Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

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

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Heru and Mouse

I took these snaps of Heru & Mouse wrestling on the coffee table which I had just wiped down so I could take pictures of my latest needlework projects. Apparently a slightly dirty table wasn't good enough for them to wrestle upon.

My cats, Heru & Mouse

My cats, Heru & Mouse

This is Heru trying to look nonchalant. I don't think he succeeded.
My cats, Heru & Mouse

My cats, Heru & Mouse

My cats, Heru & Mouse

My cats, Heru & Mouse

I finally gave up and let them help me model the latest washrags. Check out A Stitch in Time for those shots.

Friday, April 29, 2005

My Friday off

Yah, right. I've been doing stuff since I got up this morning at 7:30 a.m. which qualifies as sleeping in for me. Normally I'm up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work.

First I worked on my knitting while I watched a bit of TV. Then I went to the bank to cash the check I got for taking various surveys. Then I went to IHOP for breakfast where I spent a leisurely hour having an omelet, drinking coffee, and reading the Atwood book I've been reading since forever. Then it was a trip to Jiffy Lube for an oil change, a fluid top off, and a new air filter for the car. Next it was a trip to the mall to the Cingular shop to pick up a new car charger for the cell. And then it was across the way to the Hobby Lobby to find something to spend the survey money on which turned out to be three knitting books, two sock pamphlets, and one for cross stitch. Then next was a swing by the post office to check mail and finally back home where I got to sit for a tad more than half an hour before the Prodigal Son, his Girlfriend, his Best C Friend, and I went to the movies to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which I enjoyed despite several attempts at dropping off to sleep.

And now I'm home where I intend to vegetate until Monday morning when I have to go back to work.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Doomsayers Say Benedict Fits World End Prophecy - Yahoo! News

Norwegian Court Convicts First Woman for Rape - Yahoo! News

Sauce for the goose, say I.

The Monitor - McAllen, Texas

My dad hails from the Rio Grande Valley here in Texas, and The Monitor is the newspaper I used to read when I was a home dweller back in the dark ages. My dad still subscribes to it and reads almost the entire paper daily. I lost the habit of reading newspapers when I moved here. The local rag is just that, a rag. I used to read the Houston Post before it went out of business. I've just never acquired a taste for the Houston Chronicle.

Shark Tank: Lessons learned

Pilot fish's team rolls out a new system for delivering mainframe reports to sites spread across a large city. The key is a dedicated PC at each site that can be set up to print the reports, save them for browsing or tailor them to each manager's requirements. And it's a big change for the better.
"We even revamped the help desk procedures," fish says. "Every problem was to be classed either as a training issue -- staff not using the system right -- or a technical issue -- software not doing what they wanted.

"We were all feeling pretty proud of ourselves until about four months into the rollout, when some issues arose not dealt with in our classification system.

"One center kept going off-line each evening because the manager was under strict instructions to turn off the lights, and the power outlet for the PC was on the switch circuit. That one was fairly easy to diagnose and fix.

"Lesson learned by the survey crew: No more switched outlets.

"One center went off-line at around 11 a.m. and again at around 2 p.m. None of the diagnostics showed a problem. The on-site staff were a little reticent, so we dispatched an engineer who discovered a coffee maker was sitting next to the PC.

"After a little investigation, he figured out that power outlets were in short supply at that site and they needed to unplug something when they made coffee. Lesson learned: Make sure there are enough sockets plus a couple left over for 'incidentals,' since the staff hide unauthorized appliances when a survey is being done.

"Back at the command center, we saw a print server had gone off-line over the weekend, but we couldn't find the site for two days because no one had bothered to mention that their lease was up and they were moving.

"Lesson learned: Chat with the staff to get a feel for upcoming changes in location, since the upper-echelon meetings weren't getting the job done.

"But the prize had to go to the site we set up with multiple servers that then underwent extensive modification by the landlord, including the abrupt removal of an interior wall through which every network connection ran. When I asked the engineer who visited the site what happened, it took him five minutes to stop laughing.

"The landlord's merry men had used a Sawzall and sledgehammers to make short work of the wall, and there was little left of our on-site network infrastructure.

"Lesson learned: When you've thought of everything that can go wrong, people will invent something new that you cannot plan for."

