Bumper sticker seen on th

Filed under:General — eric @ 10:24 am

Bumper sticker seen on th e back of a state department of corrections van on my way to work this morning: “People are terrific. Life is beautiful.”

I stumbled upon the Alpha

Filed under:General — eric @ 4:41 am

I stumbled upon the Alpha & Omega AlmightyWind Holy Ghost Fire Ministries, which features a thirty minute song loosely to the tune of “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out …” sung by “a citizen in hell” warning us about what awaits if we end up there. Whatever works, I guess.

What would your favorite TV

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:40 am

What would your favorite TV & movie characters look like as Fisher Price Little People? Quinn has the time & talent to show you.

As the month goes by,

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:14 am

As the month goes by, I expect we’ll all be hearing more bunk about the dreaded 5/5/2000 alignment. Here’s an article from 1996 that explains in detail what’s happening, how it’ll look, when it’s happened before and will again, and gives pointers for how to argue with an astrologer. Reading it reminded me of conversations I’d have with the locals in high school. “What are you going to study in college?” they’d ask me. “Astronomy.” I’d reply. Often times they’d look at me funny and say “You want to tell fortunes? What got you interested in that?” I’d shake my head and say “Actually, I’m interested in cosmology…” but before I could explain they’d say “You mean makeup and hair styles? Like beauty school?” I had that conversation so many times. I had fun explaining my facination with science to people, but always wondered why cosmotology was always on the tip of so many people’s tongues.

Dear Sally, I enjoyed

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:29 am

Dear Sally,

I enjoyed your reply to anon regarding starting a feud or pulling a big prank to get his/her weblog noticed. I think you failed, however, to use your considerable pull to curb a trend which may prove harmful to the weblog community. I’ve seen a lot new weblogs recently clamor for readers by posting fast and furiously (gets you near the top of the weblogs.com and blogger lists, you know), by blogging the blogs (that blogged the blog that … <shudder>), and by good old-fashioned feud starting. There have been posts of discouragement (”I’ve only gotten 15 visitors today. It’s not worth it anymore.“) and excited cross-linking (”Blogger X linked to me today! Yay!“). Those obsessed with popularity are missing the point and the real joy of weblogging, I think. Weblogs allow you to share yourself and your interests with complete strangers and friends and family in a way that’s non-invasive (“Hey! Look at me! Look what I like! Hey!” doesn’t work in person, so why should it be tried with weblogs?) and hopefully interesting to the reader. If you simply write about what you find interesting and why, be it sites you find on the web or someone you passed on the sidewalk, people will come. Those that enjoy reading what you have to say will stay and meanwhile, others will come. Outside links will begin funneling more readers your way, and the process will build on itself. It’s a natural thing, but for most of us, a slow thing. CamWorld wasn’t built in a day. The key to building readers is to be interesting and the key to that is to be yourself.

This all might sound odd coming from me. Kestrel’s Nest is by no means a popular weblog, no matter what metric you use. But going by the words in Scribble’s excellent essay weblogging: lessons learned, “having 10 million hits is not the game plan. having 10 regular readers is a home run.”, I’ve gone from striking out to hitting 5 home runs a day. Every week nets a few more readers than the last. Strangers get sucked in from search engines and send me excited email about the wonderful world of weblogs. Keeping this weblog is incredibly rewarding in so many ways, and it’s all come from going about my business and just being myself.

Sure, it’s nice to get noticed, but there’s no need to try and shout over the other 500 webloggers out there. It’s a big enough room we’re in that we can just converse normally. All that shouting will just scare away those folks poking their head in to see what all the noise is about.

Thanks for listening, Sally, and keep up the good work.