Site News

I’m embarrassed to say that the last I posted was on May 27th…That Lincoln review below was the topic. And since? Bupkus. Zilch. Nada. Not even through the momentous events of the last few weeks, which are so brilliantly documented in those postage stamp-sized photos to the right. I have spared you nary a drop of verbage, dribbled out of my unkempt mind onto the bits and bytes of this website.

I have come to one unescapeable conclusion: I’m a horrible blogger.

I apologize. I shall try better. Or at least shorter and more frequently. Or something like that. Or I might just find this is the new pattern: a non-existent, sporadic pattern.

So tomorrow I’ll start a new feature that I hope to regularly share with the class: a look at websites I stumble across that I find interesting, and think that at least one or two of you out there will enjoy as well. Look for it tomorrow! Or next week…Or sometime. Soon?

In the meantime, I’ll just note the big events of the last couple of weeks: Hannah and Zoe have “graduated” from eighth grade and are now, more or less officially, high school students. And, to add to it, they’re leaving the only school system they’ve known for nine years and heading back into the Minneapolis Public School system to go to a high school that I think I made myself promise at some point in my life I’d never send any of my kids to: Edison High School. But the school seems to have its act together, and the girls made most of the decision to go there on their own, in spite of leaving most of their friends behind. So I’m proud and excited for them.

Patrick graduated from Roseville Area High School. He’s settled and mostly enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and has actually even started working a regular, part-time, paying job. So we’re proud and excited for his next steps.

So there’s the quick update. Look for more stuff starting tomorrow. I’ll try harder! Promise! Maybe.

See you tomorrow.

Time for the weekly updates which should have aired here Sunday or Monday nights but didn’t because other things took precedence.

In diet news, I lost .8 pounds this past week, which makes for a 2.2 pound total. Not nearly what I wanted, since I could probably lose that much just by shedding body hair, but it’s still a slight downward trend that looks good on a chart. I’ve been concentrating on eating well–fruit, veggies and cheese at lunch, reserving meat for dinner. So far, so good, but I’m hungry all of the time and my stomach is sounding like a pod of whales.

You probably noticed that there was nothing of note to notice here this past week. The promised changes didn’t change anything because I tried rolling a change out and it broke several things for reasons I’m still investigating, so the next phase of redesign is on hold for the time being. Of course, it doesn’t help that these redesigns to the blog formatted pages can’t be tested offline–I have to upload them and activate them and see if the site works to test them. When I tried that midday of some day last week, I got nothing but errors, so rolled back to the tried and true stuff you see before you now.

In short, ambition caused a crash. I tried going too far too fast. Stages, Paul…Stages. I’ll try again later this week or early next week.

I did need to update the Twitter applet over there in the right hand sidebar because Twitter has been changing rules on how to use their precious data plug-ins. So I had to move to a different sidebar widget and configure that.

In the meantime, I’ve been talking to Zoe about setting up her own Tumblr page that ties into our site so that she could post some pictures for the world to see in a place other than Instagram. She’s interested, but as with all of my kids, doesn’t want to know the details or install the app required to make this happen. So stay tuned. Hannah, on the other hand, just sort of looked at me as if to say “why would I want that?” I don’t think her page will happen anytime soon.

That’s the size of things from this side of the blog. Thanks for reading.

See you tomorrow.

Ever feel like you’ve just walked into a room and all of the furniture has been moved around since the last time you were there?

Yep. That’s going on here. This page you’re looking at is the first WordPress theme that I’ve designed myself. With the help of some software, some hand-coding (okay, not a lot of coding, but I did indeed write a few lines), some work in Photoshop, and many initial tweaks and tests that I’m certain will continue for quite a while, I’m starting to work toward a consistent design across the whole site.

So while that means that this new design is fresh and exciting, it’s nothing more than a proof of concept that I can do some things, still need to work on figuring out how to do others, and it will be in constant flux.

I’m celebrating now, but I’m sure that someday, probably sooner rather than later, I’ll be frustrated out of my mind, wondering just why something isn’t working, or why things don’t look the way I designed them to look. At the same time, though, I’ll have to keep churning out the content for you to see what’s going on in my little world.

