Though it looks like things have been quiet here over the past week or so, there has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes. Over the weekend I rolled out a new system that handles the site content. You shouldn't notice too much of a difference except that the template has changed slightly but the change will allow for some added functionally including a much stronger article tag system then before.
This is the biggest overhaul the site has gone through in the five years it's been around and of course that means that many of the pages URL's have changed so it's another thing still on my list to get cleaned up with Google.
Some might have noticed that I have also changed over to Discus comment system. It's a bit more stable then the system I was using before (intensedebate) and it allows me to migrate comments if the page URL changes down the road. For some reason intensedebate doesn't provide that feature.
Finally the biggest change (and the one I'm most proud of) is the change of copyright on the site over to a Creative Commons license. Making the switch over to Creative Commons is something I have wanted to do for quite some time. Its win win for everybody because you get to make use of and modify the content without stealing it yet I still retain some control over the content by saying you can't use it for commercial use. Just remember that the license is only available to my written text, photos that I have shot or images on the site that already have a commons license.
As far as future plans, the next big one is an overhaul of the events calendar. I'm doing some initial testing of a new system that should make adding your paddling events to the website much easier. If all goes well look for that to roll out sometime over the next 2 weeks.
Ok, that's it for now. Feel free to return to your normal (work avoiding) surfing.
I checked the article counter a couple of weeks ago and was super surprised to discover that the old article odometer was about to click over to 2000. Here we are with 2000 articles written and still having fun.
How did this site get going you might ask? Well, when I first started teaching others how to become instructors, I noticed that they were often cutting their teeth trying to develop their first lesson plans and looking for basic resources. Everybody was trying to figure out where to find ideas or new games and I thought that if there was one central resource location for new instructors then they wouldn’t need to waste time looking but rather put that time towards enhancing their teaching and presentation skills. That’s were the idea for paddlinginstructor.com started.
After a couple of months of scouring the internet I had amassed a small collection of teaching resources which are available for download for free. My goal has always been to provide more then just teaching ideas directly related to teaching somebody how to canoe or kayak; I wanted a wide collection of resources not specifically related to paddling because to me; being a good instructor isn’t about your ability to teach a skill, it’s about transferring your passion of the sport to a new student. A good instructor knows the skills but also knows about the environment, weather, bugs, the stars and how tides work. The students will never remember that you knew the key points of a forward sweep, they will remember the turtle you pointed out while on a short afternoon trip.
PaddlingInstructor.com opened up shop on March 13th, 2006 and since then has grown into the mini monster you see today.
Below are some basic stats for the number nerds:
|251,000||Number of individual visitors that have dropped by to say hello over the years.|
|276||Number of people who stumbled upon my site with the keyword: “southern hemisphere star chart”|
|1||The lone sole who found my site using the keyword, "sexy man soldier" (I’m not quite sure why as I’m clearly not a soldier and just barely a man.)|
|1||The number of death threats I have received (so far) from something I have posted.|
Thanks for a good times (except for the death threat) and here is to 2000 more.
I finally got a chance to release a new site template that I have been working on for the past several months. I have been quite busy with other projects and family that this has been pushed back ohh...at least 200 times.
I hope that you find it a little easier to navigate through. I still have some minor tweaking to do and I should have most things sorted out this week. Let me know if you notice any "disconnects".
We just realized that all you happy Internet Explorer users were having difficulty seeing our embedded YouTube videos. We’re sorry about that. We use Firefox 99% of the time and it has been working well. I forget about other browsers out there...
Problem fixed. See something wonky? Let us know so we can jump on it right away. We won’t mind, if the car doesn’t run, we are happy to work on it...
So what with the chicken? Well, my father is a retired Chiropractor. For 40 years he fixed people aches and pains. Throughout that time he also had a small but dedicated list of dogs that he adjusted. Purebreds (eg labs) often have hip problems due to inbreeding.
The basic principle of Chiropractic is that most pain is causes from a bone or spinal disc shifting and pinching a nerve. The idea is that a physical shift of these bones back in place will help relive the pain. Chiropractors work on backs a lot as pinched nerves in your back can manifest pain in your hand. That’s the 30 second pamphlet on Chiropractic; you can read more at Wikipedia.
Back to the story. From a Chiropractic perspective, dogs (and most animals) are no different then humans and my dad has enjoyed adjusting different animals including dogs, goats, and sheep.
Last week he got a call from a lady who raises goats. My dad has been helping out keeping her goats healthy and happy. She said that he had a hen that got injured and was no longer laying any eggs. Could she bring it into town and get my dad to look at it? My dad said that he hadn't adjusted a bird since the 60's and didn’t think it was still alive. She said that was OK since he had to come into town anyways to meet with he lawyer then take her new Smartcar to the dealership as the stereo was giving problems.
They show up at the door and take the chicken out of the box. It looks half dead. He checks out her lower back along the spine and finds the problem along with a problem in the chickens neck.
The hen goes back in the box and the lady gives the bird 24 hours to get better or she is going to have chicken for dinner. The box goes in the trunk of the car and she is off to the lawyer. During the 45 min she is in there the chicken starts to feel better and next thing the bird has busted out of the box and is now flying around in the little smartcar leaving a huge pile of feathers and poo everywhere. Remember the car is less then a month old.
Three hours later the car smelled somewhat better and music was coming out of the speakers again.
And the hen? She is better then ever running around squawking and doing what they do best; lay eggs.
If you haven't listened to Simon Willis's latest podcast you need to. It is a great interview on how to prepare for a BCU 5* course. I want to personally thank Simon for taking this project on. I wrote Simon way back in October (I think) to see if he could put me touch with an instructor who could help separate fact from fiction on what how to prepare for the 5*.
You see over the years, I have dreamed about taking a 5* course. Everybody I talked to told me stories about how it takes years and years and you need to be such and expert that you can't pass it if you don't also know how to fly the rescue helicopters that will come out and save you. Pretty much; you need to be the Jack Bauer of sea kayaking.
Simon said he would keep an eye out for somebody and send them my way. I kept doing my own research and to be honest, didn't expect to much. Then I got a nice little Christmas present. He said that he turned my idea into a podcast!
Listening to it, I got tons of really great information on what to prep for and what course is really like. Listen for yourself.
Also, let's talk about 24. If you haven't been watching so far, you still have time before the 24 train completely leaves the station.
Here is all you need to know. We are 4 hours into it, Jack is out saving US of A from the bad guys and there has been some mild violence.
Watching 24 has made me decide that I need to work on my fighting stamina. I don't do a lot of fighting and I haven't really been tortured but, I am pretty sure that if I was tortured with a hot knife, bamboo fingernail torture, or even the old knife if the thigh, I wouldn't be able to jump up and bust my way out the door then continue fighting for the rest of the show.
Yep, I am making it my new (old) year's resolution. Work on my fighting/torture stamina... Watch out.