Monday, August 31, 2009
Just wanted to let anyone who passes by here know that my new blog is Lilac Rose v2.0. As explained on the new blog, the focus will be on fun, more positive things (i.e. no politics).
However, if you want to continue to see my political opinions with no holds barred, check out my Tumblr blog, Peace, Love, Flowers, Bullets.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:55 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
All Things Must Come to an End
This blog has been on indefinite hiatus for about six months now. I think I will make it official and close LilacRose because I think it has run its course.
However, I am not going away...no you're stuck with me. You can find me on Twitter as LilacSusan. Some days I "tweet" a lot, other days I'm quiet. But that's where you will find me.
I'm not going to rule out starting another blog in the future. If I do, I may call it something else or I may just call it LilacRose 2.0. If I do blog again, I will probably do a fresh design or an update of a previous design. And I think I will use another platform. Movable Type seems too cumbersome anymore. It may be just this blog because it has many years of entries. But posting to and maintaining this blog has become too sluggish and a pain in the butt.
I will leave the archives up indefinitely and I may even open them up to search engines again. The comments are closed, so I don't have to worry about trolls and spammers anymore. If I start another blog, I'll post a link here, of course. Until then, you can find me on Twitter or in the comments on other blogs. I also have a neglected Live 365 station you can listen to and a neglected Tumblr as well. You can find the links on the sidebar.
In addition to Twitter, I will be lurking around The People's Cube. Unfortunately, it's banned at work, but I do like to lurk around there when home. It's a perfect satire site for Obama's America. Also, I would like to add that Little Green Footballs sucks. Any site that bans a long-time, mostly lurking member simply because she down-dings a post is a petty little cult.
That is all for now. I'll see you when I see you...
Posted by Susan B. at 11:40 AM
| Comments (4)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Goodbye for Now
I'm sorry for this blog pretty much coming to a standstill. I just have no inspiration or will to post. Whenever I have the slightest inspiration to post something, it evaporates almost immediately.
Without going into details, I'll just say that life pretty much sucks on toes at the moment. Please pray for me and my family. Oh, and if you're an atheist dying to tell me that prayers are in vain and that I'm dumb and superstitious, please just shut up. I'm absolutely in no mood for your condescending crap.
I may as well make it official and go on indefinite hiatus with this blog. I will post an update once in a while on how I'm doing. Other than that, I don't know. I may post interesting stuff again if my inspiration comes back. We'll see.
Until then, I'm always updating my Furl archive (which is also visible on the sidebar) with interesting articles (and maybe a snarky comment if I feel like it). If I find an amusing link or video or something, I'll post it on my tumblelog Peace, Love, Flowers, Bullets. I still hope to get more music on my radio station soon. (Enjoy the radio blog as well!) And I may drop by and comment at other blogs. So I'll be around in some capacity.
So, I'll see you when I see you...
Posted by Susan B. at 10:20 AM
| Comments (4)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Bad Internet Connection
I'm having a lot of problems with my home internet connection right now, so the blogging and other things I want to do will have to wait until the problems are resolved. I have tried everything I can do to try and fix the problem (like checking the connection and resetting the cable modem), but it will not clear up. The connection is really, really slow and unstable. And the problem is getting worse and worse. So I will have to have the cable people look at it.
Posted by Susan B. at 3:23 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Update Complete - Problems Remain
I have completed the update to Movable Type 4.1, but I'm having some problems. Comment pop-up boxes no longer work. (The trackback pop-up is still working, though.) You can still comment by going to the individual entry and using the comment form there.
Also, I had to take down my blogroll because the MT-Blogroll plugin I was using is not compatible with MT 4.1. I will either have to go back to using Blogrolling.com or I will have to hard code the blogroll into the template.
I will work with the pop-up boxes and blogroll tomorrow...it's late and I'm too tired to figure it out tonight.
The new version of MT is really, really different. I'm still trying to learn my way around it. I can see that I'm going to need to update my templates and web design to use the features offered by MT. I will probably do this in the next couple of months. I may end up redesigning some of the skins and getting rid of others. A lot of that stuff is outdated now.
If you're inclined, please post a comment so that at least I know this thing is working somewhat.
Update (10:50pm): I had to get rid of the pop-up boxes altogether, so now the comment and trackback links will take you to those respective areas in the individual entry. I still need to work on the blogroll.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:45 AM
| Comments (6)
Monday, March 24, 2008
Closed for Renovations
Over the next couple of days or so, I will be upgrading to Movable Type 4.1. The install guide recommends doing a fresh install rather than installing the upgrade over the previous version. So, I will be backing things up and making sure everything is in order before upgrading. Then I will have to make sure everything still works after the upgrade. Comments and trackbacks are closed and there will be no more posts until the upgrade is complete. Wish me luck!
Posted by Susan B. at 10:50 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I'll Be Back Eventually
But for right now, I might as well make it official and say that I'm going to continue to be on hiatus for the time being.
A bit of an update...my PC is still in the shop. I won't go into the whole long story, but the problem is that the company that made the old motherboard no longer makes that model, so it has to be replaced with something comparable. Also the shop is very short handed at this time. I understand...they do good work and I have bought my past two computers from them, so I am patient with them. God willing, I should get my PC back within the next week.
You know how they say that depression is anger without enthusiasm? Well, it's true. I've been trying to cut down on my blog reading because all I do is get angry at all the stupidity, insanity and evil there is. I want to rant and rant, but I don't have the strength to for some reason. This site used to be my little soapbox, but I just can't seem to find the enthusiasm for expressing what I hold inside anymore. There is no more catharsis. All that I want to express just slips through my fingers. I post comments on other blogs occasionally, but that seems to be about all I can do right now.
So, until I can get over this...whatever it is...dullness, dryness, malaise...
Posted by Susan B. at 12:20 PM
Monday, July 9, 2007
Yuck! I just deleted a whole bunch of disgusting pr0n spam that slipped right through the spam filter and posted on my blog last night. If the flood continues, I may have to put all comments on moderate for the time being.
Update: The flood continues...this is like having a backflow of sewage in your house. All comments will have to be approved before they appear on the blog for the time being...sorry about that!
Update (7/10/07): I installed MT-Akismet last night and it seems to be working, so I'm turning comment moderation off.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:40 AM
Saturday, June 30, 2007
I just found out my site email address is not working. I don't know why or how long it's been not working. My apologies to anyone who has tried to send me email. If you need to email me, please use this Gmail address for the time being:
Update (6:30pm): The problem with my site email has been resolved and it should be working again. To make a long story short, it was all my fault -- I was supposed to change a setting or else create a forward on my email because my host was turning the "catch-all" feature off by default. They sent an email about this, but I just plain forgot. Oops! **blush** So I created a forward so that susan -at- lilacrose-dot-nu would work again. I'm very sorry about this...my sincere apologies to anyone whose email bounced because of my lack of attention.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:25 PM
Monday, June 11, 2007
Notice on Comments
I want to apologize in advance if anyone posts a comment that does not show up right away. Two times within about a week, the spam plugin on MT -- SpamLookup -- put legitimate comments in the junk folder. Fortunately, I caught both comments before they were deleted -- I try to check the junk folder at least once a day. I don't know why this is suddenly happening. I upgraded to the latest MT a couple of weeks ago...don't know if that has anything to with it.
Meanwhile, posting will probably be light. Insomnia and depression are kicking my butt right now. And this is the worst time for it, too. (Is there ever a good time, though?)
Posted by Susan B. at 7:15 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
After over five years of using Sitemeter, I've decided to switch my counter to StatCounter. I had both running yesterday to see if I liked StatCounter enough to change. I do like it quite a lot, so I dropped Sitemeter from my main and archive pages. (My old style archives -- the ones that use the entry number rather than the title as the URL -- will stay under Sitemeter. Those are no longer accessed by the MovableType software and I just keep them around so that old links and trackbacks will work. I'm not about to go into all of those manually and change them to the new counter.)
The main reason I switched is concerns over spyware and adware cookies that Sitemeter uses. In fact, my workplace has banned Sitemeter for months because of this.
