Monthly Archives: March 2008

A Few More Blogs

First, two that are not new to me. Bohemiology and Red Wheelbarrow (better than ever but I miss the old wheelbarrow picture)

And now a few that I just recently discovered:

Puppies and Flowers – lots of very interesting stuff, photos, videos, etc. Not many puppies and flowers. I especially like: the sugar blocks, the 1943 Guide to Hiring Women and the photo by Tanya Zani

I Hate Crocs Dot Com – tag line: Dedicated to the elimination of Crocs and those who think that their excuses for wearing them are viable. Very well done. I’ve gotta come back to this topic later.

Better Living Thru Blogging – You’ve probably heard of this one already but I don’t think I’ve linked to it before or paid much attention to it. It’s another one of those fascinating you-find-the-darnedest-things-on-the-Internet kind of blogs.

More Links

Shiny, wavy gold back-up drive

601 pocket protectors (via 2 Blowhards)

What a cute robot. I can’t picture myself using any voice activated device though.

Albino deer – three very nice photos. (via Look At This…)

The Michelin Man in 1920

Ten Little Known Facts. Interesting. (Warning: animated graphic may cause seizures)

Weird lamps

Mixed images and links, some very weird, but I’m pointing to the Upside Down Coffee Set and the Evolution of Coca-Cola bottles.

Places to Stay

20 unusual hotel rooms, including one that doesn’t exist yet. I wouldn’t mind staying in some of them, especially the Hotel Fox and the one in the first photo, even though it’s intended to be a kid’s room.

Projects, Projects, Projects

I’ve always been a one-project-at-a-time type of person, at least when it comes to sewing, but I’m about to have several projects going at once. I’m just getting ready to start a super secret project with a “deadline” in just a few weeks. The person I’m making it for isn’t reading this but I’m going to keep it secret anyway. You never know when someone who doesn’t have Internet access will talk to a friend who does or even get Internet access themselves. But I am excited about this one and I’ll tell you all about it and post a picture when it’s finished.

I’m still working on the quilt I mentioned in the last paragraph of this post. It’s coming along nicely. I’m not sure if I’ll show it off or not. It’s sort of crazy, not literally a “Crazy Quilt” in the usual sense but sort of made up as I went along out of mostly random size pieces and I’m not sure whether I’m proud of it or ashamed of it. I’m really only making it to justify having kept all those scraps for all those years. I’m going to put this one aside for a while to work on the Super Secret Project. That’s pretty easy to do since I don’t have a proper quilting frame. I’ve been using a needlepoint hoop, which is actually working out pretty well.

I need to work on some regular sewing projects too. I have a small stash of fabric that’s mostly from the dollar table at Wal-mart and it’s been a long time since I made anything so yesterday I cut out a shirt. It’s an aqua, pink and purple plaid flannel. It’s the wrong time of year to be starting something made of flannel but I don’t care. They are spring colors and we often have a big freeze in late April. I might get to wear it.

Finally, I have in mind what should be a long term project. I’ve always thought it would be cool to make a postage stamp quilt but the thought of all those tiny pieces of fabric is a bit overwhelming. But now I’m thinking I should just start a top and plan on taking years to finish it – just sew together a few pieces now and then. (Here is an idea and a couple more)

Anyway those are the main crafty things I have in mind so if I start slacking off on this blogging thing you’ll know why.

Random Linkage

Redneck weddings (OMG, that first photo is almost NSFW) and a geek wedding

The center of the universe – looks like a nice place but I wouldn’t want to live there. Too cold.

The Snowclones Database

The Rite of Spring doesn’t sound natural.

Far away there in the sunshine… – a lovely blog

As he said, hmmmmm…

Let’s Make Robots (via DRB)

My Confined Space – photos, a lot of unusual stuff. I like this.

Another cool Lego creation (via Grow-a-Brain)

Fantastic HD photo of the moon. (via Look At This…)

Get Religion

Here’s another great Dark Roasted Blend photo collection: odd religious items. Some are intended to be humorous; others are unintentionally humorous. The ones that made me laugh the most: the Adam and Eve dolls, the “can I help you” t-shirt, the “YMCA” t-shirt* and the “klansmen”. There are also several pictures of an awesome Lego church.

