Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Monday, December 20, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
Today, another anglophile pal (who just returned from the UK and brought us a spiffy tea towel from the V&A) paid us a visit, and I was inspired to make scones. I love scones. Tea is better with scones. Made with butter, almond meal in place of some of the flour, and eggs from our two goofy chickens, Henrietta & Iris. Raspberry jam from Trader Joe's (I've run out of the blackberry stuff I put up last Summer :-( ). Cool weather makes me hungry, can you tell?
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Saturday we went in to San Francisco for the Dickens Fair at the Cow Palace. I figured I'd better go this year, as we'll probably be moving north sometime before the next one. It was really nice! I was pleasantly surprised. Gordon went as a sailor (I went as a fishwife; first time I've had 19th century clothes on since Gordon and I and a former friend used to model for the San Francisco Academy of Art College about six years ago...). We ran into some soldier friends, and also Col. Wm. "Buffalo Bill" Cody AND the singer Jenny Lind! Score! We actually had tea with Cody & Lind (our friends Patrick & Julie) at a very nice tea shop.
The Dickens Fair had about the same ratio of flakes & nuts to quality re-enactors as the Ren Faire, but for some reason the goofiness factor seems a lot lower. It probably has something to do with the fact that it's easier to throw together 19th century clothing than 16th century clothing if you don't have much of a clue. A shabby attempt at 19th century women's wear just becomes "streetwalker", whereas a lame attempt at 16th century clothing runs the gamut from "fairytale fantasy" to "Victorian bondagewear" to "Celtic knightmare". It just seemed as though it was a lot easier to absorb the atmosphere and play "let's pretend" than at the Ren Faire, where your bubble is popped every time you turn around, whether by some guy in a Conan costume or the fact that for some reason it's 95 f in Merrye Olde Englande. I'd go again for sure!
Monday, November 29, 2004
My definition of a generally "good" movie is one that, whatever my initial impression of it, I find myself thinking about days, months, even years afterward. By "thinking" I mean in a good way, as in "Wow, that 'gotta' dance' number in Singing in the Rain!" or "Baron von Munchausen's hot-air balloon sailing through the constellations!". Sometimes a really bad movie or unnerving scene in an otherwise good movie gets stuck in one's head, like an evil commercial jingle, but that's another topic. Some become cultural icons, like Lawrence of Arabia or An Affair to Remember; some are kind of culty, like City of Lost Children; some are hero tales that strike a chord, like Alien or Star Wars (IV, if you insist). I just found another one for myself: The Incredibles, Pixar's latest release. About 24 hours after seeing it I finally admitted that I would own the DVD eventually. . . (continue reading... )
Sunday, November 28, 2004
I took the liberty of photoshopping this pic to give Carl a more gnarly artificial leg. The Bionic Man one works great, but lacks style. I felt scrimshaw and turned wood suited better. His wife, in green, won the "most yardage in a gown" award for the day, proving that you don't need to go to the 18th or 19th centuries to load on the fabric. Medieval clothes are just more comfy, too, IMO. Gordo traced a cassock pattern (we were at his friend Nick's house. Nick is about the same size as Gordo, overall), and I traced a hood to copy (worn by lady in pic top R). We're going to Camlann for Yule, and we need some toasty 14th century stuff dontcha know.
Update update: On Sunday Gordon went to the black powder shoot at Lake Chabot and had fun with olde gunnes. Much merriment ensued.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
- a body that functions well enough to allow me to run and dance and row boats and ride horses and see the ocean and hear music,
- a great mom & dad who adopted me when I was 8 days old and raised me as wholly their own,
- best of all a loving husband who is truly my best friend.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
WORSHIP! You're inner Bombshell is the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed with a "certain something" that no one could describe accurately. You are more reserved than other bombshells, and that shows in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing things for other people and love volunteering for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift in this day and age. You don't need to show a lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game watch the movie "Breakfast at Tiffanys".
Who is your inner bombshell?
brought to you by Quizilla
At the other end, literally, of the faire, was a "camp" of "gypsies". Belly dancing has been at Ren Faires since the 70s at least, for some inexplicable reason. It's right up there with Scotsmen in kilts and Meiji period Japanese impersonators, as far as I'm concerned. However, as a belly dancer myself, I enjoy watching a good show. Hahbi 'Ru, who perform at the big N Cal Faire every year, are alone worth the price of admission, IMO. Especially since they project a very folk/native/historical atmosphere. This gang was ok, but really seemed to give more of a 60s/70s nature child Grateful Dead kind of impression. There's nothing wrong with that, but what it's doing at a Ren Faire I really can't fathom. Still, they seemed to be having a good time. I was particularly impressed with the "fire dance".