Also, I just plain like StatCounter better. The thing I like best is that you can create as many counters (or "projects") as you need under one login. You don't have to have a separate login and password for each counter. I will be switching my radio site and faith journal over from Extreme Tracking to StatCounter as well.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:35 AM
| Comments (3)
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I just realized that today is my fifth blogiversary. So, let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads, links to and comments on my little soapbox on the web. :-)
Posted by Susan B. at 3:25 PM
| Comments (6)
Saturday, November 25, 2006
RSS Feeds Apparently Hosed on Bloglines
I subscribe to one of my own RSS feeds on Bloglines to make sure things are working okay. The past few days, all of my feeds have been not been updating on Bloglines and are giving me an error. When I bring them up in the browser, they look and work fine. I haven't changed anything, so the problem must be with Bloglines. I've seen this happen with other blogs before and I don't know what causes it. If anyone is having trouble with any other readers, please let me know.
Update (11/28/06): Looks like the problem worked itself out.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:52 AM
| Comments (2)
Monday, October 16, 2006
Blogroll Changes in Progress
I'm currently in the midst of making significant changes to the blogroll. I'm getting rid of defunct blogs, blogs I don't read and blogs I just can't stand anymore. There are a few blogs I added because the blogger asked for a link. I don't link bloggers because they request it anymore, so if the blog doesn't interest me, it's gone. Also, I'm adding a few new blogs. Some of the blogs/bloggers who I can no longer stand are being replaced by a blog or two that's diametrically opposed to them. These bloggers probably won't even notice and it doesn't matter if they do or not. I know about it, which is all that matters.
Anyway, it's a work in progress. I'm not going to have any more than 50 blogs in the roll and I will try to make it shorter than that if I can.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:23 AM
| Comments (10)
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Better Site Performance (I Hope)
Last night, I completely deleted MT-Blacklist, including its tables in my database which were taking up a very significant amount of space. I kept MT-Blacklist around because it was so easy to blacklist a URL or keyword with just a few clicks. But then those few clicks started taking forever. SpamLookup, which comes with MT, should be sufficient. If I end up needing to block a certain keyword, I can add it to the keyword filter. I close comments and trackbacks on posts after about two or three weeks anyway, so I never get overwhelmed by spam. Most of the time it ends up in the junk folders anyway.
The site seems to be running faster now, so I'm hoping this problem is fixed.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:30 AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
I have a question...
...for anyone who visits this site regularly:
Have you had trouble viewing the site or commenting lately?
I ask because I have had a lot of problems posting things lately. Movable Type has gotten so slow that it's ridiculous. Posting anything or doing routine maintenance is a chore.
I don't know if the problem is with MT, my host (which switched platforms a few months ago) or if the MySQL database MT uses has just gotten too big. I still use MT-Blacklist even though it is now obsolete because it provides extra protection against spam. But now I wonder if MT-Blacklist is the problem.
I need to upgrade MT to the latest version, but I've been putting it off. I may upgrade soon and remove MT-Blacklist and see if the situation improves. If it doesn't, I will have to explore other options.
If anyone out there has any suggestions or comments about this problem, I'd love to read them. If commenting doesn't work, try sending me email.
Update: I turned off MT-Blacklist and upgraded to MT 3.33. I'm hoping this will alleviate the problems I've been having.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:40 AM
| Comments (6)
Saturday, September 9, 2006
2,996 Tribute Preparation
I am currently working on my tribute for the 2,996 Project. It should be posted by tomorrow afternoon. When I post it, it will be the only post visible on the front page of this blog. Also, I will turn off comments on all posts except for the tribute. I want the entire focus of this blog to be on the tribute. After a couple of days, I will turn comments back on again for the other posts and go back to allowing the latest 15 posts on the front page.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:00 PM
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
I'm putting this blog down for a nap for a while. I've been tired and depressed lately and it seems like I can never get anything done but yet I never get any rest either. I want to concentrate more on my diet, my soapmaking hobby and on getting some things cleaned up and organized. I've made half-hearted attempts at going through old papers and organizing them in the past few months, but that just allows me to procrastinate a little more. I need to put forth a major effort.
I'll be around to post some light and fun stuff occasionally. I will also post my 9/11 tribute for the 2,996 Project when the time comes. I won't be doing as much reading and commenting either, but I may pop up once in a while. I'll be back when I'm less tired, less depressed and less harried. Until then...
Posted by Susan B. at 2:20 PM
| Comments (13)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
If you noticed that my site was down late last night and early this morning, it was a problem my host was having. The problem caused me to lose a little sleep, which I vented about in their support forum. I'm very glad that my host was able to fix the issue by the morning, so I have to give them credit for that.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:27 PM
Monday, June 26, 2006
A Word about Comment & Trackback Spam
I have very strong anti-spam protection on this blog, so that virtually no automated spam or spam with certain keywords makes it on to my site. The spam that isn't blocked completely goes to a junk folder. Since I have both MT-Blacklist and SpamLookup installed, I blacklist any spam URLs from comments and trackbacks that go into my junk folder. Some comments, legitimate or not, will go into the moderation queue if there are too many links or if it is attempted on a post more than three weeks old. (I usually close comments and trackbacks on posts after three weeks, but sometimes I forget temporarily.)
Lately, I've been getting comment spam that is obviously entered by hand. The content of the comments at least have something to do with the content of the post, although rather superficially. Then there is a URL that either goes to a spammy site or to an obviously fake blog. Fake blogs supposedly deal with a certain subject, but the content is vapid and generic. The blog only exists as a repository for various ads that relate to the subject of the fake blog.
I have been dealing with these comments by simply leaving them intact and deleting the URL. But I think this is too generous. From now on, I'm deleting these comments and blacklisting the URLs. So if you are a spammer who is spamming this blog by hand so that you can leave links to fake blogs and other spammy sites, don't bother. It will get deleted and the URL will be added to my blacklist.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:50 AM
Saturday, June 10, 2006
My host has migrated my site to another hosting platform. There are some technical issues I will need to look into. I had to change the site path so that I could publish this entry and now the stylesheets are no longer working. If you notice any other issues, leave a comment here or email me (susan[at]lilacrose[dot]nu). I don't know when I'll get around to looking at the issues because I'm pretty busy today. (I'm expecting the carpet cleaners to be here in a couple of hours.) I'll get around to it when I can.
Update (11:45pm): I think everything is fixed now.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:20 AM
| Comments (4)
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Latest Furl Entries on Sidebar
Furl is a very handy web tool that allows you to keep an archive of interesting articles and links that you find on the web. In most cases, it will also save a copy of the article so that if the link no longer works, you still have the article. You can mark entries as public, so that anyone who views your personal archive can see them, or you can mark them as private, so that only you can see them. Also, people can subscribe to the RSS feed of your public archives.
Furl allows you to display the latest Furled items in your public archive on your website. I have added this to my sidebar under "Recent Furl Entries". I'll be adding the link to the RSS feed shortly.
Speaking of neat tools, I am publishing this entry using the Performancing plugin for Firefox. I found out about it when Andrea mentioned it a few days ago.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:48 PM
| Comments (4)
Friday, May 5, 2006
I've been blogging for four years today. I can't believe I'm still doing this, but while I may not be a prolific poster, I still like to have this little soapbox around when I need it.
One good thing that's come out of blogging is that I'm not as shy* as I used to be (at least not on the Internet -- in real life I can still be shy in certain situations). I've also grown a thick hide over the years -- I'm not as sensitive as I used to be. Of course, that may not be all good. But one good thing about it is that it's harder for people to hurt my feelings. When I was younger, if someone was nasty to me, I would cry. Now I get mad and fight back. I'm also more likely to speak up if someone says something that I strongly disagree with. I used to suppress that urge and wear a tight, nervous smile while seething inside. Now, I'm more likely to speak up (in a polite way, of course).
The most important thing to come from blogging is all the great people I've met while doing this. (Excluding the trolls, of course.) I want to thank all of you who have linked me, who read this stuff and who comment here. I really do appreciate you. :-)
*I'm still as introverted as ever, which is a good thing. Shyness is not the same as being introverted...a lot of people mistakenly think they are.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:00 AM
| Comments (8)
Friday, January 13, 2006
I'm sure you could see this coming, but I might as well make it official. I'm going to take an extended break from this blog. There are a lot of things I need to do, plus I just don't feel like writing much anymore. The only things that seem to inspire me to write is when I want to grump about something, and I just don't like that about myself. I'm tired of politics. I'm even tired of theological debate, which is probably evidence that I'm struggling with my faith right now.
