Sunday, April 23, 2006

Vide, Vides and Vide-ho

Matt D. drew my attention to the Urban Dictionary where the term "Vide" is defined (thank's Matt!). I have found that there are a *ahem* few *ahem* scurrilous definitions there and I suspect this one is rather more of an in-joke that someone is trying to immortalize, than a real definition - but, *shrug*, maybe it is a widespread term. I much prefered the definition for Vide-ho. Well, *appreciated* in the very loosest sense because I thought it was funny...

I'm trying to picture what an elephant shaped thong looks like (if you didn't read the definition you don't understand why I've gone off on what seems like a non sequitur). Not as it looks on someone - just the thong itself, as if displayed on a rack in the undies department at Macy's.

Does the elephant tail and trunk stretch around the hips? Perhaps it's just an elephant head and the trunk is the part that traverses the wearer from front to back. Is it an Indian elephant or an African elephant? Is it grey or does it come in fanciful colors? It'd be cute if there was a big peanut, like those ones in the shell you get at the ball game, on the waistband where the trunk ends in back.

I Googled "elephant shaped thong" Google's sidebar ads are always interesting. There's a company that will "Customize Her Thongs Just For You To See! Great Low Prices Everyday." Uh. OK. The target demographic isn't the thong wearer, it's the thong viewer. I shudder to think of the 'designs' they must get from some guys. Use your imagination...

Then there's the ever hopeful eBay ad - no matter what you Google they think you'll find it on eBay (remember my post about quantum foam?). Here's what Ebay had to say:

Elephant Shaped

Huge selection of
Elephant Shaped items.

Gotta love 'em. I'm going to look later for elephant shaped thongs. But I have a rule about bidding on those kinds of things. If it's over a reasonable retail price I have to resist, no matter how much I want it. This one should be easy.

Yes, that's really how my brain works. At least this morning. For some value of "works."

Oh, BTW - there are 19 Million + hits when you Google 'vides' My site comes up on page 2 as the #12 hit. Vides is a real word in Spanish, Italian and Latvian. It's an international non-profit agency affiliated with the Salesian Sisters of the Catholic Church. Here's the US site.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thank You for Visiting via Your Typo

Yep, I get a number of hits (albeit most are very brief) from folks who are (I guess) Googling for some kind of video - prank, funny, uh, 'mature'...but they type 'vides' instead of videos or video and find me. (btw, if I'm the last one around here to know what "vides" really means - please be kind and clue me in - I'd hate to find out I was using a word in my blog title that has negative connotations.)

Speaking of Google - I now have Google Calendar - it's pretty cool. I've imported my work calendar (will have to do that weekly I guess) and I could even set it up to send and accept 'invitations,' like the one I have at work, for meetings or events.

I swiped my SO's Bose iPod speaker/dock yesterday while I was working from home. It's nice to have music in an otherwise quiet room.

I worked from home yesterday because the President visited my place of employment. He and the Governator. The meeting was videocast live, so I watched it. I would have liked to have been there in person but I didn't rate an invitation. Yet another reason to stop voting Republican...

Lets see - I'll be adding a couple new blogs to the blog roll - until I do, please visit XNavigatorX's blog and tell him Dawno sent you. He's a nice guy, you'll like his blog.

I also had a new visitor to the Blogging forum I moderate - obitwriter. His site is a hoot. I'm gonna think about writing my obit and submitting. If he lists himself as an AW Blogger he'll get on the blog roll, otherwise I'm thinking about linking to his blog at another spot on the sidebar - he certainly gets a spot in the Technorati Faves.

Speaking of which, anyone checked out the Technorati Faves scroll box in my sidebar? Watcha think? If you have your own it's easy to add me, just click the button above the scroll box. I wish I could just have it on my Google Sidebar so I don't have to remember to open my blog to see what's new with my favorite blogs.

I checked a couple of 'ranking' sites recently. I've got a Technorati ranking of 50,396. Alexa: 2,909,192 . My Blogshares valuation is $5,067.97. Does this mean anything? Not to me, it's just fun.

