Category Archives: oddities

11 firefox add-ons to make your life easier

Hey everybody! I missed you SO MUCH!

Like you all, we have dealt with upheavals galore around here. But now I’m finally down to the last five chapters on ye olde revisionne.

I thought I’d sidetrack today and talk about something I’d never paid much attention to until lately:


There are plenty of browsers to choose from. (What’s a browser? It’s the thing you travel around teh intrawebs on: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.) Many add-ons are designed to work on all platforms, some are only developed for one. You’ll have to check with the browser you’re driving. Today I’ll talk about some add-ons I’ve found useful for Firefox.

Click on “Tools”, then “Add-ons”.

You’ll go to a page jam-packed with tiny programs to add to your browser. Some are worthless and will drive you nutz. Some will make your life worth living. Read what the tiny add-on program is supposed to do, then read what the reviewers have to say. Pay attention to the date of the review, because the add-ons don’t always keep pace with the browser updates.

And now I present…


  1. Adblock Plus–Yes. You want to block those malware ads and pop ups, automatically. Yes. You do. I’ve had this a long time, and it has not let me down.
  2. Ghostery–Just downloaded this one a few days ago and it’s remarkable. I theoretically knew that there were data collectors out there, but son of a gun. This app shows you the ad networks, behavioral data collectors and web analytic providers on each page you visit. These puppies FOLLOW YOU AROUND THE INTILWEBBS and report to their masters about your habits. CREEPAZOID. But with Ghostery you can block them. I LOVE IT.
  3. Newssitter-News Sidebar and News Ticker–It’s a–uh–sidebar. You choose the news feeds you want in it. And it kind of…ticks. Choices range from Facebook to the New York Times. I believe we can apply the word “eclectic” here, and be safe. Collapsible.
  4. Forecastfox–Weather strip, sits up on the top right of your screen. Customizable, several days’ forecast at a glance, radar, moon phase, all kinds of stuff. From AccuWeather.
  5. RSS Icon in url bar–I get tired of looking for the RSS feed icon on blogs, don’t you? Put one in your url bar and you can subscribe to blogs right from there.
  6. Lightshot (screenshot tool)–Easier than looking for the Prnt Scrn button and opening Paint and…oh what a PAIN. Just click your little icon that floats on your bottom bar, then you can choose however much of the page you wish, to screenshoot. Then save to whatever folder you want, or email, or send directly to your printer. Very nifty.
  7. Share This–Gad, I use this so many times a day. It’s a green button sitting in my url bar. When I want to share an article to ANYWHERE I can do it through Share This. (What’s Corkboard? What’s Nujij?) Mostly I email links, but if you want to Tweet, Tumblr, Yammer, Yigg or Xerpi, then here’s your conduit.
  8. Pocket–Used to be called “Read It Later”. Another add-on I can’t do without. See something you want to read later, toggle the button and it’s archived. Beautiful layout, you can tag your pages to organize them in folders.
  9. TinyUrl Generator–I fell upon my knees when I found this and gave thanks to my Creator. I crank out an informational newsletter for the Kansas SCBWI every week with lots of links, and some of the urls are really. Really. Long. But tick this little icon and when it’s done spinning, you have a tidy little url that anyone would be proud of. Happy happy joy joy.
  10. Internote–Only been working with this a few days, but it’s funky. You can stick virtual post-it notes on web pages, and they’re still there when you go back later. Huh. And you’re the only one who sees it.
  11. Joliprint–This last one is not available through the Firefox browser . Get the bookmarklet here and stick it in a toolbar. Joliprint converts an article into a PDF. You can collect numerous articles all day into a PDF to read that evening, if you want. When you’re ready, download the PDF, post it in Google docs or send it to your email. A handy aggregator when researching.

Now I have let you in on all my little tricks of the trade. Anybody else got an add-on they love?

There’s one in every crowd.


oh, karma!


And then, upon further reflection…

Also, the postcard is from a painting by Dana Carey!

