WordPress 2.0 (It Works!)

Have you read my blog yet?

Yes, folks, if you’re read­ing this then I was able to upgrade to Word­Press 2.0. Although it looks exact­ly the same on the out­side (what you’re see­ing now), the man­age­ment inter­face is com­plete­ly over­hauled. It is much more like a WordPress.com account, for those of you who that means any­thing to.1

The new release of Word­Press also comes with a fan­cy WYSIWIG html edi­tor installed. I’m going to have to make some mod­i­fi­ca­tions to this (or wait until peo­ple update their plug-ins) before I can real­ly make use of it, though. How­ev­er, a lot of it is most­ly eye can­dy; such as AJAX menu options and update noti­fi­ca­tions. All-in-all, worth the 30 min­utes of upgrade work and it should make the work of writ­ing, well, a lit­tle less work.

Just test­ing some oth­er func­tions. No need to pay atten­tion to the man behind the man behind the green cur­tain..

  1. It appears that foot­notes are work­ing, too! []

Happy Birthday Super-Structure

Super-struc­ture turns one year old, today.

Super-struc­ture turns one year old, today.

Okay, so I’ve had a web site for some­time longer than that, but it’s nev­er been so much fun as now. Hav­ing peo­ple to be able to com­mu­ni­cate back to me has real­ly made this very reward­ing for me. I feel like I’ve been in much bet­ter con­tact with fam­i­ly and friends over the past year than before, even when I lived much clos­er to some folks. This site, and also Flickr, have real­ly made that com­mu­ni­ca­tion pos­si­ble.

I’ve aver­aged one post every 2.66 days dur­ing the past year, which is actu­al­ly a lit­tle less than what I had intend­ed. Some have cer­tain­ly been bet­ter than oth­ers, and I still have some thoughts on how I could bet­ter orga­nize things here. Still, I’ve been fair­ly hap­py for the amount of work I’ve put into it. I still have a life in the real world, and that requires atten­tion, too. Else, what would I have to blog about?

Many thanks to Jason J. for all his help, as well as all the pro­gram­mers and web peo­ple I don’t know who have all made this so much eas­i­er than it used to be.

What’s In A Name

I could­n’t ever use super_structure.com (or .org, .net, etc) because it was­n’t an allowed name.

About a year ago, I decid­ed I’d put a new face on my crusty old web site and start blog­ging. You’ve heard the sto­ry about how I start­ed on Blogger.com and then moved to host­ing my own Word­Press blog (okay, so Jason John­son & Dreamhost do most of the heavy lift­ing as far as that goes). Well, back when I was sign­ing up at Blog­ger, I need­ed a name for the site. It felt an awful lot like nam­ing a band, for some strange rea­son. Some peo­ple just use their own name, oth­ers come up with stuff that I have no idea what it means. Oth­er’s use some com­bi­na­tion or play on their names, which I real­ly like.

How­ev­er, I want­ed some­thing that sort expressed my engi­neer­ing side as well as the idea that this would still be a per­son­al site. Some­where, I decid­ed on the term super­struc­ture, which of course is the part of a build­ing or bridge above the foun­da­tions. How­ev­er, just the word seemed bor­ing and not quite tech/geek enough. Some­how, in my mind, adding a bit of ran­dom punc­tu­a­tion was just enough of a twist to make it dif­fer­ent. So the word super_structure was born. Lot’s of web pages, image files, and e‑mail address have under­scores instead of spaces to pre­vent that whole   or %20 thing. I thought that by sep­a­rat­ing the words, the word just had a dif­fer­ent empha­sis.

Lat­er, I real­ized that while you can have an under­score char­ac­ter in the direc­to­ry or file name, you can’t have one in the domain name. I could­n’t ever use super_structure.com (or .org, .net, etc) because it was­n’t an allowed name. So, I just stuck with jasoncoleman.net while con­tin­u­ing to use super_structure as the title.

There was cri­tiquing, to put it nice­ly.

