Archive for August, 2009

WordPress Themes

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I hate this theme.  Mostly.  There are a few things about it I like but overall, meh.  But what can I do?  I hate the default themes as well.  Well how about the WordPress Themes Directory that you can click on from inside the WordPress console?  It has 954 themes as of this writing.  That should help right?  Uh… no.  Have you looked at that page?  They have taken usability to a whole new low.

954 themes and no easy way to get to them.  Unless you want one of the ten featured themes on the page or want to hunt through the miscellaneous popular themes on the side, there is no way to find the others.  OH SURE, there’s that big search bar at the top but um… what exactly am I searching for?  Here’s a hint: try typing “A theme I would like” into that search field and see what it comes back with.  Is that a silly example? Yes it is, but what should I search for?  I’m sure there are keywords or tags or something but maybe it could give me some hints.

I like WordPress.  I really do.  It’s a thousand times better than the cybrblog system I cobbled together many years ago on this same domain.  I really like how they keep expanding the features too.  But one complaint I have about the standard installation is those default themes.  WordPress has offered those same two Default and Classic themes forever.  Fine.  But could they at least update them to work with the new versions of WordPress and the new features?  No, the built-in themes don’t have to have the best features and prettiest presentations but couldn’t they at the very least show off what WordPress can do natively?

For example, a few revisions ago WordPress added in-line or nested comments.  Great!  However presenting those in that fashion is controlled by the theme you are using.  I still haven’t seen a theme that integrates that feature although to be honest I haven’t tried many themes.  Because they are unreasonably difficult to browse.  Oh wait, there’s no browse feature on the WordPress Themes Directory either!  Not much of a directory if you can’t browse it.  Seriously though, the default theme should accomodate every new feature built in to WordPress.  Throw us a bone here.

Four posts in four days

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

So I said on Monday that I would be getting back to writing and promised that I would be posting at least once a week.  Now it is Thursday and I’ve posted four times in four days.  Well, what can I say.  I guess I’m just an overachiever.

Stop laughing.

A buddy of mine invited me to go with him and some other old friends of mine on a camping float trip next month.  I got permission from the boss and in a few short weeks I will be making myself miserable in the middle of nowhere.  On purpose.  Sometimes we humans just don’t seem very bright do we?

I mean seriously, a camping float trip?  I mean, sure, it sounds fun… but in reality?  The first day and night will be fine because we can have real food.  Meat and other niceties will last in a cooler for a day no problem.  However on the second night I am assuming that I will be eating a rehydrated meal consisting of meat flakes and unidentifiable vegetable concentrate.  And a Rice Krispy Treat.  Because we have boxes of those from Sam’s.

Normally on a float I would consume an obscene amount of alcohol (at least in my younger days… maybe not now) but on this trip I will not be waking up the next day in the comfort of my own home.  No, I will be waking up to a sore back from sleeping on a thousand pointy rocks.  We’re in Missouri, there is no soil.  Just rocks.  Look it up.  If I get hungover, I will spend the entire day miserable and stranded on a rock outcropping in the middle of nowhere with no fresh food or water and no Internet.  What does Internet have to do with hangovers?  Nothing, but it’s all part of the misery.

So, I don’t even think I’ll be taking any alcohol.  Maybe a few beers for the initial float to the camp site but nothing else.  I may be able to drink soda warm but warm domestic beer is just not worth it.

Oh and since we are camping half way through the float that means that everything has to fit in our canoe.  Cooler, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, towel, toilet paper, sun screen, insect repellent, food, snacks, drinks, teddy bear, axe, rope, fishing pole and gear and whatever else I can think of.  Canoes are not large especially when you are sharing one with another guy roughly the same size as myself.  And I’m not terribly small.  I’m just saying.

So what have I gotten myself into?  Am I nuts?  Yeah, probably.  Am I still going?  Yeah.  Why?  Well, I’ve never done a float like this before.  I’ve been on tons of float trips but never one where you had to bring everything with you and camp on the river.  If nothing else, I want the experience.  I’m hoping to reach level 8 by the time I finish the trip. (If you didn’t get that joke, you are probably better off…)

I’m meeting with a few of the guys tonight to go over what extra stuff they might have that me and my buddy can borrow instead of buying.  Going to need a couple of dry sacks at least.  I haven’t seen my tent since we moved in either.  We lost a lot of stuff that was in storage with Graebel that we was never returned.  That’s a whole ‘nother story.  Suffice it to say that I don’t think we have all the gear that we used to have.  And that sucks.

Maybe I need a new hobby

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

I can’t help it.  I’m very impressionable.  It’s not my fault.

I’m the kind of person that drools over infomercials about the most awesome invention to be sold for six easy payments of $19.95 plus shipping and handling.  I am in my mid thirties and still get a little giddy when I see an awesome new toy commercial while watching Spongebob with Kira.  I want.  It’s a sickness and I don’t think it’s curable.

So… I have no idea what set me off this time but I want to sculpt.  Yeah yeah I know, I have enough things that I could be doing and using up my time.  Writing, drawing, playing on my XBox 360, playing on my PC, finishing that Linux box that is pissing me off, learning how to use the storage server that I just had to have.  Tons of stuff.  But no… I want to sculpt.

