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Monthly Archives: March 2007

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The Case of the Missing RSS Feed

Another update on the Great Migration – it appears that all of my feeds are now dead. I’m working hard on getting this fixed, despite knowing squat about feeds and how they work. Under the old setup, the atom feed was the only functioning feed in the bunch. Now I want to get all of them up and working. Apparently the fact that WordPress was installed in a subdirectory is causing the problem. If anybody reading this has some ideas, I’d love to know them.

The New

Hi, I’m back … I spent the last week migrating this weblog over to WordPress. To make a long story short, the old Movable Type system was getting bogged down with spam comments. The situation got so bad that I often couldn’t access the control panel until early evening — then I’d be consumed with slogging through a painfully slow system just moving and deleting those damn comments. When the time spent doing the backstage stuff vastly outnumbers the time spent posting new weblog entries (you know, the fun part), it’s time to move on!

So I installed WordPress and, attempting to find a template that resembled the old design as much as possible, selected a semipopular one called Andreas. Although the overall layout was nice, I ended up doing lots of tweaking on the typography until arriving at what you see here. I like this design very much (dig the modified banner art) – even if it still seems a little plain and LiveJournal-ish (no offense to you LiveJournalers).

As for the WordPress, it’s remarkably easy to use and I’m guardedly optimistic that it can handle the spam (anybody know any good anti-spam plugins?). Please feel free to comment on anything at all. I’m just happy to be back and posting again – on my third blogging system!

Taking a Break

I’m taking a short hiatus to do some retooling around here. Movable Type and/or my server is running real slow and it’s driving me crazy. If you’ve attempted to leave a comment and it results in a slow load, I’m sorry. I will try and get this fixed.

Chronological Cartoons? How Looney!

Spending the last couple of months immersed in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4 DVD set. It’s a beautifully done package, as usual, but once again we had to ask ourselves “why didn’t they release these chronologically?” Under that scenario, the first volume would consist mostly of black and white Bosko cartoons — and, let’s face it, only hardcore animation devotees would buy such a set.

Releasing these cartoons chronologically would be unrealistic from a business perspective, but it’s fun to imagine how such a project would be carried out. Using my trusty guidebook, I’ve figured that a DVD release of every animated short that Warner Bros. produced between 1930 and 1969 (including the so-called “Censored 11”) would consume seventeen volumes of Golden Collections. Paying full retail prices for each box will set you back precisely $1,104.66. Some other tidbits:

  • Porky Pig and Daffy Duck make their first appearances on volume 2; Bugs Bunny debuts on volume 5.
  • Nearly all of Sniffles’ cartoons appear on volumes 5 and 6 (1939-41).
  • Volume 7 is a real pip, with The Dover Boys, the controversial Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs, and the first appearance of a baby bird eventually known as Tweety in A Tale of Two Kitties.
  • Volumes 8-10 cover the prime years of 1944-50 (many of these shorts are already covered on the existing Golden Collections).
  • The classic One Froggy Evening appears on volume 14. You’d have to wait until volume 15 to see What’s Opera, Doc?.
  • Volume 17 limps to a close with a bunch of lame Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales cartoons and footnote characters like Bunny and Claude. By this time in our scenario, however, DVD technology is so antiquated that downloading the cartoons directly into your brain is now the norm.

Impossible Mission II

Out of curiosity I went to the local Wal-Mart and Target to see if they had any Nintendo Wiis in stock. Neither had them, although at Wal-Mart I was treated to a blowsy woman yelling “They got the GAMES only!” into her cell phone.

By far the best (well, only) videogame related news I heard today — Impossible Mission is coming back. And it will be available on the Wii. Loved playing that one on the Commodore 64. And here’s a review of the Wii’s downloadable classic games.

Sticker Shock

Ephemera’s Marty Weil recently interviewed ’80s sticker collector Shawn Robare on his weblog. An interesting talk on something that isn’t usually thought of as a collectible. I also enjoyed Shawn’s weblog, Branded In The ’80s. Those stickers remind me of my fave local shop from back then, a multi-purpose gift store called Jutenhoops. They sold jokey greeting cards, board games, puzzles, kites and other such “fun” stuff (picture a more cluttered version of Over Our Heads from The Facts of Life), but one thing I definitely remember is the store’s section with rolls and rolls of stickers of every kind. It was amazing. This was around 1983-85, the same period as this sticker collecting vogue. Incidentally, Jutenhoops has stayed in business locally up until very recently, still having a healthy stock of “fun” stuff (but not as many stickers).

Tangentally related: x-entertainment’s piece on McDonald’s tray liners throughout the years is a fun and fascinating read (via Coudal).