Thursday, 3 January 2008

The first few words I uttered as I slammed my laptop shut in frustration.

It had been a miserable complete waste of 3 hours that I have ever spent. And if you must ask what I was doing, I was trying to update this bloody blogger template! Jeez! Well I always thought technology is a means (to our end sometimes) aimed at making our lives simpler and easier, until I was hit by the foolish idea - to update the look of my blog.

I was immediately prepped up. Its like that proverbial bolt of lightning you see hitting the central cartoon character on Cartoon Network which then is immediately followed up by an unbelievable widening of the irises of his eyes and an utterly ridiculously stupid east to west grin on his mouth and a sudden appearance of a bright shiny100 Watt bulb on his head which then pulsates back and forth to catch the viewers attention. The character then swoops both his arms towards one side, lifts his leg, flutters his long ears and dashes from one corner of your screen to disappear in the other. The film proceeds and in the very next frame the character hits a big boulder, the widened irises come together to render the poor soul cross eyed, the tongue sneaks out from the corner of his lips giving a completely new dimension to the hitherto "oh so cute" wide grin, the bulb shatters into a zillion pieces that transform into small golden birds which start chirping and flying in a circle over his head when promptly like a log he lands squarely flat on his back.

I should say that completely summarizes my initial attempt of updating the template on my blog.

I was very inspired by the looks of Ashu's Blog and Annie's Blog and thought to myself "Hey! when they can do it why cant you!" while conveniently forgetting the fact that they are ladies of probably extraordinary intelligence while my intellectual capabilities can best be compared to well the character on the Cartoon Network. Nonetheless I used google and had a few million hits when I searched for blogger templates. I have no idea why this perked me up and made me feel as if I have really accomplished something. Even now I have absolutely no clue why in that moment did I feel so proud and satisfied as if I have really accomplished my mission in this life which if you have noticed I kinda keep questioning time and again. Anyways, I selected a template, downloaded it from its source site, went to the settings section of my blog, uploaded the template, read quickly through some warnings that immediately came up in red about some widgets (whatever they are) being deleted and not giving two hoot for any damn thing in this entire cycle, I clicked confirm delete and lo! I immediately had a weird looking error code on my screen which looked like straight out from The Da Vinci Code anagrams along with a small apology text that looked like Prez. Mush's letter to G.W. Bush after 9/11 (which as per few very popular jokes was dispatched on 9/10!).

I had hit the boulder, my eyes were squinting to make sense of this screen (not completely cross eyed yet), I was almost close to scratching my head but little did I know I am about to fall squarely on my back very soon.

I gave my famous Houdini flourish of the hand and promptly mouthed Hogwash(read Harry Potter if you dont know what this means) and I still don't know why I closed the browser down. I think I was under the impression that the Blogger servers live somewhere hidden in my browser and if I get rid of this particular instance of my browser the corresponding server would die (yeah! die you bi*ch die!) and would completely forget what happened and when I start another browser, a new server would start magically (ref. Harry Potter again, no wait try Lord of The Rings this time) and the mighty balance of the cyber space universe would be restored automatically and peace shall be bestowed onto these pages. So I started a new instance of firefox, promptly typed http://achingpen.blogspot.com and..........well now I was flat on my back!

Every thing from my blog other than my posts was simply wiped off. No blog catalog thing, no mybloglog widget, no favorites, history, my fav posts, simply nothing! My tongue would have lolled out had my mouth not formed a big O and my eyes would definitely have been cross eyed had they not been trying to imitate the shape of my mouth. Basically I was looking like a close up of the poor cartoon character when he was lying flat on the ground.

Stop grinning will you? This is supposed to be a saga of my sorrows. An odyssey from one template to the other where during the course of my journey I lost a lot, bid farewell to a lot of things that were dear to me and at times I simply passed out of exhaustion.


So back on the trail then. The reverberations of the virtual cosmic shock had me literally trembling all over. I scrolled up, I scrolled down, I scrolled right, I scrolled left (as if that would have helped!) but to not avail. All of my customizations had simply vanished, much like ethics from a corporate America and sense from a booze laden Britain and honesty from a corrupt India. I had no idea what should I do next. In vain I logged on to the settings section of my blog and tried moving back to my old template. As you experienced folks would know that didn't help either. Nothing, nope, nada!

And so began a vicissitude of experimental change. A new blog came up http://getmemylife.blogspot.com where I started playing. I ventured alone in the amazonian jungle of CSS, div tags, blogger code and HTML. I fought single handedly with the demons of xml and snatched the much sought arcanum of widget customizations. Yes it was tough, yes at times I yelled my desperate cries to the gelid Gods of blogger help sections, to the acknowledged gurus of template customization and yes more often than not I did think of giving up but my obdurate conscience wouldn't let me.

