Webmaster's Report
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The 'Clan Breazeale' homepage has had a web presence since early August, 2004. Since then, progress on the site has been rapid at times, and slow as molasses at times. In the beginning stages, it was really quick and simple to check on the evolution and growth. All you had to do was click on a few key spots and you had your answer. However, as new pages are created, and new things added to those pages, it is becoming quite a chore to check everything out and feel completely updated. To make the task easier and more comprehensive, I have created a place where I will be giving regular reports (not necessarily daily) of the latest additions, significant events, pertinent communications, and other things of interest to friends and family as the project goes forward. Expect brief notation, with occasionally more elaborate commentary. Everything is time-consuming, so the less time I have to consume in putting up a report, the more likely the report will be posted. The first installment will be rather lengthy, since I have to give a thumbnail sketch of the last six months. The most recent installment will be at the bottom of the list, with subsequent entries descending chronologically from the beginning. This should help keep all interested parties fully informed.

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Dec. 14, 2004

Our account with freewebpage.org was established on August 8, 2004. Later that night and into the 9th, I created the source code for the homepage. It was very simple, with Charlie and Lula's pictures, a thumbnail for each of the ten children, a link for email, and selection of background colors, etc. The pages represented by all these thumbnails and links were not created until two or three weeks later. In that interim, I was working on creating a name for the site, and writing the introduction on the homepage. The 1935 Family Photo was put up and changed several times during this period. I still haven't gotten it to my satisfaction, but it will suffice until I can spend the time to get it perfect.

On August 22 I added pictures of Charlie and Lula to their respective pages. These were pictures I cropped out of a family picture they made in 1907. These are the best pictures I have of them as young adults. On that same day I added all the link buttons on the homepage for the various features, such as the cookbook, the contact page, the birthday page, etc. The next day I began the process of uploading and incorporating the Appetizer section of the cookbook. I worked on it steadily for a couple of weeks along with the birthday pages and the contact pages.

On September 10 I created the Ethel Page and began work on transcribing the audio portion of the videotape I had of Aunt Bea's television interview. That was posted on the 15th. Over the next several days the pictures and the various links on the Ethel page were added, including the Ethel Photo page created by Edward Hutchison, and to the Attala Co. Historical Society website. I have plans for a map page of Ethel, with pictures of important landmarks.

On September 19 I added a picture of Everette that I cropped from one of he and Grace together. So far, it is the best I have of him as a young man. I would prefer more of a portrait-type shot, but it will do for the time being. The same goes for Ed and Grady. I need better shots of them as young men.

By this time, Aunt Clara had gotten wind of the project and we had been exchanging emails for a couple of weeks. She was very enthusiastic and was producing a flood of anecdotal memories. For a week or ten days, beginning on the 20th, I worked on creating Clara's page and writing a compact bio for it. She had begun telling her story, so I spent a good deal of time editing her manuscript, making suggestions and communicating with her. Though her 'Clara's Story' page is still in the rough draft stage, her overall set of pages is the most developed of all the siblings. The pages for her children are ready to be developed with bios, wedding pictures, children's pictures, etc. There is also a page for B' Childress that is ready for his story, the background of the Childress family and whatever pictures of him we can gather.

On the first of October, I added a picture of Aunt Lillian that I cropped from a family picture of her, Robert and their first three children. The picture is out of focus, but the best I have. I received a picture of her recently from Linda Philhower, but it is not ideally suited as a substitute. I need a formal portrait, well focused, mid-twenties, if possible. I have not heard from other family members as yet. Perhaps they can come up with one.

On October 2nd, I posted beautiful pictures of Aunt Bea and Aunt Ludie taken in their early twenties. Later in the month, on the 20th, I was able to add a similar picture of Aunt Zula to her page. Then, on the 31st, great pictures of Aunt Jewell and Uncle Robert emerged and were added to their respective pages. Slowly, but surely, it's coming together.

On November 3rd, Aunt Clara sent a very good picture of her daughter, Becca, and it was added to Becca's page. Brad's picture has been on his page for a while.

The month of October and most of November produced very little activity on the website as I was working on other projects. November 20th began a new phase of development that is still under way.

