Domain thing

Lake Anita State Park. Anita, Iowa.

If you see a notice about domain expiration, I’m sorry. I moved our domain from WordPress to Google and have upset the balance of the universe. I’m sure it will go away soon. That’s a sure strategy.

In other news, #all3 of us are spending the weekend at Lake Anita State Park. So far not too busy. We’ll see how this unfolds in the next 24 hours. It’s only Friday morning.

– Anthony, Lake Anita State Park, Iowa

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Our most popular post

Alfred on the Airstream bed. Lake Anita State Park, Iowa.

I was browsing through the site statistics and was surprised to see that our most popular post is this one, Is living in an Airstream a bad idea?

Now to the question I’m sure you’re asking. Why do you have a sleeping bag on the bed?

streamer_j is enrolled in a course with several all-day weekend classes. Poor streamer_j. But not poor streamer_a and Alfred! We’re going anyway. When it’s just me and the furry one I don’t burn propane running the furnace at night, unless it’s forecast to drop below 30-ish. I leave a window open, fresh air and it’s nice and toasty in the bag. As a side benefit I don’t have to clean the sheets or make the bed. Alfred likes it cold.

I picked this technique up winter camping with Alfred. I’d have to run the furnace to keep the lines from freezing but using a sleeping bag means I can set the furnace at 40 (the lowest it will go).

The bag is a REI Lumen.

– Anthony, Lake Anita State Park, Iowa

The great blog breakout project

Best mirror view

I’ll state up front this post has nothing to do with Airstreaming. But if you’re thinking of starting a blog about your Airstream adventures you might find something in this.

We started this blog using WordPress.com. It was fun scribbling about our experiences and playing with layouts and themes.

Then in latter part of 2013 we – I, unilaterally – decided we needed more doodads on the site. Twitter feeds. Flickr feeds. A weather widget. A map showing our location at all times. One thing lead to another and before long I was editing theme code and self-hosting my blog.

As a result about a year later we had a blog that was entirely inflexible and starting to smell like a legacy enterprise IT application. It was only a matter of time before I introduced an Internet Explorer 6 dependency and instituted change control.

To tell the truth I had turned this fun little writing outlet into a bit of a chore. We are good at doing that to ourselves, aren’t we?

Then came the Young House Love implosion which affirmed it. Quitting blogging was now fashionable! So I basically did that on December 1st, 2014.

My plan was to create a book from the blog simply to retain the memories and then let the thing die by not renewing the hosting.

But after a short break I found I quite enjoyed sitting in my Airstream and writing notes after a run or a ride, with Alfred napping behind on the couch.

So I undertook the great blog breakout project to free the content from its dependencies and relieve myself of the technical curation burden. Back to WordPress.com where the writing’s easy.

It took a few hours over several weeks but here’s what I did:

(1) Eliminated all widgets and shortcodes. They don’t add anything of value.

(2) Externalized all images into Flickr.

(3) Externalized all files (PDFs mainly) into Google Drive.

(4) Video was already externalized in Youtube.

Once these steps were complete, which required editing every blog post, I was able to export the blog. Then I imported it to WordPress.com. I then pointed glamourstream.com at my WordPress.com blog instead of the previous host.

Easy. And I’ve noticed the site loads more quickly too.

– Anthony, Lake Anita State Park, Iowa

Blog 2.5 Tinkerer Edition

computer

As much of the country freezes in the “polar vortex” (sounds like an anti-perspirant) we are hunkered down in relatively balmy Dauphin Island.

Tonight we’ll be in for a chill with temperatures forecast to reach 19F. Heated water hose plugged in. Heat tape and insulation on the faucet. Can’t complain, it’s better than -AnythingF.

I’ve updated the blog theme. It’s boring. Deliberately so. Why? Because I’m a tinkerer? Mainly, yes. The old theme was beautiful to look at (#humble) but hard to navigate. Life’s hard enough. I hope the new site’s easy.

– Anthony, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Blog 2.0

Julie Yoga

Another pretty Fall day at Pamona State Park in Kansas. Morning walk to the beach with Alfred. Julie did yoga outside. Then a late afternoon ride on the fantastic Dahon Speed Uno with Alfred trotting alongside. Plus some fetch of course. Spoiled having the whole park to ourselves.

Photographs here.

Most of the day spent working on the new blog. Migrated from wordpress.com to bluehost. Then worked on tweaking the Clear News theme from Press75 and integrating various plug-ins. Don’t rush into self-hosting your WordPress blog unless you enjoy tinkering with this sort of thing. It can be tricky.

Why the effort? Two motivations. First, we really enjoy our photographs. Second, many of the moments we want to share are better delivered in shorter more real-time snippets through twitter and Instagram.

So we wanted the site to be an aggregator of near-real-time content. The more thoughtful content represented by Flickr and blog posts provide depth. When we started this blog we planned to focus on themes important to us: simplicity, freedom, health. These are after all the things that motivated us to start. But our first two months on the road have been so overwhelming that these themes have been neglected in both reality and writing.

As part of Blog 2.0 we will also be housecleaning. We’d like a consistent theme: feature photograph and text. So we’ll be editing some of our previous posts for consistency.

What about video? We struggle a little with video. It’s fun. It’s compelling. We’re just not that into it. We have created a Youtube channel where we will consolidate video content and perhaps explore this in the future.

Would love your feedback – please let us know what you think.

– Anthony, Pomona State Park, Kansas