blog-related op ed

Here For Now

I’ve decided that the blog server we were using was just too big of a hassle – it seems like my blog was down every day and I just haven’t been happy with the service. And honestly, I don’t feel like my blogging life improved much at all from being self hosted – apart from being able to waste countless hours designing fun layouts, it was about the same – except my stats were actually dropping. For now, it’s just not worth it. Sure I could look for another host, but I stopped caring you know? I just want to blog. I don’t care where it’s hosted. I’m going to have my .com redirected here soon so you’ll still be able to find me in either place and I might do the upgrade to let me do custom CSS but only when I start to really care.

My only real grievance is that I REALLY liked the pretty layout I’d found just a short while ago, but maybe with the custom CSS option I’ll be able to recreate that here? I don’t know. Like I said, as long as I can blog – and you guys can FIND my blog that’s all that matters to me. I’ll be posting a teaser tuesday or something esle of relevance later – maybe I’ll even just blog about my day – wouldn’t that be a novelty? 😛 So yeah, I’m still here, just trying to confuse you all as much as possible. I hope you can all find your way back okay.

blog-related memes & carnivals

A Look Under The Hood

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a look under the hood and make sure things are still working – and that things aren’t too messy or emptier than you remembered. Jen @ Stuff Jen Says did just that for her blog, sharing all sorts of valuable statistics of her findings. I decided that I have nothing better to do and thus I’m taking a look under my hood, too – here’s how mommablogsalot checked out:

According to my WordPress Stats:

  • This my 448th post – 52 more posts until I hit the 500 mark!
  • I’ve received 2,137 legitimate comments and 980 spam comments. My spam blocker has a 99.388% accuracy rating – pretty swell, huh?
  • Mommablogsalot has gotten 5,297 visitors – my busiest day was October 16 with 200 visitors.
  • The highest all-time search term which has led people to my blog is “Niagara Falls” with 416 hits, which is sad since I’ve still never been.
  • The highest all-time referrer is Jessica @ Farm Fresh which is pretty self explanatory given that she’s the mastermind behind the hugely popular It’s Real Life meme.

Typealyzer analyzes a blog to determine its writing personality. Results for Mommablogsalot are:

ESFP – The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead – they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation – qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Typealizer says that when I’m writing in my blog I’m likely using the feeling and sensing (SF) part of my brain and very little thinking or intuition (NT) part – I guess I’ve never solved mathematic equations on here or anything but I still think that’s a bit harsh.

My blog’s readability (the level of education required to understand it) is:

blog readability test

Gender Analyzer says:

We have strong indicators that is written by a woman (100%).

My blog is rated:

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Based on the presence of the following word(s):

  • crappy (1x)

How much money is my blog worth?

This seems to be marginally debatable:

Cubestat says that my blog is worth $1,436.64 (can I get that in cash?). They also tell me that I get an average of 656 page views per day and that I could generate a daily ad revenue of $1.97.

Website Outlook gave me a slightly better “offer,” estimating that my blog is worth $1,613.30, adding that I get an average of 735 daily page views and could therefore generate a daily ad revenue of $2.21.

All in all, I’d say things look good, if a bit boring – maybe it’s time to spice things up?

blog-related op ed

The Comment Conundrum

Listen up all you blogger users, I have a complaint to make. Not all of you are guilty of this grievous offense, but enough of you have cropped up recently to spur this post.

There appear to be many options when choosing who can and can’t comment on your posts. Most of you allow anyone, and you simply choose between anonymous, blogger, open ID & name and URL. SOME of you however, only allow open ID or blogger. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, I know, but SOME of us have  gone through all the trouble of getting our own domain names and now we can’t comment on your blogs.

My little sneaky trick has been to simply put in my wordpress address, whose current post is now a link to my new blog, but really, must we do this trickery? Why won’t you let us own domain people comment on your blog? Don’t hate me because my domain is ten characters shorter. Let me speak my mind with my ACTUAL blog site. Don’t make me pretend I’m still a I’m not. I like my new blog, and I’d rather you go there when reading my comments.

Can’t we all just get along?

If my blog’s commenting section isn’t amiable enough for any of you, please let me know and I’ll make dh look into it. 🙂

family fun

"And Now, A Non-Partison Message…" About Cankles?

