My name is Soni Pitts. I'm a professional copywriter and marketing geek, among other things.
This is my personal blog, a place for me to hang out and discuss whatever interests me, which at this moment seems to be stupid human tricks, weird science, mild geekery, zombies, food, myself and a few other bits and pieces of life.
Read at your own risk.
Confronting new ideas without sufficient preparation can be dangerous! The author cannot be held responsible for paradigm shifts, cognitive dissonance, sneaking suspicions, throbbing temple veins, blood pressure spikes and/or fits (epileptic or apoplectic) caused by irresponsible ingestion of the materials presented herein.
Everything you ever wanted to know about me
, and probably more. Also, the house rules and other random tidbits.
My Squidoo Lenses
- All Soni, all the time. Your basic vanity lens.
- The home base of my freelance writing empire. Such as it is.
The Basics of Article Marketing
- A lens on using web articles as a marketing platform.
- A blogfolio of my writing clips and samples.
NEW! Getting Things Done: A Year of Service
- A blog I've set up to journal about my Americorps service.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Or, it could be the Kool-Aid they serve at fellowship
From the folder right next to the "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." (Anne Lamott)
file comes this gem from the mouth of singer Mary J Blige -
"My God is a God who wants me to have things," she told Blender magazine. "He wants me to bling. He wants me to be the hottest thing on the block."
Yeah, because we all know that God is soooo ready to overlook the genocide and slavery of a people for the purposes of mining diamonds
and massive environmental degredation
that comes with mining gold, just so Ms O-Blige-Me can be all shiny and shit.
That must be some incense they're using in her church.
Posted at 10:33 am by sonipitts
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Re: Your Brains - the conference call from hell
Music man Coulton's at it again. The inordinantly talented and frighteningly original creator of the pidgin paeon to love-struck IT workers, Code Monkey
, and the incredibly listenable folk version of Baby Got Back
, has come out with Re: Your Brains
, a catchy little tune featuring a civilized little conference call between a ravening zombie horde and their beseiged prey.
Life is good.
Posted at 12:52 am by sonipitts
Friday, April 28, 2006
A man who really knows how to handle his balls
Posted at 02:25 pm by sonipitts
Shaping young minds, update
Just a note to say that I had my interview with the Americorps folks in NC Wednesday, and I think it went okay, although it was sort hard to tell on my end because I was still recovering from whatever tried to rip out my guts and beat me with them over the weekend.
Weirdly enough, after Sun and Mon's hurl-and-curl marathon, Tuesday I felt tired, but more or less fine. Then Wednesday, I wake up in a state that can only be described as completely and utterly stoned. I'm guessing low blood sugar or pressure, or maybe even electrolyte imbalance from all the purging. But in any case, it was like I was completely detached from reality and my body was on it's own little buzzy trip. Nearly boiled my toes making my morning tea, because it took almost a whole second for the fact that the water had reached the top of the mug and was pouring over to reach my brain and then amble down to my arm so I could stop pouring boiling water all over the place.
Between absent reflexes, dizziness, the whole detached/floaty feeling and whatnot, I'm surprised I was even coherent. But hubs said I sounded great while he was up here changing his clothes at one point (frighteningly enough, I didn't even realize he was up here at the time, despite the fact that he was not more than 10 feet away from me).
However, I do think I did okay - the weirdness was more of a body thing than a mind thing, although my thinking was slowed down some, which may have been an actual bonus, canceling out, as it did, any nervous "speed up" that might have occured. And the folks on the other end made pleasant remarks about my replies and seemed not to run screaming in the other direction, so I'm calling it a win.
I should know by next Friday, one way or the other. Crossing fingers! x*-*x
Posted at 01:06 pm by sonipitts
My God...it's full of stars!
What happens when you combine RSS feeds of the most popular, consensus-filtered sites and media into a single, metafilter portal? Popurls.com
, that's what.
Sitting in front of the Popurls dashboard, I feel like Serenity's Mr. Universe
(mmmm...yummy), cloistered in my little geeky bat-cave monitoring the web for patterns and instabilities, with all of cyberdom at my fingers.
