What Have I Stumbled Into...?

This site serves as the home page for the Skorski family - Mike, Sugayo, Paul, and Mayumi - now conveniently located in Waldwick, New Jersey for your dining and dancing pleasure. We come from a long line of Skorskis dating back to at least 3 months ago (when we last visited our ancestoral homeland of the mythic suburbs of Detroit, Michigan).

It is rumored that Skorski is actually a Polish name, but the only evidence that supports this is a few million Polish Americans with "ski" at the end of their names, and all of our Polish-speaking relatives who still groan when we try to say "Nostrovia".

Our clan is spread out across the country now, with a heavy concentration of relatives still in the Detroit area, and other Skorski's peppered throughout the US in states such as Wisconsin and New Jersey. There are - no doubt - a host of others. (If you know of any, feel free to let me know). In fact, if you are part of the Skorski clan or an extended relative (which includes our Japanese family), feel free to contact us and make a connection. If you are looking for a place to camp on the worldwide web and have the wherewithall to withstand all the abuse you will inevitably incur for posting a web page and then never updating it (see below) then by all means let me know and we can work to expand this settlement.

OK, Where's the Content?"

Not including the missive below about how this site in its current incarnation (can that word really apply to a virtual medium?) came to be, the most recent content can be found – logically enough – in the "Archive". You can also find ocassionally updated photos and other things in the "Gallery". Here are direct links to the most recent stuff:


Episode 4: A New Hope(less Website)

A bit about the design of this new (*ahem*) website...

In the six years since I first put the old family site together, a lot has happened on the web. Fortunes have been made and lost, and lost yet again, and drawn on a third round of funding and lost yet one more time. What's his name wrote that book called "Dow 36000", and is now claiming that his editor misplaced the decimal in the orignal title "Dow 36.000". Web content grew from a bunch of research papers by scientists and techies, to collections of interestingly hyperlinked organic diatribes and homepages (this was the era of the old web site, and you can still see it in the way it looks - and smells). Then corporations came on with Marquis sites. Then they started adding things, and designs started getting more artsy, cutting edge. Then came blink tags and animated gifs. Then everybody collectively went "Whoa dudes, we've gone too far!". Then everybody settled down a bit, web sites backed away from the carnival look but design got pushed to the arcane and "darned if i know where to click" edge. And then things bifurcated. Some sites pushed interface to it's unfortunately ultimate exteme - in your face - while others decided to simplify.

Personal home pages also became more sophisticated. In surveying the web and looking for a bit of inspiration, I spent more than a bit of time on some friends' web sites. In my career I have had the unfortunate good fortune to have worked with many talented web designers (I am a techno-dweeb, and am by no stretch a web designer) - and so it was to their sites I went to see how people were designing personal web pages these days. The result: awe, then puzzlement, then depression, then a hankering for Mountain Dew. I think this last was key, because I was really thirsty. I also realized that I was never going to create a site and - more importantly - maintain it at the level of some of my friends. HOWEVER I also realized I could simply steal some of the ideas they had worked so hard on. And so I did.

I spent a lot time looking at both Freddie LaSenna's website (www.fredshead.org) and Laura Holder's website (www.lauraholder.com). I like them both very much and I stole Fred's idea for a rotating banner graphic (and augmented it with the absolutely original and ingenius idea of the rotating divider graphic). I'm not sure if Fred stole the little black and white dot divider graphic from Laura or vice-versa, but I stole it from both (and added the divinely inspired left-to-right thing). Another friend's site that I looked at was Mark Filstrup's (www.filstrup.com). I specifically liked the way the way he did a photo gallery, and I stole the square thumbnail thing from him, though I must say the Javascript photo-window viewer generator is my own. It is probably the only thing I did not steal, and I am quite happy with how it turned out (more details on the photo gallery page).

But what about the pictures of submarines and windtunnels, you ask? Because I like them, basically. That's it. I was looking for a royalty-free photo archive for a radically different concept I had (think pioneer wagons and homesteads) when I came across this tremendous on-line photo archive set-up by NASA and the National Oceanagraphic Institute. You can find it at http://gimp-savvy.com/PHOTO-ARCHIVE/ (isn't that an intuitive, easy to remember name? I bet they are just smacking themselves on the forehead because they did not think of Skorski.org first...). It is really fun to click around in, especially if you have a fast connection. If not, then not so much.

In fact, the whole look of this web site kind of developed from there - the blackiness concept (as I like to call it). Sugayo says that it does not really look like a family home page. I point out that there are whole other families of people who wear circus costumes. This seems to confuse her, and I guess that's really the point I am trying to make with the whole design thing: I'm a bit confused.

I must also say that looking at www.coolhomepages.com both inspired me and made me sick, and finally after perusing too many ultra-cool home pages, I decided to make this a little more simple but not too - um - wordy.