Monday, October 19, 2009

Stolen from Lisa

I'm home sick with day 5 of a headache and can't sleep anymore right now and don't trust myself to edit myself, let alone someone else's stuff, right now, so you get a shamelessly stolen blog post, courtesy of Lisa at Put It On the List - who stole it from someone else. Doncha love the interwebs?

Below is my vacation map. I've visited all of the places below and stayed long enough to do something memorable. If all I did was drive through on the way to somewhere else, or change planes, I skipped that state, otherwise I'd have to add New York, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Colorado :-)

visited 16 states (32%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Looks to me like I need to get out more :-)

I'd like to visit:

  • Florida -- I want to take the girl to Disney before she's too old to enjoy it.
  • Minnesota -- I did a series of articles a last year on Minneapolis and it looks like an interesting place to visit.
  • Indiana -- Friends across the street moved up there a few years ago and it'd be great to go visit them. We were there as surrogate family when their oldest girl was born (4mos younger than J) and the girls haven't seen each other since they were babies.
  • Alaska -- Friends and family tell me I ~must~ be part polar bear I like it so cold. Be nice to see for myself. And I wanna see whales that are NOT in a ginormous tank at Sea World.
  • Hawaii -- I'd have to be insane not to want to go to our own US tropical paradise, right?
  • New York -- Hokey, I know, but I'd like to see the Statue of Liberty. And a Broadway show that is actually ON Broadway at the time. I lurve musicals.
  • Colorado -- My mom lived here for a while and, well, it just looks purty in the pictures.
  • Maine -- Just cuz.
  • Oregon -- Why? Cuz it's there. You hear about the attractions of California and Washington and Oregon seems to be the unloved middle child. I'm all about making a state feel loved. (did I mention I'm in a lot of pain and can't see straight and I reserve the right for this to make no sense whatsoever? I did? Oh good.)
  • Illinois -- See notes above re: Minnesota. I did a similar series on Chicago and want to see the Adler, the Field, etc.
  • Michigan -- I wanna see Mackinac Island. Read about it, have family that's been there (the hubs has family in Michigan so we might even HAVE family there, lol), and it sounds like a nifty spot to visit.
  • Oklahoma -- Being a good lil Texan I have spent most of my life disparaging the state immediately to our North (and based on my one hotel stay there it was NOT without cause!), but the pictures and stories of the Pioneer Woman and Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer have just about convinced me that I may have been a little too hasty in my judgment.
That's all I can think of right now. Must be time to go back to bed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tirade: The Answer to All Of Your Questions is NO

I moderate a small local moms' group. I joined a few years ago and kind of fell into moderating.

Lately, though, it's been a bit of a chore. Why? The economy, of course.

People are tightening their belts. They're getting more creative with their marketing, and trying to do more while spending less. Social media, whether its the evil FB, I really hate that site, almost as much as I despise MySpace, Twitter, online groups, whatever, is mostly about investing your time and your personality.


We are a small group, under 40 members. Biggest we've ever been was around 90 and that was primarily due to a lazy (guilty as charged!) moderator.

We're small so that people feel safe and comfortable talking about their families, their kids, their nursing problems, sex after babies, whatever the topic du jour is. People who stick around like our rigorous moderation.

When a woman joins -- Yes, it is a MOMS-only group -- we send her a note asking her to tell us more about herself and her family and how she heard about our little group before her membership is approved.

Don't answer the survey, don't get to join.

When she joins she's moderated for a while, either until she:
  1. Unsubs after deciding we are not what she was looking for. This sometimes happens immediately, sometimes not til inflammatory topics (the mingling of religion and public education is good for weeding out the wimps) come round.
  2. Posts enough that we feel comfortable letting her post without a babysitter.
  3. Posts so damn much (that is ok) that it floods my inbox with crap to approve and I unmoderate her just to make it STOP.
We are serious about making our little group a place where moms feel safe and secure. We state upfront that if you are here to market your crap you are not welcome. Not if that's the ONLY reason. We have a lot of WAHM members and they talk about work, but, like everyone else with something to sell (garage sales, craigslist items, etc), are only allowed to actively market their biz one day a week. If you only post to market yourself, we will eventually kick you because that's not why the rest of us are there.

I say all this because the last week or so has seen a rash of service-oriented spam join requests. People with brilliant things to say for themselves (in the initial Yahoo groups form---I'm pretty sure they all gave up hope when they got the follow-up member survey) like:
  1. I teach your children music. -- Really? No name? No indication of gender or whether or not you have a family or are just a perve who wants to eyeball our kids in the group photo albums? REJECTED
  2. home work -- Are you offering to do it for my kids? Are you a maid service? A tutor? A work-from-home scammer? REJECTED
  3. A dental hygienist for a local pediatric dentistry practice. -- This one was nice, but still a solicitation and therefore unwelcome. I'm still debating forwarding her spam to the practice to find out if they stand behind it or she was trying to drum up biz on her own...
That's a week's worth. I don't have time for it, we don't want it, and I guarantee you we will never let you in. We had a member in the past who harvested group emails for her home cosmetics sales gig---she posted normally, too, but we had to electronically smack her around and tell her not to do it again.

Maybe it's time to re-write our splash page? I haven't looked at it in years, but if it will make the spam stop...


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Numero Uno

Candy tagged me with a meme! The challenge - answers must be kept to ONE WORD.

  1. Where is your cell phone? right
  2. Your hair? thick
  3. Your mother? awesome
  4. Your father? sad
  5. Your favorite food? chocolate
  6. Your dream last night? eh?
  7. Your favorite drink? coffee
  8. Your dream/goal? peace
  9. What room are you in? office
  10. Your hobby? books
  11. Your fear? heights
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? housewife
  13. Where were you last night? Lisa's
  14. Something that you aren’t? gourmet
  15. Muffins? no
  16. Wish list item? lawnboy
  17. Where did you grow up? Texas
  18. Last thing you did? phone
  19. What are you wearing? glasses
  20. Your TV? wii
  21. Your pets? dog
  22. Friends? thankfully!
  23. Your life? complicated
  24. Your mood? contemplative
  25. Missing someone? S
  26. Vehicle? BugTruck
  27. Something you’re not wearing? socks
  28. Your favorite store? Internet
  29. Your favorite color? Red
  30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
  31. Last time you cried? stress
  32. Your best friend? A-Moms
  33. One place that I go to over and over? basement
  34. One person who emails me regularly? xanga
  35. Favorite place to eat? Baris