My wife is blogging

She finally took the plunge. She is official. My wife, Sandi Gonzalez, is blogging.

Her and I have had many a discussion about her blogging, and given some of the recent challenges we have been through in our marriage, it seemed like it might not happen. Which saddened me greatly, because she is an awesome writer, she is funny and she has tons of real life experience raising children, being married (albeit in a sometimes rocky but longstanding marriage to yours truly), battling chronic fatigue, homeschooling our kids and generally being a woman. And when I say she is funny I mean she is like really funny.

Needless to say that over the years, however, I have not encouraged her in these areas. In fact, it would not be an understatement to say that I have broken her down in many areas in which she excels. So naturally her confidence was was lacking. Not for anything she has done. Really I think it has more to do with me not being her biggest fan and supporter like I should have been all along. More recently, however, I have felt the need and responsibility to make sure she knows just how awesome she is. And I am making it more of a point to identify the areas of her awesomeness directly to her, when they happen and as they happen, so she can be sure of just what makes her so freaking awesome.

Side bar, for the men: If you are not already doing this, make sure that your wife hears accolades from you, at least once a day, if not more often, for something she is really good at. She needs that, and you really should be the greatest source of that for her.

So she did it. She stepped out and started writing about her life, her experiences and her challenges. And I gotta tell you, if you are a woman, a mother, a Christian, a daughter, a homeschooler or in need of some comic relief centered around heartfelt, passionate and honest experience, you gotta read her blog. It will more than likely make you say to yourself “I know, honey, and I can’t believe …” or maybe even “No way! I went through that exact same thing!”. Regardless, you should read her blog. It will be worth it to anyone.

And baby, if you are reading this, I am so very proud of you for having the courage to step out like this and the compassion to want to help others by your own experience. You are an amazing woman.

Reconciling the past

You ever have a moment where something you did weeks, months or perhaps even years ago rears itself up and manifests itself in your life again? I had that experience this morning.

This morning I discovered that some of the things that I have written in this blog have offended some very specific, very special people in my life. I won’t go into detail on those people or the subject matter in question; however, I will say that I am truly sorry for the grief, anguish and betrayal I have caused you by writing about those specific experiences in my life.

While I don’t think it is ever the intent of anyone to purposefully cause pain to someone (unless that anyone is mean and truly wants to hurt the someone), nevertheless, people do get hurt. And while I will not take responsibility for anyone’s feelings, I will certainly take responsibility for my actions.

To that end, I apologize for the latitude I have taken in some of the writings I have posted here. And though I cannot promise to not post from my heart again, I can promise that I will be more cognizant of the potential harm it could cause to those that read this blog.

All three of you. 😉

Hey, Robert, where you been?

I was looking back over my blog activity the other day and realized that I have not produced nearly as much content as I have in the past. For a while I was shooting for a post a day and I was pretty successful at it. But things happen, wake-up calls are answered, life beckons, yadda yadda… and the next thing you know it has been months since I have posted anything.

Generally this wouldn’t mean too much. But for me it is starting to get to me. I have used my blog as my soap box, my psychiatrist, my drinking buddy, my locker room. It has been a way for me to get things off my chest, shout to the world and broadcast my experience, my personality, my rants, my wisdom and sometimes my ignorance 🙂 . It has also been a way that some of my friends and family have used to keep up with me and my life. Which means that if I don’t talk to them on a regular basis then they might have no idea what is going on with me.

Given the nature of things in the Gonzalez atmosphere as of late, and specifically my world (because we all know how self-centered, egotistical and wrapped up in myself I am) I’ve decided to put more time and effort into my blog. I think I need the therapeutic value of it more than anything, but I also would love for my friends and family to be able to know what is happening with yours truly when they want to know.

So if I haven’t lost you as a reader because of my lack of involvement in this thing I am glad you stuck around. I hope with some upcoming changes I am making that keeping up with me will be even easier for you and will prompt even more output from me.

Dude, where have I been?

For all five of you that follow this blog you would have noticed over the last month and a half that I have been completely absent from producing any new content. No rants, no politics, no marriage issues, no financial woes, no parenting challenges, no funny kid sayings, no code. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I would love to say that there is good reason for this, but the reality of it is, there is no good reason.

