Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Things I'll Never Leave Behind

devil

This one doesn't have significance like, "I worked there for four summers and three winter breaks" or "I lived there for 22.5 years." My wooden devil is just something I've always had on my desk since college.

I remember Mom had this dowel with this round topper in her sewing room. She'd keep it buried in fabric on her table and would use it to shut off the grow lights for her plants. Us kids would steal it and play with it. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to draw a devil face on the round topper. Mom probably wasn't too happy. She didn't even like us playing with it.

When Mom finally used the dowel for a curtain rod, she had to trim it up. She cut off the devil. Surprisingly, she saved the devil for me. I've had it ever since.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Best Mail Day Ever

As soon as I hear the mail slot open and close, I'm down those stairs to collect the mail. Usually, the mail consists of credit card applications and mail that isn't for me or my roommate--stuff for people on the other street or former residents. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love getting mail. I love receiving postcards and cards. Unfortunately, not so many people are into sending snail mail. My collection of (post)cards is mostly from KBezzie. I love getting mail so much that I'll request catalogs just so I can hear that mail slot clank in the afternoon.

Today I hit the jackpot. Check it out.
chicken
Not only did I get this outrageous chicken card from one friend, I received this:
postcard
A hilarious foreign postcard from another friend.

It absolutely made my day.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sundays I Write Letters

Welcome, friends, to Sunday when I write back. I know that our communication is taking place through this crazy thing called the “Internet,” but honestly, when I receive your comments and write back, I feel as if we’re old friends enjoying a chat in front of the fireplace sipping on warm mugs of hot cocoa (served with a hint of Grampy’s cough syrup, of course). So, dear friends, let’s continue our chat.

RE: SUNDAYS I WRITE LETTERS

Dear Mom,
Yes, I am true to my word. The only time I’m not true to my words is when I lace them with sarcasm and mockery.

Don’t worry about coming along for my move. We’ll figure something out.

Rest assured, you’ll probably be one of the first people to know when I get a job and make plans to move.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: EACH AND EVERY DAY

Dear Mom,
You better getting writing. I want to read those stories. You’re right about writing down little tidbits. Maybe I’m young and foolish, but I don’t feel the need to immediately write down everything that strikes my fancy. I do know that I’ve got to make a note of the shirtless guitarist I’ve seen twice climbing Stone Mountain, though.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for your comment.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: THINGS I’LL NEVER LEAVE BEHIND

Dear KBezzie,
I think when you say “Southerners” you mean “the Texan(s) who stole my bumper stickers.”

Yes, such is the life of the nomad. Perhaps to my collection I’ll ad a Georgia plate and acquire a Wisconsin or Maine plate for my car.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear Mom,
I probably won’t be a nomad all my life. I’m sure that there will be a time when the urge to settle hits me. But for now, without anyone to hold me back, why not travel?

Hmmm...some places better visited than lived in...like Iron Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada?

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: USE CASE

Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for correcting my use case. But, Deborah Tuttle doesn’t have children to tuck in. She is a single 35 year old.

May I take the opportunity to have you look over my homework in the future as your corrections prove helpful and fruitful?

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: ANTHEM MAGAZINE REVIEW

Dear KBezzie,

I have made the correction. Please view Anthem Magazine.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

PS. You could have googled the damn magazine.



RE: ASK ME A QUESTION

Dear KBezzie,
Yes, she did want me to make the decision for her. Everyone wants decisions made for them. That way, they can blame someone else when something doesn’t taste as tasty as they were told it would be.

I can’t believe you. Of all people, you do not know what a tiramisu is. Are you pulling my leg? It’s a dessert of sorts.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: CH-CH-CH-CHECK IT OUT! NO. 3

Dear KBezzie,

Please see Mom’s comment about writing things down to use in future writings. Although I didn’t write down leaf peeping on any physical paper, I did make note of it for future reference. It did come in quite handy.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear Bobby Griffin,
Thank you for visiting my site and leaving a comment. I do not appreciate, though, you using the comment space to push your own site. I am a student of advertising and your cheap tricks aren’t fooling me.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: HALLOWEEN COSTUME

Dear KBezzie,
I went as Theresa Buttlick last year. It’s not so difficult.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

PS. Ah, I kid because I kare.


