From my pal, Susan at Collage Creative — What You Can’t Do on WordPress.com (a cautionary tale)

WordPress Official LogoRecently, I did some web development work in WordPress for a friend’s business and brought in the help & expertise of my pal, WordPress & CSS goddess, Graphic Artist, as well as flute & saxophone musician extraordinaire, Susan Langenes of Collage Creative.

Here’s the rub — both Susan and I had done design on lots of self-hosted web sites using the downloaded WordPress Open Source software, but our client was already on WordPress.com, and liked that UI and wanted to stay there. And the reasons for doing so were understandable — your WordPress site is always backed up for you, Automattic, the parent company running WordPress.com, handles most of the security against malware and attacks, they do all the updates, etc. Sounds like a sweet deal, right?

And knowing we couldn’t do any back-end PHP or JavaScript fiddling with code at WordPress.com, everything just had to be in customizable CSS, we figured we’d limit our changes to just that and party! Right?

Well… not exactly.

Turns out there were many more pitfalls that make WordPress.com a much different animal than a self-hosted WordPress.org site. Susan has done an excellent job of detailing what we both went through in getting the web site to where the client wanted it, after much g-nashing of teeth, in this pithy post over on her site, You Can’t Do That On WordPress.com. Much good info for anyone who wants to take a customization job over on WordPress.com. Enjoy. And thank you, Susan, for the great write-up and mentioning me & this blog.

…And Now, Carl Reiner (Marc Maron on WTF)

Carl Reiner Pic - at Bevely Hilton HotelMarc Maron's WTF Podcast logoMonday was one of the legendary comedy Kings, Mel Brooks. Today on Marc Maron’s WTF? The other half of this Comedy Royalty — Carl Reiner.

More wondrous, juicy, comedy history Jewiness than you can handle. Even if you can go back for seconds or thirds, there will still be some yenta there, prodding you, “Eat! Eat! There’s still plenty more! It’ll just go bad!” Only this time, the spread is actually pretty tasty.

Enjoy.

For Pete – A Call To Arms For Portland’s Music Faithful

[If you wish to skip the verbiage below and just go to the page with the info and donate to Pete, click here.]
pete and rebeccaSee that handsome fellow over yonder there? That is my pal Pete. Pete Krebs. Looking very dapper and extremely happy with his lovely wife, Rebecca Birdie Krebs.

Pete is a lovely man and one of the nicest guys I know. He’s also a Portland Music institution. And unlike most guitar aces I’ve known in my time, Pete is the least ego-driven guy I know. If anything, he’s been all about helping others and supporting community and bringing up the underdog wherever he can.

I should know, because he’s done it for me. Several times. Plus he’s a patient and wonderful music teacher also.

He got his start in a seminal 90s punk band called Hazel. Later, he got into American Roots music and then gypsy jazz, and helped launch that and support the Portland Swing community here. And he has other bands I love, swinging that ol’ timey stuff — The Stolen Sweets, The Pete Krebs Trio and Pete Krebs and the Portland Playboys.

Pete has given a lot of music, a lot of joy and well, just a lot to his community.

Well, Pete is in need of help. And we need to rally to him, Portlandia.
Continue reading “For Pete – A Call To Arms For Portland’s Music Faithful” »

Marc Maron & Mel Brooks – Oh HELLZ to the YEAH.

Before the more altruistic post, this —

Mel Brooks PicMarc Maron's WTF Podcast logoYou’re all aware of my love for Marc Maron, his comedy, and especially his WTF podcast. If not, just take a gander at this pic —

Faddah & Marc Maron at Helium Comedy Club, Portland, Ore., 2012

Yup. That’s me and the man when he played Helium Comedy Club here in Portland last year.

In any case, on the podcast today? Totally out did himself. Full on interview with the classic, Mel Brooks. No lie. Mel Freakin’ Brooks. Mel Hisself.

Yes, I know, Chris Hardwick had already done this on The Nerdist Network. So what? That was nice. This? Is Godhead. Deep Mel information. Birth onward. John Wayne was asked to play Waco Kid in “Blazing Saddles” before Gene Wilder. I KNOW! Mind-roasting info on a King of Comedy History. Be amazed. Check it here.

Oh, and Thursday on WTF? Carl Reiner. I KNOW!

O.k., now on to the urgent post we really need to get to…

Sometimes, a soft stroke on the back from The Universe.

Rene Magritte The friend of order, 1964Hi.

Yeah, it’s been awhile. We’re all aware of that.

Nuttin’ much. How ’bout you?

And I know — I promised you another post entirely. On Wordcamp. Like, four months ago. That still will come.

But need to clear the head and cleanse the palette first.

This first post is about clearing the slate and head after feeling much like you got stomped for not much of a good reason.

The other is a call to arms & love for a friend in need. That’ll be after this.

Please read both. And then, a bit thereafter, the WordPress/Wordcamp posts.

So first — going into this weekend, I was feeling pretty crappy. Shit on a shingle, I’d say. To the point where I was telling friends I would have preferred to hide under the comforter on my bed the whole weekend, starting Friday night, with my iPad running Netflix (shameless advertising placement) and watching old various Star Trek series re-runs until I came to Monday. Maybe.
Continue reading “Sometimes, a soft stroke on the back from The Universe.” »

Backfence, #nerd & a Very Loud Macaw Parrot.

20120924-112454.jpgSo last Saturday night I attended another quarterly event of the Backfence PDX Storytelling series, at McMennamin’s Mission Theatre. The show was it’s usual delightful mix and a whole lot of fun — if you’ve never been to a Backfence show before, I highly recommend you try and get to one of their next shows or try their Backfence podcast.

Each Backfence show has a theme, and this one was for the geek in all of us, HASHTAG NERD (or as I prefer it — “#nerd”). And this show had one unexpected addition to it — me!

Before the end of intermission, you can sign up and offer to tell a ONE-MINTUE ONLY story on the subject of the evening, drop it into a pitcher and they choose five storytellers, with one minute each, on stage. Being I have a big background being a geek-nerd, and had some hilarious experiences in that field, I threw my name in.

And… I got chosen, which was very exciting!

And… I choked.

Well, not so much “choked,” but I got cut off. Though I thought it a short, simple, funny story, I had the time keeper call a very loud, “TIME!” on me. In my defenese, she did not call the 15-seconds warning to me, as she did with others, in which case I would have gracefully wrapped up. But who ever said life, or story telling, was fair?

However, it appears that a number of people wanted to hear the end of my story. Well, o.k. — one guy on Google+. But in the interest of not leaving anyone hanging, ever, herein lies my story and its completion. The parts I told at Backfence are in regular type, parts that i’ve added, including embellishments and that fateful ending that never got heard, are in italics.

Continue reading “Backfence, #nerd & a Very Loud Macaw Parrot.” »