Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Just a note ...
My blogging world is shredding around me.

First up, the folks who handled my comments said I'd have to pay for the service. Um. No.

While I was wondering what commenting service to use in lieu, someone/something else seems to have picked up the commenting. (Waaah?) But I still need to find a permanent vendor.

While I was still wondering what commenting service to use, I got a note from Blogger/Google saying that folks like me who FTP their blogs to their Web sites are using too many tech resources/time/help and they are shutting down the FTP service. I can either move over to Blogger and their services or find another vendor.


If you're wondering why the slowdown in blog posts, it's just me pondering my future. The blog will roll on, with a different manner of posting and a different mode of handling comments.


I'll probably freeze this blog in place and start another from scratch, which is a Royal Pain, but the easiest way to handle the transition.

(I've always been the tortoise when it comes to making decisions like this.)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010
Haloscan started charging for their comment processing as of the turn of the year. I am changing comment processors and ... soon everything will be back hunky dory.


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Saturday, October 17, 2009
[URL] Handwritten Recipes
Handwritten Recipes found tucked here and there.

[via a tweet from Forgotten Bookmarks]

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Monday, June 08, 2009
When the Thrill of Blogging Is Gone ...
When the Thrill of Blogging Is Gone ... - by Douglas Quenqua

Interesting article. You must register w/ to read.


Like Mrs. Nichols, many people start blogs with lofty aspirations — to build an audience and leave their day job, to land a book deal, or simply to share their genius with the world. Getting started is easy, since all it takes to maintain a blog is a little time and inspiration. So why do blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants?

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

Judging from conversations with retired bloggers, many of the orphans were cast aside by people who had assumed that once they started blogging, the world would beat a path to their digital door.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Blogging world slows down ...
I kick-started Bloglines this afternoon to see which of the bloggers I follow had new bits to read since the last time I kick-started the app (a week or so ago) and ...

Sara Zarr had two posts.
Zen had one, and that was a photo.
Arleen had six, one quite long, but four posts were simply daily collections of her Twitterposts.
Nikki (Nicole J. LeBoeuf: actually writing blog) had one (and that was her first post since 05 April).
Don had two, and one of those was a pano shot from the top of my hill. (Thx, Don!)
Heather had two. (One of them quite long.) And she'd posted six entries on her micro blog. Yay, Heather! Not bad for the mother of an almost-six-year-old and a new-born.
Ms Paula had six, but then she's way conscientious about keeping her blogger peeps amused.
Alan had naught.

... and so on and forth.

What is going on?

Well, for them I can't answer, but for me, I've been posting short things on Twitter and re-tweeting interesting short things I find there. Anyone can read the Twitterfeed (check it out!).

A Twitter app automagically copies what I post there over to my Facebook presence.

On Facebook, I post a bit longer stuff and stuff that I'd rather keep out of Twitter. (Photos of the wee gifty the youngest sent me for Mother's Day, f'rex.)

I've been hanging out on Facebook and Twitter because they are an easy way for me to follow the antics of certain folks, post inane comments about their passions and their lives, and pick up nifty bits of fact all while I'm doing the same. More seamlessly. Less back and forthing. Less disconnection.

The blog is becoming more of a collection of longish thoughts and prettyish photos. The short 'n sweet links will probably end up on Twitter for the most part.

Make sense?

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Monday, January 12, 2009
/ BLOG / Bookride
Bookride, a blog from ANY AMOUNT OF BOOKS, 56 Charing Cross Road, London.

"a guide to the most wanted and collected books. There is some evaluation of why the book is wanted, what it is worth - with a range of selling prices, some trivia, apercus and bon mots, a few anecdotes, so called jokes and occasional rants."

Entertaining blog for book huggers.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009
Today's pet peeve: Annoying bloggers.
I checked all my links on the internet-resources' WordStuff page yesterday, using the handy dandy Free Link Checker as a first pass and then following with a check of all the other links as a cleanup sweep.

One of the links the free link checker found was a definite 404. (Robin Queen's collection of linguistics links ... The page was 404 and after I found her UMich faculty Web site, seems her collection of links is no more, or not what I remembered.)

I went looking for the substitute link or another link just like it.

And found this. has cut and pasted and reformatted my wordstuff links page onto its blog -- a blog, I might mentioned, that is surrounded by ad stuff.

No mention that the links and commentary aren't its.

No mention that link collection is mine as is the commentary.

No mention of my collection of links and how to get there.

Now ovablastic itself found that little nest of links through Stumbleupon, which does point people to my site.

Why did it cut and paste the HTML and pop it on its blog with no hattip or pointer to my site?

Because it's clueless and a thief. Yeah. That could be it.

n.b. for allz of you who may say, "But links are links and not copyrightable!" The collection of links with the associated commentary is copyrighted. 'tis just not worth it to go lay sue papers in ovablastic's mailbox. I'd rather mention here that someone with ads on its site stole my content and is a thief.

(Hi, ovablastic! Hope you Google your nym every once in a while! If you'd had an e-mail easily available on your blog, I would've dropped you a note. This is the next best bet.)

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Spinning, a blog.

The thing ^H^H^H One of the things I find fascinating about the Web is all the things I find fascinating and stash away in a links folder or delicious or a Web page or a post and then forget all about and never return to.

Too many fascinating things.

With delicious, though, if I click to save a link to a page I've found interesting and I've already saved a link to that page, delicious lets me know.

I came across Susan Marie Rose Maciog Gibb's blog from somewhere else earlier today and found the first post or two interesting enough that I clicked on her "about" page. I found her self-description and the items that were used to categorize her self and her life interesting. So I saved a link in delicious.

I then went back to the blog and read back a ways and said, that's interesting. I'll keep a link.

