Turtle Talk #2: Typing Speed

6 09 2009

002TypingSpeed

Another episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle.  In case you’ve wondered why her blog posts don’t come out as frequently as you’d like…


Squinting?  Click on the strip to enlarge.

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.

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Turtle Talk #1: No Issues

5 09 2009

The first episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle. 001NoIssues


Squinting?  Click on the strip to enlarge.

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.

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Good Samaritan Turtle Keeps Neighbors Afloat

4 09 2009
Copyright - Darren Hoyt

Copyright - Darren Hoyt

I’m about a year late in finding this, but thought I’d share this pic from Darren Hoyt and Wistar Watts Murray, who found a few critters waiting out a rainstorm in a swimming pool drain.  This good Samaritan turtle lent his height to his frog and spider companions to keep them above water until they were found.  Very admirable, but I must say I would’ve eaten the spider if given the chance…at least if it weren’t so big and scary.

Aimee Pearson's Tattoo, Courtesy of the Daily Progress

Apparently one California woman found this story so inspirational that she had the image tattooed on her back, an act which earned her an article in Charlotteville, North Carolina’s Daily Progress and a  place in last December’s Tattoo News Review.

The oddest thing this story teaches us?  There’s a Tattoo News Review.

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Teaser Tuesdays: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

1 09 2009

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


spivet

Well played, old ranch house, well played.

“But this possibility, like everything else at the moment, was beyond my control, so I filed it away under the Do Not Worry List and pretended not to think about it anymore, though the worry really just channeled itself into a sort of nervous hop-step tic I did with my right foot every time I was trying not to worry about something.”

~ p.89, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

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Do aquatic turtles really need baths?

23 08 2009

ToothbrushYesterday I watched a video of my pen pal Tiny Turtle taking a “Relaxing Turtle Bath.”  He’s lying on his back in his humanette’s hand over a sink, all sprawled out as though he’s not the least bit terrified, while she scrubs his tummy shell with one of those things  humans use to brush their teeth.  The thought of a relaxing bath is an absolute oxymoron to me.  Every time my human cleans my tank, he picks me up and scrubs my back with one of those things, and let me tell you…I hate it!  Being picked up in itself is traumatizing enough, but I certainly don’t need to be rubbed raw with those bristles.

So here’s my question to all of you…. Do aquatic turtles actually need baths?  I spend most of my day bathing and the rest basking to dry out and keep algae from growing all over me.  The way I figure it, turtles that live in the wild don’t have humans scrubbing them down, so why should we?    I’d love to hear what you have to say on this topic.  (Take the polls below or leave a comment on the post.) If someone can back me up on this, I can make a plea to my human to cut it out.

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8 Reasons Computers are Cooler than Crayons

20 08 2009

CrayonsRecently a visitor named Jake left an interesting query after reading my bio:

Why don’t you hire a stenographer? Then you can just write like scuba divers do, with a crayon on plastic, and have them transcribe it for you – might be easier than worrying about waterproof WiFi.

I’m ashamed to say that I had not even thought to research scuba diving as part of my quest for the best waterproof blogging technology before I saw Jake’s comment.    Now that I’ve done some research, here’s my initial take on the crayon versus computer debate:

1. Crayons are too big. Yes, I know, crayons are much smaller than laptops and are perfectly sized for human kids, but they’re not terribly practical for turtles.  (Disclaimer: I have never met a sea turtle, but hear they’re at least as large as some human children.  I can only speak from my own experience.) My hands happen to be perfectly sized for computer keyboards (with a whole hand per key), but they aren’t big enough to fit around standard crayons.  I looked into toddler crayons, but apparently the smaller the kid, the bigger the crayon.

2. Dive slates come with pencils, not crayons. Still working on confirming this, but it appears that most dive slates come with pencils attached.  Disappointing news, since I’d rather use a little color.  However, I should mention that there are glow-in-the-dark slates available, and anything that glows in the dark is inherently cool (e.g. laptops).

3. Slates are small. Pencil versus crayon distinction aside,  divers have a very small area to write on, so they either need to have tons of them on hand or deal with the hassle of copying their notes to paper or computer on dry land before wiping their slates clean to reuse them.  At least one diver is now using waterproof paper because slates are such a hassle.

4. Labor leads to lag time. I know, I know.  I’m a turtle.  Why should I care about lag time?  But I’m also a blogger, and bloggers are supposed to be able to provide breaking news to the masses, which is hard to achieve when you have to struggle to get your hand around a pencil, surface with tons of little slates, and then wait for someone else to interpret your sloppy handwriting and copy the previously fresh news onto a non-waterproof laptop to post.

5. No money for a stenographer. Poor dexterity, slate size, and lag time are all moot points in my case, as I’m presently between acting gigs and don’t have any money in my budget for a stenographer.  Unless someone offers me either a feature role or a free stenographer (hint, hint), it looks like Jake’s suggestion won’t work for me, and I’ll be continuing the hunt for waterproof PCs.

6. Dive computers aren’t, you know, computers. While checking out dive sites (the Web kind, not the underwater kind), I ran across someone discussing dive computers, and a great wave of excitement hit me.  If scuba divers are using PCs, I figured, there has to be a waterproof computer out there for me!  As it turns out though, these gadgets called computers are just decompression meters, which won’t help me at all with my shallow-water technological pursuits.

7. Computers are my connection to the world outside my tank. Last time I checked, neither crayons nor dive slates could offer me the latest tech updates or the world’s funniest pet videos.  So without a computer to surf the Web on, I wouldn’t have much inspiration for my posts.

8.  The best things come in small packages. There’s something about a laptop that appeals to my inner nature…fitting as much brain as you can in as small a shell as possible is a cause close to my heart.  (Yes, crayons are small too, but short on brains.)

It boils down to this: Crayons are colorful and creative, but laptops are just inherently cool, enough so that I’m happy to keep crawling out of the tank to use them until I can find the perfect one to join me in the water.

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It’s official. Turtles make the best bloggers!

18 08 2009

This is great!  I was just searching my name on Bing to see how my SEO was doing, and I found a blog post titled “Wanna be a great blogger?  Be a turtle!” Glad to know turtles have a natural advantage in the blogging world.  🙂

And even better, searched my name on Google and guess what the #1 result is….me!  One of these days it will be my blog rather than my Twitter feed listed, but this is a great start.

Google Top Listing

I’m still looking for more ways to boost traffic to the blog.  I’ve linked to my Twitter account, set up a Google Profile, listed the blog on Blog Catalog, posted on related blogs, and done some reading on blogging strategies and SEO, but in the end I think it will come down to quality content and patience.  I’ve gotten some questions from readers on how to raise turtles, so hopefully I can start sharing some knowledge about turtle-keeping (uh, me-keeping) in addition to my technological pursuits and social commentary.  And then there’s always the matter of figuring out why humans enjoy wiggling their fingers so much when they’re near glass…

I love getting suggestions and questions for the blog.  Keep them coming!

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