Changes in the site.

Name This Blog

For a long time now I have been content with calling this place “” and leaving it at that.  But while I begin considering expanding my empire, I figured it was time to give this blog a name of its own.

In all likelihood, I will ignore every single suggestion made here… but I may not.

So, keeping in mind that I ultimately plan to spin the movie reviews (and perhaps the book reviews) off into their own corner of my domain, what name would you suggest for this blog?

If you want more info about me to go on, just ask questions and I’ll answer them as best as I can…


In 1998 I was playing Team Fortress with people I’d known and a larger group that had grown from my earliest days “online” dialing in to BBSs. At the time, I was hanging out in IRC chat on the GamesNet servers, mostly in the Disciples of Syrinx room. I had moved back home with my parents at the end of the previous year after successfully (in my mind) living “on my own” for a few years so that I could focus on school, doubling up my classes, and finish my four year degree in six years (maybe I hadn’t been so successful on my own). I spent my free time, and since I wasn’t working there was quite a bit of it, playing games and reading the .plan files of developers. Mostly it was the id software crew, but there were others. Blogging wasn’t so popular back then, but people did have websites, and game developers, especially in the first person shooter arena, kept up with .plan files. With college nearing its end and loving computer games, I had this idea that I would get into the gaming industry. Months later and many unreturned phone calls and rejection letters, I would set aside that dream, but at that moment, I decided to start maintaining my own .plan.

I did it in IRC at first, so the only people who could read it were people who knew to look and only when I was online with my mIRC client. Soon enough I moved it to Geocities. June 17th, 1998 marked my first post on the internet, and because I’m a pack rat and paranoid about computer crashes, I always kept spare copies of everything, so if you want, you can dig through the archives here and actually read everything from the beginning. After Geocities, I moved to my own domain, If you try to go there now, it redirects to a .de domain that gives back a 403 Forbidden error. A year later I would move on to with dreams of eventually running an online magazine for first person shooters. I never did, and now that domain is a squatter’s hope for cash (a crap website placeholder of links doing nothing but praying someone wants to buy it). I would have kept squadleader but for one, I wasn’t playing shooters anymore after EverQuest took over my life, and the other reason is it turned out I didn’t own it. Sure, I registered it, paid for it, but my hosting company put everything in their name, so when I tried to switch providers, they kept the name. Thus begins the era.

To be perfectly honest, when I put my first ever posting on the internet, I never thought I’d still be doing it ten years later. In fact it didn’t even cross my mind to consider it. In one respect, its like keeping a diary, and now and then I’ll go back and root around through the old posts and laugh at myself, or shake my head, smile, or nod knowingly. However, unlike a diary, its out there for other people to read. There are times I’ve considered going back and deleting some of the old posts. When I migrated from Coranto to WordPress, I had the perfect opportunity to just lose all the old content, or pick and choose what to put back in, but I ended up importing all of it. Good or bad, I wrote it, its me, or at least was me at the time, and as I’ve written before, if you are happy with who you are, you can’t really regret your past because your past has made you who you are.

However, ultimately, my decision to import all the old posts came down to one thing, that I’ve been doing this, emptying my brain onto the Internet since 1998, for me. When people comment, or send emails, about what I’ve put out there, it feels good, but I’ve never done it for that. I always just wanted to put my thoughts down on “paper” but I didn’t want to hide it under my mattress or in a closet or behind other books on the book shelves where no one would ever see it, because maybe, just maybe, my words might affect someone else, or someone’s reading of my words might affect me. Do I sound emo? I think I sound emo…

Anyway… ten years… some times it just kind of blows my mind a little… well… here’s to the next ten years.

… and Taxes

Each year, right around this time, I become a vocal advocate of a shift from income taxes to sales taxes.  Normally, I manage to keep it off the blog by scheduling posts in advance or through other great effort.  This year, I just couldn’t manage to keep from ranting about it, so rather than post daily diatribes on how I think the Income Tax system of this country is flawed and sucks, I refrained from hitting the publish button and the blog was dark for a week.  I would pay someone to do my taxes for me, but I feel that only perpetuates the system.

Anyway, the taxes are filed, I took a day off to regain my composure, and the blogging will continue.

