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Archive for the 'Cool Links' Category


2006.09.07 blast from the link-blog past:

not that bipolar was ever really a "link-blog," but I compiled this little list for my best gal earlier today, and thought it wouldn't be totally imprudent to post it here for you guys. i have a couple post ideas brewing, but really i just need to get off my ass and post my usual off-the-cuff b.s. like i used to.

anyway, here's the list o' links:

2006.08.17 cinema noche:

I spent a few minutes today working on the "invitation only" alterations to the movie night site, so I can now officially link to it in a public sphere. Currently, the only thing non-registered users can do is view the listed movies, and some stats for them. Feel free to drop by movie night and see our movie list. If I know you, feel free to drop me an email if you'd be interested in joining us for a movie night sometime. Casual is the rule of the day, as I can't really get more than 15 or so people (at an absolute max) in my living room to watch movies.

For the rest of you, some of the movies have a "Why Should I Watch This" blurb from the person who added the movie, so there's more than just pictures, links, and stats. In the future, i might make the comments on movies (and the as-yet-secret feature) available for viewing by non-registered users.

2006.04.18 another new feature:

this probably has limited intrinsic value, but it's something i've thought was neat for some time, and now that we've got wordpress, it was crazy easy to implement.

you know about avatars, right? as a limited example, they're the little images you choose to personalize your profile on bulletin boards (or forums as the young bucks like to call 'em). well, a guy had an idea that if you wanted, you should be able to use a single avatar, centrally controlled, from any site anywhere on the 'net. and, since we've all got unique email addresses, that could be the peg the hat hangs on. so now, if you login or post to a site that uses these "globally recognized avatars" and give them your email address, whamo-bamo, your personal little pic shows up on their site.

since I tended to use the same avatar (and username) on every site I visit anyway, this seemed like an obvious solution to a problem I hadn't realized I had. so, I signed up.

now, there's a plugin for Thunderbird so you can see gravatars in your address book, and, of course, there's a plugin for wordpress, so you guys can see your pictures when you post comments.

all you need to do to set up your free gravatar is go to http://www.gravatar.com and sign up. The gravatars have to be approved manually, and they are rated, so if you submit porn, someone will see it and rate it appropriately. because of the approval process and the 1-avatar, 1-email address limit of the free account, it could be a chore if you wanted to occasionally swap out your avatars.

i'd love to see all the regular characters set up a gravatar, just 'cause i think it's fun, and y'know, i went to all the trouble of installing the plugin.

oh, and btw, happy birthday to the amazing sharon—officially not a youngster anymore.

2005.11.05 NaNoWriMo:

Not even going to attempt to explain the long hiatus. Needless to say, time is a precious commodity, and one must prioritize one's life.

Now however, i have thrown priority, precaution, and most things of a precious nature to the wind and decided to attempt participation in NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. Thus far, four days into it, i have a grand total of 82 words written.
**Update: 968 words as of 11/7 — 1 week in, just under 1/50th of the way there.**
**Update 2: 1359 words as of 11/8 — I'll post the prologue soon.**
**Update 3: 1840 words as of 11/8 — prologue posted**

I tried to do some leg-work prior to the start of this thing, and the result is a potentially unfortunate predictor of the remainder of the month. I did some work on a character sketch (yes, "A", meaning singular), but didn't quite get it finished. It did help me to think through and flesh out some of the backstory for this character, as well as some of his supporting cast, but the actual fiction portion remains incomplete.

Nevertheless, i thought i might post it to solicit feedback, and to wade on into the water by telling the world at large (i.e. those three obsessed readers who still persist in checking bipolar on a weekly basis) what i'm up to. Perhaps if i wade straight in rather than continuing to dangle my toes, it'll help pressure me into making some real progress.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the unfinished character sketch:

 

Old John Hoffstead was a fat little man with a generally pleasant disposition. Right now, however, Old John's brow was creased, and his outstretched arm was waggling a finger in the air.

"Young lady, you get down from there before you hurt yourself!"

A petite blonde with an almost comically round belly glared down at him from the top step of a 4-foot step ladder.

"John, seriously. I'm not a baby, and I'm not an invalid. I'm here to work, and I'm going to work, and you're going to just have to get used to that."

John lowered his finger, and his hand rested on his waist.

"I know that Mel, I just wish you'd be a little more careful, is all. It's not good for a woman in your condition to be exerting herself too much, or putting herself in danger. Why, my June, when she was carrying our 2nd, climbed up on a step-stool at home and nearly broke her damn neck. Damn near lost the baby too."

"But, she didn't do either. We women and these little parasites are a little more resilient than you apparently give us credit for."

