Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
December 28, 2009
Restructuring... kinda.
Category: Technical Stuff

So it's been bugging me for a while that I've been placing all of my entries in the "Blog" category. I can't remember why I started doing this, but I've justified it by reasoning that they're all technically blog entries. However, a category that contains every post isn't really useful (at least for my purposes here; I'm pretty sure there's a good reason I use a blanket category for stuff on Scary-Crayon), so I've decided to remove the general category and place all otherwise uncategorized posts in a new category titled "Miscellany." This might mean that some direct links to posts no longer work, though I've tried to minimize the fallout by retaining the blog-archives permalink structure. If you notice anything else wonky that requires my attention, though, please let me know!

Oh, and this marks the first entry of a category that I've been considering starting for ages: "Technical Stuff." All coding- and design-related content will appear here. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 3:31 am | Comments (0)
May 8, 2008
Freaking Lightbox...!
Category: Technical Stuff

Since I've decided to attempt a test run of Lightbox 2 on Scary-Crayon -- and since I spent quite a bit of time yesterday fooling with it to tweak its appearance to my liking! -- I've decided I might as well use it here too. (Seriously, you have no idea how frustrated and obsessive I get when things are off center by even a few pixels! I'm still not quite sure what the hell the problem was, though my cheap and brilliant fix seemed to work.) Eventually I'll get around to making unique prev/next buttons for Wesoteric and SC (which I may end up reusing to add prev/next links to the layout of each post!), but I'm in no incredible hurry. 🙂

I've even added a plugin that makes the thing work retroactively, so you can enjoy the sellout javascript gimmickery on posts as old as... I guess not too old, actually. Apparently I haven't been linking to larger images of stuff for very long! Ah well. 😐

-posted by Wes | 1:22 am | Comments (0)
April 19, 2008
Why didn't anyone tell me...
Category: Technical Stuff

...that the search was broken? Not that you were supposed to notice, mind you -- I just found out myself when I went to search for an old post and couldn't find it because it wasn't among the first five posts and the handy page navigation thing wasn't there!

Turns out that when I updated the corresponding plugin in January I forgot that I made the structural organization of Scary-Crayon and Wesoteric different, so there's a subtle difference in the code for each plugin that causes the SC version to fail under certain circumstances on Wesoteric (and vice versa). But now that problem has been fixed (I think/hope so, anyway!), so feel free to search to your heart's content. 🙂

This post was almost accompanied by a photo of the recently trimmed Bacardi, but he just ran away when I went to get the camera! Some other time, then... but so as not to deprive you of cuteness, here's an old linked page that I came across while searching for that post. I do love the blue. 😉

-posted by Wes | 11:20 am | Comments (3)
April 2, 2007
New plugins, taxes, NYC swag
Category: Technical Stuff … Toys … TV, Film, & DVDs

I'd been using the WP-PageNavi 2.10 plugin on Scary-Crayon to display the number of pages and links to a set number of them instead of just the previous/next links. Now I am using it here as well! (Still need to update the blurb at the bottom of the sidebar to reflect that info, but yes.) It didn't originally do what I wanted it to do, so I had to do a bit of hacking to get it to suit my needs... hence my calling this version WP-PageNavi 2.10w. See, the "w" is for Wes. :mrgreen: Anyway, apparently Wesoteric behaves slightly differently than Scary-Crayon (possibly a function of some of the other plugins I'm using over there), so I had to do some additional tweaks to get the plugin working over here. It also means that you may encounter some SQL errors -- please let me know if you do so I can try to fix the code accordingly. Thanks!

This is also my first trial of a plugin called Hide or Cut Post Text, which apparently works like the LJ-cut feature. Whee.

I did my taxes today. It didn't take very long -- two hours tops -- but it was still rather painful. Being anally raped by the IRS is not fun. 🙁

I shall now proceed to list some of the swag I picked up during my most recent NYC trip!

DVDs acquired:

1. The Poet
2. Demi-Haunted
3. Expect a Miracle
4. Hong Kong Spice Gals
5. The Cat
6. Here Comes A Vampire
7. City of SARS
8. The Imp

Of the films listed above, The Cat is the only one with which I am remotely familiar, as I saw most of it (I missed maybe the first fifteen minutes or so) at an anime convention a few years back. I'd heard of City of SARS... and that's about it. Only The Poet, The Cat, and The Imp (hey, I notice a pattern here) even had plot synopses in English on the backs of their DVD box covers, so I was mostly shooting in the dark here. But at 4 for $10, I had to make sure I got a decent amount to tide me over. Hopefully they won't be utterly abysmal.

