Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I guess I'll keep my boring job

Mark sent me this: Do What You Love and You'll Probably Starve. It's nice and cynical.

I'm still sick. In fact, I probably feel worse than I did yesterday. Yeah, I stayed home. Watched that Spanish teen soap-opera again. It's so over-the-top. For example, every kiss between principals must be A Major Moment, so it takes like 10 minutes for their lips to finally meet, and then the kiss lasts another 10 minutes more. I think I got some of the details wrong yesterday, because I understood a bit more of what was going on today. It doesn't matter, because it was already wearing thin and I doubt I'll ever watch it again even if I stay sick.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Addicted to the spanish teenyboppers soap opera ...


addicted ..., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

Like any self-respecting sick person, I sat around on the couch and watched a little TV today. Now I need to stay home again tomorrow just so I can figure out what the deal is on "Corazones al Limite" ("Hearts at the Limit"). My Spanish is pretty decent, but I don't understand everything on the telenovelas because there's just too much going on and the people don't look directly at you and enunciate correctly like newsreaders and people who want to make sure the the gringa understands them.

Anyway, so I watched "Corazones Al Limite" and it's like a completely over-melodramatic "Beverly Hills 90210" in Spanish and with a lot more makeup. I'm hooked--I think. There's a new girl at school and she's in love with the boy hottie and he with her, except that the totally psycho girl (see photo above) is also in love with him and manages to convince the new girl that she's hottie boy's girlfriend, even though she's not. Hottie boy is too stupid or nice to tell psycho girl to step off, and instead he just stands there looking helpless and hot until his friends drag him off to play basketball. Now new girl doesn't want to speak to him anymore.

Meanwhile, another girl is having a breakdown because her parents got divorced when she was 2 and she still feels responsible for it, or something. She and her friends (including new girl) are busted by sexily-dressed and overly made up teacher (who apparently is engaged to the principal) for sitting on the stairs bawling about it all instead of going to class.

Meanwhile, psycho girl may be somehow involved in the death of someone named Gabriella (I think) but she manages to convince hottie boy to lie to the police detective and say she was with him (HB is beautiful but spineless, it seems.) PG gets called into the principal's office at school and overhears him talking on the phone to Pilar, with whom he is apparently having an affair even though he's supposed to be engaged to sexily-dressed-but-overly-made-up teacher. Upon leaving principal's office, psycho girl immediately informs SDBOMU teacher that principal is two-timing her and planning to go out with his paramour that very night. SDBOMU teacher heads immediatly to principal's office, telling bawling girl and her friends that they're off the hook for detention that day.

So now how will I know what's going to happen next? I suppose I could tape it, but it would be a lot more fun just to stay home from work again. I really do feel like crud, and I have swollen, painful glands in my neck. It would be for the common good, keeping these germs out of general circulation and all ...

A world of snot ...

Sorry for the title of the post, but I woke up with a cold this morning and it's all I could think of. Mark's philosophy on being sick is that if he's going to be miserable he might as well do it at work. But his sick leave is not separate from vacation, so if he takes off for illness he loses a day to take off for enjoyment. Besides, if your boss doesn't give you real sick time you should take your germs to him/her and share the fun. I once worked at a place that gave one sick day per year, and when I came back from vacation in Mexico with ... well you can imagine what ... I daydreamed about fun ways to infect my boss. (OK, I apologize for sharing that).

I now get actual sick time, and I can only take it for health-related things, so when I'm sick I stay home. I'm also mighty irritable when I'm sick, and some of the people at work would only compound my misery. And the people I work with get ticked off when folks come in sick when we have such a good sick leave policy. If I were to go in and anyone else were to get sick within the next two weeks I would be blamed for it.

Good thing I stayed home, because we seem to have a leak in our roof and I was able to put a bucket under it before things got soaked (Thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston for bringing the leak to my attention).

I just realized that I'm boring myself, so I can only imagine that anyone who's made it this far is thinking. Wake up! Go somewhere more exciting ... Looky: naughty bits!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Flyball day ...

Lucy's team took third in her flyball tournament today. We had fun. I got no photos because I forgot to put the memory stick back into my camera. Doh! It doesn't work well without one.

But Mark went to Atlantic City this weekend, and he actually had memory in his camera. Hre are a couple of his shots:

Saturday, August 28, 2004

At Trailer Park Fest ...


At Trailer park fest ..., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

Hi Niku!

New hair ...


new hair, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

I just dyed.

Friday, August 27, 2004

G-mail is inviting again ...

After a long hiatus, it seems that G-mail is issuing invitations again. I want to get another cool photo or something for it. Anybody wanna bid? (Actually, practically everyone I know already has a Gmail address, so I probably won't get any bids ...)

All dog stuff today ...

I'm going to do an all-dog entry, and there's nothing you can do to stop me ...

I'm such a sucker for a dog in need. Today I got an email with the following photo attached:



This was the attached message, forwarded from Rolling Rescues:
A Rolling Rescue trucker reports a dog in need of rescue at the Petro Truck Stop near Mebane, NC (West of Durham, I-40/85 exit 157. Exit 157 is technically an I-85 exit, but I-40 and I-85 run together there.) He couldn't get the dog, left food for him, but is hoping someone will go rescue him.

Mike says other drivers told him this dog has been hanging out for two or three weeks. He says everytime a truck driver would walk through the parking lot, the poor dog would wag his tail and stare at him or her. But if approached, he shys away. If you have food, he'll back away until you move away and then he'll go for the food.

