Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

Waffle is now Obsession Du Jour…

May 21st, 2013 by Reinder

... and it's full of content from my Tumblr.

Just because I found out that I could, and because it seemed like a good idea in the light of Yahoo!, a company with a track record of ruining everything it takes over, taking over Tumblr, I have imported all my Tumblr posts into my WordPress blog and changed its name so it is now the same as the Tumblr, Obsession Du Jour. Sorry if those 275-ish posts spammed your RSS feed. It'll only happen this once. I hope.

I'm not planning to stop posting to Tumblr, mind. It's just a precaution. I hope I'll be able to easily mirror Tumblr stuff to WordPress and vice versa from here on, though.

There was actually already some content duplicated on both blogs, but honestly, the overlap is not that great. I never posted individual comic updates there, for instance.

Oh, and some housekeeping

July 21st, 2012 by Reinder

I've taken the Markdown plugin off the blog again, because it was interfering with other blog functionality. Only a few posts ever used it, but these may look a bit wonky.


January 20th, 2012 by Reinder

I've just updated WordPress, and installed a Markdown plugin to fit into possible new workflow. So let's see if this works.

The following content has been marked up with [Markdown]( "Wikipedia entry for Markdown")

**This is Bold text**

_This is italic text_

### This is a header (H3)

OK, that works well enough. I plan to write more blog posts again, but write them offline in an external editor, so I'm more focused. I recently downloaded two full-screen editors for Mac, [IAwriter]( and [Ulysses](, both of which have full-screen modes that allow for writing with minimal distraction. Of these, IAwriter works with [Markdown]( "Wikipedia entry for Markdown") syntax, and I've found that using Markdown is an excellent way to perform essential markup without breaking my train of thought, so I've added it to this blog in the hope of finally getting some reviews written. Watch this space.

[To the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan site]( "ROCR")

Commenting rule for the music reviews: don’t be an asshole.

October 24th, 2010 by Reinder

The good thing about writing music reviews is that they attract more comments than most of my posts here. The downside to it is that the new commenters are largely assholes, especially if what you write is not 100% positive. I understand that people care about their favourite music a lot; I do the same. But if you are getting your knickers in a twist over me saying something negative about your bestest most favouritest music ever, keep it to yourself. Specifically, don't write me a one-line post telling me I suck. It won't get approved. It will be your time that is wasted, not mine.

Criticism, on the other hand, is always welcome. How can you tell whether you're writing criticism or being an asshole? Criticism is usually more than one line, it usually does not attack the person being addressed, and it takes issue with specific points in the review under consideration. For example: "I don't think Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero did such a bad job mixing Trash; why do you single them out like you did in your review?" is criticism. So is "I found the ideas in your review poorly organised and think you might want to write shorter reviews", for that matter (I will ignore that because I want to work on how I organise my ideas by writing longer reviews, but it the thought was on my own mind. What I got in my comment box today: "Reinder, you know absolutely nothing about music." from someone with an e-mail adress at "" (a site that apparently does not exist), is being an asshole. To the complete stranger who wrote that, I'm sorry a negative review on your Google alert spoiled your morning. If you want to whine about it, YouTube will let just about anybody comment. Here, we have standards.

Comments now close after 90 days

February 25th, 2010 by Reinder

Lately I've been getting some comments to blog posts from months to a year ago, usually record reviews. These may or may not be substantive in nature but are usually in an insulting tone. Since I have no intention to perform blog archeology and get insulted in the process, I have changed the blog settings so that comments now close after 90 days.

Waffle doesn't get a whole lot of comments as it's currently just a personal blog that I post on sporadically. So there's no need at this point for any rules or comment policies. But even at low volume, drive-by comments that respond to stuff that is ancient history to me, and do so in the style of a fourteen-year-old YouTube commenter, are a pain in the butt to deal with, so I won't. Automatic comment closing served me well when Waffle was on Movable Type and overrun with spam, and it will serve me well again.

Skeptic’s Circle? Damned if I know

April 24th, 2009 by Reinder

If you're awaiting the Skeptic's Circle that was planned for yesterday, it's been delayed. I don't know for how long; I spoke to Adam last night and he told me he'd arranged for it to be postponed, but he didn't mention any specifics. In any case, there's no draft for it in the WordPress back-end either. As I'm at work right now, my opportunities for communicating with him are limited and I'm only allowing myself to post this so I can keep you informed.

