Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Thursday, March 31, 2005

It might be Kinky, guv'nor

:: Kinky Friedman Official Site ::

Governor 2006

I've only read one of his books and I wasn't terribly impressed with it. But I'm also not terribly impressed with the people who are running the state of Texas. Maybe it's time Texans voted a real person into authority instead of a professional politician. Serious or not, Kinky Friedman can't possibly make a bigger mess than we've got already.

I'd sign the petition to get him on the ballot and I'd vote for him. Absolute worst case scenario, a vote for him would qualify as a 'none of the above' vote.

Who be gone

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Eccleston quits Doctor Who role

Monday, March 28, 2005

Instructions for my scraf

This is the set of instuctions for the scarf I'm making . . .

Cast on 70.

Knit 5 rows.

On the 6th row, knit 1, * wrap yarn 3 times around needle, knit 1. * Repeat to end. The yarn is wrapped around the right hand needle.

On the 7th row, knit 1, * drop wrapped yarn, knit 1. * Repeat to end. Pull to tighten stitches as you go along.

Knit 4 rows.

Repeat pattern starting with the 6th row until the scarf is as long as you'd like.

To finish, end with knit 4 rows. Use the next row to bind off.

Add a fringe.

. . . Obviously I haven't gotten all the way to the end so my scarf doesn't have a fringe yet, but it will.

Knitting a scarf

I know I've been going on and on about knitting socks, but I've decided to get back into the knitting swing of things by making a very simple scarf. I think I'm going to give this to my XMIL (former mother-in-law) as a Christmas gift since she and the XFIL (former father-in-law) are living with the Daughter Who Isn't Mine.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Hey, Best Friend, DON'T LOOK!

Not that I expect her to listen to me. It's my own fault for making Christmas gifts this early in the year, but I finished another Christmas ornament and this one is for her.

And confusion shall reign

Ha, I've managed to confuse someone with my familial connections. How can I have a granddaughter if the Prodigal Son is an only child and childless himself? Well, you see . . .

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away there lived an Ogre, to whom I was married, who had a Daughter Who Isn't Mine who is half-sister to my only child, the Prodigal Son. Well, one day I left the Ogre, but the Daughter Who Isn't Mine decided she wanted to keep being the Daughter who just happened not to be mine. So this Daughter Who Isn't Mine grew up to have a daughter of her own. Well, can you imagine how tiring it is to say the Daughter of the Daughter Who Isn't Mine every time you want to talk about the Daughter of the Daughter Who Isn't Mine? Being of a practical and lazy bent, I shortened her name to Granddaughter.

So, you see, my family consists of me, the Daughter Who Isn't Mine, the Prodigal Son, and the Granddaughter.

And that is how an only child can be a brother and an uncle, and how I can be a grandmother.

Water Lilies Water Lilies

Friday, March 25, 2005

Finished another one

I just finished another Christmas ornament. I ran out of DMC 644 while I was stitching it so it took me longer to finish than it should have.

Which way did he Gogh?

The grandfather who moved to Yugoslavia . . . U. Gogh.

The brother who accidentally bleached all his clothes white . . . Hue Gogh.

The really obnoxious brother who wouldn't leave . . . Please Gogh.

The brother who ate prunes . . . Gotta Gogh.

The uncle who worked at a convenience store . . . Stop N Gogh.

His dizzy aunt . . . Verti Gogh.

His domineering aunt . . . Vira Gogh.

The cousin who moved to Illinois . . . Chica Gogh.

His magician uncle . . . Wherediddy Gogh.

The cousin who lived in Mexico . . . Amee Gogh.

And his Filipino cousin . . . Grin Gogh.

The nephew who drove a stage coach . . . Wells Far Gogh.

The uncle who was constipated . . . Cant Gogh.

The aunt who loved ballroom dancing . . . Tan Gogh.

The uncle who was an ornithologist . . . Flamin Gogh.

His nephew, the Freudian psychoanalyst . . . E. Gogh.

The cousin who loved tropical fruits . . . Man Gogh.

The aunt who taught about the power of positive thinking . . . Whey Too Gogh.

His bouncy young nephew . . . Poe Gogh.

His disco loving sister . . . Go Gogh.

The neice who travels the U.S. in a van . . . Winnie Bay Gogh.

