Site Design

The original design of the site was inspired by Stefano Mazzocchi’s template for his Linotype web logging engine built on the Cocoon framework. His comments in the CSS file struck a chord with me; a weblog should use whitespace to make it easy to read. The idea that the pages should be more like a printed book translates well in this context. So I’ve increased both the character and line spacing to give a more book like effect.

The overall CSS layout is based on one of Alessandro Fulciniti’s 40 one, two, and three column layouts on his website.

I’ve further simplified Stefano’s minimalist styling of links (which uses a dashed underline that changes to a dashed box on mouse hover along with a change to the background color) to only a light to dark color change of text and underline. My intent was to allow the reader to identify links without their presence being too distracting.


It doesn’t take much technology to make this site work. All told it took about a week in my spare time to put together the layout, learn/configure the blogging software and plugins, and setup the website. Of course I’ve spent a fair amount of time since then writing new plugins to modify and extend the blog’s features.

The Open Source Blosxom Perl script (only ~450 lines) dynamically generates all pages on the site. It uses plain text files stored in directories to organize the site. This approach is simple, elegant, and powerful. The directory based layout really meets my left brain organizational needs.

Blosxom is customized by including plugins that provide only the features you actually require. The plugins and modifications I am using are described here: plugins.

The layout uses CSS to layout and format all the text. This seems to work well for all the post 5.x browsers and gets rid of the HTML tables I’ve used in the past to layout pages.

I’ve run all the HTML, RSS, Atom, and CSS on the site against the various validator sites. The HTML all validates except for the Amazon affiliate URL.

I use the GNU Emacs editor to develop all the text content, Fireworks to generate graphics, and Clean Run Course Designer along with some custom software I’ve written to generate the course diagrams and courses.

The site is hosted by Slicehost on an Ubuntu Linux server. The Slicehost VPS control panel and their comprehensive help articles make administering my first production webserver straightforward.


I’ve enabled comments on almost all articles with the hope that others interested in Agility, dog training, and technology will add their comments. Unfortunately, there is a lot of comment spam being posted across weblogs. So I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem as spam or offensive. Furthermore, I reserve the right to disable this feature at anytime.

As stated on the bottom of every page and embedded within the source of every page: this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. All comments remain copyright the comment poster. Please see this page for details of applying this license to the site’s content.

Anyone who chooses to post any information or data to this website including, but not limited to, URLs or email addresses does so with the knowledge that there is no expectation of privacy or protection of that information. All posted information and data is publicly available to visitors of this site. Furthermore, no action will be taken to protect that information from access by visitors or administrators of this website. However, if you post any information and wish to have it removed from the site please send an email to steve at

Web server access logs are automatically collected by the webserver and are used to improve the website’s performance. No tracking of individual’s activities are performed. The logs are deleted periodically.