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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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I finished gathering all my sound bites for finishing up and posting the Podcast today, and when I opened up the master file for the podcast it told me that I had a lot of useless data that it had found and could it delete it. I said yes. It then let me take a look at the podcast…and the first half hour of it was gone!
I got rid of Norton Utilities a while ago because I was sick of paying for it over and over again, especially when every function of it that I used could be easily done by a free program. With one exception: Norton Protected Recycle Bin. I love that feature, and I can’t find a free program that does the same thing. In fact, when I Googled to find a replacement for it, the top results are people complaining about it and considering it useless. Well, if I’d had a protected recycle bin, I could recover those files.
Fortunately, I had run off an MP3 for Erik to hear, so I can use the high-resolution version of that to work from. I hope you’ll bear with us if the sound of our podcast isn’t the best. The next one will be better.
Sadly, not an announcement. Just a dream. But it’s a good dream, and Sean Taylor has the line-up all ready to go.
The Simpsons had that very funny “Mr. Sparkle” ad, but really, what can you do to Japanese commercials that they don’t already do to themselves?
The Mr. Sparkle ad actually appears linear and logical.
Here’s Frank Calliendo parodying the trend of prestigous American actors doing Japanese commercials.
Really…you can’t top the real thing with Arnold.
Scott Kurtz has the cutest story on his blog!
Perhaps, had I caught the new X-Files movie after a long drought of no entertainment, I may have liked it. Maybe. The fact that a few days ago I dragged out my dust-covered “Season Two” box set couldn’t have helped. To make things worse, earlier today we got to one of the best episodes ever: “Humbug”, featuring Vincent Schiavelli. A hilariously creepy episode, there is nary a wasted moment, and almost every line is witty and well-structured.
This X-Files movie has a number of things against it. The biggest is that the series jumped the shark long before it had an episode called “Jump The Shark” (the one where the Lone Gunmen get killed off). Chris Carter wanted to end the show when it felt right to do so, but it was one of the only hits on the Fox Network and so the show limped along. Mulder left, John Dogget was Scully’s new partner, Scully was now the believer in phenomena, the mythology got over-wrought and made no sense, Scully fell in love with Mulder and had his baby, the Lone Gunmen were killed off, and Mulder went into hiding from the F.B.I. and Scully quit.
The entire setup that made the X-Files the X-Files is ruined. Neither of them are F.B.I. agents and they don’t have a file cabinet full of spookiness to investigate! There’s no Cigarette Smoking Man, no Lone Gunmen, no abducted sister. How do you make a movie that follows this?
The answer is: You don’t make a movie. Unfortunately, they made one. Good thing for them, they didn’t blow a lot of money doing it.
In this new movie, Mulder and Scully are living together and Scully is a doctor for a Catholic hospital. The F.B.I. is trying to find a kidnapped agent with the help of a psychic, and they call Mulder in to assist in determining whether the psychic is on the level or is sending them on a wild goose chase.
On the plus side, this movie does what the first film, “Fight the Future,” should have done: a movie-length, movie-production values version of their better stand-alone mystery episodes instead of an installment in their on-going complex alien mythology.
Sadly, this is not one of the better episodes. It’s very boring, much of it feels like it’s been done before, there isn’t really anything mysterious and the only exciting scene is a standard foot-chase in the middle of a street with cars braking suddenly. Much of the movie is about Scully having a crisis of faith (what, again?). Meanwhile, Scully and Mulder’s relationship is terribly ambiguous…and unconvincing. These two are absolutely not in love. What have they been doing all these years, anyway? I can understand their not getting married due to Mulder being a fugitive, but they don’t act like anyone I know in a relationship. It’s as if they’ve been together for seven years but not talking about anything that would bring them closer as people. They’re more like roommates who’ve had a kid together. Their kissing scenes are downright awkward. (Remember when the BIG thing about “Fight the Future” was that Mulder and Scully might kiss?)
