Posts tagged Navel Gazing
Posts tagged Navel Gazing
Well, Zoners, I guess this is just about it. My second to last post. I still have to post the interview with Stephen, which will happen tomorrow. And yes, you will definitely love this interview. But this post is for me to talk to all of you for a while, one last time, through the medium of this site.
This last month has been such a roller coaster for me. I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the beginning of the end. A few weeks ago, I woke up and realized I was tired. I mean, dead, to the bones, to the soul tired. I had too much going on in my life, and I had to lighten the load. The morning I woke up and realized, “I’ve got to let go of the site” was one of the most surreal moments of my life, I think. You have to understand, blogging had become my second life. I woke up at 6a four mornings a week and blogged. At lunch I blogged. At night I blogged. When I was out with my husband, and my friends, I was checking my emails and working constantly to make sure that we were the best fan site out there. A huge part of my IRL social life was spending time with my WordPress blogger friends. Creating and maintaining this site was so much more than typing out blog posts - it was making friends, and sharing joys, and commiserating in sorrows (MANILOW!!!!!). Being a blogger had become part of my identity. So to wake up and realize, it’s time to let go, was indescribable.
Telling the Completists was hard, telling the Zoners was harder, but telling Stephen was the hardest of all. And even after I had gotten word that Stephen had read my note to him and agreed to an interview, and even after Part One of the interview was over, I was still completely at peace with the decision to shut the site down. The first conversation Stephen and I had was filled with technical difficulties - the call dropped twice, there were interruptions (“I’ve got to take this, it’s the show.”), and both of us suffering from a huge case of exhaustion. He apologized at the end, and said we’d have another conversation in a day or two to finish the interview. I thought, oh man, I have to do this again? I’m so very, very tired. I had originally intended on publishing the audio, but the technical difficulties would have made it embarrassing on both ends, so it was decided that we’d publish a transcript.
We tried a couple of different times to get together after that, but the only time that really worked for both of us was yesterday evening. I knew he hadn’t been feeling 100% during the day, and since I knew we weren’t going to be publishing the audio, I decided, I’m not going to be “DB”, I’m just going to be me, having a conversation with an old friend. I started the conversation by apologizing for taking his time, especially knowing that he was a bit under the weather and his schedule was so swamped. He said something to the effect of, “I’m a nice guy, I can’t believe it took you this long to figure that out.” And off we were.
I’ll publish the Q&A tomorrow of both Part One and Part Two, but I’ll be honest - at the end last night, I got a little choked up. His amazing kindness caught me completely off guard. While I knew that I was doing what I needed to do for my own happiness, it hit me like a ton of bricks what I was losing by retiring the site. And that’s really all I have to say about that.
It has been nice to be able to watch the ‘Colbert Report’ in my own time, without having to type for an hour while I watch it. It’s been nice to discover news about Stephen by finding it first on CNN.com or some other mainstream media. It’s been nice to go to mass every morning without feeling the weight of the responsibility of the blog. It’s been nice to come home and sit with my husband and have dinner at a normal time and watch a little TV, then read for an hour before going to bed. It was great getting to spend last Saturday morning at my new parish making friends while helping with the flowers for the May Crowning of Mary instead of fixing my template or working on a blog post.
But I will miss blogging. And I will miss you guys.
While I know that both Zoners and ‘Colbert Report’ staff will miss the work that is put into the site, I also know that the Nation will continue to organically manifest itself in unique and surprising ways. The fan base is strong, and there are many leaders who are just waiting for an opportunity to show their passion for the show and for Stephen’s creation. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
I’ll still be online, and you can still email me at db@ [DELETE THIS] nofactzone.net. I’ll renew the domain and keep the archives alive for as long as the donated funds last. At this point, with our current plan, we’ve got over 8 months worth of hosting paid for, and that’s if we stay at our current hits. When our hits drop, I’ll change our plan to something that better handles the lower load, and our slush fund will last even longer. However, in a few weeks we’ll shut the comments down, so that our comments don’t become a hot mess of spam.
