Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I'm actually surprised it hasn't already been made some time ago. I just read over at Blogger Buster that Google Blogger will be added to the "For Dummies" book series.
They have every other subject imaginable. I've already seen one in the bookstore about blogging in general. I've never actually bought or read one of those "For Dummies" books. I've always thought they're somewhat demeaning. I don't want to admit I'm a dummy, so why would I buy a book for one? I have one on Linux that was given to me, but I've never read it.
If I see this one in the bookstore I may look through it, but I'm pretty sure I already know enough about Blogger. I doubt I'd buy it.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I was playing Spore, flying around a planet I just recently colonized when I found Him. My new planet is truly blessed. I have none other than the Flying Spaghetti Monster as my protector. Oh, what a glorious sight!
Yes, that's a Grox ship in my fleet. I've Danced With The Devil and became allies with the Grox. Actually, I purchased this system from them. The Grox are the main villains in the Space Stage of Spore. They control the entire center of the galaxy and usually serve as an obstacle for the player. They are very tough to ally.
On the other side of the scale, I was playing in creature stage with a new species of mine when I had a not-so-glorious visitor... A toilet spaceship.
Ah, the wonders of randomly downloaded user content! You never know what you're going to see.
See the rest of “Spore Sightings”»
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It works for Obama, so why not the Vatican? I present to you: the Pope's YouTube channel.
Obama's channel was ChangeDotGov until he was inaugurated. Now it's at the Whitehouse channel.
There was a time not too long ago that it was too "informal" to officially post on YouTube for such serious parties. It makes me wounder, who's next to jump on the bandwagon with an official YouTube channel?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
They look like swarms of ants or bees. They're in groups like that because they are in front of the JumboTrons (very large TVs) spread down the National Mall.
You know what's amazing? There were at least 1.8 million people there, and no-one did anything stupid enough to get arrested. Just... Wow. I'm impressed.
The newly-launched (on September 6th, 2008) GeoEye-1 satellite was over DC January 20th. This satellite is owned by GeoEye, the same company that provides imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.
Now, you might notice that I usually have the text "Click image to view full" under images I have sized-down for the blog. Well, this time if you click the image above you'll get medium-size (2560x2650 px), not full. The full-size is really big. But if you must see it, here it is:
Full Sized Satellite Image of Obama's Inauguration
Caution: the image is very large at 7816x8091 px, 51.5 MB in size. I recommend right-clicking the link and selecting "save as...", as well as a fast internet connection. (I'm putting my GoDaddy hosting to work now.)
For ground-view images, Boston.com has a great page: The Inauguration of President Barack Obama
See the rest of “Satellite Images of the Inauguration”»
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I hope this somehow makes it to the old web feed subscribers, but things have changed with my webfeeds. The Feedburner address has been moved to a Google address, and as such they're making people move their web feeds to a new address.
I went a step further and moved mine over to my own domain. So my blog's web feed is now located at http://feeds.mastermarf.com/mastermarf rather than http://feeds.feedburner.com/mastermarf.
The same change has taken place for my Shared Stuff widget. You can find the updated web feed address at http://feeds.mastermarf.com/marfssharedstuff. Please update your subscriptions accordingly, thanks.
I bruised my web address into a banana. Basically you take a pencil or anything with a dull point and write on the banana. You won't see much at first, but give it a few hours. And no, it didn't bruise the eatable part; only the peel.
Why is it that most things on the internet involving bananas is always weird crap?
Tally Hall - Bananaman
The term "going bananas" holds its meaning, I think.
See the rest of “Do You Want a Banana?”»
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I suppose it's time for another one of these blog tags. I got this one from Bunc.
It's a list, so here's my answers:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
January 21st may not be a holiday for anyone else, but it's a personal holiday for me. 1 year ago I started this blog. That's right, I've been rambling on for a year now. Someone must care; across my 404 posts, I've accumulated 1,313 comments so far.
Across my entire site (not just the blog) I've had over 200,000 visits and 400,500 pageviews during this past year. Not too bad, I suppose.
My 10 personal favorite posts are (in order of date posted):
Well, here's to another year of blogging!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
See the rest of “Obama's Inauguration”»
Here we are, on the heels of Martin Luther King, Jr's Day. It's Inauguration Day here in the United States and we're putting an African American in the Presidential Office. I do believe we have realized another part of Martin Luther King, Jr's "dream".
That isn't to say there's a long way to go yet. There are still many prejudiced people out there. However, I feel sometimes it's gone too far the other way. Just because I'm white, it's wrong if I say "nigger". However, African Americans can use the term amongst themselves as a sign of camaraderie.
I imagine there were some people that voted for Obama just so they wouldn't feel racist. I wounder how many people will now make statements like "I'm not racist because I voted for Obama for president". In a lot of ways, one can try so hard to not be racist that they actually become raciest.
