Saturday, February 28, 2009

«Caturday: Alpaca Electrocat Morph»

More like "What has the internet done?!" You all remember Longcat...

Alpaca Longcat / What has science done?!
Electro Cat defies gravity
Morph ball acquired

See the rest of “Caturday: Alpaca Electrocat Morph”»

Friday, February 27, 2009

«Would Have Been Better Than Stagecoaches»

Wells Fargo has a relatively new feature they call Card Design Studio. It allows you to choose and upload an image for your credit or debit card. So naturally, I uploaded an image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Here is a sample version of the card1:
Flying Spaghetti Monster debit card
I couldn't sneak it past them. It was not accepted. Too bad, that would have been a sweet card. Clearly, they have not been touched by His Noodly Appendages...

They have a these rules pertaining to what is and isn't acceptable:

  • For all images you must:
    • Own the image or have permission from the owner to use the image on your card
  • Images must not include:
    • Trademarks, advertising, or branding. Business cardholders are, however, permitted to use their own business's logo, name, or tag line.
    • Telephone numbers, URLs, account numbers, or email addresses
    • Imagery that features cartoon characters or public figures such as celebrities, musicians, athletes, or entertainers
    • Imagery or messaging that is violent, offensive, or anti-social; contains nudity or obscenity; or is political or religious in nature
    • Symbols representing money or other content that might result in confusion at the point of sale, or that might result in card fraud

I've bolded the one that I think it killed it. I don't see what the harm of religions images on a personal card would be, but whatever. Anyone have any new ideas for what should be on the card instead?

1: Sample version only. Not an actual card; not a valid card number or name.

See the rest of “Would Have Been Better Than Stagecoaches”»

Thursday, February 26, 2009

«Puff the Mundane Seagull»

Why did I photograph such a mundane bird like a seagull? Because I could... And it let me get pretty close to it. These picture were taken on February 24th. Click an image to view full.

This one looks a little puffed up for some reason.
Slightly puffed up seagull
Sitting on the railing.
Seagull siting on a railing
And another closeup shot of it.
Closeup of a seagull
It was time for some sort of random photographs anyway...

See the rest of “Puff the Mundane Seagull”»

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

«Label Cloud Widget»

I've added a new widget at the bottom of the page. It's a label cloud; the larger and brighter the link, the more posts there are that have that label.

I saw the widget in use on a random blog I came across, and I really liked it. After a little searching, I found the code and where it came from. I'm using the version that can be found at Widget-based.

For the sake of preservation, I'm going to include the code for the widget here as well. There hasn't been a new post on the Widget-based blog since 2006 (only 8 total posts), and I'd hate for it to be deleted and this version of the code lost.

Installation in two parts, you'll want to Expand Widget Templates for this:

  1. CSS code. Goes anywhere between the tags <b:skin> ... </b:skin>, preferably right before the end tag.

    /* Label Cloud Styles
    ----------------------------------------------- */
    #labelCloud {text-align:center;font-family:arial,sans-serif;}
    #labelCloud .label-cloud li{display:inline;background-image:none !important;padding:0 5px;margin:0;vertical-align:baseline !important;border:0 !important;}
    #labelCloud ul{list-style-type:none;margin:0 auto;padding:0;}
    #labelCloud a img{border:0;display:inline;margin:0 0 0 3px;padding:0}
    #labelCloud a{text-decoration:none}
    #labelCloud a:hover{text-decoration:underline}
    #labelCloud li a{}
    #labelCloud .label-cloud {}
    #labelCloud .label-count {padding-left:0.2em;font-size:9px;color:#000}
    #labelCloud .label-cloud li:before{content:"" !important}

  2. Widget. Goes anywhere between <b:section id="'sidebar'"> ... </b:section> (or where ever you want it in your template).

