Sunday, April 29, 2007


My candle burns at both ends

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -

It gives a lovely light.

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Monday, April 23, 2007


I found some interesting tools when I was using Stumble Upon (I'll review that separately). The first is a site that checks Google Page Rank. Simply type in your URL and press the submit button and the website will return a Google page rank. The Writer's Home is at zero but my other blog, Radio Free Canada,has a page rank of five out of ten. WebSiteGrader is a more useful tool that looks at a site and judges ways that the site can be enhanced. The site judges such categories as Google Page Rank, Web Page Structure, Technorati Ratings, and Reading Level. The site offers suggestions on how to improve the site ratings with such tools as metatags and RSS feeds.

I was curious about the two blogs that I write and so submitted the URLs for this site and for Radio Free Canada. The Writer's Home had a reading level of high school plus one year of college whereas my other site, Radio Free Canada, is at the first year of graduate school. I think the difference is due to the fact I have content, such as Poem of the Week,that is not of my origin on The Writer's Home site.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


So intense is this grief,
nothing I have ever felt before comes near it.
Yet by its means I stay alive.

I would be dead by now --
but for this heavy strong pain lying on my heart:
it won't give way to death,

I can't increase nor diminish these wounds.

Pitiless hurt.
Can I defend a heart and soul
so full of anguish?
My heart, my burning soul cannot breathe
outside this fire.
I live on despite myself

And what is my crown of thorns?
I am not able to grieve over my real grief.

Friday, April 20, 2007


There are some people who are requesting that there be a silent vigil in cyberspace for those dead in the Virginia Tech shootings. Those who wish to participate will not blog for that day. The date is April 30th, 2007. Please send the originator of the idea feedback, via the link at The Golden Pencil.

Thanks. ----Anne

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NOTE: I usually separate the content of my two blogs (the other is a political blog) but a writer is more than mechanics and word tricks. Words without passion and sorrow are flat and inhumane.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


If you have come to this site and have not seen any graphics, Blogger temporarily ate my Picasa album. Grrrr! Things seem to be working and will go on as usual.

NOTE: I didn't put any graphics on this blog. Your eyes aren't getting old.

Monday, April 16, 2007


About a month ago, I was working for a tea blog which will not be named. I was not being paid but saw this as a chance for bigger and better things. Initially, I was all jazzed to go on the deal because I am very knowledgeable about herbs et cetera and felt that I had a lot to contribute with my information. So I patiently learned WordPress, a content management system. Even with the organization's s-l-o-w satellite uplink, this did not deter me.

The trouble started when I asked the publishers if they were going to accept herbal teas, excuse me, tisanes . This did not go well with my employers. Green tea, and only green tea, they dictated. I had also naively wrote in my biography that I enjoy rooibos tea and white tea with lots of honey. This was immediately nixed because they saw sweeteners as unhealthy. Despite my knowledge of honey as having anti-bacterial properties and as safe to use except for infants and those with depressed immune systems for some incidents of botulism poisoning, I agreed with my employers' wishes. I didn't mention stevia as a possibility. Honey bad, plain green tea good. Hookay.... I could accept that. White tea was on the edge. I'm living dangerously now to have sweeteners in my leaves. On my side of the Internet, I started to rebel. I shamelessly drank rooibos with globs of honey. I put away a plastic bearful in a month.

Meanwhile, as an editor, my photo reporter was less than present. I basically was editing, proofreading, posting, and doing photo editing for the whole site. And getting rather cranky. I one day asked one of the publishers if I could participate in a tea tasting. My employer said that if there was leftovers, I could have some. Ouch. I was hurt that, especially since I was the blog's editor, I should participate in the site's activities.

I was further injured when the same employer asked at what times I posted and edited comments. I replied that I had, before the e-mail to me, edited and created several articles for future posting and already had them in WordPress' queue. The employer insisted on knowing the times but I could not give the publisher a single answer because I was up at the wee hours of the morning fighting the blog's (on their end) snail-paced uplink. While that was a legitimate question, the employer did not acknowledge that I had edited twenty-five comments for error that day and was ahead on the posts. Still, I was willing to keep at the job.

