Zero to Hero- Day 13: Building a Better Blogroll

Catching up again. 🙂

I’ve been home the last few days but SO busy! I’ve been spending a lot of time in Houston this week. It started out Monday morning when I went for a meeting about work.

Went back again for a Dr appt. I had to get my lap band filled (been putting it off WAY too long). Spent the rest of the day at the Museum of Fine Arts (it’s FREE on Thursdays). Went to a happy hour sponsored by the Houston USMMAAA (Kings Point Alumni). Spent the night so I didn’t have to drive all the way home. 😉

Spent the next day at the zoo and then a Liberty Forum sponsored by the King Street Patriots. They had a great lineup moderated by Ben Swann, including past LP Presidential candidate (and now Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative) Gary Johnson and his VP running mate Judge Gray.

I was very encouraged to see the great response to Kathy Glass who is running for Texas Governor! Gary Johnson also got a standing ovation. It always makes me happy to see people who actually support true liberty and not just give it lip service! 🙂

Went back up to Houston Saturday morning to spend all afternoon with my sponsor for a training event. More on that later…

And that’s only the stuff I did in Houston this week! Not counting the local stuff!! 😉

So, now you know why I haven’t been keeping up very well with the Zero to Hero Challenge this week.

I did take a look at this one (day 13) a couple of days ago and fiddled around with it when I could. I already had a couple of different ways to see some of the blogs I like on my home page.

I had a widget I called “More Good Stuff” that showed the gravatars of some of the blogs I follow on the right side bar. I also had an area in the bottom center of my home page with links to websites and blogs I like. There was a blogroll there too.

I also already had a links page (tho I admit I don’t have much on it yet).

So all I have done (so far) for todays challenge was to increase the number of blogs I followed that was shown from 20 to 50. I also added a couple more to the links on my home page.

One I added was the Jack Tar Magazine. I really like to check out all the things they’re doing over there. It’s a great resource for the maritime community and I LOVE their focus on the larger sailing vessels and all the maritime culture and traditions.

Another one I added was the Texas Music Scene. I rarely watch TV, but I do try to watch Saturday Night Live when I’m home. After that’s over, the Texas Music Scene show hosted by (9 time Grammy winner) Ray Benson comes on. I really enjoy learning about great new music and bands I may have never heard of before.

Another one I added was the Lightly Braised Turnip. I checked it out when someone posted on my Facebook page about the giant squid that washed up on a beach in California. I liked the way they reported the story and decided to keep them on my list of sites to ‘follow’. I say it that way since I haven’t yet found a specific follow button on their site yet and I just go check them out every so often.

I’ll be trying to catch up with more of the Zero to Hero Challenge tonight. 🙂

Zero to Hero- Day 11: Be a Good Neighbor

The assignment for day 11 in the Zero to Hero Challenge is to make 3 comments on blogs you’ve never commented on before.

Well, that should be an easy one. I’ve never been a shy one when it comes to saying something anonymously (or even semi). 😉

Since I’ve been looking around the blogosphere more than usual for the previous assignments, I do have at least a couple of blogs I haven’t commented on yet.

Let’s see if I can find something interesting now…

A Yankee in the Cajun Navy

I found this blog the other day for the day 9 assignment (I think). I saw his mention of the Cajun Navy and knew exactly what he was talking about and from his blog tagline “A Yankee in the Cajun Navy”, I could just imagine how entertaining he was going to be.

So, today I checked his blog and found this neat video to watch. My computer is so slow it messed up the music but it was fun to watch anyway. I wanted to say more, but tried to keep my comment short(er)… here’s a link to the post and comments…

Home Improvement

The Eleventh Stack is another blog I found while looking around for the Zero to Hero Challenge. I really like the variety of things they talk about there. It’s a library sort of blog so I guess it can really cover EVERYTHING. 🙂

I went to look around again for todays assignment and found this post on do-it-yourself projects. I’m a big fan of DIY.

I love to watch all those shows on Home and Garden TV like the Property Brothers and Househunters International. I get all kinds of ideas for fixing up my house and my rentals. I don’t have much time for TV but when I do watch, it’s probably going to be some of that stuff.

So, here’s the post that caught my eye today and my comment…

Another Jills’ Journeys

I noticed this one while I was on assignment too and really just checked it out since we have the same name. But the more I look around her blog, the more interesting things I find. She has a really neat series on a trip she took to Easter Island which is also on my bucket list.

I picked her post on the free museum days to comment on. Just because I thought it was funny that we both posted on that, we both have the same name, we both love to travel (to out of the way places). I thought it was cool. Here’s the post and comment…

Zero to Hero Challenge- Day 10: the Wonderful (frustrating) World of Widgets

I’m trying to catch up on things around here, getting a little behind on the Zero to Hero Challenge, but here’s my take on the one for Day 10: Widgets.

I already had quite a few widgets on my blog. It’s taken me some time to figure out how to get them on here and how to get them to work like they’re supposed to. I still have a lot of work to do in that department.

So, I didn’t add 2 more widgets today. I found one that I had been wanting to add and it took me quite a while to figure out how to do it and then to add all the updates I wanted to. I actually got a little sick of it so I’m sure I missed a few places.

I found this one of cities where I’ve been on I started playing around with it and signed up on the site and then got into all the other stuff on there. It just sucked me in. 😉

So, I finally got the widget finished and uploaded it onto my blog. I like it. 🙂

I think there must be tons of things to do with widgets on here. I’m still trying to figure out how to get some of them to work.

