Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cute/Geeky Earworm

One might be inclined to wonder if one has been watching too many reruns of The Big Bang Theory when one finds oneself with the Soft Kitty song repeating in one’s head. Just sayin’.

The Season is Here

We had a pleasant little Thanksgiving – just a nice, very small (compared to most years) get-together at my brother-in-law’s house.

I don’t do Black Friday but I do Cyber Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday…) Some of the Black Friday stories I’ve heard are just horrifying. Is this what the holiday season is all about? I saw a young woman on the news on TV showing off the bruises she got on Black Friday and saying that she would do it again next year. And in the comments over there someone said that a woman used pepper spray on other shoppers at a California Walmart. I know there are a lot of other people who, like me, won’t go near a store on the day after Thanksgiving but just knowing that there are so many people out there who are willing to physically injure other people just to save a few dollars is very discouraging and it makes me want to go all Mom on everyone send them all to their rooms.

But anyway… It’s “Cyber Monday”. This is my style of shopping. So far though, I’m not really feeling the holiday shopping urge yet. I want to do all the online shopping this week but I have only a few ideas. And I still have sewing to do but not much more and it’s really tempting to plan a few more projects for Christmas but then I’d feel bad if I didn’t get them all done so I don’t know.

The one bad thing about having Thanksgiving dinner at someone else’s house is that you don’t get to have lots of yummy leftovers the following week. So I made an apple pie yesterday. I would like to think you don’t need an excuse for pie but somehow I always feel better about the indulgence if I do have an excuse. Fortunately, the world is so full of excuses that we can always find one when we need it.

Happy Thanksgiving, etc.

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. so I’m sure most of you have better things to do than reading this stuff so after this one I won’t be posting much, if anything, until next Monday.

I could try to wax poetic about Thanksgiving, talk about it being my favorite holiday because it’s all about getting together with family and eating until we can’t move and not feeling guilty about it because it’s Thanksgiving fer cryin’ out loud! Get over the health obsession for one day why don’t ya! I could talk about how I really loved the huge potluck Thanksgiving get-togethers we used to have and how it makes me a little sad that we don’t really do that anymore but that the little get-togethers we do have are always nice and I wouldn’t miss them for anything. But I think I say that every year. So, here’s just a random collection of stuff and if you don’t have time for it all now just go… eat, love, have fun. It’ll be here when you get back.

Here’s something that sounds like a fun project for 2012. It’s a Classics Challenge. You have to read seven classics in 2012 and answer a question once a month. Details at the link. I just started reading Frankenstein a couple of days ago. I had never had much interest in it but there’s a series on… oh I can’t remember which cable channel – called Prophets of Science Fiction and I watched the one about Mary Shelley. After I saw that I was suddenly much more interested in reading it. Anyway, since I started this book in 2011, I wonder if it would be considered cheating to include it in the challenge.

By the way, November’s Autumn looks like a wonderful blog. How appropriate that I discovered it in November. Posts seem to be fairly infrequent though.

What happens to the mail that the letter sorting machines at the Post Office can’t read?

I have to make these cupcakes sometime. This was a Halloween recipe but there’s really nothing about it that screams “Halloween Only!” I’ll need to convert units and it specifically says, “Don’t use pumpkin pie filling.” Well that’s rather inconvenient. I wonder why and how wrong things will go if I don’t follow that particular instruction.

A 1956 refrigerator ad. Look down at the bottom of the ad at all the colors it came in. Very nice! No dull “earth tones”.

Lathe – One of those inexplicably fascinating, pointless Web toys. Drag the little squares around and watch what happens.

Fake Anything – a blog featuring vintage posters and labels and such

Cool gadgets – A few modern, mostly vintage

Art Nouveau Treasures – Awesome stuff! I see houses and furniture that I want.

Time Waster

You need this app. Trust me, you really do. It will fill all those empty moments (and hours) in your life when you’re thinking, “I should be doing something productive. Darn, what can I do to avoid having to be productive?”

Demand Equal Opportunity Pants

One of my long time pet peeves… No wait, this is more than a peeve; it borders on outrage. This really pisses me off, folks. What I’m sputtering about is the lack of different inseam lengths in women’s pants. Men get a choice. At Atwoods, one of the better stores for jeans selection, I personally have seen men’s jeans with inseam lengths from 26 to 38 inches in waist sizes from 28 inches all the way up to “OMG! I didn’t know elephants wear pants!” Some of those sizes might not be common but the point is, if you guys need pants with a 50 inch waist and a 30 inch inseam or with a 30 inch waist and a 38 inch inseam, they do exist.

Women’s pants on the other hand… First of all the sizing system consists of arbitrary numbers that have no relation to any actual measurements and they’re not even consistent from one manufacturer to another. The more expensive the clothes the smaller the size number. If you wear a size 14 in Wal-mart clothes, somewhere out there there’s a pair of size 8 jeans costing well over $100 that will fit you perfectly. I think the sizes should be consistent no matter what the price but, aside from vanity sizing, I don’t really have a problem with the system. What woman wants to admit that she has a 30 inch waist? I’m not saying that’s my waist size so shut up. It’s just an example.

