Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blogger's New Dynamic Views

Here's something new in Blogger - 5 new dynamic templates.  Right now they're just in preview, but Blogger is promising we'll be able to customize and use them for our blogs soon.  I've been playing with them a bit today, and I'm really liking them.

The new views use the latest in web technology, including AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3, to deliver a host of benefits:
  • Infinite scrolling: read more posts without having to reload or click to a second page
  • New layouts: different views suited to different types of blogs
  • Speed: download images as you view them, not all at once in advance
  • Interactivity: there are now more ways to experience and engage with blog content
To try these views on your own blog, simply add “/view” to the end of the blog URL—for example, - check it out, you know you want to!  I'm liking the Mosaic and the Timeslide so far.  For a blog with more pictures, the Snapshot one would be great - like for my recipe blog.

I think it's going to be fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the customization will work.  Also, what about ads, banners, sidebars, etc.?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where Are My Links?

I've been sharing links on Facebook, mainly because it's easy.  I see something I like, and I share the link.  And I used to be able to go back and find those links - because I wasn't just sharing them, I was saving them for later.  Except, I can't find them anymore!  I checked Facebook's help page and found this:
Where are my links?

You can access your links from your homepage:
  1. Go to the left-hand navigation column, and look for the section that lists your applications.
  2. Click on "More" to see the full list.
  3. Find and select the "Links" filter.
  4. At the top of the page, select "My Links."
The only problem is that I don't see any "Links" filter and can't select "My Links" after that.  They must be there somewhere, but for now it looks like all my links are missing.  So, facebook help was not much help.  If any of you know how I can find the links I've posted to facebook, please let me know!

But from now on, when I come across a recipe I want to try, a game I want to play, or a great source for postcards, I'm going to have to save it to my recipe blog or share it here, instead of relying on facebook - which is what I should have been doing all along.  Then, I'll be able to find them later.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Get a Free Trial of Epix

Image representing EPIX as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseI got an email today offering me a free trial of Epix.  I'd never heard of it, so I had to check it out, and it looks pretty cool.  It's a cable TV channel, a Video on Demand service, and a website where you can watch movies.  With Epix, you can watch your favorite movies anytime, anyplace.
EPIX is an all new premium movie service that gives you instant access to hundreds of movies online. Plus, it is a TV channel with On Demand. Best of all, you get TV, On Demand, & online for one subscription from your cable, phone company, or satellite TV provider.

Love movies? You'll want to check it out. Right now you can sign up for a free 14-day trial and watch all the movies you want.  They won't even ask for a credit card!  Simply sign up, choose a movie, and start streaming instantly in full HD.   You'll get unlimited access to hundreds of movies.

Now, if I can just clear the next two weeks so I can watch movies!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

We Need to Buy Some Wine Now

Remember a while back I said I was going to be reviewing a product from CSN Stores.  Well, I finally decided what I wanted to order.  It's so hard with everything there is to choose from.  But I finally decided to order this wine rack.

Shipping was really quick.  Unfortunately, when it arrived and my husband started to assemble it, he discovered that there was a piece missing, and a couple of the other pieces were pretty beat up.  It was definitely not the quality that we expected.  However, it did give me a chance to try out the great customer service at CSN Stores.  I filled out the easy online form letting them know what the problem was, and they got back to me right away and shipped the replacement within a few days.  They took care of the problem no questions asked, and the replacement was in much better shape.

Jeffrey put it together, and now we have a wine rack!  It wasn't until I went to put the wine on the rack so I could take a picture that I realized we only have two bottles of wine.  Yep, we really need to buy some wine to put on our brand new wine rack.  It looks good, though, doesn't it?

I received a promotional code from CSN Stores and was able to choose anything I wanted for review.  All opinions are 100% mine.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Have You Seen These Rugs?

When my husband and son got our deck and pergola built, we happened to see some bamboo shades in a home improvement store.  We bought one and hung it from the pergola to block the late afternoon sun, and then went back for another one.  We love them.  They look nice, and they're easy to drop when we want to be out on the deck but the sun is too strong.  What I never realized until recently is that you can get Bamboo rugs too.  I'd heard of bamboo flooring, which I really want to use if we ever get around to putting hardwood floors in the house, but not rugs.  I really like the idea of using bamboo because it replenishes itself a lot faster than trees you get most wood from.

I really love the look of these rugs, both the mats and the shag rugs.  Who knew you could get shag rugs made from bamboo?  Apparently you can sheets made from bamboo, too.  Did anybody know that?  Have you tried them?  Now I'm really wanting to find some so I can try them out.

While I was looking at the bamboo rugs, I had to check out the Seagrass rugs too.  I think I like these even better.  They're supposed to be really durable, and they don't gather dust, and I just like the way they look.  I think they'd be nice right inside my doors, to walk onto when we come in from outside.  I'm not planning to buy rugs for a while, but I'm going to keep something like this in mind for next time I'm looking for some.

Free Conference Calls

With the high cost of gas, I know a lot of business are relying on conference calls to hold meetings.  Instead of having everyone drive or fly in and getting them all together in one room, they just get everyone on the phone.  Even if they're paying to have the conference services, companies can save money by using them.

