Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Top Sites

Happy New year everybody. Year end seems like a good time to put together another "top X" list. So, this time I decided to pull the top 50. And here they are:

  1. The ChaliceBlog

  2. PeaceBang

  3. Boy in the Bands: Scott Wells on the practice of Christian faith

  4. Philocrites

  5. A Minister's Musings

  6. Yet Another Unitarian Universalist

  7. A Spiritual Walk Together

  8. The Happy Feminist

  9. Making Chutney

  10. PeaceBang's Beauty Tips For Ministers

  11. The Journey

  12. Media Nation

  13. it's all one thing


  15. Shadow of Diogenes

  16. Authentic Threads

  17. Errant Frogs

  18. The Wild Hunt

  19. ministrare

  20. RadicalHapa is Joseph Santos-Lyons

  21. Live from UU PLANET

  22. Sisyphus

  23. Jess's Journal

  24. Paul Wilczynski's Observations

  25. Sexuality and Religion: What's the Connection?

  26. Never Say Never To Your Traveling Self

  27. Elizabeth's Little Blog

  28. Ms. Kitty's Saloon and Road Show

  29. iMinister

  30. BiddiesInMyBrain

  31. Trivium

  32. debitage

  33. Unitarian Panentheist

  34. Returning . . .

  35. Red State Rebels

  36. Spirituality and Sunflowers

  37. Reignite

  38. Unity

  39. BiddiesInMyBrain

  40. Finding My UU Soul

  41. the Socinian

  42. Renewed Hope

  43. Reflections

  44. Root and Source

  45. the yes church

  46. UU Carnival

  47. The UU Enforcer

  48. The Ranting Rev

  49. Birthing Journey

  50. FUUSE

Some blog name changes and other factors might have moved the standings around a bit, for example if your blog name changed from "Arbitrary Name" to "" then the links over to your blog would have been split between 2 "different blogs". Also, this is a total over the year. if your blog is new then it is unlikely to reach the top.

How many people clicked through? Well for the folks at the top spots I sent over 2,000 "Unique Views" (as defined by Google Analytics) to each of those sites. For the sites at the low end it's a few hundred, and somewhere in between for everyone else.

Again, happy new year, and start thinking of those Blog Award nominations!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Song

If, like others, you are looking for something fun and singable at a holiday celebration (yeah I know I am probably way too late on this, maybe next year) then I would recommend checking out Where is the light? by Peter Mayer. If my 3 year old can start singing "The light's inside of me" the day after hearing it for the first time then it seems to be a catchy and easy to remember tune. The five year old loves it as well. We had to play it 3 times in a row on the way home from rehearsing for the holiday play. It was wonderful.

Oh, I always thought that the phrase "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me." had to be Urban Legend. And I do see it referenced at snopes. I thought who could possibly not realize what they consider "normal" is actually a translation? After reading the UU Enforcer calling the German version of "Stille Nacht" the messed up version I guess people can be that silly.

Oh well, whatever you sing I hope you sing it with joy in your heart. Happy Holidays everybody!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Disappointed with Gmail

In general I have really been enjoying Gmail, but recently something has happened which really annoys me. Gmail has tagged some e-mails sent from UUpdates as spam. And, of course, they were not. I think a quick search has revealed the messages and now i am working my way through them. If you sent something along feel free to resend, but hopefully i will be responding shortly. If you do not see a response shortly please do send me a note again.

I don't see an option in Gmail to run a filter that says "if the message matches this criteria then under no circumstances put it in the spam filter". Anyone know how this can be done?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Award Planning - Demographics

I like the idea of asking optional demographic questions on the blog award voting. So far CC has also indicated she would be interested in seeing demographic breakdown of votes. Not many other have expressed an opinion.

I like the idea, but I hate the idea of trying to define demographic questions myself. If we ask about Theological Orientation should we ask in a "Select all that apply" format, or "choose the one you most identify with" or what? What is the best way to ask about gender? What age categories would work best?

Probably the best way to determine this would be to borrow someone else's hard work. Has anyone else taken a survey recently where they asked about demographics and liked the way they asked the questions? Anyone have any good suggestions for the best practice methods of collecting demographics? Other demographic categories to add? Geographic location?

