Look! There is a thing!

Mar. 2nd, 2020

08:41 am - Welcome and Links


(This post will remain "on top" of my page.
Current posts are directly below this.)



To all readers of my LiveJournal --

WELCOME!!!




I've had a few emails from folks who say "I hope you don't mind if I read your Live Journal." The answer to that is -- of course not! If I didn't want people to read something, I wouldn't post it. If my thoughts are more personal, I'll lock that post to a few friends, and you won't see it anyway. So, if you can see it, feel free to read it. You're welcome to post a comment, even if you don't have an LJ. (But I would like it if you'd "sign" your post with your fandom name, just so I know who you are.) And it's okay to give links to friends if you want to share.

Click here for more.Collapse )

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Apr. 10th, 2014

08:56 am - X-Files fans alert!

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Gold Box deal on Amazon.com. Today only (April 10th), only $90.00 for all nine seasons of "The X-Files" plus the movies. (Down from $330.00.)

I'm not a fan, but I know many of my net-friends are, and I'm sure you know others who share your glee. Feel free to spread the news around.
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Apr. 1st, 2014

08:54 am - Burn Notice fans alert!

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Today only (Apr. 1st) Amazon.com has the complete series of Burn Notice -- seven seasons -- for only $51.00. (Down from $150.00)

If you don't already have the first 5 seasons (as I do <g>), this is a good deal. Feel free to pass it on.
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Mar. 28th, 2014

06:39 am - FARSCAPE fans alert!

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Today only (March 28), Amazon has a huge discount on Farscape, the complete series. (Although reviewers point out that it doesn't include The Peacekeeper Wars; without that, the last episode is a cliffhanger.) DVDs for $39.00, or $53.00 for Blu-Ray.

It looks like limited supplies available, so if you want it, head on over.
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Mar. 14th, 2014

06:41 pm - Maybe Rodney McKay could design and build it for me...

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... or, StarWatcher's first horses spoiled her, but the newer denizens -- not so much.


When "unspoiled" by human expectations -- say, raised in a large pasture, or a feral herd -- horses will choose to urinate and defecate in specific areas that are away from places they eat. However, when kept in a barn or stall, as so many are, that instinct is easily extinguished.

Cut for long-winded horsey nattering.Collapse )

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Jan. 25th, 2014

11:41 pm - Two videos and a shopping site

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From [personal profile] andrewducker, I think --

Not for the spider-phobic. Here's a "peacock spider" doing what I suspect is a mating display, set to "YMCA". The vidder made a great match of spider movements to song rhythm; it's a hoot!


This one shows "the difference between dogs and cats" as they teach their offspring to maneuver down a set of stairs. Do NOT be eating or drinking during the final 1/3rd of the video.


And finally, from one of my sentinel friends (but I forget who -- nudge me if you want a shout-out), take a look at Woman Within.com, a site offering "comfort, fit and value for sizes 12W to 44W". Some of their swimsuits look really nice; now I just have to decide which...

ETA: Thanks to Anonymous, here's another site for swimsuits.

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Jan. 9th, 2014

01:06 pm - Budding comedian is funny!

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Scene: classroom of 4th-grade students (9-10 years old)

Activity: Ms. Linda is wandering around the room, explaining How to Build a Story. We've discussed realistic types and fantasy types.

Ms. Linda puts "story-starter" picture on the overhead -- young boy in pajamas opened closet door, startled by long, skinny tail poking out; height tail comes from suggests animal's rump is shoulder-level to boy.

Ms. Linda asks for suggestions: What's inside the closet? Various answers -- "Belt!"   "Snake!"   "Boogie-man!" We take a class vote, and decide to make it a boogie-man. Cue following conversation:


Ms. Linda: Okay, the boy opens the closet door and there's a boogie-man inside. Then what happens?

Male student: They start dancing.

Ms. Linda: Wait... it's a boogie-man and they start dancing?

Male student: Yeah. (Raises hands to shoulder height, index fingers extended, starts shaking his shoulders and shimmying in his chair.) He's a boogie-man!


Ms. Linda starts laughing, retells the joke to the rest of the class who didn't hear it. Ms. Linda explains to male student that he just make a kind of joke called a 'pun', even though he doesn't know what that is, and that it was a good one. Laughs a few minutes more.

Who knows? Maybe 15 years from now, there will be a young comedian who realized he had the talent when he made Ms. Linda laugh, and she thought it was good enough to share with others. I won't know because I don't know his name; he isn't one of my direct-serve students.

= = =

And, apropos of that, check out this page of Scientists tell us their favourite jokes. My favorite is this one:

A new monk shows up at a monastery where the monks spend their time making copies of ancient books. The new monk goes to the basement of the monastery saying he wants to make copies of the originals rather than of others' copies so as to avoid duplicating errors they might have made. Several hours later the monks, wondering where their new friend is, find him crying in the basement. They ask him what is wrong and he says "the word is CELEBRATE, not CELIBATE!"


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Oct. 6th, 2013

04:48 pm - Calvin and Hobbes, next generation.

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I can't remember who linked me to this, but I'm posting it here for Cindy and the rest of you to click on and enjoy.

Called Pants are Overrated, Hobbes and Bacon, it introduces a grown-up Calvin who gives Hobbes to his daughter to protect her from "Donald Trump in the closet". I've only found two pages for C&H, (clicking through to see if any more show up), but you may enjoy the rest of this writer's work.

Here's Hobbes and Bacon #2.

And here's Hobbes and Bacon #3, found by accident.

And here's Hobbes and Bacon #4.

Looks like that's all.
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Sep. 2nd, 2013

09:21 am - Fun Links

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Collaborating with a 4-year Old Artist was strong-armed into sharing her new sketch pad with her daughter. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.” The results make very interesting art -- and a lesson in parenting.

= = =

A professional hairdresser was intrigued by ancient hairstyles, did a lot of experimentation and research, and was able to re-create the techniques and styles.

Then she produced videos, this one of reproducing the hairstyle of Julia Domna I, and a bunch more. Check out the links in the sidebar; they're fascinating.

= = =


Not so fun -- and why isn't this in the news?

Bayer has just sued the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world. A huge public push won this landmark ban only months ago.

Now Bayer and Syngenta, two of the world's largest chemical corporations, claim that the ban is "unjustified" and "disproportionate." But clear scientific evidence shows their products are behind the massive bee die-off that puts our entire food chain in peril.

I boggle at the chutzpah. Suing a commission of aligned other countries?!? You can sign a petition protesting Bayer and Syngenta here. I think it's a bit stark -- I'd like a place to add my own input -- but I guess the point is just to add names.

And now, I have to venture in to the bowels of WalMart. Who'd-a-thunk 8-oz paper cups would be so hard to find? Three-oz aren't big enough, and I don't want the plastic, which is all I can find in the other stores. Wish me luck.

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Sep. 1st, 2013

11:26 pm - I don't dream.

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Well, scientists tells we ALL dream, but I certainly don't remember mine. Occasionally -- no more than a dozen times over as many years -- I wake up thinking, "Wow, that was a weird dream!" but it slips away before I can fix it in memory.

During my adulthood, I remember only two vivid, memorable dreams.

1] I'm in a big warehouse, full of cardboard boxes. In each box are 12 smaller boxes. In each of those smaller boxes is a small plastic doll with a crocheted dress. (Remember those? The dress had very full skirts, to go around the "extra" toilet-paper roll in the bathroom when the doll's legs were inserted in the middle tube. My grandmother had several.)

Anyway, I was frantically ripping open big cardboard boxes and smaller boxes, searching for one specific doll with a particular dress color/pattern. It was VITALLY important that I find this doll because...       I had no idea, but I remember the feeling of being desperate to find it. I searched all night -- never found it -- and woke exhausted.

