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Archive for the 'Calls to Action' Category

2005.01.18 where you do want to go today:

sara & i have finally really started the ball rolling on this whole buying-a-house thing we've been talking about. we're talking to real-estate and mortgage agents, and we've been to our first open house this past weekend. what fun. and so many questions to ask & answer… do we top-end it, or bottom-line it? do we get a fixer-upper, or something we'll not need to do much work on? where exactly in the hell are we willing to live? obviously we can't afford much in the highlands, so how much are we willing to compromise on location? (in case you're curious) if anyone sees or knows of any decent houses in the 100k – 115k range in that general area, feel free to let me know. we are on the hunt in a big way at this point.

in other news, sara, in her constant struggles to get me off my lazy ass and exercise for a change, has now resorted to bribery. she's now offered to get me "whatever MP3 player" i want, if i'll join the running team she's on and at least walk with the walking contingent. it is a tempting offer. so far, i've narrowed down my choices to either: the iRiver H340, or the (no surprise here) iPod.

Here's how it breaks down for me so far:



  • not as much 3rd party support
  • not as pretty
  • i've "heard" the ui isn't as elegant, and borders on counter-intuitive
  • i've "heard" you have to create playlists on the PC, you can't create them on the fly on the player
  • heavier, bulkier
  • the company isn't unstable, but it's still not apple
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player
  • direct LineIn jack
  • built-in microphone w/ voice record function
  • mounts as standard USB removable storage device (acts like a hard-drive)
  • don't have to use proprietary software to access/manage songs
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player


  • no voice record feature/built-in microphone
  • no direct line-in jack
  • must use iTunes?
  • mounts as USB storage device, but only for non-music/media files?
  • it's "hip"

  • it's apple!
  • lots of 3rd party accessories & stuff
  • it's cute
  • it's hip
  • it's userfriendly?

if anyone can think of any pros or cons i missed for either of these two, or has any specific thoughts/suggestions either way, please post a comment and help me make up my mind.

2005.01.11 creeps in this petty pace from day to day

the time rapidly approaches wherein my bachelorhood will find it's end. as i've mentioned before, the planning process is progressing, and gathering in force. my lovely bride-to-be, being in med school, has (however tentatively) handed over the reigns of this process to yours truly (and her mother), so i'm going to be hip deep in it for a while. my other projects will have to take an increasingly distant back-seat to the three big uber-projects that i have to undertake–1) planning the wedding (obviously), 2) planning the honeymoon, and 3) finding a place for us to live.

if any of you here in the 'ville have lines on a good, relatively cheap DJ who'll do a wedding reception without prattling on incessantly and trying to be funny, let me know about 'em.

a sub-project that's moving closer to completion is the website i'm designing to house relevant information and meaningful stuff–something to kind of mark the occasion for us and provide all the answers for the curious. i'm trying to do it without going off the deep-end of cheesiness, though i imagine that with a sentimental site of this nature it's probably almost impossible to avoid. nevertheless, the main point is to have fun creating something honoring our relationship. it's still far from complete, but i've posted some mockups, and i thought you might enjoy them.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

those are real low-quality JPEGs to save on bandwidth–the actual site won't look so blurry.

comments on the design are welcomed.

- 05:28 pm - PL :: 4 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Happy/Love - Love Life - Personal Projects - Wedding - Wife


2004.12.15 eventful:

this'll just be a quick entry to point out a couple things…

1) in light of the "IE gets blowed up real good" bug apparently triggered by the recent bipolar revamp, i've unflipped the switch and gone back to the crappy frames version. if anyone knows why a little CSSP/DHTML might be causing IE to hack up a lung, i implore you to please come forward. for testing purposes, the XHTML valid revamp version is still available.