I am planning on pulling out particular items for discussion from my previous post asking for feedback, anyone who wants to add stuff in that previous post please feel free.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Third Annual Blog Award Planning

Last year after the second annual UU Blog Awards I posted a request for feedback. I also mentioned that I would like to have a bit of discussion well before the next awards to make sure ideas had time to be implemented.

Anyway some initial things that I would like to work out:
  • What's a good timeline to shoot for. Should there be a break between nominations and voting to give people time to read all the stuff that's nominated, if yes how much time?
  • Should there be any new categories?
  • Should nominations for a category be limited to only a handful of entries? If yes how do we decide which of all the nominations should be the final ones?
  • Could someone please help come up with a better description to stick in the about page?
  • Should current vote totals be displayed during the voting period?
  • Should the website display some sort of countdown to voting closing?
  • Is it appropriate to ask optional demographic questions? If yes, what type of demographics? Specifically I would want someone to define the categories for me, I would not want to come up with them on my own.
Oh heck, that should be enough to get the ball rolling. What worked well? What could use improving upon? What should be added? What should be dropped? in short what would you change?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Evolving Denomination

I wrote the following back in 2004 (or earlier) before I had a blog. Seems appropriate to bring it up again. A post on the hanif blog reminded me of it.

I listened to a interesting "sermon" given by a lay person at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston. According to the person giving the sermon the natural evolution of organisms was as follows (and I believe this is simplified):
  • The development of the systems necessary to sustain life and provide energy (respiratory, digestive, etc.)
  • Next, was the immune system. The organism needed to be able to differentiate between what was the organism and what was not the organism.
  • More complex systems were able to be formed like the nervous system, brain, etc. as well as the basic sustaining systems becoming more complex.

Cells which formed into more complex organisms followed this pattern (there are of course probably exceptions). Plant cells sustained by light, Carbon Dioxide, etc. formed into more complex plants, and animal cells sustained by Oxygen, protein, etc. formed more complex animals. And in order to evolve those systems needed to "organize" around the same purpose to sustain themselves. Adaptations in the kingdoms created varieties of plants and animals that could only survive in particular climates. Organisms became specialized and basically "experts" at what they did best.

How then does this relate to human systems, and in particular to religious systems. Do religious systems need to follow a similar evolution. If yes the evolution should follow these lines:

  • The determination of that which nourishes or sustains the individuals.
  • If a group of individuals want to flourish as a group it is necessary to be able to determine who should be in the group and who should not be in the group. The group needs an immune system.
  • When the group is defined then at this point it should have common goals, and from that point it should be able to develop more complex systems that will allow it to give the members what they strive for with more efficiency. The nervous system, the brain of the organization can develop.

I do believe that most world religions follow this evolution. Christianity had its roots in people who were nourished by the message attributed to Jesus. From there they developed a system for identifying who was and was not Christian, churches were organized with leadership and hierarchies tasked with the further development of the church. Christianity further evolved into multiple organisms with more defined immune systems: belief in Jesus, acceptance of Jesus as savior, confirmation, etc. And further development of the leadership or the churches.

Judaism is interesting in that to me it seems that the immune system is part of what nourishes the members. The identity of members as "the chosen" is a large part of what nourishes the members in their relationship to "their God". So if anything I would say this is particularly interesting because steps one and two (discovering that which nourishes and self identity) are combined.

It is in this sense that I wonder about UUs. Have Unitarian Universalists followed such an evolution, is it necessary to follow such an evolution.

In particular I have seen members of churches leave because the church does not meet their spiritual needs. And I have to wonder about the ability for a church to meet the needs of those who wish to feel the connection with spirit and those who seek nourishment from a religious community that does not require the existence of any sort of spirit. Now, I know humanists and pagans who sit side by side, some even happily. But I have to wonder if the nourishment provided by the church is less than what could be obtained by multiple groups of members who had more in common. Is there truly a common thread that nourishes all Unitarian Universalists?

However, I think it is the second aspect that UUs lack the most. In my experience UUs strive for a sense of inclusiveness to the point of a lack of identity. Sure we have principles and purposes, but that is not a litmus test for membership. The UUA affirms and promotes them, but no church which is a member of the UUA nor any individual member of a church or fellowship is required to affirm or promote any of the principles and purposes. I think the reason that I like the metaphor of a faith movement needing an immune system is because I believe that it is healthy and indeed necessary to be able to define who is and who is not a member of an organization. If these types of boundaries are not defined then you will have people who feel that there are others who claim membership that should not, for example the humanist/pagan/Christian struggle.

