Blogging 101…

12 10 2009

Today’s guest is UncleCrappy. He is one of the first friends I made “in real life” when I first entered the blogosphere. Since then, he and his wife, @MrsCrappy, have become very, very good friends.

I really can’t even put into words what their friendship means to me.

Without UncleCrappy’s involvement, I would never have become a Polar Bear, I wouldn’t have had my birthday Mokah (and two spares in the fridge!) and the coolest hat in the world would not exist.

Without the both of them, the Angels wouldn’t have two awesome frequent spectators, I wouldn’t have two new sweet OSU tshirts, and without a doubt, my last night at My Living Room would have been significantly less enjoyable. Besides, they are the only two people I currently know who appreciate a tshirt with this on it:

cats eye

When I set out to ask people to guest post for my blogversary, I asked people who are my friends or family outside of blogging. And I’m glad to include UncleCrappy & MrsCrappy in that group.

(excuse the timing thing. PodCamp was Oct. 10-11. I wasn’t able to post this until now.)

I sincerely hope that UncleCrappy had a wonderful birthday yesterday, and that he & MrsCrappy enjoyed seeing Wilco. Again. 🙂


At Podcamp Pittsburgh on Saturday, I’ll be leading a discussion about blogging 101 — the basics about getting started, why you would want to do such a thing and what the potential benefits are.

(I’m still not quite certain how I got roped into this, by the way. It was very early when @pgha contacted me, and she promised rum balls. A moment of weakness, certainly…)

I have lots to say to whomever shows up to my session. I plan on being honest, and I will disclose that if you’re into blogging for the long haul, it’s going to be aggravating as hell once in a while. If you’re trying to come up with regular posts, you’re bound to hit the wall, over and over and over.

But the other side is the rewards. For me, the biggest is a group of friends I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet if I hadn’t been involved with social media. And that group includes AAA.

AAA first showed up on my blog just before OU played at Ohio State last fall; she mentioned that her football loyalties were similar to those of Mrs. Crappy and me — proud Ohio University graduates who have the good sense to follow Ohio State football instead. We started talking a couple weeks later, mostly on Plurk, about her beer festival, which was coming up in November. She was kind enough to set aside a pair of tickets for Mrs. Crappy and me, and on the night of the festival, we headed over to Station Square.

(To be honest, UncleCrappy won his tickets on BurghBaby’s site for her 911 raffle!)

Let me be honest. After listening to AAA rant about the festival and the agony of putting it together for a full month beforehand, I was expecting to be confronted by crazed woman, twitching and barking orders, when we arrived. Instead, I found someone who, although busy, was calm, relaxed and pleased with how things were going. She also seemed very happy to be meeting some of the people she had been talking to online for the first time.

That portended well for what was to come. As I read through this blog, I kept coming across references to a person I couldn’t quite see. Shy? Maybe. A loner who had trouble trusting others? Hm — maybe at some point in the past, but that wasn’t the person I was getting to know.

It’s occurred to me since then that I’ve been able to witness a pretty significant change in AAA. Maybe that was the person I met last November at Station Square, and maybe, through Twitter, Plurk and this blog, she was discovering a great group of people around Pittsburgh who were willing to accept her. After all, that’s what happened to me.
Here’s the point — all this stuff we do online has the potential to be powerful and, in fact, life-changing. And I don’t think I know anyone who’s benefited more from having a blog than AAA. The person I’ve come to know in the last year isn’t the person I was reading about last fall and this blog is what led to the change. That’s good for her, for me and for the rest of us.

Also, I got the coolest hat ever out of the deal. So there’s that, too.

Congratulations, AAA. Hope you stick around for many more.

24 hours

11 09 2009

So approximately 24 hours till I get to see My Little C and family. Yay!!

Last night, I had a major dress malfunction. Again. Yes. Dunno how I can fix it, but I’m hoping my mom can help, but I’m taking alternatives with me. Ugh. Pain in my butt.

I had to do laundry so that I could take said alternatives, and while it was drying, I went to rugby practice & then I came home and finished the hat. Finally. I do believe @UncleCrappy is on his way right now to pick it up, as he & MrsCrappy are headed to Columbus later today.






It turned out better than I expected. I showed it to a co-worker this morning and she predicted that other tailgaters will be asking UncleCrappy where they can get their own. Hah! Good luck.

That’s all for now. My brain is so overwhelmed with things I have to get done that I can’t even remember what else I wanted to write about… Ugh.

Six and stuff…

6 09 2009

This post contains eleventy thousand links & pics to distract someone but the first point is this number here:

littlec6Six days until I will breath in and out, and all will be right in the world. In. Out. All is right….

My Little C. And her christening. So happy to see her & my family!!!

I can’t wait. And I will be a much happier and calm person after that one, single breath.