Music CDs acquired:

1. Seventy-One the Beautiful by Hadley
2. East Side Drive by The Heartdrops
3. Social Misfits by The Fades

Never heard of any of these groups, but hey, the CDs were 99 cents apiece at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square! Judging from the condition of the packaging, inserts, and the discs themselves, they appear to be new, too. The Heartdrops CD kinda sucks (every track sounds almost exactly the same, bleh), but I definitely look forward to giving the others some more thorough listening time.

I also picked up some free mp3 CDs and a DVD at Pho Tu Do that I thought contained songs from a local group, but they instead contain lectures or speeches (or something) in a language that I totally do not understand. Oh well!

Toys acquired:

1. TMNT: Karai action figure
2. Street Fighter II/Darkstalkers MiniMates: Morrigan, Demitri, Evil Ryu, and Akuma
3. Kamen Rider Ohja chess piece figurine

Funny that I'd go all the way to NYC to return with a Karai figure that one can ostensibly get anywhere, but I'd literally been looking all over for this figure and had only come across it twice -- and both of those figures had exceedingly poor paint jobs, so I left them there. They had a bunch of Karai at the Toys "R" Us in Times Square, though, so I decided to go ahead and get one there. That is also where I picked up the MiniMates figures. I already have a couple of these (M.Bison and Chun-Li; you might have seen them on the new Scary-Crayon content pages) and they're kinda neat. Actually, in addition to the figs mentioned in the parenthetical, I had already picked up a Morrigan and Demitri two-pack as well, but seeing as how I paid $2.50 and hadn't opened it and that these figures were $3.99 and had two additional ones that I don't have, I figured I'd get the new pack and leave the other one unopened. So unless I end up accidentally breaking the ones I got in NYC, I'll probably end up giving the ones I already have away, either as inclusions in a gift package or as a prize in an upcoming SC contest. We will see.

In addition to the DVDs, CDs, and toys, I also ended up with a H.P. Lovecraft anthology from Dave (pretty interesting stuff so far; once I finish the first story I am determined to draw a picture of one of these Great Race creatures) and a smushed penny from the Central Park Zoo. (On that note, here is a link to Molly's Alligator Juice article entitled The Joy of the Smushed Penny Machine.)

That is all for now, then. Ja ne, minna-san!

-posted by Wes | 8:28 pm | Comments (3)
February 17, 2007
Coding and image fun yes yes
Category: SC Updates … Technical Stuff

EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!EXTERMINATE!Is it Saturday already? Time usually crawls with me, but this week seems to have gone by unusually quickly -- likely because I spent the majority of it lost in php and graphics and photos and whatnot. As I noted in the Scary-Crayon blog, I've recently decided to start using WordPress to manage the index and content pages as well -- but seeing as how I hadn't originally planned to use it to that effect and had placed it elsewhere in the site hierarchy, making that adjustment is has required some major internal structural changes. After literally sitting at the computer from 8AM to 11PM-ish on Thursday, though, I seem to have almost worked out all of the kinks there... but now, of course, I actually have to add all of the blurbs that I've written to introduce the articles since 2004 into the WP database. I've written hundreds of those things! So that may take a while, or maybe not since I'm so bloody obsessive. And even when I finish that, I'll have to tweak the layout and make some new changes in order to introduce them, as I've decided to create new categories for the game reviews and short stories (etc.) that had previously been lumped in with the miscellaneous pieces. Fun times.

So in addition to the changes to the SC blog and php code that these updates demand (which, I should note, also moved me to make some minor changes over here as well), I've also been fooling with lots of graphics stuff and text techniques in preparation for the minor layout changes. This morning, I found myself fiddling around with the Dalek at right to create a text-wrapping effect. It seems to work well in IE7 and Firefox (I have no idea how it looks in IE6 or other browsers, though), but it is problematic in that it's far too involved for its own good. I mean, I spend a lot of time doing image work on articles as it is, but somehow it seems a bit over the top to take the time to measure out and slice an image into 19 individual components (yep!) for something that hopefully takes a backseat to the text wrapping around it anyway. It might be cooler if Scary-Crayon had fewer pages and were less ostensibly text-centric -- and I'll probably do something like this on the "about" page that I design for the site and maybe even incorporate it into future tweaks to the blog -- but I can't see taking the time to do it on a regular basis. I'm almost certain that there are programs out there that can do this, but I'm not too confident about their quality because Paint Shop Pro also has a feature to do it and it's absolute rubbish. I had better luck copying and pasting selections snapped to a grid and going from there. There's a way to replicate the effect without slicing an image by using sandbag divs -- this article was actually what inspired me to attempt to do it via the image slicing method -- but using fixed image backgrounds and modifying external css rules is really impractical for individual articles. Ah well.

Okay, that is all for now. Thanks for reading, even if that didn't make a whole lot of sense to you! I will probably continue fooling with this for the next few hours before taking a break to actually work on a new SC comic/article/whatever. Ja! 🙂

-posted by Wes | 11:29 am | Comments (2)