Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Spoiled, Privileged Person First World Problem

It's funny how we so quickly become dependent on little conveniences that we were perfectly fine living without for most of our lives. Take, for example, package tracking. I hate when I order something and there's no or only minimal tracking info, such as only the date shipped and an estimated delivery date. But sometimes knowing can be as bad or worse than not knowing.

I ordered a t-shirt from an Etsy shop. (It's going to be a gift.) It shipped from Seattle via DHL. From there it went to Raleigh, NC. My package spent several days in Raleigh then finally shipped to Grand Prairie, TX, where it apparently spent several more days. I say "apparently" because on the day it finally arrived here Tracking showed that it was still in Grand Prairie.

I have the t-shirt and I didn't especially need it in a hurry but I would just like to know why. I'm pretty good at map reading but you really don't have to be to know that North Carolina is way far the other side of Oklahoma from Seattle, WA. And then there was the extra stopover in Texas. I admit that I really don't know a lot about how shipping works but that route seems terribly inefficient and wasteful.

And while we're on the topic of shipping, how long do you think it should take for a package to get here from the other side of the planet? I have only ordered internationally a couple of times but from my limited experience and reading the experiences of others three to four weeks seems to be typical. I just don't know. If you, personally, traveled around the world by plane how long would that take? According to this page it's possible to do in three to four days. That's a complete circumnavigation. Since we're talking about packages though, I'm talking about, at most, halfway around the world. And I know there's a lot of handling of packages that adds time but still, it seems to me that it should be possible to get a package from Europe to the middle of the U.S. in about two weeks.

But what do I know? As I said, I'm not a shipping expert, just a spoiled, impatient consumer. You know, if someone could finally invent the transporter we could get packages in just an hour or two. Sometimes Star Trek makes the real world look so lame.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Beautiful and Stupid

An incident Sunday morning made me think of a line from Cathrynne Valente's novel Space Opera: "Life is beautiful and life is stupid." A 79 year old man was injured trying to rescue a turtle on the highway.

That was beautiful. What a sweet old man, caring about the life of a turtle. But it was also stupid. There is a lot of traffic on that highway and most of it going 10 - 15 MPH over the speed limit. I understand, but it's not worth it.

I wonder if the turtle is okay.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stuff Seen on Twitter

Beautiful, colorful art by Iris Scott.

I love these rain photos. They almost look like paintings.

This 1920's hair dryer:

I sort of want it. Not to use but just to have people walk into my house and say, "What the hell is that thing?!"

This must read article about "cultural appropriation". This subject ("cultural appropriation" but involving a different culture) came up a few months ago on one of the sewing blogs I read and a lovely woman of color said pretty much the same thing. We often make the mistake of forgetting that people of other cultures have differing opinions within their culture just as much as we do. Just be respectful. That's all you need to do.

Umbrella street, Portugal:

A disturbing short story about smart homes. I'm not a big fan of most "smart home" technology. I find all of it unnecessary and some of it just a little creepy. This story is also anti-GMO which I am not so that part of the story annoys me a little. I suppose bad things could happen but I think the potential for disaster is exaggerated.

And another artist, Tomasz Alen Kopera.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Still Here

Yep, I'm still here. I had a pretty busy week last week. And I turned 60. I might have more to say about that (and other things) later. Lately I have not been much in the mood to waste time on the computer. Wasting time on Twitter, on my tablet or phone, on the other hand...

Anyway, I just wanted to let the one or two people who still check this page once in a while know that I haven't disappeared completely.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

This 'n' That

If you have ever read a listicle you must read this listicle: 10 Things You Should Know About Lists on the Internet. Yeah. Just... yeah.

This is rather neat: All 611 shots from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Most movies have more than twice that number of shots.

This is not an ad, honest; I simply must say that NewChic has some of the crazy coolest shoes. Some pretty ordinary looking ones too but I'm looking at the wild, multi-color, flower embellished ones. Lots of flats. I wonder if they are comfortable. It doesn't look like any of them have a decent arch support.

It's true! Washing machines really do eat socks.

Of all the things you can do with Legos this might be the coolest thing ever.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Entertaining Nonsense

Sometimes I miss the good old days of the Internet, when you always knew immediately when you had come across a lunatic website because they all screamed at you in a variety of large fonts and bright colors. Lunatic websites are still out there though; they're just easier on the eyes. Like this one that I first saw on Twitter: Giant Prehistoric Trees.

Everyone has noticed that Devil's Tower looks like a giant tree stump but most of us, when we hear the real scientific explanation for its shape, immediately realize that it makes much more sense. This individual though, whose command of English strongly suggests that it's not his first language, just couldn't let go of the fantasy of an ancient era when there were trees many kilometers tall - the Silicon Era. He gives many more examples of mountains that he says are the stumps of ancient trees and tells us:

So there are no volcanoes, mountains and rocks they do also not exist. You can delete these terms from the lexicon. ... we are well made out that absolutely all the rocks of our planet – are the bodies of the silicon world.

