I'm still poking around in the settings for this thing to see if I can make it look how I want it to look. First, an apology: I hate blogs that have big ugly ads right at the top of the screen. I thought I had gotten rid of that by paying money, but alas, paying money only means thatI don't see the ads (or maybe Adblock+ is killing them). Anyone else visiting the site will still see them unless they also have paid money (or possibly if they are running Adblock+). Not sure I understand the reasoning. I believe there is a way to get the ad off the very top of the screen, but I haven't got that to work yet. Or maybe I have. I'm not real sure. The whole setup seems odd.
[Aside: I don't mind the pay-vs.-ads model. I understand that whoever is hosting this thing needs to make money, and I would rather work with someone who is upfront about it rather than do the Google/Facebook trick and secretly collect data on everyone and sell it to the highest bidder. But it should be either/or. If I'm paying, ads should not be inserted into my blog.]
I also don't like how the headers work. I've always had a primary header (Ric & Debbie's Place) followed by a quote. There is a place for a second header line, but it is limited to 20 or 30 characters, and it doesn't allow any formatting. For now, I stuck the quote on the top of the sidebar, but the whole thing is so small, it may as well not even exist. Worse, on mobile devices, the sidebar gets cut off the side and shoved to the bottom of the page.
I'm getting used to the old LiveJournal online editor, but the new one is too limiting unless you are just posting tweet-like entries. If you need to do any sort of serious formatting or [gasp!!!] edit the actual HTML, you are forced to use the old editor. [Update: I just spent an hour I don't have hand editing the HTML for this post because some asshat at LiveJournal has decided that instead of using the standard HTML paragraphing, they will insert dozens of div's and span's in some lame attempt to improve on the standard p-/p paragraph marks. Grrrrr.] I hope the new one is just something added on to make it easier to do quick and dirty posts from a mobile device and not a replacement for the full-on editor.
So yea, the bloom is off the rose and I am once again looking for a blog host that a) doesn't care what I say in my own damn blog posts, b) doesn't require me to run a full-blown mirror server on my machine just to make blog posts, and c) gives me a reasonable level of control over the format of the thing. In other words, I'm looking for Google's Blogger system without the evil.
Speaking of evil, has anyone else noticed how cable news has turned into Orwell's Two Minutes Hate, with the image of Emmanuel Goldstein replaced with Donald Trump's face and Big Brother's replaced with Nancy Pelosi's? The primary difference is that even in Orwell's dystopian nightmares, the Two Minutes Hate only lasted two minutes each day rather than the 24/7 seen on CNN and Friends. I don't know if that many people realize just how deep in the shit we are at this point.
I figure now that the 2020 Presidential Campaign Season (tm) is in full swing, I will try my hand at some predictions. If they fail to come about, I'm sure no one will remember anyway. However, if they come true, please know you read it here first.
Here we go:
If the Democrats run a Standard Democratic Candidate from central casting (Kamala Harris, Joe Biden), Trump will do a Bush-the-Younger and win in a near-landslide after squeaking into his first term with a minority of the popular vote. However, if the actual voters in the Democratic Party can pry the apparatchiks' cold dead fingers off the wheel and put up Bernie Sanders or someone very much like him, Trump will be booted out the back door. What could queer things is if the economy does a 2009/1929 swan dive. In that case, the DNC could literally run a yellow dog, and Trump will still be out.
In any case, whether Trump exits stage left in 2020 or 2024, he will be replaced with a Democrat. That Democrat will be granted exactly four years to fix everything. They will of course, fail. Completely. Utterly. In every detail (see Jimmy Carter). Also, if the economy hasn't already imploded under Trump, it almost certainly will at this point.
In my opinion, whoever/whatever rides in next (2024 or 2028) singing in an exaggerated operatic voice, "Here I come to save the day!!", we will be in for interesting times in the sense of the ancient Chinese Curse If we are very lucky, we get a Vladimir Putin. I don't think we're going to be lucky. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but we've dug ourselves way too deep in a hole. We seemed determined to burn every last shred of good will we have with every nation on the planet. As Elrond said, "Our list of allies grows thin." In fact, I can't think of a single country that can be considered a true ally of the US at this point. A few parasites like Great Britain or frenemies like House of Saud. But allies? Phbtttt. Furthermore, we have completely destroyed our political and social institutions at home. No one has any moral authority. It's all about who can scream the loudest into a bullhorn. That never ends well. The incessant looting of the working and middle class by the elites is just the rotten cherry on the shit sunday.
And no, I don't have a solution. I don't have a plan. I don't even have a vague notion of a hint of a thought about a hypothesis concerning anything that could be done. Other than the old school duck-and-cover