White

There used to be this “rule” that you should only wear white between Easter and Labor Day. Now I’m not going to be all judgey about people who don’t follow this rule and talk about how people have no sense of what’s proper anymore; (even though they really don’t) I break a few fashion rules myself. If there are any rules that are made to be broken it is fashion rules, but personally, I like rules like this. It seems to me that dressing appropriately for the season gives a pleasing kind of structure to life. And having a rule that you’re allowed to break adds a little fun to life.

I don’t wear white a lot anyway, though. I’m afraid of it showing dirt and stains. I am, I’m ashamed to admit, a rather messy eater. It’s like I’ve got a hole in my lower lip or something. No matter how hard I try, whatever I’m eating is going to end up on my clothes. So, white? Not a great idea for me. But a while back I got this brain fart idea that I really need a white skirt. Of course I dismissed the idea because it was just too crazy but it wouldn’t go away so I finally decided, just get some cheap white twill from Wal-mart, make a skirt and if I ruin it it won’t be a huge loss. I can always get some more cheap white twill and try again. I haven’t made it yet because I’m planning a button front skirt and I’m waiting on the world’s slowest online retailer to finally send me my fricking buttons! Yes, Wal-mart has white buttons too but I didn’t like the ones they had.

This year Easter was early so I’m not really feeling the white yet but I am also thinking about what shoes to wear with my new white skirt. I have the hardest time trying to find white shoes. Oh, there are lots of white shoes out there but none in a style I like, or can at least live with, in one of my few trusted brands. I own only one pair of white shoes, Dr. Scholl’s mocs, but they’re not really comfortable. They are sort of comfortable but also sort of not. Mostly not.

So anyway… I don’t know about the shoes but otherwise this year I’m going to give this wearing white thing a try.

Crazy Oklahoma Weather

We have been having spring-like weather all winter. In January and February we had lots of days when the temperature was over 70°F and a few over 80°. But now? Now that it is officially spring? Freezing nights and chilly days. For me, being a warm weather person, this is so disappointing. I suppose there is a good side to it: maybe there will be fewer mosquitoes and ticks than there would have been if the temps had stayed above freezing. That’s what people say anyway.

I probably complain about the weather as much as anyone else but the truth is, the weird weather is actually one of the things I like about living in Oklahoma. For 70% to 80% of the year we can have any kind of weather and for the other 20% to 25% we are practically guaranteed nice warm or hot sunny weather, which I know doesn’t make everyone happy but it makes me happy and complaining makes other people happy so everyone’s happy, right? (Except me when I have to listen to the complaining)

But anyway… It was 28°F first thing this morning but it looks like it’s going to warm up and we’ll have highs in the 70’s this week but no more 80’s for a while, which is not quite sundress weather but I’ll take it.

Reading

This week I finished Abaddon’s Gate, the third novel in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series. This series just keeps getting better and better. Based on my past reading experiences, it’s kind of amazing to me that a space opera that doesn’t even have FTL can be so interesting and exciting. There are space ships and plenty of explosions and shooting for those who like that sort of thing and I do but what really impresses me is the real depth of the characters’ personalities.

And of course the writing itself is fantastic. I want to say it’s very intelligent. Here are two quotes that I particularly liked. These are just one page apart from one another.

If humanity were capable of being satisfied, then they’d all still be living in trees and eating bugs out of one another’s fur.

“Heroism is a label most people get for doing shit they’d never do if they were really thinking about it.”

Tempting as it is to binge on the whole series (six books total, I think) I am going to stick to my plan to take a break from it and read something completely different, a novel set in the real world but a part of it that is so far from the part that I’m familiar with that it might as well be another planet. That’s the greatest thing about books – they can take you anywhere, anytime.

Random Linkage

Trash/Treasure – Photos of the New York Sanitation Garage trash collection. Wow – the stuff people throw away!

