Avalonstar

Standard

I’ve been following Bryan Veloso for a couple of years now. He’s one of the most talented designers I’ve seen online. It saddens me to know that Avalonstar is offline… I’m not sure what’s going on, but I hope Bryan (and Jen) know that there are people praying for them… Hopefully they can work through whatever’s going on…

The last thing anyone’s heard from Bryan was a Twitter post three days ago:

says — It’s something that I can’t really control at the moment… not really in the mood to talk about it. Thanks for the concern though.

Between that blurb, and the note currently on the site, I’m definitely concerned for them.

Irony

Standard

Wow… now this truly is the very definition of irony:

Look over the descriptions of the following two houses and see if you can tell which belongs to an environmentalist:

HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and
natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,” either. It’s in the South.
HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

Which sounds like the home of someone more concerned with the environment?

Continue reading

Build it and spam will come.

Standard

Anytime anything gets popular on the web, spammers exploit it. Case in point, I received a friend request from someone last night who’s sole purpose on Twitter was to show which chores they were working on, and provided a link to a web app they were promoting to help keep track of their chores. Umm, why would I want to read that? No thanks. Some people are a little more covert about it. One guy I was subscribed to started innocently enough… but then there was post after post about visiting a coffee shop and check out the coffee shop website and check out this blog and… Had to remove that person.

MySpace is infested with spam. Try viewing any bands’ MySpace profiles without wading through dozens upon dozens of “comments from friends” trying to solicit people to sign up for a VISA card or whatever…

YouTube is getting awful as well. No one cares about angels sleeping, or any of your retarded chain letters. No one wants to watch your video to learn how they can make money.

Stop breathing my air you venomous bloodsuckers! There are plenty of legitimate advertising opportunities that are out there if you are, in fact, running a legitimate business. The fact that so many of these idiots think its okay to try and sneak advertising into comments really blows my mind. Do you honestly believe I’m going to click your ads or respond to your chain letters?

Think again.

AdSense

Standard

I hate advertising as much as the next person, but I quietly added Google AdSense to the site earlier this week. Right now, it’s only a test, and I’ve tried to make it as unobtrusive as possible: Ads only appears on individual post pages. If you happen to subscribe to my RSS feed, you probably won’t even notice.

What do you think about the addition of ads? Love em? Hate em? Let me know…

In the meantime, if you’d like to support this site, feel free to check out what some of the advertisers happen to be, umm, advertising…

Abomination

Standard

Outlook Must DieIf I didn’t have to have Microsoft Outlook 2007 installed on my system for testing purposes, I would uninstall it and burn the disks and packaging the installer came on. I’m not kidding. Outlook 2007 is one of the worst “upgrades” I have ever used.

I’ve come close to uninstalling it several times now. I had to disable the one feature I really loved – icalendar syncing – because I discovered it was the cause of some data corruption issues I was having. Other than the slightly nicer GUI, there is no reason for me to use the app.

I may just have to unleash this demon upon a coworker and/or a machine not regularly used for production purposes. I’m not sure I can stand Outlook much longer.

Unacceptable

Standard

I’m still in shock over the news that Kathy Sierra, a fairly well-known blogger, author and speaker, was on the receiving end of some pretty heinous threats online. [See Death threats against bloggers are NOT “protected speech” (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)] The threats were/are serious enough that Kathy has canceled speaking engagements and basically shut herself off from the rest of the world.The Constitution affords us the right to free speech – even hate speech, but your rights end when your “free speech” threatens to take the life of another. There is no place for this kind of BS in the world. There are some sick and, quite frankly, sad people out there. It isn’t funny. A line has been crossed and I hope the sick individuals responsible are caught and punished to the full extent of the law.Kathy, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I hope justice will be quickly served.Thanks, Jina, for the idea about posting about this to raise awareness.

Foreign

Standard

I collected comics significantly before I met my wife. I’d spend anywhere between $100-150 a month (at least) on them… buying everything from issues of Spawn to imported Japanese Manga to a silver Superman ring. I love comics, and I can’t wait until my son gets older and I can share my love of comics with him (and perhaps even give him the books I currently own). But I learned something this morning as I stepped inside a comic book store for the first time in nearly 6 years: I’ve been left behind.

