Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My seduction style

Your Seduction Style: The Coquette

You are a pro at playing the age old game of hard to get.

Your flirting style runs hot and cold, giving just enough to keep them chasing you.

Independent and self-sufficient, you don't need any one person to make you compelte.

And that independence is exactly what makes people pursue you.

Compelte? I should hope I don't need any one person to make me compelte.


That sounds like something you would do to fur and / or hide before you make it into a finished garment of some sort.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Watergate's Deep Throat revealed

BBC NEWS | Health | 'New way' to treat complex grief


ABC has left fans a hint of what’s to come on the second season of Lost at The site for Oceanic Flight 815 in the series has a hidden Flash teaser that you can now watch.

To do so, click on the link above. Then at the bottom of the site, where it says ‘Travellers’, type in Hurley’s “lucky” numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. Click on ‘Find’ which will take you to the flight’s seating chart. Next, click on those numbers again in order right below the chart and the teaser will start.

BBC NEWS | Health | Infancy 'determines cancer risk'

Toting it around

The American Tourister tote I wrote about on the 19th arrived today. It is so cute. It is just the right size for a couple of changes of clothing needed for a long weekend away.

It came a lot more quickly than I was expecting. The survey indicated it would be six to eight weeks before it would arrive, but it showed up in just under two. Too bad I'm not planning on going anywhere for a while.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Crime (Cell Phone Security)

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Westminster Abbey counters Da Vinci Code

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Liger)

BBC NEWS | Health | Study calms fears over stem cells

Monday, May 30, 2005

So peaceful

I managed to go three days of a four day weekend without once turning on the computer. No email. No newgroups. Nothing.

It was so peaceful and quiet.

I think there need to be more four day weekends.

Anywho . . .

The wound is still quite red, but it has begun to scab over so it's well on the way to healing. I no longer have to put gauze on so it's been getting a lot of air. I haven't had shoes on since Thursday so nothing has interfered with the healing process.

I did knit Thursday night and I did not suffer a repeat of Tuesday. I didn't have to unknit a single stitch.

I've worked on the butterfly fairy cross stitch all weekend and it is going along nicely. The part I'm dreading is filling in the moon. The yellows and very pale creams are just a pain to work on the white fabric. I may have to put off working on the fantasy sampler until after I finish the fairy so I can take it to work with me. I think the bright lights in my office will help with stitching up the moon.

I'm going back to my stitching now. I'll put up a progress picture later.

UPDATE: Progress picture of the butterfly fairy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Toxin in plastics harming unborn boys

Walking wounded

I scratched an itch and now I'm missing a patch of skin on the top of my foot. The patch is about the size of a quarter and it's smack in the middle where the shoe hits when you walk. I have no idea what happened, whether something bit me or I had a reaction to something.

It itched. I scratched. The skin came off. It looks very much like a very, very nasty blister popped.

I've doused the area in Neosporin and taped some gauze over it. I'm wearing my old, worn out shoes because they're not as tight and don't quite cripple me when I walk. Needless to say, I have a funny limp right now.

Update: Here's what my little wound looks like this evening. It's two days old now.

Photo of the wound on my foot

I'm letting it air until I go to bed. Then it will be more Neosporin and another bandage.

Yech! I have dirty feet.

More tired than I thought

I've mentioned hither and yon that I've had a couple of projects at work that have kept me busy and tired. Well, Tuesday night I decided to knit away the hours since there was nothing on television I was interested in watching.

Oh, boy.

I knit a couple of iterations of the pattern and get to within six stitches of the end of the pattern row when I realize I'm one stitch short. I recheck the stitches on the row and I don't see a goof. I check to see if maybe I dropped a stitch and don't see anything obviously amiss. I have no choice but to unknit four rows. I count stitches. I have the requisite number.

Oh, boy.

I knit a couple of iterations of the pattern. I get to within six stitches of the end of the pattern row when I realize I'm one stitch short. I recheck the stitches on the row and I don't see a goof. I check to see if maybe I dropped a stitch and don't see anything obviously amiss. I have no choice but to unknit four rows. I count stitches. I have the requisite number. I put the knitting away. I was obviously too tried to be working on it if I could loose one stitch twice.

Oh, boy.

