Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving

(Lovely, free image courtesy of

I'm not one for touchy-feely posts, but the fact that my youngest daughter is celebrating Thanksgiving in the USA with my family this year makes me want to at least give the holiday a nod.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?

1. My darling, fun, loving, and fun-loving daughters. Don't be afraid of the teenage years!

2. My bright, generous and dynamic husband. There's never a dull moment.

3. My great family in the USA: my parents, one grandmother (yes!), my sister and her family, all of whom have been willing to take my daughter in for the whole year. I miss them and love them...which leads to:

4. Summers -- which I spend in the USA.

5. My life-long best friend whom I met well over thirty years ago. My move to France hasn't changed a thing about our relationship.

6. Having a job I love every single day. (Okay, almost every single day.)

7. The Internet. Seriously! It helps me keep in touch with the people above, old friends, and also make new ones through my blogging activities.

8. Music. Especially the Kinks, REM and Bob Dylan.

9. Obama's victory. Yes, we did.

10. Being in good health. Four years ago at this time, I was in the hospital for a rather long stay. I do blame it all on Bush's 2004 victory, because I fell ill the very day of his re-election. But that's all over now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Popularity brings Europeana site down

When I read about the new Europeana site, I just couldn't wait to click by.

Culture! Europe! A lot of cool French stuff! A huge digital library!

It sounded like just the sort of site I had been waiting for:

Europeana combines the digital resources of museums and libraries, and the information provided includes paintings, maps, videos and newspapers," reports Stephen Castle in the November 19th New York Times. "Material is free of copyright so it can be downloaded for blogs, research or schoolwork by anyone with an Internet connection."

How great does that sound?

So great that the site has been receiving 10 million hits per hour, leaving it inoperational as I write:

"We launched the site on 20 November and huge use - 10 million hits an hour - meant it crashed. We are doing our best to reopen in a more robust version."

I can't wait!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings 2

OK, this is addictive. I think I'll do it every week. Here is Unconscious Mutterings 304:

  1. Spit it out :: the gum, you'll look like the American that you are.

  2. Shadow :: Land

  3. Database :: Access

  4. Expression :: This

  5. Boss :: Bruce

  6. Baby :: I love you

  7. Mystic :: Man

  8. Kate :: a friend, I wanted to write her last name but did opt for her anonymity

  9. Boobies :: What?

  10. Raid :: Insects, bugs

Friday, November 21, 2008

10 vaguely interesting things I've done

I found an interesting blog activity/meme at La Vie Quotidienne.

Of course, I was also intrigued by this blog because the name resembles my own Cuisine Quotidienne.

I couldn't resist leaving the blogger a comment about how a lot of people don't know what "quotidian" means. I hope her readers (somehow I'm sure it's a woman but I could be wrong) at least know what vie means.

But I digress.

The meme consisted of marking in bold print the things you've done out of a list of 150 activities. Yes: 1-5-0. That sounded like a pretty long undertaking, so I decided to take it differently and divide it in different categories of 10.

And that might just get me through to the end of November and NaBloPoMo!

So, here are 10 vaguely interesting things I've done:

1. Said “I love you” and meant it (are there that many people out there who say that insincerely? Hmmm...)

2. Visited Paris (for work, for family, for education, for name it)

3. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (and even got in trouble for it...)

4. Gone to a huge sports game (Go Ms!)

5. Changed a baby’s diaper (Wait, are these interesting things... even vaguely...???)

6. Given more than you can afford to charity (I hope the Obama campaign counts here)

7. Bet on a winning horse (Yes, I've actually been to the races)

8. Had two hard drives for your computer (For sure!)

9. Taken a road-trip (from Olympia to Fort Collins, Colorado with my whole French family -- unforgettable)

10. Alphabetized your CDs (Mais of course! I wouldn't have it any other way...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unconscious mutterings 1

I got onto this fun blog activity from some new commenter, and I can't remember who! I'm sorry because I wish I could link back to you...

