Blog finally unites with the website

I usually wouldn’t want to post about anything too technical when it comes to the website, but I thought I will mention this, in case someone out there is interested. If not, just skip over this post to get to the next musically-related or otherwise more interesting post.

If you have visited this blog recently, you might have noticed that it went from a somewhat generic theme to complete integration with my prasantmusic.com website.

I actually happened upon this while contemplating a switch over to a self-hosted blog using WordPress. I had already installed WordPress on my server, imported my old blogger posts and was playing around with it when I realized that it would take me way too long to figure things out and and potentially make it work with my site. It definitely has much better features as everyone else says on the web, but I’m a musician, not a techie (even though I have often stay up late staring bleary-eyed at the computer, testing little changes in coding), and I just don’t want to spend too much time/effort starting out from scratch.

I am a ravenous Googler, like I think everyone has now become, and I found a nifty tutorial on how to integrate an existing hosted Blogger into a normal website. Since I’m familiar with the guts of Blogger template code, I was able to do the integration in a very short time.

Anyways, there are a few shortcomings to keeping my old ftp Blogger setup.

1. Archive features are bad. It is very cumbersome to navigate posts through the archives and there is no “older posts” link at the bottom of each page, so navigating the archives is inevitable.
2. No integrated search. ** Well a little bit of tweaking and I got a nifty search box for the blog using Google Custom Domain Search, so that is fixed and appears to work well, I might add.
3. No tags, categories etc. There are labels, but no dynamic way to display them.
4. No dynamic “related posts” or “recent posts” features.

Of course I could switch over the Google hosted blogspot and get some of these features, but I would really rather host it myself to protect my data, and I would have to use one of the generic themes again.

I guess the main thing is that I don’t think too many of you would miss these features too much — would you? Check out the new setup, and let me know if there is anything you find to be too much of a pain or difficult to use. Or perhaps, you have an idea or a feature you would like to see. Let me know!

Now, back to listening to Madurai Somu…oh, it just changed to Rage Against the Machine.

These shuffle playlists are crazy!

Fun with Air Travel (not a music post)

Please note: This post has nothing to do with music. With that out of the way…

I am writing from Changi Airport in Singapore. I am on my way to India for a five week trip for some intensive practice/study and also some concerts around South India. I think I’ve been to this airport countless times now. I am in the unfortunate position of having over an eight hour layover in the middle of the night Singapore time. With the transit hotels overbooked, there really was nothing to do here except wait and endure the 40 minutes bad music that loops over the airport speakers.

Anyways, this flight was especially long. Over 11 hours to stop in Seoul, Korea. The usual antics ensued, beginning with some Berkeley students wanting me to switch seats so they could be together. I soon found myself in the middle seat of the middle section, you know, the worst seat on the entire plane, next to some kids gyrating nonstop and calling for their mommy in an extremely high decibel level.

Due to lack of sleep I watched more movies than I ever have in a given period…such as Warlords, Juno, Horton Hears A Who and even Japanese film “Smilers,” a heartwarming tale about an over enthusiastic tap dancer with a degree in child psychology who must lead a junior league hockey team in Hokkaido to the championships in order the win his girflfriend’s hand in marriage (with a good dose of McDonald’s product placement). There were other movies too, but I wont get into it.

There was a 90 minute layover in Seoul. In the airport I noticed a funny trend. Nearly all of the younger Korean couples had coordinated or sometimes exactly matching outfits. I spotted at least five such couples at the same gate. I am not one to notice clothing, but it was so glaringly obvious, and actually a bit hilarious. I wonder if that trend will ever make it the U.S.? Matching couples clothes! Anyways, I’m probably the last person to notice this…

I spent some time in a small Korea Culture Museum they had there. Not bad.

I’ll leave you with two thoughts:

1. Why is it that the majority of passengers jump up and stand in a line before boarding even when its not  yet time to board and it wont help them get on the plane faster anyway?

2. Singapore “Changi” airport advertises all over that they have FREE wireless surfing. Well, from what I could see its not free — you need to have one of those airport wireless providers to login. I might be wrong, but you will need to use the ethernet stations located around the airport.

Have a great holiday weekend!