Monthly Archives: August 2011

And I’m Humble Too

John Scalzi on self description:

For no particular reason, I thought of an observation that lexicographer (and old college pal) Erin McKean had about the word “classy,” the gist of which was that if someone used the word to describe themselves, it was often quite obvious that they were in fact the opposite.

[...]

I’ve often found that the adjectives people use to describe themselves exist on a spectrum with “aspirational” on one end and “delusional” on the other, with otherwise very little correlation to who they actually are:

While this is often true, especially in the case of vague, hard to define qualities like “classy”, I cannot entirely agree with that. Basically, it means that any time someone says something positive about themselves they are lying or delusional. Of course, it’s a good idea to avoid talking about oneself too much; it almost always makes a bad impression, but still, it bothers me that I can’t ever say anything about myself without someone automatically assuming it’s not true. (Also, does the “rule” only apply in face-to-face conversation or does it include blogging?)

I found that link in this links post at A Dress A Day, which also has several great dress related links and pictures.

Summer’s End

August is almost over. I know that makes some people happy but it makes me just a wee bit sad. I like August. My first child was born in August which would be enough reason for a sentimental fondness for this month, although, in recent years his birthday is another reminder of how old I am.

It seems to me that in August the world decides to slow down and relax a little bit. I’m sure it’s only an illusion. Most people are still working and rushing about just as they do the rest of the year and some people, teachers and the parents of school-age children, are busier than ever getting ready for school. So I know it’s only me but somehow August just feels more relaxed and serene. I love the warmth and ease of summer, the not having to fumble around with jackets and clunky footwear.

When I was a kid school didn’t start until the day after Labor Day. August was the last month of summer. We could see the end in sight and that made those shortening August days all that much sweeter. I suppose I’ve carried much of that feeling into adulthood because I still like August and still hate to see it ending.

I am still in summer sewing mode. I’m full of summer ideas but I need to start thinking about fall sewing and getting back to that half-finished jacket that I abandoned last spring. But I keep thinking that there are weeks more of warm weather and I am inclined to rush to get a few more summer garments finished so I can wear them this year.

And then there’s quilting. I have probably three more weeks of work on the quilt that I was absolutely going to finish by the end of August. I feel like I need to throw myself into quilting and get it done fast but at the same time, realizing that I’m not going to have time to finish a third quilt this year like I had originally planned, I feel like there’s no point in hurrying.

Gardening was abandoned early this year. The surprise lilies have ended their brief show. Only a few red salvia are feebly coming back to life with a few undersized blooms. But at least a couple of light rains have brought back a little bit of green and even a few tiny wildflowers.

And so, August ends, as usual, with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with just a small, quiet sigh.

It happened again

Every time we get a new computer and have to move all our stuff over to it, or I lose my bookmarks and the husband has to restore them, I end up with bookmarks from like five years ago instead of the most recent ones. But, strangely enough, this time I don’t care. I always keep too many bookmarks anyway and this time I can’t think of anything I’ve lost that I’m all broken up about. So I’m just going to delete all these and start over. It’ll feel good. But I can’t help wondering why this happens. Stuff that I deleted years ago and assumed was long gone is back again somehow and yet, if there was something I really needed that disappeared it would probably be gone forever. Computers are weird.

UPDATE: Uh oh. I remembered some stuff I had bookmarked that I really do need. Crap! Oh well. Maybe I’ll get them back five years from now when we get our next new computer.

Flashlight Lust

I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to flashlights but for some reason I am attracted to them. I always want to look at them in the stores and in catalogs. I have three (and two of them I have because two people in my family both gave me a flashlight for Christmas one year) and I don’t really need one all that often but I’m always looking at flashlights. I keep looking for smaller and brighter.

