Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the future of my blog

I have recently been notified that, as of the first of May, Google Blogger will no longer allow users to host their own blog content. This decision, says Google, affects less than one percent of Blogger users. Unfortunately I am one of those few users.

Between now and May I must make a decision on what to do about my blog going forward. I have three options:

  1. Stop blogging entirely

  2. Start using different blog software.

  3. Give up publishing blog posts to my site and let Google keep my content for me.

I'm not sure which path I'll take. At this point I'm leaning toward a combination of the first two: Take a short hiatus, then return later this year using different software. Lately I've forgotten why I started blogging in the first place.

But I'll figure that out later. I have the rest of this month and all of the next to try to finish about a dozen posts I'm working on, to get them posted while I still can.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

comment policy

I've never formally articulated my comment policy, but a few recent comments have made it clear to me that I need to outline what type of comments I will not accept.

No, I'm not referring to the ongoing debate in Where's the Climate Data? Disagreement — even sharp disagreement — is fine.

I'm talking about the commercial spam. If you leave an advertisement as a comment, it will be deleted.

When I started this blog, I allowed all comments. Then I started getting spam, and I deleted them as they came up. After a few weeks of this I added CAPTCHA to filter out the spambots.

On September 6, 2007, someone broke the CAPTCHA and left more than two dozen advertisments for World of Warcraft Gold. In response I silently changed the comment policy.

I now no longer use CAPTCHA. Posts fewer than 14 days old I monitor regularly. I have deleted and will continue to delete any commercial comments found on new posts. All comments on posts more than 14 days old will be sent to me first for moderation.

When you drop by to say "...please where can I buy a unicorn?" your comment is innocuous enough to be approved. But when you return the next day to post an advertisement for cialis, you'll have no such luck. So whoever is doing that, please stop.

That is all.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

blogging retirement

All good things must come to an end. Perhaps this was inevitable. Really, it's been nearly two years since I was able to post on a regular basis. I'd like to keep going, but I just don't have the time or the energy to devote to the blog anymore. Lately, too, I've been hit with a large number of spam comments on my older posts, and it's been a lot of work tracking them all down to delete them.

For what it's worth, I've enjoyed "meeting" all of the nice people who have left comments here. Often, the comments have helped me see a new perspective. Other times, I've been encouraged by your kind words. Leaving the blogosphere will not be easy, but perhaps I'll run into you elsewhere on the Internet — like Facebook.


Friday, March 13, 2009

celebrating a milestone

News flash:

Sitemeter has just recorded the 32,768th visitor to it seems to me.... In octal, that's visitor number 100,000. To honor this momentous occasion, here's an octal joke:

Q: Why do computer programmers confuse Christmas with Halloween?

A: Because 25 Dec = 31 Oct

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have visited this blog through the years. And I promise: if I ever mention octal again, it will be on my other blog.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

published again

I was standing at the end of a finger-shaped plateau, looking out onto drops of more than a thousand feet in every direction except the one from which I had come. The only other life form on the plateau was a lizard enjoying the morning sun. A slight breeze was blowing, and the echo of the wind off the cliffs was the only sound. Floating on the wind above me was a raven or a magpie, perhaps eying my lizard companion for breakfast.

That's the opening of my travel essay Time Travel, published today at Associated Content. You can read the rest of it here.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

blog comment day

December 3 is Blog Comment Day. To participate, all you need to do is

  • Comment on five blogs today,

  • Including two where you have not previously commented.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

memories, or not

Thanks to Steve Hayes for this meme...

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now (even if we don't speak often or have never met), please post a comment with a completely made up, fictional memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - but it has to be fake.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph in your blog and see what your friends come up with...

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

for better, for worse: 5 ways blogging has changed my life

Keith McIlWain has tagged me from a meme created by L.L. Barkat. Here are the rules should you decide to keep them:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.

2. Link back to the person who tagged you.

3. Link back to the parent post (L.L. Barkat is not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so she can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)

4. Tag a few friends or five, or none at all

5. Post these rules — or just have fun breaking them

How blogging has changed me:

1. I've always had trouble articulating my thoughts. When I try to speak, the words all swirl together and I can't put them in the right order. But by putting them in writing, organizing them on the screen, and revising — and returing to the same themes later from a different angle — I'm finding it easier to organize them in my head when I want to say something. If blogging did nothing else for me, this one thing would make it all worthwhile.