And don't think I didn't see that. Because, you know, now I can
(Oh, and if, like me, you're of an unimproved and un-modded genotype who can't look at colored text on a black screen for more than a few moments without the risk of having to spend all afternoon picking your own brain matter out of nearby heating ducts, the little black and white divided square icon at the top right will let you toggle between light text on dark and dark text on light.)
Posted at 12:33 pm by sonipitts
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Just got over a bout. Spent Sunday night and all of Monday in full-on purge mode, so weak that hubs had to shower with me to keep me on my feet (so it wasn't all bad).
Still feeling hung over and crappy today, so am taking it easy. God only knows what I ate that hates me so much, as my system was anything but surgically specific in it's poison-clearing efforts.
Enough said. I'm going back to bed.
Posted at 04:27 pm by sonipitts
I manage/moderate a few blogs and forums (some for myself and some for others) and have recently noticed a new form of stealth spam written especially to get overlooked by harried moderators as well as spam-filtering bots - the dreaded 'help spam'. Here is one example:
I'm really new with Web Designing. My problem is there is a network currently running in the office. I need to create a web page with some links only accessible to office staff. So do I need to have a separate server running NT and create my FrontPage and ASP files there? Or is there some way I can link it to one of the existing servers e.g. the exchange server? Please help and I'd really appreciate it if u gave me step by step guidance as I'm really new. And ones more: how can i bypass the firewall in my office to visit sites like http://obnoxious-adult-url or [hyperlinked text] "adult personals". Thanks to whichever kind souls who are willing to help.
Didja catch the spammy bits? They're buried way down at the bottom of otherwise seemingly legitimate requests for help, meaning that overworked and eyestrained mods stand a greater-than-average chance of skimming over them and allowing these posts through.
Great. One more creative piece of crap we mods have to keep wary eyes on. You'd think that with all that talent and skill at writing stealth spam, these people could make billions in legitimate copywriting/advertising. I guess some people are never happy unless they are bringing down civilization as we know it.
Posted at 04:23 pm by sonipitts
Thursday, April 20, 2006
My next great adventure - shaping young minds
There's an old Dilbert strip in which Dogbert (as his mystical poohbah alter-ego) is babysitting a small child while it's parents go out. During the course of the night, Dogbert does his thing - i.e. indoctrinating the child into his cynical, subversive philosophies of reality. When the parents return, they ask Dogbert if he changed junior, to which Dogbert replies "I certainly hope so."
To swipe from Ron White, I told you that story to tell you this one. As some of you know, hubs and I will be moving back to North Carolina (Asheville area) sometime this year as part of our ongoing "Return to Civilization" project. As part of that process, I have applied for an Americorps position in a literacy/tutoring program. If all goes well, I will spend a year molding and shaping the young, at-risk minds of Western North Carolina children in my own image.
Anyway, it's not a done deal or anything at this point. I've finished the application materials and they've contacted my references (who hopefully were able to allay any concerns regarding my suitability as an
indoctrination specialist tutor).
For all of you who know me well and who are both deeply puzzled and intensely amused at the prospect of seeing me purposely putting myself in the direct path of small children, a little clarification is in order. My distaste for children gradually tapers off as they learn to speak (and consequently understand) English, and are therefore capable of such meaningful communication skills as, say, asking for things they want rather than just screaming at a bat-dropping pitch in a generalized expression of unrequited desire or understanding basic commands like "don't eat that dead frog" and "touch my microloan-financed fair-trade, organic, dark chocolate truffles and you will die where you stand." And there's a not-insignificant chance that I'll be working with older kids, teens, or even in an admin position within the program itself.
So why bother? Well, for starters, it's a great chance to give back some of what literacy and learning have given me and I'm all about the giving back. I've also done an Americorps tour before, and I really support the program and enjoy being a part of it. I've also done some tutoring and the like before, albeit at the college freshman level, and really enjoyed it. It'll be a great buffer job to keep me productively occupied while I get the feel of the new area. Plus, at the end of it all I'll end up with a little bit of money in the bank and another dash of funding for the next round of my perpetual "spin the wheel of education" academic dabbling habit.
