Friday, August 31, 2007

MEME: Friday Fill-In 35


1. The last time someone flirted with me _my wife nearly killed them_.
2. I am SO glad _the invented suspenders_.
3. Where in the world is _Carmen Santiago_.
4. Long weekends are _never long enough_.
5. Coming up next: _The Crisco Cat Wrestling Hour_.
6. I adore _my wife_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _relaxing_, tomorrow my plans include _checking out a camper down state_ and Sunday, I want to _watch the race_!

You can get a blank list of questions and learn more about FFI by clicking the little banner above.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Episode 435

RFDuck, mememeister of the Hump must be having nostalgic twinges in his tail feathers for those lost days of his youth when he spent the whole day sitting around, watching TV. See what I mean:

Hello everyone! I don't like the theme for today (Chop Suey Day), so let's talk about TV instead:

1. If you could be an audience member, or be on, any TV show, which one would you choose?
I'd like to once again watch Johnny Carson taping the Tonight Show at the NBC Studios in New York. Now that's a blast from my past!
2. Who is your favorite TV actor, past or present?
Currently, it's Hugh Laurie. All time favorite remains Robin Williams.
3. How many hours of TV do you watch each day?
Way too many for my own good.
4. What's your favorite game show?


For your own set of this week's questions, just click it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo # 434 - Compassion

Hello everyone! Another Monday is here. Today is Compassion Day. Follow these steps for a very compassionate Mambo . . .

1. Choose someone you know, to whom you'd like to dedicate a song.

2. Choose a song to represent your compassion toward that person.

3. Explain a little about why you chose the song, if you wish.

Compassion: noun, kum`pashun 1. A deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering; 2. The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

About a year and a half ago, I and a lot of other former AOL Journalistas lost a good friend to cancer. She was brave and tried oh so hard to be strong, despite the thrashing that chemotherapy and radiation treatments were giving her. We watched her go from a vital head of household, self-supporting mother of two teenagers to totally dependant upon the help of others within the space of eight months. Through it all, she did her best to share her thoughts, feelings and fears with the blogosphere.

So, it was, for me, a toss up between George Harrison's “Something In The Way She Moves” and James Taylor's “Fire and Rain.” After careful consideration, I chose “Fire and Rain” for Pamela, with love.

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone.
Pamela, the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain.
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.
But I always thought that I'd see you again...

Won't you look down upon me, jesus,
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day.
My body's aching and my time is at hand,
And I wont make it any other way.

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain;
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.
But I always thought that I'd see you again...

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun,
Lord knows when the cold wind blows, it'll turn your head around.
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come,
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain.
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
But I always thought that Id see you, baby, one more time again...

Now, thought I'd see you one more time again.
There's just a few things coming my way this time around,
Now, thought I'd see you, thought I'd see you.
Fire and rain, now...

MEME: Monday Madness - Wicked Weather

Mistress Otto has been experiencing some stormy weather in her neck of the dungeon, hence this week's theme:
“Here are some weather-related questions.... Thank you for playing and have an awesome week!” =)

1. Where you live, what kind of weather (or weather-related tragedy) do you fear the most? Ice storms that knock out the power for more than a few days. Along the coast, hurricanes and full gales are always of concern. Here in the flatlands, a blizzard is nothing to be trifled with, either.
2. What kind of weather do you MOST enjoy? Early autumn weather, temperatures in the mid-sixties, sunny with a mild breeze. I live for those conditions. No bugs, no tourists, no hassles.
3. What kind of weather do you LEAST like to drive in? Torrential downpours – because you just can't see the end of the truck, let alone the rear of the one in front of you...
4. What is the scariest weather-related experience you've had in your lifetime? I “weathered” a tornado in a ditch alongside Interstate 70 one spring afternoon.
5. Share a "weather picture" with us!
Sure, here's one for all those folks wilting in this summer's wicked hot conditions – winter in the North Country:

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 104

Sometimes, a revolution can begin with a song. Back in the 1930s, FDR helped America prosper after the Great Depression and the theme song that helped him get his plans into action was “Happy Days Are Here Again.” In the 1990s, Bill Clinton’s campaign theme was “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.”

Would you believe this week’s question has something to do with songs and politics?

But before you go through your CD collection, Eugene, of “Imabug” was first to play last week! Congratulations, Eugene!

On to this week’s question!

Name your top seven choices for a campaign theme song if you were going to run for president.

Campaign songs are like selling hot dogs – it isn't the sausage you sell, it's the sizzle. So to with the musical accompaniment on the campaign trail. There's some old stand-bys that every national candidate should have in their bag of tricks, as well as a new one or two.

