Wednesday, June 28, 2006
At any rate, it'll be 88.7 for folks in the "sweet spot" reached by our transmitter, wxdu.org for everyone else.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
I do hope she doesn't kill Harry. She hinted about it, saying she understood an author's desire to kill off a main character, but that she hasn't been tempted to kill Harry off before the end of Bbook Seven (emphasis mine). "I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks 'Well, I'm going to kill them off because that means there can be no non-author-written sequels ... so it will end with me, and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character'."
At any rate, the book is due out next summer, and we can expect more hints to follow at strategic intervals until we are are ready to trample little children in our haste to get the books the moment they are released.
I'm also making a dress. Last week was so hot I recalled why I own a few dresses and skirts--they really work well on sweltering days. But I have very few of them, and I'd like a couple more. The problem is that I rarely find dresses and skirts to buy that a) I like; b) fit me well (I'm a "petite," which means that most mass produced clothes aren't really proportioned well for me; and c) are affordable. I'm sure if I shopped more I'd eventually find some, but I hate shopping for clothes. So I've decided to make a few things myself. It's been ages since I've sewn much to speak of, but it's not hard at all as long as you stick to the patterns labeled "very easy." Those are also usually the most basic and timeless designs, which are the ones I want anyway. So I got a pattern for a pullover jumper and some wild orange plaid fabric that just called out (loudly!) to me from the display rack. I cut the pieces out Sunday and I should be able to sew the whole thing together tonight (once I go buy the fusible interfacing that I forgot the first time).
While searching through my sewing stuff (to see if I had any fusible interfacing left over from a previous project) I found a jacket that I had started (had cut out the pieces, which still had the patterns pinned to them), and I'm wondering if I should go ahead and finish it. I may as well try--I'm not sure why I never finished it to begin with, except that I probably just got busy with something else, put it away and then forgot about it. I'm not sure how much I even like the fabric anymore (it's another plaid--I always go for the plaid). I guess it depends on how I feel after I finish the dress--will I be energized by success or demoralized from failure?
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
What's really embarrasing is when the fuzz has got you with your hands against the wall and gravity has gone to work on the pants ... been there! OK, not really but I have seen it happen, several times even.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
But bummer that she got a ticket for violating the "Move Over Law," the existence of which she was completely unaware. That's right kids, in NC you are required to move over when approaching a parked or standing emergency vehicle with its lights flashing on the shoulder of the highway, or to reduce speed if moving over isn't possible. Don't get a $125 ticket because that would suck.
In the Advanced Warning department, be advised that my voice and some tuneage of my choice shall emanate from your radio tonight from 8-10 pm if it is tuned to 88.7 FM. (If you are not local the computer shall substitute, provided you have visited this webpage and clicked the applicable link to hook yourself up. My playlist shall reside here. I'm also going to think of a name for a show. The one it currently bears, "Pants 1990," was a result of me being in a hurry when the playlister software was prompting me for a name, the "1990" part being in response to rick!, our program director, making some kind of joke about if you average the music I playwith the music Jason! plays, you get 1990. Or something like that.
And speaking of that, I wandered over to Blogs Now just to see what's, y'know, hot and stuff, and I found a link to a bunch of '80s videos. Hey, if I play Lords of The New Church followed by Icicle Works I can pretend it's WUVT Wave Night at the Blacksburg Marriott). Too bad the Heaven 17 link is broken ...
But a really noteworthy thing about the site is the number of Spanish language groups it features ... Alas, no Prisioneros. But look, Mano Negra! Hours of fun ...
Monday, June 19, 2006
So we were driving somewhere yesterday with my mom ... to American Tobacco, methinks, and she said "I like Durham." So let's put her into the "score" column along with Lisa's pal j. I think Mom liked it even more after we walked around American Tobacco and had dinner there. (Mellow Mushroom, where for once, finally the service didn't absolutely suck. Although to be fair, it only sucked once for me at the Durham location. The previous time was at the Raleigh location when I went with work folks, and it not only sucked but several staff members were extremely rude to us. I definitely won't ever go back to that heinous shithole. For the benefit of the search engines, let me just say raleigh mellow mushroom shithole sucks.)
