25 October 2006

Coffee and Oatmeal is BAD

Ok so I had friends over for dinner Monday night, ran the coffee maker a few times for both coffee and tea, and forgot about it. It's a one shot coffee maker, which I got at a ridiculously cheap price and have thoroughly enjoyed.

Only I recently discovered, it also does a great job of making oatmeal water. You know what I mean, the hot water, yet not too hot, that you always strive to make just the right temperature for the oatmeal gods. Stick the bowl of oatmeal under the faucet, hit the one cup button and **BAM** perfect temperature and amount of water for the oatmeal.

Unfortunately, if you forget about the pod of coffee in the Senseo, you get coffee-oatmeal.

...and even worse, it was decaf.

18 October 2006

Quote of the Day

"Accuracy has nothing to do with fact"

17 October 2006

Ahem... Ahem... OK, YOU, LISTEN UP

Courtesy of Kristopher Reisz and his new author fervor, I received a copy of his new book, Tripping to Somewhere. Contingent on a review of course=)

So, without further ado, here it is! (Not deliberately done in a book report style, though I was terribly tempted.)

Young adult, huh? Took me a while to really agree with this. Tripping to Somewhere follows a teenager (older variety) and her best friend through chaos. Self induced to some extent, but chaos none the less. The type of chaos that isn't totally outre for that age. The two girls run away from home for their various reasons, but they aren't just running away. They are running towards something. And then they find it.

What they are looking for is the Witches' Carnival- a sort of mythical group that travels from place to place, finding moments in time that will stand out forever. And the girls want to join it- I suppose it is a new level of the old theme of running away to join the circus.

The double and triple thinking I had to do about the whole 'young adult' category ended up making me feel old. Thanks Kris. The main character is gay, the girls fake passports to get out of the country, and drugs and alcohol are a continual presence. I kept thinking, "This is too adult for YA." But then I started to remember what I had read at that age, and it wasn't really sunshine and roses either. So I really don't have a beef with the label, though it suits for older adults as well. I quite enjoyed it.

Some of the mythological themes in the book were well hidden- I didn't peg Meek until the bit at the end, though my brain was tingling from the first mention of his companion. And usually a first book feels a bit bare, as though the author and editor were trying to keep things from getting too complex or ornate. This one didn't feel that way though. Well crafted Kris!

All in all, good book. And the odd shape of it, more square than rectangular, certainly catches the eye. And, shockingly, the cover really does suit the story. That is always a big plus to me, as though the effort was actually made at the publishing house.

So anyone with YA readers, or anyone wanting a mental return to that age without all the personal angst, pick up a copy!

(/end shameless plug)

Dreams Dreams

Sometimes I wonder if this blog isn't turning into my dream journal. Other than one addition and one subtraction from my life not enough has really changed to be triggering these things. And yet I am remembering more, and more vividly, than at any other time that I can recall.

There are high and low sides to this.

Dream last Saturday:
Very high fantasy. Green forests, sparkling rivers, perfect sunsets. Raids into neighboring kingdoms, just to be sure they really aren't massing an army on the border. Rescuing small children who have been beaten by the religious group there for having 'odd tendencies'. Magic of course.
Scene shift to a battle at a castle. Trying to defend against the attack of the enemy- probably the same one that the kids were rescued from. Apparently years later. Inside the main hall the magickers are chanting/singing, trying to light the big bombs. Failing, enemy closing in, almost inside the castle. As the doors open, (I?) realize that the reason it isn't working is one of the girls is a plant! She is counter chanting, and i bash her on the head, knocking her out, and all the bombs light up. And then I wake up.

Dream last Sunday:
Dark. Dark everywhere, with lots of reds and blacks and browns. Some woman is holding this dog by the collar, waiting for me to do the ritual. Slice the head in half, slice the back end in half, more of a saw really.. and then the feet have to come off. The dog just waits there, quiet and unmoving, but I can see in it's eyes that there is something not right... something waiting. Not sure exactly what it was, but it was B-A-D. I leave the bits for the owner to take care of, and continue to the next. I never have to hunt them down, they are just there, being held by the collar by their owners, waiting for the cuts with a calm patience. The same cuts every time. But I know that if I don't do it, they will turn. Into what I don't know but again I know it is like Armaggedon bad. Suddenly, one is actively snuggling into my hip, the head cut finished, the others waiting to be done. It is a merle of some sort of breed, short haired. I drag myself out of the dream, and find the cat is curled into my hip, sleeping. 1:30 in the morning. I didn't feel scared- it wasn't a frightening dream. Just very disturbing.

16 October 2006

Fall Leaves

Something about fall. October is my favorite month of course; the combination of color changing, cool mornings, foggy breath, pumpkins, and gorgeous not-too-hot sun all combine to make me a happy camper. But one thing I just realized this weekend was that the sudden proliferation of fall festivals, under whatever name, is another big draw for autumn.

