Category Archives: Site News

New Year, New Theme

screenshotI know. I just changed themes back in November. Truth be told I never was quite satisfied with that theme. It was OK, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for. So I did what I’ve been putting off for a really long time – I dug into the process of creating a child theme.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WordPress, or just use it and don’t care how it works, WordPress allows you to create child themes that are based on a parent theme. Think of it this way, when you create a child theme WordPress looks at your theme first. If it finds what it needs it uses it. If not, it looks in the parent theme. The advantage is that you can make all of your changes in the child without harming the parent. Also, if the author of the parent theme updates it you don’t lose all your changes when you upgrade to the new version.

The requirements for a child theme are very simple. You need a folder in your theme directory and a style sheet. You could easily create a child theme that does absolutely nothing by having only those two elements. If you have no other files and nothing beyond what is required in the style sheet your child theme would behave exactly the same as the parent. Exactly. But that would be silly.

I started with Twentytwelve, the latest theme from the creators of WordPress. It was already pretty close to what I wanted, but not quite.

The first thing I changed was the navigation bar. In Twentytwelve it is above the header image. I wanted it below, so I moved it. Of course I wanted to keep Chris Muir’s Day By Day. I’ve displayed that cartoon almost as long as I’ve been blogging. I already had the code to display the strip between the first and second posts on the front page, but now I won’t have to re-insert it if the parent theme gets updated.

Those were the two major coding changes. The rest of the adjustments were cosmetic. On the web cosmetic means CSS. Those changes are easy to do, but the tweaking process can be exasperating and time consuming.

You see the results before you. I’m very pleased with the results. I’m also happy with the things I learned. Let me know what you think.

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Face Lift

Maybe giving the site a face lift will help lift me from my post-election funk. As you can see I’ve installed a new theme. Of course if I don’t start writing something it really doesn’t matter. If there’s anything that doesn’t work in your particular setup, please let me know. I’ve also linked new posts to my bRight & Early page on Facebook. Why don’t you jump over there and give the page a like.

Follow up to Consolidation

Twelve days ago I wrote a post titled Consolidation. I mentioned that I have control over 5 hosting accounts, 11 domain names, and 20 associated sites. I’ve spent the past week making a plan of attack. Over the past few days I have been in the process of implementing that plan.

ProCleanExtreme, Spot-Trot, and ValetsPlus are gone. This site, bRight&Early, is moved to one of the other hosting accounts. It went smoothly, didn’t it? I bet you never even noticed.

The only “move” that still needs to take place is I’ll do that this weekend. That will reduce things considerably – two hosting accounts that are paid up for quite a while, and just a few domain names. The domains will hang around until it’s time for them to be renewed. What is odd about all of this is that I didn’t really spend a lot of time or effort on any of the sites. I just always felt as if I should be.

So, why am I doing all of this?

Well, part of the reason is to clear out the clutter. There was a lot of clutter. It was also done to make way for a few other projects that were already in the works.

The biggest project is helping with my county GOP’s executive committee web site. I am excited about doing that work.

That brings me to the last bit of news. I made a big deal about quitting smoking last July. I did really well for a long time. Really well, considering that I didn’t do anything other than put them down. No pills, no gum, no patch. It worked until our one car died and the stress of dealing with that situation gave me the excuse I needed to start back. There wasn’t a plan “B”. Working in an office with four other smokers didn’t help.

Fast forward to late 2011. My boss tried electronic cigarettes that he found for sale at the local flea market. He had some success, but the quality was poor, to say the least. Some time before Thanksgiving one of my other co-workers tried V2 brand on the internet. Next my boss, then my third and forth office mate ordered kits. They’ve been very happy with the results. I ordered my starter kit which arrived last week.

I’m sharing my story about switching, along with e-cigarette information at My Vapor Life. If you’re looking for information, or just want to follow my progress, I invite you to take a look

We now return you to your regular blog which is already in progress.

Why yes, it is too early to be up on a rainy Sunday morning

Well, not now. Not really. You see, I’ve been up since around 4:30, started the coffee around 4:45 and tried to go back to sleep but ended up awake around 5:00. I guess my “Take Some of This So You Can Sleep (For About Four Hours)” cold medicine wore off. The good news is that those four hours were awesome. The bad news is, it is a rainy, dreary, gray morning – perfect for sleeping in – and I’m wide awake.

So, I guess I’ll talk to all of you.

You may have noticed a little retro style postings on Friday. I have decided to bring back two regular posts I used to do, First Cup and the Overnight News Open Post.

First Cup is a few links to interesting posts from around the right side of the blogosphere. That post will be up some time before 8am. The difference from before is that I will just be posting that on Monday – Friday. I’m also going to do away with the coffee quote. If you have a post that you would like me to consider including drop a link in an email to lakelandjim at gmail dot com.

