Friday, August 29, 2008

Someone's not getting it

Another entry. Someone is just not quite getting the's s proposed solution to flooding from global warming...

I was watching inconvenient truth the other day and theres the bit where it shows the sea level rising really high and flooding most of the world. Well i live near the sea, and don’t want to drown, so i got to thinking. Maybe if we lower the sea level a bit, when the water level rises then it won’t rise high enough to flood.

Anyway, heres the plan. Everyone who can should take a bucket of sea water and pour it down the sink. If lots of people put the effort in, we could lower the sea level substantially and create a better world for our children to live

Um. Yeah. That's going to work. I first thought this was an attempt to be funny, but I'm not so sure anymore.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Olympic Gold!

Something I really didn't know -- the winner of the Women's Marathon is an Erie, CO resident! She ran for her home country of Romania, but she lives in Erie!

How cool!

We're alive!

We're back! Ok, I'm a bit late in starting back to the blog, but missing three days of work means it takes most of the week to catch up.

The drive wasn't actually too bad, since we avoided Iowa (with their low speed limit) and instead ran right up the side of S. Dakota and N. Dakota before driving through corn country in northern Minnesota. Pretty uneventful.

It was great to see everyone -- the nieces are great, it's fun to be able to talk to everyone, the food at the resort was terrific, and we pretty much did nothing but eat, nap, and talk. My kind of vacation!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Off we go!

We're packing up the rest of the car and heading off for vacation -- leaving our poor housesitter alone with the Weasels.

I hope that they are good. I wrote out two pages of notes for them (like any good helicopter parent would!) with things like "WARNING: don't leave anything you want to keep on the floor" and "Don't use the front door if the dogs are loose in the house - they'll bolt out over your prone body and take off"

Cross your fingers that you don't see any horrible notes about the puppies on his blog!

We'll be back this weekend. I expect a couple of days of reading, eating good food, and hanging out with the in-laws. I can't wait to see the munchkins. Assuming we survive the drive, of course. I have about 52 hours of stuff on the ipod and enough books to keep me busy for at least a day or so. We might make it.

Pop! Soda!

Do you drink soda, pop, coke, fizzy drink, cool drink, soft drink? As anyone knows, there is a definitely regional bias -- and someone at popvssoda has actually collated all that data.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sony Ebook vs Kindle

Instant Gratification Girl here - I was unable to resist the lure of the shiny new Sony eBooks at Borders (with a vacation coming up, having books is critical!). My new eBook i silver, though, not the shiny spiffy red that is being offered for pre-order and not available until September. If the puppies are psychic, they were a wee bit off.

The new eBook is thinner and lighter, and they've moved the buttons a bit (and made the page-turning buttons larger). Insteadof having the numbered buttons along the buttom of the screen, they are along the side, and a small page-forward and page-back button also were moved to the side. The "peg" is gone and there is a menu button now that is much easier to deal with. They obviously put a bit more thought into the ergnomis this time.

There is also a "go to page" function (woah, was that a huge miss in the first edition), and bookmarking is much easier. Can't actually search in books, but the listing features for titles and authors is much cleaner. And - PDFs now resize and reflow in a much more readable way. All in all, a very nice upgrade.

Even if it's not red.

My MIL asked why not a Kindle, from Amazon. My FIL has one, and is very pleased with it - and it's definitely a good option. The Kindle is a wireless device, so you can download content from Amazon whereever you are, and offers searching and annotation via the little teensy keyboard on the bottom, and the ability to suck down websites and such for later use. Live access to Wikipedia, too. (hm, I might miss that).

So why not a Kindle, with all that content available? A couple of reasons (first and foremost, having downloadable books available all the time is probably not a good idea for me, the book-hoarder) -- I like the more solid feel of the Sony. The Kindle is light, but most of the case is plastic. The eBook just feels better to me, especially the way that I ted to hold it while reading.

The Kindle also has large previous-page, next-page buttons along the sides; in fact, the next page button is most of the right side of the Kindle, and every time I picked up my FIL's, I turned the page. There was no way to hold id comfortably (for me) that didn't start flipping pages at random as I shifted my hands.

I also gravitated towards the Sony because of the variety of formats that I can read - pdf, rdf, doc, bbeb, epub -- and the easy of transferring things to the reader. Having the wireless download is a great idea, but being able to easily transfer my own documents to the Reader from my computer (no emailing - and no cost) was definitely a clincher. The amount of free content out there (Gutenberg, anyone?) is amazing. New books are cheaper on the Kindle vs the Sony eBook store or other electronic books stores, but the pricing structures seem to be evening out. A big plus here is that the Reader supports the open-source ePub format, which opens up enormous vistas of other ebook formats. Well, it's always possible to use a conversion program to make .lit, mobi, epub, docs, text, and html files into the "standard" format, of course, but having so mnay options is a plus.

I think if I read more 'subscription content' -- magazines or newspapers -- that the Kindle would be a better option. As it is, that's only a tiny portion of what I read - and since I spend 70% of my day in front of the computer, it's less of an issue.

