March 30, 2005

Result's Are In

We at King of the Blog are enjoying a "Spring Break, so here are last week's results and we'll return Monday!

News From the Great Beyond

King of the Blogs Tournament: Week 13 Judging

All hail King George of GM's Corner, last week's victor in a competitive tournament round between three worthy blogs. But as usual, the King cannot rest on his laurels and enjoy his reign for long without two more pretenders to the throne cropping up to give challenge. And now, we commence with the rulings, because I say so.

Overall Blog/Design

GM's Corner: George has, as all good competitors do, taken the judges' comments into account and made a few adjustments to his site appearance... Specifically, my two nitpicky notes from last week (the misspelling of "integrity" in the header and the variance between the font sizes and types in the sidebar) have been addressed, and That makes me a happy camper. I have no complaints... all the good stuff is still there, so this week George's rating improves to a 4.5. Good stuff here.

New Trommetter Times: Wow, a nice new look for Jason here... I dig the header graphic - my one suggestion would be to add a drop shadow behind the lettering to help set it off better from the background (the tag line is a bit tough to read against the lighter colored areas of the photo). It would be super-easy to do in Photoshop (duplicate the layer with the text, change the color to black, and nudge it down and to the right a bit) - but if you didn't use Photoshop to create the graphic it might be a tad more difficult. Searchable archives, check... comments, check... trackback is a bit difficult to locate, but I did manage to find out how to get the trackback URL, so I can't complain too much. I'm giving New Trommetter Times a 4.5.

World of Tish: Lovely! Another well-designed site here.... beautiful graphics, good "about me" info, Haloscan comments and trackback, Blogger bar search... The color scheme is simple and easy to read, black and pale gray, with splashes of red and yellow. Digging it. Good graphics get me every time - and the rest of the technicals are there as far as I'm concerned... Tish gets a 5.

Submitted Post

GM's Corner: For his submitted post this week, George presents us with a treatise on secularism and how the media and the AcLU, among others, appear to be making war on Christianity within our society. A very thoughtful, and for the most part very well-written piece... one little nitpicky note that jumped out at me:

"Afterwards, she said that she'd read to Nichols from "The Purpose-Driven Life," a bestselling book that eschews the self-help ethos so prevalent in pop literature to say that salvation can only be found in God." Pop Literature? OMG again, sharing your faith, what you believe to be true is only a "self-help ethos?"

I think you may be mistaking the definition of "eschews" here, what the author means to say by that sentence is to describe PDL as a best-seller that avoids the self-help spirit that is so popular in other current literature today, not that the message of PDL is a self-help message or that it is merely "pop literature". Although I know many Christians who believe it is, primarily because so many have made a huge "movement" out of the book. Anywho, that said, I don't disagree with the point that George is making here... and aside from that little nagging item, this post flowed very well. I'm giving it a 4.

New Trommetter Times: Jason presents us with a Libertarian rant about the Schiavo case... Since comments are closed on this post, I'm going to indulge in a small response - not even close to the full rant that threatens to come bursting out here...

Terri’s parents don’t have a right to intervene in this case. When he gave his daughter away at her wedding, he ceased to have a say in her medical care. That became Michael’s right then. When a couple gets married they are to "leave" and "cleave." Terri left her parents household and created a new household with her husband Michael.

And when Michael started shacking up with his "fiancee" and having children with her, in my opinion and in many others', he should have ceased to have a say in Terri's medical care. He has created a new household with Jodi Centonze and should not have the right to decide whether or not Terri should die. [/mini-rant] As much as I disagree with Jason's conclusion here, the post is short, to the point, and well-expressed. Nothing here causes the English Teacher to sit up and take notice, and therefore, Jason's submitted post earns a 4.

World of Tish: For her submitted post, Tish selects a quirky cautionary tale about having a kleptomaniac great-grandmother. Some people have very interesting lives - or at least, they can describe past events in such a way to make them interesting, and Tish is one of these people. After reading this post, all I can say is "Wow." That is one mean old lady. Tish did a great job getting her point across, and the story itself was entertaining. I'm giving her a 4 also.

Challenge Post

This week's challenge question was...

"Once you are made king you will be free to rule with an iron fist. What will be the first 3 laws issued by you to begin your reign?"

