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PEDRO: Bloggiesta logoP.E.D.R.O.
Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organise.

From Friday to Sunday I’ll be participating in the 4th Bloggiesta Fiesta hosted by our ever faithful Natasha from Maw Books Blog. Since I joined for the 2nd edition I always look forward to this semi-yearly event.

In preparation I’ve compiled a list of things to do and grouped them into ‘quick & easy‘, ‘bigger jobs‘, ‘possible posts to write‘ and tasks to do ‘in advance‘.

No way that I’m going to manage all of these chores in just one weekend! I’ll just be picking to-dos from different categories as I please. It’s weekend and I’m meant to enjoy myself! :)

Like previous times I want to focus on the work I mean to get done, so I’ll be keeping mini-challenges and other wogging (‘werk ontwijkend gedrag’ = displaying work avoiding behaviour) to a minimum — there’s always time to check out the other sparkling new blogs when the weekend is over! Though I probably won’t be able to ignore #bloggiesta in my twitter timeline ;)

To do in advance

  • make task list and blog  ✔
  • prepare starting line post
  • make bloggiesta template
  • decide on time frame updates
  • (template finish line post)

Quick & Easy

  • back-up blog
  • update ‘About’-page with pages I’m featured at
  • clean up sidebar (challenge buttons)
  • template: ō etc.
  • edit Sakura lyrics in 2010 Hanami post
  • add image to blogpost Books Read in 2008
  • add tag ‘weekendcooking’ to Weekend Cooking posts
  • make page ‘Read in 2011‘ for progress on BOTNS +11 reading challenge

Bigger jobs

  • write at least 1 recipe or food related post (urgent: ExtraVeganza!)
  • write at least 1 book related post, preferably ‘review’ (JLit wrap-up is urgent too)
  • work on at least 1 post about another subject (relatively urgent: Hello Japan! January mission)
  • clean up challenge pages: current & finished
  • clean up at least some of the last 11 posts in ‘Uncategorized‘ category
  • clean up Graasland to-do list in Netvibes (categories: 1st thing/later/maybe; and separate list(s) for post subjects?)
  • create Netvibes tab for ExtraVeganza pilot
  • clean up/organise rss-feeds in Netvibes tabs: decide on fav blogs to follow

Possible posts to write / drafts to finish

  • wrap-up reading challenges 2010
  • movies watched in 2010
  • sambal bawang or red beet hummus recipe
  • review of Christmas Quilt/The Sea/Affinity/Golden Pavilion/Pillow Book etc.
  • Purge that Pantry! Challenge / Eating vegetarian in Funchal, Madeira / Fav Indo Restaurants etc.
  • etc. etc.

Brain teasers & Research

  • claim graasland domain? (research)
  • decide on set weekly time to blog
  • decide on finishing or discarding draft Index Page for film & book reviews

Screendump Graasland: Redux 2010

Kookgrrls’ weblog

If I feel accomplished enough about the stuff I’m getting done on my own blog, I might also put in some time for the Dutch Kookgrrls’ weblog which I’m regularly contributing to.

  • finish draft Challenge page: rules & link list of previous challenges
  • post for January challenge: ‘cooking out of the pantry’

Experience tells me I might be a little disappointed with the work I’ll get done so I’d better not get my hopes up. ;)

Do you want to get some major work done on your blog while partying with the rest of us? There’s still time to join!


Lately it seems to be dark & rainy when I need to collect our bag of local organic produce on Wednesday afternoons. I don’t mind getting (a little!) wet that much — the Amelis’Hof vegetable garden needs its fair share of water for us to get a nice loot — but I hate how gloomy my pictures turn out!

Luckily the sun broke through shortly after I had returned — just in time to make a picture! Hey, if the weather gets better once I’ve stashed everything neatly away I’m not crazy enough to unpack the fridge again for a make-over ;)

Amelis'Hof CSA vegetables week 31, 2010

  • lettuce
  • sweetheart cabbage
  • red berries
  • fennel
  • zucchinis (at this small size they’re at their best!)
  • basil
  • Tokyo turnips (or navet)

I haven’t planned my menu yet, but a dish I do want to cook is polenta ‘pizza’ with homemade pesto and courgettes. And I’ll probably make some more kinpira of the turnips because it’s a nice and easy bento stash.