He says it looks to be a belt around his neck and it seems pretty tight. From the picture, (see below) it looks to be a Sharpei or Sharpei mix.

So now I'm forwarding the message to people who might know someone near Mebane. So if you know someone near Mebane ... (Completely off the topic: for those of you who ain't from around here, "Mebane" is not pronounced "Mee-bane" as you might expect, but "Mebbin.")

Speaking of dogs who need help, Christa reports that it's time to find Cornwallis a new home. Not just any old home, but one with someone who can carry on his physical therapy and post-op visits.

And while I'm on the topic of dogs, I just want to note that Lucy is kicking ass and taking names in agility so far. (Thursday nights are agility class nights, which is why I'm thinking about it today.) Her first trial is next weekend. We still haven't completely mastered the weave poles, but we are very close and doing well at everything else. The problem with the weaves is that it is absolutely nothing like any behavior a dog would ever need to do on its own. It's a completely stupid thing to ask your dog to do. The way we're teaching Lucy is the "channel" method, where the poles are offest so that there is a channel for the dog to run through between the poles. Then over time you slowly move the poles closer together, narrowing the channel until you end up with the poles in a straight line and, theoretically, a dog that weaves in and out between them. Lucy is currently weaving with an offset of about 1 inch, which is really very close. I have one week to narrow that to nothing ... or I could just flub the weaves in the trial and take the penalty.

Also on Thursday nights are the flyball classes I'm teaching. I only have two students this session, and they're so good (both dogs and humans) that I look forward to class every week. The problem with teaching dog sport classes is that you are really training the human how to get the behavior out of the dog. Some humans really suck. Some humans won't listen or just plain won't do what you ask them to. Consequently, their dogs can't figure out what the hell their human is asking and don't do well, and the owners get frustrated. The humans in my current class are excellent learners, and their dogs are sharp, too. It makes me look like a really good teacher!

I spend a lot of time explaining to people what flyball is, so in case you're curious, a teammate made a movie from footage of one of our tournaments. It explains everything. Sorry about the music, though ...
Mpeg, huge file, takes a while to load.
Windows Media, not so big but never works right on my Windows machine(!)

And speaking of flyball tournaments, there will be one this weekend at the Durham Kennel Club. So if you're in town and bored, you can go watch some crazy people racing their crazy dogs. Lucy is only racing on Sunday, which means I won't have to be late to Trailer Park Fest on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Testing, testing ....


toys, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

This is a test. In the event of an actual emergency ...

I uploaded this photo to test part of Flickr's bloggability ... or ease of blogginess ... or whatever.

This photo was taken at Waccamaw Bowl in Myrtle beach over the 4th of July weekend. That's me holding the camera.

Quentin Tarantino has a blog ...

There is some debate as to whether it's really Quentin Tarantino's blog, but it's at qtdiary.blogspot.com.

The Potato gig ...

So I dressed up as a potato today, along with my pal/co-worker Lia. Lia is a veteran costumed-character actor, whom you may know from her previous gig as Connie Cone when she worked for the NC Department of Transportation. She's very excited to be playing the role of North Carolina Potato No. 2, and feels it will give her a chance to expand her dramatic range.

The costumes didn't match, and since Lia wanted me to do whatever talking was required, I let her have the costume that completely encased her, head and all, with only a little mesh area for her to see out through. Her costume looked more like a peanut than a potato to me, but we were assured that it was indeed a potato costume so we played along. She also got the potato shoes, which made walking and dancing difficult.

Our task was to come bounding into the room just before the introduction of the keynote speaker, a guy from the US Potato Board. So we bounded in (Lia sort of shuffled in) and then the woman who was introducing the keynote speaker said something like "What is this?" I leapt up onto the stage (Lia was unable to negotiate the stairs) and said something like "We were told that our leader would be here" (We didn't really have a script, so I don't remember exactly what I said). Anyway, much buffoonery ensued and I'm sure it was the highlight of the whole event. (It was the NC 5-A-Day Symposium, a confab of folks who make it their business to get other folks to eat their veggies.) There was a guy from WUNC-TV there, so there's a chance I'll be on TV tonight ... thankfully it's public TV so no one will be watching.

So you may have noticed that instead of posting the photos here I'm using a thing called Flickr. I had been meaning to test it out because it supposedly let's you easily post photos to your blog. But of course I never got around to it. Then today I read that Jason likes it, so I figured I'd go ahead and test it out. I still haven't really explored the Flicker/blog synergy, but I really will do that one of these days in my copious spare time. One drawback I can see immediately is that the free account limits you to 10 mg of photos per month -- I can do that many in a day. If I could use Flickr post to my own server and get unlimited posts that would be lovely.

Anyway, my Flickr URL is http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchofpants/, and I've already added 2 friends, trendywendy (who I actually don't know if I've met, but she's an XDUer and her photos are cool) and Jason.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Today's photos

Nope, still didn't set up a photolog. So I'll post 'em here.

I went to Goodwill during lunch today, and I did not buy this dress that caught my eye:



It was sort of a "trapeze" cut, which always makes me look dumpy. Great color & pattern, though. If anyone's interested it was at the Goodwill (oh sorry, that's "GCF" nowadays) on Hargett St. in Raleigh.

