Category Archives: Linkity linkity link

*happy May Day Friday dance*

Warning: Nearly guaranteed you’ll get a cute burn from this one, but it’ll be so worth it!

Hee hee – I say variations of this all the time…

If you have arachnophobia, think twice before following this link.

Trying to make more of your holiday gifts? Homemade coffee liqueur sounds pretty tasty, but you should get started soon, as it needs to sit for a few months.

Gutter gardens look like a very clever way to do some gardening when you don’t have much space.

The Indoor Cat Initiative has lots of great information about keeping your indoor cat happy and healthy.

Another interesting charging station. I desperately need to get some sort of charging station in place! *time passes* Ok, I ordered this one.

Who knew you could make cute little journals from paper and an old cereal box?

Thanks to CursingMama for the heads up that today is Buy Indie Day!

Thanks to Ruth for the heads up on this new-to-me online knitting magazine, PopKnits: Vintage Knitting Redux.

If you’re looking for some affordable web design and/or blog tweaking, go pester Van of FuriousBall. He’s doing a few “under the hood” things here at SoC that none of you will actually notice but that will make things easier for me. 🙂

“Really, you have no idea how stressful it is being a gorgeous panther princess.” -Mayhem

Keep on bookin’

How did I not know about the Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge?! You can join any time before December 31, 2009. There are three levels: read 12, read 25, or read 50 books from your local library in 2009. Um, looks like I hit the third in March and April alone… *blink blink* I’ve read over 100 library books so far this year.

There’s another Hachette audio book giveaway over at J. Kaye’s Book Blog (and there will be one each day this week *hint hint*) – leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the nonfiction audio book The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo. Make sure you read the rules, or you could win and not even know about it!

Here’s an updated list of many current book blog contests – and they aren’t just for paranormals. 😉

Are ebooks ruining cultural snobbishness? (Woot if they are!)

Interesting – a machine to print books on demand while you wait in the bookstore.

Brace yourselves – after several weeks of abdomen extraordinaire, there are no abs whatsoever in this week’s reading update! Unless you click on that Lauren Dane Cascadia Wolves link. But you might get more than you bargained for at that point. You have been warned. (I swear, warning y’all is akin to daring you…)

Reading Update
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich. The Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers books are never my favorites in this series, but this one wasn’t too bad – probably because Ranger and Joe played a more active role than they usually do in these.
Tri Mates, Wolf Unbound, Standoff, and Fated (Cascadia Wolves, Books 3-6) by Lauren Dane. ebooks. I’m totally sucked into this series about werewolves in the Pacific NW. S3x and political intrigue – what more could you ask? Hmm – maybe more books, now that I’ve read them all? If I was rating steaminess on a five jalapeno scale, this series would probably merit an off-the-scale habanero meltdown.
Eternal Moon (Moon Series, Book 10) by Rebecca York. This continues to be a well-written werewolf series, but I think the time has come for the Moon Series and I to part ways. I’ve been enjoying the series less and less since the whole parallel universe aspect was introduced – I keep hoping that particular thread will die out, but it seems unlikely to happen.
Out of the Night (Night Slayer, Book 1) by Robin T. Popp. I know, I’m shallow – I picked this up because of the Nathan Kamp cover, but it was a surprisingly good read about chupacabras and vampires.
Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 1) by Chloe Neill. This was a really, really good book about a grad student turned into a vampire without her consent. Unlike many paranormals, it’s not filled with graphic s3x or anything, either. Definitely recommended and I am already looking forward to the next book.
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) by Jeaniene Frost. Cat Crawfield is half-human, half-vampire and looking to rid the world of vampires when she discovers that things aren’t as black and white as she’d believed.
Edge of Hunger (Primal Instinct, Book 1) by Rhyannon Byrd. Conceptually intriguing and I sort of enjoyed it, but I spent so much time being pissed at the “hero” and thinking he had a whole lot of TSTL (too stupid to live) going on that I really couldn’t get into the book. Apparently there’s a limit to the amount of hero angst I can take. But hey, I did finish the book, which counts for something.
The Monster of Minnesota (News from the Edge, Book 1) by Mark Sumner. I couldn’t resist this title when I saw it in the used section at Uncle Hugo’s over the weekend. Think tabloid journalism and the Loch Ness Monster on a Minnesota lake. Sort of. 🙂
Mouth To Mouth by Erin McCarthy. Another sweet and steamy romance from McCarthy, this time about a Cleveland cop and the woman he meets under unusual circumstances. Somewhat unexpectedly, this book has some nice insights into deaf culture and the challenge of living between two worlds.