  1. Happy Days Are Here Again”

  2. On A Clear Day”

  3. WAR – What's It Good For?

  4. Battle Hymn of the Republic”

  5. If The Republicans Get Into Power Again...” (sung to the tune of “Johnny Comes Marching Home”)

  6. This Land Is Your Land”

  7. She's A Grand Old Flag”

There you have it, folks. Have a good week, and don't forget to keep your powder dry.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 238

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Uneven :: wobbly
  2. Wonder :: Woman
  3. Spider :: Man
  4. Emma :: Peel
  5. Swing :: cat
  6. Orbit :: Lander
  7. Flirt :: tease
  8. Donation :: Charitable
  9. Veil :: thin
  10. Atmosphere :: disturbance

Saturday, August 25, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 175 -- Prejudice

More car troubles this week for Patrick:

To those who have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of this week’s questions, I offer my sincere apologies. It would seem that the car isn’t entirely finished with its “technical difficulties,” and a good portion of the afternoon was spent dealing with this problem.

This week’s questions, though, has little to do with such problems.

Before this week’s questions, Otowi of “Otowi” was first to play last week for the second week in a row. Congratulations!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. Considering all possible factors about a person that make us different, like age, appearance, religion, race, origin, sexual preference, etc., with 10 being the most prejudiced and 1 being the least, how do you think you would rate yourself?

I'm about a nine.

2. You’re having a problem with a product or service and you call customer service. You are finally connected with someone who has a thick accent that sounds difficult to understand. What is the first thing that goes through your mind?

Damn company is too bloody cheap to pay for good help who speak the Queen's English ... damned Yanks, anyway.

3. A co-worker you like tells you that his or her church is holding an “open house” and is encouraging people of other faiths to visit. You and your co-worker are of different faiths. How likely would you be to attend?

No way ... as I am an agnostic atheist, there won't be any church visiting in my life. I rarely go to funerals and weddings due to the religious malarkey that often is imposed upon the attendees.

4. Take the quiz: Are you prejudiced?

Totally inadequate quiz. First, the result:

You Are Not Prejudiced

Not only are you color blind, but you're also ethnicity blind, gender blind, and sexual orientation blind.
You don't judge someone until you truly know them. And even then, you're probably reluctant to judge.
You try to treat everyone equally. Everyone has a fair chance with you.
Good job - there's not a prejudiced bone in your body.

Are You Prejudiced?

Not one question asked about religion or philosophy. Had there been even one, I'd go zooming off the chart as a rabid, foaming, profoundly prejudiced against all things religious. Short-sighted git that wrote THAT quiz, eh?

No, I really could not care any less about one's race, accent, dating habits, sexual orientation (pro, con, asexual, swinger – who cares?) But I'm a bull with the red flag of religion. Believe what you want, but keep your mouth shut and DO NOT ACT ON ANY OF THE TENETS OF YOUR RELIGION IN MY PRESENCE.

I just might shoot your ass if you try. And that, my friends, is why I gave myself the rating I did in question 1.

5. You lose a big promotion to someone who you considered to be less qualified than you are, despite the fact that you are only going by instinct in making that determination. If your boss later pulls you aside and explains that because of a growing effort to promote diversity, the other person was selected over you. What would your first reaction likely be?

Fine, but did it have to be at MY expense?

6. Your car breaks down in a neighborhood in which everyone is of a different race than you: are you more likely to be uncomfortable?

Depends – can they fix my car? Or am I going to have to walk my tired ass some 25 blocks to a Mexican mechanic who can? ;)

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #180: Build a Bumper Sticker

For this Weekend Assignment I thought we'd do something easy. Because it's August, and that's just the wrong month to think:

Weekend Assignment #180: Go to this bumper sticker generator, and create a bumper sticker. Then post it in your journal. The generator page gives you a number of options to play with, so you should be able to have fun with it. Naturally, keep it reasonably clean; I have to link to it, after all.

Extra Credit:
How many bumper stickers does your car have in real life?

Dear John,

My contribution to this lunacy:

I've never been a big fan of bumper stickers, either. There's just one on the car and it's one SWMBO liked so I put it on.

That's it. Take Athena and Krissy out for an ice cream and a swim down at the old watering hole. Tell your little precious I feel for her – it's an annual rite of passage to bemoan the end of summer while secretly chomping at the bit to get back into harness and start classes for real. Maybe it was just easier when we were kids as we didn't have to go back until the Tuesday after Labor Day.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Fill-In #34: The Senses

By Janet on Friday Fill-In


1. I see _empty vistas and smoke on the horizon_.
2. I hear _“Fargo” in the next room_.
3. I touch _lightly, like a feather – just a tiny tickle that titillates_.
4. I taste _the bitter aftertaste of black coffee_.
5. I smell _cigarette smoke_.
6. I sense _a nap in my near future_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _sleep, perchance to dream_, tomorrow my plans include _going to camp_ and Sunday, I want to _no clue – I haven't thought that far ahead_!

If you'd like to play along, click any of the hot links and be swept of to Fond of Snape, headquarters for this falderol.

Here's something you don't hear every day...