When I clicked to save a link in delicious, delicious told me I'd already saved a link: 05-Jun-2007.

I must've liked it then.

I've never been back since. (That I remember.)

How did I find it eighteen months ago?

Ah, the Web.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008
100 Cereal Box Covers - from the aeron.
100 Cereal Box Covers - from the aeron.

The Web is a wonder. Alan Valek has cobbled together photographs of cereal boxes to show the evolution of, f'rex, the Alpha-Bits cereal box.

His blog's pretty entertaining too.

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Yes, there actually is a Web site called CUTE THINGS FALLING ASLEEP.

Found via CuteOverload.

Specifically ... this post.

And why was I over at CuteOverload? Well because Jessamyn was tweeting that her Mom had never seen CuteOverload, and I said outloud (in a two-person office) that not everyone's Mom has seen CuteOverload. And his nibs was all, "What's CuteOverload?" and things went from there to there to there.

So there.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding - David Lebovitz
Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding - David Lebovitz

Sounds delightful. His nibs isn't a huge date fan, however.

David Lebovitz' site and blog are full of foodie gems. Worth perusing.

We were discussing mincemeat over at Debbie Ohi's facebook. I favor meat & suet homemade mincemeat with apples & brandy & sultanas, &c. Others tout a no-meat-only-fruit mincemeat. Lebovitz has a dandy meatless mincemeat.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Got this from a well-spoken^H^H^H^H well-written (and interesting!) blogger whereof whom I know.

[Read her. You'll be happy you did. ...]



For those all you-alls who need to get your butt in gear:

Holidailies participants solemnly vow to update their Web sites daily from Dec. 5 to Jan. 6.

I'll be away from the Web for part of that time, but I think this is a useful project, so I'm passing it on to you. ... you know who you are. ...

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Saturday, November 15, 2008
Admire the new favicon up in the address bar
Take a moment to admire the new hill-related favicon up in the address bar.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Linkbait: what it is, tips & tricks
Linkbait: what it is, tips & tricks

A round-up article. Blog? Care about SEO? Much? Huiskes' article on Linkbait is a good overview w/ tips & tricks.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008
Ten Tips on a Good Blog Entry
NCTE Inbox Blog: Tips on a Good Blog Entry

# Choose an attention-getting and accurate title.
Like a newspaper headline, a good blog title draws readers in. It’s your chance to convince a reader to take a look at what you’ve written. But no bait-and-switch! Make sure that your title reflects the content of the entry.

# State your opinion clearly.
Take a stand and make it clear. Your blog isn’t the place for meandering. If your opinion isn’t appropriate for the general public, choose a different subject. If you wouldn't stand up in front of your colleagues and share your opinion, don’t post it on your blog.

# Back things up with specific stories and examples.
Once you state your opinion, explain it. Share stories or examples that show why you hold your opinion. The advice we give students applies: Show. Don’t Tell!

and seven more.

NCTE: National Council of Teachers of English

via a Lester Smith tweet.

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Monday, September 22, 2008
Andrew Tobias - Money and Other Subjects
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Tobias' writing. He's the guy who, writing about being financially conservative and saving $$$ years back, suggested buying toilet paper and tuna on sale and stashing them for later use.

Bright guy.

His Web site and blog: Andrew Tobias - Money and Other Subjects

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Saturday, September 20, 2008
43 Folders: Time, Attention, and Creative Work | 43 Folders
Merlin Mann takes back

But, if you want a "site about GTD," "a blog about index cards," or a wide-mouthed sluice of recycled links to lists of geegaws that will keep you momentarily distracted from how sad you are, then you're wasting both of our time here. So, go. You're stinking up the joint.

This is now a site for people who want to finish things that they care about — but who still occasionally need help, inspiration, and the courage to push all the bullshit off their work table. This is about clearing that space every day, and then using it to do cool stuff that makes you proud.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I follow 214 blogs with

Sure ... I said, "Follow." but in real life I go away for three weeks and come back and see someone's posted seventy-eight blog entries in the interim and it takes me a while to get up to speed. ... if ever.

And then there are people whose blogs I really like who update every six weeks or so, durn 'em.

And then there are people whose blogs I like but I really should move them over to my bookmarks because I just don't keep up, even though I'd like to in theory. I've been doing that bit by bit.

Usually when I get back from away, I catch up on the easy pickings (people who haven't posted much) and then I start in on the people for whom I have a backlog of a hundred or more posts to catch up on.

One section of my bloglines setup is a collection of blogs of people I've met on misc.writing or close thereto. Tonight I noticed the following on the list of unread posts for the blogs in that list:

# Alan 's Google Reader (118)
# DebbieOhi - Inkygirl: Daily Diversions (119)
# Deck: Cyber Curmudgeon (118)
# Kemnitzer/Peeking into the rock (118)

We're talking twenty-six blogs in that subset, peeples, and four of the twenty-six blogs have either 118 or 119 blog posts waiting to be read.


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Saturday, August 09, 2008
Orwell's Diaries
Orwell's Diaries

The Orwell Prize, Britain's pre-eminent prize for political writing, is publishing George Orwell's diaries as a blog. From 9th August 2008, Orwell's domestic and political diaries (from 9th August 1938 until October 1942) will be posted in real-time, exactly 70 years after the entries were written.

Orwell's 'domestic' diaries begin on 9th August 1938/2008; his 'political' diaries (which are further categorised as 'Morocco', 'Pre-war' and 'Wartime') begin on 7th September 1938/2008.

The diaries are exactly as Orwell wrote them. Where there are original spelling errors, they are indicated by a ° following the offending word.

[via Laughing Squid]

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Ars Technica acquired by Condé Nast: the low-down
Ars Technica acquired by Condé Nast: the low-down

Oh. For. Pete's. Sake.