Dear Birdie,
Feel free to steal the costume idea. It wasn’t my idea, really. My friend came up with it. Shhh.

Thank you for visiting. I hope to see more comments from you in the future.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear Mom,
Yes, some people don’t think outside their circle. I personally like to pretend to do this, but really I’m watching.

I should have some pictures sometime in the future of my costume. Think way into the future. My digital camera batteries were dead so I had to take the pictures with my crappy dinosaur camera.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween Costume

I went to a Halloween party wearing tin foil on my head. I was Theresa Sputnik. Those so insensitive as to not know my last name were a bit lost. Oh well, 'cause I probably don't know their last names.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-check it out! No. 03

Here are a couple of sites I not-so-secretly visit regularly.

Jobs at Lands' End.

Don't be jealous when I'm writing about the kashmir goats that graze Inner Mongolia or heralding the scientific genius that Nano-Tex fleece is. My first day working there, I'd ask, "When do I get to meet Garrison Keillor?" And when I'm told that Lands' End just sponsors "A Prairie Home Companion," I just may quit in disappointment. I don't really like "A Prairie Home Companion," but I feel I can somewhat pull off that midwestern 'tude and if I was just given the chance to meet Garrison Keillor, he'd put me on the radio and I would gain fame in the manner of David Sedaris.


Career Opportunities at L. L. Bean.

Don't be green with envy when I'm living in Freeport, Maine leaf-peeping in the fall wearing L. L. Bean clothing and carrying an L. L. Bean backpack with "TLB" embroidered on it. I'll be taking advantage of all things L. L. Bean by hitting up the employee gear room and enjoying weekends in a cottage on Rangeley Lake. And I'll be living deliberately.



Alright, this one has nothing to do with where I could work in the future.

waterhalo.

After I'm done doing what I need to on blogger.com, I like to hit the random blog button and see what I can see, until I get bored. So far, I've found only this blog that is interesting. Everything else isn't so great, but this one is fantastic. It's too bad it isn't updated more often.

That is all.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ask me a question.

When I worked at the Palmer Visitor Center throughout high school, I figured I just sent out this vibe that I could answer questions even when I wasn't wearing my name tag. It seemed like I was stopped a whole lot on the street while riding my bike to work the first summer I worked there. That's right folks, I did the good ol' fashioned ride my bike to work 'cause I didn't have my license. Of course I do remember a few evenings when people would pick me up so I wouldn't have to ride home in the rain. (Thanks Mom, Daddy, Kaye, and maybe Bub?) People would ask me for directions. Haha. Now that I've lived in Atlanta, why would you even bother asking for directions in a small town? Drive around enough and you'll find where you need to be.

Well, it's not just a Palmer Visitor Center vibe. A woman at the newest Target asked me my opinion of a frozen chocolate pie and a tiramisu. I hesitated, because obiviously English wasn't her first language and I didn't quite understand what she wanted from me. But she pleaded, "Seriously, help me." So I told her to go with the chocolate pie because the box advertised it was made with Hershey's chocolate and Hershey's chocolate is pretty damn tasty.

One thing I've learned from being asked for a recommendation: people want you to endorse something. They don't want to hear a "Oh, I've never done/tasted/read that." Or a logical answer like, "I've never done/tasted/read that, but if you look at your options one's bound to stick out to you because of your particular preferences." They want to hear, "This one is great!"

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Anthem Magazine Review

Anthem Magazine

The online version of Anthem magazine seems to follow the same style as the print magazine. Some of the print magazine traits don’t seem to work too well online. The font is super tiny. While it’s small in print, too, it’s even more difficult to read small print on a screen. The navigation is easy to use, but there seems to be misuse of space. Each article (or summary of articles) has its own page that doesn’t take up the entire screen. Being a magazine, something to read, I don’t think a bit of scrolling would hurt anyone, or seeing all of the articles under the same category displayed on one page.

