24 October 2010

Inventions That Are Not Awesome, Even With Sparkles

Sparkles make almost everything seem better, but not always.

This Shower Hood is really only nice for those who like putting makeup on their dirty faces.

 You're wrong.  Even sparkles can't save tighty whities.

 No, No, No, NO!

Well this one just makes me sad.  Gentlemen, there is absolutely nothing wrong with extra testosterone.  Unless you have a tendency toward douchebaggery; in which case, you might want to check these out.  Also comes in distinguished gray.

Baby Cage.  Actually, I'm kind of torn about this one.

What. The. Hell?!

Unicorn Corn Holders

Ha!  Kidding!  These would be TOTALLY awesome with sparkles!!!

Christmas is coming!

Getting My Art Appreciation On

I am so excited to spend the day at the Seattle Art Museum! It is blustery and stormy out, what better way to spend time than to hang out with Pablo?

PICASSO - Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris at the Seattle Art Museum | Trailer

23 October 2010

In the WTF File...

God I love Craigslist.

They don't come with a cage.  I'm sure an old moving box will work. 

hissing cockroaches (bremerton)

Date: 2010-10-23, 3:31PM PDT
Reply to: comm-qyhft-2022147986@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

i have an established colony of awsome hissing cockroaches. will rehome all together without cage for $50 bucks. these little buggers climb glass, and can be loud at times. i have a red light on them at all times for heat, you can do the same or just use a ceramic heat emmiter or even a heating pad. they will need a tightly fitting lid, or i read you can spread vasoline about 1.5-2 inches from the top and its suppose to hinder their climbing on the lid of enclosure. i can maby include a 10 gallon tank with lid for another 15 bucks.

i feed these little pigs a mix of cat, dog, and chicken feed. and about a head of lettuice every other week

  • Location: bremerton
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 2022147986-0 image 2022147986-1

16 June 2010


I pride myself on the fact that I am not a pack rat.  After a lifetime of numerous moves I have gotten the winnowing down of possessions to a science.  In fact, as I've gotten older I feel more and more uncomfortable about accumulating things (except the previously mentioned tech gadgets I covet) because I've seen how tied down people get as they become attached to a house, their furniture, keepsakes, tchotchkes, piles of magazines, dead dog ashes, whatever.  The more you accumulate the more difficult it is to move on and as I have always been known to have itchy feet, it does not suit me to add to the pile of possessions I already have, and I am consequently constantly finding new ways to get rid of what I own. 

Apparently this characteristic does not apply to my relationship with email though.  This is what I saw today when I opened up my email program.

What The F*ck?!  That's 717 UNREAD emails left in my box (there were over 1200 total)! Going back over a year! 

And some people accuse me of being unsentimental.  I guess I've shown them.
Never mind.

18 May 2010

Before, During, After

Sunday, 18 May, 1980. 8:30 am
Mt. St. Helens, Washington state.
Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed.
More than 4 billion board feet (14.6 km³) of timber was damaged or destroyed, mainly by the lateral blast. As many as 1,500 elk and 5,000 deer were killed, and an estimated 12 million[6] Chinook and Coho salmon fingerlings died when their hatcheries were destroyed.  

231 miles away in a small coastal Oregon town, a sonic boom-like sound. On the beach now littered with small pieces of pumice, the ash fell like a late Spring snow shower around me.


17 May 2010

Pamela's Got Bigger Problems Than Staying Kiss-Free

That hair has got to go, honey.

One of the funniest and creepiest things I've seen in a loooong time.  From a Christian abstinence-only sex education video, excerpts from "Pamela's Prayer".

I bet Pamela's dad didn't wait until marriage to kiss a boy. Hypocrite.

10 April 2010

On "The Mindless Menace of Violence"

I often watch a dvd while cooking.  Sometimes it takes me a few days to finish one movie, but it's kind of fun and it motivates me when I'm feeling the drudgery of day-to-day cooking getting me down.  Today I finished the movie "Bobby", a film about the last day at the hotel in which Robert Kennedy was assassinated.  The movie was okay (although I'm really not sure it was worthy of an Academy Award), but the speech played at the end is one of the most moving in American political history.  Given just a couple of days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is as relevant now as it was in 1968.  I share it here with you in this video, though I prefer to close my eyes and listen just to the audio since the imaging can be distracting, especially that bizarre Lego picture in this one. Anyway, I embedded this video because it had the clearest audio.  The text of the speech is below.  Enjoy.