Ars Technica will now grow with the tools and resources of Condé Nast's WIRED Digital unit. WIRED Digital oversees the business operations of not only, but also Reddit, WebMonkey, HotWired, and other technology destinations. Ars Technica will remain an independent publication, with the same editorial leadership in place. I will remain the Editor-in-Chief, and Jon, Eric, and the rest of the editorial team is staying on board, too.

... and so forth. Don't worry, Community! We're not gonna change. Condé Nast is benevolent folk. Shhh. Shhh. Shhh. There there. It will work out. Just you see!

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Friday, May 16, 2008
Carnival of the Criminal Minds
Carnival of the Criminal Minds

A rotating editorship collecting the best of the best crime fiction blogging.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
[BLOG] Get A Look At This!
Get A Look At This -- blog that posts curious stuff. Worth another RSS feed link


Thursday, May 01, 2008
Grapes 2.0
Yay, me! I just caught up on eighty back posts at grapes 2.0, dating back to before we left for Jordan/Egypt in March.

bloglines lets me know just how far behind I get on the umpty ump RSS feeds I've stashed away here.

So, I go away for a while or don't hang out on the computer for a while and before you know it, a blog I track has EIGHTY POSTS I haven't read yet with more added each day.

Fine. Caught up on grapes2.0.

Next up Sara Zarr's blog: 116 posts behind on that one. ...

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Thursday, April 10, 2008
Callooh! Callay! Internet Resource for Writers rounds the Big One
Internet Resources - Writers Resources - Writing Links & Writers Links for Writers

And, turns out, the count didn't zero. Rather, added another digit.

I'm *still* going to swop in another free hit counter. Maybe Site Meter. I'm not too fond of how the current hit counter delivers data.

A MILLION HITS! I can't believe it.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Kensington, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Have I mentioned that Archer is back? Yeah, he was all of six weeks into his "Adios to the Web" retirement when he came back.

Why hadn't I noticed? Well, to tell the truth, I haven't been keeping up with my Bloglines gang and he'd only been back for two weeks when we left for most of March. Then March slipped into April and here we are.

If I hadn't kept Archer on my Bloglines list (even after he said farewell on Jan 2, 2008), I never would've known he was back. But I did, and when I checked the Bloglines list an hour or so ago, there he was! New content! Outstanding! Happy day. Archer's jumble of sense, nonsense, blatant lies, and outrageously gross humor is intact.

For those of youse others on the list, I may need a while to catch up. I mean some folks have a hundred posts I haven't read yet and even HCC has a backlog.

A belated welcome back, Archer. Good to see you.

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Monday, February 11, 2008
"Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?" -- Peggy Noonan
If Hillary Clinton loses, does she know how to lose? What will that be, if she loses? Will she just say, "I concede" and go on vacation at a friend's house on an island, and then go back to the Senate and wait?

Is it possible she could be so normal? Politicians lose battles, it's part of what they do, win and lose. But she does not know how to lose. Can she lose with grace? But she does grace the way George W. Bush does nuance.

[continue ..."Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?" -- Peggy Noonan]

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Sunday, February 10, 2008
The FAIL Blog
The FAIL Blog

Must be seen to be believed. (Lots of ouchies here!)

via his nibs.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The Library of Congress Adds Photos To Flickr, Encourages Tagging
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Daily Kos: Books for the End of the World As We Know It
Sunday, January 06, 2008
And for those Blog365-ers
In spirit I'm with those Blog365 folks, but I won't be signing up because (1)I'm not a signer-upper for the most part and (2)I don't want to be so engaged that I freak when I get hit by a bus and wind up in the hospital and can't blog for a couple days and spoil my up-til-then-pristene record.

And for those keeping track, I'm still 100% as of Day Six of the year. My "blog" entries between Jan 1 and Jan 6 were in the form of tweets, which get pasted up over there in the righthand sidebar.

Just soze you know.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Better late than never.

Last May, in honor of its one-year anniversary, The Rap Sheet organized The Rap Sheet's ONE BOOK PROJECT.

We invited more than 100 crime novelists, book critics, and bloggers from all over the English-speaking world to choose the one crime/mystery/thriller novel that they thought had been "most unjustly overlooked, criminally forgotten, or underappreciated over the years."

Interesting list. Steve Hockensmith, author of Holmes on the Range and On the Wrong Track, nominates THE DOORBELL RANG (1965) by Rex Stout and explains why. J.D. Rhoades, lawyer, blogger, and author of Safe and Sound nominates Katy Munger's MONEY TO BURN [1999]. Linda Fairstein, author of Bad Blood, chose Robert Traver's ANATOMY OF A MURDER.

... and the list goes on.

If you're a crime fiction fan, this list will keep you in reading material for a long, long time.

[via The Rap Sheet]

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Saturday, December 01, 2007
Cute Overload! :)
Cute Overload! :)

The wonders of the Web. Why, I was just off reading In Praise of Sardines and Brett mentioned Cute Overload and I clicked through.

The world is cracked, you know? A bit of cute might help mend things.

Or not.

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Monday, November 19, 2007
Check out Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG: Architectural Conjecture, Urban Speculation, Landscape Futures.

A plethora of goodies.

Geoff Manaugh has a book (BLDGBLOG) out from Chronicle Books in Spring 2009 and moved to this fair ville in September to become a senior editor at Dwell.

More about Manaugh here.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007
Transbay Blog
Eric, over at Transbay Blog, is running a series of informational posts on the Central Subway, which I've ranted about on occasion here and elsewhere.

