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What’s a blog? Why have a blog?

That’s the question that my friends keep asking me. It hasn’t been all that long since I might have asked the same question. My short answer: It’s a web site that is updated often and that allows the writer and readers to have two-way communication. People who are interested in the blog’s topic might check back at regular intervals to see what’s new, or they might subscribe via RSS (explained below).

How do I navigate the site?

However you like. Here are some possibilities:

  • You can read the latest postings on the “frontpage” and click on links to “related posts” or, at the bottom of the page, click on “Previous Entries” to see, um, previous entries.
  • You can enter a search term in the search box at the top of the page to find entries that use that term.
  • You can click on one of the category links to read postings in, say, the Local Food category. (Posts may appear in more than one category, by the way.)
  • You can click on one of the months under Archives if you’re chronologically inclined.

What’s RSS? Why should I care?

RSS is the abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication. Pay attention to the Really Simple part, because it’s true. I am a new and complete convert to RSS. For months (years?) I’ve been seeing those RSS buttons on web pages and wondered what the heck those were, but I was too lazy to find out—or too aware of the multitude of supposedly simple techno-things out there that aren’t so simple for your ordinarily mortals. (See that little orange button to the right that says “feed”? That’s for the RSS feed for this site’s postings.)

Now I know! RSS allows you to have your personally selected choice of new information “published” in a convenient place where you can see it when you want with almost no effort. How great is that?

Now a website called Commoncraft has created a great little video that explains RSS simply and easily.

Favorite readers include and Google Reader. With Bloglines and Google Reader, you don’t have to fool with any software other than the web browser you’re already using (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.). Check it out. Sign up, and enjoy the RSS “feed.”

How do I comment?

Just click on the link that says, “Add a comment” or “2 comments” (or however many comments). You will see a form that asks you to enter your name (you can use a screen name if you prefer), your email (which won’t be published) and, if you like, your web page. Then write your comments and let me and others know what you think!

What is your privacy policy?

Simple: I don’t share your information with anybody. When you list your email for comments, it’s to help me make sure you’re a person, as opposed to a spam-producer. It doesn’t appear on the blog page. If for some reason (which I can’t think of right now) I decide I want to share your info, I promise I’ll check with you first. Please note, though, that if you click on one of the links that takes you to a retailer such as Amazon or, you will have to provide those sites your information if you order any products. They have their own privacy policies.

Are you making any money on this?

Not yet. I might one of these days. I finally figured out how to include Google ads and how to get referral fees from a couple of retailers. To the extent that these are useful to readers, I’ll make money.

Will you plug a product for money?

No, although I guess you’ll have to take my word on it. I’ll only recommend and provide links for products that I would feel good about buying—or good about your buying. If there’s a link, it’s possible I’ll make a commission if you buy, but I won’t recommend something just for the commission potential.

Still, you need to make your own buying decisions. What’s good for me isn’t necessarily what’s good for everyone else. On the other hand, I’d love to see your thoughts appear as comments on the blog.

How can I contact you privately?

Just fill in the contact form on the Contact page. I will tell you, though, that if you’re clever enough to figure out my first name and put it in front of the domain name with @ in the middle, then you are clever enough to contact me privately if you don’t want to use the form.