Wow. It’s already mid-summer. It really does seem like we just got this year started. While I am not one to make resolutions every year, I do have goals. I just don’t wait until the turn of the year to make them. Some goals remain year after year; stay positive, keep pushing my web dev skills, get back into music, travel somewhere cool or new, be a great Dad and Husband, etc. I’d have to say that I’ve been pretty good about meeting those goals, well mostly. The one thing I never manage to do year after year is to get back into music. Not listening to it, playing it. Again. Those who know me know that I came to web development from the music scene (seems many of us did and still do). It’s called having to make a living! Anyway, it was back in 1997 that I put the bass down and started pecking away at my new computer and learned how to create web pages. Real work quickly followed. In 2002/2003 I had a musical renaissance of sorts. I discovered Acid. No, not LSD. Acid lets you layout and manipulate pre-recorded loops and samples. It was pretty awesome. I was making music again without the need of other band members and a rehearsal space. I had a great musical explosion at the time. Then my son was born. Many things take a back seat when you have a kid. For me, it was music and Everquest. Both of those things could consume hours and hours of my life.
Well here it is, about 8 or 9 years later and I have found my way back to making music. Now it is a combination of actual playing and constructing with loops and samples, except that this time around we are creating our own samples and loops. It’s good to be back, especially with all the cool electronic toys that didn’t exist in the 80s and 90s.
What else has been notable in 2012? For me, 2012 has been the year that I am to be plagued with web form issues. You may remember my post a while back about abandoning MODx’s FormIt for Tectite’s PHP formmail. While both are good options, neither made me happy. FormIt got all weird on me around MODx version 2.2.0 and no one could really help me. Fine. Enter Tectite’s formmail. It’s a powerful program with tons of options and settings. It’s quite intimidating at first, but pretty easy to learn and set up. Formmail is a perfect solution for many, but it wasn’t making me happy. It just became too much work, be it researching or trying something new. Long story short, we are going with FormStack. I worked with FormStack years ago when it was called FormSpring. It was good then, it’s even better now. If you build websites and your clients require forms beyond the typical contact form, then you should check into FormStack. It’s well worth it because it saves me lots of time which equates to less headaches and stress.
What else has 2012 brought? Well, I am going through another Chillout phase. By phase, I mean it’s all that I am listening to right now. I’ve always been a Chill fan, even when it was called New Age. I first discovered Air when they came out with Moon Safari and was blown away. This eventually led to discovering bands like Zero 7, Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, Portishead, and Amon Tobin. Put on a Chill channel or playlist and then do something. It’s perfect to work to, especially doing what I do. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I need to rock out. But when I actually need to think while I work, I find Chill to be perfect. It can be complex in composition, it can be trippy, it can even be slow, but it is rarely boring.