Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blogger vs WordPress vs

A while back, I moved this little blog from WordPress to Blogger. Which meant full circle.

We began here on Blogger in December, 2004. Moved to TypePad in early 2005, then to WordPress later that year. And, in 2009, back to Blogger.

So, how'd that whole moving back to Blogger from WordPress thing go?

Okay, I guess.

The main thing isn't the blogging platform. It's the blogging. I don't write as many posts as I used to, but that's got nothing to do with the platform. Let's ignore how much and what I write. Let's look at the blogging platforms: WordPress vs Blogger.

There are actually two flavors of WordPress: there is the traditional WordPress, which is run on a server you would run; then there is, which is hosted by WordPress.

Let's compare how the platforms stack up on a few topics.


Blogger and are free. You can't beat free. WordPress costs whatever your hosting service charges.

Advantage: Blogger,

Score: Blogger 1, 1, WordPress 0

No to domain names

If you don't care about the domain name, then Blogger and are free, while WordPress would require it. It's not WordPress that requires it; rather, WordPress needs to be hosted somewhere, and you'll have to come up with a domain name.

Let's use this blog's domain name,, to illustrate the differences.

If I didn't care, I could use at Blogger, and at They're free. But, I have to furnish a domain name for WordPress, so I'd have to pay for

Advantage: Blogger,

Score: Blogger 2, 2, WordPress 0

Yes to domain names

Now, if I do want my own domain name, I have to buy one. I can do that through Blogger or, and some hosts include it in the sign-up costs, though some don't.

If I kept them separate, it's free to tie it to Blogger, as well as most hosting plans (WordPress), but it's $12.00 for

Advantage: Blogger, WordPress

Score: Blogger 3, 2, WordPress 1


You may want to put ads on your blog. After all, that's income. But, won't let you put ads on your blog. They'll put some there, but they won't let you. I'm not criticizing: after all, they're not charging you for hosting, and their ads aren't obtrusive. But, when you compare blogging platforms, this matters.

Blogger lets you put ads. In fact, they encourage you to use Google's ad system.

WordPress doesn't care, and most hosts don't either., as we said, won't let you put ads on your blog.

Advantage: Blogger, WordPress

Score: Blogger 4, 2, WordPress 2


There are all kinds of plug-ins that you may want to use on your blog. It could be ads (covered above), it could be stats, it could be anything.

Blogger lets you add JavaScript code. Most WordPress hosts do too. But won't let you add JavaScript code your your Website.

Advantage: Blogger, WordPress

Score: Blogger 5, 2, WordPress 3


There are plenty of themes available for Blogger, WordPress, and, although you apply them in different ways.

Blogger has always been way behind on themes, both in number and quality, but in the last year, as improved greatly. has been adding quality themes all along, and they all work well.

WordPress hosts will sometimes include some themes, but you often have to find them on search sites, download them, and upload them to your server.

Because of the different aspects involved -- quantity and quality -- we'll core this a couple of ways.

Quantity? WordPress has the most, then

Advantage: WordPress

Quality? All of's are quality themes. WordPress has the same themes available, plus a log that are crappy. Blogger's are all good, and more easily customizable than WordPress or

Advantage: and Blogger

Overall advantage? Even.

Score: Blogger 6, 3, WordPress 4

Comment spam

Spam is one of the biggest pains to any blogger. And WordPress has taken the lead on preventing spam, but Blogger is catching up.

WordPress and both use Akismet, which is a great spam blocker. It isn't perfect, but nothing is. It is very, very good, though.

Blogger added anti-spam code within the last year, and it's working very well.

Blogger has more options than do WordPress/ when it comes to who can comment.

Advantage? Even.

Score: Blogger 7, 4, WordPress 5


When you link to a blog, or when a blog links to you, it's often really nice for the link to show up automatically. These are TrackBacks, and are great. Unless it's TrackBack spam. That is, some blog someone set up for the explicit purpose of grabbing links.

WordPress/'s automatic TrackBacks work great. Links show up quickly.

Blogger doesn't support TrackBacks, but uses Backlinks, which are powered by Google's search database.

Blogger will show links form sites that don't use TrackBacks, but they take longer to show up. And sometimes, they don't show up at all.

WordPress/'s filter keeps most spam out, but it isn't perfect.

Advantage:, WordPress

Score: Blogger 7, 5, WordPress 6


The final scores are pretty close. And, this scoring assumes all of the topics are of equal weight. They probably aren't, but what's important to one person isn't as important to another person.

