Random Linkage

Poorly Translated Shirts – (Profanity alert) I like the “Flower Aroma Tour” shirt. It’s poetic in its incomprehensibility.

Passing Strangeness – a blog that looks interesting; history, archaeology, etc.

Signs of Springfield

Female Pilots of WWII

Am I a Psychic? – Want to find out if you’re psychic? There’s an app for that.

The Berenst#in Bears Problem – How to use science to explain your poor memory.

History of Light Bulb Development – long article with several photos and vintage ads

Lou Lou P’s Delights – Cakes and cookies that look like everything imaginable

How Did We Ever Watch TV Without IMBd.com?

Last night we were watching re-runs of The Mentalist. (a series we just recently started watching) I saw a face I recognized so, as I normally do in such situations I went to IMBd on my smartphone. Turned out, the familiar face belonged to Jamie Murray, who plays Stahma Tarr in Defiance. Ah ha! That would explain my failure to immediately realize in what other show I had seen her. Sci-fi make up is always a good excuse for not recognizing someone on TV.

But wait! I kept scrolling to see what else she had been in and I saw it: Warehouse 13, H.G. Wells. (If you don’t understand an actress playing H.G. Wells, then you’re perfectly normal and probably not a science fiction fan.) How could I have not realized that this is the same actress? Frankly, it’s a little bit disturbing.

Of the two roles I much prefer Stahma. I never really liked the “H.G. Wells” character. I didn’t greatly dislike her either but I always sort of groaned a little bit when I realized she was going to be in an episode. I was annoyed with the “H.G. Wells was really a woman,” thing but I think the main thing that turned me off was that they always turned up the drama in the episodes she was in. I always thought of Warehouse 13 as a silly, fun show. The attempts to turn it into a serious drama never worked for me.

I love Defiance and Stahma Tarr is quite an interesting character. Extremely entertaining. I am constantly wondering what she’s going to do next and it’s great fun finding out. Murray plays her brilliantly.

Quotes From Here and There

I am a multi race annoyance, looking past color, creed, or gender to bug the hell out of any person or creature I deem worthy of aggravating, or if I’m just bored and want to get on with killing Siths already.here (OMG! Seriously?)

There seems to be a confusion here about what women want, along with more than a touch of the old maxim about designing for The Ladies — shrink it and pink it.there

But some folks don’t listen to naysayers -they just keep at it until they get a chance to show their stuff.here

This is municipal lip service of the most collagen-injected kind paid to idealistic notions of contemporary urban living.there

As I’ve said or intimated more than once in these scribblings, my mind knows more than I do. I should pay deeper attention to myself.here

They’re Kidding, Right?

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says that there is one Proper Way to Eat a Hot Dog. I would like to believe this is tongue-in-cheek but I fear they are serious.

First of all, they tell us that we must use only “plain buns or those with poppy or sesame seeds”. I use whole wheat buns. Is that okay, Your High-and-Mightiness? I haven’t seen any sun dried tomato or basil buns but I would try them. Then they tell us the exact order in which the condiments must go on the hot dog. Sorry, I put the onions on first, then the chili. And I’m right; the Hot Dog Council is wrong. Putting the onions on first keeps them from falling off.

But they’re not done yet. They tell us what kind of dishes to use: paper plates or every day dishes. That makes sense and that’s exactly what I do but I’m wishing I actually had some fine china because I’m feeling rebellious right now and want to eat my hot dogs off of forbidden dishes.

I am a bit grossed out about this next part. They tell us that we should take no more than five bites to eat a hot dog, seven if it’s a foot-long. Seriously?! I just… I can’t even! I hardly know what to say about that. I suppose if you’re a really big guy and you normally take bigger bites than the average person just five bites might be acceptable but normally if I saw someone eating a hot dog like that I would think, “What a pig!” If you’re going to eat something that tasty and bad for you slow down and enjoy it.

Finally, there are notes on what to drink and what to do after the meal. You know… this is an example of one of the biggest things that is wrong with the world today: rules. Now personally, I like rules. We need rules. But we don’t need rules for everything and the fact that there are so many lists of rules for every aspect of our lives causes people to just give up and decide that it’s a good thing to break all the rules, even the good ones that we need. Want anarchy? Just start making rules for everything.

Summer Random

It’s the last week of July already? I was just starting to feel like summer is finally, really here now that it has stopped raining and we’ve had a couple of weeks of good, hot weather. I know officially, according to the calendar, we still have almost two months of summer left but Labor Day feels like the end of summer and the weather usually starts to cool just a little bit in September. Actually, September weather is typically just about perfect – still warm but not too hot – but psychologically September still feels like “the end is near.”

I’m starting to think about all the summer stuff I was planning to sew and haven’t done yet because I got distracted and sewed other summer stuff instead and I’m thinking there’s not much time left for summer sewing. Oh, there’s still lots of warm weather left but since I didn’t get all this stuff done early so I could wear it all summer I feel like I’m late and running out of time. I posted the latest thing I made on my sewing blog. I’m really loving it.

