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Messages - Xepher

Yes, web design examples would help. Your art is... well, "consistent" and we'll leave it at that for now.
General Chat / Internet Age
March 05, 2010, 09:44:51 AM
So I realized that I'm a geezer in internet years... I mean, "All your base" is my standby, and that's ancient, but before that, there was the original meme: All I can find is a remix version, but if this make you feel nostalgic, welcome to the dark ages. :-)
Announcements / Re: Another Ski Trip!
March 03, 2010, 04:05:34 AM
Back now, just in case anyone needed to know!. Trip was awesome too... I tend to forget there was a reason I picked a snow leopard avatar in the first place, but man... I do miss the mountains and the snow!
Applications / Re: Gene Catlow (possibly!)
February 27, 2010, 02:10:34 AM
Hmm... looks like toon media probably wouldn't be a problem, as most comic-centric startups tend to focus on some sort of quality, rather than junk/spammy ads. Really it all just depends on what  actual ads are that run. Selling useful/relevant stuff (t-shirt, anime dvds, books, etc.) is fine. It's the semi-scam "win a free ipod!" things that I won't allow. Toon media looks like it gives you final control over what ads show up on your site too, so it's probably pretty decent.

As for the domain name, I don't require it redirect, but as that makes entirely invisible, I do require that people using their own domain names use the otherwise-voluntary newsbox. See for an example of a site hosted here, on it's own domain name, and what the newsbox (more of a link exchange for XN members really) looks like. See (the newsbox section) for more info on how it works, but basically, it just has to be on your "main page" (what most people would bookmark) somewhere, and only once. It doesn't have to be on other pages or areas of your site.
Announcements / Another Ski Trip!
February 22, 2010, 09:21:53 AM
Yeah, I take a lot of vacations... one of the benefits of being unemployed! :-) This time it's to Crested Butte, which just got like 3 feet of snow this week. Should be quite awesome. Anyway, regular comments apply... some internet, but I plan to be skiing and drinking, not web surfing. I'm leaving tomorrow (Tuesday morning) and 'll be back sometime between the 1st and the 3rd of March. See ya'll then.
Applications / Re: Gene Catlow (possibly!)
February 19, 2010, 12:42:31 AM
Hi Gene,

No worries about the spamblocker, but normally I don't see/catch things like that, since the forum signup emails are automated, and I am, of course, blocking tons of bounceback spam myself. Anyway, just glad I caught it.

Your comic is still in my daily bookmarks, but I must confess I haven't really kept up with it for the past year or so. I am familiar with your work though, and know you've got a long track record of running a comic, which is really the main thing I look for, so "getting in" isn't an issue.

As for ad services, I'm not familiar with burst or ADSDAQ. If you can give me some more info, I can take a closer look at them though. Mainly, I'm looking to see that a site has non-excessive number of appropriate ads. I don't want pages filled with tons of junk ads. Likewise, annoying ads are a bad thing. This generally means all those "punch the monkey" type flashing ads, as well as pop-up/under ads. The actual service I don't really care about -- I just "preapprove" the mentioned ones, since they have reasonable policies -- so as long as the ads are reasonable/appropriate, it shouldn't be a problem. It helps if you get some say over what ads appear (a la project wonderful) so I know there'll be a sanity check on things too. If you can show me some examples of sites/ads like how you'd want to do things, that's the best way for me to evaluate it. I looked at your current site, and I only see the keenspot ad/header, and one from Atlas Solutions as a large banner near the top, so I'm guessing the current site doesn't reflect your intentions.

Anyway, just let me know on that, and feel free to catch me on AIM (Xepher42) if that's easier/quicker to talk to things out.
General Chat / Breadgasm
February 11, 2010, 10:17:58 AM
So, I've recently decided to try my hand at baking. I know it's not the manliest of pursuits, but I love EATING baked goods, and I also love the DIY ethic, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I had a few mediocre successes -- bread that was decent, but really kinda plain -- but yesterday I finished something that's positively addicting. I mean it... I've been having to literally force myself out of the kitchen to keep from just chomping the entire loaf in one go. It's a sweet, white bread, perfect with butter. It also happens to be really easy to make. As such, I'm going to outline it here, in case anyone else wants to try it.


