rarasaur maintenance

I Get Notions


I changed my theme! 

It was unplanned, but I was struck by the notion and couldn’t shake it.  I hope it doesn’t cause too much confusion.  I just needed a bigger text size and the custom font upgrade is still pretty far down on my list of priorities. 

I’ll fix up the individual pages and areas that have gone wonky as the week progresses… but I just thought this visual shock warranted an update.

While we’re talking shop, is there anything on your mind? Anything you want to see here? Anything I might be able to help you with in regards to your blog?

* Featured image by Craig Garner
* “I get notions” always reminds me of this song by Nada Surf, called Happy Kid.

124 comments

  1. Haha, what happened to you will stick with your next theme for one year and you really need 2 side bars? 🙂 But I really like it. The front page is so nice cause everything is big, even for my small computer. The only reason I hadn’t switched myself to that oxygen theme was because I was annoyed that it wasn’t using up the whole space. I’m pretty much a notions guy myself. I do a lot of holding back because I get bored easy, but crave stability – bad mix.

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    1. Actually, I blame you. 😉 When I saw your big pretty font with my post, I thought, “Gah, it’s so nice to read this without squinting!” 🙂 I’m the same mix– I say my dream life is boring/stable/still… but then I go around making waves. 😀

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    1. It’ll take me awhile to get adjusted, too, 🙂 But yay for easy to read text. I’m quite happy over that, but I’ll have to brainstorm how to add in some charm. 🙂

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  2. The new theme is awesome. I love the set up. I just revamped mine and am still working on it. -facedesk- Of course, I made gigantic mistakes on MailChimp last night and basically was like, “Oh, let’s just email every person you’ve ever contacted in the history of your email.”

    But yes, you can help me! How did you make the little icon that flips between your different badges?

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    1. Aw, no worries on the mailout. I’m sure everyone was happy to hear from you. 🙂

      As to the badges, it’s actually a GIF. I have to fix mine anyway because I don’t think I’m a WP recommended blog anymore so I can make a tutorial. But basically, first gather all the images, and then throw it into a GIF program. There’s a lot of free ones out there. I wrote up how to make a gif here: https://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/how-to-make-a-simple-animated-gif/

      I’ve noticed others using a simple slideshow widget to do the same trick, though the black background always bothers me on my own site. 🙂

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  3. heh, I am a new follower through sreejit. I found you through the guest post you did. I was looking through your blog yesterday thinking how great the theme was in general the texture on the sides I found a bit overwhelming. But the layout is great you have obviously put so much work in to organizing your blog. I did think about using this theme you have here, it’s quite new isn’t it? I am tinkering still with my theme look so I will be watching your carefully, love the cat in the circle with glasses hehe x

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    1. Yes, this is a pretty new theme. I love the BIGNESS of it, but I loved Oxygen, too. All the themes have a lot of wondrous virtues, but you almost always have to use it to see them all. 🙂 (And, welcome, any friend of Sreejit’s is a friend of mind! 🙂 )

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  4. I like the new theme! Another blogger I follow has switched to this same one, I think, and I really like it. It is clean and bright and easy to read and I love the way the commenters are in little circles!!! Great choice, Rara.

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  5. Nice! I am getting theme ennui and am looking to change myself. It’s our version of spring cleaning!

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      1. Hurrah! Thank you, Carrie, for checking it out on the laptop & Ipad. 😀 I appreciate it… it’s always nice to know it hasn’t gone wonky somewhere else. 🙂

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  6. I did a theme change briefly and didn’t like it at all, so I changed back. The one I use has plenty of widgets and columns, so I’ll just stick with that.

    Yours looks great!

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    1. Thanks, Guap! Yep, I didn’t like having to give up a column, but I did it just to get the font size up a notch… my posts are so long that they tired my eyes out. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!

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  7. I do that every so often. I just can’t stand looking at the same template, so on to a new one I go! [Although last time I lost my blogroll, which wasn’t so nice.]