As I stared at the shelves of comics, I felt lost. Even though the staples were there – Batman, Spiderman, Spawn, etc. – they all seemed so foreign to me. I went with the intention of buying at least one book, for old time’s sake, but left empty-handed and depressed. As we get older our priorities change. Things we loved even a decade ago probably seem incredibly foreign to us today. I’m sure I could probably go back and eventually find something I wanted, but the magic just wasn’t there.

Twitter

Standard

TwitterDave Seah had a great post last night/early this morning on Twitter Productivity. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to use Twitter… That’s one of the cooler things about it: no two people use Twitter the same way. Some people use it to micro-blog, others use it to just update what they are doing, and others still use it to share news and events.

Some people don’t get Twitter and that’s alright. Those that do “get it” know that there isn’t anything to get: Twitter is whatever we want it to be. I suppose that’s why it’s so popular right now.

The real questions, though, are:

BTW, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/cdharrison

Refocus

Standard

I’ve kind of gotten off-track with where I had hoped to take the site (again). It’s so easy to post Wiikly Updates and Heroes’ graphic novel stuff… It doesn’t require much thought (or time). I really need to refocus on what I want to do with this site. In the meantime…

Are you on VIRB° yet? I’ve been amazed at how quickly it’s taken off… Let’s face it… MySpace sucks, but for some awful reason it’s popular with all the cool kids *blech*. (I’ll never understand the success of MySpace.) VIRB° is much better. You’ve got complete control over your profile. You can create custom modules, modify existing modules, modify the page structure and CSS to your heart’s delight. It doesn’t require any sort of crappy “hack”, like what is required with MySpace. VIRB° was built with flexibility in mind. You can check me out on VIRB° at virb.com/cdharrison.

I’ve also been using Twitter and Flickr more often. Now that I’m able to send and receive SMS/MMS messages on my cellphone, I’ve been posting tweets and moblog entries like mad! The fact that I can make posts whether I am tethered to a computer or not is definitely a bonus. Since it’s a lot easier for me to post on the go, you can be certain that you’ll see more content along those streams…

Have I mentioned I hate Outlook 2007?

Standard

Outlook Must DieHave I mentioned how much I hate Outlook 2007 lately?

  1. Daylight Savings Time: I knew that there would be issues with the Daylight Savings Times this year… but figured my calendar would be safe since I use Google Calendar to manage my appointments and whatnot. WRONG. Outlook 2007 has decided to be really, REALLY helpful and change the time of all of my appointments so that they appear an hour later. Never mind the fact that all of the events show the proper time in Google Calendar.
  2. Performance: I almost laughed typing that word. Performance and reliability are atrocious. Every time I shut down this infernal application and reopen it, I get this lovely error that says a ‘data file was closed improperly’ and that Outlook will need to scan it for corruption. Said scan takes hours. I have 4Gb RAM installed on my system. Every time I restart Outlook the same error occurs. I have no idea if my data is safe…
  3. Instant Search: I want you to go away and die. I know you want me to click you and download Windows Desktop Search so the two of you can play together, but I did that once, and the two of you brought my system to it’s knees. I want to turn you off. I should have an option to turn you off, but the only way I’ve seen to get rid of you is by installing Windows Desktop Search. Curse you.
  4. Internet Calendars: Did I mention Outlook 2007 screwed up my calendars? Thankfully Outlook 2007 can’t write to my online calendars, otherwise I would’ve been really screwed. With the DST update, all of the appointments in calendars I am subscribed to got modified locally. All appointments are now an hour later than they actually should be.

I want to like Outlook 2007, really. I am really, really trying. But this application is grating my last nerves. I’m hoping a decrease in RAM will help some. A coworker recently got a computer with Vista infected, err, pre-installed with only 1Gb RAM, so I am going to give him 2 1Gb DDR2-4200 sticks in exchange for his two 512Mb DDR-4200 sticks. I have a feeling, though, I may be downgrading soon. I can’t stand this application much longer.