Changes Are Coming

 Posted by at 6:06 am  Dailies
Dec 282010

It was another chilly day here at the Orlando Thousand Trails campground, so we spent most of the day at home. The bad news is that being stuck inside too long really gives me cabin fever. But, the good news is that we’re getting a lot of things accomplished.

Yesterday I found a mail service in Orlando and made arrangements for them to handle sending out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal that is somewhere on a truck between Michigan and Florida, making it’s way south. We should have the papers in a couple of days, and then we’ll get them mailed out. Between the holiday printing schedule, which is always a hassle, bad weather, and problems with new production equipment at the printer’s, we’re running late. But as I wrote a few days ago, every December we run into something to delay us, no matter how hard we try to plan ahead.

Once that was taken care of, I uploaded the new digital issue of the paper, and sent e-mail notifications to all of our digital subscribers.

Meanwhile, Miss Terry has been busy sorting cabinets and drawers and piling stuff up on the counter. I asked her what she was up to and she said it was early spring cleaning, and anything that wasn’t useful was just taking up space and adding weight to the motorhome going to the dumpster. I was very quiet the rest of the day, just trying not to get noticed.

We have some changes coming for the new year. My pal Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour has been working on moving us to a new web server, and making some changes in our blog format.  We’ll be taking it live in the next few days, but here’s a sneak peak at the new blog format. Look it over and let me know what you think.

At first glance, it looks very similar to the present blog, but the comments will be easier to post and access, the new format automatically displays links to related blog posts, the links in the left column to the rest of our website are more contemporary, and best of all, it won’t be on the Yahoo servers, which have given us so much grief over the years. Chris still has some tweaking to do, but I think it’s a big improvement.

You may notice that there is a tab at the top to Miss Terry’s Kitchen. Don’t get too excited, Terry isn’t ready to commit to a cooking blog yet, but if we push her far enough out on that limb, she may have to. Or, she may just break that limb off and beat me with it!

In the afternoon, Denny and Cindy Henderson came by to pick us up, and we went to dinner at a nice restaurant called Oakwood Smokehouse and Grill in Clermont. Denny and I had the rib platter, Terry had chopped barbecued pork, and Cindy had a burger. Everything was delicious. At one time we were fans of Sonny’s Barbecue, which has locations all over the Southeast, but on our last few visits, we were disappointed in the food.  Given the chance, I’d opt for Oakwood Smokehouse any time.

Back at the campground, I unhooked our water hose so it would not freeze overnight, then came inside and got some writing done before it was time to go to bed.

Bad Nick did some writing too, and posted a new Bad Nick Blog titled You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

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

  12 Responses to “Changes Are Coming”

  1. I checked out the sneak preview of your new blog … I like it … looks like Chris is doing a nice job!

  2. Hi Nick. The new blog format looks good with the exception of the web links within the text area. These are hard to read with the current color and should be darker. I like the contact us button, as I was recently wishing to send you an email but could not find any link to do that other than the blog comment. One other thing that is annoying to me is when I try to click on the blog to roll down and quite often click on an advertisement in error. I guess this is good for you but perhaps could be not so close to the top of the page to avoid this error / frustration. Please tell Terry you would have another avid kitchen reader here. Thanks and have a good day.

  3. OOps. Meant to add in post above that you should have a link in the top line to Bad Nick so that new readers could find him before he appears in a blog link. I have been known to be a Bad Al at times.

  4. Like the new site. Also would like link to Bad Nick if there is room. Found it easy on the eyes, and a nice improvement. Even if Terry doesn’t want to do recipes all the time, I appreciate any that she contributes. Stay warm.

  5. If you can match the type face and size of the old blog it would be easier to read. But, I do like it.

  6. Modern looking, yep, one small thing this reader does not like, is having to click another time for the REST of the story/article. I see this is not true of the most recent post, but, I frequently re-read older posts and I have huge issues with having to click again to get there. I have stopped reading other blogs for that very reason, course, they are not Nick’s blog, eh?? Tis a sore point with this reader tho and you did ask! 🙂
    Tis really an issue when the air card is S-L-O-W. You know what I mean Nick.

  7. Thank you to everybody for your comments and suggestions. Chris and I will be talking about ways we can try to adjust things to work better and make the blog easier to use.

    As for having to click again to access an old blog post, the technical people tell me that this will actually make things faster for those of us using air cards. The reason is, with the way we’ve been doing things, there are three or four blog posts open when you click the current blog. If there are a lot of photos in those posts, it is more data your air card has to process, which takes longer. With the new format, you will only be opening one post at a time, hence less data to load. Yes, there is the extra step of clicking again, but overall, I think you’ll find it an improvement.

  8. Liked the new look of the sample website. I tend to resize my screen from 100% to 125 or 150% and the display worked. I did have a question about the “TAGS” panel on the lower left. The type sizes were all mixed — was that on purpose to distinguish between the tags? Don’t like that. A bullet list or just commas would make for easier reading. Can the breaks for ads be screened boxes (20% gray?) so the text from the blog doesn’t flow into the ads?

  9. Howdy Nick,
    10-4 on the new blog, good buddy… I for one more don’t like (cont’d) stories, but if it helps you I’ll do it!!! GET OUTTA THERE!!!!!!!

  10. New blog format looks good…I have another request. You need an easy to find link for whatever the current rally is…I always have to search for it when recommending it to folks.

    Now important stuff, we will be moving to Lakeland on Saturday. If you guys are going to be around, we’d like to meet up for a lunch or dinner before you head west!

  11. The new format looks good — clean and easy to read.

  12. Nick,
    I agree the type font on the current blog is very slightly easier to read than the new one. And as mentioned above, in many blogs I see the columns for the various tags being different sized fonts and running over each other (in Firefox) , and all of them drive me nuts.

    On the other hand, having the older posts in preview is actually pretty good. I hate sites that load slowly. And I REALLY hate sites that have all their content ready to display, but are delayed 15-30 seconds while all the embedded external advertisers tries to find targeted advertisements for me to ignore.

    The one hold-over from the existing blog that I would really stress keeping is underlining embedded external links incorporated into the blog’s text.

    Being partially color-blind, I know I will sometimes miss the links you add for further information on various topics mentioned. Seeing the underline in the body of the blog really helps. It’s a lot better than trying to hover the cursor over every word to see if it holds a link.

    The underlines for all the tags at the end aren’t needed, and the bottom looks much cleaner without them (we KNOW they are all links). But if the formatting choice is underline all links or underline none, I vote for underlining all.

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