Transbay Blog is one of the most focussed, least axe-grinding blogs covering "News and thoughts on public transportation and city planning in the San Francisco Bay Area." If such be your interests, check it out.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007
The Consumerist: Shoppers Bite Back
Entertaining blog with news tidbits.

The Consumerist: Shoppers Bite Back

You can find such gems as a post about Batter Blaster:

Occasionally we see products that make us wonder how we got to this late day without them. "Batter Blaster" (which is pancake batter in a Cheese Whiz or Redi Whip bottle) is one such product.

Will we be buying this? No. Are we happy the it exists? Yeah. Actually, we are.

I think the product's an abomination (How hard is it to add water to your Krusteaz mix?) but about half the comments are in a "hell-yeah, I've been waiting for something like this" vein.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007
[BLOG] Sara Zarr: The Stories of a Girl
Word out in today's SFChronicle that Sara Zarr -- whom I met many many moons ago at a WTQ gathering of misc.writers, back when she lived in this fair city, before she moved to Utah -- is a finalist for the National Book Award for The Story of a Girl in the Young People's Literature division.

Yippee! Yahoo! for Sara!!!!!

Sara's Web presence: The Stories of a Girl

Sara is published. Sara is a finalist for a National Book Award.

Sara no longer engages with folks on misc.writing.

Hmmm. Is there a connection?

(A slight one, perhaps. Her success is primarily due to ... Sara is talented, and determined, and focussed and ...)

Yay, hooray for Sara!

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Monday, October 01, 2007
Cease and desist notices from the Tenderloin Housing Clinic
"From Tenderloin Housing Clinics own court records and you thought YOU had bad neighbors? "


[via Curbed SF]

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Page 3.14 : "What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years," circa 1900.
Entertaining blog entry over at Page 3.14:

Page 3.14 : "What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years," circa 1900.

Earlier today, a friend sent me a link to this old-ish post from the excellent history/art/cultural curiosity blog Paleo-Future. It's a document written by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., for Ladies' Home Journal in 1900. It is entitled "What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years."

I couldn't resist reading the whole thing (see the big version here), and am compelled—as a person of the future—to log a few replies.

Entertaining snippets from the December 1900 LHJ article and replies from Katherine Sharpe.

Read the article yourself or just dip into Sharpe's blog entry.

[via science blogs from Seed Media]

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Monday, September 24, 2007
A collection of typography links
Typographic Collaboration | Typophile

Typographica a journal of typography featuring news, observations, and open commentary on fonts and typographic design.

typography a photoset on flickr

viaLetter Spell it out

Jules Vernacular Lettres oeuvrières & incongruités typographiques. French signage and lettering from Jack Usine.

Triborough's photos of NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual = a flickr photoset

Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans at Emigre

Typetester - compare screen type

FontFeed a font blog

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Citroën ad

[via the brilliant collection of advertisements at I believe in advertising]

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Friday, September 21, 2007
Burn Those Jeans [PDF]
Another excellent bit from Patti Digh and 37days: Burn Those Jeans [PDF].

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A coach. An act of kindness. Goosebumps. Tears.
The video this post links to is dashing around the Web this week even though it was taken four years ago.

Made me cry. I'm sure the young woman singing the National Anthem still remembers that night and the kindness of Mo.

Check out this article, written not long after the video was taken in 2003.


Also check out Patti Digh's blog, 37days, which is where this all came from.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The food pornographer
Need to go fix breakfast/lunch/whatever and step back away from blogs like The food pornographer

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Too much zucchini?
Is it getting to that time of year again? I wouldn't know, lacking a (sniff) sunny space to raise zucchini.

But for those of you who do have a sunny space and are using it to raise zucchini, Heidi Swanson offers up My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

(Added bonus: Today's 101cookbooks blog entry features Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini.)

Bon appetit!

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Saturday, July 28, 2007
From each ...
Zen rotates quotes through the top of his blog. This one showed up today: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs! Marx

Reminded me of the on-the-street-reporter-types who ask people, do you agree with this? who said it?

Seems about half of Americans asked think that this credo is from the U.S. Constitution.

Should it be?

I was checking to confirm that my "50% of Americans" memory was accurate and found this current ref: Does America need to update Constitution? Renowned political scientist believes it's time for big changes. by Ed Williams.

Interesting read.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
elephants and luck facing window
Someone found the blog with an search for /elephants and luck facing window/.

Note the lack of "".

I'm wondering what the person was in search of.


Thursday, July 19, 2007
Websites as graphs

Pretty, eh? That's the blog in living color. I could swear I'd done this before, a year or more back, but I can't find it, if I did indeed do it, so I've done it again.

Aharef provides the applet. You provide the Web page you want him to graph. He 'xplains it all here and also shows some mega sites and how they look with the app:, &c.

Color code:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Flickr has a collection of pics.


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Ambient Intimacy and disambiguity
Whilst off looking for a description/definition of Ambient Intimacy, I came across Leisa Reichelt's blog: disambiguity.

Just reading disambiguity makes my brain feel polished and shiny.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
[BLOG] Spinning
Spinning is the blog of Susan Marie Rose Maciog Gibb.


Interesting look into the life of a reader, someone self-defined as "Learning life through Writing, Reading, Traditional Archery, Nature and Harvest, Computer Hardware, and watching people."

The Web is a wonder these days, providing loads of opportunity to watch people act, roleplay (perhaps), wig out, gracefully sail through upsetting circumstances, overreact, underreact. ...

Find someone on a newsgroup, in a blog, posting comments in reaction to an article. Imagine that person as a character in the story you're writing. What you see on the Web gives you the barebones, the skeleton of the character. It's up to you to flesh out the motivations, insecurities, craziness, saneness and make the character your own.

There's been discussion here and elsewhere about whether (or not) dooce is a blog worth reading. I think so. Talk about finding someone who gives you loads of opportunity to peer into their lives!

