Tuesday, August 31, 2004

If you find a cash cow...

Annie Jacobson's 'terror' flight cross-country has now turned itself into a series prominently displayed on the front 'page' of Women's Wall Street (not to be confused with the WSJ). Her story is like hydra; chop off one head, and it grows another. In journalism, normally I'd consider this exciting -- as one professor once said, "There's a story with legs and look at it walking right out the door."

But I have no respect for someone who is willfully spreading thinly veiled racism and paranoia under the guise of investigative journalism. You only have to read Ms. Jacobson's words to realize that nothing less than throwing these 14 Syrians into prison will appease her. In fact, I'd laugh at her if it wasn't for the fact so many people are buying into her story, that there were indeed musicians masquerading as terrorists aboard this Northwest flight and that even after they were checked out so thoroughly, people are still calling them terrorists. Whatever happened to presumption of innocence? Or does that not happen when flying Muslim and in large groups?

And don't get me wrong: I have no doubt there are terrorists in the United States and I firmly believe we must take all sensible and rational measures to protect the population at large. But to go around and immediately cast 14 rowdy Syrians as terrorists and contine to do so even after all evidence points otherwise? I have no patience for that. That's not investigative journalism; that's just crap, but people are buying it because these days, fear sells. It's the idea of "us versus them" or "good versus evil" that gets the blood boiling to hyper-patriotic levels.

A colleague said to me when Ms. Jacobson's article first hit the Internet that "Guess what? It's not the blond-haired blue-eyed people who are terrorists." It's a rationalization, a justification to signal out a particular ethnic group and slap an all-purpose brand on them. But here's the rub, folks. Believe it or not, there's a long, long list of airplane accidents not caused by Islamic fundamentalists. We only remember the Islamic fundamentalists because they brought themselves to our attention so spectacularly and terrifingly on September 11.

If you're curious about other terrorist acts in the air not caused by Muslims, see here for the entire list. I'd like to point out one particular incident -- the downing of Air India Flight 182 from Montreal (not Toronto as written in the article), which is the largest air disaster of all time. The terrorists responsible were Sikh. I remember this, not just because it was an Air India, but because a good family friend was on that flight, but flying 'Sikh' doesn't raise eyebrows these days -- even for me, though personal experience should dictate otherwise.

However, jemima points out that profiling isn't about old grudges, but rather about current statistics. So given that, yeah, we ought to focus more on Muslims to the exclusion of anyone else -- even if history shows that non-Muslims have enough of that incomprehensible hatred and anomosity towards Americans (or anyone else for that matter -- let's not make this American-centric) to kill. But there's got to be a line in the sand, when you have to stop back and say, "Hey, there are Muslims who travel in large groups who aren't terrorists and there are people with information who know these things." I postulate that given current evidence, there's a journalistic responsibility to be had and taken seriously when one is trying to blow a second wind into a story that, by all counts, ought to be on its last leg.

But as for Ms. Jacobson? What she's doing is not journalism -- it's fearmongering, buoyed by current events -- and milking it for all she's got. If it's been verified and proven by intelligence officials that a particular individual isn't a terrorist, then what the hell is Ms. Jacobson doing, going around trying to say otherwise? Does she think she's breaking some vast government conspiracy to not protect America from terrorism? And if so, MSNBC (among others) has already beaten her to it (perhaps we could have used Annie Jacobson and her powers of insight and logic before September 11). But most damning of all? You'd think John Ashcroft would jump at the chance to throw not one, but 14 terrorists in jail. Hmmm, on second thought, maybe the only conspiracy here is the one in Ms. Jacobson's head.

Link of the day: Terror level alerts: Collect them all!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Quick link for now

More bloggity coming to you tonight, but in the meantime, here's an Olympic link for you. I was remiss over the weekend in providing the links. Real content later, but for now the Olympics in a nutshell -- from scandal to ambush.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Personal satisfaction

jemima responded to my earlier post on what makes a successful blog with one of her own here. One thing I forgot to add earlier is, you* have to want to blog and you have to like blogging exclusive of any interaction from others.

