Wednesday, August 30, 2017


I commented on Twitter at the time when Hurricane Harvey was first approaching way out in the Gulf that hurricanes should not be named Harvey. Harvey sounds like a friendly but ineffectual guy. Well, it looks like Harvey decided to teach us a lesson about not taking him seriously.

So far I am impressed with Houston's mayor and FEMA shows signs that they have learned from past mistakes. Everything seems to be going as well as can be expected. I won't make any comments about certain politicians because they have nothing to do with any of this. I guess that's about all I have to say other than, my sympathy to all who are affected.

It's funny how things seem to intersect sometimes. Like coincidences but I don't think this qualifies as a coincidence but something like that. Last week there was a conversation on one of the sewing blogs I read. I mentioned that I had been thinking about trying some of the African wax prints (also known as Dutch wax because they were originally made in Holland, and some still are, for African trade) and the blogger encouraged me to go ahead and do it already!

Well, the last thing I need is more fabric but one has certain social obligations you know. One simply cannot declare a desire to do something, receive encouragement and then just drop out. [ahem] Anyway, I searched Etsy for African wax prints - for days. I favorited almost two dozen fabrics and spent almost every waking moment thinking about them and trying to imagine each one made into something until I woke up Monday morning and just knew which one I had to have. But then I realized that the seller is in Houston.

So now I don't know what to do. My heart goes out to this woman who might have lost everything and I feel bad about even thinking about myself and something as trivial as fabric shopping. But I guess I'll pick another fabric eventually. There are many more that I like but I am so in love with that one that I probably can't have. Right now I am back to looking and thinking and waiting for another fabric to say, "Pick me! Pick me!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse 2017

First of all, before I talk about the eclipse, I have something to say to all those people who made a point of declaring their lack of interest: Nobody is impressed with you and nobody cares what you think. Just shut up and go on with your sad, pathetic little lives and leave the joyful people alone.

So, now that that's out of the way...

The sun was about 90% hidden here. It would have been only a two or three hour drive for us to get to an area of totality but when we thought about crowds and heavy traffic 90% seemed good enough. I would have liked to have been in the path of totality but what we did see was still pretty cool. We viewed it through those paper framed eclipse glasses, at first just going outside to look every 10 or 15 minutes then when it got close to the maximum we stayed outside and watched. The sun being almost directly overhead made viewing rather uncomfortable so we didn't watch continuously.

I think what I enjoyed the most was seeing it get darker even though it didn't get as dark as I expected. Ten percent of the sun's brightness is still pretty darn bright. It actually looked sort of like when you put on dark sunglasses. It also crossed my mind that this is what the light would look like on a planet that is farther away from the sun. The temperature dropped almost 10 degrees, enough to be noticeable.

I did watch some of the coverage on TV. It was nice to have a couple of hours when the country was focused on something besides politics. And you know, we could do that on any day - focus on something else, at least for a while. Most of us ignore the common, everyday wonders. Our sense of wonder and joy in nature are only awakened when a rare event occurs but there are wonders all around us all the time. I know that sounds like a cliche but it's true and if we don't, at least occasionally, slow down and enjoy those wonders we are not much different from those pathetic people who felt compelled to tell everyone that the eclipse was not a big deal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Random Linkage

Dripping glass tables - I would call them sculptures. I don't see how you could use them as actual tables but they are cool looking.

Vault of Retro Sci-Fi - Art, photos, and GIFS

Beyond Paper - 13 creative maps

Yana Movchan - Beautiful art. I LOVE these. Lots of flowers and cats; also other animals and a few portraits.

Places - A computer program designed to recognize attractive landscapes

100+ Tumblr Cat Posts

Walden - a slow computer game

This is Gonna Get Ugly - Clever, funny, and weird ad campaign.

Lego Building Guides

Queen Victoria's Stalker - Fascinating story of a boy who hid out in Buckingham Palace

Monday, August 14, 2017


This is actually my first pair of "real" overalls. Years ago I had a feminine pair with embroidery on the bib and no pockets.

Sorry to disappoint the overalls fans but I'm really not an overalls person. I bought these for practical reasons not fashion and I will probably never wear them in public. They're okay - comfortable enough except that they feel too heavy. I did wear them longer than I thought I would. I expected that by noon I would be too hot and have to change but it was a cooler than normal day (this was Saturday) and I ended up wearing them until late afternoon. But finally I had had enough and put on a dress.

The details: Roundhouse brand men's striped overalls. (because women's overalls are hard to find and more expensive) They're a little long because I allowed for shrinkage. I have washed them once and they didn't shrink noticeably. (Roundhouse overalls are made in Oklahoma.)

And, in case anyone's wondering, no, I did not run the excavator.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

That Moment When...

Have you ever been reading a book and come across a line or a passage that suddenly changes your perspective on the author? Maybe it sends the author up a notch or maybe it's like, "Oh! I thought he was that kind of author but he's actually that kind of author." Am I making sense?

The first three books in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series were discounted during Amazon's Prime Day. I had always been kind of interested in these but also kind of not or maybe I should say less interested than I was in some other books but the Prime Day discount seemed like a good opportunity. Not only were they discounted but they are standard size paperbacks which seem to be increasingly rare these days, at least in the books I most want to read, which annoys me no end.

So anyway I got them and started reading the first book and it's good. I'm not a big fan of military sci-fi but this is fleshed out enough with personalities and interesting dialog, and of course, interesting technology, to make it seem like not just military sci-fi.

So I finished Old Man's War and immediately moved on to The Ghost Brigades. It's been a fun read. Then about three-quarters of the way through the book, maybe a little more, I come across this line:

And as for thinking, what about thinking requires you to observe yourself doing it?

This begins a couple of pages long discussion about consciousness. I'm not sure I'm buying it, or maybe I'm just not completely able to wrap my head around the concept of a being that thinks but is not aware. That's kind of beside the point though. What I am charged up about is discovering an author who explores tricky subjects such as consciousness. So, now I'm suddenly a Scalzi fan and I have added several more books to my Must Read list.

BTW, Scalzi is really entertaining on Twitter. I have liked so many of his tweets I'm starting to feel like a creepy celebrity stalker.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Well, There Goes Another Piece of My Childhood

Glenn Campbell was one of my favorite singers around the time I was about 9 years old. I liked several of his songs but I really couldn't get enough of this one. Of course, at the time I didn't clue in to the sad romantic story part of it. I just liked the tune and the imagery.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Random Linkage

Brin Levinson - Wild animals in decaying urban settings. Wonderful! I love these.

Last word on "Cultural Appropriation - Or at least it should be.

Books - a great collection of book and library related links

Valerian and Laureline - a 1960s French comic that looks strangely similar to Star Wars

Bird Palaces of Turkey - Wonderful!

Latte Art - Impressive. On the one hand, it's "too pretty to drink," but on the other I think it would be so cool to be served this. It would make me feel special, just like when I was a kid and my mom would do a little something extra just to make me happy.

Whatever Happened to Data - A slideshow about what former Star Trek actors are doing now. I knew some of this.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

So ell enzina

I heard this on the radio this morning. It was composed by Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones. I love discovering wonderful little surprises like this. It's a lovely video too.