"but she whines and whines and I'm tired of her whining about her boring life," some say. Well. I'm tired of bombast and vicious rants, which is why I stopped reading certain blogs. I don't read dooce daily. I do pop in every month or so to get a flavor of the personality. She would make such a good character in a story I haven't quite cooked up yet.

What a brave new world this is, where no matter what sort of person we are or wish we were, we can read about others like or unlike us (and others can read our ramblings and dish with friends about how witless we can be and so on ad infinitum).

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Photographer Thomas Hawk has a story to tell
Not for the first time, Hawk has been roughed up by security guards and/or pseudo-cops while photographing San Francisco from the sidewalk.

Read Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection: Photographing Architecture is Still Not a Crime, Police Harrasment at 45 Fremont Street and ask yourself
  • what you would've done if this had happened to you
  • what you would've done if this happened to family or friend
  • what can you and I do to insure that this just does not happen again.

Hawk takes nice photos too. Go check them out while you're there.

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Writing advice from Robert B Parker
Interesting read in the Bostonia that came in the mail last week re Parker's donation of his archives to the Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, his writing methods, his PhD thesis ("The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage, and Urban Reality: A Study of the Private Eye in the Novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald") and more.

The article got me poking around on the Web and I came across his blog and an interview by Eric Berlin (3.2005) which included this bit of advice:

EB: Thank you. Classic question to any author: any advice to aspiring writers out there who are looking to become novelists?

RBP: Write it, send it in. There isn't anything else to do. Somebody asked me at a signing the other day if I have any tips for a first-time writer and I said, "Yeah, try and write good." There isn't anything I can tell them - there are no tips.

There are very successful writers who don't write anything the way I do. John Updike, who I know, and who is a nice guy and a great writer, does not write in any way the way I do. So you can't say, "You better write like me!" I mean, you can write like Updike, that will work..

If you need tips, it's almost too late for you. If you can't fix it, you can't send it to me and have me fix it. You write it, you send it in, and if somebody at a publishing house thinks they can make a profit by publishing it, they will. And if they think they can't, they won't. And I can't make them do it, your Uncle Harry can't make them do it.

I suppose Michael Jackson or somebody can write a bad book and somebody will publish it at the moment. His life story would be swell. But other than that kind of celebrity hogwash, actual writing...

[At this point, we're interrupted by Mr. Parker's PR rep. We're told that that we have five more minutes, and we're asked how everything is going. Mr. Parker deadpans, "We're doing my favorite thing. I'm talking about myself."]

So no, I don't have any advice. There are still publishers who will read unsolicited manuscripts. They'll read them all, but they may read five pages in and say, "Ooh..." And I think that works. I think that if you have a manuscript, I can read one page, or maybe half a page, and know whether you have any talent or not. But the odds are long, most people don't have it. And you're competing with a lot of other submissions, but some of them are written in crayon. I mean, some are so apparently tripe that you read one sentence and throw it out.

There are also agents listed in the Literary Marketplace. I got published without an agent. You need an agent to get read at some houses, which require agent's submission - they're listed in one of those books, Writer's Marketplace or Literary Marketplace. But they can't get you published if you can't get published yourself, except that they can get you read places where you might not get read otherwise. And they've done the initial screening: if they take you on, the publisher will give you more attention. The publisher saves the trouble of bothering the initial editor.

It's been so long since I've been a beginning writer that I don't really know what it's like anymore. I don't know what the market is like. I don't know whether it would really be better to find an agent or just get published and then get an agent. If you get published, you can get an agent easy enough. And you need one: an agent is very valuable.

But the one thing you have to do is to write it. With non-fiction, you may be able to get a deal on a sample chapter and an outline, but with fiction, it's made on the writing. Non-fiction can be the idea, the story, or whatever. Fiction is in the execution. Write it, and send it to somebody who can publish it. Not me!

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For my legions of IE-using fans
For my legions of IE-using fans. Well, at least for one very special one, that is.

A swell fambly member, who reads the blog, told me that she was getting a glitch (and probably always had but was too polite to say so) that was cutting off the lefthand side of the center column -- yes, the column that contains the guts of the blog.

"What browser do you use?" I asked.

"MS Internet Explorer," she replied.

I fired up IE, which I only fire up when something won't display on Firefox (a most excellent browser, btw, and one I highly recommend) or when I'm trying to make sure some Webby thing I'm working on will work for the IE user. ...

Turns out if you scrunch your screen down to a certain size, the lefthand and righthand columns scrunch down okay, but there's a big blob of space that blocks out the leftmost portion of the center column -- just the symptom the fambly member reported. I'm suspecting she uses a laptop and, hence, has a smaller screen but I can't remember.

Someone back when had mentioned the same thing, but after much tweaking at that point, I couldn't find a fix.

Times change. I created a Web site last spring that used a header, a footer and three columns to display and, after much torking around, found a way to make it work with IE, unless you squished the screen down far smaller than most people do. An older and wiser soul today, I took that experience and tweaked the blog template today so that the swell fambly member can read the blog using IE.

You'll notice more space between the columns but everything squishes down okay with IE now. (Unless -- goes without saying -- you squish the screen down far smaller than most people do, at which point the sidebars pop out from the edges and down onto the bottom.)

I had to remove the MyBlogLog stuff because it doesn't compress gracefully and caused the lefthand column to overrun and scoot down to the bottom of the page when using the smaller screen size in IE.

Barring those minor changes everything remains the same.

Un regalo por mi cuñada. Hope it works!

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The Daly Blog
The Daly Blog

What is it with Chris Daly?

He moved his Chris Daly blog off the City servers because he wanted to be able to post the unvarnished truth about Gavin and Aaron and others.

