Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Epilogue Artist - J E : Le Forma Fantastique'

If you have a problem with artistic female nudity, don't look.

They're back

The raccoons, that is. They've been having a field day in my attic. I think they're holding the National Raccoon Olympics up there. The Prodigal Son and I have been beating on the walls at random and odd times hoping to discourage their residence, but it doesn't seem to be working. I plan on making a stop on the way home tonight to find some ammonia and something to cover the grate they keep tearing out of my eaves.

I was a sick puppy

Nothing critical, but I was home sick Monday and Tuesday. I was finally blessed with migraines on work days as well as an unspecific tummy upset. I'm at work today, but I feel very washed out and angry.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Titan dark spot may be large lake

Friday, June 24, 2005

And from October of last year

A snap of the Great Cat Nap of '04. This is also a favorite picture of mine because it captures a moment of peace in a house that was filled with three very active, energetic kittens.

Heru, Mouse and Rainbow napping on my afghan on the sofa

Mouse and Rainbow

I guess you can tell that I caught everyone napping. It was actually quite peaceful for an hour or so while they all slept and I got some knitting done.

This is Mouse napping in the hallway between the bedrooms right in the middle of the floor where you have to step over her to get to the bathroom. It's also one of Heru's favorite places to lay, but there's more of him to step over than there is of Mouse.
Mouse napping in the hallway

And this is Rainbow sleeping on an expensive dining room chair that used to have plastic covering the fabric to protect it. The picture is dark because I didn't turn the lights on, just relied on the flash to capture the moment.
Rainbow sleeping on the dining room chair

June 20, 2004. Can you believe the girls were barely bigger than the cracker box they're playing with? That was their favorite toy and hiding place until it fell apart.
Mouse and Rainbow playing with an empty cracker box

This is probably my favorite picture of the girls. It was snapped on June 13, 2004. Again, napping is involved but this time the girls are sleeping on some clothes that had been set out to wear.
Mouse and Rainbow napping on the laundry


Poor Goblin. A year on diet food hasn't done much to help her weight. Napping on the arm rest of the sofa next to where I sit is one of her favorite places to be when I'm home. As you can probably imagine, there's a dent in the arm rest where she likes to nap.

My cat Goblin sleeping on the sofa arm rest

His Majesty, King Heru

Don't worry, Best Friend. The little one isn't mine. We're only kitten sitting for the weekend. He's Rabbit whom I call Thumper. He's the great un-tailed wonder. ;D

As you can see, he and Heru are the best of buds.
My cat Heru and a friend's cat Rabbit enjoying a snooze under the window

Time warp back to August of 2004. Can you believe my lion king above started out as this little scrawny thing?
Picture of my cat Heru as a kittin from August, 2004

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spring cleaning . . .

Some people clean house. I revamp my blogs.

I've finally gotten a new face for my crafty blog. It took me almost all week to get it tweaked just right. OK, I tweaked it to as close to just right as I could get.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Shark Tank: But for authentic user testing, he's perfect

"Big data-import application is finally finished, and developer pilot fish releases it to the quality assurance group for testing.

It's a fairly complicated program, but it's designed to run as a scheduled task -- once it's set up, no user interaction is required. And setting it up only requires entering the proper command sequence into a job scheduler.

And to make sure there's no confusion about the command, fish sends QA a 20-page document that covers program usage in such detail that it's foolproof.

Twenty minutes after QA starts work on the application, fish gets a call.
'So how do we run it?' the QA guy asks.

Fish wonders if the documentation somehow didn't arrive, so he asks about it.
Nope -- the QA guy has it sitting right in front of him.

Section 2.1, fish suggests through gritted teeth. It's titled 'Program Execution.'

'Well, yeah,' QA guy tells fish. 'But we just want to know how to run it. Could you e-mail us the command?'

It's not worth fighting over, fish thinks. He fires off a quick message containing the command: 'dataload.exe -f \[insert filename here].'

Later that day, fish gets a message in response: The dataload application doesn't work.

How could they possibly have messed this up? fish wonders as he walks over to the QA department to investigate.

He opens the job scheduler to see what command line the QA guy used. And there it is, exactly as fish sent it:

dataload.exe -f \[insert filename here]

Astonished fish asks QA guy if he did not realize that 'insert file name meant he had to insert a file name there.

