Never Tell Me What Not to Say!

I am getting really tired of all the Things You Should Never Say lists. Some of them contain good advice but my immediate reaction when I see one of those titles is, “I’m an adult and I’ll say whatever I damn well please.” Okay, so that’s my issue. But seriously, a lot of them are basically just, “I don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.”

So, just for fun, let’s go through a list that applies to me. (or could have at one time. My kids are adults now) 13 Things Non-Parents Should Never Say to Parents

1. Ugh. No way. I don’t ever want to have kids. Like, ever. – This is just fine. In fact, if this is your opinion it’s likely a good thing if you don’t reproduce.

2. What do you mean you haven’t seen that movie/heard that song/checked out that new TV series yet? – I actually love when people do this. I get a little snob cred for not having seen the show that everybody is watching.

3. You never call anymore. – No one ever says this to me because I rarely call anyone but I can see how this could be annoying. It sounds needy.

4. We’re having an afternoon picnic in our back yard, but it’s strictly an adult-only event. – There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an adults only event. Yes, it might be a hassle for parents but most parents do enjoy getting away from the kids for a couple of hours once in a while. However, the article does have a good point about outdoor events and if all of your events are adults only your friends who have kids might not continue to be your friends.

5. We’re thinking of having a baby, so we’re getting a puppy first to see if we’re cut out for the job. – Okay, this is just stupid but go ahead and say it. We parents will have great fun talking about you later.

6. You’re not going to start buying “mom jeans”/”dad shorts” now, are you? – Well, you know… some of us grow up and some of us don’t. Whether or not we have kids doesn’t have much to do with it.

7. It must be so relaxing to be home all day with the kids. – This one just makes us feel smug so please do say it.

8. Don’t be so lame! You’re kid-free tonight! Light weight… – Kind of pushy and rude but if you would say this I’m sure we already knew that about you.

9. That kid is OUT OF CONTROL! – Very often justified. It’s true that even good parents have kids who are not always good in public but these days too many parents just don’t even try. So please do say this. Say it out loud so everyone can hear. The innocent will understand. The guilty will be offended. But maybe if they hear it often enough… (ADDED: It depends on the age of the kid. You must keep in mind that until about age 3 or 4 “out of control” is completely normal.)

10. Try to be here on time. – Oh yes, everyone please do try to be on time, always. Having kids is no excuse for habitual lateness. I was almost always on time when my kids were little because I allowed myself extra time for the inevitable delays. And because I was almost always on time my kids are now adults who understand the importance of being on time.

11. I didn’t invite you because you never say yes. – Well, this one is a little sad.

12. You look tired. Are you feeling OK? – A polite expression of concern. Nothing wrong with it. I do hate to be asked “Are you okay?” If I’m not lying on the floor turning blue then, yes, I’m okay. But a simple, “You look tired”? A little sympathy is always nice as long as you’re not creepy and smothering.

13. Well, when I have kids, I’m gonna ____, and my kids will never ____, and the rules will be ____. – Ah, this is another one of those things that make us feel smug and superior. Please go ahead and say it. We parents will have a good laugh at your expense later.

So you see, it’s all about attitude. You can spend your life whining about how mean people are to you and how they just don’t understand or you can respect other people’s right to have and express opinions and find ways to deal with them or even have fun with them.

Random Linkage

Erik Johansson – Surreal photography. Wonderful.

Kesh Angels – Moroccan girl bikers. Interesting.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake – must try

Dumb Science Jokes – a fun blog. I like this one.

Cloud Shadows – photos from the International Space Station

Michal Karcz – digital art. I love these.

Panorama Fail – Smartphone photo fails. Or maybe some of them were done on purpose?

White Temple – Amazing. Also amazing: that there are places this amazing that I have not yet seen pictures of.

Internet Archive Book Images – Over 2 and a half million images

Wait! What? September Already?!

