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Thursday, January 8, 2009


January Update

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Photobucket - Video and Image HostingCurrent Mood:

Somewhat Exposed.





Holiday Greetings:

Special thank you to everyone who sent cards and holiday greetings this year. I appreciate the thoughts and well wishes even if I didnít return them.

I hope everyoneís holidays were happy and bright. Some of my holiday adventures canít be discussed yet, call it a personal paranoia, but others I can bring up. Iíll get to those later.

Computer Issues:

Unfortunately, the computer problems have not been resolved yet. Good information about the specifics of the problem is hard to find because of the completely dropped SP 1 support even in the wider expanses of the world-wide web. If SP 2 wasnít completely wasted garbage on certain programs that others in the house like to run, I suppose I wouldnít be having the issues because I would have updated already and kept the update installed.

Because everyone and their brother decided to upgrade to SP2 blindly, they got rid of all the tips and tricks for SP 1, thatís not good for me because it means I canít troubleshoot the problem, itís like SP 1 never existed to all those hack job ďtech supportĒ sites, newsgroups, and forums.

So as it stands now Iím pretty much tied up from here on out indefinitely because I donít have a back-up in place, and I donít have the knowledge or the resources to repair my current internet rig. It means I wonít be super active, probably wonít get to comment on things nearly as much, and lengthy IM chats may be a problem for the foreseeable future. A frustrating and uncomfortable position to be in, but itís the only one Iíve got right now.

Computers shouldnít be so [CENSORED] costly to maintain. This is ridiculous.

Holiday Adventures; The Eyeglass Chapter:

Had a bit of bad luck with my glasses about a week ago, one of the welds gave out. Unfortunately, the break at the bridge of the glasses isnít in a spot that home repair can effectively be applied. Temporary soldering (which would damage the finish on the frames) or gluing is possible, and Iíve bonded the frames with super glue that holds for 1-2 days give or take, but neither of those are good long-term repairs. Thankfully Iím near-sighted so typing isnít a problem for me without them on.

The fun part of this adventure was finding replacement frames. Itís a logical assumption that the frame is broken, the lenses are still perfectly good, why spend a fortune on the whole eye exam and new frames and lenses when the only thing that needs replacement is the broken frame? I looked up the brand and model frame online, the company still makes those frames, and they had a list of local eye care facilities that carry their products. None of the places I went to for empty frames would even try to help me, even those so called ďurgent careĒ ones. Broken glasses fit into ďurgentĒ in my book, so I donít know how these fly-by-night WV eye care (and I use that term loosely) facilities get by. Lazy, inefficient, and unwilling service, the hallmark of the West Virginia business model, not something for them to be proud of by any means.

Itís amazing how people here willfully complicate basic common sense problems. How hard is it to wrap oneís mind around the idea that someone doesnít need lens prescriptions verified, guaranteed, or updated, but would like to take existing functional lenses out of the broken frames and put them into exact make and model frames that arenít broken? It seems that common sense solution is beyond the mental grasp around here. Instead of going the easy route, these hack outfits exercise questionably legal shady tactics. Thatís not the way to gain business, that drives it away. I had a very good pair of sunglasses made at one of the hack outfits back when I thought they were legit, never again will I go back there for anything. I do not play well with deplorable, unethical service, and to say theyíre simpletons is an insult to honorable idiots everywhere.

I ended up going back to my eye doctor for replacement frames, and at $130.00, not cheap. The new frames came on Monday and fit me comfortably well, so the end result is a positive one, even with all the headache to get them.

Entertainment Atrocities:

Part 1:

I saw a commercial for a movie a while back, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that.

What happened to Hollywood? Were not those greedy, self-absorbed, egocentric writers demanding more money for their work and creative process? Modernizing classic cinema does NOT count in my book, an eight year old can update a film script to fit modern times. The writers who ruined TV and movies for a lot of people should be mandated to take a pay CUT for every script they produce that's an update, remake, or otherwise copy of an existing work, the cuts should be higher for content that's already well known or considered classics in cinema history.

The economy is bad, but that's no excuse for lackluster imagination on the part of the copy machines, I mean writers, in Hollywood. It's no excuse for not trying to produce original content after that three ring circus act of a writersí strike. There's talk that Tinsel Town is suffering because of the economy like the rest of us, with TV shows being canceled and so on. Cry me a river already I donít really give a tinkerís dam. They hurt themselves, the industry, and the entertainment image by not producing original content, and by trying to reinvent classics in the modern image. That kind of thing doesnít work.

Part 2:

Before anyone assumes anything about me personally, and before I continue, I present this disclaimer: I do not endorse, condone, or otherwise support whaling operations, scientific or otherwise. Killing is killing whether it be for knowledge, or profit, thereís no distinction. I also believe there is a right and wrong way to go about affecting change for the better, not every situation calls for being an obnoxious horseís hind end.

I stumbled upon a program on one of Discovery Communicationsí networks, Animal Planet, recently. The show Whale Wars is a testament to the greed and insensitivity of American television. Where else in the world can arrogant, racist, xenophobic, anti-social, terrorist pirates get an hour of TV to harass, threaten, and antagonize other nations without consequence? Only in America will you see that blatant offense to humanity and common sense go unhampered.

After seeing commercials for the program on various Discovery networks, I turned the program on once to see what exactly it was about. I would just as soon eat the discarded fugu fish trimmings out of a restaurant trash can that turn on Animal Planet again for the foreseeable future. I canít and wonít support, endorse, or interact with any channel that glorifies inciting international incidents and outright piracy. That offensive content should be banned, period. Encouraging people to do the right thing the right way should be the focus of any politically motivated programming. Vigilante justice only works in comic books and anime.

Itís amazing how one program can force someone into extremes. Iíve already thought about purchasing a signal trap to put on my cable to block the Animal Planet channel completely from my TV, and Iíve as much as told them that. In CATV lingo, a trap is what the cable providers use to block out specific channels, each one is tuned to a specific channel so that other channels pass through without interference. Most people are familiar with their use to inhibit access to premium channels like HBO and so on. Iím sure if I look hard enough, I can find one for the channel that my provider distributes Animal Planet on, from a company that will sell to a regular person. Iíve deprogrammed the channel from my VCR and TV, but I would really like the network to go off the air on my TV completely for now. All I want to see on that slot is static. I donít have fancy cable boxes or TV sets that will actually block specific channels with the v-chip (mine isnít that advanced), so Iíll do it the old fashioned way, even if I have to build the trap myself.

In the past, this is where I would start the ďstand with meĒ boycott campaign speech. Experience has taught me that my stands donít have the personal connection with others, or I lack the skill to properly motivate people to act. To that end, Iím not even going to try anymore. My personal stands will be my own thing.

TheOtaku.com News:

An update on the previous posting about News Nuggets. TheOtaku.com News Nuggets are working correctly again, it seems my posting the message that they were broken was the straw that broke the camel's back. I guess after bringing the problem to the staff's attention through legitimate channels wasn't enough to take it seriously, it had to be criticized harshly as "feature spam" in a post on the site itself to get something done. Beggars can't be choosers I guess, I'm just glad it's fixed.

They had some DDoS issues a couple weeks back as well. I havenít really been on nearly as much as I used to be to know if those have been completely resolved, but last I knew things were doing all right. The RSS feed for news there is working again, even if the quality isnít as good as it used to be, itís still something.

Trail Photos:

I finally put some of the trail photos up on Flickr which should be accessible here. They donít have an embed feature, so I have to make do with the link that way. Thereís only 4 pictures up right now, of my most recent hiking adventure, but those 4 tell enough of a story. My best photo from the trail is available on my Redbubble account because it is good enough for me to try to sell, which is why I canít post the link to it on some of my sites. Wouldnít want to step on anyoneís toes now would I?

Comments:

I donít think the problem that the Microsoft Knowledge Base comes up with is the same one I have. The computer I use for the internet is still running Service Pack 1 because of software compatibility issues with stuff others use the computer for, even though the problem manifests the same way, that ďgeneric host processĒ thing. I couldnít make enough sense of the info provided with the patch on Microsoftís website to want to risk installing it, itís not really clear if that patch is safe for Service Pack 1. The problem with that is, lots of stuff I use, including my anti-virus, is dropping SP1 support, which means less ability to find and fix problems.