Part of my being away as long as I have been has to do with burn out. I am tired. Really tired. I have been busier than crap over the last year and it has taken its toll on me. I am also burnt out on blogging. Yes, I did say that. I don’t produce that great a variety of content and frankly it has been a struggle trying to come up with anything to write for a given day. Well, it hasn’t been difficult to come up with stuff to write, but it has been difficult to find the time to put that stuff into writing.

Another reason that I have not blogged lately is that I was seeing a pretty nasty trend that saw the bulk of my topics centering around negative feelings I had been having over something. The sad fact is I was using my blog to vent about things that I was going through. Yes, that is a perfectly legitimate reason for even having a blog, but it is also a pretty stupid thing to offer anyone that might read your blog. Who in their right mind would want to hear about your struggles when they are in the throws of their own? I apologize for that. But taking time off has meant that I haven’t taken the opportunity to spew forth the negative dribble about what has been going on in my life so I have, in effect, spared you that negativity that is my life.

Lastly, I have had to take time away from many of my personal hobbies to focus on taking care of my family, taking care of work and taking care of my business. Anyone that has a child knows that families take time. While I love to do things that I really like to do sometimes I have to do things that I really have to do. Like feeding my family, cleaning my home, disciplining my children and taking care of my wife. Of course, my work life has its own challenges and all of those need to be addressed as a high priority. My business is no different.

So that is where I am. I had no intent to fall off the intarwebs completely without notice. No, indeed I’d rather be able to spend time here like I used to. But I also need time to come to grips with what is really happening in my life while at the same time trying to not continue to flood this place with negativity, complaints and a sense of general discontentment. I hope you understand.

I do plan to begin blogging again at the beginning of 2009. I might even write up a brief 2008 recap. We’ll see. I just didn’t want to leave all five of you hanging. 🙂 Seriously though, thanks for your patience and understanding. I am really looking forward to a 2009 that will be much better.

WordPress 2.6 is now officially released

WordPress 2.6 was officially released today. There are a ton of new additions, bug fixes and other coolnesses within this release so you might want to get a hold of the newest version and update your WordPress.

I already updated in case you were wondering. 😉

EDIT | Apparently there have been some folks having issues with the upgrade. Chris Brogran, famed Twitterer and blogger, reported that his upgrade didn’t take and he had to roll back his installation. Sounds like the WordPress team needs to spend a little time looking into this, huh?

Posting YouTube videos to WordPress in valid XHTML

I realized in my quest to build a new theme for my blog that as I did validation testing on the markup that it didn’t validate (against the XHTML 1 Strict DTD – because I am a little Geek OCD when it comes to my markup). After a bit of inspection I realized that it was the stupid YouTube code that I copied from their site that was throwing off my validation.

Apparently YouTube thinks that everyone that puts their code into a site writes their markup under the transitional DTD. How stupid is that? A la:

<object width="425" height="344">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Rw8gE3lnpLQ&hl=en"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Rw8gE3lnpLQ&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed>
</object>

Well I wasn’t about to be told that I cannot have valid XHTML in my code. After all, I took the time to make sure the core code was valid, why should I tolerate invalid markup injected into my code by YouTube or WordPress or anyone? Exactly.

My solution? Simple. Google.

And Google, being the friend to me that is always has been, helped me right from the go. It took me Valid XHTML to Embed a YouTube Video. After reading some of the goodness on this tutorial I read the comments. And lo and behold, I ran across another tidbit of goodness that all bloggers that are into valid XHTML output should look at.

The Valid XHTML YouTube embed code generator – Online tool is totally awesome. It is fast, clean and reliable. I have already used it twice and will more than likely be using for every video embed I post until I want (bad enough) to write a WordPress plugin. Until then, if you are at all interested in keeping your XHTML template standards compliant, hit this little converter up because it rocks.

And just so I can prove myself to not be a liar… remember that little YouTube generated code snippet above? This is how it comes out afterward:

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" style="width:425px; height:344px;" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/Rw8gE3lnpLQ">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Rw8gE3lnpLQ" />
</object>
<div style="font-size: 0.8em">
<a href="http://www.tools4noobs.com/online_tools/youtube_xhtml/">Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code</a>
</div>

Yeah, I thought it was great too. Enjoy.