    <b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Label Cloud' type='Label'>
    <b:includable id='main'>
    <b:if cond='data:title'>

    <div class='widget-content'>
    <div id='labelCloud'> <ul>
    <b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
    <b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:label.url'>
    <a expr:href='data:label.url'><></a>
    <script type='text/javascript'>
    // Label Cloud User Variables
    var maxFontSize = 20;
    var maxColor = [168,181,248];
    var minFontSize = 8;
    var minColor = [0,0,0];
    var lcShowCount = false;
    var minPostCount = 0; //integer

    // Don't change anything past this point -----------------
    function s(a,b,i,x){
    var m=(a-b)/Math.log(x),v=a-Math.floor(Math.log(i)*m)
    var m=(b-a)/Math.log(x),v=Math.floor(Math.log(i)*m+a)
    return v

    var ta=0;
    var c=[];
    var labelCount = new Array();
    var ts = new Object;
    <b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
    <b:if cond='data:label.count'>
    if (<data:label.count/> &gt; minPostCount) ts[&quot;<>&quot;] = <data:label.count/>;</b:if></b:loop>

    for (t in ts){
    if (!labelCount[ts[t]]){
    labelCount[ts[t]] = new Array(ts[t])
    tz = labelCount.length-1;
    lc2 = document.getElementById('labelCloud');
    lc2.innerHTML = '';
    ul = document.createElement('ul');
    ul.className = 'label-cloud';
    for(var t in ts){
    for (var i=0;3 &gt; i;i++) {
    var fs = s(minFontSize,maxFontSize,ts[t]-ta,tz);
    li = document.createElement('li'); = fs+'px'; = '1';
    a = document.createElement('a');
    a.title = ts[t]+' Posts in '+t; = 'rgb('+c[0]+','+c[1]+','+c[2]+')';
    a.href = '/search/label/'+encodeURIComponent(t);
    if (lcShowCount){
    span = document.createElement('span');
    span.innerHTML = '('+ts[t]+') ';
    span.className = 'label-count';
    else {
    abnk = document.createTextNode(' ');

    <b:include name='quickedit'/>


This is the first blog post that uses my new code boxes. I'll still use the old style for short code snippets.

EDIT: I've decided to maintain consistency and use this style of code block for all code; even short snippets. Please tell me what you think of it.

See the rest of “Label Cloud Widget”»

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

«Gmail Sorting Technique»

I have a specific system that I use to manage my email. You may have a different system, and I'd like to hear about it in the comments. I use my Gmail account for all my email. Even the mail sent to my official website contact address gets forwarded to Gmail and is treated the same way.

I don't really throw much away other than spam. I love the archive feature of Gmail. On many occasions I've searched back in the archive for something. However, I usually only archive an email when I feel I'm done with it. Another feature I love about Gmail are the labels. It makes it so much easier to categorize and color-code emails. I have tons of automated filters (some quite complicated) that sort most of my incoming email into their appropriate labels.

So what I see in my inbox are emails that have already been sorted automatically thanks to my filters (one less thing I have to do manually). From there, I read any new bold-face emails. Some don't require much action after reading them and can be archived.

Others however, I want to reply to. I may not think up a reply right away or may not have the time to. So those ones I leave in my inbox until I decide to take action on them. I'll also leave blog comment notification emails in my inbox until I've decided if I am going to respond to the comment. Basically anything that I leave in my inbox I have plans to take action on. After I've taken that action, I archive it.

If I'm too indecisive about an email and it sits in my inbox for a long time, I'll star it with the special purple question mark superstar, then archive it. I can always find it again easily by looking in my starred emails if I decide to do anything with it at some point.

My official website contact address gets special treatment in that it gets its own inbox using the new multiple inbox feature. I have a filter that assigns a label to all mail sent to or from that address. I then have my multiple inbox set to show only mail with that label and is in my inbox. I use the search term [in:inbox AND label:label name] (without the brackets).

Anyway, this system works quite well for me. I rarely have much buildup and am often able to reach inbox=0. FYI: the empty inbox message in Gmail is:

No new mail! Want to read updates from your favorite sites? Try Google Reader

I bet that a lot of Gmail users never get to see that message!

See the rest of “Gmail Sorting Technique”»

Monday, February 23, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Faith»

If this were not true, there'd be no need for the bullet-proof glass the Pope is behind.

