Entries from October 2008 ↓

WordPress Drop Caps Plugin and Search and Replace Plugin

I have been manually inserting drop caps on the first letter of my posts for some time now, just because I like the look – it reminds me of some of my favorite books, especially when they get all elaborate with calligraphy. But frankly it’s a bit of a pain, I have to insert this markup:

<strong class="dropcaps">X</strong>   

(where “X” is the First letter of the paragraph, duh), and so I put this in my theme’s style sheet (style.css):

.dropcaps {  
   font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, Serif;  
   color: #126126;
   padding: 3px 3px 0 0;  

Which made for a nice boring drop cap, but I’d frequently forget to do it and would have to edit the post later. So I started using this nice Drop Caps plugin by Thomas Milburn which has a cool drop shadow effect (done with CSS!) which I really like, plus it just automatically puts dropcaps at the beginning of every post. Sweet.

BUT, when combined with my CSS, all of the post that already had the dropcaps look HUGE (and horrible. Not so sweet). So I wanted to edit the posts to remove my markup, but the prospect of editing 50 posts sucked. So I found this REALLY cool plugin – Search and Replace, which lists these credits: Original plugin ist von Mark Cunningham and was advanced (comments and comment-author) by Gonahkar. More increments by Frank Bueltge.

It’s a little scary, it actually replaces strings in your database (SO BACKUP YOUR DATABASE BEFORE USING IT IN CASE SOMETHING GOES HORRIBLY WRONG GAHHH!) but it worked beautifully, and I’m glad I have it installed in case I want to change something site-wide.

Say, for instance our drummer Kent changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol – all I would do is search for the word “Kent” and change it, piece of cake. Here is what Kent’s symbol should look like:

Old Bend Bridge

I have driven across Old Bend Bridge at least a bajillion times (at least), and I know a lot of readers have, too. So it was kind of interesting to read this article about attempts by the city of Pacific to organize a committee to try and have it replaced.

Good luck with that.

It’s not the bridge so much that would be the problem, it’s the approach – cutting a wider road on that cliff-like escarpment that the road manages to cling to (on the Pacific side) would cost so many millions of dollars I can’t see them getting the funding. And don’t forget that lovely 90° angle you have to make to actually get on the bridge – it’s an engineering nightmare.

Although Ed Hillhouse gives it the old college try with this political crock of a statement, “We still have what is basically a one-lane bridge with wooden trusses”. Uh, it’s a steel bridge Ed – no wooden trusses. Retard.

I kind of hope they just leave it alone – put the money into our schools, or a tax break (ha! unlikely).

Anyway, here’s a bunch of cool info and pictures of it from BridgeHunter.com :-) . BTW, one of the neat facts is the estimated traffic – 1600 cars a day (I can’t decide if that seems like too many or too little to be accurate).

Old Bend Bridge

Steven Brust, Firefly and The Fickle Finger

Steven Brust is one of my all-time favorite writers. I heard of him from another of my favorite writers, Roger Zelazny. Anyway, he’s having a tough time right now (Steven, not Roger. Roger passed away in 1995. Wow it seems incredibly sad that he’s been gone that long, it seems only very recently that I heard of his passing).

Anyway, some friends of Brust talked him into putting a donation page up, and I’m just kind of spreading the word, in more ways than one…(I can almost hear my friends thinking, “huh? what does THAT mean?).

Well if you like Firefly (and I actually don’t have any friends who don’t like Firefly, now that I think about it), you’ll be pleased to find that Mr. Brust wrote a wonderful story of our friends Mal, Zoe, Wash, River, Simon, Kaylee and Jayne having a typically hair-raising adventure, and best of all IT’S FREE. Click Here to read it.

AND THEN GO DONATE SOME MONEY, BITCH. ‘Cause when the fickle finger of fate decides to strike YOU, it’d be nice to have some good karma built up, wouldn’t it?

So here’s a picture of this awesomely talented dude, wow he looks like a biker, doesn’t he? Well you know what they say about judging a book by it’s cover, heh….anyway Good Luck, Steven and get well soon!
Buy his books, too - they're bad to the bone, I mean I actually put this guy in the same class as Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe and Frank Herbert. And Zelazny, of course.
Mouseover text for our RSS readers: “Buy his books, too – they’re bad to the bone, I mean I actually put this guy in the same class as Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe and Frank Herbert. And Zelazny, of course.”

New flash header with wordpress plugin Kimili

Obviously if you’re reading this you can see the new flash header – it was tough getting something cool that wasn’t ridiculously huge (file size wise) – the first lame attempt was 1.4 megabytes! (I said NFW). Now it rolls in at a svelte 105 kb’s (sweet).

I used the Kimili Flash Embed plugin (a verry nice job Michael), but since I had some difficulty actually figuring out precisely where to put the syntax into the header.php file, I thought I would show anybody else who may be interested.

Open your theme’s* header.php file and around line 35 remove these two lines:

<a href="<?php echo get_settings('home'); ?>" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>">

<h1><?php bloginfo('name'); ?></h1>

But leave the line between them:

<div id="headerimg">

Just below that is where you insert the syntax for the Kimili plugin, my final code looks like this:

<div id="page">
<div id="header">
<div id="headerimg">
kml_flashembed movie="http://www.daveryder.com/header.swf" height="200" width="758" /
<div class="description"><?php bloginfo('description'); ?></div>

There are supposed to be square brackets [ ] around the Kimili syntax shown above, i.e. before kml_flashembed and after width=”758″ / – I had to remove them because if I didn’t, the header would just load, heh as I found out.

So, anyway I love it especially my flashing negative skull which is eerie as all fuck, but just in time for Halloween:
a representation of my skull as a negative image - not actual size

*note – remember, even though it doesn’t look like it I use the default Kubrick theme – it’s just modified and hacked to hell and back. in a handbasket.

AND UPDATE 11-12-08 – not using the flash header anymore (frankly it was a bit annoying), but the plugin works fine. If u want to see it click here.