3-ish Years ago

The new skin reveals the tragic truth, it’s been three years since I made a post on this site, probably not a coincidence that this timeframe coincides with the birth of our youngest, the little time vampire, but maybe more to do with Facebook becoming the defacto notification/rant mechanism.

Looking back though, there’s some value in this old blog so maybe it’s time to resurrect it? Stay tuned (and don’t fall off your chair if you had a subscription to the RSS and this post suddenly pops up 😉

Search Keyword Madness

I make a post like this every now and then because I’m fascinated by how people find this site completely by random chance or typing is crazy search terms, luckily my curiosity is easily sated by StatPress and Google Analytics.

After being back online for only a week it seems that the popular keywords are already suitably nutty but that’s just as much a reflection of the eclectic range of topics I post about as the insanity of the internet. Here’s the top few, for example with the posts they arrived at linked:

So there you have it. It seems like a fair proportion of these come in search of images, so it’s lucky I’m diligent with my alt tags (actually, I’m not).

Of course, this junk is only of interest to me so posting it is pointless other than to give people searching for these terms one more place to land.

The number of spammy comments has reduced considerably (from 10 a day, to none) since I turn on CAPTCHA on the comments page so that was an easy fix, although I do kinda miss the creative ways these spammers were disguising their garbage as actual comments, for example:

Hi! Is it OK if I go a bit off topic? I’m trying to read your page on my Macbook but it doesn’t display properly, do you have any suggestions? Thanks! Roderick

You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren?¯t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

very informative site

They look like real comments mostly, until you take a look at the website or email address used by the bot, they look so scary only a true idiot would click on them.

I do get the odd genuine comment from someone who’s stumbled upon the site and that’s nice. So, if you’re reading this now because you found this site looking for fallout wallpaper, hints on charging your iPod without iTunes or alpaca porn, feel free to leave me a comment, sorry about the CAPTCHA but it’s a necessary evil.

Don’t Panic!

New site, new theme, no content! I’ve moved the site to an actual host rather than hosting it on my NAS via my home connection which means that it should be faster, better, stronger….well, at the very least it will be UP!

Of course, that doesn’t promise posting more frequently, if at all, but at least I’m now paying for the right to not post and hopefully that will inspire me to actually keep the site going more than I have over the last year….maybe.

Some new pictures in the Gallery

I was digging through my old backup discs and stumbled upon a large collection of screenshots from games I have played over the years so what else would you do but put them on the internet for everyone to see?

Of interest could be the sceenshots from my time as a Guide in Everquest and maybe Lara Croft in Second Life. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a complete set, surely I took more than 250 screenshots of hovering giants and cheating macroers in EQ over five years?

Click on the image to see the gallery if you’re in to that sort of thing:


Coming soon, very few Hellgate:London screenshots.

Looking for info on Post Logistics for your XBOX repair?

I seem to be getting a lot of hits from Google on my post about  my XBOX and Post Logistics but Google doesn’t appear to have indexed the correct page.

Unfortunately, all the hits are coming to the front page, not the specific post on tracking your xbox and since that post is about to drop off the front page, I’m posting this so you can find what you’re looking for.

If you’re here from a Google search and need info on how to track your XBOX which has shipped back via Post Logistics, click here.

New Gallery (and some other features)

I’ve added a gallery using the WPG2 plug-in for wordpress in combination with the freeware php gallery2 application. It took some serious wrangling and config but I think it looks good and works really well.

There is supposed to be a way for guest to make comments on the pictures but it doesn’t seem to be working through WordPress (only if you view the gallery natively using this link)

I’ve also added a subscription feature so if you enter your email address in the box in the sidebar you’ll get an email when I make a new post on the site.

Gallery2 info here.

WPG2 info here.

Almost there!

I’ve started manually assigning all the old posts a category because it seems like WordPress doesn’t like how I imported them and if the category isn’t assigned the post will show up and the comments wont.

There are also some other small problems which I’ll probably never get around to fixing:

  1. If you make a comment, your reward is a blank screen. Don’t panic, the comment is still being stored but I think because I haven’t configured the mail server yet the code is breaking when it tries to send me an email about the comment. IT WORKS! Thanks to the brilliant Swift SMTP plug-in.
  2. It looks like the old comments were truncated when I imported them so any extra long comments are cut short, I’ll probably not bother fixing this, maybe.  Also fixed thanks to the brilliant brain in my head! I think I lost a few comments along the way but the ones which were previously attached to actual posts came over in full. Now I can sleep.
  3. The theme I’m using (Mandigo) has a default width of 800 pixels, this means that any images I have set up on the old site (which had a much wider canvas) may break the layout. I’m working on fixing these but there are 300+ posts in total so it could take some time. I’ve stuck with 800 wide mostly so the site looks ok on the eee PC  (it automagically formats for handhelds regardless of the width)

There are probably other problems but these ones are the most obvious.

In other news and to prove I’m not as boring as posting about bugs in my blogging software two days in a row, an ancient friend of a friend of mine has just completed two days of extras work on the new Wolverine movie, he wrote about his experiences, here’s a snippet:

I was recently on the set of ‘Wolverine’. I was nobody special, just an extra. But the experience was an incredible amount of fun and I wanted to pass some of that on. I’m not a part of the cast other than the small role I played as an extra.

and then

For the final scene of the shoot the special effect guys went all out – and didn’t tell us what they were doing. We figured it was just another charge up the beach. We had picked our spots to dive, take cover and die according to the lie of the land. On the call of ‘action’ we set off and the world went to hell! The effects guys had basically rigged the entire beach to simulate mortar explosions and machine-gun fire – and to a much greater degree than ever before. Sand and smoke and noise obscured everyone’s view. No-one could see and hear a thing. People dropped and took cover, on instinct as much as on training. Time slowed. (Everyone said this afterwards – when the explosions went off, everything moved into slow-motion. Not that it mattered. People were still confused and disorientated, and no-one could see or hear a thing beyond a few feet.) I recalled the words of one of the lieutenants from the Omaha Beach landings: “there are two types of people staying on this beach – dead guys and guys who are going to die”. I couldn’t see a damned thing – I had sand in my eyes and my ears were ringing – but I was supposed to be leading. I had a job to do. I charged forward anyway, hoping I wouldn’t run head-first into one of the barricade that were scattered across the beach. As I went forward I found blokes on their guts, taking cover from the explosions. I grabbed them and screamed at them to get moving up the beach. I even kicked a few. I took what shots I could with my M1 rifle, but mainly I just kept moving and pushing the blokes along up the beach and away from the killing zone. When they moved they just did as they had trained to do – took a few steps, took cover, fired if they could and them moved again. When the director yelled CUT we all just kind of stumbled around and tried to blink the sand and smoke from our eyes.

He wrote more (four pages, in fact) and I’ll link to it when he gets around to posting it somewhere.

Royalla.net is kaputt!

I have just cancelled the hosting for this site because we now have wireless internet at home and I’ll be hosting the site through that using a dynamic dns address (most likely royalla.dyndns.org at this stage).

In other news, we went to watch the auction for the cool cubby houses at Floriade this year, I scratched my nose at the wrong time and now we own a piece of history (we won number 2, the castle looking one at the front..it’s being delivered some time this week).

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