Now, don't get me wrong. I believe it is very important for a church or fellowship to strive to be inclusive. However, I also believe that the church must scrutinize what it means to be inclusive and not lose focus on the need to nourish the members of the church. Further I think if the church wishes to retain its membership it must also realize that this identity, this sense of belonging is a need that must be filled in order for people to feel "safe" in their community.

In rereading this I feel I should note that I would not propose the principles and purposes become a litmus test. But I did not want to rewrite this in it's entirety. For me the main point is the question of nourishment and discernment. Who is a UU? Who is not a UU? What does a UU find value in? If we can't identify who we are and what we want how do we move forward? If someone says they are a UU does it make it true? If not a creed, then what?

If truly anyone is welcome, then there is no sense of belonging. I think the question is related to looking for a UU core, that which nourishes "us".

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blog Removal

Typically I don't mention it when I remove a blog from UUpdates. Generally it's an unceremonious removal of a blog that has gone defunct. But I thought I would mention this one because it means the removal of a UU Blog Award winner. So, a fond farewell and best wishes to Lo-Fi Tribe's Shawn Anthony.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


So, the ISP applied some updates to the server, and Apache needed to be restarted, and blah blah blah.....

From about 1:30PM to 7:00PM UUpdates didn't pull in any updates from any websites. According to the ISP everything should be fine now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

200 Sites listed

Welcome back to Errant Frogs! And with this "addition" UUpdates has now hit 200 sites that it is tracking. Google analytics tells me that just shy of 4,000 visits have been made and there have been about 12,000 page views (which includes links out to sites) in the past month. In terms of "unique" visitors it reports an avergae daily of about 50, and the visitor recency and loyalty numbers look very good. A majority of the loyal visitors come back daily, and they have been to the site hundreds of times.

Of course not everyone may be excited by the increase in numbers. We all have precious little time, and people have their favorites. So, all I can say is that one day the ability to customize the list of sites tracked will return. Really. I just don't know when.

What have I been busy with? Well, I have been helping out with the Prairie Star District site conversion from static HTML page to using PmWiki and some of the efforts that have been made have been offered back to the PmWiki Open Source community so that others can benefit as well.

I have also been putting a large amount of effort into a resource directory for Unitarian Universalists called Stonetree UU. We are hoping to have a new version out soon with many improvements in search capability, and options for the users. What does the site do? Well, basically it allows UUs to recommend people to other UU congregations. In the Prairie Star District there are a number of small congregations that primarily use visiting speakers on Sunday mornings. This gives the congregations a way to promote speakers and musicians they have enjoyed, and promotes speakers and musicians in the district. When the site gets further towards beta testing I will make an announcement here. When the site is ready for release we hope to be able to offer this sites functionality to other districts. I am the lead developer for this site, but very grateful that this site is not a solo project.

Oh, and a last tidbit from the weblogs. Where do people go after they visit? Well, here are the top 30 spots (in order of most visits) for the past month:

To everyone making a contribution to the collective voice on the web, thanks.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blog Award Description

A while back someone commented that the description I put together for the UU Blog Awards was, to put it politely, lacking. I wholeheartedly agree. I believe my response to that was along the lines of "good observation, I'll fix it by the next time the blog awards role around". But now it occurs to me that others are still linking to it, and it is still getting traffic, and the description is still lacking.

Would someone be willing to write up a description? Why do we do the awards? Whatever seems appropriate to include. What should be included in the explanation? I'm not even sure. I can easily write code for collecting information and displaying the results, but I know that others out there could write a much better description.

If anyone is willing either comment here or drop me a line here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It should be like that

To put this in context this is a lengthy response to Peacebang in her
"God loves You, you Know It" post. She wrote "Another reader shared
some deep doubts about some of the essential claims made by liberal
religion, saying, 'I am a part of a liberal religion because it's the
way I think things should be, but that doesn't mean I believe it.' I
found this comment intriguing and honest, and had the sense that many
of us would like to hear more about these ideas if Jason (my name
is John
) was willing to write more about them."

As they say, you asked for it....


