New Blog Format

 Posted by at 6:37 pm  Nick's Blog
Dec 302008

Terry and I spent yesterday dropping off sample bundles of the Gypsy Journal at RV parks in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi, and running some errands. From Aransas Pass, there are two ways to get to Corpus Christi, by way of the Nueces Bay Causeway, or the longer route via Port Aransas to Padre Island to the south side of Corpus Christi. The longer route is more scenic, and since we were going to the south side of town, involved less driving in the city itself.. Maybe we’ve just been in small towns for a while now and are not used to city traffic, but driving there is always hectic and stressful. Folks just don’t seem very courteous and we’re on edge every moment we spend there.

Besides, that way we got to ride the free ferry from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. The short ferry ride is fun, and we usually see dolphins as we cross to the island. This time around there was a pod of five or six swimming around the ferry landing. Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, there are usually three or four ferries operating, and the wait isn’t very long.

We really do not like Corpus Christi

We’re always on the lookout for something to give us a chuckle, and at one RV park where we stopped, we spotted a fifth wheel cargo trailer that someone had made into an RV, with this funny painting on the front of it. We didn’t meet the owners, but I’ve just got to figure someone who would have this on their rig must be a hoot to get to know.

As I mentioned a while back, my kayak just does not fit me right, which reinforces what we had heard before we started our shopping – never buy a kayak until you actually paddle it. We learned that very few shops will let you do that. The place where we bought our kayaks had an indoor swimming pool, where I was able to get a feel for the boat in the water, but that is really no comparison to what to expect when you are actually out in a lake or river.

It’s a great boat, an Ocean Kayak Trident Angler model, all outfitted for fishing, but the rod storage pod in the center of the boat makes it too cramped for my chubby little legs. So I have decided to either trade it in or sell it, and replace it with something that will fit me better.

We stopped at Jerry B’s Kayak Sales in Corpus Christi, and I found a couple of boats that I thought would fit me better. The shop’s owners, Jerry and Debi Book, are a very nice couple and had a nice selection of kayaks on display. Since they do not carry the Ocean Kayak line of boats, they were not interested in trading, but Debi insisted that I try paddling the two boats I was interested in. I told her I needed to sell my present boat before I could replace it, and that we were leaving the area in a couple of days, so there was no need for them to go to all of that trouble.

 “No, I want you to try the boats,” Debi said. “That way no matter where you decide to buy, you’ll know how the boat fits you and won’t make the same mistake again.” Now, how nice is that? How many businesses will go to all of that trouble for a person who is almost surely not going to make a purchase from them?

So Jerry loaded the two boats I was interested in into his pickup and we drove a few blocks to the bay, where I spent a half hour or so paddling them. Both boats were 12 foot models, a Heritage Redfish and a Wilderness Tarpon. Both handled beautifully and gave me much more leg room than my present kayak.

I really appreciate Debi and Jerry’s customer oriented attitude, and if you are anywhere in the Texas Coastal Bend and are interested in kayaks, I highly recommend them. They also have rentals available, so you can try paddling if you’re new to the sport! If you’re like us, I think you’ll be hooked 

Back at the bus, I tried to list my kayak on the local Craig’s List free online classifieds, but they require a local telephone number to sell a boat, for some reason. Anybody in the market for a like new fishing kayak?

My buddy Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour is helping me with a new design for the blog that will make it easier for readers to leave comments, and help folks find us easier with online search engines. We hope to take the new blog format live very soon, but in the meantime, here is a link to what we have come up with. I’d appreciate your input. Check out our new blog format. I am also working on some other internet projects that I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Thought For The Day – The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  22 Responses to “New Blog Format”

  1. Nick,
    I like it. Kinda miss the bright yellow from the old web site but I’ll get used to the much more refined look of this site. Ha! One wish–that you would make it possible to enlarge your pictures for a better look-see. You take great photos but with these old eyes, sometimes we can’t see the details and yearn for a larger view.

    See you in Feb.
    Joy and PHil

  2. I’ve been a “lurker” for quite some time and enjoy reading your daily comments. I do like the format of this blog as it is much easier reading, in my opinion. I wish we were able to be on the road full-time as you are. A few more years maybe!

  3. I like the new format. But I find the links on the side bar a littlte harder to read but will probably adjust to them fine. I also would like to be able to click on the photo’s and have them enlarge.
    I know its your blog so do it however you like and I will still read every day just as I do now.

    Phil B.