2] I'm riding across the plains on my tame pronghorn antelope, with my tame wolf pacing by our side. Nice sunny day, everything calm and peaceful, no idea why we were traveling. (This was before I knew that pronghorns are much too small to carry even a short adult like me.) I do remember the wolf was named Poco Bueno, because there's a little bit of good in everybody.


But last night was a whole 'nother level of weirdness.

I was on a long walk -- no particular reason, just walking. I passed through typical southeastern New Mexico terrain, then a "traditional" laundry yard -- paved courtyard surrounded by large stone buildings, crisscrossed with lines holding drying clothes. There was no space between the side and back buildings; the only way out the end of the courtyard was an ordinary, plain white door. I went through, walked a little longer, and was crossing a long bridge -- soaring metal-work spanning a deep river. (There's nothing like that in this part of New Mexico.) Shortly thereafter I found myself in a fairly large town -- and realized it was Roswell, New Mexico when I saw the "Zales" store across the street.

Now, they do have a Zales store in Roswell, but it makes no difference to me. I never wear rings or earrings, seldom wear necklaces, and never buy jewelry with actual diamonds or other gemstones. But seeing Zales made me realize -- it took me only an hour to walk to Roswell, which is 120 miles away. I'd found a great shortcut, and it would be even shorter when driving. But I had to mark the route.

So I retraced my steps -- over the bridge, through the laundry yard -- and realized that a car would never fit through the white door. Well phooey; there's another great idea down the drain.

And just before I woke up I got all excited; I must've stumbled across some kind of dimensional warp. I was quite disappointed to wake up and realize that traveling wasn't going to be magically quicker for everyone.


Well, it was more fun than searching for a doll. But if I'm going to have weird but entertaining dreams, why can't Jim and Blair join in? Or John and Rodney. (I'll bet Rodney could figure out the warp shortcut.) Or Steve and Danny. Or any combination of those guys; I'm not picky.

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Aug. 31st, 2013

09:32 am - My twisted brain...

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I'm listening to Steve Kornacki and guests discuss the saber-rattling about Syria. One person mentioned that President Obama has promised "no boots on the ground".

My brain tosses me an image of a far dystopian-future soldier, kitted out in battle fatigues, helmet, rifle -- and sandals on his feet. Because long ago, some person in power they no longer remember promised no boots on the ground, so the soldiers were sent in wearing sandals, and the custom continued and spread.

All I can do is shake my head at my own weirdness.
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Aug. 30th, 2013

11:35 pm - My evening.

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Sometimes I get irritated with myself; seems like I waste far too much time and get too little done. It's bedtime, and I think, "Geez, Linda, why didn't you get more done?"

Today, I stopped to think --

1) Visited Kitty on the way home, so home at 4:30.

2) Changed clothes, sat down to do homework. Meanwhile, watched this week's episode of "Under the Dome" and copied it to DVD for Cindy.

3) At 6:00, get up and let horses into the front. I've put a rope about 40 feet out from the house, and letting them help eat the weeds.

4) While they're doing grazing, drain and scrub the algae out of the horse-tub. Such a job, work and work and still not satisfactory, finally give up and grab a gallon of white vinegar. MAGIC! The discolored film that I can't scrub up but tells me the algae is still alive to grow just dissolves. Swish it around, do a very minor bit of scrubbing, and it's gleaming white.

Note to self: Don't let it get that bad again! Vinegar isn't that expensive; you can afford an extra gallon a month, and you'll save yourself oodles of time when you clean other weeks.

5) While tub is filling, go to barn, shovel manure and sweep floor, measure hay to feed horses.

6) When tub is full, not quite time to bring in the horses. (They get to graze an hour each evening.) Get my little clippers and cut some of the bigger weeds, toss them over the fence to the neighbor's goats and horse. My horses go for the tender new growth but, with no access to fresh greens, the neighbor's animals eat it all. (Well, except for the really thick stalk.) My horses won't be able to eat it all before the fall die-off; this helps me get rid of some of it. All that takes maybe 10 or 15 minutes; sometimes I cut more longer, but I'm already hot and tired from cleaning the tub -- no stamina.

7) Drive the horses back through the gate and feed them. Back in the house about 7:20.

8) Do a little more homework. Have MSNBC on and kind of watch/listen while working. Stop homework about 8:00-ish.

9) Take my shower, do a little foot-care. That's my luxury, and no one else needs to get in the bathroom, so about 45 minutes.

10) Have a couple pieces of buttered toast and my apple for supper. Read fanfic while eating, and watch this week's Covert Affairs episode, copy to DVD for Cindy while eating the apple.

11) Finish apple and Covert Affairs, but not finished with fic. Refuse to stop reading to go back to homework, finish fic.

12) Time for bed. Decide to write this little post quickly (which has now taken 20 minutes).

Now, I'm not that productive every evening, but I'm not as much a slacker as I accuse myself of being. But here's the thing --

a) Homework's not finished (and won't be till the end of May).
b) DVDs aren't finished (and won't be for several weeks; I have to wait for the episodes).
c) Horse-feeding and weed-cutting "doesn't count" because it doesn't get finished -- I do it daily this time of the year. (Horse-feeding always, weed-cutting is seasonal.)
d) Cleaning tub "doesn't count", because I'll have to do it again in a few weeks.

Therefore, since things are either not finished or "don't count", I "haven't accomplished anything".

Meanwhile, the few minutes' break I took to check DW and LJ were a huge waste of time, and the whole story later (even though I chose a short, 6,000-word piece) just compounded the problem.

*check out 2-8* again. Okay, Linda, this is ridiculous! Realize you're only human, and stop (figuratively) beating yourself up! Despite our Puritan and/or hard-working immigrant forebears, you really can't work nonstop 16 hours a day!

And now, it really is time for bed. Goodnight.
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Aug. 29th, 2013

02:44 pm - Basic conflict, there!

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I had the radio on while eating lunch. One of the spots on this station is tips from the 'car guy'. His tip today was how to drive more economically --

A] Keep your tires aligned.

B] Keep your tires at the proper pressure.

C] Reduce the use of air conditioning.

D] Drive with windows up to reduce drag.

Does anyone else see a major problem with instituting [C] and [D] at the same time? Especially if you live in about 95% of the USA in the summertime? (I can't speak for other countries, though I'm sure many of them have similar issues.) Good grief, it regularly hovers around 100oF here in the summer; a 'cooling trend' is in the low 90's! (32 for the Celsius-minded folks.)

It's advisable in fanfic, profic, or real life -- proofread your work!
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Aug. 27th, 2013

09:32 am - Very helpful... Not!

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I'm examining the IEP of a transfer student; I need some idea of what he can do and what I'll do with him. "Evaluation results demonstrated a weakness in both receptive and expressive language." Okay, but at what level -- mild, moderate, severe? We never get a copy of the actual evaluation report.

And do people never proofread what they've typed? This is verbatim in the 'communication strengths' area: "He has made some good progress towards. (Name) understands and responds better to" Buh? I kind of think that "responds better to" could be important.

There aren't even specific speech goals; they're lumped in with the classroom language goals. I realize that, at the higher grades, we write broader goals that can be addressed in the classroom as well as the speech room, but really!

Here's a sample of mine:

STUDENT WILL USE LISTENING AND COMPREHENSION SKILLS
(a) Predict or draw conclusions from short passage with 80% accuracy.
(b) Correctly answer and ask WH questions with 80% accuracy.
(c) Recall details from paragraphs, or short stories; answer questions appropriately with 80% accuracy.

Here's what I got:

"(Name) will improve with the use and structure of his receptive and expressive language, increase his skills to develop appropriate syntax and semantics in sentence structures with an increase in his vocabulary, and auditory and written comprehension of instruction with 88% accuracy."

*sigh* Oh, well; it pretty much gives me free rein to do therapy as I want.

