Mar 04 2009

Spinster aunt acknowledges that the blog looks different


In our continuing efforts to bring you the most enjoyable blaming experience possible, the Twisty Web Development Department has implemented a couple of changes to the blog theme and upgraded the WordPress installation. I rely on the Blametariat to complain about these changes in the comments. I will probably regret asking, but please leave feedback, particularly if you are still getting “access denied” messages, but also if the blog is displaying psychotically in your browser.

Somebody asked about the avatars. They came with the new upgrade; I suppose they are essentially harmless. If you don’t have one and are envious of those who do, you can get an account at gravatar.com. What you do is, you upload a picture which attaches itself to the email address you use for commentarianism, so the avatar shows up whenever you comment with that email address on a gravatar-enabled blog. Otherwise, the little picture next to your comment will be a randomly generated cartoon monster.

A not wholly unexpected side effect of the gravatars is the “rating.” Apparently, some bloggetarians find it necessary to use pornographic gravatars, necessitating a rating system. Because I am a pearl-clutching sex-hating humorless prude, I Blame the Patriarchy, for example, only accepts G-rated avatars. The whole concept of “X-rated” depends for its survival on porn/rape culture. Nice, huh?

OK, I admit it. This whole post is an excuse to put up a photo of my current favorite horse Maypearl, a 6-year-old Arabian unicorn archetype (only without the appendage). Maypearl is a nutjob. The other day we were tootling along, la-di-da, when suddenly she jumped over a shadow. The next day she bucked me off. I love her.


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  1. Ron Sullivan

    Land sakes, I didn’t know you were poly.

  2. Joanna

    What soft eyes she has!

  3. Deanna Zandt

    Friendly neighborhood techgrrl, here. I lurve the new header graphic; the only thing is that the nav buttons (Reading List, FAQ, etc) are kinda hard to see and read unless you hover over them. Mebbe a brown background tab with white text for the “off” position, and then your hover (dark gray/black) and “on” positions are fine…

  4. Comrade PhysioProf

    Twisty, are you saying that you were fucking with that PHP shit again!?

    Maypearl is beautiful!

    Comrade PhysioProf

  5. Lovepug

    What a lovely horse. How did I miss that Maypearl is a member of the Spinster Aunt compound?

    I’m getting a scrolling effect wherein the page numbers stay at the top like the headers in an Excel spreadsheet. Don’t know if that’s supposed to happen, and anyhway, it don’t bother me none.

    I’m okay with a randomly selected cartoon monster (it’s kind of like not knowing which hitchhiking ghost you’ll get at the end of the Haunted Mansion ride). Though as cartoon monsters go, I would favor Eduardo from Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends. I’ll be checking back to see what I get.

  6. Lovepug

    Is my monster wearing a red bra?

  7. Rebekka

    I want a pony!

    The site looks good to me.

  8. lawbitch

    Maypearl is gorgeous! Is Stanley jealous?

    I’m stuck in moderation. Is it because you chastised me for being off topic? I promise that I’ll behave now.

  9. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    ORSEY! My very first word.

    My Gravatar is a redheaded fembot who, in real life actually shares my real name, which is why I chose her. She doesn’t appear to be showing up here, though! Embarrassed, probably.

  10. Claudia

    I can’t see Maypearl :( The picture doesn’t show on the main page and when I click on the link (http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/maypearl.jpg) I get a page that very amusingly says:

    Error 404 – Not Found Your query has produced bupkis

    Other than that, blog brilliant as usual.

    Cheers from Brazil!

  11. Comrade PhysioProf

    I like my green monster with wings and antennae! Will I always be that monster!?!?!?

  12. Irlandese

    Looks good to me.

    Missing my old avatar–a happy purple dinosaur with a green tail. Oh well. Hope my mama lioness shows up. Lionesses don’t Blame The Patriarchy–they just take them down and eat them for dinner.

    BTW–Maypearl is a beaut.

