Monday, July 28, 2008

I Haz Been Spoiled Rotten

Haley, in the style of Cheezeburger, makes her play for extra nap time!

 

DSCF1518

I haz ta move? I is comfy here.

 

DSCF1519

I don’ts wants to haz to move. I haz to cry to make you let me stay here.

DSCF1520

I haz good pouty face!

DSCF1521

Sucka!

 

This dog is rotten!

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How to post to Joomla 1.5.3 using Windows Live Writer

Yes, it’s possible. I had so much popularity with my “Making Windows Live Writer Work With Blogger Beta” article that I had to share this one too.

 

I found myself wanting to replace WordPress with a new Joomla application on my main web site, but didn’t want to lose the ability to post using WLW. I’ve grown quite fond of this freeware over recent years and was determined to find a solution to make it work. A little Googling, a little forum hopping, and here we are! It works.

 

What you need to make WLW post to Joomla:

There are a few requirements to make this work. Of course you’ll need Joomla running on your server and WLW running on your PC. I’m assuming you know that much already. Here’s the rest:

  1. MetaWeblog API plugin for Joomla
    It’s available from: http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/metaweblogapi/frs/
    metaweblogapiplugin 
    Right click on metaweblog.zip and download the zip file to your PC.
  2. RealSimpleDiscovery Plugin for Joomla (RSD)
    It’s available from: http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/rsd/frs/
    realsimplediscovery
    Right click on rsd.jpb and download the zip file to your PC.

Instructions for Installing the Plugins in your back-end Admin.

Log into your Joomla Admin panel and go to  Extensions –> Install/Uninstall.

adminmenu

 

Click “Browse” and then choose the zip files you just uploaded. It doesn’t matter which order you upload them in. You need to upload the MetaWeblog module and the RSD module.

installscreen

 

Go to your Plugin Manager and enable the MetaWeblog Plugin and disable the Blogger API that came with your Joomla installation. (Extensions –> Plugin Manager)

 

meta1

 

While you’re there, also enable the RSD plugin. (If it’s hard to find, that’s because it’s called System – Real Simple Discovery (RSD).

meta2

 

Enable Web Services

Go to your Global Configuration and choose “yes” to the “Enable Web Services option, which is defaulted to “no.”

This is located under Global Configuration –> System –>System Settings

enableweb

 

Now, you’ve finished the Joomla end of the instructions. Now go open Windows Live Writer and let’s create a new Weblog.

 

Setting up Windows Live Writer to Talk to Joomla

  1. Open WLW and create a new blog account.
  2. Choose “Another Weblog Service” and press next.
  3. Enter your joomla web site address, your username, and your password.

That’s it!

 

Now, maybe your auto-configuration didn’t work and you need to enter the variables manually. It’s ok, no problem. On the next screen, under type of blog, be sure you choose MetaWeblog API, then enter your XML-RPC url, which will be http://yoursite.com/xmlrpc/index.php.

 

Now it should work.

 

Things you should know

  • You MUST be an admin to post on the site automatically. If you are only a Registered User, Editor, or Publisher, the article will still be posted but will await approval by a moderator before being published publicly. If you ‘re not getting any errors, but aren’t seeing your posts, this might be why.
  • You must choose the category for your post, or else Joomla will assign is as “uncategorized” which means it gets treated as a static page. Choose the category from the lower left side of the WLW screen.
    set
  • If you can’t publish, check to make sure your plugins are enabled properly. If they ARE, and you type http://yoursite.com/xmlrpc/index.php into your browser, you should see something similar to this screen:
    shouldsee

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions or comments, edits or critiques, please feel free to comment!

 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Old Dog, New Tricks:Working with Lightbox and Flash

This is as much a test post as anything. I’m back into web design again, only because a new clients refused to let me say no, so now I find myself staring into the abyss of code that’s left me behind in recent years. Good Lord, there is a lot to re-learn.

 

So, test number one is using flash and xml to create a few automated image galleries.