Faith / The bullets are real. Your God is not.

See the rest of “Motivational Monday: Faith”»

Sunday, February 22, 2009

«AdSense Data Not in Analytics»

I have AdSense and Analytics linked, but no AdSense data is showing in Analytics. There is absolutely no official Google support on this1, and it's too new of a feature for anyone else in the community to have figured anything out about it. So I'm starting to experiment on my own to see if I can figure out why the data isn't showing up.

I have a few ideas pertaining to how I'm tracking subdomains. However it's going to take some time to test them. I have to make the change, then wait a day or two so I can tell if it's working. If I can get it to work I'll be sure to tell how.

I've been a little discouraged about this whole link thing between Analytics and AdSense. It took me nearly 5 months to finally get it, then it doesn't even work.

1: Let's face it, there's absolutely no official Google customer support at all, on anything.

See the rest of “AdSense Data Not in Analytics”»

Saturday, February 21, 2009

«Caturday: Rage Break Worst»

Blogger is having some issues. Posts or the entire blog are periodically blanking out. I hope it will be corrected soon.

Despite all my rage I am still just a cat in a cage.
Prison break!
Worst turn signal ever

See the rest of “Caturday: Rage Break Worst”»

Friday, February 20, 2009

«Google Sitelinks»

I just noticed that Google has generated sitelinks for my site! You can see them by doing a search for [Master Marf]. Here's a picture of them, outlined in red:
Google Search results for Master Marf, showing the sitelinks.

An Idle Mind and a Quote on Theater

I almost feel like this is an important site, with navigation items showing and-Wait... what? Those are just random links! How in the hell did Google manage to select a random blog post and the archive page from April 2008? I'd expect to see links like those in my navigation menu (About, Quotes, Links, etc.).

Google uses an algorithm to determine automatically what should be in the sitelinks, and if a site should have them at all. I've always thought it was only big, important sites that got them. I never expected this blog to.

I did a little research about how a site can obtain sitelinks. Google has very little official information about them, so it's up to the community to figure it out. It seems older sites are favored, as well as sites who's name matches their url.

I could block the random ones with my Google Webmaster account. However, it takes a minimum of 3 links for any to show. So I'd rather have the random links there than no links. It makes my site stick out more in the search results.

See the rest of “Google Sitelinks”»

Thursday, February 19, 2009

«Spore Empire Half Way»

I've talked about Spore on and off before on this blog. Here's what I've been doing in Spore. I think it's fair to say I own half of my arm of the galaxy now.

Massive Vort Empire in Spore

Click image to view full

What do these ultra-powerful aliens look like? Look to the alien pictured down the page a bit and to the right. I modeled them after the Vortigaunts from the Half-Life series. I call them Vorts. Although in the Half-Life series the Vortigaunts are good guys. In Spore, I play the Vorts as a ruthless race bent upon the destruction of every other empire in their arm. So it is fitting that they are allied with the game's main villains: the Grox.

Within the Vort's territory, they are the only space-fairing species. They have exterminated 292 other space empires in their conquest for total galactic arm domination. The game doesn't tell me exactly how many colonies they actually have; I really wish it did.
The Vorts entered space wide-eyed and excited about all the infinite scientific possibilities space travel had to offer. However, they came to find that all the empires around them were hostile and demanding tribute they could not afford. Driven to the brink of extinction, and hardened by the reality of space, the Vorts adopted a new philosophy and quickly became a superpower in the galaxy. Rivaled only by their new-found allies, the Grox.
Many of those flags you see are multiple systems so close together that from this distance you only see one flag. A good example are the flags in the upper left corner. One of those is actually 5 systems that circle a wormhole. There are also quite a few systems that have more than one planet colonized within.

Every colonized planet is T3, has at least 3 filled out cities (all with max happiness), and a full compliment of city wall turrets. Each planet also has an uber turret, spice storage, bio protector, bio stabilizer, happiness booster, and loyalty booster. Yeah, a lot of time was spent doing this.

