Review 3292

Little James Short may have one thing up on other kids his age. He’s got a dad that’s not only crazy about him, but also journaling his life. This probably acts as a tremendous release for James’ dad, Paul, but also a helpful tool with other parents coping with Autism and Pervasive developmental disorder.

The posts are well written and informative. Not only are they full of information that deals specifically with Autism or PDD, but they also let people, like the vast majority of readers that may stumble upon this site, know that kids like James are just as precocious, mischievous, and entertaining as the next kid.

My favorite post featured some pictures that were taken by James when his dad inadvertently left the digital camera in the backseat of the car, which happened to be just inside James’ reach. The result? Some really neat picture, for a kid his age! The self-portrait is my favorite.

The layout of the site is my biggest complaint. It’s one of Blogger’s infamous templates that gets used on a way-too-regular basis. The light text on the black background is a bit hard to read. Paul keeps the information on the sidebar to a minimum, which makes the site easy to navigate and seem more open, rather than cluttered.

I’m a sucker for kid stories, and kids in general, so I was able to easily relate to and enjoy the stories and information Paul shares in his writing. He doesn’t have time, as a single parent, to post on a very regular basis, but I think it’s safe to say his readers would rather have him spending time with his son, than posting on his weblog.

As I mentioned earlier, this site is undoubtedly going to appeal to people that have a direct tie in the world of autism or people just looking to learn what a real life is like when there’s a child like James involved.

Review 3292

Paul Short is a software engineer from Austin, Texas whose son, James, was diagnosed with autism in 2003. From his first post in 2005, well after the fact, Paul’s honest first post outlines the discovery of James’ condition and the separation between he and his wife. Before long it was just Paul and his son and Paul began the process of learning and living with autism.

Paul’s blog is filled will information, and his attention to detail is astounding. Reports about James’ progress, his daily activities and learning are all thoroughly documented making the blog a goldmine for others in his situation. James is a cute kid and photos give us a glimpse into Paul’s world which must be a hard road indeed. In recent posts I was entertained with some of James’ photos having got hold of his fathers digital camera, some of which were quite good.

I can’t say anything good about the site design really, the black blogspot template casts a dark shadow over a well written blog about overcoming adversity. I think a brighter template would bring a sense of hope to the site, but then software engineers were never known for their design skills.

What I can say however is that Paul’s dedication and love for his son nearly brought tears to my eyes. The blog is just one testament to Paul’s selflessness and enthusiasm for his son. This hard situation is explained clearly and patiently with very few hints of despair, and in doing so will probably bring much comfort to the scores of people with autistic children. Despite the design and the sometimes dryness of the subject matter for an outsider, Paul’s thematic discipline since 2005 is exemplary and I’m adjusting his score for this reason. Well done and good luck Paul. NULL

Review 3207

…I loved it. The entries were just wonderful. They were short, concise, and just so witty. The author, Cindy, gets her point across as quickly as she can, and if she doesn’t offend you, then she leaves a smile on her reader’s face.

Her entries are mostly journal entries – whatever happened today she deemed worthy enough to write about. But she writes so well and she injects her witty comments and opinions so well that it was just so entertaining to read about her life and her thoughts. They’re not necessarily funny, but they’re definitely enjoyable. I don’t really know how to sum up her whole blog because of the diversity of her entries. I mean, jeeze, she even talked about the Jesus Action Figure from Christmas. That was good.

Maybe I’m biased. Maybe when I start hearing this voice talking in my head as I read through the entries of a blog, I start thinking better and better of whatever it is I’m reading. Well, whatever. That voice in my head started talking and it said this was good. The layout isn’t flashy, but when the words are entertaining enough, no one needs flashy. Kudos, Cindy, on the great blog.

Really, I recommend it to just about anyone. If, on the first entry, you feel your hackles raising, then please, press the X button. Otherwise, you’ll see that what she has to say is worth hearing. Or rather, reading. NULL

Review 3257 is purely a photoblog. This site proves the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” His pictures are great, with many layers of emotion and vitality.

I am not an art connoisseur. I have limited background experience on how to judge a piece of artwork. However, I found Michael’s pictures to be amazing. Most of his pictures are portraits of everyday people doing everyday things. He captures various emotions so well that just by looking at them, I get an idea of what the person portrayed must be feeling at the time.

There is one picture posted each day and there are now many pictures for each person to go through. I think they are truly amazing. What I also like about his art is his claim that he doesn’t crop or digitally enhance his pictures. As he says, “What you see is what’s on the negative.” It’s nice to have someone return to the traditional way and still make great pieces.

Overall, I enjoyed the blog. I spent quite a while just looking through his archives and I really enjoyed myself. The site is easy to navigate through and it was certainly worth my time.NULL

Review 3204

My first impression–I have no idea what this blog is. Are they selling something? Is one person writing it? Why do I have to register? Ah, I see, the blog is part of a larger web community called “Seacoast Online” in New Hampshire (?).

The weblog is written by Kelly Halldorson and is a collection of pieces on (mostly) politics and social issues. I do not agree with Ms. Halldorson’s views, but I feel like I’ve heard it all before–the thinking here is not particularly original. The arguments are simplistic. While I don’t agree with her perspective, stronger arguments can be made than simply accusing all the world’s evils on the “government.” We, the people, are the government, after all. The author is a libertarian, as well as a wife, mother and student. There is no particular attempt at humor. The quality of the writing is good, but the author occasionally uses shortcuts like “:)” instead of expressing herself through her words. “Smileys” are an acceptable shorthand in email, but I find them off-putting in a blog; especially one that wants to be taken seriously.

The design is acceptable, but I’m not crazy about it. The banner is very busy–it’s full of links to other parts of “BlogTheCoast.Com.” There was a calendar for easy navigation on Kelly Halldorson’s blog, recent entries, archives and categories. There is no blogroll.

The audience for this blog is probably other libertarians in the New Hampshire area. Or for people who would like to fight with a libertarian. Not me, that’s for sure.NULL