It's the same as writing fic and posting it online; if you're not writing for your own intrinsic satisfaction, if you're require the hallelujah chorus every time you get up on the blogbox, then chances are, your blogging career is going to be short-lived. There are a gazillion blogs out there and maybe 1 or 2 percent get a huge audience; chances are, you and me are not among the lucky percentage, in which case the motivation to blog has to be from within.

My personal view on FB these days is that it's an extraodinary event and ought to be treated as such, whether it's here in the blog or on my stories. Either way, the existence -- or lack thereof -- isn't going to stop the blog from churning out Seema!propaganda because I like blogging and I want to continue.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Go west, young lady

And west I am. I have fled the sticky humid city for the weekend, and headed, literally, for the hills. Hills and the lake, that is, and dry heat versus the humidity. Already, the air smells cleaner, the pace is so much quieter and sedate, it's cooler and all is well. I will catch up with all of y'all on the other side of the weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Where you go, that's where you are

I think it's interesting that one of the number one searches that brings people to this site is for Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Remember them? They were the twins who played Carrie on "Little House on the Prairie" and were never given much to do. In fact, iirc, they were constantly being replaced by other adoptive children -- Albert, and then James and Cassandra. All of this reminds me of "Seventh Heaven", with those twins who play David and Sam and who are constantly being upstaged by random children who wander in and out of the house. What is it with family drama shows ignoring the children who are already there and then introducing more and more children who have absolutely no charisma or spunk? And how do the parents not even notice that their original children have been shunted to the side?

Though, on "Seventh Heaven," I did appreciate Reverand Camden's befuddlement of walking through the living room and observing that none of the 80 gazillion teenagers there belonged to him; unfortunately, it came too late for me, as I'd already been rendered unconcious by Ashlee Simpson's character of Cecilia.* Pa Ingalls, for all of his good qualities, never did notice that he had two other children -- Carrie and Grace -- once he started the process of accumulating other children from other venues.

But I digress: for those of you who come here and look for the Greenbush twins, here is their official site.

Geek additions to the blog: You can now email individual posts to people, if you so desire; just click on the little 'envelope' in the date line at the end of each post. Also, I've added a few new links under the category of 'personal' -- direct your eyes to the upper right hand corner of your browser for the low-down.

Olympics link of the day: HDTV and the Olympics.

News link of the day: Bush Acknowledges Iraq 'Miscalculation'.

* For all of the Ashlee Simpson fans who may storm this blog in defense of their musical idol, I allow for the possibility that the character of 'Cecilia' may have just been so badly written that Ashlee's only way out was to whisper her way through the role.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

You write it, maybe they'll come

I've been pondering what makes a successful blog, what attracts the reader. Face it, there are thousands and thousands of blogs out there -- it's so easy that anyone can do it, and not everyone out there has a hook and following like Wil Wheaton. There's this idea that maybe if you write it, people will become automatically interested in you and everything you do. There's also the flipside, in which case no one could possibly be interested in you, so why bother?

Here's the thing: it really depends on what you* want your blog to do. If you want tons and tons of people to read it, then there is essentially two things you have to do: 1) make the readers care about you and 2) blog content the readers care about. And to accomplish this, yeah, you're going to have to make some compromises, figure out what people want to read, and you're not always going to be able to say what's on your mind (or if you do, you may have to temper it with humor or leave the mundane out). The truth is, no one except maybe my mother cares what I had for breakfast and even that is doubtful.

An interesting blog isn't a litany of things done or to be done. It's not a list of all the things that went wrong in a person's day. It's not even a list of links. That's not to say you can't blog these things -- sometimes it's nice to put it out there for cathartic purposes and some readers may even appreciate hearing about the ups and downs -- especially if written in a way that they can relate to (finding the humor in a bad situation is sometimes the way to go in these cases -- if possible). But there's a point when it's simply navel gazing and even your mother will get tired of reading your grocery list.

