I finally got around to setting up a QandO Facebook page (as you’ll see I actually started to do it in January and then, for whatever reason – life? – dropped the project). There’s no question that Facebook, despite those that would deride it, is a big player in social media. And it’s a way to both expand the reach of QandO and to expand what we talk about as well. We’ve never been able to put up everything we’d like to talk about on QandO, but the Facebook format allows us to link to things we’ve seen in passing that are interesting and discuss them. To me that’s a plus.
On August 29th, QandO will be 9 years old. That’s very old in blog years. This addition to the QandO format is, to me, a vital part of the on-line evolution that’s taking place and necessary to keep QandO fresh and get it in front of more people. Blogs aren’t going away, but there are other platforms that are becoming a part of the mix. This adds, it doesn’t detract, to the QandO brand. We most likely should have done it sooner.
Anyway, go, like it, share it, get more folks to read it.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and other appropriate greetings of the season. I also want to take time to thank QandO’s loyal readers and commenters for another wonderful year. A couple of weeks ago we rolled past 8 million unique visitors on Site Meter. Since that’s always been the way we’ve celebrated another million unique visitors, we’ll continue the tradition.
What it tells me, since we average about a million a year, is that QandO is and remains relevant after all these years. That’s nice to know.
We look forward to another great year in 2012 and a very interesting political season as well.
The best to you and your family … may this be the merriest of Christmases and all the best from the QandO gang. Here’s hoping for a very happy New Year as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. We here at QandO want to thank our loyal readers (and listeners to the podcast) and make sure you know we appreciate you more than you know.
We hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful day.
A way you can share your thanks for this great nation is giving to programs that support our wounded troops and their families. A great one is Cooking with the Troops who do wonderful things for the wounded through their various programs such as their food events at military hospitals like Brooke Army Medical Center, their Home Front program where they teach our soldiers and their families how to cook delicious and healthy food on a budget or their culinary transition program where they help those wounded warriors getting out of the service to transition into culinary careers if that’s their desire.
Your donations go a long way in helping them fulfill their desires.
Recently Cooking with the Troops was tapped for a great honor. Here’s how CwtT’s CEO, Blake Powers describes it:
I imagine that few who read this will not know the name Richard D. “Dick” Winters. While the movie Band of Brothers made him famous, he was already well known within the military community for his outstanding leadership. His accomplishments make him an excellent exemplar for all the outstanding leadership shown on D-Day and beyond by those who led men in combat, which is the basis for the Richard D. Winters Leadership Project of the WWII Foundation.
As part of this effort, a statue of Dick Winters is being dedicated on 6 June 2012 in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, with a reception afterwards at the Utah Beach Museum. It is an honor and a pleasure to tell you that Cooking with the Troops will be providing the refreshments at the reception. Our goal is not just to provide tasty and appropriate food and drink to those attending, but to involve as many veterans-to-chefs and troops/vets interested in culinary/hospitality careers as possible.
We will not be able to do this without your help. Please help us help the current generation even as we honor those who served before.
Give them a hand if you’re able. The donate button is on the left. It’s a great way to say thanks.
There are no economic stats being released today, hence the lack of a post about same. In fact, it’s a bit of a lame week for economic stats. Not much happening other than the standard weekly reports.
Meanwhile, here at QandO, I’ve implemented a new commenting system called Livefyre. I learned about it Saturday at BlogWorld Expo, and it has a lot of neat features, foremost of which is that it directly ties the blog comments to Facebook, Twitter, and, soon, Google Plus. It also allows you to sort the comments by date, post directly to your social media account, has a much more effective conversation threading model, and a host of other little improvements to the WordPress basic commenting functionality. Enjoy.
More horrific PHP programming of the maddeningly confusing WordPress theme system has produced the magical Google+ button to "+1" each individual post. If you’re a Google+ member, you should probably click that like a crack addicted monkey banging on the dispenser bar for his next fix.
I did a little PHP programming this evening.
It’s now 1:00am. I worked for 1.5 hours on the previous post, hit publish…and the only thing that got saved was…the title of the post. All that work gone.
But I’m a stubborn SOB. I spent some time searching for some offline blogging tools, only to discover that I already had Windows Live Writer 2011 installed on my netbook. And it’s great. Not perfect, but at least I now can write and save drafts locally, and I won’t lose an entire post to the vagaries of the online editor in WordPress. And it’s free!
