Somebody got burned…

31 10 2007

I came across this warning list of things to look for when trying to identify a scam publisher. It’s pretty comprehensive and mostly good advice. I get the feeling from the tone of the writing – especially the list of nasty companies and websites at the end – that the person has been badly burned by the ‘get rich quick by publishing your own book’ schemes.

I like the title of the page too – ‘Preditors and Editors’. Clever.

Two great resource lists

31 10 2007

The Online Education Database has two terrific resources in its online library:

You could spend WEEKS checking these out…


The Eagles are BACK!

31 10 2007

It was a LONG wait, but finally the Eagles have released their double-CD set of “Long Road Out of Eden“. Was the wait worth it? Absolutely!

This is a great album – it may not have any one song that reaches the heights of popularity such as “Hotel California”, but for Eagles fans and anyone who enjoys that West Coast country rock sound, it’s a must.

Just in time for Christmas too, in case you have any baby boomers or other Eagles fans in the family…

And yes, you can buy it via my Amazon store, along with the brilliant “Live at Massey Hall” from Neil Young, recorded in 1971.

Sick of Windows XP wallpaper choices?

27 10 2007

Then get yourself over to for some stunning images you can download for free and install as wallpaper on your computer. They’ve provided 30 free images in two sets:


Pixel to em converter

26 10 2007

Cool tool for anyone trying to figure out what a font size in pixels is in ems (Yes, I know that’s maybe three of my readers, but what the heck – by posting it here I’ll remember it!)

It’s here:

Thanks to the Boagworld RSS feed for alerting me to this cool tool.

Young, white, male…

25 10 2007

I just downloaded and opened the 2007 Web Survey run by A List Apart earlier this year. I was one of over 33,000 respondents.

My first reaction to the initial graphs? The web is run by young (almost 70% were under 32), white (84%) males (83%)! There are more people developing websites who are under 21 (nearly 7%), than those over 51 (combined total of 4%).

As a female ‘of a certain age’, I now realise I am *definitely* in the minority. Not that doing web stuff is my life’s work, but a reasonable proportion is involved in websites, web applications etc.

I’ll keep reading…


25 10 2007

Why do birds fly in to windows? Is it the light? The reflection? Or some kamikaze death wish?

The other day we were working in our home office which overlooks the back yard, when we heard a thump on the kitchen window (across the open plan room). I looked out and this little New Holland Honeyeater was lying very dazed on the paving. He (or she… I can’t tell the sex of these birds!) picked himself up—sort of—and sat/squatted on his haunches for close to an hour looking very sorry for himself. I wondered if he was going to live. The temptation was to go out and pick him up, but that would only traumatise him even more. So I didn’t. But I was still concerned about him. When I went to open the back door, he got enough of a fright to flap his little wings and fly off to a tree halfway down the yard.

I hope he survived. But if he did, I bet he had a VERY sore head. Poor thing.

The walk

25 10 2007

One of friends had a birthday, so six of us went out to dinner on Monday night to the only restaurant open in town. Nice evening, good BYO wines, VERY ordinary food.

As we were about to leave, some of our group got talking to a large group at a nearby table. They were walkers from a big fundraising walk for motor neurone disease (MND), and Ken Judge, the ex-West Coast Eagles coach was with them. Seems they’re walking from Perth to Albany, and Monday night they’d made it to Bridgetown.

Having seen a work colleague go through the early stages of this debilitating disease some years ago, I happily handed over a donation.

Blackwood Valley Wine Show 2007

22 10 2007

After our terrific experience at this wine show last year, we kept our eye out for any local publicity for this year’s show, but none was to be found. So I emailed the organisation’s secretary a few weeks ago and found out it was on for Saturday just gone. So off we went, this time without the friends who came with us last year (he was in Melbourne for a meeting).

The entrance fee was a little more this year—$9 a head—but we got to keep our wine glasses! Similar arrangement to last year, with the wines entered into the competition laid out for you to help yourself. But this time, they added more. Not more wine–more other stuff! Like food stalls (preserves, chocolate, herbs, cheeses, olive oil, wood-fired pizza out in the carpark etc.) and some stalls set up by specific wineries. Oh, and live music. Just a single singer, and it was tame enough to not offend or to prevent conversation.

Our three favourite local wineries were there—each with a stall: Scotts Brook, Wattle Ridge, and Mandalay Road Estate. Mandalay and Wattle Ridge won medals for their wines, but Scotts Brook didn’t go in to the competition as the owner, Brian, was a judge. He figured that being a judge and entering too would constitute a conflict of interest. I found out that because this is such a small wine show (182 wines judged this year), all judges judge all wines.

Maybe it was because we didn’t have our friends with us, but I don’t think it was as good as last year. Had we not had existing relationships with the owners from the wineries mentioned above, and therefore spent quite a lot of time talking with them, I doubt we would’ve stayed very long.

Other changes this year included longer opening time (11am to 4pm), and it was in association with the Harvest Highway people, which is why there were food stalls etc. this year. I’m not complaining—it was just a different atmosphere to last year’s show.

Typo… set in steel!

15 10 2007

Just posted on one of my tech writing lists today: (photo of typo on a drain hole cover; suitable for work)