You are Neopolitan Icecream!

Your Icecream Flavour is...Neopolitan!
You aren't satisfied with just one flavor. They say variety is the spice of life and this shines through in your Ice cream of choice! Just don't eat all the chocolate and leave the strawberry and vanilla behind!
What is your Icecream Flavour?

Find out at Go Quiz

Neopolitan is good, but ICE CREAM is two words.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | T rex fossil has 'soft tissues'

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Epilogue Artist - Katy Rewston : Moonlit Meeting

Scientific American: Astronomers See Light from Extrasolar Planets

79(R) HCR 71 - The Shrubbery Bill

79R5137 MMS-D

By: Bonnen

H.C.R. No. 71


WHEREAS, The State of Texas has customarily recognized a variety of official symbols as tangible representations of the state's culture and natural history; and

WHEREAS, Like the bluebonnet and the pecan tree, Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) is indigenous to the Lone Star State and a treasured part of the Texas landscape; also known as cenizo, Texas silverleaf, barometer bush, and Texas ranger, the plant grows naturally on the Edwards Plateau and the South Texas Plains; and

WHEREAS, This hardy evergreen was first described by Jean Louis Berlandier, a botanist who collected specimens of Texas flora in the late 1820s and early 1830s; bearing silvery gray to green foliage, the shrub bursts into color year-round soon after a rain, with blossoms varying from purple to lavender, pink, blue, and white; and

WHEREAS, Native Americans brewed a pleasant herbal tea from Texas purple sage and used it to treat chills and fever; the shrub also provides forage for cattle, protection for birds, and a nesting place for songbirds, including the state bird of Texas, the mockingbird; in addition, the plant serves a multitude of design
functions, working well as an ornamental shrub or as a hedge, screen, windbreak, or foundation planting; and

WHEREAS, Texas purple sage has been described as a plant that "can face droughts, freezes, high winds, salt spray, hungry deer, and blazing heat and keep right on performing beautifully," and such fortitude is a quality highly admired in the Lone Star State; and

Purple sage shrub WHEREAS, In view of this plant's important role in the ecology of Texas and its usefulness to the people of this land from ancient to modern times, it is altogether fitting that the Texas purple sage be appropriately recognized; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) as the official State Native Shrub of Texas.

Things must really be going well in the state of Texas if nothing better needs to be addressed by state lawmakers than making the purple sage the official state shrub. I'm so glad to be living is such times.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Quiz: Know your roadsigns?

I scored six out of ten, but I'm not a UK driver so I think I did rather well. A couple of the signs were very easy to guess the meaning of and a couple were completely incomprehensible.

It was kinda fun. I dare you to take the test, Best Friend!


From of the Day:

lumpen \LUHM-puhn; LUM-puhn\, adjective:
1. Of or relating to dispossessed and displaced individuals, especially those who have lost social status.
2. Common; vulgar.

noun; plural lumpen, also lumpens:
A member the underclass, especially the lowest social stratum.

Lumpen is from German Lumpenproletariat, "degraded stratum of the proletariat," from Lump, "a contemptible person" (from Lumpen, "rags") + Proletariat, "proletariat," from French.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Epilogue Artist - Michael Waters

His leaf dragons are wonderful. Here's a sample of one - Black Twinberry Leaf Dragon.

I'm rather fond of this avian - kestrel fanned tail hawk.

In general, I'm not really fond of his angels, but I did like this one - Archangel Uriel.

Epilogue Artist - michael Carnahan : Monday Morning

I can relate to this feeling.

Vernal Equinox, and other stuff

'Tis the first day of Spring, the Vernal Equinox. I don't know what it's like outside since I've been in my office since before seven this morning and my little cubby has no windows, so I can only hope that today is as glorious as Saturday and Sunday were. It's actually a good thing there are no windows because if today is as glorious as this weekend was, I would be hard pressed to be even remotely productive today.

In other news, (smirk) I've finished another Christmas ornament. This one I made for my step-daughter. I've only made one other for her, years and years ago, of an angel. I don't know if she still has that one. I hope she likes this one.

