Saturday, February 16, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Honey

I'm a cantankerous sort. I've been sick for a week since braving an ice storm to make sure a foster kid didn't have serious intentions of burning down his house. Despite my downing hot Tang, eating green chili, and resting my voice (after losing it Friday morning), I still wasn't feeling any better.

Granted, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. (When you're constantly exposed to kid germs like I am, you'd want to wear a bubble suit too.) I also secretly enjoy putting on campy horror movies to lull me to sleep. But I was sick of being sick. Comatose states bore me quickly, and all I wanted in the world was to finally feel better.

I even dragged into work on Tuesday in hopes that I would be distracted into wellness and to catch up on all my cases. (Time flies when you work in foster care. Cases can change directions quickly when you aren't aware of current ins and outs.) My coworkers didn't even tease me about sounding like Marge Simpson, instead they ran away when they heard me hacking around the corner. By the end of the day, I talked myself horse.

I succumbed Wednesday and scheduled a doctor's appointment. The doctor (who looked younger than me--ouch) said all I suffered from was a cold and recommended I continue to take massive amounts of cough suppresant and suggested a home remedy: honey.

Great, I though, I am now 25 dollars poorer, and I've been told about the medical benefits of honey. Then a second thought came to mind: my Honey (a.k.a. Hun). Hun was at my side all last weekend--listening to me gripe, forcing cough syrup on me, nagging me to get more sleep, and remaining patient and supportive--despite not getting a decent night's rest himself. I've been snotty, greasy, highly unattractive, and definitely less than charming. Hun was also smart enough to recommend getting more rest instead of going to the doctor, because there wasn't a miracle pill to fix what I had--despite my hopes to the contrary. I suppose, in my own way, I got the doctor's advice already.

I alternated peppermint tea with honey to my hot Tang regimen the rest of the afternoon and slept through more camp horror. By the next morning, I felt considerably better (although I still sound like Marge Simpson). I owe most of it to my daily dose of Hun.

So I'm designating this week's condiment of the week to honey. Take time to think of all the little things you daily dose of honey does each day--be he/she a parent, kiddo, lovemuffin, or life-supporting friend.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I've Been Memed by the Book Guy

. . . I guess I deserve it for not finishing what I started . . . ; )

According to the esteemed Rotus of I'll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book!, I owe him one for tagging him on another meme. Not to forgo a comeuppance or a challenge, I took on the Book Meme. According to Rotus, the rules are simple:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

(1) Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages). The nearest book on hand wore a fine patina of dust while waiting patiently for me to lift it off my bookshelf. I blindly grappled for it and behold! I grabbed I, Claudius by Robert Graves. I, Claudius was smirking at me a bit. Like any good historic novel, it's scandalous, sensually descriptive, and lots of fun. (I cheated a touch. The first book I picked wasn't 123 pages long. What does that say about me? I like comic books and self-help workbooks, I guess.) I read the book only once, but kept a hold of it in great plans of cracking open the pages again.

(2) Open the book to page 123. Page 123? Done.

(3) Find the fifth sentence. One. . .two . . . (Hmm, three lines per sentence, this will be interesting) . . . three . . . four . . . aha! I have it! This made Livy really furious.

(4) Post the next three sentences. Alright, here goes:

This made Livy really furious. He said, "Polio, this talk is idle. Young Claudius here has always been considered dull-witted by his family and friends but I didn't agree with the general verdict until to-day. You're welcome to your disciple. . .

To add some context, the blurb is about a couple of philosophers discussing the best way to record history. Polio prefers writing the literal truth, without adding modern context. Livy prefers to add a modern slant, to persuade men to virtue. Claudius is underestimated by his August family as being dull-witted. When Claudius is asked for his preference, he diplomatically sees the strengths in both versions of history. Livy, in a huff, accuses Claudius of being dull--along with Polio. Hence the double entendre of dullness and dull-witted. Polio then advises Claudius to continue with appearing half-witted, exaggerating his stutter, and increasing his limp to be safely underestimated until it is his time for greatness.

(5) Tag five more people. Hmmm. . . I shall tag (1) Shinade of the Painted Veil for tagging me in Blogger's Amnesty Day-, (2) Rybu at File Under Misc. after de-tagging him on the Big Bang Meme, (3) my mother and fellow book-a-holic at Heifer's Hideaway, (4) 70's Teen to find out what nostalgia she can pull out of her bonnet, and (5) tNb at Atomic Dogma to find out what else is on her bookshelf . . . It's up to y'all if you chose to partake--no worries if you're disinclined.

Wew! I'm tuckered. I think I'm off to a nap!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Someone's been sneakin' around these parts . . .

Howdy folk! I found out something interesting about the joys of the web. I found out that someone is linking back to my little ol' blog here in Upstate New York. It's a blog all about Colorado and the surrounding parts. Apparently, they've been linking back to a few of my blogs. According to the blog, Drew Epperly is the writer for my site. I beg to differ. I am not Drew, I am Betty.

Not only that, but I think Drew doesn't always read my posts before he uses them as his own, since my blog has very little content about Colorado, and is mostly about Upstate New York. Perhaps I'm a bit reactionary, and should be flattered--but my word, who is this hooligan?!