Adam, any chance of you just posting the links in a minimalist form? Reducing the effort-per-update has got me out of many sticky situations as both a blogger and a webcartoonist, after all.

To new blog readers: about this blog

April 23rd, 2009 by Reinder

If you've come here for the Skeptic's Circle installment Adam's running, you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering what the rest of this blog is about. Most of the other posts on the blog's front page right now are promotional announcements asking readers to "vote" for something called "Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan" on something called "Topwebcomics" and offering them sketches as bribes for doing so. Many of said sketches are of pointy-eared characters in the buff. "What does all this have to do with science or skepticism and why is this Reinder Dijkhuis person posting these messages?", you may find yourself asking.

Here are the answers: I'm Reinder, I'm a translator by day and a cartoonist in whatever stolen moments I can rustle up for cartooning. I own and run this blog. Adam (who sometimes uses a pseudonym) is a co-contributor; officially he is one of about seven, but all the others have dropped out over the years and currently do not even have full access to the WordPress back-end I switched to about a year ago. The blog, Waffle, was founded as an adjunct to the webcomic I make, Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan and as a vehicle for me and my cronies to talk about whatever we want. Sometimes, months go by in which I don't post about the comic, but it just so happened that my advertising budget ran out last month and I've been going back to traditional, free methods to publicize my work, and Top Web Comics, an old-fashioned topsitelist, is one of them. When enough readers 'vote', my comic gets pushed up in that site's popularity ranking, so that more people will (theoretically) take notice of it and visit it. Offering sketches as a bribe is allowed under its rules and so many of the sketches are of pointy-eared characters in the buff because drawing pointy-eared characters in the buff is easy and fun and I can do it during my lunch break if I am far enough away from the office.

None of this has anything to with science or skepticism - I have an interest in those topics but I mostly leave posting about that to Adam. I haven't figured out yet how to make WordPress display bylines properly (I used to spend a lot of time figuring out stuff like that when the blog was still on Movable Type, but these days I think life is too short), but you can see which posts are Adam's because we tag them in the subject line.

The connection between the blog and the comic means that the blog has a diverse (if small) readership, so when commenting, please everyone keep in mind that you're not preaching to the choir. There is no official moderation policy because the comment volume is tiny, but we do moderate.

Useful WordPress hack courtesy of Erin, plus to-do list for the blog

December 10th, 2008 by Reinder

I didn't lose a lot of irreplaceable stuff in last Sunday's hard drive crash. Luckily, all my working files and my financial accounts are on external drives as a matter of standard procedure - I never keep them on the same physical volume where my operating system is. But I did lose a few items that needed to be on that volume or that I'd quickly saved into my Documents folder. I lost a handy shell script for ripping sound (and only sound) from DVDs that Xepher of gave me the basics of and that I finished myself until it did what it was supposed to, in a clunky way. And I nearly lost this:

$__reinAdCode = array(); //just prepping the array.
//this defines the google adWords javascript for later use
$__reinAdCode['adWords'] =
'<script type="text/javascript">
google_ad_client = "[number]";
google_ad_width = 160;
google_ad_height = 600;
google_ad_format = "160x600_as";
google_ad_type = "text_image";
//2007-03-18: Blog
google_ad_channel = "[number]";
google_color_border = "36414d";
google_color_bg = "FFFFFF";
google_color_link = "0000FF";
google_color_text = "000000";
google_color_url = "008000";
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>';

//project wonderful code for later use
$__reinAdCode['project_wonderful'] =
'<!-- Begin Project Wonderful ad code: -->
<!-- IMPORTANT: All lines, including these comments, must be included. -->
<!-- Removing or altering them could result in your ads being automatically shut down! -->
<!-- Ad box ID: [number] -->
<script language=\'JavaScript\' type=\'text/javascript\'>
// <![CDATA[
r = new String (Math.random()*1000);
r = r.substr(0, 5);
s = new String ("<script language=\'JavaScript\' type=\'text/javascript\'");
s += "src =";
s += "?id=[number]&type=4";
s += "&r=" + r;
if (document.referrer){
s += "&referer=" + escape(document.referrer);
s += "><\/scr";
s += "ipt>";
// ]]>
<noscript><map name="admap[number]" id="admap[number]"><area href="[number]&type=4" shape="rect" coords="0,0,125,125" title="" alt="" target="_blank" /></map>
<table cellpadding="0" border="0" cellspacing="0" width="125" bgcolor=""><tr><td><img src="[number]&type=4" width="125" height="125" usemap="#admap1971" border="0" alt="" /></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="" colspan="1"><center><a style="font-size:10px;color:#0000ff;text-decoration:none;line-height:1.2;font-weight:bold;font-family:Tahoma, verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;" href="[number]&type=4" target="_blank">Project Wonderful - Your ad here, right now, for as low as $0</a></center></td></tr><tr><td colspan="1" valign="top" width="125" height="3" bgcolor="#000000"><center><img src="" width="125" height="3" border="0" alt="" /></center></td></tr></table>
<!-- End Project Wonderful ad code. -->';


