if this makes it through -- my hosting service's recent reboot has apparently hosed my movable type installation. Yay! apologies to everyone who's tried to comment! trying to fix now...
okay, looks like it's all better. whew!
At last! We have true broadband again! A few hiccups still (the house network isn't set up, and I need to still do some settings and things I don't have time to do) but...wow, I forgot what broadband was actually like. A-mazing. Once we get through this week's work, posts and photos ahoy! In the meantime, the briefest of show reports:
We attended the NYCC this past Feb. Evan went all three days and sat at the SLG booth; Emily and I went on Friday and Sunday, and she was great. The SLG was just a giant playpen for her, with friendly SLG creators and staff to play with, cute stuffed animals, books to look at -- she had a blast. She also scammed toys off of SLG Pres. Dan (stuffed Bear and Looshkins, SO CUTE) and one off SLG creator Landry Walker (a little guy called "Flamette" -- Evan told him not to show it to her!). We also bought a Demon Guard VooDoo Baby for me, but that was it for the whole weekend. Evan saw a couple things he wanted but...too spendy.
Here's Emily working the table:
Verizon just "updated" our expected DSL activation to MARCH 10th. Now I hate them too. I bet they're going to string us along and then say "whoops! can't make it work at your house!" I think we are cursed. And there are no broadband options left. I think we're screwed.
DSL is scheduled to be here by Friday. Here's hoping! (Every communication I get from them reminds me that until it's actually working they can't promise that it really will work, thanks a lot guys.) If it happens, expect a couple posts from me (drafts I have been unable to finish or post) and a flood of posting on Evan's journal most likely. And a huge reduction of stress here at the house of fun. (Seriously, what's going on here is worse than dial-up. No kidding.) In the meantime, here's hoping I can connect long enough to post this tonight!
No updates lately because not only are we completely overwhelmed with work at the moment, but the ongoing connection problem will...not...go...AWAY. So every post I have tried to make just crashes, and the backup of links is enormous. Next break I get I will probably try and just do a link dump again to catch up. Soon, I swear, even if I have to switch to DSL to do it! We did at least finally get up photos and info on the status of the Milk and Cheese vinyl figures. Mitch did an amazing sculpting job, I think they look fantastic!!
And at least we have lots of pretty snow to look at right now!
Found by my friend Cate -- Target's Ready. Sit. Read! book club promotion, with a cool flash site and loads of gorgeous illos that aren't credited but have got to be Jotto. Early sign-ups get a free kit with stickers and other extras, and everyone gets to download bookmarks, crafts and more. For 18 months and up, but I'll be saving the link for sure! (And of course I signed Emily up and will be putting away the stuff she gets!)
(wiping a little sweat off the brow...)
finally got the kinks worked out of the new layout. Okay, MOST of the kinks. I'm sure I'll find plenty of things that aren't working or that didn't transfer well over the next few days -- and please let me know if you spot anything!
(yeah, for example the archives didn't rebuild at all. okay, sorry about that but I'll try and figure it out this weekend.) Never mind, I just needed to clear my firefox cache. Oops!
updated again -- backed up everything morning and somehow that made the site revert back to several old templates. ARGH!! Some of it is fixed back up but not all.
Okay. Looks like everything's working. Please let me know if you find any more glitches!
So, in tiny bits and pieces of free time, I've been trying to slowly implement some of the changes I've wanted to make for ages around here. Mainly, to merge all the parts of this site into one single entity that I can use Movable Type to manage, redesign things and also streamline all my various hosting, registration, etc accounts. Things are going slowly but I've gotten a few big things done, like upgrading to a nice, supported paid version of the new MT 3.2 (there's no time like the present to do so, the basic license is almost half off through the end of the month!); getting my domain registrations cleaned up (there were some problems with the original registrations a decade ago that I Just. Finally. Got. Fixed!; and incorporating the cooking and d.i.y. sections of the site into the main section.