“Mmmm… is there anything tastier than furry mouse tails?! I don’t think so!” -Mayhem

Well, crap

It isn’t a WordPress thing – it’s a Firefox thing (perhaps coinciding with a new version of Firefox taking effect) that is apparently mucking about with the WYSIWYG post editor. Of course, it’d be more helpful if I knew what exactly said thing was, wouldn’t it?

Remember that I took last Friday off to enjoy the weather? It was gloriously sunny and 74F and I wandered around Lake of the Isles in a tank top and shorts! Saturday wasn’t quite as lovely (upper 60s), but still quite pleasant for a tank top and shorts. Over the next few days, it cooled down (32F when I went to work Tuesday morning) and we got a bit of rain. It’s still really, really dry – dry enough that yesterday’s 85F didn’t cause quite the green explosion one would hope. Today: 75F, becoming rainy for the next several days, with highs of 45F or 50F over the weekend! Crazy, crazy weather.

Hmm. Not much else going on. My sweater is about 6″ long now and I’ve gotten really, really good at correcting cable mishaps. Usually. Other than that one time. And really, it would only have added an inch or two to the sweater…

Maybe a few links to help liven up a dull post… Did you know Sunday is Pet Parents Day? Totally a made-up holiday, but you can send ecards

Check out the free WordPress Black Cat Theme that Limedragon found! I’m pretty fond of my theme, but I know there are other black cat lovers out there. Speaking of which, did you happen to see the lovely black cat quilt that KitKatKnit found? And from yet another enterprising reader – check out the cute retro modern kitty beds that Shannah found over at etsy. (She also found a cool and completely non-cat-related link to making cupcakes decorated with marzipan “knitting.”)

Hmm. What do you think crime scene investigators would say about this shower curtain and bath mat?!


*snort snuffle drool* -Mayhem

My favorite part of that picture? Not the soft and tempting bikini-marked tummy. Not the adorable paws-up pose. Nope. My favorite part is that her mouth is hanging slightly open so you can see some tiny kitty teeth (click the picture to embiggen). Class act all the way, MayMay.

May your weekends all be as relaxing as Mayhem’s will be!

O noes! WurdPrez iz brokz agin

This will make writing a linkity-linkity-link post more than usually exciting. Don’t be surprised if this post stops mid-sentence. Gah.

Paula’s celebrating her blogiversary with a contest – leave her a comment by midnight CDT, April 25, for your chance to win books or sock yarn. And check out her cute lamp – a mini-spinning wheel with moving parts!

Help Teyani’s choral group go to Carnegie Hall to perform! By making a tax-deductible donation to their travel fund by May 26, you will be entered in a drawing for some wonderful prizes, such as yarn and gift certificates.

The book What Would Jane Austen Do? sounds like a good read for Amy and Jeanne, among others. You can leave a comment at RR@H Novel Thoughts for your chance to win a copy.

Author Barbara Bretton is giving away one of those spiffy new Knit Kits to a lucky entrant on April 25.

Author Meljean Brook’s clearing off her shelves – leave her a comment for your chance to win a copy of The Romance Readers’ Book Club.

Check out Marsha’s links to unusual things to knit – from bicycles to mushrooms to a horse head. Peruse the other links at the AntiCraft when you go to gawk at the horse head, particularly if you’ve always wanted to knit a Lovecraftian Elder God. Please note that some links at the AntiCraft are definitely NSFW, such as this one. *blink blink*

And now we really know where socks go when they’re lost in the wash.

Amy does some great photoblogging all over Minnesota – check out her posts about touring nearby Lakeland Cemetary (guaranteed you’ll recognize more than one name) and some of the other historic sights near downtown Minneapolis. (And now you’re probably all wondering why you haven’t seen pictures of all those things here that are all less than three miles from my condo…)

Wow – it costs $185.49 to build a Kindle2.

Thanks to kmkat for pointing me to this WSJ article about how the ebook will change the way we read and write. Not that I completely agree with the author, but it’s an interesting article nonetheless.

For those of you who boldly tweet at work, here’s a way to use Twitter at work and not get caught – it looks like an Excel spreadsheet. (Please note that SoC takes no responsibility if you try this and do get caught tweeting at work.)

And here are six ways that Lifehacker thinks you should be using Twitter.

This Honeywell email ad from 1977 is hysterical – especially with the Gizmodo commentary: “I can see why it took another 25 years to attract a mainstream following.”