Monday, November 15, 2004
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Here's a shot of the Knights of the Azure Cross's quintain. Trying to get ideas together to build our own so poor Henrik can have his quintain back...
Friday, November 12, 2004
The details were pretty much kept within the family, mostly to protect the daughter. However, this gem of chivalry with whom she has chosen to share her life (currently) is a frequent, nay, constant, denizen of a certain web forum where the MO consists mainly of taunts and personal insults (now there's a high quality way to spend your days...not). Here we were, all tiptoeing around, keeping our family woes to ourselves in the interest of good manners, when all along the instigator was running his exploits up the virtual flagpole. Apparently Sven has made a habit of bragging about such things as his sexual conquests (true) and illustrious film career (heavily padded). He also seems to have a habit of posting using other people's names, something which I am in the process of verifying. To his apparent surprise, the other folks at this forum have grown weary of him, and seem to have begun a campaign designed to irritate him enough to get rid of him. Or maybe they're just a bunch of virtual picadores having a lark, which seems more likely.
After a couple of days of watching this flap unfold, I've come to the conclusion that Sven is no mere sociopath, but a virtual S&M junkie. The only reason he would possibly want to return again and again to that forum, spending many hours a day exchanging taunts and ducking virtual rocks, must be that he actually enjoys the abuse! Why else would he flaunt his indiscretion in such a cavalier manner? Did he expect to generate applause?
The person I worry about is the girl in his control, who (of course) doggedly defends his every move. She is (rightly) irate about this whole flap. Unfortunately, she needs to take a good hard look at the cause of it. Her friends and family are ready to "be there" for her when she decides she's had enough of life with Mr. Right Now, but she can figure that out for herself if she's as smart as we hope she is.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Matt over at Infinitely Tortuous adds his two cents quite eloquently, as well:
"...is this what it's come to? If I don't like it, I'm leaving? I'm taking my ball and going home? Have we become a nation of spoiled brats so accustomed to getting our way that oh my god the world comes to an end when we don't?
...As much as I'd love to join the sore winners' cry of "don't let the door hit you on the way out", it would essentially mean the failure of the American Experiment. These people need to shut up, take a bottle of chill pills, and just sit and think for a good long while."
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
2145: Finally got in at the CP, looks like we're going to have the big W for four more years. He's not perfect, but at least he's not a lefty loony ivory tower bliss ninny...oops, did I say that. Yep, I did.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Update: Before anybody assumes I'm some Puritanical killjoy; I am NOT crying for folks to keep the kids home piously watching "Veggie Tale" (gag) while their friends go trick-or-treating. I am not saying going to a costume party is tantamount to selling your soul to the Horned One. I'm just saying we need to be educated, know our history, and be prepared to discuss what a real witch or ghost really is. I think we need to take care of the message we send to our unsaved friends and neighbors, that's all.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
Meanwhile, over at Blog and Mablog, Douglas Wilson takes a healthy look at what the reality of human knowledge is and how it works in "Backs to the Future". I particularly like his comments on the nature of scientific knowledge, a concept which the makers of the above film seem to have forgotten, that being "...some of the things that we think are slam-dunk certainties will almost certainly turn out not to be. E.G. Stanley once commented (with some acid in it) that the history of scholarship is the history of error. And was it Max Planck who said that science advances funeral by funeral?"
Update: I was peeking in over at Defective Yeti (my second favorite blog title...the #1 is here) and saw his "Bad Reviews" section, which, not surprisingly, included an excerpt of a bad review for "What the...?", saying "Like being stuck at a science fair, with a 5-year-old on one side asking questions and his hippie parents on the other fumbling to answer them." -- Jon Niccum, LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD
Monday, October 18, 2004
Sunday, October 17, 2004
On an even lighter but somehow related note:
I guess it makes sense that I came out "The Stranger" in the Big Lebowski questionnaire...!
Friday, October 15, 2004
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Oooh! White hair is pretty cool...Storm is cool, too, so I'm happy with my "score". I've always been interested in Super Heroes and have occasionally fantasized about being a sidekick to one or the other. Sometimes I dream I'm Batman's other little buddy, etc....lots of fun!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Anyway...the P.I. has a good article on the current situation here. For the straight dope, go to the UW Geology Dept's page here.
