Holy crap! I’ve got so much crap to talk about that I may not fit in any anime crap, lol. But I’ll try. From old layouts to new readers, from post updates to blog widgets, from shiny iMacs to blazing Zazzles, and maybe some random tunes too. But what else? Anime mascots? Seems like every anime blog is caving in with their own new mascot~ not only Mimi, but Koshiko, Dancing Queen and the latest Meimi132 too~ inspired by DC no doubt, lol. Fortunately, I haven’t succumbed to peer pressure… yet, lol. But we’ll see.
Yeah, another grinding week in the real world. Office-chained client-work for IBM continues to be grueling. I continue to endure burn-out mode while my blood-shot eyes (including my supernatural left eye, lol) approach boil-out mode. Yet despite it all, I manage to limp along with anime and web design as my crutches, lol. So, in no particular order, a few highlights over the last couple weeks…
“Jump complete!” Well, after a Saturday of exporting XML data from my old WordPress 2.0 “Toybox”, installing the latest WordPress 2.6 “Toybox”, duplicating the template, importing the XML into the new template, then a Sunday of (category, link and post) cleanup, I’ve finally upgraded to the newest version of WordPress.org! So hopefully, this blog will feel a little less glitchy and a little bit quicker. ^_^;
Hi, in the same spirit as Danny’s newest blog changes, I’ve decided to update the layout of my *Toybox* blog. Essentially, I’ve reorganized the center column: (1) moving my favorite blogs and sites to the top, (2) inserting the “Daily Updates” from my website to help fill in the gaps between less-frequent posts, and (3) lifting the more-lively “Danny Choo” posts above the lengthy “Category List”. That’s about it! Plus, it’s a good time to take a snapshot of my blog, more than a year after its rebirth, lol.
P.S. Okay, after a morning of packing more magazines and books (arghhh), gotta get back to drawing “Blade 1” (Day 2) for fighter Christine Toledo (Blog 136). My first commissioned anime-art project! ^_^;
Konnichiwa! For this massive 92-shot photoshoot, we step away from our Gothic Lolita Girls, and welcome the 1/7-scale “Purple Motoko” and approx-1/10-scale “Blue Tachikoma” figures released earlier this year!
Sculpted by Tuyoshi Takahashi, manufactured by a Vice & Alter collaboration, and released in January-February 2007, this faithful 1/7-scale PVC rendition of Motoko — from the long-running cyberpunk epic series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex — portrays her standing coolly and calmly in her gray combat suit with a black pistol hanging loosely from her gloved hand. Just as the Major should be, lol… Meanwhile, manufactured by Art Storm, and released in May 2007, this excellent approx-1/10-scale Soft Vinyl version of the blue Tachikoma — also from the same Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series — depicts the bubbly Artificially Intelligent spider-like mini-tank in a joint-poseable bright blue armor. Just as slick as its animated counterpart!
For this Canon photoshoot, I saved 117 shots, then narrowed it down to these 92 shots. While I used Photoshop to clean up an annoying dust particle which reappeared in Motoko’s hair for many of the shots, no color or lighting adjustments were made. Now, without further delay, enjoy the photoshoot!
P.S. Internet Explorer has now officially pissed me off. If Firefox can handle 90-100 images (4-10 MB total) per page without breaking, then why can’t IE? For instance, (1) both IE6 and IE7 erratically interprets pure black (#000000) in these images as transparent pixels, which results in white dots popping up through these holes (even if I change the [img] background color to black!), and (2) when using [div] tags, IE also fails to display the [div] content as the total number of images approaches 100. Ridiculous. So from this point onward, I can no longer promise my support of IE. Sorry.