  13. Twisty

    Claudia: “Error 404 – Not Found Your query has produced bupkis”


    It works fine from here.

  14. Twisty

    Comrade PP: “Will I always be that monster!?!?!?”

    People can change. We mustn’t give up hope.

  15. Pinko Punko

    The pic was really slow to load, but everything seems good so far. Are you running WP 2.7.1? Is this the latest K2?

    I redudantly and redundantly like to point out that since Random Headers are built in to K2, it would be as simple as kiss my hand for you to pop into rotation all the lovely IBTP headers. Maybe even some cool fly chromosome ones.

    Also I’d like to suggest some new categories: Redudantly and Sexbotulism.

  16. Pinko Punko

    Also- clickable header? Want.

  17. humanbein

    Love that horse! Gravatar wouldn’t let me be TP anymore, though. Now I guess I’ll be moderated.

  18. Oaktown Girl

    My only issue with the new look is that I can’t decide whether or not it’s better that the “I” in “I Blame the Patriarchy” is obscured. I mean, there’s good arguments both ways, right?

    With a strong “I” in the blog header, it’s more than just Twisty speaking, it’s like each of us taking a firm stand and drawing a line in the sand against the big P.

    When the header reads more like “Blame the Patriarchy” (without the clear “I”), it seems to be a twofold statement: a) A command (and very good one!); and b) Sage advice: “this is the proper state of mind for a better world”.

    So I’m torn. Maybe there should be a poll on the subject.

  19. Mortisha

    Delurking to say thanks for the blog – it is a refreshing blast of airy truth in the world.
    Your horse got me in – I’ve got a beautiful black mare who keeps me sane.
    Putting my head on her neck and smelling that lovely horsey smell when I give her a hug is my daily soul balm.
    I love horse communication too– especially that mare face that says if you don’t back off fella I’ll kick the shit out of you. hehe

  20. Cottonpants

    It seems that your site is now devoid of all images. Except, ironically, the new avatars.

    I’m using Firefox, if that helps any.

  21. bigbalagan

    Looks just fine in beta Safari 4, so you’re covered for the next couple of years of OS Xing. I don’t know about the tabs, though—they’re kind of hidden, but in a way they have a consistent look with the ominous shadowed title…

  22. Twisty

    Cottonpants: “It seems that your site is now devoid of all images. Except, ironically, the new avatars.”

    Aha! I think I know what’s going on here. Bue, unfortunately for the blog images, it is beer o’clock here in Rattlesnake, so the fix will have to wait until tomorrow.

  23. rootlesscosmo

    A Yiddish-speaking 404 page is a welcome novelty. As for the look of the site, it’s fine here (Firefox on an iMac); the blaming is the main thing, and that’s thriving.

  24. larkspur

    Everything looks great, although I miss the hollering niece. Also? I’ll bet Stanley is in love: respectful, comradely, best-buddy love.

  25. Pinko Punko

    For my bloggo I chose the setting “only show gravatar for those that have a gravatar.” This seemed to speed up some loading times.

  26. Orange

    Safari 3.2.1 has no Maypearl–which, by the way, sounds like a mighty Texan name for an equine.

  27. Ron Sullivan

    Wow! I have a little green uterus for my avatar!

  28. terristrange

    oh my goodness,
    your horse is a beaut!

  29. VibratingLiz

    I liked the old Recent Blamer Invective sidebar format better, where you could see who the last three or four commenters were for the most recently commented upon posts. Everything else is wonderful.

  30. MHW

    I have to say that I miss the yelling Twisty graphic. The colors were cheery. I realize, though, that change is a part of life.

  31. thebewilderness

    Maypearl is lovely, and so are you.

    Firefox is having no trouble coping with your fiddling about.
    Orsie, was my first word also.

  32. Mare Island

    It’s all good. Arabians are the prettiest.

