Tag Archives: meta-blogging

Getting Rid of Google – Progress Report

nogoogle

So, a few months ago, responding to Google’s admission that yes, they’re evil, I moved the blog on over here to WordPress and vowed to divorce Google as much as possible.

I haven’t been especially successful, I’m afraid.

Reader’s been replaced (obviously).  I’m using NewsBlur, which has been steadily getting better and better. Other folks I know’ve moved to Feed.ly and The Old Reader, but I’ve been happiest with NewsBlur.

Semi-obvious: I’ve dumped Blogger for this here WordPress installation.  You know I did this for Warpstone Pile over three months ago.  What you might or might not have known is that I had a little-used RPG-oriented blog, Owlbear Stabbings, that I pulled into this blog last week.  I think it makes more sense to just have everything here. That means you’ll start sporadically seeing RPG-related posts here, intermingled with the hobby stuff. Sorry ’bout that.

And… that’s about it.

I can’t dump Google Authenticator. Heck, I’ve added sites to it.

I still haven’t moved out of Google Docs Drive into Office. I blame inertia.

I gave dumping Chrome for (first) Firefox and (then) IE. I couldn’t do it. IE doesn’t deserve the hate it gets, but ‘cmon. Firefox was shockingly just not comparable. Please, someone make a browser that’s, like, 85% as good as Chrome so I can dump it?

Gmail is similarly undumped, more due to inertia than to hotmail or whatever not working out.

I really need to change my default search engine to Bing. In fact, I’m doing it this instant. Boom.

Google Plus, the font of all misery, remains something I don’t really use. What’s vexing is that many/most of the RPG folks I’m interested in post there and not in the cacophony that is Twitter (for reasons that likely sound good to them). Ideally, I’d just add an RSS to their comments to NewBlur but, oh, wait. Bastardos.

I really need to find a free, angry weekend where I can write a script to parse my posts for images hosted on Picasa, move them into WordPress, and update the references.  I’m confident such a thing is possible, but fuck, I don’t have the bandwidth to fiddle with it.  For the time being, nothing new’s gone in there.

I could have, probably should have done much better in moving out of the Googleplex over the past few months…  but I’ve made some progress. And, considering how much the last couple of months have kicked my butt and how little free time I’ve had, I guess I shouldn’t be terribly ashamed. (Just a little ashamed.  A healthy amount of ashamed.)

Don’t enable Google+ Commenting

IF YOU ENABLE GOOGLE+ COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG

Google’s made it so you can use Google+ to handle your comments on Blogger.

Except, whoops, when you do that ONLY people with Google+ accounts can comment on your blog. So, enabling that feature locks out anyone who doesn’t want to use Google+.

So, don’t do that.

Until, of course, they make it mandatory.

(Very glad I shifted to WordPress.)

Where I’m at with 40K

Rogue Trader Cover

(In which your humble author posts something lengthier than a quick picture that doesn’t include railing against Big Google.)

No Wednesday Workbenches for the past couple of weeks due to a confluence work travel, an ongoing pet crisis, and hitting the eject button on Google wherever I can.  I’d say “sorry” about that, but really: even if I had done them, they’d look remarkably like the last two. 

That’s not surprising, because upkeeping the hobby blog is part of how the hobby shakes out for me.

Things haven’t been totally dead on the non-hobby-blog hobby front, though: progress on Sammael and the Ravenwing Librarian has been steady if slow.  I’ve had a couple of kits in my assembly bag for a few weeks now, though I’ve only just started getting to them.

I have to cop to feeling more than a little overwhelmed, though: Dark Angels just came out in January, and I’m only just getting around to them while Daemons dropped what feels like days ago and now it looks certain that new Tau will be shipping before my next paycheck.

Very much too much of a good thing.  All of my armies (I don’t count the assembled but generally unpainted Orks) are getting updated all at once is a good problem to have… though I’m sure that in three years, at the bottom of the update cycle, I might feel differently.