And now, back to my <sarcasm> favorite </sarcasm> time of the year -- making schedules!
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Aug. 6th, 2013

08:36 pm - Oh, for Pete's sake!

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Item: I pay most of my bills online.

Item: I use my 20th-of-month paycheck for the mortgage; the 5th-of-month paycheck is for all other bills.

Item: We get all our summer checks in June; the money has to last till our first check in August... and I wasn't sure if I'd get a check on Aug 5th, or if I'd have to wait till the 20th. So I made my July AND August mortgage and car payments early, paid all the other bills for June and July, and was very careful with the money that was left.

Item: I lose track of time; one day it's the 2nd, and not time to pay bills yet. Then it feels like, three days later, it's the 11th (or later) and whoops! I'm late on a couple of those bills.

So, when I notice it's past the 5th, and not yet the 10th, I'm very proud of myself. I checked my bank balance online and, yay! I did get paid yesterday, so I'm feeling flush. (It's direct deposit; the notice in the mail is usually a day or two later.) This evening, I sit down to pay the other (not-house, not-car) August bills.

I get to Verizon (for my hotspot internet connection), and the bill isn't due till the 10th. Not a problem; it's a standard amount, and my checking account is a part of my page. I fill in the amount, click 'pay'... and I get a message that prepayments cannot be made from a checking account, I need to use a credit card.

BZUH?!?

After the 10th, my checking account is acceptable, but before the 10th it's toxic? DOES - NOT - COMPUTE!

Well, I'm trying to pay down my credit card, not rack up more interest. I'll wait to pay the bill... and hope I remember again before I'm officially late.

*shakes head at the stupidity of senseless regs*
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Aug. 3rd, 2013

05:51 pm - Links can make a post, I guess.

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Things I want you to see, or I want to remember.

Here are 75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality. Beautiful photos of the joy and excitement as same-sex couples were allowed to marry; I got all teary-eyed.

Edited: I forgot. Turns out, the first gay marriage in Minnesota actually happened in 1971. [The minister] added that Baker and McConnell won’t get married this week, because they already are. Again, teary-eyed and sniffly.

I got new shoes that actually don't squeeze my feet. (Frequently, even when I buy the "wide" size, shoes need to be stretched before I can wear them.) Not these; they're so comfortable I won't look for excuses not to wear them. <g>

Here are a bunch of useful, every-day tips. I've used a few, learned some others, so I need to keep the link handy in case I forget.

Finally, a way to fold t-shirts so that the design is easily visible in a drawer, for finding the exact shirt you want to wear. I have more closet space than drawer space, so I hang most of my t-shirts, but I can see this would be very handy.


And another critter update -- I picked up one of the little adults last evening and looked closely; it had little bulging eyes raised up above its head-line, so I guess they really are frogs. How they survive 11-1/2 months of dry most years, I dunno; just gotta marvel at Nature's miracles.
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Aug. 1st, 2013

08:22 pm - Toadlets!!!

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I knew it was coming fast, but...

Let's recap. During the big rain, frogs/toads laid eggs no earlier than 1:00 AM Wednesday July 17th. (I was up till midnight, and it wasn't raining when I went to bed.)

Yesterday evening, Wednesday July 31st -- just TWO weeks later -- I found little toadlets hopping around the edges of the pool. It was about 7:00 PM; after I fed the horses, I stopped by the pool to check on the taddies. I saw something moving away from my feet in the dirt; thought it was a big spider and looked closer. Nope, it was a teeny-tiny itty-bitty (about the size of the pink part of my smallest fingernail) eensy-weensy toadlet; looking closer, I saw about a dozen of its siblings. They're very hard to see unless they move -- not only because of their size, but because they are almost the exact color of the dirt, perfectly camouflaged.

This morning there were dozens more; I had to step very carefully to avoid squishing one or several. I know from experience that they'll be dispersed in four or five days but, till then, I'll have to watch my steps -- literally!

Sheesh! I suspected the change would happen quickly, but not THIS quickly! I've been planning how to get the taddies to school and distribute them to various teachers. I can quit planning -- students start Wednesday August 14. Adding two more weeks to yesterday's first turnings means I won't have enough tadpoles left to be able to find them in the pool. Wild!

Unless I get another big rain, and they lay more eggs and I have a new batch of tadpoles. The weatherman says it's possible toward the end of next week; I'll have to wait and see.

Does it occur to anyone else that 'tadpole' is a really weird word? Okay, the dictionary says -- Origin: 400–50; late Middle English tad ( de ) pol, equivalent to tad ( de ) toad + pol poll (head)

So -- toadhead. Makes sense. Still sounds weird.

Anyway, yay for another successful launching of a new generation of local fauna! I'm a very proud mama. <g>
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Jul. 28th, 2013

10:05 pm - Tadpoles, yay! Miscalculation, boo!

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We've finally had substantial rain -- .25 inch Sunday night (14th), then 5.15 inches Tuesday night (16th) through Wednesday night. On Wednesday, Cindy told me a lot of it came in a real downpour in the early morning hours, but I slept through it. The first I knew was hearing the frogs/toads in full-throated croaking as I was getting dressed. I looked out the back window and, sure enough, saw a huge sheet of water surrounding the barn, and it was still raining, and all the amphibians were shouting, "Quick, quick! Need to mate, need to mate!" In other words, I knew it was just a few days away to tadpole explosion.

But at that moment -- it's not easy feeding animals while holding an umbrella, carrying the feed-buckets and maneuvering through the gate, then dumping grain on the ground while trying to stay dry; it's all pretty much an exercise in futility. At least wading to the barn was easier than other years -- I was very grateful for my actual woman-sized rain boots (UK friends, think Wellies, but not quite as high in the calf and not nearly as stout) instead of too-large men's boots with shoes inside; I found them a couple of years ago, when a Tractor Supply store opened in town. Till then, I hadn't found woman-sized rain boots anywhere I looked, in three towns over four years. Waterproof boots were available for men, and for children, but apparently women never need to keep their feet dry. Grrr...

Rambling on...Collapse )

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Jul. 20th, 2013

02:00 pm - Two things

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Been way too long since I updated; my mind has plans, but my body is doing too many other things. However, I have two recs for you --

If you enjoy history of the "Cool!" or "I didn't know that!" varieties, have a look at A Blog About History. It's a digest of scientific history articles; catchy title and a short blurb, with a link to take you to the source if you want to keep reading.

And, if that's your gig, have a look at 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly. Actually, I knew Jesus wasn't a white guy (duh!), but I didn't know that "Greek Statues Were Brightly Painted". It's Cracked.com, so written light-hearted and tongue in cheek, but cool info nonetheless (with links to the source articles).


The second big thing is Two Old Goats Essential Lotion for deep pain relief in muscles and body. When I overheard a secretary at school talking about it, I was a bit skeptical, but I bought a bottle for Cindy. Despite daily heavy-duty pain medication, she still has scattered aches quite frequently -- ankle, neck, lower back -- and, by golly, the TOG lotion really works... and it's been working for a year. It's a bit pricey... but it might well give you relief without extra medications.

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Jun. 4th, 2013

09:06 pm - If it was truffles, I could pay off my truck!

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We have a weed around here called buffalo gourd. It grows in bar ditches and vacant land, and I have several on my land. It is obviously a member of the squash family -- long vines growing along the ground, with big triangular leaves, yellow-orange flowers, and a round melon-like fruit about the size of a tennis ball. It's very distinctive and easily recognizable -- visually as well as by scent; if you step on a leaf, or even brush against it, it stinks like several-days-old human body odor. (Which, you know, I've never actually been close to anyone who had that problem; maybe the recognition is instinctual.)

Warning: cute kid story...

When Cindy's son was about 9 or 10, he proclaimed quite proudly, "Hey, Mom, you know how I know I'm growing up? Under my arms is starting to smell like Aunt Linda's weeds!"