I final­ly decid­ed to try and make a change today. You’ll notice that the under­score has been replaced by an en dash char­ac­ter (ful­ly sanc­tioned for domain usage). I have also reg­is­tered super-structure.org Yeah, I know, would­n’t it be nice if they were both .net or .org, but just like dates to prom, the good ones are always tak­en when you get around to ask­ing.

So, you’ll notice the uni­verse, at least as in regard to this Jason Cole­man, has now moved from super_structure to super-struc­ture, and what’s more, you can now just type super-structure.org into your web brows­er to get here. The re-direct is on me.

Note: Unfor­tu­nate­ly, as of writ­ing this in the wee hours of Sun­day morn­ing, super-structure.org was still just being parked by GoDad­dy. Hope­ful­ly, that will be cor­rect­ed soon. It’s all good.

Blogging Hack

I have a Microsoft Office Key­board and Wire­less Explor­er Mouse on my home desktop(s). I love the extra func­tion­al­i­ty of these devices due to the forward/back brows­er but­tons (among oth­er but­tons). I’ve even bought a sec­ond Office key­board for my office desk­top because I found the copy/cut/paste and the appli­ca­tion switch but­tons to be so handy in data post-pro­cess­ing (I’ll spare you the gory details on that one…).

How­ev­er, one of the real­ly frus­trat­ing things about web-form blog­ging (as in my Word­Press blog you’re read­ing now) is that I occa­sion­al­ly hit the back but­ton on one of these devices by acci­dent. This sends me back to the pre­vi­ous admin page, of course, and com­plete­ly emp­ties the web form in which I was typ­ing my post. Hope­ful­ly, I’ve saved often, but usu­al­ly even los­ing a para­graph is very annoy­ing. Since I real­ly don’t want to give up my fan­cy-pants key­board and mouse, I’ve had to come up with a way to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing.

Essen­tial­ly, I open the Write Post link in a new Fire­Fox brows­er tab, which then does­n’t have any page his­to­ry of its own. I can then acci­den­tal­ly hit those back but­tons to my heart’s con­tent, know­ing that I won’t loose any­thing. You can accom­plish the same thing by mak­ing use of the Press It book­marklet fea­ture in Word­Press, which essen­tial­ly just opens up a Write dia­log in a new brows­er win­dow, but that’s not how I gen­er­al­ly work while blog­ging. The new tab seems to be the most straight­for­ward method for me.

Hope this helps some oth­er fat-fin­gered blog­ger.

Comment Spam Haiku

Thank you, Auto Loan and Texas Hold ’em for your love­ly com­ment spam poet­ry, which you bom­bard me with on a dai­ly basis.

Thank you, Auto Loan and Texas Hold ’em for your love­ly com­ment spam poet­ry, which you bom­bard me with on a dai­ly basis. Exam­ple:

Name: auto loan | E-mail: main@texas-holdem.us | URI: http://college-loan-424.blogspot.com/ | IP: 139.130.62.132

justice, disdain of frail-fleshed
hill-constructions lasted house-passage on the marsh-plants and race-courses.
I oversea you fear for me, but may you not sui (sic) secreted the cause of alarm to yourself
auto loan

Fan­tas­tic stuff.

Here are some more, from some old spam mes­sages:

poker games Know thyself.

Kind of a spam Greek philoso­pher, that pok­er.

There is always something wrong, if one is straining to make the commonplace incomprehensible.

Was­n’t that on deep thoughts with Jack Handy?

The blind willingness to sacrifice people to truth, however, has always been the danger of an ethics abstracted from life.

A quote on ethics, from a spam­mer hock­ing cheap phen­ter­mine. Oh the irony of the autonomous script quote-gen­er­a­tor.

Here’s a great one that just came in Fri­day after­noon:

Among them was a half-starve nurse-maid moss-oak and his sun-glow, who had often scooped the abolitionists might as well tesselated to his persequar and stigmatize his horse or wheat as to keep slave-holders out of their semi-publicity property.

Isn’t that Har­ri­et Tub­man?

Pardon Our Dust

I’m back to work­ing on the site again, rather than just post­ing at ran­dom.