In a copyrighted article in today's Bangor (Maine) Daily News , Peter Vigue, president and CEO of Cianbro Corporation, a local mover-and-shaker in the international construction industry, has shown some real initiative. He's proposing a new, toll highway, to be built with private funds (and probably a private bond issue, would be my guess) across Maine from East to West, connecting mainland Canada with the four Atlantic Canada provinces.

(was that a tortured sentence or what!)

Read the article, it is merely an overview of the proposal. I, for one, have been proposing such a highway for the past twenty years to anyone who'd hold still long enough to listen. Now, this is all pipe-dreams and wishful thinking at this point -- the number of hurdles that would be thrown up by the granolas and tree-huggers will be formidable. The bureaucratic red tape will kill whole forests, just to get the permits to cross the mountains in Western Maine, let alone over rivers and through swamps, wetlands, bogs, fens, and the current darling of the 'friends of the furbish lousewort', "vernal pools" and the like. But, it is an idea whose time has come. It'll probably be well after my passing and Peter Vigue's before it is completed, but I am confident that it is one step closer to reality.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

MEME: John M. Scalzi's Your Monday Photo Shoot: 2003

John Scalzi reveals,

“You may or may not know that today marks the fourth anniversary of By The Way, which was started on this date in 2003 (here's the first entry). To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a historical-themed Photo Shoot:.”

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Find a picture from 2003 and post it. Any picture is fine; it just has to be from the now-oh-so-distant year of two thousand aught-three. Surely you have pictures from then? Yes?

Hmm, that might be tough – I didn't have a digital camera until after my birthday in September that year, so photos in a postable, digital format from that period are likely to be few. Let's go off on a hunt in the archives of AOL and see, shall we?

A visit to the original Daily Snooze on AOL produced the first photos I could find from back in 2003 – the wild turkey series. There are other photos from that roll someplace... (bang!!shatter!, sounds of huge piles tumbling here and there...) Ah, yes, here they are. Sad to say, none indicate the desired passage of time – they're all “still-lifes”. Adirondack chairs on the lawn of a bed and breakfast – note the special cutouts on the top of each backrest. Boats at anchor in the harbor – Southwest Harbor, Maine, if I recall. Most of the photos on the roll didn't come out, sad to say. The others are of my wife and her coworkers and they are not for public consumption, per order of SWMBO.

Adirondack Chairs with flair.

The Anchorage – Southwest Harbor, Maine.

A Breezy Sunday Afternoon.

Then there's some taken with our new digital binocular-camera – they're landscapes:

Mount Katahdin in the distance, shot from the rest area / scenic turnout on I-95 to the east of the mountain.

US – Canada Border Crossing – Houlton, Maine

Migrating ducks in a beaver flowage / stormwater retention basin just below the border crossing. It was dusk when this was taken and I was messing around with exposures.

There you go, John. From the fall of 2003. A fair amount of water through the beaver flowage since then, eh?

Monday, August 20, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness - Head Noise

Mistress Otto was having a quiet moment this morning when it suddenly occurred to her that she'd forgotten something... and I don't mean “Baby Ricky” and his little anal probe, either. It was time for another Monday Madness! Here's what she has to say for herself:

"More questions from right off the "top of my head!" Have fun and enjoy your week, everyone. Thank you all for playing." =)

1. How many desktop computers in your home? Two; one old and another even older...
2. How many laptops? One. Inaccessible.
3. What kind of internet service do you have? (i.e. phone modem, dsl, etc.) DSL via Verizon
4. Do you tend to use more than one email account regularly? No.
5. Do you use email as a main source for communicating to your family and friends? Me, yes. SWMBO is still addicted to telephones... :(
6. What kind of computer monitor do you own (flatscreen, or other)?

So you need a good spanking, eh? Just hie thee to Mistress Otto's Boutique of Rosie Reds and Blushing Pinks to get your own personal copy of the questions for this week.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Sweet and Sour

RFDuck, mememeister of this mambosity, has this to say about that:

Hello everyone! Welcome to another Mambo. Today is Lemondade Day.

Today we're going to make a Musical Lemonade. I'll give ya "The Lemon Song" by Led Zeppelin, so now you tell me a song with the word:

Lemon – Lemon Tree by Peter, Paul and Mary, enough to equal the amount of
Sugar - Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mixed with
Water – Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel, poured over
Ice – Ring of Ice by Jennifer Rush.

Where do you enjoy lemonade the best? Out on the porch on a hot summer's day. Tell me a song that would be appropriate for such a situation. How's about Under The Boardwalk by the Drifters.

MEME: Sunday Seven -- Episode 103

Patrick has obviously been busy. See for yourself:

“It has been a long weekend. But here, finally, is this week’s edition of the Sunday Seven.”

“But first, Jude, of “My Way” was first to play last week for the second week in a row. Congratulations again, Jude!”

“On to this week’s question!”

Name the seven stores you’re most likely to buy groceries from.

  1. Hannaford Brothers

  2. Shaws

  3. Sam's Club

  4. Wal-Mart

  5. IGA

  6. K-Mart

  7. ...