Inseams, however, are a problem. Women’s pants come in, at most, three inseam lengths: a bit too short, way too short, and too long. That’s just me of course. I’m sure there are women who are just the right size for the three choices of inseam length but my point is, women’s legs come in more than just three lengths and we should all stand up and demand pants that fit right! How has the women’s movement missed this? Forget Wall Street; we should Occupy the garment district!

The rest of you gals get on that, okay? I’ll be at my sewing machine making myself some pants that fit.

Reading

Two books I read recently:

Consider Phlebas is the first of Iain M. Banks “Culture” novels. The story is told from the the point of view of an outsider – someone working for the enemies of the Culture. He is a “Changer”, what we more commonly call a “shape-shifter”. His mission is to find a missing AI or “Mind” before the Culture finds it and he has adventures with pirates and various other interesting characters along the way. I was delighted when I realized that Banks has borrowed Larry Niven’s grandest idea, the Ringworld. Banks’ “orbitals” are smaller than the Ringworld but still huge and I want to go on a nice long vacation on one.

It’s a very interesting book and I will definitely read more in this series. At first it’s tempting to try to find political parallels in the real world. You have a technological society in which freedom is very important versus a theocracy. But after reading the whole thing I feel that to look at it this way is to greatly reduce a broadly interesting fictional universe. Here is the author’s long essay about the Culture, which I confess I have not read in its entirety.

I finished Vernor Vinge’s The Witling this morning. I bought both of these books in paperback to facilitate sharing. I love my Kindle but real paper books are much easier to share with the other members of my family who are all science fiction fans. I was disappointed that The Witling is very short – only 220 pages – but for this story it is an appropriate length. It is a simple, old-fashioned planetary adventure/romance. The author could have drawn it out more, added more detail, and I would have enjoyed it at least as much but as it is it’s a quick very enjoyable read that is missing nothing.

Two people, an archeologist and a space pilot are stranded on Giri, a planet with a feudal society in which most people have the ability to teleport. Those few people who do not have this ability are called “witlings” and are considered seriously handicapped and are generally looked down upon. Pelio, the crown prince of one of the nations on Giri is a witling, an embarrassment to his family and his country. The pilot, Yoninne, is described as having a “squat, slab-like body” but to the short, thick Girians she is tall and exotic. Pelio falls in love with her and helps the two reach a distant telemetry station where they can call for help. Of course there are many complications to make things interesting, including enemies who want to kill them and food that is poisonous to the stranded pair.

This book is fun and satisfying. If you’ve ever complained that “they don’t write ‘em like they used to,” you need to read it.

Ooooo Shiny!

One of my perennial pet peeves is finding a really beautiful mug that I “must have” but it only comes in a set of four. I don’t even have room for one more mug much less four but if I could have just one… well, maybe I could find a place for it. You know? Anyway, I absolutely love these bright, colorful dishes and I’d buy one of the mugs if I could buy just one. But which one? They are all different. Hmmm… maybe that’s why you have to get all four.

Stash Tea has lots of lovely and cute cups and mugs and most of them are sold individually. There are too many that I like to list “favorites”. I’m mainly drawn to the pretty floral mugs. I also like the strawberry mug, the smiley mug and of course the ladybugs. I also see things there that I’m considering as gifts.

One more thing in this same category of “shiny”: I sort of like this set but again, it’s a set. And it’s expensive. Also the French press is a larger than I would ever need. I only make one up at a time. But that looks really nice. My French press is just plain glass and stainless steel. It would be… um… shiny to have something a little fancier.

A Fine Monday Morning

It was already nearly 70° F when I got up this morning. Overcast but still beautiful weather for November. It was seriously windy all weekend. A lot of the leaves fell so now it looks more like November but, today at least, it feels like September.

I had planned to say something about Veterans Day as well as that 11-11-11 date thing on Friday but we went out running around Tulsa all Friday afternoon and I didn’t get around to it. The husband went to look at one new store and discovered another one he liked better. And then we went to JoAnn Fabrics and I bought some fabric for Christmas sewing projects. (I also have a couple of pieces coming from eQulter.com) So I need to be really busy for the next few weeks. Also, while the weather’s nice I need to do some walking to make up for all the extra eating I will be doing soon. But don’t worry. I must take a little Internet break now and then.

Just Showing Off

Corduroy Print Blouse

This is a new shirt that I finished yesterday. The fabric is a lightweight, soft corduroy. The pattern I used is McCall’s 6076 but I modified the collar slightly, not that you can really tell from the picture. It’s such a busy print it’s hard to see the edges of the collar or the princess seams. The sleeves are a little long, as you can see but not enough to be a problem. This picture makes it look like I made a bad choice of buttons because the yellow on the fabric, which is exactly the same color as the buttons, doesn’t show up as well. In person they look perfect.

