Category Archives: Uncategorized

Technology Is Annoying

We are having an annoying little computer issue that is just bad enough to make me think, “Why bother? I have other, less annoying, things I can be doing,” so if you don’t see anything new here for a few days that’s why.

Lament

Oh warm, beautiful Spring why hast thou forsaken me? ‘Tis the first day in May but ’twas freezing this morning. (Literally 32°F) The dogwoods are in bloom and the irises just beginning but they merely tease. ‘Tis winter still and I am indoors clothed in flannel. Tomorrow? Tomorrow you say? Oh cruel tomorrow, always a day away. The oak trees know. Those great noble plants, which in saner years would be fully leafed out by this date, are are only now showing the first cautious buds of new growth. Get thee behind me Winter, and Spring, oh Spring, I beg thee to stop teasing us and finally come to stay.

Color Change

I did a little redecorating for spring. If you’re still seeing pink try refreshing the page. I already sort of miss the pink background. Chances are it will be back someday but for now I wanted something to go with the dandelions.

Oops

Yesterday I finally, after procrastinating for months, uploaded an updated version of my infamous links page. This morning I discovered a mistake. A mistake of the “How the hell did that happen?” variety. Oops. I don’t have time to deal with it right now but hopefully it won’t be months this time before I get around to fixing it.

A Hill With a Name

Whenever a section of roadway has a name – an unofficial name given by the locals – you know it has to be interesting to drive on. I posted this on Facebook this morning and then decided to post it here also. As I said on FB, this video doesn’t do it justice. The camera is too close to the ground. It needs to be near driver and passenger eye level so you can see what we see when we drive up or down the curséd thing. But it’s the only one I found so here it is.

I have a dream…

…that one morning, amongst the dozen or so comments awaiting moderation, there will be one genuine, non-spam comment – a new, first-time commenter! Well… it has happened a couple of times so it’s not an impossible dream.

Pumpkin Recipes

These 15 Mind-Blowing Pumpkin Recipes are unusual and some of them sound awesome. I am interested in the pumpkin pasta and the enchiladas. Well, I’m interested in all of them but those two stand out as being especially unexpected.

The one that I definitely want to make soon is the pumpkin ginger cheesecake. I’ve made something similar to that only the pumpkin and cheesecake fillings were layered, not swirled and it just had the standard graham cracker crust.

Three PC Pet Peeves

PC = personal computer not politically correct. We don’t do politically correct around here. Also, these are not all specifically related to the personal computer itself. One (or two) are website things. Anyway… enough babbling.

1. I hate it when I log out of Facebook and get a message that says “You must log in to continue.” You mean I must log in to log out? I’m already logged out thank you very much. Why do I need to log back in?

2. I hate it when I close Firefox and get an error message that says “Firefox has stopped working”. (and some other stuff that I don’t remember) Really? Firefox has stopped working? Maybe because I just closed it?

3. I hate when I close a tab and it doesn’t close immediately. It’s only a few seconds delay but to me that is unacceptable. When I click the little X the tab should go away instantly. Until recently that is the way it always worked but now some websites seem reluctant to close.

Font Help

Calling all font geeks. Come on, I know you exist. This is the banner I was using previously. I need help identifying one of the fonts.

I should still have these fonts on my computer but I haven’t been able to find them. I remember that the “Violins” font is Symphony and I have found that one already but I can’t remember the name of the “Starships” font. Anyone recognize it?

I have been going through these sci-fi fonts. The top alternatives I’m considering are 13 Misa and Federation Classic. But I’d really like to find the same one I had before. Ideas?

Still Not Right

I guess I’ll try this for a while. It looks nice but what happened to my archives and such? I don’t know how any of this stuff works. &@%$#!

UPDATE: Okay, progress. There’s the link to my links page. Where is my sidebar? I have NO IDEA how to get it back. Also, I would like to add my own header image but I have no idea where it goes. Ten+ years ago I was so proud of myself for learning a little bit of HTML then they throw in CSS and PHP and the rest of the alphabet soup and now it might as well be Russian.

And this light grey text. I fracking HATE websites with light grey text.

UPDATE 2: Ah, there it is. Perhaps I will even get back the picture later. This version of WordPress has handy features. I should always look around more before I start bitching in public.

[tap tap] Is this thing on?