I hate updates of all kinds, Iíve broken more things by updating them than not, itís always bad advice to blindly jump into an update. Flash player 10 is garbage when Iím on the computer in my user account, but no one else on the computer has problems with it, and they use the same browsers I use, FireFox 2 and IE 6.

That explains why that hiccup breaks the internet connection if itís a legit process malfunction or malware interfering with the process. Iíll run AVG again and see if it picks anything up, that very well could be the problem. If it doesnít find the problem, it wonít because my AVG free edition is no longer getting virus definitions, they stopped supporting it at the end of the year and the newest version will not run on Service Pack 1.

Thatís very true, heís right, itís amazing to see the kinds of things that are well off the beaten path. I was sorry to hear heís retiring from the show, but that kind of thing is hard to do. Hopefully heíll do something for Discovery though, cause his personality is one thatís easy to get along with and one of the few things that holds me to the Discovery networks. My grandmother was hyper allergic to poison ivy, she didnít even have to touch the stuff, just going outside when it was around was enough for her to react. She had to get a cortisone shot one time because of it, and after that, her allergy seemed to go away. I have pollen allergies, but in winter, thereís not a lot of pollen or poison ivy to worry about.

Yeah, the Holidays are crazy all around, Iíve been busy and still have lots to get done. My sister had that earlier this year, it seems to be going around. Take care of yourself and get better soon.

It sure was an adventure, one I wouldnít give up for the world. The pain was worth it to me in several ways. I needed to push my limits, to go farther than Iím normally comfortable going. My average hikes have been anywhere from four to six miles, biking has only been fourteen. I now know I can hike 26 miles, so that means by bike I should be able to make the trail round trip of about 144 miles with minimal injury. Good luck finding your own adventure, the best ones come, like mine, without expecting it.

The tunnel is a profound ruin on several levels, itís a show of the railroadís glory days, when things were intricate and ornate. Iím personally tied to the trail because of the railroad history there, my grandfather was a railroad engineer. In the state itís in now, the tunnel is a testament to what was, and what will be. Thereís an energy that comes from being at a place in time like that, slipping out of time and into something timeless. The tunnel is in bad shape, but the arch ceiling is solid, itís not the walls themselves coming in, but the stuff beyond them that are coming in (some pictures from another tunnel will help me illustrate that in my next post). I did not set foot into the tunnel, as reckless as I am, I would never be that stupid, not even to get a ďcoolĒ picture. There are at least two other abandoned tunnels on the trail, one near the town of Cairo which I still canít place even though Iíve been on that section of trail several times, and one on a section of the trail Iíve never been to at all. I just have to get there in the winter months when the leaves are all off the trees to have any real potential of finding those tunnels.

I suppose I will have to be guarded around the band when I next encounter them, but I wonít really know that until the time comes. Stepping back and observing quietly will help me put the puzzle together, there are a few pieces that I havenít looked at yet to know where they go, but the big one Iím dealing with now, the unexpected distance, is a handful by itself.

I ran Spybot which found one potential item, AVG didnít find anything at the time of my writing this. I plan to run AVG again, and after updating it, give Spybot another go, and if Iím so inclined, Iíll even give Ad Aware a run (I hate the interface on that one which is why I donít use it regularly). As it is now though, Iím either missing something important, or the problem isnít malware, but Iím not sure.

The trip was one for the books, thatís for sure. My numbers arenít exact, the maps and trail have conflicting mileage information so Iím providing my best guess as to the distance based on what I know about the discrepancy. Oddly enough though, the trip didnít feel all that long when we were making it, it seemed a bit short, though it is by no means a breeze to make. Maybe Iíve walked further at some point in my life that the distance didnít make much of a time impact on me.

That covers the basics.

Time will tell.

Iíve said it here before eons ago, but I look smart for knowing how to find information most of the time, not because I actually know what Iím doing. General troubleshooting isnít too hard, but the devil is in the details.

Iím going to roll with the suggestions that came from posting here, hopefully a simple solution will be the result. I wonít know for sure until I hit this problem hard. Wish I could say I was 100% successful, but I really think technology out to get me, either for my inability to afford the upgrades, or just bad karma for the years of gray hat operating.

The next time I have a beer, Iíll drink to that first.

Animť Dreams!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008


December Update

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Way Past Due

To my followers and friends online, I apologize for my lengthy absence from commenting and blogging lately. I canít really make any promises for regular posting in the near future, the next segment explains the hows and whys.

More Technical Problems

After settling the issue with the printer, it was disagreeing with an MP3 player that had to use the same port, a whole new and more irritating host of technical problem cropped up and I have no way to solve it on my own.

Lately while online, Iíve been getting the error message (part of that problem reporting system): ďGeneric Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close.Ē Because thatís one of those hidden processes that only Microsoft knows what the [CENSORED] they do, I donít know whatís causing the failure, nor what I need to do to repair it. I canít even isolate when it started due to the daily AVG updates and almost constant FireFox Plug-in updates. I uninstalled some FireFox plug-ins thinking that an update on one of those was causing the problem, but after a few days of respite, the error surfaced yet again.

One of the immediate effects of the error is disruption of internet connection, usually while Iím online trying to do something like use instant messenger, comment on blogs, or post my own updates. Whatever that process is, itís apparently close enough to the core that when it shuts down, the machine literally chokes, forgetting how to do pretty much everything until itís restarted. The most annoying part is, sometimes the problem repeats itself even after restarting the computer. That headache has put a major damper on my doing a lot of activities I normally do.

If the problems persist, I may have to switch to using my laptop for online activity, but thatís a bridge Iíll cross when I get there should I need to cross it. I hope it doesnít come to me doing that, I donít like using my laptop online.

TheOtaku.com News

TheOtaku.com recently launched a new attempt at news coverage, a throwback to things they used to do well. I was impressed with the feature the day it launched, it was working correctly and the news items were relevant and interesting, but someone on the back end decided to go and break it for some probably asinine reason. After reporting the rendering issue several times with no evidence that anything is being done, and because reasonable/expected function doesnít exist there anymore, it has absolutely no positive attributes to me, and is added to my list of ďfeature spamĒ that the site has implemented since the Version Vibrant launch. It is no wonder that more people have indicated theyíll be packing it out, the site is a shadow of itís former self in more ways than one.

North Bend Rail Trail

A couple weeks ago, my brother and I set out to ride the North Bend Rail Trail. We hoped to hit all 72 miles of it, round trip that would be 144 miles. We would have made it had my brother not borrowed a piece of crap from a friend of his. We ended up hiking, with bikes in tow 26 miles in all, to get to a town with a bike shop. It was too late in the day to have the bike repaired and ride back the way we came, so we had to call for a ride.

The weather was cold, and snowing when we started, but it cleared up for a while, rained a while, we even got sleet. The high tension lines that crossed over the trail at one point buzzed loudly as we passed underneath them, and many of the railroad relics which have been removed from other parts of the trail still exist along the sides of the trail. Even out where there are no houses, thereís evidence of human intervention in nature, debris in streams, tires littering hillsides, flex pipe used to move natural gas through the mountains, there seems to be no place untouched in some way by humans.

I did get some photos along the trail though, and am sure that the mile marks on the written maps are incorrect, an abandoned tunnel that is said to be at mile 13 is actually at mile 14. The tunnel is collapsing inside, and I donít think there are plans to try to repair it since the trail bypasses right next to it, thatís why itís listed as ďabandonedĒ on the map, it really isnít safe to go into it.

I will try to get the photos online and linked here in one form or another, I got some really good ones. I had been wanting to see the trail in the snow, and I got a great photograph of that, but we were too far from a tunnel for me to get a photograph I really want, a tunnel in the snow. Not getting those photos just keeps me going back to the trail. With all the chaos and turbulence my life has weathered these past two years, it is one of the solemn spots in my heart, a place I can go where the weight of the world does not follow. There is serenity on the trail, and even crossing paths with other human beings is a positive experience.

