Category Archives: Shiny!

Shoe Review

I first started seeing those woven elastic shoes a couple of years ago, maybe longer. It seems really recent but I know it’s been longer than it feels like. At first I thought they might be one of those things that most people either love or hate and get all worked up about way out of proportion and I wasn’t sure which side I would be on. Then last 4th of July I noticed my sister-in-law was wearing a pair of them and I asked her about them. She said that they are the only kind of shoes she wears now.

My sister-in-law and I have very little in common, fashion-wise. She is more conventionally fashionable than I am. (I’m more like, “Oh, that’s fashionable now? Get it away from me.”) But anyway, the shoes – I’m always looking (usually unsuccessfully) for comfortable shoes that look appropriate with dresses and some of the more recent styles of these are fairly attractive. The earlier styles I saw looked a little tacky or clunky to me. So, I’ve been curious about them and finally got around to trying a pair about a month ago and then bought two more pair.

Shoe selfies are a bit awkward so these are not the best shoe modeling photos.

Stretch shoes, silver, pink

This first pair is Bernie Mev brand. They look more grey than silver in this photo but in real life they’re definitely sparkly silver with a subtle bit of pink trim. They feel like house shoes, very comfortable and kind of flimsy. The sole is very thin and it almost feels wrong to wear them outside the house.

Stretch shoes, multi-color

This multi-colored pair I actually saw at Walmart a few weeks before I bought the silver ones and thought about buying them but didn’t. I’m not a snob about Walmart generally but I am a snob about buying their shoes or any cheap shoes but I went back and bought these. In some ways they are actually better shoes than the silver ones. The sole is sturdier, like an athletic shoe sole, and they have a very thick cushiony insole. Downsides: The heel piece is very stiff and uncomfortable. I bought stick-on heel pads and that fixed that problem. The other thing about them is they are rather tight with a very strong elasticity. They’re fine when I’m standing or walking but when I’m sitting down, not putting weight on my feet they put the squeeze on my toes.

Stretch shoes, navy blue

This navy blue pair, received just a couple of days ago, are Sketchers brand and they’re the best of the three – sturdy enough sole, cushy insole, and just right stretch. I’m trying to resist the temptation to get one or two more pair of these. The “bronze” ones would be very useful. They would go with a lot of different clothes. But I tell myself I need to wait a while and see how well these hold up in the long run.

I’m not ready to give up all other shoes because I still like most of my other shoes but I can really understand why someone would want to wear these exclusively. I can see myself wearing them more and more.

Creatures in the Mist

With what strange, unseen beings do we share our world? Scientists and engineers at the University of Eyewannabuleev have invented a full spectrum image analyzing device that, for the first time, reveals these creatures that have always surrounded us but have never been seen except, perhaps, by a gifted few.

[ahem] Not really. I’m just playing with the Deep Dream Generator again.

Trees in the fog

Trees in the fog w/Deep Dream Generator

Dream Generator

My son found this cool Internet toy – Deep Dream Generator. You upload a photo and strange things appear in it. I started with a pic of my cat. First the original image:

My cat, Dax

And here’s what Deep Dream Generator did with it:

My cat, with Deep Dream Generator

Don’t be surprised if I subject you to more of this weirdness. I took a picture of the fog this morning that I’m going to upload later.

Marble Machine

This video has been showing up everywhere so it’s likely that you’ve already seen it but I’m sharing it anyway because I love it. Not just the machine itself, which is fascinating, or the talent it took to build and play it, which is amazing; I love that there are people in the world who spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to create something purely for the pleasure of creating it. I think we would all be happier if we spent more time doing creative things (even if we’re not this talented) and less time on Facebook.

This ‘n’ That

I don’t know who created this but it is perfect for me right now.

But, you know… I don’t know why I feel that way because I really only have a few things going on and none of them are a really huge fat hairy deal and there’s nothing that’s, “OMG! Do this immediately!” but… I don’t know… there are just all these things that I need to be sure and not forget and little things I need to do soon(ish) and things I want to do but I’m putting off for no particular reason except that I want to do them but not right now but I still keep thinking about them anyway and it’s just more than I want to have to think about and yes, I know this is one stupidly long sentence but that’s what my brain is like right now so I’m going to leave it this way. Oh, and also… I’m getting really freaking tired of cold, gray weather.

But, moving on…

I had one of these when I was a little kid but not exactly like these of course. I can’t remember what it was. A dog maybe? Mine was just cheap plastic but it’s amazing how much fun such a simple little toy can be to a little kid. It was easy to understand how it worked but I found it kind of fascinating.

Aren’t these beautiful?! Ever since I saw this sad old hand-crank sewing machine I have sort of wanted one. I say “sort of” only because I don’t know where I would put it if I had it. I have nowhere to display it like it deserves to be and nowhere at all that it wouldn’t be in the way. If I were to find one in an antique shop for a really good price though, I might not be able to resist temptation. I don’t necessarily even want a fully restored one, just one that is somewhat functional and not in too bad a condition.

Sew Cranky is another hand-crank sewing machine site. I do love a clever website name. This one makes me smile. And even more.

I love these glass tables. Actually, the tables themselves are really not my style but I love what they do to the room.

And finally… Apology Notes. It would be really hard to stay mad at #12.

World’s Silliest Shoes?

I put a question mark in the title because I know that if I declare something “The Silliest” it will be only a short time until I see something even sillier because that’s just the way things work. But these… Wow. I saw the shoes in the last two photos on Facebook. Those are hideous and creepy and… and… Well… words fail me.

But what about the others? I think the snake shoes are the most wearable but of course I wouldn’t wear them.

I like these shoes much better (second photo also first seen on Facebook) though I probably wouldn’t wear those either, only because of the likelihood that I would take two steps and do a face-plant.

Inside a Steam Iron

For most of my life I was not aware that I possess the Must-Take-Stuff-Apart-To-See-How-It-Works gene but for a number of years now I have had a burning curiosity to see what was inside my steam iron. I finally got the opportunity when it stopped working two or three weeks ago. I immediately wanted to take it apart but I don’t have a lot of experience with that sort of thing and didn’t see any obvious screws or nuts holding it together and didn’t know where to start. So I saved it for Number One Son and I watched and took pictures while he took it apart.

The cover with all the heat settings listed on it was easier to pop off than I had expected and I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t tried that. Quite silly but I was afraid of breaking that which I was planning to break.

Here are all the pieces. (Oops, forgot to move the salt and pepper. I moved them after taking this picture but this was the best picture of this stage of disassembly. And yes, that is a half eaten cookie on the left in these first two pictures.) That sort of bronze colored thing is the water reservoir. I think it’s actually made of aluminum.

Here it is with the water reservoir removed.

And finally, the very bottom piece with almost everything else removed.

Well, that was fun. Seriously, it really was fun. By the way, my new steam iron is the same brand and is almost exactly like the old one.

Retro Future

Yesterday I went searching for retro future images and here’s some of what I found.

Posts tagged “retro future” on Tumblr – Nice. I need to have a look at the Tumblrs these came from. I like the train; more steampunk than retro future but I like it. It’s from Steampunk Tendencies, which has a lot of even more awesome images.

To the Stars – a great collection of images in a 2007 blog post.

Retro Sci-Fi art – This is part 6. Links to 1 thru 4 at the bottom. Great images. The Western Electric ad is hilarious.

Retro future ads for social media

Retropolis – Ooooo! Stuff to buy! Really cool stuff. A bit on the spendy side though. I thought about getting one of the calendars but they cost twice as much as I usually spend for a calendar. One (or two) of the t-shirts though… that’s temptation I might not be able to resist. They’re a little more expensive than most but not totally out of line.

Amazing Things

One of my favorite Facebook pages is Amazing Things In the World. It features all kinds of wonderful photos from the weird to the heartwarming to the simply beautiful. And now there is an Amazing Things In the World blog. Only one post there so far but I’m hoping there will be many more.

Unfortunately many of the comments on the Facebook page are rude or cynical. People who don’t enjoy beautiful things should just stay away from beautiful web pages.

The Latest Cooking Innovation

He who sent this to me may identify himself in the comments if he cares to but I can vouch for this being 100% true because I know him and he does clever, geeky stuff like this all the time.

Around lunchtime at work today, I noticed I had brought a can of chili, a
spoon, a can opener… but not a bowl. Only container I could find was the
can itself, which of course can’t be put in the microwave. If only I had
something that could make things hot… seems like I have a machine that
could do that at work…

…so without further stalling, I give you … LASER CHILI.

Open a can of your favorite, be it Hormel, Cambells, or Wolf. Add
seasonings to taste.

Place opened can on flat surface on cutting table – 3/8″ Cold Reduced
works great, but stainless or aluminum will serve just as well, so long as
you aren’t trying to balance the can on the rails.

Backfill laser tubes with 5% Carbon Dioxide, 40% Nitrogen, and 55% helium.
If using a FANUC laser, this should happen automatically. Warm up high
voltage supply.

Write program to turn the laser on at 2000 watts, move Z axis to -1.5″,
and move in a 1″ circle for one minute.

Load program into memory, use Manual Pulse Generator (handwheel) to move
head over the center of the can. Enter X and Y position in program. Push
The Big Green Button.

In a minute and a half, enjoy your meal. Feeds one forgetful laser operator.

He adds, “…you have to turn the assist gas off or you will make a mess.” I can only imagine.

That’s My Boy

This is “Number One Son”, (a.k.a. Hippie (he used to have long hair)) of whom I write so often. Obviously that’s the only reason I’m showing you a video about a muffler but with my tiny but diverse readership it’s not inconceivable that one or two of you might find it interesting or even useful. (Audio is missing from part of the video, only about a minute or so)