Hmm. What else to babble about? Oh, I'm looking for a couple people who might be interested in doing reviews of POD books for POD People. I'm giving veinglory a hand with the project, so you're interested, email me - there's a spot over on the sidebar (under the Favs and My Bloglog button) with my addy - and I'll see that you get a book to read and review.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Did You Know that April is both National Poetry Month and Mathematics Awareness Month?

I saw this web clip in my Google sidebar: Man trading up from paper clip to house. The guy uses Craigslists and travels around trading stuff - he started with a red paperclip and has ended up with a year's free rent in Arizona. I wonder if there's any interest in dryer lint. I have a ton of it left over from the frenzied Wash-a-Thon over the past weekend. (It is nice to have all clean clothes, though)

The next clip down is from Bitch PhD - she links to a New York Times article on Peeps. Every year there's stuff about Peeps everywhere. I'll be glad when they go back into storage for another year. They're kinda creepy - like they might wake up from their undead sleep and come peck our eyes out.

Then I see on the same NYTimes web page a sidebar link to "Fibonacci Poems Multiply on the Web After Blog's Invitation". A Mr. Gregory K. Pincus posts an invitation on his blog for readers to post their Fibs: "six-line poems that used a mathematical progression known as the Fibonacci sequence to dictate the number of syllables in each line."

Slashdot picked it up and now there are (says the NYTimes online) thousands of these Fibs on the internet and hundreds of links back to this guy's blog. I note also, that there are 226 comments on the original post. Lots of folk out there who love to write mathematically structured poetry. I just don't appreciate poetry like I should, I suppose. Or, I should say more modern poetry. I loved the stuff I studied in Renaissance and Romantic Lit. I start to dislike it from the mid 20th century... but I digress...

OK, where was I, oh! Besides living with a math guy, I love the animated feature The Phantom Tollbooth- featuring the voices of Mel Blanc, June Foray and Hans Conried, directed by Chuck Jones. There's a 'conflict' between words and numbers going on in this movie and a young boy has an adventure in this cartoon world. I watched it over and over with the kids and when I was teaching a combined 3rd and 4th grade class we read it and then watched the movie when we finished the book. One of the things I learned about watching that movie - in my late 30's - was about the Fibonacci sequence (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, etc.). So, I found it pretty cool that there's someone out there popularizing this "Fib" poetry. Even though I couldn't write one to save my life. Seriously, I can't write poetry. I can write doggerel, but I haven't the discipline to work over and over a poem - and since the sonnet is dead, I wouldn't like my poems anyway!

Well, this post was supposed to go up Sunday but I posted the duckie instead. And then I posted the thing about the Pulitzers on Monday. Last night I was too tired to think, so here it is!
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Nope, Not a Winner This Year, Either...

Maybe I should actually write something?

From PW Daily - The Pulitzer Prizes were announced today:


March by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)


Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky (Oxford University Press)


American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Alfred A. Knopf)


Late Wife by Claudia Emerson (Louisiana State University Press)


Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins (Henry Holt)
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Sunday, April 16, 2006


Yes, it's still raining. Pretty soon the ducks will be the only creatures capable of living happily around here. This female mallard visited the back porch at our home today - I kept her interested with a heel of bread while the SO grabbed the camera. The block of feathers that looks like a black stripe was actually the most lovely shade of dark purple. The dots on her that look like dandruff are water droplets that beaded on her feathers.

The Boy and his g/f came over with some flowers for me for Easter. The SO wanted to know where his Easter Grandkitties were. I admit, it would be nice to have them around again for awhile.

I'm back on my iPod kick again today - I have about two days worth of stuff on it now with room for plenty more - so I'm importing even more of my CD's. Today I downloaded Live Transmission From Uranus by Man or Astro-man? which just happens to have the "MST3K Love Theme". Also, today I downloadedThe Mommas and the Papas Greatest Hits. I've still got a few more gift tunes to send, eventually I'll get them all out.

The SO forwarded me this link earlier today - it's well worth watching - but if you're on dial up it might be a bit hard on the bandwidth. MS Ipod Parody - Google Video

The duckie is back - and quacking loudly as if demanding more bread. I don't think it's good for them to have too much so I'm ignoring her. Yoghurt, however, is watching very intently out the back sliding glass door.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gift Tunes Meme

This meme has the MacAllister seal of approval

Thank you Macallister and Jenna and thank you Medievalist for coming up with the meme!

