Our New Look for Trail Blazing

blazing-saddles-titleTrail Mixers — You’ll notice we have a new layout. In my search to improve page speed I discovered that for various reasons going back to a larger main column and just one sidebar helps things (for starters, your embedded videos display much better in this layout).

Most of our favorite features, such as comment editing and html tags, are fully restored.

One feature we’re going to have to live without for now: Social network login (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) turned out to be a major culprit in our recent troubles with slow page builds.

To comment you’ll need to use your WordPress login unless I can find a stable plugin that allows alternatives. Not yet registered? Click here.

Also, due to what appears to be popular sentiment I haven’t restored the thumbs-up button, but it’s not a troublemaker if we decide to bring it back. I can include a widget in the sidebar displaying most recent comments if you like. Your call.Speedy-Gonzales-warner-brothers-animation-30976176-290-332

Meanwhile, I think and hope you’ll now find the trail as fast as ever. Play safe!

Survey Says
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93 thoughts on “Our New Look for Trail Blazing”

  1. Where did your night shift go? I remember the good old days when a girl could drop in, all hours of the night, and there was someone here, keeping the bar open. Usually a little tipsy or darn right snockered. Snockered can be fun to read unless you’re stone cold sober and they start repeating themselves. That’s been the story of my life for a long time, not snockered unfortunately, but stone cold sober. It’s hard to go and stay at parties long when you can’t drink. Alcohol can make people more fun to be around or less fun. Depends.

    I learned early in life that alcohol doesn’t agree with me. It barely passes my lips and I get this warm feeling in my throat. I start feeling the effects with very little and it’s not a good feeling. The closest thing I can compare it to is when you come down with the flu. Have you ever enjoyed that feeling? I’m just missing something I need to drink alcohol. I figured it must have been God’s will because if it made me feel good, like it seems to make most people, I probably would have abused it. When I was younger, I did try to overcome that yukie feeling. It wasn’t pretty. I could usually find a hour or so that might feel good followed by a lot of selling Buicks.

  2. Craig, before you lose the thumbs up thingy, you ought to take a poll. I’m ambivilent about it. You get your first thumbs up and it feels good. You want another one and the first thing ya know you are joneing for them. I don’t think they always have meaning, well I guess they do have some meaning but different meanings. Someone, who’s ass you want to kiss comes back, after a departure for whatever reason, says hi and gets 10 thumbs up. Maybe you think that someone is feeling blue and needs a little love, you give um a thumbs up. It’s like a little hug. Not a bad thing since we all need a little hug every now and again. But I do think that it may make people feel bad also. They may walk away feeling like no one loves them. Maybe it was just that no one was in the mood to give any hugs at the time. I guess it’s like so many things in life, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly.

  3. quote from above link

    “It’s hard to get rid of the bunnies but we’re going to try as many natural things as possible,” said on USAirport Parking employee.

    Crews will install new fencing to make it harder for the bunnies to burrow under.

    “We’re also going to build raptor perches for the hawks and eagles,” said USAirport Parking.

    Local mechanics are also giving drivers a secret weapon: coyote urine. They’re coating car wires with the substance.

    “We have found a good deterrent is predator urine, you can pick up fox urine at any pro hunting shop,” said Faris.

    fox urine might be scarce this week in d.c.
    but there are plenty of hawks

  4. For what it is worth I am with CT, I like the thumbs up feature. When I see something I agree with or support I give it a thumbs up. For people that don’t use it, like solar, no problem. In the interest of speed you don’t need a side bar of the best comments. I do like your widget idea for the sidebar.

  5. purp, your idea on keeping the thumbs up and not having the repetitive best comments sidebar is a good compromise. i vote for that. it allows for the hug and approval responses but doesn’t take up the storage space.

  6. As more of a lurker, I like the thumbs up feature…it makes it easier to scan everyone’s comments and to zero in on some better parts of the ongoing conversation

  7. Craig,
    Very nice. I like the return of the good old days look.. Very fast loading for me.. I don’t miss the thumbs up feature as we all have the option to comment on another poster’s comment.

    I keep meaning to tell you thanks for the “Downton Abbey” parody piece several threads ago, i really enjoyed it..

  8. Carol, Craig,
    Every time i try and post a photo taken from my I-phone it doesn’t post? Could it have anything to do with Apple pics not being compatible with this format?

