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Articles: 2007 December

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Page 1

Year of Drunken Bliss
Monday, 2007 December 31 - 11:50 am
Our one-year anniversary was yesterday.

The year has been, well, nothing short of the best year of my life. I've been going back recategorizing all my old blog posts, and there was a definite theme throughout 2005: me struggling to accept being happy as a single person, while desperately trying to find validation in the form of a girlfriend.

In the end, one led to the other.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: datinglife

Mike Huckabee
Friday, 2007 December 28 - 6:02 pm
Continuing my series on presidential candidates, here's my look at Mike Huckabee.

"Mike Huckabee? He's the second Republican you're writing about? Really?" Really. Of the crowded Republican field (with no less than five legitimate contenders), Huckabee is the one with all the momentum. He's leading in Iowa polls; a few months ago, that would have seemed inconceivable.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: politics

Happy Christmas
Tuesday, 2007 December 25 - 8:06 pm
Just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a happy Christmas. The staff of the Real Kato Online is busy playing Wii Bowling, but we'll return shortly.
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Posted by Ken in: life

Oops
Thursday, 2007 December 20 - 11:02 pm
Okay. I am a dumbass.

I've been changing people's access level as they register... and just now, I noticed my web site is saying "Password has been updated"... even when I didn't want to change the password. Oops oops oops. That would explain why a bunch of you can't log in: I've been wiping out your password.

For everyone who went through the trouble of registering, I'm gonna have to reset your passwords. I'll email you with a default password, and then you can change it using the user prefs page. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Blast From the Past
Thursday, 2007 December 20 - 2:21 pm
The process of going back and recategorizing old posts continues to make me well up with nostalgia. I looked at the first real blog post I wrote, and then I remembered: my online history goes back further than that post in 2003.

In fact, I had a web page all the way back in 1999. This was back when most of up were still on dial-up internet, when the term "Web 2.0" hadn't been invented, when the few people who had "home pages" on the Internet were posting garish flashing graphics and embedded music on GeoCities. (Whereas today, people post their garish flashing graphics and embedded music on MySpace. Progress!)

It took a lot of digging through old Zip disks and other archives, but I found that original web site, and I'm making it available in all its cringe-worthy glory for you to see... but only for registered users with level 2 access or higher. (Everyone registered as of the time I'm writing this is level 2 or higher; anyone who registers after this will be at level 1 unless I bump them up.)

Why am I doing this? It's not as if there's a lot of top-secret content on that old site (and in fact, it's possible to dig it up in the Internet archives, if you know where to look). No, there are two reasons for making it access-restricted: one, to encourage all my readers to go ahead and register, and two, to test the access control mechanisms that I'll use for private content in the future.

If you register and I know who you are, I'll bump your access up to level 2... and your reward will be, you'll get to see a truly ridiculous picture of me Photoshopped next to Stephanie Seymour.

If you've already got the access rights, click here.

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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Squashing Bugs
Wednesday, 2007 December 19 - 5:30 pm
So, I think I've hacked the timestamps to show in Eastern Time. Who knows what else I've broken, but damnit, at least things will be broken in the right time zone.

Eventually, you'll have a user preference to show timestamps in your own local time as well. And not only that, I'll make some aspects of the site layout user-customizable too (text size, background and text color, etc.). Amy complains that the black-on-white is difficult to read... and you know, I chose it because a long time ago, Jen had complained that black-on-grey was too hard to read. I guess there's no one-size-fits-all solution, so I'm gonna have to allow some manner of customization.

And finally, I guess no one has tried to change their passwords until now, because that was broken too.

Let me know if you see any other problems, or have any complaints.
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Make Me a Millionaire
Wednesday, 2007 December 19 - 4:13 pm
In a recent article on Kottke.org, Jason prompted his readers to come up with a word that means "writing a blog comment or Twitter update, thinking better of it, and then discarding it by closing the browser tab without clicking 'Post'".

I suggested "cwop", derived from "closed without posting". Usage: "I was going to comment on that article, but I cwopped out instead."