- April 28, 2005, Computerworld

BBC NEWS | Health | Pollutant affects sex chromosome

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | German astronaut books long stay

BBC NEWS | Health | Worldwide cancer rates 'double'

Good grief! North America is cancer hell.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The scarf is done!

Huzzah! Another crafty project makes its way to the completed pile.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Doubt overshadows Hubble's 15th

Quiet weekend

I had a very quiet, boring, unproductive weekend. I spent all day Saturday in my 'jamas watching TV and DVDs while the Prodigal Son went to BuzzFest XV at the Woodlands Pavilion. I actually had a post about that but my computer decided to reboot itself while I was in the process of working on it. When the Behemoth came back up, I discovered Blogger couldn't, in fact, recover my post even though there is a lovely link which boldly states, "Recover post" on the create a post page. Clicking on said link did absolutely nothing. Being the lazy sort, I haven't tried to recreate the post. It really wasn't very important.

I spent Sunday, dressed this time, doing logic problems, watching TV, and playing silly games on the Behemoth. I've discovered Arcade Town. I'm rather hooked on Project 156 at the moment.

I didn't read. I didn't work on the scarf. I didn't work on the fantasy sampler. I didn't balance my checkbook - which is a project that I've needed to do for three months. I didn't do laundry. I didn't clean house. I didn't answer the phone - except when the Prodigal called on Saturday night to tell me, in a hoarse voice, that BuzzFest was the best time he'd ever had and he was in the parking lot on his way home.

Personally, I give doing nothing two thumbs up. I can't recommend it enough.

BBC NEWS | Health | Alzheimer's gene therapy hailed

Which book am I?

You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Crafty updates

I've added an update for the XFIL's scarf - which the Prodigal Son is holding - and the fantasy sampler - which is just laying dumbly on the sofa - to my stitching blog. I've actually worked on both projects this week. Aren't I a good girl?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Mars dust devils caught in action

BBC NEWS | Technology | Moore's Law original issue found

BBC NEWS | Europe | New Pope condemns Spain gay bill

Gosh, I'm so surprised to hear this. I mean, isn't tolerance a cornerstone of the Church?

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | New Australian reefs discovered

Don't Breathe the Moondust - First look: 'Superman Returns'

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Packed my other bag

I've now packed up both bags I bought to cart my crafty stuff around in. The knitting bag went with me to Austin . . .
Bag hanging on door knob

. . . and the cross stitch bag went to work with me today.
Bag hanging on door knob

I think tonight is going to be a read and watch TV night. Or maybe a logic problems and watch TV night.

Newly Single - Nobody Expects The...

I have to hand it to Newly. He certainly does a fine send up.

I wonder if it will ever occur to the Church that we live in the 21st century and not the 1st. If the Church, any church, ever joins me in the present instead of trying to drag me into the past, I might be more inclined to look upon it favorably. I still wouldn't join, but I would be less hostile toward it.

BBC NEWS | Europe | A Pope with uncompromising views

Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm back

Celebrating the Best Friend's birthday is done and I'm home and tired. I had fun but I did more walking the last three days than I've done all year long. I don't have feet left. There are only nubs at the end of my ankles.

The Best Friend taking a photo
The Best Friend taking a photo of the glass harmonica player at Scarborough Faire.

The glass harmonica player the best friend is photographing
The glass harmonica player The Best Friend is taking a photo of.

The Best Friend's brother eyeing me
The Best Friend's brother favoring me with a glance.

The Best Friend's brother and sister-in-law walking in the shade
The Best Friend's brother and sister-in-law walking toward me in the shade.

Would you believe these are all the pictures I took at Scarborough Faire? The place felt very unphotogenic - compared with Ren Fest - so I just didn't feel like snapping any pictures. As a matter of fact, these are the only pictures I took all weekend. Just didn't feel in the mood to take pictures.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A little shy

I shall be offline for a few days while the Best Friend and I celebrate her birthday. It's quite likely you won't hear a peep out of me until Sunday or Monday since we've things planned and none of them involve computers.

Be good, play nice, and have fun till I get back.

Moon Water

Me talk good

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

20% Dixie

10% Yankee

5% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

BBC NEWS | Americas | US police catch 10,000 fugitives

According to the article, 10,340 people were arrested during Operation Falcon. The article goes on to say:

A total of 162 murder suspects, 553 rape or sexual assault suspects and 154 gang members were arrested, US Marshals said.

