Site Maintenance (Start of Summer Edition)

Every once in a while I get a burr in my ass** to update the ol’ Recycle Bin, but time and again we always come back to one thing. Green is a must. Back to the green theme in just a moment.

Over the weekend I upgraded from WordPress 2.9.x to 3.3.x without any major incidents. There was a temporary issue with the Word Press console not being able to perform an automatic update due a WP_MEMORY_LIMIT issue.

I was receiving a “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of n bytes exhausted (tried to allocate x bytes)” error message. So after a few searches and jumping into a UNIX shell to edit a .php file, I was happily on my way. No worries at all. Anytime I get to play around in a shell, dusting off some vi skills, I call that a win.

At any rate, I’m hopeful that moving to WordPress 3.3.x is going to give me a little more flexibility in content, and allow Joshua (my 13 year old son) to post a little more frequently.

Mean Green
As mentioned at the top, since Calvert Games (AKA The Recycle Bin), various shades of green has always been the site’s calling card. It’s mantra if you will; screaming green.

As part of the overall upgrade I decided to finally upgrade my theme, which is Arjuna-X, v1.2.1. The latest version is 1.7.x, and Lord knows it looks better and has a ton more flexibility. I just have to get my green back!

I’ll have to do some moving and fixing in a couple of weeks; heading to FL in a couple of days for a much needed vacation. Between work, soccer, and other day-to-day stuff, I doubt I have much time to get this thing cracking.

Did I just Tweet
Son of a gun, Calvert Games has gotten just a wee bit modern. I decided to do the Tweet thing because I have the app on my Vita. Not sure what I will Tweet, or why anyone would want to follow me, but there you go.

** Ass reference is strictly for my boys. If they read this they will giggle until they are almost ready to wet their pants.


Ten Years of Calvert Games?

Almost. domain was registered September 24, 2001, with a simple Vision:

“With that said, Calvert Games promises to be an interesting ride, and an engaging endeavor. I cannot promise to provide the timeliest reviews, hard-hitting industry news, sneak-peek previews, and gobs of media. I can promise that Calvert Games will provide a no nonsense stance on the industry as a whole, commentary on the happenings at other gaming sites, and informative, opinionated reviews, features, and content.”

I have to post this every once in a while to remind myself of what I was doing two kids ago. Times have changed.

Everyone once in a while I think about taking another crack at getting the site rolling again, taking on the world, going after hit counts, and building up another gaming community; reality always hits me hard. Between work and family life, gaming time is limited, so this blogging format really is the way to go. At least for now.

Before reality hit (in other words, this was never going to happen), back in late May or early June I was going to post that over the summer, leading up to the Recycle Bin’s Ten Year Anniversary bash, I planned to re-publish a serious of retrospective articles and reviews. These reviews were lost in the annuals of the old site format(s). Anyone remember the original Mickey Mouse look and feel, or Nuke and the subsequent hack attacks that caused me to shut down the site?

Maybe I will get my retrospective hat on during the course of the year leading up to year number eleven. Doubt it; probably not going to happen … but never say never.

Glory days …


Site Slowdown – Scotland or Bust!

I am going to be off line much of the week, working in Edinburgh. Been there before; hope to have some good ale along the way in the fine drinking establishments.

This is the second time I have been in the UK during the World Cup. Last time I was in London; I guess the Scottish crowd will not give much thought to England’s hopes and dreams. I am bummed that I will miss the U.S. / Algeria game, which will probably be ending about the time we are wrapping up work for the day on Wednesday.


Kicking Off March

I am traveling to Calgary for business; will be back to regular posting action starting Saturday. Check back daily for some articles to help you pass the time. Yes, I have several articles lined up, coming your way in my absence. Most likely I am going to miss a few days of posting, but that cannot be helped.

Happy March! Welcome madness; it’s almost here.


Weekend Site Maintenance Redux

This weekend I am offering up another round of site maintenance for your viewing pleasure. Several upgrades are in the works, and should be appearing throughout the weekend.

Tags Away
With the upgrade to WordPress 2.9.2, I can introduce tags, or more importantly, Clouds of Tags. Calvert Games has amassed over 2000 articles in its current database; there are literally 1000s more that were left behind in previous incarnations of the site. Archiving those into WordPress is a job for another day.

I have probably only put tags on 15% of the articles. I will slowly work my way through the archive, tagging as time permits; watch the cloud change over time.

I had to make a few decisions on what to tag, and what tags to create. First, the primary focus of the site (see Site Focus below) is videogames so generic entries such as Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Racing pertain to videogames. Some games such as WKC:I, MLB: The Show, OOTP, and Madden (to name a few) get their own tags. Second, some specific real life sporting topics that I enjoy writing about have been given their own tags. UGA, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves all get their own tags, while there are also some broader range sports tags to cover NFL and NCAA Football. There is a method to the madness.

Check out the new Tags Cloud on the side-nav; when it actually appears. For an example of tags in action, check out the White Knight Chronicles: International (WKC:I) tag.

