Monday, February 26, 2007


I noticed as I was surfing around tonight that quite a few blogs have those nifty little banners on their panels with names like "Blog Explosion." So I surfed on over. This is some of what I found. Over at Blog Explosion, there are free tools for bloggers, including pinging the blog indexes such as Technorati. In return for surfing, bloggers get points to spend in order to send traffic to their blogs. I'm going to give it my best whirl. I will let you know the results. I was not paid to do this review.

On the right-hand side of this blog, you will notice my growing list of writers who maintain websites or blogs on the web. A few of them I have had personal contact with and a few of them are folks whose writing I like and admire.

There is also a list of free tools for the blogger [or anyone else who would like to use them]. One of my personal favorites is the JournalistExpress site. Over at radical sapphoq, I do primarily commentary on current news articles. The JournalistExpress site keeps the articles all on one page. If you haven't been there yet, I encourage you to go there. Joining is free and painless. You can personalize your page according to your beat. In the months that I have been a member there, I have not received one spam mail in the e-box I used to sign up.

Check them out and drop me a line if there is something you need that you can't find on your own. I found many of the sites listed via StumbleUpon, a social bookmarking site which I highly recommend. I also use and I like it just fine-- in spite of the fact that it is now owned by Yahoo. The thing that sets StumbleUpon apart from is the button I've got on my Firefox browser that allows me to surf to random sites according to my interests. That is truly a wonderful button.

And here I will also insert my shameless plug for Squidoo. I have several lenses on Squidoo. In fact I added another one last night. Squidoo splits its' profits with us starving lensmasters/bloggers. Money may not be able to buy love but it sure helps. It's those nasty little habits I've got like eating and wearing clothing that keeps me plugging along, hoping you will be interested enough to click on my ads or click on my Squidoos or keep coming back to read all of my blogs.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007


The Haitian Vodou Handbook by Kenaz Filan (Houngan Coquille du Mer). Rochester Vt: Destiny Books, 2007. 283 pp.

The Afro-diaspora religions have ancient roots in Africa, which is probably one of four motherlands of civilization as we know it. Those four are regarded to be Egypt, Iraq [Mesopotamia], the Indus Valley in India, and China. Yoruba Land [including much of modern day Nigeria] is a bit east and south of Egypt. There was a vigorous slave trade going on there. Some tribes sold members of other conquered tribes to the French who carried their human cargo off to the West Indies [which included St. Domanique, or Haiti] and carried goods back into Europe on their return trip.

My euro-centric pagan views were recently tested by a spiritual problem. A man from a botanica helped me out of it. He told me what to do about it, I did that, and it was immediately effective. My interest in the loas of Iba and the lwas of Vodou was peaked by this experience, and so off to the bookstore I went where I located this gem of a book.

The Haitian Vodou Handbook examines Haitian Vodou within the context of history and is a valuable source of information-- particularly for paganfolk. It addresses such hot-button issues as the Haitian political arena, co-opting the religious practices of indigenous peoples, prejudice, the limitations of Euro-centricity, and poverty.

Houngan Coquille du Mer is very careful not to reveal any oath-bound secrets in his writing. He clearly states what he cannot tell the reader and he offers realistic alternatives. The writing itself is very personable. Chapters are sensibly organized and include the right mix of personal anecdotes and information. This book made me think. And because it did, I give it my highest recommendation. Great for anyone who has an interest in this subject.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007


featured a short intro to the ChronicBabe website. A short hop provided a look at an online community with bunches of articles geared toward women who are living with chronic conditions/disorders/diseases. There is also a bi-weekly newsletter and opportunities for women bloggers to be part of online Grand Rounds. Among the offerings I perused was an interesting take on the Japanese idea of using genetic therapy to increase the size of boobs. ChronicBabe definitely rules the roost. Highly recommended for any woman living with fibro or any other medical thing that just won't go away.

sapphoq reviews

Monday, February 19, 2007


1-2-3 Solitaire is nifty in spite of being able to pass for nagware at random intervals. The free trial version contains 12 solitaire games with ample variations to each one. Personal favorites are Diplomat, Klondike, Pyramid, and the three versions of Spider trailing behind. The playing surface is a smooth flannel green and the cards deal themselves with a quickness. I have found the freeware version suitable for my purposes.

The major limitation is that one cannot "undo" a move as can be done in the heftier 30-day trial program nor in the overly packed shareware version. Another is the screen urging the downloading of the heftier versions that appears periodically after play.

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Monday, February 12, 2007


Google has some apps that are easy to use for domain owners. Google offers domain registration via a third-party and hosting for ten dollars a year. For that ten dollars, one gets 200 mailboxes, management of spam and abuse reports, personalized start pages, and webpages. The domainster can choose to give out mailboxes and offer chat via Google chat.

On the down side, there is currently limited to no functionality regarding the running of scripts. The WYSIWYG editor is also limited and those who desire to get their hands on the code would do better to look elsewhere. Premium services will be available at a future date and perhaps the down-and-dirty techie will be more satisified with that.

Verdict: Recommended for those who are starting out with a first domain or who desire the ease and comfortability of Google services.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Google has entered into the widgets market with pages and pages of free widgets to add to a new homepage. Users can now choose to have a homepage with up to six tabs full of widgets. Categories include:
Fun & Games
New Stuff

[as listed at].

Almost all of the widgets work just the way they are supposed to. They are cute and fun and easy to add. sapphoq reviews now has a homepage with six tabs chock full of news and brain candy.

There is also a place where developers can go to download a widget toolkit and then to submit their own widgets.

Verdict: absolutely the best !

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Friday, February 02, 2007

WHO WILL RUN THE FROG HOSPITAL? by Lorrie Moore 2/2/07

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. 148pp. paperback

A niece and nephew gave me this paperback as a gift and I thought to myself, what kind of a book is this? Once I'd read a few pages though, I was instantly hooked and remained so right up until the last page. This slim volume, billed as a novel but with hints of what my Aunt Eleanor would have called "faction," tells the story of an adolescent girl and a friend. It is a coming of age yet more than that, with slices of life around the Lake George Region that any true Adirondacker will instantly recognize. The language is lyrical, ethereal in quality. The tale of a pivotal summer made me feel like I was "right there." The two teens both work at Storyland and each get into trouble of a different sort. A captivating novel and highly recommended.

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