The audience for this is probably the readers of Anthem magazine. I would assume that it’s more loyal readers who are looking for a sneak peek at an issue or perhaps they like the magazine when there’s good content and they go online to look at it so they can decide whether they want to pay for the magazine or not. Maybe the online readers find the scent of the printed magazine offensive. I sure do. Flipping through the magazine, it’s got a funky smell—a smell that’s stronger than the normal slick magazine paper smell.

The people who read Anthem are probably people who are interested in learning about new trends from other sources besides the mainstream. They’re willing to do stray from the norm and they have hold values about the art, music, and fashion that they enjoy and participate in. They want substance to their style.

I’m having a hard time reading anything on the website. The typeface, size, and amount are too much for me. I did try reading a portion of the copy on the main page and I read “modem hero.” Upon further investigation (bringing my nose about 2 inches from my screen) I realized it was “mode-r-n hero.” Oh.

One problem I have with the music section of the website is that as soon as you click on the link, it immediately playing music. If I’m going to sample music, I like to have time to turn whatever I’m listening to off so I can focus on the sample.

The content and style of this online magazine seem to follow the print version, but there are a few things that don’t quite translate. I think the style can be tweaked a bit to make it a bit more user friendly without losing the style and substance that the print magazine presents.

Use Case

Here are the websites my 35 year old Detroit teacher, Deborah Tuttle, visits and the use case for her on the Today Show website. I won't post the character description because it really was wit for wit's sake.


Websites visited by Deborah Tuttle:

Today Show
Deborah’s looking for information on how to submit an idea for a story.

American Quilter Society
Deborah visits this site often. She’s a member of AQS and likes to keep up with the organization and also the trends in quilting.


USE CASE: SUBMIT STORY IDEA

SUMMARY
The user successfully reaches the Today Show website by typing in the mother-website address (the only thing memorable from the quick addresses they give on their broadcast). Information on how to submit a story was found. A second way to submit a story idea was found through the alternative path.

PRECONDITIONS
Deborah Tuttle has gone to www.msnbc.com. Upon arrival, she clicks on “Today Show” on top menu.

TRIGGERS
Deborah wants to be on the Today Show. She’s had yet another crappy day teaching high school students history.

BASIC COURSE OF EVENTS

1. User scrolls through home page, skimming the multiple boxes, and the sidebar menu.
2. User clicks on “Do you want to look 10 years younger?” in the “Send Your Questions and Stories” box.
3. System changes pages.
4. User is disappointed that the page is only for submitting a specific story.
5. User clicks on the browser’s back button.
6. System returns to home page.
7. User scrolls through rest of homepage and returns to top.
8. User sees “Email Us” link at top of page and clicks on it.
9. System opens Microsoft Outlook.
10. User doesn’t use Microsoft Outlook, but writes down email address so that she can use it when she opens her free email account with hotmail.com.


ALTERNATIVE PATH

2. User clicks on “About the Show” at the top of the page in search of photos of Matt Lauer.
3. System changes pages.
4. User scrolls down until she gets to “Story Ideas.”
5. User writes down information.
6. User continues to scroll down—still in search of information and photos of Matt Lauer.
7. User clicks on “MATT LAUER Co-Anchor” link.
8. System changes pages.
9. User reads Matt Lauer’s bio.
10. User closes the browser after reading that Matt Lauer is married with children.

POSTCONDITIONS
User is happy about finding the information and will be sending her ideas.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Things I'll Never Leave Behind

Voilà! Observez-vous:


aklicense


Here is one of my two Alaska license plates. I don't claim to be one of those people who collects license plates for fun despite the fact that back home you'll find the plate from Vanna Green, a Texas plate from my parents' Monte Carlo (which formerly belonged to my younger-older brother--hence the Texas plate), and an Alaska vanity plate that says "MUSH." (Mush--is a story for a different day.)

I like these plates because they came off of my very own first car. Second, they're Alaskan and I kinda like Alaska. I was contemplating leaving the front one on my car because here in the fine state of Georgia you only need a back plate. But, I figured that it'd looked a little too shady.

These plates will stay with me.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Monday, October 23, 2006

Each and Every Day

Have I mentioned that I really don't like writing every day?