WARNING: You may find yourself downloading way too many songs/albums for yourself - I fear I have compulsive iTunes downloading syndrome. And several new albums on my iPod.

Here's the meme:

1. Pick one or more of your friends who listens to digital music; preferably someone who already has iTunes and an iTunes account, and who has a blog or Live Journal or something similar.

Songs are .99 cents on iTunes; if people want to send MP3s directly, that's up to them, but post the song title, artist, and album anyway. You can use a credit card or PayPal to purchase songs. You must have installed a copy of iTunes to play or download the songs. I suspect it's possible give music with other music services, but I don't know. There are also lots of good sources for free music on the net; feel free to use those, or to publicize indie artists you like a lot. There are free songs at Amazon too.

2. Select the song you want to give.

3. Post this meme on your blog or Live Journal, and list your friends, the song you've chosen for them, (keep the song a secret until after you friend receives it, if you'd like), a link to their blog, and these instructions. Feel free to add a comment about why you chose the song.

4. Purchase the single song for each friend, one at a time, (that is don't buy three songs for three friends.) If you use the iTunes store, find the song, then click on the link for the album; you will see a link near the top of the screen that says "Gift This Music; click it, then click the Gift button that's included in the link for the song. When you check out, you'll see a form with spaces for your name, your friend's name and email address, and a short message. This will be emailed to your friend, with instructions about how to download their gift song. Use the message to send them a link to the permalink for your blog post about the meme so they'll know to blog about the song. If you use Tags, tag the post as "Gift Music."

5. If you decide to "gift back" to someone who tags you, please also tag someone else, so we can have a variety of musical tastes, journals, blogs, and people.

Troubleshooting: Get iTunes for Mac or Windows here. It's free. If you can't get the URL/Web link from the email the iTunes store sends to tell you you have a song to download, try copying the URL to a new document, making sure that there are no spaces or returns where the very long URL has broken. You can covert the songs in iTunes from Apples DRM/protecte AAC format to an mp3 if you'd like.

That's it!

Now, I had no luck trying to download from Firefox. I had to copy the link from the email by right clicking on the "download" button in the email and selecting "copy link location" then I pasted the link into IE and all went well after that.

I'm tagging the following poor souls:

who has received "A Kiss To Many" by Eddy Arnold, from the soundtrack to The Notorious Bettie Page

Anne who is getting "I Wanna Be On Star Trek" by Jimmy and the Parrots, from their Better than New album. Anne, if you're on dial-up and none of this downloads for you, I'll burn you a CD version.

Unique who is getting "You Raise Me Up" from the album Celtic Woman. Same deal for you as Anne, Unique.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More Science That Isn't Science Fiction Anymore

On c| (you have to click to skip an annoying ad first) there was a great article today that seemed to be a perfect follow up on last night's post - although I'm sure c|net doesn't get it's ideas from reading my blog (their loss *wink*).

The article "Playing science's genetic lottery" is about how "...single-celled animals might be some of the most important figures in high technology. Driving this trend is a small but growing number of start-ups and researchers that are trying to tap the power of the metabolic pathway--the complex chemical reactions inside a living organism that turn food into energy, body parts and waste products."

Some of the examples are fascinating! For example "Researchers at Rice University and the University of Southern California have embarked on a project to harness the power of Shewanella oneidensis(note - this link is to a picture that took a while to load on DSL - if you're on dial-up don't click!), a microorganism that essentially spits lightning. Rather than consume oxygen to turn food into energy, Shewanella consumes metals. In five years, the researchers hope to have a fuel cell that can propel itself."

I have often mourned that my youthful science fiction daydreams, induced by Heinlein, Clarke and Asimov filled reading - colonies in space stations and on the Moon and Mars or the asteroids - have not (and probably will not in my lifetime) come true. It seems, however that things as, or more, amazing than living extraterrestrially could come true before I pass away. And with other research going on in cloning and stem cells and nanotech - who knows, maybe I will live long enough to see it after all.

