Just a Few Links

Star Trek: TOS Photostream – Awesomeness!

Inventor of the Pet Rock – I always sort of envied this guy, (to come up with a simple idea that makes millions) even though I didn’t know his name until just a minute ago.

Staircase Models – Beautiful

Garage Sale of the Century – Oh! Wow!

Tiny Drill – I saw just a picture of this a while back. This is an article about how it was made, with more pictures and a video.

Mid-Week Music Break

As I’ve said before, I stopped paying attention to popular music over two decades ago. So I don’t know how embarrassed I’m supposed to be that I had never heard of this band until a few days ago. We were watching The Graham Norton Show (an episode we had recorded earlier) and as he introduced the band I braced myself for the usual assault on my senses (I could have fast fowarded through that part. See, I am open to new experiences.) but, within the first 30 seconds I went from, “Okay, these guys are not too bad,” to “Hey! I think I really like these guys.”

Yes, It Is Time For New Eyeglasses

My bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper has an ad on the label for Avengers: Age of Ultron. When I first looked at it I could have sworn it said “Ass of Ultron”. After taking off my glasses, holding the bottle closer, and squinting and staring at it for a few seconds I was able to make out that the word is actually “Age”. It seems to me though, that Ass of Ultron has possibilities as a movie. “Age of” is so overused.

It just so happens that I did already have an eye Dr. appointment scheduled.

Office Jargon

A-Z of Modern Office Jargon. If I worked in an office I would stay in trouble for making fun of the way my bosses and co-workers talk. “Let’s take this offline.” “But we’re not online right now.”

Some of the words on the list have been in use so long they seem like just normal, ordinary language: heads-up, no-brainer, and even “issues” are all common and not just in the office. It’s more a matter of how these words, and some others on the list, are used in an office or political setting to mask what is really being said that makes it jargon. Some, however – “thought shower”, “upskill”, “backfill” – are merely ridiculous.

This list is from a book, Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower?: A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon by Steven Poole. I’m thinking it might be a great idea if everyone who works in that kind of office sent a copy of it to their boss. Anonymously, of course.

Symphonies

Lists exist for the purpose of giving us something to criticize and disagree with. How could one possibly make a list of Top 10 Greatest Symphonies and honestly believe that these are, inarguably, the top 10 greatest? It seems to me that it would take a shockingly high level of arrogance and excessive regard for one’s own opinion. And, honestly, you do run into that quite a bit among “serious” classical music fans. On the other hand, I suppose those who are more knowledgeable about music composition have detailed criteria for deciding greatness that I am not aware of. Still… I only know what I like and it seems to me that being liked, by millions of people for hundreds of years, is a pretty good criterion for greatness.

I have not heard all of these symphonies. I like most of the ones that I have heard but I am a little surprised that some of them made it onto this list. Haydn’s Symphony #104. I know I’ve heard it but I’m not very familiar with it and can’t recall it. I rarely see Haydn on “greatest” lists for some reason. It seems most people just think of his music as merely nice or pleasant. Mozart’s Symphony #40. Very popular and undeniably great but, but personally, I like #41 a little bit better. I’ve never warmed up to Beethoven’s Eroica symphony. It is the one I like the least of his nine symphonies. Schubert’s Unfinished I love this one. Brahm’s #1, Tchaikovsky’s #6, and Sibelius’ #5 – all okay but not among my favorites.

So, what would I add? I’ve already mentioned Mozart’s #41. I’m also very fond of his #25. All of Beethoven’s but if I had to pick just one it would be #6, the Pastoral Symphony. And of course, Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Quotes From Here and There

So yeah, if you like annoying people, the airport’s the place for you.here

We need more of those oddball houses at the end of the street that neighbours complain about because it doesn’t look anything like the other houses.there

Shielded from the horrors of raised eyebrows and any hint of incredulity, the ladies continued to address the great issues of the day.here

Oh, apple trees! My favorite of the flowering trees. So humble and sweet and pretty. And their scent. My gosh, I love them.there

What in the deep dark recesses of Freudian hell did such a thing emerge?here

With a flourish, Spring opens her petals and waves her branches in a cheery hello.there

Random Linkage

Booze Under the Microscope – and a few non-alcoholic beverages at the end. Surprising and strange.

Coffee on Condensed Milk – A quick, easy ice cream recipe. Just one problem: coffee is the one flavor of ice cream that I do not like.

Hollywood “Ghost Town” For Sale – This place has been in TV commercials and movies.

