Archive for the 'Blog Stuff' Category

Blog Muse, Where Art Thou? (oh, and some news)

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Maybe it’s because I’m tired.

Maybe because it was a strange week.

Or maybe…

You, see, I’m thinking about going less active on the blogging front.

I’m torn by the classic blogger’s dilemma of how to (1) maintain a journal-type site with any actual authenticity at all while (2) maintaining some sense of personal, professional and family privacy.

I find myself more and more often now plagued by fears the either a co-worker might find this, or – even worse – a crazy stalker type.

Plus, “lurkers” (a.k.a. people who read the thing all the time but never post a comment) make me nervous.  (You know who you are in Pennsylvania.  Yes, you.)

Oh, yeah.  And there’s one other thing…

I’ve told my family.  I’ve told my boss.  So I guess it would be OK to finally mention it here.

The Koog Family is “expecting” again.  It’s still a little early.  Probably early enough that I shouldn’t be making announcements. 

But we are very happy that, if all goes well, we’ll be welcoming another family member into the world next spring.

I once thought that the ideal blog name would be “Five Mammals In Milwaukee.”  This was based on my sense of delight in observing the fact that of the five mammals in our house (Mommy, Daddy, and Little Koog, plus the two cats), you can almost always bet that a majority of them will be in any given room of the house at the same time.  We like to congregate, we mammals.

Well, anyway, “Six Mammals in Milwaukee” just doesn’t have the same blog-name ring to it, although I expect that the reality (as opposed to only the blog-title-quotient score) of having six resident mammals will be perfectly pleasant.

So – now that I’ve announced that, I’m officially nervous that one of those crazed baby-stealing-murderer-women will show up at my door in a few months to kill me, then cut out and run off with my young.  (Because there were actually two cases of that in recent years – what is WRONG with this country?). 

The comfort there, though, is that we’ll be moving house before long.  So good luck finding me where we are now, you crazy killer-ladies…..

Hmmmm.  I’m sounding and feeling paranoid.

And I suppose that’s not an unreasonable thing to be in my ‘condition.’  I’m being forced by hormones to be more protective of the family nest right now, and all. 

And I’ve already probably unwisely overexposed our little family to the public Internet.  I do worry about that. 

The terrible murder of a friend of a friend last week, apparently at the hands of a known stalker (as best as one can speculate this early on – there has not yet been an arrest) has not done anything to make me less concerned on that front.

And another important impetus for less blogging, if that’s what I start to do, is that I simply won’t have the time.

First, chasing after, caring for, and playing with a spirited toddler while growing increasingly large with child, AND moving to a new place, AND getting ready for the new arrival, is going to be enough of an energy challenge after a full day of work.

And once the new little one is here, as I know well from experience, everything else in the world beyond sleeping, eating, hygeine, and family bonding will all kind of fade out of view for a while.

So that’s the latest from Milwaukee, folks.

(Oh yeah – that, and a local group is trying to raise money to commission and erect a bronze statue downtown of The Fonz.  Happy Days was set in Milwaukee, you know.  And the purported inspiration for ‘Al’s’ place is here, and still in operation, too).

Rox is Porn

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

BlockedOriginally uploaded by Koog Family.


I know it’s a no no. But I needed a break at work yesterday and tried to visit my blog. I have done the same thing at other times in the past with no incident.

Bust as of yesterday, to my surprise, cheese.rox.com, and, in fact, the whole rox.com family, is “Pornography.”

I wonder if this is a result, somehow, of the infamous genital-oriented episode (and related publicity) from Season One.

In any event, I will be visiting rox blogs from the confines of my workplce no more.

Hats off to the IT department for this rather ingenious and subtle way of boosting productivity.

