For the record

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

I am nowhere near DC today. Sometimes Kennedys just die on their own. I can’t be held responsible for this one. (And yes, I’m ignoring the fact Eunice got very, very sick the last time I was in DC. She recovered, ok. This one’s not on me.)

Break out your tissues

Friday, August 7th, 2009 | Bloggity goodness, You Call This News? | 3 Comments

For those of us who were teens in the ’80s, John Hughes was kind of our voice. It was pretty hard to find anyone who didn’t like at least one of his movies, and pretty much everyone I knew loved many of them. It didn’t matter where we grew up or what we were into, we were all sure at least one of his characters was us. (And I’m sure we all had others we wished were us.) For a grown-up, he completely got what it was like to be a teen.

He hadn’t made any movies in a few years, but that’s ok. The ones he made between 1984 and 1988 were really all we needed. (Yes, I know there were some good ones on either side of that, but those are the rockstar films.) Even now, I can’t resist watching his films when they’re on (much to the detriment of whatever else I’m supposed to be doing at that moment.)

So when he passed away yesterday, I found it made me much sadder than I would have expected. Even though I’d never met the man, it felt kind of like losing a friend.

This woman, however, did know him. She was another teen from the ’80s, but she was lucky enough to talk John into being her pen pal for a number of years, and this blog entry shares some of that with the rest of us: Sincerely, John Hughes.

If you’re even a little bit a fan of John Hughes, you’re going to want a box of tissues nearby.

(Thanks to vidiot for the tip and for making me get all teary-eyed at work. And thanks to John Hughes for helping make the teen years a little bit more bearable.)

Feel-good story of the day

Friday, July 31st, 2009 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

(Don’t worry. This one will actually make you feel good.)

Sacramentan buys old vinyl 45s, finds out they were his mom’s

The lick-on label was unmistakable. Paul Campfield was reading his mother’s name and the address of his childhood San Lorenzo home.

And it meant the old records he picked up for $2 at a Sutter Creek antique shop had once belonged to her, although she died in Redding in 1979.

Holy crap, y’all. I’m gonna be a homeowner!

Friday, July 31st, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 6 Comments

A bungalow a couple blocks from my apartment went on the market last week. It was a couple blocks north of my ideal location, it has forced-air heat (which I hate) and it’s on Oakland, which is a fairly busy street, but it was cute and looked like it was in good shape. Plus, it was in my price range. I had to look at it.

Did the initial viewing on Tuesday. The house is a decent-sized duplex in excellent condition. (Except the linoleum in the downstairs kitchen. Oh, god, that stuff is hideous.) It’s got a new roof (a tear-off, too), new furnace, new central air in both units, and new Pella windows throughout. Built-in china cabinets in the dining room, built-in book cases in the front bedroom. Giant deck off the back and giant porch off the front. Needs some serious cleaning and some paint — no surprise, as the woman who owned it lived there a long, long time. But all in all, it was in fantastic shape. And seriously — aside from all the stuff the packrat…er…former owner had, it had the cleanest basement and garage I’ve ever seen. (Where did she keep her spiders? ‘Coz I didn’t see any, except on the front steps rail outside.)

So I spent part of Tuesday night trying to avoid the panic attacks that came with being as busy as I am right now and having to make a major decision like this. Decided Wednesday that I needed another look, this time with a second set of eyes, so I brought Miz BB along. Her verdict, along with Mom’s, was “hell, yes. I should buy the house.”

I had to concur. The positives far, far outweighed the negatives. So I put in an offer on Wednesday night.

Found out this morning that the offer was accepted. I even got the set of Franciscan Starburst dishes that were sitting in the china cabinet. (Hey, what the hell — as long as I was asking for things, I asked for things.) Squee!!!

They asked that the closing be about three weeks earlier than I’d have liked, but I’ll figure out how to work around that. (Note to self: Call landlord TOMORROW and let him know you’re moving out.)

So yeah. Gonna be a crazy next two months, but it’s exciting (and scary).

Now I gotta go break it to the cat that she won’t have radiators to lay under any more. I think she’s going to take it harder than I did.

Another step closer to BB world domination

Friday, July 31st, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | No Comments

Coworker, friend and all-around swell person BB is featured on Design Milk’s Friday Five today.

You can all thank her later for the money she just caused you to spend on all the cool new stuff you found at her links.

Haven’t forgotten you

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 | General | 1 Comment

I actually have things to post. But it’s busy season at work, so they’re going to have to wait for another week. Might have a quick something on Wednesday, but it’s unlikely I’ll have much else this week. Have I mentioned lately how fab you all are for your patience? No? Well, you’re all lovely.

In case you don’t see enough of him on Twitter

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 | Design-y Bits | 2 Comments

All your Fail Whale needs are covered here: This is not a whale

I’m utterly smitten with the sculpture. Want!

Ok, Monday. You win.

