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Tag: The Black Laser (page 2 of 2)

Creative Projects-May: Getting back into the roll, or, Where did April go?!

Ok, right off the old proverbial bat, let us all address my biggest failing of the last month: no Creative Projects-April post. What the hell happened to that? Why have I failed you, my loyal readers, so dearly?! How could I possibly ever make it up to you and continue to enjoy your (conditional) love?!? I blame myself and a couple of other reasons. First, I didn’t actually do anything creative on a personal level in April. Sure, there were blog posts about music videos and some other crap who knows what it was about, but I didn’t engage in any real creative pursuits in the month so I was pretty embarrassed about that, especially since I didn’t accomplish a damned thing in March either. Work on the WBDPE hadn’t continued—though the project has not been abandoned—since it might end up taking a change in direction. I had some other writing ideas that never panned out because I was a stupid asshole for a lot of the month. And then, to wrap up my spat of excuses, I was in Lons Smangeles for a couple weeks working on a big old Ford job which I brought back to NY and kept me busy into May. Add to that a few other jobbie jobs here at No6 and it was actually a pretty busy month for me.

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. So many excuses.

I know it. And, part of this year’s theme, is that professional projects don’t really count, so, though I actually was pretty creative in April, none of it counts toward my tally. They’re my rules and I’ll stand by them.

But May was better! I completed two (2) creative projects which helps make up for the big zeros (0s) in March and April. Let’s discuss them, shall we?

1st – The inaugural The Black Laser Reads. I’d been talking and thinking about and planning this project for a long time, so it felt particularly sweet to execute it. I have the next one planned out and intend to start it tonight when I get home. It will keep me from going to the bar! For a while! Woo woo.

2nd – Two (2) Get Drunk Tonights for Vox Critica. This one is pretty funny because it flies right in the face of this year’s secondary theme of slowing my roll. But the write-ups are fun and good and I think they do a good job of communicating something about me: I have strong opinions about bars. I am not a ranter or a raver (love me some house music though) and you’ll notice that most of the writing about personal stuff here on The Black Laser isn’t long-winded blocks of opinion and information. Some people are really good about that sort of thing and actually have really decent, smart things to say and I enjoy reading them. I have tremendous respect for people who can sit an organize their thoughts into coherent, concise articles about things. People who analyze and consider and weigh data and topics and other opinions and the ramifications of some event or predict the ways things might go based on limited information.

I am not one of those people.

When I get excited, my whole opinion of something can be boiled down to, “That’s awesome!! YEEEAHHHHHH!!!!” and that’s it. I don’t objectively criticize or evaluate or break things down. I’m just full-bore, head-down, running at the wall because I’m stoked on how it makes my head feel to impact the bricks. Even when I don’t like something, my opinions usually akin to, “Sure, I didn’t like this and this, and that other thing was pretty whack, but I guess it’s ok. They clearly worked pretty hard on it.” I basically have to either love something or absolutely abhor it to have strong opinions. As it turns out, I have pretty strong opinions about bars. Who’d have thought? (answer: everyone.)

Writing the Get Drunk Tonights might be the only opinion piece I am capable of writing with any regularity. There are just so many bars out there and I have thoughts about every single one of them. Want to know how I feel about The Woods? Or Union Pool? Or Ace Bar? Niagra? Lakeside Lounge? Off the Wagon? The Mark Bar? Barcade? Duff’s? Pencil Factory? Lulu’s? Alligator Lounge? McDougal Street Ale House? Enid’s? Bar Matchless? 119 Lounge? Motor City? Max Fish? More?!?!?! SO MANY MORE?!?!?! I could easily write you a recommendation for any of those bars in a heartbeat. Well, some of them might not be a recommendation, more of a gentle (not gentle) warning against going there, but the point stands.

Even if it contradicts this year’s secondary theme, I think this is and will continue to be a good outlet for me and a way to help me learn to recommend things to people without just saying, “Dude, what the fuck that place is so awesome!”