There aren't that many different grocers in the area! In point of fact, the last IGA closed a couple of years ago in the immediate area. There are no store-front food co-ops within a reasonable distance and the last A&P closed last year and that was 45 miles away.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six -- Episode 174

Karma. It’s a royal pain the rear sometimes. (How’s that for putting it nicely?) Unless you don’t believe in it, in which case it’s just a weird-looking word.

That’s the topic of this week’s questions, in case you hadn’t guessed.

Before this week’s questions, Otowi of “Otowi” was first to play last week. Congratulations!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What is the most unlucky thing that has happened to you all week?
Fell down some steps and sprained my knee.

2. Do bad things happen more often to good people or bad people? I'd wager there's more “good people” than “bad people” in the world, so the preponderance of “bad things” must, therefore, happen to “good people.”

3. How much do you believe that you can improve your outlook in life (from a “fate” perspective) by doing good deeds and correcting past wrongs? Not being a “believer” I must conclude, “Not at all.”

4. Take the quiz: What will happen to you in the future? Stupid Quiz Alert. I am average. My friends are average. My future is average with a downward trend. Life sucks – go eat worms...

The Quiz of Luck - What Will Happen In Your Future?

Hello average (wo)man. Your future looks not good but not bad. You will have an average job. This job will seem average or good to everybody, but I am afraid that that is the best that I could tell you. If this stuff you are reading is wacko to you, please ignore it and read all possible answers and just pick one you like and take it for yourself. Do not feel disappointed if the stuff you are going to read right now is going to disappoint you. The college you went to or is going to go to was or is going to be above average, and it is known. If you tell somebody that you went to that college at that time they would say that it was good and they have heard of it. You have a number of people that are your friends Not too much and not too little. You may have heard of the word average right? Yes, that is the number of friends you have. I sure hope you have a happy life right now because you will go WEEEEEEEEE down. When you are older, adults and mostly kids will make fun of the baldness of your head even if you are a woman. Sorry. I knew that you were relieved for a moment but too bad now. It seems like you wont ever want to go out because kids will make fun of you. The good thing is that you will have the energy/strength to walk, but you wished that you didnt so you wouldnt have to go out. Sorry little (wo)man. Youll be stuck in a hospital after all of that happens. Youll die when you are 94. You wanted to commit suicide when you were about 92 the year you went to the hospital. How weird. Youll die on your birthday, too. Take this quiz! Quizilla | Join | Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

5. Do you believe in fate, coincidence, or both? Coincidence, “an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental,” according to the dictionary, I can accept, tenuously, although I place most of the emphasis on “accidental” rather than “fate” or intentional happenstance.

6. Overall, when “bad things” happen, how often do you believe the victim generally “had it coming?” That'd depend entirely on my personal feelings about said individual. Insomuch as I acknowledge no intentional causative force by being or beings unknown, it really can't be said they had “it” coming, going or igniting the New York Times, now can “it”?

Want to play along, Bunky? Want a clean copy of the questions? Never done this before? Just click on the “Saturday Six” banner above. Follow the directions. Don't forget to wear your galoshes...

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 237

Free Association -- I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Darling :: Wife

  2. Majesty :: Her

  3. Pebble :: Bam-Bam

  4. Fate :: Luck

  5. Instant :: Oatmeal (?)

  6. Screen :: Door

  7. Unplugged :: Refrigerator!

  8. Dairy :: Bar

  9. Benefactor :: Daddy Warbucks

  10. Market :: Price

Want to play along, too? Just click the banner above, you'll be whisked away to La Luna Niña's place, where you'll be wined, dined, bedded and wedded. And find a list of this week's words, unsullied by my lame answers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MEME: Friday Fill-In #33


Julie, of I Love a Good Book, came up with the questions this week, check her out! She lives in Australia, works in a bookstore, plays guitar and loves Zeppelin! Thanks, Jules!

1. There's _pizza_ and then there's _Domino's Pizza_!
2. I subscribe to _Sea Kayaking_ because _it often sells out before I get to it at the newsstand_.
3. I love a good book because _it exercises (and sometime exorcises) my imagination_.
4. My favourite position is _woman superior, straddling_.
5. I need to quit _procrastinating_.
6. I need to start _exercising_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _a movie_, tomorrow my plans include _some paddling_ and Sunday, I want to _veg out_!

You can get an empty frame for your answers by visiting with Janet at Fond of Snape.

Images Meme

Got this from Shelly, who got it from Lady Banana.

Here's the rules:

1 Go to Google
1 Click on Google Images
3 Type in your name and search
4 Post (with a link) of the oddest, craziest coolest, oldest, etc. person that shares your name. Post multiples if you find a few that you like.
5 Pass it on to at least 5 other people.

Well, if you want to play, then go for it, baby! I'm not tagging nobodaddy!