Sticky Nightmares – Creepy drawings done on Post-It notes

Storybook GIFs – Normally, I’m not a big fan of GIFs. In fact, I kinda hate them. Pictures should not move unless I tell them too. But I’ll make an exception for these. They are wonderful!

Geek Tyrant – All sorts of geeky goodness

The Cookie Muncher – Fine Art for the Famished – Just go look; I don’t want to spoil it.

Odd Jobs – British jobs, 1801

Wipebook – Nifty idea

Barcelona Floors – Beautiful tile floors. I will be so glad when American designers get over the dirt colored earth tone everything fixation.

Tiny Drawings

RealRuler – an online ruler that you can calibrate for accuracy.

Interesting Cover

Sorry for the lack of updates; I’ve had my face in a book for most of the day. I did finally take a few minutes to look at Facebook and saw this. Wow. I guess I really should get out more often and by “get out” I mean put the book down for a bit and see what’s happening online.

Creatures in the Mist

With what strange, unseen beings do we share our world? Scientists and engineers at the University of Eyewannabuleev have invented a full spectrum image analyzing device that, for the first time, reveals these creatures that have always surrounded us but have never been seen except, perhaps, by a gifted few.

[ahem] Not really. I’m just playing with the Deep Dream Generator again.

Trees in the fog

Trees in the fog w/Deep Dream Generator

The Book Was Better

We finished watching the SyFy series The Expanse, based on the books by James S.A. Corey. I had read Leviathan Wakes, the first book in the series a couple of years ago. In the middle of watching the series I decided to read the book again. At first this seemed like it might have been not such a good idea. The TV show doesn’t follow the book exactly and it was a little confusing to try to keep up with both at the same time but after a while I started to think of the show and the book as two different things. And I enjoyed both. Don’t be fooled by the title; it’s at least partially tongue-in-cheek. Of course books are almost always better but the series was excellent and I’m looking forward to next season.

After reading Leviathan Wakes I ordered the next two books in the series. Caliban’s War continues to follow the adventures of James Holden and crew. Holden is a really good guy who manages to annoy almost everyone in the solar system including some powerful people. The alien bio-weapon that caused so much grief in the first book is still around and evolving. And a bunch of new characters are introduced. It was a great read and I think I might have liked it better than the first book but I’m not entirely sure about that.

I just started the 3rd book in the series, Abaddon’s Gate, a couple of days ago. Thanks to these books I’m getting hardly anything done that I need to do or want to do, including taking time to write a decent review.

Dream Generator

My son found this cool Internet toy – Deep Dream Generator. You upload a photo and strange things appear in it. I started with a pic of my cat. First the original image:

My cat, Dax

And here’s what Deep Dream Generator did with it:

My cat, with Deep Dream Generator

Don’t be surprised if I subject you to more of this weirdness. I took a picture of the fog this morning that I’m going to upload later.

Quotes From Here and There

My parents were good parents, but by today’s standards they would have been arrested for child endangerment—numerous times.here

…the design of any structure always implies a way to break into it.there

After centuries of the ancient Greeks worshipping reason and evidence, after the debating clubs at the peak of the Enlightenment, we are now a world filled with conspiracy theories and optional realities.here
(I suspect that there have always been conspiracy theorists; the only difference is that the ancient Greeks didn’t have the Internet.)

When it comes to culinary invention, I’m a fan of the “Let’s throw some stuff together, bake it, and see what happens!” approach.there

Reputation

I came across this excellent quotable paragraph in the book I’m reading, Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey.

“Reputation never has very much to do with reality,” she said. “I could name half a dozen paragons of virtue that are horrible, small-souled, evil people. And some of the best men I know, you’d walk out of the room if you heard their names. No one on the screen is who they are when you breathe their air.”

Something that it would be wise to keep in mind, especially in election years.

Marble Machine

This video has been showing up everywhere so it’s likely that you’ve already seen it but I’m sharing it anyway because I love it. Not just the machine itself, which is fascinating, or the talent it took to build and play it, which is amazing; I love that there are people in the world who spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to create something purely for the pleasure of creating it. I think we would all be happier if we spent more time doing creative things (even if we’re not this talented) and less time on Facebook.

