Forum/Bulletin Board

I have developed a bulletin board for the Boerboel site, recently. Instead of just having it be available for the Boerboel blog, I’ve made it more general with many different topics, one of them called Auterrific. This is a way that people who are familiar with one another can communicate in a more day-to-day setting…so, the more mundane things, rather than news/blog worthy things.

Here’s the address: http://boerboel.mu.nu/bb

You will need to register and I have to set permissions in order to view and post. The reason for this is so no one other than the members (e.g. the whole Internet community) will be able to view our conversations.

When you register and I give permission, in order to post, you just click the LOCKED button. You do the same to respond to posts.

Hope to see you there!

Weird Week & Potential Hiatus

If the trip to Hollywood to be in a movie wasn’t bizarre enough, our new puppy is scheduled on a flight from Brussels to Columbus, arriving Tuesday evening. In addition to this, over the time I was in Hollywood, I was contacted by someone to be on the board of a very prestigious organization. Though I declined, it blew me away for a short period of time.

There was a point over the last couple of days that surrealism was at its highest in my life, ever. During that period of time I began to realize how much I haven’t been doing. Near the top of the list, posting on this blog. Slightly higher than that is visiting people listed on this blog. I began to wonder about my near future: training a puppy, getting Ari into his new school, Joshie walking, studying for the LSAT, attending ZestFest, Weight Watchers, taking the LSAT and getting into law school (not to mention attending law school)…the list seems to be getting longer and longer each day. In short, I’m wondering whether it would be prudent to even keep this blog here. If I do, I might put it on a temporary hiatus with a definite period of time and revisit the decision at that time.

I know…you’re all going to tell me not to do it. But, I don’t think it’s fair. In order to make this site thrive, I really need to be visiting and commenting on the sites I have on my blogroll and I just don’t have it in me right now.

Yes, I could leave it to the other writers, but they seem to be getting busier too and I don’t want to overburden them by asking them to visit the sites I have listed, comment on them AND write regular posts.

I don’t know…I’m still thinking it over, but very inclined to just stop. I’ve had a really good run here and would be ending on a lower note than I’d like. But, my real life is mimicking art to the extent of being overextended.

Gone For A While

First, I’m a bit disappointed that our fundraiser isn’t going better. Perhaps it was the late preparation. Perhaps the few people who don’t like us are putting out Karma vibes. Perhaps I was just expecting more from the nearly 500 email addresses to which the announcement went. Either way, I’m bummed.

Second, with Ari’s arm broken and mom’s arm broken I feel like the house maid. I mean, not only is mom NOT able to help, she also requires extra help. Help for which I lack capacity, to be honest. And, when I express that, she approaches me like a bad daughter and mother…as if I should take after her door mat tendencies and put myself last in my life. Yeah, selfish me wanting to have a hot shower every 3 days.

Third, I am at least 2 weeks behind at school. I’m guessing the professor support will begin to wane as I ask for more, so I’m busting my ass until 2:30 am trying to catch up then getting up early to take care of everyone and everything around here.

So, I’m going to stop writing here for a little bit. I’m guessing I’ll be back after the quarter ends.

Oh, I have been having a bit of fun over at the Boerboel Blog. In my few spare moments per day I’ve been enjoying the glory of that site seeing more hits in its first couple of weeks than I have here in 2 years. Plus, I get to brag about the birth of our new puppy there.

I’ll be around. I do think of you all. I know that bloggers are usually the type to snub the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” anecdote, but I do still hang around even if I don’t comment or post.

Blogging Annoyance

Alrighty! I’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for nearly three years now. Prior to that I was a huge paper diarist. I’ve mentioned more than once that my writing style here is very stream of consciousness since that’s what paper diaries tend to be. There’s huge emotional benefits to this kind of writing and it’s why I’ve also stated that I blog for myself and not anyone else. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to work within the boundaries of proper writing. I’ve noticed, as of late, that there are a lot of other bloggers who might not even try.

I really didn’t notice poor writing habits of others until Paula mentioned it in a post a while back. She had said that one of her pet peeves was bloggers reprinting entire articles written by someone else and how that is plagiarism. When she mentioned it, I told her that I have quoted entire articles before when they are simply a couple/three paragraphs and are difficult to comment on due to relative size. When I do post entire articles, they’re in blockquotes and the source is listed. That was not what she was talking about, though. She said that many bloggers have quoted entire, long articles. At that time, I hadn’t witnessed it a lot. Now I do. I almost wish she had never brought it to my attention because it’s infuriating.