The only downside to the 26 mile hike (I now know I can walk 26 miles in a day), was blisters on my right foot and aching knees. My brother had some swelling in his leg, but I kept my legs moving even when I was sitting still to prevent that kind of reaction. Needless to say it hurt to go up and down stairs for a whole week, and even now my right knee twinges with pain once in a while.

The Band

I donít recall blogging about it here yet, I mentioned it briefly on TheO, and hereís a more detailed accounting. There are some things going on with that band Iím always talking about, the one my friend plays drum with. I really canít make sense of the situation because Iíve been kept way out of the loop in ways Iíve not experienced before.

Iím suspicious, maybe just being paranoid, but I get the feeling that Iím not entirely welcome around the band, even though Iím their ace in the hole roadie now. I get their gear out of the van, and set up in an hour (or less), and I get it packed efficiently in the van when the show is over, not counting breakdown time, it only takes me about twenty minutes to load the van. I would think that kind of asset is one that the guys would welcome, but lately Iím seeing a trend that indicates something of the opposite.

It started a couple weeks ago with a phone call. I had told the bandís front man if he ever needed my help at a show to call me. He made the call on Monday, asked me if I could help out with a show on Friday night. Being the dragon of principle I am, I agreed to help out and things went well for the show. While at the show, a festival gig the band was booked to play the following afternoon came up in conversation. My drummer friend asked the front man about me going, to which several different very shallow excuses were presented as to why my presence at that gig was not required. The devil is in the details so to speak, and the excuses themselves got me thinking, but at the time I didnít really know much.

At the end of the show, we packed the van a special way to make it an easier trip for the guys to make, and I told the front man to call me when he got back and wanted to reload the gear for he next weekís shows. He uses some close to 100lb subwoofer speakers that one person canít lift. He didnít call me to help reload the gear.

The week after the gig that I was clearly not wanted at, which happened to be days after the painful hiking trip, I did not get a call from the bandís front man until an hour before he intended to hit the road to go to the show. That was a bit uncharacteristic. Needless to say I had to decline helping that time, I wasnít sure I could carry anything up any steps at the venue so I stayed home.

Just Friday night, the day after thanksgiving, was another show out of town. He didnít ask for help that time either, and from what I heard about the previous weekís show, the bandís front man was overly reluctant to have me along to to the out of town venue.

I put those and other experiences and information I have together, and Iím left with few logical assessments as to whatís going on. Any way I look at it though, I get the sense that while they may be humoring me, Iím not really a welcome part of that dynamic. I help the guys set set up because I enjoy helping the guys who work hard to put on good shows, and things like audio systems, acoustics, sound set-up and design, are fascinating hobbies of mine, I just like that king of thing.

Comments:

I have read the comments, but due to the computer issues, I canít take the time to answer them like I normally do. Hopefully Iíll be able to cover them again next time. If thereís something specific you would like me to address, by all means bring it to my attention again and Iíll do my best.

Animť Dreams!

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Monday, October 27, 2008


Autumn Comes

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Friend Update:

Nothing new on that yet. Still concerned and waiting on info.

Garden Update:

Ah crap I knew I forgot something. I'll have more pics up soon enough.

Project Info:

The Pyrography "How To" is still in the works, but it is coming.

Also, I recently posted a crash course "how-to" on effects make-up bruising over on the sibling site for Halloween this year, and I'm planning to put together a couple more that may not be up in time. Anyway, I have a printable PDF version of that same guide available here if anyone wants to take it on the go.

Promotional Considerations:

Long overdue, but here's the list of stories that were submitted to my Writer's Challenge over on TheO.

Comments:

Congrats on being here so long. I hit my five year back in August, but I didn't plan anything special this year. Too much other stuff and project backlog to get anything done.

The lizards themselves didn't do anything, they just have the misfortune of being associated with a company that lost my respect. I suppose it happens to a lot of people's favorite things along the way.

I always have my doubts when a TV channel claims low ratings for something. Here in the US with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, those clowns [Censored] and moan about the anime numbers being so low, yet they still show it. That begs the question, if it's doing so poorly in the ratings, why are they still showing it? The only logical answer I have is that the numbers they post and the numbers they actually get from Nielsen are different. Much of my anime experience is owed to the Adult Swim block on CN, so I'd be powerfully annoyed if they did finally decide to drop anime. The crude "adult" comedy crap they also run in that block just doesn't do a thing for me.

Between well stocked convenience stores and Taco Bell, it's bound to be out there somewhere. It may be a matter of crossing into another Pepsi distributor's territory to find it. A lot of the stuff I can't find here is usually associated with the local Pepsi distributor being either too lazy, cheap, or unwilling to carry something. Unfortunately, there's no way outside of getting a job with Pepsi, to figure out what distributors cover what area. Code Red was all right when it first came out, but when Mountain Dew started to get the oily taste to it, Code Red wasn't as good anymore.

Between the quack doctor just covering her butt and the lazy work-ethic of the people in this state, I doubt it's a shortage of people that caused the delay. Something is rotten in the state of WV.

Yeah, the garden could have done better if I'd had the energy to really put into it. It did well though.

I've kept myself sane with some projects lately, nothing to elaborate, but a few little things.

If nothing else, it makes a great Halloween theme.

I don't see SoBe doing that kind of thing. They used to be less about profit and more about quality product, now I'm not so sure. At any rate, they've hurt their image in my eyes for what little that's worth. I used to get a bottle of Dragon every time I was out shopping, it was the only thing that would keep my stress levels in check and taste good doing it. I don't have that, and I'm less lily to go after other of their products if only to avoid becoming attached to another one and have it pulled away from me. Too bad cause SoBe has a really good one for speeding recovery from colds.

I got the joke, as was gong to respond with something about the people here just voting for the prettiest campaign signs, but that would be too viciously cruel, even for me. I have enough bad karma racked up as it is, I don't need to add that much more to it.

Or I could do like people around here do and set up a table beside the road and sell it myself. I don't think I have the yard capacity to do that kind of thing, and the snooty Historic Society would be up in arms about the yard being filled with veggies. I'd probably have the local cops nosing around to be sure I'm not growing pot in amongst the tomatoes too.

It certainly should, that and I've been a bit lazy and not really wanting to do the nuts and bolts of the how-to yet.

Mothman fit my mood at the time, he's good for Halloween (actually he was first sighted in November so he fits the season too), and I already had the theme made up. I have been working on a dragon theme, but haven't really had the energy to dive into that in depth. Green is my color too, so hopefully I'll have lots of green here again.

As successful as the 20 Item Project was, I still feel some sense of failure with the end result. I had hoped to see more of the content actually make it into the writers' portfolios and when that didn't happen, I think in some odd way, that hurt the morale of the whole project. The biggest delay in the next writer's challenge will be removing that whole portfolio dynamic.

Just some plain crushed lime, and 10-10-10 fertilizer, between the two of them, you'll have an okay garden. We picked all the tomatoes last week, and the bell peppers will probably come in this week sometime, so it's pretty well done for the year.

Only time will tell on that whole thing. I was asked by another member of the forum what was up with the new one just the other night. All I could tell him was what I was told by the other admins, something happened with the server. It must have been catastrophic to take this long and still be out of commission.

That's good advice, I'll remember that. Hopefully the work I'm putting into my novel will pay off like the fruits of a well-tended garden.

That's right, never give up the fight.

Glad to hear that, I do try to get by now and then, wish I could get by more often though.

I remember Rain, and Fire, and all those element ones too, my first taste of SoBe was Rain (not half bad for cactus juice). Those drinks got scarce around here when the Big Bear stores closed (Big Bear carried the whole SoBe line), and when SoBe switched them from glass bottles to those aluminum cantle (can bottle) things. They are still around in some parts of the country, but I couldn't tell you exactly where. I know I still see them around here once in a while when I go out of my way to look for them. Yeah, that one is all over the place here, it's okay, but it just doesn't taste the same, there's a bitterness of corporate greed laced into their stuff anymore.

Seemed appropriate for Halloween anyway, hopefully I'll have something dragon up before Christmas.

We lost a couple to this really bizarre splitting thing they like to do, but otherwise, we got a good harvest in.

Hope things are well with you lately.

