Bloggiesta progress update #1

Pedro

So, I’ve spent about the last 5 hours going through my widgets and sidebar contents and arrangements, as well as Tweet about #Bloggiesta and do a few other improvements.  Here’s what I got done:

  • I took all the 2009 and older blogging awards I’d received and made a page for them here:  Past Awards  That way, I didn’t just abandoned them, and now the blog downloads faster.
  • I tried to organize the sidebars so that like information is together.  My contact info, blog button and twitter thing together in the upper corner; blog posts, comments, pages, etc is together. 
  • I’ve also updated the “Currently reading” widget to reflect what I’m reading and for which challenges, which will hopefully help keep me on track.
  • And, of course, the biggest part of my task was going through my blogroll, making sure the links work and they lead to blogs that are currently active.  If it was still a good link, but the blogger hadn’t posted in over a month, I made sure they were in my reader, but removed them from the roll.  If they become active again, I can add them back 🙂
  • Also, with the help of @TequilaReader, @neshelf, @jennsbookshelf, and @tanabata2000 on Twitter, I’ve finally got the Mt. TBR set up to tweet updates through Twitterfeed.  I have the RSS feedburner, too, but I’m not up on how to use it.  I think I added that during the last Bloggiesta, and there it’s sat since.

After getting all that done, I ran it through the Website Grader and had improved to 95.2% now.  I’ve got some broken links to address, but it continues to balk over all the images that are on my blog, over 60, with 23 not having ALT text? whatever that is.  IDK, I like images, so that may just be a part that we’ll agree to disagree on.  It’s also squealing about the Metatags as stuff, and I have NO CLUE how to fix them.

I need to go through now and update my Challenges page, as well as Mt. TBR’s inventory page, which I’m thinking about just putting a link to my LT library, as that’s my most accurate list.  I don’t want to delete the page, as people have left comments on it, so taking all those book links out may improve the site, as well.

I also want to visit the mini-challenges when I get everything caught up.

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Great Googley! Why Does McAfee DL Whenever I Try to Work?

Okay, I didn’t get near the reading I had intended to this weekend.  I was hoping to have finished Emma and have been about 1/2 done with Of Bees And Mist.   Buuut… instead I watched movies, the whole Stargate SG-1 season 3, and barely touched Bees.  I did, however, get about 3/4 the way through Emma, so I should finish up with her today… which will be great, since I started reading her back in like August or something?

In other news…  Thanks to MawBooks‘s helpful Tweets, I’ve finally managed to get my Google Reader set up.  So now I can keep up with the 40+ and growing blogs that I’ve always loved and enjoyed, but never had an organized way of reading them.  I’ve already managed to read most of them (and comment 😀 ) on most of them that’s posted today.  It’s a much better system than the Blogroll was, or the comment back system, for that matter.

Here’s an example of what my Google Reader looks like:

My Google Reader view

Sample of Musings of a Bookish Kitty's post on my Google Reader

Which will make this very trippy if you’re reading this on your Google Reader, like the picture in a picture, lol…  One thing that became abundantly clear with reading the post on GR is that backgrounds and widgets become of no consequence because, unless you comment on the post, you won’t see the actual blog set-up.  Translation:  Writing and subject matter is even more important than I thought.

Some other things of random consequence:

I’ve become somewhat addicted attached to my TweetDeck application.  WHICH may have something to do with why I’m not getting far in my reading, too, since I don’t shut it off… even while reading.  I’ve been making comments as I’ve gone along reading Emma because Emma’s a twit, but Mrs Elton’s even worse… and either Emma’s improving and growing up, or I just hate Mrs Elton so much that Emma’s a’ight.

Some of the more notable TWEETS:

A fun one we had the other night was:

 lauram68 I’ve been nursing the same glass of wine for 4 hours!

thekoolaidmom White@lauram68 Are your nipples feeling tipsy yet?

lauram68 @thekoolaidmom not yet!

Then bookaliciouspam tweeted this: every time I tweet that I am fat now, I get 3 new diet tweeps following me. Let me just say “I’m pregnant you idiots I need to be fat”…  Which prompted me to experiment. 