In my not so humble opinion, when you put a blog out there, you're automatically writing for an audience. You don't necessarily know who that audience is (hi, mom!), but someone is popping by for whatever reason. Maybe it's a one-time deal, maybe it's a "refresh the blog nine times a day for updates" deal. And since you're now a blogger, you've got at least care somewhat or want somewhat for people to read. In that case, you're going to have compromise and put out stuff that people will find interesting.**

If you're going for a narrow focus -- geek all the time, for instance -- then you've got to keep it up, get the information early and be on the edge of technology at all times. That's what people are reading you for, so that's what you got to do. In that case, the blog is content-driven and if people don't care about the content or don't think you're doing a good job keeping up, then they aren't going to read. It's that simple; the Internet has made thousands of pundits out of ordinary people, so if you can't fill a niche, it's easy to find someone else who will.

If it's more of a personal nature blog, then it's all about personality, about who you are and why people should care about you. Some of the most successful bloggers are successful because they are funny, they are honest, and they write in a way that's easy to understand and more importantly, the reader can identify. If a reader doesn't care about the person behind the blog, they aren't going to care about the content. And that means being able to laugh at one self, to pull out the funny more often than the gloomy; after all, no one wants to be depressed while reading a blog.

So make it fun, stick links out there that amuse, and more importantly, blog about what you care about; that doesn't necessarily mean always blog about yourself, but rather, what's on your mind, those little touches that make a blog personal. Chances are, if it's something that interests you, then that's going to translate to the reader and make your blog that much more interesting to that individual.

Olympic link of the day: Oh what to do about the judging controversies. I don't agree with the writer, but I'm sure there are many people out there who'd love to get rid of judged sports in the Olympics.

* I'm using 'you' in a very general way and hopefully not too preachy, but when using one's personal soapbox to wag a finger and say 'This is how you do it!', it's hard not to be preachy.

** This is also not to negate the importance of well-written content. Grammar and spelling does indeed count! If people can't understand what it is you're trying to say, they're not going to read. And yes, this includes using complete words easily recognizable or found in a dictionary, which does not include text-messaging or AIM short-cuts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

If you see a fork in the road, take it!

I've been on an X-Files watching marathon lately. For those of you wondering, I'm now on season 6 (I watched the movie in between seasons 5 and 6, which is where it fits in the chronology). I got delayed briefly because of the Olympics, but I'm back on schedule now, having knocked out "The Beginning" and part of "Drive" before being distracted by phone calls. It's still a ways to the 'shippiness of season 7, but it's been fun watching how Mulder and Scully grow together first as friends and then as a couple. Plus, so many pieces of the conspiracy are now falling together. It's a revelatory exprience -- I now understand what Krycek is all about and where that blasted black oil comes from. Plus, some of the exchanges between the characters are so classic. I like this one from the seventh season episode "all things" (penned, incidentally, by Gillian Anderson):

SCULLY: What if there was only one choice and all the other ones were wrong? And there were signs along the way to pay attention to.

MULDER: Mmm. And all the... choices would then lead to this very moment. One wrong turn, and... we wouldn't be sitting here together. Well, that says a lot.

I added new blogs to my sidebar for your reading pleasure, so do visit the new blogs on the block.

Olympics link: Israel gets its first gold medal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Living in a glass house

I'm always amazed at what people will do for an entry in the Guiness World Book of Records. To wit: a woman moves in with 6,000 scorpions. Apparently, she was going to try the stunt earlier, but couldn't find enough scorpions. Obviously, she hasn't been to my neck of the woods. I can get her scorpions and centipedes and millipedes and snakes.

I'm starting to reach my threshold of Olympic watching. I've watched something like, 1,304 hours of coverage and when beach volleyball came on for the 80 gazillionth time, I had to draw a line in the carpet. I think beach volleyball would be cool if the guys played in their swimsuits too. None of this tank top and modest short business; if the women have to play in their bikinis, I say the men have to play in their Speedos! Well, on second thought...