  33. dawn coyote

    Don’t mind me. I’m just checking to see if I want to use this gravatar, which was already mysteriously registered with my email, and is an actual picture of me.

  34. Denise

    I can’t wait to see what my monster looks like!

  35. Pinko Punko

    TF- I have the Brian’s Latest Comments widget (works with the new K2). It just uncovers the built in BLC code that should still be built into K2 but that WP doesn’t love. It allows you to have the same “latest comments” as previously with the latest WP. Let me know if you want it. The issue is that your plugin manager will tell you there is an upgrade available, but that upgrade is just the less nice “Latest Comments” widget built in to the new WP, so don’t upgrade the BLC like it offers. It really is vastly superior and aids in blaming.

    Shorter me: I second Vibrating Liz!

  36. Helen

    Love Maypearl, and the fact that you are still using the eyerolling Marge-simpson-hairdo Twisty avatar – I’d miss her!

  37. gare

    Where are the screaming people? Bring them back!!!! Drop the pearls and back away from the horse!. Ah progress… was still thinking about how to compare deer hunting with hooters (racking my little gare brain) and now THIS….

  38. Anna Belle

    I’d read this blog if it was just a white screen with 12 pt New Courier font. It’s not the dazzling graphics I come for (though I admit, they are dazzling).

    That’s one fine horse you got there. I lurve ladies who refused to be broken.

  39. Anna Belle

    Oh, thanks for the tip on gravatars….

  40. speedbudget

    I try out my gravatar.

  41. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Arabian horses have quirky personalities, n’est-ce pas? When I was in school, my accounting teacher used to take us out to visit the Arabs on a farm owned by his friends. (Later, we’d go back to his house and drink homemade red wine. Good times, good times.) I’ll never forget how gorgeous Arabian horses are, or what a horrid hangover homemade red wine delivers. Thanks for bubbling up a happy memory with your lovely photo.

    I love your blog in all of its glorious iterations. I love the bugs and the frogs and the horses and the dogs. Most of all I love the way you write the stuff you write. Thanks again, and bless you forever.

  42. speedbudget

    While I like that little brown monster…

  43. speedbudget

    Oh, I give up. I take the little brown monster. He has boogly eyeballs.

    On another note, why does your blogulator keep making me fill in the require fields (name, email)?

  44. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    Works for me. Except that, in Firefox anyway, I can’t preview my format. And I also miss the niece, but not the post-modern waiting-room furnishings.

    I once had an Appaloosa named Apache Queen who
    (1) bucked me off a couple of miles from home and then stood with her backside toward me and threatened to kick me every time I tried to get up off the ground,
    (2) stood on my foot while I was grooming her and refused to get off it,
    (3) pushed me against the stall wall and refused to let go until somebody randomly came down to the barn and rescued me
    (4) bucked me off miles from home and trotted back to the barn without me–ground-tied? fuggedaboudid. She’d just raise her head way up to keep the reins out of her way (or break them and be done with it), and off she’d go.

    She also once kicked the sh*t out of one of the geldings in the family–and had to run backwards across the pasture about 20 yards to do it.

    I adored her. That was over thirty years ago and I still dream about her.

    And no, I know this blog isn’t about horses, but Maypearl is beautiful and has such a Twisty personality, she reminded me of the AQ (who was ugly as a post but was an admirable bitch).

    Can’t wait to see what my random avatar is. Then I’m going over to pick one out for my next Blame.

  45. PilgrimSoul

    Twisty, that is a beautiful picture.

    My only comment on the design is that against the header image, it is a little hard to see/read the tabs at the top (i.e. Reading List, FAQ, etc.) This may encourage less reading of the FAQ (which I understand you to find woefully unread in the first place), and thus more moderating of comments made from a… well, less-than-blameful perspective. More work for you, less delicious Twisty for us. Sadness all around. Perhaps a different colour is in order for the Tab text?

  46. MaryK

    I LOVE the cartoon monsters!

