I just got my Ravelry invite (I'm berkeleybecca)--woo hoo! And Jane is spending the weekend in San Diego with her dad and sisters, so I can spread my stash out all over the house and stay up all night uploading photos.
I have quite a few blog posts fermenting in my brain (I'm posting this from work, which is strictly AGAINST COMPANY POLICY, but I couldn't wait), so I'll make some time for at least one more informative post than this. Going back to work now...
Edited later to add: My TiVo arrived via UPS just after I posted this afternoon. So in addition to yarn strewn all over, there will be cables and manuals and packing peanuts and superfluous remotes cluttering up the joint. And I'll likely emerge on Monday morning pale and squinting like some kind of mole. And yeah, I'm pretty embarrassed about the TiVo--both by what it says about my unhealthy involvement with TV and by avoiding it thus far because it seems too hard to set up and master.
This is probably stating the obvious, but I have a contrarian streak (although I always have a very good reason for my contrarian stance, unlike my Dad, whom I suspect of taking contrarian positions just to annoy me and others). So I find myself, say, supporting John Edwards rather than Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton, and having a "brand X" MP3 player rather than an iPod.
But just as often I end up following the herd, sometimes after initial resistance. For instance, I am now on the Ravelry waiting list, after holding out long enough to land as number eleventy-nine hundred (or so) in line. And I'm such an independent thinker that I apparently had exactly the same thought process as every other sentient knitblogger.
a) It's just another private club for the in-crowd. Phooey on them and their dumb club. b) I don't have time for another bloglike thingy; I don't have time to keep up with the blog I have let alone uploading a bunch of photos to Flickr. c) Um, well, I'm a bit curious, and I love making lists. It couldn't hurt to get in line and check it out.
And, perhaps prompted by Franklin's post, I remembered that I signed up for LibraryThing awhile back and decided to fool around with that a little bit more. And dang if it isn't fun and fascinating. I have wasted quite a bit of precious time this past week uploading titles and dinking around with tags. I finally "get" folksonomy--which is really quite valuable for someone who edits books about webby things. I'm so enamored that I paid for a membership and ordered a CueCat from the LibraryThing folks. (I am so old that I remember when the CueCat was foisted on the world, and like many know-it-all journalists, I sniggered.)
Amazingly, my very own CueCat arrived in today's mail, and I got to try it out with the LibraryThing site and some ISBN bar codes. Not foolproof and not always easy (in fact, it doesn't work on some bar codes; coated, shiny covers seem to work best), but it's stupid fun. I'm probably going to steal a lot of time away from housework this weekend to sit in the middle of my office floor and scan more bar codes, then write capsule reviews. (Edited later to add: The book detail pages are a geek's dream, and I just discovered the statistics page and the power-editing mode. I may disappear for days.)
Also this week I was surprised to find that many of my colleagues and friends have joined a club that I thought wasn't worth belonging to: LinkedIn. I don't know if it's a little trendlet that runs through offices like a wave, or whether everyone joins the way I did; after the third flack or marketing guy you don't know sends you an invitation to join his network you finally accept. In an odd coincidence, the day after I joined I find out that Jane—like, the person I live with—has a LinkedIn account, along with many of my present and former colleagues. So I've been having a very good time nosing into their networks to see how they present themselves and who they know. And I wonder, is this MySpace without the MP3s and the eye-scorching graphics? (Needless to say, I don't get social networking sites.) LinkedIn has done much of the difficult organizational work of old-fashioned networking, and it seems like it would be much easier to ask for an introduction from behind the safety of a computer screen. Of course it's likely to be wonderful fuel for my insecurities, too: Look how many people are ignoring my invitations!
... that Yahoo had a Pride portal? I now know that Conway, Arkansas, has a pride celebration. Good on them. Notice the block in the upper right corner, where Yahoo will donate to the scholarship-granting Point Foundation if you upload photos to their Flickr pool. (Found via Bitch PhD)
More about Pride from me later, but I'm beyond late to work right now.
My high school biology teacher was a scary jerk--at least that was his classroom persona, and it probably served him well in riding herd on bored 15-year-olds in a lab class. But intimidating asshole though he was, he didn't scare me away from being interested in the life sciences. I wish he'd taught us a bit more about how to take lab notes neatly, but we can't have everything.
P.Z. Meyers is like the cool, funny biology teacher I never had in high school (he teaches college biology, but that's a subnit, as my father would say). If you like learning new things, or thinking for yourself, or otherwise giving your brain a wee workout -- or if you just have a crush on cuttlefish -- you'll like his blog. I loved last Friday's photo of the Japanese Pancake Devilfish.
She's so cool--and the fact that she knits is purely a bonus. I recommend adding her to your newsreader. I was tempted to post a pointer yesterday to her post about Cecilia Fire Thunder establishing a family planning clinic on her reservation in South Dakota, but I was tongue-tied by my usual doubt that I could say anything that wasn't derivative and lame. If your interests extend to parenting, or the intellectual or political life of the country, or academia, or being female, she's worth a read.