So, here’s a little blogging etiquette with regard to quoting other people’s work. Read more

Bittersweet

The most important of these changes was that I moved from Blogger to mu.nu. I was guest posting on Goldie‘s old blog and was recognized by a Munuvian who then nominated me to become part of the group. I was thrilled. Mu.nu offered the blogging platform I had desired at the time in addition to a supportive collection of people who guided me through the transition. However, it’s why I wanted to move from Blogger that was so emotional.

Prior to the move I had been having a few conflicts with people. The most noteworthy was a cyber stalker encountered at a site that I had been visiting and commenting on for quite some time. It actually took a lot of help to find out where that guy had originated, but while doing so I found out some things that I really didn’t want to know, like who else was visiting and when they were doing so.

Unfortunately, around that time, I was invited to be part of a forum of women that seemed like they were pretty open-minded at first. They touted that they were tolerant people who appreciated honesty, even if honesty might include beliefs that were contradictory to their own. It didn’t take long to find out that wasn’t true. Within mere months, voicing my opinion became something was deeply frowned upon. Oh, they would never come out and say that or admit it, but their passive aggressiveness in some instances told the story very well. I decided to leave the group, peacefully, before some of them became overtly aggressive. I was disappointed that they never got to know me. Nevertheless, though I had left that group, they didn’t leave me. I think through a post I wrote on my blog they got the idea that everything I wrote applied to them, despite the fact that I have friends and acquaintances around the world.

-Insert Chaucer’s metaphor about glass houses and stones-

What happened? They moved on to a forum that was password protected and I most certainly was NOT invited. Based on posts that I made on the old forum referencing posts to my blog, and visits that were made to my blog before leaving that forum, a good chunk of their IP addresses were identified. Instead of just leaving me alone after my departure, they decided to keep an eye on me. Assumedly, they believed I would begin writing nasty shit about them here. Well, I did write some really honest posts about people I knew. I still write honest posts about people I know. Could those posts have been about any one of them? Maybe. But they weren’t, and that’s what matters. I would have answered who they were about at the time; if I had been asked (I would still answer. None of my posts have been deleted). But, no, instead of being asked whether a post was about a particular person, I received a barrage of insults in my comments (those no longer exist because I was not able to transfer them from Blogger to MT). Drama continued for a bit and finally stopped. I wrote this post and that was the end of it. No closure was ever made.

I still get upset about this situation even two years later. There’s one thing that really, really bothers me about it. I was invited to that group by a friend. At one point, that friend took a side and it wasn’t mine. I believe she was convinced that something I wrote here was about her long BEFORE she was mentioned in passing by name. Instead of talking to me about it, asking me about it, or simply dealing with me personally to call me a bitch, there was a lot of underhandedness. She is the one who found the new forum and by the statement of someone else who was/is a member, “Ooh, that’s devious. I like it.”

I hadn’t given it a lot of thought like this for some time until a very recent post and installing this most recent plugin. I have to think, though, that a group that values deviousness over honesty and forthrightness is not worth this level of upset.

Perhaps people should throw stones at the mirror first before throwing stones at glass houses.

Just for Bloggers

Right now, there are very few blogs that deal solely with spicy foods. One is the blog my husband and I run, The Hot Zone Online, and another is Nick Lindauer’s Hot Sauce Blog. Nick takes a bit of a different approach than us AND he has an online store to purchase those sauces which he sells. Recently, Nick has just won his way into my heart and, I’m sure, the heart of many other bloggers with the introduction of this…

A HOT SAUCE JUST FOR BLOGGERS

Talk about cornering the market. The best part??? A portion of the sales (a large portion) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Now, don’t you want to be one of the first 144 to own this sauce? Yes, you do. Go there now.

Fantabulous

We recently had our Hot Site redesigned. I just can’t express how pleased we are with the new design. It not only met, but exceeded our expectations. Lisa totally rocks!!! Check it out and refresh a time or two because the food banners change.

Why did we have it redesigned? Well, the old designers were not so friendly in the end. We had questions about the design and design aspects and even though we stated that we were aware our requests might cost additional monies, they wouldn’t email us back and when they did they insisted “their part” was over. One question was so easily resolved that another designer pointed it out without asking anything in return for which the old designer wanted $20/hour. Their part was over, indeed. Onward and upward. In retrospect, we should have just gone with Lisa in the first place. This comes under last year’s lesson of it’s better to pay a little more and get exactly what you want in a timely fashion than pay less and have to do it all over again.

Happy New Year

I saw this meme on Ultrablog back on December 11 of last year. I decided to do this after the new year had begun because I had a lot of emotions when running through my titles at the time and wanted this title to be the first of the year if I decide to do this again next year. Here are the titles of the first post of each month last year. Posts written by me unless otherwise noted.