  47. Antares

    That’s a beautiful photo. You both look so happy.

    I prefered the thingy on the right side that displayed the last three commenters rather than the current setup, but besides that, everything looks great.

  48. foilwoman

    Just checking the gravatar. Pretty horse.

  49. Twisty

    Pinko Punko: “The issue is that your plugin manager will tell you there is an upgrade available, but that upgrade is just the less nice “Latest Comments” widget built in to the new WP, so don’t upgrade the BLC like it offers.”

    Too late! As you can see. Am in process of correcting all your issues, though. The “old” comments and clickable header should be functional soon.

  50. dr. fantastic

    I fear change (except overthrowing the patriarchy).

    I did like the pictures of your and the little girl yelling, but I’ll get used to the new format. Sigh.

  51. Comrade PhysioProf

    As long as we’re whining and simpering about what we want the site to look like, Twisty, can you please make it so that your comments are on a blue background like they used to be? That way I can quickly scroll through threads I have mostly missed to easily find your twisterrific bons mots!

  52. eb

    php is a tool of The Patriarchy(tm).

    ~ eb (WordPress screwer-upper)

  53. VinaigretteGirl

    I preferred the old header graphic because it was … mmmm, less Ominous Shadowy Horror Movie With 70s Brown Overtones, but it’s your blog and if the new header doesn’t cheer me, meh, that’s my problem, innit?

    I read your blog so I can clear my head and rejoice. I can’t expect you to cater for my preferred graphics.

    As for avatars, I’ll be fine with random, if they have to exist at all. It’s just another label to fight but it isn’t our fault that your upgrade was designed by social dimmies with l33t programming skilz who like Teh K3wt.

  54. yttik

    Lovely horse!

    When the pundits were bloviating about gay marriage, my kid heard them say this could lead to people marrying their horses. She was absolutely ecstatic, on cloud nine for weeks. When I grow up it will be legal to marry your horse!

    I remember. I had a beautiful wedding with my pony when I was about her age. Best decision I ever made.

  55. butterflywings

    I agree with Deanna, the navigation headings are hard to read.

    Also, I couldn’t see the ‘I’ in ‘I Blame the Patriarchy’ at all. I wondered if it had intentionally been removed.

    Sorry if that’s picky, I work in web development so spend my days doing this. Yes, it is thrilling.

  56. SaturnFloats

    I like the scroll bar feature that appears when cruising through the archives. However, the fact that it stays locked on the top of your browser as you scroll down (technical term?) is a little strange. Is there a way to unlock it?

    The “Trim” feature is also pretty sweet in archive perusal.

    There used to be links for “Older entries” and “Newer entries” at the bottom of each page that are now only found on the top. Having them both places was convenient.

    I too miss Twisty’s comments being highlighted.

  57. larkspur

    I third Liz and Pinko, but you are already on it, yay.

    Also, Virginia S. Wood – great story. Same with yttik. Something about Maypearl is making for great story-tellin.

  58. mir

    The new look is very clean. Streamlined and efficient, no wonkiness in IE (not that *I* use Internet Explorer, I just heard that it works real good under it. From somebody).

    Like the bossy header (BLAME the patriarchy! *I* blame the patriarchy! You Blame the Patriarchy, we ALL blame the patriarchy!) though I miss the yelling picture of Tortellini and the droopy houseplant.

    You and Maypearl are gorgeous in sepia.

  59. Kwailin

    Could the default font be a little bit bigger? It renders kind of small in both Firefox and IE. Not too big of a deal, since I can increase it myself w/a CTRL+ or two, but it gets kind bold and blocky-looking that way, especially in Firefox. (This refers to a change you’d implemented previous to the big upgrade.)

  60. hero

    What a completely magnificent specimen of protoplasmic perfection. And the horse ain’t bad either (*rim shot*). Now I have a ‘Orsey crush as well as an Auntie crush.