La Femme Nikita, The Complete Second SeasonLa Femme Nikita: The Complete First SeasonThe cable (TV and internet connection) went out Saturday night during a thunderstorm. It was still out yesterday morning when I got up. I called the cable people and a repairman eventually showed up and fixed the problem. While it was out, I watched the first two discs of La Femme Nikita: The Complete Second Season. It was fun to watch. I don't know what it is about this show that I like so much, but I couldn't get enough of it while it was on the telly and I'm still grooving to it now on DVD. Of course, I have both the first AND second season DVDs.

I watched Dragons on Animal Planet last night. It was very well done and quite 'scientific' in its speculation about how dragons would have been built, how they could fly, how they could breathe fire and so on. I enjoyed it tremendously and I highly recommend it. If you missed it, it's going to be on again next Saturday.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Couch potato day

I've spent the whole day sitting on the sofa, cross stitching and watching movies. It was glorious.

King ArthurI just finished watching King Arthur. I still think the film would have done much better had it been called Artorius Rex instead of King Arthur. I must admit that I liked it even better on this my third viewing than I did on my previous two.In Ameriac

In America was a lovely little film. One of those good things happen to good people kind of films.

Beyond BordersI'm not sure what I was expecting from Beyond Borders, but political commentary disguised as a romance film was not it. I didn't particularly care for it, not because of its political message but because the romance part that I was supposed to buy into just didn't work for me. This was basically one of those movie of the week films starring Jane Seymour you see on the Lifetime network.

After having watched two Clive Owen movies in one day, I can now say that he doesn't do a thing for me. I still think he's kind of wooden, that he holds back something from his performances. Ioan Gruffudd, on the other hand, seems to be comfortable inhabiting the skin of the character he plays.

Hippo birdie two ewe!

I can't believe I let yesterday drift by without wishing the Best Friend's hubby, "Happy Birthday!" I was thinking about it all day Thursday and then just completely spaced yesterday. I blame it on the wonderful weather and being so relaxed and content.

Any which way, HIPPO BIRDIE TWO EWE!

Epilogue Artists - Sam Hogg : If Heaven was

Friday, March 18, 2005

Lunch with a friend

I had lunch with the Other Friend today in a lovely little bistro called The Local. I had a pastrami sandwich and some iced mocha. We talked about Lost and cross stitching and our cats. She has four as well, but hers are all girls.

Lunch with the Other Friend was a nice break in what was a really lovely day today. Sunshine, soft breeze, cool. Opened the windows at home and gave the house a good airing. Finished another ornament. Watched Shark Tales.

Just an absolutely perfect day. It was so good, I wish I could bottle it and share it with people.

On government

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, March 17, 2005 - Sci-fi and fantasy author Norton dies - Mar 17, 2005

A legend has passed into myth.

I read about the red sox


Knit Socks!I read the instructions for making the first pair of socks in the book and I wound up confusing myself no end. I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to go from 24 stitches on the needle to 12 stitches without ever doing a decrease. After some foul words and a hefty swig of tea, it finally dawned on me that 12 was the number of stitches I was supposed to purl before turning. After that bit was cleared up, the rest of the pattern seemed simple enough.

I think once I finish with the Christmas ornaments I'm going to pick up a skein of cheap yarn to practice making a - as in one - sock with just to see if I can put into practice what I think I know to do.

It's Karen's birthday!

Karen, from Tati's Weblog, is celebrating her birthday today so let's embarrass her by singing the birthday song at the top of our lungs!

Here we go . . .

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, kind Karen!
Happy birthday to you!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Female chromosome has X factor

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Lab fireball 'may be black hole'

OK, I give up. Why are we trying to create a black hole in a lab in New York?


Shrimp cocktail, anyone . . . ?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why is everyone fascinated . . .

. . . with what happened in 1955? Other than the porno 'bots trawling for email addresses, most of my hits come from people who've done a search on "what happened in 1955" and wind up here. Strange.

Future knitting craftiness

Knit Socks!The two knitting books I ordered are finally here. I don't know what possessed me but I've decided to try my hand at knitting socks. Just from a quick glance through the book - and that without my reading glasses on - knitting socks may be a painful experience. Oh, but what wonderfully colorful gifts they would make.

Scarf Style And the scarves! I've already found one I'd like to make for myself. And since I now have family living in colder parts, knitting everyone scarves will make wonderful prezzies as well.