Dark Angels

Ravening Biker

I’m pushing ahead with the Dark Angels. I’ve already got the models, after all.   This is what I’m building towards:

Ravenwing – 1850 points

HQ
Sammael – Corvex
Librarian – Bike, Level 2, Force Axe

Elites
Terminators x5 – Power Fist/Stormbolter x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher
Terminators x5 – Power Fist/Stormbolter x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher

Troops
Ravenwing Bikers x3 – Veteran, Plasmagun x2
– Attack Bike – Heavy Bolter
Ravenwing Bikers x3 – Veteran, Plasmagun x2
– Attack Bike – Heavy Bolter
Ravenwing Bikers x3 – Veteran, Plasmagun x2

Fast Attack
Black Knights x5 – Huntsmaster, Grenade Launcher x1
Ravenwing Darkshroud

Heavy Support
Whirlwind
Whirlwind
Vindicator

I’m not certain about the list or anything; this is just what I’m building towards.  We’ll see how it shakes out if I ever get out to the store.

Chaos Daemons

Chaos Beastmen

I’m skipping Daemons. For now. I haven’t gotten halfway through the book, even. I think they’ll be a lot of fun, and when I do come back to updating my list to a renewed Maximum Khornination, I’ll enjoy it… but I just can’t get caught up in it now.  TOO MUCH GOING ON.

Tau Empire

Farsight

Tau, on the otherhand…

The Tau Empire was my first 40K army. I won’t claim that I ever knew what the hell I was doing with it but it’s definitely got a place in my heart.  For the past what, year? two? I’ve said that I want to come back to them and have been waiting for a new book.

Well, it’s here, so it’s go time.

No clue what I’ll do with it beyond start from scratch with a paint scheme very much like my original one (which I think had some really good choices in it) but updated. I’ve learned a lot since I returned to the hobby (was it seven?) years ago, and I’m looking forward to applying it.

Orks

Orks

The Orks aren’t going anywhere. I’d be really excited to get back to painting them, except Games Workshop seems pretty determined to drown me in new stuff I need to play around with.  

do have a list for them that I’m pretty happy with. It’s seen some play, but not nearly as much as I’d like. Since this post turned into a my-state-of-40K, I probably should vomit it out.

Orks, 1750

HQ
Warboss – Warbike, Power Klaw, Attack Squig
Big Mek – Kustom Force Field

Elites
Lootas x7
Lootas x7

Troops
Shoota Boyz x30 – Stikkbombs, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole
Shoota Boyz x30 – Stikkbombs, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole
Nob Bikers x5 – [Power Klaw x1], [Big Choppa, Bosspole], [Big Choppa, Waagh! Banner], [Big Choppa] x2

Fast Attack
Dakkajet – TL Supa Shoota x3
Dakkajet – TL Supa Shoota x3
Warbuggies x3 – TL Rokki Launcha x3

Heavy Support
Killa Kans x3 – Grotzooka x3

(Finally, it’s a good thing to start doing actual posts; it’s a great way to shake out how direly I need to update the CSS on this sucker.)

If you see something, save something!

Evernote

I used to use OneNote, desultorily, to keep some notes and, like, format them and stuff. Nothing aggressive in terms of data capture; just kind of a place that I’d sometimes into which I’d put data and sometimes out of I’d pull data.

About a month ago, I dropped OneNote for Evernote and started aggressively dumping anything and everything I thought I might want to return to into it.   This is entirely a side-effect of it being so much easier to put information, meaningfully, into Evernote.  Because it’s so easy, I’ve been that much more aggressive.

I’ve felt pretty dang good about this.

“Interesting? Bam– saved!  Save it all, Search knows its own.”

Why is this relevant to the blog and interesting to you?

Today, I saw this post by Old School Terminator.

Old School Terminator is going into the pyre alongside our community page, about 150 of our old posts, a few smaller features and (for the time being) our other authors.

Although I totally grok burnout, I don’t really understand the decision to go back and delete content that you’ve previously released. It’s out there, it’d done: I fail to see how the decision to stop writing correlates to the decision to remove what one’s already written.

It’s not my content, though, so I don’t really get an opinion, I suppose.  It’s a shame, because OST and DFG has really been a solid blog full of neat stuff over the years.