Aaaand I’m back. A little dazed perhaps but everything will be back to normal immediately. Or maybe tomorrow. Apparently I was hacked. I see that the blog is not loading correctly, with the columns and all where they’re supposed to be, but everything else seems to be working. I think I’ll look at some of the standard templates and switch to one of those at least temporarily.

Anyway, I missed you guys. Let’s party.

Just an Excuse

Having some kind of network issue. Or ISP issue. Or something like that. Also busy. Even busier tomorrow. I might get around to posting something but don’t count on it. I will definitely have something (possibly interesting) by Friday.

The Joy of the Chase

Finally, here it is. This 47 second video took more than 47 minutes to upload, which is why I don’t have more videos online. Anyway, this is what we did yesterday.

A Day Off

As a holiday, yesterday was, for us, the most pathetic ever, but as a day it was pretty nice. We spent the morning working in the yard. (Okay, “working in the yard” involved some shopping at Lowe’s, which took up as much time as the actual working.) Then we spent the afternoon and evening vegging out in front of the TV – NatGeo Wild and ST:TNG. But I did wear red, white and blue. That was my celebration.

Another #&%@ Inconvenience

Spam has been hard to keep up with lately so I am going to try one-time comment moderation. You leave a comment, I approve it (unless you’re a spammer) and from then on you can comment and it appears immediately.

So come on… get it over with. Say something. Let’s have a comment party. Talk about how much we hate spammers, or how much we love ice cream, Mozart, Firefly, books, shoes, fabric, or whatever it is that turns you on, or talk about the weather. I don’t care as long as it’s clean and polite.

UPDATE: Well darn! That’s not working like I thought it would. It isn’t holding anything for moderation and I’m still getting spam. Hmmm… the option I checked is now unchecked. Trying again…

(Psst… Don’t go away. I’ll try to be more interesting tomorrow.)

Random Linkage

Fastener Chart – (PDF) For some of you guys this might be a “so what?” but for people like me, who only know Phillips and “regular”, this is not only useful but fascinating. I think the guys on HGTV and DIY network could use this since they don’t appear to know the difference between lag bolts and carriage bolts.

40 Inspiring Workplaces of the Famously Creative – Very interesting. I’m not at all surprised that clutter seems to be the rule. If you’re busy being creative you don’t have time to straighten up the place. There are a few neat and even minimalist spaces though. Just based on the decor, Rudyard Kipling’s study is my favorite. I would like to spend a week alone in Nigella Lawson’s study/library.

Ads We’ll Never See Again – Hah! How times have changed.

Arctic Instruments – Equipment used for research in polar climates.

Playgrounds – A small collection of photos. I like this observation: “It wasn’t that the kids of my block were poor or deprived. We had nice swings and sliding boards at the local school playground. It’s just that we preferred to invent our playgrounds out of the things we could find and invent.

Adimab Ads – A biotech company has some mysteriously clever ads.

Transhuman Theft – Someone I would definitely follow on Twitter if I was still using Twitter.

The Oddment Emporium – A very interesting Tumblr blog.

Life Is Good

I love my life. I really do. A few minutes ago I looked out my back door and saw a tufted titmouse on the back porch. It hopped a little closer and pecked at dried leaves and debris. It flew to the stack of firewood and hopped around on that for a minute, coming even closer to the door.

Then it flew down to the doormat and I stood there watching it for over five minutes as it pulled fibers out of the doormat not three feet away from me on the other side of the glass door. What’s better than that?! Getting a great photo of it maybe? Nah… not even that.

Tiny Wildflower

I have been seeing these all my life but I don’t know what they are called. I’ve never even heard a common name for them. I guess it’s “just a weed”. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a bit fascinated by them – so tiny, no more than a quarter inch across, with just four perfect little petals.

Tiny Wildflower

Taken with my Celestron Amoeba microscope on the 10X setting.

Modern Blogging

As I’ve already said, I had a bit of down-time on Friday and I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, which looks really different on the inside from the ancient version I’ve been using. (I have a slight phobia about upgrading) As soon as I was back in action I discovered that I had over 700 spam comments. Obviously my CAPTCHA is not working so why even have the thing? I was going to try Akismet but then I discovered that it’s not free. I normally don’t get all that much Spam and I’m reluctant to pay any more just to keep up this silly little hobby. So, for now, I’ve just closed comments on posts over 14 days old. If spam continues to be a huge problem I might try something else, starting with one time comment moderation, but for now we’ll just see how this goes.