Mom seemed to really like American Tobacco (I think I'll start referring to is as "AmTob" because I'm lazy like that), as do I to a certain extent. I think they did the rehab really well from a design standpoint, but the result is a tad sterile and soulless. Some people really like sterile and soulless, however--just look at how well the Town of Cary is doing, for example. So American Tobacco would definitely appeal to those types--if the mere thought of Durham didn't scare the bejesus out of them. At any rate, AmTob is a nice place to stroll ... if you don't mind being stared at hard the whole time by big-bellied security guards dressed like state troopers, and it's definitely a great place to take out-of-town guests. I do need to go back to soon to eat at Cafe Zen. It looks yummy.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
There's a bit more info about these at the TV In Japan blog, and they were originally posted on YouTube by Skillful Abbot
Thursday, June 15, 2006
My mother is coming to visit this weekend, so I've been tidying up a bit and it has filled me with hate. I hate:
- Phone books. Nobody ever asked me if I want any of these enormous wastes of tree life. Well, OK, maybe I could use one, just in case the internet is down and I need to find a number. But why do I need three a year? I don't. Nobody does. I think phone books should be opt-in. As it is, I don't even know if they are opt-out. Are they? And then what do you do with all the old phone books from previous years? Let them pile into a three-foot high stack? Because it only takes a couple of years before they stack that high. Theoretically we're told to recycle them, but in order to do so you have to load them into your car and drive them to some shopping center where you find that the bin is stuffed to overflowing and you have to put them on the ground where you know they're going to get rained on and soggy and then probably just end up in the landfill anyway. (Oh yeah, you could bike them over to the bin if some crackhead hadn't stolen your bike out of your shed a while back and you never got a new one because you figured the crackheads would just steal that one, too). So anyway, tonight I threw about six phone books into the trash cart. Yeah, that's what I said, I tossed them into the fucking trash cart. If somebody wants to come and recycle them they're welcome to dig them out. It's the bright orange house--you can't miss it.
- Plastic grocery bags. I have a hard time throwing them away unless they have dog shit in them. But my dogs just don't shit nearly that much. I should just carry them to the store every time and reuse them ... but who remembers stuff like that when they're going to the store? I'm lucky if I remember the shopping list. But if by law they had to charge me 5 cents for every bag, you bet your ass I'd start remembering. Yes, goddammit, I want a fucking nanny state to make me reuse my grocery bags. It would make me feel much better about having so goddamned many stashed away in every cranny of the kitchen.
- My vaccuum cleaner. I think it was made specifically to punish whoever decided they could get away with buying the cheapest vaccuum in the store. It's noisy, completely clumsy and unwieldy, it's exhausting to push around and it's not even very good at what it's supposed to do. It's a godawful piece of shit. I've hated it from the moment Mr. Pants brought it home ... damn it's been six years already. Six fucking years of that heinous machine ... and of course it still works as well as ever, which is to say not very well at all. I completely understand why Mr. Gomez snarls and barks at it so ferociously. Yes Gomey, you are correct, the fucking vaccuum must die. I want a Roomba, but I'm afraid it would keel over at the very sight of all the dog hair lying around. But if I had a Roomba the dog hair wouldn't accumulate so much in the first place ...
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Also, is there a band called the Paper Jams? There should be ... except that they would be like a bad bar cover band, I think.
That is all.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
And don't forget to go buy some property in Nova Scotia.
$50 Says Mo Would Take That Scarecrow Out
Woman: Who do you think would win a fight between Ann Coulter and Maureen Dowd?
Man: A fight?
Woman: Yeah, you know, a death match.
Man: I'm gonna go with Ann Coulter.
Woman: You think? They both wear long, spikey heels. They could put each other's eyes out pretty fast.
Man: But Ann Coulter would be like, "Rock on, I'm in a death cage!" And Maureen Dowd would be like, "Wait, what am I doing in a death cage?"
--Alt.Coffee, Avenue A
via Overheard in New York, Jun 12, 2006
But you know what? I don't care. Sometimes funny is funny.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Click here to see the photo on Flickr.
So of course I asked them what they were building, and they said it was going to be their house! They are looking for someone to allow them to park it in their yard, and that's where they plan to live. They really like this neighborhood and they want to live here, albeit as cheaply as possible. The space it occupies now is courtesy of their landlady. Anyway, they have a blog where you can find more photos and plans.
Their project reminds me of a guy named Carlos we met on Caye Caulker in Belize, who lived in a tiny home he had built:
Click here to see the photo on Flickr.