I’m kind of lousy with words, but I happen to know a Catholic saint who put into words exactly how I’m feeling right now. St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. St. Therese said this in her book, ‘Story of a Soul’ -
Our Lord has deigned to explain this mystery to me. He showed me the book of nature, and I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtide beauty, and the fields would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our Lord’s living garden. He has been pleased to create great Saints who may be compared to the lily and the rose, but He has also created lesser ones, who must be content to be daisies or simple violets flowering at His Feet, and whose mission it is to gladden His Divine Eyes when He deigns to look down on them. And the more gladly they do His Will the greater is their perfection.
I’ve struggled to be a rose for a long time, but now I am ready delight in the joy of being a simple daisy. But I also know in my heart of hearts, I will always be a Mrs. Colbert. Hence the video below.
And one final note to all of my friends at the ‘Colbert Report’ and Comedy Central, especially Stephen:
Thank you. For everything.
Zoners - I’ve been holding onto my ‘Welcome Jesus’ T-shirt since this site started in July 2006, and now I finally get to wear it! For those of you who may have missed last Monday’s “Yahweh or No Way” segment, Stephen made the announcement that according to his calculations (and the calculations from the Family Radio group), Jesus Christ should be returning on May 21, 2011.
As some of you probably noticed, I’ve been away a lot lately. Truth be told, I’ve been spending a ton of time at my new church with my new old-school Latin Mass priests, preparing my soul and my knees for the coming of Christ. And wouldn’t you know it, Stephen goes and verifies it as being next week. Talk about timing!
In anticipation of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father, coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead, we figured this would probably be a good time to wrap up our blogging here at No Fact Zone.
We’ve got lots of things planned for our End of the
Blog World extravaganza, including many thoughts by those of us who have been fortunate enough to be able to contribute to this site over the years. But that’s not the best part. In anticipation of life as we know it coming to a screeching halt, Rev. Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA has consented to granting your humble bloggers here at No Fact Zone his very final interview before his ascension to heaven, provided Christ can find him in the international waters during the boat race and the nut from Family Radio is actually right.
Yes, folks you heard it right - No Fact Zone has scored an interview with Stephen Colbert! We figured if we’re going out, we’re going out with a bang worthy of none other than Stephen Colbert himself. But we need your help! We couldn’t have spent the last five years praising Stephen’s name if we didn’t have the chorus of Zoners behind us supporting us and singing Stephen’s praises right along with us. We want to give you the opportunity to help us with our final post, which will feature audio from an exclusive interview by yours truly, DB, with our very favorite basic cable fundit, Stephen Colbert, on May 21, 2011.
Oh hai! Long time no blog! So … how’s everyone doing? Here’s an update about the site, with some nice eye candy at the end.
You may have noticed that posting has been very, very light the last few weeks. We were having multiple issues with the site, including theme meltdown, and issues with how the site was working on our server. I decided to tackle these problems one at a time.
As far as the old theme, while it was beautiful, it was just too intensive on the back end for a site like this that can receive thousands of hits a day. Luckily, through my buddies at the DFW WordPress Meetup group, I was able to get all hooked up. Scott Ellis hooked us up with the beautiful Genesis platform theme that is now featured on the site, and spent a ton of time doing the customization and functionality tweaks that you see featured on the site. Scott actually writes business WordPress themes for Genesis. Randy Jensen helped customize the CSS for the Featured Posts that you’ll be seeing very soon here.
My buddy John Pozadzides blogged about a link to his blog hitting the front page of MSN.com, and what he did to the servers for his site to be able to handle the load. He mentioned a company called HostCo in his post, and after talking to him about some of my site issues, he got me in contact with their founder, Derick Schaefer. HostCo was started by Derick because he was simply a frustrated WordPress blogger, looking to configure his servers to handle massive surges. After he was able to set up a unique and amazing server configuration for his site, his blogger buddies started asking first for his help in configuring, and then in his help in hosting. After a year or so of growing this side business, he decided to commit to a full-time job of running a hosting company whose sole focus was high-traffic WordPress installations.