</cute kid story>

Most animals won't eat the stuff, although Rowan liked to munch on it. It doesn't seem invasive, exactly; it doesn't spread to more and more of my land. But the vines climb fences and can short out my electric fence wire if I don't keep it cut back. So this year I decided to dig out the roots instead of just cutting the vines occasionally.

I didn't expect it to be too difficult. Last year I pulled up a new vine growing next to the house; the root was the size and shape of a medium-sized baking potato. I thought, "Huh; no wonder they're hard to kill." But, no problem; dig down and get that sucker and the problem will be solved.

Last week, I dug up a couple without a problem. The roots were bigger than the other one, but the plants were older; I kept chopping at them and finally managed to get all of the root. (I think... hope!) Then this Sunday evening, I started on one in my back yard. You know those gardening tools that have a 3-pronged claw? They're useless in our hard, dry, often rocky ground; the claw isn't strong enough to really dig into the ground, and the plastic handle breaks within a couple of weeks. I've bought a couple of hammers specifically for the straightness of the claw end, and I use those; they're hefty enough for me to really dig that claw into the ground, and I have enough leverage to pry fist-sized rocks loose from the packed dirt.

So, I'm chopping at the root with the hammer-claw, and I keep not finding the side or the bottom of the root. The hole gets bigger and bigger, and I keep adding to the pile of root-chunks. Finally, I go get one of the dish-pans I use for water for the cats -- it's dirty from last year, and I haven't cleaned it yet -- because I don't want to leave any bits of root laying on the ground and start the whole process again. After I've been chopping for an hour, it's getting too dark to see what I'm doing, and I decide that's enough for the day; the dishpan is half-full of root-chunks. Literally, and no exaggeration.

When I was telling Cindy about my efforts on Monday, she asked if the roots or gourds were edible. The site I linked to said, sometimes, if prepared properly. But the site also said that the root can measure over a foot in diameter... or it can grow "over 15 inches wide at ground surface, and then split into two "legs" extending three feet deep, resembling a human form." Eep!

I worked on it again Monday night; chopped chunks about half the size of my fist, filled up the dishpan, the hole is about 10 inches across and 12 inches deep... and there's still more root in the hole. Ai-yi-yi!

There's no way I can go three feet deep to get all the root... but maybe it isn't that deep. I'll give it another hour/evening -- maybe tomorrow, maybe the next -- and call it quits. If I haven't reached the end of the root by then, I'll dump a couple gallons of boiling salt water into the bottom of the hole, and hope it kills the rest of the root. We'll see if it manages to sprout again.

And hope the other five I need to dig up don't have quite such an excessive root system!


In other news, we had rain! Last Saturday (the 25th), I had wild winds and thunder and lightning, and the rain pelted the windows; in the morning, I had 4/10th inch in my rain gauge. Then, this Sunday (the 2nd), same thing -- thunder, lightning, pelting -- and I got 35/100th in the gauge. If you're eying those totals in puzzlement, you're right; we're so dry that that much rain settles the blowing dust for about half a day. After that, there's no sign that it rained.

Had an actual rain the last Sunday of August, and again the first Sunday of September -- 1.25 inches each time. That wasn't quite enough to pull out the frogs/toads for breeding. The second Sunday, I heard one lone critter croaking hopefully -- and loudly; I heard him in the house, through the closed windows and over the too-loud TV -- but no other answered. Last time I've had enough rain to develop taddies was August 2010. Had a teacher this year ask me if I was ever going to bring tadpoles to school again. I told her that I need a lot of rain, and we haven't had rain...

Between September last year and now, I've had a couple or three showers (I think), all less than 1/10th inch. Approximately three-fourths of the state is classified as "extreme drought"; the other quarter is merely "severe". Meanwhile, other states are dealing with severe floods.

*shakes head* A man who once owned my favorite nursery -- he was old and experienced, and knew how to make any plant grow -- used to say, "Rain in our country is like money in Washington. There's plenty to go around; it's just not distributed evenly."


In other other news, school's out, but I'm still finishing my overdue paperwork. I owe emails to several people *waves*; you'll get them soon.
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May. 26th, 2013

09:38 am - This is for Cindy

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Cindy loves her iPad, but she's a basic user. If I send links in email, she never sees them. She does Facebook, but I won't touch FB with a 10-foot pole. This is the best way for her to see and keep links; when I see her today, I can open this page on DW and save the link on her iPad.

The Body is not An Apology


This blog showcases articles that deal with body positivity as it relates to bodies that are disabled in various ways.

And, two links for one --
Appy Mall

-- has links to free apps for children. Cindy's grandkids are coming to visit this summer, and I think she'd like to have some games to play with them.
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May. 18th, 2013

10:10 pm - Kind of amazing, kind of "awww..."

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So... the daughter of a professional photographer turned five. She wanted to take pictures of her daughter that were NOT based on Disney princesses because, "My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, or even President if she wants and that’s what REALLY matters. I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything." So she chose five strong women of history for her daughter to emulate in pictures, and developed a series of very effective (and affective) pictures -- a reminder that her daughter, and all daughters -- are

Not Just a Girl


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May. 13th, 2013

10:50 am - Body of Proof

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Does anyone else watch and enjoy Body of Proof? I just learned that ABC has decided not to renew it for this Fall. *sigh*

But there is a petition circulating, asking ABC to reconsider the cancellation. Small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but if you watch it at all, would you consider adding your signature? Fan support kept Star Trek and The Sentinel going for an extra season; maybe we can add to the list.
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May. 11th, 2013

11:02 am - Adventures in rural living.

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I keep thinking about making posts to share the "interesting" things that happen to me, and then wimping out because I have so much stuff to do. But I have to jump in sometime, so...

Those who have been around here for awhile know that I feed the local "wildlife" -- birds (mostly sparrows and mourning doves, but a few others), tadpoles (if we ever get enough rain again), feral cats, and skunks. I didn't invite the skunks, but the cat food makes a free meal, and they take advantage of it.

Through the years, I've been incredibly lucky not to be sprayed. I've been careless enough to get within range several times. (I tend to walk quickly, paying more attention to where I am -- to avoid tripping myself on the uneven ground -- than looking up and out to see where I'm going.) Then, before I know it, I'm eight to ten feet from a skunk who's uneasily lifting his tail, and looking for a place to hide.

Fortunately, as a general rule, skunks are not prone to be quick on the trigger. If I back up quickly (well, duh!) and give them room to hide or escape, they don't spray. So we have a negotiated peace; I don't come too close, and they allow me the occasional lapse without taking direct action. If I must go in the garage at dusk or later (prime skunk-feeding time), I speak aloud, approach slowly, and keep speaking while they scramble for a hiding place. Then I enter the garage, speaking all the time I'm in there, do my job as fast as I can, and leave. Depending on how often a particular skunk has gone through this experience, it either comes out of hiding and goes back to eating, or it comes out of hiding and scampers away as quickly as possible.

But last week, I had several close encounters of the skunk kind and emerged unsprayed -- I was really lucky.

Long and rambling.Collapse )

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May. 10th, 2013

11:15 pm - Amazing, stunning video

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[personal profile] twistedchick pointed the way to this video of an incredible piece of performance art. It showcases a combination of intense focus, fluid gracefulness, and unbelievable eye-hand coordination/steadiness. I won't spoil it -- and, truthfully, no description can do it justice. Just go watch. And, when you think it's finished, it's not... keep watching.
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May. 7th, 2013

05:52 pm - Sale on DVDs

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I was noodling around at TV Shows on DVD.com, trying to see if "Spenser for Hire" TV series ever made it to DVD. (No. *pouts*) Anyway, they have a new link in the header -- DVDs on Sale. Links go to Amazon.com.