Then, I made a fatal mistake or perhaps the publishers did. One of the people on the board had asked about hydration and whether or not tea was a good drink to take on a hike. Innocently, I looked for data for the person who made the query and I posted my findings. One of the publishers sent me a flaming e-mail to ream me out that I did not know what I was talking about when I discussed hydration. I had favoured water. The publisher was very upset that unintentionally on my part, but with my intent in the view of the employer, gone against that person in a comment on the blog. I had posted before the employer, not after.

I had to take a several deep breaths before I could write a very polite resignation letter. I was running the whole site with accurate edits and posts. I was not illiterate about green tea as my employers thought. I had been an, admittedly hobbyist, herbalist for about twenty years. I know enough to realize what flora is dangerous or illegal. Never take pennyroyal. Green tea is no different in having knowledge about it because it is just a medicinal plant. I trusted my knowledge and my smarts and I quit. When I accept another job or offer, it damn well better come with respect.And lots of honey.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007


Queen of battle
the Moon God's oldest child
Maiden Inanna
I worship you
here is my song.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007



CoolIris is a web page preview tool for Firefox 2.0. With CoolIris, a person can preview a page without clicking through to the page. This is very useful so that one gets an initial sense of a site without doing a lot of mouse work.

Let's take CoolIris for a spin. I decided to preview a site, Dictionary of Victorian London, from one of my blog links. I placed my mouse next to the link and up popped an icon consisting of two green and blue boxes. I budged my mouse over the link and up popped a preview of the site. There are various choices that you can make for the preview. Go Back will take you to back to the starting page when you click within the preview, Open The Current Link In A New Tab will open the preview in another window, the E-Mail tab will let you, after you register with CoolIris, e-mail sites to friends. There is an Exit button, and a lock icon to Stick The Frame or keep the preview open so that one does not have re-open the frame.
Now the fun stuff begins. When you come to a link, you can highlight it and right click to get various choices to research the intended subject. Let's choose the ever handsome Alan Rickman in my Labels for a trial run (sigh, it was a toss-up between him, Andrew Vachss, Andrei Codrescu, and the Bronte sisters...the Brontes lost). Now, run the mouse cursor over the highlighted word and right click. One has the choices of the freedictionary,Google Images, and Wikipedia. Clicking on Google Images takes you to a page of Alan Rickman images and you can place the mouse over any of the images and it will give a CoolIris preview. Magnificent!

This is definitely a tool that is necessary for Firefox. Be sure to add it to your browser.

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Friday, April 6, 2007



With the blossoms gone
I look for no special color
as I gaze afar
and then from the empty sky
spring rains begin to fall.

Princess Shikishi

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Zotero is a bibliography tool for Firefox. Ordinarily, I would not do two tool reviews in a week but this is a very useful tool for citations.

In Zotero, a person can save annotations in various forms for both online and offline use. You can import and export libraries of citations to Zotero, create standard citations for book, book sections,documents, journal and magazine articles,and many more citation forms including podcasts. There is the ability to create new items from the current page as well as saving a link to a current page. There are also standalone notes that one can write.

Let's take Zotero for a spin. I decided to note a wikipedia article about Alan Rickman. I clicked on the Zotero icon in my browser and the interface for the tool popped up. Next, I clicked on the Save Link to Current Page. This gave me an interface that saved the link and also timestamped it. Underneath the timestamp is a blank white area to make a note. I wrote "This is an article about the handsome actor Alan Rickman, second only to the late Jeremy Brett as one of the greatest British actors." (Note: You can copy or cut, then paste from Zotero to Blogger or anything else like e-mail). Next there is a Related link that shows what might be related in one's library and a tagging function.
Zotero saves not only the citation but when you open Zotero again, you can click on the web link and go directly to the cited article.

Right-clicking on an item brings up several more options to create a bibliography in various formats such as IEEE, Chicago, Vancouver et cetera. This can be exported to RTF, HTML, Printed, or to the computer's Clipboard. Zotero also can generate a report in the browser if you choose to click the option Generate Report.
Zotero can be added as a plugin in some versions of Open Office and in Microsoft Word. Check the compatibility table for more information.

This is definitely a tool that is necessary for Firefox. Be sure to add it to your browser.

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Monday, April 2, 2007


Leafletter is a tool that you should avoid. Basically, it is a tool for placing small websites into blogs and social sites. The application did not work in Blogger. The application had scripting errors and crashed my browser (Firefox).
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