Random Linkage

Calgary Stampede Foods – Oh! Mah! Gawd! Using the word “food” rather loosely. Keep going, folks; it can only get better from here.

Fault Creep – Interesting

Ancient Native American Travelers

Botanical Mazes – Oooo! I want to go play in some of these.

National Salsa Month – 15 very interesting salsa recipes

Arkansas Travelers Saloon – Photos from an early 20th century amusement park

Broken Mirror/Evening Sky – Lovely

Fake Website Movie Quiz – I have no idea. My score: 0

Hearing under water

3-D Floors – Wow!

Quotes From Here and There

The statement that “nothing will ever convince me” is a huge red flag that someone is defending an ideological position, one immune to evidence or reason.here

It says muffins and biscuits. That makes it breakfast food.there

(I haven’t been spending a lot of time reading stuff online lately. Sorry.)

Flowers are Just Flowers

I hate when people take an ordinary thing and make it a symbol. Now it seems sunflowers are controversial. At least they are in China. I hope this won’t spread to the U.S. just because a pop star happened to bumble upon a political symbol. Though the Taiwan flag bit didn’t help matters any.

By the way, in response to the Chinese fan who said, “These performers who intervene in other countries’ politics are the most annoying.” (And I really wish that person and anyone else who feels that way could read this.) No, what is really annoying to you is that other people are allowed to have opinions that are different from yours. Having an opinion about other countries’ politics is not the same thing as “intervening” in other countries politics. Grow up and get over yourself.

But, ordinary things as symbols… That really gets under my skin. Now, flags are symbols. They were purposely created to represent a particular country, state, people, or ideology. A flag is a legitimate symbol. Colors and plants are not. Green is just green. Pink is just pink. And flowers are just flowers. If you need a symbol stop being lazy and create a flag or a logo and just let the natural world be.


Random Linkage

Erotic Pocket Watch – an interesting antique; NSFW

“Evil Twin” – fascinating creepy medical story

Unsatisfied Women – a humorous take on classic paintings (F-word alert)

Business Wetsuits – Is anyone surprised that this idea comes from Japan?

“Creatures” on Mars – They’re just rocks, people. Get a grip.

Ankaris – science fiction art

The Discovery of Cheese – Another myth busted but, as usual, the truth is more interesting.

New Music Meets Old Style

First of all, in case anyone who doesn’t know me stumbles upon this, I stopped paying attention to popular music about 30 years ago so I am so out of the loop pop-culturally.

There’s a diaper commercial that I’ve been seeing a lot lately that shows several toddlers dancing around and playing while we hear a woman’s voice singing, “I’m all about that bass, all about that bass…” then another voice talks about the product then the singing again, “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top…” So I saw that and thought, “That’s sort of a cute song. I’ve gotta look that up on Youtube sometime.” But I never did.

Then I saw this video at Fillyjonk’s Progress.

That arrangement totally works. Or at least it works for me. I still haven’t listened to the popular version yet. Really must do that someday.

American History

The latest book I read was The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend. I highly recommend this book. Not solely about Red Cloud, it reveals a lot about the history of the American West that most people probably don’t know, and mentions a number of other American legends, such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and Jim Bridger among others. It is factual and relatively unbiased. Slanted a bit in favor of Native Americans, as you probably expect, but not the usual “noble savages vs. evil Europeans” story. Atrocities, or what we today would call terrorism, were committed by both sides and is not glossed over. (Warning for the squeamish)

A lot of what we think we know about history is wrong or only partly true. I think too many of us get our knowledge of history from movies and TV dramas. The American Indians, the Sioux at least, which is who this book is mainly about, were both more politically sophisticated and more savage than most people believe. Ultimately, they were defeated not by the superior numbers and weapons of European Americans but by the loss of the buffalo, upon which they depended for food, clothing, and shelter.

