Friday, June 23, 2006

Photo Finish

And here is how it broke. Impressive, no?

More Photos

This is that tree now.

Photos, as Promised

This is the "before" shot. Pay attention to the tallest tree to the left of the house.

Three Bits of Good News

1. The emergency backup generator works.

2. We have enough extension cord to plug the garage door opener into the kitchen.

3. The tree missed the house.

Photos forthcoming.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

Today's Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Do not combine Fiery Habanero flavored Doritos and Super Colon Cleanse. Don't ask why. Just don't do it. And if you do decide to disregard this and combine the two, don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, June 16, 2006

You've Got Fan Mail!

Thanks for all the lovely comments to my previous post. Keep 'em coming! It's nice to know I have readers at all. Readers who are so impassioned by my writing to take the time to post such lengthy, well-reasoned rebuttals are more than I could have hoped for when I started this blog. Youreanidiot brings up some very valid points in response to my drivel that only really had one tiny micro-point--that a guy trying to explain an esoteric point of fruit fly physiology brought in what was to me a completely superfluous analogy. Being called out for going on and on about a guy being too verbose is an irony worthy of Penguin Perspectives.

Sports Talk

Now, I understand that sports objects like a football field and olympic-sized swimming pool have become de facto units of measurement, although in the latter case, I don't understand why. How many of us immediately visualize how big an Olympic-sized swimming pool is? At any rate, the use of sports analogies for measurements has officially gotten way out of control. Here is a paragraph from an actual article about a recently-published biology study of fruit flies:
"To put that into perspective, if humans made sperm that long and you took a six-foot man and stood him on the goal line of a football field, his sperm would stretch out to the 40-yard line," said Adam Bjork, a Ph.D. student at Syracuse University in New York.
That is a long way to go to say "120 feet." While we're at it, someone tell that Ph.D. student that only 15% of American men are six feet tall or taller, and most non-American males have a very different idea of what constitutes a football field.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Emperor's New Sculpture

One of the few things I learned in pursuit of my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree was never to trust any Art or Literature, particularly when they start with a capital letter. Talented people can make beautiful things. This is one of my current favorites. When people try to be Artistic, particularly when they are being Artistic in lieu of being Talented, large volumes of crap almost always follows. The situation then snowballs as people, not wanting to seem crass, start spouting nonsense about how visionary the Artist is.

Case in point: the Royal Academy in Britain recently put on display the pedestal support for a statue, in the mistaken belief that it was a work of art. The actual sculpture that the pedestal was supposed to support was judged not worthy of inclusion in the exhibit.

Laying Odds

I am taking bets in the Battle of the Invasive Weeds '06. In one corner, we have thistles (no, I don't know what kind--they bear a vague resemblance to rhubarb and get to be 5 feet tall or more if left alone). Attempting to occupy the same corner by the barn, we have spearmint. Both are plants that, given a third of a chance, will take over everything. Now, going leaf-to-leaf, which one will come out on top?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Double Whoop-de-do!

First, I finally got rid of the rest of the dead vines growing around the garage door. That had been on my to-do list since we bought the house more than a year ago. At first, the problem was that, having lived in apartments our entire adult lives, we did not own a ladder. Once that was remedied, we ran into problem #2: I won't get up on the ladder. "Heights" is on my short list of absolute fears (below clawed crustaceans, for those of you keeping track--I would climb a ladder to get away from a Dungeness crab). However, today, I managed to talk myself up onto the fourth rung of the ladder and take the loppers to the vines until I could yank them down and chop them into little pieces for composting. Getting eyeball to eyeball with one's gutters without holding on to anything might not count as an accomplishment to most people, but most people would also comfortably go out onto the balcony of their third floor apartment and don't have anxiety attacks on the Sky Ride at Cedar Point. I am not most people.

The second Whoop-de-do is that I spotted three emerging tomatoes on the plants today. This, after a bout of blossom drop that made me think I might have nursed these from seeds for nothing. With luck, these are just the first three of many.

Monday, June 12, 2006


How is it that cats that are normally comatose all afternoon suddenly get a driving urge to run around after I put a fresh coat of polyurethane on the parquet? It is supposed to dry for 6-12 hours with no one stepping on it, so I erected barriers around all access points. Something about the smell of Orange Glo seems to bring out their inner mountain goat.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Porpoising through the News

Yogurt is evolving. Fortunately, it looks like smoothies are a long way from developing intelligence.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I am Geek

Here's my latest geek project. I am currently on Row #114, of 1556. This one is for Emp. Peng., then I will make one of the Season 15 scarves for myself. Matching ones would be silly.

After I am done with that, I plan to start on a sundial that reads binary.