Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Writer's Almanac

"It's the birthday of the man who wrote under the name Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, born in Florida, Missouri (1835)..."
So says today's online edition of The Writer's Almanac. You may have heard the inimitable Garrison Keillor read The Writer's Almanac on National Public Radio. Since I am not always able to catch the radio edition, I've recently pointed my browser's home page to the online edition. Now I am more likely to get my daily dose of literary birthdays and historical notes. (Who knew David Mamet, Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain were all born on November 30?)

I also get to read a new poem each day. I've really enjoyed the selections lately. On the web or on the radio, I highly recommend The Writer's Almanac.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tabblo 2.0

Just six months after it was first made available to the public, Tabblo has gotten a substantial face-lift. It may not exactly be "Tabblo 2.0" (those are my words), but I think it is worth a look.

If you haven't visited Tabblo recently, here's a quick summary:
  • It's a photo sharing site on steroids. In addition to uploading photos, you can organize your photos on a page that tells a story -- a "tabblo". Here's a shameless plug for the tabblos I've created.

  • If you are a big fan of Flickr, you might be saying, "That's nice, but I already use Flickr to share photos. I don't want to leave the Flickr community." Well, you don't have to leave Flickr because Tabblo can automatically access the photos you upload to Flickr. For me, Flickr has become the "shoebox" where I put my best photos. Tabblo is where I go to organize the photos into "albums".

  • Tabblo is a growing community of photographers and artists. Let me stress the word artists. I am amazed at the work other Tabblo folks are doing. I really feel privileged to be part of the Tabblo community. As a Tabblo member, you can comment on other people's tabblos, invite people to view your tabblos, or join groups of like-minded Tabblo members. In my opinion, Flickr can be a bit intimidating. The Tabblo community is still relatively small and vastly more fun.

  • Tabblo is advertisement free and, unlike Flickr, they don't charge for a "pro" account. So what is Tabblo's business plan? I guess they plan on making money on posters, postcards, prints, and eventually, books. You can order a poster-size print of any of your on-line tabblos and you can now create tabblos specifically designed for postcards. While I haven't tried the postcard feature, I can testify that Tabblo posters are wonderful. I recently ordered a poster of one of my tabblos. It was inexpensive and arrived just a few days after I placed the order.
If you have tried Tabblo before, most of the above is old news. You don't need my encouragement to try the new features. If you haven't tried Tabblo, what are you waiting for? Join the fun. Don't just browse; create your own artwork. And incidentally, if you like the "free" Tabblo features, you should consider supporting the Tabblo business by ordering a poster or postcard. I think you'll be happy with the results.

Update: According to Ned, Tabblo supports printing books as of now. That was quick. :-)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Big Surprise

Once in a while,
I'm standing here, doing something.
And I think,
"What in the world am I doing here?"
It's a big surprise.

-- Donald Rumsfeld
For more of Donald Rumsfeld's poetry, see Hart Seely's article at