[NOTE: You may need to hit refresh, even after you’ve loaded the page in your brows­er, to get the most recent style sheet. Don’t wor­ry if that does­n’t make sense. It does­n’t make sense to me why you need to do it.]

Pro­vid­ing you can read this post at all, you can like­ly see I’m back to work­ing on the site again, rather than just post­ing at ran­dom. On the back end, I’ve upgrad­ed to the most recent ver­sion of Word­Press (v1.5.2, if you count­ing). I’m attempt­ing to clean up some of the site as well. I’d like to go for a slight­ly less “blog­gy” feel. I’m insane­ly jeal­ous of Trey’s site. He can feel safe in know­ing that it sim­ply isn’t pos­si­ble for me to muster up enough lay­out and cod­ing abil­i­ty over the course of a week­end to actu­al­ly copy him. I’ll have to set­tle for inspi­ra­tion and envy.

Also, I’m going to keep all this live the entire time, no mat­ter how ter­ri­ble it looks. I know that must make my design friends just shiv­er, but I’m in the con­struc­tion busi­ness. You don’t shut down a build­ing just because you’re ren­o­vat­ing it. You sim­ply put up plas­tic and ply­wood to pro­tect peo­ple from falling debris. I treat this no dif­fer­ent­ly. Watch out for falling analo­gies. Some­one could get seri­ous­ly hurt if they stray too far.

Well, if you’re read­ing this in Inter­net Explor­er… well, then you aren’t read­ing any­thing at al you can thank Jason J. for help­ing me clear things up. For some rea­son, IE decides to only dis­play the head­er and nav­i­ga­tion bar. Very odd, indeed. I have no idea at what point it decid­ed to do this, so I real­ly don’t know what is caus­ing it. I’ll have to come up with a stop-gap mea­sure until then. More to come.

Not that I real­ly expect any­one who comes to this site to do so, but if you were to click on that lit­tle but­ton on the left that reads ” Valid XTHML”, you’d learn that that was, in fact, a lie. How­ev­er, in my defense, it’s the Flickr Badge script that is in error! Bad Flickr! I’ll have to see what I can do about that, but since my knowl­edge of Java Script is only a lit­tle bit more than my Schnau­zer’s, it might take a while. Until, I’ll have to con­tin­ue to live a lie.

29 Years and 100 Posts

A post about my recent birth­day, which hap­pens to also be the 100th post on this blog!

Happy Birthday

Well, it’s a cou­ple of days since my birth­day, so I thought I might cre­ate a spe­cial post to reflect upon it. Sure it’s a lit­tle late, but since plen­ty of peo­ple I know have been kind of shot­gun­ning birth­day well-wish­es around the date for the past month, I’m real­ly don’t feel bad about it. Not that I’ve mind­ed. Hav­ing cards, calls, and e‑mails sent for the past month has been kind of nice.

As the twen­ties slow­ly eek out of me, I find it inter­est­ing that I sim­ply do not feel old. I hear so many peo­ple around my age com­plain­ing about how they are start­ing to get old now and how their lives have changed. Well, of course my life has changed, but none of that makes me feel any old­er.

When­ev­er I lis­ten to a sto­ry from a friend or co-work­er about their chil­dren (pos­si­bly some wacky sit­u­a­tion the child got into just some­thing they said), I almost always empathize with the kid rather than the par­ent. I always find myself say­ing some­thing like “wow, I can remem­ber doing or say­ing the same thing when I was that age!” Fur­ther, while the guy in the mir­ror looks a bit old­er than some of the pic­tures on my desk, he hard­ly looks like a dif­fer­ent per­son. Maybe it’s because I rou­tine­ly am look­ing for new things; new chal­lenges or things to learn that make me feel, if not young, at least inex­pe­ri­enced (which is like being young, only dumb­er). Per­haps it is because I’m just now reach­ing the point in my life where I real­ly feel like I’m doing thing I want to do. The path isn’t being laid out before me by oth­ers any­more (except the to-do lists Angela leaves for me, which are okay).

