Apologies For The Virtual Mess

Regular readers will no doubt have noticed that this site is undergoing some visual changes. I had grown tired of the old look and thus am undertaking a bit of a rehabbing. There are all sorts of nits to fix (the archives page doesn’t work correctly, for instance) and I felt that I needed some inspiration.
While the code underlying the site is still going to be the Elbee theme I have been working on (forever!), you should notice a bunch of different visual tweaks to that code in the coming days and weeks. I’m by no means wedded to the black and white, high contrast look, but I felt that I needed to strip the site down to its essential visual “bones” and then add things back in, give myself a chance to figure out what works, what doesn’t, what needs to stay, what needs to go, etc.
So, thanks again for your patience and I’d love any feedback you might have on the subject.

New Stuff For The New Year

A very happy New Year to all my readers (you know who you three are… *grin*). I hope yours was a good celebration — ours was spent with friends who left early (but not before I addicted them to the Wii) and then Dick Clark, as per tradition. I admire the man for his fortitude and perseverance, but it’s pretty sad to see how the stroke has ravaged him. I’d put even money on ABC wheeling him out to wave at the crowd next year before allowing Ryan Seacrest the honor of counting down to ’09. Ptui!, says I.
I’ve also released a couple of political-theme t-shirts over at LB Gear for the dark horse ticket of 2008: Giuliani/Paul. (Click the link to have it make a bit more sense).
What? There’s another Paul in the race?
Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my posting has been spotty around these parts as of late. I’m in the first stages of trying out a new “lifestream” plugin for WordPress that aggregates many, if not most, of the information sources I create on a daily basis (del.icio.us, Twitter, etc.). I’ve been trending towards posting a lot more on my Twitter account in particular, as it’s far easier to slip in a few micro posts here and there with the hustle and bustle that is life these days. So, if you’d like to have a broader view on my activity, hit my new Lifestream page. The colors are yet funky and the kinks are being ironed out, but I hope to have it working fully in the next couple of days.

New T-Shirt Designs

I’ve dropped the hammer on a couple of new t-shirt designs, available immediately over at gear.literalbarrage.org. The idea for the shirt (“Don’t Tickle Me, Bro!”) sprang forth from a lunchtime conversation last week and I’m pretty psyched with how they look.
Now, let’s see if I 1) avoid getting my products taken down by Zazzle again 2) actually sell any this time around. *grin*
Available in burgundy and white/red.

Eating My Own Dogfood (In A Good Way)

Sorry for the lack of posting. Not only has work been crazy, but I’ve also been burning the minutes on my freshly-received iPod Touch, thanks to Matt Mullenweg and the iPhone contest. WPhone been berry berry good to me. *grin*
Oh, did mention that this is my first official post from the Touch? Whee!

About That Super-Secret Project…

The full reason for sporadic updates here at Literal Barrage can finally be revealed:
I’ve been spending a good amount of time working on a side project with two other talented WordPress hackers, Stephane and Viper. The project, WPhone Admin plugin, is a WordPress plugin that aims to make administering your WP blog[s] from a mobile device, such as a PDA or cellphone, a quick and easy experience. iPhone and iPod Touch users will get an extra treat, as the interface is coded to look like a native mobile Apple application. (Our initial release announcement has a few more details.)
We’re really proud of the work we’ve put in, so head over and take a look at the site, then download a copy from the official download site.

DreamHost-Related Site Weirdness

If you’ve been having difficulty reaching this site over the past few days (I know that I have, for one…), there appears to be two very good reasons: DreamHost (my hosting provider) has been having ARP issues as well as related DNS problems.
It’s at times like this that I really appreciate how DreamHost handles itself. Most other hosts I’ve dealt with will do everything in their power to obscure the source of the problem[s], deny anything is wrong or widespread and basically do everything in their power to point the blame at their customers. DreamHost keeps a blog and updates it to let customers know what’s up.
That’s customer service for you and that’s why I stick with ’em, even if their CPU/network performance isn’t top-of-the-line.

A Very Merry Unbirthday To Me

Work has been a little on the crazy side as of late, so my 5th anniversary of blogging (which was yesterday) passed by unnoticed. Mind you, it’s not the 5th anniversary of Literal Barrage, whose existence traces to sometime after the run-up to the ’03 invasion of Iraq, but rather the anniversary of my first foray into blogging.
Things have changed quite a bit in those 5 years: a new child arrived, one is on the way, etc., and my blogging focus has changed. I don’t write about politics or cultural issues nearly as much as I used to — in fact, there are times that I go back through my archives and think “Who was that, writing those posts?” I also have found that, increasingly, LB has become more of a “tumblog”, a place for random thoughts and posts, moreso than serious discussion.
It’s a matter of priorities, really. I rarely have the time to devote to sitting down and “penning” a long-ish post and, to be frank, it does bother me. I’ve started doing some light, “humorous” blogging over at the Protein Wisdom Pub, a group blog that Jeff Goldstein was gracious enough to grant me access to.
It’s getting to the point where bloggers that want to make a difference almost have to devote themselves to the prospect full-time (or inhabit the hallowed halls of academia, at the very least). I’ll keep chipping in around the edges with silly YouTube posts and family stories, I suppose, at least until my employment situation becomes a bit, well, clearer.

Me? Piggyback? Never!

I’ve been stewing over this for a bit and, on word of Fred! Thompson officially announcing his intentions to run for Prez., I figured I’d make it official: gear.literalbarrage.org, your one-stop-shop for irreverent moichandise designed by Yours Truly. I’m feeling in a campaign-y sort of mood, so while you’re there, take a look at what I have to offer thus far: Admiral Joshua Painter ’08 and a real darkhorse ticket, McClane/Bauer, our two best chances for nukingdefeating the terr’rists. Both are available in t-shirt and bumper sticker form.
Also, dig the snazzy Zazzle store gimmick:

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Potential Weirdness Inbound

A small programming note for my dedicated readers:
I just moved this blog over to WordPress version 2.2 since the version I was running (2.1.3) was vulnerable to a rather nasty cross-site scripting vulnerability. If you notice that anything is missing (images, pages, etc.) or anything that throws errors, please go ahead and drop me a line ASAP so I can get it taken care of. I think I took care of most of the migration, but it’s easy to miss the little things.
A note to my hosted blogs:
In order to draw you all into the WPMU fold, I’ve restarted the migration path. AndyII’s blog was the first to get hit, but everything should be okay now. If you notice that your site isn’t available any time soon, assume that I’m taking the liberty of moving you onto the MU system.