Friday, February 19, 2010

A Rose is a Rose

As some of my friends and readers are aware, I am not the only Fearless Knitter out there. I am not speaking metaphorically or talking about attitudes regarding knitting.

Before I started my blog The Fearless Knitter I did a search at the United States Patent & Trademark Office on the name "The Fearless Knitter". The only thing the search turned up was "Fearless Knitting" which had been registered by someone from York, PA for a line of hand spun yarn. So, I headed to Blogger to start a second blog related just to my fiber pursuits.

I wanted 'fearlessknitter' to be the address. Turns out that it was already taken. The actual title of that blog, however, is The Fearless Travel Writing Knitter. This blog is really a general blog, about anything and everything the writer does. Quite a bit different from what I wanted to do.

My next thought was 'THEfearlessknitter' because this was really closer to my thinking. I am THE fearless knitter. And, yes, I realize that I am not alone in the way I approach fiber arts or in my ambitions or aspirations. But it's how I think of myself. Turns out 'thefearlessknitter' was taken too. In this case, though, nothing had been published to it for over 3 years.

So, I decided on a compromise in that 'fearless-knitter' was available. I worried about the technicality of that hyphen but wanted the name badly enough to decide it was worth it.

I started my new blog at 'fearless-knitter'.. I set up the e-mail address of 'thefearlessknitter' with gmail. I started my twitter account under 'fearlessknitter'. I opened my store on Etsy as 'fearlessknitter'. 

I went to join Ravelry. The name 'fearlessknitter' wasn't available. I chose 'fearless-knitter'. It matched my blog address so that was OK. I was busy getting all of this stuff up and running and didn't give it another thought. I changed my profile name on Flickr to 'fearlessknitter'. 

I went to some domain name registry site and did a search on 'fearlessknitter'. It was available. I needed to pay with PayPal as that account had funds available whereas my bank and credit cards did not. There was a glitch between the registry site and Paypal. I spent over an hour trying to get everything to work but finally quit in frustration. It was one of those tech things I would have to revisit.

In the meantime, I started tweeting. I put my first things up for sale. I started blogging more frequently. I found people to follow. I had my first sale on Etsy. My number of followers started growing. I had my first international sale. I started my first 'line' of products (High Society Sock Yarn). I decided to get more involved in Ravelry so I started a group (PA Olympic Knitters).

I fell in love with Twitter. I continue to find amazing people to not just follow but to get to know and become friends with. I continued to have sales at my Etsy shop (thank you to everyone who has ever stopped in for a look at my products). I had my first repeat customer which just so happens to also be an international sale so it was extra special. My number of twitter followers continued growing. My blogging increased (posting to both blogs with more regularity).

So, when it comes to the internet, I have multiple personalities. 'THEfearlessknitter' is only out there once, as an email address. 'Fearlessknitter' is out there twice. But, these two sites are the most important to me (Etsy and Twitter). And, 'fearless-knitter' is also out there twice (Ravelry and my blog address).

Remembering that hyphen in the blog address is becoming problematic as I am so used to just entering 'fearlessknitter' as one word. A couple of days ago I got a friendly comment on the 'fearless-knitter' blog from the owner of the 'fearlessknitter' blog letting me know that a follower or two of mine had accidentally linked to or commented on her blog instead of mine because of the missing hyphen.

So, I decided to finish what I had started in late Dec/early Jan and buy the 'fearlessknitter' URL. Now it isn't available. What? WTF? Turns out that the owner of the 'thefearlessknitter' blog bought the damn thing in mid January (shortly after I had tried to buy it unsuccessfully). Seems that she wants to pick back up 4 years after last using the name. I checked on 'thefearlessknitter' and it is also unavailable.

Since I am the first to admit that I was NOT the first one to this fearless name party I will be renaming EVERYTHING. 

In some cases (Ravelry, Flickr, and the blog) this will be a relatively simple change. As for Twitter, I am researching migrating from one name to another. Etsy will be the hardest of all but I am working on it.

I have decided on a new name but don't want to reveal it until I have made sure that everything is in place for it. So, if you suddenly don't hear from me I may be in transition. I will do everything possible to get the new name out to everyone. One of the things I always loved about 'fearlessknitter' was that it was fairly easy to remember. The new name is going to be a bit different but hopefully memorable as well.

Thank you for your support as I figure out and straighten out these issues and get the fix up and running. 
In the immortal words of Bill Shakespeare:  "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Gettysburg Battlefield in Winter (part 2)

Where I continue the photographs from a winter photo shoot on the Gettysburg Battlefield...

Many of the photos were taken along "Cemetery Ridge".  I may not have my historical facts exact here so if you are a history buff and I screw this up, please let me know (kindly) in the comments.  

The culmination of the Battle of Gettysburg is known as "Picket's Last Charge".  The two sides faced each other across huge fields.  The lines of infantrymen and cannons ran parallel to each other.  (The whole thing reminds me of some terrible version of Red-Rover on a grand and sadistic scale.)  The Union Army was along a ridge to the east (now "Cemetery Ridge" and littered with monuments and memorials) while the Rebel Forces were in a line to the west with the woods as cover.  Picket and his men charged across the fields between the two armies.  We're talking a sea of bodies coming up out of the woods and across the wide expanse of fields like a human wave.  