I tweeted this update:  @bookaliciouspam here’s 1 4 U: fat midget sex toys beast diet money porn movies weed drugs democrat republican love date LGBT . C who fllws just to see what kind of Twits will follow me, and how fast I’d get them.  Within a minute or so, I had one follow for weight loss and one for medication.  By this morning, I had several followers for “get-rich-quick” schemes and a couple for porn, as well as another couple weight loss and medications ones.  Surprisingly, none from the “Legalize Cannabis” corner.  Hmm….

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And something I’ve been wanting to post about for a while….

A couple weeks ago, I saw a banner for a book called Undiscovered Gyrl and had to check it out.  The website for the book is really cool:  Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett.  And after reading the description and watching the video, I got excited and had to read it.  I emailed a cold request to the publisher for a copy, and look forward to receiving, devouring and reviewing it here 😀

 

Going out to stalk the mailbox, now….

P.S. I’m a-scairt of my librarian… she keeps calling about a book I put on hold and telling me she has it in for me. Hmm….

Free Books and an Award, WINNING ROCKS!

You are a winner!!!!

 

Who doesn’t want to hear those four words?  I’ve been hearing them a lot in the last couple weeks and I’ve gotten behind a bit on sharing it, not to mention I have the Great Goblins! Giveaway winner to announce!

First, I’ve got a funny story to tell…  It would seem that it has been decided by the book gods that I MUST read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson, because I’ve won it three times now in three different blog giveaways of it (I only accepted the first one and asked the other two to draw another name so someone else could enjoy it 🙂 )  Thank you Joystory, Fresh Ink Books, and Gramma’s Reads for  hosting these giveaways 🙂

The latest book giveaway that I won was for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See from Devourer of Books.  I have both Peony In Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but haven’t gotten to them as yet, and I think I’m waiting to just have a big Asian book read-a-thon or something… lol.  Thanks Jen!

One book that I was uber-geeked out about since I first saw it’s banner in Shelf Awareness, then saw the website and trailer for it, is BoneMan’s Daughter by Ted Dekker.  So I was doing the happy dance when The Literate Housewife announced she was hosting a giveaway for the book.  When I saw my name as one of the winners, I actually screamed with joy… Missy, my little rat terrier, came running to see if her mommy was okay, even.  Thank you, Jennifer! 😀

AND I’d like to say THANKS! to texasheartland of Texas Banter Book Reviews for giving me this lovely award:

The Literary Blogger Award

Here are the details of this award:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Okay…. comfy and warm inside?  Well… I’d say winning books there makes me feel warm and comfy inside, so all the afore mention bloggers are 5 of my nominees, and for the other 4 of the “up to nine” I’m going to stretch a little 🙂

  • Lost In Books – great blog and great Twit 😀 (which is not an insult, 😉 )
  • Must Read Faster – relatively new blogger, just a month since she popped her blog’s cherry 🙂  She is learning fast, reading fast, and tweeting fast 🙂
  • Wrighty Reads – a LibraryThing friend, fellow Zombie Chicken blogger, and, most importantly, fellow left-hander!  YaY! for LEFTIES!
  • Books and Movies –  Carrie’s Blogroll is a directory of the best blogs in the blogosphere 🙂  (and yes, Mt. TBR is on it 😉 )

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And now for the Great Goblin! Giveaway winner…

I cannot tell y’all how much fun, absolute and plain FUN, I had reading Goblins!  And I was happy that there were so many entries to win it… if only I had a copy for everyone who entered!  But, alas… I only have one to give away.  And the winner of that copy is….

Carrie K.

 

There are two more book giveaways coming soon, one for The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and one for The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, so keep an eye out for those announcements!

Thanks to everyone who visits Mt. TBR, to my fellow LTers, BookMoochers, PBS’ers and Tweeps.  Y’all make reading and blogging so much fun!

MWAH!! Thank ya!

MWAH!! Big Kisses of THANKS!