It seems like August just started a few days ago. And summer just a few weeks ago. I keep seeing all these things on Facebook that say, “Share if you are ready for fall?” No! No, I am not ready! I’m a summer person. Yes, fall is nice – pretty colors and all that – but it doesn’t last long. You get four to six weeks of nice weather, maybe two or three weeks of pretty colors and then the leaves all fall off and it gets COLD long before official winter arrives. And don’t tell me, “Cold is better than heat because when it’s cold you can put on more clothes.” That’s not a feature; it’s a bug! That’s part of the problem. I don’t want to put on more clothes! As long as it’s just “shirt sleeve weather” that’s okay but I hate coats and jackets.

Okay, sorry, I didn’t mean to complain that much. It just all came out. Today is pretty nice. It’s raining. We needed that. Yesterday we had a lovely family cookout. I wish more of the family could have been there but it was nice anyway and I ate too much. As Kelly said,I can generally eat about two of these before I get that “OMG I just ate an entire hippopotamus” feeling. (except we didn’t have s’mores) In my case it’s two of, or in some cases only one of, almost anything. And yet, that usually doesn’t stop me from eating several. (Those cookies were so good and, gosh, I really want another piece of that cake.) Well, anyway, that was fun but for the next month or two I need to try really hard to be “good” and not eat every delicious thing in sight because the food holidays are coming! Oh no!

Well, anyway… I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Just goof off today if you can. That’s what today is for.

Quotes From Here and There

As an aside, it’s interesting to note how nationalism could be such a potent force in driving the creation of some of the most wonderful music ever written, and yet, in politics, the nationalism of the late 1800s eventually led straight to the staggering catastrophe that was World War I.here

…blessed are the easily amused for they shall have no shortage of things to laugh at.there

My point is not that everyone must accept the legitimacy of abortion and same-sex intimacy. Reasonable people can disagree on these issues. My point is only that those who oppose abortion and same-sex intimacy should not look to the Bible to support their positions. That support is simply not there.here

The word alone evokes a “get off my lawn, you damn kids” reaction in so many people, and some cultural commentators even insist it’s a sign of our increasingly narcissistic times.there

Tiny Top

A little top I made last week. The pattern is Simplicity 2668.

The pattern shows it as a dress but made it a little shorter and when I saw her crawling around in it I’m glad I did. A dress would be a problem for a crawling baby. This was a very old (20+ years) scrap of fabric. I was disappointed that I didn’t have enough to make matching bloomers. I still do have a small strip of it left but not enough.

Here’s a picture of her wearing it. (with her mom, my daughter-in-law) She was happier than she looks in this photo. She was smiling just a second before. The colors in the first photo are more true. The colors of the little top are washed out in this photo, even though everything else looks fine.

Thought for the Week

Thinking about incidents in the news… actually thought about writing something about it… but what I had to say really just boils down to this and it doesn’t apply only to one particular incident or people.

Like it or not you are a representative of your group. We all belong to groups: your race, your religion, your political party, your home state. And even if you’re not religious or don’t support any particular political party those are groups too. You don’t necessarily put yourself in these groups. It also can be what other people see you as. Whatever group or category other people identify you with, you are a representative of that group. What you do affects how people who are not in your group think about people like you. If you are a religious person and you support candidates who say they will pass laws that will take away the rights of some citizens, people may think that members of your religion are closed-minded and don’t care about other people. If you are an atheist and you swear a lot and generally break the rules of decent society, people may think that all atheists are immoral. If you happen to be a cop and you shoot an unarmed person several times, people who are not cops may fear and hate cops because of what you did. If a member of your group suffers an injustice and you and a few other members of your group riot and loot, people who are not members of your group may think that people in your group are more likely to be thugs and criminals. If you threaten, intimidate, and kill people and you talk about your religion a lot people who are not of your religion will think that believers in your religion are more likely to be terrorists.

