Review 2292

What can you really think before stepping into someone’s world, via their own eyes, and read through those intimate personal moments called a weblog? What is your first reaction when the blog is named “‘man.ik-di’pres.iv?” Well, you take a look. You read the little things on the splash page and you hold back just long enough to write this portion of the review before diving into the author’s mind. I can’t help but assume that this blog will be scattered in pain, but I almost hope for raw emotion.

I started with a few of the recent entries, the two that are there. Then I dropped in on the archives. I’m not surprised by entries, but they spark emotion. They draw you in. They’re short, but indelibly moving. The author is obviously a man of few words, but with a writing ability like his, there’s no need for too many words. The author has points. He makes them and moves on. There is little by way of tangents, even if the entries vary to things throughout the day or his idea of “horrorscopes.” The blog itself reads like a well written novel; the kind you read again and again because you loved it so much. Short spurts of wonder and intelligence. This is the kind of blog that makes me want to write quality, not quantity. This is the kind of blog that I love to find and read. This is the kind of blog everyone should get a chance to experience, even just once.

For a site hosted on geocities, it’s beautifully dark. You see only the random picture in the left corner and the quote that coincides with it. You read his versions of the mundane, “the vault” as opposed to “archives.” It’s actually very well laid out and clear. There isn’t a ton of things to inundate the reader with this or that. It’s designed to allow the reader to choose where they’d like to go.

He has a “say a prayer” portion that’s not for the people of the war, or the humans who lost lives. If you click on it, it’s for those innocent, and I mean truly innocent, lost lives of animals. I can’t help but be very sad at the reality of his concern. And I can’t help but hope that his one voice changes the voice of others. This section alone, brought tears to my eyes. You can learn more about his likes and favorites in different sections of the site. You can learn more about him in the about me section.

Regardless of where you go on the site, as a reader, you will probably find something you can relate to. It’s not all filled with pain and angst, as you might think by the dark demeanor, but it is filled with insight. Insight into little things people often overlook in life. Or even insight into things we’ve thought about many times, but never could find the right words to make them real. This site is my first 5.0 because I want to read every word written there… ever. last. one. ‘man.ik-di’pres.iv

Review 2405

I’m sorry, but can’t anyone do something original with the movable type template? I know, a little harsh, but sometimes it’s really hard to have to look at the same style blog over and over again, with a few different colors changed around. Often it just feels as though there’s too much distraction with the sidebars that the content is missed. But, content is the question here… so moving on.

The early archives are rather sparse, but interesting. His first “public” entry is about being a twin and how he responds to the questions he gets asked when with his brother. It’s a funny twist on human stupidity, but shows that he’s a good sport with having to deal with the questions that are often asked, dumbly. He has a great sense of humor. When you read his July 4th entry, you’ll find yourself wishing you had done what he requested. His entries are filled with emotion when he touches on subjects like religion, citizenship, and politics. His entries can often be short and to the point, but they tend to lack the meatier part that draws people into visiting again and again. When, on occasion, the author does get to the nitty gritty, you’re compelled to read every word, wondering what brilliant thing he’ll say next (July 20th).

As I stated above, the design is plain. It’s almost like the generic layout that movable type gives you when you install the blogging system on your web server. I can’t seem to stress enough that there are infinite ways to design a blot. When I visited this author’s actual site, I loved it! If only he could’ve incorporated some of that design with the blog it would be a much more pleasant read.

This author shares a lot of really good links, especially pertaining to politics. He has a lot of outgoing links to some things interesting, some things interesting to the author, and others just for fun. I have yet to see a “deskcam” which allows the viewers to see his desktop. He also has the “escape” link on his site, which, honestly is a good thing when reading or blogging at work. Otherwise this blog is very similar to so many others.

This blog is new to the community of blogging, and while there weren’t thousands of entries for me to read, the ones I did read were quite interesting. The overall feel of this blog is leaning more towards his political viewpoints rather than much else. I can’t help but not like the look of the blog, or even wish there was just a little bit more on the shorter entries. In the end, it’s a blog I’d visit once in awhile for curiosity’s sake, but probably not daily.All About James – The Forum

Review 1438

Any time I see a blogspot blog there’s a part of me that really wants to squirm in my seat. Are the archives going to work correctly? Is it going to be terribly slow? Ironically, this blog doesn’t generally fall into the same category of most blogspot blogs. You want to know what’s really nice? The picture of some kind of art that this author has; it truly is nice.