QA guy: 'You should have been more specific.'"

Spectacular Conjunction

Of Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Crafty updates are up

I've got photos up of the scarf and the butterfly fairy. The Prodigal Son is holding the scarf and two of my little furry monsters are contemplating the yarn tail laying of the floor.

Motorcycle accident

I almost forgot . . .

On the way home from work Friday, there was a motorcyclist riding along in traffic next us in the right lane. He was not wearing any protective clothing, having on sandals and shorts and no helmet. He crossed rather sharply in front of us because his lane was moving rather more slowly than ours. I had the distinct impression from the way he swung into our lane and the way he kept looking around him that he was in a hurry. The traffic in our lane started to slow and he cut, rather more sharply, back into the lane next to us. I was glancing out of the window and I could see him out of the corner of one eye while I saw a white car coming up rather quickly in the merge lane next to the lane next to us. I knew, instantly, that the guy was going to swing into the merge lane and he would either hit or be hit by the white car.

Sure enough. I'm not sure who hit whom, but by the time we were even with the gap he'd swung into, he was rolling on the pavement and the bike had pieces coming off it while it went sliding down the lane and the white car was slamming on its breaks trying to stop.

I have no idea how badly hurt the cyclist was. Our lane was still moving and the Prodigal Son kept going with the flow. Looking out the back, we could see traffic stopping and moving very slowly around the accident.

What's ironic about this is, two traffic lights down the road there was an auto accident the police were still in the process of clearing. The police were trying to merge the right lane into the left lane which is what was causing the alternate lane slowing back where the motorcycle accident occurred.

Another miserable weekend

This weekend was pretty much a repeat of last weekend. I had migraines both days so I didn't get much accomplished although I did manage to finish that book I've been reading since the beginning of time. I slogged my way through the rest of it late Sunday afternoon once the headache had eased to a dull roar from blinding white-hot pain.

I'll post update pictures of what little I did get accomplished on my crafty projects later tonight. I've asked the Prodigal Son to help hold up the scarf so you can see how long it really is compared to his six feet of height.

What annoys me the most about having my weekends ruined by migraines is that my work week is rarely ever ruined by them - of late, at any rate. I woke up this morning without a twinge so I had no excuse to stay home and be lazy . . . I mean craftily productive.

So far, today is a good day. I've been busy, but not to the point of distraction. I've finished all the things I've started, and this afternoon - I'm on my lunch break - looks like it will be more of the same.

Shark Tank: Unclear on the Concept

"Close, But ...

Sysadmin pilot fish is watching over midrange systems on the evening shift when he notices a fellow midrange IT guy who's having trouble with his PC. 'His computer crashed and wouldn't reboot,' fish says. 'He said he had a huge bunch of old Excel files that he didn't recognize and no longer wanted. When he deleted them, the computer failed. I asked him just what exactly he did. He said he searched for all the '.exe' files and deleted them.' "

Summer Moon Illusion

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Embarrassments (Ketchup Trousers)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And I'm happy to report . . .

. . . I was a good girl last night. I actually worked on the scarf for the Daughter Who Isn't Mine. I got about two hours of knitting in before the hand gave out and I had to stop. And I'm already scoping out the next pattern I'm going to use for a scarf and I think I've found it. I'll have a skein of yarn left when I finish this one which should be enough to make a narrow scarf for someone though I haven't figured out whom yet.

I'm just such a knitting fool!


Has it really been a year?

Party SmileyWhy, yes, it has. Party SmileyToday marks the first anniversary of this blog.Party Smiley I think that calls for a small, virtual celebration.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ooh! Looks promising

Still from the motion picture MirrorMask coming this fall.

Still from the motion picture MirrorMask

Yahoo! has a trailer for the film up. It looks promising.

I couldn't stand it anymore

That last design update I did was driving me crazy so I got rid of it . . . sort of. Henceforth, the new design will be used. I'm still not completely done with it, but I can stand it better than I can the purple.

Let me know what you think!


Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (Burning Desire)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Epilogue Artist - Michael Waters : Earth Dragon

I love dragons. But we know that already, don't we.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Charges against Michael Jackson

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Jackson's jury explains decision

Speaking at Santa Barbara Superior Court, California, after a court gag order was lifted, the jurors - aged between 20 and 79 - were identified only by numbers.