That’s stereotyping. It’s not fair and it’s not right but you can’t end it by just saying, “Stereotyping is wrong. Don’t do it,” because that’s just how people are made. Even people who know it’s wrong are affected by what they observe in the world. They may know most cops are not murderers, most black people are not thugs, most white people are not racists, most Muslims are not terrorists but still notice these behaviors and be affected by them. Whoever you are, you are a representative of your group. Be, at all times, the kind of person you want other people to consider “typical” of your group.

The Ice Bucket Challenge

I guess some people are getting tired of the Ice Bucket Challenge and saying “enough already”? To be honest I haven’t seen very much complaining or criticism. What I have seen a lot of is people getting indignant about people complaining about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Which is pretty much normal for this sort of thing. For every person who makes the tiniest squeak about anything there will be 10,000 people shouting about what a horrible person he is.

Personally, okay, I know it’s for a good cause and a lot of money has been raised because of it and that’s all a good thing. And people are having fun with it and that’s a good thing too. But the intimidation factor does bother me. “Either donate money or get ice dumped on your head and don’t you dare say anything against the great and wonderful Ice Bucket Challenge.” Perhaps calling it “intimidation” is a bit overly dramatic but it does definitely involve peer pressure.

A few people, however, are able to handle challenges with perfect class and style.

Name

I keep getting spam comments from someone or something using the name ShoogeStulfef. I swear if I ever write a fantasy novel I’m going to name a character Shooge Stulfef. I haven’t decided what sort of character he will be. Certainly male, probably large and disheveled, and not necessarily human. Thoughts?

Random Linkage

The 1 Weirdest Thing You Never Knew About Your Home State – Fascinating stuff

Twist My Armoire – A lovely blog about home furnishing and decor

Lorem China – Fun with Google Translate

Funny “Facts” About Daily Life – Some of these are great.

Norman Rockwell’s Reference Photos – I had seen the last one before.

Hero – A wonderful story

Well, I’m not sure anything can follow that, except maybe this:

More Science Fiction TV

When I posted the Science Fiction Top 50 I said I might post a few that did not make it onto the list. I’m not sure I would put all of these on a “Top 50″ list but then I’m not sure I would put some of those that actually are on the list on the list. These are in no particular order.

Millennium – This was an X-Files spin-off. I remember liking this but can’t remember a lot of specifics about it and I’m not sure it really qualifies as science fiction even though it was spun off a science fiction series.

Gargoyles – It might be “just a cartoon” but this was a classy and sophisticated show, with some very famous and talented actors providing voices, including several cast members of Star Trek (mostly TNG), plus Ed Asner, Tim Curry, Matt Frewer, John Rhys-Davies, James Belushi, and many other notable names.

Stargate: Atlantis – This could easily win an award for the worst show with the best cast. I loved the characters on this show; they had great chemistry and were fun to watch. Unfortunately, they had nothing particularly interesting to do. You would think that if you sent a group of people to a distant galaxy they would find some fascinating planets, civilizations, and creatures but no, nothing of the sort. It was just the same kind of stuff they had on Stargate:SG1 only duller. The enemies, The Wraith, were mostly just tiresome. I was happy to watch it just for the characters but I always wished it could be more than what it was.

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. – Crazy, weird, awesome show! Unfortunately it only lasted one season. I guess most people’s minds aren’t flexible enough to wrap around the concept of a sci-fi western. They never last very long.

Current Series:

The list of 50 did not include many current series but there are a few good ones on right now. This is actually a really good time to be a sci-fi fan.

Grimm – Another good creature of the week series that is in danger of being dragged down by the long term story arc but it’s still fun so far.

Defiance – I keep liking this show more and more. Which means that the rumors of cancellation that I’ve read are probably true. They just can’t give a great, original series a chance. Everything has to follow an established formula.

Under the Dome – Based on a book by Stephen King and he is also one of the executive producers and it shows. In a good way.

Extant – A relatively new series that I’m liking so far.

I have probably missed a series or three. That’s what the comments section is for. Your turn.