    I like your choice here and agree with Jessie– the comments look really cool. Good job.

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    1. Thanks, Ally! I’ve only made the change twice… from my default to Sight (which I love-loved, but it had a weird glitch that made me batty), to Oxygen (which I loved for it’s branding ability, but never really connected with)… to this one. We’ll see how it goes! 😀

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  8. I almost changed my theme a few weeks ago when WordPress profiled several new ones. But then I was afraid I’d have to reset all of my widgets. I decided to stick with what I have for now since I’ve been using it less than a year. But I LOVE your snazzy new look.

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    1. Yep, resetting the widgets is a project, even if you’re quick about it like me. I always screenshot my old settings in case I change my mind back, 🙂 I’ve been using Oxygen less than a year, too… I loved the brandedness and magic of it, but I’m finally setting for legibility… I write much too long of posts for the smaller text. 🙂

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  9. Ha! It looks great but I’m sure that you’ll get a giggle out of the fact that I sat for a min. and tried to figure out where I ended up and if I had hit the right blog!

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    1. Haha! I did the same, Zoe. I woke up this morning, opened my browser, and panicked when I saw what loaded. 🙂 I’ll get used to it in time, I hope! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Maddie, I appreciate it. I loved the fantasticalism of the old theme, and I’m hoping to find some way to bring a bit of that magic back to this template… but for now, I’m happy that the text is big enough to read! 🙂

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  10. I agree with Maddie. The comments layout is so intimate, but it might get to be a long scroll with how many comments you get, Rara. Love how this theme is in your face bold. I think your writing/blogging needs to be a part of everyone’s lives, so in your face is good in my opinion. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo
    So excited to see what this comment looks like when I press “post comment.” 🙂

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    1. Yay! I might have to break the comments into pages, just in case it gets too long. Let me know if it’s ever annoying and I’ll do what I can to sort it… 🙂 For now, I’m just rejoicing in the fact that I can read the comments on my post without glasses! It’s so freeing. 🙂

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    1. 🙂 Nah, Jackie, it’s that our eyes see so much more than the present world, and thus they are tired– not that we’re too old. 😉 I couldn’t read my posts without reading glasses which was the major impetus for the change. 🙂

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    1. You big weenie. It’s hard to be mad at you when you wrote me a poem. I’m going to go read it soon. I’m going to chug some more wine first. Yes, I chug wine. On Monday nights. I don’t hear the wine complaining, mister.

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      1. If you have to be a weenie, a big one is the kind to be… I had this friend back in the day, and every time he saw me at a kegger party, he called me a f*%&ing hippy… and I always replied: If you have to be a hippy…

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              1. I can’t tell it here… but I got the Captain of a U.S. Navy Helicopter Assault Ship sopping wet… with beer… and he was the Captain of the ship that I was serving on… so…

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                1. Why? Where are we? I’m asking that in the metaphysical, to-hell-and-back kind of way.

                  So, many scenarios come to mind, all more disgusting than the last. But I have to ask. You know I got to. Did you run into any trouble with any seamen?

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                    1. Now who’s being dirty?

                      So… still at work. Shoes off. Music blasting. My wrists hurt and I think I’m starting to see things… Hail to the chief, baby.

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                    2. I miss that place… I miss the crazy people showing up and throwing it all out there, didn’t matter what it looked like or sounded like. I think that’s art. Hopefully one day we’ll have a spontaneous party in that comment thread… even Jennifer’s showed up again, she’s so cool.

                      Now as to your wrist… nah, too easy. So dude, my ego is swelling horribly, you may have to bring me down a notch or two. I got interviews in next few days, just made the paper, all this stuff. It’s bonkers and it’s lovely. And on top of it, the Australians have bought my company. What the hell. Who has a life like this???? And why? Anyway, just kidding, the insanity is what I crave. Now back to informing my clients that they better learn to speak Aussie…

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                    3. That could get me in trouble if I pronounced it: “mate?”. It’s not an invitation to trans-boundary breeding, you know.

