So you've got a blog with great content that will get you loads of readers..

.. but wait, give it a second look!
Does the great content get muffled by the dull appearance of your blog? Does it put off your readers?
Think! Think!
In fact, this is the problem faced by a large chunk of bloggers making up the blogosphere. They say 90% of bloggers are lazy... Let it not happen to you too!

I've not had very much experience blogging, but I think this post will help most of you to improve your blog's look (content? no. that depends on you!).

So let me give you...

"The Ultimate Guide To Pep Up Your Blog!"

Let's start with...

The Template:

It all started with the template. Remember, before you started customizing, before you even started posting, Blogger asked you to choose a template, from the fifteen or so ones available on Blogger. Now I'm not saying that those templates are crappy, most of them are good (i friggin love the Tic-Tac and the Rounders series!). But with these, you are sure to run into some other blog sporting the same template. Wanna switch to something more unique? Something that suits your blog's theme (content's) more? Read on:

When I re-designed this blog, about 90% of the time was spent in choosing a template. So now I kinda know a truckload of places that provides Blogger templates, no sh*t. For free of course!
Here I am listing out the ones I found most useful:

eBlogTemplates - Tons of templates for Blogger and Wordpress. You can find all the popular ones here.
BlogSkins - Templates created and uploaded by other people. A really huge collection, so you might get some cool unique ones here.
jackBook - Has many Blogger templates converted from WordPress.
FinalSense - A small number of beautiful, quality templates.
BloggerTricks - Again a few templates created by a guy, some of them are real nice.

You might also want to check out these blogs:

Awesome Blog Templates
3 Column Templates 4 Blogspot

Here are some Cool compilations that will help you choose from the best:

BloggerBuster : 101 Excellent Blogger XML Templates
Mashable : 50 More Beautiful Blogger Templates
Mashable : 70 Fresh and Modern Blogger Templates
Mashable : 10 Unique Blogger Templates

So how do you actually change the template?
* Goto 'DashBoard' --> Layout --> Edit HTML
* Click on 'Browse' button to choose the new template's 'xml' file from your computer
* Click upload.
... and you're done!

Gadgets, Widgets, etc.:

Are your blog's sidebars empty? Fill 'em up with some nifty Widgets and Gadgets.

Widgipedia has a nice collection of widgets that you can add to your blog. Just copy the Widget Embed Code from Widgipedia and add it as a 'HTML/Javascript' page element to your blog.

Gadgets can be added from the 'Blogger in Draft' dashboard.
Haven't heard of 'Blogger in draft'? I can't blame you.. sometimes I can't help thinking that Blogger is keeping it a secret from most bloggers...
like Hangar18!

Login to your 'Blogger in Draft' dashboard here.

Compress the CSS, Pack It Up!

Compressing the CSS of your Blogger Blog might be a good idea to make your pages load faster. You don't wanna be putting on pots of coffee everytime you wait for a page to load, right?
Use a free service like CleanCSS to compress the code.

* Goto 'DashBoard' --> Layout --> Edit HTML
* Select the check box 'Expand Widget Templates'
* Your Blog's CSS is the code between the and tags. Copy it, compress it with CleanCSS and copy it back in place of the old code.

Make sure you backup your template before fooling around with it!

You can also play around a little bit with the colors on your blog from 'DashBoard' --> Layout --> Fonts and Colors'. Changing colors to match the theme and your writing style would be great!

I hope these tips helped you improve your blog and make it more personal (or professional, whichever way tou wanna go!). Good luck pepping up your pages...
keep bloggin! :)

Here Comes The Measles!

Monday, July 28

5 months and 50 posts after creating this blog, I am writing this one post that that most bloggers would have written as their first post.
I wanna introduce you to my blog :
Measled Potatoes!

Weird huh? an introduction after 50 posts? But then, almost everything regarding this blog is weird, and that's what I love about it :)
I'd never really written an 'About' post for this blog, and I've been itching to do it. And now that I've completely re-designed this blog, this makes it the ideal time to write one!

Well to start off, let me introduce myself...

