Thursday Shorts 04-23-2009

SHORTS is the name of the game for a while here. Blogging takes a far back slot in the day to a 19-month-old who hates her bath and whose favorite loud word is MINE!, an eight year old who wants me to help her write a book, and a three month old, three pound cocker-dachsund rodent for which we cannot find the OFF switch.

☀ Un. Be. Lievable. Flights took off on the minute they were scheduled, landed ahead of schedule, had only a 35 minute layover at Ohare and our bags came with us this time to the SAME destination airport!

☀I’m feeling ruminations (which are at risk of being totally squashed when 1000 books arrive on May 6) to make some significant changes to the template of the blog. Taking a look now at Thesis.  I’ve been wondering about taking down the notecard thumbnail strips. (They get a lot of clicks but the visits don’t sell any notecards, and I’m wondering about letting that project just fade on out when the current stock of cards is sold out.) What do you think?

☀ HAVE TICKETS! I’ll make a separate post of it later, in-between diaper changes and keeping my shoe laces from becoming puppy fodder. Local types, please purchase a ticket from Ann or me, even if you can’t come on May 23, a month from today! A $10 donation would be a great help to the Park project.

☀ USA Today from Yesterday’s Travels–a pig featured prominently on Page One caught my attention. It’s surroundings looked familiar. I have a picture of that very pig lot at Polyface Farm from last year’s October visit with the Society of Environmental Journalist. A documentary featuring Joel Salatin is coming. Read more.

☀ Finally, plug a Jellyfish Wind Appliance into your wall outlet and SELL energy back to the utility company. This is a Google Idea Contest Winner.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred, are you saying you would no longer produce your beautiful notecards?! Or would you simply sell them through Floyd stores instead of online?
    If the cards are not making enough money to keep producing them, I understand. But they introduce the world to our beautiful Floyd and I use them every chance I get! I hope you’ll keep making them, if they are profitable.

  2. I love having the cards as a creative offering, but I’d really need to either print them in China or in runs of 500 sets or more to make money on them. I have a fifth set in the works–at least conceptually–that would come from the images in the new book. We’ll see.

  3. DEFINITELY go see the film, Food, Inc.! You’ll never look at food from commercial sources again, and you’ll be looking over your shoulder for the bad guys from Monsanto….

  4. The Thesis theme is by the same person that created your present theme, so I can see the appeal. From the videos that I watched, it seemed very configurable, but the “killer application” for me is rotating header images. When setting my blog up, I searched for a theme that gave me more flexibility than what you now have, Fred, and found it with PrimePress. But one thing that Thesis does that is really appealing is the update process – you don’t have to manually save your customization changes in Thesis, as you do in PrimePress. PrimePress is free, but you can make a donation and there is a support forum, which is useful. One other item of concern to me is how easy is the transition? With a blog as big as yours, how much work will it be to convert to the new theme? I imagine, since both themes have the same author, that it might be fairly seamless, but what about switching from a theme not authored by Chris Pearson?

    I’ll let you be the guinea pig, Fred! Thesis looks intriguing, but I’m not sure that I’d want to tackle the transition!

  5. When I watched the video by one of the testators to the Thesis theme, it was an embedded video from YouTube. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, YouTube has made a change to the default player such that titles and star ratings are now visible on the embedded video. For awhile, I refused to use YouTube videos on my blog, because I hated the clutter that the stars and titles caused – they detracted from the visual appeal of my blog. But I found a cure for the ailment!!

    Instructions for getting rid of the YouTube stars and titles are here:

    Pass the word!!