Quotes From Here and There

These are not people you are bound to respect; the fact that they have been installed in the seats of power means nothing more than that the contemporary power structure, with its emphasis on collective “responsibility” at individual expense, needs to be burned to the ground and the ground subsequently covered with sodium chloride.here

I sure hope orbicular is a word.there

… it seems that while we as a country don’t want government doing anything because it somehow infringes on our “freedom”, we are entirely willing to let our corporate bosses encroach on our “freedom” in ways that are more real and more limiting than anything government is trying to do.here

When I set out, there was no rain but I watched the clouds gather over Sri Chiangmai on the Thai side. It seems to be good weather for the fishermen.there

Science Fiction TV Top 50

Oooo! A list! A sci-fi list! The 50 Greatest Sci-Fi Television Shows. You won’t find the whole list there. I did click through to the list but it’s a slideshow and I just don’t have the patience for those. Not only that, this one spontaneously started to open up a new tab so I quickly left the site and went to the other link, Which turned out to be the first of a series of posts commenting on the list. So, strap in kids; here we go.

Science Fiction TV – Numbers 50 – 46

The Thunderbirds – I hadn’t heard of this one before.

Land of the Lost and Space 1999 – I think I might have seen one or two episodes each many years after they originally aired. That’s not necessarily by choice. We only received a very limited number of channels when I was a kid – only one up until about 1971 or thereabouts and then still just a few.

The Six Million Dollar Man – My little brother was obsessed with this show when we were kids so we watched every episode. It was okay.

Dark Angel – I liked it fairly well and was a little disappointed when it was cancelled but I agree that it wasn’t really a great show.

45 – 41

Knight Rider – I loved this show! A talking car? With a British accent? How can one not love?

Jerico – ummmm… sounds familiar? I think I might have watched a season of this but I’m not sure if it’s the show I’m thinking of.

Space Above and Beyond – Never watched it. I don’t think I ever had the opportunity.

Dollhouse – A serious disappointment

Battle of the Planets – Never heard of it.

40 -36

Life on Mars and Lexx – Never watched these. I was going to say never heard of them but I do think I remember seeing ads for the first one.

War of the Worlds – I didn’t know there was a series.

Twin Peaks – Never watched it. Didn’t even know it was sci-fi.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – Oh yes! A ridiculous and fun show.

35 – 31

Cowboy Bebop – Never watched it.

Caprica – I only watched the first episode or two. It didn’t grab me.

Alien Nation – Silly and cheesy but I sort of liked it.

Star Trek: Voyager – I watched about a season and a half, I think, (or was it 2 and a half?) but then we moved and couldn’t get it anymore. The ST series that I liked the least.

Lost in Space – This too, was on at a time when we had only one channel and this show wasn’t on it. I did see at least one episode years later. Wasn’t really impressed. I guess I need to have seen it when it was new.

30 – 26

Battlestar Galactica (1978-79) – I liked this one even though it was very cheesy and a number of things about the show really, seriously got on my nerves. It could have been a much better show if certain aspects, such as some of the made-up words, hadn’t made it seem so cartoonish. In science fiction it is often necessary to invent words for things but it’s a good idea to try to make them sound not stupid.

Futurama – A great, silly, hilarious show

Logan’s Run, Red Dwarf, and Ghost in the Shell – Never watched these.

25 – 21

Max Headroom – I remember this but I can’t remember if I ever watched it or if I’m just remembering the commercials.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – I was really getting into this when they cancelled it.

Torchwood – I watched one season and I’m looking forward to watching more. Weird and pretty good.

Farscape – I have watched a few episodes and I really want to like this show but I just can’t get into it.

Quantum Leap – I know I watched this but I can’t remember much about it.

20 – 16

Starblazers/Space Battleship Yamato – Hadn’t heard of it before

Babylon 5 – Love, love, loved this show! But then we moved and couldn’t get it anymore. Someday I’m going to watch it all from the beginning.