The Vault – a very interesting history blog

Curbed – architecture and design

12 Worst Job Interview Questions – Wow. Really?

The One Rule… – Ha! What if this is true?

Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog – Haven’t spent much time on it yet; looks interesting.

Smartphone Microscope – Wow. Cool.

Mantis – Just a neat pic

Titanic Cat Condo – Hmmmm… Cute idea I guess but no thanks.

* * *

Authenticity

Charles at Dustbury picked his Quote of the Week from this longish essay on authenticity. The liberal bashing made me cringe a bit. Liberal stereotyping is like any other kind of stereotyping: true of only a small percentage of the group in question. Or maybe I’m not really an “authentic” liberal.

I’m a huge fan of authenticity but I have to admit that I like a lot of things that are not authentic and that sometimes I don’t even know what’s authentic and what’s not. But I absolutely do not think an artist’s background has anything to do with authenticity. To suggest that it does is un-American. Yes, it is. America is all about the idea that any kid can grow up to be anything he or she wants to be. America is supposed to be a “melting pot” right? (Although, I think some people are not fond if that idea.) Cultural appropriation is authentically American. We’ve been doing it for so long, sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It’s just that certain cultures are off limits. According to certain people.

But you know… when I think about it, all this bitching and whining and preaching and finger-pointing is authentically American too. Thank goodness we all have that right, even if it is really freaking annoying sometimes.

Spring Thoughts

Ah, spring… that lovely time of year when it’s 40 degrees in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Yeah, I know… “layering”. I hate layering. I can never really make it work for me. Another thing about this time of year is that it seems so cold inside the house in the morning and stays cold but then I go outside and it’s actually nice and I think, “How can it feel warmer outside than inside when it’s 70° inside and only 60° outside?”

But I like spring because I like spring flowers but, perhaps even more, I like spring because it means summer is not too far away. Yes, summer. While everyone else is complaining about the heat I’ll be… well, complaining about the heat sometimes too but mostly being happy that it’s not cold. Happy that I can get up in the morning and put on a light and lovely cotton dress and wear it all day instead of having to layer or to wear one thing in the morning and change into something else in the afternoon.

So now I can start the summer sewing! I was working on a long sleeved blouse last week and I only have to do buttons and buttonholes now. I already started a pair of pants (or trousers or slacks or whatever you prefer) The weather is still very changeable so I think I will get to wear these a few times before it gets too warm for them.

I don’t ever do a major “spring cleaning” but I’m having serious thoughts about closet cleaning. It’s so hard though. There’s only so much you can do with six feet of space. Outside, I need to work on the flower beds. I feel like I should have started that already but until the last few days the weather has not been such as to inspire me to spend time outside.

Quotes From Here and There

may his soul repose with whatever God may find ithere

Hominids didn’t spread first across Africa, and then the entire globe, by utilizing just one foraging strategy or sticking to a precise mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We did it by being ever so flexible, both socially and ecologically, and always searching for the greener grass (metaphorically), or riper fruit (literally).there

Random Linkage

Chimera – I had heard of this before but this is an interesting article.

Fliers and Explorer’s Globe – Wow. Neat.

Nobody home – I think the first commenter, Dan, has the best idea.

Wacky Inventions – Some maybe not totally wacky? Like the glasses for reading in bed?

False Happy Memories – Possibly helpful but also scary.

Hair Freezing – Nope! Nope! Nope!

Tiny Worlds – Sort of reminds me of the floating islands on the Trash episode of Firefly. Except the architecture is not as fancy.

Les Lits-clos – Beautiful and interesting 19th century French “box beds”. Lots more.

Cat Comics – A collection of cat comics. I like the “from the customer at the end of the bar” one. That is so real. Also the valentine.

Anna Atkins – Botanical cyanotype impressions. She had a Google doodle recently.

The original version of Monopoly

The Tower of Peretti – Interesting architecture and interior design. I can’t decide whether I love or hate the fireplace.

Blue Bloods – and green, and clear…

17 “Helpful” Cats

Shoes!

When I see the title Best Catwalk Shoes of Milan Fashion Week I immediately think, “Oh boy! Ridiculous high fashion shoes to make fun of,” but some of these are actually wearable and even more that would be wearable if I wore high heels. But there is a lot to make fun of too so let’s have a look, shall we.

#3 is one of the ridiculous ones but also, somehow, attractive?

Ooooooo! My sparkly little girl heart loves #8 but wearable? Sadly, not in my world. Same for #9, except I’m not so fond of the poodle.

#’s 11 and 13 set a new bar for ugly.

Well… #17 made me stop and stare for a while.

