Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Popstrology and Randomness


I'm a Double Elvis, and my birth song is "All Shook Up." (HUH.)

Warning - the charts only work for 1956 through 1989. My more geezerly readers (who I freely admit are not that much older than me) are out of luck.

In totally unrelated news:

How random are you?

this quiz was made by alanna

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Okay, politcal blogs bore me, so I will spare you the monumental rant after all. Suffice it to say that Ronald Reagan is not worthy to lick dung from the boots of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and his own son, who I greatly admire, as much as admitted it. When you consider that the top ten included Oprah and Elvis, though, it is obvious that people no longer understand the difference between greatness and popularity.

To steal an idea from Aser, I am feeling Orange - moderately peeved. I recognize that this was a silly TV show of no consequence, so that keeps me from being Red. It does not, however, stop me from blurting out, "You dumbasses."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Bumper sticker du jour

I always appreciate Christians who demonstrate a sense of humor. We got behind this camper this afternoon, and Terry tailgated them until I could get a good shot with the mighty Zire 72.

Can you see it?
He certainly does. And the people said, Amen.

Mystery plant du jour

Here is the latest mystery plant from Terry's daily walk. He thinks it is possibly a fungus, because it appears to be growing on a dead bush. Dennis, Sand, anyone - can you identify it?

Meanwhile, on the home front, progress is continuing on the Soldier Sock. I only knit on it at KnitWits, but it is coming along nicely. The cuff is about 4 inches long now.

Friday, June 24, 2005

My Fellow Americans

Thanks to Justin for alerting us to the Discovery Channel's poll to uncover the Greatest American. There is still time to vote before Sunday's big reveal.

Want to fear for the state of our union? Check out the 100 nominees. Dr. Phil? Tiger Woods? Mel Gibson? Tom frickin' Cruise? Words fail me.

I'm pulling for Ben Franklin. If Ronald Reagan wins, prepare for a monumental rant.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's Showtime

I am sorely disappointed that my choice for number 1 was not even in the top ten. I think I had three or four of the top ten, though, and everything I mentioned was on the list (except it was "May the Force be with you," which I should have known Duh.)

So there. I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum, which is what I am. I applaud the inclusion of a Groucho Marx line, but any list which does not include "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings," is suspect.

She's baa-aack

I didn't hear back from Blogger, except for the automated message which was no good to me. This morning, the blog is back, so all is well again - or will be as soon as I rebuild all of the links. *sigh* That won't be until tonight, at the earliest. They are almost all bookmarked - it's just a time-consuming pain, and there are things I would rather do with my evening. I told you guys I didn't want a blog. Who needs more stress in their life from a frackin' computer? Like I don't get enough anyway at work?

Back to my evening - AFI's 100 Movies...100 Movie Quotes. My friend Hope will call me and we will watch together over long distance, as we have every AFI 100 Movies special. I'll predict right now that number one will be, "There's no place like home." Others likely to be highly placed:

  • Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
  • Here's looking at you, kid.
  • I made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
  • You talkin' to me?
  • Use the Force, Luke.
  • I'll be back.
  • (It pains me, because I loathe the movie, but) Show me the money.
  • Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?

I look through this list and realize that, except for Dorothy's paean to Kansas, they were all spoken by men. I'm sure there is a feminist diatribe in there somewhere. I selected these, though, because even if you have never seen the movie, you probably have heard the line. I believe this, because I have not seen three of the nine movies in question. Can you guess which ones?

If movies aren't your bag, you can always catch the premiere of Real World-Austin. Go ahead. I dare you.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Where did everything go?

Something has gone wrong. I've pinged Blogger for help. If it happens to come back to life while I am not where I can work on it, that is why all of the links are gone. (I tried changing the template, and even though I copied the old one, I somehow did not get the links section copied. D'oh!) It's nothing personal. I still love y'all.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Me? A Gardener?


Kris asked in the comments a couple of posts back if I am a gardener.

Not hardly. I am a terrible gardener, and I don't enjoy any of the work that goes into gardening.

As a result, I only grow things that grow without my help. The day lilies in the picture were given to us by a friend who was thinning hers out. We have had them long enough now that ours need thinning, too.