I'm going to try my hand at knitting again tonight since there is nothing on television I care to watch. With any luck, it won't be a repeat of Tuesday and I'll actually get some knitting done.

Scientific American: Brain Region Linked to Understanding Figures of Speech

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

North America Settled by Just 70 People, Study Concludes - Yahoo! News

Seems there's no such thing as a native American.

Scientific American: Cosmic 'Magnifying Glass' Reveals Distant Planet

Guardian Unlimited Film | News | Out of the lion's den: CS Lewis film saves Disney from Christians

You cannot imagine how it gladdens my heart to know a group of bible thumping bigots has decided to stop its ban on Disney. I will sleep so much better tonight.

BBC NEWS | Americas | US House backs stem cell funding

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Voyager 1 pushes for deep space

BBC NEWS | Health | Anti-social behaviour 'inherited'

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Bets reopen on Dumbledore death

Not that I have any illusions left, nor even a microscopic shred of innocence, but betting on which character dies in a children's book sort of takes what little was left completely out of me.


There are some seriously kewl pictures of clouds. - Researches hope artifacts identify pirate's ship - May 24, 2005

Avast ye, matey!

(You know, that just doesn't look right.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Epilogue Artist - Ken Faraoni : Raindrop


The Complete List - ALL-TIME 100 Movies - TIME Magazine

Jayme Lynn Blaschke's Gibberish : The trouble with Sith

Book Reviews, a novel approach - structured book recommendations

I've haven't dug into this yet, but it looks mighty innerestin'.

:: Kinky Friedman Official Site ::

He's really running for governor of Texas. He's got my vote.

BBC NEWS | Health | Stem cell hope for liver disease

Powerful New Map: Where the Wind Blows - Yahoo! News

And yet most electric utility companies would rather use non-renewable fossil fuels or nuclear power to generate electricity.

Elephant attack boosts business at eatery - Yahoo! News

It seems even rampaging elephants come with a silver lining.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | New Star Wars film breaks records

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Wormhole 'no use' for time travel

BBC NEWS | Americas | US urged to curb Viagra allowance

I'm not going to say anything.

Yes, I am.

Why are convicts, regardless of their crimes, getting Viagra? Are erections something prison officials really want happening in prisons where, as we've been led to believe by television, voluntary and involuntary sexual acts among inmates abound?

Color me skewed, but failing to get an erection is not a serious health issue requiring public funding to dispense medication for.

Sci Fi Wire -- Mythopoeic Finalists Named

Looks like there might be some interesting reading in my future.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The New Yorker: The Critics: The Current Cinema

Thank you, Anthony Lane:

The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.

Star Wars III

The Prodigal Son, his girlfriend, and I went to see it last night. The good news is this one is very much better than the last three Lucas did. The bad news is that what's wrong with the last three is also wrong with this one - cutesy, corny crap, stilted dialog, flat acting, special effects that overpower everything. No matter how many times you try to convince me to the contrary, more is not better, George. Most of the time, more is just more.

I was actually prepared to like this film given the mostly positive things I'd heard about it from various sources. But when the 'droids at the beginning of the movie had more personality than the live actors, the likelihood of me liking the film stepped out of the theatre and patiently waited for me to join it in the car.

I'm glad the saga is finally over. It didn't deserve what was done to it. It deserved a dedicated storyteller with vision to craft it into a tale of love and hate, peace and war, good and evil. It did not deserve to be handled by a CGI fan-boy with the heart of a merchandiser.

Friday, May 20, 2005 News - Features - A bit of a star

And die is what he did in surely the most famous film of his career. As the final Star Wars film takes cinemas by storm, MacInnes can bask in the reflected glory earned by his role as Gold Leader in Star Wars: A New Hope. Or at least he could bask if he thought that any of the latest films were any good.

"George Lucas has just destroyed Star Wars with all the Computer Generated Images." says Angus. "Someone really should have taken his toys away!"

A man after my own heart! It's too bad Lucas couldn't have hired someone capable of telling a story to tell the story he thinks he's told.

BBC NEWS | Health | Stem cells tailored to patients

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The master of all I survey

I took two surveys today. They were almost identical but were run by two different companies. They were IT/IS related and asked how I find out about IT products and services and took about 45 minutes each. One of the surveys will pay me $25 for my time and the other will send me an American Tourister tote.