I don't know... Has anyone else felt that? The need to be overly "PC" when talking about race? A good example is the little disclaimer I felt the need to put in my Congratulations Obama post. Another example is over at Drek's blog.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
My web traffic is returning, this last week wasn't too bad. Still hasn't returned to the normal weekly averages, though. You damn students need to go back to school after Winter break. Or visit my site and play the games from home.
Usually, my traffic peaks around 2,500 visits a day during the week, and the weekends drop off to about 500 visits a day. However, during the Winter break, my traffic flat-lined at around 250 visits a day, no matter what day of the week it was.
What's the post popular page? By far Pyro Sand 2, accounting for about 48% of my traffic. Sadly, the actual blog here only accounts for about 12% of my traffic.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Now instead of having to click "Post a Comment" and going through that page, you can type your comment right into the white box at the bottom of a post (it will be under any existing comments).
I've been meaning to do this for a while. I would have did it sooner, but last time I tried this I got some weird blogger error when I tried to update my template.
So yeah, try it out.
Also, there's a spiffy new email address you can contact me by. You can find it in the About section, under Contact. I'm not putting it directly in this post because spam bots can pick it up. I have a special anti-spam bot script I wrote and installed in the About page. If you've been to the page before, you may have to clear your browser's cache in order to update it. Hint: It's no longer an "@gmail.com" address.
EDIT: I had a report that the new comment box doesn't work with mobile devices. Probably has something to do with the inline frame it uses. I can't do it any other way, so until I find a work-around I'm rolling back to the old commenting method. Inline frames aren't supported in XHTML 1.0 strict anyway. Sorry about that!
2ND EDIT: It's back with a link to the old comment page. That way in the event the embedded one doesn't work you can fallback to the old one.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
It will haunt you for the rest of your life. I present to you, the FedEx logo:
Don't see it? I'll outline it and shade it in for you:
It's in the whitespace between the E and the x. It was intentional, the designer Mr. Lindon Leader even recreated the font so a perfect arrow would form there. I tell you what, my eye immediately goes to the arrow whenever I see the logo. It's almost distracting...
You can read the full interview about the logo here: The Man Behind the FedEx Logo
Monday, January 12, 2009
Lex Luthor has got to be one of the lamest super villains around. He comes up with the most ridiculous and elaborate plans that cost him more money than he would ever get back from it.
I mean really, sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads was a better idea than most of Lex Luthor's plans.
And we can see how well the shark idea turned out...
Austin Powers - Sharks with lasers
Sunday, January 11, 2009
When I watched this video, I thought of Looney.
Penn Says: A Gift of a Bible
Yes, we have deep-rooted disagreements. But Looney, don't think that I see you as any less of a person because of it. I think I'm right about the non-existence of that truck; but feel free to tackle me anyway if you see fit. lol
Saturday, January 10, 2009
In order to understand this first one, you'd have to know that John Travolta's son recently died. You'd also have to know that John Travolta is a Scientologist; and you'd have to know a little about Scientology. Bad taste? Perhaps, but I couldn't resist.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Well, Google's new icon is better... I'm getting a sense of déjà vu, it seems like I've already blogged about this topic before...
Old(ish) lower case "g".
New, more colorful lower case "g".
This time I caught the icon change the day it happened. In fact, some of the Google pages don't even have the new icon quite yet. I'm still inclined to say I like the old original capitol "G" icon the best.
Yet another wounder of modern Japanese culture... A Rube Goldburg machine to prepare ramen for dinner.
Japanese Rube Goldberg Contest
Yes, it is overly complex to perform a simple task. That's what Rube Goldburg machines are. They are also prone to failures and are very tedious to build and set up. But they are also fun to watch.
Ok, I can't just point and laugh at Japan. We have Rube Goldberg Contests here in the United States as well. And what better American food product to prepare than a burger?
Burger-making skills put to test at Rube Goldberg contest
Thursday, January 8, 2009
As promised, here's some screenshots of the Sims 2 house I've been re-modeling. I have the following expansions for the game: Nightlife, Open for Business, and Seasons. It was fall of the year in-game when I took the screenshots. That's why the trees are all yellowish.
As I've said before, the head of this family owns several businesses and money is no object. (Even without cheating!) Click an image to view full.
Here's the full house. Notice the curved roof and the sunken-in garage. Those are usually not possible in the game. It took some tricky use of the boolprop constrainfloorelevation false cheat.
We'll work our way down the floors, so here's the 3rd floor.
1st floor. This is the main floor where everything happens.
And the basement. Notice the car in the garage and the pool in the far corner.
Here's my neighborhood. There's a few houses that didn't make it in the screenshot, but most can be seen. Yeah, it's a fairly heavily populated Sims 2 neighborhood.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
A while back I started to notice a problem with my image hosting for my blog. It was taking longer and longer to get a directory listing of my pictures folder in FileZilla (an FTP program). The reason was the sheer number of images building up in the directory, and it was taking too long to download all the file names. I knew that it would only get worse as I put more images on my blog.
