Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogskeeping and Other Matters.


I changed the look of my blog.  My old canned template from Blogger looked horribly amateur.  The banner image is one I took myself,  and I ditched the ghastly green text boxes. If you use blogger,  you must choose one of their canned templates.  Oh sure, you can customize them, but I don't see a way to build a custom blog from scratch.  I thought if I went back to the basic template I would have a clean slate to work with, but the basic template wrecked everything I had in my sidebar.  I deleted the "Lately Read" sidebar and instead created a reading list board at pinterest.  I've put a blogroll in its place, but it will probably take me a while to add a link to every blog I read and in working on this, I made the distressing discovery that google reader has not been notifying me about updates to several blogs that I read.

I made of trial of turning off word verification for comments after a friend told me she tried to comment eight times and was unsuccessful because she couldn't decipher the text.  Blogger has started using a different font, and it is very hard to read, even if you're not a robot.  Unfortunately, I immediately got a number of spammy comments, many with links to pornography sites, so the word verification is turned on again.

What I would really like to do is take a web design class at our community college.  The spring semester offered only Web Design II, so I must wait until fall for Web Design I. Or I could save time and money by checking Web Design for Dummies out of the library.  

Writing at Work

The big scary upgrade hasn't happened yet, but to prepare for it, we had to write test scripts, which at first were an exercise in extreme tedium, but I have since got into the rhythm for writing a step for each and every thing that is supposed to happen in a workflow.  After at least six rounds of editing, my test script reads like a weird oncology-themed Dick and Jane reader:  LOOK at the toolbar.  FIND the picture of the blue stethoscope.  CLICK the picture of the blue stethoscope.  FIND the order for Cisplatin.  CLICK on the order for cisplatin.  It got to be fun, after a while, but working with excel is like listening to nails on a chalkboard.  The audited rounds of testing start today, so wish me luck!

Literary Defeat

Henry James has defeated me.  I am trying to read The Ambassadors and I am finding it very difficult.  Last year, I tried to read The Golden Bowl, and after about three paragraphs, pronounced it unreadable and gave it up.  I have only the haziest grasp of what is happening, but I am determined to finish it.  Also reading The Bride of the Innisfallen by Eudora Welty, and it's not easy either.  I'm not defeated by Eudora Welty, but reading her stories is work because you must savor every word.  Not to do so is like pouring a rare bottle of wine down the toilet.  Have you ever found a writer whose work you just couldn't read?

The Cotton Man

I found this at Awful Library Books, an excellent site, and I just had to share.  Tired of picking up your husband's dirty socks?  Ditch him for the Hunk Pillow.  Look at that crowd of adoring ladies!  Comes with automatic spooning action.  Vibrator sold separately.


  1. I like the new look.

    Your updates almost never show up in my feed, so I've gone old school and just bookmarked it and check it occasionally that way.

    The new word verification is annoying and I've thought about taking mine down and just sticking with having to approve all comments before they are posted. I'll let you know how it works.

    I cannot read Hemingway or Faulkner. Just can't.

  2. I like the updated look of your blog, especially the photo.

    As for blogging platforms, I've worked on several different ones and Wordpress is by far my favorite. If you want to make the switch and transfer your posts from Blogger to WP, I'd be happy to walk you through it and get you set up. It should take less than an hour.

    I've never been able to read "Moby Dick" in spite of several attempts to do so. In fact, I found the book so unreadable that I couldn't even read the Cliff's Notes.

  3. I'm a little fearful of moving to a new platform because of all the baggage--old posts etc. Plus I don't want to lose readers. We'll see, other bloggers have done it successfully, but I'd really like to have a 100% independent-from-any platform blog some day.

  4. I love your header picture.

    I've been dealing with the new font for authorizing comments on several blogs, and while at first I found it difficult, I think I must be getting used to it. I find I do best if I don't think about the letters --just look and type.

    I had to read a Faulkner book in high school, and couldn't stand it. While I learned to appreciate many authors by being forced to read them in HS, I can not imagine ever reading anything by him again.

  5. Nice new look!
    I hate the new word verification, too. It's so tricky, this blog design stuff.
    Good luck with work--it sounds tedious and grueling.

  6. The word verification can be frustrating, but probably not as frustrating as the porn-bots haunting you without it.

    I'm really good at not reading authors! Like Jen, I've tried and failed with Moby Dick. A friend's favorite books are Robertson Davies Deptford Trilogy and as much as I respect her taste and opinion, I just cannot get through them.

    I read a lot but have HUGE gaps because I don't enjoy a lot of classics.

  7. The new look is nice and crisp, and it seems to load faster

    Your script writing sounds like our instruction booklets we give our 14 year-olds for learning computing.

    FIND the text
    LEFT-CLICK and Highlight the text
    FIND the Bold button
    SELECT the Bold button

    Fun, isn't it?

    Why does the Hunk Pillow have a Mullet haircut?
    Do all American woman go crazy for guys with mullets?

    I demand equal rights.

    I want a Babe Bolster, with built in vibrating bits AND a Stop Talking button.

  8. I just popped on to let you know I have recently finished 'My Family and Other Animals' that you recommended some months ago, and I loved it! Wonderful book.



  9. TSB--Ha ha. I think the mullet is there because the book was written in the '80s.

    Tatiana--I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know. :)

  10. The hunk pillow is quite frightening really. Does it come with its own demon?