I'm just such a happy camper. Now all I have to do is find someplace decent to order yarn from so I can knit all these socks and scarves. The local Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby just aren't going to cut it for yarn supply.

Epilogue Artist - Piotr Cieslinski : Loki's Payback

Monday, March 14, 2005

Peace on earth

Cross stitched dragon Christmas ornament

This ornament is for my nephew J. The pattern was included in the 2002 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issue. It was designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams, Inc. I stitched the lettering in DMC 498 instead of white as the pattern called for since white lettering on a white background would have been invisible.

You might have noticed . . .

. . . a new option on my menu - A Stitch in Time. This is a new blog I've created - and as such is still very much a work in progress - where I intend to post information and pictures about my crafty endeavors. A Stitch in Time will eventually replace The Sewing Room at Glynn Garthold just as the Library here replaced the Library there.

Epilogue Artist - Sarah Taylor : Dragon Wheel

I guess it's becoming obvious that I'm fond of dragons, huh?

AIM Terms of Service

"Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses."

Do you really want AOL to own and use anything you transmit using AIM? AOL counters that this only applies to public forums, but where, specifically, in their AIM Terms of Service does it state this?


from of the Day:

nimiety \nih-MY-uh-tee\, noun:
The state of being too much; excess.

Nimiety is from Late Latin nimietas, from Latin nimius, "very much, too much," from nimis, "excessively."


Gearing up for baseball season . . .

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Epilogue Artist - Dominik Broniek : Angel

BBC NEWS | Health | Key to severe skin disease found

The Fool in Finnish

If you've ever wondered what the character names in Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship Trader, and Tawny Man books are in Finnish, just take a peek at this site.


I'm not sure what I can possibly say about this site that would adequately convey my contempt for the people who thought it up. I'm not sure I can say anything civil given how angry I am.

But I do have one question. Where is the line of men's swimwear?

The top of the world

Ever wonder what the view from Everest would be like?

Take a gander.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Choo choo

I've added a fourth completed ornament to my Christmas gift stash. I think this one will go to the Prodigal Son's Best C Friend while the Lollipop will go elsewhere. The Best Friend expressed an interest in receiving it, but I don't know yet. I may find something more Best Friend-like before this stitching frenzy wears itself out.

Cross stitched train Christmas ornament

The pattern was numbered 103 in 2001 Cross-Stitch Christmas Designs by Kooler Design Studio.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wil Wheaton on CSI

I admit to being a geek and to reading WWdN and to only watching tonight's episode of CSI because Wil Wheaton was in it.

Wow. If I hadn't known beforehand that was Wil (if I may be so bold as to call him that since we've never met), I would not have recognized him. I don't even think I would have been left with that nagging feeling I should know him from somewhere. Again I say, "Wow." In the few minutes he was on screen as the character Walter, Wil Wheaton showed more acting chops than a couple of big names I can think of. Hollywood is certainly squandering a talent by letting him drift by the wayside.

Lollipop, lollipop

I finished another ornament. I really don't know who's going to get this one. I just liked the way it looked so I was compelled to stitch it. If I can't decide on whom to give it to, I may just keep it for myself. On the other hand, the Prodigal Son's Best Friend C was oohing and aahing over it so it might wind up being his.

Cross stitch lollipop Christmas ornament

Update March 12, 2005: The pattern was numbered 93 in 2001 Cross-Stitch Christmas Designs by Kooler Design Studio.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Iberian lynx in 'gravest danger'

No comment.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Art Galleries - Michelle McIntyre -

Her dragons are wonderful. Her unicorns aren't bad either. Not too keen on the other stuff but not because they aren't good, just not my cup of tea.

My favorites are:

Dragon & the Raccoon

Bird Dragon

Dragon Flight

Dragon Rider

Black Dragon - Ky'oshka

Black Unicorn

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Man found dead after '10 years'

How does one not know someone is dead? I would think the not moving, not eating, not drinking, never having to go to the bathroom would give it away.

What planet am I from?

You Are From Mercury

You are talkative, clever, and knowledgeable - and it shows.
You probably never leave home without your cell phone!
You're witty, expressive, and aware of everything going on around you.
You love learning, playing, and taking in all of what life has to offer.
Be careful not to talk your friends' ears off, and temper your need to know everything.

