Monthly Archives: November 2009

Yummy

I almost forgot to mention this. Starbucks, you finally got to me. I want! (Except, I want mine with whole milk and yes on the whipped cream and I don’t want to know how many calories it has.) I confessed my desire to my family and my son threatened to take a picture of me coming out of Starbucks to use for blackmail. There was a Starbucks in the Nearby Small Town but it closed after only a few months. If it was still there I would have already tried one (or maybe two) of these. Perhaps I need to go Christmas shopping in Owasso. Surely there’s a Starbucks there in that big shopping center.

Quilts and More Quilts

This is a cute idea. I don’t think I’ve seen that pattern before, even though it’s a very simple one.

I haven’t looked in on Treadle Quilts in quite a while. Shame on me. Here are some interesting cubes – sort of like tumbling blocks ramped way up. Some nice bright flowers. And finally, I like these colors. I think my favorite is the way the pieces look laid out on the cutting board. That sea green makes a nice contrast with the orange but the actual quilts turned out very nice too.

Here’s a beautiful fall quilt. I like the colors in this one. Overall it’s less orangey than what I usually think of as “fall colors”. Not that there’s anything wrong with the typical brown and orange fall color scheme but it’s just something I haven’t had much interest in doing myself.

I’m almost finished with the quilt I’m working on now but I’ve been feeling like I’m “almost finished” for several weeks and I’m just a wee bit stressed about getting it done by Christmas. I wanted to be finished with it by now and have another one started. I have finished my other Christmas sewing projects and would probably have time for more but I don’t think I’ll try to sew any more for Christmas. Instead I’m going to work on things that won’t matter if I don’t get them done by Christmas. And next year, maybe I’ll start early.

The Other Shoe

Follow-up to the shoe post.

I ordered the Walking Cradles Skimmers. They looked great, were well-made, had a very cushy insole but, unfortunately, they didn’t have enough toe room. I could have tried a half size larger but I’m afraid that might have been too large overall. Also, I still wasn’t sure about the bubble cushion insole. It felt soft and comfortable but it had all these soft little bumps, which didn’t exactly feel bad but I was afraid they might be annoying after a while.

So, a bit reluctantly, I sent them back and ordered the Hush Puppies. They’re almost perfect. Lots of toe room, very lightweight, not as soft and flexible as the skimmers but still comfortable. They’re not as fat foot looking as I had feared. I preferred the looks of the skimmer but I can only rarely find anything in that style that actually fits. The Hush Puppies will do. I will probably have them for years and wear them fairly often.

Something Sweet

I didn’t get around to posting a video on Friday so here’s one. The music is lovely of course but, to be honest, I chose this one mainly because I was struck by how much these photos look like my “neighborhood” though I’m sure they are actually of somewhere in Europe.

Yet Another Awesome Store

I was looking through the latest issue of Smithsonian Magazine and noticed a small ad in the back for a very cool mug and there was a Web address so of course I had to come check it out. The store is The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. This dinosaur mug is the one in the ad and yes I want it. They have about 20 more 12 ounce mugs, some with the changing picture feature and some without. I also like the Women Against Coffee mug, the Descartes mug and the Alice in Wonderland mug. The Adam and Eve mug does exactly what you think it does so don’t click on it if you are at work or if the kids are looking over your shoulder.

They have several very cool wristwatches. The mint tins are interesting. A few other things, t-shirts (very few) stationary, sticky notes, philosopher, author and composer puppets. A fairly limited selection actually but what they have is unique and interesting.

Don’t miss the video. (scroll down)

Purses & Shoes & Christmas Parties, Oh My!

We have a Christmas party to go to in early December. Naturally I’ve been thinking about what to wear. It’s casual but I want to wear something nice and Christmassy. I’ve been thinking about maybe something in a bright, Christmas green with only little touches of red because, generally, red seems to be the preferred color when people want to look Christmassy. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about the black velour pants and tunic set with embroidered poinsettias in a necklace like arrangement that I received as a gift several years ago. I’ve only worn it once or twice. So I finally tried it on to see what I think of it now and, “Oh yeah! This is definitely what I’m going to wear!” (Black really is slimming, darn it.)

That brings me to another problem. I need a black purse and shoes. I have a small, dressy black purse but it’s not big enough for my minimum necessary stuff, now that my minimum necessary stuff includes a cell phone and digital camera, which it did not when I bought the purse. That’s not a huge problem. Wal-mart usually has decent looking purses for under $10 and nobody at this party is even going to notice that a purse came from Wal-mart, much less look down their noses at it. Shoes, on the other hand – that’s a problem. I must have comfortable shoes and those never come cheap. I have a pair of black shoes that are about 15 years old. They were the most comfortable shoes in the world back when my feet were half a size smaller than they are now but they’re a little tight around the toes and starting to show their age just a little bit.

Men don’t understand stuff like this – the need for matching purse and shoes to the outfit – and, to be honest, I’m a little bit embarrassed that I have this need because I am aware of the silliness of it but that still doesn’t change the fact that I cannot go to this Christmas party without a black purse and black shoes.

Fortunately, there’s Endless.com with their free overnight shipping so I will have time to buy shoes, try them, and if necessary send them back and buy another pair. There are several styles I’m looking at. These Mary Janes would do. (Damn, that’s a long URL) I’ve always turned my nose up at Mary Janes. I think of them as little girl shoes but… maybe. I also like the skimmer of the same brand. I’m not entirely sure about the “bubble textured footbed”. I was sort of attracted to this one but I think I’ve already ruled that out. But of course I have saved the best for last – these Hush Puppies. I think I am in love with these shoes. “Glove soft leather”… mmmm…. ooooo… ahhhhh… I would not hesitate to buy these shoes but they are at the very top of my price range and the others I sort of like cost somewhat less. Also, I suppose the skimmers, being plainer, would be more versatile.

I need to make a decision in the next day or two. Should I follow my cheapskate instincts or follow my heart?

A Couple of Health Thoughts

Warning: This contains a huge SPOILER for this week’s episode of of House.

Last night we watched the episode of House that aired on Monday. I have many complaints about the series in general, which are the same as or similar to some of these complaints but I loved the solution of this week’s medical mystery. It turns out that the problem was caused by the patient having been overprotected as a child. Not that I consider House to be a reliable source of health information but I’ve read in more reliable sources that being too germ-phobic can actually make one less healthy and I worry that in the future people will have much weaker constitutions. I think it’s possible that in the relatively near future people in their 60′s and 70′s might actually be healthier than people in their 20′s and 30′s. And even the people who are not germ-phobic may be harmed because the actions of the germ-phobics are creating more resistant bacteria. So please, everyone, for the good of humanity, send your kids out to play in the dirt.

I heard something extremely, hilariously odd on the news last night. It was on ABC news. (Seriously, I watch it strictly for entertainment.) Last night was their, what seems like, thrice weekly story on obesity and someone actually said, “People are not being made aware of the obesity epidemic.” (from memory; possibly not the exact wording) WTF? We are being slammed in the face with this subject constantly. How much more aware do they think we can be?

I am willing to believe that there are more overweight people now than in the past but the current movement to influence people to lose weight obviously isn’t working. So try something else! If you keep saying the same thing over and over again people will shut you out. It’s not that they are not aware; it’s that they are too aware and refuse to listen anymore. Also I think the standards are wrong. It’s too much about appearance and not actual health. Even people who are not at all unhealthy are expected to feel guilty if they don’t look like Nicole Richie.

I think most people would be a lot healthier if everyone would just shut up about health. People want to be healthy and in general I think we already know how to live healthy lives. True, a lot of people refuse to follow health advice. So what? That’s nothing new and if it’s gotten worse it’s because people are tired of hearing health advice. If you look at history realistically, it’s obvious that we are healthier now than we ever have been at any time in history. I do believe it should be easier for people to go to doctors if they want to and everyone should be encouraged to follow their own doctor’s advice not the advice of some doctor or health nut on TV. Otherwise just shut up about health.

Retro-Future Glass Art

Oooo shiny! Awesome art glass ray-guns. I’m at a loss for words. Those are approaching the ultimate in awesomeness. I wish there were good close-ups of each of them.

I googled “art glass ray guns”. I didn’t find any more pictures of these but I did find other glass ray guns, at Joe Blow Glassworks (Hah. Cute name for a glass blower) and this Ray Gun Gallery. More ray gun links here for those of you who can never get enough of looking at ray guns.

Accomplishment and Non-Accomplishment

I finished another one of my Christmas sewing projects. That’s the third one, not counting the quilt which I’m still working on but will be finished soon. I have one more planned Christmas gift project for which I already have the materials. That might be my last one. There are a couple of cold weather things I’d like to make for myself soon. But I might also have time to make more Christmas presents. It just depends on how dedicated and ambitious I can be. Right now I’m in a sewing mood so it should be easy as long as the mood lasts. (It also depends on the table I use for cutting being clear when I need it but it’s a multipurpose table (in addition to its primary purpose of being a dining table) so everyone wants to use it and leave their stuff on it.)

I’m disappointed in myself that I’m still working on that quilt. I had high ambitions when I started it. I planned to have it finished and another quilt started and almost finished by now but for some reason I lost some of my enthusiasm for it once I got started. I’m not sure why. I still love the fabric and I think it might be my best quilt so far but one or two hours a day is the most I can make myself work on it and I’ve only been working on it about three or four days a week.

The next quilt I have planned is for me. (and my Other Half, of course) I wanted to get it done by the time it gets really cold but I probably won’t finish it until the weather is too warm for it. I’m considering using wool batting. I’ve never used it before and I’d like to try it. I have some of the pieces cut but I’ve decided that one of the solid color fabrics is the wrong color. I haven’t cut that yet so I can use it for something else. Now I have to find the right color fabric. Unfortunately, when I visualize a color in my head I can rarely find that exact color in the real world. This* is close but maybe needs to be slightly darker. If the actual color is any lighter than it appears on my screen it will be too light. I could go to the fabric store in Tulsa but I hate driving all that way and then finding out they don’t have what I want, which is what usually happens but, on the other hand, I’m still not wild about buying fabric on the Internet even though I’ve done so several times and there is so much out there to tempt me.

A few months ago I had the extraordinarily high ambition of finishing five quilts by the end of 2010 but more realistically, I think I should shoot for three and even that might be pushing it.

UPDATE: Come to think of it, a fabric the exact color of this page background would be just about perfect.

Feeling Wintery


Winter study by ~charlesvinh on deviantART

Well… it’s not quite that wintery yet, and today is supposed to be nicer, but aren’t the colors in this painting lovely? Since we’re stuck with winter anyway we might as well try to find some beauty in it. The painting is by Charles Vinh. Click on the link to see more of his work. He paints a variety of different subjects – a number of military aircraft paintings, sports scenes and more. I like Lavendes. I thought about posting that one but I decided that it’s probably time to face winter.

* I just realized that Deviant Art has embedding. Yay! More lazy content.

Music Of My Youth

Continuing the Gordon Lightfoot series. I first heard In the Early Morning Rain by Elvis Presley, then, not long after, by Gordon Lightfoot. I still like both versions but I’m more used to hearing Gordon Lightfoot and I think I like his performance of it slightly better, which surprises me a little bit. It’s been maybe 30 years since I heard Elvis sing it; I remember really liking it a lot.

I didn’t know until I watched the Gordon Lightfoot video that Peter, Paul and Mary had had a hit with this. I also noticed in the Related Videos that Jerry Reed sang it also. I might listen to those later to satisfy my curiosity.

Japan Top 60

Top 60 Japanese Words and Phrases of 2009. This is interesting. It’s a good overview of what’s happening in Japan right now. Some of them are the same as some of our top words and phrases, like “change” and “DNA evidence”. Many of them are fascinatingly different. I didn’t know that Japan’s First Lady has been to Venus on a UFO. And it’s “beautiful and very green.” (Well… maybe not all that different.)

I like their “herbivorous men” better than our “metrosexual” but I can see how that would be easily turned into an insult by those who feel threatened by changing definitions of manhood. Also, I hope there’s an English translation of 1Q84.

End of the Season

November Tomatoes

I took this picture on Friday. My tomato plants always behave very oddly. (If one can use the word “behave” when talking about plants; I’m not sure.) They’re always late to start bearing, no matter what variety I buy, even when I start with fairly large plants, and I only get a few scrawny, poor quality tomatoes until about mid to late October; then I start getting loads of lovely little green tomatoes. Some of them have time to ripen but by the first freeze there are still a lot of immature green ones. This is one of the things that wakes up my inner five-year-old, who wants to stomp her feet and scream, “It’s not fair!”

I picked these two and one more. Today it’s cold and gloomy and there’s a chance of light snow in the forecast. It’s not supposed to get down to freezing though so I might get a few more tomatoes. It is very cool to get any tomatoes in November even if there are many more that won’t make it.

I still have a lot of flowers too, a few zinnias, lantana, a huge red salvia, vinca and the ever-reliable marigolds. I took this picture the first week of November. They look just about the same today. It’s like a little bit of summer sunshine has been saved until the beginning of winter.

Red and gold dwarf marigolds

Cute and Trippy

Tea light lava lamps – Little lava lamps powered by tea light candles. I’m not sure whether I like the pink or turquoise better.

You know, I was just thinking about lava lamps a few days ago, wondering what we’re going to do when there are no more incandescent bulbs and the only thing available is environmentally correct* bulbs that don’t get hot. I suppose this is one answer, if you’re willing to settle for a tiny lava lamp.

Via Random Good Stuff

( * I propose that we all start using the abbreviation “EC”, short for environmentally correct”, in place of “green”. )

Random Linkage

15 Unreal Real Places – Wow. How come you never see any of these on “Places You Must See Before You Die” lists?

Cheese or Font? – Not too difficult. A few are surprising though. (via Bifurcated Rivets)

Living Room in a PC – Cool

Southeast Asian ephemera – an interesting Flickr set

Trolls – a nicely illustrated classification of Internet trolls. I could probably think of a few more categories.

Three Wolf Moon T-shirt parodies – One NSFW. I like the cats, of course.

Black and WTF – odd and puzzling black and white photos

Crazy 1970 ad – Not so much a “How times have changed!” as a “What were they thinking?!”

It Made My Day – Odd little moments that might make your day

World’s Greatest Jobs

10 of the World’s Greatest Jobs – Strangely enough, none of them appeal to me all that much. World of Warcraft Tester actually sounds like the most fun, even though I’m not a player myself but if they paid me to do it for four hours a day I could certainly get into it. Problem is, you have to be really good at it.

Candy Tester, sounds like a great job until you really think about it. Bike rider/photographer for Google Maps sounds kind of fun. Riding around on that contraption does not. Luxury bed tester? If I wasn’t required to sleep in the daytime, maybe. Paradise Island Caretaker? I suppose I could handle that but I don’t feel like, “Oh wow, I’d love to have that job. It sounds like too much of a hassle, being away from home for six months. I guess my dream job would be anything fun or pleasant that I could do at home or very nearby and be very well-paid.

WARNING: Two of the “10 Greatest Jobs” are, ironically, NSFW.

More Twitter Blogging

I guess maybe I don’t really get Twitter. I’ve been having fun with it but recently I’ve been thinking, “I’m following too many people” even though I’m only following 16 and a lot of other people follow hundreds. Even some people I consider normal follow over 40 or more.

I guess you’re not really supposed to “keep up”; you go there frequently and maybe you’re there at the right time to catch something good. Or maybe you just “tweet” without really caring what the people you follow are “tweeting” but in that case what’s the point of following anyone?

I have decided that the problem is not so much that I’m following too many people, it’s that some of the people I follow “tweet” more often than others so when I go there I’m only seeing the more frequent “tweeters”. The really funny thing though, is that while I’ve been thinking, “I’m following too many people, I can’t keep up,” instead of going to Twitter more often to try to keep up, I’ve been going there less often.

Now I’m thinking about maybe un-following the more frequent “tweeters” and just reading their Twitter pages just like I read blogs. I guess I should look into the new “lists” feature. I’m not sure how that works and I’m not sure I want to get into it. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’m spending less time on Twitter.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention… Sometimes I miss “tweets” of people I’m following, not because I wasn’t there to see them but because they just never appeared on my home page. Why? Also, just found this: 10 Things You Need to Stop Tweeting About. Thanks. I needed some ideas.

Zero Tolerance for Spammers

Are all spammers alike? Maybe not. You might think that someone selling something like, say, violin strings, who left an almost legitimate sounding comment would be more likely to get away with it than spammers pushing certain unmentionable products. And yes, I was tempted to ignore it but nobody is named “buy violin strings”, not even as a nickname. It might help to not be so obvious. Or it might not. Clumsy attempts at subtlety are often even more annoying. Bottom line: all on-topic comments are welcome but the URL space is intended for your personal, non-commercial site.