You go, Chris. More power to you if you think this is the way to prove your point. I have no idea why you're so angry, but I see a downward spiral that has hit the tipping point. All that bile can't be good for the soul.

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Friday, June 01, 2007
Fiddling with Twitter
Fiddling with the Twitter app. (see right sidebar)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Adieu, Miss Snark
Well, looks like she's serious.

Miss Snark, the literary agent, has retired from blogging. She'll keep agenting, she sez, and It wasn't a specific event. The questions were increasingly ones I'd already answered or ones I couldn't answer.

Adieu, Miss Snark. Bon chance. It's been a grand run.

(Miss Snark promises to keep the blog up with all its tasty bits of knowledge for the foreseeable future. ... and, no, she's not writing a book based on the blog.)

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Sunday, May 27, 2007
[BLOG] sfgirlbybay
I don't think I've mentioned Victoria Smith's sfgirlbybay blog before.

Subtitled "bohemian modern style from a san francisco girl," Smith's blog covers a wide range of interesting design stuff and news.

I love to rummage around, looking at the pictures, clicking through to sites she mentions. She covers everything from concert posters to clothing, interior design to product design.

She's got a mighty fine list of sites on her blogrolls too.

Hey, look at that! 7x7 profiled her on their site last week.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
[BLOG] author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf
I told author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf a while back that at some point I'd get around to telling folks how much I like her "actually writing blog."

LeBoeuf is an inspiration in her willingness to say "I'm screwing around and need to get back to work" and her "read this blog and got these hints" and her "I'm working on XYZ and it is not going well" and, of course, her other writerly-related posts. This blog consists only of writerly-related posts and I like that focus.

Sometimes she posts too little because she's actually writing or off at Viable Paradise or busy doing something else, and then she's back on a semi-regular basis and ... life is good.

I like her snippets.

I like her focus.

I even like her whining.

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Friday, May 18, 2007 Blog Blog: the companion blog to the Take Our Word For It webzine and site.

Melanie and Mike are back in action. Check out the blog. Check out the site. Word-huggers and amateur etymologists rejoice.

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Writing markets stuff moving in with the writer colony over >>> there
I've decided to keep writing markets "stuff" at the writers' resources site from this day forth. The posts were taking up too much real estate.

The resources blog will carry the markets information I've been carrying here. Coolio writer stuff may wind up in both this blog and that. Info on the writers' resources site will be updated to include new markets information and links wigati. The resources blog will probably be updated from its 2002 look some day as well.

From now on writing markets info will live there not here. Those of you who read here for great apps, interesting sites, San Francisco foodie news and life, the universe and prayer flags can continue on uninterrupted. Those who only cared about the markets info will find their focus more focussed at the other blog.

This has been a management postie. We now return you to the normal blog content, sans writing markets information.

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Monday, May 14, 2007
Butt naked
Jan Freeman's 13 May 2007 column on eggcorns

[via Benjamin Zimmer's Language Log ]

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
[BLOG] Gastronomie
Out and about today, we were heading down Townsend and noticed DISTRICT.

"Have you heard of DISTRICT?" I asked his nibs.

"No," he replied. "Must be new."

Bar? Restaurant? I'd never heard of it and even if it is brand spanking new, there should've been some peep in someone's "here's what's coming up" column. We're talking SOMA, here. We're talking the clubbing, see-and-be-seen set.

His nibs checked Zagat, and the place turns out to be a wine bar with bar food/tapas/small plates. He was searching for DISTRICT's Web site but a search for /"san francisco" "district restaurant"/ kept bringing up hits for "xyz, a Mission District restaurant" and the like.

I tried /"san francisco" district winebar restaurant/ and BINGO!

I found a most excellent review at Gastronomie, a foodie blog (subtitle, "culinary adventures in San Francisco & beyond") which comes at you with detail and a straightforward, "here's what I thought" style.

Go read Gastronomie, Fatemeh's blog, and tell me what you think. (That I agree with her wholeheartedly about Globe -- we've stopped off there twice in the last month or two, on our way home from some other event -- has a smidgen to do with it, but not much.)

Gastronomie's review of DISTRICT
DISTRICT's Web site [Caution: hip music!]

I love reading words written by people who can write well about the places they go and the foods they eat.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
MySpace Photo Costs Teacher Education Degree
Be careful what you post online.

MySpace Photo Costs Teacher Education Degree

Fair? Unfair?

The photo in question (from an article at The Smoking Gun, of course)

I think she should've got rid of the red-eye fer sures.

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anna louise's Journal
Update your Bloglines or whatever it is you use to track RSS feeds or whatever. Anna Louise Genovese (although still a consulting editor at Tor) has started a freelance editorial service called Aleuromancy and has transferred her blog from anna louise's Journal to

Go thee thither.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007
Archival nit pickiness
Revamped my archives. Made the drop-down reverse order so the latest archives are first. Changed archiving to monthly archives so the list isn't so lengthy.

Thanks to roveberg for the bloggerhack.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007
[BLOG] Today in Letters
Today in Letters: Letters and Diary Entries from this Day in Literary History.

Today (08 Mar) brings us

Lord Byron: March 8, 1816

A letter to Thomas Moore.

I rejoice in your promotion as Chairman and Charitable Steward, etc., etc. These be dignities which await only the virtuous. But then, recollect you are six and thirty, (I speak this enviously—not of your age, but the "honour—love—obedience—troops of friends," which accompany it,) and I have eight years good to run before I arrive at such hoary perfection; by which time,—if I am at all,—it will probably be in a state of grace or progressing merits.


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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Phat Duck in The Pastry Department
Dana at Phat Duck has closed her blog to join Hillel Cooperman over at Tasting Menu.