January: Catholic Bias? (Mark)

February: Another No-Israel-Bashing Zone (Mark)

March: Jenin – Anatomy Of A Lie (Mark)

April: Intelligence

May: DONE!

June: A Few Simple Words (Mark)

July: happy, happy, happy

August: Life Update

September: It’s A BOY (KidDoc)

October: It’s Time

November: My Day…Yesterday

December: Schquack

First, notice that 5 out of 12 of the posts are not made by me. Last year was the year of being pregnant and wrapping things up in Lexington. I got really busy at one point and decided to take on new writers here. Each one of those writers brings something very different to the Auterrific table and I am happy to have them at my side.

Mark’s posts comprised 4 out of 5 of those posts I didn’t write and it has been an interesting journey with him. I’d have to say that we’ve both been affected/infected by each other over the past year. Both of us are not easy people to deal with and, interpersonally, we clash sometimes. But I have to hand it to him…he doesn’t back down or back out easily and is willing to “get dirty” in order to get past something and strengthen the relationship without ever having to agree on the topic which started the conflict in the first place. He has dealt with everything that has been written about him with his head held high and when he’s been wrong, he’s admitted it. Honestly, I’ve had people respond worse with things that haven’t even been written about them. In an online world of ambiguity, he’ll take a situation in which he may be assuming, gain clarification and then respond with a fierce sense of integrity whether it be the popular stance or not…and more often it’s not. Again, he stands up for what he believes in and makes sure no one steps on him in the process. Like him or not, that’s a great quality.

KidDoc managed to squeeze in there with the other one of those posts that I didn’t write last year. After New Year’s Eve plans to possibly go to Cleveland were squashed by having to return Axel to Cincinnati (story saved for another time), we had planned to meet her and hubby in Cinci for lunch. Well, that was squashed by the rescue announcing that they had someone in our area willing to foster and would be picking up Axel directly from our house. We were crushed. The biggest thing we miss about Lexington is KidDoc and hubby. We love spending time with them and wish they were closer. She has always been there for me and I think I owe her quite a few in return. Okay, many in return. I know she’s looking at that job in Atlanta closely and it just kills me that she’ll be moving further away.

Obviously, the hardest of the titles to deal with was the one where I announced Loki’s leaving for the Rainbow Bridge. I woke the other morning at around 6am. The house was quiet as everyone was still asleep. I began thinking about Loki and could never get back to sleep. The image that keeps coming back to me is of him looking into the vet’s eyes as she is administering the drugs to put him out of his pain, finally. The look said, “Thank you.” That is how I will remember him. It was the one thing in life he wanted for him instead of us and we could give that to him.

In stark contrast, we welcome our new son Joshua. I will never forget his delivery because he practically delivered himself. I remember holding him briefly and then being whisked away to the NICU. That was the worst thing I had to deal with having to do with his pregnancy and delivery. That was, until I had to leave the hospital without him. The day he came home was the most wonderful day.

To wrap this up with a bit of funny in a so serious post, I am thrilled that the first post of December was the “Schquack” post. We laughed about that word all the way to the Anesthesia Christmas party. We ended up calling those ducks, The Quackabbees. And, no, my mother-in-law never bought them. But there’s always this year.

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for coming here and brightening my days, especially on days that weren’t so bright.

Important Policies Update

There have been several subtle changes to the policies over the last year worth reading. However, an update today is worth mentioning on the main portion of this site. Please take this seriously.

This blog and its commenting system are currently open to all new readers. However, having had visits from particularly nasty trolls* we have banned a few people from commenting and from the site altogether.

If you have any questions, please e-mail the blog administrator.

Thank you.

* A troll is someone who purposefully attempts to cause harm to others, be they the author or any other person who posts a comment. They usually stray from the topic and their language is designed to do nothing more than insult the person they target. They will not be tolerated on this blog. Not now. Not ever!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to one incredibly offensive person, we are adding this update to the policies. Visitors to this site are maticulously tracked through several different methods. In fact, one log is regularly maintained for submission to law enforcement agencies due to a cyberstalker incident in the past. If you decide, as a reader, that you cannot comment without getting really offensive, we will happily turn that information over to the authorities and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. This also means “friends” who are posting anonymously to get a point across that they wouldn’t voice “in person.” Please, don’t think that because you are a friend that you will not be prosecuted. We’ve taken nice to the limit in the past and that is, unfortunately, over because of a few bad eggs. In addition, those who are visiting via a system that cloaks their IP address are being even more closely monitored. If you are a “friend,” please consider de-cloaking now. Again, we WILL prosecute and there will be no warm, fuzzy explanation that will stop that. You have been given fair warning.

P.S. Legal guide for bloggers. It’s worth a read.