Review 2113

Weirdone runs on Blog City, a blog-and-host location I had never visited before. Weirdone’s boilerplate page is simple and clean. No links, no extras. There’s no information about the owner, but somewhere down the posts we discover “Anthony,” apparently at Columbia University going through the (dreary?) paces of life in law school.

This is a “junior” blog began on November 11 and the subject is “General details and musings.” Anthony veers off into tangents according to the whim of the day — here wondering about “how people made it through the day” in earlier times, when almost nothing was packaged and ready for retail distribution, there concluding that “yup, the weekend was a waste of time” (Anthony, you’ve just discovered one of the big constants of life beyond college, too)….

Anthony’s questions focus mainly on existentialism. He wants to rebel against the “inevitabilities of life” (something I’ve been doing, unsuccessfully, for the past…ummm… so many years)…. He’s also looking “obviously for a wife” (this is where we hit the mine field, Tony). He needs to know he’s winning approval (just like almost every other person I know) and invites us to “tell me that you like my blog!” We also get a longish post on Anthony’s all-round features:

I am not disfigured (horribly or otherwise)
I have clothes on my back (although I could use a warmer coat)
I don’t have any nasty diseases (asthma notwithstanding)
I have plenty of socks (sure, most of them are currently dirty, but hey) et cetera… etcetera

I liked reading Weirdone. Anthony’s writing is relaxed, with an undercurrent of humor. He does not take himself all that seriously — which is to say, he knows when and how to take a step back and look at himself as he truly is… That’s not the strong chapter in most people’s lives, and those of us who can do it certainly win points. His style reminds me of a military friend, an “ace” in all kinds of ninja-like undertakings who had done and seen things untold, but who always whispered in my ear: “Laugh with thyself.”

Weirdone is an interesting blog. I’d suspect that if you choose to return to it regularly it’ll grow on you. There’s nothing very special about it, no bells and whistles, just “General details and musings.” I’d say you’d add it to your favorites only if you really discover that you click with Anthony’s estimates and views of the Broader Scheme…Anthony’s weird site

Review 1591

There’s nothing flashy about Alphabean. It’s a plain black and gray site that looks like it was developed from a template. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s just nothing that reached out and immediately grabbed my attention. I wasn’t expecting to be interested in the writing based on my first impression of the site. Luckily, the writing is better than I anticipated.

The earlier entries seem to be written by a variety of different people, but the more current entries are written solely by Scott [aka: Alf Been]. Perhaps this started as a group blog. There’s a lot of everything here: movie reviews, quiz entries, blog-like link entries, and some very short entries that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m happy to say that there are some really great entries throughout the journal, as well. Scott has a very natural writing style, and some of his longer entries are really thought provoking [like his entry on 6/12/02 about the media].

There are few problems with the design. Distractions for the reader include alternative designs for older entries, some image links that are no longer valid, and a formatting error that caused an entire month worth entries to be centered. If you take a link to another site, you get trapped in Scott’s frames. But overall, it’s a serviceable design [although a little on the cute side with the animated panda graphic] with no major errors.

Scott has some nice extras like a Music Pick of the Week and a midi request feature. He’s also got a link to stories that he’s written. An About page could not be located, although Alphabean could really benefit from one. Scott just added a 100 Things list, which was very helpful in getting to know a little more about him.

Alphabean is worth visiting for the longer, more thought provoking entries. I really enjoyed Scott’s easy writing style, but I do wish there were more “meaty” entries.

Review 1526

When one first fires up this blog, an image of a face covered up by two hands appears in the upper lefthand corner for some reason. Just as quickly, and without warning, the hidden face disappears behind the blog called “Becoming.” Do not forget to leave your shoes at the door before going any further. Or so it says.

The author of this blog is obviously a cat lover, so much so that he even compares his personality to that of a cat. He explains, “I am quite laidback, although unpredictable when it’s time to play. I like to ball my 6’4″ lankey-ass body on the couch and relax with a book (okay, cats don’t officially read) and I can be caught taking short naps throughout the course of the day. The only thing I’m missing is a set of whiskers and a tail (and four legs, I suppose).”

All cats and cat-like things aside, this German-English translator has a knack with words. His writings are crisp and clear and obviously quite entertaining (most of the time, that is). The topics range from personal to pretty general. Interspersed nicely between the longer pieces are what you could call very short blurbs of text. These add a nice balance to things.

You might want to check out his extra collection called “Becoming in depth” which is referred to as a spin-off at 90 miles an hour. These are more extensive article-like expositions on a number of deeper topics like modern day affair and events, music and such. Highly recommended.

Becoming is not out of the ordinary nor is it a masterpiece in web design. However, through its simplicity and straight-forward manner of presentation, this blog certainly deserves credit. The content more than over compensates any lack of presentation. After some study and looking around, I am still not quite sure what that image with the covered face is supposed to represent. But I have an inkling that it is part of some underlying and subconscious theme. Give this deserving blog a moment of your time and see for yourself what you think about it.Becoming

Review 1282

My first impression of was was, “Hey, cool layout!” My second impression, once reading the message on the top of the page, “this site is optimized for a screen resolution of: 1024×768,” was: “aw, that’s not nice.” But I could read and navigate Daniel Lacy’s website on an 800×600 resolution just fine, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

The blog is only one section of the site. There’s not much there, and I tried looking for an archives section and could not find one. The writing is…teenager-ish, which Daniel happens to be. There’s no capitalization, which I notice is standard throughout the site. The writing itself is the basic blog formula: stories about daily life with a scattering of images and song lyrics. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the quality is not good enough to separate it from the masses.

What does set from the rest is the “art” section that exhibits Lacy’s work. Some of the images are really good, and you can clearly see Daniel has talent.

Design-wise, is very well done. All the links work, and the color scheme is nice and trendy. My only quibble is that frames are used, which I really don’t like and are sometimes hard to navigate or bookmark.

In conclusion, visit for the artwork, and if you want to know more about the artist, read the blog and the “about me” section.

Review 1244

Upon my arrival at Meston, I discovered that the owner was on vacation in Australia and wouldn’t be posting for another two weeks. But that didn’t matter much because there was so much to read at his blog that I had plenty of things to enjoy until his return.

This is a blog in the very simplest sense – the focus is on journal entries, which is as it should be. His blog entries are rarely short and usually involve some interesting story or funny remark about people in his life. His “about me” page consists of three questions with the bare minimum of answers, but his blog entries helped me figure out who he was – a kid who just finished school and loves hanging out with his friends.

The only deviation from the blog comes with his jokes page, his pictures page (only a few there), and some rock link that was a bit annoying in that it wouldn’t allow me to close the popup without actually closing the whole browser. I suggest you avoid that one link. The design of the blog itself is simple and easy to navigate.

It is a near perfect blog – the only faults in my mind were the rock link and the lack of an “about me” page. But I look forward to reading about his return and his trip to Australia. From what I’ve read thusfar he’ll have some funny and interesting stories to