Saturday Distraction: Google 201

By AlphaZeta (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Image by AlphaZeta (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking for some distraction on this fine Saturday? How about a fun little learning tangent that will leave you better able to search and find what you want on the Internet? Behold: Google 201 (or, as it’s technically called, “Get More out of Google.”

This nifty infographic is far from new, but still has in it a whole lot of Google tips that many people don’t know. Things like: how to search Google for a specific type of file; how to limit your search to a specific website; and how to search for a word only in titles.

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Saturday Distraction: The Internet in Real Time

Today I’m learning about StumbleUpon and Reddit, two social networks with which I really have had only passing contact in the past: StumbleUpon is on my list because it drives a good deal of traffic to a website with which I’m involved, and Reddit because it’s a favorite of my teen-aged son. In the spirit of StumbleUpon, though, that’s not really what this post is about. I actually want to share with you something else that I discovered in passing during my quest – in fact, something I stumbled upon with StumbleUpon. It’s a whackin’ cool infographic called “The Internet in Real-Time”:

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I love my public library, and I’m not alone

I grew up going to the library every week. My mom would load my sister and me into the car, drive us into town, and we would read and search there to our delight. I’ve no memory of what my mother did while we were there – whether she came in with us and went off hunting for her own selection of borrowed treasure, or (probably more likely) took the opportunity of an hour or so without any kids to do shopping or other errands that would be easier without the pair of us than with us.

cardcatalog1But for me, there was an hour or so of exploration and quiet discovery, and I’d leave with a stack of books, and then I’d be back again for more the next week. Continue reading

Pecan pie – and a lesson in making pie crust

pecan-pieThis post is for my friend Al, who asked me months ago for my pecan pie recipe and has waited ever so patiently even though it’s now less than a week before Thanksgiving. Not only have you earned the pie recipe; you’ve also earned the pie crust recipe and secret. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, this also is for all my friends who think pie crust is hard to make and are amazed that I make mine from scratch.

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Surprised by Fall color: What makes me thankful


I traveled to Cleveland from my home near Chicago this weekend and had my eyes opened and my spirit lifted. Cleveland is a city that I like a lot, and my trip was planned around a reunion that was guaranteed to make me happy. But somehow – perhaps because I was so looking forward to the reunion – it didn’t occur to me in advance that we might be traveling at the peak of the Fall color season. Continue reading

Eliminate these 2 words to improve your writing

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. -Mark Twain

ReadWriteI just stumbled upon a web page (truly stumbled upon, as in “Thanks, Stumble Upon, the social media network I almost never use but might start glancing at occasionally after this!”) with a Mark Twain quote so priceless that it inspired this post:

It’s not just the quote, though. The article on the Writers Write website, “45 Ways to avoid using the word ‘very,'” goes to the heart of one of my pet peeves. There are two words that I think writers should excise from their vocabulary, and one of them is in fact “very.” The other? “Thing.” Continue reading