Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is this dog breed and does anyone have a dog that looks like this?

Tony and I, and my boys, live at my parents' house. For now. Their dog Rocky died about 2 years ago, and now they're looking for a new dog that looks very similar to Rocky.

My parents asked me to email pictures of Rocky to Save a Pet, in Port Elizabeth, I think - and they will get back to us if they have a dog that is the same breed, and looks similar to how Rocky looked.  Rocky was about the size of a jack russell or maltese poodle.

Port Elizabeth is a little far fom East London (South Africa), and I was just wondering if anybody closer to East London, or even in East London, knew where we could possibly find this kind of dog for my parents.

I gave Rocky to my parents myself, seems like many years ago now. Rocky must have been about 15 when he died.

An ex boyfriend and I were driving along the N2 near the East London SPCA when we noticed this little dog toddling along on the side of the road. It didn't really look like a stray, and appeared to be quite young - probably under 6 months old. We pulled over, opened the door, and a pup we later named Rocky hopped in. Just like that.

We had to be elsewhere, so instead of driving to the SPCA about 1km away, we took Rocky with us, and phoned the SPCA. Early that morning they had found a dog basket and dog toys at their front door - but no dog in sight.

The SPCA did some enquiries, allowing us to keep Rocky in the meantime, ( a day or two), and then announced, that, if we wanted to, we could keep him.

Although we were already growing so fond of the cute little pup, we were staying in a flat, and it was not suitable for an energetic young dog.

So my folks became the pleased and proud owners of a dog that gave them many years of joy!

The photos were taken about a year before Rocky died. I was living back at my parents by then.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Afrigator is only showing my boyfriend's recent blog posts, not mine.

I'm quite upset - it's probably just something I'm overlooking, but I'm still upset.  Maybe one needs three posts on a new blog first or something?

I registered one of my other blogs with Afrigator (an SA blog aggregator) a few days ago, and it's wonderful to log in and see my stats for the past seven days, and to see how my blog is ranking in South Africa and Africa.  So, I decided to register two more of my blogs, another one, and this one I am on right now (and you are reading), earlier today.  Tony registered his personal blog today too, the first time he registered a blog on Afrigator.

Earlier this evening Tony posted a new article (his third on his new blog), and voila, there it immediately appeared in the list of recent posts on Afrigator ( a title, a link, and a brief summary).  I posted a new article (my second one on this blog, as this one here is my third) a few minutes after Tony posted his (also on a free blog like this one), and ... nothing.

This reminds me that yesterday or the day before I was looking for my Wordpress blog's recent posting on Afrigator and couldn't find it.  I assumed just because I'm still new there, but Tony is even newer.  Tony and I have since discovered (on Afrigator) that paid-for Wordpress blogs have to have a PuSHPress plugin to enable the posts to be tracked in realtime, instead of only roughly two hours later.  But I coudn't find my Wordpress post for a good few hours after I posted it.

But the free blogs and the free blogs' posts are supposed to be tracked straight away.  Not mine.  Yet.

Hopefully third time lucky, with this post being my third!

If no luck, I guess will keep looking through the Afrigator site for answers, or will have to email them and ask for clarity.  Don't get it though, as Tony registered just the same as I did, and all is fine with his postings being tracked right away.

UPDATE Thursday 29 April 2010:
I eventually emailed Afrigator support, (late last night after 11pm) and had a reply before 8 this morning!  Thank you Stii Pretorius of Afrigator!  He's looking into the problem and is in communication with me via email, and is very helpful and polite.  I'm glad it's going to be sorted, and also glad to have found out that I can actually just ping my latest posts myself if I'm in a super hurry to get them onto the latest posts lists on the homepage.  Cool!

©  copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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How to customise the header banner of your Blogger blogspot blog like I just did

I was thinking about leaving my header banner plain, with just a bit of text description about what this blog is about (this is only my second post on this blog), but decided to spice it up a bit.  I'm still learning so much about blogs and blogging as I go along, but I'm really pleased that my free Blogger template can be somewhat customised. The free Blogger theme for my blog is the first of the four rounders themes on offer.