GM's Corner: I may be the only one of the judges who is amused and highly entertained by George's schizoid parenthetical arguments with a mysterious "editor" voice... Perhaps it's because I often have internal arguments that sound much like his. That makes me crazy too, I suppose. Ah well, it's more fun when there are more than one of us here. Good points include the lack of the Intro-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named (*cheer!*), and the requisite sucking up to the judges. Future contestants, be aware - sucking up to the judges is highly recommended. Although George's first law is actually a combination of four laws (ahem), the humor is very much appreciated. Three cheers for King George - his challenge response earns a 5.

New Trommetter Times: Ummm... dude... you're trying to be King of the Blogs, not King of the United States. While the concept of Jason's first three Libertarian pronouncements in his hypothetical reign is interesting (and these are not necessarily bad ideas... well, except for the one where you rename the United States of America to the United States of Trommetter), and there is some well-placed humor involved, I'm going on the assumption that the actual intent of the question was not met. New Trommetter Times gets a 3.

WOrld of Tish: Tish also manages to avoid the dreaded Intro-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. The judges breathe a heavy sigh of relief as we realize that, this round, nobody actually felt the need to introduce a challenge response with "This is the question I had to answer for the King of the Blogs challenge post, and here is my response!" Tish's response also displays a well-developed sense of humor, as well as the sort of imperial ego that comes in very handy for a ruler of the blogosphere. Tish's proposed laws (especially #1 and #2) are extremely well-advised, in my humble opinion. Her conclusion paragraph also contains a rather tantalizing suggestion as to how the esteemed judges are to be treated. I think she gets a 5 just for that part.

The Queen's Rulings

GM's Corner: 13.5

New Trommetter Times: 11.5

WOrld of Tish: 14

Ogre's News and Politics

Judgment Day for the King of the Blogs! For more information about this wonderful, challenging, sometimes personal and disappointing contest, head on over to the King of the Blogs site.
Another week, another two pretenders to the crown. GM Roper is current king, but there are two pretenders this week that think they deserve to be king. We shall see if they are worthy.
The Judge


"Once you are made king you will be free to rule with an iron fist. What will be the first 3 laws issued by you to begin your reign."
GM's Corner 3 reins laws: GOOD POINTS: Nice linkys, and the link to yourself is a nice touch! Excellent rule number 3! You had me laughing through pretty much this whole thing. And thanks for reminding me it's not August, now I have to go change out of my speedos. BAD POINTS: You need HELP with ruling with an iron fist? I don't think you get how the actual iron fist ruling works...then again, you freely ignored the ideas of the advisers...but then yet once more, you asked for their approval! For how to properly rule with an iron fist, watch Jim Black (D), speaker of the North Carolina House. SCORE: 4.27

Trommeter Times in United States of Trommmmmmmeter:
GOOD POINTS: I like the new name. Not what I'd name it, but then again, I'm not trying to be king. I don't need to be king because I'm the judge. Huh? Being more libertarian than any other well-known political party, I'd have to agree with your ideas -- only you don't go far enough, commie bastard. Finance minister, indeed.
BAD POINTS: No need to announce the purpose of the post. Just let it rip and forget anyone who doesn't get it. Oh yeah -- Holy Crap! NINE percent? You're killing me here! What about the poor? What about the children? I'll give you ONE percent, and that's more than the damn IRS is squeezing out of me now!
SCORE: 3.52

World of Tish with the Queen of Blogdom
GOOD POINTS: Ok, you hooked me there with the first sentence. Are you running for president any time soon? Ok, any other agency that charges me taxes? Can you just send me money instead? Short, sweet, to-the-point, and nice focus on bloggers (and the judges...I'm awaiting my lavender...)
BAD POINTS: I wanted some Arnold parts. Why can't I have Arnold parts? And at the first reading, I was rather confused -- why would any woman want their butt to look like Jennifer Garner's upper body? And you're the Queen -- you can just order the NYC publishers to do what you want! Don't hold back!
SCORE: 3.19


Trommmmeter Timmmmes gives us Right to Life:
INITIAL REACTION: What about the other woman? Should there be such thing as "forced" divorce?
GOOD POINTS: Short and to the point. You make your point quickly and support it with a few points from a strictly libertarian point of view. No errors in spelling, grammar, or writing that I can see.
BAD POINTS: Perhaps not completely supported with logic from all points of view, but then again, these are blogs, and they're not supposed to have everyone's point of view, just your own!
SCORE: 3.69

