waywardcats: (Delphi)
11:21 AM Panel:  Scalzi Rule: Questions? Comments?

[livejournal.com profile] wild_irises  opened up the room for discussion explaining that what has come to be called the Scalzi rule is that audiences should ask questions only, and not make comments.

Everyone in the room wants to comment.  [livejournal.com profile] badgerbag appears to be liveblogging also, and I suggest you check her LJ for a post.

Debbie: "Any problem can be solved given a large enough plastic bag"  Tom Stoppard.

Someone is suggesting that the rule is an extension of internet space into convention space.  An interesting notion.

waywardcats: (Books cats)
7:18 PM:  Book of Honor panels have started, so I may close the drop off table -since it is not likely to get much more action - and plan to resume in the morning.  Lots of ooo's and aah's on the new donations, so that bodes well.  New items include an Inaugural edition of The Amazing Spiderman and a Potlatch Mounties scarf.
waywardcats: (Default)
5:31 PM:  Poor Ellen Klages just hobbled by.  She blew out both knees.  But she lingered long enough to give me the 411 on the limited edition signed photgraph she donated entitled "Plastic Girl Triumphs".
waywardcats: (Hapsupshet)
Not that anyone cares but.... here I am liveblogging from Potlatch.

4:47 PM Auction Drop-Off table is open a few minutes early because people kept wanting to drop off stuff!  Good items so far including:

Box set edition of Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (one of our books of honor) and Advance Uncorrected Proof of Green by Jay Lake.

waywardcats: (Books cats)
Well, the interesting thing about a new phone number sometimes can be the calls you get for the last person with that number.  Previously i mentioned that they were receiving political calls.  Yesterday though, it got a little more personal.

The phone rang about dinner time Wednesday night, and when I picked it up an automated voice said "hold one moment".  Now, I am not a fan of robocalls, so I hung up and went about my evening.  Last night I got home a little later and there was a message waiting.  The robocall turns out to be from a school.  All the machine got was "your student has been absent for two days, please call in with an explanation".  Oops.  I don't know the school name, the student name or a phone number.  Not that I could be much help if I did, I certainly don't have the correct phone number to reach the parents.  But I do feel kinda bad that I can't even let the school know they have the wrong number. 
waywardcats: (Nile Fishermen)
Kiva is looking for a few Bay Area folks to host members of their new class of Kiva Fellows. They will be in town for training from September 14th - 19th.   Would you consider hosting one of them?

 Kiva fellows are volunteers who travel to one of the countries that Kiva serves to work directly with the field partners.  They are dynamic people from all over the world who are giving 10+ weeks of their time and effort to learn the ins and outs of microfinance. These are people who are going to be headed out into the developing world on a life-changing journey.  Wouldn't it be great to get to know them a little bit, and then follow them through their blog posts as they go through their fellowship?

I have offered my couch, if you have the space, won't you consider extending your hospitality to one of these folks ?  Email kivafellows at kiva dot org if you are willing to open you home to a volunteer.


Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:16 pm
waywardcats: (Kerry the kid)
Lovin the new commute!!  Who knew there was so much time in a day?

The new place is coming together, it is still a bit disorganized but getting better with every day.  I love having the time to cook, last night I made a lovely chicken noodle soup.

Dart is settling down.  He gets worried whenever I unpack the boxes too, but he seems to be getting the idea that we are all there together and we are going to stay there.  Wonderbutt actually had a harder time with the actual move day than Dart, but he is ok now.

It appears that whoever had my new phone number before me was a Republican.  The GOP (or someone) called me last night and launched into the scare tactics..."we could have president who is more liberal than..."  yada yada yada.  I finally chimed in with "and I can't wait to vote for him."  I let her pause go on for a moment and then I said "you realize that I am a registered Democrat*, right?"  She just said "thank you for your time."   I was amused.

*Actually, I may have re-registered as a Green, but I am not really sure, bad me. 
waywardcats: (Books cats)
I took today off so I could pack and take care of some phone calls.  So far it's been a productive day.

Utilities switch scheduled.

