Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This 'n' That

A really unusual place to hang a chandelier

I need this today. But with a less thorny kind of plant.

Women on Bicycles - 19th century posters and interesting history

Okay, so apparently it is possible to anesthetize plants.

The coolest memo pad ever and I want one. Not much space to write notes though when you get past the first sheets.

New Google app is cool but needs a little more work.

Probably more than you ever wanted to know about blood types

The Star Wars opening crawl? Flash Gordon did it first, in 1940.

In case you're not already creeped out enough about voice commands

You've probably already heard about the sandwich that was smuggled into space but it's so delightful I can't resist sharing. If you're like me you probably assumed that NASA security was so tight nobody could ever get away with anything.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Time Lapse

I heard this on the radio a few days ago - beautiful and serene, with a hint of drama.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Reading List

As if I really need more books to read, here are 95 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in 2018. I haven't finished reading the list yet but already I have found a few that interest me.

Stars Uncharted, S.K.Dunstall
QUIETUS, by Tristan Palmgren
Free Chocolate, by Amber Royer
Outpost, by W. Michael Gear

Well, that's certainly a good start. Now, to read the rest of the list.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Brains Are Weird...

... but sometimes mine is awesome. Last night (or this morning) I dreamed an entire Star Trek series that never existed. I wish I could remember more of the details. There was an android character named Data but it wasn't Data and that confused us (I was watching with my son) so I grabbed the remote and looked at the "info" and the first aired date on it was 1965 and that confused us even more because the technology and decor was more Next Generation era but I noticed that the uniforms were original series style uniforms except they were all blue. I think the captain was female, which would be wrong for 1965. So, because of all that, at some point I realized I was dreaming.

Like I said, I can't remember many details. There was something going on on a beautiful planet, something involving a river. There was also a spectacular view of an ocean. Wherever it is I kind of want to go there for real. In the dream it was like I was there. Even though I knew I was just watching it on TV I was also in it somehow? You know how dreams are. Anyway... that's what my weird brain came up with last night. I'm really disappointed that I probably won't get to see any more episodes.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hello 2018

So 2018 is finally here. I am neither happy nor especially unhappy about that. Years that end in 8 are the years I turn an age that ends in 0 and this year it's going to be a big, ugly one. I'm still not done being freaked out about turning 50 ten years ago in May. But honestly, it seems too unreal to have any strong feelings about it. I don't quite believe it yet. I think after a certain age (say, 45?) we should no longer be required to know how old we are. We should be allowed to say, "I'm 45 plus," and put 45+ on official forms and documents.

Other than that, new years don't mean much to me. It's totally arbitrary. It's just the day when we start a new calendar. Not that I don't think about it at all. But I just can't get very excited about it. The last time I got excited about a new year was 2000 but the new millennium has turned out to be, mostly, a big disappointment.

I've always sort of thought it's weird that the new year starts in January. It should be the first day of spring, or, if you want to keep the months the same, March 1st. Or maybe April 1st. On the other hand, Having it a week after Christmas does feel like a good end to the big holiday season - a way of formally "getting back to normal".

So that's it. Life is getting back to normal, whatever that means in 2018. Normal is always changing you know. I want to blog more, I kind of miss it, but I don't know if I will. Maybe two or three people are even reading this and I have trouble feeling motivated without at least a small audience. Aside from that, I'm not sure I have much to say that's worth the time. Mine or yours. I do, sometime in the next few days or week, want to say a little about the last half dozen books I read. If I can get motivated.

But anyway, happy New Year to all of you who are into that sort of thing.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Goodbye 2017

Remember at the end of 2016 we were all saying that 2017 had to be better? Well, you see how that turned out. So I'm not going to say that 2018 will be better or even that I hope it will be better. I believe in thinking positive but years have a way of saying, "Oh yeah, I'll show you." But anyway, 2017 wasn't actually all that bad for me personally and if I never watched the news, read the news, or heard anyone talking about the news it probably would have seemed like a pretty good year.