This blog won't go completely silent. I'll post pictures of pets and stuff, and I'll give updates on my soap and bubble bath making adventures. Those things probably don't interest anyone but me, but it is my blog after all. :-) Also, if I make some headway on the weight-loss struggles, I'll post about that, too. Oh, and I will add some songs to the radio blog on the sidebar from time to time. (There's nothing there right now, but I'll add some later.)
I never did get around to the Narnia review or the Seven Things (I'm sorry Bill). A few people around blogdom were underwhelmed by the Narnia movie, but I thought it was excellent. Maybe I'm just easily pleased or maybe I just didn't have unrealistic expectations. I would like to do the Seven Things meme sometime...maybe I will when I get some time and I'm in the right mood.
I'll still be reading a few blogs and I'll comment sometimes. So I'll be around. I just won't be writing or ranting much.
Finally, I want to thank everybody who actually reads this thing and comments here. I really appreciate you. And remember, I'm not going away...I'm just withdrawing for a little while.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:12 AM
| Comments (6)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I revamped last year's Christmas layout and I set it as the default skin for the Christmas season. I have two Christmas layouts that you can set using the drop-down menu on the sidebar or by going to page 2 of the skins gallery. Or, you can click the handy links below:
Christmas 2003 Layout
Christmas 2005 Layout
Posted by Susan B. at 9:33 PM
| Comments (5)
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Pardon the silence...
I just haven't felt like saying much lately. Work is busy right now, and when I get home, I just want to relax my mind. Also, I've got some around-the-house things that have been piling up and I need to quit procrastinating and get them done. So, I'm taking a break for a few days. But I'll be back...
Posted by Susan B. at 8:00 PM
Monday, September 26, 2005
Exhausted - On Hiatus
I'm mentally and physically exhausted, so I'm going on a real hiatus for at least a few days. I have also turned off comments and trackbacks for now. I will turn them back on again when I'm feeling better.
In the meantime, I have 100 Gmail invites available. I've been meaning to mention it, but I keep forgetting. Gmail is a very nice web-based mail system by Google. They give you 2 GB of storage for email messages. I don't use it for all my email, but I do find it handy for certain purposes. If you would like to grab a Gmail account (which are by invitation only) just email me at my Gmail address:
It will only take a second for me to send the invite, but I may not get around to it until later in the evenings, so be patient.
Also, until I'm back, go play with the moonbat. Tell him you hate him and he smells bad and see what he says.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:20 AM
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Offline Temporarily - Comments and Trackbacks Are Off
The painter is coming tomorrow, so I have to unplug my PC and other equipment and move my computer desk out of his way. Also, I will be in training for work tomorrow (and the next few days as well). While I can get online in the classroom, I usually don't have much time during breaks to do much. So, I'm turning off comments and trackbacks until I get everything situated again, which will probably be tomorrow evening. Just an FYI...
Update (9/19/05): I'm back and comments and trackbacks are on again. I may even get around to posting some actual content in the next couple of days...
Posted by Susan B. at 8:15 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
In case you were wondering...
...why you couldn't access this site for a few hours yesterday, this is why. My web host is based in Los Angeles, CA and was affected by the power outage.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:05 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Trackback Auto-Discovery: I Give Up!
I'm turning off trackback auto-discovery for my site. It keeps pinging the wrong posts on other people's sites even though I'm linking to the correct ones. I'm sure this is really irritating to those I'm linking to -- my apologies. From now on, I'll just have to remember to input the trackbacks manually.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:04 PM
Friday, September 2, 2005
Site Skins -- Technical Difficulties
I have noticed that the skin selection for this site doesn't work anymore. I think it has something to do with the recent upgrade to MT 3.2, because as far as I know, it worked fine before that. I'm sorry about this...I will try to figure out what's causing the problem when I have some time. If anyone has any ideas why this is happening, feel free to let me know in the comments.
Update (9/3/05): Looks like it's fixed now. For some reason, some of the coding (which came from here) used in setting the skin choice cookie stopped working. As I said previously, it seemed to stop working after installing MT 3.2. Anyway, I tweaked the coding and the cookie seems to be working properly now.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:10 PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
New Trackback Policy
I was mistaken in this post when I said that disabling trackbacks for an individual post is a new feature. What can I say? It was late and I forgot that that feature was there all along. I will say that it's more noticeable now on the entry page. And it gave me an idea...
I decided that I will disable the trackbacks on posts if there are no trackbacks after three weeks. I already close or turn the comments off on posts after three weeks. If a post already has trackbacks, they will stay enabled, because otherwise they will not display. I think this will cut down on some of the trackback spam attempts. Even though MT-Blacklist and SpamLookup keeps them from getting through, it still puts a load on the database.
Now, I wasn't about to go back through three years worth of posts and disable trackbacks on them one by one. So I modified the databases with SQL commands using the phpMyAdmin interface my host provides*. First, I made sure MySQL supported nested queries, because I remember that a long time ago it didn't. It does now.
Then, after making sure my logic was correct using SELECT queries, I used two UPDATE commands (since I had to make changes to two different tables) to find all the entries with no trackbacks and disable trackbacks on them. I went into MT and did a rebuild and everything worked great.
*I DO NOT recommend messing with the MT databases unless you know exactly what you're doing. Since I work with SQL databases for a living, I do know what I'm doing. Still, I was very careful before proceeding.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Upgrading to MT 3.2
I'm going to attempt to upgrade to the latest version of Movable Type. I hope I don't regret this...
Update: Everything went very smoothly. Before upgrading, I removed the SpamLookup plugin, since it is built into MT 3.2. I also applied this patch to MT-Blacklist to prevent possible problems.
The new version of MT has trackback moderation. This will really help with the occasional problems I've had with SpamLookup blocking legitimate trackbacks. Instead of being blocked, trackbacks that are suspect for some reason can go into a moderation queue. Also, now you can turn trackbacks off on individual posts just like you can comments. That will come in handy!
Posted by Susan B. at 8:55 PM
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
I feel that it's time for me to take a bit of a break from blogging for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I may post some frivolous, fun items here sometimes, so I won't be totally silent. It's just that I've got so many things to do, and I need to quit procrastinating and do them.
For instance, I need to finish a few repairs to my house left over from Hurricane Ivan. Mainly, I need to get my living room, dining room and kitchen repainted, since there are still water spots on the walls and ceilings from the roof leaks. I want to get some other rooms repainted as well. I also need to make sure there's no mold growing in my attic. I don't think there is, but I want to make sure, since I also had some leaking around the fireplace chimney that I recently had fixed. Fortunately, I've still got a little of that insurance money left, plus a home equity line.
I'm going to see about getting some hurricane shutters for my house, although even if I decide to get them, they won't be able to install them until December. I know it's going to be obscenely expensive, but that's what home equity lines are for.
I need to get my car fixed. It has been running hot and has started leaking antifreeze more and more.
I need to finish up work on some websites for my sister -- one professional and one personal.
I also need to clean up the dumping ground for miscellaneous stuff that I call a closet. The same goes for a spare bedroom that is supposed to be a study.
And I've got a bunch of books that I want to read. I may post my thoughts on them if the mood strikes me.
I want to get started again on this project on my faith journal.
So, check back once in a while for an occasional frivolous post or a post about whatever book I'm reading. Other than that, I'm on semi-hiatus for the time being.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:25 AM
| Comments (6)
Monday, July 25, 2005
A reminder about comments...
For your edification, you can read my comments policy here, here and here.
I bring this up because of the presence of a rude troll in this post. (Of all the posts that have open comments right now, this is the last post that I would have thought would attract even the most whacked-out, moonbattiest trolls. Go figure.)
I didn't remove his first comment, even though it was rude, because I thought it deserved a response because of some very unfair charges he made against me. Then he continued to be arrogant and rude in the second comment. I made one final response to him and banned both of the IPs he has used.
I will not tolerate people coming to my site and being rude and abusive to me. I also will not put up with people being rude and abusive to other commenters. (I may make an exception if the recipient of the rudeness is a troll.) If I decide to remove a comment, I will remove any responses to that comment as well to prevent confusion.
It's incidents like this that push me closer to having moderated comments (where the comments don't show up unless I approve them) or commenting by registration only.
I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. Disagree with me all you want -- just don't be a jerk about it and mind your manners. Disagreeing with me does not make you a troll. Being a rude butthead is what makes you a troll.
Posted by Susan B. at 7:37 PM
Thursday, June 2, 2005
No, not really. But I am changing the focus of this blog a bit. I find that I really am not interested in blogging about politics anymore (or at least not national politics). Maybe it will interest me again in the future, but for right now, it just doesn't. I will continue to post on dealing with the Islamist threat and terrorism, but I consider those topics to be beyond mere politics.
I will continue to blog about social and cultural issues -- from a conservative perspective, of course. I will also try to blog more about religion and my faith -- from an orthodox Christian perspective. (More personal musings on faith and Scripture can be found on my faith journal, An Appeal to Heaven.)
I want to focus more on local things -- things that happen in the area where I live. My previous post is an example of this kind of focus. This includes posting about how the BRAC will affect this town (and perhaps me personally). However, I feel I must be very careful when posting about the BRAC. After all, I'm hardly unbiased and I don't want to get myself in trouble.
I would also love to post more fun things. For example, I'd like to blog about music once in a while. However, I may save the music posts for my Live 365 radio station blog/website.
I have also made a rather superficial change -- if you will notice, I now sign off as "Susan B." instead of "susan b." For years, I've used the all lowercase affectation. I don't really know why I started doing it, except to be different, I guess. I just thought it looked better. But now, for some reason, I've decided that "Susan B." looks better.
I don't know...there seems to be a lot of blogger frustration lately. I've been having a lot of the same doubts as well. I guess this shift in focus is a way of dealing with it.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:15 PM
| Comments (5)
Friday, May 20, 2005
I just wanted to apologize in advance should anyone try to ping one of my posts and have the ping refused. This happened to a legitimate ping the other day. The SpamLookup plugin is excellent and highly recommended, but it apparently works too well sometimes. It would be nice if I could exempt some IPs from the IP filtering, but the plugin doesn't have that capability now, although it will in the future.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:05 AM
Monday, May 9, 2005
Individual entries are finally presentable...
I finally got the individual entry pages changed to a new, nicer format. I thought I was going to have to resort to using tables to get the names and Gravatars lined up with the comments properly, but I eventually found a way to get the CSS working like I wanted. I also now have the trackbacks and comments in the same box with the actual post, which looks a lot better, I think.
BTW, I had not noticed until I was working on this project that all the CSS formatting for trackbacks was being completely ignored. I had no idea what was causing the problem, and I knew that the formatting used to work. I found out by searching around in the MT forum how to fix this little bug. In your templates, make your MTPings tag look like this:
...And your code will work again.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:25 PM
Thursday, May 5, 2005
At least one reader that I know of has had problems commenting here lately. It may be just my webhost having problems...I had some trouble getting into Movable Type at one point yesterday. If anyone else has problems commenting, please let me know. Thanks!
Posted by Susan B. at 10:11 PM
When I first started this blog, I thought that I must be crazy to try something like this. For many years -- long before I started this site -- I had participated in a number of conservative forums and music-related email lists. I mostly lurked, but then I would get up the courage to chime in sometimes. I got over my shyness enough to be a regular poster and moderator at a couple of those conservative forums.
But I was still pretty intimidated about having my own blog and it took me a while to get comfortable with it. I'm still not completely comfortable with it and I still wonder if I'm crazy to do this, but here I am anyway. At least I can write better (and think a little faster) than I used to three years ago. And I've learned a whole bunch about HTML, CSS and web design.
Anyway, for those who read, link and comment here, thank you...I really appreciate you. :-)
Posted by Susan B. at 12:00 AM
| Comments (4)
Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Blog Changes and My Other Blogs
Yesterday evening, I changed my archive links and permalinks to the "new style" that is available with 3.x Movable Type. I still have files for the old permalinks so that previous incoming links and trackbacks won't return a 404. Those files will only show the default layout and there are no Gravatars on the comments (which are closed, of course). Here's the difference:
I'm still working on getting the Gravatars formatted the way I want them in the individual entries. I want to make sure it's right before I implement it because I will have to make a lot of changes to the template and stylesheets.
Also, I would like to introduce you to my two other blogs. They've been around a while, and I linked them on my sidebar a few days ago.
The first one is An Appeal to Heaven. This is my faith journal. My intention for this blog was for me to post more personal thoughts about my faith. I have not posted much there, but I have just begun a series of posts that is explained here. I'm going to put that free ESV Bible I scored to good use when I receive it.
I also have this blog -- LilacRose Radio -- that is sort of a home page for my Live 365 radio station. There's not much there right now, but the sidebar shows what's currently playing and what recently played. I planned on linking to albums with songs featured on the station and saying a little bit about them. I'm not good at doing music review stuff, so it wouldn't be anything very lengthy. I still need to get around to that. However, there are lots of new songs on the station now. I can add a few more, which I will get around to. BTW, if you like my radio station, please rate it...I need more ratings!
Posted by Susan B. at 9:45 AM
| Comments (1)
Friday, April 15, 2005
I'm going to take a break from blogging for about two or three weeks. I'll be doing some technical things in the background. I may even add a new skin that I was working on a few months ago that I never finished. And I may occasionally drop by and comment on a few blogs. But I won't be posting here. I'll be back, though. Until then, you can check out the blogroll (I'm going to add just a few more blogs to it when I get a chance), my Furl archive and the radio blog. Also, check out my poor, neglected Live 365 station -- I'm determined to add more songs to it in the next few days.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:23 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Spam, spam, spam, spam...
The past couple of days, I've been inundated with trackback spam attempts. MT-Blacklist has been blocking most of them (and there have been thousands), but yesterday, about 10 or 15 would slip through every couple of hours. I would add the URL to the blacklist and then they would be back with another URL. So in addition to MT-Blacklist, I have installed Brad Choate's new MT plugin SpamLookup, which is spoken very highly of by Jay Allen (the developer of MT-Blacklist). So far, it has been working wonderfully, and I haven't had any trackback spam slip through even though the spammers have tried numerous new URLs. If you are an MT user, I highly recommend SpamLookup. It only works with MT 3.1 or higher, but with the increasing spam problem, you really ought to upgrade anyway. (The latest MT can still be downloaded for free...you just can't have more than one author and more than three weblogs.)
Posted by Susan B. at 9:05 AM
Monday, April 4, 2005
I've always thought avatars like those used in message forums were pretty cool. Now weblog commenters can have avatars too -- by signing up at Gravatar. After seeing other blogs with gravatars, I decided to enable them on mine. Here's my gravatar -- it's a Harrison Fisher illustration:
I have the small size (40x40) enabled in the comments box and the full size (80x80) enabled in the individual entries. I'm going to change the comments section of the individual entries so that the format resembles a message board thread.
Additional Note: Right now, I have things set up so that only G-rated gravatars are allowed. If that turns out to be too restrictive, I may allow PG-rated gravatars as well.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
The site seems to be acting weird this morning. It may be an issue with my host. So if you have trouble bringing it up, that's why.
Posted by Susan B. at 7:53 AM
Monday, March 14, 2005
Blogroll Temporarily Removed
Posted by Susan B. at 10:00 PM
Thursday, February 3, 2005
New Default Skin!
I have created a new default skin for this site and have switched over to it. It has a lilac/lavender color scheme and features a photo I took of one of my own roses last spring. It's the same rose featured in the photo in this post, but from a different shot. While it was a more up-close photo of the rose, I didn't consider it to be a good shot because it was off-center and the very top of the rose was cut off. However, it was perfect for me to use to make a new layout for my site.
The new skin is called "LilacRose Default" and is on the dropdown list on the sidebar. It is also the very first entry in the gallery. Or, you can switch to it by just clicking here.
If you prefer the old default layout, it is still available in the gallery. It's just no longer the default.
