I’m Michael Parks, and I am a web developer. Welcome to jm-parks.com, the WordPress site for jmparks.com!

Early Days for a Web Developer

“Back in the day” being a web developer (or “webmaster”) meant knowing the ins and outs of basic Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML). Tables were a big thing in those days, and for a long time it was the only way to place images or text on the page. After a while, JavaScript came along to allow developers to make things happen on the page. You could send or receive information from a database, change what the user saw on a page, or even save information about the user for their next visit.

Web Developer - HTML5/CSS3/JS

A little after that, we got something called “Cascading Style Sheets” (CSS). That allowed us to have much more control of how the page looked, and even where things were placed on the page without using tables! Another big advantage was the ability to separate the information (content) from what the page looked like (style). That meant that we could change the look and feel of the entire website by making relatively small edits in one central location.

Big Changes for a Web Developer

Around the same time, another big change was taking place – Content Management Systems (CMS).  In the early days, each web page was a unique creation – you could copy a page to have the same logo and navigation and just change the content, but you would still have two separate pages. If you changed the logo or background color you would have to make the same change to every page individually. A CMS allowed the web owner to keep all the content in a central repository, like a database, and just ‘plug’ it in to a common template that would have the logo, navigation, and other common items. Changing the logo or background then meant you only had to change the template, and every page that used that template would get the update.

Web Developer - CMS

Which brings us to this site – it’s built on a platform called WordPress – an online CMS that allows users will little or no HTML/JavaScript/CSS knowledge to build beautiful, fully functional websites. While most of my career has been building sites by hand, many companies are now using WordPress as the backbone on which to establish their web presence. I built jm-parks.com as a test bed to learn WordPress and see what I could do with it. I hope you like it!

For something different, check out jmparks.com, that’s a site I set up to explore development using hand-coded HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript. I thought I would see if I could do a “Microsoft Windows 8” style theme. It has the blue background and basic color tile blocks like MS Win 8. It’s also a responsive design, so it looks and performs well on handheld devices and tablets.

(I also do video production, check out my TV show “The Santa Cruz Music Show“)

On Stage

Open stage at a folk music festival, I think this would have been around ~ 1980 or so. I’m playing my 1977 Martin D-35 which I bought new in ’77 and still have today. I wish I still had the strap with the peace signs….

Martin and Little Marty

It was a open-stage music fest, and I believe it was the first time I played in front of people. The audience seemed to like it. Pretty much everyone you see was there to play, so I don’t know if that made them more critical, or less.


Here I am in my 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon at the Hollister SVRA. I bought it new in ’05 and have been building on it ever since. When I took it home, the first thing I did was gut the interior and have it coated with Line-X to make it rust-proof and pretty much indestructible. I’ve added a 4 1/2″ Rock Krawler long-arm lift kit to clear the 35″ tires and too many other things to mention.

The last big upgrade was a Banks turbo and intercooler kit. What a difference! As you can see from the chart above, the rear-wheel horsepower went from around 140 to around 240! I installed it myself over a couple of weekends (I also did a Banks header and turbo exhaust), and it’s been reliable and super-fun to drive.

Four Wheeler magazine did and install, you can read about it here.


Motorcycle Stuff

Jen and I are both avid motorcyclists. I’ve had several bikes over the years, with the current one being a Kawasaki Concours 14. It’s an awesome sport-touring bike, I call it the “sport bike for old guys”. Jen started with a Honda 250 Rebel on which she commuted to school every day wearing an extremely red pair of cowboy boots. She later traded up to a Yamaha Virago 550, which she liked despite it’s puny gas tank that gave an amazing 85 mile range.

We’re seen here on my friend Jerry’s H-D Softtale, which we borrowed for the day. We had a wonderful ride down a tree-lined road alongside a cool river on a hot day. That’s what motorcycling is all about!


Community TV

Last December, Jennifer and I attended the Orientation class for the Community Television of Santa Cruz County.  http://www.communitytv.org/. We have learned many new things, made new friends, and have had a lot of fun. We started with the Studio Camera Class, then the Field Camera Class. For the first couple of events, we were “shadowed” by an …