Well worth taking a look, maybe once or twice a week. Right now, the first three seasons of Downton Abbey are on sale ($15, $20, $25) if you've dying to get it. (Cindy's already ordered. *g*) Covert Affairs is $19 and $21 for seasons 1 & 2. Monk is $17 for season 4, and $12 each for seasons 5-8. (I already have Cindy's Xmas present, but maybe her son will be interested...)

Lots of other really deep discounts -- Bones, Cosby Show, Designing Women, Fringe, House -- and many more. If you like to collect favorite TV shows, it would probably pay you to bookmark this page and check it a couple of times a week.
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Apr. 14th, 2013

12:05 am - Sign a petition?

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I never know how useful these things are, but it can't hurt. Here is a petition to the Obama administration to --

ETA: It seems that the title is confusing to some people. It refers to teaching students to ask and receive consent from their partner before engaging in sexual activities. IE, teach them that one partner being 'woozy' and unable to say 'no' is NOT a go-ahead to initiate sexual activities. Below is the text of the petition --

Make Consent a Mandatory Part of Sex-Ed in Public Schools.

There seems to be a huge misunderstanding concerning what consent is when it comes to sex. And yet -- when discussed with teenagers -- the idea that "unless someone says 'yes', it's not consent," is easily accepted. It's not a hard conversation: Unless you get a "Yes," assume "No." Uncomfortable, maybe, but difficult? Hardly.

Please make the line between a clear "Yes" and anything else -- whether it be someone drunk, asleep, or otherwise unable to say "No" -- something schools must cover in health or sex ed.

If STI information and methods of contraception are standard fare, consent should be, too.

Too many areas still teach "abstinence only", and this idea won't touch that. But, yeah... if school sex-ed teaches the physical aspects, the social aspects should also be part of the curriculum. We need to erase the "acceptability" of a boy or man trying to excuse rape with, "Well, she didn't say 'no'."

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Apr. 13th, 2013

11:44 pm - Searching on AO3

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This is not one of my strengths. But [personal profile] arduinna explains how to do things I didn't even know were possible.

Surprise! Although the "search boxes default to "and" -- every term you type in is considered a requirement, so the more terms you add, the narrower your search" --

(I thought that was the only way)

-- the boxes will "allow you to search for options (OR) or exclude things (NOT), across all of the fields associated with a work in the database, including title, author, summary, notes, and tags. That means this is a text search box. It doesn't search for tags specifically, it searches for the text inside the tags."

There's way more flexibility in searching than I thought, and I'll never remember it all, so I'm keeping the link to Arduinna's post, to use it as a "cheat sheet" when necessary. If you've wanted better results from searching at AO3, slide over to her post and check it out.

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Apr. 8th, 2013

08:31 am - Bzuh?!?

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I have never done this before. I was reading Gil Hale's new story, Flattened. Zipping merrily along, I read the line -- “They were talking about heading for the trail rack and the train finishing someone off,”

Wait! That doesn't make sense. I go back and read the sentence again, and it turns out they were heading for the rail track! Yeah, big difference, there.

I'm not a speed reader by any means, but I do read pretty quickly, and it's not unusual for me to mistake a 'right' word for a similar-looking 'wrong' word. (Couple of times a week, maybe.) And I commonly type wrong letters in the same pattern that students learning to read/write confuse, like d/g or p/b. But never before have I committed a visual Spoonerism. (OTOH, I hear words when I read silently, so there was a kind of auditory component.)

Nothing earth-shattering; I just wanted to make note of it. Here's a link to the derivation of Spoonerisms; the link above has more samples.

And now to finish Gil's story before my students arrive...
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Mar. 28th, 2013

02:53 pm - Story Announcement

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I've put up a new story on my fic page -- almost on time for my dues!

Title: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Summary: Sentinel and Guide are introspective.
Style: Gen
Size: 800 words
Warnings: None

As short as it is, I actually managed to include a bit of angst, to fit the "Sentinel Angst" list requirements. I hope you enjoy it.

Link to "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow"

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Mar. 19th, 2013

09:33 am - Do you think much about the wheel?

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I do. Because I live alone, and take care of two horses and work on a couple of acres (the other three I leave for the animals), I have a lot of occasion to appreciate wheels. When I get hay in the summer -- the folks at the feed store load my truck, but I have to put it in the barn. Those bales of alfalfa average 60 - 75 pounds. I can balance one on my thighs and duck-walk it to the forming stack at the back of the barn -- about 25 feet. But multiply the effort by 12 -- the number of bales I can load on the truck at one time -- and it gets real tough by about bale #3. Better if I drag it, hoisting one end with the hay hooks and letting the other end follow like the end of a travois. (Pfft! Mozilla's internal dictionary didn't recognize travois.) But even that puts weight (less, but still noticeable) on my back and shoulders. Much better to put two bales on my garden wagon (thus halving the back-and-forth trips from truck to end of the barn), wheel it to the stack, unload, and repeat.

This week, I've been clearing out the broken and discarded bricks from around the house. (Yes, yes, I've been in here more than 5 years, and just now getting to it. Shush!) I'm putting them in a big pile in an out-of-the-way corner. (Plenty of those on 5 acres.) And how do I get them to that growing pile? With my wagon, of course!

And, at least one time while using my wheels -- hay in the wagon, or groceries on my little folding dolly, or taking all my speech gear to the next-door school in my folding, wheeled cart -- I send up a little thought to the unnamed and unknown person who invented the wheel. In the past, I've always considered it to be Og the caveman.

But this winter, I reconsidered. A couple of times, I had to carry buckets of water to fill up the horse-tub. It doesn't happen often; my outdoor faucet is wrapped with heat tape, so it doesn't freeze. After filling the tub, I always disconnect the hoses to let them drain so that, if when it freezes, there's no connection to the faucet for ice to back up and maybe break something. (I have a short hose leading from the faucet, which I connect to a long hose leading to the tub, or the long hose leading to the tadpole pool, or the long hose for watering the trees... Easier to change those out when you have space to use two hands, instead of reaching up to where the faucet is. And that's where I disconnect.)

Even in midwinter, we rarely have more than three days in a row when the temp stays below freezing. In other words, in the late afternoon, I can usually fill the horse-tub. And I do, every day -- so that, if we have a prolonged (by our standards) freezing spell, the horses start with as much water as possible -- which stays ice-free because I use a stock-tank heater. If the hose is frozen, a full tub will last them for three days, and by then we've usually had a warm enough day to thaw the hose and let me refill the tub.

But if I have to carry buckets, there are logistics to consider. The average 5-gallon bucket, when loaded, is difficult for me to handle. The weight is doable, but it all hanging from one hand and pulling unevenly on my spine, not so great. Also, I'm so short that the bucket is hanging low enough to interfere with my walking. Solution: I use two, 2-gallon buckets. The weight is evenly balanced with a bucket in each hand, my spine isn't pulled cockeyed, and the buckets are far enough off the ground that I can walk normally.

But the process is time-consuming. Fill two buckets, but don't turn on the faucet full blast or the water just jumps out of the buckets, wait for the hose to drain into the buckets (don't want to waste the water, or come back to an ever-growing puddle from the drainage), then walk about 30 feet to the tub... and after two trips, I calculated it would take me 14 or 15 more. There had to be a better way...

