I have a hook and know how to use it!
Picked up some nice one-pound skeins of yarn this evening, and will be getting started on a couple of afghan projects. Will keep ya informed of the progress.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
What a phenomenal piece of crap is Windows Server 2008 (a.k.a. "Longhorn")!
Apparently, it's the end-user that is on the receiving end of the long horn.
Could someone please pass the K.Y. and the Preparation-H?
I hope the next version of the Windows (Non-)Operating System is codenamed "Apology"...
Friday, November 30, 2007
I had been poking around on Sitemeter, which keeps track of the number of visits to my blog page, and I discovered something a little unexpected. The most often visited blog entry was one I posted just over a year ago (one year and one day, to be exact), quoting Teddy Roosevelt regarding his views on American immigration.
I (finally) decided to look this up on snopes.com to confirm that this really was one of his quotes, and was delighted to discover that it is indeed true. While poking around on snopes.com, I also came across a whole batch of quotes from Mr. Roosevelt on the subject of immigration, and while I will spare you an outright cut-and-paste of the whole thing (which is a really great read, by the way), I will most happily share a couple of the highlights.
This is from a letter written in 1919:
In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else ... But this predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.
and from a 1918 speech:
This is a nation - not a polyglot boarding house. There is not room in the country for any 50-50 American, nor can there be but one loyalty - to the Stars and Stripes.
He puts it so well. To those who desire to come to this country to make a better life for yourself and your family I would say: if you want to work hard, learn the language, and abide by the rules that are in place - indeed to become an American and not just live in America, then you should - and shall - be welcomed with open arms. If you want to just come here and sponge off the system at the expense of hardworking, tax-paying citizens; if you do not desire to adopt the language and abide by the laws of this country; if you desire to be here physically, but leave your loyalties elsewhere, then don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
This is Angel, better known as "Her Royal Meowjesty". She is two years old - a full grown cat on the outside, but still all kitten. She's very lovable and cute, and definitely makes her demands known to all. She thinks she runs the place. No, she knows she runs the place.
It's true what they say, cats don't have owners, they have staff.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Last night, I was made privy to (thanks to a discussion on the Utata group on Flickr), a really cool YouTube video of what would appear to be a graphical representation of the classical (and classic) Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J. S. Bach. It sounded cool and looked even better. My first thought is that it was kinda reminiscent of a round of Guitar Hero.
What do you think? Is the world ready for Organ Hero?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I have not met an ice cream I didn't like (except for maybe Chubby Hubby - pretzels and ice cream? ahhh, no). And I have no problem polishing off a pint in a single sitting. It's just one of those guilty pleasures, of which I probably have too many - guilty pleasures that is, not ice cream; you can never have too much ice cream!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Today has been a plaid day. If you've been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I couldn't even begin to explain it!
Busy, but bored senseless just the same. Productive, yet somehow I don't feel I've gotten anything accomplished. The mind goes in twenty different directions all at once, but not a damn souvenir to be had from all that travel.
I've been randomly reading other people's blogs for some sort of inspiration for tonight's entry, but nada.
Plaid belongs on fabrics, especially flannel - I love flannel - but it's not a good look for days to wear, Mondays in particular. Plaid makes Monday's ass look too big (and Mondays are a rather big bad ass day to begin with).
I warned ya I could get random at times. Especially on plaid days.
I think I know what I'm gonna wear tomorrow...
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I was fortunate enough to be tagged by TracyTea of A Map of My Life, So Far.
Here are the rules:
1. Write your meme, then link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. So people can know whether to thank you , or curse you.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself. You know the weird random stuff, that you think could make for a interesting blog post, but you were shy to tell about.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Do this step wisely. You know who is game to play and who isn't.
7 Random/Weird things about me:
1. I love puns, as well as other amusing (and/or annoying) abuses of the English language stemming from poor grammar, phrasing, or punctuation. As such, one of my favorite books is
"Eats Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss.
2. I have been crocheting off and on since I was about 9 or 10 - mostly self-taught, but got assistance from Mom whenever it was needed.
3. I used to know every lyric to every Weird Al Yankovic song (but that was a number of years ago).
4. I love musical theatre! There, I said it, and I'm glad I said it!
5. I actually don't mind putting on a few pounds over the holidays. Truth be told, I prefer to put on some extra winter weight.
6. I am often rabidly conservative in my political views, which will sometimes collide with occasional bouts of idealism.
7. I don't believe in political correctness. It's all a bunch of evil Orwellian hogwash created by those people whose mommies didn't teach them how to put on a thicker skin (people will, due to human nature, unintentionally - and sadly sometimes intentionally - say things that might offend -- GET OVER IT and get your panties untwisted!)