I need a tote for those short weekend trips I take every once in a blue moon. The one I used to have disappeared somehow somewhere and I had to use one of my craft bags as an overnight tote when I went to Austin a few weeks ago. I'd planned on going either this weekend or next to pick up a tote at WalMart or Target, but now I won't have to.

Sometimes, it really pays to be in IT.

~ snerkle ~

The Rules of Writing

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat)

6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

14. One should NEVER generalize.

15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

16. Don't use no double negatives.

17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

20. The passive voice is to be ignored.

21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

23. Kill all exclamation points!!!

24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.

26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.

27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

32. Who needs rhetorical questions?

33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And finally...very important

34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

(Submitted by Scribes on 1-14-2003)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

College ad to protest Bush visit - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 17, 2005

Wow. I'm impressed.

"No single political position should be identified with God's will," says the ad, which also chastises the president for "actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor."

Christians are to be characterized by love and gentleness, it adds, but "we believe that your administration has fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has often failed to listen to those with whom it disagrees."

Moreover, says the letter, set to run in the Grand Rapids Press, the Bush administration's environmental policies "have harmed creation," and it asks the president "to re-examine your policies in light of our God-given duty to pursue justice with mercy."

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: DOE V. MOE

This is a case of the ol' bump and grind being a little too bumpy and grindy. Basically, the guy sued the girl because she broke his . . . well . . . you know . . . while she was riding him like a bucking bronco.

I'm smirking. Can you tell?

Monday, May 16, 2005 - Officials to temper biting term

Officials to temper biting term

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

THE Anahuac City Council has dealt with sensitive topics on occasion, and today's meeting could provide another opportunity.

Tammy McDaniel, the animal control officer in that Chambers County town, has suggested replacing the word "bitch" in the city's animal control ordinance with "female dog."

"It's a term that's been around forever. Even kennel clubs use that word," McDaniel said. "But people don't like to hear it called out."

The word has even been used in classical literature by such authors as William Shakespeare, in The Merry Widow, and D.H. Lawrence, in Sons and Lovers.

But city officials said one of the word's most common slang definitions, which refers to an ill-tempered woman, is considered profane.

"The word does not necessarily offend me. It's what I've grown up calling a female dog," said longtime councilman Ottmar Schimek, who retired after the council's most recent meeting. "But the word has a different meaning to the younger generation since the women's movement and equal rights."

The ordinance, which currently states that it is unlawful to let a "bitch in heat" run at large, will be changed to say "female dog in heat," McDaniel said.

Oh, please.

Scientific American: New Views of Dinosaurs Take Center Stage

BBC NEWS | Business | US lifts ban on out-of-state wine

Woohoo! Texas used to be one of those states you couldn't order out-of-state wine from. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but it's nice to know I can order wine if I want.

MoveOn PAC

This looks interesting. I haven't perused it to my satisfaction (or complete edification), but it does look interesting.

Jesus Is a Democrat

There really isn't a whole lot to say about this.

camarilla of the Day:

camarilla \kam-uh-RIL-uh; -REE-yuh\, noun:
A group of secret and often scheming advisers, as of a king; a cabal or clique.

Camarilla comes from Spanish, literally, "a small room," from Late Latin camera, "chamber" ("vault; arched roof" in Latin), from Greek kamara, "vault."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Kuwaiti women win right to vote

Many of these had argued that Islamic law prohibited women from positions of leadership.

The amendment requires women voters and candidates to abide by Islamic law.

Correspondents say this is an attempt by the ruling family to reassure Islamists. But it could also place restrictions on women campaigners.

Makes it sound like a step sideways instead of a step forward. But even a step sideways can be a good thing in the larger scope of things.

BBC NEWS | Business | 'Gender gap' is biggest in Egypt

Committee Schedule Display

A summary of Texas politics.

I find HJR 6 particularly offensive. Through it, the state would like to legalize bigotry, prejudice, and hatred.

Friday, May 13, 2005


triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:
A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.

Triskaidekaphobia is a fairly new word (first found in print in 1911) formed from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, "thirteen" (treis, "three" + kai, "and" + deka, "ten") + phobos, "fear." The adjective form is triskaidekaphobic. One who fears the number 13 is a triskaidekaphobe or triskaidekaphobic.

