Blogger Goodbye – WordPressµ Hello

Pigs and Katya

I got a notice from Google that they are discontinuing the / platform that I had been using for my blog up until now such that they’ll no longer allow private domain publishing. Unfortunately their date for pulling the plug is coming up fast. I had been planning to switch over to the new WordPress 3.0 which will incorporate the multi-blog version (WordPressµ a.k.a. WordPressMU), I just hadn’t intended to do it so soon. So I’m (wasting) time figuring out how to switch over to WordPressµ 2.9 before Google dumps me and then later I’ll have to upgrade once again to switch to WordPress 3.0. Ah, the joys of complexity and chaos. Coming soon to a blog near you…

More on topic, Katya is learning her duties as a livestock guardian and herding dog. She follows me around doing chores. She has even started working at herding pigs with Kavi. This is unusually young, like her grandmother and Kavi. A good sign of natural instincts for her duties that lie ahead. See if you can spot her among the pigs in the photo above. This is only for the very sharp eyed due to her color and size – click on the image for a larger version. See tomorrow’s post for the answer…

Outdoors: 23°F/10°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/58°F

Update: See The Second Pig for where Katya’s hiding and the answer to Melissa’s question.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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24 Responses to Blogger Goodbye – WordPressµ Hello

  1. Melissa says:

    Hm, I might be able to see her… There are three pigs in the foreground (sorta), two pink and one spotted that appears to be sniffing one of the pink pig's butt. Directly above the butt sniffing is a black and tan blob that I think looks more like a puppy than a pig. I could be wrong though – it's hard when you have pigs the same color as the dog, and they're all hairy!

    I have an off-topic question for you. As a city girl who's never seen an animal slaughtered, I can see how a properly run slaughterhouse would give a totally non-traumatic experience for the first pig of the day – it's poked into a funny building, gets one last scratch behind the ears, loses consciousness, and doesn't wake up. What about the second pig of the day? Is there blood, body parts, and odors left from the first pig when the second one's brought in? Do you clean between each one? Can animals outside the building smell what's going on inside, and if so does it upset them? I have no doubts that you do right by your animals, I'm just not sure what that looks like when it comes to a butcher shop.

    I love what you're doing with your farm. I hope to move to the country and get as involved with naturally raised food as I can. I think I want to keep bees, but then I haven't been stung yet – my opinion may change fast!

  2. tree ocean says:

    good question Melissa. I am anxious to see what Walter will reply. I don't know what his set up is. I have not taken an animal to slaughter, but I work at a place that does. The owner takes them and said they know. She stays with them until it is their turn, giving them treats, and then walks them in to the room. Otherwise the butcher shackles them and makes them walk in.

    I know because one time a goat (oh, it is a goat farm) needed to go and the owner asked a friend to take it and asked her to stay until the time…lucky for my friend, the owner was able to do it. We all pretend we can't drive the farm truck to avoid that task…

    Walter is saving them the loading and traveling trauma, but I wonder if the other pigs will know that is a building a pig does not want to enter…let us know Walter…

    I know you are giving them the good life in the meantime…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think it is the black and tan blob to the right of the butt-sniffing one.

  4. Anna says:

    I zoomed in — don't know if that's cheating — and am nearly positive I see her behind that bale of hay on the right side of the shed. Amazing photo, btw. I really feel like I'm there!

  5. I switched from Blogger to WordPress in December after a bad blogger experience and am quite happy. I hope your transition goes as well.

  6. Andy says:

    We use WordPress for our blog and love it. In one of the recent updates, they built in an automatic updater. Click the link and it performs the update in about 10 seconds. No files to transfer. I love it.

  7. Sara says:

    Ummm…I think that is her head poking out from behind the hay bale? I can't stop looking at her and her monkey! She is sooooo dang CUTE!!!! ^.^

  8. Gail in Montana says:

    I had to cheat and zoom in on the larger version. Finally spotted her to the right of the shed peaking out from the hay in a round fence. Good job hiding her, Walter, lol.
    Good luck with the transition to WordPress. I hear from the other blogging sits I visit from My Yahoo home page that it is good.
    Great photo of the pigs in winter and your fast learning puppy. Boy, she is growing up so fast!! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. oshea12566 says:

    I use wordpress, and I think you will like it. I hope the switch goes well.

    I think she is in the background to the right of the shed. (In between the shed and the rock)

  10. S wrote: – I have a blog on Blog spot. You say that "they are discontinuing the / platform that I had been using for my blog up until now such that they'll no longer allow private domain publishing." I have not received any notice. Maybe I am using another program? Do you have any idea how I would find out if my blog is still going to be OK? How soon did they say it would be ending?

    Below is what I got from Blogger in a recent email. it is for FTP users of custom domains that aren't using Google's custom domains. I don't want to be that dependent on them. I already have those things in place. They are doing me the favor of pushing me to finally transition all my blogs to WordPress. Currently I have one blog on WordPress ( I just wish they would wait until WordPress 3.0 was out and solid.