And now, my "Tag-ees":
1. Carol of Carol's Little World
2. Rainy Pete of Rainy Pete's Unbalanced World
3. Patti C (that's Mrs. CraftyGuy to you!) and her Yahoo!360 blog page
4. Chrystie69 of Illegitimus Non Carborundum
I regret I only had 4 bloggers that I felt comfortable enough to tag (boo!), but I reserve the right to spring this on three other unsuspecting "victims" at some future point. :-)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Patti and I just got done watching "White Christmas" on television. Why can't they make movies like that anymore?
A simpler time, when movies told a story and entertained you with true talent - unlike the mindset of today where movies must either gross you out or ram some sort of misguided person's sense of "social consciousness" down your throat. Not that social consciousness is a bad thing necessarily, but it depends on whose version it is, plus I don't go to the movies to get preached at (so shut the hell up and crawl back under your rock, Michael Moore!)
Anyway, I digress. It's a darn shame that the world couldn't be as simple and innocent as it once was.
There was something to be said for the ol' Woolworth's lunch counter. I remember them as a kid growing up in the 70s. They were on their way out at the time, but at least they stayed around just long enough to give us "young'uns" a glimpse to an earlier, less complicated time.
I could really go for a chocolate malt now...
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It's getting late, and I'm still groggy from the food coma - this papa bear is ready to hibernate for a while - so I will keep this brief. I thought I would share a few thankful thoughts.
- Even though I hate my job, I'm thankful that I have one.
- Even though it seems the bills pile up faster than I can pay them, I'm thankful that there is house to pay for, as well as oil to heat it.
- Even though the public school system has more shortcomings than I can enumerate, I'm thankful for the opportunities for education that my kids have.
- Even though hearing about all the liberal swill on the television and radio raises my blood pressure and gives me an ulcer, I'm thankful to live in a country where they are free to voice their viewpoint, as I am as well, and thankful for those willing to fight (and those who have before us) to make that possible.
- And even though I haven't a clue what even the next day brings, I'm especially thankful for a loving God who does know, and who wants only the best for us, and who will take care of us.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I was try to blind-bake this crust for a chocolate mousse pie, but the naught pastry decided to fold on one side during baking.
No worries, though. Brush a little melted butter on it, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and back into the over for about 10 minutes or so - and voila! Breaking off the occasional piece to munch on is not a bad thing...
Also good is having extra pie crusts to bake as a back-up. :-)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The prepwork for the big T-Day has begun. In the pot, pork sausage is cooking along with some extra marjoram and caraway seeds. Here are the onions, celery, apples, sage and bread cubes that will be joining it, along with a little chicken stock to make a killer stuffing/dressing. A little quality time in the oven today, a day or so in the fridge and a reheat on Thursday, and this will be all set.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Yeah - I know one of the current fads among the teens now is to be traipsing about in pajama bottoms. But why? And why particularly is a 30-something woman doing this? Far be it from me to condone actually giving a crap about what other people think (anyone who's been reading my blog for any length of time knows that I don't give a rat's ass about what other people think - actually my preference is to try to raise an eyebrow or three), but that looks downright lazy.
Then again, there is probably a certain amount of comfort and convenience in that manner of dress as well, I suppose. I wonder if I could get away with shopping in my sleep attire...
On second thought, the image of a hairy, teddy-bear-shaped guy in his boxers, scoping out the fresh produce likely wouldn't do much for business, would it?
I didn't think so...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I majored in computer science, but could have - or, sometimes I wonder, should have - majored in art/photography, music, or culinary arts. But I opted for what would pay better, instead of what I was really passionate about.
Now here I am, 40 years old in a career I despise, and even with the larger income (compared to if I had taken one of the other paths), I'm often at a loss over how the bills are to be paid. There are some days (not all mind you, but enough for me to take notice) that I feel utterly "trapped".
Before you say "just quit and get a different job", it's not as simple as that. Taking a sizable pay cut to take a more "creative" job elsewhere is simply not acceptable (bills, remember?). And as much as I'd love to go back to school and "start over", who's going to pay for that? I'm still paying off my student loans from the first time around.
What I'd really love to do is to buy a couple of adjoining storefronts and open up a cafe/coffee-shop on one side, and an art gallery on the other - a place where local craftspeople and artists can showcase their work. I want to somehow get good enough with my photography that someone would actually consider buying my work - I'm not into sitting around taking pictures of screaming brats (God bless those with enough patience for that!), but want to get into "fine art" photography.
I did decide today, though, that even if I couldn't go back to school and major in "what I maybe should have in the first place", there are still things that can be done. For instance, today at the library I checked out some books which I will be working on absorbing over the next few weeks. The first of which is "The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography". So far it's a really good, informative read, and I can work on picking up some of the basics that I have woefully been missing. There's no substitute for experience, of course, but this is a start, and the experience will come over time.
So my free time (what of it there is) in the near term will be filled with reading about photography, possibly crocheting one more afghan before the year is out, perhaps making a cheesecake or three, and - not to be forgotten - catching the occasional Patriots' game on TV.
