Friday, January 24, 2003

Top 10 List Completed!

If you haven't already noticed, my top 10 list is finally completed and posted on my sidebar. Congratulations to all who made it! I also want to say that if your blog didn't make it, it has nothing to do with your blog being bad. In fact, I actually didn't see one bad blog in St. Blog's Parish. You all have done an excellent job!

Also, in case you don't already know, my list is simply based upon my own likes and dislikes. In other words, it is very subjective, and thus, may not reflect other people's picks (or even the truth)... lol! :-)

Good job everyone!
Something happened to my comment feature overnight. It must be the service that I am going through. Hopefully they will have it fixed soon. Sorry. :-)

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Just to let everyone know, I have narrowed by search down to the final 10 blogs. All I have to do now is to simply put them in order. I could possibly have the list posted by tomorrow! So if you want to place a bribe, now is the time to click on that "PayPal" button on the left! (Just teasing. At least about the bribe part. You can still click on it and donate! lol!)

Also, for those who are still thinking about that "right-aligned sidebar" thread (if anyone still is in the first place), here is a hint. Just read this post, and this post, and my first response on this post. And then read this post in light of these three posts.

Good luck! :-)
If any of you have time, take a peek at the new look of "Meet Joe Convert". VERY NICE, JOE!!! Keep up the good work!
Just to let you know, I won't have much time today to visit blogs. I spent most of my reviewing time trying to figure out how to do the comment feature, and now it's play time with my little girl. Oh well. Truthfully, though, I would rather play blocks with my daughter than look at blogs anyway. Don't take that as an insult anyone... :-)
If you haven't already noticed, I added a comment feature to my blog. So now you can comment to anything that I write. Enough people asked me about adding this feature, so I thought, "Hey, my public is speaking, so this must be a need." So don't let me down, everyone. Comment away!!! In fact, I think I'll test it right now myself! :-)

UPDATE: It worked!!! YEPPIE! I did it right! lol!
Well, readers, after mentioning this blog a few times already, I think it is about time for a serious review of "Nihil Obstat". I know that in the past I said that Nihil's blog is in the running for my list of the top ten blogs of St. Blog's Parish. But now, after taking a good look at it, I'm not so sure. Let me expound ...

First of all, I do have to say that the whole concept of this blog is very original and clever. I mean, who would have thought of having a blog based on spelling and grammar checking? So for originality, Nihil scores very high.

But on visual appeal, Nihil takes a nose dive. After all, he uses the same "Mark Shea template" that so many others use. There's no originality here at all. This is an area that Nihil could use some more creativity. In fact, I've already thought of several clever things Nihil could do to make this blog more visually appealing. But I'll let Nihil figure that out on his own. :-)

And then there is the content. I don't know about you, but when it comes to content I want more than just negative comments about other blogs. I personally try to point out the good and the bad about the blog that I am reviewing. Nihil, on the other hand, seems to only point out the bad. This gets very depressing after awhile. So in the category of content, I would have to score Nihil towards the bottom of the list.

So, in my honest (and, of course, subjective) review of "Nihil Obstat", it has only one outstanding good quality, which is its originality in regards to concept and idea. Will this one good quality be enough to overcome its not-so-good qualities? Hmmm... we'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I noticed that Davey's Mommy decided to play Catholic Blog Reviewer last night. Hmmm... at least I know that if I ever go on vacation, I'll have someone to fill in for me! :-)
Due to overwhelming opinion, I have decided to cancel the idea of putting advertisments on my blog for an extra income. After all, I'm here to have a good time, and blog in the spirit of Christian love, fellowship, and fun. And why spoil that with a lot of ads, huh? :-) So I have deleted the two posts that were on that subject (in case anyone is wondering), and have stuck with only the blog reviewing posts, which is my purpose for being here in the first place!

But, I have kept the donate button on the siderbar in case anyone does feel the desire to give me financial support. Thanks to everyone for their input and comments! And thanks for keeping me focused! I appreciate it! :-)

And now.... back to reviewing!
A reader emailed me last night and asked me if I could put a comments system on my blog. Well, when I was first putting this blog together I did think about adding that option. But then I decided against it. Why, you may ask? Because with 100+ blogs to try to visit every week, I really do not have time to also check out and monitor comments on my own blog. That would just be way too time consuming for me. So I decided not to have that option, and just have email.

But for those who may be worried about their email addresses getting out, don't worry. I will never let out anyone's email address, or even their names, without expressed permission from them. I completely respect the privacy of my readers.

P.S. For the reader who emailed me last night, (my email host) somehow lost all of my emails overnight! That being the case, I can't respond to the other question you have. So if you want to try to email me again, we can see if Lycos is working correctly now. I hope it is! Thanks! :-)
I got a chance to visit Sean Roberts' "Swimming the Tiber", and it is very thought provoking. Take, for example, his post on the issue of pride (which you can find here). He talks about how doing acts of goodness and holiness can many times cause us to struggle with pride and self-exaltation. And as we all probably know, Sean is right on target here. It reminds me of that old country song that says, "Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way." Sean hits a chord in all of us, and makes us examine ourselves more closely. Keep up the good content, Sean!