  61. swanage

    I second Comrade PhysioProf’s request for the return of the blue backgrounded Twisty comment.

  62. B. Dagger Lee

    The whole thing looks great! But wait, I should complain some, right?

    Okay: I won’t be happy until the whole blog is in Esperanto.

    And damn you and your taunting, envy-inspiring horse photos!

  63. compcat

    Arabian horses are extremely sensitive to the fact that shadows contain carnivorous microscopic organisms that sporulate from trees. Or so I have learned from a popular science fiction television program.

    So, the proto-unicorn saved your life! I once rode an Arabian that saved my life! from a barrel. He also peered around all corners for danger before walking through doorways. The latter habit was hilarious, the former gave me whiplash.

  64. Twisty

    compcat: “Arabian horses are extremely sensitive to the fact that shadows contain carnivorous microscopic organisms that sporulate from trees.”

    This would explain why she also spooks at trees.

  65. rubysecret

    Pretty, pretty unicorn. Maybe her horn is just, you know, invisible. Maybe she was jumping over the leprechaun who was hiding in the shadow. Maybe she threw you off on accounta the flying monkeys.

    I, too, grew up with a flighty mare. She threw me off repeatedly. I adored her her.

  66. blondie

    Far as I see it, any excuse to trot out that pretty face is good enough. I also think Maypearl was very smart for o’erleaping her shadow. She’s obviously familiar with Peter Pan and what tricksters shadows can be.

  67. caitlinate

    I will miss the way the ‘Latest Blamer Invective’ section used to fade with passing time. The background is a different colour to the central post part for me. Maybe this is intentional.

  68. Twisty

    This is fixed! The comments, that is. I have no idea what’s going on with the background color. It’s supposed to be gray on the sides and white in the middle.

  69. caitlinate

    Oh it is like that – i mean, the colours are.

  70. CLD

    Looks perfect in Firefox. Alas, I have a gravatar, so no monster. My face being on my gravatar could possibly be misconstrued as a monster, but monster is in the eye of the beholder.

  71. Antares

    BDL : In the little town I live near (in Spain), there is a street called, Esperanto. It’s maybe a 100meters long and is a dead-end. (I shit you not.)

  72. alphabitch

    I like the new look. Also wondering do I have a gravatar or not? I feel certain that if I do it is certainly G-rated.

  73. Pinko Punko

    I presume Twisty is still signed in to the bloggo? When I’m not logged in on my own, it of course doesn’t recognize my specialness. Also, the K2 CSS is now much more complicated and I think I had a hard time recognizing exactly where the style sheet called for authorial coloration of comments.

  74. elm

    I do love the cartoon monsters; but I’m getting extra clock icons on the comments pages, which interfere with my ability to read the first word of the fourth line of every comment.

    Maypearl is lovely. I’ve been known to jump at my own shadow.

  75. Zora

    I second Comrade PhysioProf.

    I don’t have much blog-reading time and found it a nice touch to be able to scroll through quickly knowing that your responses in the comments section would be highlighted for me.

  76. anna

    Since you asked, viewing the new header hurts my eyes quite a lot.

  77. Cottonpants

    “I have no idea what’s going on with the background color. It’s supposed to be gray on the sides and white in the middle.”

    It is for me, but I still can’t see any images. I wish I could get a load of this new banner everyone’s talking about!

  78. enkagi

    Ah yes, Arabian horses. My sister had one of these, a lovely dapple grey gelding by the name of Silver. Silver had the habit of spooking at anything and everything. The list was exhaustive – rain, a puddle, an oddly shaped stone, a clump of grass, a gopher (the prairie dog variety, not the turtle), a cow turd, a chip bag… the list is endless. He was an eternal pain to her, but he was beautiful and he knew it. Our old “seen it all” quarterhorse Guts (real name Secretariat, but he was so round that the nickname stuck) found Silver quite amusing. Guts found everything amusing, including my fear of him (I was 12, and he was 16 hands, and more gentle than a kitten).