Today at work I was in a bit of a rut trying to solve a problem and I remembered that a technique called Mind Mapping has been helpful in the past. So I went on a search for some software that had a trial download period so I could put out a couple maps without investing several hundred dollars (yeah, those programs aren't cheap) and I found a freeware version! You betcha I downloaded that! If you're interested it can be found at Freemind. Anyway, using the mind map was very helpful and I did break through my roadblock. Now I'm thinking - this could be vewwy vewwy good for writing, too. I may just have a go at it. I'm stymied on one story and out of steam on another - this could revitalize them both.

Oh, I also downloaded fellow AWer and blogger Fahim's PlotCraft software. I need to explore it, too. I love gizmos and gadgets. My poor VAIO is stuffed to the gills. I think I may need to get a new compy soon that can handle all the stuff I use without groaning.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I get's PWDaily in my email every day. Most days I glance at it and move on. Today there was an article about a new book coming out from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux called Pulse by Robert Frenay and it's being offered by RSS subscription online.

I ran (figuratively) right over and subscribed. I love science and of all the sciences I think I most love biology. I wanted to be a biologist when I was quite young and didn't realize that my downfall would be the math involved until High School. I contented myself in my later years with reading about science and reading science fiction.

Pulse online is loaded with links, has other features and if you register, you can comment. I've read the past posts that I had missed to date and anxiously await tomorrow's installment.

Why? Because he's talking about some really radical and interesting things that will make the future a very different place. Like the gasoline engine was to the steam engine, the things he is discussing may have revolutionary consequences.

In one sentence there is a link to this site where the information was posted a year ago - I wonder what advances have been made already?

Well, it's late and I need to go to bed - but I couldn't help but post this, it's so exciting!

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Saturday: Techie Day

Yep. The SO and I went to breakfast at Denny's then to Fry's Electronics. Fry's is the temple of all that is techie. They have appliances too - I got Rudy the Roomba there. But today the SO was after a new AMD Athalon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor (I just copy the words on the box, I have no idea what they mean) and I didn't want anything in particular but once I saw one I wanted a graphics tablet to try out.

I came home with my Wacom (I have to think twice when I type that because I keep wanting to type Wacoal - I think most of ya'll ladies will get that) Graphire4 4x5 tablet. I've been playing with it on and off today. I'm going to have to keep practicing - but it's pretty handy. I already use the mouse that came with it for all my mousing online. It's much easier than the wireless one I was using.

The tablet came with some bundled software as well. I haven't decided if I want to install the PhotoShop Elements - I had that on the laptop before it crashed and needed a new hard-drive. I didn't re-install it because I found it highly confusing and didn't get much use out of it. Besides I have the PaintShop ProX program now and it's working out just fine for me.

But a program called Just Write Office 4 and another called EverNote looked interesting, so I installed them. I'm having much fun with them both.

Just Write puts an interface with my tablet and Word or Excel or Power(shudder)Point. I can do a doodle or write a note in long hand - I'm not sure how valuable it will be - but I'll see how it works for me.

EverNote, though, is really cool. If I highlight anything on the web and click the EverNote icon in my toolbar it saves the quote and the URL on the EverNote which is lie a scrolling tape of notes that can be tagged, organized, and searched. This will be very handy for blogging. You can do other types of clips and also use the graphics pad to doodle or mind map.

Nifty stuff.

