Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heat Wave in the Great Northwest

I like to joke that every year the Seattle area has to suffer one 100°F day (about 38°C) every year. This year, it's no joke. Around here, we're going through an entire week above 90°, and there could be more than one 100° day ahead of us.

My problem is that I don't have, and never had, air conditioning. I could go swimming or sunbathing or find someplace indoors where it's cool. But then I have to come home to the heat. It's disrupting my sleep. I'm getting tired of it. I find myself longing for the weekend, when the weather forecasters have promised temperature dropping back to a mere 80°. As it is, the nighttime lows have risen to above 70°, and it's getting extremely uncomfortable when I can't cool down my overheated apartment.

This really shouldn't interrupt my writing, though. The heat can serve me as a convenient excuse, sure. But I've written nonstop through heat waves before, and in longhand.

Update: Seattle Times article on the heat wave: Seattle Hits 97 Today; Is 100 On The Way? If you think it's bad enough around here, it's getting even worse tomorrow — that's our 100° day! And, if the KING 5 weather forecast is correct, this heat wave ain't ending any time soon...

Blog Search 2: Following

Tonight's blog search isn't for the blogroll of this or any other of my blogs. Instead, I decided to use Blogger's "Follow" feature to follow other people's blogs. This puts them on my Blogger dashboard, where they're immediately accessible. This is more convenient than viewing one of my blogs, waiting for it to load, scrolling down, and clicking on the blogroll. Of course, I can always add some of the blogs I follow onto one of my blogrolls if I want people to read them alongside mine.

"Following" is a social-network feature that Google added to its blogging platform. Click "Follow Blog", and then you can follow a blog (at least a Blogger/BlogSpot one, or one that takes part in the "Google Friend Connect" program) just like you follow someone on, say, Twitter. This allows you to easily build up a collection of blogs that you can access from the Blogger dashboard. You won't have to bookmark every blog you come across (just the WordPress, TypePad, etc. ones ;) ), and you won't have to go on wild goose chases all over the Web.

Of course, as with my blogrolls, I'll have to take the time (several days or longer) to build up the number of blogs I follow. I've only started just now.

You might notice that I've started posting a series of cyberpunk short stories related to my proposed webmanga Spanner to my project blog. I just realized: this blog here would be the perfect place for me to post short stories unrelated to Spanner, or anything else science-fictional. I could also post poems once I start writing them again. I should also post weekly updates for Project 365 and 50 Songs in 90 Days.

And now, back to writing 2,000 words for JulNoWriMo while waiting for my apartment to cool off from the day's extreme heat...

Friday, July 24, 2009

A WebKit Glitch in My Blogs

[Note: The issue I was dealing with has been obsolete since expandable posts became an integral part of Blogger. For more information, read this post.]

Here's an annoying bug. On the main page of my project blog, one of the entries (one of my wilder short stories) does not collapse when you view it in Chrome or Safari (or presumably Konqueror). Instead, you see the full entry, right there on the main page. You don't see that happen in either IE8 (which has its own special problems, but that's not one of 'em) or Mozilla/Gecko. When I saw it happen in Safari, I knew the problem was a glitch in WebKit.

So I made a Google search of WebKit Blogger bug. Turns out WebKit still has many bugs specifically connected to Blogger (and WordPress as well). As the bug affects both Chrome and Safari, I know neither Google nor Apple is to blame. The fault lies strictly at the WebKit project's proverbial feet. Let's home the WebKit people can squash this bug soon. I don't like having a single entry dominating the blog's entire main page.

Update 7/28/09: I checked the main page of this blog and found the same WebKit glitch doing the same thing to this post.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Blog Search Finally Begins

At last I have begun the long-delayed search for other people's blogs, or at least the ones I think are appropriate for my project blog. I knew it would be a long search, so I put it off for several days, which became weeks and then months, and threatened to turn into years. Then the random thought came to me that now would be the time to start it. And so I did.

It did not go perfectly, of course. Somewhere in the middle of my initial search, Windows gave me a Blue Screen Of Death and crashed randomly on one of its many bugs. (Good thing I don't use Vista!) But I rebooted and resumed the search until I found enough blogs for one day.

It isn't the end of this, of course. I still have many more blogs to find and put in the blogrolls of all my blogs. I still haven't found enough cyberpunks and cartoonists to fill my growing Spanner's World blogroll, I haven't gotten to my other blogs yet. But it's finally begun...

Back to The Space Helmet Show...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

After a Busy Week...

#JulNo #5090 #songwriting #writers #Bloggers The second week of July '09 was surprisingly busy for me. At the end of it, though, I got my most important Internet-related business out of the way (getting rid of that archaic and extremely slow dialup connection and joining the modern world), so I can now get back to the proper business of writing. (As for those hash terms I'm now putting at the beginning of my posts: those are Twitter search terms for my Twibes. The Twibes in question are the JulNoWriMo, 50 Songs in 90 Days, Songwriting, Writers, and Bloggers Twibes respectively. That's because TwitterFeed tweets my blog posts.)

Most of my business had nothing to do with writing (novels, songs, blogs). However, I did get one short story written, added to my JulNoWriMo word count, and posted to my project blog (warning: some people may not be able to handle it, hence the many disclaimers). Now that I've finally upgraded my internet connection and immediately upgraded all the software that needed upgrading, I'll be able to return to my 50 Songs in 90 Days songs and my JulNo novel writing.

I'll be a lot more productive in the next week. First, though, I need to get some good rest. Waiting for that dialup connection kept me up at nights...

Back to The Space Helmet Show...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Project 365 Returns! Or, at least I started mine again...

Plaza Fountain
Originally uploaded by Dennis Jernberg

On July 1, I restarted my Project 365. That's where you take and upload at least one photo a day for a year. I carried my camera around with me, went downtown, and took this picture. Now all I need to do is keep my camera with me (and not forgetfully leave it in the house), take one picture at minimum, and upload it — every single day for the next year.

Should be easy. Actually harder than you think. In January, I stopped after only 15 days.

I used to have a blog at Photoblog as well. However, that was a bit too much when I already have my Flickr account and this here general-purpose blog, so I pretty much abandoned it. (If it's still around, it's here.) The Flickr photostream can be treated as if it were its own blog, so that's how I'm treating it. All my Project 365 photos uploaded to Flickr, from both attempts at it, are in their own photo set.

And so once again I've decided I want to do this again. I even think I'll be able to pull this off. However, back in January I wasn't able to continue Project 365 and write 65,000 words for JanNoWriMo at the same time. Can I pull it off this time while simultaneously doing not just JulNoWriMo and 50 Songs in 90 Days? We'll see. All I need to do is take one picture a day...

Back to The Space Helmet Show...