April 4, 2007
Short Story: The Native and the Foreigner

So last week I picked up a $10 512MB flash drive for moving files from the old desktop to the laptop from time to time. The first trial of the new toy involved me moving a bunch of my old writing over to here, and upon perusing those old folders I figured I'd post another of my old short stories to Scary-Crayon. This one, "The Native and the Foreigner", seems like it might have been part of a longer work if I hadn't apparently gotten distracted, but it still makes for sort of interesting reading (I think). Enjoy!

In other news, you might have noticed that I've modified the little WordPress blurb at the bottom of the blog's sidebar. I'll likely end up removing it altogether in subsequent updates, since I'm planning to move all of the information about WordPress to the footer (where the copyright tag is located) and the "What is Scary-Crayon" page, but yeah. Kudos to Theron Parlin and the WordPress 1.5 Classic template for starting me off way back when, but since then the site has been altered so heavily -- mostly as a result of my having read the necessary portions of the WordPress Codex and modifying the code to more accurately mimic the standing SC layout -- that the standing credit doesn't really seem appropriate. In fact, if I remember correctly (and it's quite likely that I don't), the code that I borrowed from Parlin's Minima Plus theme is located on this page, which makes it a little less than original. Not to discredit Parlin or anything, as he's responsible for some awesome themes. 🙂

At any rate, I intend to add a section to the about/site info page pretty soon that lists the WP plugins in use on Scary-Crayon, as the info might be helpful to people who wish to replicate some of the features on the site. The rollover effects and random images are my own doing via css hover declarations and the insertion of php's random number function in specific places in the html code (it's quite simple, really), but I needed a bit of help to keep the blog category from showing on the main page and to generate the page navigation links at the bottom of the article archive listings. Those features are achieved via the use of Rich Hamilton's Category Visibility plugin and Lester 'GaMerZ' Chan's WP-PageNavi 2.10 plugin, though in the latter case I did a good amount of tweaking to get it to behave in the slightly different way that I wanted. As such, I have dubbed the version active on this site 2.10w. 😉 I'm also using Matt Read's Custom Query String plugin to make it so that different numbers of posts appear on different pages of the site (more on the category archive pages; fewer in the blog). We've also got a new addition today in Scott Reilly's Hide or Cut Post Text plugin, which works kind of like the LJ-cut feature and which I've used to relegate this text to the post page itself (which you will have seen if you're coming in from the blog index). And I was recently using the Search Hilite plugin to give the search terms that nifty purple highlight, but for the time being I've disabled it because I'm not sure that I like it all that much.

We're also now using WordPress 2.1.3. And -- from this point forward, I think, unless there are any significant objections -- I think I'm going to start writing in 15px text instead of 14px text. It's not terribly noticeable at all, but the change partly has to do with my decision to start using a more streamlined stylesheet for the articles from now on. See before, the entire site used the same stylesheet, which meant that the stylesheet called for the articles still contained all of the junk I needed to define the sidebar and article blurb rules on the main page. With all of that being controlled by my WordPress-specific stylesheet now, though, I figured I might as well excise a bunch of that stuff from the articles stylesheet... but seeing as how I can't remember precisely what I did and didn't use in the old ones, I figured I'd just make a new stylesheet and add/replace excisions as I need them.

And finally, a question: what other kinds of things would you be interested in knowing about Scary-Crayon for the updated site info page? I'm thinking that in addition to some info on the more technical aspects of the WP side, I'll also have a bit more info about me, a section reiterating the story of how SC got its name, submission guidelines (!), and possibly some other stuff. As always, I am open to suggestions.

All for now, then. Ja ne, minna-san. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 6:48 pm | Comments (4)
4 Comments »
  • the Jax says:

    Your story made me chuckle. When in Rome...poor visitor! You know what might be interesting? Polls in the opinion articles. Polls can get lots of linkage. Love the new-ish link buttons for SC & Wesoteric, btw. I've noticed, for the first time, spell-checking in this postbox. Definitely a good idea, but you should tell it that Wesoteric is too a word.

  • Wes says:

    The spell-checking's got nothing to do with me or WordPress! Did you recently upgrade to Mozilla 2.0? That's got spell-checking for online forms.

    And hm, maybe polls in the blog could be a possibility. I believe I would require another plugin for those! 😛

  • agustinaldo says:

    Did you watch themovie "The Last King of Scotland"?

    Cause when I read the story, I kept picturing it as an exchange between an American journalist and one of Idi Amin's men.

  • Wes says:

    Hm no, I haven't seen that one yet -- I actually wrote this story way back in 2005. I'm sure I'll end up checking the movie out at some point, though.

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