I awarded one point for each topic. You may want to award more points for one topic over another.

If you want free, and that's a deal-breaker, your options are Blogger or

If you want to be able to have ads, or JavaScript, and that's a deal-breaker, your options are Blogger or WordPress.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind that each advantage comes with disadvantages. If you're undecided, try using Blogger AND Yes, run two blogs for, say, a month, just to see how each works. I think you'll go with Blogger, but -- or WordPress -- would be a great choice.

That's right. There is no bad decision. Just better decisions.

Friday, January 28, 2011


According to reports, Mexican drug smugglers are using catapults to fling marijuana into the U.S.
National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station observed several people south of the International Boundary Fence preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
This sounds like some Mythbusters episode. And, it sort of was. It was 5½ years ago and the episode was Border Slingshot:
Can illegal immigrants fire themselves 200 yards across the border and into the United States with a slingshot so accurate that it can land the human projectiles safely on a carefully placed mattress?
So, why have we gone from shooting Mexicans across the border to shooting pot across the border?

Economics. With the current job market, there is a bigger demand for pot than there is for Mexicans. We don't need as many Mexicans to do crappy jobs. We have Americans that will do that.

But, the slingshot, catapult, or trebuchet could be used in another way. So far, it's only been used to send things into the U.S. Why not use it to send things out of the U.S.?

Useless things. Like what, you ask?
  • Obama.
  • People that voted for Obama.
  • Season nine of "Dallas" (if you are my age, you're still pissed about that).
  • The ending of LOST.
  • Kos.
  • MSNBC.
  • Dennis Kucinich.
  • Harry Reid.
  • The New York Times.
  • Yappy little rat-dogs.
  • Oprah.
  • Julian Assange.
  • Janet Napolitano.
  • Al Sharpton.
  • David Duke.
  • Cecil Newton.
  • Liberals.
  • Ron Paul.
  • Ron Paul supporters.
  • Meghan McCain.
  • The weird chick from the Progressive commercials.
  • The Geico Gecko.
  • Any Aflac commercial that doesn't have either Earl Billings or R. Lee Ermey in it.
  • People that call soccer "football." (Yes, I know, and I don't care.)
  • Berkeley, California.
  • Most of the rest of California.
  • Moderates.
We don't have to fire them into Mexico. We could fire them into Canada. Or the ocean. Or, if the slingshot is powerful enough, back to their boyhood home. The landing might be a little rough, though. Be sure to bring a pillow, Barack.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great words from great presidents

... plus one other guy at the end.

[Direct link]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933: Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, January 20, 1961: And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Ronald Wilson Reagan, January 20, 1981: In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

Ronald Wilson Reagan, June 12, 1987: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

George Walker Bush, September 14, 2001: I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

Barack Hussein Obama, January 19, 2011: This bit of news... under a new agreement, our national zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just say "no" to crosshairs

CNN's John King (I think that's a real person, but I'm not sure) said this week that people shouldn't say "crosshairs":
My friend Andy Shaw used the term 'in the crosshairs' in talking about the candidates. We're trying, we're trying to get away from that language.
So, in case you didn't know, "crosshairs" is the new "n-word." Or maybe it's the new "c-word."

I'm assuming it's part of the whole "blame Palin" thing. I suppose it could be because of the "cross" part of the word, but I think it's part of the "blame Palin" thing. Maybe both.

But, I suppose that if now the media heads are getting all up in arms ... so to speak ... about the use of gun-related imagery and speech, then banning "crosshairs" is just the beginning. There are more things that you won't be able to say or do:
  • Up in arms
  • Shop at Target.
  • Ride a bullet train.
  • Visit Roy Rogers' horse.
  • Change your printer cartridge.
  • Read a magazine.
  • Recoil in fear.
  • Call someone a "slug."
  • Score a safety in football.
I wonder what other things you won't be able to say or do as part of this narrative?

Update: More suggestions at IMAO.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Last month, I got an Apple TV ... and it's great.

I mentioned that I couldn't compare the Apple TV to a Roku box ... because I didn't have a Roku box.

But I do now.

And I like it.

Actually, I think I like it better than the Apple TV, except for one thing. And that's the fact that it lets me play iTunes content on the TV. That's the whole reason I got it for. The rest of the stuff -- the Netflix, YouTube, and movie rentals -- I didn't need, since I could do all that on the TiVo already.

However, the Roku lets me do that too. And for some reason, I like it better.

The difference is that Roku lets me get Amazon content. Sure, the TiVo does Amazon content, too, but it has to download it first. The Roku lets me stream it.

