Friday, February 17, 2012

New Look

I figured it was about time that I spruced up the old blog. If just for the different colors, I liked the above picture (that's Duke Chapel in the background), but I never liked the name "The Spartan Student." I thought it was a touch too self-promotional and I was always a little embarrassed by the whole thing. Plus, I haven't  been "poor" or "desperate" for a long time. And I'm more frequently pitching articles to magazines, so I desired a more professional look. The old look had to go.

I guess I need some sort of new title for this blog because my Duke years are over and my life is headed in a new direction. What that direction is, I'm not exactly sure, which is why I'm struggling to think of the proper words to capture the blog's themes. (The new picture above is me standing on an unnamed mountain in the Brooks Range next to Walker Lake. It was taken by my ranger-friend, Adam.)

A couple other housekeeping notes:

- My new domain name is You can access the blog by using this new address, or my old one ( (PS: If you're thinking of starting a blog, I can't say enough good things about Blogger/Blogspot; they've really made it easy for the average person to make a decent looking website. Plus, the new domain name will only cost me $10/year.)

- I liked the narrow text columns I had in the old blog template (because I thought it made for some easy-on-the-eyes reading), but these new wider columns permit me to post really big pictures, which is a feature I'm excited about. If there's anything about my new format that you find disagreeable, please email me or post a comment and I'll see what I can do.

- In an effort to post more than once a week (which is a rate I clearly haven't been able to maintain lately), I think I might do a "weekly quote" post. I have 162 single-spaced pages of interesting quotes/passages I've written down over the years--many of which aren't to be found on the Internet. I thought such a weekly post would be an easy way for me to bring a little more activity to this blog; my life hasn't been incredibly blog-post-worthy of late because I've been doing little more than book-editing for the past many months. Perhaps I need to find new ways to compensate.

- Anyway, thanks again for your readership. The comments and emails and well wishes are always encouraging. I never would have thought that I'd still be "blogging" after three years, but it's been incredibly fulfilling.


Chris said...

Maybe a little bit bigger font. It may just be my monitor though. Other than that it looks good. Very clean.

Ken said...

Thanks Chris. Anyone else feel this way?

Grace said...

I really like the new look (and photo). The font is a tiny bit small, especially in the headers at top.

Ken said...

Chris--I increased the font size from 12 to 13. Grace, I increased the font size in the header, too. Thanks for the feedback.

chez caesar said...

Love the new photo, Ken.

Tesaje said...

Like it. The minimalism of the look goes with the topic well. I'm glad you seem to be launched on your desired career and look forward to hearing more about your adventures. It took me quite a long time to load the header pic and it wouldn't load at all on my smartphone.

George said...

Hi Ken.
This is George.
One thing I wanted to say is that large photos take forever to load on a 3g or 56k connection. It is much more accessable to use smaller photos that link to larger photos.
Right now I am reading your blog on my Kindle Keyboard and the site takes forever to load so I am reading your articles with a bunch of partially downloaded photos. It did detract from your mushroom article as the article was very picture heavy.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the book deal...hard work finally paid off. Looking forward to the publishing. The new look is good, you are right, time to move on. Best wishes.


Ami said...

RE titles, how about something playing off "simple" -- Striving for Simplicity; I do like unencumbered, but the current title means you're no longer burdened by vagabonding or vandwelling, which makes it sound like you're no longer worried about being unencumbered. Just my 2 cents of course. Have a good day, and yahooooo! on your book deal.

Ken said...

Chez--thanks, it's one of my favorites.

Tesaje--I changed the size of the header, so hopefully it'll load quicker. Thanks for the heads up.

George--So sorry about the big pictures loading slowly. I don't have the best connection at David's, yet they load okay. So I think I'll keep posting big photos, but I have changed the resolution of the header and reduced the amount of blog posts per page, so hopefully there will be a small improvement.


Ami--I was worried that the title might come across like that. When I had "of vandwellering and vagabonding" I mean it the way essayists would title their works "of nature" or "of friendship"; I didn't mean for readers to combine the unencumbered and "of v and v" part. Anyway, I changed it now that I got my hands on Adobe Photoshop for the evening. Hopefully it's a bit clearer. Thanks for the feedback.