I loved his little house--it was perfect for one person, but I'm not sure how well it would have worked for two. It was on a friends's property, but it wasn't on a trailer (I think there were only one or two trucks on the island big enough to tow a trailer--most people got around on bicycles, golf carts or on foot). There was no bathroom, but I think he could use the one in his friends house, as well as those in the many bars and restaurants on the island. I always wonder if he still lives in it--I e-mailed him after we got back but he never replied.
I've read several articles before about the "tiny house movement," and I find it fascinating. I've contemplated what it would be like to live in such a tiny space, not just out of idle curiosity but because Mr. Pants' dream has long been to live on a sailboat, and our boat probably offers about as much living space as one of these tiny houses. I'm not sure if I could do it (although the tiny house has one advantage over a boat--it's not constantly swaying). I have thought about living in a house a bit smaller than we do now, and I think it would be a good idea. I'd have to jettison a lot of stuff, but I need to do that anyway.
Anyway, I'm interested to see the Hopu and Jesse's finished project. I think it's going to be a work of art. Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a suitable place for them to park it ...
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Oh yeah, and while I'm engaging in shameless commerce, go buy Andrew's book The Papyrus Voice.
And speaking of that dog blog, it has forced me into some unwanted geekiness from which I'm still recovering. For several reasons, most of which have something to do with my inherent laziness, I decided to host the thing on Blogger. But Blogger lacks a couple of features that I needed for such an endeavor, namely the ability to sort posts into categories and the ability to make expandable posts (i.e., a post in which only a snippet appears on the main page and the reader must click "read more" or something to get the whole thing). But Blogger is really good about encouraging hacks and even including them in their "knowledge base" or pointing people toward where to find them. There is a ton of info available over at the Blogger Help Group at Google groups, so I figured I could cobble together some hacks to make my blog do what I wanted.
Blogger is considering adding category functionality (they have a page where you can vote on proposed features, although they make it very hard to get to so most users probably don't know it exists). But meanwhile, I found this seemingly great hack for creating categories with Blogger using del.icio.us tags. It looked so elegant and simple. I followed all the directions carefully--they were clear and concise--and the whole thing was a snap. Except that it didn't work. I got a little "Categories" heading over in my sidebar, but none of my categories showed up. I decided to start over, so I replaced my template with a backup and carefully followed the directions again. Still nothing. Thinking that maybe there was a temporary issue accessing the del.icio.us tags, I decided to leave it and come back to it the next day. But then it still didn't work. This is where it becomes apparent that I'm not a geek. A geek would have risen to the challenge, maybe even relishing it, and started examining every line of code to figure out what was going wrong. She would have e-mailed her geek friends, posted to the Blogger group and other geek forums, and contacted the developer of the hack. Not me. I said fack it. Screw this stupid hack. Then I just went over to del.icio.us and grabbed the bit of code that lets you display "My del.icio.us tags" on your site and tossed it into my template. So there. I don't really like the way it looks, but it works, more or less.
The other problem was the expandable posts. I needed it for one immediate post in particular, my long-assed bit on trimming dog nails, but I know I'll need it often because I can ramble on and on when the topic is dogs. Blogger is nice enough to provide a hack for this in their help section, but it's really a half-assed hack. It puts a "read more" link on every single post, regardless of whether it actually "jumps" or not. They note that this is indeed a limitation, and wash their hands of it by saying "Modifying this feature is left as an exercise for the reader." In other words, "Yes, this hack sucks. Whatever, dudes." Fortunately, via the Blogger Help Group, I found Amit Upadhyay and his blog Anything Else, where he posts a hack that works. I didn't even have to try it twice. I just placed the code, wrote a quick test post and it worked! It worked! I did the pants dance!!
Geeks are wonderful. Oh yeah, and don't forget to go buy that property in Nova Scotia.
Friday, June 09, 2006
So watch the Indian Beatles instead! (gracias a .:DataWhat?:. for the link.)
Or watch my officegirl (it's like a homegirl only, y'know, she's at the office) sing some Barry White (I hope the little embedded player thingie isn't all dodgy or anything ... I guess this is why we're testing it):
Thursday, June 08, 2006
In other news, I wrapped up a session of puppy classes tonight with a bit of a feel-good moment: A guy in my class who had been having lots of problems and had been considering giving up his puppy changed his mind after getting a lot of help with his issues from the class. They still have a few problems to resolve, but he feels he made progress and changed his mind about getting rid of the dog. That made me feel good. I have a bit of anxiety about teaching sometimes, and that made me feel like I must be doing something right.