There are many theories about the origin of triskaidekaphobia. In medieval Christian countries the number 13 came to be considered unlucky because there were 13 persons at the Last Supper of Christ. Fridays are also unlucky, because the Crucifixion was on a Friday. Hence a Friday falling on the thirteenth day would be regarded as especially unlucky.

Some famous triskaidekaphobes1:
Herbert Hoover
Mark Twain
Richard Wagner
Franklin Roosevelt

1. Source: "It's just bad luck that the 13th is so often a Friday," Daily Telegraph, September 8, 1996

Pigging out

Remember the wild pigs in Germany I was watching last month? Well, there be young'uns. I just watched a whole passel of them nursing, rooting, scratching, gamboling, and chatting up the blackbirds that were hopping around.

~ time passes ~

Aw, how sweet! Everybody is settling down for a nap.

And speaking of naps, I think it's time for me to stop watching pigs sleep in Germany and go to bed . . .

Thursday, May 12, 2005

You Tarzan, me scarce

I know I've been scarce this week, but I've been very busy at work so I've come home tired every day. I've also had trouble sleeping this week so I'm basically running on empty right now. Both projects I'm working are getting close to being done so I hope things will get back to normal soon.

Right now, I'm going to finish eating my pizza and park myself in front of the TV to wait for ER to start later. While I wait, I think I'm going to read some instead of being crafty. I'm really, really tired today.


The healing power of music . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What is your world view?

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World View?
created with

Monday, May 09, 2005


It pays to be smart.

There's Always a Reason


My new keyboard suddenly stopped working, user tells pilot fish. What kind is it? fish asks. 'She responded, 'I don't know what brand, but it's origami,' says fish. It took me about five minutes to figure out what she was talking about - she meant ergonomic. After I managed to stop laughing, she asked me, 'So, do you know anything about organic keyboards?'

Saturday, May 07, 2005

I finally did a mildly crafty thing

Because I promised, I put up the pattern for the scarf I'm knitting my stepdaughter. It is a variation on a feather and fan pattern over 17 stitches.

Friday, May 06, 2005


When did 'shine' go from being an irregular verb to a regular one? All my life, the past tense of 'shine' was 'shone' and today I was hit in the face with 'shined'. It was such a violent shock I was yanked right out of the story I was reading (R. Scott Bakker's The Darkness That Comes Before, last paragraph on page 27 of the US hardback edition.)

Is that part of the dumbing down process that's been occurring over the last 30 years or so? Am I the only person who notices things like that?

Stumbling into 'shined' was almost as jarring as falling over 'leaped' was. All my life, the past tense of 'leap' was 'leapt'. I wonder when 'sleep' will make the migration and 'slept' turns into 'sleeped'.

Shark Tank: But at least that contractor rule isn't broken

Contractor pilot fish is doing support work for this big client, and he takes his job seriously. "I would frequently be the first support tech to enter the building at 7 a.m. and often had several calls waiting for me when I arrived," fish says.
Fish knows where the problems are coming from: The network is being used beyond its capacity, so users are starting to drop off on a daily basis.

Then things get worse. "The servers started to time-out and needed to be rebooted to reconnect to the network," says fish. "This is when I learned that my key card, which allows me access to the server room, will not work before 8 a.m.

"The network manager talks with the security manager to get me access, but no dice. He is told contractors cannot have access to the server room before 8 a.m. Security won't budge, and many people are unhappy that they have to wait until 8 a.m."

Network manager and security manager go back and forth, but the security guy won't budge. The rule is the rule: No access for contractors until 8 a.m.

Then early one morning fish gets a call from the security manager. He needs access to something on a server that has dropped off the network.

"I politely reminded him that I am an outside contractor and will only be able to access the server room at 8 a.m.," fish says. "He had someone open the door for me and the issue was resolved.

"After that, I was still not allowed to have access with my keycard.

"But every day, someone from security would prop the door open and leave it unguarded."

BBC NEWS | Americas | US school battle over evolution

Many of the witnesses support "intelligent design", the belief that scientific evidence cannot account for the complexity of the universe and that it must be the result of some higher power.