This past weekend Number One Son showed me his new, very impressive, Redline flashlight. It was fairly small, very bright and had some cool features that would probably be totally useless to me – focusing and strobe. But anyway, I’m lusting after that flashlight for the brightness. I wonder if they make a smaller model that’s almost as bright. Maybe one that comes in pink… Must do some searching…

New vs. Comfortable

We have a new PC. Yaaayyy! With Windows 7. yay. It’s pretty but I always hate having to change operating systems at first. It’s like having to learn to drive all over again. Where is all the old familiar stuff and what the hell was the point of moving or changing it and what is all this new stuff? But it’s not bad, really.

I woke up to rain this morning. That was a nice surprise but it does mean that I don’t get to go for a walk this morning, which I really feel like I need to do after eating too much this weekend, as I almost always do on weekends.

Proud Girly Women

You’ve probably already seen this. I’m late to the party as usual but I just can’t turn away. Peg Aloi at the Huffington Post is distressed because women are blogging about girly things like knitting and baking cupcakes. (Found here) She begins, “Women are girly. Again.” No, sweetie, women are girly, still. It’s just that now we have the Internet. Like a lot of other people who used to keep quiet about interests that they were afraid were unpopular or weird, women who enjoy knitting, quilting, baking and all that other creepy domestic stuff are finding each other online and realizing that we are not alone.

You know, I always thought, even when I was just a teenager back in the 70’s, that the feminist movement was taking off in the wrong direction. Not that we didn’t need a movement. Contrary to the claims of feminists most women of earlier times did not feel oppressed but equality, freedom, more choices – yes, we needed that. But if we have to give up all things feminine to get that aren’t we really saying that the feminine is naturally inferior to the masculine? 20th century feminism said, “We must give up all the girly stuff to achieve equality and respect.” 21st century feminism should say, “We are equal no matter how we choose to live our lives. Respect us for what we are.”

Ms. Aloi talks a lot of about toughness and awesomeness while ignoring all the truly tough and awesome women out there. Most of her examples of what she considers female role models are fictional. She finds the “weird retro world of cooking, heirloom tomatoes and Jane Austen,” “smug and smothering” and asks “Where’s the fun?” That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. Why do you think we’re doing all these things? Because it’s fun, silly! And if you don’t think it’s fun that’s fine. Nobody’s making you cook or knit or anything else. Why should what someone else chooses to do feel “smothering”? And if it’s smug, so what? Traditionally feminine women have been putting up with feminist smugness for decades. And by the way, some of us think we are awesome because we do this “weird retro stuff”.

I know there are women and girls who are genuinely not interested in any of the traditionally female activities and that’s perfectly fine if that is based on your true feelings and you’re not just acting that way “for the cause.” Wasn’t “the cause” originally about giving women more choices? So why do you have a problem with what some women choose? It’s their choice, and this might be hard to understand but it really has nothing to do with you, Peg. Just go your own way, mind your own business, and leave us girly women alone. We’re enjoying our lives.

Oklahoma Home Security System

Number One Son sent this to me as “Redneck Home Security System” but I claim it for Oklahoma.

1. Buy a pair of size 14-16 work boots.
2. Put them on front porch with a copy of Guns & Ammo.
3. Put some giant dog dishes next to boots & magazines.
4. Leave note on your door: “Bubba: Me & Bertha went for more ammo & beer. Back soon. Don’t mess with the pit bulls; they messed the mailman up bad this morning. I don’t think Killer took part; hard to tell from all the blood. I locked all four of ‘em in the house. Better wait outside. Be right back. ~Cooter

Okay… since I’ve started out this morning trashing my state’s reputation it seems like a good time to mention my new guilty pleasure – Animal Planet’s Hillbilly Handfishing. We watched two episodes Sunday night. You probably already know about noodling* and you might know that Oklahoma is one of the few states where it’s legal but did you know that noodling vacations are the latest craze?

Well, maybe not exactly a “craze”. Yet. This guy in southern Oklahoma hosts six guests at a time for a week of noodling. People come from all over the country to do it, even from places where you would think everyone would know better. One of the episodes I watched had two cops from Boston and two ladies from Atlanta. The latter looked way too city-girl for this dubious redneck sport but they were the ones who really got into it. It took the guys from Boston a little longer but they did okay. The only person who got freaked out about it was a young woman from Oklahoma City. She and her husband were newlyweds and he talked her into it. It would be interesting to see how that couple is doing in ten years.

