Entries from April 2008 ↓

Smart Archives and Exec-PHP

I installed Justin Blanton’s Smart Archive WordPress plugin today for my archives page. However, if you want to run PHP code from within a WP Page you have to install a plugin to allow WordPress to execute the code (why? uh, I dunno. you just have to.).

So, I found the Exec-PHP plugin by Sören that is extremely well documented, works nicely and is kept up-to-date. Nice work by both of those guys.

I only had one minor difficulty understanding how to call the Smart Archives function, but that was just my php ignorance – the plugin works perfectly :-) .

Recording session

The entire band got together yesterday for a marathon recording session, and the results are pretty spectacular. I just finished listening to some of the raw, barely mixed playbacks and wow the guys were really on their game. Billy Clark has a new rig that had everybody raving about the tone and I guess savageness is a good descriptive word – I’ll see if I can get him to email me a pic and a description of it, he’s always been cutting edge with his gear and I’m sure it would interest a lot of guitarists out there in cyberland.

Actually me, Don and Dan got together the night before, so for us it was really a marathon session – we did a lot of the prep work like setting up, checking volume levels for the board and the PC inputs and getting the headphone and control room mix kind of set up (I say kind of because until the whole band is actually blasting through a number you can’t really be sure of the headphone mix – you just have to adjust it on the fly).

I forgot to take pictures of it (dammit) but here’s an older one of us recording – trust me they generally look pretty similar, only we usually wear rattier clothes and there are more beer bottles on the tables:
Getting primed.

This pirate is cool!

Since I am setting up the new photo galleries as well as reinstalling my old gallery from the old daveryder.com, I’ve been looking through a LOT of photos. And because I haven’t really said much about the biggest joy in my life – my son Muggy), I thought I would post a scary pirate photo.

These are actually from the Halloween before last, so are almost a year and a half old (wow time flies):

Here we are at the Magic House touching the freaky static electricity ball (that thing always gives me the heebie jeebies for some reason):
The static electricity ball at the Magic House.

I think this is the best Captain Jack Sparrow you’ll ever see:
A totally awesome Jack Sparrow.

WordPress Code Markup plugin – long lines of code break my layout

I noticed that the Code Markup plugin I installed the other was breaking my WordPress layout in Internet Explorer. There is nothing wrong with the plugin, it’s just doing what it is supposed to do, i.e. display code snippets or blocks of code exactly – without rendering HTML in the browser. And I think if I had a WordPress layout where the sidebar and menu was on the left side of the page, it wouldn’t be an issue.

But I don’t (my sidebar is on the right) and I had to do something about it.

So here is how I fixed it:

Whenever you insert code into your post editor, you have to put these tags before it (and of course close them out at the end of your code snippet): <pre> and <code markup=”none”>

Then insert this into your theme’s CSS (style.css):

/* code markup */
code {
	font: 1.1em 'Courier New', Courier, Fixed;
	color: lightblue;
	}

pre {
  overflow-x: auto;
  width: 410px;
  overflow-y: auto;
  height: 110px;
}

html>body pre {
  overflow: auto;
  width: 410px;
  height: 110px;
}
/* End Code Markup*/

And the problem is fixed :-) .

WordPress Sociable Plugin

I added Joost de Valk’s Sociable Plugin today. It is MOST excellent. I just thought I’d share that with you. Ok I’m sorry that was a really weak pun. Cartman would just kick me in the nuts…but seriously, it works ,was easy to install and looks nice. He shoots he SCORES!

Upgrading with WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin

On Saturday, March 29, 2008, WordPress 2.5 was released. So when I saw the little notification alert on my dashboard informing me that “your version of WordPress is out of date” and that I needed to upgrade to the latest version I said, “sonofabitch”. Upgrading in the past has been a real pain in the ass, but after doing a little searching what did I find but the awesome WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin

Greatest.Plugin.Ever.

