Wednesday, October 1, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Rundown...

I can't said the...
So, how am I feeling today?

I can't say that it's good, but I can say that I am desperately trying not to let it get to me. I figure that's probably the best I can do in such situations. It's what I do in every situation, every day, and very little changes.

Now, I don't mean to be all doom and gloom all the time, but this place really is an outlet for my thoughts, and when those thoughts are generally crippled by a distracting, endless ache somewhere, it's inevitable that my thoughts will be focused on that. As humans, I think we're wired to address those things when they spring up. We've evolved to say "holy fuck! That hurts! I'd better do something about it before it gets worse."

And, that's where I am. It never ends. Something, somewhere, is screaming "Pay attention to me!"

It's such a weird, weird thing.

Right now, my feet are screaming, some fingers are screaming, and my knees ache and make this bizarre, stomach-twisting noise when I try to operate the stairs. It's a wet, crunchy, squishy sound, and if I were to write it into a book, I would say it sounds like celery twisting inside a wrapper of bloody, wet meat.

It's gross. So, I'm trying to avoid the stairs. Stairs are bad...

Other than that, there's been some questions about that whole "Follower" thing on this blog, and I am trying to figure out a new look and layout for this place, but it's not easy since I'm really fussy, and I'd like to keep something with this width for my photos and whatnots.

I'm trying to get that working, but this is an old template, and it doesn't allow that Follower feature. But! You can add the feed manually to the list of blogs on your Blogger dashboard. Simply click "ADD" and copy and paste the following feed URL into the URL box:
If you use a reader, you can use that feed as well.

Wicked cool, huh?

So, please do that until I can find and set-up a new template to include the Follow module. I'm hoping to build one soon, make the transfer, and hopefully not lose too many things on this page while I add a few more.

For those of you making the switch over to the Blogger community from AOL, there are a ton of places out there to find helpful tips and pointers. For example, the one I'm currently using is the Tips for New Bloggers blog just because it was there. However, there are many, many more out there (I'd say about a thousand different sites). Plus, Blogger Help has a really deep search based interface. Just go and type whatever you need. For example, I just went in and typed "Template," and I got a boatload of possible answers with regards to where I can find new templates and how to tweak and set up and customize those templates.

Now, the layout feature for setting up your blogs kicks some pretty serious ass in my opinion. The interface is kind of similar to your old AIM pages interface --only nowhere near as clunky and slow. You can do all sorts of basic things and plug in all sorts of widgets and modules. However, if you would like to go beyond that, you can dive into your blog's HTML source and manually change whatever the heck you please (just make sure you save a copy of that template before you make any changes --I tend to copy and paste it into an email).

The things I seem to be changing most are the borders. Blogger puts them around the header image, and going into the template and changing the borders to 0 in the right spots get rid of that.

You can also add a static background image pretty easily (although I am having some hard times sussing out the sizing and stuff, but that's mostly the result of me being stupid).

Oh yeah. One thing about Blogger that blows AOL Journals out of the water is that you can upload pictures directly from your computer into your blog entries. Just pick the size and alignment, then once the image is uploaded, if you want to move it around your entry, simply copy and paste it where ever.

The AOL feature just wasn't nearly as intuitive.

So, you guys moving over are in for a pleasant surprise, I think. You can make your blogging experience as easy as your AOL journals (or easier). Or, you can dive into it and customize the hell out of your little chunk of the interwebbies.

Aside from that, I am curious how the moves will be handled. I don't know what the layouts will look like. I have a feeling your journal's entries and comments will be ported over, but extraneous things such as your sidebar links, favorite places, About Me, etc will most likely be lost.

All things considered, that's actually not such a bad thing, and I really am impressed that AOL has even offered to do this for everyone. That says so much about the people at AOL that they would care enough to go to these lengths to help preserve your content. Sadly, as nice as Blogger is, I don't think you'll find that sort of consideration here. Then again, I don't think you'll find it anywhere these days. So, it's kind of sad to see that sort of customer service die with the passing of AOL Journals.

Anyway, I'll try to write more in the future as I think of things. There's really not much to this Blogger thing, but if you do have any questions, please feel free to ask, and I'll try to find an answer for you.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/01/2008 01:51:00 PM


  1. Oh, thanks so much for the real info, of course you rather owed us one after that celery and bloody meat description (ack, sorry you body has you feeling so awful).  I'll remember that you have this info!

    I remember now one reason I'm not so fond of blogger-blogs.  My home computer can't read them / access them.  Sigh.  Dial-up just isn't what it used to be :)  Hopefully I can finance an upgrade soon!

  2. Celery in wet meat...? You DO have a way with words. (Hope the aches ease soon.)

    Thanks so much for the help! I've successfully added you to my Google Reader. It sounds like everything will transfer from AOL to whatever Blogger site we specify. Text, comments, pictures, everything. Not sure about animated graphics, but Vish says it's all supposed to transfer.

    I use Google Docs to write my entries, so was always able to include photos easily. Blogger's method is just as easy, and I was able to simply click and drag a picture to where I wanted it. Ken is really impressed with it so far, and the more I fiddle with it, the more I like it. (Except why no underline option? WTF?)

    One thing I'm curious about--your Blogger site seems much wider than mine. I'm disappointed in the width of the makes me feel all claustrophoby and junk. Is there a way to make your page wider? Or is it because, as you said, you're using an old template?

    Thanks for your help, Dan. It is invaluable.