Monday, October 15, 2007

Changing Scenes

If you look closely at my blog today, you'll no doubt notice some things have been changed. One change I am very pleased with. Another change was done out of exasperation. And the third change, for that I have to apologize to my readers for the necessity of it.

So, what are these "BIG" changes anyway?

Well, if you look up at the top of my blog, I now have a color banner there that I am very, very happy with! The banner was done for me by a blogger in Portugal - ),"Fletch" (Terry Fletcher) whose acquaintance I made via Authorblog, David McMahon. When I expressed an interest in a banner, Terry had me send him some photos I liked and thought perhaps they would work as a banner and the one up there now is one he selected from the mix.

To give further credit - where credit is obviously due - the photographer of this picture is a good friend of mine, Jeff Feldmeier, from Allen Park, Michigan. Jeff has a love for the area where I live and as such, knows more about local history here than probably do most of the township's residents! Both of Jeff's grandparents were originally from the village where I live and he has several cousins who still live in the area too - one is my hairdresser (when I manage to go and get something done to my mop) and several other of his cousins still live here too - one lives about 4 houses down the street from me and the daughter of another cousin is my ex-brother-in-law's second ex-wife. You figure that out for yourself what the relationship is there to me. Actually none, but their children are my kids cousins, nonetheless!

A little bit about the picture too - Jeff took this from a spot near the lower end of Lanse, around the interstate 80 bridges over the Viaduct bridge. It shows the Red Moshannon Creek here, in early fall, when the trees are just starting to turn. I don't have the stats handy right now - will have to write to Jeff and bug him when he isn't totally swamped with work, to give me more particulars however, this much I can say - the Interstate Bridge over the Viaduct Bridge is one of the highest and longer bridges on I-80 in Pennsylvania. The Viaduct bridge that the interstate goes over is an old railroad bridge in the state - long out of use by trains. I think the Railroad bridge - part of the old Beech Creek Railroad system - was built probably between 1883 and 1890 and it too was one of the highest and longest of railroad bridges in the state too. The trackage has long been removed there and the route the tracks had was converted a few years back to the "Rails to Trails" system in this area. But it's a beautiful scene for sure. If you're interested in seeing more photos from the area where I live, stay tuned as I am planning to participate this weekend in a photo blog set up by Gene Bach of "Turning the Pages of Life" which will be a joint effort by several bloggers to show the world what our little area of the world has to offer in the way of scenic beauty plus some maybe not so hot pictures too of our homes, family and such. Should be an interesting event - I hope! And, if you'd like to participate in this world-wide photo tour, it's not too late so click in on Gene's post and sign up to take part in showing off your piece of the planet Earth too.

Another change made to my blog -out of sheer exasperation - is that I have now removed the "What is Your Blog Worth" from my sidebar. When I first put it up, last winter sometime, it said my blog's worth was $5, 080 at that time. Ok, I was fine with that. After all, it's just a little game and a marketing ploy, as such too, and total fiction. But about two months back or so, I decided to see if my Blog had increased in Blog worth and according to the tool you use to calculate that, it had increased greatly - like almost 10 times over, to $52,000 and change so I removed the first picture and inserted the new one in its place. However, when I did that, it, for some reason unknown for sure to me, refuses to show any monetary figure in my blog's worth! I even tried to contact the person who is the originator of this widget - Dane Carlson - but apparently he doesn't read his e-mail, isn't willing to help poor little bloggers like me or just doesn't care if things work properly or not because he has never responded to my inquiry as to why this no longer works on my blog. I tried again, over the weekend, to reinstall this entity -one time it gave me the old worth of $5,080, another time it said it was worth $15,000 and change and finally today, it said it was worth 0 - yes, zero, a big fat old zero! And I decided then it was time for that thing to go! No more Blog's Worth tool on my blog! All this work I put into it almost every day and a ZERO! Thanks, but no thanks buddy. I can depressed easy enough on my own, sure don't need some little widget reminding me that I have virtually "no life."

The last change - this one came about from necessity. Last night, my friend Vic Grace of Cariboo Ponderer wrote to tell me she had to reinstate comment modification on her blog because she was being hit with some obnoxious spam. And a couple hours later, I got hit too. Near as we can figure out, both of us got hit by the same spammer. A cowardly soul, signing in using the anonymous feature. Normally, I don't object to anonymous comments because those who do so on my blog generally always sign their name at the bottom. But this person left no name - just this huge, huge rambling blog of total crapola. And not just once, but the spammer posted the same diatribe twice. So, to my regular readers who happened to view this piece, I apologize for that. I apologize too to everyone now for having to have to initiate this comment modification thing on my blog again in order to try to stem the tide of junk like this person tried to force-feed to all of us. It's always something it seems - someone trying to mess up a peaceful existence here in the blogosphere for the rest of us.

So there you have it - my changes, my reasons, what they represent, etc., etc., etc.

I'd be especially interested in responses to the banner - as well as to Gene's blog photo event and to the comment modification thing too. So, post away and let me know what you have to say!


Smalltown RN said...

I love all of your changes...and you didn't have to give a reason why....your blog looks great...awesome layout....I need to spend some time fixing mine up as well....step son is coming at the end of the month I am going to get him to show me a thing or two on my blog....cheers my friend...sorry I haven't been around much lately...I have been so bogged down with school....have a big project due next week and I have to get to work on it....

Patois said...

The blog looks great. But I'm always one for content, anyway, and I'm always happy to read your "drivel."

janeywan said...

Hi Jeni,

Looks great. You didn't have to go all the way to Portugal for help. I might have been able to help you.

I visit Smalltown and Vic and I got the same spam, which I have removed and also turned comment modification on. I will turn it off again in a couple days, and hope for the best.

How bout those Rockies? Sorry not meant as a dig. I was a big Philly fan back in the day.

Linda said...

I love the new picture - very pretty, very "Pennsylvania"!

I've only hit by spam once and I deleted the thing and went on my merry way. I figure that's easier than having to put everyone else through comment moderation though that's obviously each blogger's prerogative. There are always those out there who are going to ruin it for others. You wouldn't believe the amount of crapola I used to have to delete from my guestbook in the form of Spam so I definitely had to do comment moderation over there. It seems to have stopped - for now!

Theresa said...

looks great- I noticed it right away even before reading your blog- love the colors-very sharp.

I am slightly dislexic (sp?) so sometimes I have to do the word verification 2-3 times before I get it right- but most people use them so its ok with me- the best filter I saw was they gave you a math problem to do instead of copying the letters.

SnoopMurph said...

Hi Jeni,

I am Theresa's sister-in-law and I am just visiting some of her favorite blogs tonight. I LOVE your banner and the picture is beautiful. I need to figure out how to do that on my blog!

Please, please don't make math problems the filter! I need to talk to Terri about that one!

I really like your blog. I have one too if you want to stop by sometime! I'll check back with you!

Saedel said...

Hi Jeni! Sorry for the off-topic... just wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate it.

I also added you to my blogroll and I'll definitely come back to check your posts.

Thanks again!


PS. My latest post is up. ;) See you!

Minnesotablue said...

Jeni: Love the new blog look, especially the banner. The scene is just beautiful