Meanwhile, the very first image I "googled" did it for me:

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #179: Your Favorite Day

It appears John has gotten deep into the silly sauce this week – but, don't take my word for it. See for yourself:

Another Thursday, another Weekend Assignment -- a small fact which in itself has gotten me thinking about the days of the work week. Everyone knows about the idea of "working for the weekend," but I think that gives short shrift to at least five days of the week, each of which has its own personality. With that in mind:

Your Weekend Assignment #179: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: of all the days of the work week, which is your favorite? Yes, I know a lot of people will default toward Friday, because it's an easy one, but I hope you will actually put some thought into your response and give each day its due. If you finally settle on Friday, fair enough. But even Monday has its good points, you know?

Extra Credit: Name a song you like with a day of the week in it (you can include Saturdays and Sundays for consideration here).

Dear John,

Short and sweet – there's watermelon waiting to be et. Ate-ed up. Consumed. So I'll treat this as though I was still working my old job, because these days, the day of the week I look forward to most often is whatever day my wife has off from work. Such is the excitement in my life. As a house-husband, truth be told, it just might be yours, too.

Back in the old days, though, my favorite day of the week was Hump Day. That's right, Wednesday. In the wintertime, needing to burn off excess accumulated time (what the heck is a vacation, anyway?), I often took Wednesdays off. The rest of the time, it was the light in the tunnel, the offer of a wisp of hope that the life crushing stress I worked under had a respite coming. I often telecommuted on Wednesdays, working on planning documents for the community, writing without interruptions (other than the old “Out 'n' In” -- no, silly, not THAT. Just a trip to el baño to empty the bladder and then to la cuchina for a coffee refill). Interruptions are the bane of most writers and for me, a real braincrusher. Interruptions would take many forms, like walk-ins, phones, political types seeking favors for constituents, (did I mention walk-ins?) and the expectation that, if you're in the office, you have time to come do an inspection now, rather than Friday as scheduled, co-workers wanting to avoid work by shooting the breeze, bosses that sought to pile on more work, because, if you're in the office, you must have time on your hands... Wednesdays offered me the illusion that I might escape all that for at least a day or two.

Alas, reality had a way of crushing hope, and I haven't appendages enough to count the number of weekends I worked, back in the day. Better than drinking myself to death, I suppose, but not nearly as much fun. Mondays were the start of the torture, if I hadn't already worked all weekend. I hated coming in on Mondays. All that work not finished the week before, stacked up on the desk. Work-related phone messages from the machine at home to begin returning. Board of Appeals hearing documents to copy and collate. Bah humbug!

Tuesdays were often a blur of appointments, inspections and field work, with last minute additions for the BOA meeting that night. My Tuesdays often started at six A.M. And ended at nine at night before I made it home.

Thursdays were similar to Tuesdays, but the focus in the office was preparation for the Planning Board meetings. Again, often a late night going until midnight before getting out the door.

Friday was catch-up day. Unless I had a date (rare), it was typical to work until nine or ten in the evening, trying to work through accumulated plans reviews and similar permit requests. Friday was attempt to conclude telephone tag day.

I sometimes miss the structure of my old life. Then I beat my head with a stick while walking across a bed of hot coals with dueling cats battling over the right to gnaw on my scrotum and I come to my senses.

Give my love to Krissy and Athena. Enjoy them while you can – life marches on all too quickly.


P.S. For extra credit, let's see. The Monkees' Saturday's Child came immediately to mind, also the “It's A Beautifyl Day” version. Sunday, Monday or Always? as only Frank Sinatra could sing it. Stormy Monday Blues – Jethro Tull. The obvious Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones. Wednesday Morning - 3 AM by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. David Bowie's Thursday's Child should probably hook up with Nancy Sinatra's Friday Child. And that leaves us contemplating our navels, mumbling gibberish into our oatmeal, these lyrics “...something different: peanut-butter bagels and goldfish stew” of Saturday Night by some dude who's name escapes my sieve-like memory.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Relaxation Roulette

Intrepid mid-week mememeister, rfduck, greets us today in this fashion:

“Hello humpers! Welcome to another Mind Hump. Today is Sit Back and Relax Day, so sit back, relax, and answer these questions:”

1. Name a few things that help you relax.
Music, a hot cup of coffee or a cool drink, an interesting book.
2. Name a few songs that help you relax.
With over 3000 songs on my computer, this is still an annoyingly difficult question. I am listening to new-to-me music constantly via such entities as Radio Paradise, Last.FM, Pandora's Box and WERU. To relax, I find myself turning to the classics. Mozart concertos, Brahms, Beethoven, Elgar and Erik Satie. Most anything by Paul Winter. The celtic harp of Alan Stivel, such as Brian Boru. The folk songs of Loreena McKennet, Celtic Women, Enya, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. All help me to relax, most times. Then there are special times, when to relax I need something heavier. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Jethro Tull, Dire Straits, Leonard Cohen in his late period. This chart will illustrate my listening habits over the past six months that I have had scrobbling turned on at Last.FM. And, since I don't always have Last.FM loaded in the taskbar, I listened to other things, as well.
3. Where do you like to relax?
I like to relax at home or in other familiar surroundings.
4. What is your ultimate relaxation situation?
In bed, reading a book in the supine position. Ah, heaven!

