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Au courant: in the news and in blog news

1. Using my words

You may have noticed the new blog name? I mentioned a while back my increasing dissatisfaction with the former name (and excuse my laziness, no linky to that post). Then, one day, this name (Using My Words) popped into my head. It immediately felt delicious, like a death by chocolate cake a la mode, or putting on that outfit that feels perfect.

It's too great, probably already used
, I thought. So I checked. No, not that I could find. Better put my name in front, just in case my searching isn't as good as I like to think, I reckoned. Hold off, sit on the name a bit, see if it still feels good, I decided. So I waited. Still felt good. Be cautious, try it out slowly, without a big announcement, make sure it's good, I determined. So I let it breathe a bit, and I kept checking the flavor and bouquet. Still good.

Then a few of you started noticing, and commenting on it (nicely, too!) and I figured, the cat is out of the bag...I better get this on the record. So here is the grand announcement, and with a new blog banner, too.

2. Google reader

Have I seemed scarce? Erratic? Lacking in comments? Seeming to prefer some blogs over yours, where I used to frequent?

It's not my fault.

No, really! It's not you! It's not me! It's Technorati!

It just wasn't feeding your blogs, even when you pinged it. And half the time my favorites would be Out of Service. What a mess. I'd manually go to your blog, missing you, and find I'd missed a week!


Technorati and I are finished, through. Listen, when it's not a fit, just get on and get. I'm slowly but surely moving everything over to Google Reader. After a short test run and opinion poll, it does seem to be the best option (plus I already have an account). While doing this, I am purging a bit, and making new space.

What (or rather, who) should I be reading daily? Leave your suggestions (with links please) for me.

I'm also willing to subscribe to some megablogs (you know, big group blogs that lots of people write at, that do blog blasts and sell stuff and give stuff away, blogs like that). What are your favorites and why?

3. Swollen head

Apparently I was doing something worthy with myself this summer: blogging! Imagine my surprise---especially after the big mega-award post (and follow-up) of yesterday---to learn that I also won another Nice Matters tag and a ROFL award!

Thank you De of Shily, Shall I Dilly-Dally? for the ROFL nod to my post, Comparative Analysis of BlogHer vs. My Weekend

You can check out the other awardees at Mrs. Chicky's or Metro Mama's sites.

Thank you, Atypical at Nonsensical Text, for the Nice Matters nod.

4. You'll thank me for this later

I have a review of scrumptious fat free brownie mix at my rec blog.

I'm going to try to get more regular about putting up my picks and pans (and my reviews too). I know, words are cheap and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride etc. and so on. It's on the list.

5. Television, or How We Are Going to Hell in a Handbasket, my previous assertion notwithstanding

Kid Nation. I've been meaning to talk about this for a while, and Kim finally motivated me.

Do you know what Kid Nation is? It's Lord of the Flies, reality TV style, using real kids, who might be harmed in the making.

Kim found the contract the parents signed on Smoking Gun. It's...terrifying.

Talk to me...what do you think of this show?

Is it abuse?

P.S. Don't miss another Hmm'r! Shavings Off My Mind wrote Values vs. Ethics

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products HOT scoop about H-Town!


Kyla said…
Wow! August was huge for you. This means I'm awesome by association, right? ;)

Love the new name, header, and everything!

I use Bloglines, and it has been pretty reliable. If Google Reader fails you, try it.

I just updated my blogroll, so all of my faves are there...with the exception of 2 or 3 I've just started reading. I think we largely travel the same circles, though.
I meant to tell you that I liked your new name. It suits you very well, like a pair of jeans that makes your butt look good.

And congrats on your ROFL! Very deserved.
Anonymous said…
Your new name is quite good. :o)
S said…

The name, the new header, the picture of you in the new header.

It's fabulous.

And Julie -- like a fine wine, you keep getting better and better. That post of yours over at BlogRhet was phenomenal.
Suz said…
I like the new name too and also read the Kid Nation contract that the parents signed. It was terrifyingly specific in the ways that the kids could be injured during the show. Some folks will do anything for their 15 minutes.
Anonymous said…
I love the name. Perfect.

Also, the Kid Nation contract makes me physically ill. How could you send your 9 year old away not knowing if she'd be photographed changing or hurt or...god knows what else. They should do a documentary on the parents I think.
Julie Pippert said…
Okay I want the record to reflect that the photo of me is a REAL LIFE untouched photo.

My hair is slung back in a pony and a half (you know, pony it but only pull it halfway through on last tug through). NOT FANCY. I have on NO MAKEUP. We are OUTDOORS at a park. It's hot and I am sweating. I have a backpack slung across one shoulder, and am squatting to help Patience. I am not looking at the camera and by my expression have just uttered something in frustration LOL.

