Review 2779

This is a very new blog, only active since September 2004. The description reads, “Tuntutuliak is a native Eskimo village in S.W. Alaska. I moved here to teach after four years at Sulzberger Middle School in Philadelphia. I set up this blog just for fun.” Written by David Miller, this blog is a whole new world for the vast majority of us—and also to him. And it’s a wonderful world.

Mr. Miller has recently purchased a digital camera and has posted some absolutely beautiful photos from outside his living room window and other scenes of life in “Tunt.” Even the photos of the Tunt Dump are enchanting. It’s all so crisp and scenic and, of course, his eye for photography is excellent and that makes a difference as well.

Be sure to check out his After the First Week post of things he has learned or noticed after living there only one week. It will truly take you to another place (and it makes you realize how for-granted we take our indoor plumbing systems).

If I were David, I would take advantage of the blogger Spell Check feature because, as a teacher, he shouldn’t be misspelling words like “appriciate.” This is a minor concern, but something I felt should be addressed.

I hope that he continues to post regularly to his blog because it is simply fascinating to look at his new environment from the outside. I can’t wait to see what turns his life in Alaska takes via his posts and also his photos. As one Anonymous poster said, “Most blogs leave me feeling alone. This one doesn’t.” Well said.
To Philly, From Alaska, w/love

Review 2779

Wow. This is going to be fun.

Our Blogger, David Miller is just beginning his adventure as a school teacher in a remote area of Alaska.
His first entry was August 30th and if you go there now, you can catch up and get in on the ground floor of what might become a wonderful place to visit on the net.

This is a Blogspot template with a pale blue background. The two column layout is free of distractions and is already loaded with wonderful images of the town of Tuntutuliak where David will be living and teaching. He has links to pertinent information about teaching in Alaska and the demographics of same. Though one or two of the links were not working at the time of my review.

The writing style is personable and informative without sounding like a travelogue. We took a trip to the dump on the boardwalks that serve as roads through the tundra, and learned that one of the local stores has a slurpy machine and is planning on selling hot dogs soon. That is the extent of the fast food in Tuntutuliak. I am on the edge of my seat to find out more about this place and our author’s experiences. It isn’t often that we are able to get an up close and personal look into such an unusual place. Would that we all had such a rich source of material to blog about!

School has just begun and he is getting to know his students and their parents. He has also attended a computer teacher conference with several other small schools in the district via computer link up. We get a wonderful description of the food that was served at a community potluck, including Eskimo ice cream, whose base ingredient is Crisco shortening. And he has sampled a local tobacco concoction called Iq’mik which was an eye opener for him to say the least.

Since this blog is so new, it’s hard to tell what direction our author will take. Isolation seems to be a major factor in the high teacher turnover in Alaska, perhaps this blog will help him stay connected, and by the number of comments already posted, it’s possible he will have his hands full responding to them. I am giving this site a rating of 4, only because it is so new. It has the potential to become a real stand out blog. Time will tell. As soon as I post this review, I will be adding his blog to my favorites and checking back to see how our fearless author is faring in the tundra of Alaska far, far away.

To Philly, From Alaska, w/love

Review 2632

A-manda Dot Net is an easy-going blog that greets you with a picture of the author (she has one of those faces you cannot help but like) and a Moveable Type template which is a simple white design with black fonts and a nice header.

She has the ever-so-appreciated “about” section, which I personally enjoyed. Manda, the author, manages to give you a humorous impression of herself, what her blog is all about and her current life situation. Her passions include letterboxing and geocaching, she lives with “Baldy” her boyfriend and she just strikes you as that really agreeable type of person. The one who always makes you feel at ease.

She has been blogging since January of this year and her posts are well worth a read. Manda describes random situations like her letterboxing trips, her past addiction to the net, her current hair-style and the way some women’s hips sway when they walk. Her style is amusing, her spelling, accurate (even though she wants a spell checker for entries) and her ideas flow freely, managing to lure the reader into wanting more.

