15 April 2011
59 blogs authored by TYWKIWDBI readers
I was pleased (but not surprised) by the variety of blogs created by readers of TYWKIWDBI. I think the range of subject matter reflects the spectrum of expertise exhibited in the comments on my posts. I've listed them in the order submitted; for each blog I've entered the description offered by the author, with few additional comments of my own. (re the photo above, see my comment at the end of this post).
Abraham describes 22 Words as "Just another repository of internet intrigue." This blog was already on my weekly reading list, and I've linked to it eight times in the past year or so.
Cat Rocketship, creator of Hipster Housewife, is "an artist who works from home, wearing plaid workshirts, sporting piercings and tattoos. I paint, I DIY, I fixit. I also happen to do the cooking and cleaning. I am a hipster housewife" and manages Offbeat Home.
Doc Rock has four blogs - Longing offers translations of Korean poems, Drunken Moon has translations of Chinese poems, and Moon Viewing offers translations of Japanese poems from various eras. Squidjiggin' Grounds has "random thoughts and observations" (with poetry).
Duck Soup, by markk, is "a stream of consciousness repository for interesting and informative items found daily on the web. Tag line: dogpaddling through culture, technology, music and more."
Lauren (and her husband) offer the eponymously-named Lauren and Her Husband, described as "a potpourri of DIY and commentary from a young married couple living near Washington, DC."
If you are interested in a blog devoted to needlework, visit Lady Heather's Yarn Adventures, which explores the world of fiber.
Cori R added something to the "wild obscurity of the long tail" of the internet by creating Learning Latvian - "My journey learning this interesting yet uncommon language, mostly focusing in-depth on grammatical points and vocabulary, with fun trivia thrown in randomly."
Dan's Now I Know is actually an email newsletter (signup here), the purpose of which is "to share something new, interesting about the world, each morning. Like the fact that carrots used to be purple, or that Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service the day he was fatally shot, or that there's an island of hyper-poisonous snakes off the coast of Brazil."
In furthermore, flask, flask writes "whatever i happen to be interested in at the moment. that might be the snowfort i'm building, whatever music or art i'm working on, my love of diagrams, or that i've decided to learn to make cheese."
Play With My Food, by Jakethy and his "tiny plastic co-writers" is "where the doors of my toy collection swing open so that you can view an amateur foodie’s approach to animal friendly living in a comic book nerd’s world."
I have previously linked to Professor Batty's Flippism is the Key. His new blog, Laxness in Translation, has "reviews and appreciations" of all of the translated works of Halldor Laxness, the Icelandic Nobel Laureate in literature.
Telecanter asks: "Did you know there's a resurgence of interest in the old Dungeons & Dragons game? I'm just one of many bloggers re-examining those old rules in the spirit of DIY and striving for elegance" at Telecanter's Receding Rules.
Philip Graham's blog "is devoted to questions of the craft of writing, primarily fiction and nonfiction, with some attention to poetry. For example, a recent post ("What's Structure Got to Do With It?") is about how Shakespeare never wrote any play in five acts (those were added a century later by editors of his work), and what a scholar points out was Shakespeare's true method of structuring his plays, and how this can be applied to structuring works of fiction.
Externalities is a blog by Adam which "mainly features drugs policy and politics from a UK viewpoint."
MaraK is the author of radiojestica, which contains "pictures and videos that I find online, mostly, peppered with (badly) illustrated posts about my own life."
Gayle's Technology Woman "discusses mostly technology and recruiting / hiring issues. I sometimes dive into social issues, but less often."
Blitherypoop is a tumblr which is "highly NSFW most of the time, though the front page is uncharacteristically tame as I post this. In general it's photos that cause some kind of reaction in me. Things that make me laugh, turn me on, surprise me, remind me of a quote from a cartoon, or inspire a bad joke. Occasionally there will be a rant about an issue, a world-view, or my personal life. All-in-all...you'd have to be me to really get it, but you're welcome to try."
Madeline is the author of Octopuses, which she describes as "a humorous blog by a Virginia girl" (with a pinch of marine biology).