Christmas was nice. I got to spend it with the important people in my life and I got some nice stuff and ate too much. I always look forward to Christmas but I'm always relieved when it's over and I can relax and get back to my normal routine. On the other hand, the coldest weather of the season is often right after Christmas and I really freaking hate cold weather.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions are so formal and you feel guilty when you don't keep them. Why do that to yourself? I do think about things I want to do in the coming year though and it's always pretty much the same. Read more, sew more, see extended family more often (though that one's not entirely up to me) eat less, exercise more, spend less time on Facebook. Actually, this year I did spend less time on Facebook but that was more than offset by spending more time on Twitter.

Sometimes I wish we didn't number the years or keep track of them in any way. They just go by faster and faster the older we get and help to make us notice that we're getting older. I don't even know what it would be like if we didn't number the years. Maybe it's one of those things we have to do whether we like it or not.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Why Can't They Make Them Right?

Warning: I'm about to bitch and whine a lot.

It's my perennial complaint: Why can't anyone make house slippers right? We have a choice between slippers that completely cover the foot and have more insulation than most snow boots or little ballet slipper things and other styles that are the right weight and thickness of material but don't cover the entire foot.

In addition to this, sizing is a big problem. You rarely find slippers that come in all the sizes. I wear a size 8 not a size 8-9. There is no such size as 8-9. In order to fit both size 8 and 9 it has to be a size 9, which means it's too big for a size 8 foot. Which means, they don't make slippers in my size.

So what about slipper socks? This is what I would really like - barefoot feeling but warm and non-skid. But here we have similar problems. There are lots of slipper socks or "lounge socks," some that are just socks, some with anti-skid dots. Some of these fit well but many are loose and saggy. Most of them are not really warm enough for cold floors. And the ones that are aloe infused? These usually fit very well but they shed worse than a pair of Persian cats in the summertime until you have washed them half a dozen times.

On the other hand, you have the famed Acorn slipper socks - nice thick wool socks with a leather slipper sole with a thick layer of foam padding. They're nice and a lot of people love them but they don't really work for me. I did have a pair years ago. The thick, padded sole is more than I want. I want something more like the sole on kids' footie pajamas. There's also the same sizing problem mentioned above. They don't come in exact sizing and with the kind of sole they have they really need to. Not to mention that they are ridiculously expensive.

Finally, there are the "muk-luk" socks. I got a pair of these last year. They have exactly the right kind of sole and the sock is a nice thickness but way too loose. The sole on them is a little short for me but it's about a whole inch too wide.

The only solution is to make my own and I am working on it. Which, at this point, means mostly just thinking about it. The problem is finding the right material. I did find a couple of different non-skid sole materials; I'm talking about the tops. I made a polar fleece pair and that didn't work well. It's not stretchy enough. It also makes my feet sweat and then cold. I suppose I just need to learn to knit or crochet.

So... the quest continues.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Not the Usual Carol of the Bells

My philosophy regarding Christmas music is, for the most part, don't mess with it. Do it right. Unfortunately, my notion of "right" is based on an album by the Longines Symphonette that I grew up with that does not exist anymore.

But sometimes I surprise myself. I rather like this non-traditional arrangement, though, to be honest, it doesn't sound very Christmasy to me.

Here's another one. I don't like it as well as the Trans Siberian Orchestra version but it's interesting. In a good way, that is.

I have been pleasantly preoccupied lately so in case I don't get around to posting again in the next couple of weeks, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to you all.

BTW, I have still been spending a lot of time on Twitter. I'm @uppityokie in case anyone wants to catch me there.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Jim Nabors

I almost hate to post this because I don't want this to become primarily a death blog and it seems I post so little else these days but...

I never liked Gomer Pyle. Even as a small child I had a severely low tolerance for... how shall I put this? Let's say, annoyingly unsophisticated characters. To be honest, I hated Gomer Pyle, the TV show and the character. I knew, of course, that Jim Nabors was just an actor playing a character but I didn't put any thought into what he might really be like.

At some point I discovered that he was an incredible singer. I was amazed and delighted. Now I think it's a fairly well known fact and I hope that he will be remembered for his singing at least as much as for that silly TV show.