Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Hansel and Gretel Approach To Web Wandering

Sometimes when I'm on the internet I feel like Hansel and Gretel, wandering through the forest with a back button instead of a loaf of bread to leave a trail. I start out in the known and pretty soon I've wandered off my beaten path and I am in a part of the universe I have never seen before.

It's almost always mind-boggling.

Usually I go with a purpose. When I was looking for Irish castles I spent part of several days where I jumped around Ireland from blog to blog, from website to website, getting more and more bits and pieces of information about castles and country homes, about salmon fishing, about the Irish peerage, about ancient neolithic burial sites, about Finn MacCool, about St Brendan, about holy wells and the state of Irish cinema.

When I was looking for pictures for my collage, I spent a lot of time on Flickr and other photo site looking for inspiration. But if I started with Irish castles and 6 year old boys, I ended up with policemen in Dublin, Doubtful Sound in New Zealand and ice floes in the Bering Strait. One thing led to another, you know.

A while back I had an email conversation with a friend in Scotland who was trying to learn about baseball while I was trying to make sense of cricket. That took me to Major League Baseball sites and minor league sites on which I discovered the son of an old friend had pitched for a AA ball team, which then took me to discovering his sister the artist, which took me to Seattle, which took me to another friend's website about quilting and then to her inspiratioin in China. About that time I remembered I was supposed to be looking up cricket as well as baseball.

So I started there, got to the West Indies, Australia, Pakistan and India in a matter of moments, and half an hour later, ended up renting the Bollywood film Lagaan. It wasn't quite as big a jump as you might think.

The other day I read Michelle Styles's blog, then clicked on one of the blogs she reads and got hooked by someone talking about creating blogs, which led me to another blog, which led me to an discussion of information retrieval and management, which is something I have to write an article about for a genealogy magazine in a couple of months. And I found some software I think might be very useful and also useful for my books. But I need to think more about it -- and I have been -- which means I haven't got much done on dear long-suffering Flynn and Sara.

But I did figure out how to connect their various bits of story that have been hanging around expecting me to do something with them. So it feels as if I've actually come out of the woods on the other side for a change and I won't have to try to follow the bread crumbs back through the forests.

Just as well, as I believe Gunnar, Micah and Mitch have already eaten them.

* * * *
I'm waiting for Kate and Liz to announce the winners to Dom's and Max's part of the Grooms' Contest. I expect they will do that tomorrow.

Theo sends congratulations to Jennifer Yates who won his part! So does Martha who says she is very happy that Theo is now out of the contest business and can finally concentrate on their honeymoon.


Blogger Tapsi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 February, 2007  
Blogger Tapsi said...

realise I'm commenting belatedly...but just wanted to know what you thought of Lagaan! The movie itself would of course help you in your quest to learn cricket...dont envy you that btw, I've grown up cricket crazy (If you're Indian, you have more chances of being cricket crazy than of being bollywood crazy and that's saying a lot!) and I still dont understand some of its nuances!

21 February, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...


I liked Lagaan a lot. I must admit that I thought it dragged a bit during the musical numbers, but that's just my American sensibilities as far as what I expect when I see a movie. The story was fascinating -- and I still had a lot of cricket questions when I got finished. In fact I have even more now. You're right -- there are many nuances. And frankly I don't think I even have the major bits of it figured out. But I'm working on it!

24 February, 2007  

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