Bloggiesta RSS Mini-Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:42 pm by Amber

I’ve attempted the Bloggiesta RSS mini-challenge hosted by Puss Reboots and have failed.  Here is what we’re supposed to do:

  • Check to see if your blog or website has a feed. WordPress has one for the site.  I also have a feed with feedburner but haven’t done anything with it.
  • Set up a feed if it doesn’t.
  • Set up a subscribe by email option. Haven’t figured out how to do this.  I also installed two different feedburner plug-ins.  One was recommended by Google and the other was not tested with my version of WordPress.  Neither worked and I had to deactivate them to get my site looking normal again.
  • Validate your feed. I know the WordPress feed works because it’s what I use on my Ning pages and Yahoo to know if it’s updating or not.  Although I don’t have the feedburner address linked anywhere, the current site content did appear when I checked the link.
  • Put an RSS icon that linked to your feed and another for your email option.  This involves messing with the code in my sidebar which I’m none to happy about doing on a Sunday at 10:30pm at night.  It took me months to get my site to say on all my pages that it’s powered by Corgis and have it look right.  Programming was not my strong suit in my computer classes.
  • Add the RSS feed to your header so your browser auto-detects the feed.  Again, more programming.  Puss Reboots was kind enough to provide the code but I will have to mess with it another time. 
  • 05.10.10

    Update on Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg

    Posted in Uncategorized at 11:34 pm by Amber

    Tonight I received an email from Steven Luxenberg about Annie’s Ghosts.  It’s ready to be released in paperback tomorrow with a new cover.  My review of Annie’s Ghosts from July 2009 is still available for view.

    Isn’t this a nice cover?

    Annie's Ghosts Paperback Cover


    Free Comic Book Day is Almost Here

    Posted in Event, Uncategorized at 12:09 am by Amber

    Free Comic Book Day Banner

    A day I look forward to (and nearly always forget until that day) is almost here.  Free Comic Book Day

    The last few years I try to get a copy of Owly because it always has Korgi art by Christian Slade.  I like his Corgi style and he’s a fellow owner.


    The Possible Decrease in US Postal Service Delivery

    Posted in Uncategorized at 12:23 am by Amber

    Each week I participate in the Mailbox Monday meme where people share what books came into their house that week.  Sometimes the books really do arrive in the mailbox.

    Last year I recall the US Postal Service talked about eliminating home delivery on Tuesday as it was the least busy day for them.  Now there is talk of eliminating Saturday delivery while the offices would remain open.  An independent advisor suggested they cut home deliveries to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  This would decrease their overhead costs and increase their revenue due to the increase in people renting post office boxes.  I imagine business deliveries would remain the same but I don’t remember reading anything about it.

    Books arrive at my house from various services.  If they cut Saturday deliveries I am not sure how if it will have much impact to me personally.  I imagine I would start to get Saturdays and Sundays mixed up but that is about it.  If the residential deliveries were cut down to three days a week I imagine it would require a little more work involved in getting my outgoing mail to a post office for delivery.  A lot of the writing markets I submit to prefer electronic deliveries.

    Right now I send nearly all of my packages through the post office.  I would have to be a bit more organized to make sure my deliveries made it in time for birthdays or other special occasions.  As it is, I have a hard time remembering it takes 10 days for a letter or post card to get to Alberta, Canada from Ohio.  On the plus side, some days I get so little mail I wonder if the mail carrier came by and this might make every day a good mail day!

    How do you imagine a cut back in US mail delivery would impact you?


    Technology Changes and So Do I

    Posted in Uncategorized at 11:30 pm by Amber

    If someone told me ten months ago I would be spending my free time using technology more throughout my day I would have thought the person was crazy.  I work with technology all day long.  How would it be possible to use it even more?

    In July 2009 I signed up for Twitter.  I was very resistant to the idea.  After all, what would I have to say in 140 characters that people would  want to read?  And what could they say that would keep me interested?

    In August 2009 I signed up for Facebook.  And my free time has not been the same.  (One reason why I never went back to playing EverQuest was the time suck.)  I spent that rediscovered time writing and reading instead.  I am limiting my time on it, believe it or not.

    In September 2009 I sent my first text message from my prepaid cell phone.  This particular Nokia model was in my possession for over 2 years before I sent one. 

    In February 2010 I was gifted an iPhone.  Twitterific is my favorite part.  It is so convenient to catch up on what’s going on in my neighborhood throughout the day.  But I also like Toodledo and Flight Control.

