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.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Just a Few Links

Subway Sketches - Detailed sketches of New York City subway stations. As always, it makes me a little sad that architects and builders don't bother to add decorative details to things - even the most utilitarian things - the way they used to.

Strange Company - a blog dedicated to weird history

Victorian Trade Cards - Interesting, odd, and in some cases offensive, Victorian advertising

Frank Kunert Art - Photos of surrealist miniatures

Sketchbooks - Wonderful.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Brief Spring Complaint

Yesterday was the most dreary and cold Easter I can remember. We went to my brother-in-law's house (a long, long drive) but because of the weather few of the family showed up. It didn't really feel like an Easter gathering at all; it just felt like an ordinary weekend day but it was still nice to get out and see a few of the relatives.

I shouldn't complain about the weather overall though. We have had some very nice early spring days. It just so happens that yesterday and today look and feel more like February.

This is a picture I took in 2016, just because. It's not foggy this morning, just gloomy.