Angry Robot

Yet More Dull Site News

What’s been happening around here? I went to Wisconsin, which was
tornado-tastic! Other than that, mostly I’ve been preparing a new design and
shopping around for a new blog system. First I was thinking EE, then <a
href=””>WordPress, but both of them are in dire
need of some user manual action. Now I’m thinking <a
href=””>TextPattern. Thrilling huh? If you
actually think so, read on!

I have a very specific site architecture in mind, and for some dumb reason
the URLs have to match. I want to be the photo site with
only photos, /blog/ be only blog entries, /brief/ will hold shit like quick
links and one line film reviews, and so on. However, I want to
have a reverse-chronologically ordered listing of all of the above, href=””>J-Ko stylee. Thing is these entries have to
be presented differently depending on whether they are photos, quicklinks,
or what. I know WordPress can do it as founder href=””>Matt’s site is rockin’ that look, and EE
can presumably do that and a lot more.. but damned if I’m going to learn PHP
just to sort that shit out. I mean c’mon.

Now I was always disappointed that Dean Allen forewent href=””>textism in favour of making a CMS, textpattern. He was kind of an inspirational blogger for me, I guess, and it bugged me that he wasn’t writing anything anymore, and I viewed textpattern as sort of a waste of time. But it was a fucking revelation to look at it the other day. Now it doesn’t have a manual (it’s still in ‘gamma’,) but it’s so freaking well thought out, and importantly, from a writer’s point of view. It’s a thing of beauty. Moreover the thing I want to do, well textpattern’s ‘section’ concept is designed to accomplish just that. No tinkering or what have you.

Ante-ceding that revelation was another, awesome! discovery: TextDrive. Dean is starting a hosting company, and rather than get venture capital involved he put out an irresistible offer. $200 for a year of hosting, with the best specs I’ve seen (1GB space / 10gigs transfer / 20 mySQL databases / IMAP / WebDAV / more). After that… free hosting. For as long as his company exists. Basically, if it lasts two years it’s a awesome deal, and if it lasts longer, it keeps getting awesomer. So yes I got in on that shit and am now one of the ‘VC 200’. Deal’s closed now, but I’m sure the introductory rates will be also be rock n’ roll.


What I will do is set up the new server and tinker with a new textpattern installation thereon. When it’s all ready to rock, and I’ve seamlessly moved ÿ and king, I’ll switch up the DNS and we can all revel in the new glory. Should be a couple weeks at least, as I still have tons of designing/migrating to do. So if I don’t say much here, that’s why.

Hassle the Hoff

I just found out about this. And man… I’m practically soiling myself thinking about how AWESOME it will be! Not even in a mock-excited jaded slacker sort of way. After watching many, many Baywatch episodes, I’ve come to realize that I actually, honestly, earnestly enjoy Mr. Hasselhoff’s work. Maybe it’s because of those impressionable years watching Knight Rider. He’s no Larry Olivier or anything, but he’s an appealing TV personality and possibly a compelling musician – I’ve never heard an album. But I sure as fuck will hear the shit out of this one! A bit of Ice T action and Hassle’s street cred will be through the rizoof, no diggety!*

*Can I get some kind of email alert when a unit of rap lingo falls out of favour? Or can I keep using diggety and Kronkite like it’s 1999?

Cold Lamping

Hello. A station ID I did for Space is now available at the website – Cold Lamping (RealVideo stream). You should also watch Gord’s Klingon 101. Eventually I’ll get a proper QT file of the spot and host it here.

Even More Accidental Collaborative Web Genius

Really, this is pretty much the greatest random-googling comment thread ever. You’ll learn more about G-l-a-s-s T-i-g-e-r frontman A-l-a-n F-r-e-w than you thought possible.* Cheating! Heartbreak! Grudges! Lifelong hetero promiscuity! Nonetheless, lingering suspicion of homosexuality!

* Google is watching.

Take Care of Yourself

catches own reflection in monitor

Dude, you’ve basically got feathered hair now.

Is it that hard to arrange a haircut? Sort that shit out! I mean, the 80s are retro-cool and all, but seriously. People are probably starting to feel sorry for you.

No, don’t WRITE about it! Just call the fucking barber! JESUS WEPT!

UPDATE: Mission accomplished. The feathers die 05/20 at 12pm.

Movable Type Licencing Part 2

Because I actually read the fine print at the end of Mena’s post, I’m moving the rest of this entry here.

Okay now I’ll blather on even more, for my own benefit rather than SixApart’s. I was looking at the competition, especially ExpressionEngine, and at the same time I had been planning a site-wide redesign and architectural reorganization. And I realized if I had a CMS that allowed subcategories as well as unlimited user-defined entry fields, I’d be able to do my entire personal site as one blog. The master blog would power all the sections: photo, links, blog proper, music, video clips, and all those sections’ categories would be subcategories. Given a certain amount of power over custom templates, I could streamline the site like that without anyone knowing the difference. Plus there would be so many further possibilities to explore. (but I’d need custom fields because of the way I want to present photos and quick links.) Weirdly, if MT was able to do that, I’d no longer be looking at switching. And that in a way is part of the cause of the general disenchantment with MT – it hasn’t really been developed in a while. I suppose there may be plugins that enable that level of jiggery-pokery, and I’ll be looking into them, but see what I’m sayin’?