I'm a college student from India; one with many obsessions.
So you can expect in this blog everything that plays a part in a typical teenager's life: Rants, Brainwaves, Technology, gadgets, Internet, Guitars, and some Pure Heavy Metal Music!

So that makes it kind of a personal blog huh?

Anyways, you will find it all here, stuffed into one goddamn mixed bag that is this blog!
I'm gonna blog about everything under the sun! No one is safe! *Muahahaha..!

So why the name 'Measled Potatoes'?
Actually 'Measled Potatoes' was the result of a particularly wild GoogleWhacking session I once had with a friend. Well, it didn't exactly earn me a GoogleWhack, but it did give me a name to christen my blog!

That serves for an introduction methinks ;)

I've made some changes here in the past few days I'd like to mention:

* New Look - I finally got rid of the Blogger Tic-Tac template that I'd been using forever (even my old blog had that one!). So now we have a new template and new design. I'd love to hear your comments about the new look!

* SezWho! - I've installed the Sezwho Plug-in to help me keep track of my commentators. It can be abit irritating at times, with the pop-up and all, but trust me, it can be quite useful.

* You Comment, I Follow - I've taken away the nasty 'no-follow' tag from the source code. So now I'm part of the 'Do-Follow Movement'! This kinda makes me proud :D
So comment away and get some link love!

* New Widgets - I've added some new widgets too, to help me fill the empty sidebars. OMG, switching to a 3-column template certainly gives you too much space!

So be it, I'm here to write my heart out and to make some new blogging friends. So any kind of help would be appreciated. Feel free to let me know any suggestions or criticism (yep, I can even take some constructive criticism!) that you may have.

So drop by often and give it a read... you might get measled too :)

My First PayPerPost Payment!

Friday, July 25

I got paid by PayPerPost!

I joined PPP got my blog approved more than one month ago.. So like any other new postie, I was given the opportunity to write my first paid review about PPP and earn 20$ doing so.. This I did, you can find the post here.

So, yesterday, i.e. exactly one month after my post was approved, I got this mail saying that I've got new funds in my paypal account. Guess what, it's 20$ of big fat greens sittin there!

Here's the payment proof:

I'm waiting to get a decent Google pagerank score, then I'll be able to bag some real good opportunities... Good luck to me!

Got a blog? You too can make some extra cash through paid blogging. Check out PayPerPost today!

Just Married - Mr. & Mrs. Frogger!

Thursday, July 17

The monsoon failure here in India has led to some desperate measures to make rain come down.
I read this particularly interesting post in the newspaper today that I thought I simply should share.
In the district of Udupi in Karnataka, majority of the people are farmers and depend heavily on monsoon rains. Well, the monsoon kind of played them this time and as a result most of their paddy fields got scorched, which is sad. So they were willing to do anything for rain, even experiment to see if the old saying is indeed true:
Frog Marriage Brings Rain!

Yes, you read it right! Last night two lucky frogs tied the nuptial cord in the presence of a massive throng, near the Taluk office, Udupi.
Mind you, it was not just a gimmick, it was a real marriage, and the two did exchange wedding rings and garlands. There was even a wedding procession with the bride and the bridegroom riding majestically in a decorated bullock-cart, as is common with hindu marriages in India.
I don't know what became of the couple after the ceremony was over. Will they will keep their wedding vow and hop together until death does them apart? I doubt that very much.

It's believed there that this kind of a ceremony pleases the rain-god, and the villagers swear that they will be blessed with rain pretty soon.. well, let's wait and see how things turn out!

Lazy to the Bones!

Monday, July 14

Monsoon's in..
...but not rain!

True, this year's monsoon is turning out to be a big disappoinment.
There ain't enough rain to fill the dams. And the result? Gotta suffer half an hour of power-cut every day!
Generally there's two conditions that i like : rain, or no rain. But some of these days it's just the in-between crap.
It rains just enough to keep you from going out!

I hate this rain.. It's laziness is infectious. I feel like curling up in my bed most of the time and do nothing. I haven't even posted anything here for about a week.
It's totally unlike me!
Cause I love work! I can sit and look at it for hours!

