Thursday, October 27, 2016


When I clicked on this article about one song that reduces anxiety and saw that it was not one song but a list I had two thoughts: 1, that I would know, or at least have heard of, two or three and 2, that none of them would be classical. I was wrong on both counts. I hadn't even heard the one by Mozart. So here's that one. As for these being the most anxiety reducing songs... well, I'm sure they didn't test every song that's ever been written so the list is invalid. ;-)

And, yeah, I'll listen to the others on the list sometime.

Monday, October 24, 2016


This looks useful. Jess Kielman's website has lots of cleaning tips, DIY tips, recipes, crafting ideas, and gardening ideas.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Quote

From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Sir Edward Gibbon:

The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.

I Should Apologize For This

This video is highly offensive, (NSFW) and hilarious, and the song is way too catchy. No, I'm not going to embed it here! I have standards. No, really, I do. I do! Anyway, it's all his fault.

The video was uploaded almost two years before Ray Bradbury died so I think it likely that he saw it. Anyway, it amuses me to think that he did and that he loved it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Grocery Store

Now is the season of the dread Pumpkin Spice Invasion. That stuff sends out mind control rays that make you think pumpkin spice flavored everything is a fantastic idea. Did you know that? No? Maybe it's just me.

I've always been mostly indifferent about it but this year it seems like I'm seeing more pumpkin spice flavored stuff than ever. Pumpkin spice Cheerios, pumpkin spice instant oatmeal. I'm not a big fan of Cheerios in general. Some of the flavors (apple cinnamon for example) actually do taste pretty good but I guess it's the size and texture of Cheerios that I find off-putting. It makes me feel like I'm eating cat food. But anyway, for just a second I was tempted to grab the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios because, pumpkin spice!

I did buy the pumpkin spice instant oatmeal. It's actually not bad but it's not great either and the smell of it bothers me a little bit. So I decided to put it in oatmeal cookies. They were good because, cookies!

I don't know where the pumpkin spice temptation comes from. I'm not even a big fan of pumpkin pie. I mean, I like it okay; I always eat at least one slice every Thanksgiving. After all it would be weird to eat Cool Whip by itself. But it's not one of my top ten favorite pies. So I don't know why pumpkin spice flavored everything else would seem like such a good idea. Just the novelty of it I guess. Either that or mind control rays.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I just finished The Last Humans trilogy by Dima Zales. It seems to me that, based on both content and tone, the target audience for this story is adolescent boys but there's certainly nothing wrong with that and it does not mean that an aging housewife can't enjoy it too. In fact, I found it to be unputdownable and I finished it in what is for me record time.

The tale takes place in a domed habitat named Oasis, home of the last survivors of an attack of alien "goo" that covers all the rest of the Earth. But life for these last humans is not all bad. They live forever and are not considered "adult" until age 40. Everything they need is provided instantly with just a thought and a wave of the hand. But things are not what they seem. A Youth, age 23, named Theo, with the help of a secret friend, starts discovering surprising secrets about Oasis and has exciting and sometimes frightening adventures. It's a wild ride from beginning to end.

I haven't paid much attention to post-Singularity fiction until now but I'm definitely glad I read this one. I will look for more books by this author and possibly other books in the same genre.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Earth Image of the Week

I am going to try to get back to doing this weekly. Google Earth disappeared from my computer the last time we upgraded Windows and I just finally got around to downloading it again. This is Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I finished reading China Meiville's Iron Council for the second time. I don't often read books more than once anymore. I used to have a few favorite books that I would read over and over again but as I have gotten older I started to realize that there are too many great books in the world and too little time to read them. But some books really benefit from a second reading and this is one of them.

I don't know how to adequately describe Iron Council. It is a fantasy with a steampunk feeling. It is dark, violent, often grotesque, but also strangely beautiful. The Iron Council in the story is a moving city, on and following a steam train. The "Iron Councillors" lay track in front of the train and remove it from behind as they go. Along the way there are bizarre creatures, weird phenomena, and magic. Part of the action takes place in the more conventional city of New Crobuzon, where the Iron Council has become legend.

I feel that doesn't give a very good idea of what the book is about or like but it's the best I can do so I recommend that you go read the introduction on Google Books. Isn't it cool that we can do that?