This ‘n’ That

Pardon my language but some people just really suck I mean What! The! Hell!? As I said in the comments over there, I have a strangely powerful desire to somehow get revenge on her behalf.

Speaking of things sucking, it is cold and gloomy and raining today, same as yesterday. Yesterday it didn’t even make it up to 60°F. Usually by this time in May a few people are starting to complain about the heat. It’s good that we’re getting rain. I don’t mind the rain (very much) but couldn’t it be at least 75° while it’s raining? I guess we had our May weather back in February so now we’re having February weather in May but right now I feel like we’ve had four whole months of February and I’m tired of it.

We have planted tomatoes. I think they’re safe from frost (you never know, as weird as the weather has been) but I’m pretty sure Mother Nature is overwatering them.

Carmel-by-the-Sea Municipal Code Chapter 8:44: “The wearing of shoes with heels which measure more than two inches in height and less than one square inch of bearing surface upon the public streets and sidewalks of the City is prohibited, without the wearer’s first obtaining a permit for the wearing of such shoes.” It’s a liability thing. Many of the streets and sidewalks are uneven, making high, narrow heels unsafe, and that’s considered part of the charm of the place. Apparently, it’s not enforced; just don’t try to sue the city if you fall and break your ankle because you were wearing stiletto heels. Personally, I think if you fall and break your ankle because you were stupid enough to be walking around in stiletto heels it’s your own fault no matter where you are.

That’s all I’ve got today. Here’s a cute cat and dog video.

Random Linkage

Ancient Apples – Very interesting

Victorian Teenagers – Photos of teenage girls from the mid to late 1800’s. Interesting. Most of them look pleased to be having their pictures taken but a few have that typical teenage bored face that we all know so well.

1:12 Scale 19th Century Photography Studio – Amazing

Best Stores – I have never seen one of these!

1950’s French Chocolate Wrappers – Very cool!

More Accurate Toy Dinosaurs

The Life of Oney Judge – Fascinating life story of one of George Washington’s slaves.

Friday the 13th Thoughts

I am not superstitious about Friday the 13th. Well, maybe a little but in a different way. I always know it will be a good day, because it always has been. Friday the 13th is always a pretty good day for me. Sometimes unexpected bad things happen, on any day, but generally, if you expect a day to be good it will be good and if you expect it to be bad it will be bad. It all has to do with how you look at things – whether the little annoying things that always happen are a big, fat, hairy deal or you just shrug them off and move on. Sorry if I’m starting to sound preachy. I sometimes have trouble shrugging things off and moving on myself so I’m not just speaking as if from “on high”. Friday the 13th though – by deciding that a day that’s supposed to be a day of bad luck is instead actually lucky because nothing big bad has ever happened to me on that day I make it an especially good day. Usually. You never know what can happen. (Just added that last part so as not to anger the bad luck spirits 😉 )

More Solo Guitar

I couldn’t resist posting another video by the same guitarist. I am at a loss for words. I really like this a lot.

Beauty Around the World

A woman sent a natural photo of herself to 40 people in 25 countries and asked them to “make me beautiful” using Photoshop. I would have a hard time picking a favorite – the one I consider most beautiful – but it would definitely not be either of the two by U.S. Photoshop artists. To me these look excessive and hideous. They make me sad but they don’t surprise me. I see this kind of overly made up look all the time, even here in Oklahoma. Is this really what most Americans consider beautiful? I want American women see this and see what I do but I don’t have much hope.

Random Linkage

Health professionals’ stories – Never ask “How stupid can people be?” You really don’t want to know. (Warning: Some of these are disgusting or disturbing.)

History of Roses – Ah… that’s better.

360Cities – Panoramic photography. Not just cities. This site is awesome.

28 Household Tips – Some of these are helpful.

10 Bizarre Things That Fell From the Sky – What the h…?!

Abandoned Fotomats – Amazing that these are still standing. How hard would it be to demolish them? A few were repurposed and then abandoned again.

Best and Worst – Maps showing what each state is best and worst at. Of course, in some cases it’s a matter of opinion as to whether a quality is “best” or “worst”, for example, how did “nerdiest” end up on the “worst” map?

Playlist From Another Dimension -Science fiction novelty songs, list of links to Youtube videos

Lame Excuse Post

Yesterday we were having connectivity issues. Today I have a lot of other things I need to do. And, to be honest, I’m really almost completely out of blogging steam. Should I make fun of Donald Trump? I feel like I should be horrified that he might be our next president but I am more relieved that Ted Cruz will not be. No matter who wins I am going to get a t-shirt with Obama’s picture on it and the words, “Miss me yet?” and wear it on Inauguration Day.

But enough of that; I don’t do politics. (except when I’ve got nothing better to say and I can’t resist the temptation) What else? The weather? It’s kinda nice and kinda stinks. Afternoons this week have been beautiful and perfect but mornings are too cold for May. I want to wear a dress! A cool breezy summer dress and I want to wear it all day, not just for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I can’t really explain to you how badly I want that.

Here’s another nice spring photo. I actually took this one about a month ago.

Sunburst locust


My latest read was Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, the first book in the Ibis Trilogy. It is set in India in the first half of the 19th century and follows the changing lives of a number of characters, both Indian and European as well as one American, as they eventually come together on board the Ibis on a trip to the Mauritius islands.

Sea of Poppies is excellent and I highly recommend it. It’s a good picture of life in 19th century India and contains a little humor as well as drama. It did have a lot of words that were unfamiliar to me, mostly names of foods and articles of clothing and other items in Indian culture, but this did not cause me a great deal of difficulty. One thing that was odd about it – I’ve never seen this before – this author did not use any quotation marks. Once I got started though, I didn’t have any trouble with this at all. It’s easy enough to realize when a character is talking and after I got into the book I didn’t even notice the lack.

