Friday, December 31, 2010

Dec 31st? It's a myth!

Come on everyone! Together we can disprove this silly theory of a December 31st. It's an old wives tale. Disbelieve with me now, join hands...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nom Nom Nom

How long has it been since you've had Pho?

If you're not familiar, it's a Vietnamese noodle soup, and is very delicious. Here's my bowl from last night, with tofu. I don't know if you can tell, but this is a huge bowl, and I devoured most of it.

Get a load of this article about Pho:

In the 1950s, writer Nguyen Tuan was condemned as a bourgeois reactionary and banned from publishing after he wrote an elegy to pho. Writers were supposed to focus on the glorious onward march of the revolution, not trivialities such as food. Mr. Tuan's essay was in fact a sly criticism of the Communist Party and the damage its thought police were inflicting on Vietnamese culture. Framing his attack in terms of pho was an effective way to tap into a deep vein of Vietnamese identity.

The Communist government closed most pho stalls back in the 1950s when they represented the insidious force of private enterprise. In the 1970s and 1980s, food was so scarce in Hanoi that most of the speakeasy soup joints that served pho in a semiclandestine way closed down...

Can you imagine having to sneak into an illegal back alley dive for some soup? Crazy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blog Template

After spending years making my blog template more and more busy - adding columns filled with links, widgets, and goo-gaws, I've decided it's time for a simple template.

I enjoyed learning the HTML and CSS I used to set up my custom template of about a year ago, but now I'm in a mood for simplicity.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bad Idea

Here's a picture of a test flight from the first aircraft carrier - the whole prospect seems rickety at best.

What gets me is the little boat that is directly in the path of the biplane. I can appreciate having boats in the area to help the pilot if he splashes down, but directly in his path? Was this a dare? Was he planning to crash into the little boat?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Photoshopped

Click on the image to see it full size. The red looks almost like a cluster of blood colored butterflies. Probably the prettiest picture I've ever taken.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Just how many chest freezers are too many chest freezers for a single guy living in a one bedroom apartment?

This neighbor is always coming and going at odd times. Shovels and black bags are a common sight in his back yard, I shit you not. Zero gardening.

At what point do we call the authorities? I mean really. He now has at least three chest freezers.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Credi-Bull #23

Credi-Bull - a story that might be fact, and might be fiction. When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night". Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

A team of interns with NASA's Lunar and Planetary Science Academy is investigating a phenomenon called 'roving rocks' at Death Valley in California.

These stones are a sedimentary rock called dolomite, and range in size from less than one pound to a maximum of seven hundred pounds. The rocks have a very unusual property - they move thanks to a mysterious force.

The rocks aren't rolling downhill - most specimens actually travel uphill, some moving in pairs several hundred yards and negotiating around obstacles.

The NASA research team has a number of theories to explain the roving rocks - everything from high winds to moist, low-friction clay, to ice and snow, but nothing has been definitively proven.

So - the mysterious roving rocks of Death Valley - credible, or just bull? Vote in the comments.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Real Life Conversation #56

Cookies! Um, are these supposed to be the holy spirit or something?

They're not ghosts - they're snowmen. I'm taking them to work.

(Munching) Yummy either way.

But one came out weird, he looked like some hooded KKK member.

Ah. I assume he was eaten?

No... I think he's in one of the wrapped plates already.

I don't have a comeback for that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Second Thought

I want to go see the new Tron Legacy movie - Michelle has never seen the first one, and I thought it would be good to give her the backstory. I borrowed a copy of the original 1982 Tron from a friend.

(Why is the original so impossible to find, buy, rent right now? I have a theory.)

Michelle was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping last night, so I watched the original on my own.

Wow. Bad movie. For its time, the environments and animations were amazing, but the story, the action, the costuming, the dialogue and anything else you care to mention were stiff and ponderous. Why did I remember the movie so fondly? I guess it was because I was 11 when it came out.

I don't recall seeing it in the theater, though it's possible. I probably saw it on TV a few years after it came out, so I was still pretty young. I think I remembered the arcade game more than the movie itself. I'll bet it's so hard to find the original right now because the movie studio doesn't want to turn people off.