There is a story by Dr. Suess called "Horton Hatches the Egg". In the
story Horton sits on top of an egg at the request of Mayzie, the lazy
bird who doesn't want to do the work. Horton suffers many ordeals for
his troubles, and in the end the egg produces an "Elephant-Bird"
instead of a bird. On the page where the elephant-bird is produced,
Dr. Suess throws in the lines "And it should be, it should be,
it SHOULD be like that! Because Horton was faithful! He sat and he
sat!" and it has always bugged me every time I have read the page. I
have yet to figure out why Dr. Suess chose to emphasize what anyone
with a basic understanding of biology knows — It wouldn't be like that.
If by some absurd circumstance an elephant found itself perched on a
bird's egg it would not create a new species. Like the reassuring
repeated lie of a parent during a tornado "Everything is going to be
ok, everything is going to be ok, ..." it is the lie we want to
believe, but don't know if it's true. No matter how much we hope,
think or feel things should be different that won't change reality.


One night I sat, staying up late, reading a debate between some folks
on a religious Bulletin Board. The topic was the acceptability of
homosexuality, and in particular the translation of the Greek word
"Arsenokoites". I was rooting for the fellow who was arguing in favor
of God's acceptance of homosexuality. And then it struck me. I
didn't care who was right, I didn't care how God felt.

This was in the south, with honest to goodness hell fire and brimstone
preachers making appearances on campus. Hell was a very popular
concept, and not to be dismissed. What I realized at that instant was
this. If the hell fire and brimstone line of thought was indeed
correct then I felt that God was more deserving of my contempt than
worship. Anyone who could inflict an eternity of torture upon people
was more a monster than Hitler, the folks who perpetuated Abu Ghraib,
and Jeffrey Dahmer combined. And if God hated homosexuals because
they are the way God created them, then God be damned.

I knew why I was rooting for the person who argued against the hell
fire and brimstone God, because it made sense. It was right. It no
longer mattered to me who had the better argument, the deeper
theological understanding, the more extensive reading list, the better
understanding of ancient Greek, etc. basically the truer understanding
of God. None of it mattered. I wasn't sure about God, but by golly I
knew I was right. I knew the way things should be.

Unfortunatly belief is a feeling and not a conclusion. Sure I think
it makes sense. But my way of thinking doesn't change the universe.
Every so often I feel like God is the egg, and I am looking at it
thinking "it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that"
waiting for the elephant-bird to pop out of the egg. But some deeper
part of me expects to see the bird pop out.

What I do know is that if the bird does pop out, and I am faced with
the hell fire and brimstone God, all I will say is "it should be like
that". And most often I take solace in knowing that it's all just
going to end, and I will have lived my life by what I thought was

I am no longer trying to understand God, and live by that
understanding. I am doing what I think is right and hoping that if
there is a God, that God approves. It is simply not necessary for me
to believe God and the universe conform to my way of thinking. What I
do with my life matters to me, and that is enough.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Logo

I finally thought of a chalice/logo for UUpdates. The image is very basic chalice with two portions of a circle surrounding it. Lest anyone think that the partial circles are a theological commentary I will point out that it's inspired by the Live Bookmark button used by Firefox. For an explanation of the logo (Firefox's not mine) check out this post. I wanted a similar idea.

In case it changes on the site in the future here is the version I am talking about.

I am not a graphic artist, I was inspired but this does not imbue me with natural talent for graphic design. If you do have such skills and are so inclined I would truly appreciate someone taking the "radiating chalice" idea and making something that looks really nice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Random Site Link

I created a Javascript (2 actually) to generate a link to a random url, where the url is pulled from the database of urls at UUpdates. If you would like to add a link to a random UU website (UU blog, UUA, UU World, etc.) then follow the instructions for adding a random url here.

Also, please feel free to ask for clarifications or help with the instructions, and feedback for making the instructions more clear are also welcome.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I visited a congregation in Ames, Iowa. One of the things that really impressed me was that they had a section of the service entitled "Milestones". It was remarkably similar to "Joys & Concerns" but the name and relatively few number of candles seemed to keep people from rambling on about the little things that made them happy or concerned. Or as ChaliceChick would say "Births, deaths and marriages:It's just that simple."

I think it's been about a year since putting together the UU RSS aggregator (originally "What's new with UU?" now UUpdates). I remember back then it having around 30 sites it was tracking. Now it's at 172. Maybe someday I will chart the growth, but I have to say it seems a pretty amazing growth. Thanks to everyone who has given feedback regarding the site, I did it to learn and the feedback is always helpful.