I’m also bringing back the Overnight News Open Post. This is a chance for you lazy bums to help out around here, in other words share interesting posts, pimp your own sites, and generally sound off on whatever strikes you. Just keep it reasonably civil and clean.

That’s about it for the retro stuff, but while I’m still up let me mention a few other things.

Don’t forget to vote in the latest bRight & Early 2012 Presidential Primary Poll #13. It’s in the right sidebar. See it? No, further down. There, just below the book ads and PJM link. There, that’s it. Vote. And speaking of the book ads, did you notice that I added a section of books by our GOP candidates? It displays three books randomly. You can refresh the page to see (and hopefully click on) selections from the other candidates.

I wonder if I could fall back to sleep now. The sun is coming up, but that’s only an assumption. The rain is keeping things dark and quiet. I guess the only thing to do is give it a try.

UPDATE: I guess it was too early, since the original title said “to”. Corrected the title, but left the link alone.

2011 100 Post Marathon #18 – Up and Down

The site has been up and down this morning, starting around 11am eastern. It appears to be up at the moment, and the hosting company is well aware (their support site is down). One thing I like is that they also have a twitter presence, so I can still talk to them. Well let me post this update while things are working. We are getting close!

Olimometer 2.52

If you can…

Half a Million – Or Not

If you look down at the very bottom of the page, sitmeter says that I’ve passed 500,000 visitors. However, if you go to the sitemeter statistic page that number stands at just over 493,000. The truth is probably somewhat different from either number.

In any case, I’m going to celebrate my first half million visitors!

There were two earlier iterations of bRight & Early blog before I landed here – one on blogspot, and one on another site I used to own. The earliest post I brought over was this one talking about the “Gang of 14″ on May 24th, 2005. A few things stuck out when I was reading over that post.

Still, my biggest issue with this compromise is that the right did all the compromising. Why stop there? Should we even up sides? “We’ll give you four Senators now and moderate to be named later if you’ll just be nice to us and say nice things about us in the press.”

“The right did all the compromising.” Hmmmm, why does that sound familiar?

here is a list of the signers:

Republicans: John McCain (AR), John Warner (VA), Mike DeWine (OH), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Lincoln Chafee (RI).

Democrats: Ken Salazar (CO), Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joseph Lieberman (CT), Mark Pryor (AR), Robert Byrd (WV) and Daniel Inouye (HI).

Gee, do any of those names stick out to you? So, in six and a half years have we made any progress? Well, I’ve had a half million folks drop by.

Or not.

Mucking around on a Friday morning

If you are visiting the site, and not just reading this in a feed reader, you can see that I’ve been changing things around here. I am working with a new theme (it’s been a while since I changed things up) and off course there is quite a bit of construction dust. For one thing, I forgot just which widgets, and what order, resided in the sidebar. Other than that, I do like this theme. How do you like it?

UPDATE: Things are pretty much back to normal, but please let me know if you find anything that isn’t normal (excluding my usual ramblings, of course) or seems to be broken. Of course I’ll continue to play around with things. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment and voting in the poll in the sidebar.

Looking Back at 2010 – Part 2

Good morning. Let’s continue our look back at 2010 as it was here at bRight&Early by seeing what I posted about in April, May, and June.

As we got into April it was clear to see that the 2010 political season was well under way. By the end of the month we would find out that Governor OoompaLoompa, Charlie Crist, had decided to run with no party affiliation. He also decided to run with no conservative support, no back bone, and no moral compass, but that wasn’t part of the official announcement. Earlier that month I had also taken notice of the Florida district 22 house race, eventually won by the impressive Lt. Col. Allen West. In the middle of the month I was able to attend the Lakeland TEA party. Here is my favorite picture from the event.

Septic Obama

I started May with a post that gets to the heart of what I really like about Marco Rubio and his message of conservatism. It is embodied in this quote from his FNS appearance:

Conservative thought is the mainstream position in America. What is not mainstream in America is the belief that we should spend money that we don’t have. What’s not mainstream in America is the belief that we should take this crazy complicated tax code and make it crazier and more complicated. What is not mainstream in America is this belief that somehow if America weakens its position in the world, the world will become a safer place. These are the positions that quite frankly the policies coming out of Washington would create. That’s well outside the mainstream of American political thought. So I believe that what political pundits describe as conservatism and I embrace as conservatism is mainstream thought in America.

That short paragraph says a lot.

We also found out that the 2012 Republican Convention will be held in Tampa. I suggested a big blogger get together, and the idea is still there. Thoughts?

I was a real slacker in June, but I did take time to note the SC primary victories of Nikki Haley and Tim Scott.

That takes us through the first half of the year. You can read about January, February and March in Part 1.