Now, what about my stated secondary goal of slowing my roll? April and May were complete fucking washes on that count. After my masterful March, I bounced right back in my stupid old patterns of partying too much. Where are my healthy outlets? Where is my motivation to stay home? Where is my motivation for moderation? Guh. It’s getting bad too. I’m being an asshole to people while drunk that I wouldn’t be normally and I find that very distressing. It makes me feel like a real son of a bitch. I’ve always struggled with being a stupid, arrogant prick. I feel like it is something I’ve wrangled when my brain is firing all cylinders, but once in a while too much purple drank and I turn into a raging prick asshole motherfucker and have to hear about it afterwards from people, usually sending me into a few days of crippling self-doubt, which is kind of a funny way for it to turn out. Not funny haha, funny ironic. Oh, the guilt isn’t nice either. It’s a quite annoying cycle of feel good about myself/drink/do something horrible/hate myself. Why do I do this bullshit all the time? Am I bored? Hopelessly fucked up? Can I learn to moderate? Or should I just lay off all together? And let’s not talk about how much I hate blacking out. Sorry, mom.

We’ll see if June can be better. I just have to stay engaged with some projects, hide out from the heat at home, and keep my head forward. Overall, good creative month, shitty slowing my roll months. Let’s see if we can have both at the same time!! Yay, June!

Happy (Belated) 2nd Birthday, The Black Laser!

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of The Black Laser. Isn’t that exciting?! Let’s all have some cake!

What does the bright and shining future hold for The Black Laser?! WHO FUCKING KNOWS?!? What, I can see into the future? Jesus Christ, guys. I may be the Space Pope, but I’m not psychic. Well, I AM psychic, but I’m not a friggin’ fortuneteller. You want one of those, you go to a fucking carnival.

In all seriousness, the site’s long overdue for a redesign. What I’ve got now is SOOOO 2008 that it just screams for the tender loving help it needs. I’ve got some ideas for it. We shall see.

Otherwise, there will be no great changes to the format or content of The Black Laser. Why would it change? So, keep reading, and I’ll keep posting all sorts of crazy crap.

I also want to say happy birthday to my darling niece Sienna as she shares a birthday with The Black Laser. I don’t get a lot of two year olds on this site, so one of you with a direct line will have to convey my birthday wishes.

One Very Important Question on The Celebration of The Black Laser’s 500th Post.


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Is this the best photo ever taken of me or is it the best photo ever taken of anyone? Hint: click the photo for the answer.

Happy 500th, Black Laserites! See you again at 1000. Maybe for that one I’ll have something smart to say. Probably not!

The Black Laser enters MEAT SPACE.

Dearest Deegan,

Thank you for the incredible birthday gift. I know that I actually received this a while ago, but I felt like today was a good day to post it. There’s only one, and I’ve got it. Fuck yes.

The Front.

The Back.

To be perfectly honest, it took me a while to start wearing it out mostly because it feels like being in a band wearing its own t-shirt—a serious no-no in the metal community as we both know. But then I started to think of it as determined self-promotion and thought, “You know what? Fuck anyone who’d bust my balls for wearing this awesome shirt of my own equally awesome website.” And there you have it. Interestingly enough, a post yesterday on Invisible Oranges called “The rules of metal t-shirt wearing” confirmed some of the things I’ve already been feeling.

But you still won’t ever catch me wearing the band’s shirt to the show.

Anyway! Thanks for the shirt, dude. It slays.

Sincerely,

The Black Laser.

Redesign of The Black Laser

So, I’m growing bored with the utterly awesome design I have here on The Black Laser. It’s basically just a customized version of the freeware theme Pixel. I tweaked the colors and the fonts and whatever quickly, just to get the site up and running. If I had spent a million years fucking with the design, there would be no Black Laser for all of you to read. That would be horrible, wouldn’t it.

