Remnants of HTML

Last week I decided that my blog’s sidebar was a chaotic annoying sidebar that needed redded up in a major way. I’m not exactly sure what a widget is, but it clearly needed some widgets.

So this week, I asked my butler Woy:

“If I wanted to make changes to my sidebar without bugging you about it, I would do that how?”

“I would give you access to the sidebar editor and I would back that shit up.”

“Okay. I’m going to attempt some minor changes. So you should back that shit up before I destroy it.”

“When were you thinking of making edits?”

“I already started.”

“You are a dangerous woman.”


So I wrestled with my sidebar, with html, and with widgets (not really widgets, I just like to say widgets) for two and a half hours and I managed to add that little “Follow me” twitter icon you see there. Go me! But I couldn’t center it for the life of me. I also managed to entirely delete the border of my blog, and there were hundreds of gray divider lines running down the whole length of my blog. The coupons apparently taught the divider lines a thing or two about sex. I can only imagine the havoc that would be wrought if widgets started having sex. Regardless, my blog was a hot mess and it completely exploded when I forgot to close a <div> tag, which is apparently the virtual equivalent of pressing the detonator button on a hunk of C-4 in real life. I was covered in exploded remnants of incorrect HTML code. Brackets and back slashes all over the damn place.

Luckily, Woy backed that shit up and came riding in on his virtual white horse and saved the day.

He fixed what I effed up, and in a matter of 30 minutes total did all the other things I wanted.

So what you’ll notice has changed:

  • I have removed the big “THIS IS THE YEAR” button because it was mocking me. I kid. I removed it because I’m trying reverse psychology on the Universe. Also, I asked real loudly to the angels if they thought I should take the button down and they whispered in my left ear, “Yes.”
  • The Pittsburgh Mag button will actually take you to my archives over at the magazine instead of the magazine’s main page. Making your life easier.
  • Mike put my blog archives into calendar form instead of the long list of months spanning five years. That list drove me nuts. It’s gone. It can kiss my grits.
  • I deleted both the category listings and the tags, because my God, tag clouds are ugly, and because Luke Ravenstahl’s name was the biggest word in the cloud. If you want to find something, just search under the “Find something!” box and you’ll find it.
  • The tag cloud and category list have been replaced by the most recent reader comments. Much prettier.
  • And perhaps the sexiest update, when you click on a post you’ll find at the bottom there are now a few options for you to share the post a bit easier. You can email it, tweet it, facebook it, or click the green Share This button and choose your poison. Woy is working to have those options available to you straight from the main page.
  • Widget.


  1. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    July 23, 2010 10:18 am

    I completely understand. A friend asked me to make changes for her once. Wasn’t quite sure at the time why she asked me since I got my degree in something that has no relation to programming and she was in the class with me freshman year that nearly derailed my college career. Her husband walked in, saw me at the computer and went all “Step away from the computer now and you won’t get hurt.” Later found out she had a huge fight with her husband and this was her way of getting back at him.

  2. Noelle
    July 23, 2010 10:50 am

    Ginny, what time are you going to Ikea? I’ll be there by 2pm-ish today with the computer science guy from CMU who made the Pittsburgh city application for Google Fiber happen (you posted about this). If we see you, we’ll say hello.

  3. bluzdude
    July 23, 2010 11:27 am

    “Widget” is not the politically correct term. It should be “Little Application.”

  4. Mark
    July 23, 2010 11:51 am

    I understand exactly what you mean about changing code on your blog/website. I’ve messed up my website so many times to only have a friends son come over and fix it.

    Its amazing how a simple error in spelling or syntax can ruin things you having even touched on your site. How ever since I’m a general contractor I tend to go back and try to do things myself.

    Once it took my friends son over a week to figure out what I did wrong, here I deleted some files that I have no idea I deleted.

    Well love the article will stop back again for sure.

  5. unsatisfied
    July 23, 2010 12:21 pm

    reading all of this has given me a widget in my pants….

  6. BeauJacques
    July 23, 2010 12:23 pm

    You know why we’re in BIG trouble??

    Picture just that 1 page of HTML code, now,

    picture it in Chinese!! :-)

  7. Beatrice
    July 23, 2010 12:29 pm

    Very nice!

  8. Pensgirl
    July 23, 2010 12:49 pm

    The next time you review your stats you’ll find that people got here by googling “coupon-divider line sex.” Which, actually, is still a lot less disturbing than “Zober sex.”

    Also, bluzdude FTW.

  9. spoon
    July 23, 2010 2:34 pm

    You know what that right side needs… a spinning Woy head

  10. Angry Mongo
    July 23, 2010 3:53 pm

    Very nice. I’ve been fixing my shirt store blog for over a year now. I decided to be lazy and just go download a WordPress imported Blogger template called GameZine. It was very nice and dark and cool and geeky. Widgets everywhere doing widgety things with java and CSS and The Force.

    Except all the .js files were pointing back to the author’s server and he didn’t take bandwidth into account when he offered that option to people.

    He removed the files from his site and my blog essssploded in a scene reminiscent to the power grid being shutoff in Ghostbusters. Java and Widgets and HTML poured out of my computer and took over The HighMark Building, ultimately resulting in a giant Marshmallow Man sauntering down Liberty Ave.

    So, after failing to fix it myself, I reverted it back to an out of the box template and left it for awhile. Finally got the slideshow thingy to work…. a year later.

    BTW, Exploding Widgets is my new fake garage band name.

  11. Sooska
    July 23, 2010 4:37 pm

    Glad that BoS thingie is gone. (A “thingie” is a precursor to a widget.) It was mocking Pittsburgh.

  12. Shannon
    July 23, 2010 7:42 pm

    Yay, I’m so glad you added an email it option! There have been lots of times in the past where I read something that was especially funny to me and wanted to share it. Thanks :)