I've been reading and cleaning and doing laundry, too today. I'm currently reading a book about the Viet Nam war which has me riveted. I'm going to do a review of it for someone - might even put it up on the 'net somewhere someday - I'm sorry to be so vague, but I can't say much more until things actually pan out.

~~~~~insert 8 hours of sleep here~~~~~

Hi again. Yep. I stopped there last night and didn't get back to it. Now it's Sunday morning. There were a few things I wanted to add to my post before I put it up.

1. Goose Attacks Toy Store Shoppers I like ducks but I think I don't like geese. At least this one's type.

2. The IRS and debt collectors: A bad marriage - The Red Tape Chronicles - Apparently the IRS will start going after delinquent taxpayers with collection services.

I received a notice a few months back that the IRS wanted me to explain my tax returns for the prior two years. I had taken the advice from Turbo Tax on how to claim my employee stock option exercises and it was incorrect. So I went to a CPA, he re-did my taxes, wrote the appropriate letters and I actually ended up with a refund from one year and owed a bit more on the other year. Which I paid with interest. I figured I'd fixed the problem.

They wrote me again back in February - apparently they had received the usual forms from my broker on my option exercises. These forms don't provide all the data about the shares - you have to provide additional documentation with your taxes, which my CPA did. In case you aren't familiar, with employee options you only get the difference between the price of the share when it's granted and the price of the share when you 'exercise' it. If the share price when the option was granted was $10 and you exercise the option at $15 then you only get $5 - less witholding at the max rate. So, my income wasn't $15 a share - it's $5. But the IRS thinks my income was the $15 based on the form they got (which they should know isn't the whole story. Thus, instead of checking on the revised tax forms I sent in for the year for which I paid the extra tax owed, with interest(and have a cancelled check), they just sent me another letter.

My CPA answered it. Now they write me again. They are acting as if they didn't get the letter. They think I owe them a lot of money (a really big huge lot - twice what my taxes were that year). Now my CPA will have to send yet another letter.

Yep, these same wonderfully organized folk will be using on their great ability to know whether or not one has actually paid taxes to decide if they will be sending out Bruno and Spike to get back taxes from folkwho may very well either not owe those taxes or have already paid them.

Any wonder why some Americans keep trying to elect people who have tax reform on their platforms?

3. PNH's Sidelights on Making Light had this great link - Google in 20 years. Heck, I need it now. I can't tell you how often I have to call my cellphone from the house phone to find it.

4. I called gravity a force and my SO told me I was wrong. He said gravity is the shape of the universe. I thought there were strong and weak forces in physics and gravity was a weak force. Has that been changed? He told me to go read it on Wikipedia, that it would probably be simple enough to understand there. Hello, I knew that gravity was called a weak force in physics once upon a time and I never took one physics class. I READ ABOUT IT in all the hundreds of books and Analog articles I've read throughout 40 years of reading about science and reading SF. However, I did go to Wikipedia anyway. What did I find there?

The Wikimedia Foundation servers are currently experiencing technical difficulties.

The problem is most likely temporary and will hopefully be fixed soon. Please check back in a few minutes.

For further information, you can visit the #wikipedia channel on the Freenode IRC network.

In the meantime, you may be able to view Google's cached version of this page.

Wikipedia is now one of the most visited sites on the Internet by traffic and continues to grow, and as a result the Wikimedia Foundation has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.

Great. So I go to Google and type "what is gravity" and find the cached page from Wikipedia on gravity:

In physics, gravitation or gravity is the tendency of objects with mass to accelerate toward each other. The gravitation is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature, the other three being the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. Gravitation force is the weakest of these interactions, but acts over great distances and is always attractive. In classical mechanics, gravitation arises out of the force of gravity (which is often used as a synonym for gravitation). In General Relativity gravitation arises out of spacetime being curved by the presence of mass, and is not a force. In quantum gravity the graviton is the postulated carrier of the gravitational force.[1]

Gee, I see the word 'force' all over the place and gosh - it's the weakest of the 4 forces. I know I can't remember what we had for dinner last night but darned if I didn't remember that. I need to hear his explanation for this one now - I'm not saying he's wrong - I'm saying that if physics has re-classified gravity from a force to 'something else' I'd really be interested in understanding it better. In my other Googling I did find this article, Scientists Say There is No Gravity, but I have reason to doubt it's veracity - perhaps the name of the site is a clue?