I'm hoping the Phat Duck archives hang around, because her blog was dessert-lovers' heaven.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007
[WR] Asking an agent to your conference? Miss Snark 'xplains what she needs
For those set-upon (and blessed) folks who organize writers' conferences, Miss Snark has a most excellent post detailing the care and feeding of guest agents.

Miss Snark's must-haves give a peek into the world of agents.

Next time you're at a conference, take an agent to lunch or buy one a drink, just because. You may never use their services but your karma will be polished.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Don't ask me
I have no idea why sometimes posts from back when show up again on bloglines or other RSS feed apps as "new" when I haven't touched them for two weeks or more.

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Friday, January 26, 2007
Ten (well, thirty) Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries
from Dr. Judith Reisman's site: Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries (31 May 2005). Reisman lifted the article whole cloth from Human Events: the national conservative weekly.

A description of the scoring method and a list of the people on the nominating committee are given. The top ten books are described in detail.

The books?
  1. The Communist Manifesto Authors: Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
  2. Mein Kampf Author: Adolf Hitler
  3. Quotations from Chairman Mao Author: Mao Zedong
  4. The Kinsey Report Author: Alfred Kinsey
  5. Democracy and Education Author: John Dewey
  6. Das Kapital Author: Karl Marx
  7. The Feminine Mystique Author: Betty Friedan
  8. The Course of Positive Philosophy Author: Auguste Comte
  9. Beyond Good and Evil Author: Freidrich Nietzsche
  10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Author: John Maynard Keynes

    Also included on the list:
  11. The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich
  12. What Is To Be Done by V.I. Lenin
  13. Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno
  14. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
  15. Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B.F. Skinner
  16. Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel
  17. The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly
  18. Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
  19. Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault
  20. Soviet Communism: A New Civilization by Sidney and Beatrice Webb
  21. Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead
  22. Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader
  23. Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  24. Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci
  25. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  26. Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
  27. Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
  28. The Greening of America by Charles Reich
  29. The Limits to Growth by Club of Rome
  30. Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Six of these titles I've never heard of: Gramsci, Webb, Croly, Sorel, Adorno, Comte. (Yes, I'm sure not knowing Comte brands me jejune. Alas, that I am.) Five I read as part of the two-year Humanities series in college: Nietzsche, Fanon, JSM, Marx and Marx & Engels. Others I read on my own, including Carson, Skinner, Ehrlich, Reich.

Of the thirty titles listed, I've read (if memory serves) twelve, maybe thirteen. Those unread? Well, doesn't this list make you want to go out and read those you've missed, and reread those you have only a hazy memory of?

I came across this list today from a mention in John Baker's blog where he adds the comment, They turn out to be books that have a point of view different to the panel of conservatives who selected them. No surprises.

If I were to list what I thought were the "most harmful" books, of course the "most harmful" books would be those written by people with a viewpoint that I find poisonous. No surprises indeed.

My list of books would differ in many respects.

I'm having a problem coming up with a list of "harmful" books. Yes, millions of copies of Mein Kampf were published in Hitler's Germany, but was the book itself the cause of Hitler's Germany? How closely did the Soviet Union apparatchiks adhere to the dictums of Marx and Engels and Lenin? Would Communist China have never existed if the little red book had not been published?

My list of harmful books would include:
  • [FICTION] The Turner Diaries by Dr. William Luther Pierce (under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald). Pierce is a white supremacist. This is his ode to the fictional day in the glorious future when the white race will exterminate the vermin who are not white and will rule the world. Yippy ky yay.
  • [FICTION] The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion -- purported to be true, btw, by not just a few folks.
  • [FICTION] The Left Behind series by Jerry B Jenkins/Tim LaHaye
What books do you think are "harmful"? Besides the Tom Swift series, I mean.

[note: I wandered over to John Baker's blog from a post at This Thing Of Ours. Thanks for the headsup!]

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
[BLOG] This Thing of Ours and THE TOP TEN: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books
For those of you who don't read This Thing of Ours, you should! you should! The blog is subtitled: The reading community is small, despised by all, and ever threatened with extinction. New members always welcome!

A post today begins,

What do you get when 125 of today's writers are asked to nominate their best books of all time? The answer is, something like the unwieldy 544-title list included in The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, on sale now.

I took a stab at my Top Ten and came up with

REBECCA = Daphne DuMaurier
THE BIG SLEEP and/or THE LONG GOODBYE = Raymond Chandler
SCARAMOUCHE = Rafael Sabatini
CATCH-22 = Joseph Heller
SIDDHARTHA = Hermann Hesse
ETHAN FROME = Edith Wharton

... and then I had to stop because I ran out of slots. But what about PRIDE AND PREJUDICE or COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO? JANE EYRE? WUTHERING HEIGHTS? THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN/THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE? BLACK BEAUTY? (the first "real" book I ever read, so dear to my heart.) some Wodehouse, some Ngaio Marsh, some Josephine Tey (DAUGHTER OF TIME would make the list.)

There's a bit more to the comments I left there, but that's enough for here and now.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Christopher Lockhart, Executive Story Editor at ICM has a blog called THE INSIDE PITCH: a Hollywood Executive answers questions from screenwriters.

What applies to screenwriters can also apply to writers.

Take a look-see, if screenwriting or fiction writing be your smack.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Hang onto those hats.
As I mentioned a wee bit ago, there's a fine line between conscientious and compulsive, between wanting all your blocks set up in a straight line and not being able to function unless your blocks are set straight.

That being said, those of you hooked up to the RSS feed will notice that I'm fiddling with old posts -- oh, not posts that go back to forever, just ones that go a little bit back, say to when I swopped over to the !Beta Blogger or a maybe an itsy bit further.