I haven't done much recently on the site, because I have been working on another project. More about that later...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Recommended Site

Every so often I get a recommendation to add a website to be tracked by UUpdates, the Unitarian Universalist Syndicated website tracker, that doesn't appear to be trackable (at least by standard RSS). I got another recomendation, and the person that recommended the site didn't leave an e-mail address so I thought I would mention it here. Most of the time even if the site can't be tracked it's still a worthwhile resource worthy of note.

So the site that was recommended is Starr King - if anyone could help locate an RSS feed for this site I would appreciate it. Otherwise please be sure to drop a note to the Starr King webmaster letting them know what a great thing RSS is and how it would benefit people to be able to track updates to their website.

There are many good RSS resources on the web, and UU resources like the Websters list for UU webmasters which can help get a webmaster on the way to syndicated their content.

Friday, February 17, 2006

UU Musician

Jess has now reminded me twice that I should really put in a plug for a UU musician named Peter Mayer. The first time was when she reviewed Blue Boat Home which was part of her Singing the Living Tradition review series. And the second time was when she mentioned her job. When I read her post I found myself hearing a Peter Mayer song in my head. Emphasis added is mine.


Last night I was dreaming I was in my GMC
I was feeling kind of empty because it was just a '93
So I filled it full of fossil from the bosom of the earth
Which I burned up quite a lot of on my long commute to work
Where I worked at what I hated just to keep up with the bills
Which I paid to meet the rising cost of feeling unfulfilled
Which I felt at every moment with occasional respite
Like the times that I'd go shopping or watch TV shows at night

CHORUS: But I'm waking up, but I'm waking up
I'm waking up from the American Dream

Last night I was dreaming of the one eternal hope
That my life would be improved if the economy would grow
Which already was a monster on a mission to consume
And was eating almost everything and running out of room
And it whispered to me "mister, here's some products that you need
And the standard of your living is too low" and I agreed!
So I got myself a credit card with not a penny down
And a long ride on the not-so-merry-money-go-round


Yeah, the world was like an Amoco and I said "Fill er up!"
With a house, a car, a VCR, a lawn and all that stuff
But I got a nagging notion that enough did not exist
And at the end of every day I'd wonder "is this all there is?"
And someone said "Hey, you've already got ten times more than the rest
And six-billion other people want the little that's still left!"
But I snapped "It's a free country and by rights it's mine to keep
And by the way, who do I pay to take away this garbage heap?"


It seemed that the beginning of the dream was so benign, I mean
All I ever wanted was a smidgen of the pie
And some comfort and security and good things for my kids
And, OK, to please the neighbors and my ego while I did
Anyway, it's great to be awake and feeling satisfied
With seeking out the simple and the deeper things in life
And with giving to the world instead of hoarding it for me
Boy, I guess I'm not too excited about falling back to sleep

And as crazy as it was, hey, was it a dream or not?
Well, just promise not to save me if I ever start to nod
Put no-doze in my coffee, throw me outside in the cold
Just don't ever say "OK now, back to bed you go!"


copyright Peter Mayer, 1997

I have heard other songs of his sung in UU services. Peter Mayer's website does have links to some songs that you can listen to online. I am actually not a big fan of folk music, but I do like his, mainly because I think his lyrics are the best of any musician I know.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Process Feedback

So, the big thing I realized I need to do a better job of is communication and explanation of the process. Or, find someone else to "MC" next years blog awards helping to communicate begin times, cut off times, etc.

Things for next year include more lead up time and discussion of categories.

Should there be a review of nominations? We had some nominations in "group blog" that I don't think really count as group blogs. Should the voting be restricted in the number of nominations that are voted on?

Did anyone miss the blog format from the first annual? Should vote tallies have been kept secret until the end?

What else? What did you like, what didn't you like? What can be done better next year for the third annual blog awards?

UU Blog Awards - Winners

We have winners for the 2006 UU Blog Awards. If you are one of our winners, then please be sure to check out the prize page.

Congratulations to all our fine winners and nominees. Thanks to all who participated.

Friday, February 10, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Final Day of Voting

Just a reminder that today is the final day of voting for the Second Annual UU Blog Awards. If you haven't voted please take the time to do so, I will be cutting off voting at some point tonight, but I can't guarentee when.