  9. I like Trail Mix no matter the look – happy with however the majority votes. It’s the people and their words that matter most :)

  10. Love the new (old) look. Also vote for the approving appendages without the repetitive sidebar. It’s nice to come along and find someone has said something better than you ever could.

    I may be scarce off and on as back is acting up and sitting is not a comfortable alternative.

    Oscars are in one week. Here are the nominees. For the annual contest we will take the top seven awards: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Sup Actor, Sup Actress, Animated. For a tie breaker – Original Screenplay.

    Submit here or on the Blank and White page linked above and I’ll keep track.

  11. After a full night of geeking this blog I’m off to sleep.

    craig, a mighty big well done, boss!
    you’ve got us loading and responding so fast it’s like riding with the top down and hair blowing in the wind

  12. httpv://youtu.be/5bVRTtcWmXI

    Sunday Serendipity.
    Something special to go along with our new old page.
    Enjoy! Have a wonderful Sunday. :smile:

  13. I really like this page format!

    As for the thumbs up I am of two minds. It’s nice to be able to recognize a really pertinent well thought out comment. Generally however those comments speak for themselves by the number of responses to them and the amount of discussion they generate. 😉

  14. Jamie… hope you feel better soon.

    awww crikey… I pissed on the thumbs up yesterday… and now today, I’d of given one to sjwny’s 8:40 comment if it was available.

    patd… poop on those Denver airport employees… they’re only little bunny wabbits…

  15. Despite my early fears of a “tyranny of thumbs” (I’ve been waiting to use that gem), and considering the risk “approval buttons” (in this case, thumbs) present in encouraging group-think, I feel they have augmented the forum, for the most part, due to the responsible employment of them by participants here. Their simplest utility is allowing one to express appreciation without taking up a post to do so, and they also allow lurkers to participate in a way that’s comfortable for them.

    All that said, if they impair functionality, or are unpalatable to the majority, I suppose they wouldn’t be missed. I do enjoy a good thumb pun, however, as evidenced subtly, above.

    For what it’s worth, my most common use of the upped-thumb is to acknowledge a well-composed, well-reasoned, or thought-provoking post with which I disagree.

  16. or if you prefer acapella, here is the king’s singers version

  17. on the great thumb debate, i’m not advocating one way or the other, but i do get Bear’s point about lurkers — i have noticed a lot of clicks into the comment sections from the front-page lists, think it’s a way of “luring lurkers” into the sections

  18. tony, on i-phone image posting — ct, weren’t you using that as well? maybe there is an issue there. altho you both were posting .jpg files, which should work. apple might be coding them in some funky way

  19. Craig,
    Yep, its very possible with Apple. I have run into many things Apple does that doesn’t aid sharing.. Don’t get me started on how hard it is to explain to my older client Rose why her I-Pad won’t play the flash files her facebook friends send to her..

  20. Yes Tony, Apple is not that friendly. I tried for another smart phone when I got this last iPhone. I had to have the phone part up and running because of call and I had problems with that other smart phone there. I liked how it operated with the Internet better. People get iPhone because of the name, I’m not that interested in name. I want something that is friendly. There are apps that are free for other smart phones and cost on iPhone.

  21. Carol

    I did switch from Apple to Android and i much prefer it..
    My Android has a much bigger screen and is so much faster on line than the I-phone.. I can also play my Dropbox video’s on my phone and Android tablet..

  22. Trying the image thing with the Federal Minimum Wage (CPI-U Adjusted to 2012) chart.

    The national minimum wage was first established in The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 at $0.25 current dollars or $4.07 of 2012 dollars. The 2012 dollars peak was in 1968 at $10.56 or $1.60 in 1968 dollars. Since 1969 and the start of the Nixon Administration the minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation. The longest decline was during the Carter/Reagan Administrations.

  23. purple, you are clicking the “upload image” box, right?

    you must have because i see the chart on the server, can’t understand why it doesn’t display. this upload image thingie works enough to keep it, but sure is temperamental. like i say, it’s the only third-party plugin i’ve been able to find that allows images in comments. WordPress itself refuses to include it in their tool box.

  24. i am removing the image uploader for now. just noticed it is not rated as fully compatible with the latest version of WordPress we’re using, which is just asking for trouble. and we’ve had enough of that lately. I’ll keep searching, or maybe the plugin creator will update soon.