Mel handed down the item she'd grabbed off the top shelf, and carefully made her way down the ladder, taking the hand John offered.

"Oh, I grant that you ladies can be pretty tough, but little babies are still pretty fragile… unless that really is just a big rubber ball you've got under there like some of the cashiers have been saying." He winked at her.

Read the rest of this entry »

2005.07.19 not so humble:

wow, we actually got to go see a movie!

seriously, it seems like we've not gotten to go to a movie in an insanely long time (though we did go see Batman Begins on our honeymoon). but, we finally managed to get out of the house to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which i loved. i loved the original movie, and i love this version of the story too… they are so completely different, it's hard to even compare the two. unfortunately, i haven't read the book, so i can't really say which is the more "accurate" version.

finally had a little job interview today, which i think went pretty well. it's actually a little surprising, as generally, one of my hallmark traits (self-promotion wise) has always been a heaping helping of humility. strangely, during the last few interviews i've been much more "at ease" and confident about my abilities and about my inter-personal interactions with the interviewer(s). it's a very weird experience for me to not be timid around people i don't know and who could have some influence on my career. at a few points during the interview, i actually felt like i was delivering some kind of post-shakespearian monologue. perhaps i went a little overboard at points, but i think it was ok. i think i might've overdone the hand-talking… but otherwise, it seemed to go well.

on a more local level (bipolar-local, that is), i've been trying to spruce up the gallery scripts a bit, since they suffered some after the move to the new server and directory structure. i've managed to get the galleries themselves working and displaying properly, but there're some issues with the (still relatively new) "view by date" code that i haven't been able to spend enough time to massage out yet. and thus far, brian's joycamproject is still utterly non-functional, which is probably also a result of directory re-organization more than anything. hopefully, i'll get a chance to fix that up here soon, then help brian get the actual joycamproject implemented with the designs he's come up with. once that's accomplished, i intend to kick up development of a ground-up recoding of the gallery scripts… something i've been contemplating for a while now.

should be fun and challenging.

last but not least, i took a few moments yesterday to register our RSS feeds on Feedburner. so if you're subscribed to our feeds through an RSS reader, you'll want to update your subscriptions to the following:

main feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar
brian's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/left
matt's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/right

now, the fun aspect of this change, is that Feedburner allows you to integrate a couple other sources into your standard feeds. so, brian's feed is integrated with his flickr account, and will intermix any new images he uploads there with his posts here. for me, i don't have a flickr account yet, so i'm integrating my del.icio.us bookmarks feed into my bipolar feed. so… one beautiful side-effect will be regular updates (of the RSS/Atom feeds) even if we don't necessarily post on that regular of a basis.

now, these things aren't integrated into the main bipolar feed (though they could be if "demand" is there), so to take advantage, you'd have to subscribe to our individual feeds.

another good thing about Feedburner is that we're no longer stuck (well we never were before, but i could never be bothered to create an Atom output for MovableType) with just RSS… feedburner will serve up whatever type of feed your feed reader asks for… Atom, RSS 0.9, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 probably others… so… subscribe away!

2005.05.12 a dam bursts:

holy cow. i swore (to myself) i'd stop mentioning with every new post how long it's been since the last one, but jeeze louise, i'm making history here! a whole month gone by without a single post in it, and just over two months since my last post! it's a bipolar first folks (and hopefully a last). i'm going to have to fix the archive index script (see way below) to skip April 2005 for me… weird.

anyway. as you might have guessed by my last few posts, and by my (even for me) uncharacteristic silence, i have been bizz-eee… no, not even that, i've been extremely fucking BUSY for too damn long now. let's recap, shall we?

1) finally bought a house.
2) closed on the house and moved out of the old apartment
3) ITS ALL A BLUR
4) slowly began to see light again
5) started writing this post

i think somewhere in there around 3 and 4, Sara and i spent a bunch of money buying stuff for the house, she had a couple of bridal showers, so we got crap-loads of gifts, i've been doing honest-to-god yard-work, washing a crap-load of dishes (no dishwasher), trying to get my stuff organized and put away, trying to finish the wedding website, trying to finalize wedding plans, trying not to go insane.

we're getting a load of brick today… how incredibly surreal and weirdly pedestrian and adult-like is that? i spent 8 hours on sunday outside… my world is currently sitting directly on its head.

the work roller-coaster was barely noticed (by me, anyway… Sara would've been freaking out if she hadn't had to study so much for finals), in that my 1 year contract expires at the end of the month… but my newly minted boss finally managed to push the paperwork through for a 6 month extension, so i'm gainfully employed until… er… christmas time.