  4. Love the new format ! The font seems easier to read – sharp and clear. No matter how you format, we will always be reading your site ! We have learned so much and so enjoy the articles and of course, the journal. We really look forward to meeting you and Terry some day.

  5. I like the new format. I, too, would like the capability to enlarge photos by clicking, if possible. Keep up the good work; you have a great blog.

    We enjoyed all your classes at Lofe on Wheels in Bowling Green, KY. We attended two years ago, and are now fulltiming in our motorhome.

  6. This new blog is so much easier to read. I love it. Here’s a big “thumbs up”. Maybe somewhere down the road, after you settle into all this newness, you can set up the photos so that a simple click from us will enlarge them for better viewing. But this is already a greatly improved format, just like it is.

  7. Hi Nick..I like the new blog look. I think it is easier to read and no scrolling back and forth as I’ve had to do with the current blog. I read every day so am looking forward to the new look. Deb

  8. Love the new look. This is so much easier to read and I love the comments section!

  9. I’m sure that this new format is causing excitement filled with anticipation throughout the RVing community. I especially enjoy the logo picture with your great ‘ole MC8 proudly displayed. As always, oRV

  10. We’re fairly new readers of you blog, but really like the new one better. Enjoy your adventures…
    Jack & Vicki
    Port Aransas

  11. Count me in as liking the new format very much! I like the fact that you can click on the photos to enlarge them for better viewing. You’ve got the best with Chris Guld helping you with the new design.

  12. You took it up a notch and it looks great. I used to increase the font size to “large” in my browser to ease the line length for greater readability. I can now read the text in the “medium” and the extra “leading” (ah, those ol’ print shop terms) also helps the eye adjust for reading the next line.

    I LOVE having the comments section. I’m sure this will cut down on your daily emails and lets the rest of us see the feedback of the others among your loyal followers. I would prefer the comments be shown in upper/lower case, instead of ALL CAPS.

    As for the suggestion to allow photos to be enlarged, it looks like some tweaking has already occurred. By clicking the thumbnail view, a new window popped up with the image enlarged and allowed me to zoom in.

    Does your advertising program require that ads be embedded in the text area? Can understand why, but would prefer they be kept to the side panels.

    For what it’s worth,

  13. Love the new format, but then, we have loved your blog all along.

    Wish we could make it to your rally, but we just soooo comfy here in the Rio Grande Valley, that I think we will stay put for a while….maybe next year.

    I have also fallen in love with kayaking – but haven’t had the nerve to actually BUY one. Have had fun borrowing and/or renting them, so maybe someday we will actually buy a couple.

    We met you at three Live on Wheels conferences (the first 2 before we bought our rig – thank goodness!) and were actually planning a forth so we could “graduate.” I am sorry that they are no more – what a great experience it was for us “newbies”…and your classes were great. But, I also understand what a huge commitment it was for you and the other instructors. We do appreciate your effort and commitment for those years. Now enjoy your newfound “freedom.”

    Hope our paths cross again someday.
    Take care & safe travels….

  14. Nick & Terry,

    Great format…I really like it. I don’t/can’t read every day, but catch up every couple days, and almost always learn something new!

    Thanks for a good read!

    Peggy & David
    Cheyenne WY

  15. Hey Nick, new website looks nice.

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year,


  16. I love the new look. Very professional for professionals like you and Terry! Very user friendly. Happy New Year, Connie

  17. The blog appearance is clean and fresh – looks good.
    For these tired o;’eyes, the blog is difficult to read even with my new trifocals – for, me the font should be darker – its more a matter of contrast than size. However, the smaller font used for comments is more difficult to read, even with my new trifocals.
    Best regards and wishwes for a fantastic new Year,

  18. Okay … i went back and looked at the old blog and this one is actually more readable.

    I do like the larger pics in the old site. When I click on the new smaller pics they are huge, too big to view. maybe there is a happy medium.
    Using Windows XP

  19. Hey Nick, it looks good to me. I like both myself, so go with the one you like.. Looks like everyone, so far, enjoys this one more.
    Hurry out to Az. Was 70 degrees today.

  20. Nick –
    I agree with the comments on the new blog format – love it. I also think you should change the comments to be as they were typed in (upper and lower). Good luck selling your Kayak and getting a new one.

  21. Hi…Nick …love the new format…more professional and elegant….my only comment is when I read all the comments people make it is very faint and it is hard on these old eyes…I agree with the poster who said the font could be darker I find it hard to read…

  22. Nick,

    It is good to see you making improvements from time to time. I find the new blog format much easier to read. Thank you for thinking of us readers. 2009 will be a great year.

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