See, when I swopped over to the !Beta, I picked up tag functionality.

I've been taking a look at the tags I've created and used (and the spots where I probably should've used tags if I want to be consistent and you know how us compul^H^H^H^Hnscientious people are) and ...

Rather than comment on each and every post I fiddle with to say that I'm playing around with the tags, assume that that's what's different unless I specifically say so.


Muy muchas gracias.

Update: Done. No, really. I didn't make all the changes that I could've, but I made enough that I feel better about the labels. Wish I knew enough about the Blogger internals that I could've changed "url" to "URL" without having to find all the "url" labels, delete them, then create a "URL" label and add that label back to all the posts that needed it. Seems if you have a "tHisTagIsSTUPID" tag, you can't have a "THisTAgisSTUPID" tag. Blogger just won't let you. There must be some easy way to change your mind and decide all your "city" tags need to be "urban" instead. I'll keep poking around.

Update 2:You can edit all the posts with a given label [note to self: need to remember that Blogger calls tags "labels" because they have a different feature that they call "tags"]. You still need to delete label "a" from all posts so-labeled and then add label "b" to all the posts.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Disabled the Snap Preview while I ponder ...
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
After folks started nattering about them a while back, I decided to join the crowd and added my "you are stardust" favicon here a week or so back.

Added a purple prose favicon to Internet Resources earlier today.

Wrote about favicons and such on the blog over there.

Some day I'll really need to rethink the blog layout for that site, but I'd abandoned that blog for almost two years and only recently started keeping it up-to-date again. Each time I edit it and pull up the blog it's like yowww! that was then, where is now?

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
[BLOG] Pepys as of this day in the Year of Our Lord Sixteen Hundred And Sixty Three
A link on Sour Grapes and then my search (undereducated 'r' me) for a translation for "AVT DOCE, AVT DISCE, AVT DISCEDE" took me back to a place I've been before: the Diary of Samuel Pepys, a very entertaining blog which Grapes hisself (iirc) told me about many many many moons ago.

Pepys' diary is a blog which follows Pepys' diary day-by-day with clicks to the appropriate "whatever is he talking about?" explanations.

Mrs. Pepys, btw, seems not to be an easy keeper.

Today's entry (Sunday 13 December 1663) includes the following (run-on-sentences-r-Pepys) bit.

To church, where after sermon home, and to my office, before dinner, reading my vowes, and so home to dinner, where Tom came to me and he and I dined together, my wife not rising all day, and after dinner I made even accounts with him, and spent all the afternoon in my chamber talking of many things with him, and about Wheately’s daughter for a wife for him, and then about the Joyces and their father Fenner, how they are sometimes all honey one with another and then all turd, and a strange rude life there is among them.

Love that "sometimes all honey one with another and then all turd, and a strange rude life there is among them."

Dysfunctional families 'r' us.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006
[BLOG] dooce
I have a zillion feeds stashed away with my bloglines.

Don't believe me? Look!

I roam around looking at things. Reading blogs I like. Clicking through on links on blogs I like. I find an interesting and/or quirky and/or beautiful and/or useful blog and I add its feed to my bloglines list and either follow the blog religiously in a not-quite-stalking way for days and weeks or I read it that day and then forget about it, leaving it sit there on the bloglines list until one day I'm drinking my second mug of espresso and clicking around and go, gee. ... I don't remember why I saved a link to ... what's dooce anyway?

This is dooce -- a quirky, entertaining, refreshing, funny, intriguing, interesting blog outta Salt Lake City, Utah, by dooce AKA Heather B. Armstrong, formerly known as Heather B. Hamilton, wife, mother, no longer a practicing LDS. dooce is notorious or at least 15-minutes-of-fame famous for being fired from her job for blogging about her work, back when. (Her advice? My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET.)



Monday, November 13, 2006
[WR] [BLOG] Lit Agent X
Lit Agent X is the not-hardly anonymous Rachel Vater at Lowenstein-Yost Associates.

I say "not-hardly anonymous" because people address her by name on the blog and her LiveJournal profile tells you not only who she is but that she's been an agent at Lowenstein-Yost Associates since January 2006. Prior to this, I worked as an assistant agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Before moving to NYC, I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and worked at Writer's Digest Books for 4 years as an editor.

Vater's blog is informative. She gives a peek into the thought processes of an agent looking for clients and selling her clients' work. She also writes about writing and how to improve yours.

Read. Enjoy.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006
[WR] [BLOG] SarahQuibbling
.SarahQuibbling., the blog of a forensic chemist in Baltimore who writes about evidence and crime labs and writing and Baltimore and ... more.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
[WR] - The Official Charlie Huston Website
Hadn't heard of Charlie Huston until I was reading Miss Snark and her critiques of query letters and first page(s) this morning. Someone's query&pages were for a crime novel set in Houston.

Miss Snark said, "It doesn't suck but it's [it gets] a form letter rejection. There's a reason everyone's yapping about Charlie Huston...he took the usual expectations of genre and turned them on their ear. I'm looking for good writing but I also have to bring something fresh to the table."

Charlie who?

With a quick search I found - The Official Charlie Huston Website.

Charlie has his bio and his blog and what all.

Charlie also has first chapters for CAUGHT STEALING, SIX BAD THINGS, and ALREADY DEAD. The print layout for SIX BAD THINGS is downright awful, but the first pages for all three are


Wondering what people mean when they say, "Start in media res." or "Those first pages have to grab you by the throat." or "Start with conflict. Start with action."?

Charlie Huston is the poster boy for those folks.

Go. Read.


: views from the Hill

Bertold Brecht:   
Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your final breath.
But what has happened has happened. And the water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again.

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