Update (2/7/05): I just discovered today that the link to change to the new skin was messed up on the gallery page. Sorry about that...it's fixed now. Another problem...I noticed that when using the new skin, the gallery pages are sometimes "cut off" at the bottom when using Mozilla Firefox. When I attempted to fix this, the skin ended up not working properly in IE. So, if the gallery page doesn't display correctly, just do a refresh and it should load correctly. I'll have to try and figure out some sort of fix.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:08 PM
Friday, January 28, 2005
Skin Changes -- Current and Future
I have replaced the "Low Bandwidth" skin with one called "No Frills". The new skin uses no graphics, has no sidebar and only has blog content. On the main page, there are links to the archive page and the skins gallery at the top, but that's all. I figured this would be good for those who want something that loads fast and don't care about all the extra stuff. The original "Low Bandwidth" was supposed to be a simple, basic layout, but I felt that it didn't go far enough because of laziness on my part. (The way I had the templates set up, I had to use an image on the comments pop-up and for the post separator. I have now changed things so that this is no longer the case.) Anyway, "No Frills" is on the dropdown list on the sidebar and is in the gallery.
I'm also working on a couple of new skins. One is going to become the new default layout. Don't worry -- the lilac Gibson Girls layout isn't going anywhere. It will still be available...it will just no longer be the default.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:30 PM
| Comments (2)
Sunday, November 28, 2004
New Christmas Skin
I have created a new Christmas skin for this year and it will be the default skin for this site until after Christmas. It is in the drop-down list on the sidebar as "Christmas 2004". I will add it to the gallery shortly. This new skin uses an opacity effect in the content and sidebar areas, but this effect does not work in Internet Explorer. I'll explain why in the next post (since not everyone may be interested in all the technical stuff).
Posted by Susan B. at 12:34 AM
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Ban This Spammer IP!
That IP would be 18.104.22.168. MT-Blacklist has been blocking numerous attempts from this IP for the past couple of days. However, a few spam comments from this same IP were able to sneak through this morning. All comments are emailed to me, and MT-Blacklist provides a handy link you can click in the email messages that will remove the spam, add the URL to the blacklist and report the URL to the MT-Blacklist Clearinghouse. Since the above IP has made so many attempts with so many different URLs, I decided to ban it altogether.
It seems like everybody is getting hit especially hard by comment spam lately. MT-Blacklist v2.01b* is doing a great job keeping it off my site, and what little bit that gets through is easily removed. Another thing that helps is that once a week, I close off comments on posts older than three-weeks old.
*This version is only compatible with MT 3.1 and up. It automatically updates and is integrated into the main MT interface.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:00 PM
| Comments (3)
Monday, November 8, 2004
Site Downtime and Rethinking the Blogroll
The past couple of months, my host has been moving the mySQL databases on their servers to dedicated mySQL servers. Tomorrow evening, my database will be moved. I'm glad about this because I have noticed that MT has been getting slower and slower lately when I do anything that accesses the database. The move will probably cause some downtime. After the move, I will have to make a change to the MT configuration file to get things working again. So if you try to access the site tomorrow evening and have problems, that's why.
Also, I'm thinking about rearranging my blogroll. Here's my problem...I'm tired of trying to keep up the reciprocal roll. I have felt this way for some time now.
Don't get me wrong -- I really appreciate it when people blogroll me, which is why I started a reciprocal roll in the first place. But it has gotten very long and difficult to keep up-to-date. Plus, I feel obligated to read every blog I blogroll and I just can't -- I don't have enough time.
So, I will move the reciprocal roll off the main page to another page and I will stop adding any additional blogs to that roll. I will probably have just one main blogroll. Some of the reciprocal links will be added to that roll (these will most likely be the ones I was linking to anyway before they linked back to me). I will probably get rid of some of the links on the main roll.
A few of the reciprocal links are for those who wrote me and asked to exchange links. Since I will no longer be updating the reciprocal roll, I will no longer exchange links with those who email asking me to do so.
I'm sorry about all this...I hope nobody takes this personally or gets their feelings hurt. If you choose to delink me because of this change, I will understand. I'm just trying to get my links (and reading list) back to a manageable level again.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:45 PM
| Comments (4)
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Changes about squared away...
Sorry for the lack of posts...I just haven't felt up to it lately. Nevertheless, I have been working in the background on the templates and stylesheets for this site so that I can use some of the new MT 3.11 capabilities.
The most obvious change is that you can now use your TypeKey registration to comment if you wish. Now, don't worry -- you can still comment the old way as well. (Although, as always, I require a name and an email address.) I don't see myself setting up comment registration on this site. However, I might set it up for comment moderation in the future.
I may tweak some things here and there, but the changes are done for the most part.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:35 PM
| Comments (4)
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Pardon the mess...
I'm going to be changing around the templates and stylesheets over the next few days. So if you notice things looking different or messed up, that's why. Right now, the comment and trackback boxes aren't skinned, but they will be again eventually.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:51 PM
Friday, September 3, 2004
Upgrade to MT 3.11 Accomplished
Well, this whole experience has been a big pain in the butt. A new version of MT has been released to fix the bugs in 3.1. But for reasons I really don't feel like explaining (see this thread if you want to follow this saga), I'm not quite sure if I'm in the clear or not. I think I am, but who knows.
Whatever the case, I'm just going to continue working on this blog under the assumption that the upgrade has been successful.
Update: Everything is fixed now!
Posted by Susan B. at 10:07 PM
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Upgrade to MT 3.1 Accomplished
This site has been upgraded to the latest version of Movable Type. Everything seems to be working so far, although I ran into this problem while upgrading. I may be tweaking some things over the next few days as I learn more about the new MT.
Update: That little problem turns out to be a bigger deal than I initially thought. I'm going to avoid doing much with this blog until a solution can be found. It's working now, but who knows what might happen if I press my luck. Usually, I wait a bit before major upgrades to allow time for bugs to be worked out. I wish I would have done so this time.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:16 PM
Monday, August 30, 2004
Sorry everyone...I just don't feel like blogging right now. I may be back tomorrow or I may be back in a week or two -- it all depends. I will be doing some work on the site in the meantime. I may upgrade to the new Movable Type when they release it this week. (Yes, I'm going to stick with MT for the time being.) Wish me luck!
Posted by Susan B. at 8:38 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The email address for this site doesn't seem to be working. I'm not receiving mail. So if you send me email and get no acknowledgement, that's why. I'll see if this clears up on its own before taking this up with my host.
Update (8/26/04): The email seems to be working again. I may have lost some messages, though. If you sent me anything yesterday, you may want to resend it.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:13 PM
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Policy on Comments
Because of some recent problems, I thought I should post a policy on comments. I already have a policy on trolls (and a revision here), but I think some further things need to be clarified:
- Any comment that is abusive, profane and insulting to any other commenters or to myself will be deleted. Any comments from anyone else responding to such a comment will also be deleted. This is not because I am lumping you in with the initial comment; I just don't want the exchange to remain in the thread.
- Anyone posting abusive comments to myself and others will most likely be banned. If you are not banned, consider yourself lucky...you will not get another chance if you act up again.
- If you are spamming and trolling my site, you will most likely be banned on the first offense. I will either delete your comment or I will change it in ways that may not be pleasing to you, but will be amusing to me. If you are a spammer, your site will be added to the blacklist.
- Posts with comments will have the comments closed after about three weeks. Because of this policy, I have not had nearly the problems with comment spam that others have had. Besides, if someone is commenting on an old post, chances are that they are either a troll or a spammer.
- Remember, this is my site. This is my territory. I pay for it and I spend time maintaining it. Please show some respect if you are going to comment here.
What I'd really like is comment moderation -- that is, comments must be approved by me before they appear here*. From what I understand, the latest version of MT doesn't have that, although there will probably be a plug-in or something. I don't think I will be upgrading until the general release becomes available. (I don't want to use the Developer's release.)
*Yes, I know WordPress has that capability, but I don't feel like moving my blog to another package right now.
Posted by Susan B. at 4:35 PM
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Back in Brown!
I just had to come back after an increasingly embittered and deranged Al Gore recently labeled folks like me as "digital brownshirts". Well, I don't look good in brown, although I do own a beige shirt. However, in "honor" of Gore's outburst, I've decided to wear a brown shirt:
(Links via Dean's World.)
