August 25, 2008

Dancing with Ennui

So the Olympics are over and hopefully we're all recovering from the resulting sleep deprivation. I was also hopeful that once the Closing Ceremony came to an end and the time I'd "given" myself to take a mini-break from posting was done, I'd have something worthwhile to say.

But I feel as if we've gone from one epic event, the XXIX Olympiad, to another, the Democratic Convention. This isn't going to keep us up nights (unless you're a Hilary delegate wresting with what to do), but if you're a Democrat, which I am, it's a fairly important time. Yet I so don't have a desire to talk much about that; I'm not into talking politics and either preaching to the choir or trying to change someone's mind.

For days, I've been casting about for something else to ponder here. I keep sending myself links to things or stories that I find during the day, but by the time I get home and look at them again, they don't seem terribly interesting. I guess I'm tired and nothing seems all that interesting.

The only thing that has grabbed my attention longer than five minutes is this:

Are you overcome with curiosity and an insatiable need to go out and buy one? Yeah, it looks to a degree like a chocolate representation of a human colon, but it's really a very clever piece of engineering. It's an "all edge" brownie pan. Yep, every piece is an edge for your dessert pleasure, 'cause no one wants the all-gooey, unbaked part in the middle that no one can get out in one piece, right? I was impressed because I do love a good brownie and immediately put it on my wish list on Amazon; that took up those five minutes very nicely.

But then I was right back where I started: Dancing with Ennui and trying to decide which of us is leading. The bitch of it is, I keep stepping on Ennui's toes, sort of purposely-by-accident, and it really doesn't seem to care all that much.

August 18, 2008

Blog or sleep?

So I just listened to Bob Costas "sympathize" with America over the sleep we're losing by trying to keep up with the Olympics. That happened at about 11:45pm. But did they then give us those 15 minutes? Let the news start and let us go to bed just that little bit early?

No. Of course not. They're not going to lose viewers for their billion dollar venture, are they?

I am not NBC. I have mercy, people. So this is a short post. Go. Go back to bed or take a nap or something. Rest your Olympic-weary eyes. If you insist on staying online, go take my poll if you haven't already. Thanks to those of you who have. Go already! (But, you know, come back soon, okay? Like in six days when this madness is over.)

August 13, 2008


Participating in Blog the Recession has made me think about the role of RSS and how people use it, in part because of this article, which I read when I was prepping that post. I didn't actually get everything in the article, but it did get me curious.

I've had a site feed on here pretty much since the start but, to be perfectly honest, I never really understood what the hell it did until relatively recently. I never signed up for Bloglines or Google Reader (you may remember I was not a Google fan in general for quite a while) so I never actually used anyone's RSS feed and I didn't think much about whether people were using mine. It was there and some people seemed to like it; win-win, story over.

I have never claimed to be an HTML code guru. That would be like claiming I'm a master chef -- I can cook, sure, but no one will ever pay me to do it and few seek out my advice. When it comes to making things work here at the Ping, beyond the standard Blogger template, I've either figured it out, had help or let it go. Anything you see here (including the ability to subscribe to my RSS feed) is the result of cobbling together what people have done for me and what I've been able to pick up along the way because I will chase down "how to" on the Web like a bloodhound on the scent until my eyes cross.

Why am I telling you all this? Two reasons, actually; it is both 1) the reason for the poll that I'd like to have you take part in, and 2) the reason that poll is not actually on this page. I simply can't figure out how to get the code to work within Blogger, but I was able to make it work on a page from my very old Yahoo! GeoCities site (go figure) and then point you to it.

Without further ado: I'm curious. How do you access your favorite blogs? The poll will be active for one week and is open to anyone, including those people who ended up here because they were searching for something related to The Hunt for Red October and got here instead! It's simple, it's fast, it's anonymous and I'm asking nicely. Please? Thanks.

August 10, 2008

The Good, The Expensive, The Ridiculous

A while back, I stumbled across Uncrate while looking for info on something or another I wanted to buy. I'm not its target audience by any means (it calls itself "a web magazine for guys who love stuff"), but I enjoy popping over there and checking out the interesting array of stuff they feature.

My latest foray there immediately put the above title into my head, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights...and lowlights. Can't hurt to know what gifts might be on the List (real or imagined) for the guy in your life, right?

The Good

Natural Tree-Stump Side Table - I really like the look of this and could see it being a nice touch in a rustic decor.

Glasses made of recycled glass from discarded car windshields. Clever way to be a little greener...and not just because of the tint of the glass. These, along with a pitcher, can be found at Uncommon Goods, where I've purchased things in the past.

The Expensive

A tool chest for the 21st century. Featured on MTV's "Pimp My Tool." (Hmm, that didn't come out quite right.) Brought to you by Kobalt and available at your local Lowe's. I have to admit that I like the built-in fridge.

The new Aston Martin One-77. The pricetag: $1.9 million. Yeah, you read that right.

The Ridiculous

Yes, it's the GoateeSaver. Now coming to a town near you!

The Beer Belt. I find it interesting that they have this displayed on a chick, not a pot-bellied guy.

I have to tell you that there were a half-dozen things I could have put under each of the Expensive and the Ridiculous, and it was hard to pare it down to only two, whereas there really were not that many for the Good. Maybe it's that missing Y chromosome or something.

August 05, 2008

Yosemite Mosaic

Here's a new mosaic, made up of pictures I've taken recently with my new camera, by request of a special friend who I miss very much. For you, babe!

If you click anywhere on it, it will open up a bigger version to get a better look. All of the pictures were taken in Yosemite while the flowers were rioting and the sunsets were spectacular due to smoke from all the wildfires. Bonus points to anyone who can name any of the flowers in the comments.

August 04, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

It would seem that, lately, I've just been sending you other places. Well, I'm going to ask to do it one more time.

There's been a lot of medical turmoil in the blogosphere lately, I've noticed: her husband, her dear friend, her stepfather, her sister, and those are just the ones I know about.

So, what does this have to do with me, you may be asking?

The wonderful Meghan of AMomTwoBoys and AllMediocre has a close friend, Hannah, whose yet-to-be-born son will be undergoing in utero surgery on Wednesday, as unbelievable as that seems, to help keep him healthy until it's time for him to make his way into this world. Hannah could use what Meghan so appropriately calls the Healing Powers of the Internet.

I'd like to you go read that post about it and take a few minutes to send whatever constitutes positive thoughts for you -- good vibes, prayers, warm fuzzies, healing energy -- to Hannah as she and her son go through this scary time.

Because sometimes we need to believe and sometimes we need people to believe for us.