Monthly Archives: November 2010

Random Linkage

100 Best Movie Space Ships – Haven’t looked at all of it yet; still waiting for the pictures to load but it’s space ships. Even if I disagree with the choices it’ s gotta be good. (via)

Marbled Papers – Very pretty and interesting.

More wishes – Hah! I never thought of that before. Not that anyone’s ever offered me wishes.

Space art – Awesome. More space ships. Big, screen-filling images.

4th Amendment underwear – I like the idea but something tells me that things could go badly for you if you annoy the TSA.

Weird insects – “If Dali invented insects, they’d look like these.

The Origin of Symbols – interesting

Art Garfunkel’s Library – every book that Art Garfunkel has read in the past 42 years.

Miscellany

Our Internet connection has been on and off (mostly off) for the past few days. It’s been on for more than five minutes now so I thought I’d take a chance and try to post something.

We had a nice little Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law’s house. Saturday we went to my brother-in-law’s house and watched the Arkansas vs. LSU game. It’s hard to believe that football season is almost over. I still do sort of like football but I will be glad when it’s over. I look forward to watching something besides football on Sunday and Monday nights. Although, come to think of it, there’s not anything else on Sunday night.

I finished reading Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott. I downloaded to my Kindle from Project Gutenberg. It’s an odd little book about a two dimensional universe, narrated by one of the citizens of that universe who gets a look at the three dimensional universe. At first it seems like just a silly little thing for geometry geeks but you soon realize that it’s actually about society and attitudes. The “people” in the two dimensional universe are, in some ways, very much like us.

I have started reading Moby Dick. I’m up to Chapter 6.

I’ve already done a lot of Christmas shopping, all online so far. I need to do just a little bit more and will probably brave the local stores soon. But I’m almost out of ideas and it’s getting close to panic time.

T-Shirt Lust

I have a bit of a thing for t-shirts. More than a bit, actually. If I bought even one-tenth of the t-shirts I lust after you could call me the Imelda Marcos of t-shirts. I can’t help it; they keep putting such pretty pictures on them.

I should know better than to go to Pegasus Publishing. So much temptation. But I went there anyway and after a few minutes of browsing I saw the train. Awesome! To say I love it is not adequate. I lust for it.

Of course, it didn’t end there. I found much more to lust after, like this tree and this. And here’s one that has a tree and a dragon. (Speaking of dragons, I already have this shirt.) And cats are always nice. But I have a few cat shirts already.

Elsewhere… I’ve been lusting for the gears t-shirt for a while. I think that one and the train are currently at the top of my lust list but it’s hard to measure and rank lust. I think I’d better go through my t-shirt drawer and see if I have any that I’m no longer so much in love with.

UPDATE: I almost forgot about these: I think this pretty much seals Thomas Kinkade’s reputation as a less than serious artist. But some of those are very pretty. I especially like the one with the flag.

Drool?

Last night we were driving down I-44 on our way home from Tulsa and when we passed the casino I noticed, on their flashy electronic sign, the word “Saliva” in bold, bright red. It confused me for just a second but then I noticed a future date and time below the word and realized that it must be the name of a band. And I thought, as I have so many times in the past 20 years, “The world has run out of band names.”

Excuses, Excuses…

So here’s the thing… Lately I have been more drawn to “real life” than to this Internet wonderland. I have been sewing and shopping and neglecting my blog reading and quote finding duties. As the holiday season is almost upon us things will only get worse. But I’m not quitting nor even going on hiatus. I just might be more intermittent for while, and my regular feature, Quotes From Here and There – you might not see that for a few weeks. Unless I just happen to come across something that must be quoted. You know how it is.

Not that it’s easy to stay away from the Internet, especially when I go to one of the three blogs I’m still reading daily and find stuff like this. Ooooo pretty! Thanks LeeAnn. Also found via LeeAnn and Hello Kitty Hell, this Flickr set of Hello Kitty cupcakes.