Where I’m going with this is: when you see something you think might be useful, save it.  Don’t bookmark it.  Don’t assume you’ll be able to Google it up later. Just capture that info in a tool (OneNote, Evernote, PDFs, whatever).

Links aren’t for forever.

Switched to WordPress!

So, obviously, the move from Blogger to WordPress has gone very smoothly.

Content was pulled over without a hitch.

I’ve clearly got a lot of layout & look-and-feel stuff that I still need to do, but that’s just a matter of sitting down and powering through tweaking the CSS.

Need to find a good slideshow plugin. Also, a good blogroll plugin.

In a perfect world, I’d love to find a utility that would parse through all of my posts, download the images from Picasa Web, then upload them to my blog, updating the image references. Such a thing should be technically feasible, but I certainly don’t know enough about WP (yet) to know how to do something like it. Am I the first person to want to do this?  Does such a tool exist?

Also, I’ll have to ping out to blogrolls to make sure they have my updated feed.

Then: Blogger goes down and gets a redirect to here.

 

Responding to Google Reader’s Immanent Shut-Down

In not-mini-related news, Google is killing off Google Reader on July 1. Reader’s a key tool in how I use the internet (in the past I’ve asserted that if you don’t use Reader, “You’re doing the Internet wrong”), so I’m pretty steamed about it.

I’ll get over the BLINDING RAGE this news inspires in me, but what I hope I don’t get over is the lesson this represents: do not over-rely on a single service that might be arbitrarily dropped. This is why Lifehacker suggests you get your own personal domain for e-mail; sure, people can reach me at gmail.com, but what if something happens to Gmail? I can point rushputin.com to whatever I want it to.

What if something similar happened to Blogger? I’m fast approaching my fifth year of blogging on WarpstonePile; it would be devastating for that to just vanish in a cloud of smoke one day.

Now, you might never expect them to kill Blogger; but then, I certainly never expected them to kill Reader… and with Blogger, there’s an active movement within some groups (the OSR) to shift discussion out of blogs and into Google+ (which I’ve never thought wise).

So, it’s a good thing I own WarpstonePile.com. You are accessing this via WarpstonePile.com and not WarpstonePile.Blogger.com, right? One is future-proof, the other, very not-so-much.

So: over the next few months, I’m going to try to transition as much as I can out of the Google world and into something else. I’ve been a .NET developer for what’s fast approaching a decade: I’m already dependent on Microsoft to meet my technical needs: why shouldn’t I rely on them for e-mail, for example?

I doubt I’ll be wholly successful: I don’t know of an alternative to Authenticator (which everyone should use for everything they can use it for). I’m already getting heartburn from trying to move to Firefox out of Chrome.  I’m going to try, though, and in doing so mitigate the risk inherent in overly relying on a company with a proven record of taking things that work away.


This is important: as a result, I fully expect to transition both this blog and my considerably less active RPG-focused OwlbearStabbings out of Blogger and into WordPress over the next few months.

  • This could get a little dicey around here. They might look bad, they might go up or down, or not work correctly. There might be a wagonload of broken image links. Bear with me on all of that.
  • Make sure your links, etc, all refer to WarpstonePile.com and not anything with Blogger or BlogSpot in the address. My domain will go to wherever this blog’s new home is. The Google-centric URL will continue to point to Blogger, which will eventually get a “Hey, I’ve moved!” and nothing more.
  • I really appreciate your patience in this.

