Fired Up

Chanukah menorah with shamash and first-night candle lit

Right in time for Chanukah...

I'm not gonna say it's a miracle. Over the past couple of days, though, I was finally able to get up some blog posts that I've been trying to publish properly since the start of the month. So, y'know, it's no oil lasting in the Temple for eight days, but I'm happy about it.

The oldest post was a very long Muppet Monday that offers what are now some pretty last-minute gift ideas. After that came the fifth installment of a series previously called 40 Favorites, begun to mark my millstone milestone birthday last year; it needed to be renamed one number up since I'm now 41, and like I said in that post I'm going to try to finish the series before I hit 42. Still as yet unpublished is a long-in-the-making (and just plain long) post on the TV series Smallville, which I've let sit since trouble getting it on the blog when the series ended last spring and which I really wanted to have up for the recent Season 10 and complete-series DVD releases — now it's just old news, or more properly old reviews.

I can't tell you why it's happening all of a sudden, but my latest trouble involves the free online image-hosting service Picasa. Graphics that I've uploaded to it from my laptop and then linked from it to my blog periodically disappear, leaving a standard warning image instead. Early on I realized that if I changed the location or filename of a picture on my laptop I'd have to cut-and-paste it from Picasa to my blog anew; lately, though, graphics that haven't been altered by me at all have gone missing from the blog at a rapid pace and even more strangely gone missing from my Picasa albums online altogether. [Yes, I have considered foul play, most likely in the form of the fella(s) who hijacked the blog last year, but so far I'm not convinced.]

This is of course in addition to the standard trouble of dealing with HTML quirks in Blogger, which I've mostly learned to work around but which still isn't without its hassles and which seems to flare up in new ways periodically when Blogger decides to make some perceived improvements to its structure. I have to wonder if changes in Picasa aren't similarly to blame, since Picasa and Blogger are both owned by Google, and Blogger very clearly has a history of changing things either without anticipating or without caring what bugs result. Blogger revamped its profile pages about a week ago; I have yet to see one, using both Safari and Google's own browser Chrome, whose profile icon (head shot, etc.) wasn't now distorted horizontally, a problem that persists even when the image is uploaded again.

I'm hoping to finally get the rest of my Fantastic Four #1 Cover Album up before the month and year are out. That Smallville post is less of a sure thing, because for the most part trouble with text still trumps trouble with graphics, and like I said it's rather lengthy, but as you've probably noticed I'm stubborn enough to backdate posts to when I first tried to get them published if the posts are (or, he said ruefully, were) timely and the fault lies mostly on the technical end rather than mine. Although I will certainly cop to just giving up for a while when the frustration or other obligations trump the value of the post itself — as well as when I can punt the post down the road like I've done with my behemoth review of the new Justice League #1, since I got a subscription to the series for my birthday and can now look forward to preparing an even more massive review of the entire inaugural storyline next year — I know that most of the posts on this blog only get read in retrospect anyway, so it's not hurting anybody to let items here remain dated when the first attempt to publish them was made.

Welcome aboard to all of the new visitors who've discovered Blam's Blog in recent weeks and months, sending my stats skyrocketing, whether through search or link or word of mouth, and thanks to especially to my faithful readers!

Photo © 2011 Brian Saner Lamken.

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