You'll notice the new "cooking" category which has the new MT-entry versions of all the original pages, cleaned up and updated (although it looks like some more work is needed), as well as the near-empty D.I.Y. category. The original cooking pages are all still in place for the moment, but as soon as I'm sure the new ones are all fixed I'll be deleting them. I will be sad to see my little graphics go -- unfortunately my understanding of CSS is what you could safely call REALLY LIMITED and the time I have to learn more about using them? Yep, that's right, REALLY LIMITED. But it'll all get there eventually.
One big setback; the new hosting company I was trying out with the House Of Fun site was sold/transferred and the new plans are drastically different and unusable for me (among other things, the basic plan went from 1GB disk space to 50MB. ?!?!) and of course, I hadn't had the time to sign up and transfer this site...so now I'm back to looking for a new and cheaper hosting company because with Baby Emily in the house, cutting back on expenses is a must.
Anyway, that's where it's at. Now that cooking and D.I.Y. have become categories of the journal, expect actual new entries!! yay!!
Okay, comments are finally fixed, although I may have to implement some better anti-spam measures since a comment spam blizzard is what messed things up here.
A quick aside: is everyone on the planet going to be working for a manga company soon?
Since I closed all the old comments, I wanted to get back to one thread -- the Kiddie Records project thing. We went through our records again recently to sort and purge and I found the record I was talking about! It's called "Best Loved Fairy Tales", produced by Disney in the early 60s (and rereleased with a book around 1970) and featured Rica Moore narrating a group of fairy tales over bass and bongos. And pretty weird...I coudn't find much out about Rica other than she was a singer for Ray Coniff and did several Disney recordings. No sign of it ever being released on CD, and my copy was well-thrashed (it's amazing it survived, actually, my brother and I played the hell out of our small record collection!) so I'm happy to report that I scored a clean copy on ebay just days later, and assuming there's either still a turntable in the house or I manage to digitize the tracks, Emily will get to hear my favorite record too!
and I just figured out that the comments completely aren't working and I don't know why. if I have time soon I'll try and figure it out. sigh....
update: still no fix. But at least I did finally figure out how to clean out all that annoying trackback spam.
updated update: I think I know what's wrong, something got messed up at the host. Now to wait for them to fix it. So...maybe everything will be back and swanky soon.
Girl reporter Wednesday White alerted me that there is a 2nd feed of this journal at LiveJournal, because there's one for each of the rss feeds I have set up (who knows what would happen if I had all the others set up!). If you are using the "jinjursum" feed, switch yourself over to the "sarahdyer" feed. It will look the same, and the point cost is lower. Now to figure out if there is already a feed for the HOF news and get that figured out before there's 5 of them.
edited to add: there wasn't one set up yet for the HOF news feed. So I just did it, and it's here
Cranking on the current job so I can pull ahead and get life stuff done (house cleaning, taxes, stuff like that). Worked all day and I'm sooo tired. Anyway. I'm going to add a link to this over on the site, but if you read blogs through a LiveJournal friends list rather than a regular newsreader (I actually read a bunch of LJ blogs through a friends list myself) you can syndicate this site to it here. I had no idea! I just found out about it, um, yesterday. And I wanted to post it before I forgot again. Oh...so sleepy....
I keep forgetting to mention this (and Evan hasn't been online at all to post about it) but I've redesigned the front page of the House of Fun, including a nifty little news service thing. Watch there for announcements, shipping info, etc. You can also syndicate it so you don't even have to keep checking the front page. There was news posted just today, in fact!! More revamping this year as we're able to squeeze it in.
The porn spam is apparently hitting almost everyone who runs MT
. At least I'm not alone. A few moments following links shows that it's everywhere right now. Most ironic thing I found; a blog entry about how someone had just implented something to stop the comment spam...which had two porn spam comments below. Yeesh!! For heaven's sake, I hope not to waste much more time on this. Hopefully my next post will have, I dunno, actual content and meaning...
Some of you may have seen one or more of the comment spam posts that I've suddenly been getting hit with. I'm deleting them, and waiting for the new blacklist plugin
for MT, but in the meantime, don't click on anyone's URL unless it's a poster you know, a sensible comment, or you really want to see what a spammer wants you to see...stupid spammers. I guess not so stupid since they figured out a way to get on everyone's blogs automatically.