New phone number obtained

Cable ordered

4 boxes packed, plus some work in the messy 2nd room taken care of


Do not attempt to pack the glass case of the Japanese doll by yourself.  This was a bad idea.

Dart should not be exposed to packing peanuts.
waywardcats: (Nile Fishermen)
Well, Matt Flannery visited the KivaFriends site a short time ago to clarify the issue of the pet pictures.  I love his reply so much, I want to share it with you...

"Hey Everyone.  Given that this thread has my name in it, I had to respond!

One point I wanted to make here is that I don't think anyone on Kiva should feel bad for using a cat as an avatar.  Using animals on social web sites is pretty much well accepted net etiquette and it's natural that it's happening at Kiva too.  It's something I've known about and thought about for a long time.

I just heard the catfood story a couple weeks ago and I thought it was a great anecdote.  I blogged about it because it made a big impact on me and also because I like sharing pertinent and potentially controversial stories on my blog.  I also think the story brings to light a tension in our business.

There is the tension surrounding whether Kiva is truly "p2p" or not and whether the borrowers are being treated like commodities or not.  It's obvious that Kiva is not "p2p" in the purest sense, because there are intermediaries (MFIs).  When we started, the Kiva web experience was very personal and connected.  In the last 1.5 yrs, it's become less personal.  As we've scaled fast, much of the personal touch has been lost and the borrowers have little voice on the site.  That's something that hopefully we can rectify in the future.  As borrowers get further away form the website, the more they can seem like commodities that are bought and sold without a voice.  A previous poster mentioned something to this effect and I share the concern.  Hopefully we can resuscitate any personality temporarily lost under rapid growth.


Hopefully the conversation will therefore move in the direction of the more pressing issue.
waywardcats: (Nile Fishermen)

Matt Flannery one of the founders of Kiva recently wrote a very interesting blog post  titled Catfood and Commoditization which tread very lightly on the concept of cultural sensitivity.


A discussion followed on the KivaFriends forum in which some people found the subject trivial, while other felt upset that they were being asked to remove their beloved pet photo from their lender profile.


As I see it though, the pet anecdote took the focus from the real subject that Matt raised in his title and yet never expanded on; that being the idea of commoditization of the Kiva entrepreneurs.  In economic theory, commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base.  This would be a very bad thing to have the individuals requesting support for their livelihoods through Kiva and its partners considered commodities by their lenders.


This is the introduction to visitors to Kiva.org:

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.


Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.


The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community.

 My concern with the reaction to Matt’s blog by the folks at KivaFriends is that many of the people who spend time there are very frequent loaners.  Some of the posts there do in fact verge upon treating loans as commodities.  It is hard when you have to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of your loans to recall that there are people on the other side of that data.  It makes it difficult to recall that those real, unique individuals are receiving a loan that can help them to improve their quality of life in a very real way, and that they might be interested in the real, unique individual who has taken an interest in their lives.  In a real way, the KivaFriends enthusiasm for help others through microfinance seems to be interfering with their ability to focus on the Kiva mission.


I am very interested in posting about this subject at KivaFriends, but I can see it getting tangled up in the pet pictures anecdote again.  I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions as outsiders to this issue, if you have the interest and the time.
waywardcats: (Default)
[personal profile] wild_irises and I went to see The Incredible Hulk on Friday night.  We weren't sure who that guy with the cameo was that everyone was cheering for.


Jun. 12th, 2008 11:10 am
waywardcats: (Default)
This just in from the BBC

"Major Guantanamo setback fro Bush Administration
Foreign suspects held in Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts, the US Supreme Court has ruled.

In a major legal setback for the Bush administration, the court overturned by five to four a ruling upholding a 2006 law which removed such rights.

It is not clear if the ruling will lead to prompt hearings for the detainees.

Some 270 men are held at the US naval base, on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

The White House has said it is studying the latest decision."

Maybe we will get our country back again....
waywardcats: (Kerry the kid)
I think many of you will really enjoy this post from T. Ryan Gregory, How to write Good.