Site Focus – Airguns, Videogames, Sports …
And don’t forget the beer! Let’s be honest; Calvert Games lost its direction over the last 18 months. While the focus was primarily videogames, the site did go in directions that did not make a lot of sense. Over first two months of 2010 I am attempting to remedy the situation.

If you have noticed, this year the site has been extremely focused on videogames and sports coverage. I intend to continue to cover videogames in earnest, from my own unique perspective as a contrarian gamer. For me videogames are a hobby, a family activity, and a great stress release. Videogames will remain (or return as) Calvert Games primary focus.

Sports, primarily diatribes and commentary on the Falcons, Braves, UGA, and U.S. Soccer will also remain a staple.

Like it or not, adult airguns coverage will remain; I will keep anything over the top as opt-in have-to-click-to-see-it. However I am considering moving airguns coverage to a sub-domain. Maybe. For me airguns are another great stress relief, so once the weather is nice, look for more airgun coverage.

Stuffs (yes the ‘s’ is intentional) will remain a staple because there is always a place for off topic coverage. You just are not going to see as much of it as you have in the past. I am still going to write about beer, because I have to be me.

Some Categories will go away. For example, Birdwatching (WTF was I thinking) is now a tag; if I happen to write about birding, it will be designated as Stuffs, and as I just said, much less Stuffs than in the past. Same for Chronicles; at one point in time, under the old format, these types of articles made sense, but not anymore.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with D&D coverage. My intentions were sound; just not sure if it distracts too much from the main focus of Calvert Games – videogames and sports coverage.

Popular and Random Posts
I have added a new popular posts widget on the side-nav. Unfortunately it does not grandfather in any of the past history, so going forward articles showing up in this section are either really popular (linked from other sites) or search engines have decided to prominently display Calvert Games articles in their search results.

I am also looking at adding a “random post of the day” – after all, there are 2000+ articles on the site. While I may be biased, some of them are pretty damn good.

Ads and Other Nonsense
The Google Ad space (aka Sell Out) has not made a triumphant return. I think it will at some point. Maybe next weekend. Or a paypal solicitation space for beer money; have to pay the rent somehow.

Happy Saturday!


Sunday Stuffs

The weather this weekend has been absolutely wonderful – upper 60s and blue skies on Saturday and Sunday. We spent most of our free time outdoors – throwing footballs, practicing soccer, riding bikes, going on long walks, and cleaning up the year. You get the picture. It would have been a perfect weekend for shooting the airguns – the R1, R1 Carbine, R7, and the Marauder – however I never had the chance. Not that I am complaining that there were always kids in my shooting range; maybe next weekend.

Auto Club 500 Fontana
I am watching the closing stages of the race [50 laps left] as I write this entry; rain looms. I only watched the opening laps and this last part of the race. As mentioned above, the weather is too nice to stay inside. Fontana has never been one of my favorite tracks; just wish some of my drivers (Gordon, JPM, Junior, Smoke) where closer to the front. On the occasional look-ins, Gordon has been up front some, but it looks like he has a wounded engine.

Gaming Update
Are you kidding? With this weather? When I was not working on the site upgrade Friday and Saturday night, I was not in front of the TV. I did get in a couple of hours of White Knight Chronicles: International, which I continue to find a lot of fun. From a mechanics point of view, it is actually more interesting as you gain more skill points and build combinations.

Heavy Rain is coming on Tuesday (Feb. 23), followed by MLB 10: The Show (Mar. 2), and Final Fantasy XIII (Mar. 9). Needless to say, I have no idea how I will get in all these games, but I am going to try.

I am considering eBay’ing Madden 10 because I have not played it in a week, football season is over, and I would like to capitalize on something to put towards Madden 11. This is always a challenge – trying to hit the perfect moment to still get something for the game before the upcoming version makes the current version worthless. I am not sure if I am ready to throw Madden 10 away; it’s the best Madden in years and Madden Ultimate Team is a lot of fun. However I have not played it in two weeks, and with a slew of incoming games, my Madden opportunities are probably slim.

I’m actually having the same debate with FIFA 10. Unlike Madden, I have not gotten my money’s worth out of FIFA. The World Cup version will be here in April. I need to do some research to see what sort of gameplay upgrades the new version would offer over FIFA 10. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

More Site Stuffs – Green is Back!
I know I am biased; I love the new theme. I think it is the perfect complement to the original Calvert Games brand, without being overly done. It has taken a long time [calendar and actual weekend work] to get it back to this point. I think it was worth the effort.

As I mentioned yesterday, I still have some maintenance I need to do before I put a ribbon on this puppy and call it clean. I continued to polish the site today, and I have a few other items I would like to touch-up this week. I would also like to add in a few more plugins and widgets; nothing too over the top … just enough to make the site a more dynamic experience.


Maintenance Weekend – New Theme

I have been playing around with a lot of different WordPress themes the last 12 or so hours, and finally found one that I think will stick. It is different than the old 3 column layout, but I think it is nice and crisp. The design is fairly simple and easy to modify. I think I will stick with this one for a while, and continue making it Calvert Games branded.

For those that are interested, I will post a change log at the end of the upgrade.

Update 1 [afternoon]: I am continuing to play around with themes and colors; I think this one will work.