all this, and the wedding is only… 4 weeks away. i'm not consumed with fear or anxiety yet, so that's a good thing. and hell, i'm looking forward to being able to get away from all this recent hubbub for a week and just enjoy *life* (and being married) for a moment without having to deal with anyone or anything else.

but i'm glad my sis, a new foreign service initiate, is coming into town this weekend and bringing that cute niece of mine with her. and she'll actually be staying in the states most of the year as she does her FS training, so it's conceivable we could see her more than twice in the next six months. and then, of course, she'll ship off to some foreign land, and we'll be hard-pressed to even get to see her once a year.

and my darling has successfully completed her 2nd year of med school and is even now studying for her first set of boards. i think we'll have at most a week after we get back from the honeymoon before she has to start her first rotation. thankfully she managed to get it set up so she doesn't have to leave town to do a rotation for a while.

and last, but not least, after giving up my precious kitties to Paul and Allison, and having been in the house for a month and getting it mostly whipped into shape, Sara and I are looking for two little kitties of our own. we want babies, and we'd like them to be litter-mates, but we are a bit flexible on that last bit.

and thanks to everybody for their well-wishes and congratulations re: the house. we're hoping to have a house-warming party soon, and i'll make sure to mention it here unless anybody out in the wide world has an opportunity to make it down for a weekend (pre-wedding, i'm hoping)

oh, one more thing… i just launched the wedding website yesterday, so go check it out!

2005.01.25 rio, montego? oh, no:

sara and i finally decided on our honeymoon destination: Amelia Island, FL. promises to be relaxing, exciting, and enjoyable. now we just gotta find us a money tree.

we also finally figured out just how much we're willing to spend on a house, so that search will pick up speed (which is good, since the lease at my, Paul, and Allison's place is up approximately April-ish). wish us luck.

and finally, if you haven't checked out Battlestar Galactica you are doing yourself a grave misservice. if you like Sci-Fi at all, i mean even the slightest bit, you must watch this show. pick up the miniseries, download the first three episodes (or all 12 that've been released in the UK already) and plop your ass down in front of the tube for a while. it's worth every minute.

- 01:18 am - PL :: 8 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - Friends - Happy/Love - Pop Culture - Raves - Travel - TV - Wedding - Wife

 

2005.01.24 choose your path:

i just uploaded a bunch of new images to the gallery, some old stuff (like brian's and my trip to Chicago in 2000, pictures i only recently unearthed when trying out Picasa), and a lot of new stuff from recent trips to visit family, and from other various things (like my self portraits from my portfolio and "matt reads his favorites" sessions).

also, i presented the list of potential names to the guys, and, aside from Rob's abstention because he didn't like any of the names, we narrowed it down a bit. here's the revised list, with explanations of what the names mean (where necessary):

votes name meaning
2 constructdestruct
1 obfuscate to make obscure or unclear
here, and here
2 criduchat means "cry of the cat" a syndrome where abnormal larynx development causes children's cries to sound like that of a cat
here, some reference to a label
3 cotard's syndrome  this is a condition where a person believes that their friends, family, money, the whole world, or even parts of their body do not exist or are about to not exist
2 catarrhal inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge
here
1 epitaxis nose bleed
here
2 gleet urethral catarrh – see: catarrhal
nothing extant
1 worm fit convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea
1 scrivener's palsy writer's cramp

i'll give 'em this list next time, and we'll see if rob, brax, or jim comes up with any alternatives, then we'll cull the list again.

- 01:41 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Cool Links - Family - Friends - Mammon - Music - Personal Projects

 

2005.01.21 write on:

i went to check out some pics from a friend's party last weekend, and realized that he'd "revamped" his site blogger-stylee, and had undertaken a very cool writing project. 100/day being the name of the site, i assume (i've been so busy house shopping i haven't had a chance to talk to him about it) that his goal is to write at least 1 100 word post per day. The cool thing is, this being a writing exercise, he's not doing the typical blog dealie, he's actually crafting a story from 1 100 word post per day. i haven't had a chance to read it all (see: aforementioned busyness), but the posts i have read have been quite good, and each one really pushes the story along, in that allotted 100 words.

i like this idea quite a bit, because like him, i'm also an aspiring author, but unlike me, he's actually a productive one. check it out from the beginning.

- 03:54 pm - PL :: 5 Comments
categories ::  Cool Links - Friends - Pleased/Like - Writing

 

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:

iRiver

cons

  • 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
pros
  • 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
iPod

cons

  • 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"
pros

  • 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.


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