MountainRunner is off to the mountains

streamcrossingI’ll be offline for a few days as the family (pregnant wife, 22 month old son, two dogs, and me) head off to the mountains for a little camping. Some may call it brave. Some may call it foolish. Either way it should be interesting, and after all, it was the wife’s idea. It’s the first camping trip for the boy. I expect he’ll enjoy it since one of his first sentences was “go trail now?” and he knows the difference between his Crocks and his “trail” shoes (Merrells that have most aggressive tread I could find in his size).

The picture is the last good camping picture. The real MountainRunner is crossing the stream carrying the dog food while my other dog, a 3-legged climber with a turbo for climbing hills (not so much going down them), watches with perhaps less eagerness for the mild crossing.

For the record, this trip has been on the calendar for a month.

Question to my readers

I’ve noticed that sometimes the size of the browser window knocks the right column down to the bottom of the window instead of in the right column. In other words, some of you may see this

missing_column

instead of this

with_column

This happens more on Internet Explorer than on other browsers (if you’re interested, 60% of MountainRunner’s readers use some version of IE, 30% use FireFox, and the remaining 10% includes Safari, Opera, Conqueror, Camino (?), and others). The problem must be with the resize code and is triggered only by a precise pixel width, but I’m not sure how to fix it. I’ve tried modifying the CSS, but what works in one browser doesn’t work in another, etc.

If you have any ideas, I’m all ears (or eyes). Give me your suggestions by commenting on this post or through email. Thanks and enjoy your weekend. I’ll be offline until Monday.   

Another way to Add MountainRunner to your Google Page

Many of you don’t use RSS readers like Newsgator, instead preferring to read MountainRunner through the email delivery option (nightly delivery of the day’s posts) or one the feed aggregators like PageFlakes, NetVibes, etc.

Feedburner makes it easy for you to read MountainRunner using virtually any reading platform or technique you have. But there’s another option in town now.

MountainRunner is now available as a native iGoogle gadget. This gadget is created specifically for the Google personalized home page and allows me to give you a little more information, with a customized layout, than before.  

Check it out. Or, continue to use the the “old” version for your Google page, it’s not going anywhere. Choice is good.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. This is my first gadget after years of not programming. There will be enhancements down the road which will appear seamlessly on your desktop.

(By the way, the refresh rate on the gadget is one hour, meaning there may be a lag from the time a post appears on MountainRunner and when it appears on gadget, but I bet you’ll be okay with that.)

New Custom Search Engine on the home page

There’s a new feature on MountainRunner (h/t CARL, see below): a custom search engine (CSE). The MountainRunner CSE, available at the top right of the home page searches the entire Blogroll and all the Recommended Sites listed on the lower left of the home page.

There is even a gadget to add the MR Custom Search Engine to your iGoogle home page:
Add to Google

Suggestions for additional blogs and sites are welcome.

On CARL, the blog of the Combined Arms Research Library, US Army Command and General Staff College, or the CARL Book Blog for short, got creative with its Google searching:

We’ve created this custom search engine that targets 14 selected blogs relating to military and defense matters including: http://smallwarsjournal.com/, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/, http://www.captainsjournal.com/, http://counterterrorismblog.org/, http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/. Do you have a suggested site we should add to this custom search engine?

By the way, the CARL search engine includes MountainRunner. Thanks, CARL.

Available for Consultation and Contract Work

Responding publicly to inquiries, MountainRunner is available for consultation and contract work. I do spend a considerable amount of time analyzing and writing on the subjects posted on this blog for a variety of projects. Please email me here to discuss.

Sporadic Posting

I’ve got lots of things to post, but too little time to do it right now. Tomorrow, look for some catch-up through the end of the week. Next week, I’ll be in DC (more on that tomorrow)… 

Updating the Blogroll

Two new additions to the blogroll:

First, Abu Muqawama (“Father of the Resistance”). Recommended for the counterinsurgent in you. His post today Insanity in Afghanistan is spot on. How would you respond to this question:

How do these events affect your efforts to win the hearts and minds of the people in Afghanistan?

Do you think you’d respond like this?

I — well, to the extent that people understand that we’re working there on — working on their behalf, I think in the long run they understand that these actions — any loss of innocent life isn’t intentional on our part and that we certainly hope that they understand that.

I’m not exactly sure how this differentiates our tactics from the bad guys’. Is it intent? or that we’re apologetic? Notable line: “we certainly hope that they understand that.” Implied message: because we know we’re not making it clear.

(Thanks Phil for this recommendation.)

Second addition is Seth Weinberger’s Security Dilemmas where he’s writing on international relations and domestic politics.

Back to Phil at Intel Dump, here’s his description of MountainRunner:

An eclectic blog which covers a wide range of security subjects from contemporary counterinsurgency to technology and procurement.

“Procurement”??  

Where are You?

Finally, after sending Statisfy to Sean and Mark (see live hits for TPM Barnett and ZenPundit), I finally inserted the code into this blog: StatisfyMountainrunner. Kind of cool… at times. Sometimes it’s just dead, but others, it’s hopping.

While on live mapping of visitors, I was looking at maps of who visited last month and thought the end of month maps for April 07 were interesting. Below are the visitor locations from Africa, Middle East (er, SE Asia), and Asia. Sometimes there are little surprises on where the hits come from… Fascinating demonstration of global communications.