Michelle Malkin (who has links to the latest updates on this fiasco) says, "Will the Democratic political appendage known as the teachers' union defend this rank-and-file teacher or put its fatcat union leaders' partisan interests first? And would there be any question about where the union would have stood if this had been 1992 or 1996 and the teacher in question had been reprimanded for displaying a photo of President Clinton during the campaign season?" I don't think it takes a certified genius to answer that one, which is appalling in itself.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
This just in: Gordon's #1 daughter just plopped a bunch of related pics on her photoblog...
Friday, September 24, 2004
I'm not surprised that this entry has stimulated the first real storm of comments on this blog. People the world over are wondering about Islam and related topics. The nature of God, truth, and religion should be the big topics of the day. Russell Mann has been dealing with the same topic, with some of the same comment contributors.
Over at the National Review, Victor Davis Hanson, in an article entitled "The Fall", writes of the long downward slide of Liberal journalism, citing the current Dan Rather FUBAR as a possible turning point in the future of alphabet network (the big three) news:
“Hypocrisy and aristocratic smugness are drawing the ancient regime to its death. Rather's now-ossified generation came of age in the heady Vietnam era, on the apparent premise that Main Street, USA, and the Kiwanis had given us Vietnam, Watergate, racism, and the other isms and phobias — and that only hip, swashbuckling 60s-types could tell the American people the ‘truth’ about what
the ‘establishment’ was up to.
“Ever so incrementally along this inevitable road to Rathergate, John Kerry's searing ambodia-patrol story, and Kitty Kelley's Reagan and Bush pseudographies, many Americans began to worry about the ends-justifying-the-means culture of the sanctimonious Left. The counterculture was defended on the dubious premise that the activists needed to fight fire with fire as they exposed everything from Nixon's lies to the embarrassing Pentagon Papers.
“But in the process there also began a professional devolution, as questionable legal and ethical methods were excused in the name of the greater good.” (entire article here)
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
On a happier note, over the weekend we had a visit from little cousin 'Stella (now adopted by Gordon's oldest, Lizzie), whom Gimli adores. Well, he likes to wrassle and torment her, but that's ok because she's even more of a monkey than he is. For starters, she's the ONLY cat who will stand up to Iris (our grey auracana chicken). This is the chicken who chases our alpha cat, Eric the Red (16 lbs). Tiny little 'Stella gets endless amusement out of lying in wait for Iris then jumping out and sending her straight up into the air, gobbling like a turkey. Whee! She also seems to like rolls of paper towels and was shredding one behind my back while I attempted a little tidying up. Gimli (pictured under the wheelbarrow) is the real paper shredder, though. He can reduce a brown grocery bag to compost in under five minutes. Need documents shredded? He's on the job.
Even with my attempts to avoid contact with the latest hoo-hah in the Bush/Kerry mudfest...er...campaigns, a dogged pen-pal of mine managed to slip me an article that I think sums up the whole "memogate" thing quite nicely. So here I go, joining the buzz of bloggers commenting on the amazing sham that is mainstream news reporting. It's pretty obvious to most sentient beings that the memos are frauds, so why are CBS (and others) stubbornly clinging to their weak and inconsequential claims? Mark Steyn, writing for the Chicago Sun Times yesterday (9-19-04), opines thusly:
As the network put it last week, ''In accordance with longstanding journalistic ethics, CBS News is not prepared to reveal its confidential sources or the method by which '60 Minutes' Wednesday received the documents.'' But, once they admit the documents are fake, they can no longer claim ''journalistic ethics'' as an excuse to protect their source. There's no legal or First Amendment protection afforded to a man who peddles a fraud. You'd think CBS would be mad as hell to find whoever it was who stitched them up and made them look idiots.For my money, it's a good summary of this latest newsmedia diversionary tactic to distract us from actual news. Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin weighs in as well, noting the media's slippery use of buzz words like "candor" and "confident" when the facts are somewhat less than factual.
So why aren't they? The only reasonable conclusion is that the source -- or trail of sources -- is even more incriminating than the fake documents. Why else would Heyward and Rather allow the CBS news division to commit slow, public suicide? (entire article)
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Second, there's been the plague of spiders: I can't keep up with the daddy-long-legs in the house. I appreciate the little monsters, really I do, but do I really need one in every 5 feet of ceiling/wall interface? Then there are the nasty spiders. I'm getting bites, I guess during the night, that can't be anything but spider bites, which creeps me out. This morning I followed the buzzing outside and found a big black wood bee trapped in the web of a BLACK WIDOW! Outside in broad daylight! Under my kitchen window! The BW is now a smear on the patio (after being stunned by my trusty bug zapper racket). Anybody who knows BW spiders knows they like quiet, dark places. I have NEVER seen one out like that, but then I ran into (almost literally) one out in the pool house a month or so ago when I hadn't been out there for awhile which was unnerving in itself.