When I got back to work a surprise was waiting for me on my desk:



It's about time Sanford recognized that professionals like me need a high-caliber Sharpie that's up to our challenges! You amateurs just wouldn't understand.

My husband rocks!

I've mentioned my neighborhood email list before (here and here) as a source of amusment/exasperation for their never-ending alarmism over "suspicious" characters and people who fail to come to complete stops at stop signs. Well, they're at it again, this time about the newly returned Duke students and their parties, garbage and lack of respect for their neighbors. Don't get me wrong--the students have often driven me up the wall with their late-night revelry and blocking my driveway because it cuts 20-30 steps off of their stagger home in the middle of the night. Aye, had I the ability to smite there would be a mighty pox right now on the frat boys up the street. But I don't spend all my waking hours writing missives on the topic, like some of the people on the e-mail list who have been riding the topic hard for almost a week now. If sanctimony were shit we'd need our very own neighborhood sewage treatment plant right about now.

Of course not everyone in the neighborhood takes themselves so seriously, and one resident (not me!) suggested to the list that if parties are the worst problem our neighborhood must endure then we're doing a hell of a lot better than many people in Durham. So then this morning one of the chief sanctimoniacs posted an enormous reply about how we must take the issue of student parties very seriously because binge drinking by students is a public health issue, and she included four articles about the dangers of binge drinking in the body of the e-mail.

So Mr. Pants decided to bravely wade in to the fray, pointing out that the subject was loud parties, not binge-drinking at universities. "I don't think we should be the health police and start peeking in windows to see what our neighbors are up to for the good of public health," he wrote, adding:
The students seem to be trying in many cases to be good neighbors. In those cases let's declare victory, or are we required to solve the binge drinking problem at Duke as well? The fact that many parts of the city are left to rot is having a greater impact on our property values than Duke students. Let's start a broo-haha about that. Frankly, I'm more concerned with the homeless, poor, and unemployed citizens of the city who live in gang infested neighborhoods that remind me of bombed out Baghdad than I am about binge drinking wealthy Duke students. I don't have a problem with wealthy students, I just think there are other pressing issues.

What a guy!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Fun with work ...

Boy oh boy, on Wednesday I get to dress up as a potato for work!! Not just any potato, but a North Carolina Potato! I know everyone is jealous. I think I'm going to walk around in my potato costume and say "I have a master's degree and I dress up as a potato for a living" just for yuks. I think it would also be fun to go on a rampage, throwing things around and frightening young children.

This seems to be the week of interesting things happening at work. Today I got to play food photographer. I have to design a honey recipe brochure, but the honey people have no photos to go with their recipes. So my boss and a couple of co-workers made some of the honey recipes and brought the results in for me to photograph. We had cornbread, apple turnovers, carrot cake, fruit dip, blueberry muffins and blueberry honey crunch.

Now real food photographers don't usually photograph real food. It doesn't always look right and it can take a long time to arrange a shot, so the food often starts looking pretty crappy after a while. I had to make do with real food, ambient light and my little Sony Cybershot. But my secret weapon is Photoshop--I was able to correct some of the problems caused by my poor setup, as well as dodging a few brown spots on apples and eradicating a couple of unwanted crumbs. Here are the best shots:





In other photo fun news: Friday night Phillip had given me his camera to take pictures of Blackstrap. I mostly didn't use flash because I wanted the spooky weird effects you get with motion blur and weird lighting. Here's an ofoto gallery he put up of those pix.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Photo roundup ....

Until I have time to sort out exactly how I'm going to do my photlog, I'll have to post them here. This is one of Mark's photos (hmmm, maybe he needs a photolog) from yesterday. It's from the weekly anti-war vigil at Main and Gregson--I cropped in a bit, I hope Mark doesn't mind. The guy's sign says "Blow Bubbles for Peace."



Here's one of my favorite photos from the Durham Music Festival last night. We didn't stay out nearly as late, and we saw Dom Casual, Section Eight, Holy Roman Empire and Des_Ark. This is Aimee from Des_Ark



Here's another of Mark's impressionist series, I'm calling it "Woman in Rain":



And finally, this is not art, but I just wanted to include it because it illustrates one of my pet peeves: you know the Duke students are back in town when badly parked cars show up on your street in the middle of the night:

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Another late night ...

Last night we did the Durham Music Festival, staying all the way to the end (the Jett Rink show), which means we didn't get home until about 3 am. So now I'm tired and I've had a headache all day. But it was great fun anyway. We started off at Mr. Shoe (the DAI) where the She-Mamas were just finishing up, and then we caught Lil Maq (a really fun show), Topography and Blackstrap. Then we headed down to Joe & Jo's and caught part of the Cody Cods' set before heading over to where Jett Rink was playing. Anyway, I had stupidly decided I didn't want to carry my camera around all evening (I really missed it), but Mark had his and got this cool sort of shot of the crowd at the Jett Rink show (reminds me of Toulouse-Latrec, in a way):



He got a lot more cool shots and he said I could make a gallery of them, but right now I feel like taking a nap.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Why do I feel like I have to put a title on every post?

B.W. Ventril has put up a post about Duke University (aka "The Evil Empire") hanging 40 hospital laundry workers out to dry. Seems they have sold their hospital laundry operation to The Angelica Corporation, whose record on workers rights is far from spotless. Go show BWV some love for posting it.

