Chips, Dips, Memes and Quips ~ Comenzamos La Bloggiesta!

 Began at 11:05 am, Friday January 8th, 2010

Say hello to my little friend, Pedro! 

Plan.  Edit.  Develop.  Review.  Organize 

K, got my coffee… ate my sausage, egg and cheese biscuit from Hardee’s and I’m working on my country potatoes (mmm… soo much better than hashrounds!), and I’m saving the cinamon raisin biscuit for later.  My rat terrier, Missy, is full and happy after her Monster Biscuit (ham, cheese, egg, cheese, sausage, cheese, bacon and did I mention cheese? on a biscuit – It’s her new favorite from her FAVORITE restaurant), but would you believe that, after all that, she’s still bumming potatoes?  LOL..  Hardee’s is her one vice… that and cat turds fresh from the litter pan. 

My snow boots are kicked off, I’m feeling warm and relaxed, and I’m reading to get down with PEDRO!  Baila conmigo, buddy! 

So here’s what my plans are so far: 

  • I need to update my widgets!  Some of them contain info from last summer, some from last year, in general.  I need to bring them up-to-speed.
  • I’m evaluating whether or not to begin a seperate blog for The Welsh Reading Challenge.  A few people have joined (to be honest, more than I had expected, even), and there’s a wealth of titles and resources out there that I could tap.  The question is, however, how deep do I want to get in the challenge when my main reading focus for 2010 is to clear out all my ARCs by the end of the year.
  • I’m debating whether or not to chuck Viral Video Wednesday.  I’ve been lazy with it anyway, and it’s a distraction all week long when I’m really trying to focus on my reading goals.  I love it and enjoy it, but maybe set it aside at least until next year.
  • I need to update my Challenge page, my Mt. TBR inventory and ARC-alanche pages, as well as decide what to do with other pages.
  • I need to update my accepting books policy, because I really don’t want to add more books to the pile unless it’s one I’m dying for and can’t live without.
  • I need to establish a comprehensive and well-defined ratings system.  I feel the way I’ve been rating books is a bit arbitrary, and luckily I’ve found a good one to steal 😀
  • I want to visit everyone’s mini-challenges and check out what everyone else is doing in case there’s anything else I want to steal 😀

That’s about it for now.  But I may add more later.  I’ll update as I complete things! 

 Visit MawBooks‘ Bloggiesta!  Ready, Set… Let’s Fiesta! for other participants, list of mini-challenges and to link your Bloggiesta party!

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Bloggiesta ~ I Didn’t Play, but I Wish I hadda!

blogiestaI hate housekeeping. 

When I was a kid, and my mom was trying to force me to do my chores, I’d mouth off that I was going to get a maid when I grew up, so I didn’t need to learn how to do dishes or laundry or clean the toilet. 

I’m still waiting for my maid.

This past Friday and Saturday (June 19-20), Natasha at Maw Books hosted the first ever BloggiestaOlé!  The idea was to clean out the broken links, write the reviews you’re behind on, clean out the clutter, and in general bootify yer blog.

Housekeeping.  For my blog.  Blech!  Needless to say, I didn’t sign up. 

However, as I read through everyone else’s Bloggiesta updates and challenges, I found myself doing all the activities and wanting to fix up my blog, too.  I don’t wanna be the family in the trailer with four foot grass and the car on blocks while everyone else has mansions…  Wait, I wanna bootify my place, too!

So here’s some of the things I ended up doing.

1.  Updating Mt. TBR’s inventory page, adding a page for my ARC-alanche pile.  Unfortunately, I got about halfway through the TBR page when LibraryThing pooped out on me, so I’ve still got some more work on that.  It’s no where near what’s allon my TBR shelves.

2.  Stealing a page from Stella Matutina, literally, I’ve written up a review policy for Mt. TBRand linked it in my “contact me” widget on the sidebar.  I didn’t really have a policy before… not one set in stone, anyway, just a  kinda-sorta flimsy plan.  This fact is made painfully obvious by the amount of books on my ARC-alanche pile.