She’s a multi-talented author/illustrator living in France. Visit her blog:

Up in the Attic Lately.

I highly recommend everyone makes sure Dana wins their blog contests.

the porch is almost open

It’s summer. And we all know what THAT means.


So while the porch is not entirely open yet,

I am on it, baby. Look at this:


Put some pebbles in the bottom, potting soil and pothos ivy.

There’s something about longer days, more of that precious sunlight hitting the retina that makes me want to work with my hands. I’m settling into my summer nest for some serious summer writing.

Join me!


Saw this over at Boing Boing:

…and it got me to thinking about how hard it used to be to reproduce copies of manuscripts.

It was no

If you were a lowly pre-published writer working at home, you had to depend on carbon paper.

You stacked three pieces of typing paper together, with two pieces of carbon paper layered in between. This odd-bodkin sandwich went into your typewriter. If you made a mistake, you had to make sure each copy had the strike-throughs fixed. It was messy, because your pages usually ended up with purple streaks. The copy was but a pale echo of the original, and the second copy–well, you were lucky if it was legible.

And you double-spaced after every sentence.


stupid pet trick

best david letterman stupid pet trick of all. time.

quoth the ravin’

George Washington’s brother, Lawrence, was the Uncle of Our Country.

                                                                                      —George Carlin

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

                                                   —Groucho Marx

Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it?
                                                                      —Steven Wright

If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you’ll be going, ‘you know, we’re alright. We are dang near royalty.’

                                                          —Jeff Foxworthy

I had the right to remain silent… but I didn’t have the ability.

                                                                   —Ron White

I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.

                                                                                                        —Jack Benny

I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.

                                                                                      —W.C. Fields

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.

                 –Dorothy Parker


*screenshot from Urban Dictionary– 

You’re welcome.

time passages

I was poking around the internet looking for something completely different…

No. Not that.

…when I found something utterly unbelievable. Feast your eyes upon it:

The Crypt of Civilization at Oglethorpe University

Dr. Thornwell Jacobs taught ancient history. He was frustrated by how little he really knew about past civilizations. In the interest of making things easier on future generations,  he decided to build a repository of the knowledge of mankind.

Underneath Phoebe Hearst Memorial Hall at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.

It’s supposed to be opened in 8113, because Dr. Jacobs began the process in 1936, and the Egyptian calendar started in 4241 B.C., and if you consider 1936 the halfway point, then 8113…

It took three years to put 640,000 pages of documents on the new medium called “microfilm”. Other artifacts include a female mannequin, big band recordings by Artie Shaw, a set of AC spark plugs, a fly swatter, a quart of beer, a hair net, a sample of soap shaped like a bull and an Emerson radio. (See the whole list.)

If anything has a chance of surviving the coming Zombie-Nuclear-Pole-Shift-Solar-Eruption Holocaust, the Crypt of Civilization at Oglethorpe University does. Right before sealing the time capsule, the curators siphoned out all the oxygen and replaced it with nitrogen. The microfilm is duplicated on metal film. The machines that play the film and recordings run on mini-windmills. There is even a Rosetta Stone of sorts, in case English is a forgotten language by 8113.

Here’s the University’s time capsule page. And a Popular Mechanics article written at the time.

This is the kind of stuff that sparks big story ideas for me.

It also makes me want to fill a big pickle jar with random things and bury it in the backyard.

january one

1. Expand to full screen.

2. Start video.

3. Dream

Happy New Year

thanksgiving cookieing

I’m going to let Freckles McYoungest’s and my vlog say it all…quite literally. Oh, and the reason it’s called “short cookies” is the original vlog was too long to upload to YouTube.

You won’t find any big cookie-making secrets in this video. You may be mildly entertained.

Or not.

Here’s the recipe:

M & M Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound m & ms

Cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Sift together remaining dry ingredients and gradually add to butter mixture. Mix in m & ms. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

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