And since I'm talking about Brits gone Canadian, I'm happy to note that The Super Nova Scotian has finally posted again. Interestingly, both he and B.W. Ventril have a beef against the Olympic arseholes for interrupting their CBC and/or BBC broadcasts. I should introduce them to each other. B.W. Ventril, meet The Super Nova Scotian. Super Nova Scotian, meet B.W. Ventril.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I'm jonesing ...

I'm really craving a paleta de coco, or coconut popsicle, right now. The Mexican popsicle guy has got me hooked. He came by a couple of weeks ago with his little pushcart jingle-jangle-jingling, and on a whim I grabbed a dollar and chased him down. I decided I'd practice my spanish on him, so we chatted a bit, and I got him a glass of water because it was a hella hot day. But little did I realize that he was just a pusher. I'm hooked on the coconut popsicles. Damn they're good. If a Mexican guy comes jingle-jangle-jingling through your neighbohood with his pushcart full of paletas, grab a buck and go ask him for a coco. It's worth the monkey on your back.

When I was a kid the rumor went around that ice cream men were really pushers, and they put drugs in the ice cream to get kids hooked. I wouldn't buy their ice cream. Seriously.

[A few moments later...] Wow, that was cool ... dude (his name is José Antonio and he's from Veracruz, home of the son jarocho, by the way) just came jinge-jangle-jingling by, and I now have my coco.

Music to eat coconut popsicles by: Right this minute I'm listening to Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk and Pop Music Vol. 1. Georg had popped in to WXDU while I was doing my radio show today, and he had a handful of these great cds from Sublime Frequencies. So I get to review the Cambodian Cassette one and Bush Taxi Mali: Field Recordings from Mali. So it's been a great week for music, because I was already grooving on the new Jens Lekman EP and flipping my wig over the latest from Slim Cessna's Auto Club. (If I were wearing socks today Slim Cessna would have knocked them off).

Anyway, I had something else to write about but now I've gone and forgotten it. Anyway, I'm going to be wild and turn comments on for this post. Georg said I should just randomly turn them on and off, which sounds like a perfectly good plan to be. In fact I think that Blogger, in addition to offering "yes" and "no" options for the "Allow Comments On This Post?" field, should also offer "Surprise Me."

Rules were made to be broken ....

How exactly do these people plan to enforce this crap?

Ha! I'm breaking their rules!

Ack, I've opened a can of worms ...

So in my last post I enabled comments because I asked a question and was hoping to get some answers. I thought that since Blogger lets you enable or disable comments on a post-by-post basis I would only get comments on that one post. Wrong! Comments were turned on for all of my August posts. So I guess to turn them off I have to go edit each post individually. Damn. See, if I were using Moveable Type and had put myself throught the pain and anguish of messing around with things I don't understand on my web server, I wouldn't be having this problem.

I suppose I could leave comments on, but then I'd write something that pissed off some passerby who stumbled upon this blog because they googled the term "poopy pants" (yes, that term has brought folks here) and then they'd think I wanted to hear all about what a horrible person I am. I could just see how things go with comments on ...

Anyway, here at work on my Windoze machine, using Netscape 7.1, I was able to use Blogger's post-a-photo feature ... sort of. When I clicked the icon a dialog box came up (something that didn't happen on my Mac using either Safari or Firefox) and asked me to navigate to the photo I wanted to upload and tell it where on my server to put it. But them when all was said and done, it didn't properly code the link, so to make the photo appear I had to edit the html by hand. When I have a little time I'll try Pivot, as Lisa suggested.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I want a photolog ...

I want a cool photolog that exists independently of this blog. I have my little gallery going on, of course, but that's really kind of cumbersome and labor-intensive, and I want to be able to just post a photo or two on the fly with maybe a remark here or there. I also want people to be able to page through from photo to photo like at Sarah's photolog. I can host it on my own server--which is what I want to do because the free photolog services put limits on how many megs you can upload. Blogger's out--I'm sick of writing image tags for every photo that I've ftp'd separately to my server, which is what I have to do with Blogger (supposedly if you use Blogger and ftp to your own server, the little upload photo button is supposed to let you upload without having to type in all your tags, but I set up a test blog and it doesn't work for me. Bastards)

I know the Moveable Type people will recommend that solution, but they all apparently can make sense of the things you have to do on your server to get MT going. I don't know anything about Perl and I don't have time to learn. I've just spent about an hour at the MT web site and I know for a fact that I would completely fuck-up the installation process and never be able to make MT work. Likewise withWord Press. Isn't there something that's a no-brainer like Blogger but aimed toward photologs and lets me publish to my own server?

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? In the interest of actually getting replies to this plea, I've turned on comments for this post. I just hope the damn things work ...

A lazy diatribe ...

Things are both busy and annoying at work right this minute, but it's lunch so I have a few moments for that great german pastime of "surfenbloggen" (yeah, yeah, I just made it up, so don't e-mail me and tell me that you backpacked through Germany last summer and there's no such thing as "surfenbloggen." Duh.)