They said they treated singer Michael Jackson as they would any other defendant during more than 30 hours of deliberations.

"One of the first things we decided was that we had to look at him like any other individual, not as a celebrity," said the jury foreman.

"And once we got that established, we could go beyond that and we were able to deal with it just as fairly as we could with anybody else."

Oh, sure. I believe unequivocally no one thought of Michael Jackson as a celebrity as they were deciding on a verdict. And I also know for a fact if pigs had wings, they could fly.

Mostly miserable

Weekend, that is. I decided I was going to have migraines on both Saturday and Sunday so I didn't get much of anything done except sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Saturday's headache was much worse than Sunday's. It started earlier and lasted longer and wasn't helped in the least by the screaming toddler child of the Prodigal's friend who should have been kept at home and put down for a nap.

Actually, I've felt particularly unproductive the last few weeks. Part of that is due to having had such a hectic schedule at work. Part is due to the heat and humidity which seeps into the house even with the air conditioner running at a decent clip. Oh, well. October is only four months away and then the temperatures will become tolerable again. I really hate summers on the Texas Gulf Coast.

And I think I pretty much hate the new look. OK, I don't actually hate it, but I really dislike it for the mood I'm in. I'll start work on getting something a little more palatable up this week. It probably won't happen today 'cause I promised to call the Daughter Who Isn't Mine tonight since I put her off yesterday - the headache, you know.

Wired News: Hubble's Eye View of Comet Crash


The charm of fairy tales . . .

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Guess what I did tonight?

Aw, come on! Guess!

Yep. I redecorated the ol' blog again. I'm not completely sure I like it although I like the way it looks in Mozilla better than in IE.

Oh, well.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Monday, June 06, 2005

Two Stars Poised to Merge - Yahoo! News

Core of Supernova Goes Missing - Yahoo! News

Two charged over alleged Harry Potter book plot - Yahoo! News

Parents fined for urinating baby - Yahoo! News

Shark Tank: Looks Like a Long, Hot Summer

Another Bad Idea

PC goes bad, so support pilot fish shifts user for a few days to the cubicle of someone who's on vacation. Next morning, fish gets a frantic call: User says his mouse has exploded! "It hadn't so much exploded as it had kind of melted," fish reports when he sees it. "It spent the night on the desk owner's USB-powered coffee-warming hot plate -- which the user had mistaken for a mouse pad."

Dave Devries's Monster Engine

Wow. Taking children's drawings of monsters and turning them into art. Some interesting stuff.

Don't believe everything you see!

Checkershadow Illusion

Friday, June 03, 2005

It occurred to me . . .

. . . at lunch today - which I didn't stop for because I was working on three projects at the same time trying to get just one of them done - that I haven't done any knitting all week. I have no idea why that should have popped into my noggin while I was fighting security issues, a recalcitrant MS Office install, and ordering some stuff from CDW since none of that is even vaguely related to knitting. But it did. I've spent all week playing on the computer instead of watching TV or reading or knitting or even cross stitching. I guess the computer bug bit me. I guess this means I need to knit a bit tonight just to say I worked on the scarf this week.

Fantasy Art Gallery - Art Galleries - Keith Thompson

Mondo bizarro, but very, very good.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Business (Sinking the Sub Club)

Claim: Subway is ending its long-running Sub Club promotion due to the prevalence of counterfeit stamps.

Status: True.

I would like to just shout out a great big "Thank you" to the useless asses of the world who ruin a perfectly good free lunch by trying to steal a perfectly good free lunch.

agglomeration of the Day:

agglomeration \uh-glom-uh-RAY-shuhn\, noun:
1. The act or process of collecting in a mass; a heaping together.
2. A jumbled cluster or mass of usually varied elements.

Agglomeration is the noun form of agglomerate, "to gather into a ball or mass," which derives from the past participle of Latin agglomerare, "to mass together; to heap up," from ad- + glomerare, "to form into a ball," from glomus, glomer-, "ball."

That pretty much describes my house. I firmly believe a jumbled cluster makes a home.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What classic story role do I play?

You Are The Outlaw
"Sure, I'll do it. My way."