In any case, it's all going down under the heading of "experiential broadening" and I think I'll do just fine. After all, none of my nieces have, to date, suffered from any inexplicable duct-taping events or gone missing while in my care (which, admittedly, hasn't exactly been that often). In fact, Diva Chic and I get along fairly well, now that she's in middle school and our tastes in clothing are beginning to overlap along the "shiny pink glitter" end of things. And, disturbingly enough, the middle one - Blonde Angel - has me wrapped around her sticky little thumb, although I go to great pains to hide the fact lest I be roped into babysitting for the lot of them. Little Bit, though, is still in that poop-and-scream phase that is beyond my ability to cope, but we'll be gone before she fully acclimates to human life so I'll probably miss most of the worst bits. But you don't tutor infants, 'cause, like, they eat the erasers and poke themselves with the pencils and stuff. So no worries there. And in classroom and other structured settings, kids are by default at least minimally decently behaved to a level that will allow me to meet them on some metaphorical mutually tolerable middle ground. That much I remember from being a kid myself.
I'll let you know how it all turns out. I've got an interview later next week, at which time I hope to know more. Crossing fingers.
Posted at 11:50 pm by sonipitts
Play that again...that is soooo freaky!
What do all these phrases have in common? They were all responses that hubs and I had while watching the freakalicious octopi videos linked to from this PopSci blog
No, seriously dude. Play that one again. Those are soooo not from this planet. I'm telling you, man, they're aliens!
Posted at 12:42 am by sonipitts
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Okay, so over this last week, my aging and chronically ailing monitor finally gave up on subtle hints - like going all funny-colored, fading into total darkness and not coming back no matter how hard I banged on it - and decided that I simply wasn't going to let it retire unless it quit working entirely.
Which it then proceeded to do, right in the middle of a workday. Well, pooh.
So, I went out and got a new one. A big, honking 19" widescreen slim-line "come-to-papa" geek-squealing monster of a cyber-stargate. And, after a few days fiddling with my settings so I could actually see what I was working on, I must say that this is light-years better than the Jurassic-era Lite-Brite box that is now breathing a well-earned sigh of relief on the floor behind me.
So why did it take so long to trade up? It's not like I didn't have ample warning. Ol' Doorstop back there's been hystrionically dying on me for upward of three years. And it's not like I didn't have the cash. Monitors are cheap - unless you're getting something that could function as a DOD substation in the event of a global nuclear mutually-assured destruction scenario, a few hundred will set you right up. I splurged for the $350 version and have well more than enough monitor to keeping me grinning ear to ear for the next decade (and look - a rebate!) (yes, I will send it in, but no, I won't be holding my breath...cyanotic blue isn't really my color).
No, the cause of my poor, long-suffering monitor's concentration-camp-like work load is simply this - I love the challenge of eaking one more day, one more mile, one more pixel out of anything I own. Buy new shoes? Pish posh - a little hot glue and duct tape and the old one's are good for another year. New truck? As if...you 'd be surprised how far a roll of baling wire and yet another roll of duct tape will go. New monitor? Surely not. A good, solid whack right behind the speaker wings with the pewter Ganesh statuette will bring it right back to life.
WHACK! WHACK! WHACKWHACKWHACK! See? Good as new. No need to get all excited.
I guess I'm just one of those people who get a perverse sense of pride out of being able to keep stuff running, working, holding together and otherwise functioning just that little bit longer. But eventually, all good things come to an end and even charity cases finally give up the ghost. And when that finally happens, I'm happy enough to just shrug it off and hop on over to the relevant Stuff Store and get a new one.
So here I am, sitting in front of my shiny new monitor, feeling vaguely like some evil genius out of a James Bond movie, what with the wide-angle visi-screen thing happening and all, luxuriating in the fact that I'll be able to
nurture this one along for many years to come.
Did you hear a whimper? Nah...must have been my imagination...
Posted at 11:17 pm by sonipitts