 

Using Autoviewer

I’ve got two flash tests up to work with. The first is using a platform called autoviewer, with a plugin for Picasa. I can use a Wrapper element to enclose the code in an iframe and then even a non-geek can figure it out.

 

So, let’s see if my Autoviewer code worked. Visit http://www.carolinaregion.com/code/pigpickin/. This is a  test using hi-res graphics, which SHOULD be scaled down to fit in the slideshow. Comment tags from Picasa are supported, so i don’t have to teach the user how to comment the photos manually… another cool feature.

Please comment if you can’t see the slideshow.

 

Using TiltViewer

This one is more of a “fun” app than one I would use for business. TiltViewer requires a server to run, so you can’t test it locally, but it does support automatic import of FlickR galleries using tags for content include, which means it can be updated on the fly. I tested this one using my flickr gallery and grepping for all photos with the word “Tommy” or “Jordan.” Visit http://www.carolinaregion.com/code/tommyviewer/ to see the test.

 

Using LightBox

This test bombed… totally.

Disturbing Log Files

I’m prone to reading my blog access logs a few times each week. Its interesting to me to see what people were searching for when they found my site, what site they were on last, and specifically what google searches bring you right to my door. It helps me to determine what content to put on the site, what visitors like and don’t like, and what I should write more about in my future posts.

 

Some of you remember I wrote an article about child rape early last month, specifically about how a federal court ruled the rape of a minor not to be a capital offense worthy of the death sentence.

 

This morning I am greeted with this from my blog logs:

child rape

Some sick dude in Latvia decided he wanted to download porn of Free Child Rape Pictures. I just about spewed my coffee across my keyboard when I found the log file. It should be legal to prosecute twisted souls like this just for the desire alone, with no need for malicious intent… I’m still shuddering…

 

All I know about the guy is that he’s from Latvia, from a city called Jelgava, and that he’s a sick bastard. So, in case he returns here to read this article, I have a message!

YOU’RE SICK! GET A LIFE!

 

The only thing I find more disturbing that this guy’s twisted needs is the fact that I’m the 4th link on google if you search those keywords (shown in the picture). Ugh. Can I NOT be included in that google search category?

The Dark Knight: A history of the Joker.

I woke up this morning with a plateful of Internet to-do’s but couldn't muddle through the mess to find the motivation to get started. Running on only 2 cylinders, I performed my usual routine and read through world news, weird news, entertainment news, and business news, only to find myself back at iGoogle randomly clicking on links while the coffee kick-started my bloodstream.  In my random click-thru’s I came across an article by the LA Times. The L.A Times did an interesting photo-back-story on the history of the joker in this morning’s news. I thought I’d recap and share it here for those of you who are Batman or Dark Knight fans.

 

I hope you enjoy. Material copyright by Patrick Kevin Day, LA Times Staff Writer

 

Where did the Joker come from?

joker1

Christopher Nolan's film, "The Dark Knight," certainly doesn't give us any clues. But though the character has many versions of his origin in the fictional world, his actual history is a multimedia mash-up of drawing, voice-overs and visual performance. He's gone from evil clown to annoying clown, to dark, evil, murderous clown that gives you nightmares. And if the buzz continues into the spring, the latest man in the makeup, Heath Ledger, may win a posthumous Oscar for his Joker performance.
But to understand where Ledger came from in his acting, you have to go back to see the characters development over the last 68 years.

 

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

joker2

Conrad Veidt starred in this semi-silent film based on Victor Hugo's novel in which the son of a lord is punished for his father's disrespect to the king by having his face carved into a permanent grin. Stills of Veidt were used as inspiration by the Joker's creators, artist Bob Kane, writer Bill Finger and artist Jerry Robinson -- the creators have long disputed who actually came up with the character.

 

'Batman' #1 (1940)

joker3

The Joker's first appearance came in the Batman's first solo comic book (the Dark Knight had been appearing for a year in the pages of Detective Comics). His origin wasn't explained and his criminal style was nowhere near as elaborate as it later became. At the end of his first clash with Batman, he ended up behind bars.
He was originally supposed to die with his second appearance, but he was spared by en editor at the last minute. He continued to threaten Batman into the 1950s, when the Comic Code Authority watered down the murderous character to become simply an impish thorn in Batman's side.