Feel free to let me know what you think of this look, though admittedly there isn’t much that’s too radically different than the last design.

 

Things are expanding and changing around here, as promised.

I’ve dropped a couple of posts into a new Tumblr blog which you can get to by using my own vanity address (I just like the sound of having something to which the vanity tag can be attached…). I’ll have a link from the homepage at some point soon when I address some design questions I have in my head. But for now, you can bookmark and go to eats.lathropworld.com.

Keep in mind that it, too, is a work-in-progress, and the design, look, and feel may change from visit to visit. It, like everything else around here for a while, is a plaything, a toy, and an experiment. Part of why I started it up was to see if I could successfully marry my site to a vanity address on Tumblr. And I did it, so now that I’ve got that going, I may just see I want to or should change my primary Tumblr site address.

But this page will be a place for pictures of food. Talking about food. Discussing restaurants. Sharing recipes. Sharing things I find online that are food related. Heck, maybe even showing off some of the stuff I find in my frequent trips to the grocery store.

Let me know what you think: I’m just as open to suggestions as I am to thinking my own way is right. So you probably stand a 50-50 chance of seeing any single suggestion stick.

As always, thanks for reading and visiting.

See you tomorrow.

It’s one of the great mysteries in my life that I don’t find some things earlier.

Like settings on the website control panel that allows me to easily create spiffy, easy-to-find subdomains. If that sentence sounded like Greek or some other similarly foreign language, then hang on. The translation is coming.

First, some background to give you a feel to what goes on behind the curtain here at the site. Believe it or not, we’ve owned the domain name lathropworld.com since January 2007, which means we’ve entered our seventh year of hosting our sad excuse for a website here.

But for the most part during that time, most of what I’ve put here has just been a blog, which is akin to buying a huge house and just living in the bathroom. So as I’ve been looking for hobby and entertainment opportunities, I’ve decided that I really need to do something to be more active online–more Instagram photos, more Tumblr posts, more Tweets, Facebook Pokes, or whatever…

So over the coming month or months, I’ll be gradually be filling the other rooms of this house like a hoarder collecting old National Geographics. In the process, the whole joint is getting a facelift and a new paint job, probably in fits, starts, and nonsensical, problematic efforts. There are things I’m going to try that I’ve never done before, programming and technical things that I need to test live on the site, and configuration changes on the back-end that are almost guaranteed to screw something up because I’ll have missed reading step 87b in the 900 point instructions.

As an example, take the main page to the site. What, you say? This place had a main page? Yep. Go to lathropworld.com. I redesigned that over 3 days, and I’m not entirely sure I’m happy with it yet…I’m proud of the post card, but not entirely happy with the whole presentation yet. And you’ll notice right now that there is exactly one link on the page. Yep. That’s the bathroom. It’s upstairs and to the right.

So what does this mean to you, the seeker of all things Lathropworld-y? First and foremost, it means that I’ll be trying to have more fun around here, posting more stuff I find online, more pictures, more things that I feel like sharing with everyone.

But it also means that you’ll probably see some errors around here, or things that look stranger than usual. It means that there will be links to new areas of the site, and these may not actually be hosted here–to use the house analogy, it’ll be like having a spare bedroom that actually is in a house across town, but you still get there by stepping through the door off the upstairs landing.

It means that I’ll be working on a consistent look and feel to the entire site, and that if I don’t post on one page, that doesn’t mean I didn’t post today–there may be some other new things on other pages.

It’s a complicated plan. A complicated plan that isn’t fully fleshed out yet. Or fully planned, because I’m still discovering some of the things that I can do and I’m still learning how to do some of them–like using a custom domain name to get to one of my now 3 Tumblr pages…

And why am I doing all of this, you may ask? Well, this is what made it feel right as a hobby or diversion: because I have all of the tools to do it and want to give it a try. If it proves too much to do or something that I can’t make work right, then I’ll scrap it and do something else.