And in semi-related news, I've started a dog blog. I just wanted a place where I could opine at more length about dog training and such. I've only made a few posts so far, but that's more for lack of time than lack of stuff to write about. Oh yeah, and I'm trying out google ads there more for the hell of it than the belief that I'll actually make any money. I'll still write here now and then about agility and how cute and/or goofy my dogs are, just in case you're one of the three people who likes to read about that sort of thing. Oh, and I'm going to try very hard not to be as snarky there as I am here.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Then I turned the corner onto Watts St., and a moment later a WASPy guy in an SUV rolled up to the intersection. He called out the window to me "Excuse me, are you going to be going back by the house with the picket fence?" What? I thought. "What?" I said. He repeated the question. What? I thought again "I don't know. Why?" I asked. "Well can you please pick up after your dog?" he said.
OK, that really fcking pissed me the fck off. What had I just done? I was ready to go fish the bag of shit out of the trash cart and throw it through the window of his luxury gas guzzler. "I just picked up after my dog and threw it in the trash can" I yelled ... I think I was starting to walk toward him. I must have looked pissed or something, because he just suddenly said "Thank you," hit the gas (spewing forth plenty of carbon emissions), and sped off.
Wait a minute, I thought, I'm not done with you, motherfrakker. Seriously, it really pissed me off that he just assumed whatever pile of crap he must have seen was left by my dogs. What about Walter, the schnauzer whose retarded owner can't figure out how to latch her screen door. He lives right across the street--could he have crapped in your yard, dude? Damn, now I'm thinking that if I weren't so lazy I'd go back, get the bag of little Lucy dog turds and tack them to his door with a note ... well I'm not even sure what the note would say.
I was going to write something like "what is it with the asstards in my neighborhood?" but then I remembered that Christa has drive-by cranks, too. And the other Lisa lives next to the loud family that leaves their poor dog out in the rain. So I guess they're everywhere.
Speaking of MySpace, I created a page because the only way to contact the band DeVotchka was through that hideous contraption of a web app. Now I keep getting friend requests from women whom I suspect want to be my Russian brides. I just delete them ... I can't be bothered to remember my MySpace password to go read the actual messages, but now I'm thinking maybe I should just go delete my (blank) MySpace page now that I don't need it anymore. However, based on this thing in Consumerist that may not be so easy to do. Bastards.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Anywho, Pollan wrote a rocking piece in Sunday's NYT magazine about what Wal-Mart's entry into the organic food business might mean for organic foods. I'll summarize: It's not necessarily a good thing. The price pressures they bring to bear on every other industry are likely to lead to corner cutting and, perhaps, even a future redefinition of "organic" to mean not really so organic anymore.
Then this a.m. the NYT had a link to something else by Pollan called "Attacks on The Food Police"--an entry in his NYT blog, thge existence of which I was unaware before. But b;ast it! The damn thing is part of the "NYT Select" thingie that you have to pay for. I'm too frugal to pay for it. Occasionally these things can be accessed other ways ... so I did a little poking around, to no avail. But I did find a Google cache of a previous Pollan blog entry. Sweet. Now if only Google had a way one could be notified when a new cache shows up ... like a feed one could subscribe to, or something. C'mon Google, you only hire really smart geeks--surely one of them can come up with something.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Like last week at the agility trial. I was "gate steward" in the masters ring (gate steward tells people when it's their turn to go in the ring and generally tries to avoid delays and work out conflicts for people cometing with multiple dogs or in multiple rings). One woman (whose last name sort of rhymes with "Bitchler" ... guess what I'm going to call her from now on?) came up right before her turn complaining bitterly that she hadn't had a chance to walk the course because blah blah blah--and she was saying all this in a bitchy, vaguely accusatory tone, as if I were responsible for her not having walked the course, or as if I were forcing her to go ahead and attempt a course she hadn't walked. Anyway, she blew her run with an off-course and, since it was Snooker, she got whistled off. She complained to the judge, who had no sympathy for her, so then she came out of the ring and started complaining to me. I, trying to be a nice, positive person, said "You did a fantastic opening sequence, though." That only pissed her off even more, and she started ranting "It was a waste of my time, a waste of my energy, a waste of my dog and a waste of my money!!" before storming off. I was too stunned to say anything, but another competitor made a remark about how she should have done us all a favor and just gone home.