Gahhh. On the heels of my anime dilemma comes the browser dilemma which probably faces every web developer or blog customizer: Backwards compatibility or not?… Now that I’ve received enough unique hits per day to start considering it, what do you do when your preferred browsers for development (in this case, both IE 7 and FF 2) are used by 40-50% of the visitors, but older versions (IE 6) are used by another 40-50%? Like I said, gahhh!… Similarly, looking at this Kiddy Grade photo taken from my first Canon photoshoot back in November 2006, and knowing what techniques I know now after more than a dozen photoshoots, I could improve or redesign this photoshoot as well, couldn’t I? Or perhaps not. Why not leave earlier versions in the past? Well, because user applications are a bit different from images. And because I’m a nice guy, lol. So tonight, I decided to tweak my blog and website to be “a bit friendlier” and “less broken” in IE 6, while still being viewed best in IE 7 and FF 2. Good enough? I hope so! I’ve spent enough friggin’ time on this!!!
Definitely not your typical Mother’s Day Sunday! At a very-early 8am in the morning, Vanessa and Darrell visited my house, so I could help tutor Vanessa in HTML and Photoshop for her Web Programming class. Meanwhile, with his late nightclub job, Darrell decided to crash on my couch, lol. The original plan was 7am, but they were running late, and even then, a few hours wasn’t enough.
Fighting her allergies and our insurmountable hunger as I guided her on the details of table coding, hex coloring, image editing, inline framing, hyperlinking, and general layout according to her basic but elegant design, Vanessa didn’t finish her website project until 1pm! Five hours! But on the plus side, she tells me it saves her five weeks! Take a look at her website design in the following screenshots…
Whoa! After more than 3 years (sparked by Trialia’s inquiry), the dead Constructfic.org has been resurrected as ConstructFic.com, home of the best Matrix fanfics on the net! While it’s still in a state of reconstruction (maybe 25% so far), rest assured, The Construct will be fully online as soon as the Real World allows. Hopefully, in a matter of weeks. Enjoy!
Pretty uneventful day, except for one thing: The Matrix. Some 3-4 years since the height of the Matrix hype, a fellow fan of ConstructFic.org and member of the Hardline message-board community popped out of the blue on my LJ: Trialia. She wondered whether I’d ever complete Construct 2.0, the half-finished resurrection of the defunct ConstructFic.org from 3 years ago. Well, I only lost interest because everyone else seemed to, but if she and others are interested, why not?
Well, folks, after only a month, I’ve decided to end my “xJAYMANx_weblox” blog (at Blogger.com). My experiments over the past week helped me decide to stick with just two blogs: (1) my heavily-customized (and soon website-integrated) “xJAYMANx_toybox” for public posts on anime, web design, other hobby-related activities, as well as life in general, and (2) my long-time “xJAYMANx” LJ for duplicated “toybox” posts, plus more friends-only posts. That’s about it! Blogger lived out its experimental purpose. Maybe something else will come along, but for now, these two primary blogs should serve me well.
Guess what? Remember my last post? Well, I did it, I applied the new table-less template design to my “Toybox” anime/remix blog. It was a b*tch to use optical illusions to “fix” the columns and backgrounds, but looks pretty sweet. Here’s the new “Toybox” look. (Like before, looks best in Firefox or IE7.)
Next steps: (1) Add blog name/image to (randomizing?) header. Fix fonts. (2) Finish up “xJAYMANx” website. Convert HTML to PHP. (3) Figure out how I want to organize my old content. Transfer the content.
Faster & More Flexible [Wednesday, April 4, 2007] Cool! You know how I was going to PHP-reconstruct my website with the SAME design? Well, maybe NOT the same, lol. Last night, I started tinkering with a new template: 1000px wide, triple column, WITHOUT tables! Yup, no rigid table tags, but faster more-flexible CSS (stylesheet) “div” tags instead. Here’s the new test page. (Looks best in Firefox or IE7.)
Backwards & Forwards [Saturday, March 31, 2007] Guess what? For the first time in years, I’ve thrown a bunch of 80s-90s CDs (Alice In Chains, Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes, Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk, Def Leppard, Erasure, Garbage, Guns N Roses, Heart) into my ancient SONY 100-CD changer, and pumped up the volume on my stereo. Is it nostalgia for my rosier college days? A return to my 20s? Haha, who knows, but I just felt like it, lol. :)))