Archive for the ‘Blog Administration’ Category

Blogrolling Gone

September 1st, 2011
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Last night I noticed two of my blogs were suddenly re-directing my page to I don’t know what happened, but after time on the phone to my host, they found a redirect link on one of my pages. After spending  the day investigating, I figured out that I had a bunch of links to on my sidebar.

blogrollMost blogrolls, i.e. Blogging Tories, Red Ensign, Waterloo Wellington Bloggers, use blogroll to manage  their list. This is fine. However, I have removed all blog-rolls from this page. It wasn’t until the last one was gone that the problem went away. Why it suddenly appeared, I have no clue. But if you run a blog-roll and wonder why I am not listing you anymore, it is because you use, and they messed with my blog. They, and any blog-rolls using them, will not be back.

Blog-roll managers: If you feel you must, please remove me from your roll. I understand the concept of mutual benefit that comes from me displaying your blog-roll, and you including me in it. When my readers get redirected to, I no longer benefit. Apologies all round, but that’s the deal.

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Farewell Blogging Tories

January 6th, 2011

For a number of months now, At Home in Hespeler has not appeared on the Blogging Tory feed, surviving on traffic from other sources. It has, indeed survived. I never requested the problem be fixed, because I have been long considering leaving the Blogging Tories.

In truth, I have been doing less and less blogging on politics over the past few years. And there have been occasions when I have intentionally done a politics post because I feel a little obligated. I have often felt this blog is a Blogging Tory blog first, mine second.

And so today I sent the following email to Stephen Taylor:

Hi Stephen

I’m sending this email to ask that my blog, At Home in Hespeler (, be resigned from the Blogging Tories blogroll.

I want to thank you for all you have done for the blogs in the Blogging Tory community, as the blogroll is a massive success. It has been a privilege to be a member of the community and I hope I have managed to contribute to it over the years.

Please be assured that while there are a number of reasons that I am doing this now, it has nothing to do with any wrongdoing on the part of the Blogging Tories, or yourself. The main reason is, as I find myself somewhat discouraged by the governing conservatives, I have been blogging less and less about politics. It seems now appropriate to move on.

Thank you again for all you have done. Without the traffic brought by the Blogging Tories, I don’t think At Home in Hespeler would have survived this long. It is now time, I believe, to have it stand up on it’s own.

Yours &tc.
Brian Gardiner

It is time to move on.

If you enjoy At Home in Hespeler, please be sure to bookmark me so you can follow along, or follow me on twitter where I post updates.

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It’s My Blogiversary and all Anyone Can Talk About is Stephen Harper

December 9th, 2010

Yesterday I hit my five year blogging mark. To celebrate the occasion, the Conservative Party held a conservative party. It is appropriate. Five years ago the Conservatives were in opposition. Six weeks after I took up the mantle, they were governing.

It’s been a wonderful five years: I have had some fun, took some pictures, and run, very unsuccessfully, for Senate.

But lest we think Prime Minister Harper is ungrateful for all I have done, here he is, singing my praises last night:

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It’s Been a While.

July 5th, 2010

imgp5469I apologize, but some times life and blogging are a bad pairing. Anything happen while I was away from my computer?

My mother came to the end of, as Ronald Reagan put it,  “the journey that will lead… into the sunset of my life.” Alzheimer’s is a nasty disease. It robs the memory first of friends, then of loved ones. It continues on to every aspect of your life, until you don’t know who you are. By journeys end your body relies on muscle memory to breathe and eat. Eventually, too, that gives way. Mom could no longer swallow, and passed away into the sunset a couple of weeks ago.

Respects may be paid with a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society, if any so chooses.

Sad news often is accompanied by some measure of it’s opposite number. So it is in this case that a band I have been working on putting together for the last year played it’s first show a couple of weeks ago. If you’ve never done it you have no way of knowing how much time is involved in getting something like this going. It’s taken a pile of my creative energy, especially the last few weeks before we played.