The Mothman is an odd creature, and cool too.

Tell me about it. And you know, they stopped the correspondence on their end so I guess they just don't want to hear what their customers have to say.

That should be coming soon, probably after Halloween is over.

Animť Dreams!

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Friday, October 10, 2008


SoBe and Other Stuff

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SoBe Rant:

Over the last few weeks, one of my side projects was to try to track down "Dragon", one of the very few SoBe drinks I actually like, not only for the name, but for the taste. I noticed that it was no longer being stocked at some local stores, or in the rest area vending machine so I put out some feelers to see what was up with that. The following contradiction to personal experience is what I got direct from the SoBe people:

Unfortunately, the product youíre asking about has been discontinued due to lack of sales.

By now, if your browser isn't being lazy, you've noticed that the lizards no longer grace my site. If you haven't, a couple force refreshes should do the trick. I no longer respect SoBe as a brand or product, that means they lose out on my support for their products and what was once a very cool reptilian style.

Friend Update:

Still waiting for information, apparently the medical community in West Virginia is entirely incompetent and can't read MRI data efficiently. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers, thanks.

Garden Update:

Promised tomato pictures, but I don't have them ready yet.

Dried mint brews stronger than fresh mint, only marginally so, but enough to be noticed. The technique I used for drying the mint and basil worked the way it was expected, so I'll be dong that again next year with the herbs.

Project Info:

The Pyrography "How To" will start posting really soon, the safety stuff comes first because it's the most important to deal with, and probably the most tedious to actually write up. Also with my schedule getting busy, it could be delayed a little bit, but I expect to see the saftey information ready for posting, as well as a special post. You'll have to wait and see on the special post though.

Comments:

I hope the worries are just that too. FIngers toes, tail and wings are all crossed that this isn't serious.

I have some spring flowers that have long snce peaked and faded for the year, and some roses too, but the bulk is tomato and pepper plants. Oddly our gardern took a little time to get jump-started, but once it took off, it's still producing. Hopefully, I'll get all the fruits in before it gets cold and kills off the plants. The video will be there, and I'll probably link to my Google Video profile if I can so it can be easily accessed any time. Not the worst storms I've ever seen, but fun to record.

I never even gave a thought to the exchange rate, that's a whole other ballgame entirely. There aren't enough selling points to really pull me toward Otaku Premuim.

Quite all right, I'm no saint about commenting these days.

First off I'm sorry I don't get around to your site that often these days. Thanks for dropping by here.

I hope he recovers soon too. There's little more I can do at this point, I've done everything I can to support him.

Bugs and woodchucks got my pumpkins this year. Guess it's not a good year for victory garden pumkins.

Right now, I'm in the same boat, there are some neat things about it, but it's not enough to open up my waller for right now. I keep my eye on the features and stuff, maybe something will win me over.

One of my paragraphs got cut off last time, here's what was clipped before I noticed the error and repaired it:

Something I learned, I think it was from Alton Brown on the Food Network, if not him someone on the channel, is that the heat agent (capsaicin) in peppers stimulates the body, causing it to produce endorphines, those "feel good" hormones. With the ups and downs of the past few years weighing on me, I need all the help I can get in the "feel good" department, and I'm not about to do stupid or illegal (not to mention expensive) stuff to get it. A little fresh cayenne pepper on scrabled eggs, in chili, burgers or even stew does wonders in that department and it's perfectly legal.

I got the link to your story up in my post on TheO today. I haven't read through it completely yet, but what I have simmed, it looks good.

Lime. That tip from my friend (the same one with health issues) has been a saving grace for the garden. Apparently bugs don't like it too much. They haven't gone after the tomatoes or peppers where I've put it. They got the pumpkins because the woodchucks got them first. The tomatoes are strung up on an old fence, and the peppers are lashed to dowels and branched from trees that came down or needed to be cut.

I've been told the server had a major fit or something. I'm still on the older version of the forum so there's light at the end of the tunnel. I used to do that, but now I don't anymore, I like the feedback, but I try not to cling to it. I've learned in the past two years that some things just need to be let go.

That push was certainly worth it.

The MRI results ae something of a question mark for me right now. The neurologist went out of his way to deliver the news that there was no tardive dyskinesia (from the regular doctor issuing incorrect meds), but I don't think he went beyond that. I won't know any more till I hear from those around me what's going on. I hope he's okay though, if not, I might just have to seek psycholgical help for myself.

Nothing tastes better than a vine ripened, grown in your own yard veggies. It takes some work, but it's worth it in the end.

I'm still working on the dragon theme, but I had to change off the SoBe lizards as I explained above. If I get it done by the end of the year, I'll be lucky.

Thanks for the good wishes, keep sending them, he needs all the positive vibes we can muster.

Animť Dreams!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008


Important Things

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I'm way later in posting this than I wanted to be, I got caught up in other things that really distracted me and just had me in a funk that I couldn't bring myself out of. I'm not completely out of it yet, but my head is working more coherently now, so I'm updating my blog here, on TheO, and elsewhere on the net that I frequent, I'm going to hit them all if I can manage.

Friend Update

Probably the biggest inhibitor to my being online in any capacity to get things done lately has been my offline friend. He's been under so much stress the past few months that his physical and mental health have been affected adversely. His personality is not what it once was, he's not nearly as cheerful as he had been up to that point. Several months ago, a lot of things hit him at once, and I don't think he's recovered. The most profound thing that seemed to affect his mood was his own kids backing out of a promise to come visit him. He's not one to really talk about feelings and such, which makes it hard for those of us who genuinely care about him to figure ths thing out.

The physical repercussions to the stress have been apparent as well, possibly induced by one of the madications he was taking, possibly related to the stress, or both. He's had some twitching in his arm which came about at the time the stress started and his meds were switched around (it happened the same week). His doctor finally set up an MRI for him, that was yesterday. He promised he'd let me and my Mom know what they find out when he gets the information from his doctor.

I'm worried for him, and I'm afraid of what might be found. I hope and pray that there's nothing serious wrong with my friend, but at the same time, I'm finding myself bracing for the worst possible news. My mom is scared too, and so is my sister. We don't know what to expect. If I take extended time away from the blogging circuit here, it's probably related to this topic. I will passs along updates as I get them. If I could ask everyone to keep my friend's good health in your thoughts and prayers, I'd really appreciate it.

Garden Update


As promised, the video clips of the storm in early June. There's three in all, I embedded the first one, the other two can be found here and here.

Pumpkins got attacked by bugs, and a woodchuck sadly, lost all five of the ones we had growing on the vine. If I had the back-up I was supposed to get on the garden project, it wouldn't have happened, but no sense getting irritated over what can't be amended.

The tomatoes are coming along all right, bigger than last year's and more on the vines too. In the past few weeks I've gotten over ten tomatoes so far, and there's still plenty more to come. I'll have a picture or two up next time, I kind of took up a lot of space with the vids this time, so I'll save the pics for another post. Bell peppers just started coming in also, a serendipity situation for me, I wasn't expecting them to do anything at all this year (we didn't get anything last year from our pepper plants).

I've also begun to dry my mint and basil, using something I picked up from late-night TV viewing. No, not some one-use-wonder infomercial device, I'm talking good ol' Food Network and Alton Brown's Good Eats. I've learned a lot of neat little tricks from that show, including this fan and filter herb drying trick. Why use a box fan and central AC filters to dry herbs? Cause those food dehydrators use heat to move the air, and heat, even in small doses, changes the flavor of the herbs because while drying, it essentially cooks the herbs being dried. As Alton Brown would say: "Not good eats." This is my first attempt at doing this Mr. Brown's way, and so far, I'm impressed with the results. It takes a couple days (a week or more for thicker basil leaves), but it gets the job done.

Otaku Technical

Just a note of some significance to the site as a whole, not necessarily important to individual members as much, but the long anticipated, much discussed Premium has finally launched over on TheOtaku. Since I can't afford it myself right now, and certainly get nothing out of doing it, I'm not sure why I even brought it up.

My Site Technical

I'll be changing up my theme to something more dragon, it's about time I did that really. I've been wanting to dragon up my space here. Also, expect to see some pyrography posts coming to my TheOtaku site, and I'll syndicate those posts here. The first one will be a safety overview.