 

'Batman' (TV series) (1966-1968)

 

joker4

Cesar Romero -- the mustached Joker.
Romero appeared in 18 episodes of the campy 1960s series that removed all of Joker's homicidal streak and turned him into a cackling prankster. This was a reflection of the way the character was portrayed in the comics at the time, where superheroes were treated with little seriousness.
Romero refused to shave his mustache for the role, and it can still be seen beneath his white makeup in close-ups.

 

' Batman' / 'Detective Comics' (1973-78)

joker5

Throughout the 1970s, a variety of artists and writers, including Dennis O'Neil, Neal Adams, Marshall Rogers and Steve Englehart, sought to return the Joker to his murderous roots. In particular, the story "The Laughing Fish" in Detective Comics #475, in which he creates fish in his own smiling image and seeks to patent them, helped define the character for the next decade, placing a great and greater emphasis on his lethal insanity.

 

'The Killing Joke' (1986)

joker6

Cited by many as the single most influential Joker story, this standalone graphic novel by Alan Moore told the Joker's origin, showing him as a failed stand-up comedian who turns to crime and becomes deformed when he jumps into a vat of chemicals during a factory break-in. The book drew a particularly bleak vision of Batman and his arch-nemesis, with a story that involves the Joker paralyzing Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara (aka Batgirl), then torturing the policeman with nude photos of her.
Both Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton have cited "The Killing Joke" as a primary influence on how they portrayed the villain in their films.

 

 

'A Death in the Family' (1988)

joker7
The same year "The Killing Joke" was released, DC Comics featured a four-part storyline in the regular Bat-comics in which the Joker savagely beat Robin and blew him up with a bomb. In a one-time-only gimmick, editors gave out two phone numbers to readers: one for those who wanted to see Robin live, the other for those who wanted to see Robin die.
Robin died.
The killing scarred Batman for years, making the Dark Knight even darker and the Joker even more menacing.

 

'Batman' (1989)

joker8
Jack Nicholson's over-the-top performance in Tim Burton's summer blockbuster combined the star's own crazed persona with the sociopathic monster who had developed in the comic books. The result helped turn the movie into a monster box office hit to the tune of $411 million worldwide. But this interpretation was not without some criticism: Many felt this Joker was so wild that he overshadowed Batman, the ostensible hero of the film. Even so, the role became one of the actor's defining performances.

 

' Batman: The Animated Series' (1992-95)

joker9

Inspired by the success of Burton's big-screen "Batman," this version took care to preserve the darker tone of the comics while making the stories acceptable for children. Mark Hamill, better known as Luke Skywalker, took over the voice of Joker for the series. His performance was so well-received that the actor was able to redefine himself as a voice performer, appearing in numerous animated productions.

 

'The Dark Knight' (2008)

joker10
Heath Ledger already had buzz for his performance in Christopher Nolan's grittier follow-up to " Batman Begins" before his untimely death in January. His version of the Joker -- sloppier, grimier and not as comic as Nicholson's -- has already become a polarizing benchmark for those who want to debate which actor had the best Joker performance.

 

Article Source: Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Section

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 12, 2008: The Scoobies 6th Annual "Brenda's Blowout Barbecue Birthday Bonanza" Party

 

no-aliens

Welcome one and all to the planning portion of the 6th Annual Scoobies B-B-B-B-B-B... Party... For those just tuning in, this is the sequel to the HEY MOMMA, NO DRAMA, PIG-SLAYIN', BIRTHDAYIN', BEER-DRINKIN', CANOE-SINKIN' Scoob-Fest. (more links from last year's event) (another one from last year)

 

Time is growing short and I've been remiss in updating this on the blog this year. The party almost got canceled but then I got a call from the President of the United States who informed me that in the interest of National Security, I have to throw the party. Apparently it's a good way to get all my hoodlum friends together in one spot while the government looks down at us from satellites trying to determine which of us are Taliban supporters. (I told them it was the lady with the funny glasses, above, but they aren't convinced.)

