February 11

lasTunes

I just finished writing my first WordPress plugin! here is some information about lasTunes:

Adds iTunes links to Last.fm user’s Recently Played Tracks feed and displays them.

Multiple options, including:

  • Add direct links to each track artist’s myspace and last.fm pages
  • Add link to album
  • Add link to user’s last.fm page

see it in action below. oh, and check out the lasTunes WordPress plugins page, where you can/should download it. while I may provide updates here from time to time, all new versions will be posted there. namaste!

[lasTunes]

Category: geek, lasTunes, WordPress | Comments Off on lasTunes
February 4

the ten WordPress plugins that saved me from coding

if you have a WordPress site, there are thousands of plugins out there which you can use to make your site easier to use, or more interactive, or more useful, etc. here are 10 that I found I can’t live without.

All in One SEO Pack – puts SEO (search engine optimization) code into your site to get it more traffic.

Events Calendar – easily mark upcoming events, etc.

Google Analytics for WordPress – every website needs Analytics. this plugin is the most user-friendly.

Google XML Sitemaps – auto-generates sitemaps, which will boost your site in the search engines.

My Link Order – lets you easily specify which order you want your blogroll links to be shown.

ShareThis – inserts links to email the post, or Digg/share it on other sites.

Sociable – same functionality as ShareThis, but different. try them both and decide for yourself.

Stray Random Quotes – I tried a few quote plugins and this was the best.

Subscribe2 – allows visitors/members to subscribe to your site, and receive notification emails for different events such as new posts.

WP-PostRatings – allows visitors to rate posts. gives you a variety of options for your rating system (thumbs up/thumbs down, 5 stars, etc).

 you can see most of these plugins in use either on this site or my other site, Audio Showcase.

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January 17

the top 10 albums of 2008

10. Search the City – A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It Search the City - A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It

good, uppity, pop punk album. one of the best bands you’ve never heard of – Christian, too.

09. Quietdrive – Deliverance Quietdrive - Deliverance

this album doesn’t really approach their last, but they’re a great band and it’s still one of the best of the year.

08. Secondhand Serenade – A Twist in My Story

one of the most emo artists I listen to, similar to Dashboard Confessional. apparently this guy is getting pretty good, and I’m glad to hear it.

07. Ivoryline – There Came a Lion Ivoryline - There Came a Lion

another solid pop punk record, by another solid group. this band came out of nowhere and I can’t remember how I found them, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that a friend of mine likes them too. oh hey, the band members are all Christians too (but they’re not a “Christian” band).

06. Anberlin – New Surrender Anberlin - New Surrender

this album rounds out the trio of solid Christian music for the year. Anberlin is just a good band, I don’t have to explain anything here.

05. Empires – Howl Empires - Howl

this band was recommended to me and boy are they great. another awesome artist that came out of nowhere. they also offer the album for free here. I expect their next release to hit the charts.

04. Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

another band that was recommended to me. I’ve only started listening to this album in the past week but it is clearly a best-of-2008 favorite. listen to it.

03. Augustana – Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt Augustana - Can't Love, Can't Hurt

I checked out this album figuring it would be another easily forgotten pop record, but wow was I surprised. I listened to this, basically on repeat, for weeks. Augustana has cemented their place as a favorite band for me.

02. Jack’s Mannequin – The Glass Passenger Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger

the old Something Corporate leader did it again. this is Andrew McMahon’s second solid solo side-project sing-along. if you haven’t heard of it yet you’ve been hiding under a rock.

01. Third Eye Blind – Red Star Third Eye Blind - Red Star - EP

any year that my favorite band releases something proper, they will probably win the top spot by default. however, this really is a good release (even though it’s a 3-song EP) so you should check it out.

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and 10 honorable mentions:

  • Punk Goes Crunk
  • Alesana – Where Myth Fades to Legend
  • Allison Crowe – Little Light
  • Archie Star – Carry Me Home
  • Bayside – Shudder
  • The Flobots – Fight with Tools
  • Jack Johnson – Sleep Through the Static
  • Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s – Not Animal
  • Rise Against – Appeal to Reason
  • Senses Fail – Life Is Not a Waiting Room

I would love to include the new Funeral for a Friend album, Memory and Humanity, but it really wasn’t up to par. same for Copeland’s newest, You Are My Sunshine. and to be fair, I haven’t given Death Cab For Cutie’s new album Narrow Stairs a proper listen yet (in fact, I just realized I didn’t have it, so I’m in the midst of fixing that).

I’ve heard a lot of “2008 was a bad year for music”, but I would have to disagree. either way, hopefully 2009 will be full of fantastic auditory surprises!

January 1

in celebration of life and football

as college football is drawing to a close and the new year has just begun, I’d like to share some related thoughts. a wise old man with a lisp once said “football is a microcosm of life”. let me explain.

football, like life, contains every range of emotions. in the heat of summer you spend your days rolling in the dirt, or running, running, running. sometimes it’s hard to believe that your hard work will pay off, but you’ve got to keep rolling. if you don’t win a game that year, you might think it was all for naught – but when you’re old and gray, you look back on that summer and realize that what you won came later.

in football there is pain. it is probably the most abundant emotion in football, but without occasional pain it’s hard to feel alive. the best type of pain is that which you can play through – you’ve got to keep pushing on that ankle and even though it hurts, when you push yourself to the limit you learn you can do so much more than you thought. what sucks is that some of your opponents are going to keep aiming for your ankle since they want you out of the game. but every time they hit it you’ve got to get up and run the next play.

there are always people watching, but you’re not playing for them, you’re playing for you. some will boo you and some will cheer you, but you’re the only one that can make a play. in defeat is sorrow and the lowest of lows, and in victory is elation where the Oranges taste sweeter, but if you can be happy in defeat you’ve shown that character is more important than which way the ball bounces.

perhaps the greatest thing about football is that with each new season you can start afresh. new players, new coaches, new goals. as I’ve thought about it I’ve realized that life is just a game, and what I should really focus on is what I’ll do when the clock hits 0:00, even though that’s hard to do when you’re knee deep in the second quarter. I hope this year that God will bless you all with the gift of finding happiness in everything you do. Happy New Year.

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December 4

Brand New ringtones! (and others, too)

another round served cold. it looks like people are actually using these, so, I’m glad to be of service!

p.s. I realized why some of my ringtones were “bad quality” – they have to be under 300 kb. so I’ve fixed those and re-upped them, too.

requests => comments!

Category: geek, music | Comments Off on Brand New ringtones! (and others, too)