Sliders – Cute show. Sort of juvenile and silly but a pleasant diversion. I am surprised that it’s this high on the list.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Never watched it, darn it.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Not my favorite ST but not the worst either. I liked most of the characters. This was another victim of the Big Move so there are several whole seasons that I have not seen yet.

15 – 11

Blake’s 7 – Sounds vaguely familiar?

Stargate:SG1 – I liked this a lot but always had the feeling it could have been better. It seems like every extraterrestrial human civilization they came across was almost exactly like every other. Still, it was a very enjoyable series.

V – I watched most of the original but very little of the reboot. Silly fun.

Lost – I watched the whole first season and part of the second but gave up on it because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Firefly – Do I even need to say it? And BTW, why is this only number 11? Because it lasted only a short time is not a valid excuse. It had more awesomeness in 14 episodes than most series put into five or more seasons.

10 – 6

The Outer Limits – I have watched several of these but not a lot. The rest of my family doesn’t seem interested but I think it’s quite good.

Fringe – I loved this show until it got into the alternate universe storyline and even then it wasn’t bad but I prefer just the plain, stand-alone, straight up weird phenomenon or weird creature stories. Loved the characters in this show. And we got to see Leonard Nimoy again as a different and very interesting character.

Neon Genesis Evangelion and The Prisoner – Never heard of these.

Star Trek: TOS – What can I say that hasn’t already been said many times? Seems like it should be a little higher on the list. In the top 5 at least.

Top 5

Twilight Zone – An undeniable classic. I don’t know that I’d put it ahead of Star Trek but, I don’t know, maybe I would. It’s pretty iconic and a few of the episodes are true classics.

Battlestar Galactica 2004-09 – I never got as excited about this series as some people did. It was undeniably well done and the acting and special effects were spectacular but it sometimes got tiresome. I certainly wouldn’t put it in the top 5 and probably not even in the top 10. Unlike most people though, I loved the ending.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – This was my favorite of all the ST series. I understand the complaints against it and agree with some of them but I don’t care. It was pure, delightful escapism. I am of the opinion that escapism does not have to be realistic or support your politics.

X-Files – Great show but too high on the list. The first two or three seasons were excellent but I was disappointed that they sunk into the conspiracy theory mire. I would put this just behind Fringe on the list.

Dr. Who – Well, I suppose it makes sense that this would be first on the list. It has been on for 50 years. I watched the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant episodes but I got tired of having to get used to new Doctors and new companions every couple of years. Aside from this, the show is weird and silly, which is not bad for a sci-fi series but it’s not what I expect in a top series.

Here I feel like I should do some “honorable mentions” or personal favorites that were missed but I might do that in a separate post.

I Can Read Your Mind

Well, actually I can’t. But maybe in the near future? Actually, I have a “wait and see” attitude about this kind of thing. Success in the lab does not always lead to the cool new products suggested by overly optimistic tech articles. If “mind reading headsets” do become available I don’t think it’s something that “everybody” will want. I see it mainly as a tool for the handicapped – people who can’t speak, people who can’t type – and that would be wonderful.

I Don’t Have Anything To Say But I’m Going to Talk Anyway

Some days I have absolutely nothing to say and other days I have too much to say and no energy to say it and I start to think, “Why am I still doing this? How much longer will I keep doing this?” If Blogger would make one or two more little improvements I might switch back to that. I would miss my links page though. But I need to work on that some so, I don’t know… maybe I’m just getting tired of the whole thing. On the other hand, I want to have something for those times when I do really have something to say. And I like being part of a “community” even if I am destined to always be the weird, lonely girl that almost everyone ignores.

This week is the hottest this year so far. They are forecasting triple digits for this weekend. Everyone is complaining and yeah, I am too a little bit, but I really don’t mind all that much. Now I feel like it’s really summer, not just a perpetual spring. I know I’m making that sound like a bad thing. Of course I am more comfortable when the temps are in the 70’s and 80’s, but it’s August and it’s supposed to be hot. It’s hard to explain. I guess I’m more comfortable (in a different sense) when things are the way they are supposed to be.