I’m still laughing over this. The joke got older as I sifted through 3 or 4 versions of the video looking for one I could embed in Word Press. I swear I love Word Press for a lot of things, but this and the fact that Google Analytics is just a non option, and you know the whole freedom of layout thing. I could love it more is all I’m saying. (Don’t tell me to go .Org. I’m well aware). Anyway, if you haven’t seen this video yet, see it now – and you can go to to see a better quality version if you want.

family fun

hold the phone, she did it again!

I think I may have actually designed a header that I like – maybe even love. I actually did it by accident and was halfway through a swear word when I said, “Wait a minute – this is awesome!!” A couple of tweaks later and it really was. At least I think so – knock on wood right? All because I just kinda felt the old layout was a bit “blah”.

Now I know there will be no generic wordpress theme that I love every little thing about – but my one small complaint with this one is so trivial that it’s not even really worth mentioning (but you know I’m going to – the block quotes are ugly – sorry, it’s true). But the header – it’s fricking awesome, and dude, I made it myself and I’m not even ashamed of that – that heart over there? I drew that man – like with my mouse. And thanks to Gimp’s Cartoonify (on purpose) and Weave (awesome accident) filters, it actually looks amazing and not like a kindergartener drew it.

Anyway, that’s all I really have to say. I am no longer whimpering and whining and begging for a paid layout – I’m good. And with that said, I think I’ll go read a book.

family fun

todays post #4, I’ll be brief…

…But I just wanted to say I really hate going to blogs at places like blogger and leaving a comment and having to admit, “no I don’t use blogger” and they are all like, “well that’s fine, you can leave your comment, but we’re going to put a random question mark next to you, so everyone will know you don’t belong and that therefore your thoughts and comments are of the truly questionable variety – YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!!!!!!!

It just…. makes me sad. Can’t we all just get along and have cute pre-made we love you anyway icons like what jill @ the diaper diaries uses? She rocks. She makes me feel like I belong. And of course, fellow wordpress bloggers, I can always feel at home on your blogs. Thank you. Thank you wordpress for saying nice things like, “Welcome back, Jen E” everyime I visit your website. I ❤ you.

The end.


Monday Morning Meme: July 7th

monday morning button

July 7th Questions:

1. What is your blog about? How long have you been blogging? Why did you begin blogging? Is it the same reason that you continue to blog today? How has your blog changed over the time you’ve had it? In six words, sum up your blog.

This blog is about a lot of things – I write about things that matter to me – which is usually my family, frequently books, and sometimes the rest of this big, big world. I’ve been seriously blogging since March of 2008 but have kept an online journal since 1997.

I started this blog because I felt like aside from my online diary, I never wrote anything. I have a degree in English: Writing and Communications and several years experience in journalism and I felt disappointed in myself for not utilizing it at all. I am happy with my role of SAHM and wasn’t looking for a career, just a “something” – At first I was going to write solely about “important topics” like politics, war, the environment etc. but felt a bit stifled by that – I care about those things, but they aren’t my life. And I think it’s important to write what you know – then I started hearing about blogs like Dooce and A Girl. and thought, “I could do that.” So I decided to give it a try, and if it was well received, maybe eventually try putting up ads or something as a way of possibly bringing in a small income (why not, right?).

Since March, I think I’ve changed the layout of my blog at least a dozen times, I’ve implemented a set of basic daily themes for posts due to chronic writer’s block, and discovered the wide world of group blogging memes which has truly taken my blog by storm, although so far I’m still in the early stages of the blogging world, with I’m assuming not nearly as much traffic as the rest of the Mommy Blogs out there. I’m still fiddling with the idea of making my own style sheet for the blog which is currently using a pretty basic theme which is nice, but not really truly how I see the blog looking in the long run.

In short: “I blog about what I love.”

2. When you go for a haircut, do you do something drastic? Or are you more of a ‘just a trim’ sort of person? Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Tell us about your best, and worst, hairstyle. What sort of hairsyle do you think looks good on you now?