Olympic link of the day: Just in case you didn't get enough already, you can keep the excitement alive with a new game for Sony Playstation. You too can hear the roar of the crowds, live the hype, and experience that moment of standing on the podium with your very own virtual medal.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Not much to report today, other than busy-busy at work, so other than my unusual weird obsession with the film "Open Water," I have nothing else to report. However, looks as if Olympians largely barred from blogging so unfortunately, you will have to stick with the mass media to find out the 'inside story' on the Games. I will vent my frustrations about the NBC coverage at another time, but the NY Times has already reviewed the commentators. However, the goal of this blog is to accentuate the positive! So check out Carly Patterson.

Also more than half of Americans still believe Iraq has WMDs.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Olympic comeback of the day. This was simply amazing, spectacular, unbelieving -- if you didn't get a chance to see it on television, it's hard to explain just how marvelous a comeback this was, but the article gives a pretty good idea. And whoa, isn't that the world's longest run on sentence?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


The True Story Behind the 'Open Water' Movie; please note, this article contains spoilers for the film, and so don't click if you intend to see it and don't want to know how it all turns out.

Olympics link of the day: Where are all the people?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

To catch a thief

jemima and I have been on similar quests lately -- she's trying to stymie the thieves who willy-nilly link to your webspace and eat up the bandwidth, while I'm trying to figure out how to get false referrers out of my weblogs. As I said to jemima, it's no fair that I'm getting over 60 hits from webdevboard.com* and yet NO feedback. Turns out, after going undercover on the message board, I figured out what the deal was -- webdevboard sends out its spider for nefarious purposes; they say it's free service to track down broken links and then to email the site owner. I say they're spamming my weblogs and I want them to stop eating my bandwidth already.

So I did some research on the topic. I already looked into the image stealing problem some time back and made some adjustments to my .htacess file to prevent any image stealing. (Before the modification, I did replace the stolen graphic with another graphic that read 'I stole bandwidth from seema.org and all I got was this lousy image' but I was too chicken to leave it up for more than a few minutes). But this spamming spider is a new beastie to contend with. I am grateful for one thing -- I'd often wondered how certain sites were showing in my logs as referrers and now I have a better idea of how that might be the case.

So, if you have a spammity spider problem, here are some links. Most of the 'good' spiders like google, yahoo, etc., will respect your robots.txt. It's the bad spiders like webdevboard's that don't. Here are some suggestions on how to keep the bad spiders away and to modify your .htaccess file accordingly. If you need to know who the spiders are, check here. If you don't have a robots.txt at all, get started here. And finally, more information on the uses for .htaccess files can be located here.

Two Olympics links today: Geek Trivia: Olympic muddle winners and US women take the silver in gymnastics.

* Yes, I didn't link to webdevboard. com on purpose because they are Evil (tm) and do not deserve a direct link. Unfortunately, I had to give them the extra publicity, but those spammity spammers deserve no referrer from me!

Monday, August 16, 2004

You'd think...

That after the lessons of Rwanda or Bosnia, the world community would take action.

Genocide in Darfur sparks outrage, but little action

Your Olympic link of the day is a little early today. I wish I could feel sorry for these guys, but I honestly don't. I'm just glad the men are having to go through this most annoying, most time-consuming part of life: Shaving down: Swimming's painful ritual.

Later linkage will include geekity stuff, so enjoy your Olympics coverage now.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

All about FSOs

So today I made a second pilgrimage in a week to my favorite purveyor of all things Swedish and flat. I had to go a second time because last weekend, I made an impulse purchase -- yes, yes, me who cannot commit to furniture, bought a small folding table on impulse -- and when I came home to set it up, that's when it all fell apart.