Comments:

Something I learned, I think it was from Alton Brown on the Food Network, if not him someone on the channel, is that the heat agent (capsaicin) in peppers stimulates the body, causing it to produce endorphines, those "feel good" hormones. With the ups and downs of the past few years weighing on me, I need all the help I can get in the "feel good" department, and I'm not about to do stupid or illegal (not to mention expensive) stuff to get it. A little fresh cayenne pepper on scrabled eggs, in chili, burgers or even stew does wonders in that department and it's perfectly legal.

I'll stop officially asking for progress updates next month, but if it takes you longer to get it done than that, I'll still link to it when it is done. I have a feeling that I'm not going to see completed works from everyone who committed to the project, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Take your time, don't rush the story though.

The garden has done well, the pumpkins are all ripe now, we lost one to the neighborhood woodchuck, but we got four, and with no more flowers on the vines that have taken over the backyard, I'm obliged to cut everything back to somewhat of a sane yard environment. Had one tomato ripen already, and two more are on the way this week, the only thing not doing anything are the bell peppers so I'm inclined to think that my yard isn't idela for them since they flopped last year too.

The site isn't lost that I know of yet, but I haven't talked with the main admin about it either. I know she was wanting to do other things with the site besides have the forum set-up. With as long as it's taking to get back online, I'm inclined to believe it's been put off, forgotten, or hit a snag in getting those other parts up and running. When I know for sure, I'll post info here.

Yes, I'll certainly be roaring in the coming weeks.

Yensid:

The garden did very well this year, like 90%, so I'm happy with what I'm getting. Tomatoes that will probably take me into October if they ripen one or two at a time, some bell peppers, not to mention the cayenne, lots of mint, parsley and basil to work with too. The only real failure was the pumpkins which started off so well. I have zero luck with potted plants myself, so I do the outdoor gardening instead.

There's a house my brother used to deliver newspapers to that had a rockscaped yard, it was quite interesting, and it looked really nice. That probably is the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly way to keep a yard. Less grass to water and cut, reduced weed issues as well, not to mention less up-keep. If I didn't have neighborhood cats and dogs to worry about, I'd have at least a section of my backyard done up into a Zen garden with the sand and rocks and stuff.

"Self Promotion" and "No commercial advertisements" aren't the same thing. I can see wanting to keep down spamming "come to my Worlds" or "Come fav/hug my art" comments, and signatures. Over the years, I've gotten my share of those "yur site iz gr8 want 2 B frenz." messages, and they're annoying. The best way to "promote" oneself with the new direction the site has gone is simply by blogging, and commenting intelligently and let people come to you. I have no problem doing that, I've done that since I began here.

"No Commercial Advertisements" becomes a totally different thing than self promotion when the core of the two ideas are compared. Commerical advertisements are about selling something to someone, about money changing hands. Any artist on the site who posts information about taking commissions is "hosting a commercial advertisement on their site" according to the broadly worded Terms of Service. When someone is disciplined for hosting a "commerical advertisement" of another sort while others are allowed to actively flaunt that they're seeking art commissions, that will create tensions.

Whether anyone on staff comes by here or not, there's a strong principle behind my choice in the commerecial advertisements matter, and I'll stick to that come [Censored] or high water. I may not like it, but I'll honor it all the same. Besides that, I can blog about the heart of the novel project here without "selling" it.

Seems like I'm finally getting a break in the weather, hope it holds out and I'm not too tired from other things to keep up around the net. Hope things settle down out your way. Wish I could send all the rain I've gotten the past few weeks to where you need it out there.

Animť Dreams!

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Saturday, August 2, 2008


Return of the Prodigal Dragon

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Apologies for the lengthy absence, I've been busy with a lot of things, and just plain worn out to the point I couldn't sit down and draft up a decent post. Not to mention there hasn't been a whole lot going on in my life of late. Now that I have a break in things, I'm back and hopefully I'll be posting regularly again. I'll know next week if I do or don't post.

Garden Update

I promised some pictures and videos this post, I have some good and bad news on that front. Google Video, the site I host my video clips on, has not been playing nice with me for a couple weeks now. Clips aren't being listed properly, embedded clips aren't loading or playing, they're becoming more like YouTube than a reliable alternate video host. That said, I can't trust the links I have to the video content I want to show you, I can't trust that they'll function so I won't waste my time and yours with those right now. I've already sent two complaints to Google Video over the bugs I've come across, and the third one will be my last, I'll port the clips to another host and try again. I have next to no tolerance for something that is supposed to function a certain way and doesn't.

I promised some pictures of the garden, I only have a few online right now, but I'll have some more next time as the tomatoes are going like mad, the pumpkins are doing all right, and the cayenne pepper plant (right) has already produced several bright red peppers which I'm rdrying to grind into powder since that's the only way I eat cayenne pepper. I could use the endorphine boost, that's for sure. The pumkins are doing well, the first hints of orange are starting to appear on the skins, these pics are weeks old when I first found the pumkins on the vines, so they're bigger and more orange now than they were in these shots. The pumpkins will be nice to have, I'm not much a fan of pumpkin pie, but I can learn to like it, or make other things with it that I will like we have 5 on the vine right now, and I expect more will start to surface as the blossoms attract bees. It's a lot of work, but I like the garden, it yields results for the effort that's put into it.

Next post I'll have some tomatoe pics, as well as some non-storm clouds that I've shot, just for something different. the bell peppers are still not yielding anything, wish I knew how to get some bell peppers to grow. I'll also have more up-to-date pumkin pictures as well, maybe more cayenne pepper too. I'll just have to see what the camera gives me.

Commerical Projects Update

I can't actually link to anything here, but I can post a financial update on them. To date, my commercial projects have netted me: $0.00. I'll post this information once a month, for my own "benefit" if nothing else.

Forum Update

Anyone who has the link to the Role Play forum I frequent, the site's been down for two or more weeks now and I'm not sure when it'll be back up. I haven't gotten an update from the site's admin yet, but I know it's being worked on from what others have told me. I'll link it again here when it's back online.

Comments:

Yensid:

Yeah, I'm updating there more often than here these days. Got a few others I need to pop in on as well.

Long time no see, taking a break sometimes does a person some good, but still it's nice to see familiar names come around again.

One of my vids has those freakishly low clouds in it, I tell you I haven't seen a storm like that since I lived in TX where you expect low couds to spawn tornadoes. Unfortunately, I have to hold off on embededing the videos here, as I mentioned, Google Video is being a major [Censored] and not cooperating with me at the moment, so ultimately my readers here, and on my other blogs where I post videos suffer.

Well, being stubborn can have it's advantages, but it has it's drawbacks too.

Well, I've been worn out from doing a lot of hauling for the band, fighting bad weather, and I had a friend over last weekend also. When I burn the candle at both ends, something has to give and for me, that's my online life. I am still plugging away at the novel, I hope to have it finished and ready for the promotional stuff to begin again, not sure exactly when, but I hope to finish it sometime.

Keep at it, and go with your gut. That's the advice I can give you. Hopefully I'll be around more often than I have been, I've kind of been her and there across both sites, not really commenting, but I have been reading posts and stuff.

I used to live in Tornado Alley, so wind scares me to no end. All the luck to you in staying out of harm's way in the wind. Weather's been nuts this year up here like you wouldn't believe, hot and humid one day, pouring rain and thundering the next.

Yeah, that's one of those subtle directions that needs to be made bold faced or something, cause I had the very same issue myself till I took that literally.

Whoops, I missed that till just now. Sorry about that. Anyway, they did that here some years ago, consolidated schools, and they talk about it every couple years as well, but, at least here the parents have enough clout in the local government to push school closings off for a few more years. Their arguments are very valid ones about class sizes, student to teacher ratios, as well as safety and transportation concerns. Personally, if the parents wanted to send a strong message to the school board that the idea smells worse than a titan arum, all of them who have kids that were pushed to other school districts would pull their kids out of the public school system completely and home-school them. A trend like that would command the school board's attention because that's state and federal funding they would lose out on, so much per head that's not at a desk in a public school. Sorry about the mini-rant there, I tend to get loud when I'm annoyed, no matter the subject.

