blog theme update

As some of you noticed yesterday, I’ve updated the blog theme to add a little color. Maybe down the road I’ll experiment with some of the new features (like this one that allows short “aside” posts). It’ll take some getting used to, I know. 

And yes the remodeling is an indication of just how bored I am with all the not writing I’m doing.

Triathlon training is chugging along nicely – 3 weeks to go and I feel great, if a bit worn out. The garden is producing lots of cucumbers and tomatoes, a few eggplants and peppers. And for some reason I’m the only person on earth who can’t grown squash? With the exception of one green squash a couple of weeks ago, all I’m getting are tiny little squash that turn yellow and wither.

Besides a renewed obsession with The Sims, that’s about all that’s new around these parts. 

53 thoughts on “blog theme update”

  1. Glad to read from you! Your new blog theme will take a bit of getting used to =) But it’s pretty. I like the color – it is colorful, but not too And if I make it big enough, my browser automatically hides one of the sidebars, that makes reading easier.
    A good harvest to you! Your vegetables make me think of ratatouille – only zucchini would be missing. I’ve got a good recipe, if you’d like =)
    I have been missing your posts, but I am glad that you take the time for yourself that you need.
    (And I’m the one to talk. I’ve been drafting blog posts, but haven’t posted in far to long.)

    1. I would love your ratatouille recipe! I have squash in the fridge from our CSA (last week was ‘unlimited squash’). I’ve only attempted ratatouille once before and wasn’t very successful so a proven recipe would be a good starting place for me. 🙂

  2. It’s most likely squash bugs on the leaves. Try planting nasturtium nearby next year. Also, they need a LOT of water.

      1. There are several things that might be troubling your squash. I lost my entire squash crop to a mixture of fungal attack (Verticillium, I think) and the local gastropods early in the season, so I sympathise. Squash are hungry plants, so good manuring is sensible advice early on, but you might be able to compensate using a good liquid vegetable feed. You might also be having problems with pollination – the collapse of pollinator species is starting to hit in many areas, and this is only likely to get worse. The solution is hand pollination. It may also be a virus (no cure, no defence). The RHS is, as always, a mine of good advice.


        1. Thank you for that link – lots of information to mull over. I think I may try hand pollination since I’m getting little squashes about the size of my small finger but once the blossom drops off, they wither. Not sure if it’s a pollination problem but it can’t hurt to try I suppose. I do have a ton of both male and female blossoms.

  3. Hmm….I like the blue-jeans color. This is copacetic with me, because I finally moved. So I’ve started a new life too of sorts.
    Good for you and good luck on the training! How long of a triathlon?
    I want to re-start jogging; (is it all right to call it that, or should it be “slow slogging, or barely past walking”) .
    Glad to be back online and then there you were too. 🙂

    1. The triathlon is “sprint” – 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride and 3.5 mile run. Very doable distances for me and my bionic knee. 🙂

      I hope your move went well! It always feels good to be back online after a disruption, doesn’t it?

  4. My mighty wall of text comments are now towers of text, reaching for Heaven. Can I be held financially liable for wear on users scroll wheels with this new layout?

    1. It does really squish all of the text into a tower, doesn’t it? My mouse wheel is already semi-broken (goes down but not so much up) so I guess you won’t get any complaints from me.

  5. My squash plant was looking so promising at the start and now looks dead so you’re not alone 😦 And I killed half my monster crop of cauliflower plants – I think by overwatering, But I call it a learning experience 🙂

    1. 😦 We ended up using some of the squash leaves in soup, so that’s been pretty much the only upside.

      I love cauliflower! Maybe next year I’ll give it a try. It really does seem to be a learning experience. I’ve never done more than container garden before so this has been an adventure.

      1. My problem (if you can call it that) is that I got a lot of free packets of seeds with a gardening magazine i subscribed too – which means that I feel obliged to try them even if I don’t know if I like them or not! I seem to be being successful with beetroot but I’ve never eaten one in my life and have no idea how to cook them (I do have a lot of cook books though so if I got my finger out and got proactive…)
        It’s great fun but I do get a bit overloaded sometimes – I forget to enjoy it and start feeling like I should be getting everything perfect, producing all this veg and using it, getting everything planted up on time and so on. But that’s the story of my life!

        1. Roast the beets! They’re delicious with a little olive oil and salt on them. You can also cool them and toss them in a salad with some greens and nuts and fruit (tangerines, cranberries, shredded coconut). You can also use the greens in smoothies or soups or saute them with a little garlic.

          Growing from seeds sounds daunting though. I had enough trouble getting the little starter plans to take off.

  6. Pleasant colour theme, I like it… it is calm and well balanced. I also like that the text column is more narrow, it gives better flow and overview to read vertically than horisontally I think.

    One thing that was better in the old theme was the footer area though… because when e.g. categories and blog roll are long lines vertically underneath each other and not sharing the horisontal space, then it takes very long vertical scrolls to get to some info in the footer.

    1. I like the narrower text column and calm colors as well.

      I could put the footer information back so that some info appears in both the sidebars and footer and people can access as they prefer. One thing that bugged me was how unbalanced the footer was, with the shorter columns of “top posts” and the giant column of tags. Is there a particular set of information that you think is most helpful to have in the footer? I think I can have either 3 or 4 columns.