You see, this small folding table is pretty easy to set up. There are no weird looking wrench thingies, no odd shaped screws, no quirky pieces to line up. It's a folding table, so you literally unfold it and voila, it's functional. So I was pretty excited about the table, especially since I'd spent about 45 minutes in IKEA hauling the thing around. See, I was only running in for a moment with a friend who needed to pick something up. She left me alone and when I'm left alone in a store, I buy things.

An example of a thing I bought when left alone was a lovely rosewood carved elephant in Nice. I didn't actually need or want the elephant; it was just there, I admired it, and just out of casual conversation, I asked the street vendor, "Combien?" And he started to wrap it up for me. "Thirty-five euros," he said. I shook my head. "Too much," I said, "but it's very lovely." And then the street vendor said, "Twenty-five euros." I offered him a sad smile. "Sorry," I said. Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up buying this wooden elephant that I didn't even want for 15 euros.

See, IKEA is just like a vendor with a blanket of pretty things. It's impossible to just walk by and restrain yourself to plain ooohs and ahhhhs when you have plastic in your wallet. And that's how I ended up buying the table (I also bought a spatula and a basket, but at 99 cents a pop, neither were a particularly angsty purchase). See, I saw the table when my friend ran off to chase a salesperson, and I was meandering around aimlessly. We were near the cash registers at the time, so I just picked up a table and then proceeded to walk through IKEA as if I didn't have a table under my arm. What I somehow forgot was that this was the new supersized IKEA, the size of two football fields; I have no idea how big one football field is, but this IKEA is pretty gosh darn large.

The way IKEA is set up, everyone goes in the same direction. You start on the second floor where all the furniture is, and then you somehow work your way to the first floor where all of the baubles, kitchenware, etc., are located. Traffic flows very well, unless you are the girl with a table under her arm going against everyone else. And I could totally tell that they were wondering how come I was going the wrong way and would I please get out of their yellow shopping bag-induced lust way and for God's sakes, what the heck was I doing without a shopping cart? Trust me, I was wondering the same thing myself.

Anyway, after roaming the two football fields, I turned around. By now, I was in serious trouble because I had added the aforementioned spatula and wicker basket to the table and I still didn't have a cart. I'd my eyes set on some pretty glassware, but given the circumstances, I figured it was best to get back to the cashier and locate my friend and thus, prevent any more damage from being done.

To make a long story short, I got home, tried the table out and just as I pushed the legs apart, what happens? The screw goes flying. Across the room, clear into the kitchen, to disappear forever and ever. To properly illustrate this, you must also know that there was a sound effect -- a kind of popping explosive metallic sound. There was trajectory, there was velocity, and magnitude; now you all know the truth, that IKEA tables also secretly masquerade as weapons of mass destruction. And like other famous WMDs, I still haven't found the dang thing.

Anyway, I went back to IKEA to exchange the table today, and this time, I decided to follow 'traffic' and start on the second floor and work my way down like all the other good IKEA shoppers. But halfway through the first football field, I got bored with the whole thing. I picked up three mini cheese graters and walked with them as the only item in my yellow shopping bag before tossing them aside somewhere in Linens. I looked at plants for a little while, before deciding to make a clean getaway altogether sans table. No more flying screw objects for me, thankyouverymuch.

Olympic link of the day: US Gymnasts Qualify for Finals.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Let the games begin

I'm a huge, huge Olympics junkie. I cannot begin to tell you the extent of my junkiness but let's put it this way -- you cannot tempt me away from gymnastics/swimming/diving with the usually lethal combination of margaritas and pizza. Why, you ask, do I care so much about these hugely expensive endeavors that come around ever two to four years (depending on whether you're including Winter Games in the count)? It's quite simple.

I always love the staging,the bravado, the sense of history and spirit that infuses these Games. I love the idea that these people have trained so hard, have sacrificed so much, all for this moment. I love that they go there, and they forget all of the artificial boundaries we construct -- political, national, religious, racial, sexuality, gender -- to come together on a playing field. I love the stories, the humanity of what we see for sixteen days. It's not always about winning, but the journey that brings the athlete to this particular moment in time.

