Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebrating 3,000 Blog Posts (Plus Surviving This Long!) With A New Template, Changes To Blog's Masthead...

Stock photo, a soldier at FOB Gardez checks out the house his wife bought while he was in Afghanistan, blog post by John Hoff

Don't worry, The Adventures of Johnny Northside hasn't been taken over by evil anti-revitalization trolls, it just looks a little different because I changed the template.

I figured...
....this was as good a time as any, because Blogspot is sort of pushing new templates, new "interfaces," promising "Try it, you'll like it." 

On the one hand, I embrace technology and change. Heaven knows I'm trying to change my whole neighborhood into an Urban Utopia. On the other hand, if I had one kind of cell phone for the rest of my life, I could be perfectly happy never learning a bunch of new buttons. But with 3,000 blog posts under my belt, (not all written by me, of course) and oral arguments scheduled in the Jerry Moore v. John Hoff a/k/a Johnny Northside court case, I thought today, this moment, RIGHT NOW is a good time to embrace a new template. 

I tried to make it look as close as possible to the old template, but I've been forced to abandon that familiar shade of green. The light gray color of the letters has been selected to be easier on readers' eyes, so you can all read longer. 

Also, I am changing the heading at the top of the blog, what I insist upon calling the "masthead," using an old dead tree media term which is, itself, an old naval term. 

I am changing the description of myself from "divorced man" to "Afghan war veteran." This is because the personal issues which made me move to North Minneapolis are in the past, why rehash them? I am here and I am glad. It was fate. It was God's Will. 

Though I am many things--a scholar, an author, a country boy who grew up without indoor plumbing until I was in 5th grade--I feel "Afghan war vet" is how I wish to describe myself. Also, describing myself this way is like saying, "Tough challenges ahead in revitalizing our neighborhood? WELL, BRING IT ON." 

It's not the first time I've changed the masthead, slightly. Every year I update the age of my son who is mentioned as the inspiration for the blog. I once changed the description of my neighborhood, emphasizing how we are "rapidly revitalizing" rather than focusing on the problems and challenges ahead of us. I added the word "NoMi" after North Minneapolis as part of the ongoing neighborhood rebranding effort. 

And, when disgraced former JACC executive director Jerry Moore sued me and his loony toons lawyer tried to paint my blog as a personal blog, not grass roots journalism, and she pointed with her witchy finger to the description of the blog in the masthead I was, like, you know what? Let's put that word JOURNALISM in there, up at the top. 

As with other forms of media slightly changing their appearance, I'm probably more excited about it than my readers. But the whole point of this blog is that people want to know WHAT'S UP? WHAT'S GOING ON? So I'm telling you.

There, I've told you. 

Thank you, readers who read, commenters who comment and frequently provide invaluable info, other blog authors who contribute (I wish you'd contribute a lot more, all the time) but I'd especially like to thank my son, who is the inspiration for this blog and so many of the other things I do. I've missed you terribly, and I'll be home before too terribly long. 


Anonymous said...

Wow I love your blog but can we go back to the old familiar template? It was much more soothing on the eyes.

Johnny Northside said...

I wish. I'm going to keep fooling around with the template and see if I can produce something easier on the eyes, but for technical reasons I have to update the blog template. I can't even get the old template back.

Folwell Fox said...

I like it, it’s got a kindle “feel”. The color choice combined with the Arial font in the main body is well suited for longer and more comfortable reading. The background colors also help the Arial font “pop” better. I do like your choice of Georgia font in the tile and masthead too. It gives it that old-timey dead tree media look. I also like the fact that clicking “Read more” doesn’t open another browser window. That in itself is a huge improvement. As with many blogs though, I wish that there was an edit timer for the comment box. I don’t know if this platform offers that option though.

Ray said...

Ah ha! This is where I should congratulate you. I'm pleased you have updated and joined the more modern blogger community. These templates are very flexible. (you can troll around my many attempts at artful bloggers) I'm sure you'll eventually find a very suitable look. You can change the colors to your old green background very easy once you find it in the design tab. Continued success to you. peace. RR

Johnny Northside! said...


That's the sound of a little troll who has been cut off at the comment bar. The troll's nasty little comments are somewhere in a tight, soundproof box deep in the guts of my blog. The troll's words can't get out here and infect the visible portion of the blog with troll negativity.

I told the troll he/she was cut off, but that was on another thread. So the troll tried to come here and comment.

Clearly, the troll needs professional help.