"I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth."

--Ursula K. Leguin

November 2009



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This journal is partially locked. Most fandom entries are public. Most daily-life entries and a certain amount of squee is locked. To read those entries, comment and ask to be added.

Subscribe to posting filter groups here.

Please note, all my fic posts here are summaries with links to my archive site. To search for fic most easily, you will want to visit my fic archive itself which has all the series/arc/pairing/character indexes and tags. *tips hat*

Posts Tagged: 'random'

Feb. 10th, 2009

Posting patterns

As I go through old entries, cleaning up my tags and filters, I find some interesting things about my own writing habits.

One is that I’m very prone to sequential mono-focus, fits of enthusiasm for some particular topic lasting days or months. Sometimes this is simply a reflection of the particular project I’m working on, sometimes of a new source I’ve found to fan.

During these fits I may post reactions, triumphs, moments of anguish, etc. to a general filter or no filter, but the technical details often go in a filter for that particular thing (gardening, teaching, site design) populated only by the people I have some cause to think might be interested.

Psychological details and interior landscape reports, on the other hand, go in varying privacy-oriented filters depending completely on my mood that particular day.

In and around such topic-specific posts, are scattered my daily life posts, which category is a total grab-bag, including things like what my cats are doing, my latest battle with home improvement, and the weather.

As I go through these, I find myself retuning and refining my whole concept of what filters and tags, respectively, are useful for. My tags are getting vast and increasingly nested while my filters are dividing into two sets: privacy and interest oriented. It makes me think of what a useful thing it would be if people could select among those filters marked public for what they do and don’t wish to read on their flist, instead of only being able to select one public filter at a time to read on someone’s individual journal.

Like most useful things, I imagine that would be a fairly heavy database hit, though.


Aug. 5th, 2008

How to get a categories widget with include and exclude

So, as things stand, the WordPress Categories widget supports altering sort order, post count and dropdown vs. hierarchical display. But it does not support including or excluding categories.

There is a way around this, though, while we wait for it to show up in the core code! (Everyone thank Bricksmith for suggesting this work-around.)

First, you need to download, upload and activate the php-exec plugin. This plugin allows admins to put php code in an entry or widget and have WordPress recognize it as php and execute it instead of just treating it as plain text.

Next, you go to Design > Widgets and put the Text widget where you want the Categories to appear.

Into the Text widget you paste some variation on the following code:

<li id=”categories-1″ class=”widget-categories”>
<h2 class=”widgettitle”>Categories</h2>
<?php wp_list_categories(’orderby=name&hierarchical=true&title_li=&exclude=76,77,78,79′); ?>

Save that and voila, you have a pseudo Categories widget!

In my own case, I wanted to have two Categories widgets, the second one including all the categories that the first one excluded, so I pasted another copy into Text right under the first, with the ID “categories-2″ and the ‘exclude’ changed to ‘include’, and edited my CSS to add #categories-2 everywhere there was a #categories-1.

Caveats: 1) I do not know if it is possible to use this for a dropdown Categories, because that requires some Javascript and I have no idea whether that can be parsed inside a Text widget. 2) What you have is actually a widget inside a widget, codewise. The Categories widget is enclosed inside the li and div of the Text widget. This may cause problems with your CSS styling, depending on how it’s written. If your nested lists look like li li { rules }, this will probably cause problems. On the bright side, if you change it to ul ul { rules } that should fix the problem.

For a full list of the variables you can adjust in wp_list_categories, see the WP documentation.

Jul. 31st, 2008

How to use OpenID to have flists across multiple sites

My public service post for the month.

OpenID is a nice little thing, and it allows you to log in to services you do not actually have an account with. Generally a pseudo-account is created for you under username.homeservice.com. People on, for example, LJ-code-based services can then friend your “account”, username.homeservice.com. Voila, you can read the locked posts of your friends on services that are not homeservice. If you friend them back with your pseudo-account, you will have an otherservice fpage to read them on.

That’s the sketch. Here’s the dissection.

OpenID will not let you view all of your otherservice friends’ locked posts on your homeservice flist. If your friend on otherservice has an RSS feed account at on your homeservice, locked entries will not appear there. Alas, or possibly thank goodness, considering the security issues. What OpenID will let you do is have an flist on each service in question. Each flist will let you read and comment on the locked posts of your friends.

So what you do is this.

Go ahead and log in to otherservice with OpenID; there will usually be something on the homepage telling you how, or you can just comment. When prompted by homeservice whether or not to trust otherservice with confirmation, make sure you select “Yes Always”. Don’t worry, otherservice doesn’t get your password or anything. Open up your profile page (you will have one, at least on the LJ-code-based services).

Click on the “edit your profile” link and fill in your email address.  This is extremely important.  This is how you will get replies to your OpenID comments sent to you.  If you wish, you can also select an icon for your OpenID account.

Now log out and log in again, checking any boxes you need to check for “remember me” or “keep me logged in”. Be sure your cookies are set to allow that site to remember you, if you do not normally allow that.

Friend everyone you need to (this is also important) and ask them to friend your OpenID pseudo-account back (equally important).