Roku also does Hulu content, too. Well, Hulu Plus content. Don't get me started on why you can't watch Hulu content on Hulu Plus devices. That's another rant.

It has some other content, too. A bunch of channels to which you can subscribe. Some are pretty good, some are really lame, and some will try to sell you content you can get from free from others.

Still, I like the Roku.

One other nice feature about the Roku is that you have more choices about connecting it to a TV. Apple TV only connects via HDMI. Roku connects via HDMI, as well as (for the $99 model) component or composite video and analog or optical audio.

If I had to choose between Roku and Apple TV, I don't know which I'd choose. Probably Roku. But I don't have to choose. I like them both. And I got them both. They're awesome.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why AT&T finally fixed my Internet connection

I've used AT&T Internet service from a few years now. It's their "FastAccess® DSL Direct 6.0M" package. That's the fastest they offer.

Now, you ought to realize that, at my current location, my options are limited. I can get Internet service from AT&T or from the local cable company. And that's it. No other broadband options are available.

I used to have service from the cable company. And, every weekend, they'd have an outage. And I'd pick up my BellSouth (now AT&T) phone and call the cable company, playing answering service roulette, hoping to reach someone that would be able to get the Internet service back up.

Then, I realized that I could just get BellSouth DSL service that was as fast (faster, as it turned out) and cost less. So, the switch was made.

For a while, things were great. However, after upgrading to a faster service (from 3 Meg to 6 Meg) they provided a new modem. Some little silver-looking POS about the size of a billfold wallet. It breaks down from time to time. I'm on the third one.

For the last several months, Internet service has experienced the occasional interruption. But short interruptions, lasting maybe a minute, perhaps less. Sometimes it happens multiple times a night. Sometimes I don't experience any outage. Now, it could be that it goes down and back up before I realize it. If I'm not streaming a YouTube or Netflix video or something, then I only would notice it when I click a link or a page refreshes. So, I don't really know how many brief outages there have been.

Lately, though, the outages have been longer and more frequent. Within the last month -- and twice within the last week -- there were outages that lasted several hours. When I called about them (using my Verizon cell phone; it works), I got a message (either prerecorded or from the live CSR) that there was a wide-spread outage in my area that was expected to be back up by a certain time.

The last of these outages lasted over a day, and ran from some time on the 4th (I was at work at the time, but indications are it went down early that afternoon), and it wouldn't be back up until the afternoon of the 5th.

When I got home from work last night, the Internet was up. Launched a browser and everything was working. Launched my email program, and all the emails that had been sent during the outage began downloading, and everything was fine.

Then, I got the first "new" email -- that is, not dated from the previous day or earlier that day -- after the Internet came back online.

It was from AT&T. It began
Dear Valued Customer,

A new AT&T bill for your account number ending in **** is ready.

Yep. The bill.

So, if it goes down again, at least I know they'll have it back up in time to send me a new bill.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Obama's follow-up phone call to Michael Vick

Last month, the president phoned Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. According to the White House, the president praised the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance. Our sources say that the president also asked for some advice. And that he called to thank Vick after he returned from vacation.

Mike! It's Barack...

Barack. Barack Obama. The president. Of the United States. Of America.

Yeah! Hi! How's it going?

Getting ready for the what? Playoffs? What's that?

Really? Huh. Never heard of it.

Anyhoo... I just wanted to call and thank you for the advice. Yeah, it's working. Poll numbers are up.

No, not much. But it's a start. You know how that is.

Yeah, I'm doing the whole makeover thing.

Yeah, I'm doing the whole package. I mean it worked for you. You've got that whole "play offs" thing going. That's a good thing, right?

Yeah, well, again, I just wanted to say thanks.

Someone's coming. I gotta run. Okay, bye.

Barack! Where's Bo?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions for 2011

For 2011, I hereby resolve to:
  • do a better job of helping out around the house
  • be respectful of other liberals
  • stop repeating myself
  • not think everyone who voted for Obama is an idiot
  • not throw rocks at the neighbors' dogs
  • not make fun of rednecks
  • not make fun of yankees
  • stop repeating myself
  • not think everyone who voted for Obama is a moron
  • be a role model for children
  • pay attention when my wife is talking
  • be correct 110% of the time
  • improve my math skills
  • stop repeating myself
  • compliment people more often
  • become a serious blogger
  • stop repeating myself
  • not think everyone who voted for Obama is a dumbass
  • sprout wings and fly
I shall achieve them all with equal success.

Happy New Year!