    This month I began using Google Reader.  That’s right.  I have a handful of sites in my Google Reader now.  I’m horrible about bookmarking sites and unless it’s one I can remember easily it can be months before I return.  I really like Google Reader. 

    What’s my next step?  Who knows… maybe I’ll look into feedburner next so others can easily follow my blog too!


    Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day…

    Posted in Event, Uncategorized at 6:58 pm by Amber

    even a Welsh Corgi turns into an Irish Corgi.


    Signs of Spring

    Posted in Uncategorized at 4:10 pm by Amber

    The signs of spring are in my neighborhood:

    1. My neighbor’s tulips are an inch above ground.
    2. The morning walks with the Resident Corgi are longer.
    3. Birds chatter away in the lilac bush in the mornings.
    4. Mourning Doves sit on the telephone wire.
    5. Geese travel in formation to their favorite nesting spots.
    6. The pond water is no longer frozen.
    7. The Resident Corgi has mud on his paws and belly (aka his undercarriage) after our walks.

    What lets you know spring is coming to your neighborhood?


    Henning Mankell Interview

    Posted in Event, Uncategorized, Writing at 3:22 pm by Amber

    Yesterday morning I had the chance to listen to Henning Mankell on NPR’s Morning Edition.  His latest novel doesn’t have his famous character, Inspector Kurt Wallander, in it.  In fact, it’s mostly populated by women characters.  Mankell read the opening scene.  It is a desolate landscape and put a chill down this listener’s spine.

    It was really interesting to hear him discuss his next piece of fiction.  Based on a true story, the main character is a Swedish woman who travels to Africa and becomes an owner of a brothel.  But that’s all he would say. 

    It’s not uncommon to talk about the premise of a novel only to lose the steam and enthusiasm for it.  Even worse is to talk about it and let the unenthusiastic response of your listener discourage it from being written.  What comes across well in the execution is usually missing from the verbal premise of it.  Nick Hornby almost talked himself out of writing High Fidelity when he realized how boring it sounded.


    Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend

    Posted in Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by Amber

    About a week and a half ago, my Palm T|X fell from our phone cabinet and my keys went with it.

    The screen itself appears to be holding together but there’s funny business going on underneath.  Where you see yellow in the picture, the dead grey pixels are slowly taking over and spreading out.  It’s getting difficult to see people’s addresses and phone numbers in my contact list.

    I started off with a Palm V.  I’d play Mahjong while waiting in long lines.  There are years of Palm archives on my computer that contain contact and calendar information.  If an appointment wasn’t on the calendar then it didn’t exist.  It took me a long time to figure out how to use Graffiti so my letters were recognized.  I bought a keyboard for it thinking I would write story ideas into the memos but the keyboard never worked right.

    When I thought my Palm had been lost in a recliner I bought another one to replace it.  After a week or two, I really dug into that recliner and found the original one.  I kept the one with the better buttons and sold the other one to my friend Rob.  He loved having it, but left it on top of his car one night after work and drove off without it.  Rob was distracted when he answered his cell phone.  He did find it, but it was in such bad shape he bought another used one.

    A few years ago my husband decided I needed an upgrade.  He knew I wouldn’t do it myself.  My Christmas present was this Palm T|X.  It had color!  Sound!  Wifi!  Bluetooth!  I could no longer play Mahjong during long waits but I could read books with the Adobe Reader.  Or check my email at the airport.  Or figure out from imdb.com what movie my family was watching while at the Topsail Beach house.  One of the really cool things was color coding all my calendar entries.  If it was Orange then I was going to see a movie.  If it was Pink, then I had something writing related to do.

    Palm stopped making the T|X in March 2009.  A few months ago the Palm OS stopped on mine and I had to upgrade to a higher version.  I found out the hard way it couldn’t setup recurring tasks like the old OS.  Put a check mark in the box and it would not generate the same task for the next week; I missed that feature.  And the desktop calendar didn’t show the color coded entries.

    It looks like an iPhone is my near future.


    Back from Vacation

    Posted in Uncategorized at 8:15 am by Amber

    I’m back from my beach vacation in North Carolina.  I feel like I hit the ground running without a chance to look back.  Yesterday, I slept in late and it wasn’t until about 2 hours into work I realized I forgot to eat breakfast.  Isn’t that just crazy?  Next weekend I’ll be out of town visiting friends for a Halloween get together and I’ve been busy prepping for that. 

    I have a backlog of reviews to do here and emails to catch up on.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an image of the beach.  This was taken on our last night in Topsail Beach.

    Topsail Beach, North Carolina

    Topsail Beach, North Carolina

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