Grudgingly,
T-Bud

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: SUNDAYS I WRITE LETTERS

Dear Kendra,
I hope your soul feels better. It's not good when they hurt. May I suggest a remedy? Go do a "first." Nothing big. Just go do something you've never done before. The next time my soul hurts, I'm going to cook spaghetti. Sure, I've eaten it before, but made it on my own? Never.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear Wyatt!,
Yes, I do write a lot. It's kind of what I do and hope to get paid for it in the near future. I visited your blog and I think that if you just wrote a little, you'd have a stellar blog.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: THINGS I'LL NEVER LEAVE BEHIND

Dear Bezzie,
First, welcome to T-Bud in W4W at PC. I'm sure your continuing comments will prove insightful.

Second, yes, the inflatable Oreo Man is the one you brought back from the theater. It is also the same Oreo Man that scared Fatzah.

Third, for your sanity, I hope you did fall asleep proctoring.

Finally, if I need a proctologist, can I count on you?

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: BECAUSE THE INFORMATION IS CONFUSING

Dear Bezzie,
Your thoughts are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

Dear Kendra,
Thank you, first, for requiring us to have the assignment in class. Second, thank you for clarifying this issue. I look forward to more assignments.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: CH-CH-CH-CHECK IT OUT! NO. 02

Dear Bezzie,
I don't care too much for the ask.com commercial where it's the super-smart guy and his son dissin' on google. Something about smart people thinkin' they're soooo smart. They dropped Jeeves. Why? I do not know. Google, I don't think advertises but has made many appearances in the press. Beats me what's going on.

Sincerely,
T-Bud
P.S. Watching too much TV isn't necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on what you're watching and how you're watching it.


Dear Mom,
Welcome to T-Bud in W4W at PC. I'm sure your comments will be insightful and fun.

Google does have that edge over ask.com: Google created a verb. 'Ask' was a verb way before ask.com was created.

I know how it is with people's memories. I often show people exactly where things are, and when I have to take a phone call, if I don't write down all the information before finding the product, I'll never remember what I'm looking for.

When I leave for good, I hope to leave EVERYTHING behind, coins and body included. Of course, I must have someone burn all of my college records for they reveal my true nature as an English major.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: I LOVE WORK

Dear Bezzie,
Yes, work is hard.

Sincerely,
T-Bud


Dear Mom,
I don't think I ever called them "Stupid People." I simply think there's a wide variety of people I work with and for. Some of them are stupid, others are fun and interesting.

I will consider your suggestion to move back home and work. Rest assured, you'll be notified of any decisions I make.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I love work.

Inspired by Kendra's post about why she loves her job, I'm going to discuss what I love about working.

Oh retail, whenever I climb onto a pedestal, look around and think, "Geez, I am the most intelligent person here!" you always send someone to remind me that, no, I'm not because I can't answer a seemingly simple question.

Oh administrative work, just when I think that I'm doing okay, you send me some creepy old guy to hug me at the copier.

Oh work, you keep me from being a Run of the Mill Grad Student who has nothing better to do with their time than "squeeze in" a game of raquetball in the afternoon and hit the pub each and every weekend.

You cheer me up. You keep me connected with the real world. The real world of rude, happy, absurdly rich, fun, funny, creepy, interesting people. And for that, I love you work.

I used to joke that I only worked to "stay in touch with the people." It's not a joke, though. The money is necessary, but staying on planet Earth is great.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-check it out! No. 02

Happy Friday!

This week I give you my Internet references: the sites I go to regularly for information.

First up: Google.

Der. It's great for answering questions, spell checking (because if you misspell something, it'll suggest another spelling), and for seeing what something looks like if you've never seen one. It's simple, but kind of difficult to read through the sites it pulls up. Something tells me I'm like an old person who's gotten used to doing one thing and won't give it up for something better. I don't know if there's anything better than Google, though.

Second: Merriam-Webster OnLine.

