Here’s the deal (sort of)…

OK, so here’s the deal (sort of) with those last couple of ambiguous posts. I’m trying to take advantage of some of the newest features of WordPress (which seem largely intended to keep WordPress relevant in a post-Tumblr world), especially the ability to create different post formats, which, in addition to the “standard” format, include asides, links, galleries, status(es), quotes, and images.

In order to get access to these new features, I’ve switched from my old, built-from-scratch custom theme to the current stock theme, Twenty Eleven, which I am currently modifying for my own nefarious purposes. (If you consider hot pink text in a whimsical retro font nefarious, which you should.) My goal is to get things fairly close to how they looked before the switch, while still gaining access of all of that new WordPress mojo.

Cool. But what I really want to do is to take all of this even a step further, and let this WordPress-based blog become my single hub for posting anything online, except I guess for photos, which I still plan to post through Instagram, because I like how the app works. (Although having those show up in the main blog content stream instead of, or in addition to, in a sidebar widget would also be nice.)

The biggest stumbling block for this grand vision, so far, is that Twitter Tools, the WordPress plugin I use for all of the Twitter integration (a.k.a. “twittergration” in my compulsive Twitter portmanteau, or “twortmanteau”, parlance) on the site, isn’t smart enough to handle these special formats in the way I’d like. It should recognize asides, and especially status(es), as such and just run them as the entirety of the tweet, without the usual “UoP:” prefix and permalink consuming precious characters.

Or, perhaps more rationally, the ability of Twitter Tools to turn tweets into posts should allow you to define the format of those tweet posts (“twosts”), so I could tell it to make all of my twosts into status(es) instead of “standard” posts. Yes, this is definitely a more rational approach, and one that makes me slightly embarrassed to have written the previous paragraph (but not enough to make me delete it). I’m very accustomed to tweeting on-the-go from my iPhone, and I’d prefer to keep using Tweetbot for that, instead of somehow trying to turn the WordPress app into my go-to tool for depositing random brain cruft onto the interwebs.

While I’m wishing for alternative methods of funneling content into WordPress, as I mentioned above it would also be super neato if I could get Instagram photos to automatically show up on the blog as image posts… which might be possible, if I were to take the time to investigate it, but one thing at a time.

The end result of all of this angsting is that my blog is currently not in a state that I intend for it to remain in for very long. It’s a work in progress (as is everything in the world that isn’t just being allowed to decay), and I suppose I can live with it for now. I have more important things to worry about at the moment, unless you’d care to make a generous donation for the ongoing care and feeding of my blog. (4 figures minimum, and that’s U.S. dollars… not pennies, wooden nickels or, um… “Star Bucks”)

Then again, maybe I’ll be able to think about all of this a little more rationally come Monday, when the Minneapolis Public Schools’ winter break is finally over.

140 characters

Picking up where the last post left off, this morning SLP and I were discussing the frustrations some people have with Twitter, and their frequent inclination to dismiss it wholesale as a result. One of the biggest complaints always seems to be that you “can’t say anything” in 140 characters. That the brevity of a tweet naturally leads to flippant, ill-considered, 2 short & hvly abbrvtd, or just plain pointless missives fired into the vast, chaotic fray of similar voices, loudly saying nothing.

As I usually do at this point (although maybe she beat me to it this time), I brought up haiku. Most haiku poems could easily fit within the 140-character confines of a tweet, but few people dismiss the haiku form as too brief to convey meaning. In fact, I was inspired to compose a haiku on the topic of Twitter itself, which I subsequently tweeted, of course:

Twitter, like haiku,
Is brief, but you can still say
Something meaningful.

Of course Twitter, like all forms of communication, has limitations. And of course some of what ends up on Twitter is pointless babble. Just because someone gives you the tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them. But to dismiss the entire platform simply because it has constraints or because you don’t like the way certain other people are using it is as silly as dismissing haiku because you can’t write a dissertation in 17 syllables.

But sometimes that’s all you need. Is this 262-word blog post really more effective at communicating the merits of Twitter than my (as SLP called it) twaiku?

Musings of a 4-year-old daughter: a tweet compendium

I’ve spent the last year-plus tweeting the musings of my 4-year-old daughter. Tomorrow she becomes my 5-year-old daughter, so this seemed like a good time for a compendium of her “greatest hits.”

I need to acknowledge the great iPhone app Momento, which made gathering a year’s worth of tweets possible (if still not quite as easy as I would have liked… I still needed to manually pull them out of a text file using TextWrangler, and I didn’t bother to reorganize them from its default reverse chronological order). Momento is a great app for automatically turning your tweets, Facebook status updates and blog RSS feed into an automatic personal journal. You can also write private entries directly within the app. It’s fantastic, and well worth the $2.99 price tag.