Some of the races have gotten pretty close. So, for those who won't be checking in until later there is still a little mystery left. If nothing else you can be sure to check back to see the UU Blog Award Winner image created by CC.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The admin dealing with SPAM

So, in general I am sure most people have an idea of what is considered SPAM. But as an administrator I know things always wind up getting interesting. For example, anti spam tools have given users a very simple way to indicate they no longer wish to receive specific kinds of e-mail. Anyone who has been a member of a listserv for a while is probably familiar with the phenomena of getting a message sent to the group with the subject or body "remove" or "unsubscribe". People who are afraid they might embarrass themselves might find it far more simple to indicate the message is SPAM than to try and properly unsubscribe. So what happens when a church newsletter is flagged as SPAM? Well, that all depends on the the ISP and the SPAM blocking software being used, but it has happened. Surely the church newsletter is not part of a commercial venture. But church admins have had to argue with ISPs that one user reporting a church newsletter is SPAM should not block it from all members of that ISP.

So, what is an admin to do. On the one hand you have people complaining about SPAM and on the other hand it might be questionable as to whether or not the so called SPAM truly is SPAM. And what if the user downloaded software and part of the EULA (End User License Agreement) for the software was to provide an e-mail that could receive promotions?

For my part I decided on a simple rule. The owner of the resource has the final say on how it is used. If someone does not want to receive an e-mail anymore then the sender should respect those wishes. If someone has a blog and unwanted comments continue to be posted the poster should either conform their comments to meet the desire of the owner of the blog, or should refrain from commenting. And it doesn't really matter if the resource is truly owned by someone else (like Google/Typepad). If a blogger is putting their heart and soul into an effort then they own the resource.

Unfortunately SPAM continues to be successful. People buy advertised products, spam commenter's have their Google rank increased. At work we have taken to going beyond blocking the e-mail of spammers and starting to even block websites of companies that use SPAM. We even create new e-mail address for online purchases, when those addresses start to attract SPAM we know which online vendor has sold our information,and therefor which online vendors will not get our business in the future. Sometimes you just have to punish the unacceptable behavior in any way you can. The behavior should not be tolerated, certainly not promoted.

So, why am I rambling on about this? Well, quite simply because I wanted to make it perfectly clear why a certain blogger is being dropped from the listing at UUpdates. It has nothing to do with anything not mentioned above. If you repeatedly annoy UU bloggers by posting unwanted comments, even after explicit instructions not to do so then you are abusing a resource and the behavior should not be tolerated. Certainly it should not be promoted and at this point I feel an obligation to not promote the tactics employed by trolls, and or spammers. Again, let me be clear, it is the above driving this decision and nothing else. Anyone claiming otherwise (claim of cover up, DIM thinking, etc.) is simply wrong.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Request for Feedback

Well, we have surpassed over 100 votes submitted in the UU Blog Awards. Not everyone has voted in every category thus the lower totals for each category.

I have received a request from Lo-Fi Tribe to disqualify/remove himself from the "Best Online Community or Group Blog" category. Last year the blog award process was run entirely through a blog and so their were comments and feedback throughout the process. This year with the automated the vote the tally process is a lot easier, but I wonder what we are losing without the comment aspect. So, unless I hear any objections (posted as comments to this post) I will honor the request from Shawn to remove him from the running in that category. If there are any other concerns regarding the nominations please post here.

Also, I would encourage people to throw out comments regarding what they voted for and why, just because, if you feel like it.

So I'll throw out a comment regarding why I plan to vote for a particular entry. The one entry that really stuck with me is something I think I might print out for my daughters and give it to them when they are old enough to start dating. Specifically I am referring to MANLY MEN AND THE MEANING OF MASCULINITY. I never thought I would read a blog with pink as one of the predominant colors and leave the site feeling more manly.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Finalized nominations

The nominations have closed for the year 2005 UU blog awards. Apparently last year all nominations were elligible for voting, and I don't see a reason to change that for this year. I know I said otherwise on the web site. If anyone has serious objections feel free to post. But honestly i can't remember why i thought it would be a good idea to limit the voting to only a few nominees.

Anyway, I know I haven't read all the posts for all the single entries, so I have some catching up to do before voting which will open on the 30th.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

UUism 1.2 or 2.0?

As I have been reading through the fixing UUism series of posts I keep asking myself "so is this a bug fix, or a new feature request?" Yeah, I know, I deal with software too much.

