Moving On

Charlotte Skyline

All good things must come to an end.

I arrived in Greenville, SC, in 2001 as a college freshman. Discounting some summers spent working at home and a year or so off between degrees, I’ve spent 11.5 of the last 14 years here in Greenville. I’ve graduated twice, gotten married, had a baby, and graduated again. I’ve lived in six dorm rooms, two houses, two apartments, and a townhouse. I’ve worked three campus jobs, held three graduate assistantships, served an internship, started my own company, shifted to contract work, and settled into a full-time job. I’ve seen some friendships come and go; other friendships have grown deeper. That’s a lot to leave behind and it makes our move bittersweet, to say the least.

Life, however, isn’t primarily about reliving the past or clutching the things that have already happened; so much rests on our willingness to seize the good opportunities that God provides and follow his leading one step at a time. That’s the step my family and I are taking now.

I’ve accepted a job as a senior front-end developer at a digital marketing agency in Charlotte, NC. My wife, month-old daughter, and I will be moving up there next week. This position will provide me the privilege of collaborating with a larger team of web developers; I expect it will also require a higher level of work, challenging me and honing my skills. It will also position me to write and speak more frequently, allowing me to give back to the web development community that’s helped me so much.

This move will also be a bit of an adventure. My family and I are leaving a comfort zone we’ve grown quite fond of. We’ll be making new friends, worshiping with a new church family, discovering new restaurants, settling into a new home, learning new roads, and enjoying a new arts experience. Our hearts are abuzz with that incredible mixture of excitement and apprehension.

In all this change, we’re grateful for our supportive families, for our friends and church family, for the great places we’ve been able to work, and for the kind providence and wise guidance our heavenly Father has given us. SDG.

Entire Dissertation Complete

It’s been a while since I posted an update here, but at long last, everything is done. On March 13, I successfully defended my dissertation. Last week I received word that all my final editing is complete. Just waiting for printed copies & commencement weekend now!

Entire First Draft Approved

I just received word from my committee today that my final content chapter and conclusion are approved. I’ve revised the first 4 chapters and have until February 15th to complete the revisions on the rest of the first draft.

The work isn’t over yet: after I revise the first draft and submit it as a defense draft, my oral defense will be scheduled for mid-March. Still, the relief is substantial at this point. It’s been a long journey this far and I’m incredibly grateful for abundant grace through the research and writing phase.

Chapter 5 Approved, Chapter 6 Submitted, Chapter 7 In Progress

I haven’t updated this for a while, but here’s the recent progress. Chapter 5 was approved, bringing my approved progress past two-thirds. Chapter 6 is with my committee now; if when they approve it, I’ll have almost 80% approved.

I’m almost halfway done with Chapter 7. I plan to complete that this week. Next week I’ll write my concluding chapter and compile/format my bibliography. All three pieces are due together next Wednesday. It’s a little unreal to see the first-draft deadline so close (some days I thought it’d never come; other days I wished it would back away), but it’s also pretty exciting.

Just one more week of writing days left and the biggest hurdle will be behind me.


Chapter 5 Submitted

I’ve hit the 2/3 mark in page and word count. It’s all downhill from here…

I need to talk to my committee this week to find out if we can split my last titles into two separate chapters, or if we can decide on some of them being unimportant enough to omit.

Chapter 4 Approved

This week, my committee approved Chapter 4. That pushes my “Approved” progress bar past halfway!

Chapter 5 is moving along well; my goal is to submit it as soon after the Thanksgiving holiday as possible.

Chapter 4 Submitted

It’s out of my hands now, at least for the moment. Just finished revising Chapter 4 by the same criteria my committee asked for with my Chapter 3 revisions.

I’ve now submitted more than half of my dissertation.

I’ve modified my chapter outline slightly: I’m removing the chapter on titles relating to kingship. I’m not finding my sources making much of that title and my chapters are turning out long enough not to need an additional chapter. That leaves two chapters to write in the next two months: titles of benevolence and titles of presence.

Targeting a Specific Image Type with CSS

So I’m coding up a new site from our designer and he’s set some nice quasi-polaroid photo effects: white border, box-shadow, etc. This looks great on rectangular images, of course, but not so much on other images with transparency.

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

One quick fix is to set the background to the same color as the border. That fixes the lonely frame problem and puts the transparent image on “card” of sorts. It’s a step in the right direction:

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

My old workaround was to ask our content specialist to add the class “no-border” to any image that was transparent and thus shouldn’t have the border effect. That was less than ideal, however. WordPress doesn’t make it super-easy to add classes to images, so this would put extra work on him, require new training for anyone else who touches content, and provide an extra avenue for operator error. What I really needed was a way to target the transparent images via CSS without adding anything to them in the CMS.

Today it hit me that I could use an attribute selector to find any PNG and remove the border, shadow, and background from it. Attribute selectors are good to go on IE 7+ and all real browsers. It’s a pretty safe bet that the only image with transparency would be a PNG (if for some reason you’re still using GIFs, though, just modify this code to include them) and that the normal rectangular photo images would be JPGs. Here’s the code I use to target them (of course, choose your own border / box-shadow and do your own prefixing):

img {
    border: border;
    background: border-color;
    box-shadow: box-shadow;
img[src*="png"] {
    border: none;
    background: transparent;
    box-shadow: none;

Now, as you can see below, the JPG photo image has the correct border / box-shadow, while the PNG displays in all its transparent, frame-less glory.

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

Of course, there is a possibility that someone might upload a rectangular photo formatted as PNG, but in my opinion, that’s a good opportunity to teach them about file formats. Other than education, any ideas on how to improve this snippet to cover non-transparent PNGs?

Chapter 3 Approved

Received confirmation from my committee that my revisions to Chapter 3 have been approved. Of course, this bumps up my approved progress meter significantly. Now to finish revisions on 4…

Chapter 3 Resubmitted

After heavily revising Chapter 3, I’ve resubmitted it. The chapter grew by 50%, which helps my bottom line tremendously. I’m now 49% done by page count (48% by word count).

Now to enjoy my weekend, then start revising Chapter 4 by the same standards on Monday…