I’m Baaaaack…

Sorry for the downtime. I know my multitudes of adoring fans were just devastated. All three of you. Anyway…

The good/bad news (other than being back in action) is that I had to update WordPress. Finally. I hate the new dashboard. This is why I hate updating stuff. Why do they have to keep changing things that work just fine? Well, I suppose I’ll get used to it. I always do.

Uh Oh

I got an email this morning saying that this site has reached 80 percent of its bandwidth limit for the month. It usually doesn’t come anywhere near the limit. I suspect bots but I have no idea how to prevent the nasty things. So I might just take a break until March which, fortunately, is less than a week away. (Or I might not. Anyway, keep commenting as long as you can and if I disappear I’ll be back on Friday.)

For now, here’s a weird cat video.

UPDATE: Crisis averted. If anyone needs a really awesome web host go to RJDC.

Book Quote

I finished my second reading of China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station. The first time I read this book I was blown away by its uniqueness and the beauty of Mieville’s prose. The second time, in addition to enjoying the beauty and the weirdness of it, I was struck by what a really good story it is.

It was really hard to decide what to quote. I finally decided on the first description of the structure that gives the book its name.

It was not a purer realm that loomed vastly over the city. Smokestacks punctured the membrane between the land and the air and disgorged tons of poisonous smog into that upper world as if out of spite. In a thicker, stinking haze just above the rooftops, the detritus from a million low chimneys eddied together. Crematoria vented into the airborne ashes of wills burnt by jealous executors, which mixed with coaldust burnt to keep dying lovers warm. Thousands of sordid smoke-ghosts wrapped New Crobuzon in a stench that suffocated like guilt.

The clouds swirled in the city’s filthy microclimate. It seemed as if all of New Crobuzon’s weather was formed by a massive, gradual crawling hurricane that centred around the city’s heart, the enormous mongrel building that squatted at the core of the commercial zone known as The Crow, the coagulate of miles of railway line and years of architectural styles and violations: Perdido Street Station.

An industrial castle, bristling with random parapets. The westernmost tower of the station was the militia’s Spike, that loomed over the other turrets, dwarfing them, tugged in seven directions by taut skyrails. But for all its height the Spike was only an annex of the enormous station.

The architect had been incarcerated, quite mad, seven years after Perdido Street Station was completed. He was a heretic, it was said, intent on building his own god.

Five enormous brick mouths gaped to swallow each of the city’s trainlines. The tracks unrolled on the arches like huge tongues. Shops and torture chambers and workshops and offices and empty spaces all stuffed the fat belly of the building, which seemed, from a certain angle, in a certain light, to be bracing itself, taking its weight on the Spike, preparing to leap into the enormous sky it so casually invaded.

Of course that doesn’t even begin to give you a clue as to what the story is about. It is dark urban fantasy, full of monsters, adventure, romance, a little steampunk, in a culture of several weird races in addition to humans. If I have convinced you to buy Perdido Street Station please click on the link above.

Updating

In the unlikely event that anyone actually cares, I have been working on updating my long neglected links page. Blogs have been added, blogs (mostly long abandoned) have been removed, categories have been changed and blogs have been moved around.

I haven’t even touched the right column yet. I’ve been working on the blog side for months. Maybe in a few more months I will finish updating the other half and by that time I will probably need to start all over again.

edited to add: My categorization system probably won’t make sense to anyone else but I want to try to explain it anyway. Many blogs would fit in more than one category but I put each blog wherever it feels like it should go. And I might still do some more moving around. Any blog that frequently has artsy, cultural stuff or a lot of pop culture stuff, or just a wide variety of different stuff will usually go in the “Culture & Variety” category. Also, blogs that seem, to me, especially refined somehow may go in that category. “Ranting, Reflecting & Reporting” is really a miscellaneous category. It has all the “my life” and “my opinion” type blogs. I put the few news and political blogs I decided to keep in there too plus any others that I couldn’t decide where they should go. A new category, “Crafty & Creative,” is mostly sewing and quilting blogs, a few cooking blogs, and I will add more crafting blogs as I find them. It could include just about any craft or hobby. The others are pretty much self-explanatory but equally as loosely defined.

Yep, That’s My Boy

You might think I’m only posting this because my son is in it. You’re probably right. But it is good and it’s helpful. It needs to go viral. Yes it does. Because I say so.