Back from the Dead

Recently my wife told me that I “never write in my blog.”

She’s right about that. Mostly. I have written stuff sort of recently. Well, I wrote something in November of last year. That was only um… three months or so ago. That’s recent. More recent than my last dentist appointment anyway.

Most of my “writing for the internet” time has been spent with my fiction blog which is currently being using to tell the story of Nick, a teenager who ends up being a superhero more because of peer pressure than any other reason.

I’ve also ended up using twitter and Facebook more than I’d thought possible.

I originally started using twitter purely for the purpose of posting when my story got updated. I’d seen a number of webcomic and web serial writers using them for that reason and it seemed to work pretty well. Then something changed. A number of web serial writers connected with Web Fiction Guide started using it for personal purposes. Now I use it to let people know about updates, but also to comment on my life.

Facebook: I got into Facebook largely because it seemed like everyone I knew suddenly had a Facebook account. I’m still not completely sure what to think about it. It’s been very cool in that I’ve suddenly become aware of the lives of people I hadn’t seen in years. Many of them are from high school. Surprisingly few of my friends from college are on Facebook.

So far though, it seems as though I’m meeting a bunch of people I hadn’t known before through Twitter and reconnecting with people I already knew through Facebook.

I’m not sure if that’s most people’s experience, but that’s how things have happened for me.

In the meantime, I’m tempted to refocus this blog. I’m not sure what I’d refocus it to, but I’m tempted to do it anyway.

It may be that I’ll focus it on whatever happens to appear once I actually start writing regularly in it again.

That sounds like a good idea.

Hey, That’s My Church…

There’s apparently a website called “Ship of Fools” which looks at Christianity with a perspective that’s both critical and irreverent at the same time (to my mind this is a good thing).

One of the features is something called “The Mystery Worshiper” in which someone reviews a church. During the summer, someone apparently reviewed Church of the Servant, the church I go to.

In the recent past, they apparently also reviewed Mars Hill Bible Church, a locally prominent congregation.

Things I’d Like to See Less of on Reddit (and Why)

1. Ron Paul: There’s no chance in hell I’ll vote for the guy.
2. Atheism: Not an atheist. Just don’t care.
3. Why Bush is Stupid and Evil: I disagree with his administration on Iraq, torture/waterboarding, and various domestic issues. Do I have to hate him too?
4. Yet More Examples of Why Iraq is a Horrible Mistake: I agree. Why wallow in it?
5. Tasers/Cops are Fascists: There are good cops and bad cops. Good cops don’t make the news.
6. Reasons Why Religion is Stupid: I’m religious. I guess I’m too dumb to understand these articles.
7. Reasons Why the Economy will Tank Soon/Environmental Disasters/Other Scary but Unlikely Events: I’m interested in potential problems, but an awful lot of these articles make it sound as if everyone will die tomorrow. In short, too much hype repels me.

WordPress

It looks like I’ll be moving over to WordPress as my blogging software in the relatively near future. Those of you who read the blog through RSS feeds probably won’t notice (the feeds will be redirected). Those of you who actually look at the site will probably notice that the design will morph into the default WordPress template until I find a template I like.

Why the change from MoveableType to WordPress?

Mostly I’ve been told that WordPress has less problems with comment spam. Outside of that I’ve been happy with MoveableType.

Apache

As you may have noticed, I’ve been averaging about a blog post a week over the last couple weeks. That shows what holidays can do. Seeing family and friends takes away time you might use to do really important things.

Just in case you’re not catching my tone over the internet, that last comment was a joke. Ha-ha.

OK. So anyway, I got an email from Ed a few days ago that pointed out that the Star Wars Holiday Special (a piece so awful that Lucas has done his best to destroy all copies) is now available online.

The same blog that broke that news also pointed to a music video that is far, far funnier (not to mention stranger) in my opinion. It’s apparently a video made by a Scandinavian disco musician who attempted to immortalize the Apache tribe in song.

Words cannot describe it.

Coffee

Kristen’s been ordering coffee over the internet lately. From Gevalia. She ordered it because she got a free coffee maker with her first order of coffee. She’s continued to order it and that’s okay. It is good coffee.

An amusing side effect of ordering it over the internet is that they give you the UPS tracking number. Thus, I get frequent updates as to where in the United States the coffee is.

Thus, Kristen comes home for lunch, gets on the computer, checks her email. “Jim, the coffee’s in Tennessee.’ Nine hours later she’s online again, “Jim, the coffee’s in Illinois.”

We will apparently run out of coffee soon. I don’t drink much of it myself, but I’m getting the impression that running out would be a very bad thing.

Um… Happy Birthday to Me?

So anyway, today’s my birthday. Not that this is of massive significance, but it is true. My wife and I went out to eat tonight, came home, paid the babysitter, and went about putting kids to bed. While I was giving them a bath, my wife came upstairs (she’d been starting the laundry), telling me that I probably ought to go read Local Area Watch. The author had responded to my post.

That struck me as kind of bizarre since there wasn’t really much to respond to. It was, after all, three lines.

Regular readers of this blog will note that I spend a certain amount of time on some posts and then pretty much toss off others. This was in the latter category.

See, I could have said, “Local Area Watch: A local blog following corruption in local business and politics.” Or, I could have said, “Local Area Watch: A blog about local politics. We need more blogs like it from all sides of the political spectrum.”

What I did say was, “Local Area Watch: …seems to be a blog devoted to reporting on things the author doesn’t like about various organizations and individuals in Grand Rapids.” Though it wasn’t supposed to, it sounds dismissive of the whole enterprise.

Ironically, the blog post in question was supposed to make people aware of local web sites that take on big issues in the community–as opposed to my blog which typically takes on such burning issues as cat drool and poor martial arts techniques found in old movies.

So anyway, I am reminded again that people actually read this thing. I’ll have to edit myself better in the future.

Dealing with Comment Spam

Comment spam is pretty much unbearable. I don’t mind deleting the occasional piece but last night I got 67–and that was only during the night.

Previously, I’d set MoveableType’s spam filter to a higher level, but unfortunately, I found that spam appears to be indistinguishable from normal comments. As such, I found all six comments on my entry about 6/6/06 in the “Junk” folder. In response, I lowered my spam threshold a little lower. Thus 67 comments about viagra and hair care. And gay porn. One can’t forget the gay porn.

So anyway, I’m moving the spam threshold back up again. I promise to check the junk folder regularly and if your comment fails to appear, my apologies, it’s not personal.

P.S. I’m open to any configuration suggestions you might have.

A Few Search Strings

You’ll pardon me if I engage in a bit of navel gazing for the moment. Here are a few actual search strings that led to my blog yesterday…

i have a scream speech (Still… and despite the fact that Howard Dean gave that speech a while ago)

grand rapids prostitutes (No clue how they got me through that)
men pudding wrestling (Eek.)