This Website

Sometimes You Get Surprised

Software can sometimes be frustrating and other times it can surprise you. Today, quality time was spent giving this site a new look. I was pleasantly surprised with the theme that I am using from MultiThemes. It is an add on theme to RapidWeaver, the software I use to build this site. Using the theme was a pleasure. I was able to control many things. Believe it or not, there was a lot of work to get the site to look this sparse. One of the best things about the theme was that it was free! I hope the new look is compelling enough for people to want to stick around.

Two things are currently on my mind about the site. First, I don't think that the hyperlink color is very distinguishable from the rest of the text in the posting body. Unfortunately it is tied to the color of the categories, tags, archives and other text in the sidebar as well as above and below each posting. Those elements are all hot or hyper links. For some reason the link text does not stick out as much when it is in with a lot of other text. Do you think the links are distinct enough? Second issue, I am not sure if I should have a home page or just have the blog be the home page. This website is more than a blog and that is why I have kept it. It has the two albums and the weather page. I'll also add a links page and other different pages at some point in the future. Because there are other things besides a blog here, I may be compelled to keep it. I know the home page is not the place where I have put the most up to date information. The blog has been the place for current events. When I add or change something on the site, I usually blog about it anyway. Let me know if you think the home page should stay or go. Remember to vote early and vote often.

While editing the home page today, I discovered I had not updated it in a year. Olivia the former star attraction on page one, will be a year old next week! The new photo is from the marsh behind my house. We are lucky to be living in such a beautiful area.
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Happy Holidays!

Hi Folks,

We're back from Florida where we had a visit with my in-laws. I have some stuff to post but I am going to try and upgrade the site first. Wish me luck. I have also moved the software over to a newer machine. Hopefully the transition will go smoothly.
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NaBloPoMo Ends Today

I'm Pooped
This is day thirty and this is post thirty. You know what? I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Eden Marriott Kennedy for creating and managing this great event. It has helped me be more disciplined about what to blog. It's also produced a nice springboard for continuing. Being committed to a set block of time forced me to establish some practices and think of things that needed to be done to sustain the site. The great thing was that there was not much grumbling about what to post. I just did it. Some things that happened to me during the day made good material for a post and I was excited to get it here. Other days would be uneventful. On those days I would go to a list of ideas I had created. The list was made before the month started. It's is not used up either. More content is coming! On days when there were guests in the house or other work needed to be done, I was able to a quickly post a photo, a short snippet from the day's events or something I found on the web. Another byproduct, my niece and friend Sara were inspired from my participation in the event to invest in their blogs. I tried to read postings from other NaBloPoMo participants too. I was amazed at the variety of bloggers out there. THANK YOU to everyone who left comments. I appreciate them. Don't stop commenting! It felt good, . . didn't it? Keep doing that comment thing. You won't go blind and you hands won't fall off. Best of all you can do it in private. . . or in public. . . you don't mind if people watch, do you? I know some people like to watch. Return here often and look for more stuff in the future, maybe even tomorrow.
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Propeller Head Stuff

During this month's posting blitz I have made some small changes to the site. Some of the changes were done consciously and others were feature changes caused by a software upgrade. RapidWeaver version 3.6.5 is the software tool used to create this website. This website is being maintained using an Apple Macintosh computer .

For my own records and your unbridled curiosity in all things geeky, I'll list the changes to the site since the beginning of the month.

  • RapidWeaver software upgrade
  • I fixed my poor grammar in the banner slogan, replacing "of" with "from."
  • NaBloPoMo badge/link added to the sidebar
  • Tags feature added to postings
  • Tags cloud added in the sidebar
  • Tags are now in each posting
  • Category counts removed (reduces processing time during publishing)
  • "Category" in each posting changed to "Filed in"
  • Category delimiter changed from "," to "|" (That thing is called a pipe)
  • Multiple Categories and Tags are now supported
  • Removed "Permalink" at bottom of each post.
  • Each post title is now a hyperlink to the permanent link page
  • Comments can now be entered on the permanent link page, avoiding the comments pop-up
  • HaloScan comments engine upgraded
  • All images posted in the blog are viewable from a Photo Album page called "Stuff From the Blog"
  • Standardization of photo's in The Blog.
  • "Contact me" in footer was removed.
  • Archive no longer shows empty months.