An interesting note about the physical book itself. I bought the dead tree version since the Kindle version was not significantly cheaper. I like to say that the format doesn’t matter; it’s the content that’s important, and I stand by that but there is a certain pleasure in holding an actual book and this one especially so. I was surprised by the weight of it and the pages are a higher quality paper than you usually see in paperbacks or even most hardbacks and just touching the pages and turning them is a treat. I ordered and received the second book in the trilogy, River of Smoke and was disappointed to find that its pages are merely what’s typical for paperbacks. Oh well. I was going to order Flood of Fire, the final book in the trilogy, but it’s not available, at least in the US, until August. Again, oh well.

Random Linkage

Soviet River Rockets

Metal Sculptures – Animal and insects made from car, bicycle, and motorcycle parts. Way better than most of the scrap art we see occasionally.

Top Ten Funny Moving Videos – I haven’t watched all of them yet.

Historic American Currency – The appearance of our money has changed before. No point in getting worked up about it.

Hurricane-Proof Architecture – I’m generally not a fan of modern architecture but, strictly for beach homes, these are nice. They look like they belong.


Sometimes there’s a sort of odd feeling of regret when a celebrity you never paid any attention to dies. Like you missed out on something. Of course you can still listen to the music, or watch the old movies or read the books (whatever the celebrity’s thing was) but you missed out on being a part of the living fandom. I never paid any attention to Prince. By the time he came along I had stopped paying any attention to popular music and to me he was just another singer who dressed funny. I did see him on the Superbowl half-time show a few years ago and thought, “You know, he’s not all that bad.”

Whenever a cultural icon dies the media talks about him a lot and non-fans learn things that fans knew all along. I learned two things about Prince that particularly grabbed my attention. One is that he was born the same year I was and that’s always a little disturbing. The other was that Prince was actually his real first name. I have also heard more of his music in the past few days than I had heard in all the years of his whole career. So, based on that, could I have been a fan? Honestly, probably not. Maybe I might have sort of liked one or two or three of his songs but I never would have been a big fan. But I still feel just a little bit like I missed out on something.

Worst Sentences Ever Published

The Worst Sentences Ever Published in Books. It’s one of those annoying slide shows designed to get as many page views as possible so I’m going to list all the sentences here. You’re welcome.

“Aro laughed. ‘Ha ha ha,’ he giggled.”
(New Moon by Stephenie Meyer)

“It was about as distinctive as the most distinctive thing you could ever think of.”
(Killing Floor: The Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child)

“Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own.”
(Angels and Demons by Dan Brown)

“I am all gushing and breathy—like a child, not a grown woman who can vote and drink legally in the state of Washington.”
(Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James)

“The TIE wibbles and wobbles through the air; careening drunkenly across the Myrran rooftops – it zigzags herkily-jerkily out of sight.”
(Aftermath: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig)

“One man came running off the corner to stop him, but Rambo kicked him away and then he was whipping left around the corner, and for now he was safe and he really got that cycle going.”
(First Blood by David Morrell)

“He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.”
(Thank You, M’am by Langston Hughes)

“Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes.”
(Deception Point by Dan Brown)

“Jeez, he looks so freaking hot. My subconscious is frantically fanning herself, and my inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.”
(Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James)

“Like the wolf he was named for was he, he realized, for his life was solitary above all else.”
(Unicorn Vengeance by Claire Delacroix)

“For a minute, the three of them sat in silence, within the expensive, single-engine, overhead-wing, two-hundred-mile-per-hour, sixteen-mile-per-gallon, white and red and mustard-yellow, airborne cocoon.”
(Whispers by Dean Koontz)

“’Stop!’ I shrieked, my voice echoing in the silence, jumping forward to put myself between them.”
(New Moon by Stephanie Meyer)

“‘Fighter weather,’ agreed Lieutenant Colonel Bill Jeffers, commander of the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the “Black Knights,” most of whose F-15 Eagle interceptors were sitting in the open a bare hundred yards away.”
(Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy)

“Her legs were quills. They were bundles of wicker, they were candelabra; the muscles were summer lightning, that flickered like a passing thought; they were captured eels or a cable on a windlass. Her thighs were geese, pythons, schooners. They were cypress or banyan; her thighs were a forge, they were shears; her thighs were sandstone, they were the sandstone buttresses of a cathedral, they were silk or cobwebs. Her calves were sweet with the sap of elders, her feet were bleached bones, her feet were driftwood. Her feet were springs, marmosets or locusts; her toes were snails, they were snails with shells of tears.”
(Silk and Steel by Ron Miller)

To be fair, some of those probably make more sense in context.

This ‘n’ That

The sun came out yesterday! Looks like we should have three or four nice days before it starts raining again. Honestly, we need the rain and sometimes I even enjoy it but after three straight days of rain and not seeing the sun at all for even longer I get a little tired of it.

So, it looks like this will be the last season of Castle as we know it. If they’re going to write out Beckett and Lanie I wish they would just go ahead and end the series. I would like to say that I will not watch it without these two characters but I can’t make a firm commitment to not watching. Curiosity sometimes kills my intentions. Nathan Fillion hasn’t signed his contract yet so season 9 isn’t a certainty. On the last episode there was a huge opening for Castle and Beckett to literally ride off into the sunset together. I hope that’s what happens. It’s been a good eight seasons. Don’t spoil it, ABC. End it well.

Hmmm… sorry, that’s all I’ve got right now; here’s a cat video.

National Poetry Month

A poem for the kind of weather we are having right now. Waiting impatiently for the sun to come out.

The Rain by William Henry Davies

I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
‘Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
‘Twill be a lovely sight.

It will indeed be a lovely site when it finally happens. More rain poems