But anyway… the last few days I’ve been quilting until my fingers are sore and then keep quilting some more because I love it. I have more sewing I need to do. I’m sewing for Christmas again and just now getting started. Yikes! And there’s that jacket I’m going to make for myself but which I should put off until after I’ve done the Christmas presents but it’s getting cold and I really want that jacket now before it gets really cold and a lightweight jacket won’t be enough. Oh, what to do! Actually, not really a problem. I can finish each thing in two or three days.

I’ve already been doing a little Christmas shopping. It sort of seems too early but it’s really not. Thanksgiving is next week and not long after that everything will get kind of crazy and urgent.

Random Linkage

Unappreciated gifts – Most I can understand but hey, who wouldn’t want the “Hideous Two-Headed Thing”?

B&P Link Dump – 9 really cool and interesting links. I couldn’t pick just one.

How humans got to be smarter than Neanderthals – Ah, but are we really sure we’re smarter? Has anyone ever interviewed a Neanderthal?

Steampunk rayguns – Awesome. I like number 7 and the one in the second un-numbered photo.

Science Fiction Demotivational Posters – Hee! “Those were the droids you were looking for.”

Predictions from 1893 – Very interesting – not the usual “flying cars” kind of stuff.

A Good Start

I put the layers of the quilt together yesterday and it went very well. That part is usually extremely difficult for me. I don’t have any place to lay a large quilt flat and even if I did I probably couldn’t bear to crawl around on the floor long enough to get it done, so I use a table. I now have a gate-leg table that’s 48 inches by more than 72 inches when it’s open (I forget the exact measurement) which still isn’t big enough, obviously, but it’s bigger than the dining table and it’s the right height.

I don’t want to say that having an easy start is a “good sign” because I don’t really believe in “signs” but it is encouraging. I did a little bit of actual quilting on it. That’s the longest and most fun part. I’m hoping I can finish it relatively quickly and move on to the next one. I have lots of plans.

I also have some clothes sewing I need to get done soon. It would be easy to get caught up in the quilting and neglect that. I need to go through my “stash” and force myself to get rid of the scraps and remnants that I’m not likely to ever use and then it won’t look like I’ve got so much to do. I guess I’m a little strange that way – I don’t like keeping a huge stash. It makes me feel guilty. Besides, I only have a very small closet in which to keep my clothes, my future projects and any Christmas presents I might need to hide.

Gorecki

Henryk Gorecki died last week. (Friday?) It always makes me feel sad and a little bit guilty whenever a composer or performer I’ve heard of but am not familiar with dies. I have forever missed the opportunity to hear his work while he was still alive. But of course, it really doesn’t matter all that much. He has joined the company of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and many others and it’s never too late for discovery.

I sort of hate to post anything this gloomy on Monday but since I can’t go back in time and post it Friday I can’t think of any better time.

Reading

I finished Shadow of the Scorpion late last week. Best Neal Asher book ever! But I think I’ve said that after every one of his books that I’ve read. This one is a prequel to the other books in the Ian Cormac series. It switches back and forth between Cormac as a child and Cormac as a young soldier.

I had been reading Poe’s stories on my Kindle and I was going to go back to that and discovered that the battery was run down (Oops, forgot to turn wireless off) so I picked up another Andre Norton – Star Gate. It’s short so it shouldn’t take me long to finish that one.

For quite a while I’ve been considering re-reading Moby Dick. I did not like it at all the first time I read it. I can’t remember when that was – around thirty years ago maybe. (Yes, I started reading at the age of six months.) It seemed like there was too much about whales and whaling and not enough story but now I’m thinking I might consider that the best part. Anyway, now I can download it for free so there’s no loss if I still don’t like it. This has given me a bit of push in that direction.

A Great Weekend

I had a total veg-out Saturday. (Well, maybe not total. I did manage to do some laundry but that’s practically nothing.) It’s been weeks since I’ve watched even a whole morning of HGTV, which used to be my weekend treat. Saturday I watched TV all day and much of it was HGTV. We skipped the real estate shows and some of the reruns and switched over to the History Channel and watched a few episodes of Pawn Stars and American Restoration. Then Saturday evening we watched a couple of bad sci-fi movies.