Posted by Susan B. at 5:45 PM
| Comments (4)
Monday, June 14, 2004
I think it's time for me to take another hiatus. I've got a lot of things weighing on my mind lately that need to be taken care of. Also, my dog (who is twelve years old) has been sick. She's been doing much better the past couple of days, but I'm still concerned about her declining health. I'm feeling rather frazzled lately, which is causing me to be snippy to people online and in the real world. I feel like I'm turning into a jerk (or maybe more of a jerk than usual), and I don't like that about myself. I'm just not thinking very well, lately. I'm having trouble concentrating on things; I'm easily distracted. Again, I think I'm just tired.
So, I'm taking a break from posting here and commenting elsewhere (I'll still answer comments here where appropriate). I'll be doing some blog reading, but not very much. I'll be back in a week or two. In the meantime, check out the many great blogs on my sidebar, listen to the Radio.Blog, or check out my Furl archive.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
New Skin: Lady in Blue
This latest skin is my first 3-column layout. A while back, I had to change some things around in my templates so I could do this. (A completely transparent change -- betcha didn't even notice!) The background texture is from Eos Development. The separator and bullet are from House of Lime. The title font is "Chocolate Box", which can be found at DaFont. The Harrison Fisher illustration in the title comes from a PSP tube I downloaded from somewhere a long time ago. I can't find where I downloaded it from -- it's probably from a site that is no longer in service.
As usual, it's in the drop-down box under "Site Extras". It will be added to the gallery soon.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:10 AM
| Comments (2)
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
I started this blog two years ago today. Its name was originally "Thorns and All" (but not for long). The first blog to blogroll me (at my request) was Martin Roth Online, which once maintained the Christian blog list. (That list would later become the starting point for blogs4God.) As I remember it, the second blog to blogroll me was Midwest Conservative Journal and the third was Joshua Claybourn. If I remember correctly, Joshua was also the first blogger to link to one of my posts. (If I'm wrong about any of this, my apologies!)
I started out using Blogger at this location. At first, I used one of the standard templates with the colors and fonts tweaked. Then a few months later, I learned enough to create my own design, which is still the default for this blog. On December 31, 2002, I switched to Movable Type and moved to the current domain.
This site started as just a little place for me to express myself, learn to write better and learn web design stuff. It still does serve those purposes, and I hope I have improved some over the past two years. I know I still have much to learn. For everyone who has linked me, who reads this site and who has left comments or emailed me (excluding trolls), I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you!
Posted by Susan B. at 12:01 AM
| Comments (14)
Sunday, April 25, 2004
New Skin: Lost My Marbles
The marbles image is from iStockPhoto. This skin uses opacity effects, so while it will render properly in Opera and Safari, the transparent look doesn't work in those browsers. You can select this skin in the drop-down menu on the sidebar. It will be added to the gallery soon.
A brief word about the title: I use Paint Shop Pro 8 to create graphics, and I used one of the PSP scripts found at this site to create the look of the title. Specifically, I used "Clear Text - 2".
Posted by Susan B. at 9:45 PM
Monday, April 5, 2004
More Site Tweaks
First of all, I finally got with it and added permalinks for the comments. See this post on The Girlie Matters to find out how to do this.
The other change is how the separator between posts behaves. It always bothered me to have the separator show up if there was only one post for the day or after the first post of the day. It seemed unnecessarily cluttered. But I didn't know what to do about it and I never had time to try and figure out a solution.
Well, I did a bit of Googling on the subject last night and found a fix that was very simple. So now, separators only appear between posts and don't appear after solitary posts or first posts of the day. Thanks to Brad Choate for coming up with the solution!
And one more thing...on the skins gallery pages, I added a blogroll to the sidebar that lists various template and design resources I've used for this site. (I didn't add some of the sites that appear in the credits for the skins because those sites are no longer in service.) So, if you're interested in how I did something, check out that list of resources.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:12 AM
Monday, March 22, 2004
I wanted to add inline trackbacks to my individual entries, but I didn't want to have to rebuild an entry just so new trackbacks would show up. So, I used this method from Scriptygoddess to add them. I changed a few things to suit my purposes, but not by much. I think it looks nicer to have everything in the individual entry, kind of like a TypePad blog.
The monthly and category archives no longer bring up comment or trackback boxes when you click on those respective links -- they now go to the appropriate place in the individual entry. I'm going to keep the comment and trackback boxes on the main page, because I find them convenient. (I also went to some trouble skinning them!)
Posted by Susan B. at 8:50 PM
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Speaking of feeds...
I have added an Atom feed to this site.
Also on the sidebar, under "Site Extras", I have added a button linking to my Furl public archive. (The Furl archive has a feed, too.) Furl is a very useful site I discovered when Relapsed Catholic linked it a couple of months ago. I use it to file away interesting articles -- things that might get lost in the shuffle if I bookmarked them in my browser.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:27 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2004
I'm taking a break. I'll be back in a week or two.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:48 PM
Monday, January 19, 2004
New Skin: Steel Rose
I had a long weekend this weekend, and I thought to myself, "You know, I'm going to do something that I really want to do -- something just for me, for my own enjoyment. All this other stuff can wait for a while." So, I created a new skin I called "Steel Rose". It's very simple and clean, using shades of gray on a white background, with a little bit of pink. It's in the drop down menu on the sidebar and will be added to the gallery soon.
BTW, the Christmas skin is now in the menu, too. I'll also be adding that one to the gallery.
Posted by Susan B. at 5:51 PM
| Comments (2)
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Goodbye Christmas Skin
I decided to go ahead and take down the Christmas decorations. I got a lot of positive feedback on the Christmas skin, so I may eventually put it in the skins gallery for those who want Christmas all year 'round. We'll see...
Posted by Susan B. at 9:47 AM
These two IP addresses have been recently banned for spamming:
- 22.214.171.124 - This one spammed me on Christmas morning...is nothing sacred? (What am I saying? They're spammers...of course not.)
- 126.96.36.199 - This one hit Suzi's site the other day. I should have banned it when I saw her post, but I forgot.
I haven't bothered to install the MT Blacklist, because I haven't gotten that much comment spam. I figure this is because I close or turn off comments on old posts and I don't have comments on every post. I may have to install it if this starts happening more often.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:09 AM
| Comments (2)
Friday, December 19, 2003
Policy on Trolls - Revised
In addition to everything I said in this earlier post, I would like to add one thing. If I find it sufficiently amusing to do so, I will alter troll comments as I see fit. (See this post for an example.) So, if you don't want your comments altered, don't troll my site.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:04 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Like a lot of people, I'm really busy because of the holidays. Plus, I've got stuff going on at work and other non-holiday, non-work related stuff to concern myself with. So, blogging will probably be even more sporadic that it usually is for the next few weeks. When I post, it will most likely be just quick, "Hey, check this out!" link posts. (I know, I know...I'm no essayist in the first place, but I'm about to become even more laconic.) Also, I'll probably not open comments on most of those kinds of posts.
Just so you know...
Posted by Susan B. at 11:59 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Friday, November 28, 2003
Christmas Skin, etc.
I'm not quite "back" from my break yet, but I did want to go ahead and tell you about the new Christmas skin. It has been set as the default skin. It will go away after the end of December, so I'm not putting it in the gallery. However, you can switch to it via the link on the sidebar...or you can just click here. Here's a screenshot:
Also, I added formatting links to the comments form. (Thanks to Scriptygoddess.) The only problem is that it only works in IE.
Posted by Susan B. at 4:14 PM
| Comments (4)
Friday, November 21, 2003
A brief pause...
(Make your own church sign.)
I'm going to be kind of busy for the next week or so, so I'm taking a short break from blogging. I'll be back in about a week or so. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Posted by Susan B. at 7:13 PM
Monday, November 17, 2003
Blogroll Out of Service
I checked my blog and wondered what on earth was going on with my blogroll. I checked to see if others were having the same problem, and according to Dean and Kevin, BlogRolling has been hacked. So the blogroll has been removed for the time being.
Update: It's back now.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:55 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2003
Let's see if this works...
Well, it looks like my host is having problems again. I was trying to close the comments on some old posts and I keep getting "500 Internal Server" errors. So, if you try to post a comment or trackback to me and get an error, that's why.