So I decided to break them out by year. I moved all my images from http://pictures.mastermarf.com/blog/ to http://pictures.mastermarf.com/blog/2008/. That way I can create a new folder for each year. For instance, now I'm uploading any new pictures to http://pictures.mastermarf.com/blog/2009/. It works great. A little slow getting the directory listing towards the end of the year, but manageable.
The only problem was that Google Image Search had already indexed many of the images at their old location. You'll notice when you do a Google image search you have the option to "See full size image". So now I had a lot of people getting a 404 not found error when they tried to view an image result from my page.
I finally fixed the 404 errors people were getting from the Google Image search results of my images that I moved into their 2008 folder. I wrote a short little PHP script and put it on the 404 error page for my pictures subdomain:
$uri = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
if (stripos($uri,"/08") == 5)
$uriImage = substr($uri,6);
// Permanent redirection
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: http://pictures.mastermarf.com/blog/2008/" . $uriImage);
It's a 301 redirect to the new address for the images I moved. A 301 redirect basically says to the browser or search engine spider, "I have permanently moved to this new location." I had to tell the server to use PHP version 5 for the stripos() function. It didn't work when it tried to run in version 4.
What the script does is gets the web address that was requested and checks if "/08" is in the right position to be one of the images I moved. I did this because I only wanted to redirect the moved images. All the file names of the images I moved start with "08". I figured it was easier to do than have a long list of specific images to check for. Also, there is are no other file names that start with "08" in that directory, so it worked out.
The rest of the script is a pretty strait-forward 301 redirect. I pull just the file name out of the requested web address, and re-build the new web address right there inside the header() function.
I just hope it wasn't too late. I moved the images a while ago, so Google has had time to see the 404 Not Found error and remove the images from their index.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The extra 2 feet of snow we were to get came down as rain instead, so I didn't need to go on the roof to shovel. Yes, the rain makes the snow heavier as it soaks into it. But we were worried about an additional 2 feet of snow then rain on top of that. So I didn't suffer a death by falling off the roof. We got the new hot water tank hooked up instead.
Other than that, I've started playing The Sims 2 again. I wasn't going to reinstall it. I was going to wait until The Sims 3 comes out sometime this year. However, after watching someone else play it, it made me want to as well.
I still have my old neighborhood, so it was easy to get back into it. I am yet again re-modeling the house pictured in this article. I'll put up another screenshot of it when I'm done.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Over at my dad's house we've had a hot water tank failure and not the time to fix it. We have it disconnected so it doesn't keep leaking, and we now have a replacement tank. So, what could possibly be more important to do around the house than re-gaining hot water? (Taking a shower would be a bit... cold.)
Answer: Snow removal. Specifically from the roof. After all, if the roof caves in hot water isn't going to do us much good. Last week we had 2-3 feet of snow dumped on us, then we went into a bit of a cold and clear period. We figured it'd warm up and melt off. Well, it warmed up... And started to snow again. We're supposed to get up to another 2 feet. Crap.
It's a rather small house, however it is 2 floors tall. A slip and fall off the roof could very well be fatal. So that's what I'll be doing today. Shoveling snow I mean; I don't plan on the fatal part.
And no, this week's Motivational Monday won't be proof that I survived it. I've scheduled that post ahead of time already.
EDIT: After Monique's comment, I decided to make a little update here. I didn't have to shovel the roof, so I'm fine.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
It's the Wikipedia game. You click the random article link to go to a random article on Wikipedia. Only following links within Wikipedia articles starting with your randomly chosen article, you start jumping from page to page trying to get to a final, predetermined article. Also, you're not allowed to use the Categories links that are found at the bottom of some articles. Often times the predetermined objective is the article on Adolf Hitler.
That got too easy, because there's links to Germany scattered all around Wikipedia (and the article on Germany has a link to the article on Adolf Hitler). So A friend and I decided to try the article on The Game (mind game) as the objective (by the way, you just lost). Much more difficult... At least the first time through.
Basically, we found a link path through Barack Obama's Wikipedia page.
After we found that, it became too easy again, because all you had to do was find the article on the United States and you could easily track back to Obama (and thus, The Game).
The problem is now, whenever I think of Obama I also think about The Game. I think I've just increased the frequency of my "The Game" losses...
I'm convinced that you can follow links from anything to anything in Wikipedia. Give it a try. It may take some creativity or outright random guesses, but it's possible. I forget what our random article was when we started, but clicking a link to Obama was just a random guess.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Happy New Year everyone!
I hereby make the same New Year's resolution I make every year... My New Year's resolution is to not make a New Year's resolution.
And thus I've already failed it. Because... You know, it is a New Year's resolution in itself. Damnit... But I'll take some comfort in knowing that you just lost The Game. (Ha, ha... Point and laugh)
So, what's your New Year's resolution? I'd like to see a few of yours in the comments.