Driving and Remembering Driving

I got a request for a copy of Driving and Remembering Driving, a four-track recorded album I made pre-Rifle Nice.

Here you go, full album as mp3’s: driving.zip.

Rifle Nice (the album)

Rifle Nice released our self-titled full-length in November 2006 and disbanded soon after, leaving our labor of love fully formed and entirely unpromoted.

I am proud of the years of work that went into this album. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Bill Moriarty (whose site I recently built in Drupal). Playing on it are ex-Rifle Nicers Steve Heise, Jim Lewis, Alicia Lewcarth, Rory Connell, Ben Daniels and myself.

I have plenty of beautifully-designed CDs remaining and am happy to mail you one if you contact me and include your address. But for the first time I am now releasing the full album as a free download. Please download and enjoy.

New Business: Zivtech

I came to web development in June 2006 as an intern at Canary Promo+Design. That December I worked on our first Drupal site and never looked back.

Since then I have been working on Drupal fulltime as a freelancer, both building sites and consulting. Needless to say in the past two years my skills have grown considerably, thanks to the amazing power of passionate self-education and in large part to the extraordinary cumulative efforts of the Drupal developers and other web folk who post helpful tips to the internet.

As a bit of a freedom-freak, I have enjoyed freelancing very much. While working in the corporate world made me depressed and lazy, working freelance pushed me to my mental limit on a continuous basis.

Theming Sidebars and Panels

Here’s a pretty basic css technique I’ve noticed myself using a lot of lately (not at all my own invention). The divs used as examples come from zen theme.

Often a design calls for putting a background (or border) on a sidebar. It should look as so:
If you haven’t been down this route before, you will probably try something like

  background: #123456;

Song: A Thought

See also: Unreleased Songs

‘A Thought’ is my current favorite of all my songs. I know I have one friend who agrees, so I’ll share the full lyrics.

A year’s residual thoughts are filling my living room.
The shape they take describes my future,
and my mind wanders around the first floor of its house,
as my fixations take form and float about.

Node theming by field: deconstructing $node->content in Drupal 5

The CCK ‘display fields’ settings are very useful for theming nodes by content type, but I often find myself having to get further into customizing node output field by field.

Once I decide there’s no way getting around taking finer control of my node’s fields, I create a node-{type}.tpl.php by copying my existing node.tpl.php and open up Devel’s ‘Node Render’ tab. Then I delete the $content variable from the template and start adding things like

print $node->content['field_image']['#value'];
print $node->content['body']['#value'];
The $content variable is nice for amateurs, but we need the unrendered $node->content to get good control of a node.

While this gives me complete control over the output of the node’s fields, the drawback is that now if I add a new field to the node, or if I add a module that adds something to $node->content, I have to go back to my template and add in this new element. Because I often do my theming and development in parallel, this can be rather annoying, and there is also a danger that I could overlook doing it.

Therefore I think it may be more practical to use code like this in the node template:

Song: Move Closer to what Deaner was Talking About

“Move Closer to What Deaner was Talking About” is Rifle Nice’s ‘mashup’ of the Philadelphia WPVI “Action News” theme and Ween’s “What Deaner Was Talkin’ About” which was created for the Plain Parade compilation of Philly bands covering other Philly bands.

Song: Nervous Guy

Well, I’m bringing this ‘classic’ ‘music video’ back to the spotlight now that I have a new site.

“Nervous Guy” is an old song of mine which is based on a time in my life just after college when I spent a lot of time by myself in a cemetery almost every day.

Module: MyAccount_alter

I often find myself needing to get rid of some of the sections on Drupal’s ‘My Account’ page. Not every site needs it to say ‘History: Member for 1 day’ for example, and if you use a lot of contributed modules that screen can get cluttered fast. So this morning I got sick of dealing with it, found there is a perfectly good hook_profile_alter there to work with, and wrote a little module to let administrators disable these fields. Let me know how you like it: http://drupal.org/project/myaccount_alter (currently Drupal 5 only)

Drupal Time-savers

If you work freelance like I do, you know that time is money. I’m always trying to shave a few more seconds off my development time. Here are a few tips and tricks that I constantly use:

Syndicate content