Sunday, January 30, 2005

Blog Hints, Tips and Tricks

Want some tips on how to customize a package-deal Blogspot blog? Try Susie's Design Blog. She is an educator and it shows. Good simple directions on working with CSS for novices.

Blogger Universe News and Trends

I learn something new everyday. We all tend to assume that because we know something, those in our interest groups have the same knowledge. Not! I was at an event this past weekend and out of 12 people in the room, only one knew what a blog was and/or blogged.

It seems to those of us who have entered the blogging world that "everyone" blogs. Not! These were intelligent, web savy folk who just had never found the Blogger Universe.

I hope some of them follow the byte crumbs I strew about and enter our world.

The ethics of blogging

While following blog links from one place to another, I found this site which has a wonderful discussion of the ethics that should be in place for bloggers.

Rebecca's Pocket discusses in a wonderful, concise and useful style the issues that face bloggers and what they should consider when they are putting their words out there for everyone in the world to read.


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Wow, I am amazed that microbes can run computers...

... or so it seems from my recent stint coping with the machinations of various customer 'service' people in the insurance companies purporting to provide insurance to cover emergencies.

Do they jump from key to key in order to create chaos and misery? I am convinced that each one of those little microbes in the insurance and let's be honest and add in the banking industry too, are there to spread misery in the same way their microbe buddies do diseases of the body, only they spread diseases of the soul.

Nuff said on that, really. Let's talk about software and the big folk that make us pay so much for the software we need that our ears bleed at the thought of the cost of these payments. Such excessive costs for software on occasion give me a sneaking sense of sympathy for the casual copyright pirate. Not the organized clots of them who skitter and scamper and 'share' everything and anything, but that person who needs some software to do the work they want to do and yet when they search for something decent at a reasonable price (reasonable being defined as less than a month's wages for anyone outside the third world) it's impossible to find such an animal.

Are we forced into casual piracy by such greed? Are our morals stretched to the point where they feel like a pair of pantyhose after Mardi Gras? When we resist the urge to pirate a piece of software and do without, are we taking the moral high ground or are we just scrambling up the lemming hill to the top where we huddle with the other honest lemmings, unaware that someone from a supercorporation is coming with a broom to shove us over the cliff anyway.

It seems that blogging about the issue of overpriced software isn't as popular as I'd hoped, so I will offer this site instead for your enjoyment. is worth a read, simply for the incredulity factor.

My apologies for not being more vocal, I had expended all my surplus irony lately on the microbes. I will be better, I promise.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Blogger Universe News and Trends

Jeff Tweiten has parked himself in front of a theater in Seattle to await the premier of the new Star Wars episode in May.

Of course this made for news in blogs of journalists.

I can't say Jeff's blog itself is all that interesting - but then people will blog about anything from anywhere, won't they? Follow the link in the article if you must see some of Jeff's pearls of wisdom from the big wait.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Youssouf's Sheepish Adventures

This sheeplog by Youssouf and Flapser has delighted me for sometime now. How did someone become so obsessed by sheep? Youssouf and Flapser (a soft sheep if you ever saw one) travel to foreign lands distant from their usual home in the Netherlands. They scour the web for all things sheepish - cartoons, jokes, clothing, sheep sightings, etc.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Art That Makes Me Smile

Jerry Dreesen's Blog With Watercolor and Pen has me saying "more, more". This Cicero, Indiana retiree blogs poetry and watercolors that make me smile. They invite a zen like contemplation. His art is spare and elegant and appeals to me greatly. On another note, his is one of the few blogs with a black background that is actually aesthetically appealing.

Blogger Universe News and Trends

The military have their hands full when they provide internet access to active duty military in combat zones. In wars past censors read military mail and scissored as necessary. Today's conflicts require more draconian tactics as a USAMC physician apparently discovered.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Blogs monitor the politicians...


Now, here's a useful thing. With the immediacy of the blog as a way to present opinion and to correct misconceptions, the weblog can be an incredibly useful tool for presenting views that may not be available in any other media. Of course, each blog will only tell you what the author wants you to know but it's certainly going to be more interesting and possibly more legitimate than the news you receive from the main media.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Another Continent Blogged

I've looked for and found blogs from about everywhere in the world and suddenly I said to myself "self, I'll bet somebody is blogging from Antartica."

And sure enough they are. Try out Antarctica Blog, An austral summer at McMurdo Station written by Luke and Luci.

I've read the National Geographic professional articles about the continent, the great chronicles of explorers and adventurers but this blog makes it come alive in a new and refreshing way. Complete with photos as well.

Blogger Universe News and Trends

Better late than never. Marketing folks are struggling with the blog world and are finally waking up and seeing the potential of blogs as a marketing tool for their clients and as potential customers for targeted advertising.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Logical Cook

Michael Chu's blog, Cooking for Engineers, is a delight to the eye, well written, broad in range of content and features a spare, no nonsense approach to recipes and directions. His tables and timelines are elegant and appeal to the designer in me and the information organization freak that I am as well.

Equipment reviews are useful and photography of a good quality. Highly recommended for every level of cooking skill and a good read if you don't cook at all.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The World of Books

An interesting concept being developed by the ISBN Database site. They apparently have already parsed web sources and have over 1 Million books documented online with ISBN numbers and MARC linking among other features.

I checked a couple categories and found a scattering of books in them. This is not surprising considering what a number of books have been catalogued since ISBN identification was developed.

I don't know how useful the site is as a tool at present (but then most of my book interest is pre-ISBN) but it is certainly worth a look just to wonder at the concept.

Blogger Universe News and Trends

Much has been made of "blog" as the most searched for word of the year, but "blog" has also achieved the dubious distinction of being listed amongst the most useless words of 2005.

We blog to be heard and to hear

Or so I think.

I'd better get the introduction over with first, I'm the other half of the Universe, and Linn has kindly asked me to participate with her in this project.

I had something wonderful all thought out carefully before I started typing but it seems to have evaporated. I do down-to-earth nicely which is probably a good thing because all the intellectual thoughts are gone for the moment.

I do believe that there is great value in blogging, and in being able to read the sort of thoughts that people give us the chance to see, thoughts that we'd not have any access to otherwise. Confessional, on occasion, fraught... certainly, and also deeply personal and enlightening. I almost always find as much of myself in other people and their thoughts as I ever do when I'm trying to compose something worth putting out for others to read. You'll find as you read my messages, I'm a deeply personal blogger, I tell a lot about myself and in return I hope to find out more about those who come here or who lead me astray to other blogs.

I love blogging, I love reading blogs; and having a chance to make lists of the ones that are interesting, worthwhile or simply useful is something I know I will enjoy.

And for the first review, I'd like to point out a lovely site with a wealth of not only information but also a sense of communal enjoyment of life and the beauty that surrounds us in even the most simple items.

Sharon B gives us so much in a beautifully framed blog 'In a Minute Ago'. It's more than just a textile blog, it's far more than a compilation of the best others offer, it's a chat with a friend and a cup of tea, a few of the special 'visitor's biscuits' that are always kept in a tin for the cherished guest. I spend a lot of time reading through the comments and offerings on this blog, and when I click on a link to find something unexpected and amazing, I'm always drawn back to the start to see what else is on offer. And it's always wonderful. Thanks, Sharon. And you can have my extra snow any time!