So I surfed over to B.W. Ventril's place and saw his official endorsement of John Kerry. I really want to write a thoughtful, impassioned response about how a vote for Kerry really is just a vote for the status quo (maybe even more so), but I'm busy and must get back to work. So I'm going to steal some quotes from the Trotskyists that make the points I want to make:
Think about it. Through the last few years a growing number of activists have participated in struggle against the capitalist system’s madness. But then bring up the question of elections. All of a sudden, many of those who had become increasingly open to getting rid of the capitalist system as a whole now get all emotional about how much we need to fire the capitalist oppressor Bush, even if it means supporting the capitalist oppressor Kerry. Add in a few left-sounding voices to the chorus (like [Michael] Moore’s) and you end up with a pretty solid array of forces working to convince everyone that there is a real alternative within the capitalist framework. (From "Fahrenheit 911: A Marxist Review")

Also:
When Kerry says he’d be a better commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces than Bush, he means better for the men (and a few women) who run Wall Street and the Fortune 500. Historically, the Democrats have been the preferred war party of American imperialism because of their broader base of support among workers, black people and ethnic minorities. Precisely because the Democrats are seen as a “friend” of labor and blacks, they can be a more effective political instrument for carrying out the bloody-handed crimes of American imperialism. (From Bush, Kerry Push “Anti-Terror” Hysteria)
To be sure, Bush is a repugnant idiot son of an asshole and the impulse to be rid of him is understandable. But John Kerry isn't even the "lesser" of two evils (unless your entire goal is not to have a complete moron in the White House and you don't really give a crap about the rest of it).

Thinning the herd?

NHTSA data figures from 2003 show that people driving or riding in a sport utility vehicle in 2003 were nearly 11 percent more likely to die in an accident than people in cars.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bad music alert ...

I love Buddy Holly & The Crickets. So tonight at music staff I picked up a copy of the tribute album The Crickets and their Buddies just because I wanted to listen to it--it's not something that would be on playlist at WXDU. Auuughh. It's just awful. A travesty. You wouldn't think that the Crickets could ruin a Crickets song, but apparently it can be done, over and over. I'm not even sure if my mother would like this album. OK, she probably would, but I can't think of anyone else who would (There are two decent tracks: Nanci Griffith's "Heartbeat" and Bobby Vee's "Blue Days, Black Nights.")

Must get to bed early tonight ...

One reason I don't often stay out late is that I have a very hard time sleeping past 6:30 or 7 am. Even if Mr. Gomez doesn't wake me up (and he almost always does), I usually wake up early and can't get back to sleep again. So I end up being tired, like I am right now. But if I hadn't gone out last night, I wouldn't have taken this completely cool and bizarre photo:



I guess I should explain that it's Gerty onstage at Ooh La Latte, with two people having a dance-off at either end of the stage. I didn't use a flash, so I got some cool motion blur effects going on. (Also, I guess I should note that nothing indecent or obscene was occurring onstage at the time this photograph was taken.)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Everyone is fine here ...

...although things aren't so fine in Florida. So I feel bad talking about what an uneventful day it was here. We got rain and gray skies and I made tamales (they were OK--not as good at the ones at El Cuscatleco). And I've been looking at photos of the destruction in Florida (The Palm Beach Post has the best coverage, I think. Plus they don't make you register to read their content, so they get the link from me)

Myrtle Beach just got a Cat 1 storm, and my mom said there's tree debris everywhere but everything is fine. And Mark got to do what he wanted and ride out a hurricane on Sassafrass, anchored out in the middle of Smith Creek. Silly person. Everything was fine, but he said it was scary and not pleasant, so maybe he'll have no desire to ever do it again.

This site has some video of the storm, although these folks were about 10 miles from the center. (You have to scroll down to August 13--he didn't put his permalinks in.)

Poor little dog ...

So I was outside pondering what to do with some of the stuff on my porch should the winds get uppity, and I kept hearing a little dog yapping nearby. I've heard the dog before, but since we're expecting heavy rain/hurricanes/tornadoes (select all that apply), I thought it wasn't the best time for a little yappy dog to be outdoors. So I walked down to check on it (it's four doors down), and the poor little raggamuffin--it's a little white scruffy dog--is chained to a portable basketball hoop with no shelter. Since it's broad daylight I felt I needed to be law-abiding, so I called the animal shelter to ask what I can legally do for this dog. They told me I had to call 911 and have them page animal control, who would then call me back. So now I'm waiting ...

And I'm thinking why the hell do people get dogs just to chain them up outside? What is wrong with people? What the hell makes them think that getting a dog and then subjecting it to a life of lonely misery, exposed to weather extremes, chained in the same filthy, muddy place day after day, is a good thing to do? I hate it when people let animals roam at large, but that's a hell of a lot more humane than chaining them up. But since this dog is just a piece of property in the eyes of the law, I'd be stealing it if I gave it shelter from the approaching storm. I hate people sometimes.

I want to grab my camera and get a photo of the poor thing to post here, but I'm waiting for the animal control folks to call.

Meanwhile, Mark has decide that he's safer hanging out in Oriental than trying to drive back through Charley's projected path. I agree, but now I get to worry about him. And my mom in Myrtle Beach. And that poor little dog.

UPDATE: I am very happily mistaken in my assumption that the little dog is always chained outdoors. His humans have apparently brought him indoors. Or killed him, I don't know which. Oh yeah, and the animal control guy fianally called back, but it was right after I ascertained that the dog is no longer outdoors.

I'm still in hurricane mindset ...

Now it's pretty much raining nonstop, alternating between drizzles and downpours. I really don't care except that I definitely can't take Lucy out for agility practice, which is what I like to do on Saturday mornings. I have my first real trial (USDAA) on Labor Day weekend, and I'd really like to be able to do the standard course correctly (I think we will do well on the jumpers course.) The facility has a covered arena where we can practice the weave (which is the only thing Lucy still isn't doing correctly), but with flash flood warnings I think I should stay home.