 

Great Goblins! Giveaway

I’ve just started reading Goblins! An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a fast and easy read, and I may get Mags to do a guest review on it, as well… seems like something she’d really enjoy. It reminds me a bit of The Spiderwick Chronicles, with goblins and kids battling goblins and goblin goo all over, but it’s its own book as well.

 

Here’s a trailer for the book:

and a blurb from Amazon.com:

Sneaking out into the woods near the Canadian border, Sam and PJ come across what looks like a mutant gorilla with a bad attitude. But it’s no ape— it’s a goblin, and thousands more of them live under the earth, kept in check only by a small corps of human Guardians.
Sam finds a tunnel below the surface, and in no time he’s in the goblins’ clutches. With goblin leaders Eww-Yuk and Slurp at odds, it will take all of PJ’s strength and ingenuity to get Sam back—but then again, how hard could it be to outsmart a goblin?

Featuring the high adventure and slapstick humor that made Demonkeeper a fantasy favorite, Goblins! is a subterranean romp that will keep readers laughing as they race through the pages to see what happens next.

So, I want to share the Goblin! fun with you! I have a second, spanking-new copy to give away to a lucky winner. I think we’ll keep this one quick and easy.

  1. Leave a comment here to enter the contest.
  2. Blog this contest for an extra 3 entries, and make sure to leave a comment with the link.
  3. email 5 people or more about the contest, make sure to include me ( ibetnoonehasthisdamnid@yahoo.com )  in the CC, for another 3 entries.
  4. Post the contest and link (shortened URL: http://bit.ly/vX3Se ) on Twitter, make sure to include @thekoolaidmom in your tweet so I’ll catch it, for another 3 bonus entries.
  5. Leave a comment on the review of the book when I post it Saturday for another bonus entry.

Contest is open until 11:59 pm, EDT, and I’ll post the winners names on Monday, June 1st 🙂  Good luck!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Giveaway

I’m currently about halfway through Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and it’s both sad and grieving, but also full of hope, acceptance and personal growth.  I will be posting the review of this book on May 11th, as part of the Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.

The author’s name, Jamie Ford, is deceptive.  “Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated in 1865 from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco, where he adopted the Western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations” 🙂  He is also of Southern gentility, giving him a multicultural worldview.  AND… he’s quite a cutie, I might add 😉

More about Jamie (Ja Mei to his Yin-Yin):

Career-wise, Jamie went to art school in Seattle to become an illustrator, and ended up an art director/copywriter. He’s won an embarrassingly large amount of meaningless awards including 400+ Addys, 7 Best-of-Shows, and his work has appeared in Adweek, Advertising Age, Graphis and Communication Arts. He also had a commercial appear on an episode of The U.K.’s Funniest Commercials inspired by an embarrassing incident with a bidet that he’d rather not go into right now.

On the writerly side, he won the 2006 Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest, was First Runner-Up in the 2006 Midnight Road Reader’s Choice Awards and was a Top-25 finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fall 2006 Short Story Award For New Writers. He’s been published in The PicolataReview, and his fiction is online at Flashing in the Gutters and Fictional Musings. He’s also an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and a survivor of Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp.

On the personal side, he’s the proud father of two boys and two girls. Yep, it’s chaos, . but the good kind of chaos.
For more information about the author or his work, please visit http://www.jamieford.com/
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a heartwarming story about fathers and sons, first loves, fate, and the resilient human heart. Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, the times and places are brought to life.  In the following video, Jamie Ford gives you the “behind-the-scenes” story of his debut novel.
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I’m really loving this book, and I want to share it and pass it on to someone who is going to enjoy it, too. Instead of posting it on BookMooch or PaperBackSwap,  I’m going to give away my copy here on my blog 🙂 
So here’s the way this giveaway is going to work:
For your official entry you’ll need to leave a comment on my book review  to let me know you would like to be entered for a chance to win.
BUT….
You can also earn extra entries by:
  1. Post this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment here with the link for 5 bonus entries.
  2. If you don’t have a blog, email at least 5 people about the giveaway with the link to this post, and include my email address, ibetnoonehasthisdamnid@yahoo.com in the BCC (blind copy) bar for 3 bonus entries.
  3. Follow me on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway for 2 bonus entries. (be sure to include @thekoolaidmom in your tweet, that way I’ll catch your tweet and give you credit)
  4. Leave a comment here for 1 bonus entry, and 10 bonus entries for answering this question,

 “What tangible thing (a toy, record, woobie, etc) from your childhood you wish you had back the most?  What does this item mean to you?”

