November 30, 2005

What Does a Pink Sky Mean?

I was sitting in my office this afternoon at about the time the sun was on it's way to setting. Suddenly I realized that the color in the room looked strange (that penetrated my consciousness around the glow of the computer screen). I looked out the window and the world looked... Pink!

I decided I had to check it out and see if it was a trick of the windows, so I went outside... sure enough... the ambient light was Pink.

We have had fog for the last few days and today it rained most of the day... well, the rain had stopped, but the clouds still covered the sky and I guess the setting sun must have made the entire sky turn pinkish gray and this reflected on everything.

I wish I could have taken a picture that would have done it justice... but I KNOW that no camera - digital or film - could have picked up that coloring. It just wouldn't happen.

So, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever looked outside to see the world was Pink? ... Green I've seen - Pink is a first for me. It was pretty cool.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 01:16 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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Time to Patch Again...

This just in... if you use Apple OSX - new critical patches have been released today. Don't think you're impervious to internet rats out there just because you use Apple instead of Microsoft! That's the way to end up in BIG trouble.

Java has also announced that they have some big security holes in their software that need patching. This announcement is for those running Java from Windows, Linux, and Sun Solaris. Get yourself updated if you use Java.

And Firefox has just released its latest browser upgrade - 1.5. So if you are going to upgrade the Java that runs with your Firefox browser... you might as well upgrade the browser too!

And last of all - for you Microsoft users... have you patched lately??? If not - please consider heading over and patching up your system today... although I will admit that Patch Tuesday (the first Tuesday of the month) is next week, still, it's better to be up to date whenever possible.

Happy Patching!

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 08:24 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Now That's What I Call Service!

Yesterday I blogged about some of the things that the Pajamas Media might do to improve their site... making it more attractive to readers coming in to look for news and blogs talking about the news...

The main part is fine - but the links at the end... I tend to look at them and my eyes cross! There are so many... thus making me think I won't go read any - it's too much. I'm not sure how to make it better, but at the very least, they could give a line from each post to draw readers into clicking through.

Today I was over at Instapundit and followed his link to the latest story over at PJM...

Head on over and have a look! Either they followed my suggestion or someone else had the same thought... doesn't really matter. They have made the effort and given each blog link a short blurb of its own! WONDERFUL! Color me astounded. Compare and contrast with the story I linked yesterday. Quite a difference!

Honestly I never expected that change - it's quite a lot of work. So Kudos to them for going the extra mile on this part.

Posted by: Teresa in Weblogs at 07:44 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 29, 2005

What's On Your Main Page?

As I was over at Sissy's this morning, reading about vibrating Pajamas and the new Pajamas Media, I was surprised to find that the bloggers running the PJM have ignored something major in their efforts to get things going. Front page content on their site.

Now, I grant that they are a new company. They are trying to find their place and get things going. BUT... these are all seasoned bloggers. They all have very successful blogs. So, I am astounded that they have forsaken one of the biggest draws in blogdom - lots of content that is updated frequently... all day... ON THE FRONT PAGE!

If I look at the main page of PJM right now (the link is above I'm not going to redo it) there are 3 (count 'em THREE) whole posts on the front page. The first is a linkfest of bloggers with posts on yesterday's story about Cunningham's resignation from the House, the second is a "Special Report" by Claudia Rosett, the third is a "Best of the Blogs" story about blogging.

Now there is nothing wrong with any of those stories,. but... that's ALL - there is nothing else on the front page. And therein lies the problem.

If I'm a blog reader and I want to find out what's going on in the news and around the world and what the blogs are saying about it - this is not going to grab my attention and keep me coming back. I may... possibly... go back daily - but most likely I'll check in once a week (if I remember and have the time). Personally - this is only the fourth time I've been over to the PJM main page since they've started - so far as I can see - there is no reason to waste time going to see IF they may just have updated and put up new content. After a few checks with no discernible change - I lose interest and go where I know I'll find content.