Anyway, what is it about all this redneck stuff that’s so fascinating? It’s all over cable. That’s probably just because rednecks work cheap and they love to show off. And we keep watching. Well… at least I do. Until there’s something good on Siffy. (a.k.a SyFy)

*Interestingly. Noodling seems to be growing in popularity. Several years ago when Mike Rowe went noodling for an episode of Dirty Jobs it was legal in only three states. Now, according to Wikipedia, it’s legal in eleven states. Could it be that this is all Mike’s fault?

Slow

For the second day this week we have exceeded our ISP’s “download allowance”. We are not prevented from accessing the Internet; it’s just very very slow and some websites won’t load at all – sort of like being on dial-up again. So there’s not much I can do online right now other than sit here and complain. And since I have enough to do in realspace I won’t be doing much of that.

It’s funny how Internet access has become almost a necessity, like electricity. We know we can live without it because people lived without it for thousands of years but it’s really, seriously inconvenient. I have gotten used to being able to look stuff up any time I want to. Everything from shopping to reading the news to looking up names of actors I recognize but can’t place to checking obscure facts to recipes and on and on. Life without the Internet or with limited access is primitive. I know some people would say I’m “addicted”. Okay, so I’m addicted. I’m also addicted to electricity and running water.

This slow-down shouldn’t last long though. HughesNet apparently calculates bandwidth by the day instead of by the month so we don’t have to wait until September to be back to normal like we would have on Wildblue. As soon as we’re back up to normal speed I will definitely make up for lost time.

Pretty Survivors

Surprise lilies

Around here these are called Surprise Lilies. They might have a different name in other parts of the world. They come up in the spring but after a few weeks the foliage dies back without blooming. Then in August straight, leafless stems come up and these lovely pink blooms appear seemingly overnight. If they are growing with other plants they might go unnoticed until they bloom, thus the surprise.

This year though, I was watching for them so I was not surprised. They are the only flowers I have blooming and I’ve seen them in other yards where they are the only blooms – the only garden plants to survive both last winter’s record cold and this summer’s heat wave.

This ‘n’ That

My new walking shoes came yesterday so of course it rained off and on all day and it’s threatening rain this morning so I’m going to wait to test them out on a real walk but I’ve been wearing them around the house and I love them. They’re a perfect fit and very comfy.

This vanilla ice cream taste test had the result I would have expected: Blue Bell Natural Vanilla Bean is the best. That stuff is heavenly. It’s the food of the gods. It’s… it’s… indescribable. And oh man it’s been a long time since I’ve had any. I’ve been trying to be “good”.

Speaking of vanilla, last night’s episode of Pati’s Mexican Table was all about that flavoring, which is originally from Mexico. Everything looked interesting. I don’t like shrimp though, and I don’t drink alcoholic beverages so there’s two of the three recipes that I would have to modify if I tried them. I’m not sure the drink would work as a non-alcoholic beverage. Without the alcohol you’re left with milk, condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Somehow that sounds both tempting and scary.

The most and least trustworthy celebrities – No real surprises there. I’m not sure why anyone would trust any of them more than the others in the context they’re talking about – advertising. They’re being paid to endorse products, probably just reciting what’s on a script written by someone else.

Kjerstin Gruys is trying to go an entire year without looking at herself in a mirror. Um…. okay.

Teens and social networking – [yawn] Same old same old. Every generation of teenagers thinks they’re different just because they have a few toys to play with that their parents didn’t have.