Another uneventful week, half of which was spent sleeping, the other half listening to this song by Opeth..

Yup, it's nothing extraordinary, but it's got that mellow, soothing sound that you just gotta love.
A perfect lullaby to go with these dull overcast days methinks... it's growing on me!

So much for another uneventful week, gotta go get some sleep now..
catch y'all later ;)

"Love Story" by Erich Segal

Saturday, July 12

"What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl that died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me."

So begins the bittersweet love story of two young hearts; Jenny Cavillery and Oliver Barrett.

"Not another Love story!", you'd grumble.

That's just what I thought when a friend gave me this book. You (we) can't be blamed though, there's enough potboilers out there to make us turn our backs to this genre.

But ironically, "Love Story" is not your typical Love Story.

Really, this is one of those books that made me quite emotional, and that doesn't happen often.

Oliver is a rich Harward Jock, while Jenny's a witty Radcliffe Music Major. Seems they have nothing in common.. but yet they fall in love. Again, this is not the typical love-at-first-sight crap.
The young Oliver meets Jenny in the library while hunting for a book; the bespectacled, mousey lookin Jennifer. She is referred to here as 'Minnie Four Eyes' - Thanks Erich, that made me smile:)

The first conversation between the two goes like this:

"Listen, I need the goddamn book"

"Wouldja please watch your profanity, preppie?"

"What makes you so sure I went to prep school?"
"You look stupid and rich", she said, removing her glasses.

"You're wrong", I protested, "I'm actually smart and poor"

"Oh no, Preppie, I'm smart and poor"

She was staring straight at me. Her eyes were brown.

Okay, maybe I look rich, but I wouldn't let some 'Cliffe -- even one with pretty eyes, call me dumb.

"What the hell makes you so smart?", I asked.

"I wouldn't go to coffee with you", she answered.

"Listen -- I wouldn't ask you"

"That", she replied, "is what makes you stupid."

In the next scene we find Ollie and Jenny in a coffee-shop:)

The way the story develops is interesting, thanks to Erich's witty writing style.

Here's Ollie's first attempt at proposing to Jenny:

"Jen... what would you say if I told you..."

I hesitated. She waited.

"I think... I'm in love with you"

There was a pause. Then she answered very softly.

"I would say.. you were full of shit."

She hung up.

I wasn't unhappy. Or surprised.

The two soon find themselves in love though, get married, and embark on life's bumpy ride. They continue learning life's unruly lessons, never failing in their love anyway, and all goes well, but then disaster strikes. Jenny is diagnosed with Leukemia. You can't help feeling sorry for the young couple, as they carry on, trying to live life like everything was normal still.

In her own words,

"It doesn't hurt, Ollie, really", she said, "It's like falling off a cliff in slow motion, you know?"

I really shouldn't be writing all this, cause you really gotta read the book to love it. I found it very similar to one of my favourite movies, "A Walk to Remember". What the walk lacked was good dialogue, and that void's filled here. I'm pretty sure you will love this book, so I recommend it to you. Check it out for sure:)

Becoming a Blogger

Saturday, July 5

Woke up today to find my head in total turmoil. Not a neuron in it wanted to be woken up.
More than anything, I wanted to dive right back to into my bed again. But sleeping beyond 2 pm, according to most, is nuts!
In fact, it's more than nuts; It's Tits! (new cuss word on the block! )

I've been following this wacky lifestyle ever since I started serious blogging:

.... Waking up at noon, posting the occasional rant here, reading the blogs I've come to like these days, discovering new ones, sleeping well past midnight (around 4 - 5 am), dreaming about my blog attaining a PR of 10, waking up at noon, posting the occasional crap, ....

So now you know that if I wasn't in my PC, surely I was in front of the bed.

And at this stage, I've got a confession to make: I came into the blogging scene for the money. You will realize this if you read my earlier half of posts; They're all crap!
But over the last week, I've come to know what it's like to be a Real Blogger.
I'd spent all these nights posting, reading and commenting blogs, with feverish intensity! And you wanna know what I got?

