Here are some websites and blogs you deserve to know about, if you don't already:
@BookCrossing.com's mission is to turn the whole world into a library. It works like this: You read a good book. You go to the website, log your comments, and get a Book Crossing ID number to post in the book. You leave the book in a conspicuous public place - a coffee shop, park, thrift store donation, etc. Someone finds it, reads it, logs their own comments, leaves the book for someone else to find, and so on. The process is eve taking on a geocaching/letterboxing twist of sorts as people can post "release notes" on the website to help others find the books they've set free.
Naturally, as a working writer who loves it when people buy - rather than borrow or barter or otherwise recycle - my books, I have some tiny reservations about how BookCrossing could affect my livelihood and that of other authors. But I figure that BookCrossing is also like free advertising: Someone might pick up a book, realize it's the perfect gift for someone they know, and buy a copy (or more). So on balance, BookCrossing.com strikes me as fun and cool.
@The WiFiGuy was in Boise this past week and gave our fair city his highest rating: seven body piercings out of seven. (Why that's not seven green bars out of seven, I don't know.) A few excerpts from his report:
... there were already indications I was going to like Boise. I couldn't put my finger on it ... I was taking it all in. Then I saw what to me was the perfect metaphor. This is how cool Boise is. I passed a thrift store along the way ... I'm sure it was filled with '70s polyester and '90s flanel like all thrift stores ... but on the sidewalk out front, there was a used kayak. The thriftstores sell kayaks ... how cool is that! ...
... (Flying M) has a cool little antique vending machine. It look like an old cigarette machine, but it is filled with packets of art. The sign said something like "Fresh art added daily," or something like that. I wondered if the art was stamped with a "enjoy by June 1" message, on the outer wrappers. ...
... Desperately seeking to blog, I snuck into the computer lab of the Business School, one evening at Boise State University. Great campus, nice people, and a strong, very strong Wi-Fi signal in the student center ... Read his whole write-up here.Thanks to The Idaho Statesman for the tip on this.
@OK, just a bit of politics - but mostly fun. Check out the Leader of the Free World. With all the fundraising appeals I've gotten recently from the Kerry camp, his picture could be here, too. Thanks to Kelly Brickner for bringing this to our attention. My daughter Natalie and I had a heckuva time quitting the site last night! You will, too.
@Finally, thanks to fellow Boisean Tom von Alten for alerting me to his blog, a sweet-and-sour mix of musings on the state of the world, blended with piquant local flavor and some fine photography, besides.