  25. Here’s a strange phenom. When I scroll down the page, the avatars cover the monikers. However, if I click anywhere on the page, the avatars briefly shift to the left, revealing the monikers.

  26. I don’t care about thumbs. I don’t tread this trail in order to view, dispense, or collect, thumbs.

  27. Craig,

    We use Internet Explorer.

    It is polluted by a bing search engine,if that makes any difference.

  28. do both gravatar generic icons and those that are customized do that, XR? so you’re saying the avatars are covering the screen names, that right?

  29. When they move to the right, the avatars totally eclipse short monikers like CT, but only partly occlude longer ones like Craig.Crawford.

  30. Craig, I can easily live with it, but I know it would give you sleepless nights.

  31. ct, cache is where your browser stores info about web sites you visit to make them open more quickly. but over time the cache can get large enough to cause problems

    cookies are little gremlins that some web sites place on your computer to track your usage (i do all i can to make sure our site does not do this)

    those links i put in my comment above have more information, and instructions on how to clean your browser

  32. Tony, which Android did you settle on? I think I tried the Samsung Galaxy something or other. It had a larger screen, which I liked. When I couldn’t program the phone part and the girl at Walmart couldn’t either, I went back to something I already knew. Walmart was cheaper and were easier to work with that ATT here.

  33. i voted yes but with a condition: please don’t restore the repetitive “best comments” column on right. if you must, then please up the number of thumbs that are required to qualify the comment as a “best”

  34. the world isn’t ending after all

    After backlash from customers, the producer of Maker’s Mark bourbon is reversing a decision to cut the amount of alcohol in bottles of its famous whiskey.

    Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark’s chief operating officer, said Sunday that it is restoring the alcohol volume of its product to its historic level of 45 percent, or 90 proof. Last week, it said it was lowering the amount to 42 percent, or 84 proof, because of a supply shortage.

    “We’ve been tremendously humbled over the last week or so,” Samuels, grandson of the brand’s founder, said of customers’ reactions.

  35. Now, I’m hungry to some Olive Garden salad and bread sticks. My salads actually are far better but all those fixins are at the house. I’m at the camp. I’d have to use a wheel barrel to get all those fixins out here. My salads are pretty complex. Organic baby spring greens, grape toms, peppercini peppers, avocado, capers, feta cheese. Good season’s garlic herb dsg mix in red wine vinegar and EVOO.

    I’m settling for left over chili and bussells.

  36. Carol

    I got a Virgin Mobile HTC EVO.. Great phone, easy to work, battery is ok but could use improving. Its $45 a month 1200 talk min, unlimited data and texting…. I went to Best Buy.. The Samsung Galaxy 2 is similar to my phone.. At Walmart they have Samsung Galaxy 2 with Straight Talk, my BF has that one and its even a better deal, Unlimited everything $45 a month..

  37. Virgin mobile doesn’t have good coverage in my area. Even people with Sprint have to go out to my wharf to make a call.

  38. On August 23, 1971, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., a former head of the American Bar Association and member of 11 corporate boards, wrote a memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that presented a comprehensive plan and blueprint aimed at shifting the balance of political power in favor of corporations. President Nixon appointed Powell, a Democrat, to the Supreme Court just two months later.

    The Powell Memo was the precipitating event for the swift rise and astounding success of big business and its control of the United States, starting in the early 1970s. The memo presented a bold strategy for how the corporate life form could take over the key portions of the system, without the other side knowing what was happening.


  39. patd says “please don’t restore the repetitive “best comments” column”

    patd, that’s the second question in the survey. Cast your vote. The way that thingie could be redone is to post just the 2 or 3 comments per thread with the most thumbs up. Not advocating one side or other, but a purpose it serves is to draw lurkers into reading comment sections

  40. Genesis 2:7
    New International Version (NIV)
    Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Genesis 2:7
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    The Evangelical Right’s Roots
    By David Drumm< February 16, 2013

    The Evangelical Right arose from the moral outrage triggered by the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. That compelling portrait of their origins glosses over the movement’s less-than-heroic inception. While Roman Catholics condemned the ruling, W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press wrote, “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision.” Wayne Dehoney, Southern Baptist Convention president in the 1960′s, noted, in 1976, the difference between Protestant and Catholic theology when he said: “Protestant theology generally takes Genesis 2:7 as a statement that the soul is formed at breath, not conception.”