Art festivals, crafts, food, fish, you name it, there is one out there. And this last weekend seemed to be big on the art. Paintings, pottery, sculpture, photographs, watercolors, jewelry, they were all there in crazy colors and sizes, and bizarre styles and shapes.

Two festivals this weekend. One was the traditional 'tents in a street' type, with some interesting stuff. One photographer in particular, whose name I can't remember (shame on him for not having a card or website!!) had some gorgeous photos of old graveyards and statues and gargoyles. If the new house wasn't looming on the horizon I could easily have come away with four or five of his photos. Very different from the rest of the stuff there.

The second was right outside my door- and very high brow. When there is a VIP tent, you know there is money involved. Quite a few artists crammed into the square, with very similar stuff to the first festival on Saturday. But then there was the Beetlejuice wooden furniture, with women's legs in shoes holding up tables, and fantastic creatures shaped into 6 foot tall chairs. And the white Southern man with the large black female fieldhand paintings. And the fantastically priced sculpture. Again, only one really caught my eye, though again there was a proliferation of charcoal ravens. They seem to be everywhere lately.

And next weekend is the Poquoson Seafood Festival in Poquoson, VA. One of my annual favorites, with good food, local bands, and crafters hiding in the park, among the fall leaves. Not as fancy or pricey as some of what I saw this weekend, but interesting nonetheless. I still remember the man who had totally reproduced the Witch King's armor two years ago.

Absolutely fanTAbulous!!

03 October 2006

The Claw!! The Claw!!

So to recap my weekend, I went out to my house (the rented one, as that is the only one I have at this point) to do some minor scraping, sanding, and painting of windows and doors in preparation for the full paint job towards the end of the month.

I arrived about 10:30 in the a.m. (that's when the sun is up, Mark) and got started taking down the storm windows. Minor pain to do alone, as those suckers are darned heavy. Scraped up my arm a bit doing that, but no major damage to either the windows or myself. During this fun interlude, I found that one of the window panes was literally falling out once the storm window was down. Now, the pane belong to the regular window so that was not good. I make a mental note, warn the tenants NOT to let the cat in that room until I fixed it, and go on.

Upon arrival in the side yard, I realize that I cannot get to the remaining 2 windows. The bushes are in the way. Now, I have little complaint about my tenants. They are nice ladies, who keep the yard beaten back enough that I have yet to receive a complaint from the city about it. However, "gardeners" is not a term I would use in regards to their ability.

The gardenia bush was taller than I was. And considering they only get to 6 feet (unless they are mutants) mine was on the verge of eating the house. So I had to beat it back with the big clippers. You know the ones, they are like giant scissors... and can snip through a 4 inch branch or tree trunk with hot-knife-through-cream-cheese-ease.

That and the Bush of Mystery. Hacked to half their size so I could reach the windows. Then the second round of the house commences... scraping and sanding.

I scraped.. I sanded.. and I realized all the glazing putty was coming off the window. No big, I will replace after I am done scraping and sanding. Next window. I scraped.. I sanded.. and I realized all the glazing putty was coming off the window. Hmmm... a pattern is emerging.

Nearly all the windows needed reglazing. All frames, all panels, everything.

Time for a break! Off to HD for lunch and glazing putty!

45 minutes later, back at work. You'd think they would have something like a caulking gun for putty, but apparently, not for the windows I have. Scrape and slather, scrape and slather. The first 2 windows have 12 panes each. T-w-e-l-v-e panes. Scrape and slather.

Glazing putty sticks to hands more than to windows.

Glazing putty doesn't want to stick to windows at all.

Glazing putty sucks.

The bastard who sold me this glazing putty said the bucket would last for 15 windows.

It lasts 4.5.

I give up for the day at 5:45 p.m., though I have to admit my skill level rapidly improves. Hey, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, I will come back and finish then.

It isn't. I wake up about 8 am. Rainy. Rainy rainy. I decide to wait, since I can't glaze in rain. Bad for the miserable scum sucking putty. Of which I need another bucket.

Rain rain until 10. This is when I notice my hands have cramped up into claws, and I am carrying them in front of me like a demented squirrel. Ow ow ow. I decide to wait until Jackass and his dad arrive to take some stuff before I head out to Phoebus and the house.

2 p.m.: They are gone, but my hands are still squirrel like. Hot water, cold water, I decide to be discrete rather than valorous, and retire to play computer games and watch Supernatural until Monday.

Monday: Got out to the house after work (@4p.m.) and attack with a fresh pot of glaze. I got the windows done in another 3.5 hours, and so far today my hands aren't killing me. The windows look better too.. especially the glazing. 7-14 days, and then it is time for the Paint Assault!!

Now There's a Contradiction in Terms

From this CNN.com post:

"Many Muslims were angered by the pope's speech at a German university last month, saying it was an attempt to portray their religion as innately violent."

So two Turkish Muslims decide to protest by hijacking a plane.

Way to make your point guys.

10/4/2006: UPDATE: According to this, he wasn't really protesting. Interesting.