Also, I am wearing a t-shirt that---since seeing myself in it in a photo---has GONE AWAY.

I'm keeping it REAL.

I had a photo of me all gussied up from the Big Fancy Dinner a few months ago but I took that one out and said, let's put in the real me LOL.

The kid photo is a hilarious event earlier in August. It was raining (again, of course) and Patience and Persistence built a Horse for Two. The swiffer is the face (you can't see the taped on eyeballs, nose and mouth). They used a cat throne, two chairs, and a trampoline. Is that hilarious or what?

The ranuculus is sort of like my trademark now. The fish pond is from a special family event at Jon's cousin's house---good memories. And the books are my faves (Shakespeare and Penman) but from a logo I did for a Books, Booze and Bling party.
Julie Pippert said…
Kyla you are awesome on your own, but at least I know I don't decrease your value. ;) LOL

If Google reader fails me I am throwing in the towel. All of my favorite bloggers will have to set up email subscription, just for me.

I did check out your blogroll (did you mention that you freshened it up on your blog? Somehow I knew this...) and there were a couple I did not know. I got excited b/c I saw moreena there but no, still MIA.



Mrs. Chicky, woo hoo anything that flatters the rear end. I actually have no bum. It's true. My nom de club was Lola Honobutt. True story. LOL All joking aside, thanks. :)


Madame M, thanks very much!


SM, you are just adding fuel here, aren't you. You are keeping news feeds up on your computer watching for the story of the lady in Texas whose head exploded LOL. Joking aside, you rock, thanks for the really kind words. Much needed now.


Suz, it's NUTS, isn't it? I just...geez, I think animals get better protection in shows. Thanks!


Jenny, they should do some study on the parents all right. It's not cool by me, that whole thing. Distressing. And thanks!!
Arkie Mama said…
First, LOVE the new name and banner.

Second, congrats!

Third, just the promos for that show disturbed me, but the contract -- yikes.
Christine said…
two things are sticking out in my mind after reading this:

death by chocolate cake a la mode and brownies. yum. . .

oh and I love the new name and that post was funny--congratulations!

and kid nation seems creepy
Christine said…
ps--somehow i missed some posts below (where the hell have i been!?!?)and left comments. . .
Anonymous said…
Love the new name and look! I'm about due for a facelift, as well. On my blog, I mean!

Re Kid Nation - I didn't read the contract but I've heard some about it. I can't imagine any justification good enough to allow kid to participate in something like that but, as we all know, I'm a tad overprotective. Okay, more than a tad. But still...WTF?
Ally said…
I love the new name and wish I would have thought of it first! It is perfect!
Scribbit said…
You know I noticed but I then quickly assumed that it had been that way for a long time and that I'd been too darn stupid to notice it before. Whew! I thought it was me. :)
painted maypole said…
i saw the ad for kid nation and was appalled, said to my husband "who are these parents who would sell their children to this TV show?" but now I must go and read the contract to see how truly appalling it is. I bet the show is like watching a train wreck. I hate these kinds of "reality" shows, anyways, they all play to the absolute worst in the players.
painted maypole said…
oh wow. I just browsed though that contract, and I know we've been talking here in the blogosphere about not judging other parents and their choices, but, um.... I would have to think that signing that form amounts to child neglect, and possibly abuse. It's horrifying.
Anonymous said…
I really love the new name.
Bea said…
Yep - Google Reader's the way to go. Except not in Safari - I tried it there and it was glitchy, but once I moved over to Firefox everything was fine.

I love the photo of you in the header - it really grabs the eye (in a good way!).
Julie Pippert said…
Thank you everyone! So glad it is a hit...and even gladder it has a better load time. :)

Hopefully the new site will do even better!
Unknown said…
That whole Kid Nation thing has had me scratching my head. Do we really need to see Lord of the Flies 2007? Not me.
Magpie said…
Yes, I love your new name! I'd meant to say so.

I haven't seen Kid Nation (nor will I) but it seems cuckoo, nuts, silly and cruel.
Aliki2006 said…
I LOVE the new name and the new look. And congrats on the award!
Anonymous said…
The name is so you. I have got to hurry up and get over my nervous breakdown because I totally missed your Blogrhet post and I still have no idea what google reader is.
Anonymous said…
I meant to comment on the new blog name which I noticed and had to double check and recheck to make sure I wasn't dreaming or imagining it! I love it.

I will have to check out that contract. I can only imagine! I am afraid to click the link... Ok here I go.

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