Anyway, that's all for now. Oh! I did want to mention, we are registered for MoCCA, which will be next June. Hope to see lots of you there!
Hello again, for those of you that noticed that this site went down again
. I've had trouble intermittently for months now with the site going down, and other issues as well, but this is pretty close to the last straw. I've also seen a few people on various forums speculate that the company I use could be going under. So I'm currently evaluating options, and I need a good host company that is pretty full featured so I can run MT and anything else like that. One site recommended to me was ICDsoft
, but their rankings don't seem to be very consistent, although they are cheap as dirt. Lunarpages
gets really solid reviews across the board, but costs a bit more. Both definitely can be used for MT, though. So, I'm asking for recommendations from you guys on any host you or your friends have been really happy with, especially if you (or they) are running MT or anything with similar requirements. (In the meantime, I'm doing constant backups and mysql dumps just in case this company does go under!)
In non-annoying news, the new Iron Wok Jan is out (haven't read it though), just got that today and am looking forward to reading it. There's an interesting looking manga about a firefighter out, but I didn't pick it up. But I'm always glad to see manga that breaks the stereotypes on the shelves. Speaking of manga, I saw that Tokyopop finally announced that they'd be publishing non-Japanese books, and just in time too, since the first one came out already! It's a reprint of the Reality Check collection, and it still has my introduction in it (with a cute little 'Sarah writes Kodocha' line added).
To pick up the Queer as Folk comment discussion, the episode in question featured the pages of the fictional comic pretty prominently (and while I've never known anyone to string all their pages on clothesline in order, I wouldn't be surprised if someone's done it). As usual when seeing a fictional comic on screen, my initial reaction was "gah, that's so awful, no-one would put that out" but then I started thinking about the small press superhero books I've seen over the years, and they're often as bad if not worse than the "Rage" comic they were doing on the show. I didn't enjoy the show, however (too 30-something for me), so I doubt I'll make any attempt to see the big "comic book gets published" episode. (Besides, according to Evan's figuring, now that they've depicted a comic creator they should be bombing out any day.)
One last thought, because I need to get going—we saw a movie last night called Jesus Christ Vampire Killer last night, and I swear it was more entertaining than the last 13 movies we've seen put together. If you like low-budget goofiness, try to track this one down.
Hey to all of you who noticed the site was mia for about 2 days, several servers at my hosting co. were totally hosed, in fact 3 of them are still completely down but obviously this one's back up for now. I'm so annoyed that I didn't get to wish Astro Boy a happy birthday on the 7th!!
Anyway, more tomorrow, just wanted to pop in, back up my database and let you all know everything was a-okay. Hopefully.
Yay. Some stupid browser trick closed several open windows at once, including the one with this entry all finished
. So here I am, reconstructing it, which always just makes you feel awkward.
So, the war. I am nowhere near as freaked out as I was last time. I think that's because the original Gulf War was a total "Oh my god, we're at war?!" moment, while this one is just a "Yep, there we go, war started" moment. And, at least, now that it's actually started, it has to eventually have an end. I just hope as few people as possible suffer because of the decisions made out of their control.
Keeping myself busy while the world seems to be at a standstill (and while I wait for a few responses that I'd really like to have soon), I've been doing some site tweaking. Lots of invisible stuff you won't notice; new individual archive pages for your permalinking pleasure (plus, comments right on those pages so you don't need to deal with the popups); and I've finished adding the RSS feeds to the site. If you need an introduction to RSS, Mark Pilgrim's What Is RSS? is comprehensive and easy to understand. To find a reader (for just about any platform), go to Haiko Hebig's RSS Reader Directory. If the reader you choose doesn't use autodiscovery, you will find links in the sidebar to both a summarized feed and a full feed. Note my adaptations of the fabulous buttons from antipixel.com. And finally, super-big thanks and props go out to Jason Bergman of loonyboi.com for suggesting it, and then helpfully following up his suggestion with templates, info, the above links, and feedback and help setting this up.
added a few moments later: if you are one of the people I'm waiting to hear from/waiting to hear from me, I'll be offline for most of the next day (dentist appt.) talk to you soon.