Seven Myths About Caffeine – I’ve seen all of these in separate articles but I like that they’ve put it all together here. Caffeine is not all that bad for you; in fact, a little bit might be good for you. For a while I tried to cut down on caffeine and one thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t really feel less alert but I do a lot more bone-headed things (like looking in the pantry for milk or looking in the refrigerator for aluminum foil) when I’ve had little or no caffeine. Still, we’ve been told so often that it’s bad, most of us still think of it as a vice and I wonder if we cling to that partly because we want to believe we’re doing something bad.

Now, could someone please discover that premium ice cream is actually good for us?

Quotes From Here and There

…I’ve never once seen a photo of Michele Bachmann that doesn’t make me think, “Wow, I really hope the docs from the loony bin find her soon.”here

…I tend to hold the label of “geek” in fairly high esteem – to me, it means it’s someone who cares about something, who is interested in learning about it, and who doesn’t mind if their interests are considered maybe a little odd or non-mainstream.there (Exactly! And whenever I hear someone use it in a less flattering sense it always confuses me a little bit.)

“And again, when he prayed he asked simply for good gifts, “for the gods know best what things are good.” To pray for gold or silver or sovereignty or any other such thing, was just like praying for a gamble or a fight or anything of which the result is obviously uncertain.”here

If we did things right in 20-30 years we could be flying the solar system as easily as we fly around the world today and have lifespans and health that are radically better.there

Dreams and Stuff

I had a very cool dream last night. (Steph shared one of her dreams earlier this week and I didn’t expect when I was commenting yesterday that I would be telling one of my own the very next day.) My dream was about an old fashioned corner store. It was in a downtown, old brick building with the door facing the corner and inside it had wood floors. It wasn’t in any town that I know, just one my weird brain made up.

There was an older lady running the store. She was nice but not obsequious. She was the kind of person whom the moment you meet her you know she’s in charge, but in an old fashioned spinster aunt kind of way. The store was wonderful. It had all kinds of things – some modern groceries, some old fashioned stuff, and more stuff that my brain just made up. I was very, very disappointed when I realized it was just a dream and the place doesn’t really exist. I want to go there. After I left the store I drove on wet streets that were flooded in places. That’s obviously because I’ve been wishing hard for more rain.

One of the items I saw in the store I dreamed was spray starch. I can trace that directly to having read about it on this blog a few days ago, though why that particular thing stuck in my brain and ended up in my dream I have no idea. But it gives me the perfect excuse to drift on to a completely different topic: more sewing blogs. (the “and stuff” portion of this post)

Sew Country Chick, Justine, is from California, lives in an old farmhouse and blogs about sewing and vintage clothes.

Diary of a Vintage Girl is written by an English lady who likes to dress up in 40’s fashions. I love this fabric. Unfortunately, lavender is the one color that I just can’t wear. Usually I wear what I like and refuse to be a slave to fashion color theory but when I see myself in lavender I just can’t stand the way it makes me look. Anyway, Diary of a Vintage girl is a fun blog with lots of pictures of lovely clothes.

Mademoiselle Robot is a little different. Not a sewing blog, it’s about fashions, lifestyle, pop culture and so forth but how can one resist a blog with a name like “Mademoiselle Robot”.

Finally there’s & A Little Sewing. She includes some sewing tips and and “how I did it” and I am loving this dress. Love those colors!

I am sure I will never attract the attention of sewing bloggers for the same reason I am just not a popular blogger – I don’t stick to one thing – but even more because I don’t post enough pictures of the stuff I’ve made. I keep thinking I need to do something about that. I don’t like asking someone to take pictures of me all the time because everyone’s always busy and I’d be interrupting something more important than me showing off. I need to find my old tripod (which is really huge pain to set up) and figure out how to use the timer on my camera. I used the timer on my old Canon a few times but I tried it with my new (now not new anymore) Sony once and even though I’m sure I followed the instructions correctly it didn’t work. I need to try again. I’ve never thought I needed a dressmaker’s dummy, still don’t want one; it would just be in my way most of the time, but when I want to take a picture of one of my sewing projects I think about how easy it would be if I had one.