Um, I'm still not sure what planet I'm from, but I'm pretty sure it's not the talkative one who never leaves the house without its cell phone so it can talk its friends' ears off because it wants to know everything.

Sci Fi Wire -- Reeves To Play Sinbad

China? Why is Sinbad looking for Aladdin's lamp in China?

BBC NEWS | Health | Smoking damages foetal cell DNA

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Experts weigh super-volcano risks - Surfers on giant board break record - Mar 6, 2005

Whoa, dude! Gnarly!

(OK, so I'm not up on my surfer speak. It's been a significant number of years since I lived in California where surfer speak was actually spoken.)

FoxTrot by Bill Amend

Ooh, I could have used one of these back in the day.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Another one bites the dust

I finished the Christmas ornament for my Favorite Aunt. Yes, I know it's a cactus, but every year my mother sends her some kind of Texas kitsch - you know, armadillos and cow patties, that sort of thing - so when I saw this cactus I just had to make it for her to add to her kitsch collection.

Cross stitched cactus Christmas ornament

Updated March 12, 2005: The pattern was numbered 92 in 201 Cross-Stitch Christmas Designs by Kooler Design Studio.

The pornographers are back

I just did a quick little check to see who's been visiting me and I discovered that some of the pornographers who crawled my site last month are back again. I had three days of really heavy hits last month. Two of them were from the people and their various subdomains - at over 3500 hits each day - and one was from the pornographers - with only about 600 hits. Last month the pornographers seemed to think I would be interested in bestiality. This month it seems like it's just the run of the mill smut peddlers trawling for email addresses.

Being a good girl

I've gone back to drinking water in the afternoons instead of coffee. I finally went grocery shopping over the weekend and I picked up 24 bottles of Ozarka Natural Spring Water to store in my office. I also picked up Pop Tarts for breakfast and Cup-A-Soup noodle soup for lunch. I should be set for a couple of weeks. I've noticed I've cut back on snacking since I've been eating breakfast and lunch again, and I don't gorge out on dinner either.

BBC NEWS | Health | Stem cell therapy safety boosted


Sometimes, the old ways are the best . . .

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Rosetta comet probe pictures home

Ohio law would require auction license for eBay sellers - Mar. 7, 2005

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | King Tut 'died from broken leg'

Monday, March 07, 2005

The interview game

There is an interview game making the rounds of several of the blogs I read. I've agreed to play and Karen, from Tati's Weblog, has posed me these questions which I will answer as time permits. If anyone of the three or four people who pop in here would like to play, just leave me a comment and I'll come up with questions for you.

1) Tell us a little about the pros and cons of living in Texas. If you could live in another state in the U.S., which would it be and why?

Answered 3/7/2005 at 6:23 a.m.

The Texas maps and information page just about says all there is about Texas, pros and cons. I found it by Googling on "topography of texas" because I wanted to talk about the diversity as being a plus. If you want to know about Texas, start there.

Just about everything you could ever want to know about the state I'd like to live in can be found at the Washington maps and information page. I'd like to live there because I'd like to visit Canada, because I love the mountains, and because my favorite aunt and her offspring and their families live there. It's been years since I've seen my aunt and I haven't seen my cousins since 1976. I've never met any of their spouses / significant others or children except for Cousin D's daughter A who came down years ago with my aunt to visit my folks. From everything my mother has said and from what the Prodigal Son has said, both of whom have had the opportunity to visit my aunt, Washington sounds like the kind of place I'd like.

2) You seem to get a "bee in your bonnet" quite often over this or that issue. Have you ever had a rebellious phase in your life, and if so, what is the most rebellious thing you have ever done and how old were you at the time?

Answered 3/3/2005 at 12:49 p.m.

Rebellious? Me? Good heavens! What would the neighbors think!?!

Actually, the most rebellious thing I'm guilty of is keeping this blog and occasionally pointing out the devolution of man as a thinking, rational being. There is nothing more frightening in the world than one man who believes he is absolutely and unquestionably right, and that everyone else must follow his will. On second thought, perhaps the most frightening thing is the people who willingly give up themselves - subjugate their identities, divest themselves of thinking for themselves - to follow that one right man.