A new obsession,

and bags under my eyes.

Okay I don't care about the bags now, If they don't go away in a week I will have them surgically removed. All I care about now is my blog. I know I'm finally gonna write my heart out here!
Please help me out with any suggessions or comments you might have.

More updates from my so-called life :

They say all good things must come to an end. Sadly, the same goes for holidays :(
That's right, College's starting this monday, and I gotta head back tomorrow.
No, this doesn't mean my blog will go unattended, but my activity on others' blogs and sites like BlogCatalog (Been there only for a week, and was beginning to love it) will be considerably reduced.
Reason? I don't own a fuckin computer!
Oh btw, there's the college's computer lab! But no fuckin way I'm gonna stay back there for that.
However I'll still be able to do something with my mobile :)

Another thing is regarding my physique.. I'd hoped to grow some body these hols. But at the close of it, I seem to have reduced to half of what I originally was. And considering I was originally as slim as the MotoRAZR, you can very well imagine what's left of me.

So here ends another eventful vacation. Here are some of my accomplishments during the same:

Got a haircut - finally I can see where I'm going :D
Fragged the hell outta my buds playing Counter-Strike in our local gamedrome!
Grew sonething on my chin that vaguely resembles a goatee :/
Learned to play the 'Master of Puppets' Guitar solo \m/

and best of all,

Became a Blogger!

Things I love - Knotty Words!

Thursday, July 3

I have always loved words. I admire the range of options they provide us to do something.
For instance, when you wanna cry, you can choose whether to sob, whimper, wail or to blubber. You may even "be in tears" or "burst into tears" or even "cry your eyeballs out" in extreme situations!
See what I mean?

Here I post some of my favorite words from the english language. I try to incorporate them into my speaking as often as possible.
Okay okay call it show-off or whatever, but I won't entertain your ornery and ordant platitudes at branding me a panjandrum solely by misjudging my logorrhea!

* abibliophobia - the fear of running out of stuff to read. Great word, but I don't get to use it very often :(

* argle-bargle - not sure what it means, but I manage to include it in my speaking almost everyday.

* blunderbuss - A kind of gun, but I've generalised it so I can use the word everytime I wanna say 'gun'.

* bungee - an elastic chord. I haven't seen bungees, but i think they're the ones you can find in the hem of your underpants..

* canoodling - means alot of huggin' and kissin'. A real cute word methinks.

* conundrum - a confusing problem. you can almost feel the tension when you say it. seriously.

* discombobulated - when your world comes crashing around you, throw your hands up in the air and say, "My life is all discombobulated!"

* flibbertigibbet - means 'nonsense', just like it sounds. another synonym is gobbledygook!

* hullabaloo - definitely better-sounding than 'scandal'.

* imbroglio - you're in an imbroglio when you're caught in a fucked-up situation. I love getting into imbroglios 'cause then I get to say the word!

* osculate - make your love sophisticated, don't just kiss your girlfriend, Osculate her!

* rhinorrhea - cool word, but I still prefer 'runny nose', that sounds funnier!

* scrutiny - This is no new word for us, but I really dig the sound of it. Same goes for 'Gullible'.

* zeitgeist - no idea regarding the meaning. I use it mainly as an insult.

I'm always looking for new words to add to my arsenal. So if you would like to add to this collection of potentially harmless words, you are more than welcome:)

