Who’s got a secret?

Have I ever linked to PostSecret before? One of the best sites on Ye Olde Internets – people write their secrets on postcards and send them in anonymously. Each week a selection is posted that includes a cross-section with sad, happy, intriguing, troubling, beautiful and ultimately uplifting messages. Frank Warren, the creator, has even compiled them into three books with a fourth on the way.

Why am I bringing this up now? Because Frank will be giving a lecture at Ramapo College tomorrow night. I’ve been interested in attending one of these events, so this sounds like as good a time as any, even if it is at least 45 minutes away. So, anyone else out there interested in meeting up or even hitching a ride?

It’s hard out here for a… ninja?

What turn of events could lead a couple of world-class assassins to start hitting up gas stations?

With the collapse of the feudal system in Japan only 150 years ago, we can probably expect to see more roaming bands of ninjas committing petty theft and begging for food in exchange for sabotage of parking meters. God help us all when r?nin begin to follow the same path…

I would recommend that the police look for suspects in the nearest anime and comic shops. Oh, wait, the sheriff thinks they are female. Nevermind…

(thanks Buzz)

All your livejournals are belong… nevermind

Along with my limited online presence of late has come an almost indifference to posts by my friends on Livejournal. No, it’s not that I don’t care what you have to say or don’t care about you at all… wait… no, that’s definitely not it. It’s that the Livejournal friends page is absolutely horrendous. If a few people write a bunch of entries one day, I end wasting a bunch of time just trying to figure out where I last left off. And as time goes by, that gets worse and worse.

So my goal had been to read my friends’ Livejournals just like any other decent feed – via Google Reader. The problem is that Google Reader doesn’t support digest authentication, which means that I miss out on any protected posts. And for some people, that would mean pretty much all posts. But along comes Scatman Dan and his wonderful and imaginatively named LiveJournal For Google Reader (now with v1.3 flavoring). This magnificent tool translates the protected LJ feeds into some horribly complicated URL that totally fools Google into displaying all of your personal secrets protected entries. And now I know everything going on in your lives again. W00t indeed!

I even get to rename all of the feeds with your real names so I don’t mix people up – very confusing for some of you married couples! It’s so refreshing to see everything like my other feeds – now if you people would just start writing more. Not that I can complain…

Beta Beta Beta

So in the past month I’ve upgraded WordPress three times thanks to the 2.3 betas – and yet I’ve only updated the website… what… once? Strike that, I’ve now updated it for a fourth time before I could even get out of this first paragraph. I’m beginning to believe that my writing career may never take off and I should get a real job…

Anywho, THOMnottom.com is now rocking the first release candidate of the next version of WordPress. Of course my main reason for deciding to take the plunge forward is the new built-in tag support. And, of course, my current theme does not show tags by default and I’ve yet to add tags to any posts. Then again, considering this is only my second post with that possibility (well, I had a bunch tagged before thanks to a plugin, but I wiped them all out), that’s not a big deal.

There have been a few other changes of late and I just thought I’d point them out. I now have a real Archives page once again. And much better than ever before, thanks to Justin Blanton’s Smart Archives for WordPress. Now you can easily scroll through the previous 850 posts I’ve written over the past 4+ years. Wait, 850?!?! I’m not sure if that’s totally awesome or totally lame, but that’s a big freakin’ number. I sure hope there’s something worthwhile in those archives.

I also started to close comments on older posts again. Akismet has crushed most of my spam problems (just check out the counter on the main page currently at over 25,000 blocked), but a few continued to slip by. While this didn’t bother me that much, an e-mail from my sister Kathleen made me realize that anyone subscribed to the comments on older posts would end up getting spammed through my site. That’s a big no-no. Thankfully I found James McKay’s Comment Timeout. Not only does it let you decide how long to wait until comments are turned off (currently set at 90 days), but it also lets you hold off on popular posts. So if I ever have 12 people comment on a single post, that one will stay open for an additional 90 days. That’s totally rad.

Hmm… I had a few other things. There’s a link back to my host Site5.com in case anyone is looking for a good deal (and excellent service). I decided to ditch the blinking one in favor of a more subdued look – because I’m clearly a subdued guy. Oh, and I started to write something lame for my About page. I really need to be inspired, because right now it sucks.

So, yeah, that was a lot of boring site stuff, but I needed to get it all out there before I could get back to writing about my boring life. Uh, welcome back to me…

That’s all folks!

Yes, yesterday was the big day. No, I can’t tell you anything. Alright, I can tell you guys some things. Like the fact that actually sitting in the “hit seat” is unlike an experience I’ve ever had or, most likely, will ever have. I can also tell you that the whole thing felt so fast in the end considering how long the anticipation dragged on. I can definitely tell you that Meredith Vieira is awesome – she is incredibly sweet and comforting when you really need it. And I” admit that having complete strangers with no stake in your performance cheer for you is damn cool.

As much as my stomach has been absolutely abysmal for the last month thanks to stress and I’ve been looking forward to getting back to my real life, I am a little sad that it’s over. You really build some camaraderie with the other contestants and the crew members. I’m kicking myself for not exchanging e-mails with anyone. Hey Dave, Julia, Megan, John and everybody else, if you somehow stumble upon this entry, feel free to drop me a line!

Anywho, I’m cutting this short before I accidentally reveal something I shouldn’t. All of that will come in due time (well, more like the middle of January). I’m actually even disabling comments on this entry so as not to tempt any of you. It’s time to return to normalcy…