See the rest of “Spore Empire Half Way”»

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

«Vince Offer»

From the Ctrl+Alt+Del comic, the Wow Shaman!
Hi, it's Vince with my new product the WoW Shaman! / It shoots lightning, it's a healer, it's DPS, it turns into a wolf! You like totems? Its got totems! No other shaman's gonna do that, you'll be saying wow every time! / We're gonna do this in real time. Here's some cola--you following me camera guy? / Y'see that? The WoW Shaman doesn't give a shit. He's a shaman, not a janitor. It's not even his rug. / "Let's see what white trash middle America is saying about the WoW Shaman!" / Uhh... Can I eat it? / That's right folks, you're gonna love my testicles! And if you order in the next twenty minutes--because we can't do this all day--you're going to get no one, not two, but thirty-six WoW Shamans, just like that other douchebag! / Here's how to order!

Click image to view full

Here in the United States we have a couple of really annoying infomercial guys. This Vince Offer guy is one of them1. Yes, apparently the guy's last name is "Offer" and he's an ex-Scientologist.

For those of you who have not seen him (i.e., don't see United States television), here's the ShamWow commercial:

ShamWow (Full Length)

And for that "you're gonna love my testicles!" line in the comic, look to the Slap Chop commercial. At time index 0:36 in the video he says "You're gonna love my nuts." Vince is insulting as well. He says things like "stop having a boring life".

Slap Chop (2 minute version)

"Within the next 20 minutes, 'cuz you know we can't do this all day." Yeah... Except you will see the damn commercial every 20 minutes all day2...

Vince holding a ShanWow
1: Billy Mays is the other one.
2: Assuming you watch the TV all day, which I don't.

See the rest of “Vince Offer”»

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I just wanted to point out that there's no word in the English language that means "having an extensive vocabulary". The word megagaltastic has been selected for this meaning. However, in order for a word to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it needs at least five published instances of the word, and it needs to be at least five years old.

It has been published in many places now, mainly by people that wanted to be megagaltastic. And so far, I think the word is about half way through its age requirement. It became widespread on October 19th, 2006 when it was used on The Show With ZeFrank.

Oh, yeah. There's been a minor change with the layout. The location and placement of the orange guillemets (the « and » symbols; talk about being megagaltastic...) have been tweaked. I added them around the title of each post, and removed the first one on the "See the rest of..." link (can be seen out on the main page of the blog).

See the rest of “Megagaltastic”»

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

«Mountain Climber»

I think more marriages should have had this type of warning.

Mountain Climber

See the rest of “Mountain Climber”»

Saturday, February 14, 2009

«Caturday: Hearts Stolen Pain»

I still hate Valentine's Day... In fact, I still have the desktop background up on this computer.

Cat inside a Valentine's Day heart box.
I'm in ur bed - i'v stolen ur girlfriend / dewd!!1! she wants it so bad!
I drink to kill the pain.

See the rest of “Caturday: Hearts Stolen Pain”»

Friday, February 13, 2009

«Finally Linked AdSense and Analytics»

I finally got the option available to me to link Google AdSense and Google Analytics. I've only been waiting since they announced it in October of last year. I know Google rolls out updates slowly to their users, but come on... That took 5 months!

It probably would have been longer if I didn't run across their AdSense / Analytics interest form. The link to this form can also be found at the top of the Official AdSense blog.

So I have them linked. I should be able to get more detailed information about the performance of my ads now. Although at the time of writing this, no data is showing up in my Analytics account about AdSense yet.

One little thing that threw me for a bit during the linking process: They ask you to chose a primary domain to link to. All other domains other than the primary must have an additional bit of code inserted in. I was thinking that since I use a few subdomains (extras, www, and pictures) that I'd need this little code snippet. However, I couldn't find it anywhere.

Turns out that by "different domains", they really meant different profiles in Analytics. I track all my subdomains under the same profile in analytics, so I should be good. I shouldn't need to add any extra code anywhere.

You might be wondering why I even have ads. Well, they're primarily to pay for my domain name and monthly hosting costs. "But wait!" you say to yourself, "Blogger is a free service! There's no hosting costs involved!" Well, you're right... Sorta.