<div id="sidebar">
/* Widgetized sidebar, if you have the plugin installed. */
if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar() ) :

<?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/searchform.php'); ?>

<!-- Author information is disabled per default. Uncomment and fill in your details if you want to use it.
<p>A little something about you, the author. Nothing lengthy, just an overview.</p>

if ( is_404() || is_category() || is_day() || is_month()
|| is_year() || is_search() || is_paged() ) :

if (is_404()) {/* If this is a 404 page (currently empty) */
} elseif (is_category()) { /* If this is a category archive */
<p>You are currently browsing the archives for the <?php single_cat_title(''); ?> category.</p>

<?php } elseif (is_day()) {/* If this is a daily archive */ ?>
You are currently browsing the <a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/"><?php echo bloginfo('name'); ?></a> blog archives for the day <?php the_time('l, F jS, Y'); ?>.

<?php } elseif (is_month()) { /* If this is a monthly archive */ ?>
You are currently browsing the <a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/"><?php echo bloginfo('name'); ?></a>
blog archives for <?php the_time('F, Y'); ?>.

<?php } elseif (is_year()) { /* If this is a yearly archive */ ?>
You are currently browsing the <a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/"><?php echo bloginfo('name'); ?></a>
blog archives for the year <?php the_time('Y'); ?>.

<?php } elseif (is_search()) { /* If this is a search page */ ?>
You have searched the <a href="<?php echo bloginfo('url'); ?>/"><?php echo bloginfo('name'); ?></a>
blog archives for <strong>'<?php the_search_query(); ?>'</strong>. If you are unable to find anything in these search results, you can try one of these links.

<?php } elseif (isset($_GET['paged']) && !empty($_GET['paged'])) { /* this is paged browsing view */ ?>
<p>You are currently browsing the <a href="<?php echo bloginfo('url'); ?>/"><?php echo bloginfo('name'); ?></a> blog archives.</p>
<?php } /* this ends the paged browsing output and the chain of elseif's */ ?>

/* this ends the if( is_404() || is_category() || is_day() ||..blah blah blah crap above */

<div style="margin:20px auto;padding:10px 3px 10px 25px;text-align:center;">
<?php echo $__reinAdCode['project_wonderful']; ?>

<?php wp_list_pages('title_li=<h2>Pages</h2>' ); ?>

<?php wp_get_archives('type=monthly'); ?>

<!-- rein I think the below needs to be wrapped in an <li></li> -->
<?php wp_list_categories('show_count=1&title_li=<h2>Categories</h2>'); ?>

/* If this is the frontpage or a normal page? */
if ( is_home() || is_page() ) :

<?php wp_list_bookmarks(); ?>

<?php echo $__reinAdCode['adWords']; ?>

<?php wp_register(); ?>
<li><?php wp_loginout(); ?></li>
<li><a href="" title="Powered by WordPress, state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform.">WordPress</a></li>
<?php wp_meta(); ?>
<?php else : ?>
<?php echo $__reinAdCode['adWords']; ?>
<?php endif; /* end of the homepage/normal page check */ ?>
<?php endif; /* this is the end of the dynamic sidebar if */ ?>

(Notes: HTML/PHP tags are escape-crippled so they show up in the published blog, so do not use the source code for this blog page; identifying information for the ad boxes has been stripped out. Quotes should not show up as smart quotes, and one of these days, I'm gonna figure out how to turn that off in WordPressNevermind. Single quotes in the javascript for the ad boxes have been escaped, which they should be if you decide to use this. Apologies for the lack of indents - they were there in the source, but the blog doesn't have CSS to make them show up correctly. Pastebin version)

What it is: a modification to the sidebar in WordPress's default theme, so that the ad boxes show up in a certain place within the sidebar, regardless of whether the version of the sidebar shown is the full version shown on the front page or the shorter version shown in the archive navigation sections and custom pages. It was sent to me by reader Erin, who insists that it's not up to the standards of coding she writes in her day job, but it's definitely an improvement on the original in both clarity and functionality.

