So let’s give this thing a whirl.

For those of you on the forum, none of this will be news. For the rest:

The forum

phpbb2, while a wonderful forum application, has been driving me crazy as of late. In WordPress, when I want to extend the app, I download or write plugins that do what I want. If something’s not working it’s easy to shut off, and if the software upgrades don’t get along with the plugins, the upgrades don’t destroy the plugins.

But there is no plugin interface for the forum. When you download changes those changes are to the source code, and every change you make is going to be absolutely stomped on by the next iterative upgrade of the forum application. And reinstalling changes is either tedious manual updates or fighting with a 0.3 beta application that doesn’t understand the idea of either reinstalls and uninstalls.

To sum up, every time I found code to block the spammers, I’d be good for a few weeks, then phpbb2 would update and I’d be hosed. Over and over and over.

Rather than embody the definition of insanity, I decided it was time for a change. WordPress, after all, has built-in comments functionality. I didn’t use it before because I preferred the forum, but now I’ve reconsidered, especially considering its extensive anti-spam features. The forum will be shut down, probably in a few weeks, and comments will post here instead. And that leads to…

The new UI

So if I was going to have to rewrite my existing WordPress templates, I figured I might as go all the way. The old templates were written for WordPress 1.5 and I’m running 2.1 now. I knew there were features of interest to me in the new interface, and this is an easy way to add them. It took about a week of constant work, but I’ve redesigned the site to accept comments and trackbacks, with a new look and new background. It’s not perfect (it feels really cluttered to me) and more tweaking will come, but now at least the Project Wonderful ads are above the fold most of the time. And speaking of changes….

Get Outta My Head is now Night Fugues

That’s right — I changed the name of the primary comic. GOMH really didn’t have any meaning, and since many of the themes of the comic involve nighttime and strangeness, this felt like a better fit. But I couldn’t do it alone.

Most of all I want to thank the ideaphiles

Many of these decisions (well, not the UI obviously, or it wouldn’t be so busy) had a very heavy influence from the folks that hang out in the forum. My co-moderator, jzimbert, and jamie, and peri-renna, and larksilver (where are you, girl?) and Mark, and squeak, all have given me both support and constructive criticism throughout not only this insane process but also through the two plus years that we’ve had a forum. They rock and I’m very humbled and glad to have them visiting this little corner of the internet so very often.

As an aside, if you folks don’t have your avatars saved locally, you’ll want to do that soon.

So where do we go from here?

Well, here! Feel free to register and comment and tell me what you think of the new design, the new name, and all of that jazz. (Are the bricks too much?? I love the way they look but I’m nervous. Did I mention the clutter?) There are other ideas and features I might want to add too… and as always, I’ll be here soliciting your great ideas for most of them.

Thanks for reading!


I’ve had a weekend where I didn’t actually complete a single project I started.
I’m sleepless right now and I have a long week ahead of me.
I’m angry because I’m tired and I’d like to be asleep,
not failing at writing poetry, failing at working on the novel, or failing to check my email.

December 5th marks exactly 1 year that I’ve owned the domain.
The various incarnations of my website are much older;
my geocities site was started 5 years ago, though none of the archives are still there.
from there, to Earthlink, to Comcast, and now to here, my home

through two moves, three or four blizzards, various car accidents,
experiments with html, experiments with php, experiments with javascript
experiments with poetry, fiction, comics, forums, more poetry, more comics

I’ve changed. The site’s changed. We’re getting 1500+ readers a month
(that is, if I’m reading my logs right, but even so) it’s an odd feeling to think someone’s listening
especially at 2am on a monday which promises to be a very long day
when i feel like the whole world’s asleep, and i’m alone

I’ve been a little too quiet lately; I’ll try to remedy that
not that I’m sure that’s what you’re here for – the logs point to a strong
possibility you’re here for the comics, but hey
i’ve been babbling on for a year here and you keep coming back

thank you, all of you, for giving me an anchor, and a milestone to achieve

So, it’s done.

My last class is finished.

My professor assures us that we’ve all passed.

I’d party but I’m too tired to do much more than eat a celebratory bowl of ice cream and sit like a lump on the sofa. Very shortly (once we’ve determined if Nighthawk’s car battery is dead) I’ll be going to bed.

All at once I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and that the whole world is open to me… and also that I’ve lost a little something, not having class to go to anymore.

They say that these are not the best of times
But they’re the only times I’ve ever known
And I believe there is a time for meditation
In cathedrals of our own

For we are always what our situations hand us
It’s either sadness or euphoria

(billy joel)

I’ve been assured that this will wear off… I’ve also been assured that just because I’m a Master Engineer I won’t necessarily be allowed to drive a train. (Apparently, Conductors do that. I pointed out that I’m mostly water and trace minerals, and they’re both pretty good conductors, but that was not enough.)

And despite fears that I won’t have enough to do, it looks like I’ll be pretty busy. A webcomic to re-buffer, a website to re-revise, my brother-in-law’s birthday / high school graduation party this weekend, Virginia Beach next week, visits from some ideaphiles the week after that, and so on and so forth. And then there’s the floor to finish in the 2nd bedroom and then bathrooms to remodel, etc. etc. it goes on and on. Still, graduation frees up about 10-20 hours a week of my time, so I should be a little more relaxed.

Next Monday my shift changes – I’ll be working 5 days a week for the first time in a few years, 10:30am-7:00pm. Very odd.

To all of you who’ve helped me stay sane these past three years, thank you!

I did it! It’s done.