Thursday, December 16, 2010

QOL*: fleece sheets

This may seem like a small thing, but if you're looking for a way to raise the comfort level of your sleeping situation exponentially during the cold season, this is a win-win deal. Polarfleece or micro-fleece sheets. It's like sleeping in a pile of silk velvet. It also raised the R-value of our bedding to the point where we had to remove the duvet (down comforter).

We heat our little house with a wood stove. The fire usually goes out at some point in the night, so the ambient temperature drops a bit. We still don't need the comforter anymore. Fleece sheets, a plush fleece blanket, and a thin cotton coverlet (to keep the cat hairs & general grubbiness off of everything else). No electric blanket needed, and the average room temperature in our bedroom at night hovers between 60-65F.

Bonus: No need to break your budget to switch from cotton flannel or percale, either! You can pick up a complete set (queen fitted, flat, & pillowcases) at outlets like Ross or TJ Maxx for $20 (vs. $40+ on sale at the dept. store). That's what I did a week ago when I noticed that our cotton flannel sheets were so threadbare that they were developing large holes. I personally prefer the cool percale pillowcases under my head, and relegated the fleecy one to the pillow I put under my knees so my back doesn't hurt. Perfect.

These sheets are so cozy I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. OK, that's nothing new. More importantly, I'm actually going to bed earlier because I can't wait to crawl into that fluffy softness, and that's a real improvement for me.

Oh, the cats like it, too. Much kneading and puring goes on at bed time these days.

*QOL="quality of life". I just made up this abbreviation and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weather Underground

As I type this it is dumping down rain outside. Not unusual for the Pacific Northwest, of course, but even for here this is a crazy amount all at once. This is the land of drizzle, not downpour. There will be flooding on the Snohmish, Snoqualmie, and Skagit rivers I'm sure.

To keep in the weather theme, my very first recommendation or "cool thing" on my newly revitalized blog is...the Weather Underground! This is my go-to place for weather info. What makes it, I think, superior to all other internet weather services is its location specificity. They get their data from numerous public and private weather stations, not just one "official" point in any given region. I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but around here it can be dark and stormy here, and sunny and clear five miles away, then windy five more miles on, then foggy, etc.
The home page looks like Too Much Information at first, but with a few clicks you can customize it for your personal use. I mostly just want the forecast for the next day or two. Nobody, not even NOAA, can predict beyond a general trend, what the weather will be like more than 24 or so hours ahead, and all weather sites have about the same accuracy in that regard. What Weather Underground has that's special is the "Wundermap", which gives you real-time doppler radar, color-coded for precipitation density and type (rain, snow, etc.) You can customize this to be as detailed as you like as far as the information shown, the weather stations, and the type of map underlay. Play with it, it's amazing. In the example above, I have it showing the doppler radar (which is saturated at the moment), the severe weather alert areas (the solid green mappage), and the storm tracks. The little circles are the individual weather stations. The number in them is the temperature (in Farenheit), and if they have a "tail" that's the wind direction and speed (see legend).

They have the usual widgets for placing weather info on your web sites. They also have a mobile version for your Blackberry, iPhone or other smartyphone device. Check it out at

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Focus of this Blog

In the last year or so this blog has fallen into disuse. What with Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, and other social networking tools, the poor old blog has taken a backseat as a quick and easy way to keep in touch with friends and family. It's time for a change.

As I skid haphazardly into middle age, I find that I've discovered and am constantly discovering products, methods, and concepts that make my life better. I'm going to try to share these things on my blog, whether it's a hair-care product, a money-management tool, or a brand of clothing for real bodies. It might just be a great place to buy socks (that would be

What's the point of testing and learning, if I don't pass along my discoveries? That's what I'm going to try to do here. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Quest Begins

Journey Quest, the web series I worked on earlier this year, is live with the first two episodes! You can watch them on YouTube, or right on

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dreamy Sleepy

When I grow sleepy and start to think about heading for bed, I usually start picking up the signals from the last dream I had the night before. Of course, this is really from "early that morning", since I tend to wake up right out of the last dream. If it was a good dream, it makes it easy to get to sleep. I just start running the last scenes again and it helps me drift off. If it was an unpleasant dream, I just start thinking about something else, usually a good dream from another time. As I've grown older and a bit more confident, I'm better able to manipulate my dreams. I do notice that when I'm going through a rough patch, mentally, that my dreams can be exhausting.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Union Workers against GZ Mosque

Union construction workers threatening to refuse work on new mosque at 9-11 site? This could get interesting. I hope the Union Brass hats back them up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Date Change: Til Tableaux=May 8th!

Yipe, I haven't posted on my blog in awhile! The real date for the Tilbury Tableaux (modeling for painters) Day is May 8th, a Saturday. The usual suspects can let me know if you're interested in participating. This time you'll even be paid!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2nd Annual Tilbury Tableaux

Join us May 8th for the 2nd annual Tilbury Tableaux, an opportunity for painters and other artists to work with lavishly-costumed models in outdoor settings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scotland Road

It's official! I'm the worst blogger ever! Don't believe me? Just look at the sparsity of posts here. Personally, I blame Facebook and Twitter...never my own laziness.

At any rate, I'm in a super nifty play at the Jewel Box Theatre in Poulsbo, WA, which runs every Fri/Sat/Sun(matinee) until the end of this month. Which is February 2010. If you're local, come see it! It's actually quite good.