A few weeks ago, I went to an All Tomorrows Parties music festival near Monticello, NY. While at the grocery store there, I spotted a wreck of a cupcake. Being the dutiful documenter that I am, I snapped a picture, and sent it in. Who can resist the mocking of a porn-‘stache-wearing, cookie-choked Cookie Monster?
My friend Michele has been busting her ass to start a responsible, sustainable, organic pet store. She’s succeeded, and now you can go bask in the joy that is Lucky Dog Organics! Michele has the wise combination of an eye for cute aesthetics, and a firm view on what’s actually good for your animal.
I can tell you firsthand that Stellaaa loves the bonito flakes.
We’re holding off giving Ms. Physics VonBarf her cake, since she seems to TOTALLY FREAK OUT about catnip.
I’m spending the day working at the 303 Cafe, around the corner from where I live.
The owner asked if I could help another customer with a Mac get her laptop connected to the wireless network here. (It’s all weird for Macs, apparently, and requires manually adding an IP address.)
This other customer is a Canadian journalist who’s in town visiting. She’s probably my dad’s age, and she seemed to have the same approximate reaction that my dad has to my instructions. I suggested she write down the IP on a Stickie, so when she came back, she would definitely have the IP. She hadn’t used Stickies before, so I showed her that.
We began having a conversation about how she feels that she doesn’t have time to sort through all the possible technologies available to her, partly because she’s busy working, but also because she’s older. (I think her work ethic is also from a generation that doesn’t routinely veer to YouTube at the office.)
She asked me some questions about LibraryThing, and telling her about that (she didn’t believe that that many people still read books) lead to questions about other technologies all the way to me opening up SecondLife for her to look at.
(It was like a bizarre version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.)
By the time we were done, we had agreed that someone needs to start a website for people that separates the technological wheat from the chaff. Basically, I thought of it as a place where I’d write about technology that is either useful or likely to end up needing to know about, like I would explain it to my dad. There are lots of people (not only old people) who are capable of opening up a Word document, but are flabbergasted by the term RSS.
Now, I also assume that someone’s thought of this. I’ve already spent a good hour not working, and so I’ll leave it to someone else to discover it. (Or email me, and we can start a support site for old people.)
UPDATE! LibraryLaura totally had the answer: commoncraft. Laura says “he does videos on lots of different web 2.0 stuff ‘in plain english’ – they’re really cute and clever.”
Laura bonus: VoiceThread – ‘an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways – using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) – and share them with anyone they wish.’ (quote from the website)
Update II: Erin wrote in the comments: “have you seen Eons – the social networking site for seniors??
I posted about this before, but it really requires a full post of its own, especially since I can’t stop talking about it, and today I gave my website addy to the cashier at Old Navy while gushing about how their Sweetheart jeans fit me just perfect, and I know this because of Zafu.
You know how it’s hard to find bras and jeans that fit? And it seems they’re tailored for someone with a body shape very different than your own? Zafu asks you a bunch of questions about your body and how the item usually fits you, then gives you a list of specific items that should fit you better. I needed new jeans, so I tried it out. Lo and behold, I’m sitting at home in my cute new jeans, which don’t gap at the back, or make my thighs look gross. It’s amazing!
Actually, all the gifting I’ve done for “the holidays” has been pretty great, if I do say so myself.
I got Jason a soldering iron, so he can make me this. I got my sister a FutureBike (once she moves, I’ll buy her a bike). I sent gift certificates to my siblings for their birthdays (it says “I love you, but you get to choose”).
The best, though, is the gift we’re sending the niecefews (aside: is there a gender-neutral word for a sibling’s children?) is something I heard about during (library science) grad school – the One Laptop per Child nonprofit. They’ve figured out a way to make a sturdy (you can dunk it in water), useful (you can view it in sunlight), childfriendly (small keyboard/rabbit-y looking antenna) laptop for the smallest amount of money possible, so they can be distributed to children who otherwise will never get to become computer literate.
Right now (I’m not sure for how long), they’re offering to let you buy one of these laptops, if you donate one. For $400, we’re bringing the joy of futureworld to two families, one of which we know and love.
Basically, you sign up for it, you receive your target (with their relevant information like shoe size and address), then you knit as fast as humanly possible to finish a pair of socks for them and mail them to them before you get a pair in the mail. ‘Cause then you’re dead.
I’ll remind you:
I work in a library. I love Goodreads. I love it when I read a friend’s review on Goodreads, then walk over to a shelf and now have the same book in my hands. That’s pretty powerful stuff, right there.
So now I have The Namesake in my hot little hands, and will begin reading it right after I finish The Pleasure of My Company. The Namesake was suggested to me by E, and The Pleasure of My Company (which I can only refer to as You Enjoy Myself) was introduced to me by Keem, who brought it up as a fine example of Steve Martin’s humor.
This is literary instant gratification. The instant novel’s gonna get you.
You may or not know this, but I’m a Pez collector.
This site is via BoingBoing, via my mom. (You know you are one-upped when your mom emails you cool sites she finds on BoingBoing.)
Sweet World is a site with a bunch of Pez modifications. Some of them are very clever and awesome, some of them you might not notice much of a difference… unless you’re a Pezhead.
I’ve been feeling lost and confused ever since I successfully finished knitting a Rogue hoodie that fit me.
Until Keem suggested I knit her a Skull Illusion Scarf.
I said “Mokay, but are you sure you don’t want a Dark Mark illusion scarf?”
She said, “No thanks, I’m in Ravenclaw anyway.”
Skull and crossbones it is. Much more ladylike and nonthreatening.
So off I go, on a new knitting adventure, with an illusion scarf. I plan on plotting my progress with my brand new membership to Ravelry. (For those of you who aren’t aware yet, it’s only THE knitting and crocheting community site. It’s still in beta testing, and just today I got my long-awaited invitation.)
This is WAY better than Talk Like a Pirate Day. Well, I think its way better.
When Rob posted a comment featuring Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day, my first thought was the anachronistic/historical setup. I’d be in a Victorian whalebone corset, and occasionally faint on the couch.
Then I went to the website, and realized just how much more the whole thing could be. My favorite suggestion is to hand somebody a trinket and a phone number and say “Call this number in 30 years – you’ll know what to do next.”
And I would of course walk up to a computer and use the mouse as a microphone (my favorite Star Trek movie moment of all time).