Appreciating Asimov

A commenter on the book list post recommended I, Robot. I’ve been a huge fan of Isaac Asimov’s non-fiction books and I always enjoyed seeing him on talk shows. My first encounter with Asimov was Adding a Dimension, a sort of idiot’s guide to difficult science. Asimov had a way of explaining science so as to make it easily understandable and fun. So, of course I expected that I would love his fiction as well but what little I’ve read was not to my liking at all.

I loved the rather beautiful, nearly plotless movie, based on Asimov’s story, Nightfall but when I read the book I was highly disappointed. And I’m sure I’ve read one other of his books but I can’t remember what it was so maybe I only started reading it but I do remember being disappointed that this author whose non-fiction I already liked a lot did nothing for me in the fiction area. I did see the movie I, Robot and liked it and thought I really should read the book but based on past experiences I expect to be disappointed again so I’ve put it off.

Here’s a long list of Asimov quotes for your enlightenment and entertainment.

Random Linkage

People in science – how people in science see each other

Restaurant websites – I find this to be true of most commercial websites that are not trying to sell something directly online. They never give you the information you’re looking for. It’s all, “Yay us! Look how great we are!”

How to Deal With an Obnoxious Moviegoer – Actually, I wouldn’t recommend this but sometimes… oh the temptation!

Asparagus cake – Wow. Nice. A bit too much icing for me though. I like the cake itself better than the icing. Also I’m not really a big fan of chocolate cake. (but I’d never refuse a piece if offered)

Adam Scott Miller – Colorful psychedelic art

Creative recycling – What to do with old clear incandescent light bulbs

Sidewalk art – clever

The Internet Fairy – Heh.

Spicy history – Brief histories of several common spices

The Saddest Movie in the World – There’s scientific proof. (or evidence at least) Try to guess what it is before you go look.

Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Jaquandor posted the Top 100 Science Fiction Books, according to an NPR poll, and bolded the ones he’s read, italicized the ones he wants to read and commented on some of them. I don’t usually take the time to do these lists but I’m interested in this one. I’m just going to bold the ones I’ve read. Of the rest, while I am more interested in some than in others, I don’t really want to distinguish between “want to read” and “not interested.”

*1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien – I haven’t read the entire trilogy, only the first book. I didn’t care for it. Too much walking through the woods being mysterious and mystical.

*2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams – I’ve read at least part of it but I can’t remember if I finished it.

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card – It seems everyone has a strong opinion about this book. Either it’s one of the greatest classics of science fiction or the author is too despicable to even consider reading one of his books. I read it and found it fairly interesting but nothing special.

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert – The original trilogy was fantastic beyond words but the later books were a waste of time.

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman – Okay but not really my cup of tea.

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

*12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan – Only the first book. It was okay but very slow moving. I don’t know if I’ll try to slog through any more or not.

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson – Didn’t care for it at all.

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

*17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein – Can’t remember if this is one I’ve read or not. Most of the few Heinlein novels I’ve read seem all alike to me.

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

*25. The Stand, by Stephen King – Not sure. I think I did read this one. There was one SK novel I read that I didn’t care for but I can’t remember the title for certain.

*26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson – not yet, but soon

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams – It surprises me a bit to see this on a sci-fi list but I suppose it is fantasy of a sort. Anyway, I liked it.

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey – Some of my favorite books ever! I’ve read the original trilogy and the Harper Hall Trilogy at least a dozen times. The later books in the series are not nearly as good and I’ve sort of lost interest in McCaffrey in general in the last decade.

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein – The only Heinlein book I’ve ever liked.

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys – Excellent.

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven – Mixed on this one. I like the idea of a ringworld much better than I like the story and characters.

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin – Interesting idea; dull story.

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke – Not one of my top favorites but definitely very original and thought provoking.

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson – I didn’t think of this one as science fiction but it was very entertaining. I enjoyed it a lot.

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

*58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson – I read two (or maybe only one and half) of these books and found them dreary, dull and annoying.