Saturday we dehydrated some apples. Everyone loved them and they’re almost gone. Must make more next time. We bought a huge commercial dehydrator because I could not make myself spend nearly $100 for something that is mostly plastic so instead we spent several hundred on a good quality, all metal dehydrator that we have to keep out in the shop (i.e. garage) because we have nowhere to put it in the house. I’m also thinking about drying strawberries and bananas.

We also dried some tomatoes. We have lots of tomatoes, more than we can use fresh. They came out okay and I used some of them in pasta last night. We have had the dehydrator for several months and haven’t used it all that much but now I keep thinking, “What else can we dehydrate?”

We watched Zoo for the first time last night. It was the fifth episode of the series but it wasn’t hard at all to catch on and I’m going to keep watching. I’m also thinking I need to read something by James Patterson, an author I never considered before.

Quotes From Here and There

“Until we can get out of this ‘me’ culture of ‘my wants, my desires come before everything else,’ I think we’re going to have clashes like this,”here

It turns out that there is no correlation between homework and achievement. According to a 2005 study by the Penn State professors Gerald K. LeTendre and David P. Baker, some of the countries that score higher than the U.S. on testing in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study—Japan and Denmark, for example—give less homework, while some of those scoring lower, including Thailand and Greece, assign more. Why pile on the homework if it doesn’t make even a testable difference, and in fact may be harmful?there

Superman isn’t good or special because he’s an alien who crashes on Earth and ends up being incredibly powerful. He’s special because after all that he becomes someone who always does the right thing because he was raised by a couple of decent people from Kansas.here

We live strung between either the naïve fantasy of pure choice or the absurd determinism of none.there (This is long and I have only read about half of it so far.)

“Not everything has to be useful because some things are allowed to just make me happy too.”here

Excuses and Complaints and Random Stuff

I was going to post some pictures but Flickr is being extremely uncooperative today. I swear sometimes I’m tempted to switch back to a Blogspot blog. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with Flickr when I want to post pictures. But then I think of the drawbacks and that in the past every time I switched platforms I lost half my readers. And then sometimes I think, “Maybe I’ve had enough of this.” But, I think I would always want some site that I am somewhat in control of where I can share and sound off occasionally. Facebook and Twitter just aren’t enough for me. And yeah, I could upload the pictures to my host’s server like I used to but that’s a whole different kind of hassle.

So, I have nothing to say today – at least not enough for a coherent and interesting blog post. Strange weather we’re having this year. * Donald Trump is a buffoon and that makes him different from the other Republicans how? * I have watched 9 episodes of Criminal Minds so far this week. * Watched a pretty good movie last night: Flight * Saw two rabbits in our back yard yesterday. Our dog slept through their leisurely visit and they got away safely. * I’m working on sewing another very pink dress. * And… That’s it. I’ve got nothin’.

Mid-Week Music Break

Saw this on Facebook.

“On a cold British morning a television crew filmed this unknown (to the British) African-American woman who, dressed to the nines, danced, sang, and played the guitar in such a fashion that it managed to inspire a whole generation of singer-songwriters. Her combination of gospel with early rock and roll shows her as “the link” between two categories of music which, over the years, evolved into the very different styles that they are today.”more

Random Linkage

Faces in Things – a fun Twitter feed

Muumuus – “… the muumuu is the product of imperialism.” Isn’t everything?

Nouvel Alphabet Militaire’ – a rather unusual children’s ABC book

Vintage Sea Flags

Spacing is Important!

10 Movies That Could Change Your Understanding of Life – Well, you have to understand the movies themselves first, I suppose. (I’ve only seen one of them.)

The Garden Glove – gardening and outdoor decor

Wordables – Inspiring quotes and other literary lists; great site

Warp Drive From a Garage? – That would be awesomely cool but I’m not holding my breath.

Curious Places – Very interesting.

Laziness and a New Obsession

Yesterday was a total waste of time, which is exactly what was great about it. We watched Top Gear (BBC America) for a little while and I thought I might get bored with it after a while and go do something else. I did go out to get milk and bread because we were completely out of the former and almost out of the latter. Came back and Number Two Son was watching The Fifth Element (still BBC A) which we’ve seen at least twice before but I sat down and watched the rest of it anyway because it’s fun. After that there were three (or was it four) episodes of Humans, (still BBC A) which I had not seen before so we watched all of those, and later the new episode on AMC, and now we’re hooked.

Humans is about an alternate present in which there are android servants. (called “synths”) They perform household tasks and can respond when spoken to but they are not sentient. Except, at least some of them are. A human and one of the sentient synths are trying to find two of their synth companions who have been kidnapped. One was bought by a family and the other by a bordello. The latter has escaped and is killing humans. There is a touching sub-plot about an elderly scientist who has a defective android that he loves and is trying to protect from the company that wants to take and recycle it.