And finally, if this were a normal year I would be signing off for the month of July. I’m not sure I’ve done it every year, but it’s been close. Because things were so light in June, I may post the occasional thing this month, including some pictures I have ready in the hopper.  But otherwise I will be taking the usual July hiatus. Hey, if Mark Steyn can do it.

Regular blogging will resume in August.

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Penguin Powered

June 3rd, 2009
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In grand Bugs vs. Yosemite Sam fashion, I have been at war with my computer for a few weeks now. mint_tux_v2855Today I dropped some Acme dynamite in a carrot and the maroon fell for it. More specifically, I blew Windows right off my computer, and as of now, At Home in Hespeler is powered by Linux Mint.

I have been messing with Linux for a while now, and frustratingly kept hitting some problem or another, usually due to lack of disc space. But this week when my Vista completely crapped out, I rescued my data, and said the hell with it, I’m going with the penguin. While I have used Puppy Linux, and really, really liked it (if your looking for a bootable linux, or to revive an old laptop, this is your OS), I decided to try Mint. As of right now, I couldn’t be happier. I have full functionality, I’ve had no problems getting anything to work.

At Home in Hespeler: Penuin Powered like a real blog should be.

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Comment Away

December 17th, 2008
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I hesitate. Yet I can’t not do it. It came to my attention today that commenting was a problem for some people. I find comment moderation, commenting permission &tc. to be a tricky juggling act, and I’m always playing with it.

As of now, comments are wide open, and unmoderated. However, I have reservations about this. I don’t like moderating because I’m often away for long stretches of time – what with having a job and all. It kills the conversation if comments don’t appear for 10 hours. So unmoderated it is.

I’m less pleased with the idea of unregistered users. But it appears it prevents some people from commenting at all, and that’s no good. So I will try it.

I offer this warning once. Anyone who comments anonymously, and just shoots off a smart ass remark, calls people stupid, &tc. will be deleted. No questions asked! I don’t like it, and it won’t do. Any racist comments of any kind will be similarly deleted.

OK Ron, comment away.

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Whew! What a Week!

December 14th, 2008

It’s been a great week here at Home in Hespeler. Last Sunday I posted that I had finished writing the NaNoWriMo novel. It was my hope that writing the novel in a tight time frame would kick start some writing, and that this blog would be the beneficiary. It did, and it is.

On Monday I posted a three-year blogiversary post, which prompted he Mayor of Mitchieville to offer me a cabinet position. Being the good politician he is, he then put me on the back bench. No complaints here, though. I’m pleased to be included in such an illustrious list.

While writing the three year post, I noticed I had added the Picture of the Day feature just three days into starting the blog. So on Thursday, I wrote a post, Three Years in Pictures. I linked to many of the pictures of the day, and re-showed nine of them. One of them caught the attention of James Bow, of The Waterloo Wellington Bloggers Association, who wanted to post the picture as one of the Associations banner images. Pleased? I was downright chuffed, and still am. Here’s the picture in question, titled Walk in the Woods over at WWBA, but technically titled Bridge Over River Grand.

The same day, I began my push for a Senate seat, which is going very well, thank you very much. The Facebook group dedicated to the cause, Brian Gardiner for Senate, has over a dozen members, some not even family. Stop by and join, lets keep the movement going so Stephen Harper can’t ignore the populist candidate, who might be out of a job soon anyway.

Saturday at 10:21 AM, At Home in Hespeler passed the 50,000 visitor mark. Somewhat pathetic for a three year run, but with the numbers I’ve had this week, I could hit 100,000 in another six months. (click on image, right, for full size)

That’s a pretty good week, yet today I woke up to the highest honour I have ever received as a blogger. Late last night I sat penning the regular feature, The Freedom of Music. This weeks music was a couple of new Christmas songs, including Mark Steyn (yes that Mark Steyn) and Jessica Martin’s A Marshmallow World. I date stamped it for an 8:00AM posting, and crawled off to bed, visions of marshmallow dancing in my head (and lets be honest, what is a marshmallow but a cooked sugar plum). I woke this morning to find Mark Steyn had pulled a quote from me to promote the song. Mark Steyn linked here. I’ll make it a tourist attraction (Thank God I finally figured out how to spell his name). Here’s the quote:

In Boston WTKK’s Michael Graham calls the CD “terrific”, but Brian complains: “This song has infested my brain.”

