I have added some changed to the blog which you may or may not have noticed. I started adding linked posts to the blog. These are similar to what John Gruber does over at Daring Fireball. Basically, these are links to external articles that I comment briefly on. The reason I’m creating these is that I noticed I post a lot of links on twitter but rarely have enough characters to comment on them how I’d like. I figure my blog is the perfect place to do this but didn’t want just a series of extremely short normal blog posts. That’s when I decided to implement asides.

I found a plugin that will allow you to implement and style your asides without editing WordPress’ loop. It’s a great plugin because the only file I need to edit is my stylesheet so that I can style my asides as I see fit. That still didn’t solve my problem with having the post link to the actual article on my blog or my feeds. Because I didn’t want to hack my theme files, I settled on two plugins that would bring me that functionality. The first is the Linked List plugin. This is technically all I should need but, as I said, I wanted to implement these things without editing any theme files (besides the stylesheet of course). So far, I have styled asides and if you click on a linked post in my feed it will bypass my site and take you directly to the article. I needed one more plugin to link the actual post on my site to the external article. This is where the Page Links To plugin came in handy. I designate the URL the permalink should redirect to and it takes care of the rest.

So when you see posts like the one in the screenshot below, that’s a linked post. You can click on the external link icon at the end and it will take you to the article I’m referencing. If you are reading an external article from a feed reader, just click on the feed title and it will take you there.

Of course, right now I have no way of showing, in a feed, that it is a linked post, but I would think it would be pretty obvious if I’m talking about an article but there is no link within the text. I’ll see if I can find a way to make that more clear from within the feed. If you have any suggestions on how to that, I’m open to them.

On Sunday I made the trip to Missouri’s red-headed step-child, Kansas City, to see Conan O’Brien on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour. In case you didn’t hear, a while back I transferred the domain to Conan which ultimately resulted in two free tickets to his show in Kansas City. I took my friend Matt, who lives outside of KC. If you are a fan of Conan’s humor you would definitely enjoy this show. The type of show that Conan is doing on tour is not something I’ve seen before (or not seen in a long while) and the whole idea of this tour might solidify the idea that Conan is a genius. Warning, if you are planning to see this show don’t continue reading as you will get some spoilers.

The show isn’t groundbreaking in and of itself. It’s equal parts comedy and music, a formula that has been done before. What makes it Conan (and his staff) a genius is that this 30-plus city tour came about because of the devotion of his fans. He has capitalized brilliantly over a terrible situation. Instead of fading into the shadows after leaving the Tonight Show, Conan turned himself into a complete brand. He is Coco. He is the underdog. He is the people’s champ. But enough about him, let me tell you about the show.

First off, the seats were quite nice. I got the tickets through Conan’s people so we were in row 18. His opening act, Reggie Watts, was really good. The only issue I had with his performance is that sometimes it was hard to make out the lyrics to his comedic songs because of the way the sound was set up at the venue. His set didn’t last as long as I thought it would either. After about 15 minutes or so of Watts, the Legally Prohibited band came out. The only way I can describe this opening act is the movie Blues Brothers. You know the scene at the end when the band starts playing the introduction song. You had some good old rhythm and blues with loud trombones, saxes, and trumpets? That’s what it was like. I half expected to see Donald “Duck” Dunn and Matt “Guitar” Murphy to come out. It was fantastic. The band was lively, ran through the crowd, and got the crowd pumped for Conan’s entrance onto the stage.

Conan came out and talked about his situation, the tour, etc. He did his typical self-deprecating jokes, which were a hit with the crowd. His old pal Andy Richter came out and joined in on the fun. There were appearances by the masturbating bear self-pleasuring panda, a very funny video featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and the appearance of the Walker Texas Ranger Lever Chuck Norris Handle. KC’s own Jason Sudeikis even came out to pull the handle. In between the skits Conan strapped on his guitar and played some tunes. The show really was awesome.

The only downside to the show was the length. Conan was only on for a little over an hour making the entire show last less than 2 hours. If I paid for the really expensive seats I would have been a bit disappointed, not at the quality of the entertainment, but the length. I know that they are hitting a lot of cities in a short amount of time, but I think they could have easily fit another 15-20 minutes into the show. Other than that, the show was fantastic. It made me look forward to his upcoming show on TBS even more, which in the end, is really what this tour is about.

I have way too many email accounts. I have accounts set up on this domain (using Google apps). I have accounts set up for my real name domain as well. Also I have [email protected] And then there’s all the accounts set up for all the other websites I run, old accounts I never use for email but still use for other things (such as Yahoo and a second Yahoo address I had to create when Flickr’s login merged with Yahoo’s) and email addresses that were created for me when I signed up for a service (ATT Uverse). That’s 3 email addresses just at Yahoo alone.

The funny thing is, even with all these email accounts, I rarely send actual emails. I exchange emails with my friend Trix and my family, but that’s about it. It’s not that I dislike email. In fact, email is my preferred form of communication. I would much rather exchange emails than talk on the phone. I guess one of the reasons I never send personal emails is because everyone I know is on Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, or IM. There really is no need for me to email people anymore and when I do it’s for a quick question or comment, nothing at length. I actually enjoy sending emails. There’s something to be said about sitting down and composing a lengthy note to a friend or family member. Sadly, I rarely take the time to sit and do this. I think the first thing I need to do is consolidate some of these accounts. The Yahoo ones that I have I should part with. Yes, it’s like giving up part of my youth, but I think it’s time. After that I might just send out a lengthy email. But probably not.

I recently purchased a PS3 and one of the games I purchased with it was the much-hyped Assasin’s Creed II. I’ve never played the original but I heard great things about the sequel and the video of the game play looked amazing. After playing it for a couple of weeks off and on I beat it. For most gamers, that is not a big deal, but I’m not most gamers. In fact, I wouldn’t even call myself a gamer. I have a Nintendo Wii and I love it because it makes gaming casual. I wanted the PS3 because of a handfull of games that are coming out and for the BluRay player for when I purchase an HD TV. Anyway, beating this game was a big deal for me because games rarely hold my attention long enough for me to actually beat them. The only other game I have ever beat on any system in my life was Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64.

ACII was a great game because the story kept you interested. Normally I can only play games for 15 minutes before I get bored with them and want to turn them off. ACII wasn’t like that, but even if I did want to quit after a short amount of time there were plenty of checkpoints to make sure I didn’t lose my progress. The scenery was amazing and the game play was smooth. The building looked almost real and the scenes where the city would erect before you were awesome. I can only imagine how great it looks on an HD TV. The cut scenes that helped move the story along were great, if not long at points. The only time in the game where I questioned the makers’ choice was when I was forced to go all around Italy to gather Codex pages in order to progress the story. It was almost as if the developers said, “We need to make this game longer, how do we do it? Let’s send the player on a long scavenger hunt.” Besides that point in the story, everything else was great.  There were missions that you had to do and several others that you could skip.  And it doesn’t matter if you skip them because once you beat the game you still have free reign to go about the other missions, which I’m currently doing now. The final level snuck up on me fast and I was surprised at how easy it was to beat the final level, but I wasn’t disappointed. I’d have to say this should probably be up there as one of the top games of the year, but since I don’t game that much I can’t really make that call. All I can do is tell you that the game was fun and beautiful with a great story and great graphics. If you have a PS3 (or XBOX 360) you should buy this game.