My mother gave me some irises, which I have needed to dig up and redistribute for two years now. Never mind - the deer ate them this year.

My aunt gave me some of her phlox, which she got from my grandmother, so they go back 50 years or so. They won't flower until later this summer, and they smell wonderful. Terry accidentally splashed a little weed killer on them this year, but I think they will be okay.

We bought a couple of rose bushes a few years ago. The pink one is hearty, but it fell over a couple of weeks ago during a storm. It's still blooming, though. The cream one is more restrained. Just yesterday, Terry got too close with the trimmer and denuded its lower half.

We have a few tulips on the side of the house we never see.

Once again, I forgot to get any tomato plants, and I will bitch about the lousy restaurant tomatoes all summer because of it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Thanks to Aser for her ID of the second photo as elderberry. We did some investigation (Google Images is fabulous), and Terry agrees that this is what he saw. Elderberry flowers can be dipped into batter and cooked into fritters. Wonder if they will have those at Cracker Barrel this morning?

Friday, June 17, 2005


We are having beautiful, clear, temperate weather. Don't expect to hear much from me this weekend. Here are two photos to tide you over. If you know what the second one is, please leave a comment.

Day lilies at the house Posted by Hello

Something Terry found on his walk. Posted by Hello

It warmed up enough that the stupid Weather Pixie (see sidebar) changed her dress. I'm getting mighty tired of the yellow sundress, day after day after day.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Eye Queue

Your IQ Is 140

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius

You want to know why I'm a genius? Because I cheated. I went back and changed the answers on the general knowledge portion until I advanced from Average to Exceptional to Genius. The other three are legit, although one of the math answers was just a lucky guess.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Mundane

We bought a new vacuum cleaner this weekend. I know, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but I've been living on my own since the Ford administration, and this is the first new vacuum cleaner I have owned. My parents gave me their old ElectroLux when I was in college. I think it is older than I am. (Still runs, too.) Then they bought a newer ElectroLux for me from some friends who were moving.

Terry had two uprights, a cheap one and a really cheap one, when we got married. They are both gone. And last week, I noticed that the second ElectroLux was just pushing dirt around and not really sucking it up. It may be fix-able, but I wanted to vacuum now and not two weeks from now. So we went to Target, ogled the Dysons, then let sanity and a realistic bank balance prevail with the humble Bissell.

Glorioski! New vacuum cleaners pick up stuff the first time you roll over it! Whole big wads of stuff. I should bought a new one years ago. I honestly can't wait until I can vacuum again.

And that, my friends, is sick.

Soldier Socks deployed

I *cast on the first Soldier Sock at *Knitwits last night. I *swatched it Sunday night, and then went to the magnificently useful Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns to determine how many stitches I needed. The yarn is a little heavier than sock weight, so I went with 7 *spi, and cast on 68 stitches.

Here is the sock after the first few rounds were knitted. I know, if you aren't a knitter, it doesn't look like a sock yet. Trust me, though - it is. This is the top of the cuff. The needles are US size 2 - slightly larger in diameter than your standard toothpick.

Day one progress Posted by Hello
Cast on - put the foundation row of secured loops on the needles
Knitwits - our informal stitch-n-bitch group
Swatched - knitted a small sample to see how many stitches I get per inch. Crucial to knowing how big something will be after it is knitted.
spi - stitches per inch

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Saturday of Sheep

It's not true that I spend all my time at home taking pictures of the cat. Yesterday, for example, fellow Knitwit Margie and I went to the Iowa Summer Sheep and Wool Festival. I suspect it was not as exciting as other such events, such as the much-discussed Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The Iowa event had a couple of selling points, though. It was only half an hour away, and admission was a measly five bucks.

We arrived just in time for the lamb cookoff - which was cancelled. No problem, because we were more interested in the fiber. There were classes and demonstrations going on when we arrived - drum carding, spinning, and some kind of weaving. The bags of shorn wool had been judged and were on display. You could plunge a hand in, and pull it out shiny with lanolin.

