Blog Archive for December 2005
Well, for a week now I've been using the brand new WordPress 2.0 to power my blog. It only officially released yesterday, so I guess I'm a bit ahead of some people.
What are my thoughts? Well, the rich text editor was pissing me off, but I might turn it back on, I dunno. Maybe not, though, because I'm fine with coding HTML. There's a couple other things I need to get used to, and they're coming along a bit.
This weekend I wanted to stretch my coding muscle and decided to try to write a plug-in for WordPress to support my spiffy update blog design. In case you didn't notice, the top of the page does a random image and associated text at the top. It's pretty slick, but it wasn't the easiest thing to get working.
I used the
add_action('wp_head', 'rand_head_css'); hook to add the image into the style via CSS, and it looks beautiful. But getting the text was a bit harder. I wanted to use an
add_filter() hook to change the description, but as far as I can tell, that's not doable. So I just hard-coded the random text function into my template. Not as cool, but I guess it works.
I guess I'll have to code a backend for this soon because I don't like SSH terminals enough to want to insert the text into the database each time I make a new one. But don't worry, more will be coming.
If you're in IE, the top might look a bit horrendous. I might get around to fixing it, but just get FireFox already.
Well, it looks like the industry machine is starting to ramp up for the spring. Right now, the industry is moving to the sounds of Mute Math, a great new band from New Orleans. Their debut EP has been out for over a year, but this spring is finally going to bring them into the full spotlight with the release of their full-length album.
Although the exact release date for their disc has not been declared, the tour posters for this spring's rigorous tour schedule mentions that the band will have the disc available at shows. Between that and the fact that the local show only costs $8, I'm totally there.
Alright, I gotta go. I have to start posting the Most Spun 2005 feature.
Yeah, I'm listening to "that cover" on the last Jars studio album. (No, not the hymns album, the other last album.) I never really liked the song, but I guess it fits pretty well with the rest of the Jars album, which is stellar.
Yesterday I went shopping despite the fact that I'm spending most of tomorrow with my family shopping also. Well, I wouldn't have gotten 10% off at Kohl's if I went pants shopping tomorrow, so I went yesterday while the coupon was still good. It was generally pretty busy out there, and I was surprised to see they've completely taken down the old Mervyn's section of Rosedale and are putting in a huge expansion which I'm told is to be mostly movie theater. (Sure, why not, the whole world needs more cinemas. Oh wait, no, we just need good movies.)
I have a conundrum for ya. How does one spend $7.49 in cash at Best Buy and get four CDs and three DVDs? And how does spending $7.49 in cash an hour later just give me a burrito and pop at Chipotle? Well, the simple answer is that at Best Buy I used a gift card from work. Yep, thanks to end-of-year bonuses and a great job, I got to go on the shopping spree and get some of those presents I wish I would have gotten for Christmas but didn't.
Plus, I got to explore some new music. Besides picking up a catalog U2 album and the latest EP from Relient K, I purchased discs from Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae sensation, and Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. Both are good albums and I've heard a couple songs from each, but it was fun to have a bit of extra money to just splurge on some new music. I'm sure they're both gonna be great.
delirious? is my all-time favorite band. For years, they've been breaking ground as a Christian band with a reach into the non-Christian world. It's cool and I still totally respect them even though their last couple albums haven't been as stellar. (Well, that may be because I haven't seen a live show from them in almost four years.)
One man that made it happen was their manager, Tony Potato. It was recently announced that Potato was leaving, and now we know why. In the official unofficial delirious? site's interview with Tony, it is revealed that he's starting a label at EMI for Christian bands that are to be marketed to the mainstream. Apparently they're reusing Charlie Peacock's earlier label name, Re:Think, probably because they've been releasing Switchfoot's albums under that moniker for years.
If anyone can do it, it probably is Tony. So I hope he can make it happen. Maybe we'll have to get a good interview with them at GMA.
The last couple days I've seen a couple of movies. The first was OK, but the second was great.
So instead of spending a late work night sitting through King Kong, we went to Fun With Dick And Jane. It was pretty fun, but definitely not great. Jim Carrey is good and it was fun to see him, but it wasn't a great Jim Carrey movie. There are a lot of jokes about corporate America that started to get old by the end. Alec Baldwin plays a CEO who basically destroys a company for his own gain. He also imitates and makes jabs at Dubyah and that was funny.
Cinderella Man was a great movie. Of course, Russell Crowe was great. The boxing scenes were impressive. It wasn't an easy movie to watch because the Depression was hard. Give it a watch if you get a chance. I liked it a lot better than Ron Howard's last film, A Beautiiful Mind. This one has real heart.
So just now I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress (version 2.0). So far, it's looking like a great improvement even though I haven't dug into it very far.
The downside was that I just noticed that my custom theme had a couple incompatibilities. So, I just set it back to the default theme. Hopefully, it means I'll come up with an even cooler theme for my blog. Maybe after Christmas it'll really start looking good (and original)!
Christian artist (and now producer) Max Hsu just found out that he's in the Top 25 of Billboard's Top 25 Hot Christian Producers. Yeah, Billboard has a list for everything if it has to do with music.
Here's my take on it:
"Out of the 20 producers that work in Christian music, Max Hsu got #18. In order to make the list a Top 25, they allowed 'special' artists like Peter Furler, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Chuck Dennie to pretend to be producers."
No offense to Max, of course. He's the brains behind the coolest chick-fronted rock band around! And I read his blog, of course!
According to an e-mail from PasteStore.com, the upcoming issue of my favorite magazine has a killer sampler. Not only does Paste Issue 20 have a Sufjan Stevens track, but the gem is a track from the forthcoming full-length from Mute Math. Sure, all of us who are avid Mute Math fans have been watching the "Chaos" video for months (if not years), but it'll be great to finally have the studio version on my iPod.
The only downer is that my current favorite band, The Elms, are not on the sampler. They better be on the April/May issue with a killer rock song.
If you're into science at all, you gotta check out this link. This site is devoted to Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics. Yes, movies are never true to science (just like they're never true to the Catholic Church). And this site points them out. My favorite parts is the "Movie Reviews" section. Check out the stupidest movie, The Core, or my least-favorite movie besides M:I2, The Italian Job. It's all a good laugh.
I hope last year's rather weak winter weather doesn't hinder our new Light Rail system. For those who don't know, about a year ago Minneapolis opened a light rail line. I ride it every day home from work (and sometimes to work).
Today and yesterday we've had a decent amount of snow, and it seems to have caught MetroTransit off guard. You see, going home usually goes pretty smooth because the trains run every 7 minutes during rush hour. But with all the snow, the schedule seems very sporadic.
I left at 5:10 and therefore just missed the 5:12 train. But the next train came at 5:26! Not cool. Plus, while waiting for the train, 3 or 4 trains went by on the southbound track! It was very annoying.
Of course, it would probably help if the government actually supported our publil transit instead of pretending it's nonexistent.