At least someone is annihilating the Bills...
Saturday, November 17, 2007
1. LilyPotterKnits - A discussion on the huge number of knitted project this blogger has completed (6,284 neck warmers). I should be so lucky to be so prolific! I might get a few afghans made over the course of a year. I would love to be able to make a huge pile of stuff to sell at craft fairs and such.
2. JunkMonkie - Awwwww. What a cute baby. Do I want any more kids? No thank you - three is enough...
3. According to Heather - An A-to-Z list of drive-through services; how cool is that?
4. Unabashedly Me - Apparently loves mango smoothies.
5. Mama-Om - Having read only the title of that particular blog entry, new words to that old "Barney" song popped into my head... Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to-and-fro? Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them o'er your shoulder like a Continental soldier? Do you boobs hang low?
6. ...On Being a Sports Girl - A New England sports fan. I may considering reading this on a regular basis.
7. Can't comment on this one - it's not even in English. Not a complaint per se, but am definitely wishing my browser would just recognize and translate these as they may very well make for fascinating reading...
8. Pink Lesbian *whats*? Not only am I not linking that one, I think I'm done with playing "Wheel of Blogger" for tonight. Plus I've really got to get that Barney song out of my head...
Earworms with low-hanging boobs? Yikes!!!
Friday, November 16, 2007
I saw these in the vending machine at work today, and just couldn't resist the temptation.
Holy crap, are these things hot! Just one of 'em, and I started sweating profusely.... combine that with that whole potato chip "you can't eat just one" thing, and was I in for it!
I managed to get through the whole bag, except 3 or 4 of these bad boys. What remained of my sinuses were plenty clear!
[NaBloPoMo Day 16 - over halfway there!]
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have already seen one more Christmas special, heard too many Christmas songs, and seen waaaay too many Christmas trees than what should really be necessary until at least the last weekend of November.
Before y'all start calling me a Grinch (who's wicked cool, btw), let me just say - I love Christmas, really I do. But is it really too much to ask that - before we start diving right into the 'gimme gimme' mindset that is so disgustingly prevalent these days, and especially this time of year - we not lose sight of the holiday in which we ought to be grateful for what we already have?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The problem with sick days is that I tend to go stir crazy fairly easily... as much as I dislike my job, I can't stand being cooped up doing nothing. Could I have been blogging during the day? Of course, but it's something I can't do unless the "mood" strikes, if that makes any sense to you. Outside of watching the Food Network most of the day (oh yeah!), and logging into work a couple of times to check e-mail (what the heck kind of masochist am I?), it was a froggin' boring day.
It's now almost 11pm and I'm still feeling really tired, but at least the headache's gone. And I will likely be at work tomorrow, probably pissing and moaning about how I'd rather be at home...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I don't know about the swimming part, but I do feel in over my head tonight. What was I thinking? A blog entry a day for an entire month! Me? I prefer one or two word answers instead of a 10 minute treatise on the weather. Why expend 200 words when a mere grunt will suffice?
This whole NaBloPoMo thing will stretch me for sure, and by the time the month's over maybe I'll be somewhat more proficient at expressing myself in written form (don't hold your breath for that!).
But for tonight, this is all you're getting. I'm tired, my head is in a fog, I've had my flu shot today (my arm is sore and I'm cranky), and I'm feeling altogether uninspired.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I don't know what it is about Mondays, but they suck. The only good thing about Mondays is that it keeps Tuesdays from being the sucky day.
I think cats have the right idea. It can be Monday, or Tuesday, or even Saturday, and it's all the same to them. Eat, sleep, clean, sleep, eat, purr, demand attention, eat, sleep, repeat.
What a life.
Angel ("Her Royal Meowjesty") can find comfort and contentment just about anywhere, in nearly any situation. I think there's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, but I think I'll wait until Tuesday to figure it out.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I just watched the finale of "The Next Iron Chef", and was delighted (though not at all surprised) that Michael Symon won the competition. While chef John Besh certainly is talented and creative as well, I don't feel he could be as consistently innovative as chef Symon.
Now that "The Next Iron Chef" is over, I'm watching a re-run of a special episode of "Iron Chef" that pits Giada Delaurentis against Rachael Ray (I've nicknamed this episode the "Battle of the Babes").
Now we're cooking!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Now why, pray tell, would I want to see these? For no other reason than that my nephew, Cuyle Carvin, is in them. Yup - the youngest son of my #3 brother (I have five), William (a.k.a. "Pee Wee" - a topic for another day), is a fairly new actor - hasn't made it "big" yet (or whatever his aspiration may be) - and has made a few appearances in a soap or three (can we say "party-goer #7"?). Yup - he's now in a couple of movies. From what I hear tell, he also played a publisher in the pilot episode of "Cashmere Mafia" (which if/when it airs, will be a boon to you fans of the magically-delicious Lucy Liu), and has played a bartender in an episode of "Rescue Me" (I have never watched that show, but I hear it's rather popular) - I believe it was an episode from the 2006 season called "Discovery".