Monday, August 13, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness -- Compounding The Problem

I was wrong; it seems that Mistress Otto did post questions last week. But the Blogger gods weren't accepting new posts at the time, so off to the ether they went. All is copacetic this week, and Otto had this to say, “ Good Monday to you all! We're going to try something a bit different this week. Thank you for playing my meme, and have a great week!” =)

Please fill in the following blanks, to make a
compound word:

1. GROUND_swell_
2. FIRE_fighter_
3. HOUSE_fire_
4. OVER_haul_
5. SUN_shade_
6. UNDER_cut_
7. OUT_side_
8. SOME_where_

If you'd like to play along, just click the banner up there and you'll be instantly transported to Mistress Otto's Brothel and Harness Shop, where satisfaction is guaranteed or double your lashes back!

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Sinister Songsters

Greetings, everyone! Today is Lefthanders Day. How many of you are left-handed? I'm a righty myself. Today we're going to explore some famous lefties in the world of music.

Name your favorite song by . . .

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) – War Pigs
Paul McCartney (non-Beatles, just to make it harder) – Monkberry Moon Delight (with Linda McCarthy)
Billy Corgan (solo, Smashing Pumpkins or Zwan) -- Fuck You (An Ode To No One)
Phil Collins – Something In The Air Tonight

Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins - Fuck You (An Ode To No One)
via FoxyTunes

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #178: Cool Places

John was having a bad day: “Gaaaaaah! This is the third time I've started writing this entry. The first time, my computer crashed randomly. The second time I accidentally close the browser. I swear, if I somehow manage to mess this one up before posting, I will strangle my cat. Because I'm sure it's her fault somehow.”

“Okay, weekend assignment.”

Weekend Assignment #178: It's hot. Everywhere. Really hot. Counteract it with a cool and refreshing photo or story of winter. Yes, we've done something like this before. And, if you recall, it worked. Also, it's easy and it's too hot to do anything complicated. So let's do it again (just, you know, don't reuse stuff that you've already posted along this line before).

Extra Credit: Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Dear John,

Sorry to hear about the invasion of the imps from the eleventh ring of Hades. They have a particularly voracious appetite for the bits and bytes found in computers. And so it goes.

Here, too, it has been hot. Damn hot. Hot enough to make me feel ill hot. But it's worse where my Uncle is in Maryland, 102° F. next to Chesapeake Bay! That's bloody hot, considering with the humidity it was something like 120° F. on the heat index.

I suppose, at times like this, that counting our blessings is appropriate. It may be hot, but I don't have to shovel it:

The dog doesn't have to unearth her stick in the snow:

And there's very little risk of this sort of thing happening:

Well, give my best to Krissy and Athena. Hope they found a way to beat the heat that didn't involve fanning you, too. Me, I'd rather be too hot than too cold, I guess. Then there's always the chance of stripping down to my skivvies to cool off, without the threat of freezing to death.


MEME: Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 236

1 day, 4 hours, 14 minutes ago

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Voyage :: final

  2. Patricia :: Neal

  3. Transformation :: butterfly

  4. Vocabulary :: test

  5. San Francisco :: Haight Ashbury

  6. Edward :: Scissorhands

  7. Sawyer :: Tom

  8. Literary :: agent

  9. Tiger :: Sauce

  10. Seal :: Seventh

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 102

We’ve lost a television icon. Merv Griffin beat cancer the first time, but lost the second battle. Griffin, who created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, also hosted his own long-running talk show years ago.

This got me to thinking about how talk shows have changed over the years…and not for the better. And that brings me to this week’s topic.

But first, Jude, of “My Way” was first to play last week. Congratulations, Jude!

On to this week’s question!

Name seven of the worst talk shows (past or present) you’ve seen.

  1. Pat Sajak

  2. Joey Bishop

  3. Jimmy Kimmel

  4. Joan Rivers

  5. Bill Mahar

  6. Rosie O'Donnell

  7. Conan O'Brian

Saturday, August 11, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 173

Patrick removed his head from the video editor long enough to observe, “I don’t know about anyone else, but with temperatures hovering around 100 for the past week, with heat indices topping out around 118°, I‘m ready for wintertime.”

“I stop short of pointing to “global warming” for this immediate bout of hot weather, since it is August and summer. If you can’t expect unreasonably warm, even uncomfortable weather at this time of the year, then you’ve missed a memo.”

“Before this week’s questions, BookGal of “Books, Memes and Musings” was first to play last week. Congratulations, BookGal!”

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What is your favorite flavor of chicken wings? How many do you generally order at a time?
Tyson's Honey Barbecue are what I get most often. I buy them by the 2 pound bag, there's about three dozen to a bag. I also buy a quart jar of Lighthouse Chunky Bleu Cheese dressing to go with them.