My house is on a high point compared to the surrounding landscape, so flooding isn't a worry. Falling trees, however, are. I just read in this morning of a man in Ft Myers, FL, who stepped out of his house to smoke a cigarette and was killed by a falling banyan tree. Yes, smoking kills, and I'm glad I quit (something "Dick Umbrage" plans to do over Labor Day). But honestly, if I were still a smoker and there were a hurricane going on, I'd just go ahead and smoke in the damn house, for crying out loud. A day or two of cigarette smoke isn't going to damage the house the way, say, a falling banyan tree is going to damage your person.

(Heh heh, in the above paragraph where I wrote "flooding isn't a worry" I had actually initially typed "floofing." I must say that I don't believe I'm safe from floofing, and I have no idea whether our homeowner's policy covers it. It doesn't sound all that scary, however ...)

I haven't heard from Mark since he drove off into the dark and stormy night to coddle his baby Sassafrass (that's the name of our boat. We didn't name it, but everyone says it's bad luck to change it. So we just named the dinghy "Li'l Sass" and we're rolling with it.) The problem with having a boat is it makes you crazy. Well, not me, but it isn't really so much my boat as it is Mark's.

So now, faced with the prospect of spending most of my day indoors (I'm going to venture out to do may radio show ... tune in from 1-3 pm on WXDU), I'm trying to motivate myself to do some things that really need to be done. House cleaning, for example. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Still more hurricane stuff ...

This is what I did all evening.

Mark drove down to Oriental to do the things one has to do when one expects a boat to be exposed to hurricane-force winds (well, ideally one should take said boat out of the water, but that's not an option at this point). He's going to anchor her outside of her slip so a storm surge doesn't dash her against the dock. The danger now is that another boat can drag its mooring and smash into her, which is what happened during Isabel. He claims he'll get everything done first thing in the morning and then head right back, but I think he really wants to stay with his boat. I hope good sense will prevail ...

My mother is going to ride out the storm in Myrtle Beach (she doesn't live right on the beach, or even really close, or I'd be screaming at her right now) She thinks it would be more dangerous to be on the highway fleeing than to stay put, and she may actually be right. She claims that by the time the storm reaches her it will be back down to tropical storm stautus. I disagree ... I think it's going to be a Cat 3 (like I'm some kinda hurricane scientist or something ...)

As for me, I've got a 6 gallon jerry can of fresh water, some bread, peanut better, a few Frappucinos, canned goods that can be eaten cold, a flashlight, a radio and lots of D batteries. I'm good to go.

More hurricane obsessing ...

They've changed Charley's predicted path. He's not headed straight for Durham anymore, but straight for my mom in Myrtle Beach. Or maybe our boat in Oriental ...

Greetings from the hurricane zone ...

This is probably one of the more popular websites along the Southeastern US coast right now. Or maybe it's just me ... when there's a hurricane coming my way I obsessively watch the satellite images and the 3- and 5-day forecast charts. Right now the 3-day forecast chart has Charley passing almost directly over Durham between 8 am Saturday and 8 am Sunday. The scary thing was that the predictions for Isabel were almost, to quote one of my favorite movies (My Cousin Vinny), "dead-on-balls accurate."

This poses a problem for me because I'm supposed to do a radio show tomorrow from 1-3 pm, but I have a feeling I'm going to be afraid to leave the house. I guess I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I want one!!!

I'm going to have to get a shirt like Sarah's.

It reminds me of the night Mark got home from work and asked me how my day was. I said "It's all in my blog!"

Here's all you get for now:



Taken today in downtown Durham.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A photo ramble ...

A little side trip over to this blog reminded me of this photo I had taken over the weekend in Oriental:



So I went where that blog led me: to the US Geological Survey "Moths of North Carolina" web page, where I determined that it's probably an Imperial Moth, which appears to be not at all rare or unusual, darn it. It's still a cool-looking moth, though.

In other pictures, I took this one today in Downtown Durham:



I want to know where I can sign the petition to keep Oprah OUT of Durham.

Also:



This seems to be big news around here. This kid was charged with possessing "weapons of mass destruction" for having six pipe bombs in his car and a bunch more in his house. Yes, weapons of mass destruction--for pipe bombs less than six inches long.

I knew a guy in high school who loved making pipe bombs. He was a lot of fun--he just liked blowing things up, and everyone just thought he was eccentric. In our newspaper staff photo senior year, he was sitting cross-legged in the far corner, wearing an olive army jacket, a bandana around his head and aviator sunglasses, pointing a pellet gun straight at the camera. No one noticed the gun while the picture was being taken, but after it was published we all thought it was brilliant and hilarious. These days he'd probably be called an "enemy combatant" and tossed in a cell next to Jose Padilla. Instead he took an ROTC scholarship, went to college and then into the Army.

Much better, thanks ...

I'm feeling better, thanks. But I'm busy, darn the luck, so I'm just going to toss a link at you and leave. Today's topic: Backward Religious Superstition Killed The Cat.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

You get nothing ...

I don't feel well at all today, and I can't sustain a thought long enough to write much. Of course, it's not affecting my work any--I'm sustaining my usual interest in data about agricultural chemical applications on field crops. (But if I hadn't ridden the short bus van pool this morning I probably would have gone home already.) Since Matt Ryan didn't help me out by doing anything interesting today, I've got nothing to say. I'm hoping that quitting time will bring on a miraculous recovery and I can crank out some sparkling prose this evening. Maybe I'll just post a picture--they say those are worth quite a few words.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Kate Jackson is following me ...

