Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who's been munching on my cotton??

I went out to the back yard, and collected a goodly amount of cotton tonight. I thought that the cotton on the ground had just fallen from a boll that was too high - there are quite a few like that this year.

Long Shot
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Except - the seeds were showing. And they had teeth marks.

And there was slobber around the seeds. Which means the slobber was fresh. Not a nocturnal varmint. And not enough slobber to indicate a canine culprit.

Who's been munching on my cotton??
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Do mice or rats slobber?

First the CSI, then the hit man.

You know, there was this Humane Mouse Trap that I posted to Sheep Thrills... (amid much hilarity because I typo'd Human Mouse Trap.)

'cept I couldn't bait a trap like that with anything that either Big White Dog might want to eat. I can't use a trap with anything that might hurt the BWDs either.

hmmm. What would a cottonseed-chomping-varmit-crimefighting superhero do?

I'll let you know when I figure it out. I got a trip to get ready for.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We have news, and then NEWS!

Wow, where do I start? Last Friday night, our usual go-out-to-dinner date night, the Roketman sez to me - "umm... you know that system at work we dubbed the Holodeck? they want to send me to Washington DC for a week to demo and keep it running." Well, shoot.

And then he says... "I told them I didn't want to go, because you're waiting for surgery. They really want me to go! So I told them they had to buy you a ticket too. Is that ok?"

Holy wowsers, Batman! Sure!!

But over the weekend, I pretty much figured it was a really sweet thought, but there was no way the company would do that.

And then, on Monday, I got this email:

Looks like you better pack your bags for DC.

I don’t need to be in DC until Saturday. Should I see if we could get a flight from Phoenix?


-----Original Message-----
Subject: Book 'em Dan-O


Bob V would like you to be our Wizard of Oz AND our briefer at (conference name here). He approved purchasing the tickets for your wife to fly to WDC as well.

Nobody knows the Halodeck as well as you, Scottie.

Suggest you book flights ASAP. Arrive on Saturday, 6 Oct. Depart on Thursday, 11 October. Will be sure that you have a room at the same hotel as the rest of the team - Washington Plaza.

Thanks for all your hard work!

(name deleted)

(Ruth again here) omgomgomg!!

And in other news - I have a date for the surgery, Oct. 22! Thank god... I gotta tell you, I've got mood swings, anxiety attacks, hot flashes, all that. I think I'm in hormonal overdrive.

So, am I really able to travel? we'll see... but I think I'll be ok if I take it easy. How could I pass this up??

And I'm on Ravelry. My number finally came up - I was 22, 198. Look for me- I'm twistedspinster. (go figure...)


Sunday, September 30, 2007

This week in yarn... as of 9-30-07

This week in yarn... as of 9-30-07
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The two grey storage bobbins (ok, TP rolls) are grey romney from Robin Snyder, it's a pity that you can't see the angelina sparkles. Still on the wheel is some white romney dyed with logwood.

Essay on blogs - what is a good blog?

I had an interesting discussion over on Sheep Thrills, prompted by something jp asked. With permission, I'm repeating it here, with a few edits to improve readability.

--- In Sheep Thrills, jp wrote:
> Ruth wrote that blogs are often "me, me, me!" places. Ruth, isn't that
> part of the purpose of a blog? What, in your opinion, makes for a good
> blog? And how should it differ from other forums for expression such as
> mailing lists, forums, and the comment sections of other people's blogs?
>--jp, boring and pedantic blogger

Ooo-- good question. Up to now, I've only been asking "Why are they popular and I'm not?" (what can I say, parts of me are still in the seventh grade.)

I think there are several kinds of blogs. There are the Yarn Harlot kinds, with hundreds of followers. (I almost want to call them sycophants... ever see the comments, where someone comments *just* to be first? and how many comments are actually more than "oh how cool"?)

The best ones are eye candy and updated often. That's one absolute. (Marcy, you listening? I'm talking about you!) And there are some that are eye candy, but not updated often enough. (oh, Erin...) Artsy photos at strange angles? Cool!

There's one (non-Thriller, non-fiber) eye candy blog by an author who lists her books -- right above the "ad-free zone" button she's made available for anyone to take, as long as they keep her copyright on it.

I was seduced for awhile by the prospect of making money with the blog... (psst - I heard that YH gets *paid* to watch tv shows!! and even more if she plugs them on her blog! [ed - this has since been stated as a falsehood] ) Then I took a lot of time to surf through Etsy, and lots of blogs that link to each other to the point of being incestuous. I saw lots with the ads on the sidebar, some good, lots more mediocre, lots making me go -- huh? They were kinda sleazy, and after a while, I felt sleazy reading them.

No, I didn't take notes, and I'm not gonna go all knitflame on 'em. Yes, I've been tempted!! suffice it to say that there's lots of Pluckyfluff out there, along with plushies and softies, amigurumi and zakka. Think Japanese craft books, super-sweet done sloppy and overpriced. Google "blog zakka" (without quotes) and surf a few-- remember that the good/popular ones are going to come up first. Skip to about page 3.

I think the majority are like mine, written primarily for myself but as if I'm talking to a friend, with a very few loyal friends (in comparison to YH), and some content that people access once in a while with Google.

The best answer to jp's question? Different bloggers appeal to different readers. Write to be true to yourself, even if that changes over time. jp, knowing you -- post LOTS of doily pictures. In progress, UFOs, even the flubs. Inspire us!

(end of post to Sheep Thrills)

Please realize I'm just cogitating on this all - I truly hope I don't come across as a know-it-all, or trashing anybody, or passing judgement. This is a good way for me to articulate what's right for *me*, and define it better.

Reading back now, I realize I didn't address the question of "how should it differ from other forums for expression such as mailing lists, forums, and the comment sections of other people's blogs?"

How should blogs differ from mailing lists? Well, there's definitely the eye-candy angle. In that respect, blogs are more evolved than mailing lists. Think of it as similar to the way radio dramas were replaced by television -- and then radio evolved to being something people primarily listen to in the car.

I don't see the same kind of discussions on blogs that I do on good lists. Sure, there are flame wars, but on mailing lists you can't censor what other people get to say (or not).

hmmm- I just realized that knitflame hasn't had a troll visit in quite a while.

Forums? I don't have enough experience in forums to even know how they truly work, so I'm not going to say.

It will be interesting to see how Ravelry changes the complexion of interaction between fiber people. I'm keeping track of my progress on a spreadsheet (I'm only 22,198 on the list...) but if they keep progressing like they have the past few days, I'll be in by the end of the week!

I'll let you know how it goes...