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Kentucky Journal
January 17th

A new pet arrived in the household...

The cat's were none too certain... arched backs and hissing going on [grin]

Click on this picture and you'll get a wee movie!

It's Laura's new puppy which was very friendly and was wanting to play with the cats but they just were not certain.  It ran up to Tiger who fled behind me.  It then went up to Lou Lou who hissed and ran half way up the stairs.  The it tried to play with Bandito and she stood her ground but arched back and hissing.  They all watched the wee puppy from afar not sure what to make of it :-)

I've been working real hard getting the site complete and thanks to Steve finding me a way to speed things up managed to complete the site re-design on all 13,000+ pages.  One problem then came up as | got several messages saying that when printing pages the right hand side of the page wouldn't print. While there are ways around that it was obvious it was time to find a "Printer friendly" option.  While looking for an option that wouldn't take days of work I came across a company in the UK that had written a script but it also looked like they would write others so I got in touch and explained our problem and they said they could write one for me.  So.. we went ahead and as a result we now have a "Printer friendly" button on all our pages (except our index page) which is at the top of our left border.  It actually strips out our top, left and bottom borders from the site and presents a page without them so you can print it out. Of course we have gone through some testing but having now got what we think is the final release it should now work on all pages.

We also had a lot of work on the new site search engine and as the initial indexing takes some hours we found we had to repeat it a few times to get it all to work the way we wanted. Finally we got it and with some help from the company tech support team we had at last a fully working product.  I feel this dtSearch product offers ways of searching not available with engines such as Google and has some particular benefits when searching for names.  Let me give you an example...

When looking at one of the MacIntyre pages you find listed alternative spellings of the name...

MacAntire, MacAntyre, MacEntyre, MacEntire, MacIntear, MacIntire, Macintire, MacIntire, MacIntre, MacIntyre, Macintyre, Mackintire, MacYntire, McAntire, McAntyre, McEnteer, McEnteir, McEntire, McEntyre, Mcentire, McIntear, McInteer, McInter, McInter, McIntier, McIntire, McIntyer, McIntyre, and McItyre.

Well I used the "Phonic search" option to search for "MacIntyre" and it found all but one of those spellings. To do a Phonic search you simply add a # sign to the front of the name e.g. #macintyre. Now that is something that Google and other search engines just don't offer but when searching for a name it can be very useful.  Mind you that's not to say it's perfect as looking for Alderson it found loads of "Alter" and as we have quite a few histories talking about the church there were a lot of them around. That said it's just one of the features of our new site search engine and so I'm hoping that everyone will find it useful.

All of this has taken time and money to develop and while there are still a few things to tidy up still we're mostly there.  I have to say that implementing the Google Adsense program has in fact paid for all of what we've done so far. So not only has it purchased a full T1 line of bandwidth for the site but provided money over the top to purchase software as well as to commission scripts to be written for us. 

Next week I'll be getting a car to get me around.  Steve has an old BMW 5 which just needs new brakes on it so we're going to do that and give it a general overhaul and then he's going to sign it over to my new company and then I get to insure it so I can drive it around the USA.  He's promised to give me a couple of driving lessons!  It's actually a manual drive and I've been driving automatics for the past 11 years so should be fun with that and driving on the wrong side of the road!

Deb's daughter Jamie, has got herself a new house so there has been a lot of moving around collecting all the necessary stuff from friends and family to help her furnish it. Also with a new baby boy coming in a few months time lots of baby clothes being collected. Great to see how family and friends all contribute to help out, an armchair from here, a bed from there, a microwave from somewhere else and on it goes.  So Deb is making lots of trips to gather all the diverse items to take them over to her. Deb's Dad got a new TV the other day so he can play his DVD's he got for Christmas so of course the old TV went to Jamie :-)

Nice also to have old friends getting in touch. Ken of my old Merry Maids cleaning company sent in an email saying he was enjoying my journals and tells me he is going to go full time into the travel industry. He's always done some travel guide work but now he's also got himself a driving licence for the bus so he can now drive and guide :-)  I wish him and his family all the best in their new venture :-)

Also hear from Ranald MacIntyre who continues to beta test all our new features for us and keep me up to date with news.  Also heard from David & Shelia by old next door neighbours.

So am I missing Scotland?  Not really but I think it's because I've just been so busy being here and doing all the upgrades that I really haven't had the chance to dwell on it.  For example we were working on the site to 4am this morning and I didn't actually get up until 1pm today and am now working again on the site.  It's now 4pm and when I've finished this page I'm off to make myself some breakfast :-)

It's been very good working with Steve on a regular day by day basis as we've been able to come up with some great ideas for the future of our site and other domains we have purchased.  The idea is to gradually move parts of the Electric Scotland site to other domains but all with our common header. For example we created the domain and now when you click on "Postcards" on Electric Scotland that is where you are sent. The core history will remain on Electric Scotland but some domains we intend to do some major work with like ScotFood, ScotMusic and ScotGames. Others will follow as we get things running. Of course our site search engine is able to index all our own domains so that will still be a core feature of the site.  We also moved The Flag in the Wind fully onto its own domain of and that means we can better promote their publication but again we're retained our common header with them as they are part of the family after all :-)

So.. that's a bit of an update for you and dare some more interesting things will happen in the week ahead when my new Electric Scotland USA, LLC will be formed :-)

And finally here is a wee cartoon that Deb gave me which you might like...

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