Ha ha! My year-end wrap up is the first one out! I beat all you bitches to the end of the year! In your face!
And you know why? Because I’m actually writing this from the future. It’s January 2013 here, and through the magic of my blog’s “scheduling” feature, I’m able to publish this entry in the past. That’s right; my website skills are that badass.
Oh, yeah, sorry. The news. Yes, we survived the Mayan apocalypse. (This was thanks in part to Desmond Miles, who touched the silver sphere of bad writing and protected us from the solar flares. Or something.)
But below is the real news, the headlines that matter most to me:
In 2013, there will be things like a new novel published (more on that later) and other ongoing writing projects. And since I just now read my 2013 summation, written by my future self, I expect it all to go swimmingly.
Happy Thanksgiving! Among other things, I’m thankful I had time today to launch my redesigned website. Come check it out!
No wonder nobody has solved the Haunted House Adventure puzzle lately. Its code was outdated and therefore buggy! I think I’ve fixed the issues, so please visit the haunted house and play. A free book to anyone who finds another 404 error in the game that I can reproduce. My Facebook fan page has an exclusive picture from within.
It’s been a while since I posted in this blog, so I thought I’d alert anyone following this that I’m still alive. Which brings me to today’s first imponderable: are blogs still relevant, or has the nature of online ramblings “evolved” (cough, cough) into short mental burps, like what we’re used to on a Facebook status or a Twitter tweet? Have our attention spans been amputated?
Feel free respond here or on Facebook, where I often repost these messages. (That is, if your attention span has carried you through this far.) This isn’t an idle question, as I’m a practitioner of much, much longer forms of ramblings.
Meanwhile, it’s been a coon’s age since I’ve read anything I’ve really liked. If you glance at the Goodreads widget on my biography page, you’ll see that I’ve been finishing books less frequently and rating them more harshly. Either my tastes are changing, or there’s something wrong with me; I mean, only two stars out of five for Something Wicked This Way Comes? (An overwritten piece of treacle, by the way, but there you have it.) I don’t have much time to read, and what I’ve read lately is sapping my interest. Somebody rescue me with a good suggestion!
Play Matthew Warner’s Haunted House Adventure, featuring the Warner house and starring you! Also starring baby Owen Warner.
Today’s geek moment for web designers is brought to you by Stanley Kubrick and the WordPress content management system.
While scrolling down to line 625 of style.css in the default WordPress theme called “Kubrick” today, I noticed this little piece of commented-out doggerel:
/* “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.” */
What could this be? I wondered. Could Michael Heilemann, the author of the default WordPress theme, have hidden this in his CSS so he could later track down everyone who was using code based his theme? Yes, I’m paranoid. And the answer is, well, possibly. Googling style.css Kubrick “Daisy, Daisy” certainly brings up some interesting results.
But upon further research, I found the following two links. First is Heilemann’s info about the Kubrick theme. Apparently he titled it in honor of Stanley Kubrick, “my favorite director of all time.” And Kubrick, as we all should know, directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal novel of the same title. 2001 contains a climactic scene in which Dave, the intrepid explorer, deactivates the homicidal computer known as HAL. HAL offers to sing Bicycle Built for Two, a song from my grandmother’s day, which has the above lyrics. You can watch the scene at this link.
As a link off the YouTube video explains:
One of the more famous moments in Bell Labs’ synthetic speech research was the sample created by John L. Kelly in 1962, using an IBM 704 computer. Kelly’s vocoder synthesizer recreated the song “Bicycle Built for Two,” with musical accompaniment from Max Mathews. Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, saw this remarkable demonstration and later used it in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where the HAL9000 computer sings this song as he is disassembled by astronaut Dave Bowman.
Variations in WordPress themes are mostly driven by their cascading style sheets, so it makes sense that Heilemann, seeking to honor his favorite director, would drop these lyrics into his CSS file. At the time he designed this prototypical WordPress theme way back in version 1.5, it must have felt like a pioneering act, something on the frontier of computer development — just like those IBM programmers nearly 50 years ago. WordPress has certainly powered a revolution in web design with its free and open-source technology, so the analogy feels appropriate.
Welcome to my new blog. Click here to browse my old blog on MySpace. I currently have no plans to announce news in here because I regularly do that on my homepage, although sometimes I might expound on a news item here.
This is more of a place to ramble about stuff, such as my impending entry into the world of fatherhood, about which I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say provided that newborn-induced sleep deprivation doesn’t rob me of all energy.
So . . . welcome! Feel free to leave a comment. If this is a place you’d like to monitor, please bookmark the page or subscribe to its RSS feeds via the below links.
[copied from my old Myspace blog]
This week marks a new era in the Warner household. I’ve quit my job as a paralegal and have started fulltime for my wife’s home-based business, Deena Warner Design LLC. My job title is Office Manager / Web Designer.
Will this create more time for me to write? That’s the plan–but so far I’ve been busier than I was at the law firm! That’s okay though; being able to work in your jammies all day is the American dream. Web and print design, by its very nature, also offers the ultimate in telecommuting advantages. I’m fortunate now to be in a profession in which physical distance is irrelevant. . . . Kinda like writing, except this pays a little better.
Anyway, Deena has done some incredible work for a variety of non-profit organizations and major New York publishers. Please take a couple minutes to check out our new corporate website.