In addition, 638 armed robbery suspects and 68 kidnapping suspects were held.

My question is, "What were the other 8,765 people accused of?"

Sci Fi Wire -- SCI FI Announces Films for '06

Oh, boy. I'm pretty sure I won't be tuning in to SCI FI on Saturday night to catch their movies, although the Bruce Campbell offering and the William Shatner offering may make for a hoot.

Sci Fi Wire -- SCI FI Reveals New Series

I'm not going to rush to my TV set to watch any of these shows. If any of them are on at a time when nothing better is on, I might click in just to see what's what.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

And speaking of design

The sunflower photo I've been dabbling with came from stock.xchng. It's a site where one can acquire free stock photos for use. After I manipulated it, the photo looks like this:


My image is based on a reduction of the full sized image at stock.xchng. I was thinking of using it as a right side border, maybe.

Where did I get the wallpaper

I was asked the question today where I got the wallpaper I'm currently using for this blog. The answer is, "I made it."

I dabble a little in making backgrounds and wallpapers when I'm bored out of my mind and don't really feel like being productive or when I'm suddenly and inexplicably feeling artistically creative. Most of the time the things I make are patterns of some kind instead of pictures of some thing. I like patterns. I find them soothing.

I've been dabbling with some sunflowers to see if I can come up with my own design / layout for A Stitch in Time. As inoffensive as the standard Blogger template is that I'm currently using, it is rather bland and boring and, well, flat. Undimensional - which really isn't a word so don't start using it. I haven't gotten very far along in the design process yet and I may still find something else I like better so for the next longest while nothing will change either here or there.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | DNA project to trace human steps

Monday, April 11, 2005

He almost lost another one

Got home from work about 5:30 and secluded myself in my room to check email and play that stoopid game. The Prodigal Son stuck his head in about 6:30 to say he was going out to see friends. Finally shut the computer off at about 9:30 so I could fix a bite to eat and wind down before going to bed. I realized the cats hadn't been fed yet either so I grabbed the cat food and shook the bag. Three cats came running. Not unusual in itself since Mouse and / or Rainbow don't always come running when they hear food. But very unusual because Heru never misses the call of food and he very often reminds me several times a day he hasn't been fed since the day we brought him home and he's about to collapse from starvation.

I searched the entire house and the garage. Heru was nowhere to be found. I stuck my head out the back door and called for him. I stuck my head out the front door and called for him. Not a whisker to be seen nor a meow to be heard. I called the Prodigal Son and asked him what he'd done with the cat. He said Heru was in the house when we got home and he thought he'd seen Heru just before he left so if Heru was missing it had to be my fault since I was the one home with him. Unless I've developed the knack of teleporting kitty cats with just the power of my mind, if Heru was in the house when the Prodigal Son left, he should still have been in the house when I went hunting him at 9:30.

Long story short, I walked around the yard shaking the cat food bag. When I got to the front walk, Heru came sauntering up with another cat from the neighbor's yard. I picked him up and took him in the house. All four of the furry monsters have been fed and watered and all of them have settled down for their cat naps.

I have no idea when Heru went walk about. I don't remember noticing him when I got home.

Yahoo! News - Politician Urges Golf with Cane Toads

Animal welfare groups discouraged people from taking up Tollner's call to arms, saying freezing the animals to death was more humane.

Freezing the toads may be more humane, but most people just don't have a canister of liquid nitrogen sitting around the garage.

I wonder if the folks down under have learned not to introduce non-native fauna without making sure there is a native predator to keep the other in check.

Yahoo! News - School Kids Caught Counterfeiting Dollars

I'm willing to bet this is something the little hellions actually did learn from TV . . . news broadcasts, as a matter of fact.

Unconscious Mutterings

Word association:

  1. Horrendous:: stupendous
  2. Home video:: boring
  3. What a girl wants:: money
  4. Grounded:: fault
  5. Trusting:: fool
  6. Simplistic:: easy
  7. Buzz:: word
  8. Balcony:: stair
  9. Roar:: shout
  10. Hooker:: Karen

O.K., that last one is going to need some explaining otherwise I can see someone being offended. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I knew someone named Karen Hooker. Since that time, the name Karen always pops into my head whenever I hear the word 'hooker'. I have to remind myself what the word 'hooker' is usually meant to mean.