A quote from the book:

Memory is like riding a trail at night with a lighted torch. The torch casts its light only so far, and beyond that is darkness. – Ancient Lakota saying


April is National Poetry Month and I haven’t posted a single poem! So, here’s one. Found here along with two more.

“Flower God, God of the Spring” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Flower god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green – one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy.

No Surprise

Last night on CBS news they had a segment about McDonald’s severely declining profits and mentioned some vague “plan” to lure back customers which probably doesn’t even come close to what they really need to do: get customers’ orders right! I haven’t been to a McDonald’s in a number of years (5? More?) for that very reason. (That and the food is mostly okay but not that great. If I’m going to eat something that bad for me it’s going to be really outrageously delicious.) Literally the last five times we went there at lunch or dinner time* they got our order wrong. Usually it was something minor, like the wrong size drink or something but still, every time no matter which McDonald’s location I go to. (*To give them some credit, they do seem to be able to not screw up a sausage biscuit and orange juice.)

Well, this morning I saw this: Woman shoots at a McDonald’s because there was no bacon on her bacon burger. OMG! No bacon?! Seriously, I totally understand. But, even more seriously, punishing McDonald’s employees for incompetence is not worth going to prison. Just go somewhere else. A lot of other places have bacon burgers and most of them are better than McDonald’s. It might not be as immediately satisfying but there’s no better or more appropriate punishment for a business than taking your business elsewhere. One might think that if enough people stop eating there they will finally get it but, realistically, if they haven’t figured it out by now it’s hard to believe they ever will.

This ‘n’ That

It’s a pretty typical April, I guess. It has been cool and raining almost every day and on the days when there’s no rain it’s still mostly cloudy. We have had a couple of warm, partly sunny days but I think those just make me more impatient for summer weather.

I haven’t planted anything yet. I did clean out the flower bed at the south side of the house but with all the rain I need to do it again. The dianthus are blooming and the first iris opened a couple of days ago. It’s a pure white one named Immortality. Funny, that’s the only one of my irises that I remember the name of. The dogwoods looked great this year but they’re almost done blooming. I have really been enjoying all the little spring wildflowers that grow everywhere.

I sort of want some of this but my attempts at starting ground covers haven’t gone well. Also, I don’t know exactly where I want it to grow. Thanks.

* * * * *

Television – Orphan Black (BBC America) is back! I love the weirdness of it and the amazing acting, and I think it’s one of the most technically brilliant shows ever made. We’re also watching Lost Girl. (SyFy) Number Two Son got us to watching that. Personally, I could take it or leave it but it’s okay. Star Talk, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new late night talk show started last night. I haven’t watched it yet; it’s on the DVR. Seems like there are some more good shows starting or returning soon but I can’t remember what.

* * * * *

Some more recipes I want to try:

Beer bread – I have made beer bread before but I want to try this recipe. And here’s another one, called the easiet ever. I don’t know about that. The one I used before had only three ingredients.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies – Great idea for when you need cookies in the summer and you don’t want to bake.

* * * * *

I have been doing a little sewing. If you’re interested you can read about it on my sewing blog.

Random Linkage

Botanical Prints – I love these.

Relationship advice from grandmothers – A bit surprising. Most of their answers don’t sound “old” at all. (but maybe that’s just me?) My favorite line: “You kids play too many games and think way too much.”

Medieval Portrait of Yoda – Interesting coincidence. (if it’s real)

Uh… What? – So much to be confused about in two short paragraphs.

Spring Allergy Guide – Interesting (possibly helpful?) article about allergies.

Rainbow Dash Guitar – because I know there are a couple of Pony fans reading this

Complete List of All Jello Flavors – Wow, I had no idea. All the stores I’ve ever shopped at only had maybe half a dozen flavors – usually even fewer than that. I got bored with Jello about the time I was 12 but if I saw some of these I might be tempted to buy.

The Met Museum’s Shoe Collection – Some of them are even wearable.

