In the studio

I just spent a couple of hours working on my newest track, the one that inspired the whole project in the first place: “Candor Stetson.” I’m not quite ready to reveal it to the world yet, but I did want to share these photos I took of my gear at the ready. (Note the pile of children’s instruments on the desk at the far left of the first photo… these will be used… soon…)

Sorry for the quality (or lack thereof) in these photos. The iPhone’s camera is adequate at best, less so when there’s a film of whatever’s in my pocket on the lens.

Now that’s really unfortunate… and gross…

But the question on my mind (besides “How is that guy not vomiting?”) is, “Why the hell were they hauling a whale carcass through the middle of a city on a flatbed truck?”

Found here via here.

But to prove that every cloud, or punctured whale carcass, has a silver lining (ugh… sorry… I don’t want that image either), a few clicks onward led me to this wonderment: a photographic compendium of audio cassettes. Now this is a dead technology, laughably inferior to what we almost take for granted today. But from about 1981 when I got my first little red portable tape recorder from Radio Shack, until 1998, when I got my first CD burner, cassettes were it, baby, and I probably went through thousands of blank cassettes from just about every available brand between the ages of 8 and 24. And if you can’t appreciate that, at least I’ve found someone who can.

OK, winter, we get it

I knew it was probably coming, so it wasn’t a total shock. But still… I woke up this morning to this:

Ugh. It will most likely have melted by noon, I suppose. Not that that will do much to repair my severely damaged psychological state.

Even worse, I’m annoyed that the default CSS for the new WordPress gallery functionality uses float: left so when there are only two images, it doesn’t center them, but leaves a nice, perfectly-sized void where a third photo would have gone. I’ll have to fix that. Speaking of voids, my annoyance (and distraction) at snow and CSS is somewhat compensated for by the smooth “electronic breakbeat jazz” grooves of Revolution Void.

Update, 8:13 AM: Great, now it’s actually snowing more. Take that, global warming! (Yes, please check out that site, if for no other reason than to prove that just because your URL is “globalwarming.org” doesn’t mean you’re a benevolent non-profit trying to save the world.)

Incremental increases in intuitiveness

Hopefully (yes, I know that’s not a word, but hopefully William F. Buckley isn’t reading this), this site has now become slightly easier to use, thanks to my super-cool new translucent navigation bar. I’m taking the transparent PNG thing to the next level here, stacking transparencies on top of one another, and the overall effect is very cool, I think: the nav bar is shaded, but you can still see the photo through it all. Actually, the individual text links on the nav bar are separate transparent PNGs, in the top layer. (OK, technically they’re not CSS layers, but whatever.) Then the nav bar itself is part of the next layer down, which includes all of the shading and the logo that are overlaid upon the actual photo, which is at the bottom. This way, I can easily swap in new photos without having to redesign anything else. The photos just need to be cropped to the right dimensions. (Of course, it’s been ages since I’ve taken a new “34″ photo. But maybe now I’ll get back into that project. I really want to take a picture of the signs at the end of the offramp from eastbound 494 onto County 34, because they’ve got “End MN 100″ and “Begin Cty 34″ side-by-side. And I’ve been a fan of 100 since I was about 5 [for some reason... but at any rate, this parenthetical has gone on far too long now].)

I’ve also added in an “Offspring” link which, if you’re logged in and have been granted access, will take you to the new Gallery2-based photo library. But since I don’t want just any old stranger/psycho looking at pictures of my kids, I’ve added the log-in requirement. Like I mentioned in my last post, if I know you, feel free to register for an account, and then let me know and I’ll set you up with access to the gallery.

New pictures are up… (finally!)

It’s been on the back burner for months because I was trying to figure out some of the more cumbersome aspects of integrating WordPress with Gallery2.

Here’s the first gallery, of photos from the first half of 2007. 97 photos for your enjoyment. In order to view that link, you’ll first need to register for an account, and then let me know you’re signed up so I can set you up with gallery access.

Once I get all of the kinks worked out, it’s going to be pretty cool. The new software lets you rate and comment on photos, view them in several different sizes, see all of the “meta data” about the photos (date and time, shutter speed, etc.), and with just a few clicks you can even order photo-quality prints (of any of the photos) from Shutterfly and they’ll mail them to you. (Some of the prints are pretty expensive, but a 4×6 is only 19 cents.)

Now that’s just wrong.

I’m trying out Google AdSense on my site for the second time. Although on one hand I feel a bit like a tool (OK, I am a tool, but that’s beside the point), it is nice to potentially make a little money from these sites (even if it would take approximately 800 years to earn enough to pay for one month of hosting… if I weren’t getting the hosting for free).

Anyway… so as I said, I’m trying out Google AdSense on the site, hence those ugly ad panels in the left columns of all of the pages.

We’re off to a rocky start, though, and I have previously unexpected doubts over the accuracy of Google’s algorithms, having discovered that they put ads for nudist/naturist sites on a page of family photos! (And there was nothing of an illicit nature in those photos, I assure you…)

So, Google, consider yourself on double-secret probation. Don’t make me sic Marmalard on you!