Botcon 2008 approaches

Today, I work from home.

Tonight, I go to the Celtics playoff game.

Tomorrow, I go to Botcon.

Its going to be a long haul until I’m finally there, but the excitement is building.

Tomorrow, I will be meeting Brendan at the airport and we will fly to Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, we will meet Sam and drive for 9 hours to arrive at Botcon in Cincinnati, OH. Its going to be a very long day, but I’m pretty excited for it.

Sam and I did something similar two years ago when the convention was in Lexington, Kentucky. I flew to Chicago and we drove down together. It was actually a longer drive, but it was fun and it gave him some company on the way down. Last year, he flew here and we all drove down to Providence, Rhode Island, stopping at every store with a toy aisle along the way.

I already have a small list of things I’m looking for, but I’m sure its incomplete and I’ll only find two or three of the listed items. Weighing much heavier on my mind, are all things I need to do before I leave. Laundry. Packing. Determining what toys to bring to sell and making sure I leave enough room to bring toys back. Withdrawing some money. Getting all the video equipment together. You get the idea. Not a lot of time for so much to do. I better get started!

Sky Lynx gets some love

This past weekend I was finally able to put a new video for PowetTV.

Show notes available here.

I’ve had a serious problem getting videos up with any regularity over the past year. I’ve really only put up about 4 videos. The prior year I was able to put one up almost every month.

This video is far from my best, but also far from my worst. I consider it to be fairly mediocre. While I love the toy, I’m not sure I was really able to convey how much fun he is in the video. I struggle trying to find the right balance between entertainment value and informational value in each video.

Pepsi Prime

After being the butt of many a joke over at the Powet Forums, it seems that Pepsi Prime has finally arrived at his destination.

What Zac doesn’t know is that the bottles of Pepsi that Prime’s trailer was made to hold, aren’t available in the United States. The bottles of Pepsi in Japan are actually a different size than those sold here.

AnimeBoston Line of Despair Apology

The AnimeBoston forums is currently featuring an apology post from the chairperson of registration.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we waited in the registration line for 4 hours on Friday, even after we preregistered months in advance. We had it easy though. Those who did not preregister were in line for anywhere from 5 to 10 hours that day. Paul met up with us on Saturday after the registration staff took drastic measures to try and fix many of the issues they had the day before. He got there at 8AM and still stood in line for 3 hours.

My favorite quote:

I promise you all that I will take what I have learned from this disaster and do everything in my power to make sure this does not happen again.

Choice.

YouTube API

I had heard recently that Google had released an API for YouTube.

For those not in the know, an API is short for Application Programming Interface. Basically, its a programming hook that would allow me some aspect of control over whatever the API is for.

I know, I know. Its still a little confusing. To keep it short for this example, I could basically instantiate (create) an object (youtube player) on my webpage and then feed it instructions. This is basically the equivalent of embedding a blank YouTube video into one of these blog posts. Then I could create links that would feed it instructions (load video, play, pause, stop, etc) or retrieve data from it (duration of video, current time position in video, etc). I hope that makes sense to my non-technical audience.

This is of interest to me because of my heavy involvement with Powet.TV of course. Since we do a lot of original video content and post most of it on YouTube and then embed it on our site, there is potential for us to make use of this somehow. In looking through some of the documentation on code.google.com, I came across a great little video they put together to show off the basics of both the javascript and flash versions of the API.

The ability to use the chromeless player appeals to me. It would allow us to completely customize the embedded player’s functionality and look. It seems to me, that would be incredibly useful to use, if I were to create a wordPress plug-in that incorporates all of this. That way, the only input would be the ID of the YouTube video within some sort of custom tag.

[[YouTube: I8xZBfVsMzs]]

Maybe something like that.

Would this be an effective use of my time?
Probably not just yet. We haven’t established a marketable look for our brand yet. We are still finding our way, as it were, and I have another large overreaching project for Powet ahead of me still. One of which, I’ve done a lot of brainstorming for, but little actual work.

This API is still something to keep in mind, though. It will only mature from here and it already seems to offer a great deal of flexibility.

Bridal Shower

If you’ve been around me lately, you may know that my sister is getting married in June. This past Sunday was the bridal shower. This was the first time I had ever been to one, which isn’t that odd considering its mostly a women’s event.

I probably asked no less than four people what was the purpose of a bridal shower. Now keep in mind that there have already been two engagement parties for the couple. The answers to my questions ranged from basically another scam to get more gifts to ‘traditionally this was the opportunity for the bride to get what she needed to make a happy household for her husband’ to ‘its just tradition.’ No matter who I asked, I could not be satisfied with the answers received. I needed someone to make this make sense to me. Unfortunately, noone was able to do that. In talking with my father, he had the hybrid theory. Basically, a bridal shower was a long standing tradition that has morphed into another excuse for money to be spent and gifts to be bought, much like Christmas (my words, not his!). The more he spoke of the tradition, the less sense the event made in a modern sense. I’m pretty sure I asked him when we were going to dance around the fire in hopes of a plentiful harvest.

After a surprisingly delicious meal, the gifts started to be opened. The bridesmaids made note that there were bingo cards under our plates and that we were all welcome to play along. When I looked at the bingo card, each square had a sticker on it with an item that had been on the gift registry and across the top, instead of saying BINGO, it read BRIDE. At first I found this to be incredibly tacky. The whole idea of specifying gifts you want to be given is a pretty tacky concept to me as well, but I understand the reasoning and it makes sense. To take this list and make a game out of it just seemed to cross that line. However, the further into the unwrapping we got, the more interested I was in each item they opened. If it were not for the Bingo game, I would most likely be bored and disinterested. Instead, I had a vested interest in what was taking place. After realizing this, I no longer felt contempt toward the concept. It made sense and served a functional purpose.

The whole concept of a bridal shower, however, still does not make sense to me. It feels like an arrogant concept to open gifts like this is such a public manner. That being said, it was nice to see some of the friends and family again.

51 days until partial normalcy returns.

WordPress 2.5

FightingReality.com is now running at WordPress 2.5.

The good news and the bad…

Good News:
We appear to be fully upgraded. You won’t notice much on the front end, but the admin interface is completely reworked and will take some getting used to.

Bad News:
Not sure if its a bug, but I already ran into this issue. Fortunately, someone linked to a quick fix.

My gallery plug-in has fallen victim to incompatibility. The gallery is down and I am looking around for a decent gallery plug-in that functions similarly to the old one.

For someone reason, the log-in page, after logging me in, did not forward me to the admin interface, but instead just gave me a completely blank white screen. I had to manually enter in the url of the admin page.