After talking to Derick for an hour or so, I made the very hard decision to move from the A Small Orange servers and to HostCo WordPress hosting. I’m eternally grateful for everything that our buddy Jen has done over the years - we would not be here if it weren’t for her helping us grow, and putting up with my many fumbles in my WordPress learning curve. But I had to face the fact that what we needed was a hosting company with extensive high-traffic WordPress experience, and Derick’s company definitely fit the bill.
So Derick moved our site to the new servers, and Scott installed and tweaked our new template, and Randy did some CSS coding for the cost of a cold and tasty beer. And the result? Our site load speed has gone from an average of 11-15 seconds to 3.8 seconds. Plus we have the capability of handling over 300 concurrent site visitors at once. We also again have the Tumblr-type capability of Custom Post Formats, which allow us to rapid-fire news as soon as we find it.
We’ve also added back a few features that had gone away for a while, like our NFZ Calendar (maintained by the lovely Justine Marie) and we added Category Links in the header navbar. We plan on adding a few more bells and whistles as the week goes on, so if there’s a feature that you’d like to see, either a new feature or one that we used to have that has gone away over the years, let us know in the comments.
Long story short? I think we’re *finally* good to go.
Between the stress of the servers, and the stress of the template, I decided I needed a bit of a blogging brain break. I tend to take my Lent very seriously, and I got all kinds of Catholic-y this year. I started attending a new local FSSP parish with priests that use the Extraordinary Form of the 1962 Latin mass, with full-on Gregorian Chant, altar boys in albs, and Smells and Bells galore. And they run around in super cool cassocks. So I spent a lot of time in church last week, enjoying the beauty and serenity.
I know I’m still a bit behind on episode guides, but they will hopefully be caught up by the end of the week. We’re at about 95% functionality with the site, and we should be 100% caught up by the end of the week. I’ve been doing this site for close to five years now and I think it’s like a lot of things that have happened as I get older - once the momentum stops, it’s harder to get it going than it used to be. But we’ll get there soon, I promise. We’ll keep you posted!
Of course - here you go!
You may have noticed that our posting frequency has been way down the last week or so, and that the template is a bit wonky. We’ve been working diligently behind the scenes to get everything cleaned up and functioning, and posting frequency should get back to normal here very soon, including episode guides and the normal news goodies you would expect from us. Thank you for your patience, and we’ll keep everyone updated!
I’m going to be doing a bit of work on the template tonight, so things are going to get a bit wonky for a bit. There is no need to panic. If you get a bit scared, please look at this picture of Stephen Colbert with a puppy. Thank you.
We’ve got an amazing community here, and I have no intentions of stopping the blog any time soon. But I’m curious - when you participate in the fandom, where do you go? I’m looking more for the active participation that you do, as opposed to consuming, such as watching videos or reading news stories. Do you prefer the message board feel of ColbertNation.com (and possibly the protected cloister of the C-Section boards)? Do you share pictures through Tumblr? Are you a big Twitter fan and livetweet the shows with other fans? Do you participate in the different boards on LJ? Or is there somewhere else that you spend your time with the fandom? I don’t necessarily need to know where you spend the most time, I’m more looking for how you spend your time.
I’m just doing a little market research, as it were, to figure out a few things that I may want to change or tweak with the site with the new template. I always strive for speed in getting out the latest news, and unique commentary with the Episode Guides and other special feature posts. I’m just wondering how people express their fandom across the board, so that I can make sure to give readers an experience that will encourage them to return to the site and participate in our little community here.
Feel free to talk about your fave activities (talking about the show, watching fanvids, perusing eye candy, etc) in the comments! Also, if you can think of any upgrades to the site, maybe small tweaks, or features that we used to have that you miss, leave it in the comments. Tomorrow is Power Blogging Day, and I want to make this site as user friendly as possible!