I like being as scientifically literate as I can manage without a formal science education. I don't understand in a complete and scientific way what 'quantum foam' is but I've read about it and read stories that discuss it (Baxter's Transcendent being one of the most recent) so I'm not totally ignorant of the concept and I find it fascinating.

One of the funniest things I've seen today, though, is when you Google "quantum foam" one of the ubiqitous Google sidebar ads comes up:

Quantum Foam
Whatever you're looking for
you can get it on eBay.

My next post will probably be about something I heard on the radio whilst taking my son to work today. I may have discovered a worthy social/political movement/cause to get involved with - we'll see what I think after I've researched it some.

Meanwhile, I hope your week is lovely!

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

I'm Gonna Be Travelling Soon!

Nobody can say that I didn't give fair warning - I'm going to be in North Carolina in the not to distant future!

I'm going there to touch base with folk in my company that I haven't seen face to face in over a year and to participate in a couple training sessions. I hope it's Spring there - I'm really tired of the cold dreary days here!

The weather here has been very cruel to me this week. Two days this week the morning started out all sunny and blue skies then by the time I went home it was raining and grey. The only good thing is that I've seen two male mallards and a female mallard walking around the place these last few days talking little muttering duckie talk and waddling around looking for goodies to eat. (I love duckies.) At least they enjoy this weather.

Speaking of weather our dear friend and protector of the Battle Birds, Anne lives in an area that is under threat of severe weather at least and possibly tornadoes - the same storm which has wreaked havoc in Tennesee. Please, if you're a prayerful type say a prayer - otherwise whatever you feel is helpful - send out those vibes. Some of my friends would say "Mojo" and I'm sending tons of it her way.

On a completely different topic I thought I had paid off one of my bills - a charge to Pier One for a couple of Papa San chairs and chair pads for my son and his g/f's new apartment. I got a bill from them the other day and I was perplexed. I opened it and there was the balance due - two cents. I couldn't believe it. Oh, I'll pay them their two cents - I've heard horror stories about this kind of thing. I will do it electronically (if my bank's system allows it) and save a 39 cent stamp and the cost of a check. But you'd think they'd just waive the damn two cent charges.

OK, more tomorrow - I captured some links on BlogIt! and saved them in draft for later.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Grok! What Have You Done to Gorag's Cave?

I came upon this article at the online Discovery News site Cave Art: Prehistoric Teen Graffiti? and how could I not blog about it?

For the better part of my adult life I have read these deep and sensitive explanations of the cave paintings - how significant and religious they were. It was like the wall paintings were the pre-historic equivalent of a diver "imaging" the perfect dive or a golfer "imaging" the perfect swing. Now someone has put forth the hypothesis that these were teenagers simply expressing themselves as teens do - today they have tatoos and piercings and brightly colored hair, back in the Stone Age it was cave painting animals "blood pouring out of their mouths and noses." They sat around afterwards telling the paleolithic version of Freddy Kruger stories...this sounds very familiar to someone who reared a son.

Interesting, too, is how not once did I see in my college textbooks descriptions of cave paintings that were anything resembling this:

"Female images dominate and are nude, almost every one full-figured above and below," said Guthrie. "Unlike the other animals, the sculpted, engraved and painted human females and female parts are sometimes done schematically, distilling and inflating the primary and secondary sex characters."

I think I took Bowdlerized Anthro 101.

Monday, April 03, 2006

There's Something I Need to Tell You...

Anne over at Writes With Feathers is an expert on Parrots. I read her blog today about a little known affliction that has me concerned. Here is how one evaluates their susceptibility to this disease:

1. Have you recently discovered at least one parrot feather among your possessions?
2. Are there tiny parrot-shaped beauty marks covering your feet and ankles?
3. Do you feel an unusually strong urge to consume *green bean casserole, even when it's not a holiday?
4. Do you read this blog?

I have discovered by reading Anne's blog that I suffer from this ailment, known as Parrot Foot-itis. Anne posted a warning on her blog - I can't agree with her more - the photograph below to show you the condition, is quite graphic. I will pass along her advice: Do not view if you suffer from nervousness, sleeplessness, or crankiness. If you've just eaten, wait at least 30 minutes before viewing or it could cause cramps.



I'm trying to protect the innocent...


Now I don't know if the difference in color is due to me not being directly exposed to parrots on a daily basis, or because I'm in California or just a genetic thing. I'm gonna follow Anne's advice and hang out with other Parrot Footers and hope for the best.

I think I'll go have some green bean casserole now...