Over in the vendor building, I was this close to escaping without buying anything, when I saw a ball of hand-dyed, self-striping sock yarn in red white, and green. When knitted up, it creates a watermelon design. I had to have it, and a couple of skeins of the new Knitpicks sock yarn. To assuage any shopping guilt I might have, I let the owner throw in a skein of handspun to use to knit socks for a soldier. Her son is in Iraq, and her goal is to knit a pair of socks for everyone in his unit for Christmas - 250 pairs. I swatched the yarn last night. Now I just need to figure out how many stitches I need to cast on for a man's foot. And then I have to commit to knitting them.

Another siily cat picture

Remember, I never promised any actual content when I started this blog.

Terry just upgraded his computer to Fedora 2, and it has picked up a couple of glitches. He has been reading up on it to try to solve the problem. Katie decided to help. Her theme song is "The Nearness Of You." She has favorite spots in every room of the house, so no matter where we are, she can be nearby. Just recently, she has discovered the sofa.

Katie helps Terry study. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005


It's been a long week at the office. I envy Katie's life sometimes.

All stretched out. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More books and stuff

The death yesterday of the fabulous Anne Bancroft reminded me of another book I have read and enjoyed many times - 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Anne played Helene in the movie version, which was fine, but (say it with me) not as good as the book.

For no reason whatsoever, that reminds me of another multi-read book, Up The Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman.

And that leads me to Christy by Catherine Marshall.

These aren't necessarily the first books I think of as my important books, but every now and then I see or hear something, and I am reminded of something in one of these books. I carry parts of them with me all them time.

Meanwhile, at home--

Katie's soft underbelly Posted by Hello
Katie proves once and for all that she is not a purebred. Our previous (and my first) cat, Zeb, was orange, so I like it that Katie has some orange spots. Here, she is sleeping on Terry's chair in the computer room. When he is here and I am gone, she sits on my chair.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Today we made our annual pilgrimage to the Greek Food Fair at The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George. This church is located just a few blocks from where I lived before I got married, and I've attended the food fair for many years. We also have a warm spot for this church because the building once housed our Presbyterian congregation, plus it's lovely and the people are friendly.

In the past, they have always served a plate lunch of souvlaki, meatballs and rice, green beans, and Greek salad. They also did that this year, but added an a la carte menu, and T and I both opted to graze. I had chicken souvlaki (shish kabob). He had a gyro and loukaniko (Greek sausage). We both had my favorite, spanakopita (spinach and cheese layered with phyllo dough), and shared some kourambiethes (butter cookies). Then we ended with Greek Coffee ice cream from Bauder's Pharmacy topped with crumbled, and fresh, baklava.

The food fair opened last night. Luckily for us, we opted not to go then, and missed having to sit outside under awnings during electrical storms and driving rain. Instead, we went to Barnes and Noble because if you going to get locked down because of a tornado warning, you may as well be where they have plenty of coffee and plenty of books. Imagine my dismay when the cafe manager told us that their evacuation shelter was the bathroom.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

High Five!

Today, I took an Enneagram test. It says I'm a Five - Observer. This is so me:

Observers have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

* Be independent, not clingy.
* Speak in a straightforward and brief manner.
* I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts.
* Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable.
* Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity.
* If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place.
* don't come on like a bulldozer.
* Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.

What I Like About Being a Five

* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Five

* being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world
* feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all
* being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be
* watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Fives as Children Often

* spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
* have a few special friends rather than many
* are very bright and curious and do well in school
* have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
* watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
* assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
* are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
* feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Fives as Parents

* are often kind, perceptive, and devoted
* are sometimes authoritarian and demanding
* may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate
* may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Thursday, June 02, 2005

More about books

In her book report, Kathy said:

I read many books more than once and parts of many books even more than that. I’m not really a picky reader so if I don’t have something new to read and must read something I’ll pick up an old favorite. What I’m saying is that just because I’ve read something multiple times doesn’t necessary indicate that it “means a lot” to me.

I agree. I've read The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving multiple times, but would not call it hugely meaningful, just entertaining. Likewise Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi) and The Book of Lists (David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace).

On the other hand, some that I've read only once still resonate with me:
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
McTeague by Frank Norris
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Ah. That's better. I realized I had forgotten Dickens almost as soon as I posted the last entry.