I uploaded it to the plugins directory, and with a certain amount of skepticism activated it. I chose to not use the purely automatic option and instead decided to upgrade manually (‘cos that’s how I roll) and upgraded the site (complete with all the recommended backups etc.) effortlessly.

It totally kicked ass. Here’s a picture of me celebrating:

it buuurrrrnnnnsss my precious
(ok not really that pic was taken awhile ago, but you gotta admit it’s funny. Especially the stupid look on my face).

And now to change the subject, I’ve occasionally thought about the Slashdot and Digg Effect and how it would affect my site if I ever got Slashdotted or Dugg (duh, I just figured my server would crash like Evel Knievel jumping the grand canyon), but now I may be able to withstand it thanks to these plugins: WP-Cache (which caches your pages) and Coralize (which redirects all or some of your page and site contents to the Coral Content Distribution Network. (Note: The coralize plugin appears to be temporarily unavailable, so no success with installing it yet). UPDATE 4-10-2008: I was able to get, upload and activate the Coralize plugin, so I think I’m protected. I have a minor question I asked the creator of the plugin a few minutes ago (Dave Grijalva – his blog is The Blog that Noone Reads), but aside from that it appears to be working. So thanks Dave!

So we’ll see if they work on the off chance it ever happens, I guess there isn’t really any way to check something like that until it actually happens…

Making your header image in WordPress clickable, and code-markup

Here is by far the easiest way I found to make the header image in WordPress Clickable:

In your theme’s header you’ll find the code for the header (believe it or not, this website is the default theme “Kubrick” – but I’ve hacked it all up and renamed it Dr_C). The location is: wp-content > themes > default (for me anyway, you will need to get the header.php file from your theme directory. duh). Find this line

<div id="header">

Replace it with this:


<div id="header" onclick="location.href='http://yourdomain.com';" title="Name of your site, or Home" style="cursor:pointer;">

EDIT: I noticed that even though the header image was clickable in IE, the cursor stayed the same (not turning into the pointing finger – and not the finger I would like to point at the Internet Explorer developers either). I fixed that by inserting:

cursor: pointer;

into BOTH the #header and #headerimg div ids in the theme’s style sheet.

Bada bing bada boom, your header is clickable very easily. Which led to another problem, namely how to display this code in a post? A quick google and I found another really cool widget by Thunderguy Semicolon: Code Markup. It is VERY cool, and made the tedious task of trying to show the code without it actually rendering in the browser a breeze. Nice job Thunderguy!

Kent Hall – your song fucking rox

Kent Hall is our “professor on the drumkit”. Kind of a Jekyll and Hyde – he’ll go from “soft and beautiful” to “now let me rip your head off” on the songs, and make it look easy. I always think about Carlos Santana talking about Michael Shrieve during an interview where he says something like, “…he has a palette with all the colors”. That is Kent exactly. All the colors.

r0X0Rs

He’s not just a drummer either, he’s a badass songwriter in his own right, and we email demos back and forth all the time for each other’s listening pleasure.

So here is the last email I sent him in reply to his newest effort “Late Night Natural”:

“Subject: Kent Hall – your song fucking rox

it’s awesome. except maybe for the bit where you get really weird with the bleep bloop stuff, but what do I know.

my part sucks, sorry I played so poorly. maybe you could bring out some basic loops sometime and I could put something better down.

if u want to completely delete me for now, believe me I will not be offended.

I’m working on “Shadow of the Dream” it is turning into something really special. I think you’ll freak, but I need real drums.

and more cowbell.

and I keep trying to turn down the suck knob, but I think it’s broken”

It made me laugh.

Colesauruszilla Rex

BTW, we are doing an album of low-brow comedy named “uh that shit is not funny”, and the album features our highlarious bad mofo Don Cole on the cover, here it is it cracks me up:

roooaaarrrraaarruuuggghhhsssqqquuuaaakkkkkqq!!!