I question everything. I want to know why. I have always been this way. I've just become a bit more vocal about it the older I've become.

3) What does your favorite coffee mug look like? Is it at home or do you keep it at the office? What makes it your favorite, and where did you get it from?

Answered 3/2/2005 at 5:43 p.m.

I have two favorite mugs, one for home and one for work. Both are big and can hold the contents of a soft drink can.

The one at home is a stoneware mug with a bird in a tree motif. The mug is a sort of tan, beige, natural type color with a dark trim around the rim and on the top of the handle. I got it about 30 years ago at the old Edinburg Hardware Store in Edinburg, Texas. I actually have no idea why I like this mug so much. It's not really anything special to look at and there's nothing sentimental associated with my buying it.

The mug at work I picked up at the Disney Store in the Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas. I've had it for about 6 years. It has Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Eeyor, Owl, and Rabbit at a picnic in the 100 Acre Wood. The base mug is white with the picnic scene all around it. It's my favorite mug because I love Winnie-the-Pooh especially when all the gang are included.

4) You have an astounding interest in all things scientific. Tell us a bit more about this aspect of yourself. Additionally, who was, in your opinion, the most significant scientist or researcher of the past 200 years and why?

Answered 3/3/2005 at 5:29 p.m.

I do seem to have an interest in things scientific, don't I? Especially in things astronomical and medicinal. Which is in itself interesting because I never took any science courses in school other than the required ones. No astronomy, no biology, no chemistry. When push comes to shove, I can find Orion in the night sky, I can tell you the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction, and I know that water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen. And what is even more interesting is that I never pursued any of these interests as a vocation or an avocation nor do I feel any inclination to start now. I don't have a telescope in my garage or a bunsen burner in my kitchen or a microscope on my desk.

So why am I interested in these things? I haven't the foggiest notion. My interest in things to do with astronomy and space exploration have been with me since my earliest memories. When other little girls wanted to be ballerinas or nurses or mommies, I wanted to be a pirate in outer space. When other kids were reading all those books that children and adolescents are supposed to read, I was reading Heinlein and Asimov. And I've never outgrown that. I still want to be a space pirate and I still read Heinlein and Asimov.

My interest in medical discoveries and advancements stems from my science fiction background as well. Stem cell research, cloning, AIDS (as a pandemic harbinger of the end of the world) - all straight out of books I've read since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Things that were 'what ifs' just a few years ago are now 'how do we deal with this'.

A thought just occurred to me. In answering the question about being rebellious, I said I questioned everything, that I've just always asked why. I think that answer holds a clue to why I'm interested scientific findings. I ask why and science gives me an answer.

As for who I think the most significant scientist or researcher of the last 200 years is, I haven't a clue. I've never kept up with who did what. The who part just never seemed as important or interesting as the what part. Since my preference for astronomy and space exploration are very obvious, I'd say my personal choice for significant person would be the people who were involved in the creation of the Hubble telescope and the Mars rovers and the Huygens probe. These people have given the world tools we can use to answer the question, "What's out there?"

5) Do you currently have any unfinished craft projects that have been neglected for more than six months? If so, describe them to us. If not, what is the last major craft project you made, and who was it for?

Answered 3/2/2005 at 12:29 p.m.

Do I have any unfinished craft projects? Is the pope catholic?

My answer started out to be "Yes, one," but then I remembered another project that hasn't seen the light of day in what is now years, and then another, and another, and . . .

The most recent unfinished project is the curtain I was crocheting for my back door window. I got bored with it and I didn't really like the way it was turning out and my reading glasses weren't working for me as they used to so I set it aside. I'll probably pick it up again now that I have new glasses because I can see again and I still don't like the window being uncovered.

The next unfinished project is an afghan I was crocheting in shades of green and cream yarn. The design uses different stitches and patterns for almost every round and was meant for scrap yarn to be used up. I would really like to finish it but I'm not even sure where it is. I really liked the pattern. I'd already made one afghan from it in shades of blue and grey. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure where that afghan got to either. I haven't seen it since I moved into the house.

And I have three cross stitch projects that have fallen by the wayside, due mostly to the problem with getting decent reading glasses and in part because they are large projects that never seem to get done so I get bored with working on them. I set them aside and often a year or so goes by before I pick them up again and work feverishly on them for a few weeks or months before I get bored again.