So… a lazy Sunday and a new science fiction obsession. Life can’t get much better.

Quotes From Here and There

I figured if they were going to judge my skin, I might as well adorn it appropriately. Give them some color atop my offending color.here

First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false.there

…“flavorful,” that popular foodie term, does not, I believe, necessarily imply that the flavor in question is at all desirable.here

…we like to buy from producers who offer sermons with which that we want to identify, even when the connections between product and sermon are very weak.there

Mmmmm… Seaweed

This is just… just… I can’t even! Seaweed that “tastes like bacon”!. Even making that claim is a crime against nature.

Okay, seriously? I am a bit intrigued. Something that tastes like bacon but might be healthy? That’s like some kind of holy grail of the food world. The problem with this is that foods that people claim taste like other foods rarely do. I suppose I would try it. I think I would be less disappointed though, if they would just say, “This tastes pretty good; give it a try,” instead of telling me it tastes like something else when it really only has maybe a vague hint of that flavor at best.

Hot Springs

Well, finally, as promised, more about Hot Springs. Our first stop was the Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo. The “petting zoo” consisted of a large pen full of pygmy goats. When you pay to get in they give you a slice of bread to feed the goats. I did not enjoy that part of it for a couple of reasons. One is that I had just petted a full size goat at my brother-in-law’s house the day before so I had already done enough goat petting to last me for a while. But the other, main, reason it was not fun was that there was one goat that was way too aggressive in begging for bread. You want to feed the cute little tiny goats, some of them not much bigger than cats, but here’s this big, fat glutton always right there in front of you demanding that you give all the bread to her. Not fun.

The alligators were more interesting, though I’m generally not a big reptile fan. I got to hold a baby alligator. That was fun and interesting. Their belly hide is actually surprisingly soft. There’s a picture of me holding the baby alligator but it’s on my husband’s phone.

The main attractions of Hot Springs are the natural hot springs, at a temperature of just over 140°F, (60°C) and the baths, which are considered therapeutic. There are, of course, still public baths operating in Hot Springs but I get the feeling that they were a much bigger deal in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I am not at all interested in experiencing the baths myself. I have been bathing alone and unassisted for most of my life and I intend to continue doing so for as long as I’m able but, fortunately, there is the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum so you can have a look at a historic bathhouse and keep all your clothes on. There are a lot of pictures at that link and looking at them now I realize that we missed a lot of it – an entire floor apparently. One thing that I thought was interesting and odd was that the men’s side was much larger and more luxurious than the women’s. The gorgeous stained glass skylight in my earlier post was on the men’s side.

Here is one of the showers. A scary looking thing, considering the fact that they called it a “needle shower”.

Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, AR, "needle shower"

I was rather taken with the huge bathtubs, at least six feet long and maybe 2 feet deep(?). I sort of want one, including the big brass faucet. You can see a picture of one at the link above. It’s sort of an ugly thing but obviously antique which makes it very cool, along with just how big it is compared to today’s standard home bathtub.

I have two more Hot Springs places to share in another post so “stay tuned”.

Memories

Yesterday, July 13th, was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 90 years old. He passed away in the spring of 1984. He missed getting to meet his second grandchild, whom he correctly predicted would be a boy, by just six weeks.

Strangely, my dad was not a sports fan. In fact, he hated the very idea of professional sports. In his mind, kids should play sports; grown men should get real jobs. But he didn’t even watch high school or college games. And yet, he correctly predicted the winner of every Arkansas vs. Texas game during the years we lived in Arkansas. He always said he just knew. I think he also predicted presidential elections but I don’t remember that as well. Anything about which people around him were emotional and that involved just two possible outcomes, he always “just knew”. I once asked him, if he always knew, why he didn’t bet on the games. He said that if he did he would lose the ability.

It always used to drive me nuts that he could do that. From an early age, I was a skeptic about psychic or paranormal abilities. I knew it was all just a bunch of hooey and yet here was a guy who didn’t even like football, didn’t know a thing about it, and he could always predict the winner of this one important game. I was sure he was just guessing but how could he guess correctly every time?

I can’t say my dad and I were close. We didn’t really have the chance to be. He always worked second shift so during the school year I only saw him on weekends. When he was home he wasn’t very talkative. He watched all the country music shows on TV on Saturday afternoon. There were about half a dozen of them in the 60’s and 70’s – The Porter Wagoner Show, The Buck Owens Show – I can’t remember any of the others right now. He would joke and act silly sometimes. He embarrassed my mother in public, acting like he was “touched in the head.” And, of course, like all dads, he would occasionally get angry about childish misbehavior. But I don’t remember any serious conversations and he almost never talked about his childhood. But I wonder what kind of old man he would have been. Maybe he would have gotten around to it if he had had more time.