Quotes From Here and There

Take a chance and answer the phone, because messing with people’s minds is so very much fun.here

The concertmaster is like the quarterback of a football team. It’s an incredibly tough and demanding job, and the pressure is enormous.there

By studying our bones, we can discover some of the same principles that Eiffel used in designing his tower.here

Well, to be fair, I guess he did get rid of the bedbugs . . .there

“I’m First!” – “No, I’m First!”

The world’s first head transplant will be performed within the next 2 years. Or it has already been performed this past February. Oh, what to believe?! The answer, as always… Snopes. The “news” story at the second link is a hoax. No head transplants have been done yet. Darn. I kinda wanted to believe, especially since they said it was successful.

It seems Paul Horner is a name that has appeared in a number of unrelated hoaxes. My sympathy to any real Paul Horners there might be out there. You know there must be a few.

Mid-Week Music Break

I am not familiar with the music of Percy Sledge. I have only heard the one song that everyone has heard. So I went looking for something I had not heard and found this.

Random Linkage

Apostrophes and Quotation Marks – everything you ever wanted to know… or perhaps more than you ever wanted to know

Service with a smile – or sarcasm. Yeah, that’s probably it, sarcasm.

Ancient “screw” – Whenever “scientists” won’t let other scientists examine their findings, that’s a pretty good clue that you should not believe any of these “scientists” claims.

Artists and their Cats

Opera Strip – opera plots in comic strip format

Life in the Dark – Fascinating speculation about rogue planets

Camodad – a comic strip, rather interesting

Monster boxes – Very cool!

Do high heels cause schizophrenia? – Hmmmm… As much fun as this might be to believe, I’m gonna say, “No.”

And, last but not least, the awesomeness that is Stephen Hawking…

Like Magic!

I made the ice cream we talked about here and it is amazing! The consistency is exactly like premium ice cream that you buy at the grocery store. And it’s so simple. Why did I not know about this before? I’m looking back at half a lifetime of missed opportunities. I could have made this with my kids, if only I had known.

I tried the Cinnamon Bun flavor first. I did make sort of a little mistake but it turned out wonderful anyway. I used the butter that I already had, which happened to be “lightly salted.” It didn’t ruin the ice cream but I could definitely taste a little saltiness, which is a taste you don’t normally expect in ice cream. I actually did like it but some people might not so this is a detail you might want to watch for when making it.

The recipe says “pour into a two quart container” but it only filled the two quart container about half full so this recipe actually only makes about a quart of ice cream. (Maybe I was too impatient and should whip the cream longer?) Of course that didn’t last long at all.

The store where I bought groceries only had quart size containers of heavy whipping cream so I had enough left to make more ice cream. For the second batch I used French vanilla cappuccino mix to flavor it. It’s good too but it leaves a coffee aftertaste that I, personally, find a little unpleasant.

I’m going to try to restrain myself and not make this too often. Ice cream, though we know it’s not really good for us, seems so wholesome and innocent, but making it yourself, with the heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, sort of hammers home the fact that it is really pretty fattening stuff. (Darn it) But I will make it again. (many times) I want to experiment and see what other interesting, not-available-in-stores, flavors I can come up with.

UPDATE:Here are those recipes again:
Cinnamon ice cream and more
Coffee Ice Cream

Quotes From Here and There

But it’s nice in life to have something you do just for you. Where you are the only person who has to look at it and decide if it’s good or bad.here

And realistically, one should not expect a warrior woman to be a waif.there

In celebration of the date on which Winston Churchill was granted honorary US citizenship, Hillsdale College, custodian of the Churchill Project, is offering the biography deal of the year – perhaps of the decade.here

AS A CHILD I knew exactly what was most desirable: pinkness and sparkle. When I was grown-up I was going to sweep down a flight of stairs into a great ballroom wearing a pink satin dress with a huge skirt: yards and yards of the shiniest pink satin, because obviously if something was desirable you couldn’t have too much of it.there