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968
This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.
It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.
Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.
No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.
Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."
Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.
Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.
Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.
I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.
Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

24 February 2010

Further Illustration- A Recommendation

I love the internet and all things new media. Most of you know I'd marry it if I could (hey, it's always home and it usually does whatever I ask it to), but as I've said before I loves me some books. As a (nerdy) kid I loved going to the library and looking at whatever really old books they had to see what kind of illustrations were in them. I loved finding books with woodcut illustrations and was fascinated by what must have been a frustrating and tedious process at times for the artists. I think I love the romanticism of many of these, the artist's ability to beautify even the darkest subject; and let's face it, a lot of these old books are full of Victorian poverty, oddities, death and melancholy.

In college, I would pick up old books on the cheap at a used book store just for the illustrations. Will I ever read my 1894 version of "Peveril of The Peak" by Sir Walter Scott or "The Essayes of Michael Lord of Montaigne, Vol. 1"? Heck no, but the woodcuts in the first interested me and the Art Nouveau block prints in the second appealed to me. Today there is no need to dig around in the mustiest of musty boxes at your used book store to see some of these wonderful illustrations, unless you're into that of course. Many publisher and library catalogs are online now and you can browse to your heart's content for that sort of stuff. One more reason to love the internet! So today I'm going to give a shout-out to one of my favorite blogs that pulls together all sorts of old book illustrations from multiple sources and makes them available for our viewing pleasure. BibliOdyssey is a great little blog if you enjoy books and their accompanying art. It is, for me, one of those sites I go to when I want a little peace while I'm online. It's not flashy, it's not in your face, there are no LOL cats, and it is always interesting. Check it out, you'll like it!

You're welcome.
I have no idea either, but they're cool

08 February 2010

I Told You So.

More evidence of our impending doom.


And you all thought I was kidding with the Lazy Patch. http://thecentralreservation.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-end-of-world-as-we-know-it-and-i.html

It's a slippery slippery slope, people.

02 February 2010

The one in which I go paperless

For Christmas, I received a Kindle. I'd been looking at the Kindle for a long while, but I didn't buy one.  I waited around a bit and really considered what it would mean to get one. There were the usual concerns of the technology not being perfected quite enough and the bugs not being worked out. By "usual concerns", I really mean other people's concerns because normally I just dive right into new technology right away.  I'm like a raven; I see some shiny new tech marvel and my eyes glaze over and all of my "WANT" synapses start firing.  It's a characteristic that doesn't always serve me well, because inevitably I buy something and about a week later they lower the price by a third or some ridiculous amount and then I am swearing and digging around for my receipt to see if I can get some money back.  So as you've guessed by now, I'm a total nerd for this stuff, but for some reason I hesitated when it came to this new tool.  For one thing, I love books.  I don't mean that I just like to read books, but I actually love the feel and look of books, the smell of them, and the sound of pages turning.  I loved lying in bed with my kids when they were small and turning the pages of a well-worn story.  Okay, maybe I didn't always love it when we were on about the thousandth reading of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, but you get the picture.  There have been times when I was so into a book I actually put it in a Ziploc so I could prop it up and continue reading it in the shower.  (Don't you judge me!)  The idea of using a cold electronic reader just seemed a little wrong, like it would take some of the soul out of reading, not to mention possibly being dangerous in the shower.  I really kind of put the idea out of my mind; that is, until I had to deal with The Boxes.  

The Boxes were the roughly 20 or so moving boxes full of books that had been neatly packed and moved by our nice corporate movers when we moved to the Seattle area last year.  The Boxes stayed packed for nearly a year since we were leasing a home while we waited to sell our other one.  It didn't make sense to unpack and pack them up again upon purchasing a new home.  So, The Boxes went to live in storage, and I got to forget about their existence for a while and blithely continue purchasing yet more books.  Now, I'm no pack rat; having been through numerous moves, including a few international ones, I am a winnowing queen about most things.  I am sans sentimentality over objects.  A Goodwill Goddess, if you will.  I think I have issues when it comes to getting rid of books, however.  I agonize over them.  When faced with the necessity of getting rid of them, I start to break out in a panic sweat knowing that I will, for the good of my family (and also so I don't one day end up on the show Hoarders), have to part with some of my favorites.  Silly?  Maybe, but hey man, we've all got our problems.  

So with this last move completed, and having put off for as long as I could the inevitable unpacking of The Boxes, I got down to business.  I thought, "I've done this before, no big deal".  The only problem is that over the last 3 moves I have lost approximately 1700 square feet of space in my house, and hence a corresponding loss in space for books.  Some of The Boxes had been packed since 3 houses ago, but the time had come to go through every single one and get rid of as much as possible; 'cause, umm, you know, that whole Hoarders issue.  Needless to say, it took a couple of weeks to do it and it was the usual sort of unpack 3 books, lay down and read a bit, unpack 3 books...etc.  In spite of the occasional wail of grief as I did it, I was able to let go of enough books that I am able to have a nice sized collection on the walls without certain death occurring when the "big one" hits (the adventure of living on a fault line).  And yes, okay, a couple of moving boxes went into the basement storage.  You can't expect me to get rid of all of my obsolete anthropology text books! 