I have a number of 18-gallon Rubbermaid totes around; I use them to hold pre-measured hay when I'm leaving town, so it's quicker/easier for the neighbor to feed. I grabbed a clean one from the house, put it in my wagon, then filled it with the short hose. I could [a] turn the water on harder, which shortened the filling time and [b] have to wait for hose-drainage once instead of 5 times. Then I pulled it to the tub -- with the lid on, there wasn't much splash-over -- and used the 2-gallon bucket to scoop the water into the horse tub until the tote was light enough to lift and pour out the remaining water into the tub. I made three trips, instead of the estimated 14. \o/

But on one of those trips, while pulling the wagon full of loaded water-tote, and appreciating wheels all over again, it occurred to me that it probably wasn't Og who invented the wheel. See, I've watched guys when doing physical labor. If they can muscle through the job, they tend not to look for an easier way. More often, they seem to take pride in how tough the job was, but they managed. Then there's me. I'm pretty strong for my size and gender, but I learned long ago that it's not enough, and I have to look for something to help me out. Sometimes it's a male friend or coworker, but only after I've exhausted other creative possibilities. (I have literally taped a wrench in place to hold a nut so I could unscrew the bolt from the other side. Or, carried two smaller buckets instead of one larger.)

So, I got to thinking about the caveman dragging his kill back to the cave. And the cavewoman who had to drag her kill, but she had to work so much harder to do the same job, simply because she doesn't have male muscles. So she got creative, and thought up a way to make the job easier. I have no idea what, or how she got from there to a wheel, but I'm pretty well convinced that it wasn't Og who was the inventor, but Ogina!


So -- all hail Ogina, whose wondrous idea has made life so much easier for millions of her descendants! Tomorrow is the first day of spring, which seems a most auspicious time to offer a toast in her memory. *~clink~* I will think of her often, in fervent gratitude that she gave us the lowly wheel.
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Feb. 24th, 2013

11:08 pm - Self-serving, lying assholes

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I just got an email from my congresscritter, a deeply-red Republican. (I voted for the other guy.) The email read:

Dear friends,

As you may know, several gun control bills have recently been introduced in Congress. This issue remains a major topic of conversation, and I would appreciate your input.

Do you support the 2nd Amendment, which states, "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."?

Yes
No
Not Sure

Notice anything missing from that quote? I sure did. I know he'll ignore it utterly, but I had to respond. I said:
I got your poll on the 2nd amendment, which was not complete as quoted, and designed to slant the results to elicit a certain answer.

Yes, I support the 2nd amendment -- but I also take note of the words "WELL-REGULATED". People who want to own and use guns should, in all cases --

(a) Pass a background check before being allowed to buy or own a gun

(b) Pass a stringent gun-safety course, part of which evaluates anger-management skills. (IE, people who think an acceptable response to loud music is to fire into a loaded vehicle should not be allowed to carry.)

Separately, military-style semi-automatic weapons are not necessary for hunting, for sport, or for self-defense. I believe such weapons should be banned; handguns, rifles, shotguns and similar weapons are sufficient for hunting, sport, and self-defense. I have not seen anyone able to explain why non-military and non-police citizens have need of semi-automatic weapons. Can you? I doubt it.


E Moon on LJ posted a commentary that expressed my feelings and thoughts much better than I can -- probably because she's had hands-on experience that I lack -- This Is Not Survival Training.

She had an earlier post, which is shorter, but also makes good points -- The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Braindead Stupid.

And now, bedtime. Goodnight.
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Feb. 18th, 2013

08:35 pm - Decorated "My Little Pony"

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The talented naamah_darling has refurbished and decorated several My Little Ponies this year. Cindy *waves at Cindy* needs decorating ideas for her grandkids and wants to see the pictures, so I'm putting links here, where she can find them.

If you are fond of My Little Pony, and haven't seen these, they're well worth a look; Naamah does lovely work. Be patient -- pages are slow to load; each showcases six or more pictures.


Snowbright Fairy Pony


Halloween Twin Ponies


Stormlight Weather Pony


Stolen Kisses Pirate Pony


Briar Rose Pony


Amor Volat Pony


Chandraki Peacock Pony

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Feb. 10th, 2013

08:49 am - Weird, wonderful and funny

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Passed on from [personal profile] forthwritten who posted it in [community profile] wtf_nature -- a tumbler by the name of WTF Evolution. It's a collection of pictures of some of the planet's more unusual creatures, often with written commentary that increases the laughter quotient. EG:

So you’ve got this fish. And it’s got eyes on either side of its head, like any normal, self-respecting fish should have. Then you decide to start keeping it on the seafloor, where it can lie flat on its side and camouflage in the sand. Smart move! But now one of its eyes is on the ground!

You could just make your fish a new body that’s oriented flat-wise, like a stingray’s. You could do that. Or you could take the fish that’s born vertical and, during its most vulnerable developmental years, slowly move one of its eyes across to the other side of its head until the poor bastard looks like something Pablo Picasso dreamed up after a scuba-diving accident.

As if puberty weren’t bad enough already. Thanks a lot, evolution.


I snickered through most, laughed out loud at several. I hope you enjoy them, as well.
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Jan. 16th, 2013

11:33 am - Ha! Go to the source!

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CandyMafia! Where I can buy Jolly Rancher candy (for the kids) in separate blue raspberry and green apple flavors! (Their faves, and there is never enough blue raspberry in the variety pack.) In about a week, I'll have enough for the rest of the year! (I hope.)

(More details later, maybe.)

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Jan. 15th, 2013

09:34 am - Filibuster petition

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I think most of my American friends realize that Congress and the Senate are "broken". One huge problem in the Senate is that one senator or another registers a filibuster, and proposed bills don't even reach the floor for a discussion. No deliberation about good and bad points, no effort to compromise for a workable solution, just -- nothing.

Senator Tom Udall writes:

"When I was elected to the Senate, instead of the ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’ I found a graveyard for good ideas. The filibuster, a procedural maneuver that’s now routinely abused by members of both parties, is to blame. Next week, we have a chance to deliver real change.

Filibusters today are not what you see in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. There is no Jimmy Stewart, debating an issue for hours on end, making their case to the American people. The sound of a filibuster today is the sound of silence.

If a single senator wants to hold up a piece of legislation, they should have to hold the Senate floor and engage an old school Talking Filibuster."


Sign a petition, also endorsed by Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Elizabeth Warren, that (if passed) will go a long way toward stopping the abusive use of a "silent" filibuster.

Frankly, if someone wants to hold up a bill -- I want him or her to stand on the floor in front of their peers and the American public. If they don't want people to see them -- for example -- holding up relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, then they shouldn't be able to quietly prevent that piece of legislation from reaching the floor.

Have at it, folks -- and feel free to spread the link (either to the petition, or to this post) around.
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Jan. 12th, 2013

12:40 am - Help with an episode of "Fringe"

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Cindy is a huge fan of Fringe; it leaves me cold. But now that it's in reruns on the Science channel, I'm recording the eps in my DVR, and making DVDs for Cindy.

The DVR shows the ep title and number, so I can copy the eps in the proper sequence. But one ep has no title, and no number. Since they're showing out of order on the Science channel (why do they DO that?), I can't assume that the unnamed ep follows whatever was recorded before it.

I looked at synopses of the first two seasons, but nothing looked like it matched. I'm hoping one of the Fringe fans out there can help me...

In this episode, Olivia is badly injured in a car accident. Later, her sister (?) is talking to Peter, and says Olivia has a living will, didn't want to exist on life support, and they would disconnect her in the morning. But later, Olivia wakes up and tells Peter that she went somewhere, and there's something really important she has to tell someone, but she doesn't remember what.

That's all I have; I skipped through the ep, trying to hit the highlights to see if I could recognize it in a synopsis. I thought "Olivia injured in car accident" would stand out, but no luck. Can anyone out in Fringe-land help?

Thanks so much.
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Jan. 6th, 2013

10:17 am - Story Announcement

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One of the facets of my love for fandom is wanting to see my fave characters from one show interacting with fave characters from another show. I enjoy reading most any crossover with Blair and Jim (if I have even the slightest recognition of the 'other' fandom and characters), but I particularly groove on TS/SGA or TS/H50. I'd love to be able to write Blair interacting with Rodney, while Jim and John look on with mingled exasperation and amusement. Unfortunately, my muse isn't helping a bit.