Mud Rocks Metal, written by Sybil Ann, focuses on" pottery, photography, and searching for a "second life" career and the musing that come with that."
jaundicedi notes that The Town Scryer "is still relatively new. Content varies from political commentary to humor and whimsy with periodic forays into curmudgeonry."
I'm Still Alive and Not Dead is a community writing forum. "Different authors write on a different topic each month. Topics are intentionally made broad for maximum creativity on the part of the authors. We are still looking for new authors! "
liz offers a compilation of pictures and thoughts called haphazard musings and creations. "my site has all [or about 99%] original content ranging from food, clothes/fashion, sewing and other crafty stuff, gardening, and my cat. basically i do old lady stuff while enduring grad school."
The tagline for Judy of the woods includes "productivity, creativity, sutainability - selfreliant living in the 21st Century." Including a post about collecting tree sap!
Everyday Critter, is the work of Bean Bell, who is "creating animal related art every day in 2011 to help cure boredom and general malaise. And to teach myself new techniques in sewing and embroidery, etc."
Hanan Cohen created Irrelevant in 2002; he describes it as "the Israeli/Hebrew equivalent to snopes.com," and it now has more than 1,000 items.
The Pajama Pundit has been on my browing list for several years now. "Given the toxic environment that is modern political discourse, ThePajamaPundit.com is a welcome distraction from the partisan bomb-throwing. With four contributors, each with a different political viewpoint, it is a place for varying political ideologies to come together and discuss issues. Character and ad hominem attacks are strictly forbidden, which helps to open up the dialogue. Readers are encouraged to add their opinions to all posts. Politics and media are the primary focus, with a dash of entertainment -- primarily movies & music -- thrown in as well"
Moynessey's ipaintwithiphone is exactly that: "Paintings created using my iPhone and iPad. Finger painting for the digital age with a mixture of what I see in Dublin, Ireland and pop culture references."
Infidel753 is succinctly described as "Atheism, liberal politics, technology, individualism, and anything else that happens to interest me. Seldom NSFW, but highly opinionated."
Alan writes the Best Buddies Blog. "I review humane, practical and safe products for dogs. I also post things of interest for the pet lover and stories or videos about dogs."
Spotlight Sunburn, written by Harlequin, is "A step-by-step narrative of my journey into the world of theatre - what I learn, what I feel, and why, at the end of the day, I still want to do this, no matter what. Lessons learned, lessons shared, steps forward, steps backward, and anything else that comes to mind.
Over the years I have found dozens of good political cartoons at The Frustrated Teacher, written by a San Francisco single father "old Deadhead" who says "I'm just completely full of nonsense, but I do rail against education reformers, Republicans and others folks who don't care about us little guys."
My Year on the Bounce, by That One Guy, describes "a year of the various gigs I work in theatre, concert, av and other events. A look at what happens backstage be it good or bad but mostly sarcastic."
You can guess what you'll find at The Sauna Times: "A celebration of the authentic sauna experience, from building your own to enjoying the health & wellness benefits."
blog.whybird.net is Mark's "vanity-named aggregator of "random things I find, and amazing sights I see"... My interests span medical and scientific fascinations, computer coding (with some bias for Macs), education, and the strange and weird things people do. There could be any of that and more there. Oh, and the occasional original post actually by me."
Claire has two blogs: Chez Cayenne is described as "recipes from a spicy vegetarian kitchen. The recipes are almost always vegan, spicy and made with whole grains and healthy fats." I'm clairedammit is a tumblr of photos and music videos.
Inkfumes is Seth Wilson's "personal blog to display the design work I do as a contract artist. I am also a high school teacher for graphic design and video production classes."
LydieRae uses Four Days a Week to post progress updates on what she's painting.
In Meridianos, eLzO "Escribo en español sobre curiosidades, historias y sobre todo aquello que me llama la atencion" [writes in Spanish about curiosities, stories, and anything that catches his attention]."
Twelve Mile Circle is "an appreciation of unusual places."
Funder's It seemed like a good idea at the time is "nominally about my entry into the sport of endurance riding, which is roughly equivalent to human marathons. I also end up talking a lot about my normal life, which is amusingly chaotic."