Panic Time

It used to be that people didn’t even think about Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving. At least that’s the way I remember it. But right now I’m thinking, “Oh no! It’s almost mid-November and I haven’t even thought about what to buy for Christmas!”

You might think that it’s merely a sign of how advertising gets so much into our heads, and that is part of it, but it’s not the only reason. The weeks seem to fly by so quickly. It seems like I barely have a chance to think about what I need to do by a particular date and that date has already passed. One month seems like a terribly short time for something as big as Christmas.

To make matters worse, I am thinking about making a lot of things for Christmas and to do all I want to do I really needed to start back in September – maybe August. But I’m going to give it a try anyway. Most things (other than quilts which take months) I can finish in two or three days, or sometimes even just one day, if I force myself to get over the “I don’t want to work on this now; maybe later” syndrome.

But that still leaves a lot of shopping to do in what seems like a short time. For the last several years I have done most of my Christmas shopping online and will do so again this year. That means allowing time for shipping so starting in November is not only not bad, it’s necessary.

It’s Catalog Season!

Monday I got about 10 catalogs in the mail. (I didn’t count them so by “10” I mean somewhere between 7 and 15.) Then yesterday I got several more. I haven’t even had a chance to look at all of them yet but I’ve already seen lots of shiny things to lust after. (and I mean “shiny” in both the literal sense and as the word was used in Firefly)

I always get lots of catalogs but this time of year they really step it up. Some companies send me a new catalog two or three times a week and I get lots of catalogs from companies I’ve never ordered anything from including a few that I haven’t received in previous years. Unfortunately, far from considering these “junk mail” that I don’t want and just throw away as soon as it comes in the door, I love catalogs and I rarely get one that doesn’t have at least one thing in it that makes me go, “Ooooooo! I’ve gotta have that!” Of course, “gotta have” only leads to actual buying maybe .09 percent of the time. Sometimes I get a little sad that I can have so few of the things that I want but, on the other hand, buying everything you want is how you end up on Hoarders.

But anyway… ever desperate for content, I’m thinking I might start a “Gotta Have It” series linking to some of these “shiny” things that I “just gotta have”. (Don’t you hate it when bloggers tell you what they’re thinking about posting but then they never get around to it?)

This ‘n’ That

The Husband is off work this week so I might not get much blogging done. (See, I have an actual excuse now.) It’s officially a hunting vacation but since the deer live in our back yard there is no trip involved. Besides, this morning it’s raining. So most of the time he’s hanging around the house. All you other wives know what that means. Seriously though, he’s pretty handy to have around and I expect we will get some things done this week.

Last night, sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 I think, I thought I felt another slight tremor – very slight; it might have been my imagination, but I just started feeling like, “No, no, no, no! I can’t deal with this anymore.” Sheesh! I could never live in California. There’s something about not being able to trust the ground under my feet (and under my house) that really bothers me.

We got over an inch of rain overnight and it’s still raining. This is good but please stop before it gets cold enough to freeze everything. It is supposed to get colder tonight but then get warm(ish) again tomorrow.

Finally, I was going to steal this but I’m too lazy to bother with actually grabbing the image and posting it here so just a link. Yeah, that’s exactly what I think of every time I hear something about the Kardashians. (I had to Google that so I’d know how to spell it.)

I Do Not Live in California

We had another earthquake this morning at a little after 2:00am. There wasn’t much to it, rattled the house for a few seconds. Nothing was broken. But seriously! Two earthquakes in Oklahoma in my lifetime? The first one was sort of interesting; the second one has me thinking, if we can have little ones we could maybe have a big one someday.

I know every region has some kind of natural disaster that people have to worry about. Here we have tornadoes, hail, flash floods, drought, grass fires, extreme heat, extreme cold, and ice storms. Adding earthquakes to that list is just a bit much don’t you think?

UPDATE: We had another one Saturday night! Here’s a local news article about the quakes. To answer the question in the comments, a University of Tulsa geologist says that it was not caused by fracking. I do not know if this geologist has any connection with the oil industry but his explanation sounds plausible enough.

Quotes From Here and There

And winning, regardless of the lameness of the competition, still means I get cookies.here

…there is no real curve to life – a beginning, a middle, and an end, a resolution of a sort. It is all middle. If one is at all alert, it is just as mysterious as you near the end as it is from the beginning.there

When faced with danger the fashionable poses fall away and character is revealed, but also decisions can be irrational.here

What ten-year-old boy with a shiny new Shelby bike wants to hear that message? Life was fine. Life was easy. And I was the luckiest boy in the world.there

Colorful November

Fall Foliage

Normally, the beginning of November is yellow and the end of November is grey. This year is different. There is some yellow but there is more bronze, red and even some green still. It still looks like October. Most of the leaves are still on the trees but the wind is working hard today to remedy that unusual situation.

This weekend will be the end of Daylight Saving Time for this year. I have mixed feelings about that. I will hate that it gets dark so much earlier but staying dark until nearly 7:30am seems a bit ridiculous.