But all is not lost! I recently (well, last May) read a story that had my muse sitting up and shouting, "Crossover! Crossover!" The story was Dolimir's delightful The Last Frontier. Eventually I needed dues for SentinelAngst, and my muse was insistent, so I have now committed a TS/Calvin & Hobbes crossover. <g>

I intended a different meeting for Blair and Hobbes (spooky Halloween, veil thin between the worlds, yada-yada-yada), but my muse really liked Dolimir's story, and slanted it to be a missing scene for hers. So, with Dolimir's permission, I allowed it to continue in that track. It's not necessary to read her story to understand mine, but I highly recommend it.

Title: Through the I.U.I.
Summary: Blair hasn't quite fallen through the looking-glass.
Style: Gen
Size: 6,100 words, about 12 pages
Warnings: None
Dedication: To Dolimir, in gratitude for her permission to riff off her story.
Notes: A missing scene for Dolimir’s delightful Calvin and Hobbes story, The Last Frontier. December 2012 dues for SentinelAngst.

Through the I.U.I.   (at my fic journal)

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Dec. 25th, 2012

08:46 pm - Now I know I don't want Windows 8

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I'm having Christmas with my folks and youngest sister. Sis and I are sitting talking about computers, and we opine that, from what we've heard, neither of us wants to tackle Windows 8.

Since I have my laptop in front of me, I go looking for reviews, and I find this one. Consider it as Words to the Wary: Well-known Internet entrepreneur and MIT professor Philip Greenspun handed Windows 8 one of its most damning reviews yet earlier this week, calling the new operating system a “Christmas gift for someone you hate.” Greenspun panned almost every aspect of Microsoft’s new software, noting that Microsoft had four years to study Android and more than five to examine iOS, but still couldn’t build a usable tablet experience.

“Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone… you will have no idea how to use Windows 8,” Greenspun wrote.

He continued, “Some functions, such as ‘start an application’ or ‘restart the computer’ are available only from the tablet interface. Conversely, when one is comfortably ensconced in a touch/tablet application, an additional click will fire up a Web browser, thereby causing the tablet to disappear in favor of the desktop. Many of the ‘apps’ that show up on the ‘all apps’ menu at the bottom of the screen (accessible only if you swipe down from the top of the screen) dump you right into the desktop on the first click.”


Oy. I really need another laptop, to have a backup on hand when this one needs servicing. I hope I haven't left it too long. I'll have to contact my repair guy, and see if he can wipe the W8 OS (if that's all I can get), and install Windows 7. It was hard enough learning this one; I don't want to start all over again.

In other news, it's been a quiet, but nice, Christmas, with good food and good gifts. And, in a one-time-only event, I've won three games in a row! The family rummy game last night (with a score of 55, to 275 as the next lowest!), and two Scrabble games today with my sister. Some canny playing, if I do say so myself, but most of it was the luck of the draw -- cards and tiles. I'm not anything like a consistent winner, so three in a row is worthy of fireworks. Should've bought a lottery ticket -- but it was 36o today, with 35 MPH winds; with the certainty that my luck would dribble away on the way to town, definitely not worth facing the weather.

Hope everyone had a great day, whether you celebrate Christmas or just enjoyed Tuesday.
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Dec. 20th, 2012

06:36 pm - I need a Spanish-English dictionary...

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...not a translation site.

One of the bilingual teachers has a new student who has almost no English, and difficulty with his /r/ sound. We're planning to start him in speech therapy, but Miss Linda has almost no Spanish.

I looked up 'Spanish vocabulary first grade' online, scanned down the lists for /r/ words, and copied them into a table in MS word. They're separated by r-placement -- beginning, middle, end, or blends. I'll use Google translate to make a list of simple sentences using those /r/ sounds for practice (and get the bilingual teacher to check and correct for accuracy). I can't speak Spanish, but I can read it aloud, and have the student imitate me.

BUT!! There were very few beginning-r words in those vocabulary lists, about 1/3rd the number of middle-r and ending-r words. I figured I'd open a Spanish dictionary to the r-page, and scan down, select words suitable for a 10-year-old. But no luck; every site I've check intends you to put in the English word, and it'll give you the translation. What I need is a list, like:

rápido - fast
ratón - mouse
rectángulo - rectangle
recibir - receive
regalos - presents
Can anyone point me in the right direction?

EDIT: Ha! Sometimes asking for help stirs the brain cells. I input "Spanish vocabulary r-words", and Google gave me this page as a first result. Plenty here to keep me busy. Qualified cheer -- glad I found what I need, would rather not do homework. <g>
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Dec. 16th, 2012

07:22 am - Richard Burgi in TV movie

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For those who don't know -- or simply forgot the date -- RB is in a new made-for-TV movie. The blurb for "Christmas Twister" reads: A scientist must find his missing children after tornadoes destroy his Texas home. I haven't heard anything else about it, but at least it sounds like RB isn't playing the bad guy/antagonist this time. It's showing on the ION channel Sunday the 16th (today!) at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM (Eastern), on Tuesday the 18th at 10 PM (Eastern), and on Sunday the 23rd at 7:00 PM (Eastern).

I discovered locatetv.com a few weeks ago, and it's wonderful. Input the movies or actors you'd like to see, and your TV provider, and it lets you know when that movie or actor will be showing. I signed up, and I get email notices when one of the movies on my 'Watch List' will be playing.

For instance, I see that another RB movie, "In Her Shoes", will air on Wednesday the 19th at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM (Eastern) on the Oxygen channel. I have no idea what part RB plays in that.

"Super Eruption" will air on Wednesday the 19th at 9:00 AM (Eastern) on the SyFy channel. The blurb for that reads, A devastating volcanic eruption occurs in the centre of Yellowstone Park. A firefighter and a vulcanologist pool their specialist skills to save as many lives from the catastrophe as possible.

RB's episode of Firefly will air on Monday the 24th at 3:00 PM (Eastern) on the Science channel. If you're a Firefly fan, I assume you've already seen that. The blurb reads, Mal and Zoe are sent a crate containing the dead body of an old comrade in arms from the war. They carry out his last wish to be buried on his home planet, but during the journey, they discover he is still alive and is using his own body to smuggle an unusual and valuable contraband - which a ruthless Alliance agent is determined to take back.

For those who don't know the ION channel, it looks like ION is only available in the USA. The Wikipedia entry reads, Ion Television is a United States broadcast television network. Owned by Ion Media Networks, the network commenced broadcasting on August 31, 1998 as Pax TV, a name it used until July 1, 2005, when it became i·Independent Television. The network was rechristened to its current name of Ion on January 29, 2007.

And now, the horses and outdoor kitties are waiting for breakfast.

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Dec. 13th, 2012

08:51 pm - Can't watch without laughing...

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A cat can't escape the balloon that's static-bonded to its leg.

And here's an "Awww..." -- the family dog trying to teach the baby to play ball.
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Dec. 12th, 2012

06:41 pm - Laugh for the day.

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It's Cindy's evening, and for some reason -- hey, that was 15 minutes ago! -- I used the word 'defenestrate'. She said, "What's that?" I said, "It means to throw someone out a window." She said, "Where's it from?"

So, to Google I go, and Dictionary.com, which confirms that 'defenestrate' and 'defenestration' are indeed real words. (I though they were faux highbrow-ese, coined within the decade or so.) But the dictionary didn't explain the derivation.

Wikipedia to the rescue. To my surprise, the term goes back to 1618 (or earlier), and several incidents of defenestration led to various wars.

All very interesting. But I laughed aloud when I read this -- "Although defenestrations can be fatal due to the height of the window through which a person is thrown or throws oneself or due to lacerations from broken glass, the act of defenestration need not carry the intent or result of death."

The mind boggles. Under what circumstances could one claim, "Yes, I threw you out the window, but I didn't necessarily intend that you would DIE!!"