I also like this bit, which he just sort of throws out there, talking about modern trees, then abandons:

If someone thinks that the forests were cut down just for timber, then I hasten to dispel your naivety. The fact is that old trees work also as information storage, database, hard disks, in modern parlance. Everything that happens on the planet, the trees do record it in its information portal. A person with good enough sensitivity can just go to a forest and easily access any information about the past, just by touching the tree trunk.

So anyway... it goes on and on, we're all naive, scientists are covering up "the truth," and so on and so forth. You know... I not only want to believe that most people are good; I also want to believe that most people are not idiots. (Of course the fact that around one third of Americans still think Donald Trump is doing a good job should be enough to dispel that belief.) So it occurs to me that web pages like this must be the Internet version of performance art, that its creator can't possibly believe such nonsense and it's put out there merely to entertain. But I don't know.

I took a quick look at the rest of the website. Just based on the article headlines you might almost think it wasn't a complete nonsense website if you hadn't read the thing about the Silicon Era trees but I don't think I'll waste any more time exploring. It would be hard to top kilometers tall trees.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

10 Home Decor Trends That Need to Die Immediately

1. Gray - If you want to use gray as a neutral background so you can easily redecorate by just changing out the drapes and the throw pillows and such, fine. It's not what I would do but it's fine. But what I've been seeing a lot of lately on HGTV are rooms that make you think you're suddenly watching on a black and white TV. Literally everything is gray or white. If you do this you are either one of the most boring people in the world or you have a mental condition. If you must paint your walls gray get a red sofa or mustard yellow drapes and some brightly colored pillows and art.

2. Earth Tones - Not as popular as they once were, gray having become the new boring person obligatory decor, beige and brown interiors are still a go to choice for people who don't want to have to think about color.

3. Accent Walls - Can't decide what color to paint your walls? Use two colors in one room. To me this just looks like you ran out of paint and finished up with a different color that you had leftover from another project. Same thing with kitchens where the upper and lower cabinets are painted two different colors or the island is a different color. It just looks like you ran out of paint and were too lazy or cheap to go buy more.

4. Excessively Long Drapes - You know, those drapes that end in a pile of fabric on the floor? That just looks like you can't be bothered to measure properly. I, personally, prefer curtains that are just slightly longer than the window. I don't even like floor length drapes but if that's your style do make sure that they are the proper length and end at the floor.

5. Concrete Countertops - Concrete belongs outside as sidewalks and driveways. I don't care what color you stain it, if you have a concrete countertop it just looks like you have a sidewalk on top of your kitchen cabinets.

6. Open Kitchen Shelving - Sure they look nice on TV and in decorating magazines but you know as soon as the cameras are gone those people are going to start putting everything on those shelves, attractive or not, and within a week or two the whole kitchen will be a tacky looking mess.

7. Too Many Pillows on the Bed - Why would you want to cover half your bed in decorative pillows? Can you really sleep with that many pillows? Do you throw them all on the floor at night? Does anyone not on HGTV actually do this?

8. Vessel Sinks - I have to admit some of them are gorgeous. I was even tempted enough by a beautiful carnival glass sink at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show to ask how much it cost. (The person watching the booth didn't know.) But they are harder to clean than a simple, one piece vanity top and, because they're a trendy thing, in 15 or 20 years everyone will think they're weird.

9. Painted Brick - This is my number one pet peeve. Brick is a beautiful, low maintenance material. One of the best things about it is that you don't have to paint it. Also, it can last for generations and since paint is hard to remove you are ruining it not just for yourself but for future owners.

10. Trends - Any trend. If it's "the latest thing" it probably will be considered tacky and outdated in 10 to 20 years. It's your home we're talking about. Don't decorate to keep up with the latest fashions; decorate with colors and objects that are pleasant, comfortable, and meaningful to you and your family.

Did I miss anything? Please post your decorating pet peeves in the comments.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Two Dreams

I know nobody likes to hear about other people's dreams. I finally get that after years of blank looks when I try to tell people about an interesting dream. But nobody is reading this anyway and it's my blog so...

In one dream one of my cats was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with a mouse between his paws. The mouse looked up at me with adorable beady eyes and looked so cute and then I realized the cat was not about to eat it or just torment it for the fun of it; he was actually protecting the mouse. Of course, none of that makes any sense in the awake world. Only cartoon mice are cute - I don't even like pet rodents - and although I have seen pictures of cat and mouse friends that would never happen at my house.

The other dream... I don't know why I even want to tell it because it's not especially weird or even very interesting. We (my family) were at some kind of resort, hanging out outdoors (a picnic maybe?) and I decided I needed to take my jacket back to our room. Our room number was 105 and I kept walking up and down corridors looking for room 105 and couldn't find it. Then when I realized it was a dream and that I was about to wake up I felt like, "No! Wait! I have to find the room first." That was the weird thing about it I guess. Instead of being relieved or amused that it was only a dream I was disappointed that I was never going to find the room.

So anyway... that's all I've got right now. Or at least all I want to write at the moment, because I have other things I want to do. If there's anyone still reading this, thanks for sticking with me. I'll try to be more interesting next week.