I welcome your feedback! Just not on here.
Just a brief note that I’m disabling comments on this blog from here on out. I regularly get around 150 spam comments a day (and on a low-traffic blog like this one!), and I came back from vacation to find over 1400 spam comments waiting for me. At that point, it’s impossible to pick out the good comments that have been erroneously flagged, and it’s all just an unnecessary waste of time. (As an added bonus, it might help keep me from getting into pointless arguments).
Discussion about any of the stuff I write on here is still welcome, it just has to be through other channels like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or your very own blog! Everybody has a blog now, right?
I started writing this blog almost seven years ago, with the goals of improving my writing, reducing my tendency to write dissertations on message boards, and making sure the internet was aware of my favorite movies and television shows. In my wildest dreams, though, I never imagined it’d become the go-to spot for hate and the prurient interest.
Based on my search term results (pictured here), this post about Return to the Blue Lagoon has been hands-down (well, one hand, anyway) the most viewed entry on the site. Fair enough. I wrote it before I understood the concept of search engine optimization — not that I understand it now, but I know enough to recognize that I unwittingly hit on a perfect storm of page-view bait terms.
Less fortunate is that a post about Mad Men and one about my home state have attracted so much attention. I’d thought I was being fairly reasonable about both topics, but apparently many people on the internet have a lot of rage to work out in regards to the south and dramas about infidelity and advertising.
But it’s all worth it to check out my site stats today and see that somebody found my site just by opening up a browser and typing “I hate.” I really like the thought of Sinistar or Dr. Doom going on the web for his daily browsing ritual and indirectly learning a little bit more about Lost and videogames.
Only the finest things are recommended by Spectre Collie.
I got a totally not-lying, for-real request from an actual human being to make a list of my favorite iPhone apps and put it online. Seriously — making lists and giving out my opinions unsolicited are two of my favorite things to do, and now I’m being encouraged to do them.
So I put up a Tumblr log, called Recommended by Spectre Collie, which I’ll eventually expand on and possibly incorporate on this site, depending how ambitious I get and if I ever get more free time. For now it’s only got a few iPhone games, but eventually it could be a repository for anything I’d like people to buy, read, or watch, and then come back and thank me for pointing it out to them. The RSS Feed is here for people who swing that way.
Incidentally, if you weren’t aware, and you’re interested, there’s already another Tumblelog called SpectreCollie Annex that links to my favorite stuff from YouTube, Flickr, and random websites (when that works).
WordPress released their new free iPhone client today, and I’m trying it out with a photo of my desk.
Initial observation: writing HTML on a cell phone is not fun. (But I’m pretty sure that’s not the point of the thing.)
Anybody who’s been reading this blog for a while knows two things:
- Every year or so, I try to redesign everything.
- It always ends up being a ridiculously laborious process and it always ends badly.
I guess there’s also 3. I need to get out more.
This most recent time, I decided I wanted to avoid squeezing my usual Impenetrable-Wall-of-Text posts into a tiny space, or at least keep from having people wandering in and being scared off by the avalanche of words. Plus I wanted the recent comments and the list of stuff I’ve been looking at around the web to be more accessible.
That led to the last “green & brown paper” version, which sucked for various reasons. This version sucks slightly less.
I’m sure there’s a lot still broken all over, and I haven’t even tried the thing on non-Safari browsers yet. Let me know via e-mail or comments to this post if something is hopelessly broken. And be aware that I’m planning to keep adding and fixing stuff, until I get frustrated with it all again.
In a two-weeks-late but no less well-intentioned gesture of appreciation to Kurt Vonnegut, I’m stealing an idea for another wildly popular (by me) theme week for this website.
In the awesome book Galapagos (which is about natural selection), Vonnegut marked characters who were about to die with an asterisk after their name.
Since I don’t (yet) have control over who lives and who dies, I’ve got to make do with advanced web technology. This week I’ve installed a new lie-detector plug-in, which will mark any falsehood I write like so: I am quite pleased with the Bush administration’s policies.
Anyone reading this thing through a feed reader might not be able to see the effect, but if you’re savvy enough to be using advanced technology yourself, I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to have seen through the web of deceit I’ve been spinning for years in my rambles about videogames and comic books and stuff I’ve bought.
For everyone else, though: you’re going to love it.
The week of porn spam post titles was such an unprecedented success, I think I’ll keep up the theme weeks forever or until I get tired of it.
This week is Stuff I Like Week. Or, if like me, you’ve taken one quarter of Spanish 101: La Semana de las cosas que me gusta.
Believe it or not, up until now I’ve attempted to make this blog partially interesting to other people. It just occurred to me recently that until my Technorati rating breaks out of the lower 10th percentile, I’m under no such obligation. Thus, a whole week with two of the most boring, most self-indulgent things no one else is interested in reading: lists of my favorite things.
It’s going to be so awesome, that all of y’all are going to have to start blogs and make lists of your favorite things, and this will be at the top of each one.