If anyone has any opinions about any of this – especially (he selfishly added) with regards to what CMS might be the best for my purposes, I’d love to hear. I’m now leaning towards ExpressionEngine, but I’d really like to be convinced over to WordPress as the vibe in those parts seems shit-hot. And frankly the easiest thing would be to stay with MT, so I’m still open to that. I’ve always loved using MT and remember how great it felt after being on blogger. It was really pushing the envelope then. I’d like some more of that now, please

Movable Type Licencing

With reference to this: I have four of my own movable type blogs: this one, the link log, the photo section, and Bloggus Caesari. There not having been restrictions on authors/weblogs before, I host two friends’ sites (and one that has never been used). One of those friends’ sites has three somewhat active authors. I had plans to set up two more blogs for my own purposes (music / video clips), and I want to be able to help any friend of mine who thinks they might want to set up a blog by giving them one. It might sound cheeseball but I think it’s important to help people express themselves if I can. The first announced MT prices were outrageous for my purposes, but the revised prices are more realistic. Basically, the five-blog personal licence would cover me and the introductory price doesn’t seem too much to ask; however, it would prevent me from starting new sites with abandon.

It’s worth mentioning that I also set up skitfaced with moveable type. We don’t use it there anymore since that experiment in short-form text comedy was sort of a failure, but for a while it was pretty neat: we could easily set up a new site and make up a few (fictional) authors. Basically we used it as a CMS. This would be prohibitively expensive with MT now.

With the new $10/author add-on thing, realistically I’m not all that constrained in terms of starting new sites for others. And I’m definitely not opposed to the licencing right now or the idea of paying for software or anything like that (I donated). But what I would really like is the option to buy MT with unlimited blogs/authors. Because now that I’ve looked around, you have your free, open source WordPress which soon I hear will have multiple blog support, and you have your ExpressionEngine which gives you unlimited blogs/authors and a whole lot more, for less than MT. (And I suppose you have blogger, for free too, but been there & done that.) I wasn’t looking at the competition before, but I am now, and I’m a bit tempted. Maybe I never will, but I like to imagine that I might start up another fictional blog, or maybe a film-specific site, or something for my friends, and coughing up $10 each time… well, it feels constraining.

UPDATE: rest moved here


OK, I promise not to keep up on this Iraq/politics tip too heavily. But I just wanted to follow up (especially with regards to a recent conversation with LES and P-Ron). First off, we need to disprove the idea that besides Fallujah and Najaf, the rest of Iraq is relatively safe. If you follow the latest reports (and Juan Cole is a great place to visit for that), you’ll know that over the past few days the US has been fighting the Mahdi army in Kufa and Karbala as well as Baghdad. Furthermore this bleak opinion piece notes amongst other things that Western journalists no longer travel outside the “Green zone” (heavily fortified US area of Baghdad) for safety reasons. I know, the Guardian is a lefty commie terrorist-loving rag, but I’d wager journos know what journos are up to, and a shit-ton have been killed in Iraq so it would only make sense.

Secondly, about the prison photo stuff. The issue is whether the pics are the work of a few “crazy kids” or whether it was something ordered by superiors. I have read convincing reports that say the photos were actually part of the procedure, as it meant the MPs / MI officers could conceivably show them to the detainees’ friends and family and make the humiliation even worse. But whether that’s true or not, go read what Powell said, which if you’re lazy is that State told Bush about the Red Cross’ complaints about Abu Ghraib in october. Anyway, this seems to make sense (ignore the sensationalistic headline).

Finally, while we can all have opinions about what’s going on at the moment, the issue is whose opinions will the test of time. Will any of you who supported the war now argue that it was worthwhile, given that the “humanitarian war” argument now boils down to “our press-restricting and torture are better than Saddam’s press-restricting and torture”? I suppose the “flypaper theory” (better to fight terrists over there than over here) is the only one that still holds water, albiet a filthy, nasty sort of water that certainly won’t win you any elections.

Moore vs. the Mouse

More here from Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud. Basically, Disney is forbidding its subsidiary Miramax from distributing Michael Moore’s latest, Farenheit 911, which details the connections between the Bush and bin Laden families and also explores the strange evacuation of Saudis (including bin Laden family members) from the US shortly after 911. Moore’s agent claims Disney didn’t want to endanger tax breaks from Florida governor Jeb Bush; Disney claims the film will alienate a large portion of its audience. As the NYT points out, either explanation is depressing. Atrios isn’t worried as obviously someone will distribute it, but for other reasons this is a hugely big deal. First, we are talking about a corporation here that somehow would rather toe the Republican party line than make money. Bowling for Columbine cost $4-million and made $55-million worldwide. This new film is a fucking guaranteed class-A superprofit, and Disney sans Pixar needs every penny. Secondly it’s not the first time a corporate owner has blocked otherwise profitable product for ideological reasons (Stern, Nightline, etc). So if Disney is willing to give away $50-mil, and ClearChannel to lose 8.5 million listeners, how much of a chance will they give films, shows and books that aren’t a guaranteed profit?</br />UPDATE: The backlash begins, although the only thing that’s in question is when Moore learned Disney wouldn’t distribute the film.

Another Post About Ninjas

So I’m searching around trying to find out more about this 2mex bootleg, and what do I find but someone in this forum called “BIGSHADYchesterLANDNINJa”.

What, are there Sea Ninjas now? Sky Ninjas? Earth Ninjas that burrow through the earth and can hurl throwing dirks from under the ground up into the room you’re in and you’re all like “Fudge! Who thew that?”

Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of Jean Grae’s Attack of the Attacking Things, I’d like to talk “trade”. First heard her as What? What? on the first Herbalizer LP, and she surely rocks quilts, as they say.

Good Ol' Justice

We Americans vow to uncover the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice. We will do so by randomly arresting people and then torturing them.

Dream Review #9

I was composing some music in GarageBand. P-ron, looking over my shoulder, said, “hey, you’re using a Republican drum loop…?” I hadn’t meant to – I didn’t know sounds could belong to parties.

Maybe a fear-of-gay dream? Maybe I love music because it seems less plagued by politics? A thought-provoking dream. However, the characters were stock and the plot didn’t go anywhere. I give this dream two and a half stars.