Update: Whatever the problem was, it looks like it has cleared up, for now. I hope this won't become some recurring issue.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:53 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
New Skin: Gibson & Lavender
This skin was a lot of work, but I think it came out very nicely. The front page randomly displays one of ten possible Charles Dana Gibson drawings. They range from the romantic to the humorous. The random image display is done with PHP code. I used the method found here and modified it slightly. Here's the code I used, if you're interested:
$random_number = rand(1,10);
echo '<img src="/nav/images/16-gibson'.$random_number.'.jpg">'
This skin is available in the drop down menu and will be added to the gallery shortly. Enjoy!
Posted by Susan B. at 3:40 PM
| Comments (4)
Sunday, November 2, 2003
My host moved my site to another server late Friday night, and I've been having problems since the move. Apparently, the problems have been resolved.
To make a long story short, it looks like they didn't have cgiwrap or suexec available on the new server, which made me unable to make new posts (or rebuild old ones without changing configuration settings). To get around this, you can change the attributes to 777, but my host doesn't allow this, and for good reason (it's a security risk). It looks like they've fixed the problem, because I can post and rebuild again.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:40 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
New Skin: Strawberry Letter 2003
It's got strawberries and opacity and it's available on the drop-down menu on the sidebar. It'll be in the gallery shortly. (Sorry Opera users, but the opacity effect doesn't work in that browser.) The strawberry images are from iStockPhoto.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:20 PM
Friday, September 19, 2003
New Skin: Autumn Colors
I've just finished a new skin with a fall theme. The autumn scene comes from iStockphoto.com. The bullet and separator come from House of Lime. I used the method described here to do the rounded corners on the sidebar and content areas. It will be added to page 2 of the gallery shortly. Enjoy!
Posted by Susan B. at 12:48 AM
| Comments (2)
Monday, September 1, 2003
I just deleted a comment on one of my posts that was nothing but a bunch of links for casinos, pr0n and, um, male member enlargement. The IP was 188.8.131.52. Is this a new, unfortunate trend? Has anyone else gotten one of these comments?
Whatever the case, such comments will be deleted as soon as I'm aware of them and the IP addresses will be banned.
Update (9/30/03): Just tracking back to this post on Troll Alert to make more people aware of this spammer IP.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:18 PM
| Comments (5)
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Low Bandwidth Skin
After much tweaking, I finally got the new Low Bandwidth skin looking right in all the browsers. It's a modified version of the default MT stylesheet. It only uses a couple of small image files, so it should be a good skin for people on dial-up connections. It's not in the gallery yet, but it's available on the drop-down menu.
Update: This skin is now on page two of the Skins Gallery.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:26 AM
Monday, August 25, 2003
I'll be working in the background...
I'm going to be changing the templates around tonight, so if things look funny or don't work, that's why. The changes should be transparent once finished. Without getting too far into geek territory, I'll just say that I'm making the skinning part a little more flexible...I've got future plans for another skin that will need this flexibility.
When I'm finished with the template changes, I'll have a simple, "low-bandwidth" skin available as well.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:42 PM
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Hiatus almost over...
Just wanted to drop in and say that I'm almost back. Thanks to everyone for their kind comments in the previous post. I'm going to keep the blog name unless either I get a nasty letter from a lawyer or I think of a new name that's so great that I actually look forward to changing all my skins.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:55 AM
Monday, July 14, 2003
I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be taking a week or two off from posting. I know I haven't posted much the past few days anyway, so I'm just going to make it official. I've got some other things demanding my attention right now, so I need to take a little break. However, I will be back, and I'll still be checking on things. You may even see me post a comment here and there. So, until I come back, remember...
Posted by Susan B. at 7:02 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2003
I finally decided to try out BlogRolling for maintaining my blogroll. The free service only allows one blogroll, so I had to differentiate the reciprocal links using italics. They also come first in the blogroll. If I like this service, I may upgrade to the pay service in the future.
BTW, if you have blogrolled me and I don't have you in my blogroll, please post a comment here and let me know so I can add you.
Posted by Susan B. at 7:04 PM
| Comments (2)
Sunday, June 8, 2003
Two New Skins
I've got two new skins. They're both pretty similar..."Peach Pinup" and "Pink Pinup." They both use Vargas pinup art. I'll be adding them to the gallery soon. In the meantime you can find them on the sidebar.
I think I'm going to have to give this skinning thing a rest for a while. I've got twelve already. I've got some stuff to do around the house that's a lot less fun, but more necessary.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:37 PM
Monday, May 19, 2003
When in Doubt, Make a New Skin
Although I am having a bout of "blogger's block," I did get inspired to create a new skin. (It seems that lately, making new skins is much easier than thinking of things to post.) This one is supposed to look like a fancy, old book, so it's called "Elegant Book."
Posted by Susan B. at 9:32 PM
| Comments (1)
Friday, May 9, 2003
A Day at the Beach
That's the name of the latest skin. The colors are inspired by things you would see at the beach. The images are from iStockPhoto. The two beach scenes on the main page are from beautiful Pensacola Beach. I hope you enjoy this skin...I think it turned out pretty good. (It will be added to the skins gallery shortly.)
Posted by Susan B. at 10:17 PM
| Comments (2)
Sunday, April 27, 2003
I have added a skins gallery with screenshots of all available skins. The link is on the sidebar. I will also continue to have direct links for each skin as well.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:22 PM
Friday, April 25, 2003
New Skinning Method
I have implemented a new skinning method for this site, which will allow me greater flexibility in designing skins. The previous method was completely driven by style sheets, so I was locked into a certain design formula. The new method, which you can read about here, allows me to break out of that formula. (In fact, I've already changed the "All American" skin to look the way I originally intended.)
You will need to reset your skin selection, since this method uses a different cookie. The skins are still on the sidebar. However, when you switch, you will be taken to a page that will show you what the skin will look like. The next thing I'm going to add is a skin gallery, so that you can see screenshots and descriptions of the skins.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:15 PM
Sunday, April 13, 2003
I changed the "All American" skin a bit. I got rid of the apples in the red, white and blue basket and replaced it with American flags. One reason I did this is I saw that the apples image was being used on another site. Since anyone who uses iStockPhoto.com can download that image, and since it's a nice image, it's not surprising that someone else somewhere on the web would be using it. But I felt weird about it, like wearing the same dress that someone else at a party is wearing. I didn't build the skin around that image, I just picked it because it fit the skin (it was America-themed and had a white background). I really wanted more American flags for the skin anyway, and more stars...so now I have them.
I also keep tweaking the "Monochrome" skin. I've never been 100 percent happy with it. I'm about 99 percent happy with it now, so I probably won't change it anymore.
Posted by Susan B. at 2:55 PM
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Fresh New Skin
I've just finished another skin for this site. It's called "Citrus Clean." It has a clean, white background with some orange, green and yellow. All the skins can be found on the sidebar.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:42 PM
Thursday, March 13, 2003
I have a new skin available called "All American." As you may have guessed, it has a patriotic, red, white and blue theme. All the skins can be found on the sidebar.
Also, I've moved the "Special Notice" buttons down below the blogroll.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:05 PM
Monday, March 10, 2003
Policy on Trolls
Yesterday afternoon, I got my first genuine troll comment. It was someone, using AOL International, calling a three-week-old post of mine nonsense and saying that Americans "disgust [her]."
I was more amused than I was offended by this. However, I would like to keep things civil on my blog. I close comments on
most all posts over a month old to discourage such nonsense, and I don't have comments on every post.
Since I don't want trollage on my blog, I have decided to delete obvious troll comments outright. I will also IP ban if it becomes necessary. Now, I do not consider comments disagreeing with me to be trolls. I have no problem with such comments as long as they are civil and respectful. I think the difference between honest disagreements and trolling is usually pretty obvious.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:46 PM
Saturday, March 1, 2003
If you like green and Victorian-style art, then you'll like the new "Springtime" skin. The two illustrations are from a Victorian-themed calendar. The fan on the comments box comes from a PSP tube found on Goldtassel.net.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:32 PM
Monday, February 17, 2003
New Skin Available
This one is called "Roses Are Blue." All the skins can be found in the sidebar. Enjoy!
