Jan 5, 2009

Say Hello to The Verdant Dude

As you can see, things look a little different around here. And it's been a pain in the ass. I still might not be done, but I'm gonna leave it alone until at least next week. Let's see how things work out.

Why did I make the change? I don't know really. I think I've wanted to change things around for a while, but I just haven't been inspired enough to do it. I also like the way that most of the Wordpress blogs look. In fact, I started a beer blog on Wordpress.com just to see if I liked it enough to switch this over. It's okay, but I am more comfortable on Blogger for daily posting. So here I stay.

What did I change? Well, let's take a look...

My Avatar - This is from a stained glass window by an artist named Dan Beal out of Paul Lucker Designs studio in West Yorkshire. The mythology and artwork depicting the Green Man has always fascinated me. And ever since seeing the original Wicker Man, I've always wanted to open my own pub and name it The Green Man just like the inn/pub in the film. Dunno why, but it has always spoken to me. Maybe I'm just a pagan at heart. So instead of a new pub, I'll use it as my new avatar. Ta da! For those of you that get my avatar through Gravatar, I used just one of The Green Man's eyes. Just because I thought that was kinda cool.

The Verdant Dude - That's the new name of the old Bug-Eyed Blog. It was an easy leap from The Green Man to The Verdant Dude. Verdant = Green and Dude = Man. And Dude = something else that I am obsessed with. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Plus I hated having the word "blog" in the title of my blog. Seemed silly to me. Works for some blogs, but I just didn't want it in mine.

The Template - I went with a Wordpress-style template that seemed to fit with the whole Green Man theme. I tried a couple over the weekend, but this is the one that I like the best. So far. I may find a new one sometime in the near future that I like better. But this is it for now. Plus it was time to give Max Cannon his trademarked bug-eyed freak back. I had borrowed it for long enough. Not changing my name though. Still B.E. Earl. Always B.E. Earl.

More Template stuff - Since it was a Wordpress-style template, I wanted to get rid of the Blogger navigation bar at the top of the page. But I also wanted a direct link to my Blogger dashboard on the front page, so I picked a template with a menu on top of the header. I also added links to my Trivia Quiz (have you played yet?), the movie review blog I contribute to (go check out my review of Neil Marshall's Doomsday) and my beer blog that I promise to start updating more often in the New Year (you can start with my review of Smuttynose Winter Ale). I like that menu bar much better than the Blogger nav bar. What do you think?

What else? Hmm...I can't think of anything. Everything else works pretty much the way it did before hand. I have a few widgets I need to add to my sidebar, but honestly I forget what I had on the old template. I think I'll let it just grow organically. I didn't change my url because that could be a pain in the ass for you, my fair readers. See? I'm always thinking of you.

Feedback on these changes is always appreciated. Doesn't mean I'm gonna listen to any criticism, but it's always appreciated. I know some of you miss the little bug-eyed freak, but that one is a permanent change. I'm going with The Green Man from here on out. Deal with it, bitches!

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Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Even though the times are a changin', all the cool kids are still doing it.

46 comments:

Steph said...

The Dashboard tab is a great idea. I may steal it.

Overall, a clean look. Doesn't really matter to me - I come here for the conversation, not to admire the decorating. I give the little bug-eyed dude a kiss goodbye. He's been great fun.

B.E. Earl said...

Steph - steal away. It was the only thing I used on the old Blogger nav bar, so I figured it would be good to use here.

Slyde said...

i only came here for the template.

see ya.

B.E. Earl said...

Slyde - and the promise of foot fetish porn. Bye.

Avitable said...

Now you just have to move over to your own domain.

B.E. Earl said...

Adam - what are the benefits of that? I mean, the standard answer is "you can do what you want", right? But I don't know enough about html or anything else to really make a difference. So for someone like me, what are the benefits of moving to my own domain?

Avitable said...

Well, there's more flexibility with regards to plugins and you don't have to hack it to try to get rid of any toolbars. Plus, you get more control over your comments and commenters - you can see their email addresses and IP addresses.