It supports the blog theme, categories, tags, media uploads, and just about everything I use on a regular basis. It’s way better than the clunky blog publishing feature in Microsoft Word, and it doesn’t have all that extra word processing/desktop publishing stuff that Word has. It just has tools specifically relevant to writing and editing blog posts, plus comment moderating and administrative tools. And in addition to the WYSIWYG editor, it has an HTML editor and a preview screen built in. Apparently, there are also a number of plug-ins available for it that I’m now keen to investigate.
I’m not usually a big rah-rah guy for Microsoft software, but this Writer application really works.
I re-wrote the previous post in Writer, saved a local copy of it, then hit Publish, and it all worked as smooth as a baby’s behind. I heartily recommend Writer. it’s a pretty neat little application.
Now, I can go to bed.
And, yes, I wrote this post in Writer, too.
About once a year, I like to shake things up a bit, visually. The nice thing about WordPress is that such shake-ups to the template are relatively easy to do. Last year’s version began to strike me as too dark and outdated. So, I decided it was time for a change.
The theme this year is the Constitution, with the Preamble as the blog header photo. For colors, everything went completely grayscale and much lighter, except for the post titles and the drop caps, which now are a brighter blue and red, respectively. Site navigation was moved from the header to the top of the sidebar, which has not only switched sides, but has gotten a bit narrower, giving us some extra room in the content column.
Fonts are essentially the same, with Georgia as the header font and Verdana as the body font. With the wider content pane, I expanded the horizontal spacing of the body font making it a bit easier to read, without actually changing the font size. If you, as one commenter noted in a previous post, think it’s too akin to reading a children’s book, well, sorry. I think it makes the body text far more readable for a larger number of people.
If you really hate it, then just wait a while. It’ll change again.
No, I’m not ready to crown Barack Obama the Worst President Ever just yet, but consider this:
Yes, George W. Bush wrecked our economy, destroyed New Orleans, turned a budget surplus into massive deficits, ignored warnings of a major terrorist attack and used that mistake to lead us into two disastrous military quagmires…
But he also pushed relentlessly for conservative policies and delivered for his base with war, deregulation, tax cuts, environmental rollbacks, and an army of right-wing ideologues embedded in the federal government and judiciary. He failed to privatize Social Security, but not for lack of trying.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, inherited a mess rather than creating one. But not only has he failed to create jobs or restart the economy, he has paid only lip service to progressive policies and betrayed his base at almost every turn.
Hmmm … so what should he have done, Eli? I mean I’m with you on the “failed to create jobs or restart the economy”. No rocket scientist needed to figure that out. But obviously, unlike W, who took every supposed opportunity to give his base those things they love – like wars (how’s it going in Libya these days, sport?) – your Prez isn’t giving you guys what you want?
Appreciate the fact you actually seem to believe the right loves wrecked economies (because you know, that’s super pro-business) and terrorist attacks (because he ignored intel? Guess Obama is the only one who inherits messes, huh?), but what should your man be doing?
Instead of using the financial crisis or the current debt hysteria to push through a progressive agenda like Bush used 9/11 to push through a conservative one, he’s using them as an excuse to capitulate to Republican budget chickenhawks, and even to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Ah, he’s violating the “never let a good crisis go to waste” maxim, eh? Good lord, yes, we should have spent gobs more money on, well, only Sheriff Joe knows, and he should have insisted on the public option, no wait, single payer, and on “teh ghey” issue, well he’s just been horrible. Right?
And he had that pure liberal Democratic Congress for how long? Yeah, 2 years, and what came out of there? *Sigh*. What’s a liberal to do.
So which is worse? The president who serves his base and sets the country on fire, or the president who stiffs his base and fights fire with gasoline?
Mmmm … I’ll have to think about that a second. Nope, don’t need too – the last guy. It explains why “Miss me yet?” t-shirt sales are booming.
John Cole, however, is having a cow stating sarcastically:
Any good liberal in the year 2011 would be confused when choosing between Obama and Bush for the title of “Worst President Ever.”
He seems to think FDL is effin’ “clinical”.
It’s tough when the blinders finally come off, isn’t it? Unsurprisingly, they’re still firmly in place at Balloon Juice.
BTW, read the comments at FDL – they’re equally as entertaining as the article.
OK, I’m sitting in the bloggers lounge at RightOnLine in the Twin Cities. If the name tags waiting to be picked up are any indication, it is going to be very well attended. It’ll be interesting to see how different this is from CPAC.
I may attend some of the breakout sessions just to get a feel for what is being pushed by Republicans. Hopefully I’m going to hear a lot about fiscal issues, budget, debt, deficit and spending cuts.
Michele Bachman, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain will be speaking here. I’m going to try to live blog their speeches. I’m also trying an experiment with the iPad, using it as my primary means of blogging (a little downsizing).
So … let the games begin.