I use this dictionary for the times I need to know the definition or spelling of a specific word. It's not good for browsing, though. Nothing beats a good ol' fashioned dictionary for that. It's pretty easy to use and doesn't provide any fancy information. That's exactly what I want when I look up a word via the Internet. Now, I will admit when I was on the UAF server and had access to the Oxford English Dictionary online, it was pretty sweet, but the OED provides a little more information than anyone could possibly need as a human being.

Third: WebMD.

I'm pretty sure this one saved me a bunch of money. The knee that started popping as soon as I moved here flared up last weekend. To the point where I couldn't bend down to put books on a bottom shelf without discomfort. I don't have health insurance, so I made a visit to WebMd. There I found a couple of things that described my angry knee and the solution was ibuprofen. A $4 bottle of Motrin and 2-3 tablets later, and my knee is happy once again. It's an easy site to use and a money saver.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's a Miracle!

Last Thursday on my way home from work--midnightish--I realized that my dash light was out. I couldn't tell how fast I was going unless I happened to be under a light pole. I figured a fuse had blown and I wasn't looking forward to crawling up to the fuse box, finding the right fuse, and replacing it. Procrastination set in. Seriously, I mostly drive in daylight and how important is it to see how fast I'm going down Peachtree at midnight when there's barely any traffic? It ends up procrastination is my friend.

I drove to work today in the daylight and couldn't tell the status of my dash light. I got off at 11pm and when I fired up my car, the spedometer was lit miraculously! It truly is a miracle.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Because the Information is Confusing

The instructions for the first blog-borne assignment states that it is supposed to be typed and brought to class tonight. The Blog Manifesto says that the assignments given via blog must be posted by the next class period.

So, in an attempt to save my own arse, I present to you my welder descriptions. And, I'll faithfully bring in a hard copy of them. But, god help me, if we do not have to have the physical copy in class, I will not be a happy camper.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

8 –Year Old Child

Welders do an important job. Can you think of an object made with metal? A car, building, and jungle gyms are all made with metal. Welders put metal together to make these things. At the beginning of the job they learn what they are to make. Then they figure out how they need to make it by looking at blueprints, or detailed drawings, of the object. They use special tools and skills to put two pieces of metal together. Before they finish any project, welders have to recheck their work and make sure it’s okay. This is why cars don’t fall apart or jungle gyms topple.

To be a welder you have to be strong and tough. Welders spend most of their day standing outside. They also have to lift heavy pieces of metal and keep a steady arm when they are putting two metal pieces together.

Things I thought about:
Kids this age aren’t dumb. They know the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus aren’t real and they’re beginning to think that they don’t want to play with Tinker Toys or Barbies anymore.

They can be bogged down by too much detail. Their attention span is probably pretty short.


Female, College-aged Student

Welders are highly skilled laborers. To become a welder you have to learn about different types of metals, techniques, and trade practices. In this field there are opportunities to work on many different kinds of jobs. Welders work on everything from playground equipment to fire trucks. They get directions by interpreting blueprints, sketches, and oral instructions. A welder has to be willing to work in all kinds of weather from rain to sunshine. The job takes physical strength. It requires being able to lift heavy objects, standing for extended periods of time, working in small areas or at heights or depths of more than ten feet, and climbing ladders or stairs. Responsibility is important for welders. They are responsible for following operating and safety standards, as well as producing quality work. The ability to work cooperatively to get a job done with efficiency and quality is equally important.

Things I thought about:
This student wants to know right away what the occupation is about—she’s looking through a lot of descriptions.

She wants to know what is involved with the occupation, the skill level that is needed and what kind of work is done.


Broad Audience

Imagine the world without welders. Imagine life without cars. Or light poles, buildings, playgrounds, fire trucks, airplane hangars, and airplanes. It would be a rough life, wouldn’t it? That’s what life would be like without welders because they are responsible for assembling and working on all things made with metal. Not everyone can be a welder. Putting two pieces of metal together isn’t like whipping out a bottle of Elmer’s to glue the handle back onto the mug you just dropped. Welders have to know about the different types of metals and they have to know about all the different ways to put pieces of metal together. They aren’t wimps, either. They have to be able to do heavy lifting, climbing, standing—in all kinds of weather—work with small objects, all while keeping a steady arm. To top it off, they have to follow safety standards, because welding isn’t a low-risk occupation.