But I would like to take this opportunity to mention something. When you visit Sean's blog, you will notice that he uses that template that has the dark gray background, light gray sidebar, blue header, and white body background. I call this the "Mark Shea Template". Why do I call it that? Because Mark Shea's blog, "Catholic and Enjoying it!", was the first Catholic blog that I ever visited, and he uses that template. So since his blog was the first one that I ever saw use that template, I simply named it after him. :-)

But anyway, this is where visual originality enters into my review of a blog. If a blogger simply uses your average, everyday, template from, then they really aren't being visually original. Now, before I start getting angry emails, I completely understand that many bloggers are not literate when it comes to HTML code, so they are stuck with only what offers them. This is understandable and acceptable. But in order to make their blog stand out in the crowd, they need to learn at least your basic HTML code. I mean, just think about it. Blogs are suppose to be an expression of the bloggers themselves, right. It shares with the reader the blogger's personality, thoughts, dreams, etc. Well, if your blog looks exactly like a half a million others, is it really an expression of yourself? Let's hope not!!!

Plus, it really doesn't take that much time or trouble to learn HTML code. After all, take a look at my blog. It's not very fancy. In fact, it is pretty plain and simple (like me). The truth is that professional website designers would probably look at my HTML code for this webpage and laugh their heads off because it is so elementary. But it really doesn't matter, since it is ORIGINAL. There is not another blog that looks like it anywhere in the world! And that is what I am talking about!!!

So as I step down from my soapbox, I would like to lead those who want to learn more about HTML code to a website that has helped me learn alot. It's called "HTML Goodies", and can be found here. And I'll be looking forward to seeing more original looking blogs in the near future! ;-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

I was just reading through the posts at "Holy Weblog!", and I am very impressed. Not only does Joyce Garcia have a very nice looking layout (and not your normal, average "" template), but her content is very good. I like how she has a variety of subjects that she blogs about. There's probably something here for everyone! Good job, Joyce! :-)
Don't forget this! I have received some guesses so far, but none have been right yet. Keep thinking!! :-)
I really like "Meet Joe Convert". It's a blog about a man's journey to the Catholic Church.

I personally never went through the actual RCIA process myself. You see, I work evenings (the 3:00-11:00 pm shift), so I was not able to meet when the regular RCIA class met. So our priest met with my wife and I once a week in the mornings and went through the information one-on-one with us.

I think it also helped that I was a Baptist minister, who already had a background in theology and had been studying Catholicism on my own for almost a year. Not to mention the fact that my wife and I had been good friends with our priest for almost 10 years before even thinking about becoming Catholic, so he was well aware of where we were in our relationship with God.

But I do think that I missed the relationships that people form as they go through the RCIA process together. That is one thing that you don't get when you only meet with the priest one-on-one. But that was over 2 years ago, and my wife and I have now formed some very good relationships with others in our parish through that time. Even though, I still wonder if I missed something by not being able to actually go through RCIA process with the others that joined the Church with us. Hmmm...
If you want a lot of links to news stories, without much commentary from the blogger, then "De Virtutibus" is for you. Personally, though, I could get this information from most news websites. The reason that I visit blogs is for the personal commentary by the blogger. Nothing personal, Kevin! ;-)

Monday, January 20, 2003

A reader emails me and says:

"Nihil is on the great list of St. Blog's, only about ten or so down from the top. is the url of the Great St. Blog's List. There are some on the great list that are not in the ring, and some in the ring that are not on the great list."

WHAT??? I was only going by the St. Blog's Ring. You mean there are other blogs in the parish that I haven't visited yet??? You have got to be kidding! I guess my job has only begun.

Thanks for the info!!! :-)
By the way, readers, there is a meaning and purpose behind the "right-aligned sidebar" thread. The first one to figure it out, and email me with the answer, will get extra points towards being in my top 10! :-)
Davey's Mommy writes in "Chirp": "Catholic Blog Reviewer has something against right-aligned sidebars."

Yes, I do. Let me explain why. For centuries writers in the western world have always aligned things from the left. This is the way that we read. This is the way that we write. It's TRADITION!!!. And now people want to come along and try to change the way things have always been done. It's just simply wrong! People may try to justify it by saying that aligning the words on the right satisfy their sense of symmetry (as you attempt to do here), but there really is no justification for it.

Davey's Mommy also writes here: "It looks like Catholic Blog Reviewer is mainly focused upon compiling a ten-best list, so perhaps my humble little weblog will be spared an objective review."

Sorry! ;-)
I absolutely LOOOOOOVE the look of "Richard's Blog". He has done one awesome job at designing, and making his blog very readable and fun to look at. On the account of its visual appeal, this blog is in the running for my top ten for sure!!! Good job, Richard!!!
Well, I have finally had a chance to visit every blog in the parish, and I have narrowed my search for the top 10 blogs down to only 34. Now, the hard part starts, which is to narrow these 34 down to 10.

One of the surprises that I discovered was that "Nihil Obstat" is not even a member of St. Blog's Parish!!! What's up with that??? I was going to put Nihil in the running for my top 10 (even though he had the nerve to point out some of my spelling mistakes and errors in grammar... lol!), but I guess I can't now. Hmmm.... Maybe Nihil will join that parish at the last moment, and make a mad dash for the top 10. We'll have to see! :-)

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Happy Lord's Day everyone!