2012 Year In Review

Year In Review

  • January saw a good amount of activity: Empire dude building. I knocked out that Fimir, who stands as probably my favorite mini of the year.
  • February, March, and April were basically spent building and (somewhat less so) painting Empire minis.  Unsurprising but, honestly, probably a little uninteresting. Pics of unpainted, unconverted minis are boring.  Sorry about that!
  • In May, I tried adapting to the new Citadel paints.  I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that this completely and totally killed any and all momentum I had for my Empire army.  They’re good paints, but something about the transition just deflated my enthusiasm balloon.More significantly, and unmentioned here, I went through tumultuous times in May: with a lot of job-related transition, uncertainty, and stress. It all worked out for the best but, yeesh.  That probably had a hand in it as well.
  • June saw the new edition of 40K!  Despite almost getting killed picking it up, I haven’t hardly done anything with it. I’ve played some desultory games with it over the past six months, but between tournament and Not Being Able To Game, I just haven’t done much with it.It was also when I started going a little bit Kickstarter crazy. More on that later.
  • July was probably the hobby high point of the year for me. For starters, I was lucky enough to make it out to Games Day!  Despite what was the worst Golden Daemon showing I’ve ever had (nothing made Final Cut), I had such a good time, and the GW staff was so above-and-beyond helpful, I hardly noticed!I overspent on Forgeworld resin (which remains unpainted).

    I didn’t paint or build much, but what I did do I’m super-happy with (Warpfire Throwers, the Demigryph).

  • August didn’t see much. I painted an Ork model for the heck of it and had such a good time doing it, now I’m neck-deep in a small Ork army.
  • September – Those Orks I just mentioned? It didn’t take long for me to start drowning in them.  Also, there was the NoVA Open, which was a lot of fun and will likely be even better in 2013.  Traveling for Grand Tournaments just isn’t something the cards for me, so I think it’s safe to call the NoVA the gaming highlight of the year for me.
  • October wasn’t exactly a dead month for me. I built some Orks, but this blog ran silent about it. Bare plastic might be boring, but I really don’t like letting this thing run quiet that long.
  • November saw, as expected, more Ork building. A couple of blog posts, but not much.
  • December was a dead month. No posts and, according to my tracker, no hobby. This isn’t exactly true: I’ve got 10 Boyz mid-painting on my desk, and have been slowly making progress on them since Thanksgiving… but nothing done. This is entirely because this has been an unusually crazy holiday season: a week in Texas, a second Christmas beforehand, preparation for both have left me frazzled and without productive time.
A lot of my hobby steam’s been stolen by scheduling: Mrs. Rushputin’s work schedule’s changed such that the only weekday evening we get to spend together is Tuesday… which is also the the CGL‘s gaming night at Game Parlor.  Since I like my hobby but love my wife, that’s really put a damper on my ability to get out and game.  Not being able to game’s put a damper on my motivation to paintThis year hasn’t been a dud, but it does kinda feel like it? I definitely rolled into 2012 like a motherfething juggernaut… and have definitely crawled out of it, blinking and trying to catch my breath.

Hobby Activity

Hobby’s been down overall… but not quite as hopelessly as it feels sometimes. I might not have painted much, but I’ve certainly built quite a bit.

It’s pretty tough to look at that and feel good about it. I suppose remembering that December-January was an abnormally productive time for me takes the sting out a little bit, but dang.

No unpleasant surprises here! A lot of Empire and a lot of Orks spent time in my workspace in 2012.
Grim as this chart is, it’s not surprising.  In 2012, I did a lot of building, but not much painting. I’m going to have to change that in 2013.  It’s also
Still: now’s probably the best of possible times to revisit the chart I posted in early November to put this year into perspective.

Gaming Activity

Somewhere along the way in early 2012: I fell off of logging my games. I find this interesting, because the only place I see my hobby tracker sheet get used is on Bill’s blog, and it looks to be where he gets the most use out of it. Significantly, no data means no chart.

It’s probably for the best. I really don’t think I want to confront how little I pushed my toy soldiers around this past year. I’ll have to get back on the wagon, though.

Site Activity

It should be immediately obvious to anyone at this point that the blog’s been in a bit of a slump…

Even putting aside the dead months of October and December, I’ve been less active on the blog overall.  So, if you’re reading this, thanks for sticking around!

Traffic peaked over the summer: Games Day and NoVA, I think, were responsible for most of this.

Comparatively, though, traffic’s a little down (14% overall).  I’m too lazy to check, but I expect that if I were to remove all of the YTTH drama traffic from last year, though, it’s probably more or less unchanged.  Given how little I posted this year, I’m delighted to call “more or less unchanged” a Win.