2. How often do you check out a restaurant’s nutrition information before going there to have dinner? Almost never, unless there's a really long wait in line and I have nothing else to read.

3. If you have ever done so, what was your biggest surprise in reading the calorie or fat counts? The actual size of “servings” used to calculate these percentages bear no resemblance to real world practices.

4. Take the quiz: What does your pizza say about you? Warning – pretentious twaddle alert – some twenty-something, wet behind the ears has crafted a bullshit quiz about pizza pie.

What Your Pizza Reveals

Your appetite is pretty average. You don't go overboard - but you don't deprive yourself either.

You aren't particularly picky about pizza. It's so good... how could you be? You fit in best in the Western part of the US.

You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.

You are dependable, loyal, and conservative with your choices.

You are cultured and intellectual. You should consider traveling to Vienna.

The stereotype that best fits you is emo. You think you're special... and you kind of are.

What Does Your Pizza Say About You?

5. What style of food do you think is generally served at what you’d consider the most romantic of restaurants? A confused, romanticized take on true French cuisine. I have a general aversion to such places – pretentious and silly. The Michelin star restaurants I am familiar with bear no resemblance to the bullshit that passes as romantic here in the USA.

6. What type of food would you be likely to sample first: food that is hot and spicy or food that is more mellow but has a richer taste? I'll sample the hot and spicy first on general impulse and then the more complex offerings after I've jolted the system awake.

MEME: Friday Fill-in -- Episode #32


Janet's having the time of her life. "What a week! Lots of commuting as I'm house/dog sitting for a friend that lives a good 45 minutes away. The commute gave me ample opportunity to listen to the Deathly Hallows on CD, tho, so that made it much more fun!"

"I'd like to extend a job offer to all and sundry: Megan, the person who originally created this meme, founded a web site called A Girl Must Shop and she's currently recruiting folks to write entries. Specifically, she's looking for women who like to write about bargains and interesting, trendy things they find online! She can't pay, but can give samples (I write for her and she's given me samples of chocolates, earrings and cosmetics); she'll also link back to your blog, credit you with the entry and add a description of you here. In addition, it'll give you valuable online writing experience! If you're interested, please click on this link and send her your contact information!"

Now, on to the Fill-Ins!

1. My commute _used to be ten miles, one way_.
2. _Good people_ best describes my neighborhood.
3. My neighbors _are great and very tolerant_.
4. _Governor's_ is my favorite place to eat that's close to home.
5. If there's one thing I'd change about my community, it would be _it's insularity_.
6. The thing I miss most about the town (city/area/swamp) I grew up in is _the people I grew up with_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _baked beans _, tomorrow my plans include _vegging out at camp_ and Sunday, I want to _go swimming_!

Don't forget...have fun!

Friday, August 10, 2007

HUMOR: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...

Dear Mom and Dad,

Our Scoutmaster told us to write to our parents in case you saw the flood on TV and are worried. We are okay. Only one of our tents and two sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were all up on the mountain looking for Adam when it happened.

Oh yes, please call Adam's mother and tell her he is okay. He can't write because of the cast. I got to ride in one of the search and rescue jeeps. It was neat. We never would have found Adam in the dark if it hadn't been for the lightning. Scoutmaster Keith got mad at Adam for going on a hike alone without telling anyone. Adam said he did tell him, but it was during the fire so he probably didn't hear him. Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the gas will blow up? The wet wood didn't burn, but one of the tents did and also some of our clothes. Matthew is going to look weird until his hair grows back.

We will be home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Keith gets the bus fixed. It wasn't his fault about the wreck. The brakes worked okay
when we left. Scoutmaster Keith said that with a bus that old you have to expect something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance. We think it's a neat bus. He doesn't care if we get it dirty and if it's hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the fenders. It gets pretty hot with 45 people in a bus made for 24. He let us take turns riding in the trailer until the highway patrol man stopped and talked to us.

Scoutmaster Keith is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. In fact, he is teaching Jessie how to drive on the mountain roads where there isn't any cops. All we ever see up there are logging trucks.

This morning all of the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out to the rapids. Scoutmaster Keith wouldn't let me because I can't swim, and Adam was afraid he would sink because of his cast, it's concrete because we didn't have any plaster, so he let us take the canoe out. It was great. You can still see some of the
trees under the water from the flood.

Scoutmaster Keith isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get mad about the life jackets. He has to spend a lot of time working on the bus so we are trying not to cause him any trouble.

Guess what? We have all passed our first aid merit badges. When Andrew dived into the lake and cut his arm, we got to see how a tourniquet works. Steven and I threw up, but Scoutmaster Keith said it probably was just food poisoning from the leftover chicken. He said they got sick that way with food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our scoutmaster. He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he was doing his time. By the way, what is a pedal-file?

I have to go now. We are going to town to mail our letters and buy some more beer and ammo. Don't worry about anything. We are fine and tonight it's my turn to sleep in the Scoutmaster's tent.



