Categories
Colleagues Music Noteworthy

Clan Dragonas

I would have announced this sooner, but Sarah beat me to the punch, so I thought I’d wait until the website was done.  For the past few months I have been lucky enough to play flugelhorn, and most recently sing backup vocals, with the awesome Clan Dragonas!  To paraphrase the About page, “Clan Dragonas embodies Rock music as it was originally envisioned: an emotive and spontaneous performance art. . . . a Dragonas show will leave you spellbound.”

Speaking of the About page, I just finished putting together our website, so I hope you enjoy it.

Our first official concert is just a few days away on June 2nd at 8pm in Skinny’s Lounge.  We hope to see you there!

Categories
General Noteworthy Technology

Private Consulting

I don’t know why I didn’t think about announcing this before, but I am currently available for hire as a private consultant on WordPress, web management, and Mac OS X.

I have been an avid WordPress user for over five years, the manager of three WordPress blogs, and a frequent WordPress Support Forum volunteer.  Over the years, I have mastered several web management tools and techniques that exceed those of simply WordPress.  I have been a Mac user for over twenty years and consider myself very knowledgeable in the operating system and a variety of applications.  The scope of what I can cover is quite broad, but as a general rule, I will never charge for a job that I can’t handle.

Please contact me for more details.

Update: I am not accepting clients at this time.  For WordPress support, please contact the WordPress Support Forums.  For Mac OS X support, please contact the Apple Support Forums.

Categories
Noteworthy Technology

Easily Convert Database Character Sets

If you began using WordPress prior to version 2.2, you may notice that your database has tables with two different character sets and collations. This is because all database tables created prior to WordPress 2.2 use the latin1 character set and the latin1_swedish_ci collation, and all database tables created after WordPress 2.2 use the utf8 character set and the utf8_general_ci collation. Outside of the obvious visual difference, no hard evidence has ever been submitted to prove that this difference causes any sort of problem. However, numerous random and unrelated issues have apparently been resolved by standardizing the character set and collation across the database. The WordPress Codex provides an article detailing the process of converting database character sets with MySQL commands. If the thought of destroying your entire database simply because you made a typo concerns you, then fear not! There is an easy way to convert your database’s character set using nothing more than phpMyAdmin (available through most hosting providers’ control panel) and a plain text editor.

The following instructions are Mac-specific using the plain text editor Fraise, but they can be easily reinterpreted using any Windows or Linux-based plain text editor.

Categories
Comics Nostalgia Noteworthy

Returning to Splash Panel

Splash Panel is a graphic novel review blog created by Khaled Abou Alfa way back in November of 2005. As a long-time collector of graphic novels, I was lucky enough to be asked to be the first staff writer, and it was a blast. Unfortunately, burn-out set in and I stopped contributing reviews about a year later. Looking back, I’ve recognized the cause of the burn-out, and thought that it would be worth sharing for future reference.

Splash Panel is unique to the graphic novel review scene due to the fact that we don’t publish negative reviews. If we didn’t enjoy reading it, why would you want to read our review? If we reviewed it, we enjoyed it, end of story. What did this have to do with the burn-out? It’s quite simple, really. I reviewed my favorite graphic novel first, eventually followed by my second, and so on. You always hear that phrase about not playing your best hand first, but sure enough I did. Given that we never post negative reviews on Splash Panel, I immediately set a hurdle that I may never pass.

For some reason, this weighed heavily on my ability to write further reviews. The comic industry has changed and perfect graphic novels are few and far between. How do you positively review something without drawing attention to its faults? The point is that most review sites deal with this every day. You can’t expect perfection from everything, so don’t avoid reviewing something just becomes it doesn’t measure up to your standard of perfection.

From now, starting with Spider-Man: The Other, you can expect to see more reviews on Splash Panel. Not only reviews of perfect graphic novels, but reviews of simply entertaining graphic novels as well. As always, no negative reviews will be posted on Splash Panel, but I’m sure that I’ll be sharing a few here just for your enjoyment.

(Splash Panel was retired long ago, so the links above have been adjusted to direct to either archived content or content re-published here.)

Categories
General Nostalgia Noteworthy

New House

As Sarah mentioned, we have been in our new 4-bedroom Rialto home since March of this year.  We were lucky enough to purchase it before building began, so we got our choice of flooring, countertops, and cabinets.  We were also lucky enough to receive “upgraded” appliances and landscaping in both yards, which the builders were kind enough to add to our home as they began to increase incentives on the unsold homes.  It practically has everything we need; bedrooms for sleeping, a kitchen for cooking, a living room for TV and Wii, an office for computer stuff, a den for violin lessons, a spare room for Sarah’s booming Mary Kay business, and bathrooms for bathrooming.  I’m sure that you probably want to see what it looks like, so here are a few photos of the new house, taken during various stages of development.  Enjoy!