 

Most of you have come at one time or another over the years to what has become my annual tradition. My mom is possibly, no, probably, the coolest Mom anyone could have. She loves my friends and they seem to love her too. Each year for the last six years she has asked me to invite my friends and family down to the beach for her Birthday party, to share in the festivities, enjoy some down-east North Carolina Barbecue, and generally have a good time for one weekend together each year. The Summer 2007 event was the largest gathering of the Scoobs in history, with a total of 42 guests in the front yard Saturday afternoon. This year, I hope to at least meet that number, if not exceed it.

 

One major change in venue:

We will not be hosting the party at the beach this year. Instead, we will be hosting it in Greenville. Marcus and Mary, two of the Scoobs, have generously donated the use of their beautiful house and yard for the event on Saturday, July 12th.

 

Why the change?

A few reasons: My mom just had her right hand operated on a few weeks back and won't be up to preparing a lot of the side dishes she usually does, so having the party closer to town will make it easier for us to prepare all the necessary food and side dishes. (This means I need volunteers for food this year! Help!) Also, I know that most of us don't have the funds available that we usually do this time of year. It's been a hard year for everyone with gas prices soaring and the cost of hotels on the beach will make it prohibitive for lots of our friends to join us that usually do.  The weekend following is also Marion's wedding in Ocracoke, so I know most of the gang can't do both weekends on the beach. This way we all get to attend and have fun together. So, considering all that, we're putting a new spin on the party this year.

 

The New Spin

My mom turns 60 this year. Well, she's always told me that she's going to move to Greenville when she retires at 65 or so. So, rather than have her 60th birthday on the beach, we're going to have her 65th birthday party in advance this year, to show her how life will be when she comes to Greenville after she retires. This means in five years, we'll be able to go back to the beach and have her 60th in our usual Scooby style. I'm not sure if she'll be too old by then to throw skiers off their ski's by that time, but I wouldn't hold your breath on it.... she's a mean ski-boat captain!

 

Where is the event?

 

Here is a picture of the location. Marcus has done a wonderful job of landscaping his yard and creating a nice atmosphere for fun out back. His house is in Greenville and is really easy to find. At his request, I have not listed the address here on the blog, but I will be emailing directions to all parties who are attending, so don't sweat that part. It's really easy to find and we'll have signs up at the end of the street on the day of the event.

 

 

I want ANYONE reading this blog to feel more than welcome to attend; friends, family, newly minted acquaintances, whomever. We have always had an awesome time, never had any drama to speak of, and we all look forward to it again the next year.  As we grow up, our time together as a group is more and more infrequent, with life filling in all the small gaps we used to have with new responsibilities, more chores, increased work load, and overall less fun. This is my ONE time a year that I ask everyone to put it all aside for 24 hours and come have a good time with us.

 

What's the schedule?

Since we aren't on the beach this year (Thanks to Judge Boyle for screwing that one up for us) we will be shortlisting the activities to one-day only. Saturday morning is when the real festivities begin. The pig goes on the cooker at 8:00 AM, with most of the morning and early afternoon spent hanging out with each other, taking turns on the slip-n-slide... yes... yes.. Marcus actually bought a Slip-N-Slide, or sunning on the deck. I can't get too far away from the pig for too long (I'll tell ya the big ball of fire story later).

Lunch is served sometime around early afternoon when everyone is around, usually between two and three in the afternoon. Basic menu items include, carolina pork barbecue, fresh-grilled corn on the cob, barbecue chicken, cole-slaw, potato salad, collards, cucumbers in vinegar, deviled eggs, hush puppies, chips, dips, veggies, fresh watermelon, various pies and deserts, cake, ice cream, drinks, and I'm sure much more. There has never been a lack of food so far.

