Sunday, June 29, 2008

Off On Holiday

This June has been the first month since I started this blog that I've only made three posts. Oooops. I'd like to get back into the habit of regular blogging now that the sour taste left by the press association palava is finally starting to diminish...but lately I'm finding I haven't got time.

I stand very little chance of remembering what we've done since the 15th June when I last posted, but here's a brief round up with photos. Tomorrow morning we're off to St Bees for anything up to three weeks, depending how we feel :-))

Summer Solstice/Litha
We had a low key Litha, due to lack of time (recurring theme, lol), but Emily and I did enjoy decorating our festival tree, and Emily made fabby outfits for the God and Goddess, plus spare :-) Mei Lin and Jasmine made fantastic orange summer solstice cookies with us too - they were very scrummy indeed.

Grandad's Birthday
Grandad's 79th birthday was celebrated with a big Chinese meal for all the family, which was much enjoyed.

Emily carried on with her gardens project, doing a lot of work on trees, identifying them, ageing them, drawing them, writing about them, pressing leaves, investigating the uses of wood and learning about the differences between coniferous and deciduous trees, among many other things. She also tried an experiment to see how much water a tree evaporates through its leaves, by sticking a leafy twig in a glass of water topped with oil, against a control glass of just water topped with oil, measuring the surface area of the leaves and seeing how much the water level dropped over a few days.

There was also lots of maths, English, poetry, art and other random happenings that I now can't remember - she was a busy bee, in any case. Oh yes, and we studied bees. In a somewhat astonishing turn around, Emily now loves bees. And in an even more astonishing turn around, Emily now loves spiders. This should cause some amusement to anyone who remembers seeing Emily turning into a sobbing, hysterical wreck whenever a bee ventured within a 50 metre radius of her :-)) I've always liked bees, but I refuse to join the spider love-in, thanks very much, having had to dispose of no less than seven in the last 24 hours. For my benefit, not Emily's. Which is bizarre.

Emily also had fun trying out some of Gramps' ancient (as in, real camera, pre-digital, lol, although since he had these when I was a kid that does make them pretty ancient) camera filters :-)

Grown Up Work
We've had to work our socks off preparing nearly a month's worth of deadline in advance so we can go away tomorrow. It's been horrid. Enough said.

ODP versus BOTW
I've worked as a volunteer editor at the Open Directory Project for the last eight years, working my way up through editall, then meta editor and then finally, in April, I was honoured to be asked by their staff to become one of the small team of administrators/admins. I've donated thousands of hours to work there and I've personally handled well over 100,000 edits. However, about ten days ago I was asked if I'd like to work - for money - at the Best of the Web directory as well. Since the money's quite good, and money is something we desperately need right now, I agreed, and have been impressed with what I've seen there so far.

So far so good. However, there are some senior editors at ODP who are completely obsessed with who is or is not working at BOTW and who tend to make the atmosphere very unpleasant for those who choose to do both. Despite the fact that ODP's staff knew I was working for BOTW and were fine with it, the issue blew up yet again in the forums, with one person in particular throwing around ridiculous accusations and questioning the honesty and loyalty of anybody choosing to work in both projects. Call it childish vindictiveness, if you like. I know I did, and still do. Anyway. I've had enough of the petty politics that seems to obsess too many senior editors at ODP. I resigned my meta and admin privileges, and have gone back to being an editall/catmv editor instead. Those who want to question my integrity now will have to do either behind closed doors in the meta forums (which of course I have resigned access to, so I no longer much care what's said) or to my face in full public view of all editors, either of which is better for my sanity than tolerating being accused under my nose but behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, I'm thoroughly enjoying working at BOTW. One day, ODP will figure out for itself that it needs to crack down on those who adore spreading malaise through the directory and its editors. Until that happens, the problems there will continue. People don't volunteer in order to have that kind of rubbish thrown at them. Resigning those hard won privileges, which I took great pride in, wasn't easy - but I've really had enough. The whole thing ODP vs BOTW thing is such a non-issue, but some people seem to have have nothing better to do than bitch. Throwing hurtful and completely unfounded accusations at someone who's spent as much time and effort there as I have is really not a clever move. I wish ODP nothing but the best, but I will be drastically reducing my time and effort spent there from now on.


Lucy said...

sorry you've had a bad time - hope all's well now and that you have a lovely holiday. Been out of the blog loop myself for a bit... see a real difference in Emily - suddenly looking so grown up!

Rob said...

On a brighter note... you may have heard there was a batch of pups born here at the Jones Ranch & Petting Zoo about the time you hit BOTW. One and one only was jet black and adorable.

That pup was immediately claimed for adoption by my wife's God-son, a smart as a whip kid who was the cutest thing in a Korean orphanage when he was adopted. The boy is named Hayden...the pup we named in your honor. Merlin and his boy will be an inseparable pair as they grow up together.

You OTOH don't have to be adopted... you were already one of us. Everyone's just glad to have you working with us again. :-)

Best wishes ~ Rob

Nikki said...

Aww, Rob, thank you :-) I hope Hayden and Merlin make a lifetime of memories together. The Merlin in my editor name was a much, much beloved, beautiful black and white cat who, with his sister, was my constant companion for fifteen years until he slipped away last February....broke our hearts and still does. Thank you for the kind thoughts and words.

Lucy, thank you :-) Emily *has* matured a lot recently... it's a bit sudden, though - we've got a nine year old going on sixteen on our hands now!