Nostalgia, not

Stressed-out supermom does not like The Sea by John Banville but she does like her Yahoo reading group.

I link here to her post, and her blog "and you expected what?" partly because the reading group sounds fun, and partly because the blog as a whole is so strongly evocative of what it is like to have very young children and a job, simultaneously. (Just look at her picture.)

In my case, it has been a 15-year-tunnel but I think I must be a rather extreme, intense person based on the fact that other colleagues at work seem to have lives after having children, unlike me (they seem to return from maternity leave with a social life, babysitters, family living nearby or who visit to help, etc). I have never got my act together much on all of that. Making orthodontist appointments remains about the peak of my extracurricular logistical ability — a major challenge. (By extracurricular I mean outside the job and the basic domestic stuff of making the lunchboxes and collecting from childcare, doing the ironing, cooking and changing beds basics.)

I digress. Or ramble. Or both. What I am trying to get at is that if you are in the situation of having to be a parent to very young children, complete with all the hormonal and adjustment issues associated with that, and have a job, "and you expected what?" is just the blog to read for a bit of fellow travelling. I wish we’d had blogging in 1991, that’s all I can say. At that time, we had no Internet connection at home and I had not even heard of the Web, let alone blogs. Result, madness.

Self-portrait challenge

I love this piece of writing, Warrior, on  "be present, be here".  The post is part of a self-potrait challenge.

There is a beautiful array of photographs here, on the self-portrait challenge website, which describes itself as "a continuous artistic self-expressive art project community".

(link to Warrior via Ink on my Fingers)

Books on the web, in brief

I am challenging myself to write one or two sentences ONLY about why I find the postings at each of the the following links interesting. From the bottom:

The Ubiquitous Librarian  asks the excellent question of why academic libraries don’t provide a free document delivery system to all students, as well as to faculty and distance-learning students. Some public libraries in the USA have started to provide this service to patrons, apparently — don’t suppose there is much hope of this blindingly obvious and wonderful idea staggering to the UK, but let’s hope.

Thing-ology, the Library Thing’s other blog, gives details about this tagging and taxonomy process for bookmarking and indexing — lots and lots of them: instructions with examples. You love this topic or you hate it.

Successful Blog points to a website called Swarm, a graphical map of how hundreds of websites connect together in real time. Minx and her hyperactive site meter will love it. 

Again from Successful Blog: anyone on WordPress? Blog design 101: create your own theme, from professional web designer Rachel Cunliffe.

Final link for today from Successful Blog, a piece of wisdom well known to us bloggers: more internet users would prefer to give up TV or cell (mobile) phones than access to the net. Read the 22 (at time of writing) comments.

Problogger‘s bright idea for the week is a round-up of "habits of highly effective bloggers" — Darren has invited submissions from his readers and posted them throughout the week, ending up with links to about 25 articles, all by different authors (no doubt with different answers), collected together in one post.

Probably everyone knows by now that Martha Stewart is launching a MySpace clone for older women ("older" being defined as 25-45, which lets out us 150-year-olds) called Marthaspace. Here is a good post from Micropersuasion , in which Steve Rubel opines that by the time the site launches, everyone will have got bored with the MySpace concept and be into something else.

Google, Frank Wilson, Dave Lull, Ichabod and others have noted that it was recently Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday. The Librarian’s Internet Index service links to the Stanford University’s collection of Sherlockania, including some stories reproduced exactly as originally printed in the Strand Magazine. (Warning: Stanford is making these free access, but the LII posting is belated, so the "open" period may be over by now.)

InfoNeoGnostic does it better. I posted a couple of days ago about e-books, the future of publishing and a few other related topics, but you’ll get a more informed, rounded view by reading InfoNeognostic. If you read a slighly later InfoNeoGnostic post , you’ll be even better informed, and will see that L. Lee Lowe’s stories get a recommendation. Good one, Lee.

Geeking with Greg deconstructs the recent news about Yahoo-Amazon-EBay-Google partnerships and deals. Good summary of what it all means — and might mean, from the reader and writer perspective.

As "user" or "reader" ranking systems are in some people’s minds very much the future so far as reading, publishing and so on are concerned, it is interesting to read, now and again, about what can go wrong with digital "solutions". Content Matters relates such a case, that of the Dixie Chicks, but extrapolates it to abuse of book rankings on Amazon.

That’t it for my web/tech (as Typepad calls it) bookmarked posts for this week. All linked in this post or on Petrona 2 (via left-hand sidebar).

Daily (?) Killer Sudoku

Following the trend of Deblog and Ichabod is Itchy, here is a link to a puzzle:

Daily Killer Sudoku for 27 May. 

Today’s rating: easy.

I’ll do it and post my time in the comments: please do the same!

I know I shall probably forget to post a link every day, but I’ll try to remember.

Killers are the best variant of sudoku I have yet found. If you haven’t done one before and the instructions at the link aren’t clear, let me know via email or in the comments, and I’ll try to disentangle.

Tenant of Wildfell Hall


This picture of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall plus two friends demonstrates why I did not do any blog reading or posting last night. The DVD arrived from the Amazon rental service a while back and has been waiting for someone to want and to have the time to watch it. Usually, the two people who are enthusiastic about watching DVDs are Jenny and Cathy, and they are also the ones with the most time. This works out well in practice: Malcolm and I rarely watch DVDs, and so the ones we rent are usually ones with titles like Howl’s Moving Castle, Sky High, Corpse Bride, Saved, etc, which we are, how shall I put it? — quite happy to miss. Every so often, I do rent a DVD that I would like to see myself, hence the Tenant. It has been sitting around for a couple of weeks unwatched because I have no time, nor does Malcolm, and there is a curious reluctance among the other two members of the family to watch anything stamped with the dead hand of "classic" or "worthy". Last night, the start of a bank holiday weekend, was a good time to make the attempt, so we all sat down to watch the film (actually a BBC drama), Cathy saying she would probably only stick around for the first 10 minutes.

We were all entranced for the next three hours. The film turned out to be in three episodes but there was no way any of us could wait until the next day at the end of one, so we watched it all in one go. I highly recommend this film for ages 10 to 150, but provide three caveats. First, the film was made in 1996 so might be regarded as a bit dated (not by me). Second, as Jenny put it, there is a lot of twirling around in it. Third, I don’t think I have read the book (I can’t remember reading it, in any event), and the Amazon reviewer says: " Anne Bronte’s forgotten but brilliant novel about alcholism and thwarted love is far darker and more passionate than the material produced here."