I enjoyed this blog. Whatever daily happenings Manda should post of, they’re sure to make for good reading. This blog is a must to all of those wanting a light-hearted, humorous blog to entertain them.
a-manda [dot net]

Review 2635

Oh dear. A three column blog, (insert ominous sound clip). This is a very white page with a rather pleasant header in an attractive font, declaring that a Scribbling Woman writes here. Honestly though, about the three columns. Why squeeze your precious words into this narrow place? I don’t get it. And in the case of this blog, the narrow place is surrounded by a mind numbing plethora of links, including a new variety to me titled, “Referring Web Pages”. If I understand it correctly, this is a list of web pages that refer to her web page. I don’t think too much of it myself.

As I explore further, I find in the About section that our blogger is:

Miriam Jones is an Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Languages at the University of New Brunswick ,Saint John. She teaches courses in 18th-century British literature, women’s writing, and speculative fiction. And she is Co–coordinator / Webmanager for the Gender Studies Programme and Webmanager for the English Programme .

And that she describes her blog as:

Probably about books, c18, detritus, parenting, poaching, print, sf, or writing.

Which turns out to be fairly accurate.

I began to read the most recent entries and found her giving a travelogue of her recent trip to England. There are comments about jet lag and accounts of outings to literary points of interest and recalled phone conversations with her young son back home. (The phone conversations are my favorite entries).

I read further into the archives where I found she has been writing here since July of 2003. As I read the older entries I felt myself being drawn into a rather fragmented array of short posts that sometimes contained an excess of links to things that she had run across on the net. The topics include things literary, some trivia, some gender issues, some parenting, and are sprinkled liberally here and there with quiz results .. . (What Tarot card are you?). All in all it was rather disorienting. I finally realized this blog is on one hand a classic one (as I understand it) being a list of links to other sites of interest. Only thing is, there does not seem to be a central theme to these links. The subject matter is so broad as to be fractured in my opinion. On the other hand, it is a typical pop culture personal journal with discussions about movies, plus some references to daily family life.

She does address this tendency I think in one entry that talks about a certain novel in which the main character starts journaling in several different diaries and finds herself becoming too emotionally fragmented. She ends up going back to one journal at the conclusion of the story. This blog seems to follow in her footsteps.

In any event, this blog might appeal to you if you don’t mind changing gears often. I prefer a bit more coherency of purpose in my blog world. I myself, keep three different journals. Only one of them is online. This may explain a lot about my reaction to this blog! We certainly each bring a different perspective to the table, do we not?


Review 2628

When I first entered this blog, I was faced with a very plain, ordinary blog, but very clean in itself. When I enter a blog, I truly appreciate when the author has an “About Me” page to give me a better look at what the author is all about. Or even if the author gives a brief description of the blog. To my disappointment, there were none of those things on this blog.

At this point, I began my journey into reading the entries. It didn’t take a huge amount of time to go through the blog since it hasn’t been around for very long. From what I could gather, the blog was just mainly ramblings about the authors life in general. Entries about her past to the present.

The authors posts gave me a bit of insight on who she was, but I was hoping for more. I did learn that she is a girl who attended boarding school in Putney, Vermont. She talked a lot about things that happened to her while she was attending the school. She writes about her first crush etc. The very first entry upon entering her page, I found to be very interesting. To me it seemed like I was reading about a fairytale romance. There were a few extremely long posts which I enjoyed. But there were also a few one lined posts which just didn’t make sense to me. In a couple of entries, she strayed away from her personal life and talked about the US terrorists.

In conclusion, I believe the author could take this blog a long way if she puts her mind to it. She can tell a story that can peak your interest. The blog is very well written , however there are a few grammar and spelling errors. She has several links on the right side of her page which seem to all be in working order. Because of the grammar and spelling errors, and not to mention the blog is fairly new, I can only give it a rating of 2.5. With a bit of work on the blog, the author does have the potential to receive a higher rating in the future. gripes from the grumpy girl