But the Wikipedia access is pretty cool. I wonder does that work outside of the US?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The bookreader is dead. Fully charged, and it won't turn on. I think they chewed down hard enough on the power button that it's just not functional. Dead. Bricked. I am pissed.

However, a slightly frightening thought occurred to me as I sat at my desk today, fending off the attempts of the puppies to get back into my good graces.

The puppies may be psychic.

They just KNEW that I had earlier today seen this lovely vision in red, and decided that if they destroyed my existing book reader, I would have to upgrade to the Sangria Red new version. It does pdfs better and handles larger documents better than my bleeding-edge-adopter version.

How did they know?

Want a free puppy?

I'll ship them in a small box. Very small. Perhaps without air holes.

They CHEWED UP MY BOOKREADER this morning while we went out. Ate the leather cover and CHEWED THE READER. I am fit to be tied.

It was on my desk, and while within reach, they had to work to get it off of my desk to chew it. BAD BAD BAD PUPPIES! BAD!

I'm still charging it up to see if it works at all.

The puppies, after being yelled at and chased from the house with the chewed up bookreader, are now skulking around and hiding in the living room.

They had been so good lately. No destruction.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

More redecorating news

The living room/dining room redo continues apace: we agreed on drapes (crimsom taffeta), drapery rods (doorknob finials), and are expecting the new furniture in the next week or so! While we will apparently negotiate for months on what do to, once we decide, we can run with it!

The only hiccup in the plan is that I bought a clock that I absolutely love, to hang above the fireplace, and the Adorable husband loathes it. Right now, with my fabulous love of the clock and his hatred of the clock, we are at about even. While I've told him that if he really hates it that much, that I'd return it, but so far, it's still on the mantel, awaiting hanging.

You can vote - click for a larger image. It's a huge clock (28").

Anyways, we found the drapes we love at BedBath and Beyond, so they aren't hundreds of dollars apiece, and they look fabulous. I can't wait for the furniture to show up.

Of course, not all is perfect: I can't get the drapery rods for the big windows until the middle of October some time (backordered), and we haven't found an ottoman yet that we both like, but it is all coming together.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Traveller IQ Test

Fabulous! I tried linking this in directly, but it barfs, so —

Here's the link!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Don't Think About It

Hopefully, everyone will find this as funny as I did. I just barked out with laughter, scaring the puppies.

More weirdness at xkcd, too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


My website on the Egyptian pharaohs has at least one page listed in the Encylopaedia Britannica website as an "outside link" -- my page on Pepi I! How cool is that! The website wants you to join/try a free trial, but you can see the link on the page if you squint a little bit.

At least I know that someone else has looked at the pages, not just me!

A couple of years ago, the UK site for History Channel listed the general website as a resource for their Lesson plans for a show on Egypt. Who'd have thought all that "scope creep" was useful?

McCain and Paris

Perhaps, if you are going to criticize your Democratic opponent as being a know-nothing, self-important,. useless rock-star celebrity like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, you ought to make sure that the celebrities in question aren't, you know....Republicans. The kind that, you.

The Hilton family are McCain campaign donors, and have been staunch Republican supporters -- rumor has it they are furious with the ad. Spears is also a Republican supporter. Although her planned performance at the Republican convention was nixed, she's a strong supporter of those Southern, conservative values.

And the response? Well, most people are shaking their heads in disbelief that the ad was so cack-handed. But, Paris has apparently taken matters into her own hands.

You can see the video here, as well. I'm not a fan of either Paris or Britney, but I have to admit that her response is sharp and pretty damn funny.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Odd Convenience

A friend send me an email with the following photo:

Yup. SQUARE watermelons. The explanation is that these melons, grown in Japan, are a response to the tight spaces in Japanese refrigerators. A square melon -- grown in a hinged glass box while on the vine -- is easier to store, ship, and stack. Neat idea.

Well, neat until you realize they retail for about eighty bucks. (Back in 2001, according to this article at CNN).

"But cubic fruit comes with a caveat: Each square watermelon costs 10,000 yen, the equivalent of about $82. Regular watermelons in Japan cost from $15 to $25 each.

At $82 apiece, Winters said she didn't know if there would be a market for square-grown watermelons in the United States.

"I think that's a pretty expensive watermelon," she said. "Maybe they give them as gifts. Maybe it says something for the gift-fruit market, perhaps."

Gift watermelons? Well, probably not.

I found a website that explains how do to it yourself! How cool!

And you wonder why...

...people believe this shit.

From Church Signs that Won't Make you got to Church

Monday, August 04, 2008


The painting has begun! The two-person crew showed up today, moved all the furniture, taped and caulked and the first coat is up in the living room, dining room, and entryway.

It's a huge change -- from plum in the living room and beige on the stairwell to a lovely, rich bronze color. Since Sherwin Williams actually gives me the RBG color codes for the paint, I can try to replicate it here:

It's "Relic Bronze". It's a great color, and will look fabulous with merlot-colored curtains. Assuming I can convince the Adorable Husband about the

Can't wait for the new furniture!