Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I've got your stuff: An open blog post of apology

A selection of the 15 million books I've borrowed, suffering Stockholm syndrome.

There are a stack of things I can do quickly: run to just miss a train, eat tacos, get to the head of the beer queue. But one thing I'm never going to do is get your stuff back to you in a reasonable time. I'm sorry, it's bad, I feel bad about it. But age has not wearied my capacity to hold on to your stuff.

Books are my main problem. They're just so damned interesting and I want to read them all and you have so many! And you're so kind and sharing and offer them to me, and I snap them up greedily, knowing they won't see you again until your children have left home.

You may not even remember I have them? I recently bumped into someone who had lent me a Jonathan Franzen book a while back. I stuttered something like, "Hey I've started the Franzen! Yeah finally, I had this thing I had to finish but now my evenings are clear and I've read the first 30 pages and I'm really enjoying it (the language is great!) and I should have it finished and back to you by..." At which point I kind of trailed off and she looked at me like I was a cat short of a crazy lady then muttered something about a meeting she had to be at. So Franzen lady, I'm sorry, your stuff is with me.

So my question is, should I work my way through all the books people have lent me (project-style), or just return them wholesale and unread and add myself to some global 'Do Not Lend' black list? What would you do?


25 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Read them. And when you finally return them grovel. Grovelling is always a useful skill - which I know only too well.
If the donors wanted them back they could have squeezed about it. Until they do, keep them.

Kettle said...

Ah dear TEC, but I really wanted you to say, just give them back! No need to read them! You know, to let me get out of my homework.

Oh bum. Ok so I'll read them. Well, most of them. I'll give myself a decade to get through them which means I'm only halfway through my time with some. Hurray!

Grovelling tips most welcome.

Melba said...

Hi Kettle. People like you are the reason I no longer lend books.

AND HOW ARE YOU??

I'm doing some blog-rounds, never get to visit anyone much anymore. Oh how times have changed, hope you're well.

x

Melba said...

And Pee Ess

Can you do a get together drinky poos? We are talking about it over on TSFKA. Or I am at least, trying to get something happening. But I seem to remember you are a Sydders person, but IF YOU ARE IN MELBOURNE THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS?

squib said...

Have you got my copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull? It is inscribed 'From one cuddly-wuddly otter to another'

Also, I did not see this(rare) blog post of yours until now. How do I get alerted to such things by email? Is there a button one must press?

Alex said...

To my knowledge, there isn't a magic email alert button Squib, but there are ways to get notified of feed updates.

• Download a desktop feed-aggregator.
• Install a feed-aggregator add-on in your web-browser.
• Start an account with an online feed-aggregator service.
• Start an account with an online service like ifttt.com, which does things specifically like translating feeds to email.

I could walk you through setting something up if any of these options seem familiar.

Alex said...

I mean appealing. Don't know why I typed familiar.

squib said...

Good grief! Just the phrase feed-aggregator sounds very VERY scary

Where oh where is Kettle these days?

You don't have my Jonathon Livingston Seagull do you, Alex? I can't understand why anyone would want to borrow it in the first place

Alex said...

Pshaw. As a lady of science, Squib, you should know that all kinds of wonderful things hide behind weird and intimidating names.

Seriously but, one of these online accounts probably takes about 15mins to set up and then you can either (depending on which one you go with) log in and browse all the feeds you want to follow or have updates sent to your email inbox. If you give me a list of blogs you want to follow, I can probably do it for you.

And no, unfortunately, I haven't got your seagull book. Only your book of horses.

As for Kettle; if you look over some of her later posts, I think I detect a distinct undercurrent of being tired, stressed, exhausted, etc; so I'm guessing her hands are full with work/family/life stuff. Poor dear. Hope she is happy and healthy.

Alex said...

Actually, if you want to have a look at what one of these scary aggregators can do without even starting an account ...

• Go to feedly
• Click on the big green "Get Started" button
• Enter thedangerouskettle.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default into the search box on the top left and press "enter" on your keyboard
• Click on the one option that appears under "sources"
• Voila. You can cycle through different layouts using the icons at the top. And if you decide you like it, you can join with your Google account (which I assume you have, 'cause you're on Blogger).

There's tons of other sevices you can use, but that one lets you play with things without having to join. Hope this helps.

squib said...

OK, that was very painless. Thanks, Alex. Now we just need Kettle to post something so I can see if it will update me via my email

Alex said...

Sorry if I led you up the garden path Squib, but I think I'll have to clarify.

Feedly is just an aggregator. You put in all the feeds you want to follow, and then you go to feedly and check them all at once, rather than going from site to site. As far as I know, it doesn't do email notifications.

For email notifications, you'll need to use something like ifttt.com, which is a little more complex to set up, but I can still walk you through it. Or do the setup for you, if you can't manage.

squib said...

But why for then did it ask for my email if it was not going to email me?

Alex said...

Feedly is one of these new generation of sites that links itself to your Google (or often Facebook) account so that you don't have to remember another password.

I really just wanted you to have a look so you saw it wasn't all that hard or scary. For email notifications, here's how you set up an account with IFTTT. They do not link to Google or Facebook account.