The migraine in art?!

Although this under-sofa storage idea is brilliant (and would work with my futon couch and chair), I think the kitties would be very unhappy if they couldn’t sneak around under the furniture anymore.

“Hmm. I feel unaccountably nervous.” -Chaos

*furry malevolence* -Mayhem

“Are you going to read just paranormals until your brain falls out?”

The title of today’s post was an actual quote from someone working at Uncle Hugo’s yesterday. And the scary thing? I only buy a fraction of the paranormals I read at Uncle Hugo’s. I check out most from the library, buy some at the library “withdrawn” store, and win quite a few, too. (Um, I might’ve won a couple more books yesterday. Whoops.)

Jen’s having a contest – look at the picture, try not to shriek, answer the poll, then leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win some pretty stitchmarkers. Contest closes 8 pm EDT, April 16.

You probably know I’m a big fan of bookstands. Here’s some info on how to make one yourself – the inspiration in this case was for an ebook reader, but I think you could adapt this to more traditional books. For ebook readers, I would suggest that you add something so that the reader doesn’t slip from side to side. For my beloved ReadUpon, I’m going to use a bit of rubbery shelf liner.

Looking for book information? looks very handy indeed.

Now that Barnes & Noble has acquired Fictionwise, there are rumors about a B&N ebook reader. Whatever happens with that, I’ll remain a proponent of ebook readers (like the EZ Reader) that focus on reading a wide variety of formats.

Sure, it’s a darn attractive bookcase, but it really doesn’t look like an efficient use of space to me. Now, these Tetris bookcases are another story…

Have a bike trainer or exercise bike without a book holder? Add one yourself.

Beware the dreaded vampire kitteh!

Hee hee – go Powell’s! Take advantage of the #powellswin special, which is 20% of any order over $20 if you use the #powellswin code before 11:59 pm PDT, April 16.

You’ll notice that my reading update looks a bit different today. Instead of using Amazon for my book links, I’ve started using IndieBound. By doing this, I’m able to support indie bookstores and to reduce, in my own tiny way, dependence on a megalithic bookseller. I got this idea from Dear Author and the Smart Bitches, whose explanations are far more eloquent than my own (yup, more fallout from #amazonfail). (Please note that if there isn’t cover art, the book was not available via IndieBound. Ebooks will be linked from BooksOnBoard if possible.)

Reading Update
Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide To Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan. Written with humor, irreverence, and an obvious love for the wide wild world of romance novels, this book is hellagood snarky delight. Ranging from serious to silly and back again, the Smart Bitches reveal (pun intended) and revel in the genre’s excesses. It was a damn fun read, with enough insightful critical bits to keep things interesting. Plus there are coloring pages! A Choose-Your-Own-Ending Romance with paranormal, Regency, pirate, and contemporary paths! Mad-Libs! Controversy! And even a board game!
The Druid Made Me Do It by Natale Stenzel. Doesn’t it just figure – that hot one-night stand (who vanished in the middle of the night without a word) from vacation eight years ago turns out to be a puca and the local Druid leader puts you in charge of his reformation… (Hello! You aren’t even a Druid.)
Real Vamps Don’t Drink O-Neg by Tawny Taylor. So-so paranormal romance featuring vampires and lamiae. Very, very steamy stuff. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Darkest Fire (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter. ebook short. Prequel to the Lords of the Underworld series. Interesting background information, but definitely not as smooth as the actual series.
The Darkest Night and The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, Books 1-2) by Gena Showalter. These are really absorbing and well-written books about immortal warriors who were forced to house all the evils that escaped Pandora’s box (such as Death, Pain, Violence, etc).
Shadow Touch (Dirk & Steele, Book 2) by Marjorie M. Liu. Skipped this one earlier because I had trouble finding it. Continues to be a recommended series about the paranormal detective agency of Dirk & Steele.

“So you think he’s really cute, Mom?” -Mayhem

“Let’s see if he passes my snuggle test.” -Mayhem

“I’m sorry to break it to you, Mom, but he’s just not furry enough.” -Mayhem

The one that may cause nightmares

Gladys of the Yarn Floozies is holding a raffle of some pretty amazing yarn (Wollmeise, anyone?) to support her husband’s Ride2Survive cancer fundraising bicycle ride this summer. For your chance to win (and to support a great cause), enter by 8 pm PST, April 26.

Wendy’s giving away a copy of One Ball Knits: Purses. Leave a comment by 4 pm EDT, April 16, for your chance to win.

