Welcome to The New Old Emptybottle

*tap* *tap tap tap* Anybody out there? Anybody left standing with an attention span intact? Any Wonderchicken Irregulars out there, hiding in the bullet-splintered woods, huddled in the snow and blood, waiting for what’s seemed like forever for the smoke and fog to clear, for this long international nightmare to end?

Well, I’m not here to make any promises, to blow smoke up any butts and extract sunshine. I’ve made promises before and broken them. I feel bad about that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy, friends! I’ve been building websites at a rate of knots, including reworks of outsideinkorea and Wonderchicken Industries™ in the last few weeks, my busy gaming community is busier than ever, with well over 1200 members at last count. Just a few days ago, we made a $4100 group donation to ChildsPlay Charity, and I’m immensely proud of that.

But just the last little while, even though all of my creative juices have been directed to virtual barn-building (and repainting), I’ve been feeling the urge to make with the word-writing again. The old design of the venerable ‘bottle was kind of hurting my eyes, though.

So, this. Welcome to Emptybottle.org version Who The Hell Knows. Maybe I’ll even do some writing, once I’m done sweeping up the sawdust. But no promises.

Emptybottle Version 4.0

Well, I’ve rolled out the new design to the front page (as you can see if you’re not reading this in a feedreader). I’m pretty happy with it — it’s still a bit crufty, but I get excited about this stuff, and always end up jumpin the gun.

The main idea was to surface as much of the old content as possible to the front page, since I’ve been writing so infrequently lately — there’s some pretty good stuff back there, littered through the chaff. It’s evolutionary rather than a complete reboot, and it’s still boring, easy old blue and grey, and OMG WEB 2.0 GRADIENTS LOL, but it’ll doooooo.

Archive pagesmt4-hi.png are still sporting the old (and kind of broken) styles, but I’m hard at work eventually going to end up updating those too, and eventually some variation on the front page styling will migrate throughout the site.

The new Movable Type 4 templating, with its includes including includes which in turn include other stuff has pretty much broken my brain — I’m not sure what they’ve done is entirely sensible from a usability point of view. Certainly it makes sense from the coder perspective — best practices, all that modularization and refactoring — but it’s a freaking nightmare to develop your own templates. Still, though, just ripping the guts out of my old templates and wrapping the new design around them just worked, so that’s good.

Anyway, I hope you like the new design. It looks right in all the browsers I’ve tested on WIndows — IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari — but if you find any glaring problems, please drop a comment and let me know!

Update: I just noticed that the 6th Anniversary of the site (well, it was on Blogger for the first year or so, but still) was 10 days ago. Holy crap! That’s about 11 minutes in Chicken Years!