Update 2 [night] Change Log …

  • Upgraded from WordPress 2.2 to 2.9.2
  • Added new theme – Arjuna X – with color modification to give the site a Calvert Games flavor
  • Introduced new “AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button” plugin for those of you that enjoy social networking. Earlier in the day I had a Google Buzz plugin, but for now it has been removed.
  • Added Google XML Site Map plugin (to allow for better search engine indexing)

There is still some work in front of me. WordPress 2.9.2 includes Tags; I need to see how to best utilize them with all the previous historical content.

I also would like to re-introduce GoogleAds. I am going to research some additional widgets/plugins to make for a more dynamic site.  The site still needs more Calvert Games branding, but I am happy with the initial results.


Maintenance Weekend – Initial Upgrade Complete

Yea me! I just upgraded from Word Press 2.2 to 2.9, which is a pretty substantial upgrade to [knock on wood] not experience any issues with the upgrade process.

For those of you that are interested, I followed these fairly simple upgrade instructions. Of course, like a good company man, I did a backup, made sure I had my shell access working, and then started the ftp for the updated files.

I have only done initial tests, but everything seems to be working correctly, included the current theme. I figured that puppy was going to die a painful upgrade death.

It looks like a couple of my plugins may not be working, but no worries, as I was planning to add some new ones anyway.

You may see some more wackiness and the like as I continue some improvements over the weekend, but the major stuff is out of the way. Happy days!


Maintenance Weekend – Featuring Sporadic 404s, Outages, and Other Nonsense

I plan to perform some much needed site maintenance over the weekend. Hopefully most of this will be transparent to the masses. Starting tonight you may see some error messages, strange behavior, and otherwise stuff that may make you scratch your head.

You need not worry. While maintenance on this site has long been neglected, I am in the opening throes of moving from the Recycle Bin (call in CG 3.0) back into the realm of Calvert Games. Yes, CG 3.5 is calling. Maybe.

And all the choir girls said hell yes…


January – Month in Review (The Winds of Change are Blowing)

I thought it would be interesting to do a quick recap of January. From a gaming perspective, I lost my soul months ago, so longtime readers can appreciate that content provided for your viewing pleasure has been all over the map. Ah, but the winds of change are blowing, and the Recycle Bin (dare I say Calvert Games) is once again featuring a healthy dose of gaming.

For January 2010, the score reads (63 articles**):

  • 19 video game (30%)
  • 33 sports (52%)
  • 11 stuffs (17%)
  • 2 D&D (3%)

**Percentage breakdown totals 102% – 1 article was categorized as sports and stuffs; 1 article was categorized as sports and videogames.

You may ask how this compares to Calvert Games historical averages. I am glad you did! Calvert Games has maintained its current format since August 2004, which is a span of 66 months. During that time 1975 articles have been written, which amounts to almost 30 articles per month, or an amazing one article per day. Take my breath away!

As with the January monthly percentages, the “lifetime” totals are calculated based on category counts applied to total articles, which slightly skews the results higher than the expected 100%. In other words, there are ~100 articles that are in multiple categories.

All-Time (current format as of August 2004):

  • Stuffs 39%
  • Sports 33%
  • Videogames 30%
  • Miscellaneous 4%***

***Miscellaneous contains Airguns (61), Birdwatching (5), Chronicles (7 – which are really Videogame related articles), and D&D (8) articles.


About Calvert Games, as the seasons change.

I should probably put this on the About Us page of the site. One of these days I will get around to it, but since there is only me in us, I have not gotten around to putting up an About page. Sue me.

It looks like the site is becoming rather seasonal. Videogames in the hot summer months and the cold of winter. Football, some video games, and airguns in the fair weather months.

Hobbies come and go, and while this site was originally dedicated to videogames, and most sports videogames, it has morphed over the years. While the last two months have seen a heavy return to videogames, I figured I would give everyone fair warning that Georgia and Falcons coverage is about to pick up, and a return to some adult airgun coverage (minus the graphic kill shots).

Current interests …

  • PS3 coverage. Very interested in Madden 10, some of the newer PSN games, and of course what is going to happen with the whole price drop and slim stuff.
  • PSP Go. Still sitting on the fence.
  • Atlanta Falcons coverage. Season ticket holder; ’nuff said.
  • Researching tailgating grills. See above. Weber Q220 is currently at the top of my list.
  • Working on a 60 feet airgun shooting setup from my driveway into the garage. Self contained and should not be too offensive to any of the neighbors.
  • Looking at purchasing a HW30S in .20 so I can give my .177 R7 to my oldest son for Christmas.
  • Also considering another purchase – HW50S .22, HW97 .20, and HW77.
  • Looking at 4E Dungeons and Dragons. Long time enthusiast; new category for this site. Let’s see how long this last.
  • Running. Too damn hot right now to really enjoy.
  • Now Drinking: Sweetwater 420

So you will continue to see a little of this and that, but the roots of the site are still founded in videogames. When I started this blog I did not have Falcons season tickets and I had not taken the plunge into adult airguns.

Stick around. It will be a fun ride.