On November 20th, thumbnails for Ed's children were added to Ed's page and new pages created for each (that would be my siblings and I). I was able to dig up grade school pictures of all of us from the same year, so our relative ages are maintained. The adult pictures are different ages. I didn't have a good picture of Dan. I also added thumbnails for Everette's children. Their pages were created on November 24th along with the new page for Judy Burke and it's thumbnail on Aunt Bea's page, as well as thumbnails and new pages for Jewell's children. Of all these, the only one I was able to post an adult picture of was Maurice, Everette's oldest son. He was sitting in a convertible, looking clean-cut. A pretty good shot. The rest will have a space-reserving sign in the place of their pictures until a picture can be procured. I have a true glamour shot of Judy Burke that only requires scanning. I will be attending to that soon since my scanner is back online now.

On the 26th of November, I created pages for Ludie's children. I found school pictures of them, but Janice was the only one of whom I have a really good picture as an adult.

On the 28th, I created thumbnails and space-reserving signs for Robert's and Zula's children. I have no usable pictures of any of them as children or adults.

In the early part of December, I got a real scare. One night I was trying to create a new folder in the web shell (the behind the scenes part of a website where you install the code that makes the computer screen look and act like you want it to). When I hit the button to create the folder, I got a red flag that stated that I had reached my limit as far as folders went. That was not good news, or so I thought at the time. I went to their website to get some help, but could not find an answer to my question. I finally ended up in a discussion forum where members can ask questions and air their grievances. It was here that I got the scare.

It seems that there are a number of members who have had their websites erased, deleted, zapped, for no reason, with no warning, without recourse. It seems to be a random thing or, at best, an arbitrary thing. Members are moving their websites to other, more reasonable, more stable, servers. It really bothers me to think I could try to get in to work on the site one day, and blamo, locked out, no access, no explanation, no work around. That's it, the end. I have not had the first moments problem with freewebpage.org, not one. I am not ready to pack up all my files and move to another server and start all over, rebuilding the website.

I decided to stay with freewebpage.org, but to be safe, I have backed up all the files needed to build the site. It's all safe on my computer, so if a lockout should happen, I can be up and running on a different server in about a week. It was a compromise solution, but one I figure is better than jumping to conclusions that the worst is going to happen and putting myself through a nightmare unnecessarily. If the nightmare becomes real, I'll deal with it then.

After all that was resolved, I began a rework of the Cookbook. Linda Philhower wrote me and asked if additions or corrections could be made to the recipes and other entries in the book. Of course, they can, but I got to thinking about how the pages were created and realized that if some one wanted to print out a copy of a recipe to use in the kitchen, it would be very difficult to do since the recipes were not posted in a word processor type presentation. Instead, I had used a picture of a printed recipe and posted each as a .jpg file. It would be difficult to print out, or to add to, or to correct. So, I decided to change the format of the cookbook and stick with the format used for the other pages. It took about two days to make the switch, but it's all better now. In the process, I have begun the Breads section. I never knew there were so many ways to make Broccoli Cornbread.

With that, we are up to speed. I'm sure I have neglected to mention something very important, but I don't know what it could be at the moment. I'll add it to the discussion when it comes up.

Dec. 15, 2004

The report I wrote last night took several hours to engineer. Actually, the better part of the day was spent writing the report, creating the little man holding the sign at the bottom of the homepage, then creating the actual page and linking it all up. I wasn't grinding away every instant, there were plenty of interruptions, but it was on my mind all day.

This morning, close observation of the little man showed that his background color was a little too dark, so I had to start to redo him. Then I figured out how to remove a light blue border that was around the little man and around the 'Visit Ethel' animation. I only had about three hours to work on these things, so I'll have to finish in the next session.

Dec. 16, 2004

Scanned Judy Burke Pinkard's glamour shot and posted it to her page. Click here, or on Beatrice's thumbnail, then on Judy's baby picture.

Dec. 17, 2004

Finished rework on the little man holding the sign. Time= 2+ hrs.

Put up a new picture of Charlie and Lula on the main page of the Cookbook above the Dedication written by Linda Love Philhower. Click here, or on the Cookbook button on the homepage and scroll down. Time= ~1 hr.

Fixed a bunch of broken links (20-25) in the Appetizers section caused by deleting the redundant email and guestbook .gif files. Had to insert script to tell the computer where to find the correct files. Time= ~45 min.

2:10 a.m. Wrote a long email to Aunt Clara.

Scanned a picture of the men that I acquired as a doorprize at a family reunion. Cropped out a picture of Grady and uploaded it to his page. Much better picture, but still lacking the quality I want. Click here, or on Grady's thumbnail on the homepage. End 3:30 a.m.

