Friday, September 30, 2016

Just For Fun

The top 5 things I might do if I woke up one day to find that I was a multi-billionare. I'm not saying all of these things, just one or two but these are the top five I would consider.

1. Start my own TV network - Programming would be science fiction and fantasy and science documentary. I would hire Neil deGrasse-Tyson and put him in charge of non-fiction programming to insure that no psuedo-science ever aired. Of course, Joss Whedon would be in charge of fiction programming. I would also bring back Saturday morning cartoons with all science fiction, fantasy, and super hero cartoons. Saturday evenings would be billed "Bad Movie Night" and would feature B-movies from the 1950's, with a host doing humorous introductions and commentary.

2. Buy an NFL team and move it to Oklahoma - I don't have any particular team in mind but I'm thinking it should be one from a state that already has more than their fair share of teams. Looking at you Florida and California, especially.

3. Start a company to make women's clothing and accessories, mainly undergarments and shoes because I have the hardest time finding acceptable underwear and shoes.

4. Start a car company - All my vehicles would be modern and energy efficient but with only complete retro styling.

5. Buy property on Mars and open a luxury resort - Well, in reality I couldn't but does this look anything like reality?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My New Kindle

Oh, hi. Yep, still here. Just off doing that thing people call "having a life." I did get my new Kindle in the expected two days so I've had it for a while. I bought this lovely cover for it.

There were a number of equally lovely choices so I had a hard time deciding which one to get. Opening and closing the cover turns the Kindle on and off, which is very cool. It also has an on/off switch in case you decide to not use a cover.

And here's the Kindle itself. This picture is a little out of focus but you can get the general idea. Too lazy to try again. This is the basic Kindle. I did consider the Paperwhite but after reading the reviews I decided I would really rather have this one.

My old Kindle was a 2nd generation; (or was it 3rd? can't remember for certain) this one is 8th generation, so quite a few changes. It has a touch screen, obviously. You just touch the edge of the screen to turn the page. It's very sensitive so sometimes I accidentally turn two pages at once but not often enough to be really annoying. I think my favorite thing about it being a touch screen is that it's so much easier to use the dictionary. You just touch a word and its dictionary entry pops up. Of course, Iron Council has a lot of obscure and archaic words that are not in the dictionary. I'm actually pretty good at figuring out the definition based on context and usually don't feel like I need a dictionary but I just happen to like dictionaries. It's sort of a cool toy.

There is more stuff I need to figure out about it, like how to highlight and save quotes for one. I just haven't taken the time to read the user's guide yet.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Little Song

Marcy Harriell is one of my favorite sewing bloggers. (You all know I also have a sewing blog, right?) Marcy is wonderfully funny and charming and our tastes in fabrics overlap by quite a bit. She also happens to be an actress and singer and I knew this but it never occurred to me to look her up on Youtube until someone else mentioned it. So here she is with just a very short song.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Yesterday my daughter-in-law and I did a little antique shopping. We took my granddaughter with us. There were free babysitters available but she wanted to go so we let her. She behaved as you would expect a two-year-old to behave in an antique store - running around touching everything - so we actually did more toddler watching than antique shopping but overall she was really good so I bought her this:

Based on the style I would guess it's from the 1960's or earlier. It has a squeaker that still works. She fell in love with it and immediately decided to name it Angel. I'm glad she picked it because I think it's adorable. One of the ladies in the store said she was happy that it was going to a good home.

It's enjoyable to speculate about the history of things like this and imagine what kind of "life" it had before. It mostly likely started out as a Christmas or birthday gift because kids didn't used to get toys just because. Then it might have been passed on to younger siblings then the next generation. On the other hand, it seems to have been well cared for so maybe after its original owner outgrew it it was put in a closet or attic and forgotten about. Now it has a new "life" after who knows how many years.

And I bought this for myself:

I have always liked Blue Willow dishes and I especially like the cups with the picture on the inside like this one or any cup or mug with a picture on the inside. This one is, unfortunately, a bit awkward and uncomfortable to hold so I might not actually use it much but I love it anyway.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Earth Image of the Week

The little town of Republican City, Nebraska. My sympathies to any Democrats who live there.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Quote

From Perdido Street Station by China Mieville:

The river twists and turns to face the city. It looms suddenly, massive, stamped on the landscape. Its light wells up around the surrounds, the rock hills, like bruise-blood. Its dirty towers glow. I am debased. I am compelled to worship this extraordinary presence that has silted into existence at the conjunction of two rivers. It is a vast pollutant, a stench, a klaxon sounding. Fat chimneys retch dirt into the sky even now in deep night. It is not the current which pulls us but the city itself, its weight sucks us in. Faint shouts, here and there the calls of beasts, the obscene clash and pounding from the factories as huge machines rut. Railways trace urban anatomy like protruding veins. Red brick and dark walls, squat churches like troglodytic things, ragged awnings flickering, cobbled mazes in the old town, culs-de-sac, sewers riddling the earth like secular sepulchres, a new landscape of wasteground, crushed stone, libraries fat with forgotten volumes, old hospitals, tower blocks, ships and metal claws that lift cargoes from the water.
How could we not see this approaching? What trick of topography is this, that lets the sprawling monster hide behind corners to leap out at the traveller?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Three Annoying (unrelated) Things

First of all, I need a new Kindle.

