Blogrolling gets the ax

Blogrolling was a great idea, and still when it works which these days means not anymore.

I’ve fired Blogrolling.

There doesn’t seem to be a replacement that will do all it used to do, so I’ve opted for a Technorati Favorites page, which lists blogs in chronological update order, but which can’t be displayed on this here blog. I can link to it, but that reduces the ego value of any fellow blogger who wants to see his blog in RAF red on Avia green.

I’ve only just started adding blogs to the Technorati page, but doing so’s easy with the automated “Add to Technorati Favorites” browser button.

I could use a feed reader, but I’m trying to simplify my life, not overwhelm it.

Bonus child fun:

So we’re in California, staying with Elvi’s sister and her children. Her sister runs a spiritual household and tries to ground her children in propriety. She also sends her kids to a Waldorf school. Waldorf education de-emphasizes reading and as a result, her eight-year-old girl (or is it seven?) – let’s call her “M” – can’t read or write.

M and my six-year-old Child Three got into a minor spat. M wanted to hurt Child Three with an insult but for some reason wanted to write it down. She drafted my Child Two to do the writing and dictated the insult.

M delivered the note, which said “You are the Devil, Jacob”, to Child Three.

Elvi’s sister found the note and was not amused. I laughed, and chuckled a while after that. I’m still smiling. This was the worst possible insult that M could think up, but out in the real world, it’s fairly innocuous. Child Two, the poor girl, is such a sweetheart and only tried to do her cousin a favour. She didn’t realize this was such an awful thing to say in this house. She didn’t know where to turn.

Child Three, meanwhile, was upset at first but soon shrugged off the note.

But, man, was it funny.

Two-day wrap-up

I spent seven hours visiting with fellow 101 Squadron enthusiast Alex Yofe. I thought I had a decent library and research but his stuff puts mine to shame. He’s been collecting and interviewing for three times the amount of time I have, so that’s understandable – expected, even. But to see it….

We spent the time looking through photos and telling stories of the fantastic people we’ve met and now miss.

Alex presented me with a free copy of his latest book, “Spitfire Mk. IX in the Israeli Air Force Service 1948-1956” as well as a poster of a 101 Squadron victory over the RAF on January 7, 1949. (He’d sent one to me years ago that was damaged in transport.)

Alex wasn’t pleased with the text he wrote for this Spitfire book – English is his third language – so he asked me to write the upcoming book on the Avia S-199. To the detriment of my earning power as a freelancer, I couldn’t agree fast enough. Most of the photos and illustrations will come from Alex, and we will collaborate on the text. I’m honoured. The book should be out by April.

And the South African sausage at dinner chez Alex was superb. It was a slim, homemade beef (?) sausage seasoned with a South African spice mix that tasted a lot like Montreal steak spice.

Bonus hint that “Futurama” has affected your child – well, my child:

Child Three and I were discussing my sister-in-law’s Christmas tree and he asked, “Is the Christmas tree going to stay alive?”

“No,” I said. “It’s been cut down. What would happen if your head were cut off? Wouldn’t you die?”

“I know where I was cut,” he answered. I prompted him with a raised eyebrow. “On my lower horn.”

Packing it in

The suitcase, that is. We’re off to Santa Clara, Calif., after a drive and sleepover in Albany, N.Y. Santa Clara, part of the Silicon Valley complex, has been about as warm as Montreal lately, although historical weather trends should hold in the long term. Still, it’s a green and brown Chanukah in Montreal this year.

I asked for and received a one-week extension on my travel article, which will help make up for the number of people who either don;t return calls in December or take the month off. that left me with some Webs time yesterday. I reworked the beginning of “Sheep’s End” from those notes I’d written in November. I like it more and more. I do have to boost some stakes in there, but I need to finesse that somehow. I could have the villain beat up the female lead, but that wouldn’t be in the spirit of the thing. She is already kidnapped, but offscreen. Perhaps I can put that in front of the audience. Ah, I’ll figure it out. It’s a goal for the next three weeks.

Other goals include reading at least seven TriggerStreet screenplays, reading Cornelius Ryan’s “A Bridge Too Far“, work on “By the Book”, and finishing this “Sheep’s End” boost. At some point, I’m going to grab a coffee with fellow 101 Squadron researcher and author Alex Yofe. And if I can convince myself to drive three and a half hours, I might go take a look at this tarted up Mustang replica.