Now open up your otherservice flist and copy the url.

Go back to your homeservice and add that url to your link list. Repeat these steps for each otherservice flist.

Now you can click on those links and read your various flists, just like you would click on a subdivision or filter of your homeservice flist. And, because you are always logged in (be sure to check that occasionally in case you’re bumped off) you will be able to read locked posts and comment seamlessly, without having to log in or switch around.

This is how OpenID lets you have a distributed flist. It’s really multiple flists, but if you have the link right there in your sidebar, your actual reading experience will be about as simple as it always has been with a single service.


Apr. 24th, 2008

Unforseen consequences

After years of watching anime in subtitles, I’m not really surprised when it takes me a few eps to get back into the swing of watching animation in my native language. I did not, however, expect what years of reading manga in translation has done to my ability to read comics in my native language!

When I read translated manga, I generally have a back-translation track running in the back of my head–a sub-routine, as it were, speculating on what the Japanese dialogue was. This is assisted, of course, by the frequency of repeating phrases and exclamations, and the way the translation community has developed some common English equivalent phrases. Under certain circumstances it’s a pretty good bet that “that person” started out as “ano kata“, and so forth.

The kicker is that this mental sub-routine keeps running when the comic in question was written in English. So I read Agatha Clay exclaiming “What?!” and, about half a second behind, there’s this mental echo of “Nani?!”.

*rueful* Like the title says: unforseen consequences.

Incidentally, everyone should go read the webcomic Girl Genius. It is delightful.


Jan. 6th, 2008

Seiyuu I like a lot

Ogata Megumi (Pharoh-First Yuugi-ou Series, Uranus-Sailor Moon, Yukito/Yue-Cardcaptor Sakura, Kurama-YuYu Hakusho): Because, for someone who doesn’t put a huge variety of expression into her voice, she’s absolutely amazing at expressing wildly different characters. And also making them hot like fire.

Onosaka Masaya (Vash-Trigun, Momoshiro-Tenipuri, Shinji-Bleach): Because he has the gift of moving from Total Spaz to Dead Serious in a breath, and that can give his characters a lot of depth. Besides which, his Dead Serious voice is also dead sexy.

Suwabe Jun’ichi (Seymore-FFX, Atobe-Tenipuri, Grimmjow-Bleach, Fuuma-X): Because he can do rude, arrogant villains and smooth, charming villains and, really, all sorts of villains and pull them off perfectly. And a good anime needs a good villain. He does pretty good heros, too, come to that. Also, incidentally, dead sexy.

Paku Romi (Ken-Digimon, Ed-Fullmetal Alchemist, Ren-Shaman King, Hitsugaya-Bleach): Because any role she does, she does with intensity. Her psychotic characters are clearly around the bend on two wheels, her short-tempered characters are clearly barrels of emotional gunpowder, her cold characters could power an industrial freezer. And husky is sexy. If you think you’re seeing a pattern, here, you’re entirely right.

Minagawa Junko (Echizen-Tenipuri, Ritsuka-Loveless): Because sexiness is its own excuse.

Takeuchi Junko (Naruto-Naruto, Gon-HunterxHunter, Takuya-Digimon): Because she does earnest characters so adorably well. I give the artists their due, but Takeuchi’s voice lends a lot of depth to the self-evident pure-heartedness of her characters.

Morikubo Shoutarou (Ginji-Getbackers, Shikamaru-Naruto, Kirihara-Tenipuri, Kadaju-Advent Children): Because he’s got a very expressive voice and a fine touch with characterization. All of his characters are wonderfully vivid.

Okiayu Ryoutarou (Byakuya-Bleach, Tezuka-Tenipuri, Dark-D.N.Angel, Shigure-Fruits Basket, Yuu-Marmalade Boy): And we’re back to the sexiness, especially when he’s doing villains. Which makes it all the more impressive that he does very good Silly, also.

Seki Toshihiko (Duo-Gundam Wing, Lui-Miene Liebe, Mousse-Ranma1/2, Legato-Trigun, Isshiki-RahXephon): Speaking of which, Seki does lovely ambiguous characters. He’s got a bit of that swoop and flex in common with Suwabe, and it makes for very expressive voice acting. He’s especially good at doing it in a subtler register.

Seki Tomokazu (Keisuke-IniD, Ryuuki-SaiMono, Ogata-Angelic Layer, Chichiri/Kouji-Fushigi Yuugi, Touya-Cardcaptor Sakura, Chiaki-Nodame Cantabile, Van-Escaflowne): Because he has the most amazing range. I mean, it’s absolutely astonishing.

Special case: Koyasu Takehito (Aya-WK, Ryousuke-IniD, Pesche-Bleach, Freyr-Matantei Loki, Sakujun-SaiMono): See, the thing here is, I only like him when he’s voicing a total fruit. I like the way he does absurd characters. This is quite likely a personal quirk and mostly due to his obvious Issues about women. Actually, I also thought he was just about right for Sakujun. He’s good at other kinds of characters; it’s just his performance there doesn’t distract me enough from snarling at him personally.