It doesn’t get much better than that. What a week. Wonder if I can do it again next week?

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Three Years Gone

December 8th, 2008

Then as it was, then again it will be
An’ though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea

It was three years ago today that I began my At Home days here in Hespeler. The first year was a remarkable success, one in which the blog grew, and it got updated daily. On the one year Blogiversary, I hit a snag. Blogger started messing with my head and it would be February again before I was back in real business. I never recovered.

None the less, today is a celebration, At 9:09 PM on Dec 8, 2005 I first noted:

Welcome to At Home in Hespeler, my little Blog Spot. Here I will focus on Politics, with drifts into music and movies. The political focus will be Canadian, with a definite Conservative slant.

I think, if nothing else, I have stayed fairly loyal to that original manifesto, Politics, with drifts into music and movies.

On December 8, 2005 we were in the middle of a federal election campaign that would mark the last days of the Paul Martin government. Stephen Harper would be Prime Minister within six weeks.

I would post the first picture of the day three days later, on Dec 11.
Picture of the day has continued since, although lately a Mozilla/blogger problem has kept me from posting pictures, it will continue to be a feature for as long as I have this place. The last one was a picture of the statue of “Sir” Duke Ellington, which sits on the North East corner of New York’s Central Park. The next day, I posted this:

The upper East Side at Sunrise.

Otherwise, I’ve had fun, I’ve written some serious stuff, published a cartoon and done a thing or two with the stink of prescience.

And funnily enough, the Liberals had a leadership race. Gee, I hope they have another one soon.

In the first year I began my Sunday morning music musings, and Saturday Fluffernutter, both regular features still (in fact, I decided on fluffernutter pie for my Blogiversary cake). And frankly, I’ve had the Zeppelinist blog in the conservative blogosphere.

Most importantly, have been the people. There’s so many good people out there, including a few to thank: Richard, who got me started; Joanne, the first person to recognize me, back when she was just a small blog starting out herself; Paul, who one day saved this blog; Gerry, who’s just such a nice guy, and says such nice things; and Ron, (below right, with Dylan) who posted here for a while and helped me keep on top of events.

And to anybody who has read, bookmarked, linked or otherwise visited here. Thank you for you patronage. I have often felt honoured that people are interested in what I have to say.

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Back to Work

August 2nd, 2008

The somewhat customary July hiatus is over and I emerge from my holiday slumber to head back into work on Monday (no long weekend for us autoworkers: we negotiated away this long weekend years ago). With my return to work, I will also return to blogging.

In December 2006 this blog was a rocking place, with often multiple daily posts on a variety of subjects. Some problems with the “new blogger” crashed the site for weeks in January 2007, and I lost my rhythm. The blog posting has decreased materially ever since. That needs to stop, and stop it will. August will be spent getting my groove back, and September, with the return to complete normalcy, I will blog far more regularly than I do now. I fully expect an election this fall, so it’s a good time to get it rolling again, as Stephen Harper clearly will need me if he is to win again.

Meanwhile, to help wile away your Saturday with a smile here’s an old Newsweek cover I found from March 21, 1966.

That pretty young teenager on the back of the motorcycle? Jan Smithers, the ever cute Bailey Quarters from WKRP in Cincinnati.