My suggestion has received a few votes in the comment section. Please vote for me, because if it wins, I will undoubtedly receive a million dollars from the grateful Internet community.
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Posted by Ken in: bloggersinteresting

More on Rich Rodriguez
Monday, 2007 December 17 - 9:14 pm
First of all, I'm already tired of the phrases "RR in AA" and "In Rod We Trust". We're in dire need of a less hackneyed nickname or catch phrase.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: sports

Movie Reviews In Brief
Monday, 2007 December 17 - 8:57 pm
"I Am Legend". Um, I saw this movie before; it was called "28 Days Later". If not for Will Smith, this might have gone directly to DVD. There are as many plot holes as there are "scare you with loud noises" moments. 2.0 / 5

"Pan's Labyrinth". A beautiful, complex fairy tale woven into a story about the Spanish civil war. It's downright poetic. Ivana Baquero is brilliant. Only downside: I was turned off by some gratuitously gory scenes. 4.0 / 5

"Apocalypto". Interesting premise, but also gratuitously gory. At its core, the plot was fairly simple; I expected a bigger story, something more epic. A lot of action; not much character development. 2.5 / 5

"Wild Hogs". A cute middle-age-crisis movie; kind of a teen movie for the 40-something set. Worth seeing once; not worth seeing again. 2.5 / 5
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Posted by Ken in: moviesreviews

Barack Obama
Monday, 2007 December 17 - 8:05 pm
Continuing my series on presidential candidates, here's my look at Barack Obama.

Four years ago, pretty much no one outside of Illinois had heard of Barack Obama. He was thrust into the national spotlight during the 2004 Democratic convention, where his electrifying speech immediately made people think "Obama in 2008".

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: politics

Rich Rodriguez Named Michigan's New Head Coach
Sunday, 2007 December 16 - 6:11 pm
It's official, folks. Rich-Rod is coming to Michigan. Read about it on MGoBlue.com.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: sports

Rudy Giuliani
Thursday, 2007 December 13 - 9:14 am
Continuing my series on presidential candidates, here's my look at Rudy Giuliani. Rudy is kind of a square peg in the round hole that is the Republican Party.

He began his political life as a Democrat. He became an independent during the Ford administration, perhaps in order to help secure his position in the Justice Department. And he became a Republican during the Reagan administration... again, some have accused him of switching parties merely because of career aspirations, not convictions. For his part, he says he came to view the Democratic party as "naïve".

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: politics

Michigan Football Woes
Wednesday, 2007 December 12 - 12:54 pm
So Michigan still hasn't announced a successor to coach Lloyd Carr.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: sports

The Golden Compass?
Wednesday, 2007 December 12 - 9:16 am
You know, I really didn't have any desire to see "The Golden Compass" until church leaders started warning people not to see it.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh has issued a letter warning parish pastors about the subversive, atheistic themes in the new movie "The Golden Compass" and the book by the same name.

I'm all about subversion.

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Posted by Ken in: commentarymovies

Commodore 64 is 25 Years Old
Tuesday, 2007 December 11 - 11:14 am
Wow. And I missed the celebration.

I already wrote about the good old Commodore 64 a while ago, but there's one thing I didn't talk about, and that's the Apple II vs. Commodore 64 "war" that went on at the time... at least, among us geeks.

I was firmly on the Commodore 64 side; I mean, I always remembered the Apple II as having weird four-color graphics, with entirely too much purple, cyan, and green.

Karateka on Apple II

Whereas, the Commodore 64 had 16-color graphics, hardware support for animated sprites, and the best sound chip of any computer on the market at the time.

Karateka on Commodore 64

Man, I did love that old computer. I still haven't finished that project to copy all my old programs onto DVD... maybe now that the Great Blog Migration project is essentially done, I'll have some time for that.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Stupid Time Zones
Friday, 2007 December 7 - 10:21 pm
Well, two irritations.

1. Where the hell are GoDaddy's servers? All my timestamps are apparently in mountain time. Dang, I'm gonna have to go through and calculate time zone offsets everywhere.