Perhaps you struggle with crafting elegant and effective prose. Fear not, gentle reader! Some simple guidelines are available to assist you.



1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid clichés like the plague.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc., and don’t use contractions.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are to be avoided.

6. Remember that it is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

7. Foreign words and phrases, though en vogue, are not apropos.

8. One should never generalize.

9. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

10. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

11. Don't be redundant, don't keep repeating the same point using different words, and don’t just say the same thing in several different ways.

12. Be more or less specific.

13. Subtlety is by far the greatest thing ever.

14. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

15. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

16. The passive voice is to be avoided.

17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

(Modified by the author, original source unknown)

waywardcats: (Books cats)
Swiped from [profile] tenwii since she doesn't tag people, so I'll tag myself..

1 . Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people.

1) I really like board and card games, but I rarely get the chance to play them.

2) When I was 10 I changed my name to Carri.  I reverted to Kerry when I got my first checking account (at 14 maybe?).

3) For some reason lately I can't seem to hit the "shift" key and the "i" key simultaneously and its bugging me.

4) I will never refuse an offer of Thai food.

5) The flowers on my desk today smell lovely.

6) I am allergic to fresh tomatoes and any soap other than Ivory.

7) Its cherry season!! IMO cherry season should last all year.

8) The internet just mostly makes me feel inarticulate.

8.5) I am not going to tag anyone, pass it on if you want to.
waywardcats: (ski jump)
It might be a good idea in the future to check which pair of jeans you are putting into your backpack, before you leave home.  You got lucky today and this pair fits, well sort of.
waywardcats: (wall flowers)
this website: How I Spent My Stimulus?

My favorite so far:

"This is the George W. Bush Memorial Dyson. I wanted to buy something that will suck as hard and for as long as this administration."

waywardcats: (wall flowers)

Whatever threads destiny spins
Heads high and nerves on call
For nothing can defeat us,
If we remain just who we are.

Surface still as befits confinement,
Obliging us to obedience,
And yet within we are on our feet
in the knowledge of our own strength.

That’s why we want, as long as bearable
To bend before the force of evil,
And trustingly wait for the life
That lies beyond these barracks.

- Song written by an Austrian prisoner of Ravensbruck who was executed.

You can find this poem and others at Pat Binders 'Voices from Ravenbrueck" web gallery.

My memory of Ravensbruck today... )

waywardcats: (double door)
I am very grateful to this thread over at [personal profile] serenejournal , for otherwise I would never have understood what prompted this post from [personal profile] misia
I have nothing to add except these are some awesome women.


Apr. 16th, 2008 09:21 am
waywardcats: (Camus)
Haven't much felt like writing, sorry for being so quiet lately, a couple of updates:
Garden update - mosaic virus 2, pole beans 0.  It looks like it might be in the bush beans as well now; they have stopped growing.  The neighbor's cat has also been digging in the unoccupied pot that the pole beans were in, so I am holding off until the weekend when I have time to empty it, clean it well and plant some squash I bought to replace the beans.  Hopefully those will be ok.  I just wasn't meant to have green beans this year.

Camus update - He has been behaving oddly.
His blood test results were not good.  The only normal thing was the thyroid numbers.  He is a little anemic and his kidney numbers are not promising.  We are going to try twice weekly sub-cu fluids to see if that helps, but I am concerned that the six months of stability we had might have been all we get.  He seems to feel ok, but so far the unusual behavior continues, so I continue to worry about him.
waywardcats: (double door)
I have been following the uproar on the internets over the soon-to-be-released quasi-documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. A movie hosted by conservative actor Ben Stein that accuses "big science" of persecuting teachers who wish to teach alternate theories of evolution (ie intelligent design).  It's a full on battle out there, but someone has hit on a great idea:

The Atheist Ethicist has come up with the notion of buying Truth Tickets to offset the possible revenues of this movie.  Simply put, make a donation to the National Center for Science Education instead of spending money to see the ID propaganda film.  I'm going to buy enough Truth Tickets to cover the few ID believers I know, I hope you will consider doing the same.



waywardcats: (Default)

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