I pay (through GoDaddy) for my domain name. I also have a hosting account through GoDaddy that hosts the Games section, as well as all the images you see here on the blog. I did not like the limitations of the built-in image hosting that blogger provides. And yes, I do make enough from the ads to cover my costs.

See the rest of “Finally Linked AdSense and Analytics”»

Thursday, February 12, 2009

«Subscribed By Email?»

For those of you who are subscribed to my blog by email, I have just recently subscribed to my own blog via email. What does this mean to you? It means that I'll finally be able to see what you see. So I'll be able to tweak how it looks if something is wrong. It only took me over a year since I added the option before I bothered to even test it.

There's a few people that have subscribed via email, but have not clicked the confirmation link in the email that is sent to them. I'm going to be sending out messages to these people to see if they still want to be subscribed.

The emails will read:

Hi there.

On [DATE] you (or someone else) signed up your email address to receive daily email updates from Master Marf ( ).

I've just been checking my subscriber records and I've noticed that you did not complete the subscription process.

Your email address was added to the subscriber list, but for some reason you did not confirm your subscription when I sent a follow up email asking you to do so. Unfortunately, the Feedburner system I use requires this confirmation, so I've not been able to send updates.

Do you still want to get daily updates on my posts over at Master Marf?

If not, no problem. I am not into pressuring anyone into subscribing, I just wanted to make sure. Either ignore this email, or reply to it telling me you don't want to be subscribed, and I'll remove your email from the list.

If you do wish to receive the updates, I suggest you do one of 3 things:

1. Find the confirmation email that was sent to you on [DATE] and click the link confirming your subscription.

2. If you can't find it (and I understand how these things get lost or deleted) simply resubscribe via email by Clicking Here.

3. If you use a Feed Reader, I suggest you subscribe to my Web Feed instead.

Both the Web Feed and the Email Subscription links can also be found in the top of my sidebar on my site (just under the search bar). Once you've added your email and then confirmed it with the confirmation email that will come minutes afterwards you'll be set to go. You're free to unsubscribe at any point.

The subject line of the confirmation email should be something like this:
Activate your Email Subscription to: Master Marf's Blog

You may want to add [EMAIL ADDRESS] to your address book so your spam filters don't mistake the confirmation email or the daily updates as spam.

Thanks for your interest in Master Marf.

Cody Durkin

Where [DATE] is the date that they tried to subscribe, and [EMAIL ADDRESS] is the one found in my About Section. I didn't include the address here in this blog post because I don't want spambots to pick up the address (I have scripts in place to prevent that on my About page).

And no, this is not going to be an automated email, or an email that is sent out in bulk to many people. I hate it when people send the same email to tons of people. I'm going to be sending them out individually to specific people one at a time (there's really not that many to send anyway).

Personally though, I'd subscribe to the Web Feed if at all possible.

See the rest of “Subscribed By Email?”»

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

«Mythbusters, Landslides, and Gmail, Oh My!»

The Mythbusters were in town between January 31st and February 5th. I knew that they were going to be in town, but I didn't know exactly when until they were already gone. So I didn't have a chance to meet Adam and Jamie. They were working in the shop up at the high school. I heard they did an assembly for the students after someone slipped them a note under the door. They didn't let too much information out about what they were doing, but it has something to do with a pykrete boat made of newspapers. I think the episode is due to air in April.

In other local news, yesterday morning there was a major landslide here around 8 AM. It happened around 5 miles North. Just North of Walmart for those of you who know the area. It blocked the main road with house-sized rocks, and undercut a house above it. They're still clearing it. Yesterday afternoon they managed to clear enough of one lane to allow people to pass every half hour.

And on a less interesting note, I spent some time yesterday reorganizing my Gmail.

I usually keep a pretty tidy inbox, and even all my archived mail have labels attached to them. However, I went through and tried to clean a little out of my dreaded catch-all "Other" label. When I can't decide what else to label an email as, I slap on the "Other" label. I also redid a few of my filters, added a few new ones... The main bulk of my email sorts itself into the correct labels thanks to the filters.