2. I thought I was being clever by inserting "&#8203;" into text strings so that FireFox could word-wrap them. That's a pretty well-known hack for the fact that unlike IE, FireFox doesn't support the "word-wrap: break-word" CSS property. Well, today I discovered that "&#8203;" isn't rendered as an invisible break character in FireFox, at least in the Mac version. Grr!

No doubt, thousands of web designers have suffered from these kinds of things already. The question is, why doesn't someone fix it? There should be an HTML sequence where the server provides a GMT timestamp, and the browser formats it in local time. And, there should be a standard CSS property for word-wrapping. Geez!
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Re-Categorizing
Friday, 2007 December 7 - 4:54 pm
Whew. I'm going back and re-categorizing every post I've written, all 1250 or so, and my main thought is, BOY DO I WRITE ABOUT AMERICAN IDOL A LOT.

I haven't even gotten a quarter of the way through yet. The good news is, it's making me re-read my own blog, and it's fun going back down memory lane.

A few things I've thought of:
  • Remember all those password protected photo albums that I published over on dot.mac? Well, I can actually move them all here, and control access to them via user permissions. That means, I don't have to tell you to email me for the shared password; I can simply turn on access permissions for subsets of registered users.
  • Live-blogging is going to be much easier now. Look for more of that in the future.
  • I can create a specialized database for tracking American Idol results. Heh.

I tell ya, new features are going to start coming fast and furious. Polls! Quizzes! A "note to self" page for registered users!

On the RSS feed question... I'm hesitant to do "option 2" as Jen and Alan wanted. Here's the thing: if there are static URLs available that can be used to read restricted content, then it's more likely that unregistered users will see that content, especially if such URLs are used to generate LiveJournal feed pages. And that's exactly what I don't want. So, I think it'll be option 3, the dummy item in the feed that requires click-through. Don't worry, the number of access-restricted posts will be small, I promise.
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Man Stroke Woman
Friday, 2007 December 7 - 10:05 am
How have I missed this until now? BBC's sketch comedy show "Man Stroke Woman" is an absolute riot. Saturday Night Live only wishes it were this good.

You can't view the clips from the BBC website if you're outside the UK, but there's a bunch on YouTube, like this one:



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Posted by Ken in: funnyhahatelevision

Hillary Clinton
Friday, 2007 December 7 - 10:00 am
Well, it's getting close to the first primaries and caucuses, and look! I haven't posted my analysis of the candidates yet. So I'll start a series of articles, starting with this one, about Hillary Clinton.

I'm going to start by saying that I usually call her Hillary, like most people do. And right off the bat, that bothers me a little bit, because in our patriarchal society, we tend to call women by their first names and men by their last names. The other candidates aren't known as "John, Barack, and Dennis"; it's "Edwards, Obama, and Kucinich". But we're kind of forced to call Clinton "Hillary", to distinguish her from her famous husband.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: politics

More Site News
Wednesday, 2007 December 5 - 9:49 am
So the odd thing is, now that I can post from anywhere, at any time... I find I'm more interested in tweaking my site and less interested in posting new entries. I promise, I'll get back to posting real stuff soon.

One thing some of you may note is that the last post was contained in the RSS feed, and on the main page, in its entirety. I may keep doing that unless the posts are large. Right now there's no indication of whether the RSS feed is the complete post or just an abstract... I'll fix that soon. Just so you know: this post is broken into an abstract and a main section, so click through for more.

Read more...
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

We Are Live!
Tuesday, 2007 December 4 - 8:54 am
The new site is live! Uh, as you can see. I've been fixing bugs like mad, and there are still bunches of them... hopefully none of which you'll notice.

And yes, Bake Town gets the prize for the banner idea. Alcohol was the only idea I'd come up with anyway, and her comment clinched it. Sorry, Brett... the baby/gun thing will have to come later.

Search is working, sort of. I'm running into the limit of how much I can have indexed for free by FreeFind. I might still install my own search engine... I have a basic search implementation ready, but the search wouldn't be quite as complete unless I put a lot of work into it.

Another thing I need to do is come up with new categories... and then re-categorize the 1250 posts I've written to date. Fun!

Let me know if you see any odd behaviors. And please register! It'll be worth it! You won't be spammed! Really!
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Posted by Ken in: site-business


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