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle – I liked this fairly well. I always like Niven and Pournelle better than Niven alone.

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

*68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard – I read a couple of these a long time ago. Liked it fairly well.

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne – I was disappointed in this, probably as a result of having seen too many “Journey to the Center of the Earth” cartoons as a kid. When I finally got around to reading the book I thought, “Huh. That’s all there is to it?”

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke – Very interesting.

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin – Strangely, this was fairly interesting in spite of the fact that I did not care for any of the characters. I think I probably did not get out of it what the author was hoping readers would get out of it.

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson – Interesting and fun. For the most part I liked it.

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge – Awesome! Very original.

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson – Pretty interesting. Parts of it were too political/soap opera for my taste.

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle – one of the most interesting from this team

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville – Extremely weird. Loved it and immediately became a Mieville fan for life.

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Impatiently Waiting

Sunday afternoon the sole of one of my walking shoes came apart. (Technically I think they’re “running shoes” but I wear them for walking.) It was unexpected because they still appear to be in very good condition. The sole is in two layers and the bottom layer of one came off. At first I was pissed and thought it was a really stupid design and I considered trying to glue it back together, but later I got to thinking about it and remembered that I bought these shoes in 2006. I suppose that’s long enough for a shoe to last. They’re Avias, by the way – a very nice silvery gray with lavender trim and very, very comfortable.

I always really hate when something happens to one shoe and the other one is still perfectly fine. Of course it has to happen that way. It would actually be sort of odd to have both shoes go at the same time but I always look at the good shoe and think, “It’s not fair! This one is still perfectly good!”

I had already been thinking that when I need new ones I want to get Earth shoes because I am really loving the two pairs of Earth shoes that I have – one pair of sandals and one pair of casual leather t-straps – but the old ones are in such good shape I expected that it might be another year or two. Earth makes several athletic type shoes and after hours of looking and angst and indecision I finally settled on these in the “Desert” color. The others I considered were all either too expensive or they did not have the color I wanted in my size. I don’t exactly love this color but I don’t dislike it either. I think all athletic shoes are ugly anyway but looks aren’t the point at all.

I won’t get them until early next week at the soonest and I’m very impatient. I’m also annoyed that Endless.com (which has free two day shipping) does not have Earth shoes.

A Missed Photo Op

I was on my way to Wal-mart this morning. In the middle of The Nearby Small Town there are four short blocks with traffic lights that seem to be purposely synchronized to make sure that you will always have to stop at at least three of them. This morning the traffic was more backed up than usual but I was behind a truck towing a trailer with a ginormous bulldozer so I couldn’t see what was going on. After a few minutes I got to where I could see that there was a small group of protesters in front of the courthouse, carrying signs that said ‘God hates people who are different from me.’ Well, that’s not exactly what they said but you get the general idea.

I thought it might be fun to stop and get into an argument with these people and take a few photos, but then it occurred to me that the husband might be annoyed if I got myself arrested and besides, I was afraid I might get my dress all mussed. So I drove on, thinking I would just take a photo from the car on the way back when I would be on the other side of the street and closer to the fun. But by the time I came back they were gone. [sigh] Another missed opportunity. I guess this is a good excuse for dressing like a slob – you’re always ready for such opportunities.

An Oklahoma Thing

The entire state of Oklahoma is currently under a burn ban. I’m not going to complain about burn bans per se. They are necessary. In fact, this time of year I’m always wishing for surveillance cameras every 100 feet along every mile of highway and country road in the state to catch all those inbred melon-farming morons throwing lit cigarette butts out of their windows.

So anyway… Burn bans are a good thing but the inconsistency with which they are imposed drives me crazy. They usually wait until it has been as dry as the surface of the Moon for a month before they ever get around to declaring a burn ban but once it’s in effect we have to be ankle deep in mud and making plans for building an ark before they cancel it. I think it has something to do with rainfall amounts. We have to get back up to the “normal” rainfall for the year before they can cancel a burn ban. Or something like that.