Posted by Susan B. at 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 15, 2003
If you can stand one more of these site-related posts, I assure you I'll get back to some real blogging again soon...
I upgraded to Movable Type 2.6 without incident last night. I like the new feature that lets you close the comments on a post, but yet still allows previous comments to be viewed. I've enabled HTML in the comments now that there's a feature that only allows certain tags.
I also made some changes to the blogroll -- adding some blogs and deleting a few (only so I could make room for others).
Posted by Susan B. at 12:34 PM
Thursday, February 13, 2003
PHP Skin Switching!
I finally got it implemented, using the method on empty pages. It doesn't seem to be working on Netscape 6, though. I don't know why, but I suspect it's because Netscape sucks.
Update: The Netscape problem is fixed now. The problem was that Netscape would not make the cookies. A solution can be found here.
Update 2: Hah! Who says you can't skin the comments and trackback boxes with PHP? On the aforementioned empty pages tutorial, I found a link to this clever method for skinning the popup boxes. I had to figure out a couple of things to get it working, but I finally did it! Go me!
Update 3: If you switch to another skin and the change isn't showing up, try refreshing your browser. My work computer uses IE 5.5 and I found this to be an issue with that browser.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:05 AM
| Comments (3)
Saturday, February 8, 2003
Neat MT Plug-In
I was wondering if there was a way to have previous/next category links on the category archive pages. After poking around in the MT Forum I found this: Brad Choate: Supplemental Category Tags. It was very easy to set up and works great!
Posted by Susan B. at 11:06 PM
I've created a new style (or skin...whatever) called "Red Velvet Swing." It's similar to the other two Gibson-themed skins. It has a red/pink color scheme and features the famous Gibson illustration of Evelyn Nesbit, hence the name.
Anyway, I hope you like this new alternate style. I have lots of ideas for more skins.
Posted by Susan B. at 2:30 PM
Thursday, January 30, 2003
I have made another alternate style: "Dark & Bubbly." The color scheme is the same one I used a few months ago, before changing to the lighter scheme. All the alternate styles are available on the sidebar.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:20 AM
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Style Switching Now Available
Update: If you have trouble with the comments or trackback not showing the newly chosen style, refresh your browser.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:33 PM
Sunday, January 19, 2003
I made some changes to the template. I thought the hover color was too harsh so I changed it to a lighter purple. The more significant change I made is (hopefully) more transparent. I got rid of the HTML table tags that I used to create the columns; now they're done with CSS instead. I had a hard time getting this to work the way I wanted it to. This post on Under the Sun (found via blogs4God) was very helpful and it enabled me to finally get this working.
The next thing I'd like to do is implement a skin switcher. I've already made an alternate gray-based skin for those of you who don't like purple. I just have to figure out this PHP stuff.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:10 PM
Friday, January 10, 2003
FYI About Email
I noticed the other day that I did not get an email notification when someone posted a comment. I don't know if it was a glitch with my email or with Movable Type. So, if anyone has emailed me recently and I didn't respond, I wasn't ignoring you, I just didn't get the email.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Welcome to the new URL and MT setup for LilacRose! It was a lot of work getting the templates the way I wanted them, but I finally got finished -- just in time for the new year. There's a few little things I need to fix, but for the most part, it's finished.
Although the Blogger archives have been updating properly the past couple of weeks, I decided to go ahead and move to my own domain with MT. Why? I just wanted to. It's an opportunity to learn new things.
I have comments capabilities with this new setup, but I don't think I'll use them very often. I'll open up comments for this post, though.
Posted by Susan B. at 2:17 PM
| Comments (6)
Friday, December 27, 2002
I'm going to be making a major change to this blog. This will happen within the next few days. Just a little hint...the change is something "nu".
Posted by Susan B. at 11:00 PM
Monday, November 25, 2002
I've been sick with a bad cold the past few days. When I felt like sitting up at the computer, I put together this new template. I don't know what came over me...maybe it's the cold medicine. Coincidentally, it seems like a lot of other bloggers have been changing their templates, too. Anyway, I hope this template is better than the old one.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:05 PM
Sunday, November 17, 2002
I Hate Netscape!
I just looked at my blog in Netscape 6 and found out the changes I recently made look like crap. I was attempting to make the blog text adjust to whatever screen resolution you're using. However, in Netscape, the lines do not wrap...they just keep going. Sorry about that, Netscape users. I'll try to fix it tomorrow.
Update: It looks like the culprit was that theology quiz. I took out all the table formatting code...should be fine now.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:58 PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Tweaking the Style Sheet and Template
If this blog looks funny (or funnier than usual) the next couple of days, it's because I'm making a few changes to the style sheet and template.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:27 PM
Sunday, August 11, 2002
A Few Changes
Yes, I've changed the colors yet again. I took a look at my blog on the huge monitor at work and thought the colors were way too bright. I also came to the same conclusion here at home after switching to 800x600 mode and looking at it. So, I went for a more "lilac" look, used a little less purple and ditched the pink altogether. I also switched to a lighter color for the text. Anyway, I hope this is easier on the eyes.
I have been doing some reading about cascading style sheets. I learned to load my settings from a separate file, which makes changing colors so much easier than going into Blogger, editing the template, and republishing everything.
Another thing...I was dismayed to discover that my blog was not displaying properly in Netscape 6. None of my blog text would show. I figured out that the problem was the site meter. I moved it over to the sidebar, which solved the problem.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:12 PM
Friday, July 19, 2002
My poor neglected blog...
July is more than halfway over and only two posts for the month so far. Pathetic, I know. Lately, most of my blogging energies (what little I have) are going into the American Conservatives' Weekly Blog. In case you're not familiar with American Conservatives, it is a conservative political forum. Its members are some great folks who seek to discuss news and current events in a civil environment without the usual BS.
We decided to try a new approach at American Conservatives. We now have a weekly blog, a thread that is a group blog for AC members. There is a featured blog (or two) with each new week. The commentary is centered on news and opinion from a conservative viewpoint. If you're interested, take a look, register and feel free to chime in. We also have other forums for posting news articles, interesting finds from the blogosphere and self-written rants and essays.
For the time being, most news and political blogging by me will be occurring on AC's Weekly Blog. LilacRose Blog will be where I will blog about faith, culture, music, books, TV, computer geek stuff, etc.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:48 PM
Monday, June 17, 2002
I've changed the name of this blog to LilacRose Blog. I wanted something catchier, but I never could get it right. First, it was "Thorns and All". Then I realized that it had an unfortunate abbreviation. Nope, this ain't that kind of blog. So I changed it to "Roses, Thorns and All". I never warmed up to that one. So I renamed it one more time...and no, I didn't change it for this reason. The new name isn't catchy, but I like it. I won't be changing it again.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:10 PM
Monday, June 3, 2002
Tweaking the blog template...
I think I'm happy with this blog template now. I've made some more adjustments so that it finally looks good in IE6, Netscape 6 and Opera 6. I'm still learning when it comes to HTML. Although I've maintained a memorial site for my late brother for almost five years, my HTML skills are at best intermediate. Actually, they're probably not even that good.
I've noticed that more and more websites are being optimized for a 1024x768 screen area setting. This is no problem at work, because I have a huge monitor and that setting looks good (not that I do much web browsing at work). At home, I have a smaller monitor, and 800x600 looks best. However, I went ahead and changed it today because I got tired of having to scroll horizontally all the time. I adjusted my display setting to use larger fonts to make up for everything being so much smaller. I'm not completely happy with it, but I guess I'll have to get used to it.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:49 AM
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
"Wish I was a Bible thumpin' fool ~ Yeah, from the old school ~ Mind as narrow as the road I walk ~ Always upright when I talk..." -- 16 Horsepower, "My Narrow Mind"
I didn't really like my blog description. I thought it was stilted and came off pretentious. The new description was inspired by a 16 Horsepower song. Before you assume the above quoted lyrics are a slam against Christians, you should know that David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower, who wrote those lyrics, is a Christian. I think he may have been expressing envy for people who seem to stick to the "straight and narrow" so easily. I wish I was more like that myself. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are those who would think I have a narrow mind, and maybe they're right. Hence, the new description.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:54 PM