Things I Love - My Mobile Phone

Wednesday, July 2

Dearest k750i,
Love you loads!
It’s been roughly two years since our relationship began.
I still remember the day I asked you out of that damp electronics store. Little did I know then that it was the beginning of a date that would last 2 years, and you know, it’s gonna last even more. People had tried to trick me into buying other supposedly ‘Hot’ models, like the obese 6600 and the retarded v3. I consider it my luck that I went for you instead. I love you the way you are, small wonder!
I love all the cool features that you’ve got under your jet black skin. I love the way you make my friends go green with envy (the pricks must have gone for one of your kind when I told them to). I love you for making all those boring college lecture hours so much entertaining. I love it when you let me post to this blog when I don’t have a fucking computer. I love the way you fit nicely into my pocket without making it look like I have a goddamn erection.
In short, I love (almost) everything about you. Of course, you would have realized that when I opted to stick with you even when my bro bought me a spanking new k800i. And you know, I care a lot about you. I mod and patch you like crazy, dress you up in cool little themes everyday, and start getting withdrawal symptoms whenever you’re away from me. So you really got no reason to complain you know!
Stay with me and be my wired friend for life (or I will have you dipped in mayonnaise you prick!) lol.

Every once in a while, weird items turn up for sale on eBay. There have been bald guys offering advertising space on their heads, teenagers auctioning off their virginity, people selling off supposedly 'Haunted' items, etc.
ComputerHovel has a cool list of weird items that have been sold on eBay. Check it out HERE.
The eBay Totally Bizarre Section lists strange items that you can bid on.

But none of these can compare in weirdness or bizarreness to what an Australian Seller put up for auction on eBay : His Life!

After 44 years of treading the earth, Ian Usher, originally from England and residing in Australia, decided to sell his life. This included his house, car and bike, job, lifestyle, and a lot more. (check out
Many thought that it would turn out to be a hoax, but bids actually started coming in. And after 100 days of being listed on eBay, Ian Usher's life was sold this June 30th.

And how much is his life worth? $3,82,000!

Ian later said that he was content with the outcome, though he had hoped for no less than $480K. He thanks all the people who supported him, though most people who e-mailed him thought that he should simply 'Get a Life'!

He still has his body, soul, identity, and his wallet, with which he will walk out of his home after the transaction is complete.

So what lies ahead for a man who has just sold his life? Ian says the adventure is yet to begin. At a new website, he has put up his plans for future. 100 goals in 100 weeks, how does that sound?

The Coolest Gaming Mice

Tuesday, July 1

There was a time when mice were wooden..

Don't believe me? well then don't take my word for it, look at these pictures..

Alright now Mice have come a long way since their early wooden days, following the Theory of Evolution closely.They have gotten more feature-rich and refined to keep up with the demands, especially of the Gaming industry. and I gotta say, there are some truly mindblowing ones out there today.

Let's take a look at the top gaming mice around.

Razer CopperHead and DeathAdder Gaming Mice

The CopperHead have been enjoying Cult status for some time now. The 1ms response time of the CopperHead is unmatched. It has adjustable polling rate (125 to 1000 Hz) and real-time sensitivity adjustment. The laser sensor catches even the minute movements of your hand and gives this monster its celebrated sensitivity.

Throw in an extra 10$ and you can get the Razer DeathAdder. Check it out :

You may be willing to go for the DeathAdder just for its looks!

Razer DiamondBack Plasma

Razer has always produced the greatest gaming mice on the planet, and the DiamondBack is no exception to this. This is an optical Infrared mouse with a 1600 DPI sensor, which means a wholly different gameplay experience than the CopperHead / DeathAdder. The only drawback is that the polling rate cannot be adjusted.

LogiTech G5

The G5 captures any gamer's heart with its rugged looks, performance, and extensive array of features. Too bad it's only suitable for right-handers! (If you're lefty, check out the Razer mice). It has real-time sensitivity adjustment from 400 to 2000 DPI. The coolest feature is the adjustable weight cartridge that gives it the exact feel you are looking for. Plus the G5 are the mice with the biggest feet (quite literally! lol), making it the easiest to use.

Logitech G7
The big brother of G5, the G7 sports almost the same feature-set as the G5, minus the adjustable weight cartridge. And the G7 is wireless, and one of the very few decent wireless mice in the market. As you know, 'Gaming' and 'Wireless' do not go hand-in-hand very well, as there is always some lag. But the G7 has little or no lag, that makes it one of the few acceptable wireless mice in the market.

Update : I'm having second thoughts about the wooden mice. They are actually cool you know.. You may be interested in checking out some cool wooden PC components HERE.