I have really slacked off on sewing. I haven’t started one of these yet like I had intended to do. I have been working for over a week on a baby dress that I could have finished in a day. But you know, it’s like that sometimes. Sometimes you feel inspired and feel an urgency (which in my case is almost always imaginary) and other times you just can’t stay interested. Maybe it’s because it’s August. Is this the lazy month?

It’s also the month that school starts. Not something I have to deal with anymore, thank goodness. It always seems wrong to me that school starts in the middle of August. It’s supposed to start in September, the day after Labor Day. Anything else will always be wrong.

We started watching The Strain. I have mixed feelings about this show. It has a little too much “gross horror movie” stuff for my taste but it is also interesting enough that I want to stick with it to see what happens next. The new season of Haven starts soon. I’ve been seeing ads for it. I sort of feel like they started to lose me last season but not completely. I still want to keep watching.

By far my favorite series that’s on right now is Defiance. Here are two behind the scenes videos.

Random Linkage

Sketching on Porcelain

Searching for the Perfect Product Page – Mostly what I want to see on a product page is a good description, reviews, and, most of all, excellent photos – several high resolution photos from every possible angle. Depending on the product of course. Amazon generally does pretty good.

Interesting Doors Around the World

Alone in the Forest

From Old Books – pictures from old books

Dataisnature – Very interesting site. Art, design, nature.

Hooting Yard – A blog, just discovered, not yet explored. Looks fascinating.

Artisan Crafted LED’s – See, they don’t have to be ugly!

Population 1 – America’s smallest town! I sort of want to go visit it.

13 Things – Edible Legos, talking postage stamps and more.

3000 Square Foot Closet – That might be a little bigger than I need.

Hemp Batteries – They keep finding more uses for that stuff.

The Extraordinary Evolution of Scissors – Wow! Lots of photos of of antique scissors.

And finally… Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be completely lacking in spatial awareness?

Holy Shi… pping!

UPDATED

Friday evening we noticed that our house wasn’t quite as cool as we are used to. The husband, who is pretty good with this sort of thing, checked out the air conditioner and discovered that it had a bad capacitor. Just so happened we had another one from an old air conditioner so he installed that one and it worked. Yay, we’re cool again. But, not knowing how long that old part would last he looked up a new one online and asked me to order it. The total, with standard shipping, came to $19 and change.

This seemed to me like something we might want in a hurry. If the air conditioner quit completely with temps in the upper 90s we might think an extra $30 or perhaps even an extra $50 would have been worth it. So I looked at the cost for 2 day shipping. There are not enough curse words in the world to express my feelings upon seeing the price for two day shipping. Keep in mind this part is slightly smaller than a 12 ounce soda can and not exceptionally heavy for an object of that size. Total cost for 2 day shipping: $276. Or something like that. It was definitely 3 digits starting with a “2” and I’m pretty sure there was a “7” and a “6” in some order. Sorry, I’m a bit traumatized by the experience. I mean, what the hell? Are they going to hire James Earl Jones to bring it in a limo and deliver it personally to my front door? (Yeah, I’d pay $276 for that.)

Well, anyway, obviously I did not choose that option. Standard shipping will get it here sometime between the 21st and the 26th and maybe the air conditioner will hold out until then. It didn’t. Last night it started short cycling. So we shut it down. Right now the windows are open and fans are running and, at a few minutes before 8:00 in the morning, it’s quite pleasant but the highs are supposed to be in the upper 90s all week. Air conditioners never break while we’re having unseasonably cool temperatures.