You could say I'm more than a bit proud of Cuyle...
Friday, November 09, 2007
Holy frog - I actually finished the 365days self-portrait project!!
For photo #365 I went back to where it all started - in my office during my lunch break.
365 days ago (ok, 368 days ago, but close enough), I joined the 365days group and began this project in order to work on improving and being more creative with my photography, and to stop being so bloomin' shy about being in front of the camera.
Much to the chagrin and disgust to many of you I'm sure, I'm not all that camera shy anymore (as you can tell from my photos). Whether or not my photography has improved any, or whether it's showing a higher level of creativity - it's hard to say - that is likely in the eye of the beholder.
At any rate, despite a few too many days of "oh crap, it's late at night and I don't have a photo - so I'll just point and shoot and post whatever", it has been a blast. I have enjoyed this project immensely, and have enjoyed seeing all of your work as well.
Will I do this again? Absolutely - but after the holidays so I can take a breather. You can look for (or be warned, and run away from) my "365 Days 2.0" set, starting on January 1, 2008.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
For the past 364 days, I have been participating in a "take a photo of yourself everyday for a year" project on Flickr, called "365 Days" (how original).
Anyhow, I am almost done, and I've been getting more comfortable in front of the camera as a result.
...maybe TOO comfortable perhaps...?
I figured since I am nearly done, I would get really, really daring.
That's right - I exposed my wenis on the Internet for all to see!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
It's Fall, it's freaking cold out, and I'm not happy about it! I never did get the shed put up, since the sand and gravel to level out the ground, plus the plywood for the flooring will amount to some serious bucks - so that project was back-burnered until next year. Which of course means that the garage remains the interim storage shed for the winter, and the blazer will remain in the driveway.
Still haven't gotten around to the raking yet... maybe this weekend if the weather holds up...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Just when I thought I was on a roll with this NaBloPoMo daily blogging thing, I draw a blank.
Actually I did have something earlier, had a photo and a suitably smart-ass comment, and even had it posted - but I thought better of it about an hour of so later, and deleted it. No, I did not succumb to a sudden fit of political-correctness (I assure you, it will be a very cold day in Hell before I give in to that Orwellian bullshit!). No, this was a case of really bad timing on my part. I could have easily and justifiably posted it a couple of months from now (and I still might when the time comes), but doing so now would not be the wisest thing.
So I was left with nothing to blather about for today - but wait! I also have my art photography blog that was due for a new posting. So now, there is a fresh entry there, and a shameless plug here.
Not bad for not having anything to say...
Monday, November 05, 2007
Mondays are hard enough as it is, but why do I need to endure three meetings on a Monday, the first of which was at 9am? I'm sorry, I'm not sufficiently caffeinated by then, you'll just have to wait - or you can just hold the meeting at your own peril. Yes I'm already keyed-up today.
But somehow the 4-5pm meeting was the most annoying. Why? Because I have a ride to/from work on Mondays, and I usually need to leave by 4:30. Other days, I have to leave by 4, because I have a life (rather, I want to ensure that Patti and the kids are able to get to whatever evening things that might be scheduled). Fortunately the person I was riding with today had no problems occupying himself for the extra 30 minutes or so while I sat through my little fun-fest.
Oh, and those 4pm meetings won't be happening anymore (or at least shouldn't be). I scheduled in a "dummy" appointment in Outlook from 4-5pm everyday so that any automatic scheduling (that looks for when you're free, and then robs you of that free time slot) will see that I'm "busy".
I wonder if I could get away with blocking out the 9am time slot as well... Probably not. Ah well - just keep the coffee coming...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Don't get me wrong - I actually like fall (mostly). I like the changing colors of the leaves, the smell and the sound of those leaves on the ground, also the warm cider and donuts that are widely available this time of year. What I dislike - no hate - is the cold weather (and getting colder). I prefer the warmer, if not hot, days of summer, where the layers of clothing are fewer and lighter - as opposed to the feeling of being strangled and suffocated under a dozen layers of heavy fabric (though flannel and crocheted afghans are a nice consolation). Also despised are the shorter, darker days. The decreasing sunlight is just downright depressing.
This is the time of year that my four-month-long funk starts in, and I just want to hibernate like a brown bear until spring - just be sure to wake me up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and Bethanie's birthday (late January). Okay, also for the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.