So pay attention: you’ll gradually see things changing around you every time you come here, and I’ll try to do my best to let you know what’s changing as it happens. And feel free to wander around and walk through the doors of the site as I open them. At the very least, I’m hoping it will be entertaining for everyone.

See you tomorrow.

I’ve just made a change that makes the site slightly easier to get to…But if you’ve got it bookmarked, then it probably doesn’t make a difference.

If you feel the urge, though, you can now go to http://theeclecticmix.lathropworld.com to get to the blog. You’re welcome.

See you tomorrow.

I need a laugh right now. I’ve got a cold–but not enough of a cold to stay home and curl up in the fetal position and ingest hot tea and chicken soup all day–but it’s enough of a cold where my head is protesting the concept of thought, and my sinuses are making my teeth and eyes hurt.

 

So thankfully, I got a good chuckle when I came in to the blog here to do some admin stuff and went to clear out the ol’ spam filter, only to find I’ve been spammed almost entirely by users or addresses named “Louis Vuitton Handbags,” “Louis Vuitton Handbag Outlet,” or “Louis Vuitton Outlet Online.”

 

I have heretofore been unaware that my blog moves in such august haute couture circles. And honestly, it makes me wonder what would possess a spammer to use this as an address. Unless they think I’d be the type to purchase a Louis Vuitton handbag from an online outlet store?

 

But, let’s please go forward and see what nuggets of wisdom have come from the spammers this time?

 

Dead indited articles, Really enjoyed looking through.

I do accept as true with all of the concepts you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. May just you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

Apparently, I’m supposed to make the dead indited articles longer?

 

Though this one sounds vaguely threatening:

I will immediately seize your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

 

But this one really understands me:

Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and come with approximately all important infos. I’d like to look extra posts like this.

Because there is nothing I want to do more than make an awesome, great written blog come with approximately all important infos. It is, needless to say, a dream of mine.

 

See you approximately all important tomorrow.

You may have noticed it by now. Or maybe not–it’s been a subtle change, but one I’m hoping you recognize as time goes on.

 

I’m trying to make things a bit easier on me to post blog entries. I was disappointed in the fact that I couldn’t come up with much last year (I only posted 176 entries which I know is a lot, but still is short of where I’d like to be). So to that end, I’m coming up with a series of subject areas so I can come to them on a random basis and hopefully just keep the hopper full for each one and plant it as needed.

 

You’ve seen the tech support category, and the gluten-free and diet category already. I’ll have at least one picture category coming, a video category coming (especially as the great digitization project really gets going here–converting over and editing old home videos to digital so the memories there won’t permanently fall off of the magnetic tape media they’re currently stored on), more on weird links and pictures I find on the web, and, of course, a category that should encapsulate updates from the family.

 

So there you go. You’re forewarned about the coming year’s blog entries. It certainly merited the Friday entry, right?

 

See you tomorrow…er, Sunday night.

I know I should be writing a post on the trip. But I just don’t have it in me right now.

 

It’s been a draining few days here. Thursday was my grandfather’s memorial service following his death last month. My mom and her brothers, my dad and I all delivered some words on our recollections with Willie, and it all was great, except that I had to kind of choke the last two paragraphs through a wave of tears.

 

No, I didn’t expect that. I know I should have, but I didn’t.

 

Then Friday morning, Pippin, my cat of 21 years, suddenly lost all of her strength. She hasn’t eaten a thing since Friday noon, and has only been drinking limited amounts of water. Her body’s shutting down, and I can’t do anything but watch it. But the good news is she isn’t in pain, or even uncomfortable. She’s just fading away.

 

And yeah, I’ve broken down a few times because of it. The rational part of me is apologetic and probably even annoyed with me for that, because she’s just a cat, and I shouldn’t have a full-out bawling session because of it.

 

But she’s been in my life longer than my wife and my kids, and even though this is expected with an old cat, it doesn’t make it any easier.

 

So I just don’t have it in me to offer up anything other than this–letting you know what’s going on. It’s stupid, but I just don’t want to do much else. Depending on how things go, I’ll be back when I can.