I got a pleasant surprise when I logged in to delete today’s bunch of comment spam. There was a new incoming link to this blog!
It’s cool for two reasons: first, because I just got finished writing about my shallow epiphany about the wonders of the internets and hyperlinking and the glorious potential of sharing, aggregating, and re-interpreting information and creative works.
Second, because the incoming link comes from a site called “Milf Picture” (which I won’t link to, for obvious reasons), and it’s one of those spam blogs Wired has been warning us about so much lately. Apparently these sites have comically inefficient web search bots that just look for random phrases on other sites, and then automatically generate a blog entry linking back to the original. I’m still not sure exactly what the strategy is there; obviously it’s something to do with ads, but I don’t know if they’re just trying to bump up their Google rating, or how linking to random blogs helps with that.
In any case, this particular blog got pulled in by my headline “Mama don’t want to take her medicine.” And although I know that nobody actually reads spam blogs, I’m getting a real kick out of pretending that they do. And I love the idea of some frustrated guy going to a porn site and following a link and getting a dry-as-a-bone review of a boring Chinese action movie, complete with a big picture of a hairy Chow Yun Fat.
So I’m pledging a theme week here on the Spectre Collie: every post title this week will be meticulously and scientifically constructed so as to maximize the chances I get linked to more of these adult spam blogs. Where possible, I will include a photo hand-selected to confound anyone looking for porn. It’s the least I can do.
The past couple of weeks have been crazy ridiculous busy, but it feels like being finally over the hump and able to see the horizon. Or something metaphorical like that.
Of course, it took more than a few nights with four or five hours of sleep, and being locked in my apartment the whole time so I could go three or four days in a stretch without speaking to another human, but that builds character. Or something metaphorical like that.
This website fell victim to my lack-of-sleep-and-desperation-fueled dementia, as I inadvertently wiped out a lot of stuff last night. My backups are back on the Left Coast, so this’ll have to do for a week.
Now I’m going to kick back and enjoy Thanksgiving week in the land of gravy. God Bless America, and don’t cook your stuffing inside the bird!
Much like an invasion of Iraq, redesigning the theme for my website always sounds like a good idea at first. It’s only after hours of horror and a mounting death toll that I realize what a mistake I’ve made. Unlike the current administration, though, I know when to pull out.
Insert usual spiel here: it doesn’t look anywhere as cool as I’d imagined when I started out, some stuff is probably broken, CSS is really frustrating, boo hoo.
This time, though, it’s not just Internet Explorer that it looks bad on; it’s Windows. Back when I installed BootCamp on my Mac, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was about Windows that makes me feel cold inside. Now I realize it’s their font handling. Going from a Mac (especially running Safari) to an XP machine is like going from an illuminated manuscript to a calculator watch display. I spent a good bit of time getting all the font spacing exactly how I wanted, then ran it under XP to see that it looked like the output of an old dot-matrix printer where the page had been ripped out halfway through.
And I must’ve hit some breaking point, because I realized I really, really don’t care. Buy a damn Mac, people! Or get an RSS feed reader! See if I care! And get off my lawn!
But at least there’s one bright spot. For years now the internet has been abuzz with speculation about what music I’m currently listening to, and I can finally put those rumors to rest. At least, when the plugin works.
It looks like moving everything to the new host worked out okay for the most part. It wasn’t painless — as easy as it is to install WordPress on a new site (and it is ridiculously easy), it’s difficult to move the contents to a new site unless it’s exactly the same as your old one, which is seldom going to be the case. Also, there are a lot of characters that didn’t make the transition, so you’ll see spurious stuff in old posts until I get the time to go back and edit every one out.
Probably more effort than the hosting change will be worth, but what’s done is done.
Yesterday I thought my cold was finally on the way out, because I could actually breathe and see without my eyes watering and go for a minute or more without coughing. But I guess that was “Indian health” or something, because today I feel like a cold turd. I ended up sleeping all day; I kept waking up and immediately falling asleep again. So I get the joy of waking up just as it’s getting dark, and having to be up all night and tired tomorrow.
Plus I kept dreaming about minor comic book characters (like Blue Beetle), which adds another level of creepiness to the already-creepy waking-up-at-nighttime. Bleh.
I decided to change my webhost, so access to the site (and my e-mail) may be spotty until the transition is all sorted out. It’s just as well, because my cold is getting worse and I don’t feel like posting anything anyway. Try to stay strong through the transition!
And the reason for changing is partly because I couldn’t access my mail or website at all when I was down in LA. Turns out that was the hotel’s fault, not the host’s, but I’d already gotten the idea stuck in my head. The old one was fine, but the new one is cheaper and has a few more features, and it comes more highly-recommended. Plus I think it’ll be easier to do cool web-app type stuff with the new host, because there aren’t as many restrictions on what my site is allowed to do.
Of course, I don’t have the time or motivation to do cool web-app type stuff these days, but it’s nice to know that I could.