Drew also seems to write a lot about soccer--my question is how much did he actually write? Perhaps I am being a bit kneejerk, and dear old Drew is just posting snippets of his favorite blogs to share. But there's a sneaking suspicion a sneak and a thief is amongst us . . .

Update: It looks like Drew is another victim of this site that posts RSS feeds at It's rather bizarre, and somehow, they got my name mixed up with his. There is also a "Cowgirl Betty" who writes various collegiate sports articles--which I also didn't write. According to Drew (you can see in the comments section), he has tried to get the group to stop running his articles on their site, but to no avail.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Falling off the Wagon

Howdy folks! Just wanted to let y'all know I've been a bit under the weather lately, explaining why I haven't been posting as often. I also have been fighting some flu-like symptoms, attempting to work at my job six days a week, and struggling with my internet being down at home. What can I say? It's been a rocky trail lately.

Well, after taking an oncall until about midnight--braving an ice storm to and from the foster home--my body told me enough is enough. I am now laid up, and I am writing this during one of my few moments of consciousness. Luckily the internet is back up!

I promise, promise to pick back up with Condiment of the Week and my various laments when I get back in the saddle (hopefully sometime next week).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday List: Much ado about nothing, or the missing blog

I got an interesting (and unnecessary) apology from my friend, for my last blog entry. She was very generous and memed me in a link-exchange, hoping to increase some of my readership. The meme she participated in, as well as I, sparked a debate at one of the FuelMyBlog forums. (Might I add--FuelMyBlog is a really great site if you want to find like-minded bloggers to exchange ideas, find interesting sites, and meet new friends.) The forum discussed the ethics of the meme, discussing if it was putting those on the top end of the list at a higher advantage regarding linking-- and linking to other sites unethically inflating some of their blog ratings.

The whole deal got me off my my lazy arse and started figuring out some of this high-tootin' fenangled goo-gaa stuff about ratings, technorati, and all that is tossed around the 'net like a sack of hot cow-pucky. The below is my humble unscientific analysis about the whole subject:

(1) Technorati's rating system are pretty controversial. I read an interesting analysis at Sacred Cow Dung. Those with low ratings to begin with, well--It's like using a sprat to catch a mackerel(A fellow blogger's assessment wasn't far off the mark). Whenever even one other site links up to a sprat like me, my ratings jump up. That's because I distinguished myself from all the other ghostly blogs out there abandoned by their creators.

(2) The higher you climb with technorati, the harder it is to maintain your status, and the more sites you need to have linked to yours--because it take a lot more links to have your rating rise by even one rank. As far as getting even to the top 100, or even top 10,000--you have to be a friggin' giant--like Google, or MSN, etc. to achieve such status. No matter how many sites link to yours, a search engine, or monster media service will always win out. (P.S. Google--I think you're swell for hosting blogger for hostile little upstart cowgirls like me . . . if I do offend.)

(3) This leads to an inverse curve--a big red flag in statistical analysis--in finding any significance in the data (or so I'm told). In other words, relative to the giants--whose rating might have some significance--we are all lumped in the same statistical pile. In other words, technorati's ratings don't mean a hill of beans. My "authority" jumped up with the meme, but I'm still in the same league as those who have a lower rating and less "authority" along with those who have higher "authority" than myself. It's a shame how people really get fired up (and market researchers, etc.) about technorati's ratings and authority distinguishing a "scientific" basis for the value of a site.

(4) In my humble opinion, It's all about content, content, and content! (But it's a bit too subjective and not easy to assess for market analysts.) There are a ton of folks out there who have damn good blogs with ratings next to nothing alongside with high-quality blogs with ratings that reflect their work.

My conclusion: I can see how both sides of the debate can justify their reaction--my response is the whole business really isn't reflective of anything. If participating in a link exchange is the worst thing I do in the world, well--I'm still golden. I also didn't take in a stray kitty, pissed off a shitload of kiddos, caseworkers, and foster parents, etc, etc.--all in a day's work. Will I participate in one again? Probably not. I don't want to feel like I should even participate in the technorati gravy train. For those who are serious bloggers who do, have at it. But from what I found out--technorati isn't able to rank the importance of a personal blog. It really doesn't matter. Unfortunately, a lot of advertisers look at technorati ratings.

I'm really glad other great bloggers helped me get off my arse and find out for myself about the whole hulabaloo. Statistically speaking, the whole schpeel about site ratings is much ado about nothing. Unfortunately, a lot of folks out there hang their hat on the value of a rating--and that's the scary part, because so many other blogs with lower ratings go unnoticed.

If anyone asks why I removed the Bang!! Bang!! You're memed!! blog below, I decided not to bother with it. It's fine for folks to participate in this blog in my book--heck, I did it too. But I really don't want to rock the boat for those who fight for their ratings, and I don't want others to think my blog has more "authority"than others without reading it for themselves. I also took myself off the master list to be fair to those who are participating.

Aw, shoot. I'm tuckered! To take care of myself, I will watch The Man With the Golden Gun, and eat something with a condiment. I imagine I'll get a field of comments regarding my little diatribe. That's all good. I'll cowgirl up and keep my ears open. I might learn some more about the vastness that is the internet and rating whatnot before it is all done ; )