The Black Knight - Presented by Addicting Games

Pooh! I haven't even made it off the first level yet!

BBC NEWS | Europe | Israel recognises 'new Schindler'

BBC NEWS | Europe | Victims protest against Rome Mass

I think it is in the gravest of bad taste to have a cardinal who resigned because of scandal to say a mass. It's a slap in the face to the people who were affected.

Wizard of Id

That's one heck of a foundation garment!


Oh, the perils of impulse shopping . . .


The best in home decor . . .

I was unproductive, but the Prodigal Son wasn't

I finally got the instructions for the cable pattern up. Any of you knitters who pop in please let me know if the instructions make sense or if I made an obvious error in the instructions. I've proofed them twice but since I know what they're supposed to say I'm not altogether sure I can see a mistake.

I did a whole lot of nothing this weekend while the Prodigal Son enlisted the aide of his friend to do a bunch of work in the yard. They mowed and edged and trimmed and dug up and hoed and weeded. It cost me two meals and a trip to the movies for all the work they did, but it was more than worth it.

The only thing vaguely productive I did was buy a couple of bags to cart my crafty stuff around in. I picked up one for my cross stitching and another for my knitting and / or crocheting. I stuffed the bags in the closet so I haven't actually put anything in them yet. I expect I'll get around to that on Thursday or Friday so I can take my knitting with me while I visit the Best Friend. If we go where we're thinking of going, I won't be driving so I can knit during the ride. And if we don't go, I'll have the knitting for the evenings when we're sitting around doing a bunch of nothing much.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

My little furry monsters

It's been a while since I forced you to look at pictures of my cats so I thought I'd remedy that. Heru, Mouse, and Goblin studiously ignored me snapping pictures of them, but Rainbow had to rearrange herself and chat about which was her best side. I caught her before she got herself settled in.

Photo of Heru lying on the floor

Photo of Mouse sitting in the window with her back turned to me

Photo of Goblin lying on the floor

photo of Rainbow standing on my son's bed

BBC NEWS | Health | Cervical cancer jab in two years

The comical prodigal

I spent seven years trying to get the Prodigal Son to watch either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel with me. He would have none of it because they obviously had to be something he wouldn't be interested in because I was. This aside from the fact he and I watched the various incarnations of Star Trek together since the day he was born. Anyway, yesterday morning I was flipping channels between BBC America and whichever syndication network is showing the Buffy episodes at the crack of dawn. I was about to flip back to BBCA when the Prodigal Son had me stop. 'Superstar' was the Buffy episode that was on and I remarked that it was one of my favorites. I explained what the episode was about and Prodigal commented that Jonathan was the kid who wasn't really a regular but who showed up every so often and was the kid with the gun in that one episode. I turned one of my infamous mom looks on the Prodigal Son who broke down and confessed to watching Buffy every morning after dropping me off at work. Not only does he watch Buffy in the morning, he also watches The Practice which comes on right after Buffy.

Children. What did we do to deserve them?

FoxTrot by Bill Amend

Boys aren't the only one who try . . .


Wired News: Bloggers Pitch Fits Over Glitches

Oh, so funny. Poor Blogger. I bitch and rant everytime something happens, but last week when things went pear shaped I actually stayed quiet. I must have been having a good week.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


LostI am so glad my dad talked me into watching an episode of this show with him when I went home back in November. It has got to be one of the best, if not the best show on TV. This is what good character driven drama is about. I am so looking forward to the first season DVDs which are supposed to become available in September. I've already pre-ordered mine at If you haven't seen it and get the chance to watch, do. I rarely recommend TV shows, but this one is a treat.

I'm also glad the show has been renewed for a second season. I hope the writers and producers can maintain the quality the show has had this first season.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Republican 'paid family $500,000'

Now, why couldn't I have married a politician? If my ex had been paying me that kind of money, I might have stayed married to him.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Monaco's Prince Rainier dies, 81

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Bond bosses silent on actor Craig


from of the Day:

complement \KOM-pluh-muhnt\, noun:
1. Something that fills up or completes.
2. The quantity or number required to make up a whole or to make something complete.
3. One of two parts that complete a whole or mutually complete each other; a counterpart.

transitive verb:
To supply what is lacking; to serve as a complement to; to supplement.