For those of you that found the nifty little internal error message instead of my site this afternoon, sorry about that. I was attempting to fix a problem on the server that's…really hard to make brief, actually. (For those of you that care, I had to reset the mime handler type for .xml files so I can get the RSS feed up later this week.) In any case, I always forget that using the control panel will destroy everything, so that's what happened. All better now. (Although, it's not really their fault, it's because I've done enough customizing that their automatic stuff conflicts with what I've done.)
Anyway, that's not a very exciting update, I know. But I just thought I'd let anyone know who came across that little disaster today.
Finally, there's a new cooking lesson
up! It's directions to make our absolute favorite winter soup, which I could probably eat all winter happily. Basically, it's a vegetable beef, heated up quite a bit with chilis of one sort or another (my basic version gets heat from cayenne, cumin and haba�ero peppers, but almost any hot seasoning will work, and you can make a vegetarian version, too).
And to follow-up on an earlier entry, the Lawrence Lessig article I originally read about Salil Mehra's paper, Copyright and Comics in Japan is finally online. Whether or not you've actually read the paper, the article is a very interesting analysis of the subject, especially since Lessig deals with our own US copyright issues as part of his work. (See more about his own work at his blog.) I exchanged some interesting emails with Mr. Mehra, and I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes with this work.
So, apparently, Japan has their very own Ellen Fleiss
now, Kikuchi Momoko
, who has been translated for us by Mac Observer
. Not as stoned, but just as goofy. Of course, the big question for me about Ellen wasn't "is it drugs or cough syrup?", it was "did she really write that letter to apple?" Which, of course, she did not. Imagine, getting into a ad campaign because you go to school with the director's son! And I thought you could believe everything you see on tv!!
Okay, enough kidding. I also want to give all of you who run your own sites a heads-up, my host company, dzones, is running this insane special til the end of the month—$10 per month for 300MB storage and 10GB transfer, among other things. Your mileage with them may vary, but I've had a very good experience with them. (Feel free [or not] to mention jinjur.com if you sign up, it'd make me look good if they thought I actually brought them business since I'm always bugging them about something.)
I don't remember how I stumbled upon this "read me"
essay, but it's absolutely great. I would like to get every reader of every writer to go over it and think about it, in comics especially. Obviously, I mean that in terms of autobiographical material where comics are concerned. I don't know why I have never seen this before, every writer/artist should have a link to this on their site! Small disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that the average reader doesn't
follow these guidelines; the ones who don't are really few and far between. But if everyone read this essay, maybe they could become non-existent.
is fully functional! Last night I finished the last bit of tweaking (I installed a plugin hack, scary!!) and this morning I imported all my entries. I did not mind hand-coding everything into the html at all, but I did mind having to upload every page change. And now, my archives are totally managed and even nicely sorted! Even note how my front page
is being built by MT, so you can always see the latest entry and updates right there. Eventually I might try building my other projects pages with it, but for now, I think this is great. like I said, going was slow at first, but the results were worth the toil.
And look, I can even turn on comments!
While in the middle of several other end-of year projects (designing the new Dork
trade paperback, some serious housecleaning, holiday shopping, running eBay auctions to help pay off the holiday shopping, etc etc), I've been spending my so-called "leisure time" (ha ha) trying to learn how to use Movable Type
so that I can implement it on this site. The learning curve is as steep as I was told, but it really can do amazing things! Including managing non-journal pages. I hope to have worked my way through it enough (a little more free time wouldn't hurt) to implement it before the end of the year. I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for something to manage a journal and/or site, and big thanks to Bill
for talking me into it.
Almost forgot, among those projects, Evan finally finished the Mr. Bunny drawing, and the first shirts are up now.
A fantastic article on copyright
, discovered in the forums of Distributed Proofreaders
, which is an awesome project to get more books into ebook form. Go and help, and if you don't want to proofread, you can scan, run OCR or just donate.