The third plague is fleas. Not an unusual plague, mind you, but I've never had a problem like this here in Stockton. We have no wall-to-wall carpeting, and so it's easy to keep the buggage to a minimum. Plus, I treat all the cats with Frontline. Yet I'm still finding little "blood spots" on our bed sheets from flea dirt on the cats, and Gordon is getting flea bites on his feet. It's nuts.
Fourthly, and I'm pushing it here; it's just dang hot. You can see my local weather on the little "weather bug" at the bottom of this page. The weather people keep taunting me with predictions of falling temps...then it suddenly bounces back up to 100f. So much for getting yardwork (or anything else, for that matter) done during daylight hours.
Well, just thought I gripe a bit.
Friday, September 03, 2004
In keeping with this spirit of “peace”, there has arisen a contingent of women calling themselves “Code Pink” (frankly, I would have picked a different name: Nyuk, nyuk. Wink), who seem to be quite skilled in the “Personal Assaults for Peace” arena. Michele Malkin has her finger on the pulse of this gang of plucky protestors…
Thursday, September 02, 2004
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday strongly condemned terrorist attacks in Israel and Russia and the gruesome murder of 12 Nepalese civilians in*Ford Prefect to the Galgafrynchan (sp) middle managers,
Iraq. The UN Security Council condemned the Israeli suicide bombings and “all other acts of terrorism.” (more...)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
In the '80s I would go to the cosmetology school in the "U" district and get a "cellophane" in a nice cinnamon brown color. Later, I discovered the joys of henna, and that's my MO these days. I like it because I know what it is (ground-up leaves of the lawsonia shrub), it goes back to pre-history as a home-made cosmetic, and it smells great! Plus, I can play with additives to keep the color subdued. I add walnut hull powder, clove oil, olive oil, and use coffee instead of water. Did I mention it smells great?
Last night I hennaed my hair and I can still smell it. Oh, and it's also mildly astringent, so it's great for your scalp in hot weather (like right now). Once, a few years ago, I decided to treat myself and actually go to a salon and have somebody else do it. The well-meaning gal who worked on me took the henna mixture...and added some nasty-smelling over-perfumed conditioner to the paste. The lovely green, spicy-smelling henna now smelled like a perfume counter. Bleh. Talk about "unclear on the concept." Anyway, I feel better now.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
"George Eldon Ladd. Simple. Brilliant.:
"The secular historian feels bound to interpret all ancient records, sacred and secular, in terms of known observable human experience, historical causality and analogy. In history as thus defined, there is no room for the acting of God, for God belongs to the theological category, not to that of observable human experience. However, the biblical records bear witness that God has acted in history, especially in Jesus of Nazareth, that in him God has disclosed his kingly rule. If this is a true claim, the secular historian has no critical tools for recognizing it, for his very presuppositions eliminate the possibility of God acting in history. Therefore, the secular approach cannot understand the Bible. A method must be employed which allows the interpreter to understand the New Testament as the record of God’s act in the Jesus of history."This is something that has been rattling around in my brain for a few years. I needed somebody else to sum it up so nicely.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
The boy is 17 yrs old. He is wheelchair-bound with a number of maladies. I believe MS is the biggie, but to add to his misery he also has scoliosis. So what was the call about? Against the wishes of this 17 year old boy, they carted him to the hospital and had the radical "steel rod up the spine" surgery. He has not been doing well, to put it mildly. Among other things, he has suffered a stroke and struggles with lucidity. The mother has gone all out to try to keep Darrell away from his son, and he's only been able to gain access to him a few times, during which visits he holds his hand and reads to him from the Bible and prays over him (activities which, needless to say, are not on the mother's menu).
The prayer chain is large and some big guns are being called in. Please join the strike force and pray for this situation. For healing for the son (also named Darrell), and for victory in the legal tangles that are plaguing this situation. It has been my impression that this woman has used this boy over the last four years purely as a weapon against his father, to twit him any way she can. The wishes, feelings, and well-being of this kid don't seem to mean squat to her. Let's get some artillery fire on this LZ before it gets even uglier. Thanks.