I immediately wished I hadn't tried to be nice to the woman in the first place ... I never even liked her, anyway, and I usually avoid all conversation with her whenever possible because she's always a bitch. Why wasn't I just a bitch right back? In fact a short while later, l'esprit de l'escalier brought me what I should have said to her (with a big smile) after her little rant: "Yes, but you just won first place in the Biggest Bitch contest!" Why can't I just think of and say things like that when they are clearly called for?
Then again today I think a little bitchiness was called for, and I couldn't muster it. I was walking Lucy through the lovely, tree-lined streets of my hood, when a little schnauzer pushed open the screen door of a house and came after us. This is then second time this very same dog has come out after us. The first time the owner had come running out yelling at the dog ("Walter! Walter!") who seemed more interested in escaping from the crazy lady (Sigh ... if only people would properly teach their dogs to come ...) than in going back to her. Anyway, when Walter came out after us, I just kept going because Lucy gets snarky with strange dogs and I expected crazy lady to come running out at any momemnt. But there was no crazy lady following, and we had almost reached busy Gregson Street, where Walter could have become roadkill. So I turned around and went back toward Walter's house. He followed right along, and I went up the walk to the house and yelled "Excuse me! Excuse Me!" Really loudly through the now wide-open screen door. Crazy lady came to the door, and I asked her if she intended for her dog to be running free. "Walter!" she screamed angrily at the little dog, who cringed and backed away from her. "Get in here!" (Lesson #1: the last voice to use when enticing a dog to come to you is an angry voice. Duh!) Then she said to me "I wasn't letting him run free, you know. He escaped." Duh, stupid lady, I thought, I saw him push open your unlatched screen door. All I said was "You might want to latch your screen door" and left.
Now why couldn't I say what probably needed to be said: "Does it make a difference why your dog was running free when he's flat as a pancake on Gregson Street? How many times does your dog have to open the screen door before you put a latch on it? Are you an idiot or a crackhead? You don't look like a crackhead to me." Honestly, next time maybe I'll let Walter follow me home and then I'll call the lady and tell her to come get her dog from seven streets away. Maybe that would scare her into latching her screen door.
Maybe I'll go toss a flier for dog training classes in through her open screen door next time ... at least then she could learn how to get her dog to come when called.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
We'll find out for sure if he's got a tick-borne disease sometime next week. If so I'm glad we caught it because those things can get really bad (fatal, even).
Friday, June 02, 2006
I knew there was something wrong when yesterday, after I got home from work, Gomey didn't act like a freak. He always acts like a freak when I'm getting his dinner--I usually have to shush him and make him lie down because he wails like a banshee out of sheer excitement. Last night he just stood there. He also hesitated before eating his food. Then when it was time to go out, he just mad a few small noises--usually he's pirouetting and practically bouncing off the walls. I often put him in a down-stay before letting him out to try and enforce some order (It doesn't really help).
This morning he didn't eat all of his breakfast, and he actually chewed the part he did eat (he usually just hoovers it right up without chewing). He's just lying about listlessly--usually he's bugging me to let him outside over and over. So I'm taking off work to get him to the vet. It's funny that the number one symptom is "He's not being a complete pain in the ass." He's sort of acting like a normal seven-year-old dog. Which is not normal. He also seems a little warm--his nose is warm, and his body feels even warmer than normal (which is 102 degrees F for a dog). Poor boy.
Meanwhile Lucy is just lying around like she's been hit by a car, but that's normal for her. She loves her nap time, which is all the time unless we are doing something fun. I wonder how I'd know if she were sick, too (she did try to swoop in and finish Gomey's food this morning, so I know she has an appetite, at least!)
UPDATE: Mr. G is at the vet. I had to leave him for tests. Hi did have a temperature of 104.x, and they called me after the blood tests to ask if they could run a tick-borne illness screening. He's had lots of ticks on him over the past several months (it's been unseasonably warm and I think they like that), and even though we use Frontline it doesn't kill them instantly--only after about 36 hours or so. So it's possible he has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or some such. Right now I'm waiting for them to call so I can go pick him up.