(made correction)

Two Home Movie Nights

A rather memorable weekend for movies in that two nights in a row there were movies on TV that were interesting enough that He Who Cannot Leave His PC Without Being Surgically Separated From It (a.k.a. Number Two Son) actually sat and watched them in their entirety.

Saturday night it was The Ten Commandments. It’s been years since I’ve watched it. When I was a kid we watched it every year. I remember a few years when they broke it up into two nights. I definitely prefer to watch the whole thing in one sitting. Four and three-quarter hours has never felt a minute too long. I should buy it on DVD so I can watch it without the commercials.

It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, maybe my favorite of all time. I don’t remember that I’ve ever found it especially inspiring, religiously. I remember feeling, when I was a little kid, that I should take it seriously and I suppose I did, sort of, but mainly it was just fun. And it still is, maybe even more so. I have practically every line memorized and yet I never get tired of it.

Last night we watched Geronimo: An American Legend. It was as much about Charles Gatewood, the army lieutenant who convinced Geronimo to surrender as it was about Geronimo himself. It was about as balanced and historically accurate as can be expected from Hollywood, which is to say, not really but not nearly as bad as some. More importantly, it was interesting and we enjoyed watching it.

Quotes From Here and There

I get my ideas mostly by stealing them from my betters. The only difference between a great author and a mediocre one is that great authors steal from the greats. I suggest reading the classics for loot.here

Many a time I have nearly choked in astonished hilarity at what some politician has said in all seriousness, and yet, in the end, I am left disquieted, as if having laughed at a profane joke at the expense of everything sacred and worthwhile.there

Once Low Class, Now High Class

The Reel Rocker. This is unbelievable. Folks, rednecks have been using abandoned cable spools as furniture since the first time anyone ever abandoned a cable spool. Now a piece of furniture that’s only one step beyond the standard spool table and achievable by anyone with decent carpentry skills sells for $870. Ain’t capitalism great? I’m not criticizing, just sorry I didn’t think of it first.

Friends and Character

Have you ever had a friend who greatly embarrassed you? I have. We had absolutely nothing in common. She was more than ten years younger than me. (That’s not really relevant.) She was extremely irresponsible; she was a hypocrite and a liar; she was highly promiscuous; she dressed like a prostitute, wore way too much make-up and insisted on having the most godawful hairstyle you’ve seen since Hee Haw. And on top of all that, our tastes in music, movies and just about everything else were completely different.

And yet we could talk. Whenever we were in the same room conversations just spontaneously happened. We talked about pop culture, co-workers, food, what was new at K-mart or the mall and all manner of trivia. Sometimes I made tentative attempts to reform her. She would go into her sweet-little-thing routine (“I know. You’re right but I can’t help it. It’s the way I am.“) and then we’d move on to something else. Once in a while she would ask for advice and then ignore it. We gracefully disagreed on almost everything. I guess that’s one thing we did have in common: the ability to gracefully disagree.

I can’t say whether or not we would still be friends if I hadn’t moved halfway across the country. The thought occurred to me almost daily that, for the sake of my own reputation, I should distance myself from this girl. But she talked to me while other people whom I respected more and with whom I had more in common ignored me like a useless piece of furniture.

Friendships are frequently incomprehensible. People do often have friends that are completely different from themselves. That’s why I can’t hold Barak Obama’s friendship with Reverend Wright against him.

There are other things that I can hold against Obama. I can hold it against him that he at first said that he was not present when Reverend Wright made his “controversial remarks” and then admitted that he was present. I can hold his position on the war against him. I can hold his health care plan against him, even though I don’t know anything about it yet because I know that any kind of plan the government comes up with is going to be ridiculously complicated. There are also some things that I cannot hold against him but that bother me. But there’s nothing that makes me think he would necessarily be a worse president than Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

We do not choose our friends nor do they choose us. We just cross paths with other people and once in a while something clicks. That’s not to say that we can’t judge people by the company they keep because my instincts still tell me that, generally, we can. But we should not judge a person based on a few remarks made by just one friend and we should not judge the friend based on just those few remarks. People are complicated. Some very good people have some really asinine opinions and serious character flaws. What do we know about Reverend Wright aside from those now infamous remarks? And what do we know about Barak Obama’s other friends? I can guarantee that the ones who have no controversial opinions or embarrassing habits will never make the news.

* * *

While I’m on this subject, here’s an excellent post, sort of an inside view you might say.

Equinox

I just noticed something very cool about the little calendar on the wall next to my computer desk. March 20, the “first day of spring” is correctly labeled, “Vernal Equinox.” I’ve never seen that on a calendar before. Most say “First Day of Spring” or “Spring Begins” or, occasionally “Spring Equinox”.

That reminds me, it’s been quite a while since visited the Earth and Moon Viewer. I like this map that shows real-time day and night.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke has died. I love the last sentence of that article. This would likely be a better post if I simply quoted that line and let it stand on it’s own. I haven’t read very many books by Clarke so I really don’t have much to say. I read Rendezvous With Rama and I think I read Childhood’s End but I can’t remember anything about it. I saw the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey on an old black and white TV with such poor reception it was almost unwatchable.

That’s my entire Arthur C. Clarke experience and I’ve never felt inspired to experience more. Until now. Now I’m thinking maybe I should read 2001 and maybe one or two others. I did think that Rama was sort of interesting. Just sort of interesting. What can I say. Even the greatest authors speak to some people and not to others. Not that I’ve given Clarke much of a chance, admittedly. My reading habits are rather haphazard. I skip around and rarely get very deep into any particular author.

The one thing I will always remember best about Arthur C. Clarke is Clarke’s Law: (actually it’s his third law)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

That’s actually a very obvious observation if you give it one second’s thought but he stated it so elegantly and that’s what makes a great quote, stating the obvious more elegantly than anyone else could.

More Clarke tributes, just a few of many:

at Byzantium’s Shores (and he has a few more links)

at Dar Kush

at Texas Best Grok

at SF Signal (with links and video)

UPDATE: A link round-up here. Via Brickmuppet

Question of the Day

Via Dustbury:

Are women more afraid of being viewed as prudes than men?

And another question: Why be afraid of being viewed as a prude anyway? If the shoe fits why not wear it? Embrace the term. Make it something to be proud of much like rednecks being proud to be rednecks. Yes I’m a prude and damn proud of it! Oh, not me personally. I’m not a prude.

Book Quote

The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves. — E.M. Forster

Thanks, Erik.

Springtime

It’s a perfect spring day, dark and pouring rain. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I do like sunshine as much as anyone else but there’s something lovely about a rainy day too. And you know what goes well with a rainy day? Bach. There’s something about Bach and rainy days – perfect for each other.

It has lightened up a lot in the last hour. For most of the morning I couldn’t get on the Internet. Wildblue doesn’t work well when it’s raining. I don’t recommend it unless you have no other option for “high speed” Internet.

Safe Text

Maybe this is just another sign that I’m turning into an old fart but this annoys me. London has put big ugly pads around lamp posts on one street to protect people who run into them while texting.

Is there no limit to how far we must go to relieve people of the burden of personal responsibility? Look, I’m all for safe streets and sidewalks but people who aren’t looking where they are going need to run into something and hurt themselves so that they will learn to pay a little attention to the world around them. Most members of my generation did this when we were little when our mothers were there to make sure that it was a lamp post we ran into instead of a moving car.

It is especially disappointing that they’re padding lamp posts in London. It’s such a People’s Republic of California thing to do. Where are the proper, stiff-upper-lipped Brits that I have always admired from afar? Long gone I suppose. Or perhaps they were never anything more than fictional. (sigh~ another cherished myth busted)

I think, if we must protect people from themselves, a more high tech solution would be better for the unfortunate texters and society as a whole. We need a device that will cause any cell phone that comes within, say, three feet of it to flash a message that says, “HEY STUPID, LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING” and install it on all lamp posts and other obstacles.

Lists

A great list of lists. Some fun stuff, some weird stuff… Top 10 Bizarre Traditions, 5 Works of Art That Can Probably Kill You, 7 Unluckiest People in the World and – just what everyone needs – 69 more uses for duct tape. Lots more.