Anyone Up for some Fantasy Baseball?

I haven’t blogged about it before, but I’m a huge sports fan, baseball, football, and hockey, in no particular order, just depends on the season. I’m quite the homer, and have been a life long Buccaneers fan, as well as followed the Devil Rays since day one. It took a few years of the Lightning being in town, but I proudly say I was at their first playoff game in St. Petersburg, so I’ve been a fan for long enough not to be called a band wagon fan. I follow the sports in general as well, and since first going on line, have participated in one form or another of fantasy sports. For me, its a way of keeping up with the rest of the league, and gives you some one to root for when watching games other than the home team.
So, that said, I’m looking for other bloggers to play in a free online fantasy league via cbs.sportsline. Continue reading “Anyone Up for some Fantasy Baseball?”

Blog Designs, Function or Form?

This started out as a simple comment on Rachel’s design blog, but started getting wordy, so I converted it to a post w/trackback. (Which may be a thought for a future post, what is too long of a comment?)
The part I found myself relating to was the design of Squible, and user experience, which I found myself having recently gone through.
I had gotten busy, neglected my blogging, and when I got back into the swing of things,felt a new look was in order. Not having that much time, I opted for Squible. A good friend who also blogs noted that he “just couldn’t get his head around that format”. I fought changing things back for some time, but that comment hung around in the back of my head. I kept thinking that this guy is a “web guy, a designer. If he can’t get around it, what about the other 150+ a day that stumble upon place.” So when I changed hosts, and upgraded, I tried Squible for all of about 20 minutes, and then cobbled together a more traditional blog design.
Not that as a fledgling, wanna-be designer I don’t want to push my envelope, but I have to come back to the user experience. Much as my cooking evolved from wanting to be “everychef”, that is, I wanted to be Charlie Trotter, Jean Louis Paladin, Alan Susser, and Jean Georges Vongrichten on every plate. Little by little, I learned that my guests weren’t looking for me to defy gravity and mix flavors that might not otherwise be mixed, simply for the sake of “pushing the envelope”. It took me a long time to understand that my guests wanted a good meal. Sure, an unexpected flavor that contrasts but doesn’t detract, or a creative yet accessible presentation is fine, but make it edible. But I digress.
I still want to push envelopes, and broaden horizons, and all those clichés, but first and formost, I want the ramblings, and info to be accessible, and to flow in some manner that people will “get”.

Trying Out CoComments

CoComments

is open to anyone, though they have a caveat that if server load gets too high, they’ll shut down registration again. I hadn’t really paid attention to it, though I’ve seen it mentioned, but the concept is sound. How often do you leave comments on a blog, and then forget where, and wonder if there was a follow up? Happens to me all the time. I keep tabs on several RSS feeds that a general in nature, and will drop a comment on a strangers blog often, only to fade from my memory. Not anymore, if CoComments works as advertised. You are given a simple bookmarklet to use before you formally submit a comment. You then can keep track of the comments via their site, or better yet, your RSS feed. In addition, you’ll see a box in my sidebar, so visitors can see where I’m visiting and commenting. Another way of building community, in my oh, so humble opinion. Though, I’ve yet to see it in action, I’ve seen it on another’s blog. And I doubt it will take long before I put it in action. So go register if interested, ‘cause it could be like Google Analytics, and close with no notice.

CSS Reboot Spring ’06

I cobbled this design out of something else I was working on, to break out of the constraints of using someone else’s work, but intend on something extrordinary for the site, especially the oft-not used entry page. So I signed up for the CSS Reboot as a means of having a tangible goal, as well as some pressure to knock one out of the park. So things won’t change much around here until May, but check back then for a whole new miklb.com.

Moving Day

If you made it this far, then the dns have populated, and you are viewing the site on the new server. My hosting was about to be up, not to mention I was having trouble with the old host, in the sense they didn’t seem to care if I renewed, especially in regards to the manner they handled the last two tickets I opened. I understand things happen, but don’t treat me like a child or idiot.
More about the new hosting later, anyway, pardon the dust, and the half done look. I need to get the rest of the site back up, meaning the cooking and my sandbox. After that, some TLC to the home office. I did manage to finally update to 2.0, and the only problem so far seems to be a conflict with an RSS plugin and the built in magpie RSS for Squible (which might get the door, we’ll see).

EDIT I just couldn’t take Squible anymore. It’s a great theme, and there are aspects I do like, it’s just not me. So I’m adapting a design I’ve been working on for something else for the time being, and will continue to tweak over the next few days. I hope it doesn’t interupt anyone’s viewing of the more popular posts.