Wednesday, August 08, 2007

All Things Wand and Wandering -- Sans Spoilers

I did it. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. My overall impression, without spoilers? Yes, well, right; I'll agree with John Scalzi, then. "It could have been shorter."

I rewarded myself by going to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" at the movies. My thoughts, without spoilers. I was saddened to find that this movie was the first in the series that could not stand alone. All the others can be judged on their own merits. This one will leave the non-fan scratching their head and muttering "What the fuck?" as they exit the theater. This is not a good sign for the future. Yes, they'll probably make movies of the remaining HP books. If they don't find a director with more vision and an independent spirit, the remaining movies will also be in the 'blah' class. And I do wish they'd insist on more acting classes for the principal actors. They really should be a bit more expressive by now. I am as fond as the next guy of watching young talent stretching themselves on the boards at the local high schools. I am less charitable when I have paid more than I did for my first car to get a ticket, a box of popcorn and a lemonade (only a slight exaggeration for effect). The special effects (FX) were nice.

Despite the less than rousing revue, I do suggest you read the book and see the movie. It's a cultural phenomenon, after all. Besides, it gives me a safe topic of conversation with grandchildren.

QUIZ: It Smarts

How smart are you? - Are you dumb?

We have Chickie to blame for this one (she's almost as smart as me!)...

Listening to:
Freddie Cruger - Pushing On (Feat Linn)
via FoxyTunes

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump - Refrigtatstic!

It's the middle of the week, time to mind hump! Today is Refrigerator Day (or Icebox Day if you're Emeril Lagasse).

List ten random things in your refrigerator.

That's it! Simple and easy.

OK. Off the top of my head, in random order (because there are no randomosities in MY refrigerator):
  1. Col. Grey's Mango Chutney
  2. A piece of extra-crispy, fried chicken, no longer suitable for man nor beast
  3. two bottles of Amber O'Doul's fake beer
  4. a can of Pepsi, in case a friend of my wife's comes a-visiting as SWMBO only drinks Diet Coke.
  5. a bag of grated Asiago cheese
  6. A vac-pak of sliced smoked turkey
  7. a crusty jar of Grey Poupon mustard
  8. a one pound block of lard, in case I need to make pie crust
  9. a vac-pak of salt pork, in case I decide to make baked beans from scratch
  10. the remains of a bottle of fat-free Italian dressing, in case some unsuspecting fool asks for such stuff.

Monday, August 06, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness - OCD or Neatfreak? You Decide...

It seems no one's immune from computer problems. For example, it seems our favorite dominatrix wasn't getting her way:

“Since I doubt if anyone received my notification regarding last week's questions, which I was unable to post due to not being allowed into my blogs, I want you all to know that I did try to post questions. The good news: I'm back and we have new questions! Here we go...”

1. What ONE thing would you like to accomplish before the end of the day? Clipping my toe nails.
2. What one goal would you like to attain before the end of the month? Paying off my property taxes.
3. Are you a "to-do list" writer? If so, do you stick to your list and cross things off as you complete them? Not really. As I age, I find it necessary to prepare lists, but I am just as likely, having prepared a list, to lose it.
4. In general, how organized do you feel you are? I am wanted by, and in hiding from, that organizational program on cable, neat!
5. How many piles of papers/junk mail/etc. do you have laying around your house? I lost count when I hit 21... when I knocked over a pile onto another one.
6. Which ONE surface in your home do you have trouble keeping clean?
Kitchen counter. Impossible!

To play along, obtain a blank list of questions, or simply to escape my evil influence, go visit Otto here.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Half Measures

Hello everyone! Today is Halfway Day at the Mambo. I'll give you half of a lyric, album title, band name, etc. and you fill in the rest.

(song) I Shot the sheriff

(band members) Charlie, Keith, Mick, & Ron Wood form the current line-up of The Rolling Stones

(lyric) "Why do we scream at each other . . . " When Doves Cry

(album title) Who's Next – The Who

(band members) Topper Headon, Paul Simonon,
Joe Strummer, & Mick Jones make up Havana 3am.

(lyric) "I'm special, so special" Brass In Pocket

(band) Elvis Costello and The Imposters

(song) Jamie's
Cryin' – Van Halen

Special thanks goes to Google, without whom these answers would not have been even close...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I love Victorian houses. I don’t know why, exactly, but there’s just something about them that I like a lot. But Victorian is only one of many different styles of houses out there.

And if you’re guessing that the hyperlink might be of assistance in helping you formulate your answers to this week’s question, you’re right!

But first, Kelly, of “In My Opinion” was first to play last week, and it was her first time playing the Sunday Seven. Congratulations, Kelly!

On to this week’s question!

Name your top seven favorite styles of homes.

  1. Gable-roofed Georgian

  2. Cape

  3. Mansard

  4. Cottage

  5. Craftsman

  6. Victorian

  7. Croft