Complement is from Latin complementum, from complere, "to fill up," from com- (intensive prefix) + plere, "to fill."

Usage note: Complement and compliment ("an expression of admiration or praise") are sometimes confused because they are pronounced the same. A good way to remember which is which is to make a connection between the spelling of complement and complete.

I take exception to the notion complement and compliment are pronounced the same. The middle syllable of the first word contains a short e sound (pleh) while the middle syllable in the latter word contains a short i sound (plih). When said correctly, there is a slight difference. Unfortunately, as with many things, we've now become lazy speakers so the difference that should be there really isn't anymore. Hence the 'pluh' pronunciation of the middle syllable.

FoxTrot by Bill Amend

Been there, felt that!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Telescope catches early starlight

Attack of the carpal tunnel monster

I have to cut back on the knitting for a bit. My right hand has started going numb when I knit which means I've seriously aggravated the carpal tunnel monster. Instead of knitting every day, I've dug out an old cross stitch project I haven't worked on in years. I figure if I rotate through the knitting, the stitching, and the reading, I can keep the carpal tunnel monster at bay and maybe actually finish the scarf, the fantasy sampler, and the Atwood book I started over the weekend.


From of the Day

shibboleth \SHIB-uh-lith; -leth\, noun:
1. A word or pronunciation that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons from another.
2. A word or saying identified with a group or cause; a slogan; a catchword.
3. A saying or belief identified with a particular group and usually regarded by outsiders as meaningless or untrue.
4. A custom, practice, behavior, etc. regarded as distinctive of a particular group.

Shibboleth is from Hebrew shibboleth, "stream, flood," from the use of this word in the Bible (Judges 12:4-6) as a test to distinguish Gileadites from Ephraimites, who could not say 'sh' but only 's' as in 'sibboleth'.

Monday, April 04, 2005

BBC NEWS | Health | Gene causes 'problem pregnancies'

BBC NEWS | Health | Viagra 'stops pregnancy disorder'

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Telescopes see 'distant planet'

If you ever wanted to own a piece of the world

Welcome to The World

Which book am I?

You're One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!

by Ken Kesey

You're crazy. This has led people to attempt to confine you to a safe
place so that you don't pose a danger to yourself or others. You feel like you pose a
great danger to the man (or maybe the woman) or whatever else is keeping you down. But
most of the time, you just end up being observed. Were you crazy before you were

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Who in the world came to me

In the month of March, that is. Here is a list of the top level domains I received hits from.

com - commercial, for-profit organizations
net - network infrastructure machines and organizations
au - Australia
de - Germany
edu - 4-year, degree granting colleges/universities
mx - Mexico
ca - Canada
uk - United Kingdom
dk - Denmark
nl - Netherlands (Kingdom of the)
sg - Singapore (Republic of)
at - Austria
it - Italy
nz - New Zealand
ch - Switzerland (Confederation of)
fr - France
gov - United States federal government agencies
jp - Japan
no - Norway
org - miscellaneous, usually non-profit, organizations
be - Belgium
hk - Hong Kong (China)
il - Israel (State of)
mt - Malta
pt - Portugal
ro - Romania
se - Sweden
us - United States of America
za - South Africa (Republic of)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Scarf, scarfs, scarfed

The XMIL scarf is done and the XFIL scarf is about to be begun. I'm just such a busy little knitter, am I.

Oh, and the plural of scarf is spelled correctly if any of you thought to give me grief over it. I prefer 'scarfs' to 'scarves', both of which are valid spellings.

The next crafty project

I've bought the yarn and worked out the pattern I'm going to use. It will be a cable pattern. But I'm not quite ready to start yet. I still need a few more rows on the scarf I'm making for the XMIL before it will be done and I start this scarf.

Isn't the 'net wonderful?

I just watched a wild pig in Germany scratch an itch on a stump.

For you non-Germans, click on the film frame and then pick your connection type to watch a live feed. Keep in mind there is a significant time difference between the U.S. and Germany.

Karen posted this on her blog the other day, but it was already dark when I clicked the link the first time so there was nothing to see. Today, the piggy family is rooting and scratching and wandering about.