At least the kids are old enough to shovel snow - my back just can't take it anymore...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
It has been a long, busy day. First, I (finally!) got around to getting all of air-conditioners out of the windows and back into the garage for the winter. That was the easy job, potential for hernias notwithstanding. Next was the real challenge: replacing a toilet seat in the second-floor bathroom. Now, on the surface that doesn't seem like a big deal - and normally it wouldn't be - but this was a really old seat being replaced. These days, the hinges and bolts and such are all made from plastic of some sort, but these were made of metal (yes, that old). Now, metal bolts and hinges on a toilet seat - especially one that has been there for who-knows-how-many decades - tend to not want to be removed from where its been most happily installed for oh-so long. I ended up having to take a hacksaw to the bolts to convince it that it must go. It takes a goodly amount of time to hacksaw through two 3/8" metal bolts. Let me tell you, after being bent over a toilet for a long time (and not for reasons more familiar to me from college), inhaling metal dust being spat forth from my frantic sawing, I've pretty much called it a day after that!
But we do now have a brand-spanking-new toilet seat in place - complete with nice, white (for now), plastic hardware (which thankfully isn't as hard as its predecessor).
I think that should be enough potty-talk for one day.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Day 2 of NaBloPoMo and I'm still with it (woohoo!)
This is as good a time as any to get you caught up with the whole accident situation from a month ago.
Well, it turns out that the Blazer wasn't totaled after all (good news), and the body shop was able to fix it up as good as new - and maybe even a bit better in many ways from when we had it before - and we had to pay only $7 of the whole expense (even better news)! Why $7? Turns out that the repair job came to $7 more than than estimated insurance payment, and it was just easier to pay that little bit out-of-pocket instead of running it through the whole process.
We ended up having to fork out around $900 for the rental vehicle for the 28 days that we had it while waiting for the Blazer to get fixed. No, we did not have rental coverage (in hindsight, we should have, even if we couldn't afford the extra cost for the insurance - that extra $5/mo might as well be $50).
But when all is said and done, things are returning to some sense of normality, for whatever that's worth...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Here is my shameless plug for my NaBloPoMo profile page:
I look at it this way - if I can take a self-portrait once a day, every day, for 365 days (ok, so it will take me 368 days to finish - close enough - I'm already done with the first 356 days!), then a blog entry a day for one month shouldn't be hard, right? (famous last words...)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Fear not (or be afraid, depending on your outlook) - I will be back blogging soon enough, and get everyone caught up on things...
Friday, September 21, 2007
I'm on on 800mg Motrin (pain relief) and 10mg Flexoril (muscle relaxant aka "jacuzzi in a pill" according to a friend) so that I can deal with my post-accident back discomfort (to put it mildly). Not a big fan of medication here, so I'm planning (at least preferring) to be off of both before weekend is out.
In the meantime, I'll be wicked mellow.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I was in a bit of a accident this morning. Ok, fine, more than a bit. It was a 4-vehicle pile-up. The usual nasty solar glare on Rt 2 caused the first pickup truck to slam on its brakes, then the second pickup (left, in photo) hit its brakes - in time, no crash yet. I hit the brakes in the Blazer (right, in photo), again in time, no crash...yet. However the minivan behind me was not so lucky in getting the brakes applied in time. Rammed the blazer, pushing me into the back of the pickup truck, which in turn hit the pickup truck in front of him.
I ended up with a very sore back and neck, and along with two of three others, got an ambulance ride to the hospital. No one was seriously injured (thankfully), but the pickup truck in front of me, as well as the Blazer are totaled.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
(Well, it's been out for about a month now, but this is the first I've had a chance to blog about it).
This year's big Utata project is called "The Utatan", and is basically an e-zine showcasing a lot a great photography - stock photography, protraits, landscapes, photojournalism, and more! Check it out!
And believe it or not, I actually have some stuff in there too!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
As much as I had wanted to keep up on my blogging since returning from New York, it just wasn't meant to be. Work's been keeping me busy during the day, and my evenings and weekends have been spent in the yard.
I try to mow the lawn every other week, which I love doing - it's another opportunity to attempt to get some color (which you can see I'm in serious need of!) The last time I mowed, however, I got a bit exasperated with all the low-hanging branches that I would have to dodge (not loving that too much). Not to mention the various shrubberies that would reach out and snag the pull-cord of the lawnmower (grrrrr).
The "big" project for the yard this year is supposed to be putting up a new storage shed, so that the garage can actually be used to - say - park the car in instead of the lawnmower, yard waste barrels, etc. (how novel would that be!) The location for the shed has already been selected (against the fence behind the tree over my right shoulder in the photo). I have managed to take down the old "lean-to" that was in that spot to make room for the shed. There was also a miscreant maple tree that had taken root near that spot as well which simply had to go.
Between the maple tree, and the annoying branches and assorted misbehaving shrubberies along the fence, a new project was afoot.
I have been spending the past week pruning low-hanging and dead branches, and taking down the smaller trees and bushes. The kids have been helping (once the branches get broken down enough) by filling up a bunch of yard-waste barrels and bags. But it seems that as soon as the number of piles dwindle down, I make a whole bunch more!
I haven't been keeping up on my blogging, but at least the yard's looking better...