Here we go…

4yo daughter: What’s the car alarm for?
Me: To scare off someone trying to break in.
4yo: It should just make a ghost come out.
Monday 21 March 2011, 12:22 PM

4yo daughter just sheepishly approached me and said “I accidentally did this.”
“This” being writing her name on her leg with a marker.
Sunday 20 March 2011, 9:08 AM

I was explaining how long Bob Dylan’s been around. 4yo daughter: “Um, dad, the word you’re looking for is ’80 hundred years’.”
Sunday 13 February 2011, 8:34 PM

4yo daughter wants to do yoga. Or, in her words, get “yoga’ed up.”
Saturday 5 February 2011, 7:07 PM

4yo daughter: Who do you think I’m going to marry?
Me: I don’t know. Probably someone you don’t even know yet.
4yo: I have to MEET someone?
Saturday 29 January 2011, 4:06 PM

4yo daughter is excited for Twins Fest on Sunday, but only for possibility of seeing TC Bear or Joe Mauer (in that order). @MinnesotaTwins
Friday 28 January 2011, 9:32 PM

4yo daughter to coffee roaster: “What are you doing?”
Coffee roaster: “Cooking little girls.”
Daughter: “What?”
Roaster: “Roasting coffee.”
Saturday 8 January 2011, 3:45 PM

4yo daughter’s new song: “Doo Doo Death Star,” sung to the tune of “Frère Jacques.”
Thursday 6 January 2011, 7:31 AM

4yo daughter: “Worms are mean to artists because worms eat trees and paper comes from trees.”
Friday 31 December 2010, 12:52 PM

Always surprising what songs 4yo daughter spontaneously sings… this time it’s “Baby’s in Black” by the Beatles.
Friday 31 December 2010, 4:39 PM

4yo daughter in a freshly cleaned bathroom: “It smells like I pooped on a flower.”
Thursday 30 December 2010, 1:02 PM

To 4yo daughter: “Are they vegetarians?”
4yo daughter replies: “Yeah, they only eat vegetarian meat.”
Tuesday 21 December 2010, 5:58 PM

4yo daughter: “I love shopping. Just like London Tipton.” #ParentingFail
Thursday 16 December 2010, 5:22 PM

4yo daughter, totally out of the blue: “Pigs are breakfast, daddy.”
Sunday 5 December 2010, 8:34 PM

Apparently 4yo daughter spent entire drive back from North Shore listening to the White Album. Walking around house singing “Bungalow Bill.”
Sunday 28 November 2010, 1:51 PM

4yo daughter gets home from preschool. What does she want for a snack? Salt.
Thursday 11 November 2010, 5:20 PM

4yo daughter is listening to Queen: “Why are they champions?”
Tuesday 26 October 2010, 8:36 PM

4yo daughter correctly identified Kyle Massey on Dancing with the Stars as the voice of Milo on Disney Channel’s Fish Hooks. Seriously?!
Monday 18 October 2010, 8:23 PM

Listening to Rush — “La Villa Strangiato” — today, because last night my 4yo daughter misheard me say something and asked “Strangiato?” I think.
Wednesday 13 October 2010, 9:00 AM

Speaking of 4yo daughter, my natural inclination to correct everyone all the time shuts off when she calls an iPad a “big iPod.”
Wednesday 13 October 2010, 9:18 AM

4yo daughter identified the scientist Algernon (Roy Kinnear) in The Beatles’ Help! as “Veruca’s dad.”
Monday 30 August 2010, 3:30 PM

4yo daughter just said, “I wish your body didn’t need sleep. Sleeping is boring!”
Wednesday 26 May 2010, 9:19 PM

4yo explaining why she’s hungry: “My tummy’s empty. All the food went into my legs.”
Wednesday 12 May 2010, 7:56 AM

4yo daughter just insulted me (I think) by yelling “You shredded wheat!”
Saturday 10 April 2010, 3:22 PM

Troy Bolton is my 4yo daughter’s boyfriend. Also, bacon.
Tuesday 6 April 2010, 8:25 PM

4yo daughter just informed us that 7yo son is “pushing my buttons!” Wonder where she learned that.
Saturday 3 April 2010, 6:24 PM

And, stepping back just a bit further, my all-time favorite quote, from when she was 3…

The Smiths on @TheCurrent. 3yo daughter, hearing Morrissey’s crooning, asks: “Is he crying?” Yeah. Pretty much.
Friday 19 February 2010, 4:54 PM

Tomorrow is also my son’s 8th birthday (yep, same day). He’s not quite as quotable as his little sister, but he did have one absolute gem (for me, at least) this year…

7yo son: Is XBOX Nintendo or Sega?
Me: Neither… it’s Microsoft.
Him: Microsoft?! What’s that?
Thursday 27 January 2011, 7:50 PM

Happy birthday guys!

Ahoy!

It’s been two weeks since my last blog entry which, while not exactly a record for inactivity, is surely too long. I’m too busy to write a full entry today but I feel compelled to write a brief status update to tide over anyone who for some reason cares about what I’m doing/saying/thinking.

Item! Lots of work going on at Room 34 Creative Services, LLC! I’m making major enhancements to cms34 and preparing to roll out a major site overhaul for a long-term client.

Item! I’m suffering withdrawal after the premature end to the baseball season in Minnesota. That said, my pain is eased considerably by the Rangers’ handy defeat of the Yankees in the ALCS, and by the success of my favored San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.

Item! Oh, man. The MacBook Air. I couldn’t resist the impulse to buy the 11-inch model this weekend, and I absolutely love it. More on that in a future post.

Item! I’m hoping to review another coffeehouse this week, as it’s been way too long.

Item! If random, bullet point-length updates from me are something you enjoy, be sure to check me out on Twitter for all of the latest trivialities.

That is all.

Twittegration (or… uh… something like that)

Yes, I should inaugurate this new feature with a profound, witty, or at least marginally purposeful post. Alas, I might as well just say “Hello world!”

This post is a test of a new Twitter integration I’m trying out, using the Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress. Here goes (hopefully not) nothing!

Update: Looks like it works. Now I just need to get my custom URL shortener integrated into it all.