Blog Look Updated


No, regular readers, you are not at the wrong site! I’ve just updated the look of Cerulean Sanctum after many years running a theme that hasn’t adjusted to the times. This new theme, Writr, is responsive and scales nicely for mobile devices, so now the blog reads better on your phone. The old mobile plugin I was using was too flaky, so now mobile is built in.

If anything here doesn’t work right after the switch, please let me know.


Dan Edelen

The New Look—Your Thoughts Wanted


If you’ve followed Cerulean Sanctum for a while, you know that the blog got a facelift last week, with more tweaks having come this week.

One of the major new features is that I’ve gone with the typography I like, a combo of the Carolingia and Fontin Sans fonts. Those are not typical, Web-safe fonts, but you see them because of recent CSS protocol updates and newer browsers that interpret the @font-face command. The New Look of Cerulean SanctumThis allows remote loading of fonts that may not have been installed locally on the surfer’s computer. By caching them on the server and in the browser, they load quickly. As this is a recent capability of modern browsers, if you would like to know more—especially about the travails and gotchas with embedding fonts—leave a comment. (If the page you are seeing doesn’t resemble the image at right, let me know. I have not tested for Internet Explorer 6 or Google Chrome, which I have heard both have some issues with @font-face. As for IE 6, please dump that dog right away and at least go to IE 7, though 8 is available.)

Cerulean Sanctum now runs the Sophia child theme for Thematic, a modern theme framework. Highly search engine optimized, this theme should return better, higher-ranked results in Google and Bing. And trust me, I’ve been looking at themes for a few years now, so finally finding a theme that was simple yet powerful and with solid SEO was a chore.

More than anything else, I wanted to improve the loading times and readability of the blog. The text is larger than before and with better whitespace use. Speed boosts come from the more efficient theme, killing some sidebar stuff no one used, some tinkering by me on the back end, and switching from WP Super Cache to W3 Total Cache. Altering the future expires settings and some other .htaccess file tricks also help. (If you would like to know more about tweaking WordPress blogs, please leave your question in the comments below.)

If you have any feedback, please let me know! Especially if what you see looks bad or wrong. I already altered the header image because some folks were “blinded” by the graduated transition from white to blue, so I hope that helped.

A few minor tweaks are still in the works, but I’ve already spent considerable time on the upgrade and other duties call.

Thanks for being a reader.

Thoughts for a Fall Monday


It’s amazing to me how much I had to bundle up on a 63-degree day while I was out on my tractor. Something about that tiniest bit of chill in the air and being on a moving vehicle, that while not a motorcycle, still generates a breeze while one’s atop it. Also had to take the warmth precautions because I wasn’t feeling well, yet still had to do the work, as I am slammed this week and rain is forecast.

Five hours on a tractor will get you thinking…

Ox Gored: It never fails to amaze me the responses I get when I simply bring up the Acts 2 and 4 passages included in last week’s “Jumping from Bridges.” My main point was not to talk about alternative economies, but man did the folks come out of the woodwork who didn’t like the idea of sharing their stuff with anyone else. Hmm. Methinks I need to write more on this.

Hacking Me Off: I installed some software of the Cerulean Sanctum site to monitor hack attempts against its MySQL database. All I will say is this: It’s the computer equivalent of D-Day—and all day, every day. Also, I set up a server last week to do some testing and forgot to adjust one security item before I walked away from the computer to grab a bite to eat. Within 20 minutes two hacker sites were up and running on the computer. Unbelievable.

More Convenient Government Adjustments: Seems the feds’ method for tracking unemployed workers has got some holes in it, as they now admit they failed to account for an additional 800,000+ job losses. Though I recently talked about avoiding conspiracy theories, I’m forever annoyed at these convenient negative adjustments the feds make that come a year after the fact. “Oh sorry! Everything was worse than we said it was! No harm, no foul, because you’ve already forgotten about the past!” They’ve been doing this for years now with economic figures to the point that I’m not sure how anyone can trust them to get the tally right. Which is why all this “recovery” talk rings hollow.

In the BTW Department: It’s only a recovery when the jobs come back—which I have yet to see happen, especially when 800K+ unemployed were just added to the rolls.

Holy Grail Found: After two years of searching, I finally found a free WordPress theme that combines minimalism, good SEO, easy tweakability, threaded commenting, and bulletproof operation. Though this is my busiest quarter of the year workwise, I hope to have the new look for Cerulean Sanctum up by the end of the year. Expect an emphasis on the text, faster loading, more accessibility, and a stronger Google PageRank so you can find older posts more easily.

Church? What Church? I did something today that I don’t often do; I skipped church. I woke up not feeling well, didn’t have to play on the worship team (which is rarely the case), and had a few other reasons for not attending yesterday. When I ended up having to run an errand for my wife at a time when most people should have been in church, I was stunned to note the packed local Kroger grocery store. Packed. As in hard to find a parking spot. Seems to drive home the reality that we Christians are dropping the ball on evangelism. I mean, I don’t live in a very large town, but it seemed like half the town was at Kroger at 11 a.m. on a Sunday, and they weren’t in their “we went to the 9 a.m. service” clothes, either.

So Much for the Simple (Cheap) Pleasures: Rode in the county fair parade last week with my son’s Cub Scout pack, so we got into the fair free. Still, by the time we’d left, we’d dropped close to $45 on a bare minimum of food for three people and a ride pass for my son. Yikes!

The Difference Between the Rich City and Poor Country: While riding in that parade, I noted an extraordinary amount of clearly mentally disabled people of all ages along the parade route as we rolled by. I would not be exaggerating if I said that every twentieth person was mentally challenged. It makes me wonder if we in the country simply cannot afford to send such disabled family members to expensive group homes, so they end up living with us instead. In other words, our broken people are part of our community and are not tucked away somewhere out of sight. Makes for a lot of soul-searching. A week later, I’m still thinking about this.

My Two Cents: Everywhere I turn, it seems people are talking about tithing. I wonder how much of that talk is linked to the recession and a downturn in giving.

Two, Two, Two Bibles in One! Last week, I killed two birds with one stone by buying the one type of Bible I do not own in one of the few translations we don’t have in our combined collection: a New Living Translation (NLT) chronological Bible. While the chronological part is extremely handy, my one-word review of the NLT is “dull.” And dull is not what a translation should ever be. I mean, the Phillips Translation is simply worded, but it’s definitely active and gripping. Still, I keep holding out hope that someone will do a modern translation of the entire Bible that really makes use of the breadth of the English language, something that caters to a demographic other than sixth graders. I think the closest we have gotten is the one that J.R.R. Tolkien provided English wording for, the original mid-’60s Jerusalem Bible.

Because of my workload this week, I may not be able to post much or reply to comments, but your comments are deeply appreciated. Have a great week. And don’t forget to bless others in the name of Jesus!