#21 is quite ordinary but nice. I might actually wear something like that.

#29 is… um… notable. I like the colors but the human foot was not made to walk in that position.

#32 – Hmmmm… green snake skin. I am tempted to think I could wear green snakeskin, with a more reasonable heel of course, but… no, probably not.

#34 is interesting. I sort of like them but of course I’d fall hurt myself if I tried to wear them.

#’s 36 and 37 – Oh, are chunky heels coming back? I could probably wear those. Not sure if I want to.

#42 – Hahahahahahahahaha! I hope those come in kids’ sizes.

#44 – OMG! No!

#45 – No, but wow!

#51 – Wait! What?

#52 – Oooo! Lights! Okay, yeah. I sort of hate to admit it but I would wear those with jeans. And #53. Those are cool.

#54 – WTF?

Oooo! Call me crazy but I want #62. And the skirt too. Yeah, yeah, I know it looks like Grandma’s sofa. Shut up.

#63 – Maybe for the Christmas party?

#70 – I would say maybe without the pom-poms but the heels look a little wrong somehow.

Sooner Than Expected

I had one of my LED light bulbs burn out this morning. Not completely, it was just very dim. I can’t remember exactly when I put it in but I know it was very recently so I’m thinking it was just a defective one. Or maybe it was the brand: Great Value from Walmart. We have another LED bulb (from Lowe’s) that we’ve been using for a lot longer and it’s still working.

I had a couple more on hand for replacements (also Great Value) so we’ll see how long this one lasts. It’s not as bright though, a 10 watt (60 watt equiv.) and the one that burned out was a 13 watt. I wish I had more of the brighter ones because this is the light over the sink and I feel like I need a brighter light there. Anyway, note to self: Don’t buy any more LEDs from Walmart.

I can relax now… Maybe?

I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed by a long series of Important Things of the sort that make being grown-up not as much fun as we thought it was going to be when we were kids. Oh, nothing bad, just routine things like doing taxes and things associated with buying and registering a new vehicle, and it just seems like I’ve had too many of these things to do lately.

It might be a little hard to explain our Tag Agencies to people in other states. They are privately owned and, having lived in several other states I know that they are way, way better than the typical DMV that other states have. This is one of the things that Oklahoma does right. There are usually no more than half a dozen people waiting in line and I rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes. But, being privately owned they have some flexibility in the matter of days and hours open and services offered. Very few Tag Agencies do Pikepasses.

I would say that Pikepass is another thing that Oklahoma does right but I suppose other states have similar systems. Pikepass is a convenience that I do not want to do without but getting one or updating your account involves a ridiculous amount of hassle. I was going to take care of it online but my online account disappeared somehow. I know I signed up for an online account, forgot my password of course, so I clicked on the forgotten password link and it told me that there was no account associated with my email address. Options: I could email them, chewing them out about my lost account, which I thought would feel very satisfying even if it accomplished nothing. I could sign up for an account again as if I had never had one. I could print out their PDF and fill it out and snail-mail it to get the new Pikepass sticker via snail mail. Or I could go to one of the Tag Agencies that do Pikepasses and get one the same day.

We talked about it, decided on the last option and we waited until last Friday because we were going to go to the Home and Garden show that day and could stop by the Tag Agency on the way home. So, about 2:30 in the afternoon we walked into a Tag Agency, told them what we wanted and filled out a paper, argued with them a bit because it seems I was supposed to have a pin number that I knew nothing about… Also, the woman there indicated that she could only give us a Pikepass because my husband was there, as if we were still living in the 19th century. WTF people? I know this is Oklahoma and we’re a bit backward in some areas but seriously? He works; I do nonsense like this. This is my job and it’s very unusual that he would be available to come with me to do stuff like this.

So anyway, we got the paper filled out and signed and then she told us that it would be about two and half hours before she could give us the Pikepass sticker. Seriously? Two and a half hours? You have the damned stickers right there. Just give us one and tell us it will be a few hours before it’s activated. We live quite some distance from that Tag Agency. The one nearest us does not do Pikepasses. So we decided that I would go back Monday and pick it up and I spent the whole weekend dreading the trip. Both of the most direct routes there are a little bit scary. One way has a long, steep hill with several curves and people driving up and down it way too fast and expecting me to drive equally too fast. The other way goes past a quarry with huge dump trucks going back and forth loaded down with gravel that often bounces off and cracks windshields and dings shiny new paint.

