Archive for the ‘General’ Category

So, just what have I been doing?

February 24, 2008

That seems to be the question everyone has been asking. My in box, crammed full with people begging, pleading, “Why haven’t you written anything lately? Are you ok?” My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from my throngs of adoring fans… ok, maybe that’s just the ringing in my head… or the voices, it’s too muffled to make out. No, actually it’s more of a hum. It has been been awhile (over a month actually). And what HAVE I been up to? Well, two things. 1) I’ve really been going hard at my new hobby (being an internet marketing mogul) and 2) (almost ashamed to admit it, but) Oblivion (Elder Scrolls IV). I haven’t played a computer game in… wait, I’ll have to consult with one of those voices. Ah, yes, yes I remember… He tells me it’s been a while. I don’t know why I started playing, somehow just got sucked into it. A complete and utter time waster, but what-ya gunna do? I am proud to say, however, that I have flushed many more hours down the toilet (almost backed up on me once, but I managed to clear it) trying to be an SEO monger. Surely you have seen the links off to the right. My SEO experiment? Basically my goal at this point is to get a site together (done) and then getting it ranked, hopefully on page one of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page(s)), (work in progress). I’ve played around with making pages a few years ago, but never really pursued it. Needless to say I’ve had to brush off quite a bit of dust on the ole html and css skills. However, as I made, remade, and then made again my site, I realized (after manually making my first “spider food” page (that would be a page optimized for search engine web crawlers)) that my approach was total crap and I needed to straighten it out and automate. To sum it all up, I needed to embrace the seedy world of… black hat <dramatic music>duh, duh, duuuhhh</dramatic music>. So to begin my journey to the dark side, I needed to learn a scripting language. The flavor of the moment for the internet, or intraweb depending on your level of sophistication, (actually, for several years now) has been PHP (oh, and I like intraweb). So got a bunch of reading material, Zend Developer Studio, and got cracking. Skipped right over the whole “Hello World!” gar-bah-shz and got right to work. And the result? After endless hours/days/weeks of slugging it out… He, he, heee. I’m actually going to save that for my next post (not as dramatic as you may think unfortunately). Hopefully Monday (I’m going to make it a several part series, I think, I’ll know how much material I actually have to work with once I actually start writing). For the moment, I’m going to slap some links below that you can feel free to ignore. I want to see how the google-monster is going to like my new approach, but the problem is, I’m having a problem getting google to pay attention and get indexing! Argh. Google likes my blog for some strange reason (though I’m sure the same can be said for everyone here at WordPress) sooo hopefully if I put links here, that will encourage the G-shredder to, well, pay attention. Oh, and if you were wondering, noooooo, I am not nor do I have any intention of becoming a spammer. This is going to be quite a challenge though. I want to rule the serps, but I need to find a kinder, gentler way of doing it. However, one may make the argument that the very site that I am trying to move up the ranks is, itself, spam, or at least a site that is contrary to the intent of search indexes. But I would have to disagree. The stuff I talk about, a digital camera, is perfectly good and accurate content that people may find interesting, which is the purpose to which indexes serve. Perhaps that should be the first article because actually, I am a bit irked at google (I never bother with the other engines so I can comment on them). Pages that are so blatantly obvious spam get ranked higher than quality pages and, because of the patent discrimination that google dishes out to new sites to the benefit of old, established ones, some sites will never get a good ranking. I understand PageRank and the need to sandbox new sites, but I’ll give a quick example. Digital cameras. Manufacturers spit out press releases about various new products. Web sites *cough* cnet *cough* with automated programs immediately swipe’em (these releases are published through rss feeds) and stick them up on their own site. Established site after established site (there are others besides cnet) do this with out modification or adding content. The result? When you search for, ohhh, I don’t know, maybe the fujifilm finepix f50fd? You get the exact same stinking press release on page one of the serps from umpteen established sites. Google is suppooose to have a duplication filter that punishes such spam-looking practices (black hatters posting the same content on a bunch of different sites) by allowing one copy to show and pushing the others way far down in the results or de-indexing them altogether. What you end up with is an almost Microsoft type monopoly of the page one serp. There are a lot of good, smaller sites out there that work hard at producing solid content, but will never see the light of day on page one because of the choke hold more established sites have. Which, because of the ranking system, sets up an almost perpetual motion machine with these sites. They’re already on page one because of their status, this causes huge amounts of traffic to go to them, which thereby only solidifies their hold. It’s not fair I tells-ya. Whew! But, as I have said before, what the bloody heck do I know? I’m just a grasshopper. So how is that for a post? My longest one yet.

Spam-o-licious links: finepix f50 f50fd 12 f50 battery finepix noise ninja f50 ccd fujifilm finepix
p.s. once they have served their purpose, I’ll probably go back and delete these (assuming I remember).


Behold! The dancing banana!