For instance, I’ve been trying to get one from Amazon to work for a couple of weeks now. It’s a blog and I think it’s pretty cool. It’s not trying to sell you anything, it’s just a neat scrolling list of comments on various books. It looks like my twitter feed.

I still can’t get it to show up here as anything but a plain link. It doesn’t even link to the book feed like I’d like, but to a half dozen different feeds. I’m still messing around with it but won’t put it up here until I can get it to work right. Anybody out there know how to do it?

Zero to Hero- Days 8-9: About + More Cool Blogs!

Since I got off the ship the other day, I’ve been busy just trying to get back on schedule. It’s really hard to switch back and forth from working nights for 3 weeks to being up in the daytime like most normal people. I feel like I need to be up days while I’m home, it’s hard to get anything much done at night here.

So, I’m a little caught up on sleep and mail and bills, got some groceries in the house and so ready to take up the Zero to Hero Challenge once again.

I did go over my About page again (day 8’s assignment). I don’t really know how to make it ‘irresistible’, but I did spiff it up a bit. I’ve been thinking about adding some other things there but not sure if it would actually make it any better.

For day 9’s assignment, to find more blogs to follow, I’m having a hard time limiting myself to just 5! I am starting to wonder just how much time can I spend wandering around the blogosphere? 😉

It’s REALLY hard to try and find ‘new’ things, things I’m not already following or new subjects that I don’t already have an interest in. So, I didn’t really follow directions, I did take a look at some things I really have no interest in, like sports, and cars, and fashion, but I don’t really see the point in following things I’m not interested in at all.

So, I looked around some more and found some outliers in subjects I am interested in but don’t follow as much as I would like.

Here are my picks for today…

  1. Human Rights Warrior– I love her tagline “There is some good in this world…and it’s worth fighting for.”
  2. The Official How To Blog– It’s always good to learn how to do things! Laugh while learning is good!! 🙂
  3. Beer & Whiskey Brothers– I always like a good drink, beer was never my favorite, but it’s always available so learned to like it. Learning about more flavors is great!
  4. The Squeaky Robot– This looks like an interesting blog with nice photos. 🙂
  5. Coffee and Irony– I liked the post on the Civil Wars (I LOVE their music!) and lots of variety on this blog, I think it’s worth following for a while.
  6. Austin Music Source-This one’s not a wordpress blog, but it’s one I like and found today while wandering around online. I do love Austin! Lots of good stuff on this one!
  7. Texas Music Scene– Here’s one last one, it’s not a wordpress blog either, but I found it today and really liked the stuff they had on there.

I found all of them interesting and plenty more, but I don’t have enough hours in the day to devote the time and energy they deserve, so limiting myself to these today. 😉

Maybe I’ll find some more in the next few days. 🙂



Zero to Hero- Day 7: Personalize Your Blog

Todays assignment for the Zero to Hero Challenge is to personalize your blog. Take a few tries at customizing your blog. Turn it into your very own creation. 🙂

As you can see from looking at my blog, I did do the challenge and what you see is what you get. At least for now. I’m not sure I really like it better than what I had before.

I think eventually, I might pick another picture. The one up there now is one I took. The one I had before is one that just came from WordPress. I do have a lot of photos that I think would look nice up there in the header. I just haven’t had time to work on it.

Any comments? Do you like the way my blog looks better now or before?

Zero to Hero- Day 6: Add Media

Todays assignment is to “publish a post with a new-to-you element”.

I’m not sure what to do with this since I’ve already published posts with text, photos, videos, music.

They do suggest ’embedding’ tweets, a song, a map, adding pins from Pinterest, etc. So, I’ll try to add a map of some of the places I’ve traveled (so far).

OK, tried and tried again with the map. Not working. It disappears every time I save the draft of the post. Maybe I’ll try it again later with googlemaps since they specifically tell you how to do that one in the WordPress Support pages here. Not having any success with either zeemaps or traveladvisor which I already had made on my facebook page.

One more time, if it doesn’t work, will just have to be satisfied with a neat picture from Pinterest. I’ve never added anything from there here before either, so I guess that should count for todays task. 🙂

Zero to Hero-Day 4: Explore the Blogosphere

Todays assignment was to learn how to use the Reader and to follow 5 new topics (as well as start finding bloggers you love).

I already was following quite a few bloggers, WordPress and others. I had never really used the reader much tho. So this morning, I took a look around.

I have to admit, I was tired and so didn’t really find anything outside of my ‘normal’ interests to follow (yet). I spent about and hour poking around and finally had to just force myself to STOP it!

Warning: WordPress Reader is addictive!

Since I’m short on time today, I’ll just list the new blogs I found and decided to follow…

  1. Natures Place– looks like an interesting mix of science, nature and photography (macros, lots of bugs- cool!)
  2. Eleventh Stack– a variety of librarians recommend things to look for at the library
  3. Roam and Home-life and travels at home and abroad
  4. Pinky Binks– travels and life in Asia (and other places)
  5. Food to Glow– healthy food that (hopefully) tastes good
  6. New England Waterman– another maritime blog, looks like his job is similar to mine
  7. 70dayweekend– independent music blog
  8. Jon Negroni– music, movies, apps, modern life
  9. Marine Cafe– another maritime blog by Baristo Uno, more from a foreign perspective
  10. Earth is our Address– travel and adventure from a different perspective

OK, so that’s the quick and dirty for now. Check them out if you want. I’ll have to get to it later. I just wanted to get the Zero to Hero post for today finished before I knock off. Those last 2 blogs I did not find on the Reader.  I’ll be trying to take a closer look at these blogs later and maybe even make another foray into the realms of the Reader tonight. 😉