I chose the hill. Everything went fine. I survived the hill and got the sticker with no problems. So all the big annoying things are done. Could I please just relax for a few days now? Probably not because I’m going to keep thinking, “What else do I need to do? What am I forgetting?” until the next big thing comes up. I heard a useful neologism last night. I’m generally not a fan of neologisms but I like this one: kidult. (kid/adult) I think most us spend half our lives wanting to be an adult and then trying to act like a proper adult but we hit our 50s and suddenly realize it’s no use. The kid’s not going away. “Adult” is just a veneer. We are all kidults.

My Friday the 13th

Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed that it was Friday the 13th until the middle of the afternoon when we were having an annoying time trying to do something and for some reason I looked at my phone and suddenly realized that it was Friday the 13th and for just a second I thought, “Well, that figures,” but overall it was a pretty good day and nothing truly “unlucky” happened.

We went to the Tulsa Home and Garden Show, as we do every year. I really enjoy walking around and looking at stuff, though I wish there was more variety. You see a lot of the same things over and over again and do not see some of the more innovative and interesting products that I sometimes see on HGTV and wish I could see in person. Last year it seemed like there were a ridiculous number of tornado shelter or “safe room” companies so this year we decided to count them. There were 14 but we’re sure that was a lot fewer than last year because last year there was at least one on every aisle and this year you could go up and down several aisles without seeing one. We went first thing in the morning and took about two and half hours to walk through it all, which seems like a surprisingly short time to spend in such a huge place.

A few days earlier we had talked about maybe going to an Indian restaurant sometime (We had never been to one.) I had searched and found two in Tulsa. After the Home and Garden Show it seemed like a good opportunity to try one. We headed for Kolam Innovative Indian Cuisine but drove back and forth around the area where it was supposed to be and didn’t see it. Finally we noticed a little place called Himalayas at the exact address where Kolam was supposed to be. So we stopped there since it was at least the right kind of cuisine. The place was small and plain, not at all what you would expect for something that advertises itself as “Tulsa’s Finest Indian Restaurant,” and it was buffet only. I was, at first, disappointed because I had looked at the menu on the Kolam website and had picked out a couple of dishes that I had planned to narrow down to one when I got there. But everything was wonderful. I ate too much, wanted to eat more and I want to go there again.

On the way home we decided to stop at the Tag Agency and get a Pikepass for our new truck so we wouldn’t have wait who knows how long to have one mailed to us. (The Tag Agency in the nearby small town doesn’t do Pikepasses.) The Pikepass system is one of the few things that Oklahoma does right but it is also one of the many things that Oklahoma does wrong. We still do not have our Pikepass and this was where I had my “Friday the 13th” moment. I will have more bad things to say about Oklahoma’s state government after I see how this goes.

Oklahoma’s Seasons

We have more than just 4 seasons here in Oklahoma. I saw this on Facebook and it is absolutely correct.

The seasons in Oklahoma

Winter
Spring
Winter
Really COLD Winter
Spring
Tornado Season 1
Winter’s back!
Spring
Tornado Season 2
Summer
Really HOT Summer
Dear Lord, what did we do to deserve to burn?
Fall
Just kidding, still summer
Tornado season 3
Fall
Winter
Tornado Season 4
Christmas

It’s a Good Day

The sun is shining. Well, off and on, but hey, sunshine! Haven’t seen that in a while. I actually got a good haircut yesterday, which is a bigger deal for me than you might think because usually when I get my hair cut it’s not quite right somehow. And I finished a sewing project that I had been putting off for a while. Like the t-shirt says, “life is good.”

Speaking of t-shirts, I want one of these so bad but I’m probably not going to get it. I have only one hour left to decide. I hate these limited time only offers. I need days, at least, to decide and these usually don’t show up in my Facebook feed until a day or less before time is up. I don’t need any clothes. I don’t know if I could even stuff one more t-shirt into my t-shirt drawer. And there are other shirts that I want more. I guess I’ll just call this one momentarily hilarious and pass it by. Strange thing though… at the top of the page it says “One hour left” but the countdown at the bottom of the page shows over 6 days. Hmmmm… I don’t know if I can resist temptation for 6 whole days if that’s right.

A few more things…

“Fillyjonk” posted a link to this in the comments on an earlier post: Pattern Behavior. Some of the captions are funny, others, not so much, but I find myself scrolling through looking at the patterns and forgetting to even read the captions. A Dress A Day has been doing entertaining little Pattern Stories for years.

This No Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies recipe might come in handy if you need cookies in the summertime and don’t want to bake.

Finally, and sadly, 10 Best Mr. Spock Quotes. I remember all of these.