A Bazillion Blogs
About two years ago, DF Nancy turned to me at a retreat and said "Don't you use Bloglines?" She was referring to the fact that I typed in the addresses or used a search each time I wanted to read a specific blog, or went to another friend's site like Ryan's Mossy Cottage Knits and just clicked on the ones from her sidebar. I thought I was probably the last person to hear about it, and Bloglines is certainly not the only product out there - but you should know that it exists and "aggregates" all your blog info into one place and subscribes to their RSS feed. If you click on the link for "aggregates," go down to the subheading "Function" and it will give you an idea. You can do this with Blogs or Sites that strictly collect news or facts of different types.
Bloglines is great - once you've subbed to a blog you like, it comes up on your list only when there is a new entry. You never have to check anyone's site again, hoping that they've updated. Even if they've gone a year without an entry (ahem, shuffling of feet, embarassed look), when it finally happens (she with the most guilt says) it will come up that day in your list. It's free, and all you have to do is log on to have your list pop up. You can also install an Icon down in your "tray" on the lower right corner of your screen that will look like the letter "B" and will have a red asterisk over it whenever there is new content. You can just double-click that and it will bring up Bloglines and your newly updated list. The saves me so much time and trouble I couldn't help passing it on. If anyone else wants to chip in their favorite one in the comments - feel free.
Let's talk for a minute about how helpful knitters and spinners are. Oh right...you're a captive audience...you can't talk! Whenever I go to an event and bring lots of stuff of my own, or get a table to sell things, it's amazing how many friends and people I barely know come up to ask if I need help setting up or breaking down. "You need help?" "No, I've got it but thanks for asking." "How 'bout now, you need help? Wanna take a potty break?" "Need help carrying things to your car?" When one of my loads on the dolly that wasn't well-balanced tipped over at the St. Distaff's day event, one friend and three strangers rushed over with the speed of light to help me get it all back in the boxes. Women in these particular crafts just seem to be warm, caring and darn helpful!!! The only other place I've seen this is in India, only reversed. Men are more predisposed to help each other in the way women do here. They are physically affectionate in public much more than we are here in America, in spite of the fact that same-sex unions are stigmatized just as they are in the U.S. and other countries. When Mr. Chirptrippy took a spill on some slick pavement, 3 guys were on him almost before he hit the ground, helping him up and commiserating, and not just because they wanted his business for their autorickshaws. I couldn't get close to help him myself because these men were helping him and making sure he was absolutely okay. Not an isolated example either. One of my funniest memories from India was sitting on a bench out in front of the hotel, and having two drop-dead gorgeous guys hitting on me (probably just to practice their English) while holding hands with each other. It's just an expression of friendship and considered completely natural there. However, women and men - even married couples - cannot touch in public. The world is a sometimes a strange place.