Friday, August 27, 2004
Looks like I may have to buy eggs for the first time in months, because Iris (grey chicken) hasn't laid for days. Looks like she's molting, too. I'm gathering quite a collection of feathers for the fly fisherman across the street. It comes of being crabby, I think. She won't let me catch her anymore for "love", while Henrietta (red chicken) is always happy for a pat on the back.
Other than that...Gimli is turning into the Tasmanian Devil. As soon as I have the cash he's going in for the operation. Today he climbed a "tree" about 1 1/2" in diameter and hung swaying about 7' off the ground swatting at me while I talked to a neighbor. He's special.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
What does watching the shlock that passes for entertainment do to people? It dulls them to the point that they think mediocre movies are worth watching. Watch enough drivel and even an Adam Sandler movie becomes bearable (by comparison, I guess). My time is too precious. I would have sat through the Larry McMurtry train wreck just to be sociable for my hubby, but luckily he lost patience pretty quickly. Lonesome Dove is pretty well-made, but neither of us were up for that depression-filled epic just now, so we went back to our books...
Update: I finally cleared my "blocked cookies" file and life is back to normal. I must have been in a blocking frenzy one day and blocked something I shouldn't have. Duh...
Friday, August 20, 2004
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Manager: "Why do you want to work here?"
"Well, I shop here constantly...and it's three blocks from my house." To which the food sample girl chimes in, "So she won't always be late like me!!" :-D
Also, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and start holding small dance classes in the front room. This will force me to clean house at least once a week (the horror). Plus it will get me off my hinder and back in shape. We'll see what the man has to say. I'm guessing anything that generates income will be approved.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
BRENTWOOD, Tenn., Aug 6, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
"Tremendous pre-sale demand has put the recently published, The American Prophecies (Warner Faith Hardcover/August 2004), on the New York Times bestseller list before its official release date- a nearly unheard of feat for any book. The American Prophecies will debut at No. 10 on the August 15 List, just days after its official release on August 9.
"In his latest book, noted Middle East analyst Michael D. Evans sheds light on political events from a prophetic perspective. He reveals how the hatred from the Arab world for the West, and toward America in particular, can be traced entirely to this nation's identification with Israel. 'America flirts with danger,' Evans says, 'when it accommodates the Arab world merely for the sake of oil.' According to Evans, hatred for America began long before September 11, 2001. America is targeted because of its friendship with Israel, its foundation on a Judeo-Christian system, and its basis in democracy. All of these factors contribute to the enmity of terrorist groups and, he suggests, the attacks will continue."
It's interesting to hear her talk about her future in-laws, a very "high strung" set of intellectual over-achievers and academics. She feels a bit sub-standard around them at times, which she shouldn't, but I understand her position and can empathize. When I was her age I was peripherally part of a group of friends by way of my best girlfriend Angela. Not only was I a middle-class, Protestant, tea-totaller undergrad while they were (mostly) Catholic, upper-crusty, graduate types, but I was also the youngest by far. Even now, when I see this gang on occasional visits to Seattle, I still feel like a "poor relation" in the culture, intellect, and social status departments. When we would go to movies or on other outings I was forever in fear of committing some faux pas or another, and much of their conversation was outside of my experience. It's totally irrational, because if they had seen me as some kind of misfit they wouldn't have invited me along when they did. Nevertheless, I still felt oafish much of the time.
It sounds trite, but she's marrying in to a family who loves her for what she is, not what she isn't. Most of this family are well into high-power careers, and she is fresh out of a four-year degree. Frankly, it sounds like she has a lot to offer them, as well, in terms of just, well, lightening up a bit. I'm sure her future husband seems a bit "type-A" at times, but this can be a very good thing if channelled in constructive ways. Trust me, it's harder to channel a lack of enthusiasm...I speak from personal experience.
* "What you see is what you get" or "graphic interface (GUI)"
Thursday, August 12, 2004
I did manage to catch Hahbi 'Ru's early show (before I turned completely to slag), and it alone was worth the price of admission. They are pretty much without reservation my favorite troupe of ME dancers! If I lived closer to the Bay Area you can bet I'd be auditioning for them. Probably wouldn't make the cut, but then I'd have a good excuse to take classes from one of them! Anyway...they opened with a nifty Tunisian number (see pic above) which was SO REFRESHING after Suhaila (bless her heart) and her "solid gold dancer" choreographies. Don't get me wrong, Suhaila's troupe (pic above) is hot...but not really olde tyme dancing. Anyway...when I see a truly outstanding live performance it can literally bring tears to my eyes, and I did some significant sniffling at this show!