Have you been following the #amazonfail kerfluffle at all? Whoops.

Speaking of online reputation, Lifehacker has some info on how to monitor your own. I’m particularly interested in this topic because I wrote my Master’s thesis (Rhetoric) about online ethos (that is, your character and credibility online).

Squee! LMAO. Here’s one for the Linux geeks. Hmm – I think you should get very, very nervous at this point.

I don’t think we’re ready for the Knitputer yet, do you? Unless it’s like this way to calculate set-in sleeves, that is.

Knitting Peeps!

If you’re a garage/yard sale junkie, the Yard Sale Treasure Map should streamline your plan of attack.

Just when you’ve given up on the future of humanity, there’s a story like this.

I recommend that you print this out before beginning your time travel journey.

Turn yourself or your pet (or really, anyone) into a Terminator! (May cause nightmares. Whoops.)

Eeep! Hope I survive the night…

Lurkity lurkity lurker

Leave a comment for Kristi to help her celebrate her blogiversary and you could win a copy of her very cute sweater pattern (specifically designed for boy toddlers). Leave your comments by midnight EDT, April 9.

Largehearted Boy is giving away a zombie novel prize package that will include some other goodies, too. (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is part of this prize!) Leave a comment by midnight CDT, April 10, for your chance to win.

Looking for more information on all things ebook? The MobileRead Wiki is a great place to start.

Oh oh

This was an eye-opening look at perceived threats. Our greatest danger? Ourselves…

Hard to believe that The Matrix came out ten years ago.

How to cast on stitches at the end of a row and end up with nice edges – from TECHKnitting, of course.

Check out how tiny the 9″ HiyaHiya circular needles are – they fit into an Altoids tin!

Turn a business card into an earbud winder via origami.

As our thoughts turn to spring, maybe this inexpensive trellis is just what you need to increase your vegetable growing space.

Excellent – research actually supports that some leisure-related internet browsing while you’re at work can increase your productivity.

What evil lurks in the heart of kitteh?

Hmm. Maybe it’s best to retract that question…

Don’t get Fooled again

Interested in winning a limited edition of Stephen King Goes To the Movies? Head over to Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist for information on entering.

Knitting inspiration??! (I hope not. I’d hate to have stage an intervention.)

Today is the last day to sign up for E’s vampire-themed music swap at swap-bot! You then have up to an entire month to make your mix.

*blink blink* I wonder what the city of Chicago thought when they received this pothole sponsorship idea from KFC?! I know I thought, “WTF?!” when I read about it.

Maybe it’s time to take control of that out-of-control tangle of cords on the counter and make a charging station.

Hey, Jeanne, I think I have an idea for our next crazy non-knitting craft project! Wouldn’t these make great gifts?

The toaster is 100 years old! Those first models sure look dangerous now, don’t they? I’m a big fan of this humble appeliance, since I have peanut butter toast nearly every morning for breakfast. Sometime I’ll have to pull my two vintage toasters out of the closet and take pictures of them. They’re very handy for the gluten-free traveler who can’t take advantage of a hotel’s continental breakfast.

O noes! The Ashbys are departing. *sniff*

Black kitty camouflage at its finest, indeed.

Nifty kitty mobile – I wonder how it stands up to curious black kitties who would think it a cat toy?

As someone who can’t handle the strong perfumes in most carpet deodorizers, I definitely see the appeal in making my own special kitty safe mix.

Psst – I certainly won’t rat you out if you bookmark How to Fake a Clean House in a Pinch.

Trying to save money? Consumerist has a list of seven things that often aren’t worth the expense.

If you’re interested in getting a free online education, Lifehacker has a list of the top ten tools to do so.

Looking for great travel deals? Get Rich Slowly has a fine list of online resources.

“Why, yes, I am a panther princess girl, the cutest there ever was!” -Mayhem

Hmm. Maybe the only there ever was? 😉

Books with kitty tummy

Excellent – a book blogs search engine. You can also check to see if your favorite book blogs are included and request that they be added.

Curious about what paranormal, urban fantasy, scifi, or fantasy releases are scheduled for April? has a great list.

Well, I just capitulated and ordered an ebook reader – I went with the EZ Reader (aka the Hanlin V3 and the BeBook), which is $229 after $20 mail-in rebate from Fry’s through April 3. It supports a pretty amazing list of formats. Yeah, yeah, I know, I was just saying that I was going to make my Palm Tungsten E2 last forever… but I finally got frustrated with 25 words/screen.