                      Don’t you ever sleep? Also, it’s snowing here. A lot. I’d take a picture, but you would send one back of flowers. And I would growl. And like it.

                      All right, I’m off today and hanging with the kiddies and doing some serious writing for once. Shit’s gonna get real, and I’m gonna stay low-level drunk for the day, cause I’m a doctor and I know how.

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                    4. My son likes you already. They’re gonna love your book.

                      Heading out into the snow for some hours now, it’s total blizzard here, but not cold, so it’s time to go out and be, you know, Canadian. Will get on the post later today, we’ll be there.

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  11. Seriously, who are you????? That’s five question marks. I would have included more, but my finger got tired. You are asking how you can help other peoples’ blogs? Anyway Rara, I like the new look of your blog, but I have my doubts that you really exist, because no one’s that nice and generous… are they? Anyone? Hello? Hellloooooooooooooo….

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    1. Haha, Trent, most people are generous… they just aren’t as loud about wanting to hug others as I am. 😉 And of course, anything I can do to help with someone’s blogging efforts, I’m happy to do… I’m hardly an expert, but I try real hard. 😀

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      1. Dang it, stop being so nice, I’m trying to be grumpy and angry over here! Just kidding. No really, I’m angry. But not grumpy. Grumpy is just rude.

        I agree, most people are generous, the ones I’ve met anyhow. I heard you helped Samara out, and her blog looks fabulous.

        I won’t interfere with any hugs thrown my way, and I will throw one back at you. Peace, my friend, and the best of nights – I see stars, hope you do too.

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        1. 😀 Ha, well, I’m fond of grumpy people usually. As to angry, I try not to be that anymore, but it’s a work in progress. I didn’t get the name Rarasaur because of a dino outfit, I got it for my real life RAWR. 🙂

          Angry for real? Anything I can do? Anyone I can squish for you?

          No stars here, unfortunately… it’s the downside to Orange County. 🙂

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          1. Yeah, angry for real. I work in the environmental field (I’m an engineer), so I regularly commune with spirits in the sky and polluters of the earth. And some pretty massive social problems (current and pending) that stem from these awful things, and it’s a bit angrifying. The walls and barriers are mind-numbing… but there are some excellent folks with massive brains who are figuring out solutions, so I’m generally encouraged. It helps to vomit the anger on my words. I don’t know how else to put that.

            Could you kindly squish our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper? He is giving us a hard time as of this moment. He’s also kind of a nerd… the bad kind of nerd.

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  12. Nice, Rara! I do have a question, if I changed my theme what would happen to my posts, pages, etc.? Also, is there a way to move a post to a page without losing the comments and everything? I don’t want to pay for my blog, but I’m starting to think I’mma gonna have to bite that bullet at some point to get a larger font and more flexibility. Thanks for any advice you can give me!

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    1. 🙂 Well, when you change your theme, your posts and pages are still remain as visible as always. Some templates have full-width page options and others don’t, so sometimes that can change the look of a page.

      As to paying, that’s an easy way to get the font you want, but there are lots of options. This template for instance, has a nice big font, and I found several others that do, too. In my case, I wrote a list of the most important things to me (custom header, at least two columns, big font, featured image)… and then the stuff I’d like but don’t need (shortened post excepts on the homepage, sliders, three columns)… and then then stuff I consider a deal-breaker (no text on homepage, too small of a custom header, white text on black background, etc). Then, I searched the themes. You’d be surprised how much customization you can do without an upgrade. 🙂

      As to moving a post to a page, no, but is there a reason you need to do that? If you’re just trying to link it from the menu, you can link a post. I can give you directions if that’s the goal. 🙂

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      1. Thanks for all the tips, Rara! I think I’ll have to wait until the weekend to get time to figure out what I want my page to look like.