2 cups warm water
3/4 cup white sugar
1.5 tablespoons dry yeast
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

Notes: Sugar can be slightly less if you want, and salt could probably tend slightly more. Bread flour is not QUITE the same as "all purpose" flour. It has more gluten/protein in it. It tends to make better bread, and only costs a few cents more, but you can make do with whatever you have in a pinch, though you may need slightly more of it.


1. Put the water in a big mixing bowl (from your power mixer if you have one, if not, biggest bowl you have) and mix in the sugar. We need it to be about 110° F after that, so microwave it if it's not warm enough. If you don't have a thermometer, it needs to feel hot to the touch, but not actually "burning". Think "The hottest hot tub" you can stand.
2. Add the yeast to the sugar water, by sprinkling it evenly over the surface of the water. Go play smash bros. for 15 minutes or so.
3. The yeast should make a brown foam about an inch thick that cover the entire surface of the water. If it does, you're good to go. If not, start over, and buy new yeast.
4. Add the oil to the sugar water.
5. If possible, mix the salt into the first cup or two of flour. You don't want to add it directly to the yeast/water, or it'll kill it off. If you're feeling lucky, just mix it in a bit at a time as you add the flour.
6. Add the flour a cup at a time or so, and stir it in evenly. It'll tend to clump, so you just keep stirring.
7. Eventually, it's gonna get really thick and paste-like. It'll pull away from the sides of the bowl and seem slighly lumpy. If you've got 5 cups or more in, it may be time to use your hands (my spoon was bending at this point.)
8. Mix in the final flour with your hands, kneading the dough and using the main ball of it to scrape the dry flour from the sides of the bowl.
9. When you get down to only a few spoons of flour left, find a clean surface (dough sheet ideally, or really clean/dry countertop) and sprinkle the flour on it.
10. Knead the dough for at least five minutes. This means smash it flat/away from you with your palms, fold it over, rotate it a bit, and smash it again. Repeat that a lot. You can add slightly more flour dust to keep things from sticking.
11. After five minutes or so, and when the dough seems evenly smooth, stop. Clean/dry the bowl, then oil it. That means spray it with pam or something, or rub with vegetable oil. Ball up the dough into a smooth, round shape and set it in the bowl, then cover it with plastic wrap, or, at least, a wet towel. Put it someplace warm-ish.
12. Give it an hour. It should double in size or so. If you have a plastic bowl and your house is around 70°f, great. If it's colder, or metal, it may take longer.
13. Flour your surface again, and dump the dough out. Put some oil on a sharp knife and cut it in half. Knead each half just a bit more (to get rid of the "cut" edge) and flatten into a rectangle about the size of a 9x5 bread pan. Fold the ends over, and fold the rectangle in half. Pinch the seam together and roll it a bit. You're making a lump slightly shorter and narrower than the pan. Oil the pan, and set the loaf in the center of it, seam side down. Do that for both loaves.
14. Cover the loaves with more plastic or wet towel, and let them rise another 30-45 minutes. They should rise about an inch above the top of 9x5 bread pans.
15. At this point, it's baking time. Preheat to 350°f (or 325°f in a convection oven) and put 'em about 2/3 of the way down. Make sure there's several inches of clearance on top (raise/remove the top rack) as the bread really rises high.
16. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Keep an eye on the top color. It should be brown but not burned.
17. Pull the loaves out, and immediately turn/dump them out of the pans and let them cool in the open so they don't get soggy.

To eat, cut a nice slide, and slather it in real, salted butter. It's absolutely delicious. After the bread cools for an hour or so, stick it in a plastic bag (simple grocery sacks work great) and leave it at room temp. Later, you can slice it easy, add some fridge-temp slice, and just microwave for 30 seconds (and spread the butter) to get that same fresh-from-the-oven taste.

