Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bells and Whistles

You might notice some new stuff along the left side of the page. You see, yesterday I had a rare day where both kids were at school and it was cold as heck for late April so I wasn't stepping foot outside. Allergies are killing me this week - picture me typing with tissues sticking out of both nostrils, or even passed out on my keyboard. Thus, new bells and whistles for STL Homeboy.

Up there on the left is the logo and link for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, a group I just joined that promotes and protects St. Louis bloggers in issues such as copyright. In fact, if you click on that link, you'll see some recent copyright issues involving Mamalogues, an excellent St. Louis blog that I check in on frequently. The people involved in the guild so far have been great, and I look forward to meeting many of them in person. Blogging can be an isolating experience at times and it's good to commiserate with some local bloggers.

Just under the guild link is the symbol for the Green Options media network. This particular link will take you to my green articles, which are published every Thursday. If you read an article, leave a quick comment, if only a quick "thanks for the information." We have a program to see how many people read them, but other readers can only judge traffic by the number of comments. The more comments, the more likely they are to join in on the conversation. The more active the community the more good information gets shared and the stronger the network (and the more I get paid for the work I do.)

Under the recent posts are links. I've added Michelle's link, Mom Without a Map. If you know Michelle make sure to stop by over there and say hi. They had a great time in Mexico, and here's a picture to prove it:

And with just a touch of terrible photoshopping, I can show what it would have been like if we had made the trip:

I'm still getting over my sunburn.

A ways down on the left are two added features: a "On the Night Table" pic and some "In Heavy Rotation" pics. I've resisted doing something like this in the past because I feared it would look self-indulgent, and really who cares what I'm reading or listening to? But studies of blog readers found that when readers see they have interests in common with the blogger the more likely they are become regular readers. If you are interested in them, mouse over the pics for the artist and title - the music pics should link to their amazon pages (not to promote amazon but to give more information on the album.)

The blogupp widget under the music pics is just a social networking tool for bloggers. If you mouse over it you can see another blogger's site and title. Someone else somewhere is showing mine.

Lastly, some of you outside of St. Louis may not have heard that we had an earthquake at 4:30 in the morning a couple of weeks ago. Actually, Illinois had an earthquake, which was felt at least a state away in each direction. You might think that as a Californian I wouldn't be affected by earthquakes, but now that I have kids and live in a house that is not earthquake proof, I shot up out of bed. We were close to getting the girls out of the house when I felt that the rumbles were subsiding. Clara opened her door and with big eyes said, "My bed was shaking!" The next day, she pointed to everything in her room: "My flowers were shaking. My lamp was shaking. My Chumley was shaking." Chumley is her bear. Clara calls it "the earthshake." There was an aftershock the next day, and St. Louisans have stepped up their talk of the inevitable big one that should hit any day now...


Tracy Bittle said...

I'm looking forward to a cup of coffee and some time spent looking through your bells and whistles. I can't figure when I might get that moment of peace, but my thoughts are there.

Sorry about the vacation :(. I would have been crying too.

We miss and love you all!

Michelle said...

You are too funny - I just got my computer up after the move. Checking your blog was one of the first things I did... and there I was in my swimsuit. Nice. Pregnant Illustrated... pictures for men who like women pregnant. ;) Of course they read your blog for the articles.

Heather said...

Thanks for doing the work on the St. Louis Bloggers badge and link. I have added it to my site.

Joel Bittle said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heather. You are definitely my mirror image here in St. Louis. We could both use a better balance of testosterone.