Finally, you're not at .blogspot, so your site is easier to remember.

B.E. Earl said...

Adam - all valid points. Thanks! (oh, except for the last one. I can change my url anytime I want to get rid of the ".blogspot", but the rest of it is cool)

Faiqa said...

I love it. It's really nice.

mikeb302000 said...

Great look. I love the new avatar. At first I was beginning to get motivated to make some changes myself, but then I remembered, I hate change.

I would like to incorporate an avatar, though. Any advice?

B.E. Earl said...

Faiqa - thanks!

MikeB - I was wondering when you were gonna get around to an avatar. Advice? Nah...whatever floats yer boat, man. :)

Cap'n Marrrrk said...

I understand the appeal of the Green Man speaking to the inner dude, especially at the beginning of the year.

Dishonest Opinion. Hey man, looks great.

Honest opinion: I think the background is too visually noisy and takes away from the words on the page. I would go with a solid background, or lightly textured green image with Green Man as your header.

I do however like the tabs.

Madge said...

very nice!

Heff said...

Holy Crap !! Though I was at the wrong blog for a second !

You need to put out some potted plants just to spruce the place up a bit more since you've "gone green".

B.E. Earl said...

Cap'n - yeah, I'm going back and forth on the background myself. I love all the images of The Green Man though.

Madge - oh thanks!

Heff - It's the new me. 110% more green.

Paige Stanton said...

I like the changes - freshens things up for 2009 - not sure about your profile and followers at the bottom though.... but you do what you like!

B.E. Earl said...

Paige - I don't know what you mean. My profile and followers are on the right sidebar. They show up on the bottom for you? What browser are you using?

teeni said...

I've always been a fan of tabs - they make for much easier organization as your site grows. (Not that I'm doing the best job with mine - but if I wanted to, the opportunity is there - LOL). Strangely I don't miss the little bug-eyed dude. I thought I would but nope, there's nothing. Hmmm. Guess he wasn't the reason I visited after all. I do have one question though - why are you still referring to yourself as B.E. Earl on the sidebar about section? Since you changed your avatar and all I thought you'd change your "handle" to the Verdant Dude too or the Green Man at least.

Cap'n Marrrrk said...

When I think of Green Man, I think of this: http://is.gd/eBE6

Also, I see you listened to me, but it didn't turn out as nice as I'd hoped. Send me your 2 favorite green dudes to mark.plattner at gmail, and I'll work on your header for you.

B.E. Earl said...

Teeni - I don't want to change my handle because I don't want to change the url of my blog. I'll always be B.E. Earl on this blog.

Cap'n - Yeah, I agreed that the background was too cluttered. I'm just playing around with the header right now. Thanks for the offer of help, though. I'm going to continue to experiment.

Dr Zibbs said...

Looks great.

ajooja said...

Yeah, I like the dashboard tabs too. Nice, clean look. I like it.

Holly Hall said...

Mr. Earl:

Hee hee, just reading through the comments on the last post. I guess I don't get a vote, hee hee.

But, if I did, this gets the thumbs up.

I enjoy the white, the green, the connection with the dude. It is a nice pairing, the earthy green and the earnest dude.

:)

and where is the link to the feet porn?

B.E. Earl said...

Zibbs - getting there.

ajooja - The tabs are really the only think I kept from the original template I used. I changed the background color and the header pic. More changes to come, but I wanna keep it clean and simple.

Holly - check Slyde's blog for foot fetish porn. He is the foot fucking master! ;)

Ookami Snow said...

I like what you have done. I have been thinking about switching things up on my blog for the last year or so... but I never get around to do it. I haven't even upgraded my blog to get all that fancy widget stuff.

Will your blog be my inspiration to actually roll out changes? Mayhap.

B.E. Earl said...

Ookami - I got rid of all my fancy widgets. Well, most of them. They were just slowing shit down.

RW said...

I don't like it, but probably only because it seems to take your edge off. A verdant dude in NY. ok...

Michelle said...

I like it very much!

Question:
Did you create that header? It is great but how did you do it???