I'm no business, and I don't often have a need for big meetings or conference calls, so I don't want to pay for a service.  It would not be cost effective for my needs.  That's why I signed up with Free Conference Calling.  It's a free service for conference calling that anyone can use, anytime.  Conference calls can hold up to 1000 participants and can be easily recorded for later reference or playback.  The online interface allows the host to manage calls and callers easily, or they can be managed by phone controls, too.

The only thing you can't offer is a toll-free number for callers to join your conference call.  Any costs for calling in are incurred by the callers and based on their long-distance plans.

If you'd like to be able to host your own free conference calls, whether for business or just for family calls, sign up for your own free account at Free Conference Calling.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who's Looking for Me?

I've been getting more visitors than I'm used to lately.  I'm pretty sure it's because I jumped on the bandwagon and posted something about Charlie Sheen.  In a timely manner, while everyone else is either talking about him or interested in him.  People are searching for 'Charlie Sheen sound' and 'Charlie Sheen soundbites' and they're finding this blog.  I love my Feedjit Real-Time view for stuff like that! It shows me where people come from, what browsers they're using, how they got here, and even the search terms they used.  Click 'Real-time view' on the feedjit widget at the bottom of this blog, and you can see too.

You can see whether people are looking for Medical lab coats or cute blog backgrounds, and this probably isn't important to you, but clicking on the search term usually takes you to the search results page.  It's kind of fun to see which page my blog shows up on, especially when it's Page 1 of a Google search!  Or bing or Yahoo.

So, should I just keep an eye out for trending topics in the hopes that my blog will rise in the search rankings?  Or should I continue to blog about whatever catches my eye, whether anyone else cares or not?  I'm thinking maybe a balance between the two - more trendy stuff, which means actually making myself blog about the things I'm hearing about and thinking about in a timely manner, instead of letting the opportunity pass me by, which is what I usually do.  And, still blogging about whatever catches my eye, whether I want to talk about a cute and comfy Medical Scrub top or those cute blog backgrounds - which, by the way people do seem to care about.  I get a lot of people searching for those.  I like to think I've helped a few find what they were looking for.

How do you decide what to blog about?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Make Your Web Pages and Posts Print Friendly

I've been posting text-only versions of my recipes - from my recipe blog - by using Google Docs.  I think I'm going to change that, though because I was looking at another recipe blog and found this - PrintFriendly.

It makes any web page printer friendly.  It cleans and formats web pages, removing ads, navigation, and all that extra junk you really don't want to waste your ink or paper on.  Users can choose to print images with the text, something at least one of my readers would like to have with her printed recipes, or choose not to print them.  They can also choose to remove any text or elements they don't want and only print what they do.  They can print a hard copy or save as a pdf.

Here's how it works:

PrintFriendly is free and easy to use for anyone.  Browsing a web page you want to print?  Simply copy the url and paste it at or add the bookmarklet to your browser for easy access from anywhere.  Bloggers and web designers can add a button to posts or pages, making it easy for visitors to print their content, which is what I'm going to try for my recipes. 

Whether you're looking to print web pages you visit or want to help people print your pages more easily, check out PrintFriendly and see what you think.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fonts Used in Popular Logos

web 2.0 logosImage by jonas_therkildsen via FlickrEver wonder what font that is when you look at logos?  I do, but I'd never figure it out on my own.  I'm horrible at figuring out fonts or deciding what font to use when I'm trying to do something special.

Anyway, I found this list of popular logos and the fonts they used, and I thought it might come in handy sometime.  Google, Flickr, Yahoo, Facebook, and more - they're all here along with links to the fonts used.

I still want to know which font they use on the 'got milk?' posters and t-shirts.  Any ideas?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Il Volo on The Talk

I saw and heard these boys perform on The Talk the other day.  Wow!  They are awesome!! With so much undeserved hype given to little twerps like Justin Beiber, it's refreshing to see some teenagers with some real talent.

They said they were giving away a free download of this song on The Talk website, but I didn't check right away, and can't seem to find it now. At least I can still watch the video.  I hope to hear much more from these guys in the future.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Charlie Sheen Sound Bites

Charlie Sheen is all over the 'news' these days.  Either he's crazy, he's still wacked out on drugs, or he's just looking for attention.  If he's looking for attention, he's certainly gotten plenty of it.  Whether it's the kind of attention he wants or not, that's another question.  Only Charlie knows for sure.

It kind of reminds me of the 'gapers block' you see on the highway when there's a big wreck, or even if someone just gets pulled over.  We don't want to look, we just can't help ourselves.  And if we'd honestly admit it, we're just glad it isn't us.

Then again, this whole Charlie Sheen thing is kind of entertaining - in a weird, twisted kind of way.  Here's a whole list of Charlie Sheen Sound Bites, so you can listen to his craziness over and over again - or, as it was suggested, "When someone walks by just click on the appropiate bite. Make sure the volume is up."

There are some serious gems in here!   It's hard not to look listen.