  7. Wow, it changed again now… This is even better, it looks visually interesting and well balanced… lively but not too busy looking because of the calm colour theme. Great!

    It doesn’t need to have anything more, it is great as it is.

    To answer your questions anyway:

    I think the best kind of things to put in the footer (as opposed to the sidebars) are visually entertaining, colourful and relatively quadratic widgets with “nice to know” (non-essential) kind of links. The Twitter and Facebook widgets could go there, but they look fine where they are now. Your books should stay where they are now, because they are essential and to be seen first, not “nice to know” stuff. You could put featured stuff you want to draw extra attention to in the footer, presented in a visually appealing way. I think many explore the footer when they finish reading a post and want to see if there is more that interest them.

    Anyway, I don’t think any more work is really needed.

    1. Re. featured stuff, come to think of it you already present that very well with the “magazine like” look on the home page, so there is no reason to do that. All I can think of then: just some nice decorative artwork or something! You could make your footer into a little online art gallery for autistic visual artists, a new one every month/quater/whatever.

      (I don’t mean to trigger unnecessary speculations and a sense that something needs to be done/changed, because that is not the case. My brain just keep spitting out ideas. I wish I had a footer area in my theme)

      1. Okay, I’ll give some thought to what else might work in the footer. The artwork idea is a great one! I do like having things down there, but once I got the sidebars done it felt like there was nothing left to add.

  8. I love the blog!
    So happy you stopped by to write a little note…I have missed reading here! I hope you get another desire to write again soon! LOL:)

    1. Thanks – I think I’m finally starting to get used to the new layout.

      I have tons of desire but I’m forcing myself to take the month off to see if it helps my brain at all. I’ve been told more than once that the language problems I’m having may be due to burnout or overuse so this is my experiment to test that theory out. Mostly I’m just pulling my hair out (not literally) with boredom. So I guess my options are boredom while not writing or frustration/anger while writing. Woohoo! 🙂

  9. I like your new theme.
    Don’t feel bad about the squash – I’ve killed another zucchini plant. I have been hearing that this is not a good year for squash. That made me feel better 🙂

      1. Ahemm … if I may also add personal experience with squash / pumkins? 😉 Got beautiful ones when I planted them directly at the flank of the compost heap, lots of sun and water, and clipping off the shoot when it got too long.

        1. I had a squash plant spontaneously sprout from my compost heap a few years ago in NM but the coyotes did it in before it could produce anything. 🙂 I tried my first hand pollination this morning and I’ve been watering every evening so we’ll see . . .

  10. Are you still tweaking the new blog theme? One thing you *might* consider to change is the position of the ‘comment’ button: Once you finish reading the post and want to continue with the comments you have to scroll up again to the start.

    Similarly, when going through a month in the archives, the back button in the browser returns you to the top of the post you just ‘finished’ instead of to the start of the next one.

    With an effort indeed I refrain from falling into my Aspie permanent-apology-modus for this suggestion. Instead: I think the ‘Notes’ on the right side will be become an extra-cool feature! 😀

    1. I wish I could move the button but I’m using an off the shelf theme that has limited customization options. Some day I’ll make the move to a fully customizable theme, when I have the time to really devote to it.

      I will try to make good use of the notes!

  11. Your changes have badly affected your RSS feed. This post and the next one have appeared with the subject but otherwise empty in my aggregator (

    Your feed does validate

    Looking at the content generated it seems that your feed is now including only a short excerpt of each post with all the graphics as enclosures.

    Please bring back the full functional RSS feed, this is so essential.

    Have a good blogging break.

      1. Still broken. Searching for documentation of WP rss feeds, I found which suggests that the feeds are affected by templates as well, by files such as /wp-includes/feed-{type}.php

        Maybe a solution would be to revert the templates for the feeds to whatever you had before the change as the RSS feed was working fine before and you want to change only the website theme?

        1. Unfortunately that’s for self-hosted blogs which give you access to all of the underlying code. I have a hosted blog which is much more limited in terms of access and customization. :-/

          1. Ok, thank you.

            It’s a shame as I really enjoy your blog (the best autistic blog I have found) and this means either I’ll have to try to handcraft a working rss feed for it with Yahoo Pipes! or stop following it.

  12. There’s no change (yet), the RSS feed is still broken. If you’ve just made some changes maybe your feed is cached and the update has not yet gone through the system.

    I’ve never used WP so can’t help you with that, but I would have thought the RSS settings would be independent of the settings for the theme. If that is the case then reverting whatever change you’ve done to the RSS settings would likely fix the RSS feed without affecting your new theme at all?

    Maybe someone with WP experience can offer some suggestion in this thread?

  13. Maybe it’s the dirt? Where my parents live, you just need one squash or cucumber plant and they’ll be growing out your ears. Where I live a bit away, squash are easily offended (or maybe just stubborn) and cucumbers are languid too.

    1. I have no clue but the season is over and I got one measly squash out of two plants that had at least a 100 blooms. I tried hand pollinating and that got things a little further along but they still turned yellow and went bad before they got bigger than my finger. There’s always next summer . . .

  14. I LOVe the Sims too, that’s the orderly world I rest in- my comfort zone when the world gets crazy, the sims are at least mostly predictable, pleasantly surprising- and there’s always the undo 🙂 Did you get the new one?

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