        I have found that if I add a new page (like in the Ascent section of my blog), my e-mail subscribers do not get notified. So what I have done to fix that is post it then copy and paste it into a page for easy access if people are looking in that section. I did figure out that I can create a page, then link to it from a post, which is what I did last time.

        I also like to take my older posts and move them into the “older blog” section as pages. This deletes the comments associated with the post, however, so I’m reluctant to do that now. There’s probably some sort of archive feature I need to learn to use instead or something. I guess I think very linearly (is that a word??) so I like to organize things in such a way that it is easy for my readers to find.

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    1. Thank you, Lynette! Hopefully I’d add some Rarasaur-flair to it as the days go on, but for now I’m happy to be able to read your comment without squinting. 😀

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  13. Coolness! Interested to see what you will do with this theme since you were so creative with the last one. I’ve been wanting to change themes for awhile, but there’s nothing out there that calls to me yet… I wait for the new themes each week with anticipation, then cry when the one I fall in love with is (ALWAYS!) premium.

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    1. 😀 I couldn’t even fall in love with a premium theme. I actually really loved SIGHT, but the glitch made me insane. Like, super insane. Oxygen ended up being so wonderfully customizable that I learned to love it. This one is growing on me. I hope it turns into a beautiful love. 😀

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  14. I like the new look. It reminds me of a childrens book, which I think is fitting.
    Hmmm, help you ask. Well, now that I have high speed internet access I’ve somehow lost my urge to write. I’m not sure how I can get out of it. I work between 8 and 11 hours each day, so that kind of wears me out too. I could write on Saturday, but the naps get in the way. I think I need motivation.

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    1. Oh same, I’m still not sure what inspired a plodder like me to make an abrupt change… the only thing I can think is that my guest post over at Sreejit’s really motivated me to be able to read my own text without my (admittedly awesome) reading glasses. 🙂

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      1. 😀 Thanks, Daphne! I’m hoping to keep it clutter free, but I’m a clutter bug, even visually… it’s hard not to junk it up with more stuff, ha! 🙂

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  15. Crap, Rara, sorry, Art and I were spewing comments as we tend to, and I didn’t realize we were doing it on your site… please feel free to erase the comments, didn’t mean to clog up things for you.

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    1. Don’t be silly, Trent… there’s currently at least 3 bizarre conversations taking place ’round these parts, and they’re all welcome and hilarious. Iike it when my blog feels like a strange little coffeeshop.

      Though I would guess the convo would be more useful on Art’s record post. 🙂

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      1. All right, just wasn’t sure. All good.

        I love the conversations that took place in Art’s record post. Some are entirely surreal and all are spontaneous. I was trying to think of a way to catalogue the best moments, but it’s a bit of a daunting task, nearly 25,000 comments and all.

        Thanks Rara. See you when the snow lets up, we’re getting a huge dump of it right now. Trent stays home!

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  16. It looks AMAZING! I popped over here and smiled just looking at it. I need an overhaul on my site, but I’m waiting for life to calm down a bit and to publish my next book. Then, it’s makeover time! : )

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  17. Yow! The new text size is Gigantic!! Overpowering!! Intimidating!! I have to sit 30 yards away from the screen and read it with binoculars… : )

    Just kidding. Actually, any theme is OK as long as you keep the little picture of you in the dinosaur costume– that’s a must, however… : )

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  18. wp says I need upgrade. All the first letter of each word in my blog titles is by default capitalized so I can’t write something like “The Man of Perth Lost the Shoe”. The o and the t are cap letters. Why would I need upgrade for such normal writing ability?

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    1. It’s because their themes are designed by CSS– which is why WordPress is a smoother, prettier interface than other blogging platforms. Unfortunately, that means they can’t just turn off or on features individually– even with an upgrade, it’s something you’d have to tweak yourself. I guess that’s the price of a free interface, 🙂

      However, there are some themes that allow for lowercase in the titles. If it’s important to you, as bigger titles were for me, perhaps it’s worth exploring a new theme? 🙂

      Like

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