Now the next step for me will be to make that sidebar show up on all pages. That could take me a while, though. WordPress's template structure is hideously complicated and I'd have to sit down and study if for several days before I'd be able to figure out how to manipulate it fully. This is in stark contrast with the template coding for Movable Type, which was tag based and very easy for me to understand. On the other hand, WordPress runs a lot more smoothly; Movable Type's performance was horrible and despite the efforts of some very smart coders, it was pretty much defenseless against spam - the spam wouldn't get published but a concerted attack could kill the installation, the site it was on and the system hosting it. So I'll put up with having less effective control over the blog's appearance - I can always study it whenever I do have some time.

Other to-do items include adding some alternate templates for distribution to the website, though I may end up doing that through WillowCMS and CaRP instead,

What’s my Project Wonderful ad doing in there?

August 9th, 2008 by Reinder

Proof that WordPress is a lot harder to understand than Movable Type: because I linked to an older post in my previous post, I got a pingback:

Waffle » Blog Archive » Financial decluttering got results quickly

New pingback on your post #1659 "Decluttering, tightwaddery, time management, organisation - it's all one, really"
Website: Waffle » Blog Archive » Financial decluttering got results quickly (IP: ,
[...] [...] Waffle Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection. Project Wonderful - Your ad here, right now, for as low as $0.00 « Decluttering, tightwaddery, time management, organisation - it’s all one, really [...] [...]

You can see all pingbacks on this post here:

Delete it:
Spam it:

Why is the Project Wonderful link included in the excerpt? Does the pingback code scrape the published HTML Pages or does it take its info from the templates? Neither should be necessary at all! It's bad enough that the template structure is so impenetrable, (which is why the all-new Waffle still looks terrible in Internet Explorer) but I don't see why it should be abused in this way. Pingbacks should contain excerpts from the post, and nothing else.

This makes my pingbacks look spammy. I'd better turn the feature off until I've resolved the problem (or forgotten about it. That also works for me).


July 21st, 2008 by Reinder

So.. what is new on the new website? What did I spend upwards of 12 hours on?

  • New top area design with a smaller logo and space for a large ad;
  • Nav area with important site stuff moved out of the right column to the top, where people are more likely to see it.
  • Below the fold area on the home page simplified. Left bar with "Current story" and "Featured story" taken out because I didn't maintain them anyway. Blog now has 500 pixels of width.
  • Comic page navigation is no longer made up of fake buttons, but ordinary links printed larger.
  • The site now has a real footer.
  • Right column is now reserved for advertising, giving existing ads more visibility.
  • One large new ad on top of all pages in the CMS; more pages have the square Project Wonderful ads, in a visible spot. Google ads are now treated as legacy ads, to be given a low priority if not removed completely.
  • More pages are now part of the CMS (14 added over the past few days); more pages already within the CMS run off the same style sheet.
  • Some pages not in the CMS also run at least partly off the main style sheet. These are pages like the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan cast page where constructing them from the CMS is more effort than maintaining them by hand (most of the individual cast entries are in the CMS though).
  • All materials copied over to the new server, except the old Gallery installation. I may or may not build a new one, or build a gallery from either WillowCMS or WordPress if I need to.
  • The blog now runs off WordPress.

Still to do:

  • Move all remaining cast pages to WillowCMS. Fill up the empty spots on the cast list.
  • Get the WordPress templates to behave, particularly in Internet Explorer, which I don't have.
  • Make a stripped-down version of the blog to iFrame under certain pages of outside websites.
  • Check all the links and especially image references in the blog so they don't point to the space on anymore.
  • RSS feed for the comic.
  • Minor consistency fixes as and when I come across them.
  • Logos for the various non ROCR comics on the site.
  • Possible OSCommerce installation to sell art through the website.
  • Fix a few archive pages that are missing or broken or not remastered.
  • Approve some more Transcriptions that have been sent in.
  • I guess it would also be nice if I wrote and drew some more comics.