The idea, presented on Unconscious Mutterings, is a kind of free association activity...just for fun; no heavy psychoanalysis going on or anything! And I'm going to try to do it without too much self-monitoring or trying to be clever. Here we go with week 303 (!) of this prompt:

  1. Please stop :: referring to Obama as "le président noir" in France. The French are making way too big a deal out of his race.

  2. Move over :: rover

  3. Sweet as :: sugar, honey, sugar just couldn't be bought.

  4. Bet :: 'cha

  5. Mad about :: London

  6. It’s over :: THE ELECTION

  7. Intend to :: finish NaBloPoMo with more quirky activities like this one

  8. Blame :: game

  9. Jefferson :: Airplane

  10. Heartless :: Hopeless
Well, that was decidedly fun. I think I'll have to try it again...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A tale of two Internet sites

Somebody has probably come up with a definition of the Web 3.0, and somebody will probably be smart enough to tell me about it in a comment.

I haven't done any personal research on the concept, but I feel Barack Obama seems to be ushering in a whole new era of Internet use that will make the Web an indispensable and inescapable tool of democracy...could this be the Web 3.0?

Any doubters who thought President-elect Obama's (I love writing that) Internet strategy would slow down once enough money had been amassed to run the most brilliant presidential campaign in American history have only to click over to the uplifting, user-friendly, the new virtual "Office of the President-elect."

There's a very different feel and look going on in Obama's Web office than at the decidedly dour and user-hostile, where if you look very closely and can read tiny, light-gray print, you can figure out that President George W. Bush lives there.

The site's tab says "Welcome to the White House," but a quick scan of the content makes the visitor feel anything but. And once again, all over the site there's a clear preference for minuscule fonts -- do they really want anybody reading their garbage?

Given their own definition of the situation they're passing on to President-elect Obama, I have to think the answer is no:

With our Nation at war, our homeland targeted by terrorist adversaries, and our economy facing serious challenges, the Administration is committed to establishing and executing a transition plan that minimizes disruption, maintains continuity, and addresses the major changes in government since the 2000 transition..."

Well, dubya, it sounds like you did a great job with your two mandates! You've got an inspiring legacy going there!

I'm thinking I don't want that much continuity maintained. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NaBloPoMo oblige

I don't really have the time to post to this blog today, nor to La France Profonde tomorrow. But I will: NaBloPoMo oblige.

As I mentioned over on La France Profonde, I signed up for this blogging extravaganza this month.

For those who don't know about it, NaBloPoMo is a type of blogging "event" to encourage bloggers to post every day for a month. As their site says:

Post every day for a month. That's all you have to do.

I got onto NaBloPoMo last November when some of my blogging buddies were doing it. (Oh, that peer pressure...) And at the time, I was under the impression that November was the one and only National Blog Posting Month.

I remember thinking "November -- what a terrible time to undertake such a project." The days are getting longer, winter energy lack is setting in, and in my case, my work schedule is getting heavier and heavier.

When I went to the site, though, I noticed that you can actually participate any month you want.

What the heck. It was November 1st, and I signed up.

Bear with me.

And with Blogger being so smart and all, why can't they figure out that I'm actually posting this on THURSDAY THE 13th at 6:30-ish AM and not on WEDNESDAY (Pacific Standard Time.)

I got up at 5:45 to make sure to have time to post, so this is counting for my Thursday post, no matter what the date says!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Where do we go from here?

(Click on image to enlarge.)

A friend of mine sent me this comic from a fun-looking "Webcomic" site, xkcd, whose artist is kind enough to share his creations through a Creative Commons License.

It so reflects how I am feeling right now.

What can I do with all the Internet time I spent obsessively reading fivethirtyeight, pollster, and The Huffington Post, just to name a few?

All suggestions are welcome!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lest we forget...

Of course I am still basking in Obama's victory.

But I hope Americans will not forget the crimes of the past President.

Monday, November 03, 2008

One day more!

Maybe you have to be a political junky and a musical comedy geek to appreciate this...

Maybe you have to be me!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My last word on the subject

(Photo courtesy of Alice from 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera, one cool blogger I got onto during the campaign)
What a long, strange trip it's been...
Let's all hope it was worth it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008