Wisdom in the Spam

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Just a quick word on blog comment spammers, for those who haven’t experienced them firsthand.¬†

Comment spammers strike me as slightly¬†misguided souls who spend a lot ot time posting comments on multiple blogs in order to get their own sales websites to rank higher on Google. (They do this, somehow, without actually visiting the blog – I haven’t figured out yet exactly how they manage that).¬†¬†

You can usually spot (and delete the comments of) comment spammers not only by the fact that they are “strangers” and have a commercial-sounding web address (and post other sales buzzwords along with their address), but also because they almost invariably post the same kind of comment: something designed to “fool” the blogger into thinking it’s a genunine and personal response to the site.¬† Usually something along the lines of: “Great site.¬† Thanks for your work.”¬† Or “I’ve been searching on Google, and this site has it.”¬† Or, my favorite, “Informative¬†site.¬†Thanks, guy!”¬† (Often,¬†these themes, and their¬†variations, are phrased in¬†rather¬†stilted English).

But a comment spammer who left me with a little gift¬†yesterday¬†had something different to say.¬† And I¬†had a nagging feeling that this comment¬†bears repeating.¬† I just couldn’t bring myself to delete it without doing so.¬†¬†So here it is.¬† A little wisdom in the spam:

All the darkness in the world cannot put out the smallest candle. The darker it is, more brightly shines the candle. instead of complaining about the dark search for your candle. Believe me; It exists

Blogging Update

Friday, June 23rd, 2006
 

Blogging Update, originally uploaded by Koog Family.

 

Welcome to cheese.rox!

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Welcome to the new location for Cheesehead Living, now also known as cheese.rox

I’ll be posting my future entries here! I hope you’ll visit now and again.

In response to my earlier frustration about my previous blogging home, Editor B kindly offered me a blogging home on a little corner of the vast media conglomerate known as rox.com. I wrote a little about that site near the bottom of this earlier post.

Now I’ll be able to sort my blog entries into categories, keep my beloved random Flickr badge, AND breach the borders of China, which are tightly sealed to anyone blogging on blogger.com!

Hello, Shanghai!!

Dream Blog Synthesis

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Unlike the essayist in the previous post, I DO keep up with a few friends’ blogs, as evidenced by a strange dream I had this morning when I joined Emma for “morning naptime.”

In the dream, a camera crew came to film a documentary about a controversy that had somehow roiled up around me. The controversy: that I’ve started ordering pre-made (but uncooked, mind you) dinners from the local Dinner By Design and Dinner Solution outfits, to save time in my busy working Mommy life. (I blogged about the wonderful world of pick-up and heat-up dinners before.) But in the dream, instead of dinners the “problem” was that I was ordering and eating desserts.

It seems that a Muslim man living in Canada caught wind of my
time-saving meal purchases. It wasn’t clear, in the dream, if he had
learned about it through my blog, but that’s a reasonable conclusion for purposes of filling the narrative gap. Apparently he felt slighted and angry that I got to have desserts without taking the time to truly prepare them myself. I didn’t understand why this bothered him, but I had the opportunity to read a newspaper article about his complaints on the subject.

And the camera crew was most interested in capturing my take in the situation, although I didn’t HAVE much of a take, other then a sense of vague confusion and anxiety.

This dream of having a camera crew in my house appears to me to be directly inspired by the occurrence of just that very event for a blogging friend, who recently described some of the experience here and here. (The main page of his very interesting blog is right here).

And now that I’m recounting one of my dreams on my blog, I’m following in the footsteps of another of the bloggers I follow, who did the same recently, here, on her blog. (Here’s her main page; it’s cool. She lives in China.).

Note that both of these particular blogs that inspired my dream, and my online account of it, are both hosted on the unique and inestimable rox.com, which was domiciled for a while in Bloomington, Indiana, but has since moved elsewhere, just like the three bloggers that came together, sort of, in my dream: Editor B, MF, and ME.

You could do worse things than to visit that cool site for a while. There’s a lot to see.

Blog Irreverence

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Reproduced, below, courtesy of the Blogosphere, and for your entertainment, is the text of an irreverent essay from June 20, 2005 about NOT reading friends’ blogs.