World of Tish supplies A Kleptomaniacs Tale:
INITIAL REACTION: Your great grandmother was mean because you were small? LOL.
GOOD POINTS: You were given the job of "patting down Grandma?" That's somehow funny and sick at the same time. Nice conclusion, good introduction, and nice details supporting your main idea. I'm still not sure whether to laugh or cry.
BAD POINTS: If you're going to separate a phrase with a hyphen ("she stole - "), you should end the phrase with a hyphen as well (like you did with the "- a nightly ritual -"). "Compliments you silver?" Whoopsie! Extra in the second to last paragraph.
SCORE: 3.01

GM's Corner has The Secularist Inmates Are Running the Asylum:
INITIAL REACTION: Have you been to Stop the ACLU?
GOOD POINTS: Excellent development of the idea from beginning to end. Good support throughout for the main points of the post. Well-written with effective paragraphs, spacing, links, and included images.
BAD POINTS: Quotes are difficult. When providing them as part of a sentence, the sentence structure can override the quote structure. In line 2, the period after "that" should actually be a comma -- otherwise the sentence outside the quote is incomplete. Yes, I know that's really minor. "Jill Porter, the ACLU, or no?" No? Not? I think you were going for effect here, but I missed the effect, sorry. Just before the quote at the end, there's a typo: "the" should be "he."
SCORE: 3.68


Here are some technical things I like to see on a blog:

King of the Blogs javascript thingy in the sidebar
Comments enabled
Permalinks working
E-mail contact info available
Blogger's name/pseudonym prominently displayed
Site search feature enabled
Link to an "About Me" post on the sidebar
Readable font style & size
Readable color scheme (I am a HCI computer design expert)
Divisions between posts clearly marked
Paragraphing in entries (NOT just writing one fat block of text)
Overall good use of space vs. content vs. whitespace

Tish's Planet:
NOTES: Ummm...Oh, I see now. This page looks very different when viewed in Firefox!
GOOD POINTS: Nice email to subscribe to the site. The color scheme (in IE) provides nice contrast and is easy to read. The red on the dotted lines is a very effective separator without being too intrusive. I like the sections in the sidebar split up effectively and with the coordinating images for each section.
BAD POINTS: In Firefox, the borders and the background do not flow down throughout the page -- the white background stops at a very odd location. This makes the entire rest of the page difficult because the visited links become gray on a gray background. The first date has a white background, but the rest do not. I understand during transition to Haloscan putting comments for Blogger and Haloscan up at the same time, but the way it's worded there (x comments and y wanting more) is rather confusing to me. I can't find an email to email you. If you're just trying to avoid spammers, view the source on my site for a way to do that. The buttons in the credits section are all over the place -- sometimes two on a line, sometimes not. Feel free to use the width=xxx in the image tag to force them all to the same size. No llamas.
SCORE: 2.42

The King:
NOTES: The King came in strong in his first week, and this week he's made improvements.
GOOD POINTS: Fixed everything I complained about last week and then some. Added even more llamas! Excellent layout and design. Easy to read and great focus on content over everything else.
BAD POINTS: The post of March 25 has no breaks -- it's one big mass of text. Press enter now and then! You're a Red Sox fan. Also, check my source if you want to provide a clickable email link that spam-bots can't figure out (yet).
SCORE: 4.94

NOTES: Nice and clean. Dark text on white background will always work. Good setup with the gray border.
GOOD POINTS: Almost all required items there, except for that pesky email link. Good, clean, and very well-organized. The sidebar is excellent with a great layout. I'm currently in love with the space-saving chicklets, and you're loaded with them.
BAD POINTS: Where are the llamas? Oh dear, you actually moved TO Charlotte? Oh my. I hope the new job is VERY high paying, as you'll need the money to pay your new taxes. But if you're looking for a 3/2 in the University area, let me know, I have one for sale (seriously).
SCORE: 4.55


From unabashed bribing, linky-love, and obscure references that actually show the contestants know who the judges and other contestants are.