2. I've met a lot of interesting people who have interesting things to say. I have more than 100 blogs I enjoy reading: some who express things in a way I'd like to be able to; some who provoke me to think again about things I thought I understood; some who give good advice about zombies.

3. As a result of keeping tabs on so many blogs, I don't have as much time for my other interests as before. At times I will cut back, skim most blogs, and rarely update my own, but I've found that the benefits of blogging outweigh the negatives.

4. In the past I've enjoyed traveling, having visited about half the U.S. states and nine foreign countries. Because of my current family situation, I can't travel right now; however, by reading blogs from people around the world, I get to experience a little bit of what's happening out there.

5. I can't think of any other ways at the moment, so I'll break the rules and stop at four.

I'm going to tag the following people, some of who may not participate in memes. That's OK. And if your name isn't here and you'd like to participate anyway, feel free to join in:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

published again

My travel essay Sink or Swim was published this week at Associated Content. It's the story of my experiences trying to get around in a country where I didn't really know the language.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

lazy blogging

Geez I just noticed I have not updated this since you last visited... You would not believe how insane my life has become. Apologies to my regular readers! Even the little blue ones!

I am not going to post now with any regularity, personal projects, just generally being a pain to the bodyguards of the blogger I am stalking, my day is passing in a blur from lunchtime to whenever. I am not complaining though. life happens.

I swear on the bones of my ancestors I will write something that makes sense soon. No, really! What do you mean you don't believe me?

Generated by The Lazy Bloggers [sic] Post Generator. Hat tip: John the Methodist

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Friday, February 29, 2008

still here

I haven't been abducted by aliens, and I didn't give up blogging for Lent. My home PC is about eight years old and is on its last legs (if you'd like to buy me a new one, email me!) and I have limited access to the Internet at work. Even though I've not been online much, I've still been writing. I'll try to get something posted soon.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

ten years on the web

On December 22, 1997, I uploaded my first personal web page to Southwind Internet. Back in those days, most web pages were pretty simple. E-commerce really hadn't taken off yet. Not only was "google" not yet a verb, did not yet exist. Nor did Wikipedia. Most sites were personal experiments, little more than a few paragraphs of random text with a too-busy background image and an "under construction" icon. My own site read like a personal ad.

The Wayback Machine discovered my site on February 14, 1998, and here's how it looked then. Here's my "awards" page -- a list of comments from visitors -- as it was archived on October 8, 1999. The comments get more, um, interesting toward the bottom of the list. My links page, also first archived on October 8, 1999, links mostly to sites that are no longer active. Most of my friends who had websites back then have since moved to other states. I hope it's not because of me.

My website featured a "joke of the week," that I updated manually every week until I got tired of it. It would be nearly six years before I added scripts to my site to automate updates.

I was hampered in my site development by the fact that I was still using an old 386-based machine running at 33MHz, that I had bought back in 1993. It had Windows 3.1 installed, but the processor was too slow and the memory too small to run it, so I was stuck using MS-DOS and the text-based Lynx browser. I had no idea what my site looked like, and in fact went through maybe a dozen background images that looked cool in my paint program but clashed with the text of my web site. After getting complaints about every single background I tried, I settled on the dull beige background seen in the Wayback Machine archive. If I had known how ugly it was, I would have picked a different color.

As an homage to my text-based eary days, I still keep the "Lynx friendly" logo on my site, though it's not as Lynx friendly as it could be.

A lot has changed in ten years. I wonder: In December 2017 will this blog seem as archaic as my original home page looks now?

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

i prefer to think of it as 'childlike'

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My blog's reading level is not quite as high as some blogs that I read and enjoy. Is it because I make a conscious effort to write clearly, or is it merely because I lack a comprehensive theological education? Or is it because I'm the parent of a four-year-old?

Whatever the reason, I seem to be in good company at the junior high level, so I'm not complaining.