An Upgrade Is Coming

At some point during this week, once I’m sure none of my needed plugins will be broken, I will be upgrading to WordPress 2.5.  This is an apology in advance for when I screw it up…

It does certainly appear to have a number of new features and fixes (read about them here), and I’m excited for it.  However, in the past, while bug fix releases have always gone smoothly, full releases have always taken down some esoteric plugin I had built my site around causing me to have to redesign the whole damn thing.  I’m hoping that’s not going to happen this time.

Even if it does though, I’ll work through it.  WordPress has been the best blogging software I’ve come across, so unless someone just blows them out of the water with cool useful features, it is here to stay.

Keeping Track

A long time ago, I picked up a plugin for WordPress called Now Reading and it was good. But then I ran into two issues: 1) My webspace provider had my PHP locked at 8MB of memory for processing, and 2) An upgrade of WordPress came out that broke something.

I forget what broke, but I just remember getting annoyed, and then the 8MB limit started hitting me alot and I had to start dropping plugins. Now Reading was one that didn’t make the cut, and I started just doing my own book selection by hand.

Well, my provider finally started allowing me to up the memory on the PHP and so I began looking to add back in a few plugins. I came across Now Reading again thanks to Kevin, and its been updated and fixed and whatever that I can use it again. Anyway, I spent the last few days digging out my reading history and updating the plugin and I’ll be using it from here on out.

You’ll see it over on the right, there it’ll show the book or books I’m currently reading along with the last few books I’ve finished, and a link to the library that will show all the books I’ve read since about April of 2005. Its not completely accurate because I’m using my book reviews on the blog here to make the list and there were a few books I didn’t review.

Anyway, now that its there I should be able to keep track of my book a week adventure. We’ll see how that goes…

A Little House Cleaning

In preparation of using the root website for something, I’ve moved a bunch of my personal items from there to this blog. The Poetry, Parodies and Writing tabs contain the bulk of it. Feel free to check them out, or don’t.

Soon as I get myself organized, I’ll do up a post of the future of

A New Theme

As you might have noticed, there is a new theme to the blog. Normally when I change the site around I just say “Please excuse the mess” and make changes. I never talk much about what exactly I’m doing to the site (except that one time I went in to detail about switching to WordPress from Coranto).

However, I really want to throw some credit out this time because this new theme is just all kinds of cool.

The base theme for WordPress is called The Sandbox. Its a theme built specifically to support templates. You might be thinking “But isn’t that just what WordPress does?” and in a way you are sort of correct. However, while WordPress just provides functions that you can plug in to your themes, the Sandbox theme is a skeleton design for all those functions that can then be inherited and manipulated by the “skins” of the Sandbox. This is really where the Sandbox shines. Now I’ve got one theme that handles the nitty gritty page code, and then I have about a dozen different skins that supply new images and a CSS file, along with any other enhancements. If your webspace has size or file limits, file reusability is important.

So, now to the usual… things may change around a bit now and then here, so bear with me… Please excuse the mess. 🙂

A Change Gonna Come

Its not often I post in the Site News section, but hey, I’ve got site news… I’ve been looking at new themes for a while now, but I’ve been holding off redoing them because I also wanted to upgrade to the latest WordPress, which required a newer version of MySQL than I had available.

Well, after much wrangling, my database was finally migrated to a new server, and as I type this the latest WordPress is uploading. So a new theme is coming…

I was born by a river in a little tent,
And just like this river,
I’ve been running ever since.
It’s been a too long, too long-time a-coming,
But I know a change gonna come,
Oh, yes, it is.

It’s been too hard living,
And I’m afraid to die.
I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.
It’s been a long time a, long time a-coming,
But I know, Lord I know a change gonna come, Lord.
Yeah, yes.

And then I went to see my brother, oh yeah.
I said, “Brother, help me, please.”
He turned me down.
And then I went, I went to see my sweet mother.
I said, “Mama, Mama I’m down on my knees.”
It’s been a too hard living,
And I’m afraid to die.
I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.
It’s been a long, long time a-coming,
But I know, but I know a change gonna come.
Oh, long.

-Sam Cooke