And I admit, watching the Opening Ceremonies, I did get a little choked up watching the American team come into the arena. More universal, it's impossible to miss the joy on the athletes' faces and not share in their excitement, the desire to represent one's country. Or how about the Afghani team which is sending a woman to these Games? Or the Iraqi team, welcomed back into the Olympic fold, and upsetting Portugal in a first-round soccer match? It's the human spirit at its finest, the story of individuals that make up nations, a way for us, the world population, to get to our neighbors a little better. More importantly, it's the physical manifestation of pride and love for what one does and for one's country. It's hard not to find some resonance of some kind for every person in these Games, this pagentry of the human spirit.

Olympics link of the day: At the Games, it's a woman's world.
Vote 2004

Hey, the four of you in the country who haven't decided who you're voting for? If you're unhappy with either Bush or Kerry, go with a third party candidate who has done it all and has a kick ass wardrobe to boot: you know you want to vote Barbie in 2004.

Go go go!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Play it again, Seema

This special 'extra' blog link is brought to you by Jemima: A Successful Blog. It's well-worth reading, especially since it seems that prevailing thought is "if you write it, they will come." The guidelines make for a good checklist or goals to strive for when blogging.

I understand that this blog has had an unusual amount of geekity in it lately. I assure you this will stop as soon as the Olympics come on, starting with the Opening Ceremonies on Friday. Then it will be all Olympics All the Time (tm). You thought the DNC was bad...
Geekity geek geek

I went on the prowl for webhosts with CGI and Perl capabilities today for jemima today. I found a whole listing here. I'm not speaking to the quality -- some are definitly better than others -- but I was interested to see the whole "no ad" movement lives and is as strong as ever. It's a tough trade-off. You get bombarded with ads on sites like Geocities, Fortunecity, what have you, but they tend to be fairly reliable sites and easy as heck to use.

But these days, webhosting is really, really cheap. I found some plans for as little as $2.50/month, and most plans are around $7/month. Even Geocities offers webhosting for not a lot of money; examples of other pricing plans are here.

Now I understand there is still some philosophical push-back on the idea of paying for hosting. I've never understood it, mostly because I believe to get something, you have to give something back in return. That means eventually your free webhost is going to smack ads all over your lovely layout or take away features once promised. I still lament the loss of FTP from Geocities -- funny, when I started this whole web stuff back in '98, I loved browser upload and thought FTP was the work of the devil; FTP is so much better, and free of browser 'issues' too.

Every now and then, I do prowl for webspace. You never know when you might suddenly come into the need for webspace so it's good to know what's out there. Still, it makes me very glad for the largesse of the brother as it means I will never ever be subject to the whims of a free ad-hosting company and their random changes in ToS either.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Aggregate me, baby!

I went looking for a news aggregator today because I spend way too much time flitting from blog to blog, and then also being so disappointed when I pop on by and a blog wasn't updated. So, I found bloglines which is a news aggregator run online. So, no software to download, and accessible from any computer and more importantly, free.

It also includes some additional features I don't understand like unlimited disposable emails (you'd think this would be self-explanatory, but I don't really get it), as well as a clip blog. Bloglines has a 'catalog' of blogs to subscribe too, including these top blogs, but you can even find lil ol' me in the catalog, as well as jemima's site.

If you're looking for a way to condense your reading and not worry about having software downloads on multiple computers, this just may be the way to go. It seems relatively straight-forward and every blog I've subbed too seems to work properly. And did I mention, it's free?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A shout out

I just checked my site stats and saw someone from my most recent educational institution has popped by a few times so I just wanted to say howdy to that person :-)
Gig 'em :-)
Worry wart

For those of you who don't know my dirty little secret, I'm about to out it to the Internet as a whole -- or the few of you who stop by here each day. ::deep breath:: I'm a worry wart. I've never met an anxiety attack I've not embraced and cuddled. In fact, worrying is such a state of being for me that if I'm not worried, I immediately find the small molehole possible and turn it into a mountain. Then I fixate, until I'm so paralyzed by my own fears that I find it exceedingly difficult to relax or make a decision or do anything that will distract me.