There will be as little heat producing as possible this week. No cooking. We will have salads and sandwiches and perhaps Carl’s Jr. one or two nights. And I’m going to shut the computer down as soon as I’m done using it instead of leaving it on all day like I usually do. This morning I had ice tea instead of my usual hot tea and I’ll probably spend the entire week in front of a fan reading a book and moving as little as possible, except when I get in my air conditioned car and drive to some place with air conditioning. We will survive. Everyone used to live like this their entire lives. (I’ll just keep telling myself that.)

UPDATE: We have air conditioning again. Yay! [sigh] All that drama! I really thought it was going to be at least a week but we did get the right part in the Nearby Small Town, along with a couple of other parts. Problem with getting parts locally is that the parts stores keep “bankers hours”. The Internet is always open. I said, ordering stuff online is just a convenient habit that we have gotten into and when we ordered it we really thought we probably had a week or more before the AC finally quit completely.

It’s Almost Over!

If you live in the U.S. and subscribe to cable or satellite TV you already know that this is “Shark Week.” Shark Week isn’t an actual thing, of course. It’s just a stunt that The Discovery Channel came up with back in the 80’s and they’re still doing it every year in August. The first year we had cable I thought it was sort of a fun idea. The second year, still sort of fun but 75% of it was stuff we had seen the year before. The third year, pretty much over it. The fourth year, SO over it.

Most of the programs broadcast during Shark Week fall into one of two categories: 1. Trying to convince us that sharks are almost cuddly, and 2. Showing us horrible shark bite wounds and bleeding stumps and interviewing shark bite victims who say things like, “I don’t feel any malice toward the shark. He was just doing what comes natural. I was in his territory. Yes I still dive.” You know… that’s an admirable attitude I suppose but I would find it a lot easier to believe in the sincerity of those statements if just once in a while they would show someone expressing what would be entirely normal feelings after experiencing something like that: “I am afraid of sharks, I [bleeping] hate sharks and hell no I’m not going back in the water.”

In the last two or three years the whole Shark Week thing has gotten completely out of hand. Not to be left out, Nat Geo Wild decided to have their own version of Shark Week but they can’t call it that, of course, so they’re calling theirs Shark Fest. In addition, every other channel is dragging out and rerunning every shark related program they can find. SyFy was repeatedly showing Sharknado and another shark movie with a similar title that I can’t remember now. Almost everywhere you look it was sharks, sharks, sharks! Even locally they were having some kind of shark thing at the Oklahoma Aquarium. (saw it on the local news, wasn’t really paying attention.)

And then there’s this:

Okay, that is cute.

But it’s all educational, right? No, it’s not. No matter how many times they get caught doing this sort of thing they will keep on doing it, and they still have just enough legitimate shows to lure scientists into talking to them, thinking that they are interviewing for a legitimate educational program. It’s not at all surprising considering the masses of people who believe in ghosts, bigfoot, UFOs, alligators in the sewers, and that the moon landing was faked, but it is disappointing.

Finally, I have to ask, why sharks? Yeah, I suppose they’re interesting and TV producers can create a lot of drama with them, which is all most people want to see, but I think it’s sad that, of all the fascinating things in the natural world, sharks get a whole week every year. Why don’t we have bird week, or Insect Week? There are a lot more species of insects than there are of sharks. Wait! Let’s call it Creepy Crawlies Week then they could include arachnids too! Surely they could create enough drama with that.

A Stashing Good Time

Back in April I had about a dozen projects that I had decided I absolutely positively must finish by the the end of May, or the middle of June at the latest. I had no real need to have them all done by any particular date. I just decided that I wanted to and somehow “want” turned into “have to”. Well, you know how life goes. Actually, looking back through my archives I see that I got five of the things done by the middle of June and one more by the end of June. I’m going to call that “not too bad” for an overly ambitious goal.

Funny thing though, after my self-imposed deadline had passed all sense of urgency left me. I relaxed and slacked off, and sewed a few things that weren’t on my original “list”. Now I’m thinking about those things a little bit now but also thinking, “It’s the middle of August. Does it make any sense to sew a bunch of summer dresses right now?” Well… maybe one or two.