 

 

The evening festivities are yet TBD, but will most likely include taking the crowd down the street to "Live" a local music establishment that we have been frequenting for years! It's not a club, so you out-of-towners won't feel out of place. It's a nice sports bar that will more than likely be having Karaoke night. I'm working on getting a local band to play the event for us, but I'm not sure how that will work out yet. I'll keep you updated on that one as it evolves.

 

What are the Rules?

To keep this a fun event for all involved we kind of separate the day into two parts. Anyone wanting to do some serious drinking is welcome to do so before Saturday morning, and on Saturday night. Since we try to keep this a family-style affair, I do ask that you keep your wits about you during the main event on Saturday.

 

Drinking is perfectly fine, just be level headed and don't get obnoxious. From about 11 AM until 6 PM on Saturday is likely to be filled with family, some younger children, etc and I want them to have a good time too and to feel like they can bring their families the next year. In all the years we've been doing this, we've never had anyone get out of hand but I feel better if I say it up-front. Anyone that gets obnoxious gets ejected from the event via slip-n-slide!

 

Other than that, just don't trash my Marcus' yard.  He and Mary have put a lot of time and effort into making their new home and property look really beautiful and I'd like not to have to clean up after everyone's cigarette butts and napkins by myself once everyone is gone.

 

 

What do I need to bring?

I'm just going to come out and say it this year. Bring either food, supplies for the party, or cash. Last year was an absolute blast, but I was making a lot more money than I am this year (at least so far) and I don't like to see the burden ride on the shoulders of a few. This is Mom's Birthday party, so I'd like to see her come out of this without having to spend much of anything.

 

I'm going to provide the pig and the cooker (thanks to Jody Griffin each year for the use of his cooker!) The rest of you will be asked to fill out one or more of the items from the menu or to bring a cash donation to help those out who contributed.  Done right, this can be a WHOLE lot of fun for really little expense. If we had ten dollars from everyone who spent last year with us, that would have paid for the whole party. I'll figure out the amount later, but it'll be something in the ten to fifteen dollar range, nothing anyone can't afford.

The menu and requested items are listed below. I'll update this as we go, so check back often.

 

If you would like to contribute something from the menu, please leave a comment on this post and I'll update the menu with your preference. (This is first come first serve, so make your plans now if you want to bring a dish or something.)

 

 

Requested Menu Items:

Item Qty Person
Pig & Cooker 1 Jody Griffin, Doc, Tommy, April
Buffet Tables 3 or 4 Marcus, Leven
Chairs   Marcus
Yellow Corn (in the husk) 20+/- Tommy
Potato Salad 1 Chris Comeau
Potato Salad    
Hush Puppies 1 Leven & Tommy
Deviled Eggs 2 Brenda Outlaw
Bags of Chips & Dip 5+ Brandy
Ice 40 lbs. Leven Stokes
Cooler(s)   Marcus (has plenty)
Pasta Salad 2 Brenda Outlaw
Veggie Tray w/dressing 1 Marion
Veggie Tray w/dressing 1  
BBQ Bread 2 Brenda Outlaw
Bread/Rolls    
Cole Slaw 1 Bridget & Clay
Banana Pudding 1 Faye
Honeydew/Cantaloupe 2  
Watermelon 2  
Hot Dogs 2 Leven Stokes
Hot Dog Rolls 2 Leven Stokes
Brownies    
Cheesecake 1 Bridget & Clay
Koolaid Pie 2 Tim & Clair
Macaroni & Cheese    
Green Beans 1 Marion
12 Pk of Sodas (mixed) 3 Bill Stovall
12 Pk of Sodas (mixed) 3  
12 Pk of Sodas (mixed) 3  
Paper Plates/Cups/Silverware   Brenda Outlaw
Condiments    
     

 

Who Else Is Coming?

 

Personally. I hope a LOT of friends and family will come. I'm going to start a list on here, only because it helps me and Marcus plan better if we can look on here and know who's coming, who's bringing what, and how many we have to plan for. IF I FORGET YOUR NAME ON THE PRELIMINARY LIST, IT'S NOT ON PURPOSE. I JUST CAN'T POSSIBLY REMEMBER EVERYONE AT THE MOMENT. It took me almost a month just to remember all the people to invite last year and I still forgot some! So, if you want to be added to the list and I haven't gotten to you yet, PLEASE comment on the board or email me and let me know and I'll most certainly add you ASAP!