In other news, I did manage to complete my stuff for the big Utata project! I have 21 photos submitted, and all that is left is for me to write my artist's statement (which I look forward to like a root canal). But it, like the yardwork, will be well worth the effort...
Monday, July 09, 2007
Ok - so I left for vacation back on the 29th and got back yesterday... this was the first chance I had to say anything.
Went back home to Oneonta, NY to visit family (we have our annual reunion around July 4th weekend every year). It was fun (in it's own 'visiting family you might not otherwise visit' kinda way), and the kids had a good time. I made a few "photo runs" while I was out there; I just need to get all the pics uploaded, that's all.
But I'm back, and will be visiting the blogosphere a little more often now...
Friday, June 22, 2007
Boo-yah and Hazah!
My art photography blog page is finally up and running!
The site is called "Mike Carvin Art Photography" and you can check it out here: http://mcarvinphoto.blogspot.com/
Only five photos posted to it so far (the first one is shown here), but more to come. It's a start...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Since when does one's life become a function of the number of key-fobs that he owns?
I hate the idea that various retail places can monitor what you buy, in exchange for discounts, coupons, and other incentives. If these places really wanted to offer their customers cost savings, couldn't they just do it, without playing Big Brother?
Nonetheless, I find myself with more key-fobs than keys on my keyring (yes, I counted). Maybe I should just get a fobring instead...
Friday, June 01, 2007
Well, it’s been too long since I’ve blogged last. I was hoping to at least get one more posting before the end of May, but it was not to be. C’est la vie.
So, to get caught up on things, I’ll give you a brief (more or less) run down where things are at. In no particular order (other than how they bubble-up to the top of my stream-of-consciousness):
- Life is taking on more of a semblance of sanity now. At work, we got out latest release out the door (finally), after much pain and suffering (and too many working Saturdays), and things are a bit quieter for the time being – that being probably only a couple of weeks, and then the chaos will start up again.
- I’m taking Fridays off (boo-yah!) to burn up vacation days that I would otherwise lose at the end of the year. As much as I’m not particularly fond of work, I also not too keen on having more than two or three consecutive days off at a time, as I start going stir-crazy after about two days.
- School is winding down at long last. MJ’s last day of 8th grade (and of middle school) is June 15. We’ll be winding up Bethanie and Thomas’ home-schooling around then as well. Next year MJ will be in high school (yeah – I’m feeling old) at Monty Tech, and Bethanie will be in the public school system as well for 7th grade. Thomas will be in 5th grade and will be home-schooled another couple of years.
- Speaking of school, this past week MJ became a member of the National Junior Honor Society; I’m one proud papa bear, that’s for sure!!
- Bethanie has been accepted as a finalist in the Miss Massachusetts Pre-Teen Pageant. The real surprise in this is the fact that Bethanie expressed any interest in this kind of thing at all (tomboy that she is).
- Last thing for now is that I’m seriously considering submitting some of my photography work for the 2008 New England / New Talent exhibit. This is a biennial art exhibit hosted by the Fitchburg Art Museum. This is a big step for me (uncertain as I am about whether my stuff is actually any good or not – no, not the stuff I post to this blog, but some considerably more thought-out and “artier” stuff). Which reminds me – I still need to get off my butt and work on my photoblog as well (I’m having some formatting issues on that which is making me a bit annoyed).
Guess that’s it for now. I’ll elaborate on some of these things a bit later, plus I’ll try to keep up on this better so I won’t have to haul out the condiments again.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
At any rate - I thought I would at least share a quote with you to ponder.
And like the "Governator", "I'll be back".
Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
This quote from Dante pretty much summarizes how I feel about my job. For those unfamiliar with Italian (probably old Italian or Latin actually, given when Dante was around), or with Dante's Inferno, the quote is translated as follows:
Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here
Yes, this is on a sign that I have posted in my area of the computer lab at work - I wonder how long it will take before someone recognizes the quote (or knows Italian or whatever).
Friday, April 27, 2007
I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere. Then some of the birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food. After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.
Now lets see...our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be a automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families: you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor: you child's second-grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English: Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to press "one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I grew up in rural upstate New York. Sights like these were commonplace in the summer. Tractors and combines and balers all working together helping provide and income to the hardworking farm families...
I never worked on a farm, but lived next door to a dairy farm, so have at least an inkling of the hard work that is involved.
Friday, April 20, 2007
No frivolity today. Instead I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and get a bit political.
I decided that life is just too short to get wound up over what other people may think of my opinions and beliefs. If someone gets offended over something I say, it was their choice to be offended.
Down with political-correctness and other forms of left-wing intellectual oppresion!!
Is this a sign of things to come in this corner of the blogosphere? It's too soon to say, but don't expect any of that "PC" crap from me!