Ok, so keeping with my current theme of horribly late topical commentary.

January 9, 2008

Well, maybe not completely late. What caused me to think about this was Christmas, but my complaint has nothing to do with that. Hershey Kisses. Prior to last Christmas, I haven’t had one in years. Maybe even closer to a decade. I remember that I would pop those things in my mouth like popcorn. Sometimes I would line my molars with four of them at a time and then chomp down (and of course they had been in the freezer). They tasted great, smooth with a chocolatey aftertaste. Good enough that is was worth (to me at least) the extra cost over the generic pasty garbage that would only mascaraed around as chocolate. So you can imagine my surprise when, years later, I bite into a Hershey Kiss this past Christmas and uuuuuuuhhh! What happened? It was the same gritty, pasty, nasty aftertaste cat litter detritus of all the other pedestrian mucky-muck that you won’t even flush down the toilet. It was bad enough that I found myself checking the next piece (I’m a bit like Homer Simpson that way) for that white stuff you find on really old, bad chocolate. Not there. Of course, I knew that I wasn’t eating stale chocolate, but my mind just won’t accept what my tongue was telling me. If I had sharp Photoshop skills I would make a picture of a biohazard bag in the shape of a Hershey Kiss. I blame Wall street. In this never ending pursuit of the all-mighty dollar, they have allowed the hallmark of the Hershey company to go into the crapper. Good job. Of course being the growing cynic that I am, I am forced to wonder if this is a simple profit increasing strategy of is it more involved than that. Perhaps a drop in the quality of milk chocolate (in general – not just the kiss) is part of a larger effort to push people towards the more expensive dark chocolate (my current love affair). Ah, what do I know. I’m just a grasshopper.

Feel free to ignore what’s below, seriously. I’ll be writing more about it later, but basically it’s just a little hobby of mine. I want to see if I can get a website I made to rank at least on page one of Google’s results page. One way of doing that is to “drop” links to your site around the internet. I’m having trouble getting Google’s spiders to visit my site on regular basis. Sooo, if I take advantage of Google’s infatuation with by dropping a link here, when the spiders come crawling, they will discover to the link to my “other” site and hopefully stop by for a visit.

fijifilm finepix f50fd finepix f50

I guess it’s time for really late Spring cleaning.

November 29, 2007

Ya, I guess I should get around to doing this. It’s kinda like when you move and a year later you still have boxes around? Some time ago, the good people at WordPress finally decided to stop hitting themselves with the silly stick and separate “categories” from “tags”. It’s like what css did for html, which allowed you to separate the appearance and structure of a document from it’s content. This little switch allows you to separate the organization of your articles from their description. End result? No more mile long category lists, duh. So over the next few weeks, months, years, decades, I suppose I should get around to fixing my stuff to reflect this leading-edge technological innovation. Uuuh. Good thing I don’t have hundreds of articles.

Could it be? Is it possible? A gPhone released in as little as two weeks?

August 27, 2007

g is for Google. All you suckas out there who plunked down $5-600 clams on that over priced, over hyperbole-ed iToilet might want to get a load of this one. The rumor mills are all a buzz (as they were earlier this year). As it goes, some guys in India (having something to do with Google) have supposedly leaked that, as the title says, this phone could be unleashed onto the public in both Europe and the US with a possible release in India in as little as two weeks. I don’t know the story, but (as it goes) it is to have a Linux-powered engine with ad-supported service. How will this affect other cell phone companies that have integrated googleware? Who knows, but if this it true, their backsides might be feeling a bit sore. Ya know, I used to be warm and fuzzy about the big G, but now I’m not so sure. They are saving all of our e-mails (with Gmail), no doubt turning Google Earth into some kinda visual tracking whatever, and if this is true, will be listening in on (and recording) every conversation we ever have. I can see it now, voice recognition knows what you are saying, Google then jumps into the conversation mimicking the person you were talking to, and then tries to convince you to buy some pill to decrease the angle of your dangle. Scintillating. You can read stories about this here, here, and here. I’m sure its all over the place by now. Just search for it, gulp, on Google.


Bush countdown clock! (get one for your blog)

August 27, 2007

Arrrrrrgh! Crap on a stick. Due to the limitations of the free blog (I suspect), WP keeps stripping out the code needed to show the clock. Well, this was certainly anticlimactic. Maybe I should migrate over to blogbspot (I know it works with them). Its still cool though, so clearly you need to go here.

