Love It or List It?

The baseball off-season makes for strange bedfellows. Normally after the season ends depression sets in. For about a week all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep until pitchers and catchers report. Of course that never seems to work. My wife and my job seem to think that hibernation is not a valid excuse for not being productive.

Love it or List ItFor the next few weeks I go through my seat cushion and my scorebooks getting things caught up or reminiscing about all of the baseball games I have attended over the past season. That normally gets me through the end of the World Series. I’ll then turn my attention to the DVR re-watching the games I remembered to record during the season. I’ll then turn my attention to watching the DVD of Randy Johnson’s perfect game from 2004 and the boxed set of the 2001 World Series.

All of this will get me somewhere around the first week of December. After watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and a Charlie Brown Christmas I find myself at a crossroads. Spring Training is still two months away and there are just so many times a guy can watch Bad News Bears Breaking Training before his family seriously considers having him committed.

This year I decided to branch out and try to find alternative programming to try and get me closer to the start of the Cactus League. One night I am absently flipping through channels when I land on HGTV. They are doing an episode of Man Caves with former Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes. Well, that’s kind of baseball I justify so I sat and watched. I can confidently say that Byrnes was wise to stick to baseball; there is no way I would want that guy working on my house.

After that episode another show began called “Love It or List It”. From what I could gather, the premise of this show is that a family is in a house that has issues. One family member loves the dysfunctional house while the other wants nothing more than to sell it to some unknowing sap and move into something much better.

The hosts split up. One is an Interior Designer who takes the family’s money and tries to make their house functional. The other host is a real estate broker that spends the entire show trying to find them a better house. In the end, the family must decide if they love their existing/updated house or if they will list it and move into something better.

It’s an interesting concept (assuming there is nothing else on television to watch) that kept me watching for nearly half an hour. As I sat there watching I realized I was living this same concept but electronically.

I began blogging at the end of the Arizona Diamondbacks Inaugural 1998 season. At the time it wasn’t called “blogging” and there wasn’t any software to do that. Instead I would create an HTML page and place it on NowHitting hoping someone would read it.

Since those humble beginnings I have changed my blog a grand total of three times in 15 years. It went from hand-coded HTML pages to a content management system and finally to a WordPress site that you see today. Through the years I have received a multitude of comments about the blog.

Most have reminded me that I should not stop my day job to become a writer and more than a few have suggested my wife should be nominated for some sort of sainthood for being married to me (still not sure I understand that). Those that have not questioned my character or my sanity have suggested that from a blog aesthetics perspective the only taste I have is in my mouth.

Maybe I am like those poor saps who can’t decide whether to love the shack they currently live in or if it’s time to bulldoze the structure and move onto something bigger and better. I look around at the interface and color scheme and it’s like a comfortable personalized authentic jersey. It fits, shows my team allegiance, and its mine.

On the other hand it is a little thread barren and doesn’t really fit the way it did all those years ago when I first moved in. The color scheme is dark and the text is a little too small. The other thing is, readers are coming from a much different place than they were when I started.

In the early years all you had to worry about was whether the reader’s monitor was color or black and white and if they had a resolution of at least 640×480. Now I find that most of my readership is accessing the site from a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet.

The site is slow and difficult to read on those devices and I’m not getting any younger so maybe a bigger typeface is appropriate. Like the homeowners I wanted to see what else was on the market. Could I find a bigger place in a better location closer to the ballpark or would I be better off putting a little effort into blog improvement.

I took several tours of model blogs looking at the open concept with granite dashboards and stainless steel appliances. I heard about how outdated my current blog was and how much easier a brand new blog would be to maintain and enjoy.

But there were all the memories of my old blog. I watched articles be born raised and even had to tearfully bury some blog entries that had outlived their usefulness. How could I just turn my back on that old blog?

In the end I decided there is no place like home. I’m now putting some effort into the old girl fixing her up and giving her a little curb appeal. Over the next few days or weeks you may notice a lot of changes around here.

The first step was to create a new theme that is responsive meaning it will adapt dynamically to the size of the window or device. This means it should be easier for people who reach the blog from a smartphone or tablet. I’m still playing with the aesthetics trying to find the right color paint for the walls and moving the furniture to make best use of the space. I might even try some of that blog feng shui I hear so much about.

I invite you to stop by and check out the progress. Just don’t wear your best clothes, there’s no telling where there may be wet paint or newly poured cement. I guess in my case I’ll go with the “love it” camp and stay put in what I hope will be a more functional blog that is easier on the eyes. Now if I could just figure out how to actually become a writer this thing just might work.


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