• Go to IFTTT
• Click on "create account"
• Fill in the username, password, email stuff and hit enter.
• You'll see a page of instructions that you should try to read and get your head around. At the bottom, you'll see a button to create your first recipe.
• Click on the blue "this"
• Click on the orange "feed" icon
• Choose the first option "new feed item"
• Type the feed into the box (thedangerouskettle.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default)
• Click on "create trigger"
• Click on the big blue "that"
• Click on the blue "email" icon
• Choose the option "send me an email"
• You don't need to change anything here. Simply click on "create action"
• You can give your recipe a name or leave the box as is. Click "create recipe"

If you don't want to go through all these steps, just make the account and I will share the recipe with you.

Also, the site will send you a confirmation email. You'll need to click on the "confirm your email" link to, um, confirm your email.

Also, if you spend a little time playing, you might find this site can do all manner of useful things. Or maybe not.

Kettle said...

Hello! Melba, Squib, Alex, I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed finding you here. I have been thinking about reinvigorating some blogging activities and here you are!

Melba, I haven't been to Melbourne for ages but will definitely be in contact next time I head south. Is Ramon still around? Ever hear from Perseus? Lewd? Goodness, those were the days, huh. I hope you are well x

Squibby I wish I did have your Seagull but fortunately for you I do not.

I do, however, have the little pocket book on eating insects you sent me one year (best). And the paper flags from Little Squib's Frida party! I still have them up at work. People covet them; I have to beat them off with sticks (the people, not the flags).

And Alex! Hello. What a pleasure to read your IT advice again; as calm and systematic as a Frost poem. Next time I'm stressed I'm coming back here to read your IFTTT instructions. Om.

* Please excuse the rash of exclamation marks. I usually limit myself but apparently not tonight.

Alex said...

Ah Kettle, good to hear from you again!!!

There's barely a trickle at TSFKA these days. I hang out at Melba's a lot. Squib is often there too, and Mr E drops by every once in a while.

Perseus is back doing book reviews at his place. EMS (no longer EMS) has re-invented her blog as a photography/craft/local-community-stuff site. I haven't heard from Bob in ages.

I've given myself to the end of the year to start an art-type blog in order to get myself drawing/painting more. My, how quickly October has gotten here.

What have you been up to?

squib said...

Oh good lord, Alex. Thanks. I feel like I need to work up to it though. Oh look! It's lunch time

Kettle, I was going to do a Voyager spacecraft party this year and make time capsules and EVERYTHING but due to this rental (imagine cake all over the baby grand!), and craft bits being in storage, ended up doing a very inferior sardine trail in which Mr Squib could not even work out the clues and therefore direction and all our little guests got windswept and rained on and looked ever so happy when they were whisked away to another girl's party at a stinky bath salt/soap making shop which actually had a roof and was therefore much nicer

I have recently managed to score a list of tracks from Bob's Best of 2012

Kettle said...

Melba's - very good. I shall pull up a banana chair over there. I have seen EMS around the traps; beautiful photos, hey.

Do let me know when your art blog is up; be nice to take my digital lawn furniture over there too.

Me, I have been working, reading, hanging with my fam, going to a stupid number of gigs, and putting considerable time into Trying to Figure Things Out. I cut my hair off last week too, that was good fun.

I've been thinking I'd give NanoWrimo a go this year (a novel in a month). Starts on 1 November; reckon you should start your art blog then, do a piece of art each day for a month. Challenge!

Kettle said...

Oh Squib, what is a sardine trail!

And Bob's Best of--I miss the TSFKA mix tapes.

Alex said...

Kettle, Nov 1 is, like, 2 weeks away. I still haven't made a final decision whether to go with Blogger, Word Press or Tumblr. Still, I need a kick up the arse on this one.

Sounds like you've been busy, but a lot of that stuff sounds pretty fun, which is good. Coincidentally, we were all talking about cutting our hair for summer over at Melba's the other day. I have attacked mine with hair clippers. Figure I won't need to cut it again for a another six months or so.

No worries Squib. Let me know if you need assistance. However, I should let you know that it's getting towards bed-time here and my folks are arriving for a visit tomorrow and we'll be at my bro's for the weekend, and I don't know how much down-time I'll be spending online; so tech support might be a little flaky 'til about Tuesday or so.

Hopefully you'll be fine.

And I too would like to know what a sardine trail is.

Alex said...

Oh, and yes, EMS' photography has really been coming along.

squib said...

I can't believe you cut your hair off when I am so close to getting my stuff out of storage including my hair buttons. Now who will I send them to?!

A sardine trail is like a treasure trail around the old sardine part of town and instead of treasure at the end, there's sardines, yay! Right? But it's OK because these sardines are chocolate ones

Kettle said...

Clippers, Alex! That certainly is a good solution for summer.

Squib my hair has retreated to my shoulders so still hair-buttonable. Looking forward to this year's range.

And regarding the sardines, of course our next question is, what's a sardine part of town!

Alex said...

Yes, what Kettle said, Squib.

Kettle, was thinking of your challenge today. I don't know how NanoWrimo works, but if it's like something where you're supposed to write a chapter per day or something, maybe I can illustrate your story? Interested?

squib said...

To clarify, I meant herring part of town but I couldn't buy chocolate herrings although I believe sardines are just little herrings or is it the other way around. Back in the day, Aberdeen was famous for herrings and granite (an exciting combination, no?)and there's a quirky old fishing place by the sea here called Footdee. It looks like gnomes live there or something

Speaking of NanoWrimo, remember Vathek of carnation-coloured tent fame, Kettle? William Thomas Beckford said it took him a couple of days to write it. Obviously he was a very annoying person