Started a basic list of items needed to complete Everette's page. Click here, or on Everette's thumbnail, then on the text indicated. Incomplete...had to go to bed. End 4:20 a.m.

Dec. 19, 2004

Spent a lot of time tweaking things today. There is always something that needs tweaking.

Wrote emails to Lynn Cunningham. Lynn is a Regional Director for the Jaguar Club of North America. I picked his name off their website because he lives about ten miles from me in Mableton, Ga. I was seeking some help identifying a hood ornament on what turned out to be a 1935 Ford Coup 3W. We originally thought the ornament was a leaping jaguar, but it was actually a sprinting greyhound. Had all that figured out before Lynn wrote me back, but sent him the results of my detective work, out of courtesy. He got interested in the story and the research (we are trying to determine the model of Willy's Knight automobile Granddaddy had) and we have exchanged emails and stories a couple of times. Nice guy.

Dec. 20, 2004

Created main page picture for Family Photo Archives. Using MSPaint and Thumbs+ I put together a composite of several old pictures. It turned out pretty good, but I will probably redo it because a couple of the pictures became blurred in the process, for reasons yet undetermined. It makes a nice introduction to the Photo Archives page, though. Click here, or on the Photo Archives button on the homepage. Time= 2-3 hrs.

Talked on phone with Steve for about an hour. All family stuff.

Began writing the intro for the Family Photo Archives page. Got a couple of sentences done before I began to fade. End 3:00 a.m.

Dec. 21, 2004

Finished intro piece begun last night. I like it, but I'm biased like that. Time= 2-3 hrs.

Most of the day and evening have been spent sorting and readying pictures for the Photo Archives page. Once I get them sorted and more-or-less dated, then I have to resize them all to the smallest possible and then pass them through MSPaint. It is a requirement that all the pictures be exactly the same size in order to be able to set them up in a slide show. The software dictates it. So, by opening them in MSPaint, I can fill in any areas that are missing and save the picture as a 640 by 480 size. It works great, but, like everything else, it is time consuming. Time= 7+ hrs. End 3:30 a.m. Dec. 22, 2004. The last two hours have been spent writing this report.

Jan. 10, 2005

Almost three weeks since the last entry here. Have gotten through the Christmas holidays and the New Year's celebration. Through all that, I was working on readying the first page of pictures for the Photo Archives page. Have fifty pictures uploaded and the page is open, complete with a slide show feature. Just click here or on the 'Photo Archives' button on the bottom of the main page. You can then view the composite picture I made, read the introduction, scroll down to see the thumbnail table, and then the slide show feature. Some of the pictures are incomplete, have incorrect information, need captions, or whatever. If you have some information, more information, or better information, please get it to me and I will make the changes. The slideshow works great, but you have to follow the directions to set your computer up.

The only other addition has been a 'Beverages' link button on the 'Cookbook' page. I wanted to have a place to list recipes for Sun Tea, Mint Julep, Good Ole Southern Sweet Tea (the Champagne of the South), a variety of Punches, Campfire Coffee, Hot Cocoa from scratch, Cinnamon Apple Cider, and How to Make Buttermilk like Grandma Breazeale. There are many others that could be added and I thought a place should be provided for them.

Somewhere in there, I put up a great picture of a bunch of beverages. I don't remember where I got it, but it was perfect, so I went with it.

Oh yes, I backed everything up. The backup files are up to date.

Jan. 18, 2005

A new era in the history of the Clan Breazeale website has begun. In the week since my last entry, I have moved the website to a new server. I have not gone public with it yet, mainly because I haven't figured out what I am going to do about notifying everyone who is now aware of the site about the change. In other words, both sites are working and the new site must be linked from the old site so that everyone will be able to update their bookmarks without having to email me for the new address. It's really a very simple thing, so I might as well cut to the chase and get it over with. The new site address is http://free.hostdepartment.com/b/breazeales/ and is a much better arrangement than the old site. It is more stable, has no enigmatic erasure issues that I am aware of, and has no advertising banners at the top of every page, making it a much neater and less cluttered presentation. In a couple of days, I will put up a statement on the old site explaining the transition and providing a link to the new site. I will leave that up there for a few weeks, until I am reasonably sure that every interested party has had the opportunity to update their bookmarks.

I have completely backed up all the files for the new site, not counting this one...yet. I have burned all the backup files to a CD, but this file will have to be burned later. I will no longer be backing up the old site, which you could have predicted.