To try and put this in non-computer geek terms is this a fix for something that is broken, or is it just a new idea - a way to enhance what we have? The reason I wonder this is because for some of the suggestions I can't figure out what the suggestion is trying to fix. For example does a lack of a UU monestary mean we need a fix?

Perhaps I am focusing too much on the words being used (I do that), but for some of the suggestions I do think it would be useful to know if it is a new idea, or specifically what problem the "fix" is trying to address. Just as an example one of the entries I have commented on is the Member ratification of GA resolutions . If we have a problem of alienating "right of center-UUs" I am not sure if they would be more or less alienated by a ratified "left of center" social witness. Not that I want to fire up the discussion here, I would just like to know along with the fixes what exactly the percieved issues, if any, are. Some like Eliminate UU Hypocrisy are sort of obvious. Maybe they are all are, but just not to me.

So are we trying to fix some bugs (moving to the next stable release of UUism takes us to version 1.2), or are we trying to enhance our product offering (major enhancements take us to version 2.0)? Of course all this assumes we are currently at 1.0...

UU Blog Awards Updated Jan. 25th 2006

I have updated the tallies for the UU blog award nominations. The results can be seen here.

Interesting notes from this this update:
  • Someone stuck "James fields BLOG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in the comment field, not sure what to do with that.
  • So far ChaliceChick is the most "written in" nomination, my guess is the nominators couldn't find " The ChaliceBlog" which is the offical name of the blog.
  • Language Games and Miscellaneous Arbitrary Marks managed to get nominated for "Best Online Community or Group Blog", "Best Non-UU-Themed Blog" and "Best UU-Themed Blog" not sure what, if anything, to do about that.
Please feel free to comment regarding anything related to the UU blog award process here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Late Category Addition

I did get a comment which was a suggestion to include a category for "Best Religious Writing or Theological Commentary - Single Post/Entry".

So, since this is late getting posted (my apologies)...

If I get enough nominations for particular posts in the above category as responses to this post then I will add this category prior to the voting process. So, if you would like to nominate any posts for theological or religious writing feel free to nominate those posts here.

I am seeking additional nominations through this blog entry as opposed to modifying the site since I did not want to worry/confuse people regarding what would happen in the case of "multiple submissions".

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lake Fellowship Member Murdered, son is suspect

Nancy Everson, a member of the Lake Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists church in Shorewood MN, was murdered this past Sunday. From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press article:

Everson was well-known in Chaska. She was training to become a volunteer rescue diver for the sheriff's department. She was always busy with church and community groups. She treated friends to vegetables plucked from her back yard.


Nancy Everson sold AFLAC insurance with her husband from their home office. She was active in the Lake Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists church in Shorewood and helped out with area Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops when her children were younger.

"She was an amazing person," said Gauer, who counted Everson among her closest friends. "One of the most high-energy, empathetic and compassionate people you know. She was very passionate about everything she did."

The news rattled the congregation at Lake Fellowship, which dedicated its Sunday morning service to Everson.

"Our group is small," said church member Terry McGlynn. "We're all grief stricken."

Her son Grant Everson is being held at the Carver County jail on suspicion of murder.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

UU Blog Awards Updated Jan. 17th 2006

I have tallied the results for the UU blog award nominations. The results can be seen here.

The only entries I had a hard time deciding what to do with was one entry for "Best of class" which referred to a specific post instead of a blog in general, so I moved the nomination over to the specific entry and under one of the specific entry categories ("Best Review or Cultural Commentary") someone nominated - Philocrites without referring to a specific post. If someone wanted to nominate a specific post please submit it again.

Please feel free to comment regarding anything related to the UU blog award process here. Also, I haven't done much to promote the fact that the blog awards are going on, so please do feel free to promote the blog awards in any other forum you feel appropriate.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Second annual UU blog Awards

Philocrites asked Will there be Second Annual UU Blog Awards?

Yes! Nominations are now open for the 2005 UU blog awards.

Please feel free to comment here regarding the awards. I basically just set things up to to automate the tallying of the nominations/votes and used last years categories. So, if there are any suggestions for changes, additions etc. please feel free to comment.

This is going to be my real blog

I have finally decided that I am not really interested in maintaining the blog software I had been using so, this will become my "real" blog. I will transition content over here at some point, but I wanted to start using this blog for some of the upcoming blog entries i will be posting.