Well...I'd hoped to be online again and posting regularly by now, and to have done a lot of other things (paid offers are piling up in the in-box), but I'm not really online yet. I've checked e-mail a few times this month from a public library. Here are some irresistible links that came in. Categories: Bad Ideas, Good Ideas, Poetry.
"Habitat exchange." Forget about it.
If you're going to give something, give for the joy of giving. Admit it. You like to see someone's eyes light up. Nothing wrong with that.
If you crave more chatter in your life and yearn for the sight of more strangers' teeth, you might at least offer something to normal people who don't find the sight of your teeth or the sound of your small talk especially motivating. Why not give them an incentive...like free money? (When I'm out walking or shopping with a friend, and someone else thinks they might know one of us from somewhere, or has met one of us but wasn't fully vetted for cultural understanding, or just aches for the sound of a human voice to drown out the nastier voices in his head, the legitimate way to solicit a "greeting" is to have something worthwhile to say...e.g. "I think I'm having a heart attack, could you please call 911" or "The bridge up ahead is flooded," or, if it's true, "I'm two and a half years old today!" If you don't have something quite that worthwhile to share, however, the right quality of image of Benjamin Franklin will compensate for the banality of your "news.")
Rare: a new poem by Wendell Berry, posted online.
Speaking of Wendell Berry, this site has "picked his brain" or selected a poetically terse outline of his thoughts from What Are People For: