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28 April 2009 @ 09:30 pm
A busy day, and Dreamwidth  
Word count: 1415 | Since last entry: 1415

Busy, busy day today. The cleaning lady, plumber, and appliance repair guy all came today (not the way we'd have planned it if we'd had the choice, but that's when they could make it), and then this morning we discovered that overnight Kate's car had been broken into and the radio stolen, so she had to take it to get the smashed window repaired. So I had to deal with all the service people, so I couldn't leave the house and it was too distracting to get much of anything done at home. But everyone had left by 4:00, including the cops who came to take Kate's report, so I could go to the coffee shop and write.

The Fireside Coffee Lodge, where jaylake and I and some others sometimes write on Tuesdays, recently changed owners, name, and decor. It's no longer festooned with bears and tacky woodsy stuff... it now looks like, well, like a brand-new coffee shop, with hard little chairs and tables and no character whatsoever. I'm sure that will change as the new owners settle in, but though the old place was funky and weird and disturbing in a vaguely Deliverance kind of way, the new incarnation is just soulless. Even though the coffee's better, and they have Voodoo Doughnuts (for the Amazing Race viewers in the audience, this is the place whose motto is "Where the magic's in the hole!"), I think we'll be looking for a new place to write on Tuesdays. Maybe Fat Straw, which is comfy and really convenient for me, but the coffee is apparently awful. (The bubble tea is great, but too calorific to make it a weekly habit.)

Anyway... at the end of the day (hmm, usually that's a metaphor), the house is cleaner, the stove is working again, the loose faucet in the bathroom has been tightened, the broken window in Kate's car has been repaired, and I have 1400 words of draft on a brand new story.

For a variety of reasons I would really like to get this draft done by Saturday, so I'm shooting for 1000 words per day rather than my usual 500. As it happens, the above progress is two days' worth, so I'm well below that mark, but my brain is full so I'm stopping now.

Oh, one other thing: I was randomly selected to receive an invite code to Dreamwidth, so I'm set up there as davidlevine. I've imported all of my LiveJournal posts to my DW account, and if I've set everything up properly all my new posts will appear in both places as well. However, for now I intend to do almost all of my reading and commenting on LJ. That may change if a substantial fraction of my friends (and here I'm using the word "friends" in its ordinary, real-world sense) move from LJ to DW.

What is Dreamwidth, you ask? DW is basically a clone of LJ with some differences. The founders are ex-LJ employees and are trying to create an online community that is more like LJ used to be, using LJ's code base. It's basically almost completely identical to LJ, except that they are doing some things differently, like separating the concepts "I read your journal" and "I give you access to my protected journal posts" that are unified in the LJ term "friend." A more significant difference is that Dreamwidth is, and intends to remain, advertising-free. Also, DW is currently in closed Beta and some things are definitely not ready for prime time, like journal styles. On balance, it's no better and no worse than LJ.

I've created a Dreamwidth account and copied my content to it basically as a backup, a contingency plan in case LiveJournal either becomes unusable for some reason (goes out of business, becomes technically unstable, or makes a management decision that I can't live with) or simply becomes substantially less popular than DW among my friends. But for now LJ is where I am and where I intend to stay.

jeffsoesbe: yeff yahoo avatarjeffsoesbe on April 29th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
The Fireside Coffee Lodge ... no longer festooned with bears and tacky woodsy stuff

No more bears?! No More Bears?!?!

Wow, that's a bummer. I only went to Fireside once (the time you folks were there), but I thought it had a fantastic amount of character. As you said, now it sounds just like every other coffee shop.

I wonder what they did with all the old wooden and bear stuff??

Bummer to hear that. I hope you folks find a new hangout.

- yeff
Twilighttwilight2000 on April 29th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
If they're looking for more Beta testers... :>
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 29th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
I signed up with my OpenID and got an invite code within a week. Instructions are here: http://squaringkarma.livejournal.com/493651.html

They'll also be going to open beta on April 30 and they say all users will have "tons" of invite codes to hand out then.
Twilighttwilight2000 on April 29th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Cool - I'd love an invite if you have an extra one lying about :>.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on May 1st, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
I expect to have codes to share in an hour or so..
Twilighttwilight2000 on May 1st, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Looking forward to it! :>
David D. Levinedavidlevine on May 1st, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
I just sent you an invite at your earthlink.net address.
Elizabeth Colemancriada on April 29th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
I sympathize on the coffee shop hunting. Our favorite coffee shop is too small to hold our writing group, and it closes too early. The ones that stay open late enough are Starbucks (bleh), one that has the worst coffee in the world and holds all-ages music shows with bad sound equipment, and one that, like your Fireside Lodge, is full of awesome woodsy decor, but is also halfway across town (and we're all walkers). We ended up meeting at the university's student union. It's nice, but I actually miss the chance to support local businesses.
joycemocha on April 29th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Tell me more about Dreamwidth....
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 29th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
I recommend you check out their FAQs at http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqcat=guides.
ex_camillea on April 29th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
I *Love* the Fat Straw bubble tea. Huge sugar overload though, as you say. SUper congrats on your WildCards gig!
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 29th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
And congrats back to you on the PW starred review!
ex_camillea on April 29th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
billeylerbilleyler on April 29th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on an accidentally productive (and probably expensive) day!

I saw something about DreamWidth a few days ago and poked my head in over there, but didn't set up an account. I don't know what the "old LJ" was like, since it seems pretty much the same as it's always been since 2005, notwithstanding it wasn't run by an obscure Russian company then. I might go back for a look.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 29th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
A lot of the changes that people dislike about LJ have to do with things that are not visible to me because I've opted for a paid account, like advertising, or are political issues like the whole "userpics with breasts" flap that I don't care much about. My main reason to look into Dreamwidth is that my friends might leave LJ for DW.
Steve Green: LJ Iconstevegreen on April 30th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
I'm really hoping they don't. I'm paid-up with LJ till the end of 2011, and even if I wasn't, the hassle of shifting all those posts across is somewhat daunting.

I have set up a DW account (same username) just in case, though.

Edited at 2009-04-30 01:55 am (UTC)
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 30th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
There's no hassle in shifting all the posts across. The LJ-to-DW importer worked quickly and flawlessly for me, and for new posts you can configure your DW so it automatically cross-posts everything to LJ.
Steve Green: Potemkinstevegreen on April 30th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
The cleaning lady, plumber, and appliance repair guy all came today

Sounds like the plot of a 1980s porn video.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on April 30th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
Alas, none of them were shag-worthy.