Oh, you HAVE to be kidding me. When Evol

Oh, you HAVE to be kidding me. When Evolution’s Controversial, Declaring a State Fossil Can Get Tricky | Smithsonian http://ow.ly/vCiS2

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Zero to Hero Rundown

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Like I said yesterday, I’ve been participating in the “Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog” thing that WordPress is doing, and (mostly to keep myself honest) I thought I’d give a semi-regular rundown of what I’ve been doing, since not every task requires a blog post.

Day 1:

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I updated my “About” page for this assignment. For the last ever, it has said “TBD,” partially because I thought it was kind of smartass and partially because I was too lazy to do anything to it. I do feel that my blog tagline accurately represents me – or at least this blog – and I didn’t feel the need to elaborate more than that regarding the essence of me and this blog. But, since WordPress says the About page is one of the things people actively look for when deciding whether or not to read a blog, I thought I’d update it. And then I gave it a spot in my menu. Actually, I enabled a whole new menu – I’m pretty pleased with myself. Feel free to check out my “About” page.

Day 2:

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline, and flesh them out more in a widget.

Okay, so I pretty much ignored this one, because, as I indicated, I’m quite pleased with my tagline, feel no need to edit my blog’s title, and didn’t want either of them in a widget. But I did give it some thought, so I’m counting that activity as completing the assignment.

Day 3:

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

This one I totally skipped because I have no idea what post was on my mind when I decided to start a blog. Probably “I would like to make millions with this blog without leaving my pajamas, please”.

Please don’t revoke my “Zero to Hero” badge, WordPress.

Day 4:

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

This was yesterday, and I followed and added to my WordPress Reader:

  • ArtOfTea: “blooming*expanding*connecting” [it’s a tea blog, if you couldn’t tell]
  • Just Homemade: “a pure vegetarian way of life”
  • VeggieZest: “vegan and vegetarian recipes from around the world”
  • The Fashion Medley: “’Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.’ Coco Chanel”
  • TChing: “Discover tea”

Although I might have done it wrong, because I couldn’t figure out how to find blogs by topic. I could see how to search tags, and I found blogs that way and by looking through the “Recommended Blogs.” I think maybe I was supposed to add some tag topics to my tag list, and follow those tags, and pick blogs from those tags. Oops.

So, maybe I’m not so much a “Zero to Hero” as “Zero to Maybe Possibly Contender.” I can live with that.

2013 in Review

Ah, year-end recaps and reflections. Had enough of ’em yet? No? Okay, then.

On the social media front for me this year:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

There was a lot of loss for me this year:

The busiest day of the year was June 17th with 250 views. The most popular post that day was Baba.

Not far behind were my posts about my mother-in-law’s passing, as well as that of my beloved Nuala.

So, you can see, it was kind of a crappy year for me and mine. (Interestingly enough, to me at least, is that in Facebook’s encapsulator of my year, it doesn’t have any of these events listed as one of my “20 biggest moments from the past year”, even though I linked to these posts on Facebook and they were more commented-on and shared than any other post of mine. Is it because Facebook doesn’t want to depress people, or is it because they were links to outside sources, rather than native status updates?)

Don’t want to leave 2013 on such a sour note, necessarily, so let’s look at some of my other stats, shall we?

I always find this information amusing:

Some visitors came searching, mostly for “shish odoshi”, “shi shi odo shi”, “i love her expression”, “agafya lykova”, and “tea kettle with train whistle”.

I have no idea what “agafya lykov” means.

Oh, wait, I just Googled it.

It’s the name of a Russian woman who had been living with her family in the forest, away from all human contact, since World War II. Did I blog about them? No, I did not. However, I did read an article about the family earlier this year and it was fascinating; you should read it. Still, I didn’t even mention the article in a “Saturday Evening Post,” so I’m not sure how people got to my blog with that search. Perhaps I tweeted the article and therefore it was in my Twitter sidebar?

Speaking of Twitter … wanna see my top 10 tweets? Lucky you!

Twitter top 10

You can view it here, too: http://goo.gl/UlXNck

If you prefer a less static representation of my 2013 on Twitter, check out this little video, which is kind of cool, if I do say so myself. I am most popular at conferences, apparently. If you’re interested in the top tweets of my corporate alter-ego, check it out here. Nifty video for said alter ego here.

My top Instagram moments are lined up here. I won’t bore you with my top Pinterest or Polyvore moments, mostly because I have no idea what they are. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have any “top” moments on LinkedIn or Google+.

As for what 2014 brings …

I used to be big on resolutions, but I’m not so much any more. The only one I’m really making out loud is that I intend to floss more this year. (N.B., this is a resolution I make every year. Perhaps 2014 will be the one?)

Also, as someone who just (as I was writing this at 10:40 on Monday night) admonished her loudly yodeling and raspberry-blowing daughter with, “If you don’t be more quiet and try to go to sleep, we won’t go meet your sisters tomorrow” (note – her sisters, who live in the attic, are imaginary. As is the attic. And thus I have no idea how I would enforce this threat), I should probably try to be a better parent next year. (On the other hand, she quieted right down, so …).

More seriously, I hope 2014 brings joy, peace, happiness, and comfort to you and yours. And if you hear of a delicious tea, or an awesome tech gadget, or a gorgeous fashion trend, or a new-fangled way of looking at law librarianship or legal academia in general, let me know! I am honestly interested in these things, and I can always use blog fodder.

Finally, if you know of effective tips to get your kid to sleep (and to stop blowing raspberries) without threatening the disappearance of their imaginary siblings, I’d be grateful for the knowledge. See you all next year!

Don’t know if I should be pleased or embarrassed

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As of this morning, I was the most prolific tweeter using the hashtag “aln13” (that was the designated hashtag for the conference I attended last week). Check to see if I still am here.

These seem to have been particularly endearing posts:

Day One

Thursday has become “App Thursday” on my blog, even though it isn’t alliterative.

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I keep trying to find new ways to get myself to write more (other than, I guess, actually writing more). I thought some apps might help.


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 Day One is an iOS app that encourages you to journal.

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It’s clean, simple, and easy to use. You can easily add a photo of yourself (I’ve been taking a FrontBack photo of myself for most entries). It can import the day’s weather to add to your musings (in case they’re weather-affected, I guess?). You can have it remind you to journal at daily/weekly intervals.

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This doesn’t get annoying at all.

I mostly use it for short thoughts on how I’m feeling at the time. Or to express thoughts that I might tweet, but think the better of.

Sleep Pillow

This might be kind of a lame post; I find myself with very little free time lately.

Okay! Sleep Pillow is one of my favorite phone apps. It’s a “white noise” maker that I use to help lull me to sleep.

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It’s cool because it has tons of different individual sounds you can choose to listen to for set periods of time. The little pictures sort of tell you what the sound will sound like:

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I always set mine for 45 minutes. I’m not sure how long it takes me to fall asleep, but it’s less than 45 minutes, anyway.

Although there are some icons that might leave you scratching your head.

I don’t know what this is supposed to symbolize, but it is NOT soothing.

And you can also combine the sounds together to make your own sleep mixes.
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The symbols near the bottom of the screen allow you do do some different things with your sounds/mixes. I don’t know why you’d want to, but you can choose to have the little picture show up full screen. You can “heart” the sounds and mixes that you really like, so then you don’t have to see the ones you don’t when you’re choosing which sounds to fall asleep to.

I have no idea what that last symbol means. It looks like it has something to do with location? But I’ve turned on and off my GPS and clicked that symbol, and as far as I can tell, nothing happens. Somebody’s probably monitoring my use of the thing.

Anyway! It really works, at least for me. There’s a free version that you can try out to see if you like it (it has a limited number of sounds), and I liked it so much I purchased the paid one (for $2, so not exactly breaking the bank).

And with that, I’m off to bed! Sweet dreams.

Do you need a cat?*

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We are still fostering Bjorn and Mama Mia, the only members left of the ABBA kitty family that I started fostering in April. They would really like permanent homes, please.

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Mama Mia, a lovely little tuxedo, is a bit standoffish at first – she might even hide for a while – but if you put in the time, when she comes around to you, she’s a real love. She’s all about the belly rubs (and not all cats can say that!). Additionally, she adores our dog, Fiona (a 65-pound black lab mix, for those of you who don’t know). The two of them actually do play bowing around each other, and Mama Mia will rub up against Fiona, purring away.

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Bjorn is more circumspect about Fiona, but he’s not afraid of her! Nor is he afraid of our four-year-old (perhaps he should be?), as you can see. Both he and Mama have been very good around AG – no hissing or biting or scratching (just running away if/when AG gets too exuberant for them).

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And, as you can also see, he can be quite the charmer, as well. He’s a bit of a goof – he’s a cat who likes to splash around in his water bowl – or, better yet, he wants to drink at the sink (I’m afraid our resident Grumpy Cat, Thomas taught him that). Neither Mama Mia nor Bjorn have any qualms about Thomas, although Thomas doesn’t think too fondly of them, which is why we can’t keep them.

Interested? Please call Feline Rescue at (651) 705-6264 for additional details or e-mail fostercare@felinerescue.org

*Here, I’ve made a helpful flow chart to tell you if you need a cat:
DoYouNeedACat

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

If you’re a TL;DR-type person (or if that rather uninspiring comparison to Mt. Everest didn’t prompt you to click the link): people liked my post on my dearly-departed MoMo; for some reason, people find my blog by searching shishi odoshi and legos; and most of my readers come from the U.S., but oddly enough, I apparently have readers in the Philippines.

Hope to see more of all of you in 2013!

NaBloPoMo Reflections

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So, like last year, I guess, I didn’t write my end-of-NaBloPoMo post on November 30 because the date fell on a day when I have regularly-scheduled posting themes, and apparently I’m too OCD about my blog-post themes to re-arrange them. Also like last year, I realized: (1) I probably should spend more time on my posts, and (2) if I really want to build a following, I have to comment more on others’ blogs.

I think I had more fun this year, though. Maybe because I didn’t pay too much attention to the prompts, and mostly did my own thing? I usually do better with writing when I don’t have to come up with an idea, but this time, even after setting up Twitter lists of blog-post-prompts, I really didn’t follow anybody else’s suggestions that much. Perhaps the addition of my Tuesday Tea themed-posts helped some? Also, I decided to give myself I break if I just wanted to post a picture, even if it wasn’t Wordless Wednesday.

I also have become convinced that I should improve my “About” page. I never bothered, because I figured people could read my blog and figure out what I was about. But, it is true that the “About” page is one of the first places I go when looking at a new blog, so … Perhaps I should crowd-source it? Let me know if you have a brilliant idea of what I should include in my “About” page that perfectly captures the essence of “me.”