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You Can Say That Again

March 12th, 2008
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Last week the Macadamia Nut wrote about problems with Microsoft Vista:

Does not play well with others
Anybody out there having a little trouble with Microsoft Vista? Turns out… you’re not alone

Well, it’s nice to know I’m not alone anyway. On Monday night I was blogging away, doing a three part parody of Bill Clinton’s musings that “Hey, we’ll let Obama, who’s in first right now, gracefully accept second place…” Two posts got finished (here and here) and posted. Meanwhile I was running Microsoft update in the background, when CRASH.

A full year after buying it, my version of Vista decided it was an illegal version, and that I must register it. So, four or five calls to Microsoft help later, with a call centre that kept auto-hanging upon me and Indian guys who simply couldn’t help (the process was so buggy, in fact, it can only be explained by suggesting the call centre platform is running on Vista.), I fixed the problem myself. But post number three sat, and sat…

Until now:

Coyote to declare a Tie with Road Runner

After years of failing to capture the speedy road runner, Wile E. Coyote has declared a draw with the road runner. “Granted, I never caught him,” says Mr. Coyote, “but he never caught me either.”

When it was pointed out to him that the Road Runner never actually tried to catch him, the Coyote said, “hey, it’s good enough for Dion, the Clinton’s and the Maple Leafs!”

OK, I’ll stop now, I promise.

Going to be in and out of town the next three or four days so blogging will be light to non-existent (unlike the usual heavy load I have been carrying lately).

Blog Administration, fun, Vista Sucks

Counting the Hits

February 19th, 2008

Sometime through the night, between when I crawled in to watch House, and when I emerged from my down-filled cocoon at 5:00 this morning, the sitemeter counter on At Home in Hespeler rolled over to 30,000.

I know it’s not a lot by many blogs standards, but it is a number I never imagined when I started this little enterprise. With that said, I want to thank everyone who has read this blog and everyone who has linked to this blog. I couldn’t have reached 30,000 hits without you, and I appreciate your support.

See you all in two years for the 60,000 hits post!

Blog Administration

In Through The Out Box

January 17th, 2008
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My desk is piling up with a weeks worth of newspapers and articles that I meant to get to. Instead, I’m going to do a one off post on the stuff that caught my eye the past week or so:

Tuesday a week ago, I commented on an excerpt from David Frum’s book in which he called for a Pigovian carbon tax. I cited Terence Corcoran, specifically his No Pigou Club in the post.

Not surprisingly, Corcoran also replied to Frum’s assertion that a carbon tax is good conservative policy in an article last Friday, All Things To All People, which now appears on the No Pigou Club web site. Corcoran does a really nice job of pointing out the flaws in Frum’s argument:

That’s the miracle plan: Break the enemy’s back by taxing your own citizens. As for the details, well, like all miracles, it’s hard to figure them out.


Speaking of the No Pigou Club, it has moved. Financial Post has put their comment section online, at It features regular editorials and columns by the FP writers, Terence Corcoran, William Watson, Peter Foster and Lawrence Solomon. As well it is home to some feature items, such as the No Pigou Club, The Deniers and Junk Science. Links will be put on my sidebar in the very near future.

Best line I read in the last week comes from an FP article by Robert Sopuck, In Defence of a Big Juicy Steak. In it, “Sopuck argues that avoiding meat in favour of plant products will not ensure more efficient use of the Earth’s resources, as cattle critics contend.”

The line in question is in the second last paragraph:

As for the red-meat-is-bad-for-you argument, I take the view that if you give up fat (and sugar and alcohol, too, for that matter) you may not live longer; it will just seem that way.

I can’t wait to get on the summer BBQ circuit to use that line.

I’ve been waiting for the right moment to say this for a long time, but I really like Christopher Hitchens. That may be a bit heretical for a Tory and God knows I find his obsessive atheism a bit tiring, but the guy can flat out write. Whether I agree or disagree with him, and it’s usually a 50-50 thing, I always find his writing compelling. This week I happened to agree with him on an article called The Case Against Hillary Clinton: Why on earth would we choose to put the Clinton family drama at the center of our politics again?

Indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security: The case against Hillary Clinton for president is open-and-shut. Of course, against all these considerations you might prefer the newly fashionable and more media-weighty notion that if you don’t show her enough appreciation, and after all she’s done for us, she may cry.

And that’s just a portion the last paragraph. Hitchens rarely if ever pulls his punches, and it makes him a must read wherever he turns up.

Blog Administration, housecleaning, The Media Following My Lead.

Not Much, What’s Up WithYou?

December 3rd, 2007

It’s been a slow blogging period the past while, mostly because my internet connection is, on an inconsistent basis, sh*t. But only on my computer, and sometimes if move it to another room it works fine (sometimes not), and not just in Windows but on Linux as well and…

Trying to piece together a post, using web links and other overly complex technology is frustrating at best, throw this Fu*&ing thing through the window kind of fun at worst. In short, not something I’m really up to after a day at work or when I should be cooking/spending time with the family.

Meanwhile, I am off to London (England) on Thursday to see the Led Zeppelin reunion at the 02 arena next Monday. I may post occasional pictures of the day from my trip, and possibly a review. If you want more information, I have been running a small Led Zeppelin based blog for the past month and a bit, Ramble On, which has lots of Zeppelin news and which I will be updating from England up until the concert.

Blog Administration, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin', The Mighty Zep

Going Upstate

September 28th, 2007
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I am heading to the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York’s fall festival for the weekend, where I will play:

Two waltzes:

Tema De Strauss (theme by Strauss: Kiss Waltz) – Fransisco Tarrega
Los Das Hermanitas (The Two Little Sisters) – Fransisco Tarrega
English Suite – John Duarte

A full day of playing by society members, then a composers seminar with Mir Ali, and finally a concert of pieces from the Segovia Archive by Mark Delpriora.

I am shutting down the blog for the weekend, including the usual weekend fare.

Regular posting will resume Tuesday.

Blog Administration, Classical Guitar

Return to Planet Blog

September 3rd, 2007

Well, I never really went away, I just stopped caring what was happening, both in the world I scribble about (i.e. politics) and the blog itself. The truth is, when the weather got nice in around June, and I was pulling 15-20 readers a day, killing this blog was high on my mind. Instead of doing so, I decided to just go away, and not come back until Labour day. Just go away for the summer, and see if I want to do the work necessary to try and resurrect this blogged up corpse.

It was, frankly, hard to stay away this past few weeks, and as the last two posts show, I only sort of succeeded in staying away. The goal now, is return At Home in Hespeler to it’s former glory. This involves returning to mostly short, humorous posts, with occasional longer more serious work.

The weekends will see the return of three features, which have never appeared before together. Saturday will feature the Saturday Fluffernutter, my take on the weekly Hollyweird stories. I am aiming for a shorter feature, with one or two stories, instead of running five to seven as I was doing before (although some weeks, there is just seven can’t ignore stories). Sunday will see the return of the Blogging Tories Site of the Week, which I inherited from Blue Blogging Soapbox and have been uncomfortable ignoring the past three months. And finally, Sunday morning will also give you This Week on my I-Pod, a weekly look at who I’ve been listening to, with some general reflections thrown around.

That’s it. Come tomorrow, the kids go back to school, and I will start to look at politics again. As I say that I note this weekend that Andrew Coyne has suggested “Canadian politics is uniquely stupid.” And Susan Delacourt, talking about PuffinGate©, has said “humour seems to have gone out of fashion in politics in Harper’s Ottawa.” Never mind the nonsense about it being somehow Harper’s fault that Liberal’s and progressives are insulted, degraded and disgusted every time some Conservative makes a joke. Humour is gone from politics, and the reaction to Ignatieff’s ill-advised, but otherwise humorous little bit about Puffins is a stunning example of exactly what Andrew Coyne is talking about. Good on Christian Conservative, who got into the proper spirit of the thing, and hammed up a new Liberal Logo, which you see above.

Blog Administration, It's all about me