Monday, July 6th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

Figured I’d be having a busy week this week as catalog deadline nears and Irish Fest prep is fully under way (not to mention planning for an upcoming trip). Tried to prep myself as best I could. Thought I was off to a pretty good start this morning — I was even running 10 minutes earlier than usual.

And then I got out to my car. Unlocked the door and was halfway to getting in when I noticed the shiny little pieces all over the seat and floor. *pause. blink.* Oh, hell. That’s the passenger side window, isn’t it?

Yeah. Some schmuck broke the window. Glove box open, center console open. (Change drawer still shut and full.) They apparently didn’t want my huge stash of fast food restaurant napkins (odd), and there was really nothing else to steal.

Didn’t realize until later that they managed to get an iPod charger out of the glove box. Joke’s on them, though, as it doesn’t work on the newer models. Hope you enjoy the 25 cents you’ll get for that on the street, moron.

So I did the dutiful, crime-reporting citizen thing and called it in. Nothing the cops could do for me, but it sure doesn’t hurt to get the stat posted somewhere in case it becomes a neighborhood trend. Talked to my insurance guy for the first time in about a year, too. And the auto glass repair guy. Good times all around. The auto glass guy could come to me, though, so that was helpful.

Still, it took a chunk out of my morning (not to mention my wallet) and threw me for a loop for about half the day. Not good, considering how much work I’ve got this week.

So look, Monday, I’ve got enough on my plate without any extra help, ok? Spread the word. Tell your little friends Tuesday and Wednesday that I cry uncle. (Thursday, you’re going to be a crazy day. I’m not above bribes. Just sayin’.)

So how’s everyone else’s week going so far? Any exciting stories to tell?

This is why you’re fat*

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | 3 Comments

Now I’ve never been a big fan of Cheesecake Factory. Their portions are stupidly big and their food is pretty mediocre. Plus, much a fan of air conditioning as I am, every one I’ve been in has been cold enough to store meat. (Pro tip: I should not have to wear a sweater to eat at your establishment in mid-summer.)

I’m even less of a fan of the place after reading this: Cheesecake Factory Calorie Counter.

Two words: Holy. Crap.

As Miz Christyl points out, “Yeah! Morning quesadilla — 2000+ calories. Your entire caloric quota for the day, done by 10 am!”

Guess it saves you the trouble of having to eat later in the day.

(*This is not why I’m fat. I’m fat because I like beer. And pizza. And beer and pizza. And my sofa. But Cheesecake Factory gets none of the credit.)

Please, no.

Friday, June 26th, 2009 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 2 Comments

This is one of those things that seemed very funny at first, and then made me kind of sad, because Hollywood often thinks things like this are a good idea.

Storyboards from Michael Bay’s “The Great Gatsby”

Then again, it’s got robots.

Also, is Tom Buchanan in this movie? He’s kind of a pretty big part of the book. I noticed that Daisy has a robot named “Tom-E.” That can’t be Tom, right?

And I think I’m going to have to go re-read the book. All the times I’ve read it, I seem to have missed the Mayor Wolfsheim character. Then again, I missed the robots, so maybe I wasn’t paying very close attention.

Happy blog day to me…

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 | Bloggity goodness, Life in Czeltistan, You Call This News? | 3 Comments


See? Even Norm’s excited. Though were it not for Mr. m@, I’d never remember that June 24 is officially Czeltic Day. This year is the seventh anniversary. My, how time flies.

Isn’t age seven the “age of reason” for children according to the law? Gosh, I hope I’ve taught it well.

It’s been a long week, and it’s damned hot, so I’m looking to get off the computer (I’m pretty sure it’s using me as a heat sink). I’d write something witty about the last seven years and the changes the internet has gone through, but I’m feeling more melty than witty, and no one needs to hear any more grousing from me about the heat. (Oh, god. It’s only June. *weeps quietly*) So here are a few links I’ve come across in the last few weeks that I found fun or interesting. Hope you find them fun and interesting as well.

1. Morning people vs. Night people I fall strongly into the second camp. I’m a firm believer the day should start no earlier than 10am, but I can’t seem to convince the rest of the world that everyone can get enough work done between 11am and 6pm to make that work. It is nice to know though, that next time a morning person gives me that “damn, you’re lazy” look because I’m not awake early, I can point out that it’s just a difference in how our brains are wired. And, then since night people get stronger as the day goes on, I’ll wait until the morning person is settling in for the night to beat them up. They’ll never see it coming.

2. We want to watch Jurassic Park I love that they included the cat. You know you want to flag this as “best of craigslist.” You should do that.

3. So just what the hell are Grape Nuts? Did you say “flour?” Yeah, they’re pretty much what you think they are, but it’s still a good piece about them. Or maybe I just think that because I have a little place in my heart for Grape Nuts. You have to love anything that improves the taste and texture of your yogurt and makes a tasty meatloaf.

Oh, and before I go, let me take a minute and say thanks to all of you for stopping by. It always kind of amazes me anyone reads this. Hmm. Maybe I should add my Twitter feed so you have something to read more often. Yeah. I think that’s what I’ll give the blog for its birthday. Much better than a silly party hat. (I’m not giving the cat a party hat for her birthday this year, either. It took me hours to get the photo for it last year. Cats are not keen on headgear.)