Because the Union Army controlled the higher ground they had the tactical advantage.  They mowed the Southern Forces down with cannon shot and gun shot.  And yet, they just kept coming until there were no more to charge.  This battlefield was literally a blood soaked, body strewn mess when the smoke cleared.  I don't know the total number of casualties for that battle only to say that it was in the tens of thousands.  I can't wrap my brain or my soul around carnage on a small scale, never mind something like this. 

I hope these photographs convey even a small part of the feelings this place gives me.  Thanks for looking.

I think 17 years was too long to go between visits to this sad, beautiful place.  I think I'll make plans to come back in the spring.

The Gettysburg Battlefield in Winter (part 1)

After visiting The Mannings yesterday (blog post here) I realized that I was only 14 miles from Gettysburg.  The trip to The Mannings hadn't taken as long as I had thought it would, I hadn't been to the battlefield in forever (at least 17 years), and I had never been there in the winter.  So, instead of heading north on PA Route 15 to come home, I went south.

I found the new Visitor Center easy enough.  It is a beautiful building.  But, I was only there long enough to take this picture of the sign at the entrance and grab a map.

I've been to the Gettysburg Battlefield once in the spring and a handful of times in the summer.  Never in fall or winter.  I am not a history buff, a war buff, or a lover of anything military related (although I DO love a man in uniform but that's different). I can't really explain (nor do I have any desire to do so as they are private) my beliefs or lack thereof when it comes to religion, spirituality, ghosts, or similar topics.  

I CAN tell you that the Battle of Gettysburg occurred over the 4th of July weekend.  So, being here in the summer is more appropriate if you want to get the 'feel' of what this place would have been like (the weather, the terrain, and so on).  I can also tell you that I personally experience a very 'heavy' or somber feeling every time I am there.  I have experienced such feelings of sadness every time I have visited.  The words needed to accurately describe this place, these feelings are not in my vocabulary.  Sadness doesn't do this place justice.  

There is a somber, aching beauty here.  The sense of history, of terrible sacrifice is almost palpable.  It's one of those places that causes me to pause and reflect.  For that reason, I am not going to comment on each of the photos.  I do not know who or what most of the monuments are dedicated to.  Personally, I don't care.  Whether a statue is specifically for a particular General or Regiment or act of bravery doesn't make any difference in the total that is Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg Battlefield in winter is all that with another layer of coldness on top.  

This is the central part of the main monument for the State of New York.

The Pennsylvania Monument.  The largest on the battlefield.

Because there are so many photographs that I wanted to share, I have split this post into two parts.  Part two will be up shortly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Animal Cannibalism

Okay, you've seen the pictures of the snow.  And more pictures of the snow.  And, finally, MORE pictures of MORE snow!  What you haven't seen are the pictures of me pulling my hair out.  Pictures of Max (the 16 year old) red-faced growling at Jake (the 5 year old) and threatening to dismember him.  Pictures of the cat sliding around the corner of the kitchen with his rear claws scratch-scratch-scratching to gain footing as he careens out of Jake's path.  Pictures of Carter (the 12 year old middle child) burrowing down in his bed (a lofty upper bunk) to play hand-held games in peace hoping that if he's quiet no one will come looking for him and force him to interact with the rest of the inmates. Pictures of the vein on (husband) Addison's neck pulsing.

What I haven't shown anyone are the pictures of CRAZY that happen when Mother Nature collides with a Wednesday.  The first snow storm happened on a Friday night through Saturday.  No problem.  Sunday was a gorgeous day for digging out and playing in the white stuff.  The kids had a two hour delay Monday morning and life went back to "normal" on Tuesday.  Apparently, we were a little cocky with that first storm.  

"Eighteen inches of snow?  Why, when I was a kid we had a blizzard that lasted for a week!  Snow drifts made it all but impossible to tell where one house ended and the next one started.  Ha!  This is nothing."

Yea, I know.  It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature.  

So everyone was home for round two on Wednesday.  The Governor shut down all the highways and declared a state of emergency for Thursday so everyone was home for that too.  School is closed today for an already scheduled In-Service Day for the teachers.  Then, we're back to the weekend--no school.  And, if that wasn't enough time for family togetherness, Monday is President's Day.  Ugh!  No school AGAIN.

If you've done the math, you know that this succession of days of no school now equals SIX.  That's six days of not dyeing anything.  Six days of not knitting anything more complex than a ribbed sock.  Six days using the computer only after threatening bodily harm or when they go outside to shovel/play.  Six days of watching Nickelodeon.  Six days of the fighting, yelling, threatening, bribing that is three boys of widely differing ages in a very small house.

Addison went to work today.

Now, I know why some animals eat their young.  They got snowed in with them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Okay, enough with the snow already!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let it snow. Part II (at Nana's house)

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.