Sometimes I can't decide if my mind is unique, or just scary. <g>
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Dec. 7th, 2012

05:41 pm - iTunes -- DON'T upgrade!!!

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Yesterday... mm, Wednesday afternoon, I think... I opened iTunes and it invited me to upgrade. I hesitated, but then figured, why not? With only one week of experience, it's not like I was invested iTunes-as-it-was. So I clicked the button and started the upgrade.

Bad move. Bad, bad move. The look is so totally different, and it's hard to find things. But, I can handle that. What's far worse, in my view, is that the "Display Duplicates" option is no longer available. I used that a lot; when I had loaded all the songs of a particular artist, I displayed duplicates, listened to each one, then deleted the less-liked version. I looked at every drop-down on the menu bar, and every sub-menu -- several times. It's not there!

And at that, I have it easy. [personal profile] coffeeandink and her friends are having all kinds of trouble finding their iPod music, moving it around, synching things up; as [personal profile] coffeeandink said in comments, " Apple has made some remarkably bad UI decisions."

So, I've uninstalled iTunes 11, run CCleaner (recommended on the net), then had to restore all my URLs and sign back into all my sites, and am now installing iTunes 10.7. (I assume that's the one I had, since I got iTunes so recently.) We'll see how it goes.

But, if you have iTunes, and you like its features as they are -- save yourself a lot of fuss and hassle, and DON'T UPGRADE!!!

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Dec. 4th, 2012

09:38 am - Success! iPad and Googledocs...

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... have no defense against sheer, eldest-sister, compensating-for-shorter-than-average-height, bosses around-large-animals STUBBORNNESS! <g>

I have no idea why it didn't work at first -- I don't think I did anything different -- but I finally got Googledocs to work. It took reloading three times (with a different name each time, so as not to confuse the system) but now it's doing what it's supposed to: opening, and letting me page through the document when I test it on the iPad.

I'm still not happy with iPad -- who the fuck designs a computer-thing where you can't save anything in the system?!?!? It must be nice to live where you have reliable internet access 24/7, but, you know, there're a helluva lotta people who live where that's not true.

BUT! I now have a link on my DW page; Cindy will be able to bookmark that, save it to her homepage, and open her DVD list anytime she wants.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Even though most weren't valid for Cindy, it helped to not be working all alone. And knowing the adjustments I'd have to make so that iPad would work as *I* expect a computer to do, simply confirms that I can save my money and never buy one for myself. <g>
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Dec. 3rd, 2012

03:27 pm - Maybe TV List for Cindy

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Okay, I've tried to post, changed, added content, updated time/date, and it still didn't show on my reading page / friends list. Sooo... I copied, deleted the other entry, and pasted into a new entry. AND I'm adding more content (this). Let's see if it'll post. (Maybe someone will have an idea to help.)


Experiment: Will rich text render the tables in Cindy's list?


Answer: Yes, but no. The table is there but, when I try to post, I get. "Post is too large." I cut off some at the bottom (stuff that isn't movies or TV shows), and marked it not to crosspost; I knew LJ couldn't handle it. Still wouldn't take it.


SOOO frustrating. That's the trouble with computers: They do so much, but not exactly what you want.


*flounces off to ponder*

EDIT: Shows up on my 'recent entries' page, but not my reading list. I updated the date, still nothing. Maybe if I actually add new content AND update date...

Nope; see above.
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02:28 pm - iPad frustration, part whatever

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Okay, I got to school and had time to experiment with the iPad. It opened Cindy's TV list in Google docs, but only the first page. It said Page 1/8, but no way to access the other pages. I found an arrow at the top of the page, and hit it, but it didn't take me to other pages, it just changed the look.

So, I emailed the attached list to myself (edit: as an MS Word document) and opened it in iPad. Worked like a charm; opened on the desktop and the look is nice and clear.

BUT I CAN'T FIND A WAY TO SAVE IT TO THE DESKTOP!!!

When the document is open, the top bar has only three things: a 'Done' button, the title, and a right-facing arrow. When I click that, it offers to print. I hit that, thinking maybe I could 'print' to desktop, but no. It looks for a physical printer, then tells me, "No AirPrint Printers Found". DUH!!!

Now what? I found out I can search my mail for "TV List" and it comes up. But Cindy has a mental wall; she won't be able to make it work for her.

*sigh* Can anyone tell me how to save that document to my desktop?

For the record, this is one more big black mark in the "Against iPad" column. Grrrr....
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Dec. 2nd, 2012

07:53 pm - Google Docs worked...

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... sort of. I'm not happy with the look -- blurry/fuzzy. But, thanks to [personal profile] ninetydegrees, it's available. And, so I don't lose the URL, here's

                Cindy's TV list


Because I'll forget how to do it:

Open My Drive

Check box next to name of document.

Click "Share" tab (person icon with +)

Follow prompts


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Dec. 1st, 2012

05:32 pm - Any info about Google Docs?

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I make a lot of DVDs for Cindy -- the TV shows she likes, and various movies. For her (and me!) to keep track of what she has, I keep a list on MS Word, all organized and alphabetized. It's in table form, so I can move things down and add new titles as I make them for her.

I print out new copies when I need to, but they have a tendency to have disappeared in the clutter when she needs them.

It occurred to me that I might save it on Google Docs, and then she could access it through her iPad. So! I looked it up, and the site says, "To get started, install Google Drive on your PC. Then, add files to Google Drive on your PC and they'll automatically sync to My Drive."

That... doesn't explain a lot. And it's a little worrying. Do I WANT Google Drive on my PC? And, if I do, will Cindy be able to access MS Word on her iPad? Will she need to download Google Drive? (I'm wondering if the 'Windows' cloud will talk to the 'Apple' cloud.)

Any knowledgeable advice will be gratefully appreciated.
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Nov. 27th, 2012

11:49 pm - Flist, you've created a monster...

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... and I thank you for it.

The first night you told me about iTunes, I loaded six CDs into my laptop, and turned them into three hour-long CDs: two John Denver and one Jimmie Rodgers -- the one with the smooth, mellow voice, not the gravel-voiced train-song guy with the same name. Wonderful how easy it was, and I listened to them on my drive to visit my parents.

What brought this "make my own CDs" urge to a head was that I had a yearning for Ed Ames; I've been hearing his voice in my head for several weeks. So, while I was home, copying his CDs in my laptop to put on a jump-drive for his use (his computer is way slower than mine), it occurred to me to check Amazon for Ed Ames CDs; if they had any, I could put them on my Christmas list. But! They had FOUR albums as downloadable MP3!!! I couldn't wait; I downloaded two albums, and four songs from the other two that weren't duplicates. I now have a CD with 24 Ed Ames songs; I nearly zoned out while driving to school this morning.

Then, just about two hours ago, I realized (sometimes I'm slow) I could also check for Jimmie Rodgers. I didn't expect much; he seems not well-remembered.

But... riches! I have bought, and am downloading, SIX albums -- and most of the songs are NOT duplicates of what I have. I'm paging through the offerings, and think I've found everything I can; most of the titles now are duplicates on vinyl. But you never know... click a few more pages... and there it is -- a downloadable version of Twilight on the Trail! Dad had half-a-dozen Jimmie Rodgers albums when I was a young teen, and "Twilight" was my alltime favorite. When I saw that cover, I squealed aloud and -- didn't exactly cry happy tears, but I definitely got teary-eyed.

Little things really do mean a lot. I can feel the happiness bubbling in my chest. There's so many songs in the queue that Twilight won't be downloaded for an hour or more; I'll have to leave the computer running when I go to bed. But as I get ready for school tomorrow morning, I'll be listening to "Riders in the Sky", "High Noon", "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", "Ole Faithful", "Twilight on the Trail"... *contented sigh*

Thanks, flist. For this and so much else, my life would be so much poorer without you.
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