They may point to the left sidebar that has links to "Top Stories", but I say - that will only catch a few people who might be interested in clicking through. With the main page being so completely underwhelming in content, I would think that there will be far fewer people wanting to take the time to click the links.

Unfortunately, in an effort to be a portal rather than a blog - they are neither.

So what needs to be done? Well, I can only tell them what would get me back on a regular basis - say several times a day.

1) They need to hire (they are a business - so yes hire people!) several bloggers from around the world whose job is to peruse the news and blogsites and link them up in posts. This would need to operate at least on the scale of Glenn's output - but more of it. 24/7 - 365 which is why you need people from around the world to work on content... look at email... set up posts.

2) Have a look at this post that links to blogs following the Cunningham story... it's sloppy. The main part is fine - but the links at the end... I tend to look at them and my eyes cross! There are so many... thus making me think I won't go read any - it's too much. I'm not sure how to make it better, but at the very least, they could give a line from each post to draw readers into clicking through. Yes it would be longer - but far more readable and would draw more readers to the various posts that are linked. Even Glenn only does the occassional "HEH" post without comment. If they say that is too much work then I'm saying - they have just lost the reason for their existence. Yes, it is work, to slack off makes you no better than the MSM that tends to just slack off on its reporting and thus ends up with an inferior product!

3) For heaven sake - stop blogging about blogging! PLEASE! It might be informative, but the end result looks like you're trying to justify your existence... meaning you can't stand on your own merits.

4) Be sure to have some "lighter" fare mixed in with all the hard news. Constant hard news is very depressing. We all need a few laughs to keep things going and brighten the day... at least I need it. Perhaps that lowers my standings in the "highbrow" circles - but so be it. Throw out some posts on cooking, cars, sports...

Well, that's my take on the Pajamas Media problems. In my very humble opinion...they have a lot of work ahead of them to get up to speed. Then again I'm such a small blogger that I wonder if my thoughts have any merit whatsoever...

Posted by: Teresa in Weblogs at 07:46 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 28, 2005

This Would Be a Really Cool Gift!

Sieg has a terrific new item added to the Big Windy Store.

BW Conex has added Combat flags to the store. If you are looking for special gift you can't get in WalMart. These flags are flowen on combat missions here in Afghanistan.

So, head on over and order yours! Or get some other cool Big Windy Gear and remember, you'll be donating toward the big party when they return home. Think of it as a great way to support the troops.

Posted by: Teresa in Military at 07:43 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 27, 2005

Is It Over?

Oh well, guess the Thanksgiving weekend can't last forever. All in all it was a lovely 4 days off. With the minor exception of my new linksys router that refuses to connect to two of my computers... the rest of the weekend was quite lovely and restful. Even got an email from young son who said in answer to my question about Thanksgiving dinner...

The chow hall put up a valiant attempt at Thanksgiving dinner. it was pretty good considering its a chow hall.....but its no Thanksgiving dinner(the pumpkin pie sucked....way to much pumpkin, but the sweet potato pie was awesome).

The morning sees us all back at the regular routine - I really do love this long weekend.

Oh yeah... the squirrel. Well, he didn't have the grace to take himself out with the big rat traps... no he ended up in the live trap. The animal removal guy came and got him on Thanksgiving morning. It was very nice of him since the idiot squirrel had gotten trapped in there during the evening last Wednesday and I wouldn't have liked to have him stuck in there all day Thursday. We're pretty sure he got in through a bathroom vent pipe which we will have to make sure has mesh in place to keep other moronic rodents out. (and yes I gave the poor man an extra tip for coming out on Thanksgiving... even if he was happy to get out of the house and let his wife cook in peace!)

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 07:52 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving All

We woke up to this


(click to enlarge)

Good thing I'm not going anywhere. Everyone have a wonderful day!

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 04:46 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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November 23, 2005

Fun With Fox

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Todd Zywicki is posting about the refusal by Fox News to air an anti-Alito ad. I'm not going to talk about the ad and whether it should be aired or not, but this bit caught my eye...