I confide this to you because currently I'm at work. Yes, on a beautiful Saturday at a time when I'd planned to go for a walk in the park near my apartment. I'm here because I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep, despite my eye-lids being very heavy and my body being dead tired and sore (Oh yes, I forgot to mention -- I fell down some stairs Friday at lunch, and so now I'm worrying about whether I'll be one big bruise or not). The reason? I could not remember if I had checked one little thing at the end of the day.

Now, this little thing isn't really that little. It has to do with dates and if any dates are wrong, then that messes up the database and guess what? We re-run the whole thing in Tuesday's issue and management will be very, very, very upset with me. And I couldn't remember, for the life of me, in all of the Friday panic, whether I had checked the dates or not. Now, keep in mind that we rarely have a date problem any more here at Very Big Publishing Company (tm) because of our lovely macros. But it was the weekend and if we were going to have a date problem, it would be the weekend when the dates are all messed up.

So finally, I decided I had to come in to work so I could check on the dates. Keep in mind that there is nothing I can do if there is indeed a date problem, but I needed to know so I could enjoy the rest of my weekend or prepare for doom on Monday. So now that I checked, I can rest somewhat -- the dates were fine, all the data got in just fine and calculated just fine. However, that doesn't mean we're completely scot-free and that I cannot know until Monday.

So now, my anxiety level has come down several decibels and I'll be able to relax somewhat until the next thing comes along.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Clean as a whistle

I think there comes a time in every blog's life where it literally and figuratively jumps the shark. Today, dear readers, is such the case with this blog. I say this because of today's topic -- which has nothing to do with politics, odd events in the life of Seema, IKEA adventures, or random news articles culled from around the web or even recipes. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten what a blog is all about, that it should enrich and pontificate, but not necessarily in that order or even in that importance. That being said, today, I'd like to talk about my two favorite cleaning supplies. Yes. Cleaning supplies.

First, I'd like to advocate the use of Arm & Hammer's Clean Shower with baking soda. Spare your knees by investing in a shower spray. Start out with a clean tub (so there is some scrubbing involved) and then after every shower, spray liberally with the shower spray. Voila, no build-up, no soap scum, no yucky black stuff in the tile cracks. Saves time, energy and your knees, all for $4.

Second, I'd like to also say that those blue drop-ins? They don't work. You're just as well off throwing food coloring into your toilet bowl for all the good the Vanish Drops In do. But Clorox Bleach drop-ins. Now that's the way to go. Sparkly, odor-free, and germ-cleaning all in one flush. What's not to love? So do away with the blue, and stick to the clear stuff; your bathroom will thank me.

Don't even get me started on orange-scented Fantastik. My quibbles with the spelling of 'Fantastik' aside, nothing smells quite so good or comforting. Lemon, you see, is rather sharp to the nostril, it's a little too pungent and a little too much on the nasal passage. It practically screams "the kitchen has been doused with lemon!" So, mix it up a little bit with the orange. Maybe orange in the kitchen and some lemon-scented Pledge in the living room? And perhaps some lavander-scented dish soap with aromatherapeutic properties for your dishes? Your nose will thank you!

This blog is not endorsed by any of the companies named above, but are simply the lunatic rantings of an obsessive cleaner..

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

We all need validation once in a while for our crack habits and wouldn't you know it'd come from Finland and why yes, the Internet habit is one hard baby to break -- I recently spent months breaking myself free, so I totally sympathesize with these poor Finns. However, though I doubt I'd use my need to be plugged in as a way to avoid military service. Can't think of a better way to go cold turkey, as a matter of fact. Check it out for more: Web addiction excuses conscripts