Monthly Archives: May 2011

Site Overhaul

I have taken it upon myself to make some dramatic changes to

Unordered list of changes:

  • Uninstalled Gallery photo publishing software (I never update it, photos go on FB etc)
  • Uninstalled all unused plugins
  • Cleaned out the mysql database. (dropped ~60 tables of g2_*, and also ALOT of tables created by past plugins. If you’re a wordpress dev, don’t ever have your plugin create tables. Store an entry in the options table GOSH.
  • Upgraded lean/cleaned WordPress to 3.2 Beta 1
  • Upgraded immediately to 3.2 Beta 2 which was just released (svn sw ftw)
  • Decide on the new default theme called “twentyeleven”
  • Learn about creating a child theme; which is way more awesome than directly editing theme files – which, I’ve always done in the past.
  • Used my child theme to re-add sidebars to single posts and pages, put in Google analytics code, make various css tweaks

Overall, I like the look of the twentyeleven theme. But there are a couple things that I really do not understand. First:I dont really understand why they remove the sidebar on pages and on single-post permalinks – so it took me some work to figure out how to get that back in there and make it look normal (set pages to use the sidebar template; customized css for all .singular content entries).

Secondly: I cannot stand the header image size. The header in the WordPress 3.0 default theme “twentyten” was 940 x 188. This was too large for my taste, but I rolled with it and grew to be OK with it vs re-writing css to skinny it down. Now, in the 3.2 default theme of twnetyeleven, the header even larger. 1000 x 288. Seriously. TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT pixels tall. That is nearly a third of your screen resolution before you can even see any content. It’s literally nothing but ridiculous. Therefore, I have disabled the header image completely. If any person responsible for the header image size in the theme “twentyeleven”: I hope your car dies on you tomorrow in gridlock traffic seriously.

Things are certainly still a work in progress… but I am having fun re-tooling my web presence.

Signs is Better Than Blade II

Signs is better...

“Reaction to Blade II among critics has been mixed”
“Signs garnered generally positive reviews from movie critics.”

Blade II Rating: 6.6
Signs Rating: 6.9

Blade II Score: 52
Signs Critic Score: 59

Rotten Tomatoes
Blade II Score: 59%
Signs Critic Score: 74%

Make no mistake about it. Any widely used movie ratings system or service will tell you that Signs is a better film than Blade II.

It’s not like Blade 2 wins on one or more of these areas. The critics and users alike universally agree by administering a higher rating than Signs on seemingly every possible system. The fact that Russ says Blade 2 is better should alone be enough for any other man to disagree.

That is without mentioning that Signs is a innovative, creative, and attempts to create a level of depth whether or not you agree with the story. Blade II makes itself a cheesy action whore distancing itself completely from the aspects that made the first Blade movie an interesting film. I continue to give solid backing to my stance, where as critics of Signs can seemingly only cite the ending and the water aspects.

I’ll let vanbergs address that via an email:

“I really don’t understand why some people hate Signs so much. Saying it’s stupid because aliens come to our planet full of water, when water can hurt them, is in itself stupid. Humans drown in water. Maybe we should fucking move too. The sun burns our skin. We should fire a thousand arrows in the sky at all times of the day to blot out its rays. As for “swing away” and the whole concept of fate…you may not have agreed with its religious tones or method of execution, but it at least added *some* amount of depth to the story and characters.

Blade II was so bad and awful, it was a truly remarkable achievement in atrocity.”

And finally I’ll close with my own synopsis written some time ago:

While I don’t share the same undying love for Signs that I did upon first seeing it… It at least makes an attempt to tell an original story. Meaning, it’s not just an “alien movie”. The validity and execution of the preacher’s loss and reclamation of faith can be debated on and on… I feel it was done “ok” and I was able to relate to the story fairly well even though I am not religious.

Blade II is a different kind of movie all together. It is all about CGI’d action sequences, blood, vampire slaying, and sheer Wesley Snipes. But even in that, for what it is, it was cheesy BS. Nowhere near as good or innovative as the first Blade movie. It’s not a deep movie, it doesn’t go into a new level or tell an original story. On that alone, Signs is better.

Some may not like the story of Signs. Some may have wanted it to just be an alien movie. But, the point was that it shot for something greater and I don’t think it was a total failure in doing so. It’s an innnovative and creative story – I think that is un-deniable whether or not you like the film. To tell the truth, I actually think the acting in Signs was pretty good as well. From the Culkin kid, to Joaquin Phoenix, and good ol’ Mel G.

I am clearly not alone in my opinion, and clearly I am not wrong.

Everyone’s problem with Signs is whether or not they like the ending. If you don’t like the ending, then it seems for most people that ruins the entirety of the film across the board. Whether or not you liked the ending, watch the films in an attempt to appreciate the originalality of the story.

With that;
Signs is better.

The Best Possible RickRoll Method

The phenomenon known as “RickRolling” is certainly nothing new. Millions have been duped into watching Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. And many, like myself, have had it done multiple times.

Some strategies to Rickrolling a would be victim might include

  • Non-specific Youtube link
  • Use of URL shorteners like or
  • URL re-direction

I’d like to take the URL re-direction bullet, make it a bit overly technical, and unleash what I am convinced is an undetectable rick roll method. Prerequisites include an apache web server with mod rewrite (probably do-able with IIS as well, but I am unaware of rewriting URLs in IIS).

  • Create a folder in the root of your web directory. Name the folder something like “index.html”.
  • Inside that folder, create a file named .htaccess (note the leading dot. Required in the name)
  • Put the following text inside that .htaccess file:

    Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule (.*) "" [R=301,L]

  • Now, you can link somebody to and they will immediately be forwarded to Rick Astley.

I went ahead and implimented this for display purposes here: