Monthly Archives: October 2010

Quotes From Here and There

Summer is ended. I don’t care that the calendar says it ended back in September, it was still in the mid-eighties last week, and that, friends, is summer.here

I have now come to the conclusion that internet programmers, web designers and social network engineers with degrees, should all have their diplomas revoked.there

Its harmonious asymmetry made me think of the traditional Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, particularly one of my favorite books: Hideyuke Oka’s How To Wrap Five Eggs (1965). How curious then to find that the this house has a nickname: ‘The House of Eggs.’here

No one actually cares enough about the stupid parts of the Bible to set them to music.there

Missing Days

It’s Friday Already? Really? Since it’s Friday I need to do the Friday stuff but I’m hesitating because it really doesn’t feel like Friday at all. I have only two quotes collected so far. I don’t know yet if I’ll just post those two or look around for more.

On Tuesday and Wednesday my husband and I went to one of those retirement planning seminars. He got pushed into it and I got dragged to it. We did learn something though. We learned that if I immediately get a job that pays significantly more than anything I’m actually qualified for and if the husband keeps working and if we cancel cable, Internet and cell phone services and generally stop buying anything that’s not absolutely necessary we might be able to retire around the time we’re 80 years old. Okay, it’s probably not quite that bad, but close. All the financial planning advice I’ve ever seen seems to be intended for the wealthy and near wealthy and I always think, “Hey, what about us ordinary people? What are we supposed to do?”

But anyway, that’s what happened to my week. Two days gone. It wasn’t a total loss; we did learn one or two useful things and got a couple of very good free meals. The problem with seminars though, is that they take information that could easily be conveyed to an intelligent person in two or three hours and stretch it out into two days. The lady conducting the seminar did manage to make it entertaining so I wasn’t as bored as I expected to be. It wasn’t bad, really, it’s just that… wow, two days gone and it’s Friday already!

I have to catch up on things. Yesterday I went to the store and did some laundry. Today I need to do more laundry, some ironing and some general cleaning and I want to do some sewing, some reading and of course some Internet surfing.

I’m obsessing over shoes again. Or maybe I should say “still”. You know, when most women obsess over shoes they obsess over pretty heels but I am constantly obsessing over comfort. Winter house slippers are all made with insulation and fleecy lining, as if you were going to wear them on a ten mile hike in the snow. Either that or they don’t cover the whole foot. Doesn’t anyone know the meaning of moderation? So I’ve decided to just wear shoes. Yes, shoes. In the house. I know… shocking. But what shoes? Lately I’ve been wearing a pair of Crocs-like sandals but with an open toe and – put down your coffee – I’ve been wearing them with socks! They’re very comfy at first but after a little while they start to bother me because they’re too stiff and they hurt the tops of my feet a little bit. So I’m thinking maybe what I need is a pair of Birkenstocks to wear around the house this winter – yes, with socks. Don’t worry, I’m not quite ready to go so far as wearing socks with sandals in public yet.

Yesterday I wore a pair of clogs that I bought from L. L. Bean several years ago and managed to wear them all day. Mostly they’re very comfortable but at the end of the day (I mean that literally) they were hurting the tops of my feet a little bit. That’s often a problem for me – shoes hurt the tops of my feet and if I get a style of shoe that doesn’t cover my instep they either squeeze my toes or they won’t stay on my feet. Even the little blue stretchy slippers I found in my closet recently start to feel too tight on my toes after maybe half an hour.

But I really don’t want to spend more money on shoes. (especially since they probably won’t solve my problems) But speaking of spending money… Even though it’s October I’ve started thinking about Christmas shopping and even doing a tiny bit. It’s not too early if you’re ordering stuff and I really like ordering stuff. It’s way better than sliding across icy parking lots then weaving through dense crowds in the stores only to not find what you really wanted.

But before Christmas there’s Halloween and I forgot to buy the candy. We never, ever, get trick-or-treaters but I always buy a little candy “just in case.”

Music For Everyone

Here’s a list of music lists. I haven’t looked at all of them yet but particularly interesting to me are 10 Most Bizarre Music Genres and Top 10 Ridiculous Music Genres.

Some are more bizarre and ridiculous than others but what I think is interesting is that there are so many different kinds of music that most people have never even heard of. Most people I know are aware of maybe half a dozen different genres and assume that everyone they meet listens to one of only three of those. And in these parts it’s more often one of only two. Classical is what old people in New York listen to. Similarly, the few other genres they’re aware of are only listened to by strange people in far away places.

But really there is so much. Some of it wouldn’t even sound like music to most people, and some sounds pretty tame, but I think it’s great that there are people out there trying to be different, still rebelling culturally just as rock and roll, now mainstream, was once considered rebellious.

Full disclosure: We recently bought a Flogging Molly CD. To me, all but two or three of the songs on it sound like drunken Irishmen crying in the middle of a hurricane hitting a musical instrument factory but I do really like this song, which we first heard on an episode of Stargate: Universe last season.

*edited*

Happier

Found this the other day, can’t remember where: 100 Blog Posts That Will Make You Happier. Right away it kinda had the opposite effect – it made me just a tiny bit less happy because I thought: “100 Blog posts! I’ll never have time to read all of those.”

But, you know… I don’t have to. We can just pick happy posts at random. Let’s scroll about halfway down and what do we have here? Cute! Let’s try Top 10 Cutest Zoo Born Cats. Yes, it works. That definitely makes me happy. (#1 and #3 are my favorites.)

Weird #*&%ing Spam

In my WordPress Dashboard, in the list of recent comments, it lists a comment that is obviously spam but, strangely, the comment does not exist. I can go to the post that it’s supposed to be on and it’s not there. I go to the master list of comments to delete it (which is what I did first) and it’s not there. I have no idea how to get this non-existent comment out of the list of recent comments. I suppose it will disappear when I get enough additional comments but it bugs me. Unless I delete it I will always have the feeling that it’s still there somewhere.

New “Grandog”

My son and daughter-in-law have a new puppy. I got to meet her Friday evening. As I’ve said before I’m not really a dog person myself so I don’t have much to say. She’s cute, like all puppies; also friendly and playful but not especially hyper. She seems to get along well with their older dog. So just go… look… say “awwwww”.

A Remembered Favorite

I hadn’t thought about Cecile Chaminade’s Piano Trio in G minor for several years. Earlier this week when I pulled it out and listened to it. It’s funny how favorites can slip off your play-list. I could only find the second movement on YouTube so I’m going to send you here to listen to it because the 1st movement is the one I really love.

Warning: that player is sort of hinky. The first time I tried it the famous Concertino for flute started playing. So I tried again and got the right thing. And then as soon as it finished the Concertino started playing again. They really want you to listen to that. So anyway… good luck. I hope you enjoy it, whatever you get.

Quotes From Here and There

I hope when I’m old and hobbitty I have some semi-flinch-inspiring obsession to make the young’uns gak a little. It’s the right thing for our elders to do.here

It’s not that I exactly forgot, but when it mattered yes, I did, unmistakably, unforgivably, but overall, no, I didn’t forget, I remembered, the day before, and during, and after for a few days up to and including today ten days later.there (Yeah, I know how that is.)

Why am I telling you all this? Because in lieu of having somebody kiss it better, or stick a hello-kitty band-aid on it, I need to garner a large dose of sympathy from the internet.here

This is totally insane, and totally great.there

Quilting, Sewing, Etc.

Finally, after nearly a year, I finished The Compromise Quilt yesterday. Here it is on the bed. It’s hard to show all of it because we have a tiny, junky bedroom and I don’t have a good place to hang large quilts to show them off either.

Quilt, pinks and wildlife

I couldn’t wait to sleep under it even though I was afraid it might be too warm for our current weather (It has wool batting and flannel backing.) but it was perfect. It’s been in the low 50′s most nights and we’ve been sleeping with the window open. The quilt I’ve had on the bed for the last few weeks (not one I made) has a cotton batting. The new quilt feels nicer. The wool is, surprisingly, more breathable so, although it is very warm it doesn’t make me feel clammy.

I am disappointed with myself that I took so long to finish it. I sort of lost some of my enthusiasm for it along the way. I ended up wishing I had done it differently somehow. Same idea – wildlife prints with pink – but a different pattern, maybe narrower sashing in just one shade of pink. It was a very impulsive quilt and I didn’t take a lot of time to think about it. But I think it turned out okay and I don’t have any big regrets.

I’ve already started the top for my next quilt. I’ve cut more than half the pieces and sewn together some of the blocks. It will be a gift for Christmas 2011 so I need to keep the details a secret just in case a certain person is lurking. I have several more gift quilts I want to make and hope to get three done by December 2011 – and I feel like I should be able to do even more – but based on my record so far I’ll be doing pretty good if I manage to finish two.

Sewing clothes – I’m almost finished with another flannel shirt. The weather has been so warm lately I don’t know when I will get to wear it for longer than an hour so in the morning. Right now I don’t know if I’ll start another garment or focus on quilting for while. I’m leaning toward quilting. The enthusiasm of starting a new project, you know.

I need to make time for a little fall cleaning too. Perhaps sacrifice some of the old to make room for the new, but mostly just straightening and organizing, I think. Of course that’s always easier when you have less to straighten and organize.

Random Linkage

Pop Cakes – Nice! And I bet they’re delicious too.

Another seriously weird shoe. There are a lot of other interesting and fun things at Book of Joe, a blog that’s new to me.

Art Deco trains – Beautiful!

Sam Van Olffen – a beautiful art blog, lots of steampunkish images

Crowlspace – A great science blog, mainly focused on space travel.

Frog or horse? – Illusion art. Neat.

Hah! – Suggests a good way to mess with excessively germ-phobic people.

666 teapot – Creepy even without the 666, which doesn’t particularly creep me out.

A list of movie lists – Lots of fun and interesting stuff: Star Wars facts, inappropriate costumes and more.

13 Best Geek Halloween Costumes and 15 Creepy Halloween Party Foods – mmmmm braaaains…

Rainbow bacon – hmmmm… There’s no end to the things they can do with bacon I guess.

Foodiggity – mmmmm, more interesting food

For gadget show-offs

12 Weirdest Wedding Cakes – including several science fiction themed cakes

Face music

Still Cool After All These Years

After watching several episodes of the new CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, I must reluctantly admit that, aside from William Shatner, it is nothing special – an entirely typical “cranky old guy annoys his adult offspring” type of sitcom.* But none of those other typical sitcoms have William Shatner singing I’m Too Sexy. (Darn! Embedding disabled.)

.

* One other thing about the show that is original, and refreshing, is that the supporting cast includes a realistic married couple. (The older son and daughter-in-law) They seem to totally get each other and there’s little or no bickering. In one episode she finds him at his father’s house and when he asks her how she knew he was there she tells him she put an app on his phone. But instead of the usual, “What?! You’re tracking me?!” scene he just says “Oh!” and looks at his phone, apparently accepting it as a good thing.

Art for Halloween

Monster gallery – fifty images. There are a number of details from Hieronymous Bosch paintings that make me want to look at those paintings again because I don’t remember some things from paintings I know I’ve looked at. So, here we go… more Bosch. Unfortunately those are not zoomable. Here are more paintings. Some of these include links to higher resolution images. Very interesting.

Movie Ratings and Recommendations

Criticker – Rate movies and get recommendations for other movies you might like. I rated a whole bunch of movies and didn’t get any recommendations, just more movies to rate (maybe those are the recommendations?) so I think you have to register for it to work right. Sort of fun anyway though. There’s something about rating stuff. It makes you feel like someone might be listening to you, even though you know they’re not.

Oh Yuck!

A little while ago I looked out the back door and saw that my crazy calico was feasting on a freshly killed squirrel. On the doormat right outside the back door.

Now maybe I’m the crazy one, demanding that a cat follow my rules, but I’m rather stubborn about such things. Messy feline feasting within inches of the entrance to my house is strictly forbidden. So I grabbed the edges of the doormat and flipped Kes’s lunch out into the yard. Then I grabbed her and stroked her and told her what a good kitty she is (Yes, I lie) and set her down beside her kill. But she is apparently incapable of eating fresh meat anywhere farther than six inches away from the back door. Actually, she would prefer to eat it inside the house but since she does not have hands and therefore cannot open the door herself she must be as close to the entrance to the house as possible.

So now there is a headless squirrel in my back yard which its killer refuses to touch anymore. I suppose such things should be obvious but, being a mere human, I don’t get it and stubbornly insist on having my own way.

UPDATE: It’s about four hours later and she has decided that the squirrel is too good to waste no matter where she is forced to have her meal.

Cars and Ruins

Saturday we went to the Fall Festival at Robbers Cave State Park. We had been planning this for several weeks and I had visions of wearing one of my colorful new flannel shirts and walking around enjoying the cool fall weather and the lovely fall colors but it was almost like summer – over 80°F and barely a hint of turning leaves.

It was a nice little event. There was a craft fair with all the usual kinds of stuff. There was an older couple selling tie dye clothing and I bought a hat. I probably wouldn’t have bought anything but the guy was so friendly I hated to disappoint him. And I do like the hat. I should have asked someone to take a picture of me wearing it so I could show off but my guys were pretty busy yesterday.

There was also a big classic car show, which was the main attraction for us. Photographing was a little bit difficult because most of the cars were lined up very close to each other, almost like in a typical parking lot, and they were always surrounded by people but I did manage to get a lot of pictures anyway.

I like this hood ornament.

Hood Ornament

If I was a serious car person I would know what model car this is and would have also taken a picture of the whole car but this is all I got. I didn’t notice the reflections until after I uploaded the picture and looked at it on my PC.

There were so many beautiful cars it’s hard to decide what else to share so, when in doubt, go for the pink one.

Pink antique car

* * *

Beside a trail in the park we saw this interesting structure.

Ruin, Robbers' Cave State Park, OK

And inside…

Old generator, Robbers' Cave State Park, OK

OMG Shoes

I’m embarrassed to be linking to Kobi Levi Footwear but sometimes you see something that you just have to point to and say, “OMG! Look at that!” no matter how awful it is. Warning: the most recent shoes on the site are NSFW. I don’t mean only that you shouldn’t wear them to work but that if you are at work don’t click on that link because you really don’t want to be caught looking at the pictures of those shoes.

Some of the shoes are not so bad (though they’re all weird) a few are kinda cute and clever. Like the dog shoes. I wouldn’t wear them but I wouldn’t think badly of you if you did. And I actually think I might be willing to be caught wearing the Two-gether shoes (scroll down past the chewing gum) and that worries me a little bit, considering some of the other shoes this guy has designed. I keep looking at them, trying to see if I’m missing something.

Via Dustbury

Quotes From Here and There

As for vegans and vegetarians–are they not speciesist, too? They don’t eat anything living except plants. The poor carrot is a species, a living thing. It may not have the sort of awareness that even a sea slug possesses, but it’s still alive. So why single it out to be eaten?here

“Basically what a comparative sees is that all belief systems are relative to their place in time and that none of them are completely true. And that they’re largely functional. They work for people. They serve certain needs, certain social needs and emotional needs. But they’re not literally true like a mathematical statement or something.”there

The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant, next to the power of a cake.here

I just have to say it’s bracing and refreshing to see an ad like this, because it’s just genuinely alien by this point in history.there

It’s absurd really how the immigration debate has been commandeered by people who have messaged this issue as though “brown” is only Mexican, and “the border” is the only way people cross into the U.S.here

Spare a moment’s thought for a big-hearted man whose death was unfairly mocked by people trawling for an easy laugh.there

Definitions of Coolness

Is steampunk over? The great Lileks thinks so. I used to like him.

In his “Bleat” (which I did not read in its entirety) Lileks talks about pop cultural things that are recycled or “rebooted” over and over again and says we need some new things. I agree with that but I do not think steampunk is in that category.

