Archive for February, 2009

I figured out the 1969 problem!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

The import problem has been solved! Here’s what was happening:

Check out the code on the post that was showing up as 1969.

AUTHOR: Alan Kistler
TITLE: Sci-Fi Writers Ready To Fight Terror!
BASENAME: scifi_writers_ready_to_fight_t
STATUS: Publish
ALLOW COMMENTS: 1
ALLOW PINGS: 1
DATE: 05/31/2007 14:01:58 PM
CONVERT BREAKS: 1
PRIMARY CATEGORY: Off-topic

Look at that date again:  05/31/2007 14:01:58 PM

PM?  If you’re using military time, you don’t need a PM.  The odd thing is that the morning posts with AM after it import just fine, but posts with PM would cause it to be import as 1969.

A simple find-and-replace of my exported text files cleaned up the posts and now they’re importing without a fuss.  As soon as I’ve finished my test of a few more imports, we should be good to go.

In the meantime, enjoy reading more and more of the archived posts.

Did somebody say Plugins?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

I’m adding the plugins for our site. Podcasting. Amazon. Oh, and yes, the stereotypical Digg/Del.ico.us/etc. links.

Speaking of Amazon, I’m supposed to be getting a review copy of Ready 2 Rumble Revolution for the Wii.

Saturday

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

I will try another round of importing Saturday morning. Let’s see if I can get the links to work and the dates to translate. No one has responded to my help request, so I’m just going to take a whack at solving the mystery myself.

Be patient, and have some fun.

Happy Birthday, Erik!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hope you had a good one.

Still no solution to the 1969 problem

Friday, February 27th, 2009

No answers yet. Here’s hoping someone replies in the next day, or I’ll just have to import everything and live with the ones that are mis-dated.

1969?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

So, of the five posts I tested out importing today, two of them are dated 1969. I’m trying to resolve this before importing in bulk. Keep those fingers crossed!

Work going on behind the scenes

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I know, you’re not seeing much in the way of improvements yet. The reason is that I am going through our massive archives to try to fix up outdated links, missing pictures, etc. before I import them. Once I import everything, it will be harder to fix them.

Broken links are going to happen, especially in a blog that dates to 2003, but what I would really like to do is find a way to salvage our internal links. When Alan Kistler left us for a paying gig with another site, one of his beefs was that I’d broken all of his links that he had worked so hard on. I don’t want to do that again, so I’m trying to fix links in bulk if I can. I will probably do more testing tonight. This will have the added advantage of restoring some posts for you all to read.

If you want to stay abreast of our changes, you can now add our new RSS feed to your current reader. I have used FeedReader for the last month and love it so much I ditched my WIZZ plugin for Firefox. If you have never used a RSS reader before, give it a try. Just install FeedReader, then come back to this page and click on the little orange box with the radiating ripples (it’s currently in the upper right) and it will add the feed for this site. You may have to select FeedReader as your feed tool the first time.

Tad Behind, Attorney at Law

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Sorry, I have to redo everything I did Saturday. That shouldn’t take long. Sunday was mostly spent doing clean-up on old posts before the re-import, so that work is not lost. However, my promise of a Sunday podcast (that promise now lost in the ether) was obviously not to be. I would like to apologize to Erik Burnham, whose mention in the podcast about whether Heath Ledger will even be nominated for an Oscar is now hopelessly dated and is not his fault.

Sigh. Guess what happened…

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

During my conversations about the domain problem, I mentioned to Powweb how a spammer had taken over my blog and I’d have to wipe out the MySQL database. Which I did on Saturday, and then I had configured this site and was doing testing all Sunday. I was getting ready to import my thousands of entries…

…and Powweb wiped out the database for me to help me get rid of that spammer. Thanks, guys. A little LATE!!

I don’t know what happened

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Huh. Whole WordPress system reset. Weird.

Okay. Now I have to do it all again. Not a big deal, but a few posts have been lost.

Movable Type is going bye-bye

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Erik Burnham pointed out that WordPress is included with my Powweb hosting, so why don’t I just give up on Movable Type and switch to WordPress.

And frankly…I don’t have a single good answer to that!

All of my blogs are currently in template hell. I’m losing money because the templates with my banner ads are not working. I would never recommend Movable Type to anybody at this point.

WordPress, from my limited experience, is much more user-friendly. And it appears to me that it is winning the blog wars, while MT is by far a loser. I mean, they laid off one of the guys who designs their best plugins; how much of a future can this software have?

Please bear with me, everybody.

They don’t make this easy

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Sometimes I think I started using the wrong blogging software.

I like Movable Type. I like that it’s hosted on my site, so I don’t have to have a whole ‘nother URL such as monitorduty.wordpress.com. However, it is user-UNfriendly to the extreme.

Look what happened today. I just want to update from version 4.1x to version 4.23 and then install the latest plugins so that I’m all ready for podcasting. That’s all. Should be simple, right? And what does it do? Makes my custom color scheme go away, changes the way the widgets work (widgets are the little boxes on the side of the blog that offer links to the tag cloud, archives, search, subscribe, blogroll, etc.) and doesn’t provide any instructions on how to do the new widgets.