Things I thought about:
These people don’t really care.

Why not be a little more colloquial with it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Things I'll Never Leave Behind

I like to pride myself on the ability to detach myself from my belongings and leave. That's not to say that I don't have half a dozen boxes of stuff in my parents' crawlspace. (This stuff includes three rubber rats and an inflatable Oreo man.) It's just that I loved packing everything necessary into the back of my car and going.

There are a few things I don't think I'll ever leave behind, though. Welcome to Tuesdays. I'll scan these things for you to see.

First up: My U. S. Army Corps of Engineer coins. I worked for the Alaska District of USACE during the summers between college years.


USACE Coins


My hope is that once I die, people will discover these coins and wonder if I was an engineer before I turned to wordsmithing.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Monday, October 16, 2006

How the Universe Should Work

I feel like I'm scraping the bottom for this post. That shouldn't be a surprise. So, I'll tell you about the dream I had last night. I dreamed that out of the blue some people from San Francisco offered me this sweet job. My time at Portfolio Center wasn't finished, but it was a sweet job. I don't know what it was. They gave me a packet of information and told me to think it over and let them know.

I don't know why it was San Francisco. I don't have any desire to go to San Francisco, let alone live there. I did study with the Academy of Art University there via their online program and if I had had $100K to drop on tuition, I would have transfered there to get an undergraduate degree. I didn't have that kind of cash, though, and I wasn't willing to go into that much debt to be an undergraduate.

This dream is all about how I'd like the universe to work. People should just offer me cool jobs.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Sunday, October 15, 2006

You lied to me, Georgia. You lied.

Why, Georgia, why? Last October you were all toasty-warm. This October you're all chilly. I've already started wearing my "Georgia wintercoat" (a simple fleece jacket that is the equivalent of an Alaska fall jacket). It's as if you were like, "Here, let me make you comfortable. Sit here in this comfy chair, in this nice warm room, and drink this hot cocoa." As soon as I got up to go to the bathroom you took my seat and only laughed in my face when I shivered in discomfort.

Oh, and don't blame El Niño, either. I'm not buying it. You're a liar.

--T- Bud

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sundays I Write Letters

I don't like a letter to go unanswered. Likewise, I don't like a comment to go unanswered. On Sundays I will write back to those of you who have been so kind as to leave me a comment.

RE: WRITING EVERY DAY

Dear Kendra,
I was frightened when you mentioned my soul possibly being sucked dry by construction companies and demanding makers of bottled sugar water. Is this true? I like my soul a whole lot and don't want anything like that to happen to it. I'm glad that you said that writing every day may prevent it. Thank goodness I agreed to try this daily exercise!

Sincerly,
T-Bud

Dear John,
I am not aware of Michelle Shocked's "Anchored down in Anchorage." Excuse me for a moment while I google it.

Whew, I'm back. That search took me from google to msn in an attempt to find a clip of it and finally to amazon where I did find a clip of it. I can only say that thirty seconds isn't enough for me to like or dislike it.

Sincerely,
T-Bud



RE: CH-CH-CH-CHECK IT OUT! NO. 01

Dear Barclay,
I'm glad that you like Slate. It is a very nice way to get that magazine feeling without having to pay for a subscription, read out-dated ones in a waiting room, or spill coffee on new ones in a bookstore.

I think Digger is seducing me. Every time I see him I become a bit more fond of him and find him cuter.

And, I've never experienced difficulties with Pandora. I guess I've been lucky.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

Dear Kendra,
My impersonal best friend's name is Kendra. Her last name even starts with 'b.' That's not the point of this letter, though.

How long do you have to listen to Pandora before it gets to the end of a musical family tree? Do you have more than one artist listed on a station?

Oh, it's 'T. Budnik.' That's my chosen "writing" name. "Heresa" has been good to me, but sometimes it just slows me down. So, you'll be seeing "All the people you think I am" by T. Budnik.