According to Mitchell though (the first link) steampunk might be approaching the point of being “no longer cool because too many people like it.” That might be true and if so it’s perfectly okay with me. I have no interest in the kind of “cool” that requires extreme exclusivity. What good is coolness if it can’t be enjoyed by everyone?

Politics! Politics! Politics! *

* Imagine the title in the voice of Mel Brooks as the Stand-up Philosopher in The History of the World Part I. Watch it (8:36)

Did you watch it? Okay. Now that we’re in the right frame of mind…

I’m going to make a prediction. I predict that Mary Fallin will be the next governor of Oklahoma. Those of you who live in Oklahoma know, of course, that I cannot claim any special talent for predicting the future. This is an easy one. There’s a commercial that has been running every night during the local news that says Jari Askins is “too liberal for Oklahoma” and that she is (Gasp! Horrors!) “just like Barak Obama.” That’s all it takes in this state. Whoever shouts “Liberal!” the loudest wins.

* * *

Oklahoma’s State Question 744 has been getting a lot of attention. It would require the state legislature to fund education at the average spent in surrounding states. I am about 98% certain that I oppose it. While I think spending more on education is a good idea, money does not necessarily guarantee better education. The measure seems incomplete somehow. Where will the money come from? One pro-744 ad says we can fund it by reducing the amount of money that goes to “special interest groups” but the Question itself does not require that and I have noticed that no matter what anyone promises, “special interest groups” always get their money first. (In fact, “special interest groups” is probably just shorthand for “groups I’m not a member of”.) It is also rather vague on how the extra money is to be spent and it does not include any requirements that directly affect the quality of education.

On the other hand, I have to say that I really hate the anti-744 commercials and if I was a knee-jerk kind of voter those would make me vote for it. I am an adult. Obviously. I don’t appreciate being lectured at and told “The answer is always no,” in that smug, superior tone.

* * *

Christine O’Donnell – It would be too easy to make fun of this woman and her supporters. A republican candidate, who “dabbled in witchcraft”? Oh the hypocrisy! I sort of expected her to be this year’s Sarah Palin but the media seems to have moved on. We still hear about her but the coverage has been surprisingly non-circus-like. That’s probably because she’s behind in the polls. If she had a better chance of winning they would be all over it.

I don’t think the media really gets conservative voters. Or maybe they just don’t want to get the average voters on either side. The wackos are more entertaining. I’m not really a conservative but I think I understand conservatives and the appeal of the Tea Party. Now I’m talking about average, everyday folks, not the sign carrying lunatics they show on TV.

What most conservatives want is lower taxes and less government interference in our lives. Most believe in God but religion is more of a habit than a conviction. I could definitely get on board with the lower taxes and less government thing if that was as far as it went. Most people who are smart enough to get elected though, are smart enough to realize that things are never as simple as we would like for them to be, or if not, they soon find out. But the average voter does not care that things are not that simple. They want what they want and when the people they elect fail to make it happen they feel betrayed. Thus we have the Tea Party.

Republicans talk about lower taxes but the two driving issues in every election are anti-abortion and anti-gay but these are not real conservatism. It is interfering in people’s private lives which is the opposite of conservatism. When left alone most people, including conservatives, are surprisingly tolerant and are willing to look the other way – to live and let live – when things they don’t like are going on but it is easy to manipulate the strength of opinion on these issues and whip up more opposition than actually exists. And of course Liberals do their part in creating stronger opposition to their own pet issues. Simple tolerance is not enough.

* * *

I’ve been seeing some of these Sorry yet? bumper stickers. I have to say, no, I’m not sorry. But then I never took all that “Hope and Change” hoopla as anything more than campaign hype. He’s just another president, not that different from most of the others. He’s certainly not a great president, merely average-good. Like most people, I always hope for great but, unlike most people, I’m relieved when we get merely average instead of really bad.