**update**: well, it looks like i've nearly licked the kick'sploding IE thing. apparently, i didn't do too much testing in IE 6 during initial development, probably thinking that IE5 and 6 rendered more similarly than they do. i still need to do a little layout clean-up work (especially on 1.5) for IE6, but otherwise things appear solid once again.

the culprit? stupid proprietary DOM stuff in IE. document.body.clientHeight was causing IE6 to puke, so i just amped up my browser detect, and called document.documentElement.clientHeight for IE6 only. seems to have done the trick.

those of you IE6'ers out there, please pound on one or all of these (jhb15sporg) and let me know if you're still seeing crashes. i'd be much obliged. ** end update**

2) in other news, the "latest images" functionality of the gallery scripts is coming along nicely, though it seems with each new feature i complete, i think of five more things that could make them even better. what this means is that, eventually, i'm pretty much going to have to do a ground-up rewrite of the scripts. yippee.

in honor of the new functionality (as partially implemented) check out the pictures i took over this past weekend, when i went home to p'town to visit the fam and see my sis and my awesome little niece. be sure to check out the rasnake/old_homestead gallery, as there are several kick ass shots of stuff in and around my parents house. (sometimes, i actually think i'm a good photographer)

anyway, hit that link quick, as it's only good for 10 days–one of the limitations of the latest images feature (as it stands now) is that the number of days images are counted as new is set globally. i'm planning on adding a bit where you can specify a date, a range of dates, or your own number of days for which to show images. should be fun.

**update 12/21/2004** more fixin's have been added to the gallery scripts, adding some of the stuff i mentioned above, and that gallery link above now targets a specific date (rather than xx days ago). still no UI for all the new gizmos, but i'll get to that soon-ish.** end update**

2004.11.23 tell me, what is funny?

first off, before i get into the boring bipolar related stuff, let me point you in the direction of ghost town studio, the most recent issue of which features an article and images i put together. it's a very interesting little news piece about the Sears/Kmart merger.

in other news, and to the matter at hand, i've just discovered (inadvertently, i might add) that that annoying little firefox bug where scrollable DIV elements, or rather, DIV elements with their overflow properties set to allow scrolling, wouldn't scroll with a mousewheel (or equivalent widget). the scrollbars would work fine, of course, but it would be heresy to knowingly release something that refuses to work with the one really major improvement in HID design to come along in the last 10 years.

anyway, that nasty little bugger is fixed, at least in the latest trunk builds of firefox, and so should be fixed forthwith in the upcoming minor point releases of firefox 1.x of course, if you go to download the stock ff1.0 today, you'll still get the non-scrolly divs, but in a few weeks or a month's time, it'll all be history.

so, i told you that to tell you this: sometime soon, tonight, tomorrow, sometime this weekend, or maybe even next week, i'm going to flip the switch* on those "major improvements" i talked about way back when. so now's definitely the time to go back to that post and knock the crap out of those pages to see if they fall apart too badly. MC Seth-yo did some extensive cross-browser testing, and aside from some completely understandable though thankfully infrequent failings, the designs really held up pretty well. (of course, that may be selective memory talking, and when i go back to look at those screenshots he did, if they're still up, i may be in for a shock or something.) anyway, soon these changes will go live, the world will rejoice, and you, if you're really really annoyed by not being able to scroll with Mr. Mousewheel, should be encouraged to get thyself to's firefox ftp download area and download a copy of the latest trunk build. right now, the latest trunk still reports as being 0.9.1+, so be warned. latest trunk builds can be squirrelly, not as stable as the normal release builds.

also, i'll very very shortly (tonight) be installed an MT plugin to close old comments (we've been getting bombarded by comment spam for a while, but i've been to lazy to install additional protections on top of MT-Blacklist), so if you've been itching to comment on a post from 3 years ago, you better get on it.

**UPDATE**: the switch has officially been flipped, f'real.

2004.11.05 move over bacon, now there's somethin' meatier:

Clinton's DLC sent out a message today about a "reform insurgency." and have to say i agree with them on pretty much every point.

and jennifer, in her comments on the post-election post (which i'm still pushing to get people to read and comment on, 'cause talk=good), mentioned two other worthy organizations we should investigate and invest our time & money in.

Democracy for America
Black Box Voting

but my number one recommendation to get yourself politically involved, even in a tertiary disconnected sort of way, is to donate to and join the ACLU today! To become a card-carrying member requires only a $20 donation, but please feel free to donate as much as your little pocketbook can stand.

and now, back to our regularly scheduled silence.

oh yeah, and by the way, i turned 31 on monday, so thanks alot for the birthday present America… was there a gift receipt in the box? it's a lovely president, i'm sure, but i might want to exchange it for something else.