Other things to improve my blog, more on the cosmetic side of life:

One of the things that irk me is that I can’t find a theme that I like… I mean, really like.  The colors on this one seem a bit pale, and the sidebar and main area run together for some unknown reason sometimes, but my problem is:  I wanna knew layout, but hate all the wordpress ones, halp?  Is there a site somewhere that makes them to paste in the CSS thingy like MySpace does?

Another thing I’ve been wondering lately:  Is my site too busy?  Too many pics?  TMI?  Is it navigable and readable, or does it overwhelm and turn off?

A third, and major… in my opinion it’s big, is that there will be a book review change.  I’ve learned that blog posts look a lot different on Google Reader, and I’m beginning to see that the whole itemized list of title, author, publisher and date and page numbers… blah blah blah… is unnecessary.  Who cares what year it was published and how many pages!  It’s making the post needlessly longer.  From now on, the reviews will have the title, author and ISBN only and smaller covers.  Personally, I like the ISBN handy to grab and paste to my wishlist instead of having to sift through similar titles and other books by that author.  Smaller covers, again something I’ve learned from Google Reader, because, while the big ones with detail are pretty, they take up soOOoo much space.

Website Grader, FINALLY!  After months and months of trying to make the web grader inspect my blog, and every time the ‘tarded thing telling me my URL was invalid, I clicked the link “free seo tool” in the gray box to the right and MAGICALLY! it took the URL in the next page.  It was so frustrating to hear everyone tell all about the wonderful things they discovered through this thing, and I couldn’t even get past the front dang door!  BTW… I gots a 95 🙂

Meta whota whata?

Some of the things in the report from Website Grader made sense, but some things left me very confuzzled.  like Meta.  Meta tags.  Meta description.  I’m missin’ out on the Meta deal, but have no clue on how to get hip and get with it!  How do I add the Meta parcels?

 

File that under miscellaneous…

I took time to add the newer awards I’ve received, added the Viral Video Wednesday button, and put my 4Rchallenge button and linked them all up, so now they’re all good to go 🙂

RSS feed ~ Fail?

 

  IDK… I’ve tried to use the RSS feed (thank gawd for Google Reader!), but this is what I see:

My view of an RSS feed

Is this what I’m suppose to see?  With all the code and stuff?

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So that’s where I’m at on all the “Keep the Bloggie Beautiful” stuff, though… I figure it’s probably a lot like my desk.  No sooner than I clean it all up, someone will dump a load on it and I’ll have to start over.

Now here’s where I need your help, everyone…

What kinds of things would you suggest to improve Mt. TBR?  Any help is appreciated!

Ye Grande Olde TBR(e) Challenge!

 

Book ADDICT!

I’ve been back and forth over this idea… I’ve commented a few times on Fyrefly’s post Ye Grand Olde TBR(e) Challenge! … but after buying a bunch of books at Goodwill and Waldenbooks, only to come home and find out two of the books were duplicates of what I already have in my library (and that isn’t the first time it’s happened, either!) So I am now repentent and ready to throw my lot into this Challenge.

BookMooch is my CRACK, as are the ARC offers and Goodwill’s book racks and Waldenbook’s bargain bins, not to mention the thrift stores! So, from here on I will:

  1. Not buy anymore books for Mt. TBR (sometimes I buy ones I know are wishlisted on BM.)
  2. Maintain at least a 3 to 1 ratio of books read to books brought in. (If I don’t give myself some wiggle room, I’ll lose it!)
  3. Seriously, only request ARCs and Reviewer copies that I would really love to read, not just get “FREE BOOKS!”
  4. Only mooch or request books already ON my wishlist, and not put new ones on it. (toss the one’s I’m not dying to have onto the Save-for-later page.)

That’s about it. Check out Mt. TBR and tell me if there’s anything you’d like me to get to sooner! (I still haven’t the heart to add the 20 books I got Thursday, July 3rd!)

OH! and don’t forget to enter to win a $20 Borders gift card in My First Ever Giveaway! So far, I have around 270 entries. If I hit 400, I’ll add a second prize of a $10 Borders gift card, and a $5 card at 500. So enter to win, blog for more entries, comment for more, and tell others about it!