If you go back to the humble beginnings of the blog you’ll find that this author is a student at Northern Arizona University, studying Criminal Justice. His entries are very well written and quite humorous. He tells of the adventures of dorm living, and the dramas of people who, according to the author, “never escaped the first grade mentality.” For anyone who hasn’t ever lived on a college campus or in close quarters with lots of people, this is the blog to help explain the drama that’s spills forth. There are a number of entries of the author’s thoughts on random different things happening around him. He’s often touching on the philosophical, which is very interesting to read. There’s a slew of intelligence oozing from this blog, even with the occasional misspelling. He is utterly hilarious with his nicknames for J-lo, and his entry titles. They very much draw more attention to some entries rather than others.

The design isn’t bad. There’s not a lot of ruddy code filling up the blank spaces, so you’re left with only the content of the blog to fill in the gaps. Lucky for the reader, the blog definitely fills those spaces with loads of content. Some of the colors work better than others; the purple for the comments is easy to read, while the teal for the “posted by” is really difficult to see. Would you like to know what’s truly wonderful?? Considering that this is a blogspot blog, the archives actually work. So there are many weeks of writing goodness to go back and read, enjoy, and experience.

The archives are part of a wholly different page, which might be a good part of the reason why they work. So you’re not stuck having to worry about them working on some pages and not others, which often happens with blogspot. This is a nice feature. There isn’t an about me page, but you learn very much about the author through his entries. You’d have to read through to understand his ideas on religion, school, and the male mentality towards sports.

This isn’t a site that would visually bring me back again and again, but the content is definitely worth another visit. Just reading the site for the review I wanted to leave comments and reactions to so many of the things that I either understood, or wanted to share two cents with. Its main audience is probably more the college-age readers, but there are many other wonderful things to find even if you are younger or older than this age range. Ruminations

Review 2329

There were so many things about this site that made it stand out. Humor was definitely a big one of those. And just for Jay’s peace of mind, I’ll try to refrain from using the word “blog” on a regular basis. Jay does have a point when he says it’s not the most attractive of words to come along.

With a site that’s over two years old, a very complete set of archives is available at “Nerd in America”, even dating back to 1987. The archives are available indexed either by the month or by the category, and with categories like “Geekery”, “TV review”, and “Anecdote”, there’s surely something for everyone in the reading of this site.

Now the reading – I couldn’t get enough of it. I decided to peruse the archives by catagory, and run down the list in alphabetical order. The “Anecdote” category was great. The author has a knack for writing his stories with enough detail to almost put you right there with him as he’s experiencing the things he shares. The way Jay tells stories is definitely a plus.

There are several different categories that deal with reviews of different things: books, games, video games, TV, music, and movies. When Jay reviews something, he really does a thorough job of it. If he likes something, he can explain it wonderfully. If he doesn’t like something, he justifies it very easily. His critiques, for the most part, are quite unbiased. You easily understand Jay’s point towards something and can tell which way his feelings lie, but doesn’t try to do so in a persuasive or argumentative manner.

The layout and visual appeal of the site was good. I was greeted with a huge header logo, but it wasn’t overwhelming. You’re invited by the author to “waste your time more than before reading all my shit”. And he advises that the site “looks bestest in Mozilla”, but it looked just fine in IE for me. There’s more than just the weblog available as well. There’s a section for photos, and another section called “Geekery”, which is chock full of more information about things our author enjoys.

I got a kick out of visiting this site. There were so many different things to read about, and the writer has a flair for developing easy to read entries. Why wouldn’t someone enjoy reading something like that?

Nerd in America

Review 622

How Not To Fly has only one problem that I could find… I couldn’t stop reading it. But more on that later.

The page loads with a standard two column layout that was used about 5 years ago as it is using frames. But that is ok, because the author actually read how to use frames and does targeting very well. The left column has all of your standard links and the right column has all of the content. One nice feature is that you can “exit the frames” if you wish for a simpler layout.

The posts are all about news headlines and stories. The author takes these headlines, quotes, whatever he finds funny and posts it. But then it gets better. Most of them continue on with his version of the story. Of course it is just made up stuff, but most of it is extremely funny.

Of course, some of the funnier posts will be about politics, but the topics range from politics, to lawsuits, to nature, to just the obscure post. Even though reading older posts may be out dated (because of the content matter) they are still funny and provide some laughs.

But the site isn’t limited to just random funny posts. The author one ups himself by adding a review section of movies (done mostly serious), a guidance section which I found to be very funny, memories of his childhood, emails with interesting responses, and then stories while he was in the service. Add these to the already impressive posts in the blog itself and you have one fully packed weblog that will take up a lot of your time reading.

Over all we have a very well done site that is hard to stop reading. Take a couple minutes each day to read a week or twos worth of posts. If you are feeling bad about something at work, take a 5 minute break to read this site as it will cheer you up. I cannot stress how much I enjoyed reading this site, and hope you will too.
How Not To Fly