Next time, I'm gonna try using butter instead of oil, for both the recipe and for the pans, as well as brush on some butter when they come out of the oven. It would be nice to get a little bit of that baked in, so you don't need as much added later. If anyone tries this, lemme know, I'm curious how it works for other people.
General Chat / Flying 101
February 10, 2010, 06:22:06 AM
Will sent me this earlier... I laughed, and had to share.
I'm sorry, but "plans" alone are not enough to go on. The one picture you presented just... well, not enough either, especially lacking any sort of history of updates or other elements to add merit. If you feel you've improved or established a better art history in 6 months time, you're welcome to reapply then if you wish. Best of luck!
Applications / Re: The Den webcomic
February 06, 2010, 03:06:30 AM
Hey, sorry but I was off skiing, so I'm just now getting to this.

First off, the name doesn't really matter... you don't get a domain name from me anyway, just a username... it's up to you to purchase a domain ( name if you wish. That's neither here nor there however. I looked at your first comic, and while it's not horrible or anything, it is only ONE comic, and, frankly, of mediocre quality. I don't mean to be harsh, but to be accepted here, I look for several things: talent, commitment, quality, consistency, and others. Most of your art is very flat and underdeveloped, which is understandable, as everyone has to start somewhere, but the comic doesn't exist (save for three panels) yet, so that's a zero score on most of the other things like commitment. For now, I'm going to say no. If you do develop it into a full series, or otherwise feel you've improved, you're welcome to reapply after six months. Best of luck to you!
Web Design / Re: Weird Spaces
February 06, 2010, 02:53:13 AM
Like Data said, it's atffc, and it's referencing a flash "button" or some such at this URL

Does that ring any bells for what might add that?
Announcements / Re: Ski Trip
February 04, 2010, 10:39:26 PM
I'm back! Data, thanks for taking care of the forums while I was gone.
Announcements / Ski Trip
January 30, 2010, 03:46:04 PM
I'm off, once again, to go have some fun. Going to ski in Breckenridge for the week. Should be back on Friday (the 5th) or so. I'll have some internet access, so I'll keep an eye on things, I just won't be reviewing applications or anything. Email is probably the best way to get a hold of me if something comes up though. See ya!
Announcements / Re: Bandwidth Use Issues
December 22, 2009, 07:27:08 PM
Well, the problem was this...

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}       !-f
RewriteRule ^/favicon.ico [R,L]

The idea was that if a user doesn't have their own favicon.ico, it'd use the main site one, so the stupid IE browers wouldn't keep hammering for a file that's 404. What it DID do, was result in an endless loop for some reason, causing the browsers to retry several times, for every single page opened. This literally quadrupled the bandwidth, but since no actual file was ever sent, not "bandwidth" was logged by the webserver, thus making it nearly impossible to track down. Since this is sorted, I've removed the limit about outgoing http that I mentioned above. Everything should be back to normal, and hopefully, a bit faster now too.

I'll say this, after 30 hours awake, and banging my head for so long for such a simple mistake, this is going to be a facepalm I remember for a very long time! The weirdest part about it all though, is that I tested the thing, and it WORKED when I first put those lines in place. *shrugs* I'm going to bed!
Announcements / Bandwidth Use Issues
December 22, 2009, 05:26:04 PM
EDIT: Finally found it... been digging on this for two days. Turns out, I made a really dumb mistake a few weeks ago. See below for updates.

Something is causing a huge spike in bandwidth use this month. I'm about to go over the prepaid amounts bought for the server. I don't think it's any sort of normal use that's doing this, as I'm having a hard time tracking it down. It looks like it might be caused by incoming data, rather than stuff served out. As a temporary measure, I've suspended all OUTGOING traffic on port 80. This means your scripts won't be able to grab remote images and such to process them. Mostly this may break some RSS parsers and such. If you have something that broke, let me know. Most of you shouldn't notice a change though. If this doesn't shake out the problem though, I may have to try some other stuff while tracking it down, and it could be slightly disruptive while I poke around in things. I'll let you know if anything major is going to happen though.