27 September 2008

Major updates to EdwardRingwald.com!

If you have logged in to EdwardRingwald.com starting today (Saturday, 27 September 2008) you may have noticed some updates I have made to the site. Here are the details of the updates I have made to EdwardRingwald.com.

In the Roadtrips category:

I visited the Los Angeles area a little over a year ago over Labor Day weekend 2007 and I brought you photos and much more from that trip. A highlight of this trip is the side excursion to San Diego and across the Mexican border into Tijuana. I recently noticed pages of broken links to the pictures in days 3, 4 and 5 and I have fixed them; turns out I added a preceding zero to the day number when I had it set up otherwise (for example, I had it set up as “Day1” and when I coded the web page to make the links I typed in “Day01” – just a little web design reminder to check your work as you go along for any typos you may make!). But days 3, 4 and 5 have been fixed and the picture links have been brought in line with days 1 and 2.

After a few years here on EdwardRingwald.com it was time to retire the Baltimore and Washington roadtrips I made in 2005 and 2006. Like the other roadtrips I have made in the past my server space is limited and I can’t show all the roadtrips I have made since EdwardRingwald.com premiered in 2000.

In the Interesting Topics category:

In my Christmas 2007 and New Year 2008 post on the Edward Ringwald Blog one of the items I have mentioned was a discussion on one of Florida’s draconian laws, specifically Florida’s trespassing laws and how it is applied in a discriminatory manner when it comes to commercial public places. So, I spent the first half of 2008 crafting a white paper on why Florida’s trespassing laws are a recipe for discrimination and abuse of power. This is a must read for everyone, especially Florida residents, and you should read it word for word.

Another topic I have posted is about the Florida FCAT exam. For you parents of K-12 students out there the FCAT test is a required rite of passage, especially in the 10th grade of high school as this decides whether your child gets a high school diploma or not. I feel that the FCAT test needs to be done away with completely and replaced by meaningful end of course exams that truly reflect what was learned; doing so would put some meaningful education back into Florida’s public schools rather than the FCAT song and dance your children learn presently.

In the Drawbridges of the Pinellas Beaches category:

As we St. Petersburg and Pinellas County residents know the new span of the Johns Pass Bridge is complete and open to traffic. The new bridge is much more beautiful and more attractive than its 1971 northbound counterpart. What makes it so unique for you motorists out there is that the new bridge is concrete all the way across; you will not have to dread the monotonous sound of the steel grid deck which is the case with many of Pinellas County’s other drawbridges.

This is the second new drawbridge to be built with the movable span being a concrete deck. The first new drawbridge to get a concrete deck on the movable span was the new Treasure Island Causeway which opened in 2007.

If you haven’t been by the Johns Pass Bridge lately, you owe it to yourself to take a ride across the new span. If you drive south from Madeira Beach to Treasure Island, when you drive across it has the look and feel of Interstate 275 because of the emergency breakdown shoulder on the right lane. However, this is a new bridge carrying Gulf Blvd. (FL 699) across a body of water created by a hurricane way back in 1848. In fact, you should take a stroll across the new Johns Pass Bridge as it features a much wider sidewalk and observation decks on either side of the movable span; you can even get up close and personal as the drawbridge lifts and the tall boats go by.

The new Johns Pass Bridge is actually the new southbound span that will eventually carry southbound Gulf Blvd. (FL 699) traffic. Presently the new bridge carries two-way traffic while the 1971 northbound span is demolished and a new northbound span is constructed. In fact, I paid a visit to the new Johns Pass Bridge recently and the old steel grid decks have already been taken down. The new northbound span of the Johns Pass Bridge is scheduled to open around 2010.

I have added newer photos of the Johns Pass Bridge showing the construction and opening of the new southbound span for your viewing enjoyment.

In the overall EdwardRingwald.com category:

A security deterrent has been added to all EdwardRingwald.com pages on the site. If you attempt to right click anywhere on any EdwardRingwald.com page including any links you will get a pop-up message. I have tested this out on a few pages with good results and I have decided to apply this security feature site-wide.

I have had a few incidents with MySpace users who either (1) right click on a link to find out the exact URL for an image so that it can be copied onto a user’s MySpace page or (2) worse yet, download the image and then re-upload the image into MySpace. It is true: To download an image you can right click on the link and click on “Save Target As”; indicate where you want the file saved and you are in business.

However, EdwardRingwald.com and my sister site, Interstate275Florida.com, are hosted on shared web servers where I pay a monthly fee for. Part of that monthly fee is for bandwidth; if I go over my monthly bandwidth allotment my web hosting provider charges me for this. My pictures I have posted are my own creation and I don’t like to say this, but I cannot have users from MySpace or any other similar site going around and sapping my bandwidth. In other words, my pictures are there for your viewing pleasure and not for downloading and posting or hyperlinking to your MySpace page. Besides, EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com are copyrighted.

This same security deterrent will be also applied to Interstate275Florida.com when it gets a major update somewhere down the road. But it takes time, especially if you want to do things right.

Hopefully you will like the changes I have made to EdwardRingwald.com recently. Let me know what you think of the changes I have made.

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