That's not all bad because it means I get to buy a new Kindle with all the nifty new features that the old one doesn't have. The annoying part is that it did this in the middle of my reading (Iron Council by China Mieville, in case you're curious) and it will be two days before the new one gets here. Oh well.

The second thing is worse and much harder to solve. We have a serious and persistent ant problem. Today we found ants in the peanut butter. (and by "we" I mean Number Two Son) We had to throw out a four pound jar that was nearly half full. I had been buying a smaller size but I saw this big jar of our brand (they had not had the big jars before) and impulsively bought it.

Anyway, these are tiny, tiny black ants - just specks, almost too small to see if there's just one but of course there's never just one. We've been having a problem with them for a while now. I've been spraying with this "organic" pesticide that smells pretty good, like mint and cloves or something like that, and it actually works but only for a few days to a week. We need to find where they live outside and get rid of them there.

I love summer and I'm sad that it's ending but at the moment I'd love a good hard freeze for a day or two to kill all the ants.

Third thing: Very minor but still... I was getting tired of this template and thought I would try a different one for a while but when I was trying to customize it the sidebar kept looking wonky in the preview. I tried three different ones and they were all the same so I gave up and decided to try again in a few days.

UPDATE: I ordered the new Kindle but they say it could take until October 4 for delivery. Yay, two day shipping. They've already shipped the cover I ordered for it but not the Kindle itself.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Laziest Weekend Ever

I really didn't intend to spend the whole weekend watching the Star Trek marathon but I pretty much did. My plan was to do a lot of sewing and quilting but I did none. I did do some laundry and cooked meals and the usual minimum necessary tasks but a lot of that was done during commercial breaks. I also took a break from ST to watch a couple of hours of HGTV and last night we watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier but it all adds up to spending a shocking amount of time in front of the TV. But it was fun. I actually don't normally spend hours and hours in front of the TV.

When you think about it, it's surprising how well the original Star Trek holds up after 50 years. Of course, some of the details are laughable but overall the stories are still interesting and valid. The sad thing is, when I was a kid watching it I was sure that it was going to change the world, in that bigotry would be history by now but it's still with us. We have all this technology seemingly inspired by Star Trek - personal computers, mobile phones, etc. - but this one big, important thing that ST is famous for having addressed is still as much of a problem as ever. Maybe it's because you can't change human nature? Well, I think you could but only if the individual humans want to change.

I still have a bunch of episodes on my DVR that aired in the middle of the night but I'm going to save them for a few days, maybe until next weekend. I hadn't seen TOS in a really long time. I've always thought it strange that none of the channels ever show it anymore, only The Next Generation.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Most Amazing Anniversary Ever

Fifty years ago this evening I sat down with my mom and little brother (Dad was at work.) to watch our little black and white television. We watched a brand new show called Star Trek. I was eight years old. It's hard to say what my first thoughts were. I can't remember exactly. I suppose I liked it because it was different - interesting and different characters having interesting and different adventures. And often it was funny.

It was an immediate hit with the neighborhood kids I played with. We would get together every Saturday morning and act out the previous night's episode. I always got to be Lt. Uhura. Sometimes I couldn't believe my luck - that the other girls never argued with me. ("But you always get to be Uhura.") But there was never any of that. I did always get to be Uhura and no one ever complained. Years later I figured out that my friends were all racists. No one wanted to be the black character. I just liked her because she was the most important female character and she was likeable. Who wouldn't want to be her?

Star Trek started my interest in science fiction, though, strangely, I was an adult before I ever read any science fiction books. For years the only sci-fi I was interested in was Star Trek. I liked thinking about there being a whole galaxy full of strange civilizations and people and ships traveling between them. Of course I always knew it wasn't real but it was fun to imagine that something like it was real or might be someday.

Something else I always knew was that TV shows don't last forever. I hoped it would last a long time but I knew that someday I would grow up and Star Trek would be just a TV show that I had loved when I was a kid. Just a memory. But, it turned out, that's not what happened. First there were re-runs for years and then four more series and a bunch of movies. Oh, and a cartoon. Strangely, I was never a big fan of the cartoon. At the time I wanted the real thing back and making a cartoon of it seemed like a cheat.

I can remember, just barely, the world without Star Trek and it's almost as hard to remember the world before Star Trek was a phenomenon, though it took a few more years for that to really happen. I don't know... maybe, in a sense, there never was a world without Star Trek or, to be less metaphorical, never a world without the things that Star Trek embodies. A world in which people look up at the stars and wonder what's out there, in which people long for adventures, in which people dream of an Earth where everyone gets along no matter one's race or religion.

The world needs Star Trek now more than ever and I think it's sad that, even though it's still popular, Star Trek is not what it once was, and almost certainly never will be again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Coconut Cream

I have occasionally looked at old product labels and lamented the fact that today's labels are boring and tacky in comparison. But this weekend I found this:

And the soda was delicious too. The company, Boots Beverages, is based in Texas. I bought this one at Atwood's, a regional chain.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

Book Quote

From Farewell Earth's Bliss by D. G. Compton:

If asked about his routine he would have said it was all that had kept him sane. If asked about being sane he would have admitted that of course he wasn't.