 

Tentative Guest List

# Name Wants a Hotel/Place to stay overnight?
BOLD RED = Confirmed
Plain Black = Listed but not contacted/responded/etc.
Green = Can't Make It
2 Mom & Janet (with Tommy)
2 Tommy & April
1 Leven Stokes
Ivy Jo Daniels
2 Doc & Bridget
2 Marcus & Mary
1 Chris Comeau
  Tom Hadry
1 Wess Ellingson
Mike Clark
1 Brandy  
3 Tim & Clair, Mom
Kris & Danielle
1 Wess Ellingson
2 Faye & Jean
2 Frank & Cathy
2 Dorothy & Berlie
2 Gerald & Priscilla Holliday
  Melissa Holliday
Jody Griffin
2 Marion & Mark
1 Joe Torrence
Mitchell Briley
1 Jodie Cobb
Jamie & Kristie
Jenn Harrell & Family
2 Marisa, Chris
2 Ini & Tremaine
1 Katie Evans
Ed & Justin
Carleen & ???
Harry Frank
Nicole & Lee
1 Bill & Scarlette
Sheryl Evans
Christy & Shawn McLawhorn
1 Tom Robbins  
2 Shane & Tracy  

 

Hey.. we really need to narrow down the volunteers to bring stuff. I’ve kind of let time slip past me and it’s snuck up on me faster than I thought. You can add a comment to the post with what you want to bring, or email it to me, or call me…. however is fine. Just let me know what you want to bring from the list OR bring a donation to help those who helped provide all the stuff! Thanks! 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Questions, Comments? Hit the "unique thoughts" link below to leave a comment or to read what others have written.

 

ATTENTION WWW.CAROLINAREGION.COM READERS: This blog is co-published on two blogs. I can only update one of them without lots of extra work, so please be sure you visit http://carolinaregion.blogspot.com for the latest information about the party. I won't be adding updates to the Me-TOM-orphasis blog after this initial post.

 

Last Updated: July 8th, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Brad Paisley featuring Andy Griffith - Waitin' On A Woman

Nags Head gets a little fame in the newest Brad Paisley video.

This won’t mean much to most of you, but I’ve always like Brad Paisley and I’ve always liked and respected Mr. Andy Griffith and this video was a special treat for me. His newest video was filmed right outside the little pizza shop I used to manage years ago when I was in high school. In the video, he’s talking with Andy Griffith about having to wait on his girlfriend or wife and Mr. Griffith sits down beside him and talks about his experiences waiting on the woman that became his wife. 

 

Before I worked at Stone Oven Pizza, I used to work at Ace Hardware in Manteo afternoons after school. That’s where I met Andy Griffith and got to talk to him a couple of times. He has these old 1940’s Model A Ford cars that he used to drive around town. I used to cut the keys for his house and cars from time to time for him, and you could sometimes find him sitting in a corner in Sam and Omies over on the beach.

 

During the intro scene, you can see him standing in front of Stone Oven Pizza, and sitting on the bench where I used to go sit on smoke breaks. It’s nothing really super-special in the scheme of things, but I was just reminded of those years and it’s neat to be able to look back and see that all incorporated into a video done by someone whose music I really enjoy and to include one of the few famous people I’ve ever met and whom I’ve also always respected.

 

Due to Brad Paisley’s request, you can’t embed the video in this blog, but you can see it on YouTube. The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvKgnkIN8C8.

 

I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was pretty cool myself.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

GoDaddy VP Caught Bidding Against Customers

A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions. The employee Adam Dicker isn't just any GoDaddy employee; he's head of the GoDaddy subsidiary that controls the auctions. Dicker won some of the domains he bid for, and pushed up the bid price on auctions he didn't win.

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