Cap'n Pants and I went down to Oriental over the weekend. Apparently so did Kate Jackson. (For you younguns, she played "Sabrina," aka "the smart angel," on the TV show Charlie's Angels. She was the favorite of every girl I knew because she seemed like an actual person--someone we could grow up to be. Here's a fan site dedicated to her. In fact, there's an entire web ring in her honor.) Anyway, I'm starting to get annoyed that she keeps popping up everywhere I go. When I lived in Madison, WI, she married some guy from Madison and I kept hearing reports of KJ sightings all over town. (I never actually saw her. I did, however, see then-Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson and his wife & bodyguards at a showing of Goodfellas. He sat two rows behind us. And of course Donna Shalala was everywhere back then, but she was easy to miss since she's only about 4 feet tall) I believe Kate Jackson also used to own a farm in Virginia ... back when I used to live in Virginia. See the pattern?

Anyway, I didn't see Kate Jackson, but we did drive by the place where she was staying. I snapped a couple of photos of her car on my way by just because I could. (Hey, she's obviously stalking me, so turnabout is fair play!) It was an SUV with California plates and a kayak on the roof rack. So now I'm imagining Kate Jackson driving all the way from California to Oriental, NC, to go kayaking. (Did she camp along the way or stay at Holiday Inns? Did she use gas station rest rooms?) Oriental's a great place to kayak, that's for sure, but I think if I lived in California I'd fly out and just rent a kayak. Especially if I could afford it. Maybe Kate was just up for a road trip.

In other news, this article about "The Virtue of Idleness" in the Guardian has completely won me over.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Chicks rocked again ...

I took a complete bunch of photos at Chicks Rock II last night (had fun, too). I'm planning another web gallery, but not right now because we're going sailing. But I'll post my favorite photo of the day, which was actually taken earlier in the evening when I dropped off the food I had made for the band. It's Alicia (she's so photogenic!) in her Chicks Rock uniform of the day (taken at the Untidy Museum):



Another photo I'm fond of is of Eliza from Blackstrap. She's so rock 'n roll:



Alrighty then, I'm off ...

UPDATE: Wait, before I go, let me tell you to go check out Sarah's pix of chicks rock. They're better than mine. This one is really cool.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Heh heh, immigration is funny ...

About four years ago my mother-in-law (that's suegra  en español) moved to Mexico. She's not Mexican, but all involved thought it would be an adventure as well as a way for her to be able to live on the pittance she gets from Social Security. (She came back several months ago. Somewhere in my January archives is the madcap story of how she got into a wreck in Mexico on her way back).

Anyway, while she was trying get residency status in Mexico, she made a remark to some Mexican government functionary about how difficult the process was. He answered something like "You know it's not so easy for us to live in your country, either." I was just reminded of that by today's post at It's Time, where our favorite Briton-turned-Canadian-married-to-an-American describes the wacky and hilarious adventures one can have in the US immigration system.

In other news: I have committed to wearing a cool crazy dress to tonight's Chicks Rock show, and I've just realized that I have no shoes! Not being a normal girl, I have only a few pairs of extremely sensible and not-at-all-fashionable shoes. No Fluevogs for Lisa B., in other words. Oh well, I will wear my plain and sensible black mules and pretend that it's what I meant to do all along. They're quite comfy.

Another birthday ....

It's Matt Ryan's birthday, everyone! I brought bagels and Melanie brought doughnuts, and now we're taking bets on whether he's going to show up for work. I don't think he realized there was going to be free food or he would have arrived by now.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Um ... bon apetit, I guess ...

I just made a ginger vinaigrette pasta salad for the Chicks Rock bands. Lucky them!

Here's a question: if you're making a vegan dish and a dog hair gets into it, does that make it not vegan any more? Aww, just kidding! ... I think.

Behind the Scenes ....

So last night at Georg's birthday do, Sarah, who also takes photos (better than I do), took one of Lisa L's Fluevog (it's a shoe).

Well I got the behind the scenes photo. I'm calling it "The Making Of The Photo Of Lisa L's Fluevog":



And what the hell, while I'm posting photos, here's a photo of Alicia that would kick ass if it weren't a little blurry:



OK, enough blog playtime now. I've got to make some pasta salad to feed the bands at Chicks Rock tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Birthday fun!

I went to a small get-together at Ooh-La-Latte tonight in honor of Georg's birthday. The lucky fella scored a major gift coup:


Yep, it's a genuine FBI Homeland Defense Play Set, complete with "Weapons, Badge, Communications." One astute partygoer noted the absence of a warrant.

Anyway, I had fun and Sarah's cake was delicious. I took a bunch of pictures, so I have yet another potential photo gallery to make and post if I get around to it. By the way, I forgot to mention before that there are two new galleries since the last time I mentioned new galleries: "One Weekend ..." and "Chicks Rock." Check them out if you have nothing better to do.

Yes!

Alcohol may sharpen your brain, especially if you are a woman.

That could have been me ...

Yesterday I sent $20 to someone I don't even know (well, she's actually a friend of someone I do kind of know, so it wasn't completely out of the blue). It was in response to this post from a woman named Charlotte at Christa's blog, where I read this:
I need your help! Please, please, please read to the bottom of this message and do you what you can. I'm desperate, and need your support.

