RFQ: blog software for inside the fence

I want to try an internal FOUO-only weblog for my organization. From what I have seen, AKO won't do it (Six months of watching my AKO site load "The weblog channel is coming soon!").

My immediate leadership is giving tacit support, and the DOIM will let me have space on a server. So which blogging application do I get?


  • Multiple posters.
  • Readers will have to log in to the site to read it. The admin (me) will issue userids and allow users to set passwords.
  • If a post links to content outside the fence, the outside content's referrer log must not capture the location of my server. As WUTT!'s own Sitemeter log says, "blocked referrer." That sounds more like a function of DOIM's firewall than of the blogging application.

Is this even 75%-capable in Microsoft Office/Outlook?

Anyone else doing this in a green, blue, or purple environment? If so, what are you using?


Bill Quick is thinking aloud about buying a Prius (no link; he's moved to a new hosting service and I can't find his archives). This moves the holders of Chez Fûz to blog about our deliberations of a new offspring-unit transporter.

My initial druthers were hovering around the Dodge Grand Caravan, because I've rented or borrowed a few and like the passenger room. The sticker isn't too nasty either, though I'd hoped with weakness in the industry they'd try harder to stimulate sales. We test-drove one today and it behaved like I expected it. Barbaloot is just elated to be looking at a new kid-hauler. But a conversation a few weeks ago with a snake-eater led me to consider the imports.

So we stopped at the Kia dealer just a few blocks away. We are very torn now. More car, more airbags, more horsepower, a little less passenger space. Way less money. Way better warranty.

A tool must be weighed against what it will be used to do:

  • Getting four kids about to swim lessons twice a week and Mass once a week. That includes one kid who needs no special seating, two in boosters, and one in a child seat with lap bar.
  • Taking the child and Boy to get groceries once or twice a week.
  • Three or four times a year, all of us to camping or a road trip to some scenic place.
  • Maybe once a year, schlepping all of us to the Great Lakes to see grandparents.
  • Three or more times a year, bringing lumber home from one of the bigbox DIY stores. Luggage rack will do it.

The majority of the miles will be in town. Compared to what the current vehicle did in Colorado, less highway and much fewer miles total per year.

Using USAA's comparison service, we considered a few other models. The model number profusion on Toyota Siennas discouraged me immediately. The number of Honda Odyssey models available was a turn-off too. The Hondas appear to be smaller than the Kia anyway, and their MSRPs were way higher as a class.

Disappointment: USAA's comparison service won't work on any platform other than IE 6 on Windows. God knows I've tried.

USAA's purchase negotiation service will also be interesting. "Give us the name and number of their fleet manager, we take it from there." The Dodge dealer people furrowed their brows when I asked them that. The guy at the Kia shop didn't know WTF I was talking about.

So Fûz's first reader poll!

Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, or Kia Sedona EX? Sorry, no fancy-schmancy drop-in poll in the post. Just leave a comment.

Arguments to buy American just for the sake of it will fall on deaf ears. If Detroit wants to sell to me, they have to compete the old fashioned way, price and features.


I don't do resolutions

But I do have a plan or two. They won't all be done this year.

  • Closing off our basement walkup in a new Bilco steel door. The door's here, we need the enclosure around it. Pressure-treated lumber and smoke-tinted plexiglas.
  • Get at least two bids for putting radiant hydronic heat into Chez Fûz. I hate hate hate forced-air heat. If energy prices are on a continuing upward crawl, if not an upward stair-step function, we'll recover the costs, estimated at $3 per square foot. We'll staple the PEX tubing to the underside of the subfloor (wreck out ductwork and acoustic ceiling to get at it), and heat both first floor and basement from each run. Would be awesome to run it all from two zones and a large water heater instead of a boiler. I'm groovy with using a strong glycol-to-water mix rather than straight water. I bought some books on designing these systems but they don't have the meat or I don't bring the mastery of plumbing potatoes. I'd like to know I'm not getting snookered by the contractor.
  • With all of the space liberated by removing the forced-air furnace, I'll put a water softener (back) in. There used to be one, it was disconnected and stuck in a corner. The resin bed is ironed up. That can be fixed with a few bucks of chemicals.
  • The main argument around here for forced-air heat is the relative ease of integrating air-conditioning with it. In this part of the prairie, I can't see air-conditioning being necessary more than two weeks out of the year. Better to me, active ventilation of the roof crawlspace. A 1600 cfm blower costs less than $100 and pennies to operate. I'll put it over the garage where the noise won't bother me. The problem: where to put louvers to let fresh air into that space? It's tight under the eaves.
  • Laminate floor in dining room. We already bought the materials.
  • Tile floors in kitchen, foyer, upstairs baths.
  • Graywater system to catch laundry and shower water. There's a huge crawlspace under kit and DR, adjacent to all of the plumbing, where that water can be caught and stored. Getting that water to the rear lawn is a cinch. Front lawn will take some craft.
  • A bat house. I'd fasten risers to the chimney but am afraid the wind will rip it down and trash the roof.
  • A new offspring-unit transport mechanism for Mama-san. A Grand Caravan would be awesome in a turbo-diesel. Too bad that product doesn't exist.