As many of you long-time Zoners are aware, the site has been struggling as of late with some of the technical aspects of the back end. Our web hosting provider, A Small Orange, has worked behind the scenes to optimize the server as much as possible, but we’ve still been struggling something fierce with speed and loading times.
I’ve long suspected that our new template was borking up the site. The site’s been running slow ever since I switched the template, and yesterday the sidebar simply ceased to function. With the latest borks I decided that I needed to slap a minimalistic template up, to at least get the basics of the site functioning again. And that seems to have sped the site WAY up.
I’ve got a couple of more ideas of how to speed the site up, which I’ll work on this weekend. I’ll also see if I can get a template that was created after 2007. But for now, we can read the site, and that’s the most important part. Also, if any WordPress gurus happen to be closet lurkers on the site, I could really use some help in cleaning up some issues with the back end.
Okay, now I really have to get to watching last night’s ‘Colbert Report’. Please enjoy this lovely piece of eye candy, courtesy of Dentry.
With the hubby’s broken leg, this week has been a blur of doctor’s appointments and scrambling at work so I can take the rest of the week off. Dan is going into surgery tomorrow morning so that he can have something inserted into his ankle so that his bones will be stablized and can heal from the fracture.
We’ll get back on track with episode guides and Colbert newsy goodness here very soon, but until then, please enjoy this lovely piece of eye candy, taken by last night’s guest Dan Sinker and published via his Twitter Feed. Also, apparently Elvis the dog rules.
Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with Stephen Colbert whatsoever, but I’m blogging this from my Macbook Air at Baylor Medical emergency room. Minor emergency apparently. It’s the almost end of a great date night gone horribly awry. I’m fine, but hubby won’t be roller skating for a while.
I was on a date with my very cute husband. He and I were full of southern fried Babe’s Chicken goodness and decided to work off some gravy at the roller skating rink. We got some skates a couple of weeks ago and went on our first skating lesson last week. Hubby is very new to roller skating and I haven’t skated in a while, so we looked goofy as hell but were having a good time. Hubby was rolling towards the seats to sit down after skating a bit, and he lost his balance and twisted his ankle as he went down. Luckily for us, there were two EMTs who were skating at the rink, and they were able to wrap his ankle and help him to the car. We were 30 minutes away from home, and we decided to go to the hospital closest to home because it happens to be the best hospital in town.
So here I am, blogging on my Macbook Air as hubby is flipping through about 18 whole cable channels. When we first got in the little room, Fox News was on the TV and we were both like, “Oh hell no!” We should be hearing something soon as the X-rays have already been taken. Hubby has told his “I broke my wrist 20 years ago” story to every RN and orderly that’s come in the door. They just gave him some hydrocodone, so he should be having lots of fun here pretty soon.
Okay, that’s enough self-indulgence for now. Just felt like sharing a bit.
[taps on microphone]
Hello, Zoners, and welcome to Tuesday. Before we commence our blogging day, we have a few brief announcements.
First, we would like to congratulate one of our more seasoned Completists, Wren, on the birth of her twins, Ellis Stewart and Mathilda Faye, born Sunday, January 16th 2011. They’re growing like sumo wrestlers, apparently, and are doing wonderfully. Contratulations, Wren, on both the birth of your twins and for being able to fit into restaurant booths again!
Due to the amount of spam we’ve been receiving, which is taking up way more time than it should, I’ve reactivated the reCAPTCHA plugin for comments. However, if you don’t want to see reCAPTCHAs when you post comments, feel free to register with the site (link in our footer) and stay logged in, and those pesky reCAPTCHAs will go right away! If you register, we’re not going to mail you or spam you or anything. Because, quite frankly, I don’t have that kind of time. It just makes it easier for you Power Zoners to leave comments.
Reports have been streaming in from all over the international Colbert Nation that the videos on ColbertNation.com are again available outside of the United States. However, if you’re still having issues with watching your favorite basic cable boys, you may want to click here.
The cafeteria will be serving pizza, California mixed vegetables, garden salad, and fruit cobbler for lunch this afternoon.
Thank you, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.