Review 2814

The Taipei Kid is a blog written by a thirty-five year old guy who has lived in Taiwan for fifteen years. But here’s the catch–you can read for days and still know little or nothing about this person.

His blog in my opinion, isn’t entertaining. He writes about what he sees in the paper. Yes, some of his facts are interesting but most of the time they’re not (unless you live in Taiwan). One positive thing I will say is that he has quite a bit of content. But then again, most of it seems regurgitated.

The blog engine is moveable type, which is nice, but the design is horrible. Dark gray, blue…I wanted to watch a comedy just to recover.

All in all, it was boring. Just boring. I gave it a 2.75 and categorized it as being ‘News’ instead of ‘Entertainment’. It wasn’t entertaining at all. The Taipei Kid

Review 2745

Strangely Normal is described on the website as A conservative teen’s thoughts on politics, religion, culture, and the world in general. It is written by a 15 year old homeschooler, and I have to tell you that I feel for this kid.

I feel like I have special merit to review this blog because I grew up in a Christian family, went to a private Christian school and even homeschooled for two years before I graduated. I used to be like this kid. With that being said, here we go.

His blog is based on a blogger template. Enough said about that. But considering he is fifteen and blogger is completely free, I can’t fault him. He has some polling features and news about George W., but that’s about it when it comes to things that help his blog stand out.

On to the content. Keep in mind that this blog looks at the world through the eyes of a 15 year old homeschooler. While it is innocent and cute at times, I can’t help but feel for the kid. He talks about the validity of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), Politics, the woes of Kerry and the greatness of Bush–which I find funny because he’s 15 and can’t vote. So for 3 more years, his opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to politics. Concerning the CCM post, I’m sorry…but you just don’t compare CCM music with Radiohead.

Anyway, I would like to point out that he writes exceptionally well. His opinions are well articulated for being 15, and I applaud him for that. He also receives applause for having a strong sense of self in his blog.

I give this blog a 3.0 for exceptional writing. I would like to see more light discussions…everything seems so heavy. I’ll be interested to see what his viewpoints are after about 5 more years. It’s going to be interesting.Strangely Normal

Review 2691

I need to know what the hell is wrong with you people, so I decided to visit a blog that would answer that question. The blog What the Hell is Wrong With You People? seemed to be the logical place to start. The blog’s subtitle is “Reason to question humanity’s sanity…” I liked that. It rhymed.

Written by a guy calling himself Gern, this blog has been around since early 2004 and features Gern’s observations on odd movies, his life, and the lives of others in the headlines. (No, not Paris Hilton, stop it already.)

It has red type. All over the place, links, headlines, certain passages–red, red, red. I extremely dislike red type, unless it is a vampire blog and then, well, that goes without saying that you need red type. If it’s not a vampire blog, then all I see is blood red type all over the pages, making me think of blood, which makes me think I’m reading a vampire blog…

So, I had to get past the red type thing, which I did, and I read his current entries and his archives. Another thing that gnawed at me was that he has all these links (again with the red) in just about everything he writes, and if you click on the link, it doesn’t open in a new window. It takes you there. Then, you have to hit the “Back” button on your browser to get back to Gern and his questions on humanity’s sanity. It’s annoying, Gern, so please find the “open links in a new window” code for your blog. Thank you in advance.

If you read from the beginning, you find out a lot about him, his past, his friends, and he did one of those 100 Things lists if you want to know even more. He spends a lot of time on the Web finding odd headlines to comment on (Party Crashing Batman Steals Birthday Cake is an example and actual story.) He writes random lists of things that enter his thoughts, and most of them are quite witty. For example, the July 26, 2004 archive is a list of 6 automobile names that will never be made, “Chevy Chase” is one of them. “Jeep Bastard” is another. (I know, made me laugh, too.) He also has a love of comics (something I don’t share) and writes about them frequently, even including screen shots of what he’s referring to.

I was puzzled, however, by the posting of the lyrics to “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen, including no explanation or even the name of the song. It must have been on his mind that day, that gloomy, nostalgic, depressing day that would make you want to post the lyrics to ‘Thunder Road.’

I loved his Blogger Profile–under Favorite Music, he writes “Stuff you hate.” (chuckle)

What the Hell is Wrong With You People?

Review 2683

Cybergrass is not a personal music blog, but rather a cyber magazine devoted to Bluegrass music. In the header we are informed that it has been in existence since 1992. An impressive run for a website in anyone’s book.

The color scheme is pleasing to the eye. However, the three column layout is excessively busy. And add to that a couple of automatically scrolling link boxes on BOTH sidebars…and you have a recipe for eyestrain and headache if you spend much time here. I realize they have a lot of information they want to provide, but in my opinion, standard links to separate pages would be much more user friendly.

I hesitate to list all the categories of information to be found here, but suffice it to say that if you have a question about Bluegrass music and the current events surrounding it, this is your cyber fount of wisdom.

In the center column there is a message board where members can post all manner of information on Bluegrass events all over the
U. S. and the world for that matter. One recent post lets the readers know that a Bluegrass Festival in North Carolina has been canceled because the fairgrounds is under 8 feet of water! This would be valuable information if you were planning to attend.

One has to admire the sheer volume of data provided here, but I think the presentation could be improved dramatically by some common sense de-cluttering.


Review 2724

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I arrived at Right-Brained. I googled ‘right-brained’ and found it is term referring to a hemisphere of the brain. The right focuses on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity. Alrighty then.

The blog is a simple blogger template, you’ve all seen it before. The author of Right Brained is Jay. He enjoys playing with your money all day working as a broker. He also writes one of the most intriguing blogs I’ve ever read. I felt Right Brained had a strange voyeuristic nature to it like watching one of those reality TV programs complete with a variety of curious characters. Jay shares many stories about his co-workers and people in his life, his successes and failures. All with a matter of fact, simple honestly that I found very readable and appealing. Most of the entries are very entertaining, funny and well written. Stories about Cliff, ‘The Dave’, his family and of course Jasmine.

Which brings me to a major theme in Right-Brained: an unadulterated male’s view on sex, women and relationships. I often found his observations hilarious, such as: ‘I haven’t been laid in months. Not that you care, but damn I’m sick of it. Ladies – you’re soft, warm, smell nice, and have all the right pockets for me to put things in. Damn you.’ Yes guy! Jay is an uber horny guy (porn night three days a week on occasion) and doesn’t mind letting you know about it. The entries are somewhat graphic at times… some people might not find it appealing. (Wusses!) However it is clear that a lot of people do enjoy reading Right Brained. His entry comments are very active and I imagine he has a decent readership.

Jay isn’t all porn and bawdy. Most of the entries have a curious balance to them. Such as the Breck jogging entry in which he chases down the lead runner for several miles and wins then ‘I headed to my truck, climbed behind the steering wheel, and when I was sure nobody could see me I collapsed horizontally onto the front seat and wheezed like the little bitch that I am.’ Ahh yes. Jay always shares the truth.

As he used to say : ‘Yeah. Keep dreaming, Jay.’ I hope he does and continues to tell us all about it, it makes for great reading. Highly recommended for an amusing entertaining read.