No, no. I ordered the chicken.

Friday, June 19th, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | 2 Comments

Excuse Me, Waiter…? There’s a Large Bird of Prey in My Soup.

Lunch with an uninvited hawk, including photos. (Don’t worry, squeamish types. There’s nothing gross.)

Sometimes surprise lunch guests are the most interesting.

Picture day

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | Design-y Bits, Tunes! | 2 Comments

Today’s post is all about photos — lovely collections of photos. (So, naturally, I do not have one posted for you to stare at. You’ll just have to click the links below.)

1) Nick Brandt has some stunning black & white photographs of African animals. They’re made all the more impressive by this statement from the photographer: “I get extremely close to these very wild animals, often within a few feet of them. I don’t use telephoto lenses.” Make sure you think of that when you see the photo of the sitting lionesses.

2) Six extraordinarily stubborn nail houses. And no, I didn’t post this because of Pixar’s “Up.” Until today, I knew nothing about Up, except that a) I haven’t seen one single ad for it anywhere, b) apparently everyone else on the internet has, and c) Nathan Fillion claims that you can use it as a robot test. Oh, and I know from everyone telling me so that it’ll make you cry. (Which, I guess, also tells me that it’s probably not a movie where stuff blows up a lot or there are evil, scary aliens. Damn.)

3) Astronomy Picture of the Day. One of my daily stops as I browse the intertubes. If you’ve got some extra time, go through the archives (or just click on the little left arrow button next to the word “Archives” in the footer). There are some really awesome sights to be seen.

4) Martin Wilson makes fun (and pretty amazing) works that use every frame of a 35mm roll of film to create a single larger work. I think Oranges and Lemons is my favorite.

(Big thanks to Coudal for the first two of these links. I will repay the favor with links for you as soon as I can find something cool before you. Be patient. That’s a tough task.)

But I have a crunchberry tree in the back yard

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

We really need to institute a stupidity tax for our legal system, specifically for instances like this.

On May 21, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased “Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries” because she believed “crunchberries” were real fruit.

Comments fixed

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | No Comments

You no longer have to log in to comment. Don’t know why that got switched, but everything’s open again.

Was wondering why the spammers suddenly got so quiet.

Whoa. I’ve got a doppleganger.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

Check this out: Me or not me? (The fact she’s holding a newspaper really doesn’t do much to help you out, does it?)

I just wish I was still that skinny. (Did you know that you actually have to work to lose weight? Dammit. Where’s the weight loss option for us lazy people? This is the future. Where is my magic pill?)

Anyhow… thanks, Brian, for the tip. I think I’ll send her an email telling her not to rob any banks, though. I make enough trouble for myself all on my own.

Update: Mosey found her head shot, which is not quite sucha match. Still could be related, though.

Clearly not awake yet

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

A prime example of why I should never be taxed with anything too complicated before noon:

I had a couple things I needed to do before I could take a shower this morning, some of which involved seeing other people, so I got dressed rather than lounging around in my jammies.

Finally got the chance to hit the shower. As the water started hitting me, I realized something felt a little off. Looked down. Still wearing my bra.

Whoops. Think I need some more coffee.

So pretty

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

This video is fairly short, but absolutely beautiful. It’s a time-lapse sequence of the galactic center of the Milky Way rising over a stargazing party in Texas.

And if you’re curious about his camera rig, filters, and other shoot info, check the comments. Between the poster and the commenters, specifics are pretty well covered. (So the link makes with the pretty and the education.)

(via Notcot)

We’re number 1! Err…um… #15!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

Hey, I’m just thrilled we’re listed at all in Prevention Magazine’s 25 Best Walking Cities. Way to go, Milwaukee!

Don’t know if I’d necessarily have named the Riverwalk as a main reason, but it’s a contributing factor. Having incredibly walkable neighborhoods like the East Side and Downtown are a big help, as is the lakefront and our fabulous park system. No shortage of good places to walk in this city, many of them with wonderful views. (And if it weren’t raining right now, I think I’d feel a walk coming on.)

Option 4

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Remember Sean Tevis, who ran for state rep in Kansas and used the XKCD-style comic for his campaign?

Well, he’s got a bit of a sequel in the works: Running for Office: Option 4. It’s a bit longer than the first comic, but it’s well worth reading through. (Bonus points for those of you who catch all the nerdy references.) (Double bonus points for those of you who are nerdy enough to read the source code and find the lockbox codes.) (Don’t worry. Digg already outed those. I’m not hurting anything.) (I’ll stop using parentheticals now.)

Want to help Sean with his plan for open government? Pass the link on to others. Spread the word. Want to help a little more? Throw a few dollars Sean’s way. He’ll put them to good use. Want to find a Sean Tevis to run for representative in your state? Good luck. If you find another one, let me know. I’d like one, too.