At Mikeb302000, "we talk about guns and gun control from the liberal perspective mainly, but there's a smattering of other things."
Casey, who created Gioscience, is "a science teacher and I started blogging to archive stuff I could use in class so I wouldn't lose it. Now it's morphed into a blog of stuff that I think is cool, with a decidedly science-based slant."
Ed Nelson describes Ed and Julie's Blog as "a personal journal-type blog covering daily events and trips. Lots of posts about my motorcycle and traveling with my wife."
I included Larry Ray's The iHandbill in my compilation of readers' blogs two years ago. It is "a retired journalist's take on the news. A loyal readership makes writing my eclectic, satirical and provoking articles on today's America, bounced off my half-century of watching and writing about it, worth the effort."
Fletcher's Oregon Expat is "a daily blog written by an American expatriate living in Portugal. Focuses include cool happenings in the science world, snippets of life in Portugal, occasional moments of Mac geekiness, and of course cultural comparisons between the US and Portugal."
googlefritz is "an ongoing project featuring surrrealism, word humor and google results."
Haddadadad "(pronounced "huh-DAD-a-DAD" like the "ma-NAW-ma-NA" of the Muppets) is where I update people on fun e-tidbits I find, rants on my opinions and outrage, and pictures of cute kittens and dogs. I also update from time to time on my art business, band, and funny crap my friends say online. The original point of my blog was to entertain my friends. Now I pretty much entertain myself and hope others like it, too."
qacdefeej's Journal offers "musings and mutterings from deep within the stacks."
Nathanial Hoodrich says of Criminal Wisdon "take a peek. It's criminal."
Biscuit is a 6-year-old fat male tabby cat whose "Hello I am Biscuit" offers advice to other cats.
Random Esquire offers "random observations on daily life with my dog, Little Filthy. There's not much rhyme or reason to what I write about and so most of the time, my entries are numbered so I don't have to pretend that they are in any way related."
CloudSampson created CloudSampson and The Musings. "It's in the making, with some musings on art, ecology, rare animals, sci-fi and fantasy. Even though it started out as a student project, it's been evolving in its own way."
Vintango's blog is Retina Burn: "Observations and rants related to games and film. (Occasional NSFW language. The blog is something that evolved from the endless discussions my college roommate and I used to have about movies, video games and media in general. After living in different cities for years we figured this would be a fun way to keep those conversations going."
Whew. I'm exhausted. Everyone please double-check this post for errors of linkage, capitalization/typography, gender misattributions, etc. Now I think I need another break.
But first, about the photo in the header. Last week I wrote a post about "birch water." Out of curiosity I tried reducing it to see if I could create a syrup. I started with 1100 cc of sap (a surprisingly huge flow from cuts on two twigs smaller in diameter than a pencil) (and when I finally removed the Ziploc bags from the ends of the twigs, I had to cauterize the twig ends with a flame to stop the dripping and prevent the backflow of any infection.) The reduction was easy, but time-consuming. I just put all of the juice in a large pot and started to boil it. I didn't use a candy thermometer to monitor the process, assuming that as long as it remained "watery" the temperature would remain constant at the boiling point.
It took about an hour; I was cautious at first, but finally cranked up the heat to get the process finished, just lowering it to a simmer at the end. The 1100 cc of original birch water reduced to about 100 cc. The header photo shows a sample of the starting liquid and the resultant concentrate (there's no optical illusion - our wine glasses aren't all the same size). By the end it was starting to become a bit more dense and viscid, but was still watery in consistency. I realized that if I tried to boil it all the way down to syrup I would have only a couple cc and it wouldn't be worth the effort, so I quit at the concentrated liquid phase.
I let it chill in the refrigerator, and my wife and I shared the concentrate at dinner. It basically tasted like sugary water - there really wasn't much other "flavor". Certainly it had none of the "astringent" qualities attributed to the salicylate-like derivates said to be extractable from birch bark. I suppose had I continued on to the syrup level it would have been good on pancakes.
As it was, it was a suitable accompaniment to our pizza.