At the end though I stood victorious. The new blog had just the look I wanted. Exhilarated, ebullient and almost bibulous now I copied the template and uploaded it to this url here. More warnings in red again about widget deletions which made perfect sense to me this time and even though I pressed "confirm delete" again, this time I knew what I was doing.


Pray note that knowledge doesn't really make anyone wise. When first I had pressed "confirm delete" I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing yet I went ahead and completed the action but time when I knew all that I was supposed to know before making an informed decision I the mighty old cartoon character still nonetheless clicked "confirm delete"

Bang! Everything lost again! Duh! Prompt came out the three words which make up the title of this post and laptop was slammed shut.

I had heard the tocsin and decided I didn't care.

But of course I did. I gave it a night. I let my unfinished customizations hang in the cyber space for all to see and laugh at me. I woke up the next day and firmed my resolve to sort this out today. I went to my office and at the first chance grabbed hold of Ben who is the lead web UI designer in the office and pleaded him to sort this mess for me. And Ben being the gentleman that he is kindly agreed. Though he made it clear he had no idea on blogger format but hey he is someone who eats CSS, drinks HTML and breathes Xml. Took him about 30 minutes and the blog was ready!

So for now, I have left this blog as Ben handed it over to me as my gratitude to Ben. Thanks Ben! It's time like these when you know who your best friends are. I am sure the fact that I am the boss had nothing to do with your inclination to help my a** out of this mess :D

LOL!

Best,

J

10 Comments:

  1. Mirage said...
    Hahahahaha!!

    U knw i tried changing my template long back...n a lot of the same instances happened with me too. After that i just gave up! I was lk, screw it, who cares abt the template anyway!

    But anyway, u were successful! So congrats fr that! n its lookin good! :)
    John F said...
    LOL Mirage, I can totally and so completely believe you! I wonder why arent the powers that be at google arent listening!
    Ashu said...
    Horrible stuff John, but frankly you could have avoided this mess big time, may be cut it by 40% on a realistic basis...

    i had a regular blogger template and had played along with fonts and colors tab in the customization section to give it the look it had, previously i had fad for 3 column temps, but i dint find any, sites throw up junk templates, mostly of no use and ridiculous usage...

    there is one way to save ur widgets when u change the template :

    1) back up ur template before ne change and save all ur widgets, they at max are some jackshits of html text....

    2) else download the template (xml), open it in any editor (notepad, textpad, editplus), no word pls, search for "sidebar" in ur original template and u d find a section like b:section. below this line untill you find /b:section, u d find all your widgets, copy them and paste it in under the new template under same section and preview in the blogger editor....

    sounds trash, but thats how it is..yesterday i changed my template cos i had enouf of black....so its now red....

    if u want you can find cool ones at "www.pyzam.com".

    and u can convert the categories labels to a tag cloud.....

    refer this site :

    http://phydeaux3.blogspot.com/2006/01/tag-cloud-9.html

    the dude guides you how to have one...any thing more, drop a shot at ashu172@gmail.com
    John F said...
    oh wow! Thanks a hell lot Ashu! This is the kind of information I really wanted to begin with! But then better late than never. I am very tempted to try out a new template right now as I am not liking this one very much. But if I change before a week Ben would be pretty dissappointed ;)
    Mez said...
    I like the new look!
    freesherry said...
    lolzzz.... loved your writing style..have blogrolled you :D
    Jillian said...
    I ventured alone in the amazonian jungle of CSS, div tags, blogger code and HTML. I fought single handedly with the demons of xml and snatched the much sought arcanum of widget customizations. Yes it was tough, yes at times I yelled my desperate cries to the gelid Gods of blogger help sections..

    That sounds about like me when I first messed with my template. A few sites that are extremely helpful are:

    http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/

    http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com/

    http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com

    I'm sure you've found a few sites from a Google session, but I found these to be EXTREMELY helpful.
    John F said...
    Hey freesherry! Thanks a lot for the honor!

    Jillian, thanks for hte links. I am now back to the world of blogging and am planning a template change again, thse sure would come in handy ;)
    Solitaire said...
    Oh man this is truly so funny!! Was the getmemylife very intentional? Or subconscious? Thank God for WISE employees.
    Sweetstickychewy said...
    Great read indeeds. :D Stole a few laughs from it. Thanks John.:)

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