Friday, June 29, 2012

Talk About Mixed Messages ...



This is a T shirt being sold on the official website of the president of the United States; it was promoted on Twitter by President Obama's official Twitter account.

So, how angry should we be with kids who swear?

At least 17 states have legalized the medical use of pot. In the city of New York, the mayor recently backed a proposal to decriminalize the possession of "small" amounts of marijuana. (It's arguable that 25 grams is one heck of a lot of pot, however).

But drinking a large soda - that should be illegal, claims the mayor.

So, second question: How angry should we be with kids who smoke pot, since it's A) medicine, and B) apparently less harmful than a large Coca Cola?

I'm no one to preach; you don't need to dig too deep to find dirt on me, as the old saying goes. But I don't think it takes a genius to see we are bombarding our kids with mixed messages at every turn - and this has to be very confusing for young people in the process of developing their own personal moral codes.

Being a new father, this poem really has hit home after seeing it recently for the first time. Dear son, I will fall very short of the mark, but I promise to try.

SOMETIMES YOUR STEPS ARE VERY PLAIN
SOMETIMES HARD TO SEE.
SO WALK A LITTLE PLAINER, DADDY
FOR YOU ARE LEADING ME.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adding Google Forms to Blogger


Techies are often quick to dismiss Blogger, and frequently ask me why I haven't moved to WordPress or another, "richer" platform. I think Blogger actually has plenty of capabilities ... you just need to dig a little bit for the best solution now and again.

Case in point: Adding a "contact me" form to your blog is simple with Google Docs ... you just build the form, then click more actions > embed. You can copy / paste the form's code right into your blog, in the html view, for both blog posts and pages.

Problem is, it will look funky. Your form won't match the formatting of your blog, and may bust out of the page margins.

Try these 5 steps instead, for a seamless look:

1. Build your form the way you want it (save it!), then return to your Google Docs home page.
2. Open up that form, then go to form > go to live form. You'll see where your form lives online, and see what it looks like to viewers.
3. Right click on the page, and view page source ... so you can get at the html code.
4. Do a control / f search to find the words "form action" in the code. Copy that code all the way down to where it says "< script >< div >"
5. Now plug this code into your blog. It should match your blog's theme and appearance much better.

Here's my test page after embedding the Google Doc code using the above steps ... now I've given visitors several ways to contact us. In the Web 2.0 world, more options are better!

Happy Blogging