Crowdfunding

I’d done a couple of Kickstarters before (one in 2010, one in 2011) but like many 2012 was the year of crowdfunding. There’s a lot to be said on the phenomenon: but other people will probably say it more cogently and this thing’s gonna run long, so I won’t.   I’ll just touch on my experiences with it over 2012. (I’ll include IndieGoGo campaigns in my reckonings, too.)

  • Total campaigns: 27
  • Campaigns due in 2012: 17
  • Campaigns delivered in 2012: 1
  • Campaigns partially delivered in 2012: 5
  • Campaigns more than 2 months late: 5
  • Campaigns that should have been delivered in 2012 but did not: 12
  • Campaigns that are super late and pissing me off about it: 1
I haven’t actually seen a whole lot delivered from crowdfunding just yet: all of 1 campaign in 2012 has fully closed out with me.  That sounds worse than it is: I’ve got a couple that are shipping in multiple parts, and have seen results from 5 of them, which is great.
Most of them are late, but either haven’t been unreasonably so (I think we all have to expect some schedule flexibility from these), or have been good about communicating what’s going on and adjusting expectations as quickly as possible. Sedition Wars, for example, is over two months late, but they warned us about that pretty early on, so I’m perfectly content.
There only one that really stands out as goddamn unforgivably late.  When I consider the facts, it’s not surprising: there’s a lot of work for them to do and it makes sense for them to start with the small and work to the big… but it’s at six months late and looks to be at least eight. That means their estimate delivery date sucked.In terms of what sort of campaigns I pitched in on in 2012:

  • Board Games: 1
  • Gadgets: 2
  • Miniatures: 10
  • RPGs: 9
  • Video Games: 4

Goals

2012

My goals from last year started general…

  • FinishUtter failure. I don’t think I finished any significant project this year. I built a lot of stuff, but didn’t get much totally done. Boo.
  • Paint Technical Success. I painted. Not enough to feel good about how I painted, though.
  • Compete Technical Success. I played in a few tournaments and NoVA. I had a good time with all of them, but competing once a quarter, again, isn’t enough for me to fist pump about how competitive I was in 2012.

Then, I got more specific:

  • Make Significant Progress on an Empire ArmyFailure. If I’d left out “significant” I’d probably have called it a pass, but I got a couple of months in on it and then dropped it.
  • Avoid DramaSuccess. My low post-rate probably didn’t hurt, but overall I didn’t really get involved in internet screaming.  That hasn’t meant that I haven’t seen it, though.  I’m starting to have some concerns about how toxic the hobby gaming community is or isn’t.
  • Step It UpSuccess. I’m claiming this because I started using rushp.tn has a URL shortener, which I think is hella cool, but that’s it.  All of the card/sign files have been mostly untouched. I probably should get on that.
  • Dump Stuff – Success. I didn’t do as thorough a job of this as I’d have liked, but I did purge a lot of RPG books with Casey‘s help, which is a big step.  I hope to start dumping some boardgames on Craigslist in the next couple of weeks.

2013

I’m going to keep the general goals:

  • Finish
  • Paint
  • Compete

And for specific goals:

  • Game – Similar, but different from “Compete.” I need to figure out how to get out and start rolling dice around toys again.  I’m kind of a homebody who’s only really comfortable with a regular schedule for things, and losing Tuesday night’s knocked me off my stride and I need to get over it already.
  • Pace Myself – I really need to paint more than I buy.  I’ve already dropped out of a high-mini-count Kickstarter, and have vowed to just not buy any damn minis until March (with an exception for the new Dark Angels minis, and only those after I’ve worked up a list).  I’m considering tracking my mini purchases on my hobby sheet to keep me honest.
  • Historicals – My hankering to start doing something with the English Civil War’s done nothing but pick up steam all year; getting a few boxes of Pike & Shotte minis from Warlord for Christmas has only sealed it: I need to do something with it in 2013.
  • Continue Dumping Stuff – I still have too much crap. I’m on the right track: let’s stay on it.
  • Post More to CMON – I’ve posted all of one mini to CMON (with a 7.6 that I’m delighted with).  Time to do more.