In the meantime, I’ve been keeping myself busy:

  • Special projects for Lili.
  • Fixing the dress I plan to wear next weekend, the one from the wedding.
  • La la la … keep paying attention….
  • Today was a Saturday, A RUGBY DAY… I wasn’t playing, and the boys were in Cleveland, so I went to see my Pitt kids play and run touch.
  • I also made a point to go to see PghRugbyRef’s boys, D and Q. They are super. Absolutely, good little guys. I love them!
  • Later, I attended a fun party hosted by the spectacular duo from @StromHuelsman. At said party, I finally got to have a real conversation (several, actually) with @CarmanAvenue – every time we’ve been in the same place it’s too busy, too crowded with friends or too loud for us to have talked before. I’m glad I had the chance finally!
  • I also had a chance to finally meet @geekstar (who I don’t think realizes yet that we went to the same high school. What? I wasn’t about to break that out during our other wine and beer convos about the South Side. Duh.)
Anyway, after viewing many rounds of BeerPong and FlipCup, neither of which I will participate in, I chose to return home…

And then, some photos of me surfaced from the Pizza Off surfaced tonight…Why I choose to post these? I have no clear idea, except they aren’t too bad. Thanks, @robjdlc! You find me in the strangest or closest situations ever. And I’m okay with it!

So, back to the story… I returned home to finally almost finish this:
So it still needs finished up, but still….. how freaking amazing is it? I don’t care how not perfect it is… if it was perfect? A machine would have made it. Instead, I made it. I’m pretty sure UncleCrappy, MrsCrappy and every one of their tailgate friends at OSU games won’t care. Ergo, nor do I.
It will be done ASAP, UncleCrappy. I promise.  Before I go to see Little C.

Progress – 2nd Edition

26 08 2009

I like progress. Progress is good. Especially when the last few days have been overloaded with minor failures and problems.

So here’s some proof of progress. We’re almost done, UncleCrappy!


Top of the hat attached to the body. Finally!

Lining's all done!

Lining's all done!

    Bells hanging from the hat!


So, what’s next? I have to make a scarlet & gray brim for the outside of the hat and then put it all together. Also, I have to fix some issues with the top seam, but it’s no big deal. It will be all done very, very soon.




...the number of days till I see Little C.

In other news, I hope all you ruggers (somewhere around 16-18 of ya) who got this link today from Dick’s enjoyed reading and NOT commenting. Boo. 🙂 Come back anytime. The season’s just started. I’ll be annoyed about something real soon…

You didn’t get it…

16 08 2009

So now I’ll just give up the answer…

A month or so ago, I asked you to “Guess What It Is” and then again with a revisited post. None of you got it. At least none of you whom I don’t talk to on a very regular basis. Given who we all know, couldn’t you figure it out from the colors?

I’m making a new version of this:

The almost-done Hat

The Original Made-By-Me Hat

for the biggest OSU fan on the planet, in my estimation, UncleCrappy.

Of course, it’s in scarlet and gray. We picked out felt for this one, rather than denim. And some kick-ass red and silver bells of varying sizes.

I’ve been working on it here and there. And being who I am, I decided to make something a little special for it. I decided to hand stitch an embroidered script Ohio for the top of the hat. I am a band nerd, after all, so it makes sense.

Don’t know what the script Ohio is? That’s a major fail. But, I’ll educate you now, via Wikipedia:


“Script Ohio is the signature formation of The Ohio State Marching Band performed before or during halftime, or after home games. Script Ohio was first performed by The Ohio State Marching Band on October 10, 1936 at the Ohio State versus University of Pittsburgh football game.”

…and “Each time the formation drill is performed, a different fourth- or fifth-year sousaphone player has the privilege of standing as the dot in the “i” of “Ohio.” The sousaphone player trots out of the line after the letters are formed to the point above the “i”, then takes a series of deep bows to each side of the stadium.”

And how did it turn out? Freaking fantastically spectacular:

script ohio

Since I can’t sew a sousaphone player, I went with a bell to dot the “i.” (I could NOT just stitch a dot for the “i”) It works, in my opinion.The stitching is a little shaky, but hey, for my first attempt? I’d give myself a gold medal.

The body of the hat, scarlet & gray squares, is done. (Can’t find a pic of it right now… and I’m under pressure to get this up!) Here is the top of the hat, ready to be attached to the rest:


The sweet script Ohio, bordered in red. But first, I had to attach the little bell thingys that UncleCrappy approved last night at the Sharp Edge…



Hard to see, but each “triangle” has two or three bells. Mix of red & silver. It’s going to be a loud hat. And not just because of its size and colors.

And the whole top?


WOW. Will that look fantastic attached to the scarlet & gray body of the hat. Wow. I might have to make myself one for the OSU v PSU TweetUp on Nov. 7th. Maybe. We’ll see. I just want to get this one done for my friend first.

MrsCrappy: I am sorry if UncleCrappy nearly had a heart attack waiting for this post. I truly did not expect it to take so long. Also, I hope you are feeling better. I missed you this weekend!! 🙂

Surprise ‘burghers…

2 08 2009

And PSU fans… I’m an Ohio State fan! Surprise!

I’m going to guess most of you never noticed my sleeveless shirt at practice in the summer… For the past SEVEN years… It took Buckeye an entire practice to notice the BRIGHT red shirt with Ohio State Football embroidered on it. Hah!

Same guy that got me to play rugby started my OSU football love affair.  And I thank him… Every football season.

And because of my little online adventures, and rugby, I’ve made two new OSU fans. Buckeye and Uncle Crappy.(Uncle Crappy already knew about my cut-off red t-shirt. Goes back to the last bowl game where I totally jinxed OSU and left where I was while watching the game…)

And then tonight, Uncle Crappy, for whom I am working on a kinda-super secret OSU thingy, in return for a nice OSU football shirt, posted this:

Who’s excited for college football season? Yeah, that would be me also.

Once I get this secret OSU thing done, I might have to expand my experimental craftiness. Yes, indeed.