I don't tan, I burn so no comment there. The weather's still being a bit loopy here, but it's settling down for the most part.

If I sit down uninterrupted (can't do that till the humidity goes down, my room is like a sauna, and not in the good way), I probably could get it all hashed out and polished in a month or two, I might just try to do that as best I can here in August. I don't know a whole lot about publishing either save the annoyance that no one takes unsolicited materials anymore, and agents for first-timers are hard to come by as well. Oh well, as I learn this industry, I'll be sure to pass on what I learn to others.

I saw that on the news, scary stuff.

At least I got the photos up finally, sorry I couldn't get the vidoe posted though.

Honestly, I'm not sure my work is "worth" publishing, but I'm going to try anyway. I'd like to have something under my belt in the success category, right now, none of my successes do me any good in the financial sense, and even if I get a tiny little trickle, it would be better than nothing.

Yensid:

I'm going to respond to this one here because this is something I want on public record, no matter the fallout it generates.

I see a lot of potential here with the the TOS and the enforcement of the document. Now, potential can be a good or a bad thing. It depends on the people in those positions of power to handle themselves appropriately, and not fall into the ruts of past experiences when they do take actions. The TOS has me at a disadvantage these days because of one key point that doesn't fully make sense. Should there be a "no commerical advertisements" policy on TheOtaku? Yes, given that one of the premium features is ads free browsing, and the ads help support the free users use of the site, it makes sense that the site has that policy. Here on MyOtaku, a site that's not ad supported anymore, and not in the mainstream otakudon anymore, does it make sense to have or enforce a "no adverts" policy? To me it doesn't, but the policy is there. What that does is cripple me in two ways.

  1. I can't display or direct readers to my best photographs.
  2. When it is published, I won't be able to fully "promote" my novel.

The policy also puts a damper on those artists who take commissions here as well. Any artist that promotes commissioned artwork here is commerically advertising and that's a TOS violation when one applies "the letter of the law" to it. That creates an environment of double-standards if certain ads are prohibited while others are allowed. What the site may become is yet to be seen, it could go downhill and turn into Elfwood, it could ride a flat line and not really go anywhere, it could go in a positive direction, we'll just have to wait and see.

Yeah, that's scary stuff. The sad thing is, the national networks are banking on the suffering you guys are going through out there to play "lets get more ratings by pointing blame fingers at someone". Bureaucracies will alway cause more problems than they are created to resolve, that's politics at it's finest. Instead of trying to figure out who's to blame for the resources not being there, national networks would be doing a lot of good to try to get people, equipment, and supplies where they are needed to help combat the fires and lend whatever aid is needed to the people in the areas affected.

That's quite all right, I don't get around here as often as I want to these days anyway, so a few days is quite all right.

I like thunderstorms, but I don't like the wind. I'm stupid enough to go outside with a camera and try to capture lightning. Would be nice to get a torrential downpour to knock the humidity out of the air though, these little spits of rain with all the sky fireworks just don't do enough.

Yeah, I know, I've been stubborn my whole life. I do wonder though, if I'll have a fight with the publisher over my special dedication when it comes down to the wire. "To the fine people at Workforce West Virginia, the West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs, and a couple of US Senators, who did nothing to help me find a job, get into a training program, or fix the corrupt system which failed me." Don't be surprised if that's the reason my novel becomes well known.

Whenever someone wants a book I have, I send them to the used bookstore, tell them the investment in a copy of their own is worth every penny, and I buy sometimes too. I really don't like to lend stuff out, I rarely get it back.

A year's delay is a rough estimate on my part, I'm horrible with time estimates. Hopefully I'll have it done and already be in the process of promoting it to agents by the end of the year's time. I'll know as I go I guess. The delay is mostly because agents and publishers don't like to look at an "in progress" work, and I have no idea how long it'll take me to finish my major overhaul. Had I stuck with the original plot, I'd be submitting for consideration right now, but the delay will be better for the book I think.

Animť Dreams!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008


Son, Don't Cha Understand Now...

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Weather's been nuts again, but I'll have some storm cloud/lightning video, as well as pictures of my cayenne pepper plant's first peppers next time I post.

Novel Update

While I was working on polishing up my manuscript, I got an idea for plot development. The only thing is, if I work this stuff into the story, it'll delay publication by probably a year if I'm lucky. I think it will be better for having this material in there, the story won't be as flat. Still plugging away at it though, I'm too stubborn to give up on this.

Comments:

Cutting my support for theotaku.com across the web where I haunt, and reducing my activity on the site itself are parts of me actually doing something bigger. Now, just because I'm not saying what all I'm doing, doesn't mean I'm doing nothing, I'm just not foolhardy enough to post the details publicly. I don't want anyone to be able to prepare counter meansures, that would defeat the purpose.

Yensid:

Taken care of off-site.

Very true, inspiration will only carry you so far.

Good luck getting all that stuff done.

If the premium thing is done the right way, not affecting the free users' ability to work with the site in an acceptable manner, then I could get behind it even if I'm not a paid member myself. I'm most concerned about "ads free" being part of that deal. Don't mind paying for no ads, but I do mind when browers and aps which block ads are inhibited from functioning properly.

I'll give that a read if I haven't already.

Talk about a sight for sore eyes, welcome back, I was worried about you. I never forget a good friend, please stop by more often if you can.

I'm glad to see you're all right. I'm doing well, getting some energy back ans will soon be caught up on my overdue art projects (hopefully). Working out a new depth element to the novel, and just being my same old disagreaable (to most people anyway) self. What about you?

The new system can be a bit overwhelming at first glance, but it's easy to get used to and work with. There's a Submission Guideline over on TheO now and it covers the technicals of submissions and stuff, worth a look. From there, submission pages for each category can be found as follows.

I think Fan Words and Quizzes are the most complex ones in terms of submitting stuff. The guidelines I mentioned above the list there cover a lot of details that I'm not familiar with off hand, so I recommend looking at that info.

Animť Dreams!

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


Springsteen on the Speakers

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The double standard over at the sibling site which I mentioned the other day there still has me frustrated to the point I have nothing to say here today. That's not good form for the site to allow that in my book. With that in mind, I'm temporarily locking-out the Sanctuary and my writing Worlds (making them viewable to myself - NOT deleting them), they will remain so until the double standard is eliminated. I have no desire to support a site that promotes favoritism and inequality with my most profound and meaningful content.

Comments:

Definitely. This new one is better than that temp one that was up, and in some ways, I like it better than even the old one we had.

Because a fight over the Terms of Service, and dealing with the flak such a movement would produce just isn't worth my mental energy. I'd just as soon argue with a brick wall, I'd accomplish more in less time. As for the link, it's not hard to find for the observant. I announced my personal web site last post, that wasn't a coincidence. I've also had the link up in the profile on the left there since last year at least. I have an online hub for all my activity and projects.

Poobah is a semi-local band my friend plays drums with. I don't get to every show they do, but when I get out to the shows I help them set up their stuff and break it down afterwards. There's a video in the post before last one as well as another one further back.

I sure do need it, thanks.

When I wrote the first draft of my novel manuscript, I sat down and made myself write at least two hours every day for seven or eight months, with a day or so worked in here and there for a break. I did my art in similar phases, but that died out cause I have to be inspired to draw, though I'm thinking of picking up the forced drawing thing again. Prioritize your time as best you can in a way that works for you.

I just like to have that formal look from time to time, wish I have more opprortunity for it, I have two really nice ties with dragons on them I hardly ever wear.

Thank you, I'll take all the luck I can get.

Getting the look I wanted while maintaining a standards compliance in terms of table use was a real headache, and actually, what I have is not 100% satisfactory, I have cleverly hidden the one major rendering issue, but eventually I would like to fix it completely. When I started learning it, HTML was a fun thing for me, it still is, but it's a headache to do it right. If you've ever inked a picture you drew, pyprography is a lot like that, only hotter, and more painful when you slip and hit your finger. It takes a careful hand to do it, but it's not hard to learn or practice.