The most recent is a companion piece to one my mother made for me for Christmas several years ago. The one I was working on is a speckled blue kettle holding sunflowers. The cats found it in my stash a few weeks ago and played with it. I'm not sure I can repair the damage they did to it which is really a shame because it was almost completely done. I just lacked a bit of backstitching to get it finished.

The other two pieces are Teresa Wentzler samplers. Anyone familiar with Teresa's work knows they are large and complicated and intricate. One is the Castle Sampler and the other is the Fantasy Sampler. It's been years since I've worked on either. Fortunately, I know where both of these pieces are so I can pick them up again the next time I am in the mood.

They have a proposed ad on their site which shows girls playing soccer until one steps on a landmine. A very powerful ad. I recommend watching it. I strongly suspect the ad will never see the light of day on American television.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | New Dr Who leaked onto internet

Good golly, Miss Molly! Has it really been since 1989 that we've been without the Doctor?

If I could get my hands on the episode that was leaked without having to install some sort of peer-to-peer software or bizarre video player, I'd love to see it. There's no telling if or when the Doctor will grace these shores. I managed to catch almost all of the 4th (Tom Baker) and 5th (Peter Davison) Doctors and bits of the 6th (Colin Baker) and 7th (Sylvester McCoy). I honestly can't remember if I ever saw the movie with Paul McGann.

Oh, well. Just have to keep digits crossed the Doctor flies across the Pond.


from of the Day

fey \FAY\, adjective:
1. Possessing or displaying a strange and otherworldly aspect or quality; magical or fairylike; elfin.
2. Having power to see into the future; visionary; clairvoyant.
3. Appearing slightly crazy, as if under a spell; touched.
4. (Scots.) Fated to die; doomed.
5. (Scots.) Marked by a sense of approaching death.

Fey comes from Middle English feye, feie, from Old English fæge, "fated to die."

Word History: The history of the words fey and fay illustrates a rather fey coincidence. Our word fay, “fairy, elf,” the descendant of Middle English faie, “a person or place possessed of magical properties,” and first recorded around 1390, goes back to Old French fae, “fairy,” the same word that has given us fairy. Fae in turn comes from Vulgar Latin Fta, “the goddess of fate,” from Latin ftum, “fate.” If fay goes back to fate, so does fey in a manner of speaking, for its Old English ancestor fge meant “fated to die.” The sense we are more familiar with, “magical or fairylike in quality,” seems to have arisen partly because of the resemblance in sound between fay and fey.

Scientific American: Research Reveals That Eye Contact Triggers Threat Response in Brains of Autistic Children

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Scientists unearth early skeleton

Sunday, March 06, 2005

BBC NEWS | Health | 'Hot' treatment option for cancer

Space Watch: Backing A Bad Hubble Decision

Their Royal Majesties, in repose

The Prodigal Son snapped these shots earlier today - um, well actually, that would be yesterday now. Their Royal Majesties, Queen Mouse and King Heru, lounging in the front window watching the world pass by.

Mouse and Heru sitting in the front window

Mouse and Heru sitting in the front window

The cross stitch bug

The cleaning bug was replaced by the cross stitch bug. I decided I wanted to stitch a Christmas ornament so that's what I've been doing all afternoon up until just a few minutes ago. It's still a work in progress and I'm not altogether sure who I'm making it for, but . . .

Dragon snuggling a Christmas ornament, cross stich work in progress

Updated 4:37 PM: I've decided to give this one to my nephew W. I've completely finished it. Now I just need to put it somewhere safe where I'll forget I've put it . . .

Sleeping dragon snuggling a Christmas ornament, completed cross stitch project

Updated March 12,2005: I suddenly realized I hadn't included any attribution for the pattern so I thought I'd rectify the situation. The pattern was included in the 2001 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issue. It was designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams, Inc. I modified the pattern by leaving off the border so I could make it into the pillow ornament.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cleaning bug

I've been bitten by it today. Don't ask me why. It's a very rare occurrence.

I'm taking a short break. I've been at it for three hours and I've only managed to mostly clean out my closet. I've filled two sacks with trash and one sack with clothing that's going to Goodwill. I've also boxed up some of the paperwork I have to keep for tax purposes. I've also done one small load of laundry. Even with all that, I'm still not done with the closet. I've left a mess of books on the floor that need to be shelved.