The story is in the Washington Post, and oddly enough, the same story appears on the Fox News site as well (I assume they just automatically download external news feeds).

This always cracks me up. I have to wonder if anyone ever actually watches Fox News. I mean really watches the station for more than a few minutes. If so, it certainly surprises me that such bright people have missed something so very obvious...

You see Fox News station has tons of conservative/libertarian type talk shows... note this - these are OP-ED... they are not "NEWS" in the sense of presenting the news. If you stop and listen to any of the 5 minute actual news breaks at the top of the hour (or how ever often they are presented) AND you do any news reading on the web... the obvious should be slapping you right in the face!

Fox News - like every other news organization - gets it's "news of the day" almost exclusively from AP and Reuters. I've listened to the news readers spouting stories that I've read off the AP and Reuters online wire sources.

I dare you - take a look at their hourly reports - I am NOT talking about O'Reilly or Hannity or whoever else has a "show" - I'm talking about the news updates - they are definitely NOT Fox News products. The same is true for the web site news - if you look at the story linked by Todd, you'll see it's an AP story! The feeds are nearly always from AP and Reuters.

I have, for a long time, considered this to be very very sloppy. I watch very little of the cable news (including Fox) - after all - I can get it all from reading any online news source... plus I don't have to see tape loops over and over and over and over again.

Where am I going with this? Well, I'm just tired of listening to people gripe about how Fox News is biased... they MEAN - the op-ed shows on Fox News are biased... um... duh! it's op-ed of course it's biased. There has been such a blur about what is news and what is opinion - people don't know the difference any more! It's annoying.

As for the ad... head over and read the blurb from Todd's post - Fox has done this before... against a Swift Boat ad and against and RNC ad... so I'd say they were anti-conservative if I was going with the numbers.

BTW - how many ads have the rest of the NEWS networks turned down? Just wondering...

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 09:42 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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An Alarming Meme

Okay - so my blog-daughter tagged me with the latest meme making the rounds... This one seems simple enough.

1. Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?
Well of course I do! Morning is evil... I am definitely a night owl so I could never trust myself to wake up in the morning without a clock.

2. What time do you set it for?
For about an hour after my husband gets up to get ready for work during the week. Since I don't have to leave the house to work, I don't see any point in getting up excessively early. On the weekends - who wants an alarm on the weekend unless you have to be somewhere!

3. Do you hit the snooze button, if so how many times?
Usually I hit it at least once. If I'm really tired I've been known t hit it up to 5 times. If I just turned the darn thing off instead of hitting snooze - I'd sleep half the day.

4. Have you ever abused an alarm clock?
No, no alarm clock abuse here.

5. It's time to spread some "Its Blogcess" linky love.

Rules of the game, as per Sarah:
First, copy and paste #1 - #5
(Make sure to link to: "It's Blogcess", which is the link in #5. Because it is always polite to link the one who started the linky love.)
Second, link to my site (because it's polite to link the site that tagged you)
Third, go and tag 5 other blogs, more if you like.

Pretty dull isn't it. I think I've seen this meme just about everywhere - so I don't have anyone to pass it on to.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 08:18 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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A Little More Sony

As Grau notes Texas is suing Sony under Anti-Spyware laws. I'm glad to see them taking some sort of action - although I do wish it was criminal proceedings rather than a civil court suit... at the moment, I guess I'll take what I can get. The law is having a difficult time keeping up with the changing nature of technology. Eventually we'll get there.

In other Sony news yesterday, Slashdot linked to an article by Gartner on defeating the malware on existing CDs. Unfortunately - Gartner wasn't very specific about the "fingernail size piece of tape" needed. Nor did they show their work. I find that to be unfortunate - if they're going to write about it - they should be more specific. Being cagey about it at this stage is just silly.

I didn't do a google search - I would be willing to bet that someone out there has specific instructions and diagrams.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 07:42 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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