Category Archives: Site related

Of / pertaining to

Sheer Ads

Maybe a year ago, I did a trial run on some Google ads on my site. They were up for maybe 6 or 8 months.

My site’s traffic has gone up pretty significantly since then, and I figured it might be nice to give them another shot. Therefore I have inconspicuously and tastefully placed a couple ads on my site.

I also finally took the plunge to creating a feedburner feed for this site. So I’ve redirected the RSS traffic to the feedburner feed vs the locally generated WordPress feed. This obviously allows me to place ads in the RSS feeds which I have clearly done.

I advise all users to never click any of my ads. 😛

Grand Theft Auto 4 – Mission Complete Ringtones

Back when I was playing through Grand Theft Auto IV, Vanlandw and I were trying very hard to find the sound samples used when the player successfully completed a mission…

For those that may not know what I’m talking about:  Depending which mission you were playing in GTA 4, one of three various sound samples would play upon successful completion – and they were all very catchy, cool sounding clips.  Mainly, our thought was that they would make great ring tones on a mobile phone.

After I had long since given up, Vanlandw did actually manage to find and make one of the sounds into an mp3 ringtone – for which I give him immense credit.  I’ve used that very ring tone off and on as my ringer for some time.   Today, I came across a youtube vid that sampled all of the various mission complete sounds (even 2 additional “sad” mission ending sounds that I didn’t think about).  The sampling on the two “sad” clips is kinda shaky – you can hear traffic and footsteps from the game, so I elected not to use those.  But, I decided to use some rip/dub/export awesomeness to get the audio into a usable mp3 format and create a ringer for each different sound clip.   Check them out below, or just click on the “Files” tab up above and find them under Ringtones.

#1 is my fav, I think…

Noticed these ring-tones were very quiet when played on a cell phone – So I’ve uploaded amplified versions – as well as a double ring version of the 1st tone.


Better Twitter Integration

I both love and hate the Twitter-Tools plugin for WordPress.

On one hand; I really like how it can integrate Twitter into my blog via both sidebar widget and weekly Twitter digest posts… But, on the other hand, I was really starting to feel like these digest posts were cluttering up both my blog and my archives. Several times recently I have found myself scrolling back through way too many Twitter digest posts in order to get at my ACTUAL blog posts and content that I had written. Basically, I came to the conclusion that “I didn’t like this” and I had to modify how Twitter integrated with my Blog.

Today I’ve taken the steps necessary to achieve what I believe is the best of both worlds. I now have weekly Twitter digest post created as usual; but they do not display in my main blog page or in my archives page — AND you have to specifically navigate to a “Twitter” page in order to see them at all.

This was actually a little more challenging for me than I’d like to admit – but I’ll go through the steps below:

First: Exclude the Category
To block out my Twitter category from displaying on my blog and archives, I added the following function to the functions.php file within my theme directory. The “-28” below refers to the corresponding category ID for the Twitter category. This code made it so all posts within the “Twitter” category are ignored in both my blog page and my archives.

function exclude_category($query){
if ($query->is_home) {
$query->set('cat', '-28');
return $query;
add_filter('pre_get_posts', 'exclude_category');

Second: Make the Category “Navigateable” from the Main Page
The more challenging part for me was figuring out an “easy” way to navigate to these Twitter digest posts. It sounded like a fairly easy thing to do; but I had a surprisingly difficult time with it.

I experimented with some .htacces redirection, and also some plugins that claimed to do exactly what I wanted (but, sucked). In the end; I chose to just modify my theme’s main loop logic and save it as a new page template. I copied the the text from my theme’s index.php file, and and pasted it into my a file called “twitter.php” which I saved as a new page template. I then replaced the following code:

if (have_posts()) :
while (have_posts()) : the_post();

With this code:
$recent = new WP_Query();
if ($recent->have_posts()) :
while($recent->have_posts()) : $recent->the_post();

This actually worked fairly well, and in retrospect is very easy – it just took me quite awhile to arrive at this solution! The final step here was then to add a page called “Twitter” via the administration panel; and simply change the page to use this Twitter.php template instead of the default page template.

Voila, a Twitter page that you can navigate to which displays all the weekly digest Twitter posts created automatically by the Twitter Tools plugin.

**** UPDATE ****
Vanlandw had a great recommendation about excluding these Twitter digest posts from my RSS feeds as well. That was very simple to do… My exclude function in the functions.php file in my theme directory now reads as such:
function exclude_category($query){
if ($query->is_home || $query->is_feed) {
$query->set('cat', '-28');
return $query;

And, now the Twitter digest posts are excluded from my RSS feed as well! 🙂 WordPress and PHP are both awesome.

Grey Matter Theme

Today I was browsing through WordPress themes in search of something better than my previous “Panorama” theme…

I really liked Panorama, but in the end I think it had a little much going on for my taste.

Enter Grey Matter theme – a clean, simple, elegant theme for WordPress that has the same base color palette that the Panorama theme had.  But, as you can see – much less to it.

For once promising myself that I was never going to switch away from K2; I sure have been changing themes around alot.

I’ve got everything pretty much how I want it except for my Pictures page – still a little style.css tweakage to clean that up will be necessary.  But, all the other main components have been updated and integrated to fit with my sidebar/footer/header/page content.

I really like WordPress.


I did some updating recently…

WordPress is now 2.8.3
Also updated TwitterTools and this Panorama to the latest versions.

I must admit though, I’m sort of debating whether or not to even keep a personal website/blog anymore…