I have never done it before.  I have no idea how to do it.  However, I feel that I am really good at it.  I intend to find out if I am right.  Or not.

I mentioned to Michelle a few weeks ago – out of the blue – that I thought I wanted to learn how to sculpt.  She asked me what I wanted to sculpt and offered up wood, clay and a few other things.  I wasn’t fully listening.  My mind was filled with classics in Italian marble.  When she finished listing off the mundane I responded, “I was thinking marble.”

“Of course you were.” she said as if she should have known.

Now I realize that it is neither reasonable or financially feasible for me to get a giant block of marble and a few hand-tools and chip out the next Venus de Milo.  I could probably work the broken off arms but that would probably be it.  That idea has BAD IDEA written all over it.  *Le sigh*

Last week I found something more fascinating.  The world of designer toys.

O M G – toys?  Designer toys?  Sculpted and produced in small boutique quantities.  Very cool.  THEY COST HOW MUCH???

Yeah.  I can do that.  No problem.

After a bit of lunch-time research, it seems my medium of choice should be polymer clays.  It seems that if I make what I want with those then maybe I can get them made in a small factory in China and sell them.  Sounds like a plan, right?  Right.

So… does anyone know anything about these clays?  I did a bit of research online and it seems like for what I want I probably want something less soft like Super Sculpey or Fimo Classic but I’m not sure what would be best or even where to get them without getting price-gouged.

Suggestions?

Sony PS3 Slim available early September

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

UPDATE: The Sony press conference at the 2009 Gamescom in Germany just confirmed both the PS3 Slim and the price cuts.  The new pricing of $299 for current models and the soon to be available slim goes into effect tomorrow.

There have been rumors floating around like crazy for the past few months about a new and slimmer Sony PS3 video game console.  And Sony has been denying it just like the rumors of price cuts.  Even when pictures were leaked of the packaging from a new PS3 Slim, they denied it.  Now, online retailers are putting up the pre-order pages for the new Sony PS3 Slim available on August 24th globally September 11th (per the Sony press conference going on right now).  Will Sony continue to deny this?  Yeah, I doubt it.

There’s some big industry conference going on and Sony is supposed to be presenting today.  I assume that the newly released $100 price cut and the new Slim unit are on their agenda but FYE and K-Mart have beaten them to the punch.  Seems to happen a lot these days.

Here’s the description for the PS3 Slim pre-order from K-Mart:

PS3, SLIM High-Definition Blu-ray player for the best movie experience. Free PLAYSTATION Network membership. 120GB HDD for downloading games, music, videos, and photos. Includes DUAL SHOCK 3 controller. HDMI output for 1080p resolution.

Notice something strange about that?  The newest console has a 120GB hard drive where the current high end model has a 160GB drive.  OK so my XBox 360 has a 120GB drive so no big deal right?  Well that depends.  Unlike the XBox 360, the PS3 often requires games to be “installed” to the console’s hard drive to play the game.  I’ve heard that this is neither a tiny install or a short amount of time to do this either.

Also consider that games and media are increasingly paid for online and downloaded directly to the system.  I imagine you could easily fill up a drive that size if you wanted to do so.  I understand that the PS3 hard drives are easily user upgradeable but I have no information or experience with that so I can’t say.  Who knows if the new Slim will be as easily taken apart as the old beast of a PS3 was either.

What I’m really wanting to hear about from that aforementioned conference is that there is another rumor that Sony may be reintroducing PS2 backwards compatibility to the new Slim models.  One of Sony’s big hype points when the PS3 was first coming out was their inclusion of the Emotion Engine that allowed perfect backwards compatibility of Playstation and PS2 games on the PS3.  They released one model with that function – the coveted 60GB model.  Sony then switched to software emulation on a few 80GB models which worked for many games but not all.  Then they dropped the compatibility completely.

I am always on the lookout for a used PS3 60GB console for this very reason.  I have a ton of PS2 games that I would still like to play but I only have so much space and the TV can only accept so many connections.  Combining those functions is ideal – almost necessary – for me.  So if the Slim ends up containing the Emotion Engine or even functional software emulation, I may be sold.  Especially with the new $100 discount.

Unmotivated. Still?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I’ve been feeling pretty unmotivated as you can tell from my lack of posts here lately.  And from my lack of new comics.  (OMG has it really been eight months since I posted a comic???)  I haven’t posted any new drawings or any new writing.  I haven’t even posted any pics of our now nine month old little girl.  Three more months till her first birthday.

Damn… time flies.

Well, I need to get out of this slump and the only way I know how to do that is to start posting.  It may not be earth-shattering (and honestly, when has it ever been here) or even interesting but I need to start posting.  I’m always seeing things or reading things and thinking that I need to post about and vent how I feel about it.  And I haven’t been.  I’m not making excuses or apologies.  It’s my site. *sticks tongue out*

So… to start off slow and to not overwhelm myself as I am apt to do, I am going to promise myself that I will post at least once a week going forward.  I may post more often than that but I don’t plan to post less.  And considering how few posts I’ve made in the past few months, that is a marked improvement.

Yeah… I can do that.  It’s August 17th and only two weeks left in the month.  I can post at least once more this month.  No problemo.

And if I can kick my own ass into shape maybe I’ll even work on a comic or two or do a little fiction.  You never know.