I've been spending a lot of time going through boxes of old letters, zines and mini-comics and packing up more stuff for Duke University, where they are archiving my entire collection and archive of zines and comics by women/girls. It's always a little weird to go through that stuff—on the one hand, it's so nice to reread all these great and inspirational letters that I got from people who really appreciated what I was doing, but on the other, looking at the not-so-nice mail I'd saved for no comprehensible reason made all the reasons that I got really get burned out on the whole thing came back to me in a flood.
Going through comics for the first time (I had kept them all initially) was also a little sad when I realized how many creators have disappeared. Some of them have become illustrators, and some are doing comics today. But a large number of them seem to have simply vanished.
On a brighter note, I talked to the archivist who deals with my stuff for the first time in ages, and she told me that the collection is being used heavily, and that five classes used it for a major project this term! She's going to send me a handful of the top papers. It's really exciting to think that all of this really ephemeral work has gotten a second lease on life—that was my hope when I started sending my stuff there, so I'm really thrilled to see it happening. It's really eased all my reservations—I had trouble letting go of a lot of things, many of them had small notes to me written in them (don't worry, letters and truly personal notes were all excised) and of course there were reviews and interviews with me that I do not have copies of. But you can't save everything. And I can always go and visit it all.
I've created a monster! Evan
took months to get started on his online journal (he asked me to set one up back in the summer), and even after he got going various technical problems (mostly having to do with him being in a constant battle with his computer) had to get worked out. But now, yeesh! I had nothing to say yesterday because he posted our entire day!
Of course the weird thing is, I read his journal, but I don't think he's ever read mine. I'm not sure what that means. I think the only family member who reads this is my dad. Luckily, I'm not the type to publish intimate stories about myself…
My, how time does fly! Kodocha
volume five is off to be lettered, and I'll be starting on 6 this week. Woke up achy today from working out back (found and pulled out bunch of buried rocks—they were definitely put there on purpose, but what purpose is a mystery to me…) Got some work done and then spent several annoying hours (okay, one or two) after discovering that someone had hammered us
with some stupendous bandwidth theft. Basically, someone hotlinked to a rather large image on the site and proceeded to use it as an avatar all over the place. I also discovered that the new server the site was moved to recently (same host, new machines) was having trouble recognizing some directories, which is why the images weren't protected. You know, (rant mode on), it's one thing to copy a graphic and use it because you love it so much. But to hammer someone's traffic every time you make any post anywhere… That is just so wrong. It's like having someone steal your wallet and then charge you $5 for the privilege. Grrrrr. However, I'd just like to keep thinking this guy was totally clueless, instead of a malicious clod.
Jinjur is live! yay! Of course Netsol won't be sending people here even if they know about it for a few days. But those of you coming from my own site will find me here just fine. My next task will be to update the cooking class, which I have several new articles outlined for. (I don't know which to do first!) You can see how long it's been since the last update by the pre-famous Emeril reference. Speaking of cooking, I got a good query from Lisa Hundt, who asked about marinating tofu. My personal preference would be about 30 minutes to an hour, after slicing or cubing. But I've seen recipes calling for anywhere from 15 minutes to one week! (I can't imagine a week is safe, since you aren't supposed to keep tofu around that long once it's opened.) I'd say go longer if: you've left the tofu in bigger pieces; it's a lighter-flavored marinade; or you like a stronger flavor. Or of course, you want to throw it in the fridge before leaving for the day and cook as soon as you get home. I think you'll be okay doing that.
I'm writing this before even getting the page set up. But I've just finished putting this Version 0.1 of jinjur together after planning it for years. (Talk about having no life.) Since I forced my own hand by listing the URL in Kodocha #5 I finally had to do it. It's not a bad method of making yourself finish something - put in print somewhere so you really look stupid if you don't get it done. Hopefully I'll be able to get the rest going sooner than later - I think that getting this well-defined and separated from everything else will make it much easier to focus on this stuff when I want to, instead of intending to add some sewing article and then getting caught up in some revision of the Milk & Cheese pages.