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Why I Love Spam Karma…

…and will be hitting Dr Dave’s PayPal later today. The last couple of days, I had noticed I was getting S P A M emails, that seemed legit. But further investigation, revealed that it was bunk. First giveaway was the “Great Site”, but the kicker would be a fishing site commenting on a fishing article. They are searching technorait, or google blog search, and finding keywords and then hitting. So, some what frustrated, I delete, and wonder if Bad Behavior and Spam Karma are working. Low and behold I go to delete some more via SK, and I’m greeted by a message saying it’s not just me with spam getting through, and offering up some solutions, with an assurance that there are more tricks to SK to squash the recent wave of Spammers if it persists. Well worth a trip to Dr. Dave’s site and donate what ever you can, be it a month’s intake of Google Ads, or $10, or more, if you can spare it. I’ve already done so with Bad Behavior, and so should you, especially if you spend any where the time I’ve spent the last two days cleaning 3 blogs of spam. The donation is well worth the time it would save.

For Meme?? OK Sure.

Well, Tiny over attinylittledots tagged me, after his brush with Marlin Perkins, so here goes:

Four jobs I’ve had:
golf course maintenance wworker, phosphate plant laborer, strip club caterer, ipod salesman

Four things I want to do before I die:
drive to Alaska, sail the lesser Antilles, see the Devil Rays in the World Series, have a fish shack on the beach

Four things I say a lot:
brah, dude, I quit, yes ma’am

Four of my favorite foods:
scotch bonnet pepper, mango, raw fish, white beans

Four people I’d like to curse:
Dick Cheney, Nixon, anyone who’s made a buck breaking a union, Hugh Culverhouse

Four things I don’t trust:
insurance salespeople, seat belts, fast food drink holders, did I mention insurance salespeople?

Four people from history I’d like to meet:
Copernicus, Robert E Lee, Ty Cobb, Einstein

Four movies I watch over and over:
Glen Garry Glen Ross, Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon

Four people I’m tagging:
Bonnie, Trench, Podz, and er, well, hmm, I’ll get that last one…

Another Shameless Plug & Catching UP

Well, I’ve been busy giving my often neglected cooking site a much needed face lift, which at least I’ve been telling myself was what I needed to start posting more over there. Lord knows I need to connect to food again. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m basically paralyzed by the utter lack of coverage by the “mainstream” media. Seems the conservative powers that be have chiseled away at the “left leaning” place like CNN, where the recent announcements of Bill Bennett and, what’s his name, Glen Beck, have all but proven that the CNN is fighting to be the next FOX.
Look for a new look here at Mindless Ramblings next, with an emphasis on bringing in more content, and maybe slightly more emphasis on sharing the web design articles I find around the net. Not to say I don’t need to get back on the hammer trail. I’d also like to focus on Florida politics a little more, with the upcoming elections having great importance to all of us.

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The “Response”

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

Finding new sources of domestic energy is critical to our national security. Today, our nation is 58 percent dependent on sources of energy from the Western Hemisphere, including 14 percent from Venezuela. Judging by recent political developments, Venezuela is not a stable or reliable source of oil for our country.

Hugo Chavez has actively been seeking new markets, such as China, for Venezuela?s oil, which would leave us struggling to replace a sizable percentage of our country?s needs with most likely very little warning. With today?s soaring oil and gasoline prices, we need to be forward thinking about world events and their effect on our oil supply.

We also need to think globally about environmental issues. Drilling in ANWR using the most advanced technology and strictest environmental regulations will keep environmental impact to a minimum. Drilling technologies such as multi-lateral drills and directional drilling are just two examples of ways we are now able to minimize environmental impact. Other countries are not necessarily following the same strict environmental standards used in the U.S., and this puts us in the position of exporting our own environmental concerns to countries with much looser environmental standards.

Drilling in ANWR – in a part of Alaska that was set aside by the Eisenhower administration in 1960 for oil and gas exploration, with overwhelming support from its population and congressional delegation, and under some of the strictest environmental standards in the world ? is a sound and balanced approach that will help alleviate our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

ANWR is a huge area encompassing over 19 million acres. The environmental footprint of oil and gas operations will be limited to 2,000 acres, which is roughly the size of Dulles International Airport in Virginia. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, ANWR is estimated to contain resources ranging from 7.7 billion to 10.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

As we address the need for development of domestic sources of energy, Florida?s moratorium on offshore drilling will remain firmly in place as one of my highest priorities.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

And my follow up:

I appreciate your quick response, and though your explanation seems reasonable, you have not explained how your arguments to support drilling in ANWR can not be then used against you to drill off the coast of Florida. I know the military is expressing the need for the Eastern Gulf for maneuvers, however outside that reason what are your defenses for not supporting exploration and drilling off our coasts? I must also express my doubts in the “strict” regulations you defend your choice with. From my perspective, this administration has loosened regulations from the day it took office, and I have severe doubts that this would be any different. And finally, could you explain how 8-11 billion gallons of oil justifies the potential risks and damage. At what expense is a years worth of oil? And when do we draw the line? How will you argue that 4 months worth of natural gas isn’t worth rigs off our beaches?
And finally Senator Martinez, how do you justify playing politics with a budget bill aimed for the military and potentially the lives of our countrymen and women?