Friday, October 31, 2008

This play takes some time to develop

But just hang with it. And make sure you listen to the play-by-play. Unreal.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

At the gym

On the way into the locker room, there's a plastic frame that usually holds some kind of inspirational rubbish (we are defined not by the times we fall but how we pick ourselves up, that kind of thing).

But recently, someone switched the sign for this:
Needless to say, this has been a big improvement! You can see more of these kinds of things here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pardon my sensitivity

Hate crimes are a curious item: I'm not sure exactly how they're figured. I'm pretty sure road rage should be one, for example, but really the people who speak in these terms mean "bigot crimes" or "racist crimes" or maybe, if you want to be mealy-mouthed, "bias crimes."

There are apparently not very many: The FBI only counted about 1,600 such crimes based on religion in 2007. Sure, I know, that's one every 5 hours! Or 6! depending on how you count, I suppose.

But it is also only 80 by state each year, so...

On the flip side, USA Today reports 68 percent of those crimes were against Jews. I'm not sure what to say about that, but that's not the kind of thing that makes you feel like this country welcomes with open arms.

Besides the whole control-of-the-media thing, what's so scary about Jews?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thinking of Townes Van Zandt

I've had a bunch of TVZ songs going through my head, which made me think of this one:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Malaysia sucks, too

Or at least Malaysia's National Fatwa Council does: The council has "banned" tomboys.

You can read about the idiocy here.

Yet another place I'm happy to avoid, though it is obviously unfair to judge by such things. Nobody would come to the good ol' U.S. of A. if they knew how much some of us hate one thing or another.

What will the National Fatfuck Council ban next? It'd have to be something I like, right? Redheads?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cool animation with candles

This animation shows up as a related video to my own. This one is cooler, though, which makes me think I should make another during our upcoming vacation.

Mine's at the bottom of this page, by the way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Put him in the scuppers!

Love this song!

That's an order.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do what you must...

My job means I am not at liberty to talk politics with anyone except family, a few friends and a woman sworn to secrecy. I think it is allowed for me to say I'm in favor of civil rights, by which I mean those granted pretty explicitly by the Constitution. I mean, duh, obviously, it is OK to say I think the First Amendment is a good idea. I favor the others, too.

But beyond that, I can't say a whole lot. Abortion? Drilling for oil? Presidential politics? Local politics? Let's just say I own some T-shirts I can only wear in the living room.

I did actually see one I own in this video, though:

Cash money dollar (coins) y'all

I'm a coin guy, always have been. Worst shit perpetrated on me by my dear sister and mother was their absurd and bullying insistence I trade a dollar in coins to her for a dollar bill. Why they insisted is beyond me, but it is one of the four grudges I still hold.
  • State quarters? Got all but Hawaii.
  • New nickels: Check (even if my dear neighbor's brother, the mayor of Seattle and namesake of this coin, disagrees with me on an important issue).
  • Silver dollar with Ike? Yup.
  • Bicentennial silver dollar with Ike? Yup again.
  • SBA? Sacagawea? Yep, yep.
  • Snazzy 1940s quarter made of actual silver? You betcha.
  • Freakin' awesome Ben Franklin half dollar of same metal? Mm-hmm.
  • Unsquelchable desire to see dollar bill go up in smoke and dollar coins (and twos, and fives, for that matter) take over? Yeppers.
But come on: If you leave the pissant $1 bill in circulation, you'll never be able to get out from under it. It is time for los federales to grow a pair, so to speak, and make the dollar the coin of the realm.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New back yard

Winter is approaching, and with it - maybe - some rain. For us and our Newfies, that means mud season in our abysmal back yard. But now there are Eight Paws of the Newfpocalypse, so we decided to install a lawn (and underground sprinklers).

Here's pretty much what the yard looked like before:
That darker patch in the middle used to be a planter bed, which was super successful last year but not so much so this year. Yuki's puppyhood took a toll. Anyway, I used a Ridgid digging fork for the demo (about $30, bought to replace a crappy Craftsman fork I finally got my money back on. The Craftsman was the second free replacement after the original conked out). Here's how much fun hand turning soil is:
It is good exercise, though, and the rental rototillers were heavy and our CRV lacks a trailer hitch. I think the whole demolition/grading (with a rake, mostly) took about six hours for 450 square feet. Hey, small yard. But small yard full of junkola. I found a bunch of former paving in part of the yard:
and smaller odds and ends, too. This place would have been a good archaeology lab, though it is too rich in artifacts to be realistic.
Anyway, here's a view of the prepped yard, and the big stack of sod (About $95, including sales tax and a $5 deposit on the pallet):
At this point, I hadn't laid in the sprinkler, but I squared that away in about an hour using flexible PVC, a couple of sprinkler heads (our side yard is too small to irrigate without watering the porch and/or driveway). The pipe, sprinkler heads, joints, timer and such cost about $130, so besides time, this project was pretty inexpensive. The labor was laborious, though:
You lay sod just like flooring, really:
And here's mostly finished:
I misunderestimated on the square footage, so I ran out just as I finished the yard. As in, I ran out of sod at the same time as I ran out of places I needed to put it. Now all we need to do is see if it takes, and holds up to the canines, and the winter, and...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the road, in the pool

Still trucking along in both places. I haven't pushed beyond about three miles running because I'd really like to not wear anything ligament-like out again. But it is going pretty well and we live near a big park (1.1 miles in circumference), so I think that might be helping. Swimming is still a pain in the shoulder sometimes, but I'm doing about 3,000 yards a workout three or four times a week.

Yep, that's all I have to report. How about some more Springsteen?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Music at work

Besides everything else, I mean. I was caught unawares that Lisa Hannigan had an album out, but she does, so it's been in heavy rotation at work, where unlike the last factory I worked at, we're allowed to work in something other than silence.

Here's a track:

I never really understood the reasoning behind the ban on music (through headphones, for crying out loud) at the other place, but I think it might have been related to upper management's feeling that what worked best for them is what works best for everyone.

There are a lot of things wrong with typical management practices, but I'd rank that attitude up near the top.

In the past, I tried to explain that while someone else may not work well amidst distractions, I work best when there is more than one thing going on. The usual response I got was something like, " That's what you think, but actually, people work better without distractions. You can't actually do two things at once, so you can't listen to music and edit."

So why is music somehow way worse than listening to you fuckers typing? Or eating? Or whining about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?

I never got a good answer, but as the good reverend would say, the question is moot.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Must be getting older

I'm sure it isn't just my imagination: While strolling out of the pool Monday afternoon, I held the door for a young woman who fell into step with me on the sidewalk.

"So, are you a professor?" asketh she, smiling brightly. Seriously, first question.

"No, are you?" says I.

"Hell no!"

Well, yeah. At least she thought I looked professorial.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Like a band of gypsies

I don't hit the road as often as I used to, but while I was on The Information Superhighway (how's that for a dated term?), I saw a friend had posted a map of which states she's been in, so here's mine:
Red's where I'm from, green's where I've been, and although I'll probably hit a few more of these, I'm guessing I won't make it to 50 without some kind of intervention by work.