    I miss the space and the animals that we had on the farm, but I sure don’t miss the community. Small town communities are often romanticized as wonderful places where everyone helps everyone else out, kids grow up ‘right’ and everyone is happy, but this image leaves out how terrible anyone who is “different” is treated. Small towns are always very concerned about maintaining the status quo, especially gender roles – women are there to raise kids, and if you don’t like it or don’t want that, you’re considered evil, unnatural, or defective. Not to mention, with nothing to do in a small town, kids get into even more trouble with things like drunk driving and joyriding – not necessarily the bastion of perfect child-raising the romantic image projects.

  79. slythwolf

    I love Maypearl too!

  80. Rebekka

    Me too re: the extra clock icons.

  81. Twisty

    The old blog theme automatically highlighted my comments, so I don’t know how to effect this independently. I have searched long and hard for code that will put a gray box around my sage remarks, to no avail.

    There is probably a plug-in somewhere that doesn’t work with my version of the blog software, and I will install it anyway, and it will blonk the blog, and I’ll be right back where I was two weeks ago.

    The clock thing is totally blowing my mind, though. I’m not seeing it. What’s your browser, extra-clock-sufferers?

    Meanwhile, during this emergency, we will all agree to leave the fourth line blank, yes?

    Also, if you’re really all that interested in my comments, all you have to do is look for the Odd Lady avatar.

  82. elm

    Well, this is where I have to fess up to the use of IE, even though it violates the IBTP terms of use.

  83. Hedgepig

    Yeah, me too elm. Although I have a novelty vintage version called Windows 98. I sort of assumed the extra clocks and any other problems were probably due to that.

    I don’t know about these pretty prancing Arabian horses. They remind me of Tolkien’s fucking elves. enkagi’s Guts sounds more my sort of animule.

  84. norbizness

    Just posting to see if Pikachu followed me here.

  85. Pinko Punko

    Pikachu is a slave.

  86. Twisty

    Hedgepig: “I have a novelty vintage version called Windows 98.”



  87. Twisty

    Pinko Punko: “Pikachu is a slave”

    We should liberate it, then.

  88. Pinko Punko

    Pokemon is holding that card.

  89. norbizness

    I’m afraid you’ve brought this link upon yourselves.

  90. Hedgepig

    I think I meant, a vintage version of Internet Explorer called 6.0, or some impersonal moniker.

  91. elm

    Extra clocks gone!

    Thanks, Twisty.

  92. TwissB

    Twisty, I hardly knew ye what with the slasher film heading and those terminally cute “gravatars” – just like any common blog. My firm but respectful reguest: put it all back exactly where I found it with the iconic Austin Motel sign beckoning me in to stay. Well maybe once a week a bit of Hill Country ambience – a montage of Stanley, Maypearl, assorted local fur, feathered, and scaly fauna (I hope that the perfectly self-contained tree frog qualifies as fauna), with perhaps a tasteful border of live oak leaves. And NO gravitars! If this comment appears with a gravatar, the embarassment may force me to subside into sulky lurking.

  93. zooeyibz

    Everything looks fine over here (on the latest Firefox) but my Bloglines sub is hopelessly entangled. Posts and comments come through randomly, or out of order, or not at all. Shall IBT Bloglines?

  94. Jezebella

    TwissB, if you hate the gravatars, try running Firefox with AdBlock, if you’re on a PC.

  95. TwissB

    Jesebella – Thanks for the anti-gravitar suggestion but I’m too tech challenged to stray from Windows XP.

  96. Jezebella

    [looks around, sees no tech geeks in the room right this minute] TwissB, I still use Windows XP, too. It gets along just fine with Firefox, promise. Go visit the nice people at mozilla and you can download it for free.

  97. Flüge Australien

    I do also use Windows XP and I agree with Jezebella, it works quite well with Firefox. I dídn´t and don´t have any problems. Just try it out.

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