Root kinpira made of carrots, French turnips and fennel

Root kinpira made of carrots, French turnips and fennel

Some good news from the Amelisbode, a leaflet accompanying the veggies: they’ve started a blog too! On preceding Mondays the contents of Wednesday’s packet will be ‘virtually’ unveiled. I admit it’ll be less fun checking out our ‘surprise package’, but it provides me with a more relaxing timespan for menu planning!

Bloggiesta starting line
Yay, the third Bloggiesta has started! I can’t believe I almost missed it… I guess I haven’t been paying attention to twitter nor my feed-reader. My excuse is that I have this annoying cold — which I probably got from David Mitchell when I saw him in Teylers Museum on Saturday, so who’s complaining ;) Of course I should have just marked my calendar for June’s Bloggiesta right after January’s.

Anyway, although my head feels like $%#@&*$#$ and I’ve got other plans for the weekend, I’m going to try and squeeze in some tasks from my Graasland to-do list. Can’t let a Bloggiesta party go by without participating — especially since I really need it at the moment!

Before Monday 8am (GMT+1) I hope to spend 12 hours on the following jobs:

  • backup my blog ✔
  • finish most recent backlog posts about this week’s csa vegetable bag and today’s bento (how convenient that I don’t need to take a break for preparing lunch because it’s already waiting for me!) ✔
  • write 1 book review, preferably David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
  • spend 15 minutes on putting previous posts containing recipes (or links to recipes on other websites) in the Recipe category I created a short while ago ✔
  • add archive post for books read in 2002
  • spend 30 minutes on cleaning up old imported posts (tagged ‘Uncategorized’; 9 left)

Bloggiesta logoI probably can’t do it all in the set amount of time — especially since I plan to visit, comment on, cheer & tweet other participants as well and I really need my sleep these days — but at least you know what my priorities are. I’ll probably leave the mini-challenges for what they are ;)

If possible I’d also like to work on some other posts that have been high on my priority list for quite some time (the ones that are really bugging me):

  • my buddy review with Elsjelas of Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  • my guest post for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge
  • report of David Mitchell’s talk in Haarlem (combining it with my review of ‘The 1000 Autumns‘ will probably turn out too difficult)
  • review of Shusaku Endo’s Silence (Japanese Literature Book Group read for June & my first book in the 4th Japanese Literature Challenge)

So much to do, so little time ;) How fortunate that Mr Gnoe is dining out and will be home late today! :))

Well, the Bloggiesta is over and I’ve had FUN. I’m going to repeat the things I achieved at the end of this post, so you don’t have to re-read them all (it’s just for organization purposes). Neither am I going to sum up the things I didn’t get to. My to-do list was HUGE and I’ve hit a dent into it ;) Thanks to the nineteen-and-a-half hours I’ve put into Graasland this weekend. Also, I visited several other participants and cheered them on in the comments. Don’t know how many though ;) This week I hope to work some more on my drafts backlog. I shouldn’t wait until the next Bloggiesta, which will take place in June! If I don’t have any other obligations at that time (like Mr Gnoe’s birthday…) I will definitely join again. Note to self: do not get distracted by mini-challenges ever again. *focusssss*

Thanks to Natasha of Maw Books Blog for hosting the Bloggiesta and all others that have contributed to the fun. Let’s hear three times OLE!

Bloggiesta Finish Line

Want to know what I achieved?

I’m cheering myself on because for the 3rd (half a) day of Bloggiesta I hope to get more done than I did yesterday. I’m relieved that I did finish my review of The Grapes of Wrath — I just need to check it once more and then it will be scheduled as a future post. I’ve kept track of the time it took to write and I will do the same for the next few reviews. If I know how much time they actually cost me, I hope to be able to feel more resigned about book evaluations.

You see, Shanra from Libri Touches was right in her comment on yesterday’s post: first I need to look at what is — or feels — wrong with my current review system. It is not that I don’t know what to say about my reads, I want to share too much! For now I have decided I must prioritize: cut back on reading challenges so that I only have a few reviews to write on ‘demand’. *denouncing challenges right away* That’s a start on my main blogging goal for 2010 to more efficient book blogging (with which I participated in The Booklady’s Blog mini-challenge).