Sorry, i am clueless...but i would love to do something so cool on my blog header....

Thanks!!!

B.E. Earl said...

RW - you are mistaken. I never had an edge. It was merely a front.

Michelle - First...I found 10 images of The Green Man on the web that I liked. Second...I uploaded them to Flickr. Third...I created the mosaic using Mosaic Maker on BigHugeLabs.com. Fourth...I uploaded the new jpeg onto my Google Page Creator Server. Fifth...I played around with the html on the template to mess with the header size and the header image. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Michelle said...

Ya think?? That sounds very complicated to me but being the kind of person i am, i am definitely going to try this. It may take me until the end of 2009 to get it just right but i am in it!!

Thanks verdant dude!

hello haha narf said...

green is my favorite color. i like the leaves. and, surprisingly, i don't mind that no one is blinking at me in your background. hehe

seriously, good work, dude. it is comfy and i like it.

i am the diva said...

i love it... i've contemplated moving over to wordpress many times, but in the end i think i ended up being too lazy or something, and i'm not all that great with the HTML. But i love the look. Love it.

Also, i love the Green Man, you pagan you.

Very nice, it feels very fresh and organic over here, i like the leaves.

Oh, and also i have answered your questions five. Are you planning on creating a tab with links for all your interviews? Anyway, i like it. Dude.

B.E. Earl said...

Michelle - I was kidding about it being easy. But anything I needed to do I just googled and I can follow instructions pretty well. Most of the time.

Becky - maybe I can hide the little bug-eyed freak somewhere in there amongst the leaves. ;)

Diva - I like the ease and functionality of Blogger, but I like the appearance of WordPress. That's why I used a WordPress style template. So I didn't have to move from Blogger.

pure evyl said...

I got tired of Blogger and moved to Wordpress ages ago. And I haven't regretted it one bit, but to each their own. I like the changes but I was wondering why you took off the link to your trivia game that you had on the sidebar.

Michelle said...

Ah that makes me feel somewhat better. Here i was thinking how easy it SHOULD be so thank you!!!

By the way what is google page creator? Should i know this?

kiki said...

does this mean i have to edit my link on my blog to your blog/???

did you think of others before changing your blog?

although it is much more pleasant at first glance

B.E. Earl said...

Evyl - I just moved the trivia link. It's now on top of the header with the rest of my blog links.

Michelle - google "adding background picture to blogger" and you will get an explanation.

Kiki - No. To both questions. You shouldn't have to change any links because I didn't change my url. And I never think of others when it comes to my blog. Well, almost never.

jiggs said...

looks good. also, if you want to get rid of the blogger nav bar, you can set its y position to like -100. then it will render it off the window. at least, that's what I did on jiggscasey.com

B.E. Earl said...

Jiggs - or you can just set the navbar display to none in the html of the template.

Paige Stanton said...

I don't see a side bar on your site anymore, your followers and stuff are at the end of your posts. I'll have to check it a home - my work computer is really stupid. I use Internet Explorer at home and at work...

B.E. Earl said...

Paige - Hmm. I've checked it on three different browsers (IE, Safari and Firefox) and it all seems to work fine.

Globus said...

bastard, globus now has to postpone his revamp whilst we all bask in your, uh, green glow.

your avatar looks like the boca della veritas by the way.

bug eyed was quirkier, but green is more relaxing (and reminiscent of the green goblin). happy new year.

B.E. Earl said...

Globus - long time, no see. Bocca della veritas, eh? Hmm.

kiki said...

i knew you didn't change your URL but i had you linked as "bug eyed blog"

you're lucky though, i'm having a lazy day at work today, so i updated it to the new title

Bruce said...

Asthetically it is much more pleasing and clean, but people HATE change, so I am will be on the record that I offically don't like it....sort of like George Bush going on the record that we are winning the war on Terror, which everyone knows is a bunch of crap.

Seems that a lot of folks are changing their blogs for the new year, and I will be doing the same. But mine is still in the planning stages and won't be so much a template change as a structural change. You heard it here first.....

mr zig said...

I dig the new look!