A couple of easter-eggish things struck me - the poster in Alan's cube and a Pac Man on one of the MCP displays.

I've heard good things about Tron Legacy - I'll be going to see it in the next week no matter what.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Extra Extra!

My sister has finally joined the illustrious world of blogging!

Check out her great posts here!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Worst Winter in 30 Years!

My mom sent us an ice scraper from the icy lands of Cleveland and sure enough, we needed it here in the almost-always-balmy land of Florida. Thanks mom!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Credi-Bull #22

Credi-Bull - a story that might be fact, and might be fiction. When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night."..Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

There are a wide variety of service dogs, helping patients with Hearing Impairment, Autism, and Epilepsy.

Seizure Dogs sniff out minute changes in a person's biochemistry just before a seizure, and can give warning. Service animals seem a modern idea, but a new article about ancient Rome says differently.

Many Romans kept pets; mice, goats, dogs, and a variety of birds. Julius Caesar is known for many things, including epilepsy - a condition he did not have. Instead, it's widely believed that Caesar suffered from malaria, which can also cause seizures.

An emergency letter sent by one of Caesar's military physicians from Xanten to Trier during the military campaign in 42BC mentions Caesar's prized sturnus (a starling - a small bird known for its creative songs and mimicry).

The doctor ordered that the bird be carried by the fastest courier available, rushed to Trier by the next sunset. The starling was said to alert Caesar with a specific call just before the emperor would succumb to a seizure.

So - - Ancient Roman Seizure Starling - Credible or just Bull? Vote in the comments.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Way to go, Mama

A while back, I talked about the book 'The Disappearing Spoon' which tells the story of the periodic table of elements.

I'd put the book down for a while and returned to it yesterday. Here's a section that tells the story of Dmitri Mendeleev, the guy generally acclaimed for creating the first periodic table.

"Born in Siberia, the youngest of fourteen children, Mendeleev lost his father in 1847, when the boy was thirteen. Boldly for the time, his mother took over a local glass factory to support the family and managed the male craftsmen working there. Then the factory burned down.

Pinning her hopes on her sharp-minded son, she bundled him up on horseback and rode twelve hundred miles across the steppes and steep, snowy Ural Mountains to an elite university in Moscow - which rejected Dmitri because he wasn't local stock. Undaunted, Mama Mendeleev bundled him back up and rode four hundred miles further, to his dead father's alma mater in St. Petersburg. Just after seeming him enrolled, she died."

But what happened to the other 13 kids?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saints Preserve Us...

My sister (also named Michelle, frustratingly enough - I just call her Brat) now has a blog. I just set it up for her, since she's not all that internet savvy. I think this will be fun - she's ten years younger than me, and she has quite the sharp tongue.

I'll share the link once she has decided what the final URL will be.

(Dramatic Music Plays)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Repeatworthy: She Keeps Bees

It's a bit tricky for me to pin down exactly what it is about She Keeps Bees that has hooked me.

It's sultry and driving, simple and to the point. It's just a guy and a girl, a guitar and drums, nothing fancy. It's consistently high quality music - my favorite songs are probably 'Gimme' or 'Ribbon' but it depends on which song I'm listening to at the moment.

The music is sometimes slow without being dull. It's often very repetitive and circular (I'm sure there's an official musical term for that). I own practically all of their songs, and am looking forward to the new album, which they're recording now. Maybe I can actually go see them in concert! I never get to see my bands in concert, grumble grumble.

In Ocala Florida I can say it's because no one comes anywhere nearby - but I lived in Los Angeles for years and went to only three or four shows (about one a year) so I guess it's my own fault.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Real Life Conversation #55

What's that, with the baring of the teeth? Are you challenging me?

No, it's my jaw.

You've been doing that all day. Feels like a threat.

Just stretching my jaw - it hurts. I think it's the way I'm sleeping.

If I were a gorilla I would have roared, pounded my chest and charged you. I'd be eating your flesh by this point. Is it TMJ?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cosmic Orgasm!!