Like your book browsing to be atmospheric? Check out Obsidian Kitten’s post about some of the most beautiful libraries in the world and then look at pictures of some lovely bookstores. The Barnes & Noble  in the Historic Chateau Theater (Rochester, Minnesota) isn’t on that list, but it should be. (Bless flickr for having some photo sets of it.) I have fond memories of going to movies in that theater when I was very young and hoping a princess would come out onto one of the balconies.

Reading Update
A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison. This was a completely delightful read! It’s classified as a paranormal romance, but only because there’s a bit of magic (along the lines of Like Water for Chocolate). I think I’d even recommend this to the dedicated contemporary romance reader.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. This is an excellent collection containing 24short stories from authors including Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Vaughn, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook, and Rachel Caine.
Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy, edited by Dana Stabenow. This is a follow-up collection to Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy, which I really, really enjoyed. I enjoyed some of the stories in this collection (such as the stories by Simon R. Green, Laura Anne Gilman, Dana Stabenow, and Donna Andrews), but I also skipped several stories I couldn’t get into. Sadly, the blurb on the front cover (“Includes a new Sookie Stackhouse story”) was the best part of said Sookie Stackhouse story.
Body Movers by Stephanie Bond. Romantic suspense. Probably a bad sign that I wanted to smack the two main characters for being stupid… throughout the entire book. I passed this one on to CursingMama – we’ll see if she has the character smackdown urge or not.
Master of Darkness (Primes Series, Book 4) by Susan Sizemore. Haven’t read the first three books in this series – I picked this one up solely because of the very nice Nathan Kamp cover. It was an ok paranormal romance. I might read some of the other books in the series. (Although I was amused that Nathan Kamp, with shaggy dark hair, was used as the model for the book’s hero, who had very long platinum blond hair. Heh.)
Passion Unleashed (The Demonica Series, Book 3) by Larissa Ione. Really, really good paranormal romance. I was utterly unable to put this book down and am glad I started reading it early enough so I didn’t have to stay up all night reading it, because I would’ve. I highly recommend this series! The only problem I have with this particular book, which is Wraith’s story, is that the dysfunctional Wraith feels a bit too akin to a mixture of Wrath and Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. (However, Wrath’s and Zsadist’s stories were my favorite of the BDB, so…)
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3) by Marta Acosta. Ah, Milagro De Los Santos, how complicated is your life! I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series to see what Milagro manages to get up to next. I think Acosta does a nice job of getting me thinking on issues of ethnicity and individuality, too, without beating me about the head with them.
One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman. Cocktail waitress turned psychologist Chrissy McMullen has a gift for finding trouble that’s second only to Milagro’s (see previous reviewette). And of course, brooding LAPD Detective Jack Rivera and his lecherous father, former California Senator Miguel Rivera, continue to spice things up. If you’re a fan of Lori Avocato or Janet Evanovich, you should give this series a try.

Mayhem was the long skinny upside down kitty in yesterday’s post. (While Chaos does love to sprawl upside down, he’s, um, not quite as svelte.) Here’s a tummy closeup for your tummy scritching pleasure. And her tummy fur is far softer than it looks. *scritch scritch scritch*

*sprawl* -Mayhem

Kitteh, kitteh, kitteh

Wendy’s giving away several copies of her new sock book – leave a comment by noon EDT, March 29, for your chance to win (although, since there were over 1300 comments by Thursday evening, I suspect you’ve all already left your comments!).

Author Barbara Bretton’s giving away some Elann Pure Bamboo yarn (color Devonshire Cream) – you have until the afternoon of March 28 to participate.

Neil Gaiman’s having a Twitter captioning contest with some very cool prizes – you have to submit your Twitter caption by midnight PDT, March 28.

Could that second picture be any cuter?! *head explodes from the cute*

These kitteh crayons are pretty darn cute, too.

The Romance Vagabonds celebrated Women’s History Month with a post about 12 influential romance writers, from Jane Austen to Nora Roberts.

How come my kittehs never helped me out like this when I was doing the online dating thing?! It might’ve gone better.

Hey tea drinkers – did you see the spiffy black kitteh tea cozy that Sydney found? (And she also had wildlife depredating her screens!)

Some cool typography tool and font download links from Lifehacker.

Please keep the folks along the Red River of the North in your thoughts as they brace for record-breaking water levels.

“Go away! I’m still embarassed about yesterday!” -Mayhem

Have a good weekend, everyone! Hopefully the intermittent snow spit we’ve had here will stop taunting us… but we are dry and warm and in absolutely no danger of flooding, so life is good.