If you peer at the sidebar, you’ll now see something that’s been absent from this site since 2005: a blogroll. Ever since the redesign, I’ve been wanting to get something in there that reflects the variety of weblogs I’m reading now. The problem with blogrolls, if course, is that blogs come and go and personal tastes never stay put for very long. For instance, it surprised me how many blogs I read five years ago that were devoted to junky pop cult collecting, a subject I can now only stand in small doses. Hopefully the sites linked here will stay around for a while.
The current blogroll is made up of personal favorites bookmarked in Firefox over the past year, things I’ve stumbled across at Tumblr via 4 Color Cowboy, and older blogs carried over from the My Big Fat Link Log 3 post of August 2008. The latter was pretty interesting, since roughly two-thirds of the blogs linked there are either abandoned or dropped (I suppose future historians will mark the years 2009-10 as the era of the Great Blog Exodus). On the other hand, it makes me admire all the more those who have been at it for five to ten years, or longer – thumbs up!
Maybe it’s the Pinterest/Tumblr influence, but great imagery is something I never expected to enjoy from others’ weblogs (some of which is shared here). Enjoy.
Hey there — notice something different? I’ve redesigned Scrubbles.net. This is the first true sitewide retooling in five years. Although I still have some kinks to work out, I’m happy with the swanky retro-computer look we’ve got going here.
This redesigning process began about a year ago, actually, in search of a good WordPress theme. I’ve noticed that many of the popular and nicer looking WP themes have one element that works, and a whole bunch of other elements that don’t work. Either the typography is fabulous and the layout is lousy, or the sidebar is beautifully designed but the rest of it uses terrible colors. It’s always something. I was about at the end of my rope before coming across a gorgeous and subtle theme called Vanilla Cart. Top to bottom, I love it. For the logo fonts, I went with Eurostile condensed and Gala (which cost a lot, but it’s absolutely perfect — sometimes one has to spend money for perfection). I also brought back this weblog’s original tagline, which hasn’t been seen here since about 2002. There’s even a new cartoon portrait of yours truly on the sidebar.
Although I currently have about 80% of the redesign in place, there are a couple of issues with the CSS that I’m sending out a plea for help on. Specifically:
- I have a kickass repeating background for the redesign, similar to the one on my Twitter profile — but I can’t get it to work. I’ve tried everything on this theme’s CSS stylesheet, but the only changes result in a pure white background. Any CSS experts out there who can help?
- This theme also has an option for you to use your own logo — but when I tried it, the logo was positioned down at the white space above the blog entries. I want it positioned above the “Home” and “About Me” tabs (which is where the blog name and description are normally positioned if one does not use a graphic logo). How can I move it up to its proper place without screwing everything up?
A milestone is coming our way, and for once I can make note of it before it arrives. As of tomorrow, Scrubbles the weblog will have been on the www for nine years (the Scrubbles.net domain was registered later that Fall). It’s hard to believe that I’m still scribbling away at this thing for that long. A kid born the same day as this weblog will now be nine years old. Huh.
Well, what can I say? Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me throughout the years. I’m a veteran enough to remember when the community was a loose free-for-all of ideas. I read a lot of different blogs, noted and linked to what I liked, and others linked to me in return. It was fun. Then a movement arose to make weblogs be “about” something (remember warblogging?), and I stubbornly stuck to just writing about whatever old crap took my fancy. Now we have insular segments of bloggers who stick to one subject and only link to other bloggers sharing the same m.o. I salute anyone who can do one thing and do it brilliantly and with passion — but having never gained a foothold in that world, I miss the old community.
Sorry to be a bummer, and I apologize if this weblog isn’t quite the exciting hive of activity it once was. There is a bright side. As long as there are quirky old cookbook illustrations or forgotten movies to write about, I vow to keep plugging away here.
I was going to post a blog entry today about how I rarely visit the pop culture blog Pop Candy because the author’s “look at me, I’m hip” photo makes me want to hurl, but this is a much more worthwhile subject. My Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller order arrived today. ERH has a delightfully low-tech way of selling remaindered books. Yes, they have a comprehensive website, but after all these years they still only accept orders written down on paper and sent through snail mail with a personal check (no credit cards, no money orders, and forget about PayPal, pal). Falls Village, Connecticut must be a nutty kinda town.
It’s been a good four or five years since I’ve ordered from them, so I made sure to make the uniform $3.95 shipping cost count. The haul may become part of a mishmash in the future:
- The Complete Peanuts: 1963-1964 by Charles M. Schulz ($12.99). Fills in an important gap, since I actually got the 1965-66 volume for Christmas. Yes, it really made me uncomfortable that I had one volume while missing the earlier one, so sue me.
- Considering Doris Day by Tom Santopietro ($6.95). Although ravaged by Amazon.com customers, this critical overview looks fascinating. Every Day movie, TV appearance and recording gets a thorough appraisal. Potentially toothache-inducing yet marvy!
- The Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton by Dean Jensen ($5.95). The conjoined twins of Freaks and Chained for Life fame get their own sympathetic bio. Another fascinating looking portrait (which got a much better reception on Amazon).
- Penguin Special: The Story of Allen Lane, the Founder of Penguin Books and the Man Who Changed Publishing Forever by Jeremy Lewis ($4.95). Good companion to the Penguin By Design book.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies by Jason Surrell ($6.95). Deals comprehensively with creating both the Pirates theme park attraction and the first Johnny Depp movie. Luckily the latter subject, of which I care not a whit, takes up only about a quarter of the pages. The rest is filled with wonderful concept art and rare photos of the Disneyland classic. Surrell’s similar book on the Haunted Mansion (ride and film) is equally nifty.
Jeff Pepper of the wonderful 2719 Hyperion has started a new weblog to explore his interest in vintage pop culture of the non-Disney variety. Boom Pop! adheres closely to the 2719 Hyperion formula, which in this case is a good thing. It’s only ten days old and I already have it in my Bloglines feeds. Keep up the good work, Jeff!