Well, now more than a year has passed since I made this place public and it seems to me like it’s time to really go super duper with this place.

There are a few elements I think are critical.

  • Lasers.
  • Bright pink.
  • Black.
  • Comments than differentiate me (the admin) and you (my loyal readers).
  • Good search engine optimization (which I know nothing about).
  • Unicorns.
  • Serif fonts.

I like my color scheme. I think that black and pink are basically the perfect colors for this place. But there are some problems, like the huge empty space at the top. Or the black bars on either side. It feels like my text is floating in space and I think it makes it a little hard to digest the sometimes quite large blocks of text I post. Yes, Tiffany, I know, TL:DR. But for everyone else, I’d like to make it easier to read on this site.

Some people have complained about how reading white (actually light grey) text on black hurts their eyes. Personally, I think it’s more tiring to look at black text on white on the computer, but different strokes, right? I could play around with that, but it probably won’t change.

Another thing, I’ve got a jumble of boxes on the side with very little delineation between them. I’m not even sure how useful that stuff on the side is to anyone. Do any of you even read it? I update that stuff fairly regularly or when appropriate. It could definitely be laid out more smartly.

Other than that, I don’t really know. I have some pictures in my head of what it should look like, but nothing definite. I should also probably finally do something with josephdillingham.com.

Anyway, thoughts? Suggestions? Fears? Concerns?

Happy 1st Birthday, The Black Laser!!

Today is The Black Laser’s first birthday. Yay! I made my very first post here on November 11, 2008, and you can see it here: The inaugural posting at The Black Laser.com/.net. A year in internet time is basically, what?, a decade in regular old meatspace time? That’s pretty awesome. Here’s a look at the current stats.

Screen shot 2009-11-11 at 3.43.59 PM

311 posts works out to 85% of a post every day. Not bad for being written by one solitary Space Pope from Beyond the Stars. I wonder how many of those are just music videos? I could probably figure it out, but I’m not going to. Too depressing, I think. 285 comments is not so great. It works out to comments on 91.6% posts if averaged, or 78% of a comment per day. Mind that this number also includes my comments in response to your comments. I encourage you to leave a comment for me if you liked what I wrote or have thoughts or whatever. I see all of them and it’s good to know people are reading. This number does not include the comments left by people on Facebook, which is too bad since I think the number would be significantly higher. I wish I knew of a way to migrate the comments from Facebook to these pages, but I don’t think it’s possible. Too bad. Our superstar poster is Don Diggler. Good work, Deegs!

And 5,640 spam comments?! Holy crap!

Screen shot 2009-11-11 at 3.47.21 PM

This handy little graph (which you can see full size if you click on it) shows the number of hits received by The Black Laser of the last 12 months. April of this year was a high point in the readership of The Black Laser, with 1,060 views.

Screen shot 2009-11-11 at 3.58.47 PM

In case the little line wasn’t telling enough for you, here’s a table of the data for hits on The Black Laser since 11/11/2008. I don’t know if this will be interesting to anyone but me, but it’s interesting to me and this is my fucking site, so deal.

According to Google, I get 32.52% of my traffic directly, 37.79% from referring sites, and 29.41% from search engines. That is remarkably even, I think. I don’t know, or care, what it signifies, but the numbers are fun!

I’ve had visitors from 84 different countries, including Slovenia, Thailand, Israel, and Poland. Most hits come, unsurprisingly, from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada. To all my international readers—thanks!

Screen shot 2009-11-11 at 4.15.25 PM

Internet Explorer 6, people? Seriously, GET WITH THE NOW. You’re not seeing The Black Laser as it’s intended if you’re using IE6. Upgrade to Firefox. It’s free and lightyears better. And you 1059 hits using IE5? May God have mercy on your iSouls.

But more important that all of this, November 11, 2008 was also the day my darling little niece, Sienna, was born. Happy birthday, Sienna Jo! We’re both 1 today! YAY!!!!!!!