This was kind of a sad day for me because my favorite political blog, The Carpetbagger Report, helmed so brilliantly by none other than Steve Benen, cleared the floor and turned off the lights with today's final Mini-Report and open thread. I've been reading Steve's musings and analysis on politics there for over four years now, and he had created a real community over those five years the blog was up. It was one of those rare blogs where not only were Steve's posts incisive, extremely well written and witty, but the commenter community that developed there was comprised of mostly very intelligent, civil and articulate commenters, who had very few spats amongst them, (though I got zinged a few times around Iowa Caucus time), but compared to other blogs, these folks were (and still are!) a great group of people. Steve's writing and analysis got me there, and once I was hooked, the commenters generally kept me coming back first thing every day. Thus, Steve Benen became my go-to guy on politics very quickly. Of course I read other blogs and have a lot of respect for some of the bloggers, but Steve has always stood out as the one to beat in my book.
This is starting to sound like a lament for a lost blog, but that's really not the point of this post. The reason Steve closed down TCR is that he's moved up in the world! He will be replacing Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly's blog, Political Animal, starting tomorrow August 28. Though I'm not crazy about WM's format for the blog (it's difficult for me to read with all the clutter on the page), I'll be following my favorite blogger there, because a day without reading Steve Benen's work is a day when I know I am going to be sadly uninformed on the issues that matter most to me in politics. So, that's the imperative: follow this man wherever he goes to write.
I've had him linked in my political blog section of the sidebar since the inception of Urban Oasis, and his closing down TCR made me venture into the template to change his linkage. I have no idea if anyone who ever read here used it to check out TCR, but I hope some did, and were pleased with what they found there. I've updated it now, and while I was at it, I reorganized the garden blog links a bit and added a couple of new ones I've been reading lately.
One of these days, I need to do a major overhaul on the template and overall look of this blog, but I'm still HTML challenged and fear messing the whole thing up, but it's going to happen eventually, perhaps this fall or winter when there's less going on in the garden and I can devote more time to the new look.
And I guess this is as good a time as any to let you in on a little project I have going on the side ... Fernymoss and I will be putting together an Urban Oasis 2009 calendar, but it's still in its gestational phase. We pretty much have the flowers for the months mapped out (though we haven't yet chosen the photos), but also want to include gardening tips, when/where to plant and other info, as well as significant or fun dates to commemorate on a calendar. We haven't got the logistics of printing it worked out yet, but we did inherit a very nice HP photo quality printer a while back (one of the fancy ones), so we hope we can print the initial run on it, but I haven't gotten the printer up and running and talking with the network yet, so that's going to take a while.
So ... if readers (regular or otherwise) would like to make suggestions as to things they think would be cool to include or point out any particular photos you think would be good to use, I'm certainly open to hearing what you have to say! I'd also like to say that we came up with this idea not with the intention of making money, but rather as a way to create a personal Christmas gift for friends and relatives, that's all. As this project progresses, I'll fill you in on the details if the interest is there, but I figured that now I have software capable of producing such a project, I should take advantage of it, and this was the first idea ...
Just a little green, like the color when then spring is born, there will be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow .... -- Joni Mitchell