- 06:32 pm - PL :: 7 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - Friends - Pleased/Like - Politics - Society


2004.11.05 Rock the… branding:

don't forget to go vote!

Unbridled Branding
forgive me for committing an internet faux-pax by directly linking another's image. but y'know, i paid for it, so i might as well.

don't forget to check the comment thread on the last post, it's quite enjoyable.

- 04:15 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Calls to Action - Politics - Society


2004.11.03 can't win for losing:

needless to say, i've been more depressed today than any day in the last ten years. i'm flabbergasted, completely dumbfounded. everything i thought i knew leading up to this, has been thrown to the ground and stomped on.

ok, hold on. yes, i expected it to be close. yes, i expected the unwashed masses to vote against equal rights. i even expected, on some level, for Mongiardo to lose, though i was hopeful 'til the end (not that i agree with his social conservatism, but he'd've been better than that old coot who won). i expected these things, but i also expected the throngs of liberal voters we were promised, and i expected the reports of skewed poll numbers leading up to the election to have been more accurate. i expected more people to have woken the fuck up during the last four years and to have seen the horror this administration has wrought. i expected quite a bit, and i was sorely disappointed.

as andrew sullivan pointed out, it wasn't the war on terror that was the pivotal issue of the campaign, it was the fear of homosexuals. it was "moral values" that drove the conservative voters to the polls, and it was precisely those "moral values" that Kerry and the other Democratic candidates hadn't campaigned to win.

and the thing that gets me is, how can you claim superior "moral values" when you're preaching discrimination, hatred, misunderstanding, ignorance, denying families the right to exist, stealing money from our children and grand-children (and now, most likely, our great-grandchildren), sending our youth to die for a war based on lies and faulty information, and the economic subjugation of the "lower" classes by the already wealthy? how are those "moral values?"

as you might've read in my last post, that email discussion with my dad, those aren't anything like the "moral values" i was raised to believe in. i was raised to believe that if you treat others with love and respect, that you'll build a better world. unfortunately the policies of those in power operate on a completely different tack. and even worse, the party in power has managed to befuddle the masses to the point where they actually believe they are supporting their values and ideals.

what we need now is to not give up. don't give ground. i dont' know if we need to go as far as Rich Malley suggests, but we certainly need to keep the screws tightening.

more importantly than that, we need to truly educate ourselves and become the shining font of education and information in order to re-establish our reality-based community (sic)
and spread truth.

as i said to my co-worker earlier today, we certainly can't be expected to be imminently knowledgeable about every issue, but we can certainly pick a topic or two to be "experts" on. find something that interests you, study it, learn it inside & out, and anytime you get an opportunity to talk to someone who's uneducated or misinformed about that subject, don't hesitate to shower them with the facts. don't hedge, don't qualify, don't apologize or state your "opinion"—assault them with facts. know both sides of the issue, know what the results of different policies would be, and make sure they understand when they're supporting the wrong ones.

form a network of knowledgeable friends. find out what your buddies know, where their areas of "expertise" lie. when you get in a conversation with someone who's talking wrongly about something your buddy knows inside & out, give him or her a call, or suggest that the person you're talking to seek that person out. or get their email address, and have your buddy contact them. somehow close the gap of knowledge and education.

it is imminently possible to eradicate the republican standard operating procedures of misinformation and miseducation, it's imminently possible to take back the "high ground" on morality and family values, but we can only do it if we can educate ourselves first, and present our personal knowledge in ways that can't be misconstrued. don't leave room for doubt, don't leave room for interpretation. cite fact.

we can take this country back, but we will have to work for it.