    The Evangelical Right did not come together in response to the Roe v. Wade decision but in response to the attempt by the IRS to rescind the tax-exempt status of private schools because of the school’s racially discriminatory policies.

  41. Perhaps what we need rather than a thumbs up, is an expanded
    list of emoticons. Then we could choose which ever one is most appropriate
    for a given post or comment,and assign them accordingly.

    Some examples:

    A.Did you really just say that? Really?
    B.Nice Rant!
    C. Stop Pouting.
    D.Give it a rest.
    E.You could be doing something constructive.
    F.So how is this news?
    G.This is never gonna’fly.
    H.And I thought I was confused!
    I.This is the first sensible thing any one has said today.
    J.Posted under the influence no doubt.
    K. Well I’ll be Goddamned!


  42. If superlatives are the issue, they could just be referred to as “Featured Comments”, or “Hot Topics”, or “Being Discussed”, or such. I hated getting thumbs, but enjoyed giving them, and there are a few I would bestow right here, in this very thread. Maybe not even thumbs: perhaps a lightbulb for “interesting”.

    EDIT: Wow, looking at the tally, we got a real squeaker, here.

  43. Dang Jace, are you trying to start a war? And I thought that the thumbs, or no thumbs, could be intimidating. You men can be troublemakers.

  44. Your tinkering on the site, reminded me of my own fixation on web pages. One becomes a complete “Garage Monkey”, where you are truly happy at 3 A.M. twisting bolts, and learning codes.

    A. It loaded faster than the last 6 months.
    B. It’s cleaner , and the block of text appears bigger

  45. Six votes for no opinion?

    It would be the first time anyone on this trail had no opinion.

    I smell Debold. 😉

  46. Missed your take on the sky falling Friday?

    I have a “denier” named ‘Stony T’ on NewsVine he works at a ‘coal plant’ , when he can’t answer the article , he posts “The sky is falling, the sky is falling !”

    It’s not us against us , it’s us against the cosmos. The one that came in across the South Pole, was first seen last Aug.

    It was a ‘city killer’ at 150 feet across.

    There now are 40 cities that contain at least 10 million people.

  47. Craig –
    Just wait for those frozen chunks of Russian turds moving at 17.000 mph .

  48. I voted for the thumbs up as a semi-lurker who would like folks to know that I’m around and enjoying one or more of the posts. I’d like to go further and show who is hitting the thumbs up button ala the like icon on fb. For instance, when I see a post that I like I think it appropriate the poster knows who is giving the thumbs up. No matter, Craig, thanks for your hard work in keeping this little community alive and well.

  49. There is a good chance in May we will reach 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, here’s what that means –
    Nothing in the in the interglacials ever rose higher than 280 ppm .

    During the 2.5 million year span of the Pleistocene, numerous glacials, or significant advances of continental ice sheets in North America and Europe have occurred at intervals of approximately 40,000 to 100,000 years. These long glacial periods were separated by more temperate and shorter interglacials.

    The last time this carbon number (400 ppm) was in the sky, was 40 million years ago.

  50. This was on the wire today –

    Opinion surveys showed that Filipinos rated global warming as a bigger threat than rising food and fuel prices, she said.


    This came 35 days after Sandy ……….

    Filipino super-typhoon an ominous warning of climate change impact
    Philippines is having to adapt and adjust to rapidly deteriorating climatic trends at a great cost to its economy

    (the Philippines has about 95 million people and a median age of 23).

  51. The Philippines , don’t have your 401K invested there.

    Or British Isles .

  52. Chile –
    Rare earth elements.
    That’s your next boom . Only because other hopes have problems.

    This is the end of the world , it’s a zillion miles from every where.

  53. Rare earth elements.
    That’s your next boom .

    Let’s sell them blue jeans , hardware, and software.

  54. The Lesson of Levi Strauss ………

    First you really go to a wild west gold camp. Then you invent jeans.

  55. Felt bad for climate change protesters in DC today. One of our most bitter cold all winter. We only drove to Olive Garden and froze our butts off in the parking lot.

  56. Jace, for your 11:33 comment I give you an TU, thumbs up. For the one with the long grading scale… an FU.

Comments are closed.