The NFL and Michael Vick

August 24, 2007

Perhaps its that tiny shred of innocence that is still left in me that is so shocked at the apparent lack of concern the NFL seems to be displaying for the brutality that Vick has now admitted to. At what point do we loose that innocence? That part of you that shy’s away from the evils of man. I actually heard a news story in which they played a blurb from one of the sports shows in Atlanta. One of the hosts actually said that he didn’t care what Vick did and that if he owned a team, and if Vick was cut from the Falcons, that he would pay whatever it took to get him. I’m left wondering if it is possible for there to be any more of a worthless person than this individual (I wish I remember his name). I suppose it is possible that he was simply trying to drum up the ratings, but does that make his statements any more acceptable? What would Vick have to do before that poster child for abortion says enough is enough? But I digress. It seems to me that what the NFL is really waiting for is to see how much marketability Vick still has. Of course, their official line is that they want to see how the gambling charges play out. Gambling?… Gambling? In the list of obscenities that Vick has admitted to, gambling is what the NFL is focused on? Could it be that they are focused on this because there is more legal wiggle room? It certainly appears that Vick’s defense team understands this. They are trying to pacify the prosecution by admitting to the lesser charge while fighting tooth and nail on the gambling. Basically saying, “Accept what we are giving you or we will make this as expensive as we can for the taxpayers.” Let’s say he does wiggle out (his defense is saying that while he financed the gambling, he never participated in or benefited from the gambling itself). What should do the NFL do? Allow him to continue to play? Basically sanctioning his behavior much like the Senate sanctioned the sexual overtures Mark Foley made to Congressional Pages? Beating, drowning, hanging, and electrocuting any animal (not so sure about plants) in and of itself should be the only provocation the NFL needs. The cynic in me says that the NFL and that radio host are just as bastardly as Vick. I’m still trying to hold on to that shred of innocence, but the older I get, the more fleeting it becomes.

Ya like this pic? Guess what? Its fake! Fake, fake, fake, all fake.

August 18, 2007

Yup, all of it. The bottle, the lights, the shadows, the liquid, even the background. None of it exists. All courtesy of the power of Modo! If you haven’t figured it out yet, Modo is a 3D computer graphics (CG) software. It also happens to be one of the premier polygon and subdivision modeling programs out there (oh, and the company actually listens to it’s users and continuously works to improve their product). I know, I know, I can already hear the 3D Studio Max (-ophiles) warming up their flamethrowers singing the praises of 3DS Max with the PolyBoost plug-in (which if you don’t know gives Max the same functionality as Modo [some zealots would argue more]). And I’m sure that a few Maya users might chime in with their NEX plug-in. So why Modo? Well, Modo: $895, 3DS Max: $3,495 (+ $124 for PolyBoost), Maya Complete: $1,999, Maya Unlimited: $6,999 (+ $148 for NEX). Hmmm. Also, Modo is a focused program for modeling, texturing, and painting and therefore the learning curve is nowhere near the dizzying level it is for Max or Maya (good for hobbyists). Although the next version, which I believe is due out later this month, will branch out into animation. Oh, and if any of you are into making stuff for Second Life? (including those little oddities called sculpties?) Can you say, “Hello Modo”? But with that said, a Modo, Zbrush, Photoshop, Maya, Photoshop workflow is pretty righteous. P.S. If you were wondering, unfortunately, no, I did not make this model. It came from a tutorial from Roger Harris. You can find the videos and download the model (in Modo format) here.


Confucius also says,

August 13, 2007

Do unto others before they get a chance to do it to you.

HA! I love it.

Oh, and let’s not forget my personal favorite and life’s credo, “Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow.”

Hopefully I will have a more meaningful post not in the too distant future. But then, I refer you to the aforementioned statement above.

Knut says, "Do these pants make me look fat?"

August 6, 2007

So it looks like obesity isn’t only contagious among humans. Apparently it has found a way of jumping species and has now gone after cuddly Knut! After a life of lounging around, snacking on croissants all day (his most favorite delicacy), this ~132 pound, eight month ball of fur has, well, become quite worldly without the use of a passport. Yep. This polar bear is now a porker. To add insult to injury, zoo keepers don’t know exactly how heavy he really is because the scales in his enclosure don’t go up that high. It’s actually quite common for zoo animals to get a little chubby since they don’t face the rigors of having a real job, but I guess for Knuty, the double chin can’t be ignored anymore. So just how does one get a man-killer to shed some of his offending insulation? Atkins? South Beach? No, nothing so drastic. For now, all snacks are gone, just three squares a day (as oppose to four), and a diet of porridge, meat, and cod liver oil (hmm, cod liver oil).

Did you know that back on April 19th, Knut had a death threat hurled at him? Who knew he was a bear of international intrigue? Is he a Russian dissident? Perhaps a former KGB officer? The note sent to the zoo said, “Knut is dead! Thursday noon.” The police, while not looking for anyone specific, did take the threat seriously. The security guards were increased from five to fifteen and there was even an officer hiding behind a boulder overlooking the enclosure. Soo, it wasn’t the free flow of croissants after all. By the way, has anyone seen that guy recently?

A Lilly by any other name.

August 5, 2007

Would be called a dandelion, right?