Until next cold splash of political water in your face...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I was put on lovastatin about 9 months ago for my high cholesterol. I put up with taking it for a couple of months, and came to the realization that I really couldn't afford the extra $10/month to keep getting this refilled, so I stopped taking it.
I lucked out, because currently my cholesterol level is at an all-time low (could be lower, but I'm still pleased with the progress as is my doctor). During my doctor's visit today (to discuss various things attendant to reaching certain...ah... "milestones" in my life -- yeah I'll be turning 40 in a little over a week), he decided that I no longer needed to be on any meds for my cholesterol! Oh, happy day!!
Monday, April 16, 2007
This is this sight I was greeted with in the cellar this morning. We got a lot of rain between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. These storage boxes (containing our summer clothes, Christmas decoration, old papers and books) were all neatly stacked before the water came in. Not to mention that the furnace (which seems to be working ok once the oil company came and dealt with it), washing machine (in questionable condition now), dryer (totally water-logged) are all in the cellar - plus a spare freezer, which fortunately wasn't hooked up (but unfortunately is now useless).
The joys of having a field-stone foundation...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
The Debate Is Over
By Doug Patton
March 26, 2007
Former Vice President Al Gore, testifying on his pet issue last week, told Congress: "there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on global warming." As Rush Limbaugh observed a few hours after Gore's testimony, when liberals declare the debate over, you can bet the debate is not over; they just want it stifled.
Perhaps conservatives should adopt this tactic of declaring the debate over on some of our issues. What do we have to lose? It would be a fun exercise, and it might usher in a whole new era of conventional wisdom.
So, I hereby declare that there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on abortion. Everyone knows it's a baby. It moves. It kicks. It has a heartbeat and brain waves. When allowed to grow, it becomes an adult. Yes, the debate is over. Abortion kills human beings and should be prohibited.
Also, there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on marriage. Anyone with half a brain knows that for 5,000 years of recorded human history, it has been an institution involving a man and a woman. Case closed.
And, of course, there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on gun control. Guns make people and societies safer, not more dangerous. Besides, the Second Amendment says you can have one, or many, so that issue is now put to rest.
There is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on government spending. State and federal governments now spend many times what they should in order to fulfill their constitutionally mandated responsibilities. Therefore, it is settled. Government spending should be slashed.
Likewise, there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on taxes. Americans should be allowed to keep much more of what they earn. In fact, while we're dictating policy, the 16th Amendment should be repealed, the Internal Revenue Service abolished and a national consumption tax, known as the Fair Tax, should be implemented immediately.
Because government schools are such a miserable failure, there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on whether the private sector, be it secular or religious, should be assigned the task of educating our children. They could do a much better job for a fraction of the price.
There is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on child molesters. They should be castrated and/or imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives, along with their advocates in the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), and anyone caught producing child pornography.
There is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on illegal immigration. People from other countries steal across our borders, bringing with them diseases and social problems. We pay for them. They should go home, and we should build a real, physical fence to keep them from coming back. End of story.
There is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on Islamic terrorism. As Ronald Reagan said of the Soviets during the Cold War: "We win and they lose. That's my strategy."
There is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on capital punishment. Commit homicide and America has a right to demand your life in return.
Oh yes, and outside Hollywood and the ranks of adoring Democrats in the United States Congress, who look at him as a rock star, there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on Al Gore. He is an enviro-fascist hypocrite who lives in a Tennessee mansion that uses 30 times the energy of the average American home, yet he has taken it upon himself to lead a worldwide wacko movement that wants to force us to radically alter our way of life in the pursuit of zealous extremism to achieve dubious results in addressing a problem that may not even exist.
The debate is over.
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at email@example.com.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I have my photos hosted on Flickr, and out of those nearly-500 photos there, there are maybe a handful of them that fall in the category of "Hey, that's actually not bad! Did I do that?". So, I said to myself, "Self, maybe it's time to start another blog, just for my art photos," and I replied, "You know, that's not a bad idea!"
So I've been pondering putting together a second blog site - I'll keep this one as my mental toxic-waste dump for your viewing pleasure, and the other one for my attempts at "serious" photography. Okay, I'm no Ken Rosenthal or Ansel Adams by any stretch of the imagination, or even a Carol Schiraldi. They're all really good photographers, and I'm not. But that's really isn't the point. I have a few fairly good photos in my opinion, and I'm hoping that will eventually grow to a larger number of better photos over time. And I want to be ready for that when it happens.
I've been tossing around a couple of ideas for working names; either "Crafty Photography" or "The Crafty Photographer" (I'm very much leaning toward the first one, as the site is supposed to be about the photos, not the photographer). And I think I will have that hosted on Blogger as well - it's familiar, and, well... cheap.
And of course, now I guess I'm gonna have to break down and come up with that dreaded "artist's statement" that I've been putting off for a while...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I kid you not. This guy, Nino Selimaj, who owns a bunch of pizza places in New York City - which explains much - created this piece of gastronomical indulgence called the Luxury Pizza. It has caviar (6 kinds, so told), lobster, creme fraiche, and chives.