Random Linkage

Color Thesaurus – Of course one could argue about the accuracy of many of these (and of course different monitors render colors differently) but it was a nice attempt.

Secret Society Art – Some of these are interesting. I like Where Hideous Things Slither and Climb and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows poster, among others. The other magic lantern slides especially.

Amazing Embroidery – Mushrooms, forest creatures, insects. Beautiful!

Old-Style Map of Mars – Love it!

Chicken Legs – Too funny!

Gina Kalabishis – Strange and beautiful art

The man in the Alien costume

* * *

A Photo Op That Got Away

Probably everyone who owns a camera has experienced missing what might have been a great photo. You would think that wouldn’t happen so much anymore with everyone having a phone with a built in camera that you have with you all the time but moments are only moments, here and gone before your hand can reach your pocket.

Yesterday afternoon we kept hearing sirens and for a while we just thought the local fire department were out playing with their toys doing practice runs to improve their response time but then we started hearing helicopters and finally we remembered grass fires are a thing around here and went outside to see if we could see smoke or fire or which direction all the trucks and helicopters were going.

We – husband, both sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and I – were standing out in the driveway and we heard a helicopter getting closer. It came up over the trees carrying one of those giant water “buckets”, right over our backyard – really close. It would have made a great photo and there were five of us out there with smart phones but not a one of us got a picture. We thought it might come back so we waited for a while but it never did.

We could hear it flying back and forth farther away and occasionally catch a glimpse of it through the trees. We thought we might be able to see it better if we walked down through the woods to the very back of our place. I ran into the house to get my actual camera and then followed everyone else. It was some distance from us still and we could just see it through the trees once in a while. I managed to get this not-very-good photo. The round thing below it in the trees is the bucket. My camera has a 20X zoom and I don’t think I was quite zoomed in all the way but probably more than half way so maybe about 12X?

Helicopter

We never did see smoke or fire. My sons decided to drive over that direction to see if they could see anything and the cops at the roadblock told them it was not that big of a fire; they were just using helicopters because the trucks couldn’t get to it. So… that was our Sunday afternoon redneck entertainment.

The End of Mythbusters

After 14 seasons it’s over. I don’t want to say I thought it would go on forever because nothing lasts forever and 14 seasons is kind of amazing for a cable show, but I sort of felt like it would go on forever or at least for a long, long time. I sort of thought that… well, I didn’t really think that because I never even thought about it ending until the last two seasons after Kari, Grant, and Tory left, but somehow I sort of felt like the people might retire or leave one at a time to be replaced by other people but that somehow Mythbusters would keep going for many, many more years; if not forever then at least as long as the Discovery Channel still exists.

We watched the finale and the reunion special and the so-called lost episode which was rather obviously “lost” on purpose so they could show one more episode after the finale. Of course the re-runs will be shown on the Science Channel now, as they have been for several years, and I’m pretty sure there are some early episodes that we haven’t seen. I had a thought this morning – there’s a possibility of “previously unseen footage” specials. I hope someone at Discovery thinks of that. Still, it won’t be the same as actual new episodes and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say the cancellation of Mythbusters is tragic. The world NEEDS Mythbusters. There are still people out there who believe every silly thing they see on TV or the Internet. There are still kids who need someone to show them that science is fun. The world, already getting dumber every day, just lost one its most important sources of smart.

Quotes From Here and There

In some way I knew that my grandma was sending me a sign…here

I suspect if he could speak to us from the grave, he’d have a few choice words for these special snowflakes about what being ‘hurt’ or ‘offended’ really means.there

It seems Blacky the emu has just discovered the holy grail.here

Every time I come up with a bright idea and introduce it to the story, it usually get complicated. Why? Because this is science fiction and the two guns talk, belong to a psychopath, and hate each other.there