Even better, Number Two Son vegged out with me. He’s my perfect TV watching companion because we both take things pretty much the same way – making fun of and laughing at the mistakes and ridiculous pretensions but never too cynical, never “I’m so above all this crap.” It’s been a while since we sat and watched TV together. Most of his free time he spends on his computer. My husband was out hunting all day. He’s nice to watch TV with too but he could never sit still for that long.

Sunday was a bit less of a veg-out than Saturday. There was NFL football of course. I’m not sure how I feel about football anymore. I still enjoy some of the games but I feel like a fan without a team. When I’m watching a game I usually have a favorite between the two teams who are playing but, big picture, who goes to the Superbowl, I just don’t much care this year. You know, as long as it’s not the Patriots.

I will finally finish the quilt top today (it goes so slowly) and put the layers together no later than tomorrow. Then the really fun part starts. I get to start quilting. I want to go ahead and start the next top so it will be ready when I finish this quilt but I will probably wait until after Christmas. Cutting and piecing are not my favorite parts of quilting and I tend to procrastinate until I realize, “Oh no! I’m almost done with this quilt and I don’t have another top ready.”

Quotes From Here and There

Give the fat tools, please. Give me your big, your bulky, your heavy masses yearning to generate lots of lap heat!here (I don’t know… I like thin lightweight gadgets but I am quite fond of my old-fashioned, bulky PC with its good old-fashioned keyboard and mouse.)

…I don’t really like that word “mastery”, in the same way that I don’t like the word “conquered” applied to mountains. Conquering implies that the climber has somehow subjugated the mountain, beating it into submission. Mastery implies a relationship of overlord to servant, one imposing their will on the other against an intransigent resistance.there

Famous Musical Duel

Among my many other cultural deficiencies, I have never seen Deliverance. I started to watch it on TV once but there was a problem with either the TV or the TV station, I can’t remember which, and we could only get snowy, ghostly black and white images. I’ve never had another opportunity to see it. The Deliverance jokes and references that I’m always seeing are confusing or meaningless to me.

But I fondly remember Dueling Banjos. They played it on the radio until everyone was sick of it (which, for most people didn’t take very long) I still liked it long after everyone else started complaining that they never wanted to hear it again. So I have to thank LeeAnn for digging it up at YouTube and posting it along with one of her entertaining little retail adventures. I had never seen that scene from the movie before.

Remote Whine

I hate when something trivial sets up a bad “tone” for the whole week. We had to call the cable company because we haven’t been getting all the channels we’re paying for and those we did still get had a really lousy picture. The cable guy, who, fortunately, is nothing like that famous Cable Guy, showed up on Monday, replaced the cable box/DVR and that night we watched Monday Night Football in HD and (almost) all was right with the world. Until I turned on the TV yesterday and found that we were missing some channels again and also we could not bring up the menus.

We called the cable company again and told them the problem. At the same time we requested a new remote control because the select button has been hinky for weeks but since it still worked it didn’t seem important enough to call them about it. Today the cable guy came again and brought yet another cable box/DVR and a new remote control.

So far everything is fine except that I really fracking HATE the new remote control. The buttons are tiny and too close together and all in the wrong places and it has this really difficult little switch to switch back and forth between TV and cable/DVR functions. I hate it so much I have started looking at universal remotes which is what I would have done in the first place instead of paying the cable company $10 for a replacement if only I had known.

And to top it all off, because fixing our problem involved replacing the box – twice – we missed both The Good Guys and Castle which we had recorded and intended to watch last night.

Now I’m going to be uptight all week wondering “What next?!”

Quizzes and More Quizzes

Over here I saw this Is Your Cat Plotting to Kill You Quiz, which really doesn’t make sense to me because I don’t see my cats that way at all. But of course I clicked on it anyway. (What is it about quizzes?) I think it’s slanted toward your cat trying to kill you because if your cat does any of the normal cat things it means that he is trying to kill you.