Here are the ones that did not get done.

The brown fabric is destined to be a Vogue 8577, which I talked about a little bit here. That would be a good one to make right now. The colors are more fall than summer anyway and with a cardigan and tights I could wear it until late in the season. (I don’t have a cardigan of the right color though so that would mean more shopping.)

The lovely yellow and orange floral is going to be similar to my most recent dress. The aqua polka dot is going to be a blouse. This and the piece directly below it, which is also going to be a blouse, were not really on my “must get done” list but I was thinking about them and when I was feeling very ambitious I thought maybe I would sew these too if I got all the other stuff done.

The fabric on the lower left is printed with antique sewing machine and sewing related ads. Isn’t this the most awesome fabric? I think it’s going to be a Vogue 8811. (also mentioned in the first linked post) This could also go into the fall. The green and orange fabric, lower middle in the picture, I have had for a number of years. Originally it was going to be a Simplicity 2957 but after using it for the batik ferns dress I have changed my mind. I like that dress okay but not well enough that I want to use the pattern again. So now I’m thinking Simplicity 1882, with a little tweaking. I’m feeling rather strongly about doing this one next simply because it’s been in the stash for so long.

And here’s one more:

These all go together. Or maybe not? I was planning another New Look 6209, sleeveless this time. The print would be the front panel of course, the dark fabric for the main part of the dress and the dark orange for the yoke. But then I started feeling a little chicken about it – like this is going to look all wrong. Then this morning when I got the fabric out to photograph I started thinking again, “This will work.” Then, “Wait! Will it?” So indecisiveness. Big time.

But that’s not all. I have recently become aware of a couple of needs (Yes, actual needs) that I do not have fabric for. I also have a $10 off coupon for eQuilter that expires at the end of the month. But, eQuilter does not have the right kind of fabric for my two needs. I do hate to let that coupon expire though…

“Digital Natives”

From Fillyjonk’s Progress:

There was the usual “OMG the upcoming generation are all such digital natives that they will REBEL if you want to use an actual, dead-tree textbook!” but the funny thing is, in my department, we have at least anecdotal information (from informally polling students) that many of them HATE e-books, and hate them more strongly than the e-book users dislike paper books. And the idea that we have to totally overturn models of teaching that have worked for generations because these new kids have shorter attention spans, and like to be entertained, and bla bla bla. And part of me is going, “But the good students in my department would consider that slander, and they’re in that age group”…

Any attempt to characterize a large group of people, whether it’s an age group, a race, members of a profession, or any other groups we choose to divide people into, will always be inaccurate and unfair. The characteristics you ascribe to the group may be true of a large number of members but never all and usually fewer than half. I keep reading this stuff about how today’s, kids, teens, and twenty-somethings are “digital natives” – that they have never known a world in which there were no computers or cell phones and therefore they are almost like a different species from us older folk who just don’t quite “get” all this new technology. The truth is that in all age groups there are both technophiles and technophobes, just as in every generation there are people who can work on cars and people to whom anything mechanical is mysterious and confusing.

People my age who grew up watching Star Trek have been waiting for these gadgets for over half our lives. I wanted a smart phone years before the things even existed. The smartest and most ambitious did not wait. They made it all happen. Digital natives? My generation created this digital world we live in now. What does that make us?

Yeah, I sort of get how if ebook readers have been around for all or most of your life (and really they haven’t been available for that long yet) that you might be just as comfortable with one as with paper and ink books and might even prefer them but, on the other hand, you might not. There’s no reason why you should. Books still have the same advantages no matter what your age. Oh yes, I like my Kindle. I like being able to store hundreds of books in the space of just one. I like the built in dictionary. I like being able to download books from sites like Project Gutenberg for free. But sometimes while reading a book on Kindle I really miss being able to flip back to a previous chapter to review something I read earlier. It seems to me that with textbooks the ability to do that would be needed even more.