EVERY update is like this. No wonder I only update every couple years.

So you’re NOT cheapskates, I guess!

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

My apologies, everyone.

I’ve been wondering why NOBODY uses my Amazon links on this blog. Turns out that my plugin was set up to give the traffic to the owner of the plugin, Byrne Reese. Oh, I’m no dummy. I set it up right for my site…but then each particular blog has its own setting as well. I didn’t discover that until I was double-checking today.

Hope you enjoyed my money for the last two years, Reese. Consider it payment for a well-crafted plugin. But from here on out…that money is MINE!

And here, for no reason, are some Amazon items, just to make sure it works. Everyone click on one, please. (You don’t have to buy it. Just let me see that the clicks are tracking. Thanks!)

The Venture Bros.: 3rd Season

Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Mitchell

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: To Be a Lantern

And Awayyyyy we go!

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Here goes. I’m finally removing and reinstalling the blog software. Yeah, it took an extra day. My computer was overheating due to a massive accumulation of dust inside.

Here’s hoping I’ve backed up everything correctly.

Yeesh. It shouldn’t be this hard…or this scary. There should just be an “update to latest version” button that you press.

Dang Movable Type.

Val Kilmer to run for NM Governor

Friday, February 6th, 2009

More here…

What disturbs me is that, if successful, he will be the third actor from Batman and Robin [NOT Batman Forever – Ye Ed] (a film, even the most unrefined of comic geeks believe to be the WORST Batman film ever) to land a governorship.

Makes you think.

Johnny Saturn!

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Coolness! The Johnny Saturn comic is currently top bidder on my Project Wonderful space. Johnny Saturn was a comic book I read this summer after meeting the creators at Wizard World Chicago.

Short and sweet: It’s Batman taken to a more realistic extreme, i.e. anyone doing what Batman does would wear out his body pretty quickly. I will say no more, but check it out via their banner ad above.

Reason #6,542 I’ll never live in California.

Friday, February 6th, 2009

No, wait, I think I’ll bump this up to reason #1:
Thousands of Migrating Tarantulas

Migrating in such numbers that they once devoured a herd of cattle!!!!!  I mean, if I heard of ONE cow being devoured by a horde of tarantulas, and I lived within 1000 miles of it, that would freak me out so much that I’d move to Iceland.  An entire HERD of cattle?

What chance would a human being have?  

Yeesh.  I would not only fight for legalized DDT, I’d make carrying it mandatory.

Where is the press in this?  Why haven’t we heard of it?  Probably because no pretty California newsbabe wants to head out in the desert to film carnivorous spiders by the tens of thousands!  And I don’t blame her a damn bit.

Makes you want to move to Liberia, where the worst that can happen is that caterpillars poop in your drinking water.

Warning: Blog updates

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Our blog system is two years old. So are the plugins. So tonight I’m going to update the MT system and then reload the plugins as well as adding some new ones that we have needed.

I have no clue what it will do to our templates and such. You may not notice any problems, or everything may disappear. We shall see. (Don’t worry, the database is backed up.)

Then we’ll be in fine running condition to post the podcast.

Land of the Lost trailer

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Obviously, they’re playing this for laughs. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

See, when I was a kid, this was an AWESOME show. Yeah, even then I knew it was stop-motion animation, rubber costumes, and a blue screen raft with a falling boulder that is clearly a model, but I bought into it. Boy, did I buy into it. There were these small pyramids with doors that would disappear, and inside are platforms with little crystals, and I, like, one time, I remember this episode, you know, where one of the main guys, he like, does something wrong and is then followed around by a strobing antimatter outline of himself and stuff.

The show could be downright creepy at times. And I’ll admit it: The Sleestacks scared the hell out of me. YES, the big goofy fakey masked Sleestacks. They were terrifying. This one time, one of the kids was like swimming into this underground cave that could only be entered and exited by an underground stream, and as he’s getting ready to leave this BIG HISSING SLEESTACK FACE RISES OUT OF THE WATER. Oh man. I just wet my chair. Oh no, wait, that’s just some soda I dribbled. Phew!

Yes, Land of the Lost was a drama about a lost family trying to stay alive in a bizarre land of dinosaurs, prehistoric humans, futuristic devices and lizard people. Why couldn’t that be played serious?

Here’s a shocker: Doctor Who is no more “real” with CGI than it was back when the lasers were red beams that didn’t quite line up with K-9’s nose. We always acknowledge to ourselves that it is fake and then we get beyond that. Star Trek was about stories and acting, even if the Styrofoam rocks didn’t look as heavy as they should.

In the same way, why should Land of the Lost now be a comedy just because we look back on the 1970s show and find its SFX laughable? Why do the Sleestacks have to look…cute?

Cute sleestacks? BLECH!

Awesome mix of fantasy and crap!

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I call it ‘fantacrap’! (Okay, totally stole this from “The Critic”, but no one remembers “The Critic”)

Actually, it’s not that bad, and ol’ Tuck Pendleton is always reliable. I’ve enjoyed The Mummy series of films (as well as Deep Rising) on a technical level and most of the weak points were in the writing. I do wish it wasn’t suffering from the X-Men’s whole “identical black costumes aren’t really costumes” motif.