As you may have gathered from the above, I really don’t need to do Jenn’s mini-challenge thinking of 10 future posts. My problem is that I have too many drafts lined up… But I might post a list later today, trying to prioritize them by popular demand ;) LOL

Another tip I might check out after the Bloggiesta is Kristen’s: The Bloggie Cult, a blogger mentoring program and forum.

But a mini-challenge I did join yesterday was checking for dead links on instigation of Karin’s Book Nook: zero found! The funny thing is that I got a ‘page not found’ on the problogger article at first. ROFLOL But it was just a bad internet connection. Baaaaad internet connection!

Today I’ll be alternating between making a ‘Gnoegle’ button leading to my Google Map of Bookcrossing releases and writing (at least) one other post out of my collection of (often very basic) drafts. It will probably be one of the following:

  • last Friday’s Hello Japan! Music Lesson about Ryuichi Sakamoto,
  • my top-3 of favourite vegetarian restaurants in Funchal (Madeira) in Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking meme,
  • a wrap-up post on one of my 2009’s reading challenges.
  • Oh, ánd a short Sunday Salon of course ;)

But I’m going to start with cleaning up my sidebar — get rid of those OLD challenge buttons. I am denouncing reading challenges, remember?

A week of plenty. I received two acclaimed books (& other great goodies) from my Secret Santa Valentina in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. And I started looking ahead to 2010 by making some reading plans, joining the Women Unbound reading challenge and What’s in a Name #3.

In the meantime I’m slowly progressing in volume 2 of I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki, for the Japanese Literature Read-along (deadline next Tuesday). That might sound as if it’s a heavy task but I’m actually enjoying part two even more than the first. JLit Host tanabata created a ‘wave’ to talk about Japanese literature, which got me to finally check out Google Wave… Well, I haven’t really figured it all out yet ;) I guess I need to look for a GW for Dummies book ;)

But I shouldn’t spend any more money on readables right now because The Book Depository was mean kind enough to have a 10% holiday discount — and to tweet about it. Of course I couldn’t resist :\ So I’m awaiting four (!) new books that I’ll have to find reading time for :) You’ll hear about them once they’ve arrived!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

I really have to get away from this computer and do some serious reading! I had planned to join the The Golden Notebook Readalong Project that started yesterday, but I haven’t finished my current book yet (Hitsuji o meguru bōken, or: A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami). I don’t seem to get as much reading done as I used to these days :(

The Golden Notebook (by Doris Lessing, of course) was an important feminist book in its day, and I guess that’s how it came on my wishlist ‘to be read someday’. But I haven’t really felt like it up until now (and I still don’t to be honest). I’m afraid it will be difficult or boring… So I made it part of my personal 2008-2009 reading challenge. In the ‘readalong project’ seven female writers will read The Golden Notebook for the first time and blog about it. People like me can have their say on the forum. (Oops, that will get me behind the computer again ;) Well, I should at least try to read this golden oldie from a writer that won last year’s Nobel Prize in Literature!

I am very grateful to Deepswamp from Sweden who made my challenge possible by sending me a bookcrossing copy of The Golden Notebook.

Lunchtime post

In Holland there is a saying that you can’t see the forest through the trees… Meaning there’s so much that you can’t oversee it all. Well, I’ve found the answers to my questions in the earlier post! But I’m having trouble with selecting a blog client.

Five programms are available for Mac as well as Windows:

  1. Ecto ($17.95)
  2. Flock
  3. JBlogEditor (no longer being developed)
  4. Qumana (Lycos)
  5. Scribefire

Can you recommend any of them? That would be most helpful! Based on the descriptions I will download Qumana first.

Mr Gnoe wearing xml socksYes! I have finally started upgrading my museum website to xml. It was made in old-fashioned html and it really should be brought up-to-date. Easier maintenance is just one of the advantages of xml. The main reason for taking on this project is that I need to learn xml and css for work and this is a good (and fun!) way to do it. Thankfully I’ve got a great and devoted tutor ;-)

First thing I’ve got to do now is switch editors. Morphon 3.1.4 is not just totally un-intuitive (there’s no paste-shortcut and the ‘OK’ and ‘ignore’ buttons have changed their usual places), it also does really WEIRD and SCARY things from time to time. And no, that is nót because of my stupidity ;-)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Challenge logo

Gnoe herding...