That's all right, it happens sometimes, momentum is tough to keep up with all the time. I'll have to make a concetrated effort to get over that question thing I have though. It seems to be a problem that I need to correct if I'm going to be a good online friend to people. I am working on my nasty habit of going off-tpoic though. I tend to get distracted easily, it's a "stream of consciousness" thing.

I'm not necessarily worried about the TOS per se, I do try my best to abide by them, I always have (I am not saying I've been 100% good at that however). I'm just sticking to the "letter of the law" on the adverts thing on principle. I want to play by the rules, so I've taken other measures to ensure my links are out there.

I didn't dissapear, I just haven't been keeping up with my posting here like I really want to, mostly due to the crazy weather lately. It's great to see another familiar "face" around here more often again, it truly is.

Don't worry, I probably don't fully understand half the stuff I said myself. Yeah, I've been working on a web site off and on since 2005 actually. I put the link up last year and only just got through doing some real code overhauling to make the page more up-to-date in terms of the HTML and CSS that's being used, A lot of the code I use here on MyO is in the stylesheet for my personal site, I liked how I have that set up so much I'm using it there now too.

Between the two, I like the look of this one better than the old one we had, but I would like to eventually see the old customizations like font face and color return, but that's off the radar right now, not at all important to me.

Yeah, when I started doing those, I didn't know there was an actual term for that art medium. Pyrography applies to wood and leather burning, so since it sounds cool, I use it now.

Animť Dreams!

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Monday, June 9, 2008


I Fell Off the World Again

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Apologies for the delay, been crazy these last few weeks with bad weather and just plain exhaustion. Will try to get back into a regular pace, we'll see.

My MyOtaku Site Technical

Fixed a coding error that was rendering my page oddly on some computers. Update on how it's looking on other computers would be appreciated.

Personal Web Site Technical

Spent the better part of the night a while back rewriting the code for my personal Web site to give it similar feels across browsers. It's not exactly how I want it to look in either browser, for some reason "standards compliance" means nothing to anyone when it comes to the web so, it's as close as I can get it. It's also not coded up for larger resolution monitors, so anything larger than 1024x768 will probably have some visual artifacts that I can't correct, even though it should render in an acceptable manner. On a positive note I was able to code everything more standards compliant and work tables out of the layout. I can understand why they're not recommended for layout purposes in the new HTML standards and all, but they do have a place in coding. I tell you, I'm impressed by how the page came out in the end, so many mistakes and coding issues went into that.

MyOtaku Technical

If you haven't seen it yet, you haven't commented here in a while, but the comment box is nice and clean now, looks really nice. Desbreko was behind the coding for the new comment boxes here, very well done.

Business

Several people expressed interest in seeing a link to my photo print gallery here. Technically, posting that would be a violation of the new site Terms of Service, because it would be "commercial advertising" of the "not limited to" variety as outlined in the Terms. I had been talking about doing something with my photos for a long time (since at least 2006), that's the reason I mentioned here having some available for sale as prints, I finally got a few online for that purpose. I appreciate the interest in my work, and I don't make it hard to find that information even though it's not here.

Entertainment

Saw Poobah play again, no video this time, I was working on stills. Not sure if I'll put them online anywhere or not. I did get a few good ones.

Art

Got at least four major projects I want to have done this week. Two pyrography, and two dragon pictures that are overdue from last year. Will start immediately after posting this.

Comments:

Thanks, I did try to make it look good. Had to revert one thing, but that's no big deal.

They're a cool band to see, and help out with loading and unloading. They like the attention too.

I do tend to fluctuate a bit, sometimes I'm not on, sometimes I' on earlier than expected. I do need to add a disclaimer about the weather to that chart though. I forgot to mention that I'm paranoid about the weather and won't have the computer on in thunderstorms.

Tiling is good, that means my code is right. I want it to fill the gaps as much as possible. I'm really horrible at troubleshooting code (you should hear my foul, flame spewing mouth when the code doesn't work right), but maybe the size of your BG, or possibly the screen resolution is part of the adverse tiling effect. That would be the first thing I'd look at if it were me dealing with it.

It would be nice to be able to report comments, if only to help the moderators see patterns in the people who are posting that way. I'd like to say more on the TOS, but to be fair and polite, I'm keeping those comments off the sibling sites here.

I'll update people here on the Print project, so far, not one single thing has sold, but then again, I don't really have a whole lot of exposure yet. I try to keep busy, still got some pyrography to get done, hopefully this week. I hope I have better luck with a publisher or agent or something like that this time around too.

I'm on and offline often, I pop in and out in little bits now and then. I have so much to get done though that I'm just too tired to do it all and it gets put off.

Well, I went just to answer a question, and I got my answer. This dragon just don't have the heart to go into the details yet.

Thanks for pointing that out and for helping me get it corrected.

Having the link is the important thing, the whys and hows of it taking so long to get here, water under the bridge.

I hear that, I've got a mess of stuff to get done. I think I'll really buckle into it this week and see how much I can finish.

I don't think we'll ever know that for sure, but I hope the impact it's more readily remembered for making is a positive one.

If I could afford it, and had the occasion to be, I'd dress up more often than I do. I like being casual, but I kind of like looking nice and neat sometimes too.

Actually, yes I did. That's a positive sign for that connection being made.

Yeah, I think that was partly my coding. Hopefully it looks all right now.

That's a necessary inconvenience. I see that count not displaying and I ask myself "Is it worth stirring up all kinds of trouble just to report that one thing?" To me, it's not, so if you're in the backroom here more often, just be sure to pop over into the inbox once in a while.

I'm always happy to comment where one is needed, and thank you for the luck, I need all of it I can get. I covered why I won't direct link my print gallery here, but I don't make it hard to find.

By default I give people the benefit of three doubts, so Adam is still good on that front, he hasn't used all of his yet, and he gained an extra one with the connection here. With that connection being made, and now the comment box looking nice and clean and much like a comment box, the site here is getting a second wind. Hopefully things will settle in and start to flow again.

That's an easy format to work with, keeps things organized.

Yensid:

Took care of yours off-site.

Hello, and welcome to my little corner of MyOtaku, have some hot Jasmine tea and take a load off. I'm a friendly dragon, I don't bite. I've seen you around TheOtaku and MyOtaku myself. I write and respond from the heart, that's how I've always been, it's how I'll always be. Good to know that kind of thing is appreciated.

Thanks, I think the SoBe Lizard Line Lizards make a neat theme. Thanks for the input, tiling BG means I did the code right. I don't have a widescreen computer to be able to check that kind of thing. I code it up for my resolution which is the 1024x768, and hope for the best in others. If no one tells me there's a problem, I assume it's all right.

Yeah, It's good to see that people are coming back to MyOtaku, the connection solved a key core-level issue that many of us had. I'm grateful to Adam for doing this for us, would have been nice to have it done earlier on, but not knowing the technicals involved, I say getting it at all is a real treat. If comment quality both here and on TheO goes up, that will be a bonus to the connection being made.

Since I can't get a traditional job to save my life, I might as well go abstract and try to pull in some cash with something I know I CAN do well and economically. Would really be nice to see my photos well received.

Well, officially, I just go as a friend of the drummer, but I do help out with the gear as well which I enjoy doing in spite of all the heavy lifting (I'm a part-time Roadie you could say). The video thing kind of started when I took my Canon camera (it's a still image camera with video recording capability) to one performance a while back and recorded a few bits. I was testing the camera's video mode, I wanted to see what it could do and how it worked. I take the camera and will either shoot stills or video at every performance I go see just because I like to do it and the band likes to have their pictures taken too. I do have to point out that the first clip went up without them knowing it, they found out from someone they know stumbling on the video on Google where I host them, then I was asked to try to cover some of their originals when I record video. I need a video camera for that though, I'd get better quality footage that way. They like all the publicity they can get especially the free kind. The drummer, Mike, is a friend of mine so I'm glad to give them the publicity for that alone, but George (bass) and Jim (lead vocals/guitar) are both cool guys as well.

Thanks for coming by, please don't be a stranger.

Animť Dreams!

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Monday, May 12, 2008


Tired and Rainy

header

I'm beginning to like the format of the previous post, let's go with that for now and see how it goes. Been so busy lately, it's hard to keep up with things sometimes.