2004.07.16 when you get there:

i keep having these ideas to enhance different things around here, and i've always got a thousand projects running around in my head, begging to be let out, so sometimes i get a little caught up in them… some might say obsessive about them.

the first thing i want to point out (and the thing that kind of triggered the whole landslide of enhancements i'm going to tell you about in a minute) is that, in my galleries i've added a directory for images taken with my phonecam. the directory is called, appropriately enough, "phonecam".

this is all the result of, after having fought with it for a while, i've finally managed to get a cable and software to sync my phone to my PC (since Sprint refuses to supply such things in order to make you more likely to buy their PCS Vision services). anyway, i finally got it working, so i'm attempting to be dilligent about taking at least one photo with it every day. now, i'm not promising i'll get a new photo uploaded every day, but i should at least be able to take five seconds to take a picture every day. i've debated creating a sub-folder within the phonecam gallery to house the shot-a-day pics, where i could pick just the best photo from the days with multiples, but i've decided not to do it for the moment. if anyone wants to weigh in, input would be welcomed… i'm not a good decision-maker.

so, anyway, the ability to upload phonecam images brought a couple of gallery script bugs to light, so i spent some time fixing those. fixing those bugs reminded me of some of the little enhancements i wanted to make, and the enhancements reminded me of entirely new functionalities i wanted to add. so, a couple weeks later, i've got the bugs fixed, the enhancements done, and the new functionality added. all while streamlining the code so that i've got a single code-base that works for the bipolar galleries as well as brian's joycamproject.

the bugs were boring, and inconsequential. one of the enhancements was simply adding a pagination function to the gallery pages so that you can now navigate directly to a page, instead of having to click "next" or "prev" to go through all the pages in sequence. nothing really groundbreaking, but a very useful enhancement. the other major enhancement was adding a "fit image to screen" link, so that if the image is larger than your screen resolution, you can force it to resize to fit within your screen dimensions—cool.

the new functionality is much more fun, though really nothing quite groundbreaking either. i noticed on heather champ's site that she's got a "send as ecard" link… well… i thought that was a cool idea. so, a little searching online, a little download of open-source code (phpPowerCards), some judicious yet extensive re-writing of that code, and voilá— x:13design postcards are born. basically, you can just browse the galleries, view an image, and if you want to send a postcard, just click the aptly named "send postcard" link down there on the bottom left.

i haven't taken the time to add any anti-abuse code to the script yet, as for one: i'm not quite sure how, and two: i'm running out of free time at work to do it… but, if anyone has any specific ideas as to an easy to implement anti-abuse bit of PHP code, please let me know. also, if anyone gets spams sent by this script (i'm not anticipating it, but it's possible) then please let me know ASAP, and accept my most sincere apologies.

anyway, get thyself to the gallery and check it out again, like it was the first time.

2004.04.19 quick note:

i fully intend to write a longer post soon, as i've had one brewing for a while, but no time to actually sit down and write it. 'til then, how's about this:

i finally got the Lucifigous Prick online store up and running this past thursday night, and, as simple as it may be, i'm pretty damned pleased for it to finally be in operation.

also, for another shameless plug of a commercial project, i'm getting my first poetry book re-printed by a professional printer, and i hope to have those available in the next 3 or 4 weeks (i should be getting a proof copy on monday or tuesday). so again, i'm really excited about this as well. hasn't been updated in a dog's age, but it looks like i might have to move that up on the timetable a little bit (most recent project schedule had being updated some time in the next 100 years or so).

ok. enough with the gross commercialism.

Go Buy Something! (ok, now that's really enough)

2004.03.18 how often does a blue moon come?:

to say that my blogging habits have become rather poor would be something of an understatement, i'd imagine. nevertheless, i'm still around, things are still happening, to me, just not enough discrete interesting things that i've a fount of fun events to pepper you with.

show flyeralso, i realize it's a bit late in the day to be "announcing" this, but i figure that anyone who reads bipolar and is interested in my band already knows the website (which also suffers from lack-of-update-itis) so will already be informed about tonight's show.

we'll be at the rud tonight with Chumley and Tipping the Lion which is basically Chumley, just playing free-form improv rock stuff. should certainly be interesting.

the really fun thing is that i've been fighting a cold for a few days, i'm tired, i'm sick, and i may have a slight fever as well. needless to say, i'm going home to take a nap before the show tonight. at least for 45 to an hour, if i can get it.

wish us luck, and get on out to the Rud if ya can.

- 04:42 pm - PL :: 8 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Indifferent - Lucifigous Prick - Music




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