And what I really hoped to get accomplished today was cleaning up my bedroom so I could actually make it from the door to my bed without tripping over something. Ah, well, it looks like that may be a job for another day. The longer I sit here, the more the lazy bug is beckoning to me.

Utah governor weighs antiporn proposal | CNET

Folks, there's software available that allows blocking of questionable sites without bringing in ISPs or the government. For heaven's sake, you can do that directly in IE. Take responsibility for yourselves. Learn to use the tools you bring into your home and stop making it someone else's responsibility to protect you from your own ignorance.

Spitzer Space Telescope Finds Bright Infrared Galaxies

Scientific American: Brain Study Bolsters Case for Smart Bantam Human Species

Thursday, March 03, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | US display marks 1,500 war dead

However, domestic US support for the war appears to have been buoyed by the success of Iraq's elections in January.

A New York Times/CBS News poll released on Thursday said 53% felt efforts to bring order to Iraq were going well, up from 41% a month ago.

Almost 1,400 Americans killed since the sorry excuse for a war was declared over and things are going well. I wonder what it would take for people to perceive things as going badly . . . 14,000 dead? . . . 1,400,000?

Blue Skies on Saturn


Scientific American: Radio Pulses Could Signal New Class of Astronomical Object

World Book Day 2005

Happy World Book Day! Recommend a book or two or ten to friends and family!

My recommended book list includes:

  1. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester

  2. To Reign in Hell, Steven Brust

  3. The Best Awful, Carrie Fisher

  4. Fevre Dream, George R. R. Martin

  5. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

  6. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

  7. Just a Geek, Wil Wheaton

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A couple from

Zsuzsa Tasi : Sighting

Rebecca Sinz : Haunted Conscience

Texas Declaration of Independence

Today is Texas Independence day. Until today, I'd never read the Texas Declaration of Independence. 1836 to 2005, and there is still resonance . . .

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.

When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.


Big Brother is watching . . . especially when little brother plays.

Shark Tank: The right tool for the job

The sales director for this company isn't very computer-savvy, and the IT manager pilot fish who's setting up the guy's new laptop knows that. So fish decides to try a little color coding.

"To make it easy for him, I gave him a blue LAN cable and a yellow modem cable," says fish. "And I marked his computer with a blue piece of tape where the LAN cable went, and a yellow piece where the modem line went."

The sales director hits the road with the laptop -- and promptly calls to complain that the modem is broken.

For 30 minutes, fish tries to troubleshoot the modem over the phone with the sales director. But nothing seems to be wrong. It passes all its diagnostics, and the settings are all correct.

Finally, fish asks if the cable is plugged into the laptop.

"He said yes," fish reports. "On a lark, I asked which cable. He said the blue one."

But the blue one is the LAN cable, fish points out. It has an RJ45 connector that's too wide to work with the modem.

"The sales director relayed to me that he had forgotten his modem cable at home," sighs fish. "So he took out his penknife and whittled the RJ45 connector until it fit in the modem port."

CBS News | Ailing Elephant Gets Acupuncture

BBC NEWS | Health | Liquorice stops 'herpes' cancer

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Allergies at it again

I've been sneezing all day and my nose is stuffed. I hope this is just a boring week long case of snuffles and not one of those nasty bouts that have been hitting me of late.

79(R) SB113 Introduced - Bill Text

79R648 JTS-D By: Van de Putte S.B. No. 113



relating to prohibiting certain health care providers from promoting infant formula.


SECTION 1. Subchapter A, Chapter 165, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Section 165.005 to read as follows:


(a) A hospital, birthing center, physician, or other health care provider that provides services to mothers and infants may not promote the use of infant formula, including by:

(1) distributing without charge an infant formula or any item containing the name of an infant formula; and

(2) advertising an infant formula.

(b) The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall adopt rules to implement this section.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.

Oh, for the love of god! This woman (Senator Leticia Van de Putte: District 26) aught to be taken out and shot. Of all the useless, wasted, dumbass things that could be proposed into law, this one has got to take the cake . . . excuse me, this one takes the breast.


As old as the hills on granny's chest . . .