This experience really made me think hard about whether I wanted to go through this any more.  Yes, I love books, but there will never be a time when I have space for all of the books I acquire and I am basically creating work and grief for myself every time I buy a book.  "Go to the library instead", you say smugly.  Well, scroll up...see that little raven analogy?  Apply that to me and bookstores as well, because while I love libraries I often do not have the patience to wait for a book to become available.  I told you, I have issues. 

Hence, the Christmas Kindle request.  Frankly, I do not know how I've survived this long without this marvelous technology.  I won't go into all of its virtues here because it's easy enough to go online and read all sorts of articles, pro and con, about it and other types of e-readers, but suffice it to say a whole new world has opened up.  It satisfies me on multiple levels.  No longer will I have to torture myself about which books to keep or toss.  Run out of reading material?  Turn the wireless on and browse for a new book.  Slip it into your bag for those interminable waits at the field when your kid's practice is taking too long.  Want to look up a word you don't understand?  There's a built-in dictionary.  Too embarrassed to buy that pornographic erotic historically rich romance novel at the book store?  Download on the sly.  I can say that I am now doing more reading than ever, perhaps the fact that I am no longer shackled to owning and storing paper-printed books has freed me up psychologically somewhat to become, once again, the voracious reader I was in my younger days.  Maybe it's the ease of purchasing reading material.  Or maybe it's just the porn romance novels.  Whatever it is, I think that this is one technological advance that is just going to get more popular with time.  Now if only they could invent a waterproof version.

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

So, a very good friend of mine sent a link to me yesterday. Not so unusual, as I get a lot of funny links from my friends. There was just one thing that was different about this one, and that is THE FACT THAT IT IS ONE MORE SIGNAL OF THE COMING DESTRUCTION OF OUR CIVILIZATION AND ALL THAT IS GOOD AND WORTHY IN THIS HEARTBREAKING YET BEAUTIFUL THING WE CALL LIFE!

I'm not kidding, it really is. See for yourself: http://lazypatch.com

Soak it in. It is a duvet suit. You read right, a duvet SUIT. A suit made of a duvet. (By the way, I didn't ask why my friend had been looking at duvet suits, suffice it to say I have my suspicions). Now you may be saying, "Golly, Aunt Renee, a duvet suit doesn't seem like a portent of our ultimate doom", but you would be wrong, as usual. Do I have to explain everything? You know, it's really quite lucky for you that I'm around.

You just need to look at the website to see the insidious possibilities of this invention. Its message is all "ooh look at us, we're lounging around on our orange sort of couch thingy, and we're so cozy because it's almost like we're in bed because we're wearing a duvet!" Look at the flash pics on the side. All of those pictures are there to make us want to be surrounded by downy goodness all the time. Look at that cute blonde wearing her skimpy cami and a duvet, she looks great! Hey, there's a guy in a brown duvet pointing at a panty-liner or something in his pocket, maybe he just got back from running to the corner shop for his wife, what a nice guy. That other woman is going skiing in her duvet, she'll have fun and stay warm for sure. And there's a guy taking a cra...Woah! I guess you really can do anything in your Lazypatch duvet suit!

Now you may think this is no different than the Snuggie (tm), but I beg to differ. You can't really do anything in the Snuggie but sit on the sofa, the New York Fashion Week showing notwithstanding. With the Lazypatch you can move around if you have to (although you won't because why bother, really?). You don't even need to change into pajamas, just brush the crumbs off and climb in bed. After all, it has "..arms and legs designed long to cover hands and feet. Simply roll up when wanting to use limbs." That's some scary shit. It makes me want to order like ten of call my congressperson and demand a ban on the importation of these things. Why, the fashion industry could be devastated by this, not to mention the bedding and linen industry! What's going to happen to all of the design houses? The retail shops? The six-year old kids whose jobs are to sew the buttons on our $50 shirts that we buy because there is a really good sale? Holy Mother of God, there are no buttons on the Lazy Patch!! Who is going to explain this to the children? Lazypatch's video even shows how it will all start:

That's right, lady...you'll never get him out of that duvet suit once he's in it. No more dinners out for you.

Inevitably, even getting up off of the couch will become a burden necessitating an evolution of the Lazypatch into something even more self contained. Soon you will see ads proclaiming, "Behold! The Lazypatch stillsuit!"

And God help us then, because you all know what will happen. Not only will we be drinking our own urine, but hygiene goes out the window, the planet turns into a giant desert planet with big worms and evil boil-infested barons will enslave the population. And all because you want to be warm and cozy. And selfish. Thanks a lot.

Now do you understand? Geez.