October 29, 2009

I Heart Stars

Friend, entrepreneur, and well of sarcastic wit, Jacob Morse recently introduced me to a sleek little free Mac app called I Love Stars. It has a single, minimal purpose and that is to help you rate your iTunes library.


I know of very few iTunes users that have taken the time to rate their library, and even fewer that know the merits of doing it. The main benefits of having your library rated are in the making of Smart Playlists and Party Shuffles. Both create playlists based on various criteria; one such criteria being song rating. For instance, if you were suddenly hit with the urge to listen to some good jazz (some GOOD jazz), you could create a Smart Playlist of only music in the Jazz genre with a rating of 4.5 or more stars. Boom. Done. Consider yourself well-jazzed.

But of course, this only works if your library is rated. Otherwise, you would either have to manually create that playlist or just skip through the playlist when a sub-good song came on. Lame.

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1 Posted in Websinal | | | | | | |

September 29, 2009

I'm Not Gay

I thought I start this post off with a solid, immaculate truth. I’m not gay. Now there’s truth if ever there was such a thing. Moving forward, let’s all keep that irrefutable fact firmly placed at the forefront of our minds. Because the rest of this post could possibly be used to refute said irrefutability without proper context. That context being that I’m not gay. Apologies for the redundancy; I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page here.

But, seriously, I’m not.

So, I have a crush on Chris Martin. And Tom Welling. Mat Kearney. Gerard Butler. Sean Bean. The list goes on. Man crushes. Some may deny it, but in my almost complete lack of experience on the subject, most men have them. If not, they’re either foolishly blind to the charm, wit, and coolness of other men, or they’re actually gay and trying to hide it.

It’s a strange thing, a man crush – or a “mush” as I’ve never once heard anybody call it. In fact, the name “man crush” is a little more provocative than it should be. But what was first a concept that, by name alone, disgusted me and caused me to rebel against it, I now understand and embrace whole-heartedly.

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21 Posted in Personal | | | | | |

September 27, 2009

Posting A Form to A WordPress Page

I develop quite a few sites in WordPress. Being that many of these sites are not “blogs” and need to behave like a traditional, static website, I’ve come across and worked through several obscure and (understandably) poorly documented issues and quirks in WordPress.

This is one of those stories.

I had a page template with a simple contact form that was posting to # (itself):

<form name="contactform" method="post" action="#">
   <input name="name" />
   <input name="email" />
   <input name="phone" />
   <textarea name="comment"></textarea>
   <input type="submit"  name="submit" />

Looked great, but when I submitted the form, instead of reloading the page with the form posted, WordPress would display the 404 error page. Looking at the address bar, the URL was identical (except with a # at the end), and if I reloaded the page without reposting the form data, the unsubmitted page would load fine. I was both baffled and maddened.
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66 Posted in Technical | | | | | |

September 19, 2009

1945 Memory Ln.

Earlier this year, I came into possession of a journal of my great grandfather’s. It’s not a full-on, soul-baring journal. It is – as the front cover displays in gloriously deco font – a Line a Day Five Year Journal. While Poppy didn’t write in it every day – and he typically wrote more than one line on the days that he did – it did end up truly being a 5 year journal. The first entry was New Years 1945; the last was New Years Eve 1949. Wow.

As the story opens, Poppy (christened Houston Epps Sr.) is 42, Jerry (my grandmother) is 18, my great aunt Glenna is 14, my great uncle Houston is 20 and fighting against the Japanese in the South Pacific. My great grandmother, Maurine (affectionately known as Mimo), is age unknown at this point. I’m guessing 40, give or take a year or two.

A lot had happened between then and the last time Poppy put pen to paper five years later. Poppy and Mimo had celebrated their 25th (Silver) Anniversary. The war had ended (marked by a simple entry “Japan Surrendered Unconditionally To-day”), and Houston was back home and had started dating, become engaged to, and married his wife of over 50 years. Glenna had dropped out of high school (with her parents’ consent), then re-enrolled and graduated on the recommendation of her new employer. Jerry had become engaged twice, called both weddings off, and started dating my grandfather; they were married in mid-1950.

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6 Posted in Personal | | | | | | |

September 13, 2009

Please Get A Gravatar

Have you ever noticed how when you leave a comment on a blog, it displays a boring, generic gray head next to your comment instead of the gorgeous, colorful picture of Webby McGee next to the comment he posted before yours? Well, it’s because Webby has a Gravatar, and you don’t. Be jealous. But don’t just let that jealousy burn within you; use it to fuel your retribution.

You need to get a Gravatar of your own.

Gravatars (or Globally Recognized Avatars) are exactly what their extremely vague name implies. They are avatars or profile pictures that work across multiple blogs; and they make them more beautiful. To put it simply, you create a Gravatar account, tie it your email address, and upload an image of yourself. From that point on, anytime you leave a comment on a Gravatar-enabled blog using that email address, your comment will have your beautiful image instead of the boring generic one. It’ll even roll back out to any comment you’ve posted in the past.

“So just how many blogs are ‘Gravatar-enabled’?”, you ask? Well, Gravatars have been integrated into nearly every major blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, etc); they’re ubiquitous on the web. There’s a very good chance that every single blog you frequent supports Gravatars.

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7 Posted in Websinal | | | |

September 9, 2009

Is This Thing On?

Nope, you’re not mistaken. Your RSS reader isn’t lying to you, though I’m surprised you’re able to see anything through all the cobwebs that have probably accumulated over this pane in Google Reader. But yes there is, in fact, new content on And if you’ve followed your curiosity to actually navigate to, you’ll hopefully notice that content isn’t the only thing that’s new.

This blog has been horrifically overdue for a jump-start for far too long now. I can’t imagine anyone disputing that my blogging report card this past year is one giant F-. Why, I even had the audacity to “relaunch” with a new design a little less than a year ago. Since then, I’ve posted three (3) full blog posts, and possibly a dozen aside updates. I should be ashamed of myself, and as luck would have it, I am.

Fortunately, as luck would further have it, I’m not too ashamed to admit my mistakes and move past them. And in this case, moving past them looks a whole heck of a lot like what you’re seeing right now.

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12 Posted in Websinal | | | | | | |