My Site Technical

If you haven't noticed, I've given the site here an overhaul, took care of all the major things I wanted to get done, and I'm liking how it turned out for now. The post header is trimmed down to give the post more room, I also pulled the button and stamp from the footer linking to my post with contact information in it instead. With the waning activity here, I don't see the need for me to have a button available, but I'll have a new one ready if the time comes when people want to have it again. Text should be viewable against all parts of the BG, and the BG image should be tiling for those people on monitores at higher than 1024x768 resolution. I don't have a high res monitor to test it with, so I can't ensure the results are picture perfect. It does take a second or two to load though, I think that's the CSS code I'm using doing that again. if it becomes a headache, let me know and I'll try to fix it.

I do still have the MyO Support banner to make, I made that a lesser priority for now.

Otaku Sites Technical

Two major steps have unfolded here just last night, there is a link to the new TheO PM system in the backroom here, and our updates here are showing in the TheO backroom as well. The two sites have been reconnected in the ways that members have been asking to have done.

Much gratitude goes out to the staff of the sites for making that possible, and I hope to see those features getting much use and promoting a Renaissance here on MyO.

Also of note, the new TheO Terms of Service have been posted.

Business

I do have a couple photo prints available for sale online now, hopefully I'll see some kind of trickle income from that, especially as I add more photos to the few I have available now. I'm not linking it here right now. I'll probably have it on my personal website soon though.

I'm still working on my novel, hope to have it finished up by the end of the month. Then the courting begins. Getting published is difficult.

Entertainment

Finally got that second Poobah video up and running, kind of funny that it was recorded at the same place the first one was, but on a different night.

You can actually get a better feel for Jim's vocal range in this video. The guys asked me to try to cover more of the bands original stuff, so I try to do that when I can, though I'd like to get an actual video camera to do it right.

Contact Chart

Finally got a table showing my online availabilities put together. I'll link it in my footer when I'm not so busy.

Comments:

Passive Dissent ran it's course, and while I can't speak for any of the other members who actually took our efforts seriously, I can say that, to me, it was becoming apparent that the efforts were failing, and we were causing unnecessary and out-of-character tensions among some other members of theOtaku which was really something I had hoped to avoid. I would have been resigning from the movement coming off that rest break anyway, even if it had kept on going. I just didn't have it in me to keep up the pace needed for such a thing. It does me a lot of good to see that, even though it appeared otherwise, some of what was said made it to the right place.

I actually have little hope for any license that's distributed through Fathom Events ever seeing a WV theatre, but there's nothing wrong with trying. At least what I can do is give them a charge from being my callous, call-it-like-I-see-it self.

Yeah, for the past few years I've promised people in comments and stuff that I'd post a prom picture of mine, finally got around to getting it up. Honestly, it wasn't really much fun for me, so from my experience, your choice to stand by your friend and not go was probably the better one. Actually, my eyes are open, the flash reflecting off the glasses kind of hides them. I haven't tried to correct that yet, but I will try to see if I can clean it up some. There aren't too many other pictures of me at or ready for Prom though, just a few others in the house, and one a friend took at Prom itself. I think I should have included the key point that I went by myself (gasp, how clichť), so there's no secret significant other I'm hiding. I just forgot to add that to the paragraph when I posted the picture.

The anime is running on TV over here now, and it's at those episodes. I know what you mean the show started ot really strong, but the currently running episodes aren't holding my interest. I've seen bits and pieces of one of the live action movies, but seeing it as it was intended, on the big screen would really be nice. It's nice to do things legit and stay legal, that's why I will at least try to talk some sense into Fathom Events and the local theatre chain.

The original actually looks a lot worse given it's a polaroid photo, and it was one of my early attempts at photo restoration with software (I used Pixia for that one). All in all, it gets the job done. Yeah, you don't miss much not having them, just another pompus waste of resources for the popular crowd to show off.

I'm coming to learn that when that annoyance crops up, it means someone's playing with code in the back-end. I've had it happen to me too, several times. This time was adding comment deletion to stuff, but it's messed up the guestbooks now from what I understand. Basically, expect that issue to crop up again when they work on adding stuff.

Of course it's sad, it is for me too. I put a lot of time and invested a lot in this site here. I can't do nearly as much over on the new site, and that frustrates me, because part of my personality is about expressing myself visually. Moving on is tough to do, but right now, I think it has to be done. I'm sure there will come times when something comes to my attention that needs to be said, and I'll speak my piece about it, otherwise, I'mm go back to blogging the way I have been. there has been some positive come out of thngs though, so I'm in good spirits about MyO right now.

You get around when you can, that's all that matters to me.

In spite of myths and legends saying otherwise, one dragon can't move moutains, even with the help of friends, strong as we are together. All of us who tried did our best, we can't be faulted ending our effort. We have the connection to the sibling site now, which a is a big step for MyOtaku, one that a lot of people wanted to see.

I understand that MyOtaku isn't a priority anymore, but it is nice to see it getting some attention all the same. If you ever need me to stand beside you for anything else, please let me know, I'll do what I can.

You may not have been active there, but you did put a lot of work into saving MyOtaku in your own way, which will always be appreciated.

Yeah, I'm not one to dress up too fancy these days, but once in a while I like to be really formal.

Well, here's how I manage to get new things up and running while working the old ones. I take lots of notes, save them, then, when I have this itch to do something new or different, and the time to burn doing something new, I take out the notes, put the project together and there I go. Maybe you can use that method to work on your project in little bits at a time till it's ready to get underway.

Right now a lot of my stuff is photography oriented over there, but I will be working some drawings in, possibly some pyro and written work too. If you need to, put down your pencil for a while, don't even try to do a piece for a bit, you'll be called to to work soon enough and once you get that call, it'll be like riding a bike.

I'm coming to find that music reaches me deeper as I get older, the loud rock stuff I hear when Poobah plays out, oddly enough, makes me think.

The campaign for change is a double edged sword (I have one of those, I should know), so I understand someone not wanting to get mixed up in things like that. It seems that at least the reverberating echoes of our shouts as they died down did reach the right ears though, that's a big plus for me.

Would be cool to be able to see it, but right now, it don't look good.

I don't remember how much the ticket cost me, I don't think it was nearly that much, but a WV school that's half falling apart at the seams can't get away with that kind of charge for a social event.

Different people have different tastes. Actually, it's a blend of atmosphere, music, and watching the performance that comes together for me.

An odd contradiction to the previous sentiments on loud rock music being relaxing, sometimes louder isn't always better. Something seems to have been effective though, which is all right with me.

Yeah, I'm finding out just how good it is at doing that.

One thing people learn about me, much to their horror sometimes, is that I'm wickedly stubborn. Anything I've really put my heart into is something I'm going to fight fang and claw to protect as best I can, no matter what. If one method doesn't work, I fade into the dark for a while, then, like the 100+ cheesy sequels to a single bad horror film, I show up again and again out of the blue, doing different things to deliver the same message until it gets across to the right person. Right now, Adam has the benefit of the doubt, given the new developments here.

My picture goes back to 1999, so it's been, almost ten years now since my Junior Prom. I didn't really care so much about the event given I took myself and all, I just had to know something that could only be answered by going, so I went.

Yensid:

I've e-mailed the reply to you instead of posting it here, I'll make it easy on anyone who's moved on from MyO like that, if I have their off-O contact info.

My efforts were no longer showing any productivity, and since beating a dead horse doesn't accomplish anything, I've decided to look at other options. I don't have as many hot-button issues to worry about right now anyway since the big one was resolved.

I took myself to my Junior Prom (that's why it's just me in the picture), but even that took me probably a month to get all the prep done and have it scheduled for the right weekend. Two days, was that person mental? Us guys have it easier in the prep department, we can probably squeeze everything into a week if need be, but girls have a lot more prep to take care of and that needs time, one, maybe two months minimum. In all honesty though, I think Prom is more a Senior thing anyway, at least, that's what my Junior Prom felt like to me. Not all that spectacular, and I kind of feel I shouldn't have gone.

Animť Dreams!

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