What - does the delivery guy drive a Brinks armored truck?
I'll stick with pepperoni and extra cheese, thank you.
Friday, March 16, 2007
I am writing to you to ask for your help in shedding light on a perplexing situation I find myself contemplating.
I have selected you as a group to aid me because you have known me for a number of years and I value your opinion. Your religious experiences are varied and that is important to the problem with which I am faced.
Over the years, we have all observed the seemingly random factors that affect all of our lives, sometimes without apparent rhyme or reason. We have seen some marriages dissolve over nothing, and others grow stronger under adverse conditions. We have seen fate play a role in who survives critical illnesses and who succumbs to them. We have all seen good people suffer great misfortunes while some people of low character thrive. In our lifetime, we have seen Churches and Religious institutions all around the world become revised, televised, energized and even scandalized. We are all well aware that a higher power has control of nearly all things. Personally, I have stood in the doorway of a 7/11, amid a shootout between the police and a gunman, and walked away unscathed. On a golf course, I saw a lightning bolt strike a man dead while those of us nearby where untouched. We all watched as Hurricane Katrina ravaged some areas of the coast and left other nearby homes standing intact.
The enormity of these random and seemingly unfair applications of good or bad fortune is at the core of my dilemma. Over the years I have studied sacred writings of all major religions , and recently I have reviewed many of these great books searching for an answer. Alas, I have been unable to fathom the following, and now I pose the question to you...........
Why would the highest power in this universe take Anna Nicole from us and leave Hillary behind ???
Friday, March 09, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Starting this evening, I'll be taking a break from the internet for a little while (except for what is necessary for my work).
No worries - nothing is wrong - I'm simply taking the opportunity for some much needed rest, refreshing, relaxing, reflection, etc.
I'll be back in about a week or so. Suffice to say, I won't be posting a Friday Frivolity this week - I suspect you'll manage just fine.
Until next week - ciao (and cheers!)
Monday, February 26, 2007
Our neighbor had a baby girl this morning. Her name is Mikayla.
This is her afghan that I have been working on for the past month (other than the occasional interruption from work (gack), and a brief pause to start learning how to knit (I have the "Knitting for Dummies" book that I've been perusing a bit).
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The feeling that there is too much going on at the same time. Too many inputs, too many distractions. A flurry of mental activity, many things - seemingly unrelated. Sometimes too much energy concentrated in one place with no outlet. So often bored, but yet so much that needs to be done. The concept of multitasking totally eludes me, but yet will change gears without warning, leaving a string of uncompleted tasks behind me. And still can focus on select things, as if nothing else in the world existed...
Do I have ADD? Quite possibly and more than likely. I am supposed to get off my butt and get it diagnosed, but haven't yet.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Last Tuesday, as President Bush got off the Helicopter in front of the White House, he was carrying a baby piglet under each arm.
The squared away Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says: "Nice pigs, sir."
The President replies, "These are not pigs. These are authentic Arkansas Razorback Hogs. I got one for Senator Hillary Clinton and I got one for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi."
The squared away Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Excellent trade, sir."
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Is it a typical summer's day back in Potsdam, NY?
Well, it might look that way - and I'm certainly dressed for it - but it's not. This is me in my backyard at 7:52am this morning, the day we're expecting a major nor'easter.
At the time the photo was taken, it was freakin' cold out, and there was just enough snow to bury the ground with a couple of inches - the roads on the other hand left much to be desired. Since then we have gotten a bit more snow, but a lot of sleet and freezing rain. More snow is expected tonight, to add to the fun.
Suffice to say, I worked from home today, and will likely be late getting in tomorrow.
All in all not bad for the first major snowfall of the season (to the extent that one can enjoy cold and snow).
Monday, February 12, 2007
I took this with my cameraphone back in November after a lengthy bout of rainy weather. I was quite happy to see some blue in the sky after all that.
Now that it's the middle of February (the winter doldrums have long since come and lingered for too long), and now this serves as a reminder that things - like the weather - are looking up, so hang in there!
Friday, February 09, 2007
If you remember the Original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this may bring a tear to your eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when "Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.
Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.
Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.
Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.
Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.
Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.
Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.
Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.
Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.
Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you' l never forget.
Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.
Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.
Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.
Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.
Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.
Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.
Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?
Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.
Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.
Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.
Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.
Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?
Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll l end him the car, the rest is up to him.
Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.
Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh
Hah! That's a laugh!
I finally have some things to blog about, and do you think I have time? Oh, noooo!! It totally bytes!
Productive, my butt!!
Nonetheless, I wasn't going to have three Frivolous Fridays go by (the latest of which I will post later today, I promise!) without some relatively "normal" stuff in between, so here this is.
Take that, you time-for-blogging-stealing workload!! Nyaaah!!