(It’s the title that I really love. )

The source of this essay is JOHO The Blog, which is operated by David Weinberger. I first heard this essay in an embellished, somewhat sassier form when he read it on NPR. Audio version is available here.

No, I’m not keeping up with your blog.

I would like to. I really would. I like it and I like you.

But we’re now well past the point where any of us can keep up with all the blogs worth reading from the people worth keeping up with. Even with an aggregator.

I just can’t do it any more.

I’ve been faking it for a while. Months. Maybe a year. If we’ve met and I look confused about something you told me, and if you said, “I blogged it,” as if that should be explanation enough, I’ve made some excuse as if I read every one of your posts except that one.
The truth is, I probably haven’t read your blog in weeks. Months maybe.

And I don’t expect you to have read mine.

I don’t want to lie any more. I don’t want to feel guilty any more. So let me tell you flat out: There are too many blogs I like and too many people I like to making “keeping up” a reasonable expectation, any more than you should expect me to keep up with Pokemon characters or I should expect you to keep up with Bollywood movies. I’m not going to feel guilty any longer about my failure.

I will read your blog on occasion, either because I’ve been thinking of you or because something reminded me of you. Maybe it’ll be because you sent me an email pointing to a post you think I’ll enjoy. Go ahead! I’d love to hear from you.

But I hereby release you from thinking I expect you to keep up with my blog, and I preemptively release myself from your expectations.

Otherwise reading each other’s blogs will become a joyless duty. And we’re too good friends to do that to each other

(You can click on this picture, too)

New Look to the Blog

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta shake things up. I’ve pretty much determined there’s no reasonable way to add a Flickr badge onto an otherwise cool, free WordPress blog, so I’ll stick with Blogger and change things around…

And I might not be finished yet…

SUPER DANG

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Aargh. I was hoping to announce that the fine visitors to this site could now visit Cheesehead Living in a new location.  I like WordPress a lot as a blogging program because it allows for the cool categorizing of posts into whatever categories I care to invent for them.

You know what else I like…? That it’s not blocked in China. I actually have a college friend who lives in China, who can’t access this blog, because it’s part of (censored) Google.


So WordPress would be good, but I’ll be danged if I can add a Flickr badge to it. It seems like I would have to go out and set up my own web host if I want to do that, and that’s a little more high maintenance blogging than I had in mind.

I’ve looked around in the support forums, and it seems like I have to have majored in computer science to be able to figure out how to add my random Flickr pictures to the sidebar there, as I have them (and love them) here. Can’t a girl just cut and paste some code? I’m really not up for this exploration of the fourth dimension and the time-space continuum just to post a little badge. And if it won’t let me do that, there are probably lots of other fun things I won’t be able to do.

So, sigh. If I can figure it out, I’ll change blogging programs, and if I can’t, I’ll stick with nice, easy Blogger, and yearn wistfully for the ability to categorize.

Rich in Spirit

Monday, January 30th, 2006

According to the genius who devised the calculator below, the economic value of this blog is $0.00. I’m not in this for the equity, so my feelings aren’t hurt. Of course, if this monkey ever gives me a negative assessment, I would have to take off my gloves and set him straight.

Someone else I know has a blog that’s work over $16,000, though. (Yes, you, B). A blog that I visit from time to time about HIPAA health privacy law goes for over $11,000 on the theoretical blog market, while a certain employee benefits law blog, of all subjects, would set you back over 34 Gs. To the C. family in OR, I’m afraid you’re right with me at the $0.00 level.

I think that blogs are valued by the number of links to other sites and the level of traffic, but I’m not sure. I really don’t have the faintest idea.

I don’t think my blog is ever going to be a high net worth site. But I’m going to keep this little box in the margin on the side so that I can be amused in case the blog valuation powers that be ever grace me with an appraisal above nil.


My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?