What­ev­er the rea­son, I’ve yet to have many moments which have struck me that per­haps I am get­ting old­er, at least faster than I had thought I would. The most recent that may fall into this cat­e­go­ry hap­pened one night last week. Angela had asked me to come down to her phar­ma­cy after work to help with some stock­ing and to stop at the gro­cery store on the way for some soda. I went to the Kroger at about 10:00 only to learn they closed at 9:00. In over two years of liv­ing in this house, nei­ther of us had attempt­ed to go to the gro­cery store past 9:00 pm. This from the guy who in col­lege always shopped past mid­night to avoid the crowds! That did sort of make me real­ize I’m at least not try­ing to act like a col­lege stu­dent any­more. If not old, maybe just more sen­si­ble.

super_structure: mile_stone

Stats from the WordPress dashboard

This is, by the way, the 100th post to this site since it has become a blog. Yes, it’s been a quick 9–1/2 months (no, seri­ous­ly, that’s how long it’s been) since my very first post, and lot’s has hap­pened to talk about. There’s also been a lot of chaff, but hey, it’s a blog. It can’t all be Don Quixote all the time. There’s also been some changes in the blog soft­ware: I start­ed over with a Blog­ger account until Jason J. con­vinced me to try Word­Press. I’ve learned some about CSS and PHP (okay, no jokes, I said some), with still much thanks to Mr. J. Fur­ther, I’ve got­ten more into dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy and also acquired a some­what unhealthy obses­sion with Flickr, which has hope­ful­ly helped to influ­ence some of my friends.

Any­way, as this is kind of the record of my life and the world through my lens, I’m look­ing for­ward to much more con­tent on here in the future. To all my friends, fam­i­ly, and com­plete inter­net strangers who have found any­thing on here worth read­ing, thanks for stop­ping by. I tru­ly enjoy this method of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the world and have love hav­ing peo­ple talk back to me here: friends and strangers alike. It helps me think about who I am and who I want to be and pos­si­bly who you see me as.

Why Blogs Suck

I know it may come across as, at best, clue­less, and at worst, elit­ist, to state on my blog that weblogs suck.

I know it may come across as, at best, clue­less, and at worst, elit­ist, to state on my blog that weblogs suck. How­ev­er, they do. It’s not the blogs’ fault, or usu­al­ly even the writ­ers’. It’s the read­ers. More accu­rate­ly, it’s the read­ers who feel so moved to post every lit­tle idi­ot­ic and annoy­ing thing they can think of. These trolls are, if not ruin­ing, at least hin­der­ing the progress toward real­ly expres­sive and use­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools online.

Now, I’m hon­est­ly not refer­ring to any­one who has ever post­ed at my site. Sure, I get some troll-ish com­ment spam which is pseu­do-social-engi­neered to pro­voke a response. They usu­al­ly con­sist of some shal­low psy­cho-bab­ble about “the mean­ing­less exis­ten­tial exis­tence of fem­i­nine cul­ture has imbued a sense of degra­da­tion in the mod­ern hedo­nis­tic social col­lec­tive,” or some­thing like that. How­ev­er, that just gets delet­ed with­in a few hours and you nev­er have to suf­fer it here at super_structure. My friends, fam­i­ly, and strangers, all with some­thing inter­est­ing to post, are the only peo­ple who have cast a true-type shad­ow upon the famil­iar com­ment form below. That comes from only those rare peo­ple who have ever heard of super_structure, which is okay by me.

No, I’m refer­ring to the larg­er sites that I read through­out my dig­i­tal work­day: Slash­dot, Engad­get, TUAW, and to some extent kot­tke and many oth­ers. Many of these posts are of news or rumors which the writer asks open ques­tions such as “How could this have been bet­ter?” and “If this involved X instead of Y, how would have peo­ple react­ed?” The very nature of hav­ing open com­ment forms allows for a large con­ver­sa­tion, in which we could share ideas and cri­tiques to pro­duce some­thing great. Trey recent­ly post­ed a blurb from a much larg­er arti­cle which I’m only address­ing one small aspect of (that arti­cle was con­cern­ing the open source move­ment). These posts would be a great way to learn what great ideas are float­ing around out there and just what peo­ple real­ly want to read, see, and use. Sad­ly, as Jason Kot­tke point­ed out, this often does­n’t result in a con­ver­sa­tion at all. Most times, it isn’t even amus­ing or infor­ma­tive. It’s just one stu­pid com­ment after anoth­er.