Just because you do not conform to the same laws and rules as everyone else does not mean that you are a bad guy. You travel your own path, separate from those around you, with your own reasons for doing what you do. Because of this and your own nature, it goes without saying that you are generally misunderstood. That does not matter much, though, as people love you for being who you are. You are pretty well set in your ways and have no real intention of changing. This can come across as a flicker of arrogance if your not careful. You do what is right for you, and God help anyone who stands in your way.

Which Classic Story Role Do You Play?
brought to you by Quizilla

Epilogue Artist - Bethany Berg : Quipp

Dark Side Switch Campaign

It's sad when the best thing about Star Wars is this commercial.

Geek Trivia: Pole positions

As part of Geek Trivia's continuing efforts to highlight obscure anniversaries from the annals of science and history, I'll remind you that 174 years ago today, explorer James Clark Ross' expedition became the first group to locate the Earth's Magnetic North Pole. On June 1, 1831, Ross and his team became the first people on Earth to discover an exact position in the arctic where the dip in the planet's magnetic field is precisely 90 degrees.

The 90-degree dip means that the Earth's magnetic field lines are pointing straight up from that position (90 degrees from a level horizon)--essentially marking the exact center point of the field. Moving away from that spot, the field lines angle toward an incline, growing more pronounced as you move away from the pole. Put another way, Ross found the very site toward which all magnetic compasses were pointing, a virtual magnetic X marking the spot.

Exciting, isn't it? Well, if this milestone moment from geomagnetic orienteering doesn't get your blood pumping, consider this: Assuming you could venture to the exact geographic position that Ross' team marked in 1831, you would not be at the Earth's Magnetic North Pole. That's because the Earth's Magnetic North wanders, and various expeditions have found it in different positions, including one by famed arctic and antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen.

During the 20th century, Magnetic North headed steadily northwest at an average speed of about 11 kilometers per year--although its pace has accelerated since 1970--and it should reach Siberia sometime around the year 2050. Of course, this begs the question: How can the North Pole move northwest? Wherever the North Pole is, that's true north, right?

Wrong: As usual, science flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Setting aside the well-established fact that the Earth's magnetic poles flip about every 500 millennia or so--to say nothing of various conceptual "Norths" used by astronomers when dealing with galactic planes and satellite orbits--Magnetic North is only one of several "Norths" recognized by science. As applies to planet Earth, there are no less than four different kinds of North Poles.

What are the four types of North Poles on planet Earth typically recognized by science, three of which are different from the compass-designated Magnetic North?

Besides Magnetic North, intrepid explorers have found their way to the Geographic North Pole, Geomagnetic North Pole, and the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility. As previously mentioned, the short definition of Magnetic North is the spot on the Earth's surface toward which all magnetic compasses point.

Geographic North, by contrast, is the spot on the Earth's surface directly above the Earth's axis—think of it as the head of the pin around which the planet spins. This is the only location that can lay claim to the True North title, and it's the point of reference used to mark how far Magnetic North is "wandering" each year.

Not to be confused with the Geographic North or Magnetic North Poles is the obscure Geomagnetic North Pole. This one is a little trickier to explain, so bear with me. The Earth has a geographic axis, around which it spins. In addition, there is a magnetic axis, like a giant bar magnet, around which the Earth's magnetic field emanates.

The magnetic and geographic axes don't match up, with the magnetic axis offset from the geographic axis by about 11 degrees. If you were to extend the imaginary bar magnet so its ends touch the Earth's surface, you would have two geomagnetic poles. The pole closest to True North is the Northern Geomagnetic Pole.

Ironically, compasses don't point toward the Geomagnetic Pole because the imaginary bar magnet doesn't actually extend all the way to the Earth's surface (so to speak), with the field's endpoints actually underground.

The last North is perhaps the most bizarre. The Northern Pole of Inaccessibility is the northernmost point farthest from every possible coastline. In other words, it's the spot in the Arctic Ocean that's farthest from land on all sides.

Officially, it’s the middle of nowhere.
The Pole of Inaccessibility has no magnetic or axial component. It's merely an artifact of cartography, navigation, and—of course—Geek Trivia.

Oh, migawd! They know where the middle of nowhere is and I don't actually live there! Who would have thought?!?

42nd Mersenne Prime Discovered