    Dear FTP user:

    You are receiving this e-mail because one or more of your blogs at are set up to publish via FTP. We recently announced a planned shut-down of FTP support on Blogger Buzz (the official Blogger blog), and wanted to make sure you saw the announcement. We will be following up with more information via e-mail in the weeks ahead, and regularly updating a blog dedicated to this service shut-down here:

    The full text of the announcement at Blogger Buzz follows:

    Last May, we discussed a number of challenges facing[1] Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogs. FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing.

    Three years ago we launched Custom Domains[2] to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year's post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP[3] and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you're interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview[4] of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users.

    For that reason, we are announcing today that we will no longer support FTP publishing in Blogger after March 26, 2010. We realize that this will not necessarily be welcome news for some users, and we are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. To that end:

    * We are building a migration tool that will walk users through a migration from their current URL to a Blogger-managed URL (either a Custom Domain or a Blogspot URL) that will be available to all users the week of February 22. This tool will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL, and will handle the vast majority of situations.
    * We will be providing a dedicated blog[5] and help documentation
    * Blogger team members will also be available to answer questions on the forum, comments on the blog, and in a few scheduled conference calls once the tool is released.

    We have a number of big releases planned in 2010. While we recognize that this decision will frustrate some users, we look forward to showing you the many great things on the way. Thanks for using Blogger.


    Rick Klau
    Blogger Product Manager

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi, while searching for your dog in that picture I noticed something: your pigs have really big balls. How come?


  12. It turns out that size does matter. Politically incorrect but who knew…

    Larger testes allow for the production of more sperm which in turn means the boar can produce more per ejaculation and breed more sows in a herd leaving more offspring. In herd animals, where one male is servicing the reproductive needs of many females, I notice the balls do seem to be particularly well endowed.

    This might sound grand, for the male, but realize he must get his rounds done and defend his turf and only about 0.5% get 'honor' to procreate. The rest end up on someone's menu before they get there or are just fringe observers on the herd.

    Sometimes we'll see a boar with small balls – off to market he goes. This is selective breeding on the farm much as mother nature does it.

    Small balls is not to be confused with conserving heat. When a boar is cold his scrotum will constrict pulling his testicles up tight against his pelvis making them look a little smaller and not dangle quite so.

    Also see this and this and this and this

  13. Melissa, I went to answer and it turned it to a full fledged post. See an upcoming post soon…

  14. Melissa says:

    Okay, thank you. :-) I had a feeling it wouldn't be a quick answer.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the prompt reply Walter. One more:

    Given that you don't castrate, how do you keep grower pigs (boars) from impregnating the gilts. Is it because they reach market weight before sexual maturity?

  16. Anonymous says:

    She's back beside the shelter to the right???

  17. Boars will start fooling around by four months. At six months, market age and weight, they are trying but not producing much. They get to real sperm production, sexual maturity, around ten months. Long before that we have culled the market pigs to the butcher at about six months.

    If a young boar were to actually be a winner before that then that's good genetics which is fine to have won the draw. Probability is I would observe this and consider keeping him back to watch him further. Only about 0.5% of the males make the cut to become breeders.

    Our general name for a small, young boar who's particularly sexually active is "Ambition". It's a general term, not a name for any specific boar. When you see a 150 lb to 200 lb Ambition trying to reach an 800 lb sow you instantly understand where the term comes from.

    On the flip side, gilts are rarely truly sexually receptive and fertile before eight months. They may have false heats but rarely 'take' before that. The few gilts that do take early we call Lolitas – rare and they can sometimes be very good performers as sows. About 5% of the gilts have a chance of being kept back to be tested for performance with a first litter.

    Always breed the best of the best and eat the rest – that way the herd improves with time. Selective breeding works, be it man's hand or Mother Nature.

    The other aspect is we have two herds, and will soon have three. We switch the boars and sows across to flip the generational lines.

  18. June in Maine says:

    Hi Walter, up past bed time doing research. I think these posts have answered some of my questions. I thought I had a good "boar", 18 teats, good natured, well shaped, but doesn't seem to have it in the ball department, perhaps it is the cool weather restricting them. Also, I thought he would be "good to go" achieving sperm at 6 months. I really didn't want to have a 700 lb animals in my back yard. I only have 8 acres of almost all wooded land. Is there any good news you would like to encourage me with? As always, thanks to you and your wonderful family.

  19. The final test is not months but does he get her pregnant and throw a fine litter. Long before he gets up to 700 lbs you may be able to get several litters. Then eat him when he's too large for you to keep. Or if he is performing spectacularly there may be someone else who would like his services and you can sell or swap him.

  20. June in Maine says:

    thank you thank you thank you, by golly, you've done it again. great info and advice, just got done talking with a woman who would love to swap for him when he gets too big for me. so here's hoping I can get a few good litters from him.

  21. Edwin Adamsen says:

    Walter I am very interested in how you keep your herds and your breeding techniques. What goals you use for selection of the best. I hope that you will write about this in detail.

  22. Erin says:

    I too was glad to make the move off of Blogger. Its problem is it is so popular that it get slooooooooooow at peak times of the day.

  23. Elizabeth Moore says:

    I love wordpress…I run my entire photography business out of it and have seen a very nice functionality and user-experience!

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