 

See you later.

I’ve been dreading writing for a couple of hours now. See, it’s All-Star Game night, which ought to be a national holiday, as far as I’m concerned. Honestly, it’s the only TV event of the year that I actually anxiously wait for and sit down to watch almost without fail.

 

So, at 7 this evening, I was perched in front of the TV, tuned into the big game, only to be impressed shortly thereafter by how quickly the game really was over.

 

See, the American League blew it early, spotting the National League five runs in the first inning. The NL tacked on three more in the fourth, and the AL never managed to hit much of anything. Add to that the fact that the Twins’ only representative, Joe Mauer, didn’t get in until the 8th and is only due up once (in the bottom of the 9th), and the end result is that I was about to write about how horribly the AL played and how the game was really disappointing.

 

But then, I checked in to write, and as I do on every visit, I go to clear out the spam comments that somehow got through the measures I’ve put in place to prevent them. There, waiting for me, as if placed like a sacrificial lamb on the pagan altar that is the blog, I found a gem.

 

The spammers who try to attack blogs are curious types: they’re almost always foreign, and at the very least, non-native English speakers. And they post some of the dumbest stuff. But this one rose to an entirely new level.

 

Take for instance this wonderful tidbit:

I’m wanting to reserve my own snarkiness for friends it has a tendency to incite rage from the general society of Westport! Cool Stuff in public areas Bathrooms: It’s so awesome when you attend the bathroom somewhere, and you can find SOMETHING cool in buying it that separates it through the average community bathroom.

 

Believe me, kids. I am not making this up. I don’t think there’s any chance in a million years that I’d write something that convoluted.

 

But really, apparently, we must all check out the bathrooms in the society of Westport. Though the people there are sensitive about snarky discussions of their public facilities. But really, they sound amazing! For instance, behold the hand dryers!

Those give dryer thingys in which just have got holes for your personal arms, and a person stick your hands in approximately your arms and slowly but surely pull these people out even though super-air blows about them and drys them!!

 

Put your personal arms in the holes of the dryer thingys and pull people out! What will science think of next? Perhaps automatic toilets that dispense reading material?

When everything is automated: Once I what food was in this lavatory where items that I failed to even know could be automatic, was! The toilet automatically re-covered itself that has a new document cover immediately after every utilize. Then you obtain up plus it just routinely flushes. Then, you just simply put the hand under the soap dispenser, and boom-soap!

 

You have no idea how much I’d like a new document cover on my toilet after every utilize. But I wish I could learn more about this boom-soap.

 

But I’m sure we’ve all gone into a public restroom and wished for a soundtrack, or perhaps even a language lesson:

When the restroom is trying to play great tunes, OR whenever they are educating you Real spanish (or even other dialect). In a number of Mexican places to eat, you can learn How to speak spanish words while about to the bathroom! Talk concerning multi-tasking…

 

I obviously don’t eat at Mexican restaurants. I had no idea I could get a Spanish lesson in the can after having an enchilada. I’ll have to start. To find reading material and receiving a Spanish lesson? How wonderfully civilized!

 

So finally, my spammer wraps it all off with this beauty:

Whatever it really is, cool arbitrary stuff in public bathrooms makes the experience additional enjoyable, plus, you be able to go tell all your friends concerning this to enable them to go around and look it over. Everyone bonds covering the surprise non-traditional rest room stuff.

 

Yes, I think we can all agree that we’ve covered a lot of surprise non-traditional rest room stuff. Yet, he or she also talks about the cool arbitrary stuff. What are we talking about now? I have no idea if the arm dryer that spits out people is surprise or arbitrary? Or the automatic re-covering toilet? Or the Spanish lesson? Oh well, apparently, I’m supposed to bond with others to discuss the surprise non-traditional rest room stuff. Perhaps they’ll help me figure out what that is, exactly.

 

Maybe some day, the automatic re-covering toilet can wrap itself in spam responses to blog posts. It might not teach us Spanish, but we’d still get a good laugh.

 

See you tomorrow.

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