I sup­pose I had been get­ting exposed to this behav­ior read­ing blogs increas­ing­ly over the past year or more. How­ev­er, with the recent news to which I had first hand expo­sure, it all became glar­ing­ly obvi­ous. The mas­sive amount of online expo­sure and news sto­ries brought floods of com­ments. I read in hor­ror as the dis­cus­sion just degrad­ed into how every­one involved was scum, and only the per­son writ­ing a scathing com­ment about them had any insight or sen­si­bil­i­ty.

Take an exam­ple of a post made ear­li­er this evening on Engad­get. This is a site that posts about, of all things, gad­gets. They often, after a prod­uct has been on the mar­ket for a while and many read­ers have a had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to use it, ask “what would you do to make it bet­ter?” This would be one of my favorite kinds of posts, except for com­ments like this, by mac­sucks:

first change, i’d dump this crap­py mouse along with its crap­py sys­tem…

…and they get worse from there. For every sin­gle use­ful com­ment, there are about five com­plete­ly use­less state­ments (I’m not count­ing the most inane of all, the “first post”). If Engad­get and TUAW are bad, Slash­dot has become utter­ly pathet­ic. The once uber-geek site is now host to online wannabe geeks with noth­ing bet­ter to do than bash Microsoft first and Apple sec­ond. I’m not say­ing there are legit­i­mate com­plaints about both com­pa­nies, but there’s room for that online, and mak­ing harsh com­ments about Gates and Jobs ad nau­si­um is hard­ly the way to go.

I am hard­ly above mak­ing crude jokes or rash judg­ments about peo­ple in the news, but I at least try and make some attempt to frame them as such. Fur­ther, I usu­al­ly try and main­tain enough of the human virtue of empa­thy to at least under­stand that I do not know all of the sto­ry and there­fore can’t serve as a fault­less judge. That being said, maybe some of these trolls are just hav­ing a bad day and need to vent… or maybe Jason John­son’s right: they’re just 12 year old jerks with too much free time.

Either way, until there is a Grease­mon­key script which allows for a stu­pid­i­ty thresh­old, I’m going to cur­tail my read­ing of com­ments and stop post­ing com­ments myself. Unless I can find some decent con­ver­sa­tions online underway,as I seem to have lit­tle luck in start­ing them myself.

[I con­tin­ue to make a liar out of myself by post­ing to these and oth­er blogs. Why to I hate myself so?]

The Dark Side of Internet Fame

I had 122 com­ment spam mes­sages since Fri­day evening, so I’ve turned com­ments off for a while, until I can fig­ure out a way to weed them out a lit­tle bet­ter. After look­ing at some of the blogs I fre­quent, it seems that the activ­i­ty every­where has increased in the past few days. I hope it’s not affect­ed any of my friends, as I real­ly enjoy get­ting to con­verse through posts and com­ments. At least it’s not affect­ed Flickr in any­way.

Any­way, when I find a suit­able solu­tion (read Word­Press hack), I’ll have them back here again. In the mean­time, just e‑mail jason at this domain.

Comment Spam

I had no less than 20 com­ment spam wait­ing for me this morn­ing.

I had no less than 20 com­ment spam wait­ing for me this morn­ing. These were all since around 12:30 am. Looks like some­one got a new spam gen­er­a­tor in their East­er bas­ket! Any­way, the spam block­ing in Word­Press caught them all, since they were all obvi­ous­ly spam. I’ve not come across too many of the real­ly tricky ones as of yet. Any­thing that Word­Press has missed in the past, I’ve been able to pick up on some key­word to add to the flag-list.

Oh, I sug­gest you not try and leave any com­ments that might include men­tion of any phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals relat­ed to Men’s per­for­mance enhance­ment. They’ll be delet­ed before I can even do any­thing about it. Just being fair here. Not that I real­ly want­ed to talk about that with you any­way.