T-to the M-to the Times: One link in the blogroll. One measly link. -0.5. However, he just moved to Charlotte, whose taxes are higher than Massachusetts, so he gets +0.5 pity points. Total bonus: 0.
Western Elvis (King, Roper, Cowboy, get it?): Good linky bribage. Even posted the same post I did at one time this week (the stolen gnome). There is some discussion over who did it first, but it's still scary that it was almost exactly the same time. +1
Training Information Systems Hub: One blogroll link again. Sigh. Can I get some love here? +0



The World According To Tish


Cool story about a kleptomaniac great-grandma! I enjoyed it thoroughly, and was waiting for the hook - but the hook was the whole thing! Anyhow, seeing that I'm about be a grandpa in about 5 months, I'm wondering... is it inevitable, this becoming mean and crotchety?

5 points.


This is a cute, springlike blog (just right for Easter, in fact) with lots of daisies growing between the cracks. Love the sidebar headers, and the purposefully disjointed font. Tish uses Blog*s--t, but manages to overcome its disabilities by showing inventiveness with her template and full use of comments and trackbacks. KOTB banner is there, just confined toward the bottom. No separation between post, but there is one between the post and the link information. Glad to see I can identify with Tish, but sorry to say the template is still a bit on the plain vanilla side (despite the nice graphic touch). I think this is some of the best writing I've seen on a blog, though, and that merits some respect.

4 points.


Ah, this challenge is quite masterfully done, but for one thing - apparently not enough has been said about the linkage. Show me the money! It seems that Tish is an excellent writer (as far as bloggers go, one of the most clear, creative, and witty) but hasn't learned enough yet about linking generously. Bonus points for being apolitical.

4 points.

GM Roper


Excellent, absorbing post about Ashley Smith sharing her faith with Brian Nichols and the secularists' reaction. Not only does he detail the war against Christianity in this specific case, but he expands on this issue of freedom of religion as smoothly and candidly as anyone I've read. GM's done great this week, and in my opinion (except for a
challenge by an excellent writer in Tish) deserves to resume his crown.

5 points.


First thing I noticed - separators! As before, love the site's design, gaudy-but-not-too-much flashiness, and a great sense of humor. Plus, he fixed my only criticism. At last, perfection.

5 points.


I was privileged to have read this post several days ago.. why? Because he linked to me!!! - the only one to have done so of the three competitors. That's what separates the kings from the peasants in close races. Indeed, GM really gets into the post, flaunting his kingly status and issuing rules, each sillier than the one before.
I'm happy to be considered as the proponent on a ban on overly long, unsubstantiated, 5 syllable words (ignore the previous illegality). Lots of ego! Lots of links! Lots of (ugh) llamas!

5 points.

New Trommetter Times


I've got plenty to say about this post, but this is neither the avenue nor occasion to say those things. Terri Schiavo's been quite the focus of many an attention, and needless to say, it's a very controversial topic. Anyhow, even though I strongly disagree, I believe it was courageous to display his opinion and he did so clearly and
concisely. But what's with the pacifier?

4 points.


Rather bland looking template, though at least he doesn't use the accursed Blog*s--t. Comments, but no trackbacks. One thing is kind of a pet peeve is that little smiley face that shows your mood - if you can convey it with a paragraph, why bother putting a little picture up? No distinctions between posts, plus the date is put somewhat lowkey beneath the post titles. LOTS of archives and categories. Nothing bad about the blog, but nothing to impress me either.

3 points.


Abundant ego - very cool and fitting for a king. Love all the ideas, like the flat tax and abolition of government agencies (what a relief!). But I think Trommetter's contradicting yourself by demanding everyone spell his name right... for a libertarian-style king, that's quite an authoritarian tendency. Oh yeah, and he got so wrapped up in himself
that he forgot the judges, but at least he wasn't the only one to do so.

4.5 points.

Judge's Totals

GM's Corner 42.5
The World According To Tish 35
New Trommetter Times 36

Poll Totals

World of Tish 106
GM's Corner 88
Trommetter Times 7

Trackback Totals

World of Tish 2
GM's Corner 4
Trommetter Times 1

For a Bonus Total of:

World of Tish 5
GM's Corner 5
Trommetter Times 2

and a Grand Total:

GM's Corner 47.5
World of Tish 40
Trommetter Times 38

GM keeps the crown! Congrats! We return next week!

Posted by Nick Queen at March 30, 2005 01:08 AM

Ugh. Y'all suck. Tish should've won. She kicks waayy more ass than those two.

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Giochi di Carte

Posted by: Giochi di Carte at April 21, 2005 02:45 PM
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