Jan. 25, 2005

Tonight, I have posted a notice and a link on the original website that the whole site has been moved to the new server. Have not worked on the website, other than the notice of the move to the new server, for a couple of weeks now. Having a hard time concentrating. It may be a while before I am able to do anything substantial. I will chip away as best I can, however.

Feb. 3, 2005

Since my last entry I have not been very attentive to our little project. I got distracted when I found out that I could have as many as five different websites under the one account we have with the new server, free.hostdepartment.com. Learning that gave me a bright idea. I can move the website I made for my little beagles to this server and have everything together under one roof, so to speak. 'The Adventures of Peaches and Bogie', the beagle website, had been running on the Angelfire server. Angelfire had been stable and reliable, but it had numerous advertising banners and pop-ups that interferred with the enjoyment of the content. So, I decided to move it and that was a task more difficult than moving the Clan Breazeale website. I moved the first of four pages (of about 12 or 13) and that means over one-hundred pictures and their thumbnails had to be uploaded from my computer since Angelfire does not have a save function, etc., etc., etc. In other words, headaches, time consumption. With the other projects pulling at me, I was finally able to get it moved and running a few days later.

What I have done on our site, in the last couple of days, has been to reorganize the Photo Archives page a little, to drop a certain picture at the request of a favored aunt and add a picture of Charlie in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I also added a glamour shot of my brother, Dan, to his page. To see it, click here, or on Ed's picture on the homepage, then on 'Danny's thumbnail on Ed's page. Handsome fellow.

Feb. 7, 2005

Put up two pictures sent to me by Ann Breazeale. One was of her brother Maurice, taken about 1946, and the other of brother Malcolm, taken around 1948. Both pictures were taken while they were students at Ole Miss. These pictures will serve as their 'glamour shots', the pictures that will introduce them on their own pages. To see them, click here, and here or click on Everette's thumbnail on the main page, then on Maurice's or Malcolm's space reserving thumbnails on Everette's page.

July 17, 2007

It has been over two years since I have written in this log. Wow! I was shocked when I realized that. I was having my troubles in the spring and summer of 2005, troubles I will not elucidate here other than to say that I was seriously distracted from the duties and responsibilities inherent in being a webmaster. Beyond the distracting troubles, I also took up another hobby that captivated my attention and took up a great deal of my free-time. So, the bottom line is, it has been two years plus and I have done very little to upgrade the ClanBreazeale website. That is not to say that I have done nothing at all, but I will say that nothing major was done.

I take that back! What am I thinking? I did a very major thing. In October of 2005, I spent $100 and signed us up for space and service on Bluehost.com. I got very tired of the free host/server we were with due to service issues, etc. I really needed a host/server that would be solid, reliable, advert free, and one that would give you a phone number to call when you had a problem. I got all that and more with Bluehost.com. And, it was very inexpensive for the quality, service, and potential we receive. I have been with them for almost a year and a half at this point and have never had an issue that wasn't immediately addressed by phone, by friendly, helpful guys on the other end. I am really glad I decided to go for it.

Once I had the account open, I transferred the ClanBreazeale website, and I transferred the 'Adventures of Peaches and Bogie' website over to the Bluehost server. It took a while to go through everything and make sure it was all working, but it is so worth it. I only wish I had done it several thousand headaches ago.

I have done some things in the two year hiatus. I put up a number of things on the Link Library section. I attempted to place a counter on every major page and set up the results to all go to a single page so I could check the stats without having to go to all the pages again, but it didn't want to work correctly, so I had to go back and remove them all...twice. That took days. I won't be doing that again. When Aunt Zula passed, Steve called to remind me to change her picture on the main page to black and white (as opposed to the colored picture that was up there) to signify her passing. All totaled, working 8-10 hours a day, straight through, it may have taken a week to do all these things, maybe two, so it's not like I really did a lot when I had 104 weeks to work with.

I tend to get stimulated to work on the site right around Family Reunion time. It's like I feel guilty that I have done so little on it, so right at the last minute, I get all fired up. I had to skip the 2006 reunion, so the pressure was off from it. Things rocked along, with very little attention being paid to the website by me or anyone else, and then the 2007 reunion came around. I started thinking about it again several months before, but actually did very little. It didn't seem to matter much. I don't think anyone was aware of what I had or had not done. I did meet Pam Breazeale at the reunion, who expressed an interest in learning to construct web pages, and a desire to help advance the ClanBreazeale website. After the reunion, we communicated a couple of times by telephone and by email, but real life must have taken over because I haven't heard from her for several weeks.

