was fixed by putting a comma in place? And what's all this about widgets? (It sounds like fidgets, which is what I got told off for doing when I was a kid.)

ANYWAY. I'm as pleased as a punch and as proud as a Popinjay to be one of the Australo-supporters of Redsaid, and for the next week will be walking about puffing my chest out to all and sundry.

(I choose to take the 'bat' comment literally. So, you sleep upside down on the branch of a tree and everything? Cool!)

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

My darling TimT! Inventor of the Collywobbles vaccine!!! (I've notified the Nobel committee, by the way...) Thank you for being one of my three REAL readers. (You are real, aren't you? AREN'T YOU? You must be, otherwise I've no idea who sent me the post card from the Crookedest Street in San Fran.) I actually fall asleep every morning clutching that post card to my chest. And I have no idea whether I'm upside down or downside up half the time, so I might very well be sleeping upside down, yes. How about you?

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: My darling TimT! Inventor of the Collywobbles vaccine!!! (I've notified the Nobel committee, by the ... [go]
  • TimT : Wow. Like wow. This blog's case of the collywobbles was fixed by putting a comma in place? And what'... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Miss Dee: What? You consider yourself LUCKY?!? Have you SEEN those guys? JUST kidding... they are pe... [go]
  • pylorns : I'm glad I speak some french!... [go]
  • Deeleea Author Profile Page: OOoh, I'm in the middle of a 3 way tie between Pylorns and TimT... looks like it's MY lucky day... ;... [go]
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