Typically when I get a haircut, I try to make it a big one – not necessarily color, but I like drastic changes – I’ll wait months for a cut just to get the satisfaction of lopping it all off in one big cutting spree. The best hair cut I’ve had is probably my current cut – very mom bob but with a Katie Holmes / Posh Spice flair which is oh so trendy right now. My worst cut was in the 4th grade I think – I was feeling down on my looks and wanted something that felt feminine and sophisticated – the stylist said, “How about a pixie cut?” which sounded very pretty – pixies are pretty and all – but the idiot gave me, I sh*t you not, a rat tail, and I was mortified. I remember even being called “sir” by a lunch lady that year…

Somehow in spite of this I have no fear of a bad hair cut anymore – now that I’m blessed with a feminine physique I figure there is little chance of being mistaken for a man and more importantly I’ve learned something key: hair grows – all the time. Nothing is permanent – if I don’t like this cut, it will be different in a week or two and then I can have it cut all over again if I really want, or embrace it and go with my new look for all it’s worth.

These days I prefer shorter hair on myself – about chin length, no longer than shoulder length – the longer my hair gets, the harder it is to maintain – I have very “knotty” hair that can become a bear to brush if it gets too long. On that some note, if it gets cut too short I can get some pretty unforgiving bed head.

3. Tell us about your 4th of July celebration. Show us some pictures (if you have them). What did your family do? Did you go and see a big fireworks display? Or did you stay home and have a (semi) quiet family fireworks celebration? On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best), how patriotic would you say you are? Do you routinely talk about our country’s issues within your family unit? Do you and your significant other see eye-to-eye on political issues? International friends: tell us how you celebrate your country’s birthday/new year/significant annual event.

Sorry no pictures of this year’s 4th yet – we saw no fireworks as our kid goes to sleep long before that would start and neither hubby or I are big fireworks fans. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being really patriotic) I guess I’d say I’m a 5 – I don’t always agree with our government, and I think that as a country we are in some ways still young, still figuring it out. I think the ideas we were founded on are wonderful but I question sometimes whether or not we are living up to the original expectations laid down. I am willing to guess there are other countries out there I would be happy to live in, but as my family is here in this country, this is where I’m content to stay at least for now. The truth is, I am not well enough informed to speak truly ill or truly well of our country, and I don’t think most people are. I think for the most part, my husband and I see awfully eye to eye on most political issues, the difference being he is probably more well informed than I am and also better educated in general.

Back to the 4th of July celebrations this year: We did the typical family thing for my family anyway – my hometown’s 60th annual parade at 2pm and then the annual family cookout at my aunt’s and uncle’s. The morning was a bit dismally gray and rainy but it cleared up by a little after noon and stayed dry throughout the parade which was for the 3rd year in a row somewhat of a disappointment to be honest.

When I was a kid and even a teenager I loved this parade – all the floats were really superb and I loved being with the whole family and getting candy – when I had a kid I was very excited to share this with him but times change and lately the parade feels more like a very long, drawn out advertising scheme for local businesses with too many lags between floats, way too many people and cars to contend with in such a small town, and terrible music, pretty awful announcing and poor sound quality. It was actually boring and for my husband, infuriating as I have dragged him for the 3rd year in a row with the promise of the previous year being a “fluke” or bad circumstances. Next year I might not even go.

The cookout was good – family was wonderful to see, the kids had a blast. Now if only we didn’t live 45 minutes away and have a 2 year old with a 7pm bed  time (a 2 year old who hadn’t napped all day and was becoming a clumsy bear). We actually left before dinner was even served, never mind the desserts, which are always stellar. So, we had a good time, but a bit disappointing all in all, and looking back it bothers me how little the actual point of Independence Day is acknowledged or thought of.

This has always been my favorite holiday and lately I’m changing my mind. I guess in time, our kids will get older and we’ll define our holidays for ourselves and thus create new favorites. For now, I’m just waiting, riding it out, and not really enjoying some holidays anymore…

4. If you only had enough time each day to read one section of the newspaper, which section would you read? Why this particular section?

I’ll be honest – I don’t read newspapers. This is a horrible thing to say coming from a former managing editor of my school paper,  but in general I prefer to read my news online and I think most people of my generation probably feel the same. My biggest problem is there aren’t a lot of papers that deliver the kind of news which interests me and I don’t have any desire to pay for a subscription at this time, but that may eventually change.

If a paper were being delivered to me, the one section I’d read if I had to choose would be the local section for local news which isn’t always easy to aquire online and also for local events coming up. I really like being involved in a community and plan to be even more involved as my kids get older. I want to settle down in a small close knit neighborhood where everything is in moderate walking distance and a community that really gets together to get things done and have a good time. A Stars Hollow if you will. I’d read their paper.