The email address in my About Section ends up in my gmail account, and goes through the same sorting process too. In fact, I've set up its own inbox using the new multiple inbox feature in Gmail Labs.

See the rest of “Mythbusters, Landslides, and Gmail, Oh My!”»

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

«Ugly Building»

This town sure has some jewels for buildings, doesn't it? This one is located right on the main drag through town.
Ugly building on Ketchikan's main drag.

Click image to view full

I tell you... They beautify the part of town that the tourists see during the summer, but the rest of us locals just have to deal with eyesores.

It even has little trees growing on it...
Trees growing on the ugly building.
Click image to view full

Oh, and in case you wanted to know, I took these pictures on the 8th of this month (Feb 2009).

See the rest of “Ugly Building”»

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

«Nobody Beats the Drum»

A rather odd music video...

Nobody Beats The Drum - "The Drum"

Really, the Drum is an ass. All he does is beat people up for breaking petty rules. I hope that Nobody guy does beat the Drum. The bastard deserves it.

This is my first try at embedding the high quality version of a YouTube video.

See the rest of “Nobody Beats the Drum”»

Saturday, February 7, 2009

«Caturday: Zombie Blog Cranky»

Monique will probably understand my choices for this week's Caturday.

Zombie Cat Will do your bidding
Wake up! Iz time 2 blog, galleycat!
I is cranky cat

See the rest of “Caturday: Zombie Blog Cranky”»

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

«It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, it's Obama!»

Super Obama Angel.
They've even named an elementary school after Obama. Let's just not forget that he is only a man...

To my foreign readers (I know there's a few of you), has your opinion of the United States changed at all since Obama took the presidency? How so? Or is it still too soon to tell? Leave your answers in the comments.

Help! Help! Shave me, Superman!

See the rest of “It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, it's Obama!”»

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

«Baby Instructions»

General dos and don'ts for baby care.

Lifting Baby / Nursing Baby / Testing Baby's Bottle / Feeding Baby / Checking Baby's Diaper / Changing Baby's Diaper / Containing Baby / Bundling Baby / Waking Baby / Fun Games for Baby / Buckling Up Baby / Walking With Baby / Shopping With Baby / Playing with Baby / Exercising Baby / Massaging Baby / Washing Baby / Drying Baby / Helping Baby Teethe / Calming Baby / Stimulating Baby / Bonding with Baby / Making Baby Smile / Introducing Baby to Pets / Clearing Baby's Nose / Putting Baby to Bed / Babyproofing Your Home / Choosing a Babysitter

Click image to view full

See the rest of “Baby Instructions”»

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

«PSA: Intelligence Singularity»


The artificial intelligence singularity is inevitable. Once computers become smarter than humans and are able to reason, they will be able to improve upon themselves. The improvements will allow even smarter computer and they will be able to improve themselves, and so on (hence the "singularity").

When the robots come, see if you can arrange to be their pet. Pet owners love their pets.


See the rest of “PSA: Intelligence Singularity”»

Monday, February 2, 2009

«Motivational Monday: 1Timothy 2:11»

Know your Bible; see just how much of you actually ignore. The only parts of the Bible that you follow are the parts that suit you and your morals. And believe it or not, your morals (probably) don't follow the Bible.

1Timothy 2:11 / Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to be kept silent.
You got to love that Bible...

Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to be kept silent.

- 1Timothy 2:11-12

Like others have said, the Bible is repulsive.

See the rest of “Motivational Monday: 1Timothy 2:11”»

Sunday, February 1, 2009

«Microwave Ivory Soap»

Lately I've been watching all the episodes of this YouTube series Is it a Good Idea to Microwave This?

So far, this has been my favorite. Sure, they've had plenty of fires and a few explosions, but this one was the most unexpected result. Like them, I just expected the bar of ivory soap to melt like a wax or something.

Is It A Good Idea To Microwave A Bar Of Soap?

See the rest of “Microwave Ivory Soap”»

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