The reunion and the interaction with Pam did motivate me to actually do something, though. If you remember, I began a project of posting a 'Basic List of Items Needed to Complete the Page', starting with Everette. Well, I wanted Pam and her sister, Cat (for Catherine) to be able to better envision their own space on the Everette branch, so I completed the HTML for their pages and for Pam's daughter, using space holders for pictures and a line of text to signify space for CompactBio or other writing. Then I put together a Basic List for each of their pages so they would know what materials they need to fill in the blanks. Hopefully, they will follow through in due time. From there, I continued with the Basic List project until I had posted one for every person that currently has a designated page on the ClanBreazeale website. It took several days to do that, but I am hoping it will expedite the construction process. If we are going to do this, then let's do it. My next plan is to begin a series of mailings to request specific items. I may print and send pictures to some of the oldest siblings to get identification of people in pictures, or to tell the stories that only they can tell.

One final note: June and I recently acquired two new beagle puppies to add to our pack. Well, as could be expected, I have taken a ton of pictures and have already gotten their website up and running. It didn't take near as much time to construct as 'The Adventures of Peaches and Bogie', but it is not nearly as sumptuously appointed either. We named the new puppies Charlie and Lulabelle, the details of which are fully explained. Their website is 'Beagles Don't Bark'. What is already up there is an opening remark for a website that will be unfolding for years to come.

That's all I can think of that needs reporting. Thanks for staying with it this far. I'll try to update again in a couple of years...just kidding.

July 20, 2007

I have spent the last couple of days puzzling over an idea I had for the main ClanBreazeale homepage. The presentation involved nesting tables, which has to be approached a certain way or the code gets corrupted and your page looks like crap. To start with, I knew very little about nesting tables...now I know a lot more, at least I know the fundamentals and understand the basic concepts.

One of the interesting things about this HTML business is that sometimes you can do very little, write very little code, take very little time, and you can see a dramatic difference on the screen. At other times, you can work for days on getting a certain part of the code to look right on the screen, but the average person wouldn't even notice it. It is taken in stride as part of the presentation, no more, no less, yet it was tricky and complex to create.

The idea I had, and subsequently created, was to place thumbnails of Lula and Charlie as young adults in a table similar to the one created by ThumbsPlus for the Ten Children, except with only two cells and with the words 'The Mother' and 'The Father' centered above each respective cell. Furthermore, I wanted the two cells separated by a wide space, centered on the screen, and hyperlinked to their respective pages. It sounds so easy on paper, and perhaps it is easy to those with vast knowledge, but this was my first encounter with nesting tables that I had to engineer myself. I thought it worked out pretty good.

September 22, 2007

In the latter days of July, Brother Steve and I made a trip to Kinzel Springs, Tennessee to track down some places we had been to in our childhood. It was Steve's idea. He was on a mission. The next day, we decided to head on over to Kingston to see what we could find out about one of the Breazeale kin who had claimed his fifteen minutes of fame by having his own funeral before he died. He was Felix Bushaloo Breazeale, better known in his elder years as 'Uncle Bush'. We located the Roane County Heritage Commission, the curator of all things historical about Roane County, and learned that they were well aware of Uncle Bush and his midsummer funeral in 1938. We made copies of everything they had on him. It took several hours, but we left there with a fist full of papers, copies of newspaper articles, court documents, etc. They were very friendly and just as helpful.

With that wealth of information, I began constructing a website to display all we had found. That went on throughout the month of August. In late August, Steve and I made a return trip to Roane County to research some questions we had and to refine some of the materials that had gaps. On that trip, we took a camera and a copy-stand, and took photographs of every picture that appeared in every newspaper in the file. We also took pictures of the Cave Creek area, the churches, the cemetery, and Uncle Bush's headstone. The Heritage Commission staff revealed that they had a series of high-quality pictures of Uncle Bush, passed by Augustus Summers to his grandson, Frank Huggins, who, ultimately, gave us permission to use the pictures. Robert Bailey, of RCHC, scanned the photos onto a CD for us. The trip was successful, so we had what we needed to finish the web presentation, as far as we could take it, anyway.

The official end of the construction and opening of the Uncle Bush site was on or about September 15th. We are proud to say that we have created the most extensive website, and probably the only website, dedicated to Uncle Bush and his unusual funeral. You may jump to it if you click here.


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