Saturday night I was driving through the intersection of Cornwallis & Academy when I saw a small black dog in the street. I stopped the car and tried to lure the dog off the road, but instead he darted away from me into traffic and was hit by a car... right in front of me.

I took the dog (a small, adorable dachshund) to the emergency vet down the street where he was quickly diagnosed with two fractured ribs (which will likely heal on their own) and a fractured pelvis. Thankfully, there were no internal injuries. But this dog is in pain and very, very scared. He shakes constantly.

This traumatic experience has affected me very deeply. I cannot abandon this dog. Even though he was wearing a collar (no tags), and even though I have posted flyers about him in the neighborhood, I have not heard from his owners. I have cried alot this weekend... my heart breaks when I think of that little dog trying to run from the scene of accident... but he couldn't, because of his injuries.

Damn! I've gotten out of my car many times before to catch (or try to catch) dogs in danger of getting hit on busy streets. Mark (who tells me I'm not allowed to bring home dogs) actually brought one traffic-threatened dog home, where he stayed for seven months until we found him a new family. So when Charlotte pleaded for donations to cover surgery for the little guy, I knew I had to give her something not just because I wanted to help someone in need, but because it could easily have been me in her shoes.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html) --- results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst
(this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)

INSTRUCTIONS

To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html

(2) I found it via Daypop

(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://bunchofpants.blogspot.com

(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 08/03/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 13:01:00

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Durham, NC, USA

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by: Blogger

(8) My age is: Something I'm starting to become self-conscious about

(9) My gender is: female

(10) My occupation is: graphic designer

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Don't do the RSS thing

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 11/05/03

(14) My web browser is: various

(15) My operating system is: Mac OSX (home)/Windows 2000 (work)

Vote for my friend's dog ...

My flyball teammate Heidi entered her dog, Domino, in a contest run by a "doggie bakery"--the kind of place that makes gourmet goodies for our furry friends who, truth be told, would be just as content getting their treats out of the garbage or the cat litter box. Anyway, the prize is just something like a basket of treats, but this kind of thing always makes my competitive streak kick in so now I'm thinking "Domino shall vanquish the competition, dammit." Unfortunately, he's being trounced at the moment by a scruffy little scoundrel named Andrew. So I figured I would mobilize all four of my regular readers and get out the vote for Domino. He's a good little dog and deserves a basket full of treats. Yeah, it's a dumb little contest, but you're sitting here reading my blog so you must have nothing better to do right now ...

Voting is only a slight pain in the butt--here's what you do: go to the Tailwaggin's Bakery page. Enter your e-mail address (they haven't spammed me yet ...) and then scroll down to Domino, who is the little Jack Russell Terrier on the right end of the fourth row. Click him, and then a pop-up will ask you to enter some letters and numbers that will appear before you. Do that, check that the right dog is selected (DOMINO!) and click on "OK" or whatever the button says.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Oh yeah ...

I forgot to mention that the screening of "Outfoxed" went really well Friday night. We would have had a hard time fitting more people in the room comfortably (I know some folks weren't so comfortable anyway--we could have used a few more chairs). I'm guessing we had somewhere between 75 and 100 people there, and people seemed to enjoy the movie.

In other news, I got my hair cut. I need a day or two to decide if I like it or not. The stylist said my hair isn't thick enough to copy the cut I wanted exactly, so I had to compromise. She did not look at me the way Gomey does, however.

Also, Steve Lieberman says I rule. He rocks.

And Andrew commiserated with me about the religious poster at work thing, which just makes me want to go on a rant about all the people who insist that this is and should be a "christian nation," but I have album reviews due and I haven't even started writing them yet ...

So here's a fun time-waster for you:
A new way of seeing my blog

From The Eater of Meaning at crummy.com

Thanks to On English for the fun.

Bad hair day ....

When I lived in Chicago there was this great haircut place called "Hot Hair" (it was on Roscoe just west of Damen ... I don't know if it's still there because the neighborhood was in the process of "gentrifying" when I left and I bet their rent went through the roof). There were cool stylists who gave cool haircuts for only $8. I always got what I asked for, or if I wasn't sure what I wanted I always got good advice.

I mention this because I now live in "haircut hell." There are no good haircut places around here, no matter how much I'm willing to pay. Last time I went, I told the guy what I wanted, and he looked at me for a minute the way Gomey does when I talk to him, and then he said "Do you want to see a book of haircuts?" I said no, I want (insert description of desired haircut here). Again he gave me the look and said "I'll get one of our haircut books." So I looked and finally found a haircut I wouldn't be afraid to be caught dead in (the books never have hairstyles that actual people wear) and I said "Like this only not so short here and here." And the guy proceded to give me some haircut that must have occured to him the last time he got stoned.

In fact I was ready to borrow Rick!s Flowbee, if it weren't for the fact that he didn't actually own one.

So anyway, I was in Ho Foods ("Because ho's gotta eat too") yesterday, and I saw a young woman with the exact haircut I wanted. Lucky for me Mark had his digital camera on him (it was one of the rare times I was without mine), so I borrowed it and proceeded to ask the girl if I could take a picture of her haircut. She was a good sport and said yes, probably thinking that she would gladly do whatever she needed to get this freaky person to go away ...

Now, picture in hand, I go boldly forth to get a haircut. I'll let you know how it turns out.