The really interesting thing though, is that if you scroll down you’ll find lots more quizzes, several of them being really weird and creepy like What Would You Taste Like to a Cannibal? It said I would taste like barbequed tofu. You hear that, cannibals? I would taste really icky. Leave me alone. And there are a lot of fun, interesting and less icky ones too. I did the color quiz and got only 53% right and I strongly disagree with it. Either my monitor is displaying colors way off (I don’t think so.) or the person who made up the quiz is colorblind.

The Mind is the First to Go

Last night we were watching Monday Night Football and I said something that, in my on mind at least, was a wise observation, a profound insight, something I had to share with the world. So I immediately decided to post it on Twitter. But it could wait until half-time. By half-time I had completely forgotten what I had said that I just had to “tweet”.

In just the past few days I’ve moved from a position of mild disdain for people who rush out and buy the latest expensive gadgets to the position of thinking I really need a smart phone so I can “share my wisdom” as soon as it occurs to me and, more importantly, have a convenient way to keep reminders to myself. I’m assuming there’s an app for that.

Of course there’s still the problem of wireless signals being spotty here where we live. If I wanted to “tweet” something I’d probably have to get in the car and drive five miles to the corner store. I could keep my Kindle handy while I’m watching TV, to “tweet” and to look stuff up on IMDB.com and such but it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to connect to the Internet with it. The first week or two after I got it I could almost always get three or four bars but lately the most I ever get is two and even then it tells me that it is “unable to connect”.

I have a real problem with the cost of smart phones and data plans though. The phones seem horribly expensive to me but you pay for those and you’re done for a couple of years. The data plan is another big bill every month and I guess some people would say this is just another sign that I’m over-the-hill but for quite a few years I’ve been increasingly annoyed – okay, honestly really pissed off – about the way people keep coming up with ways to grab another bite of our money every month.

I know, I know… we want these fancy gadgets and services so of course we have to pay for them but… well, I don’t know where I was going with this. Just the standard lament of a penny pincher I guess. The money you have after the monthly bills are paid is all you really have. The rest, you know you are getting something for it – electricity, water, the ability to surf the Internet, etc. – but it feels like you never had that money and taking on one more monthly bill feels like you’re reducing your income. Things like mortgage payments and car payments are a little different. It might be a long time but you know eventually you will “pay off” those things and you’ll still have something.

I know that’s just life but, man! – living in the future is expensive, not at all like the happy communist dreamland we saw on Star Trek. Speaking of ST, and getting back to my original topic, I’m disappointed that I never got to have a flip-phone. I think one of those with the sliding keyboard would be best for me but I’m so behind the times I still think flip-phones are seriously cool. And I’m a little disappointed that we call them “phones” instead of “communicators”. That’s what they really are you know – communicators. Except, the new ones are beyond communicators. So what are they? Tricorders? No, not quite. That’s still in the future, I think, but not too distant. Someday we will all carry around tricorders. But we will still call them phones.

Random Linkage

Android vs. Blackberry vs. iPhone – How the users of each see each other.

Fake Science – humorous “science” mini-posters.

Cell phone photos that are actually good. Really good.

Three women – Yes! I see them!

The Secret History of Rock – Everything’s a religion. It makes sense; our brains might be pre-wired for religion

Model railways – Nice!

Obscura Antiques & Oddities

Rap and drivel – Okay, fine, very clever, but I still don’t like rap.

Sci-Fi money – If only real money could be half as cool as Vader bills.

Kill Bill Cake – Ewwww!

Bacon flavored soda – Come on, you knew it had to happen and you knew which soda company would do it. I would try it. I might not be able to finish a whole bottle but I would definitely try it.

Rally to Restore Punctuality – Darn, I missed it. That’s something worth having a rally about.

More Autumn Color

In this picture, taken November 3rd, you can see that we still have some green. There are a lot of small elms and a few other species that still have green leaves.

Trail through the woods, November

And here’s a red oak leaf, back-lighted by the sun. This is on a very young tree, no more than six feet tall.

Red Oak Leaf

Most of the oak leaves are brown now but we have one red oak that, strangely, is still about half green. Like a lot of the oaks it is skipping the red phase and turning directly from green to brown.