I was in favor of health care reform. I’m not sure if I’m going to like the health care reform that we actually got but I’m going to wait and see. I think some kind of health care reform was badly needed and I think Obama did the right thing to tackle it head on. However, politically, I think he might have made a mistake taking it on in his first term. It might have been better if he had made an all out effort on the economy and job creation and saved health care for early in his second term. There is no guarantee, of course, that he will even have a second term but I think it would have been more likely if he had done more to show people that the economy is his top issue. The people who hate him would still hate him no matter what but he might have kept more of the moderates on his side. I don’t know though… He would have alienated his supporters who were counting on health care reform. It’s not easy being President.

Oklahoma’s State Question 756 is an apparent attempt to “opt out” of the federal health care system but it cannot be anything more than just for show. I expect that this bit of stupidity will pass and I really hope someone will sue the State of Oklahoma over it immediately.

I’ve said this before – I like Oklahoma. I like my little piece of it and I like that, on a personal level, people generally tend to live and let live. But there are some things about Oklahoma that I hate and the big one is the knee-jerk anti-liberalism. There are, in fact, Liberals in Oklahoma. About a third of voters in this state voted for Obama but most Oklahoma liberals are afraid to speak out. What liberalism there is in Oklahoma is rather cowardly and that disappoints me because it seems to me that we have the potential to lead the way in reasonable, non-wacko liberalism.

My First Earthquake

We had an earthquake in Oklahoma this morning. The epicenter was near Norman but I actually felt it here in NE OK. There wasn’t any shaking; I just felt something – I don’t know how to describe it exactly – and then the stainless steel kitchen utensils that I have hanging on the wall kept jingling for fifteen seconds or longer. I wasn’t sure what it was until I looked up the news but I immediately thought, “Was that an earthquake? Nah, couldn’t be.”

Don’t Say This

Word Fails – 25 No-No Words and Expressions: Use These Word Fails and Expect No Respect. This list contains some of my worst pet peeves, some complaints I disagree with (with which I disagree?) and some that I hadn’t noticed.

“You’ve got another thing coming” instead of “you’ve got another think coming” – I never liked that expression anyway and getting it wrong does not help.

“Mischevious” (4 syllables) instead of “mischievous” (3 syllables) – I have been guilty of this one but I know it’s wrong and I try to remember to say it right.

“Euphemisms way too close to the profanity they’re replacing” – I actually see nothing wrong with this one and I will keep on saying “frickin’, or “frackin’, when the need arises. If you’re using a substitute cuss word you usually want people to know what you really mean. Of course there are times when it is necessary to use restraint.

“Disorientated” instead of “disoriented” – Why do people think some words need extra syllables?

“Hunerd” instead of “hundred” – This goes along with the whole hick talk thing that I hear constantly and this particular word, for me, usually does not stand out a lot from all the other mispronounced words.

“Begs the question” – Usually this is a meaningless phrase and I tend to ignore it. Now I’m tempted, next time I hear it, to ask, “Begs what question?”

“Supposebly” instead of “supposedly” – This is horrible! Just stop it!

“Bling” – I used to hate this word but I’m getting used to it. I’ve even used it. But I hate that I’m getting used to it.

“I could care less” – Just silly.

“OMG” and “LOL” – fine for texting and Tweeting but don’t say them!

“Simular” instead of “similar” – Same as “supposebly”. It’s horrible!

“Chomping at the bit” – I didn’t even realize this one was wrong. It’s not something I say though.

To be fair, I think people usually do not realize when they are saying something the wrong way. Either they are just saying it the way they’ve always heard it or they hear it wrong. I think that just as there are people who are “math challenged” there must be people who are “language challenged”. Their brains simply aren’t very good at processing language. The problem is, most people don’t mind if you correct their math but correct someone’s speech or writing and they act like you have committed the most heinous of social crimes. But for those of us who are aware of these kinds of errors it is almost irresistible. Mispronounced and misused words are worse than fingernails on a chalkboard and we can’t help that.

Personally, I am somewhere in the middle. I am painfully aware of some of the errors other people make but I’m sure I make many that drive better educated people crazy.