The movie really is hurt by the slavish devotion to continuing the changes from the end of the series. It should have found a better way to put Mulder and Scully back into their old roles, if only because most of the people in the audience will not have watched the lousy Mulder-less years and may be baffled.
Don’t bother. Go watch the box sets of the early years.
When Erik and I were at Wizard World Chicago this year, we saw about 30 “Heath Ledger Jokers” walking around. That made this all the funnier:
I’m just posting it here because it turns out Erik didn’t see it. Enjoy, buddy!
Dark Knight isn’t even in the running for Best Picture. This is a film so powerful, so well-made and artistic, that people who don’t like comic books think this is a great movie, and it’s made about a bajillion bucks. But the Oscars won’t honor it with a nomination.
Steve Mason over at Big Hollywood has an excellent analysis as to why the Oscar ratings have plummeted since 2005: we, the audience, don’t have a dog in the race (or “skin in the game” as Mason puts it).
You will want to check this out.
I’m editing our first podcast. It’s an hour and a half long…at least, originally…so it’s taking me a while to repair all the little technical glitches and throw out the bits where my computer decided to only keep every third word out of my mouth.
In the meantime, here’s something funny to keep you entertained:
Spoiler Warning for 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later
I watched 28 Weeks Later tonight, hoping that it would surpass the original. Unfortunately, it suffered for the same reason that the original was ultimately unsatisfying. Both are great “zombie outbreak” films that are weakened by a deep hostility towards the military.
The original is a superior piece of work for 2/3rds of the film. Indeed, there is a dramatic cut-off point when the father of the teen-aged girl is infected, and the screen goes black. Then, struggling for an ending, it takes a jarring turn: the military camp that was to be the salvation of the survivors is being run by a sicko and he plans to conscript the females as sex slaves for his brutish troops.
The movie is struggling for an ending because the (probable) original ending was completely different, as revealed in the DVD extras. 28 Days Later was supposed to end with the male lead, Jim (Cillian Murphy) volunteering for an experiment that would restore the father’s sanity at the cost of becoming an “Infected” himself, and the movie ends as it began with him incapacitated in a bed and watching horrors on video screens like the monkey in the lab experiment. Unfortunately, this ending seemed absurd, given that a drop of infected blood can contaminate a person, so they came up with the military camp ending.
I don’t think the hostility towards the British armed forces is even intentional. As a tacked-on ending, it can’t have been the overall message that the director and writer were intending to send from the beginning. Rather, my suspicion is that it reflects the general view of the military held by the writer and the director.
Even if you can justify it to yourself as “that was just the case of one group of troops cut off from civilization, having spent a month shooting thousands of infected civilians until they don’t remember their old ethics”, the sequel is worse.
In 28 Weeks Later, an American Army General makes a tough decision to allow his troops to begin firing on a crowd because containment of the outbreak is top priority and trying to tell who is infected in the distance, in the dark, in the midst of a screaming mob makes smart determinations difficult. Okay, that’s understandable, if harsh. But then they go overboard with a “kill everything that moves” rule that insists on killing everyone even if you can be entirely certain they are not Infected. It gets so bad that at one point helicopters are shooting at a moving vehicle, as if one of these zombies could be driving!
The military exists to protect the populace. Most members of the military go to great lengths to save lives and would gladly give their own to protect others. Seeing them portrayed as uncaring thugs gets my hackles up.
In any case, it’s not a great movie. All too often, I am baffled at the poor planning in case of an outbreak. I realize that logical security measures would make it tough to get the movie going, but we’re talking about a film where the outbreak happens because the locked civilian shelter has an unlocked back door.
More fundamentally, why do the infected not attack other infected? If there’s no brain-eating involved, as there would in a zombie movie, but instead the infected are simply overcome with fury, what makes them discount getting angry at other Infected? And if you were enraged all the time, wouldn’t you burn out pretty quickly via high blood pressure?
And can you really survive an attack of liquid fire (napalm or similar) by going around a corner of a building?