One can french cut green beans
One can Campbells mushroom soup
Half cup of Milk
One Large can of French's fried onions
Fresh ground pepper to taste

You mix the green beans with the canned soup and milk and 3/4 of the can of fried onions. Fresh grind peppercorns over the mixture. If you have good fresh mushrooms available you can put a layer of mushroom slices over the top. Some folk like to add slivered almonds in the mixture - I think slivered pine nuts would add a nice flavor, too, although I've not tried them yet. I pretty much just cook the basic standard recipe. The more I think about it, though, the more ideas I get - maybe some fresh garlic. Or a hint of cilantro.

Anyway - cook for 25 minutes at 350F then top with the remaining fried onions and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes depending on how browned you want the topping onions.

That's my recipe for Green Bean Casserole - pretty much right off the French's can :-)


Love you Anne!! I'm listening to some wonderful Banjo music as I write this!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mac - Was This Your Idea of An April Fool's Joke?

I have in front of me two pieces of mail. Before I describe them let me say that I am registered a Republican. I feel (these days) that I need to explain why I haven't changed that, since the GOP currently doesn't represent my take on the issues. See, in this state there is a "modified closed primary" which means that if I'm registered for a party, that's the party ballot I vote for in the primary. I could 'decline to state' and vote for almost any candidate (it's a bit complex but you can read about it here), but I feel my vote is better spent in the Republican primary race.

Now, to the letters. One has a big window across the top of a 5.5x8.5 envelope through which one can read these words: "Special Notice for [Here it gives the name I use generally and which is a legal alias, but it's not my full legal name] You have been selected to represent [my town] in the 2006 Grassroots Survey of (get this) Democratic Leaders. Survey document registerd in your name are enclosed."

Huh? Democratic Leader - moi? Since when and how? The return address is the DNC in Washington, D.C. Inside I am addressed by Howard Dean as "Dear Fellow Democrat" Sigh.

But it's letter number two that gets me the most. It's from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's sent me a special message on behalf of DSCC - "Committed to Electing a Democratic Senate"

Both of these letters want my money. I don't even give it to the GOP. Why would I give it to them? My dollars don't have any influence against the dollars from the PAC's and other groups. hmph.

So, I gotta ask, Mac, did you send them my name??? I'd say you got your revenge for the avatar prank, if you did. The only other explanation I can come up with is that my recent subscription to either Writer's Digest or The Atlantic Monthly has somehow flagged me as a Democrat and one of those magazines is selling their subscription list. If that's the case, I'm pissed at them royal. If it's Mac, I think it's hysterical and it makes me wanna give her noogies.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Musing upon April 1st

Well it's almost midnight on the West Coast. Pretty soon April Fool's Day will be over here and then entirely when midnight crosses the international date line.

I love April Fool's day - the great fake articles and Google's fun pages (this year's is great, I hope you caught it) I don't even mind getting fooled. I'm back with an edit: the Earth Advisory Status in my side bar says "DESTROYED" heeheeheehee.

My dad used to tell these long drawn out stories that always ended in a horrible pun. And I always sat rapt listening to them - I fell for it every time.

When my son was little my daughter and I would 'neglect' to mention that it was April Fool's day to him. Sometimes he didn't find out all day and when we told him at bedtime he would be a bit upset for a few minutes at missing out on all the pranks he could have pulled, but he would laugh at how we 'got' him.

Yesterday the moderators of Absolute Write tried to set the stage for today by starting an argument about all the moderators that had added 'sparkles' to their avatars. We learned that internet time moves way too fast to start so early in the day (I think the first post was around noon Eastern) because by the time I left work we had been outed and had to eat some crow as there were a number of people quite upset that their moderators were behaving so badly.

Today many of us found our avatars changed to Looney Toons characters. Now that was a great prank!

Anyway, I have been working on animations and sparklings most of the week and didn't post - I always feel like I might be letting someone down if I don't post. I will see about increasing the frequency.

Tomorrow and the rest of next week, are the days I hate the most all year. The 'spring forward' annoys me no end because I've gotten used to there being sunshine at 6 am when I usually get up. Now it won't be sunny for several more weeks and I'll have my morning smoke on a cold dark porch. I don't mind it as much in the winter because the extra hour makes the shorter days take longer to impact me. I do think I may have a touch of SADD because each year around the time we turn our clocks back I start getting more and more morose.

But, I'm cheerful enough today. Life is good and I'm happy.

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