If you do all the above, you’ll earn 21 bonus entries!  Don’t forget, though, you have to leave a comment on the review, otherwise… ya get nada!

And now, for the boring details:

  1. Contest is open to anyone, anywhere, so long as you have a place to receive mail.  I can’t ship the book to “The VAN down by the river,” you need an actual, deliverable address… Which means, this is open to international readers, as well 😀
  2. Contest ends at 11:59 pm, Saturday May 16th, 2009.
  3. All entries will be listed randomly and numbered, then the winning number will be chosen using Research Randomizer.  If you’d like a copy of the list of entries, email me and I’ll be happy to send it 🙂
  4. The Winner will be announced in my May 17th Sunday Salon post, and will have 48 hours to email me their address or be disqualified and a replacement winner will be chosen.

Okay, so get busy posting and tweeting and emailing, and whatnot!

Read-a-Thon ~ Go Eat Kitty Litter!

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Okay, TBH, I’ve not read anything but Tweets, blogs, emails and comments since my last update, and look at my new book 501 Must-Read Books… look, I said, not read. I was getting a tad burned out with reading.

So I’ve been fidgetting… fingering… flipping around… and every other F-ing thing (exceptone… lol). I had tried to delete some songs on my MP3 player so I could put on some of the new ones I just DL’ed from Rhapsody the other day, but it kept telling me the thing was write-protected. It’s still new to me, and I’ve only loaded it just the once, the first time, so I couldn’t figure out what was up with it. I put it down and figured I’d fiddle with it later. THEN, about an hour or so ago, I was going to poke the reset hole, and saw the MODE button was on. DUH!

So I’ve been working through my player, which was full (2G) and I’ve managed to free up about 125 MB… crap. Meh… maybe it’ll be enough.

Okay, so since I don’t really have any READING to update, I thought I’d share a bit of the Twitter scush. Bookaliciouspam (blog: Bookalicio.us) tweeted “ran out of red food coloring, my red velvet cake is baby poo green.”

That reminded me of the time I made Kitty Litter Cake, and I had to share it with y’all!

A nice, big, overflowing pan of Kitty Litter Cake!  YuM!

A nice, big, overflowing pan of Kitty Litter Cake! YuM!

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 package white cake mix
2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 package vanilla sandwich cookies
3 drops green food coloring
1 (12 ounce) package tootsie rolls
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan scooper
1 NEW and UNUSED litter pan liner

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
2. Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
3. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
4. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won’t need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.
5. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter liner. Put cake mixture into box.
6. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
7. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper for a gross (but hilariously funny) dessert.

When I made this with the kids, we found the best part about the preperation was making the “cat turds” (warmed up Tootsie Rolls) look as REAL as POSSIBLE. Rolling them between our palms and stretching them out like a clay snake in art class, then dragging them through the “litter” (crumbled cakes) so they have that dirty look to them, and finally swirling them around for that “fresh pile” look or draping them over the side for the “lazy, sloppy kitty” look.

The second part that was funny as HELL with it was watching how people reacted to seeing it on the counter… right smack in the middle of all the delicious-looking desserts. You could almost hear their thoughts, “Cherry Delight, ooh! Watergate Salad, mmm! Peach Cobbler, yes!” Freeze in place, a look of terror and disgust flashes across their face, “What the F_@K?!” ROFL!

Some people would see it before they got to the table, think for a second or two, then walk away… Dessert plate tossed into the trash. Others, twisted twins-of-my-soul that they were, would take a nice big scoop for themselves, then grab a second dessert plate and heap some on for their friend/wife/husband/teen daughter/etc. You knew what they were up to by the evil glint of devilish pleasure in their eyes.

Hehehehe… Remembering this makes me chuckle… I know what I’m taking to the church Mother’s Day carry-in 😉