After this month there should be some major changes. A new look and feel is planned. The blog will also move to the home page. When the new hardware is set up and working, there will finally be live weather updates. I'm too cheap to keep the current computer running 24/7 for updates. The new hardware will significantly reduce energy consumption. I'll have more on the hardware later.

Let me know if you noticed any other recent changes not documented here. If there is something want to see changed please let me know.
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No One Cares What You Had for Lunch -100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason

No One Cares What You Had for Lunch -100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason
This book is very timely since many bloggers are currently participating in National Blog posting Month. When bloggers sign up for NaBloPoMo they should be taken straight to Maggie's website so they can purchase a copy of her book. (the t-shirt on that page is funny, but has nothing to do with blogging) This book will help you create a fabulous blog everyone will want to read. She takes you out of your comfort zone and into places that are challenging and fun. The format of the book is well organized and easy to follow. Maggie's clear knowledge of the subject, will help take the worries out of finding content for your blog. Her writings affirmed the choices I made when I dove straight into a thirty day blog posting commitment. I also plan to follow some of her suggestions for my blog content. I highly recommend you buy a copy and read it for lunch. When people ask "What did you have for lunch today?" You can reply, "I had a Mason Blogger with fries" It was yummy!

You may also find these slides interesting. They are from a talk the author did this month in Indianapolis. I know that Maggie's narrative, that went along with these slides, would be as inspiring as reading her book. She is also very fun!
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Confessions of a Mommy Blog Reader

It started with this quote from iGoogle's Quote of the day widget I had on my browser homepage.

People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean when I live with a child and a dog, and my answer is that I use a technique called Suffering From a Mental Illness. - Heather Armstrong, Dooce, 07-07-06

I really liked this quote. I wanted to find out about this person. I thought I'd find a book or magazine article. It lead me to the Quotation Page. There I found 10 witty tomes from this woman who had the word Dooce next to her name. What's a Dooce? Her bio said "Blogger from Salt Lake City." I find her website and started reading, and reading, and laughing, and crying, and laughing, and thinking, my god! where has this woman come from. She has amazing writing skills. I find out more at her FAQ page. My favorite gem is #6. She speaks her mind, takes no prisoners and slaps people with reality about how silly and self righteous they can be. But the weirdest thing is that basically, this woman is a mommy blogger. There are zillions of these mommy blogs on the internet. Most of them are so colored in pastel and syrupy sweet that they make you want to puke from cuteness overdose. I found myself returning to her site daily. This woman was different. She was edgy, thoughtful and sarcastic. She also has this amazing dog named Chuck. No hot links for him, you can't miss him. He has his own annual calendar for sale on her website. Her husband Jon has his own blog. This sometimes makes for interesting blog volleys between the two of them. I could not stop myself. I was checking her site almost daily. Then it got worse. Jon posted this entry about a trip Heather was on. And then there were these pictures, and Heather names each one of these ladies with a hot link. I ask my self "there are more like her?" naaahhh. But yes she was cavorting with other mommy bloggers. This can't be. Of course I had to find out if they were as opinionated and funny as Heather and yes they were and very talented writers. The thing is, these woman don't sugarcoat motherhood. They tell it like it is, the good, the bad, the ugly. They seem successful and know the blogging world well. Alice, Eden, Maggie and Melissa all bloggers, and all hanging out with each other doing this. Oh my god! and I start reading more and more and subscribing to their blog feeds. Now I'm hooked.
Next thing that happens is that Eden has this challenge called NaBloPoMo and here I am. Good gravy. . . fifteen more posts till the end of the month.
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I upgraded the website software

If you see anything horrible please let me know.
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Well. . . You have to start somewhere.

This is a start anyway. I have this new program called RapidWeaver that I'm going to test drive. The thing is pretty darn easy to use. It's a "just add water" kind of tool for creating your own website. Let's see if my grandiose ideas can make it on to paper. . er. . . um electronically rendered content? Whatever! Let me know what you think, and don't be shy.

Rapid Weaver
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