Sincerely,
T-Bud

Elvis Presley's Twin

Today at work this guy who I've seen pretty regularly asked me if I had a sister named Danielle. If you haven't heard me talk about this before, I get this all the time. I've been mistaken for someone who was in a juvenile detention center (the guy who asked me that one had been there himself), but usually it's just someone's sister. Usually, I make up some story. I pulled out the waterworks for the guy who asked me if I was in the juvenile detention center and told him I didn't want to talk about it. (He bought it.)

At work, though, I can't really make up stories. I wear a nametag. So, I had to play out my story in my head. Now, this guy who knows Danielle looks like Elvis. If I was on my own time, I would have told the man, "No, I don't have a sister named Danielle. But, you know, you, too, look like someone I know. Do you have a brother named Jesse? (Okay, I know Elvis's twin died at birth and this doesn't make too much sense, but I swear the Elvis-man would have been stumped.)

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-check it out! No. 01

Let me introduce to you this weekly series. I'll be posting three links to websites each week. Most of you know this. I write this for those folks who are googling "t-bud." I'm confident that there's a huge population doing this.

I'll start with some sites I visit regularly.

The Anchorage Daily News http://www.adn.com/

Oh sweet sassy molassy! I never really lived in Anchorage and the Daily News wasn't always the only newspaper in Anchorage. Once the Daily News and Times merged, this was the only option and the only good newspaper in the state.

I read it to see if there's anything interesting happening in the Last Frontier. It's through this website that I learn about UAF basketball players getting into legal trouble, see wedding announcements of people with whom I went to school, and see what's shakin' in the weather department.

As far as usuability goes, it's pretty good. I always know where I am. It's kind of ugly, but I can deal with ugly. It reads like a newspaper--which is perhaps too involving for the internet, but if you want news, you have to deal with it.

I'm pretty sure the people visiting this site are the people too cheap to buy a subscription, or people like me who are peeping from afar.

The competition is other Alaska newspaper sites. They pretty much compare to the adn.com in the same way they compare in the physical world.

Next up:

Slate Magazine http://www.slate.com/

I've been reading this magazine off and on since my sister sent me the link to an article about Digger that funky toenail fungus Lamisil mascot. It's good for everything from political commentary to personal advice from "Prudence."

It's easy to use. There's a lot of content on the page, which gives a cluttered feeling.

The audience is for intellectual types--faux or not. There are a lot of links to Slate stories on NPR, so those who listen to NPR may be reading this magazine.

Competition? Other national newsy sites. The difference probably comes in depth of reporting and commentary.


Finalement:

Pandora http://www.pandora.com/

This is my fad site. I just started listening to music on this site. I haven't gotten tired of it yet, but I'm half expecting to.

It's super-easy to use. There may be too much motion, but it's not inhibiting.

Audience? Anyone who enjoys listening to music. It's a good way to find new artists and the ads are minimal. I don't subscribe and the only ads I have to deal with are on the page--they're not audio, so they don't bother me.

I skimmed an article on Slate magazine that discussed sites like this. I know that there are others out there, but I'll have to find that article and see what they have to say about it.

Enjoy!
T-Bud

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writing Every Day

When I took creative writing classes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, my professors always made us go to the readings that were part of the Visiting Writing Series. I honestly think they made us go because if we didn't, no one would. The readings were generally horrible. I learned a lot of writers don't know how to read. There was one writer that will always stick out in my mind, though.

Pam Houston, author of "Sight Hound" and "Cowboys Are My Weakness," said something very interesting. She recognized that a lot of writers will tell you to write every day, to get into a routine, but she doesn't. She said that she only writes when she had something to write about.

Sing it, sister! Ever since my Language Arts class in the seventh grade when we were forced to write in a spiral notebook for ten minutes at the beginning of each class, I've very much disliked the obligation to write every day.

So, surfing amazon.com, I found her book "Cowboys Are My Weakness" for about a penny on the marketplace and decided to read it. It wasn't good at all. Go figure.

Don't get me wrong, I'll give this a try. I'm up for anything new and Pam Houston's "write when you need to write" philosophy is seemingly wrong.

Here's to daily bloggin'!
T-Bud