Monday, October 12, 2009



Turned the outside water off & drained all the garden hoses Saturday & this morning disconnected all the outside garden light timers.  Slowly working my way down the pre-trip checklists.  Temps were 36F this morning so we'll be glad to get on the road soon.

LOADING THE RIG Had a couple questions about the blogger wide template that we use.  Lot of blogger folks are on the 2 column template like we were but I was worried about trying to do a 3 column template after reading about the chances of loosing the whole blog.  Noticed Laurie & Odel at SEMI TRUE TALES  had a wider look to their blog yet it was still 2 columns so emailed them awhile back & Laurie sent the instructions on how to 'stretch' the 2 column blog & fill the screen from horizon to horizon.  WANDERING WILLY  tried it out last night & stretched his blogsite so far he can hardly get into his computer room now & I just noticed ROD did the big stretch as well except he's having a little problem getting his hot air balloon to stretch across the screen.  Put some more air into that balloon Rod.  The secret of enlarging the header photo lies in the number you input into the Picasa photo Export.  Remember, your blog stretch & your blog header photo are two separate monsters & each are slain with a different sword.  Do battle with your blogger stretch first & then come back & slay your header photo dragon.  Our current Pilot Knob header pic is sized at 910. 

HEADING UP THE PINE TREE TRAIL & ALMOST HOME Couple the 'blogger stretched template' with Windows Live Writer & throw in Picasa 3.5 as your photo editor & you are well on your way to putting yourself to-gether one mighty fine blogsite.  Here, in part are those instructions for anyone wanting to enlarge the look of their blog site...............................

Blogger has canned "stretch" templates.  They are two column templates where the "blog post" column is stretched across the width of two columns.  First, go to "Layout", then pick "Edit HTML".   If you haven't saved your current blog template recently (or ever), pick "Download Full Template", which will save your current template as a file on your own computer, so you can upload it easily if you make any boo-boos when checking out new templates

Then, go to "Pick New Template'.  Scroll down to the second row of templates - the Minima Stretch templates are the second row, far left (there are a few other stretch templates, too).  Click the radio button for one of the stretch templates, then click "preview template" (under the radio buttons).  You will get a little preview of how your blog would look if you made the change.

Making the change itself is very simple, BUT... you lose any customizing you have done.  All your posts will be there, and all of your "widgets" too so you will just have to re-do your color schemes & font sizes, etc.   If you have added any special bits of HTML code to your current template or widgets I think you lose that so it is a bit of work, but not too tedious.  If your 2 column blog is pretty straight forward then you should be OK.  Give it a whirl...I did, & if I can do it......anybody can do it.  AL:))  And a big thanks to Laurie for these instructions!!

MAPLE LEAVES Been thinking lately what I really need here is a treadmill that will power the computer.  With the increasing amount of time I'm spending on the puter & the lessening time I'm spending outdoors doing physical things, I am definitely going to have to come up with something for the betterment of my health.  Need to have a treadmill with keyboard & monitor affixed to a front hand rail panel.  The treadmill would have to have some kind of device to generate power from the physical walking portion of the treadmill to the electronics of the computer.  A slow walk might be good for emails, a brisker walk would get you on-line, a fast pace for larger downloads, & a  speedy jiggy jog for those You Tube videos.  Perhaps a direct in-line oxygen feed & handy defibrillator might be wisely added safety features as well.....Hey, it was just a thought!!


GROANER'S CORNER:))  Did you know the  sentence 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' uses every  letter of the alphabet.


The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.


  1. Thanks for the instructions, Al. No wonder I call you the "Blogfather" I finally have a picture where I want it.

  2. I see Rod got his picture problem solved... his balloon looks great. Al, your blog just keeps getting better and better. I love all the blogger tips that are being shared!

    We're moving south now as the cold weather moves into the north. Hope we finally meet you and Kelly down south this year.

  3. You're the man, Al. Now - I know what I need to do, I just need to do it. Next question - yes, I'm using Live Writer, yes, I'm using Picasa 3.5, and I even punch the necessary Picasa fixing buttons, but when I get a picture in my blog post, it won't exspand with a click like yours do. What am I missing now, oh Blogfather, Great Guru?

  4. Thanks for sharing the info on "stretch blogs" Al. I tried it out last night on my practice back-up blog(at a secret undisclosed location) and got it working just as you described. I'm not sure about it yet, though. I'll have to keep tinkering with it to decide if I want to change. Looks like a few others are jumping in the pool though! I may have to follow!

  5. Hummmm, its way over my head......Give me a good ole bucking horse anytime!!!