In February of this year, Michelle's ejection fraction (the fraction of blood pumped out of ventricles with each heart beat) was 15%.

As of Monday, Michelle's EF is 45-50%.

(That's freaking amazing, by the way!)

According to Wikipedia: "Healthy individuals typically have ejection fractions between 50% and 65%. However, normal values depend upon the modality being used to calculate the ejection fraction, and some sources consider an ejection fraction of 55-75% to be normal."

YAAAAAY! Way to go, my Baby!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Credi-Bull #21

Credi-Bull - a story that might be fact, and might be fiction. When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night."..Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

The American Great Plains is a vast expanse of open terrain of half a million square miles - perfect land for farming and a prime location for tornadoes.

One thousand tornados hit the US every year. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was one of the deadliest tornadoes ever, killing almost 700 people.

In early 1926, President Calvin Coolidge directed the Army Corps of Engineers to solve the tornado problem.

Head Engineer General James Harbor attacked with an innovative weapon - trash. Several U.S. cities had just completed extensive landfills stable enough to build housing developments on top of. General Harbor's plan would ship trash from all over the US to the great plains states for fifteen to twenty years, drastically modifying the topography.

Extensive wind tunnel experiments would allow the engineers to strategically place a series of rolling hills up to 100 feet tall across the great plains, creating windbreaks sufficient to dissipate a storm before it could ever become a deadly tornado. Budget cuts meant General Harbor's plan died on the drawing board, but modern computer models tell us the idea has promise.

So - Did the U.S. consider landfills to solve the tornado problem once and for all? Credible, or just bull?

Real or Fake? Vote in the 'comments' section.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Augmented Reality

You know how all you hear about now is Facebook and Twitter? In a few short years it's gonna be AR that's the hot new topic.

Even Hallmark believes me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Real SMS Conversation

Me: Lord help me, I'm addicted to that 'Valerie' Glee song.

Her: Switch to Teenage Dream instead. Very addictive too but a little less worm-y.

Me: Teenage Dream sucks, Valerie RULES!

Her: Now now... Valerie does indeed rule but TD is no $2 tranny handjob.

Me: Ooh! I wish I had a red slushie to throw at you right now!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wiki wiki wow wow!

Support Wikipedia

I donated to Wikipedia today.

I love Wikipedia! I use it every single day, for everything from a quick curiosity to work research to working on short stories in my personal time.

I have a goal to start a new article of my own one day soon. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Amy Pond Needs To Eat Something

'Cause Damn.
...And put on some pants, while she's at it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hello World!

Do you believe in blog?
Well I've got something to say about it!
(Music bursts in...)

It was a work day, what can I tell you?

(I encountered something called 'Satan's Hose' which is some sort of colonic gone wrong. I'm not allowed to talk about it.)

Yummy lunch with friends, yummy dinner and chatting with friends. It was a good day.

Also, the cat pooped in her litter box, not at her new favorite place, in the living room near her food dish, so huzzah!

I was gonna work on editing my story, but I am tired.
I will go read 'The Poisoner's Handbook' and go to bed.
(So far, very interesting book!)

Nighty night world.

Monday, December 06, 2010


It's 29 degrees in Ocala Florida right now... Bizarre and wonderful - if only we could balance that out with the 95 degrees it will be in a few months.

I might actually need the ice scraper my Mom sent me from Ohio!

Why is it that I can happily turn the air conditioner down to 70 for sleeping in the summer, but turn the heater up to 73 in the winter?

I think it's the heat that leaches in or out from the windows that makes the difference.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Very cool!

So for the first time in I don't know how long, I wrote and actually completed a short story today! (It helps that it was only five pages long.)

I'm not counting NaNoWriMo, since it wasn't a short story, and I didn't finish it.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the story. Gonna tuck it away for a few days, then give it a fresh read.

Sunday night already?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

New Year's Resolution Starts NOW

I'm going to start blogging at least once a day again. I miss it. I just spent thirty minutes reading over old posts and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. If for no one else but myself, I'm gonna blog every day.

That is all.
Well, until tomorrow.