And the Earth is flat and revolves around the Sun.

God, help us! It's a science class. Note the word SCIENCE. God is not science. God is not fact. God is faith. God is belief. And not everyone's faith or belief involves God.

Get over it! Get a life! And stop trying to make everyone a mindless automaton.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I finished the Atwood!

Cat's EyeIt's about time. I feel like I've been reading this book for most of my life. Despite being well written, this book just wasn't my cup of tea. Normally I very much enjoy soul searching 'why I tick' books, but I was really hard pressed to keep going with this one. The only reason I managed to stick with it is because it was so well written. There just wasn't anything quirky or catchy about the main character or her story to make the book a must read. Despite blurb claims the book is "disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate", there was a whole lot of disturbing with nothing hilarious and a minimum of compassionate.

UPDATED: I just checked and I began Cat's Eye on March 27. No wonder it felt like forever.

Art Galleries - Lindsay Archer -

The spaghetti was so good!

It hit the exact spot just exactly. There were huge chunks of mushrooms in the tomato sauce and I browned some mild Italian sausage and some hamburger to mix in as well. And there was garlic toast with cheese to soak up the leftover sauce after all the spaghetti was slurped up.


And I've decided I won't be crafty after all. After I catch up with my computery stuff, I'm going to read and relax and be a bum.

~ insert contented sigh here ~

So far, so good

I've managed to last until today without touching anything crafty. I haven't even looked at any of the books or magazines or patterns I have. Which, of course, explains why I haven't posted the pattern instructions for my latest scarf on my stitching blog.

But I suspect I may lapse this evening. There's nothing much to watch on TV and I'm getting antsy to be working on things again. I think I may pick up the knitting and work on the scarf for an hour or so after I make dinner and before ER comes on.

I have this craving for spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic toast so that's what I'm fixing for dinner this evening. It's been a really long while since I've made spaghetti. I'm ready for the day to be over - and it's only barely begun - so I can go home and make dinner.

Wired News: This Dino Eats His Vegetables

Falcarius utahensis . . . doesn't give you much to work with to come up with a really nifty nickname.

Wired News: Jeepers Creepers, Bionic Peepers

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Texas House Bans 'Suggestive' Cheerleading - Yahoo! News

Edwards argued bawdy performances are a distraction for students resulting in pregnancies, dropouts and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

And saying the word 'fuck' is going to make reality as we know it cease to exist, to be replaced by a hell dimension the depths of which are . . . well . . . deep. Really deep. And red. Evil is always red. With splotches of black. And that really nasty shag carpet that was way too popular in the '70s. I've always thought hell dimensions should have shag carpet.

Epilogue Artist - Yoseph Ade Setiawan : Kai Lord

Sci Fi Wire : Alien Vs. Predator II Is A Go


BBC NEWS | Americas | Fireman's recovery stuns doctors

BBC NEWS | Americas | US general warns of forces strain

The top US general, Richard Myers, has warned that ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan could limit the ability of the US to fight another war.

It was the "could limit the ability of the US to fight another war" that caught my eye. Is the Shrub planning to invade someone else before we've extricated ourselves from the mess he's already gotten us into?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Twelve new moons for Saturn

The supreme irony of life

"The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive." -- Robert Heinlein

Computers make it easier

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done." -- Andy Rooney

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Which cities fit me best?

American Cities That Best Fit You:

70% Las Vegas

70% Seattle

65% Austin

65% Denver

65% Honolulu

So, Best Friend, do you find the first city listed as amusing as I do?

Taking a break

Probably. From my crafty endeavors. This week.

I've knitted and cross stitched myself into pain. Aching shoulders and aching fingers and hands and an annoying headache that just won't quite go away. I'm going to try and refrain from doing anything crafty this week to recoup and to catch up on my reading which has seriously fallen by the wayside.

I started a new project on Saturday - a cross stitch one that I haven't talked about yet - and I worked on it pretty much non-stop for two days. That, I think, is why I'm aching. I over did just a tiny itsy bit.

So I think I'll take this week off and start up again come the weekend.

The Independent : Revelation! 666 is not the number of the beast (it's a devilish 616)

Aw shucks! Takes all the fun out, don't it?