I clicked layout and then, on the widgets page in my dashboard, went to the header area at the top to click edit.  I chose to upload an image from my computer, and chose the option to allow my image to load behind my text (Placement:  "Behind title and description").

Clicked save, and went to look at my new page.  Oops, had a huge image there, could hardly see the white text of the blog title and description over it, and the image was off to the left mostly.  Looking at it, I decided I quite liked the rather large image ( I may change the image later, and from time to time, and possibly use not-so-large ones, but the one I'm speaking about at the moment is a picture of a huge wave crashing onto sand (see more pictures taken at that beach spot on the same day) - hm, just thought, if I change it later, information I have planned for further down in this post won't make sense, so I guess I should upload it here too), but I wanted it centred, filling up the whole background space, other than a slight border at the ends.  What I did like to see, at least, is that my picture was not distorted, the background Blogger panel just moved down with it, leaving a little border at the bottom and at the left (and a too-big border on the right).

So, needed to do some maths and measuring.  (oh dear!)  ("Tony, heeeelp pleeeease!")

Tony to the rescue.  Tony did some measuring for me, using a Firefox add-on.  Get it here (free). We needed to determine the width of the background panel. If you are using the same theme that I am, well, I can save you some time, as the width decided for my image of the wave, is 710 pixels. That leaves a thin little border of the natural blog's panel colour showing through at the sides of the image (and at the bottom of the image.)

We only had to worry about the width of the image, as the height would just push the background panel down behind it, keeping the background panel (with narrow borders at the sides and bottom) nicely in place.

We also needed to determine how much space my description above the image was taking up. We wanted to add the colour of the panel to the top of my image (and save it as a new image), so that the white writing would be clearly visible on it, instead of camouflaged on the image.

One can get the exact colour of part of a website page by taking a screenshot of the page, saving the image as a .jpeg and opening it in Photoshop to use a colour picker. Or one can use an application like Color Scheme Designer 1.0b (free.)

A height of 130 pixels was needed for the blog’s title and description. I added it onto the top of my wave picture, in Photoshop (after Tony told me the measurements for the top area – 130 x 710) and then saved the new image. This was done by opening a new file 130 pixels higher than the wave picture, then the wave picture was copy and pasted onto this blank image – the sides and bottom fitted snugly (the border around them on the blog appears automatically, using the measurements I did), and the top area was filled in with the background colour (#445566)

Deleted the “mistake” image on the blog by simply clicking “remove” in the header edit area of my dashboard, and then uploaded the new one – it looked great!

But, being me, I wanted it to look even better, and a little more personal.

I decided that I’d like to see people (myself, Tony, and my sons) directly beneath the blog title and description, before (above) the top of the wave image.

I already knew the width of a new file I wanted to create in Photoshop (710 pixels) and knew that the height of the description text area was 130 pixels. I knew I wanted my “people banner” a bit taller than my description area, so just decided to make it 180 pixels.

So now had to create a new background “file/image” for all three “banners” –

The height of my wave image, the height of my description area, as well as the height of my new, planned “people banner.”

I made my people banner separately, placed the wave image at the bottom of the file waiting for it, placed the description area at the top of that same file waiting for it, and placed my new people banner between them (all fitting snugly onto the file/background in Photoshop.)

I saved the new image, and will use it as my template when deciding on different images for it later.

I opened it up in Photoshop again, and saved it with a different name (actually just put the word “fun” at the end), and then messed about a bit in Photoshop, having that fun I mentioned, using the colour picker, text, and a splattery kind of brush tool.

Then loaded my image and I had a customized Blogger header banner!

UPDATE: I've since changed the theme of my Blogger blog - the image I used as a header banner in my old theme appears at the bottom of every page on this blog.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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My first post but not my first blog

Hello visitors!  And hopefully old and current friends and aquaintances, and future friends and aquaintances!  Yes I do use exclamations a lot, and will try calm down with that a bit, okay? (!)

Well, here I am with yet another blog, and I was thinking why not one with my own name as the title - so here it is and please enjoy it!

I like to write, and hopefully you'll enjoy what goes on in this head of mine, and the accounts of my everyday life.

Welcome to my world, grab a cup of tea or coffee - or something stronger if you like, and stay a while. Enjoy!

Teresa Schultz, East London, South Africa

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