Sunday, July 31, 2005

Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Less than a year away is Towel Day, a tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001). So, this is a reminder to all to carry your towel on May 25th, 2006 in honour of one of the funniest people who ever lived.

If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend going. It's not perfect, it's not British, but it is fun. (In the movie, Ford Prefect uses his towel to great advantage...)


Saturday, July 30, 2005


Don't eat this! But you must read it! I'm adding this guy to my daily read...


Have you Played with Ze yet?

Ze's Page is just a whole bunch of fun (why don't I find/write about serious stuff? That's a good question. If you find me frivolous, visit my SO's page -- he's a much better writer than I am, and addresses more heady subjects.). The picture here is a sentence I wrote in the 'words' section of the site. And the cryptic "dtoyvsbyokal" is a diy kaleidescope...

I'm leaving you with this site to play with and keep you occupied for a couple of weeks, as I'm going to be out of the loop until Monday, August 15th. This weekend I've got a wedding and the next-day BBQ to go to -- they are lucky, lucky, it's a glorious day for a wedding in the park (touch wood).

Then, I'm going to be 2 long, full, intensive weeks in a course at SFU: the Book Publishing Immersion Workshop. THEN, I'll be looking for a job.

Don't forget to wear sunscreen.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

On Being Creative

At gapingvoid, there is a really good list of life lessons on creativity...I like this one:
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, "I’d like my crayons back, please."
I ran a workshop at a conference once on tools to enhance one's creativity...I was a teacher, and used a lot of these things in my classes, to open my students' minds a bit more -- a gentle crowbar, to allow more independent thought.

I enjoy lateral thinking puzzles...when the SO was on the road, driving truck, I went with him for a week, and had him solving these suckers at 3 a.m., driving down the I5.

(a little more practice:)


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A little bit of surfing...

A fellow countrywoman I met in Chartres and I still keep in email contact. Not too heavy -- I'm on her email mass-mailing list. "Oh, no!" I can hear you say...but this woman is different: she really only sends the very interesting of websites. No angels, sick kids, virus warnings, nor chain letters from her! Instead, every once in awhile she sends something really cool: like StumbleUpon: a time killing (wasting?) toolbar for your browser.

Today it sent me to a fabulous, interactive Edgar A. Poe site. Hear his poetry read with either a male or female voice, with or without emotion, music, or sound effects. Read "The Tell-Tale Heart" and make your own annotations.

Another site I 'stumbled upon' was the AOLer Translator -- as someone who's relatively new to instant messaging, I actually need this!

?!???!!!! LOL


Just funny....

Here's a nicely organized collection of Things People Said. I have no commentary to is just funny.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

I wanted a Castle Grayskull!

Someone out there either had great foresight to collect TV commercials from the 80s...or else is a major packrat and has a pile of VCR tapes in storage. My sister was the TV junkie, but I definitely remember most of these, especially the talking McDonalds Chicken McNuggets, the Atari Pitfall ad and the rather wacky Rolo commercial.

I was just hitting my teens when the 80s rolled around, but I did want a Castle Grayskull -- even though it was a boy's toy. Amazing how the girl toy/boy toy distinction has changed very little...there are still pastel toys for girls and dark toys for boys -- although, the transformation of the phrase "boy toy" into its new meaning is telling in itself.


Friday, July 22, 2005

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Some people really have too much time -- here at the Fun Latin website.

I mean, seriously, when do you think you'll need to call the Seven Dwarves in Latin?

  • Fatuus
  • Medicullus
  • Severus
  • Beatus
  • Somniculosus
  • Verecundus
  • Sternuens
Die dulci fruimini.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Withdraw O. Tomcat" one of the senders names in my inbox spam, along with "Spinoza C. Horizontals" and "Arroyos Q. Reamed". I'm not making this up. I wish I had that kind of imagination. Spam generators (the people or the computer programs?) are getting more and more...what? Interesting? Do they think the average person is more likely to open a suspicious email from one "Jupiter C. Misty" than s/he is from "Julie"?

[enter sweeping statement about state of email technology and gullibility here]


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Found Poetry

Here's something I've been carrying around in my wallet for a couple of years: it's time it was immortalized on the web.

How many times have I pulled it and handed it to whomever I was with...and how many times have I received a "Huh?" Some people just don't get it.

For me, it's become a test of who does, and does not, appreciate the weirder things in life.

And yes, it's a real Pictionary card. I was playing with a class of adult ESL students, and pulled the card, read it and started laughing. Naturally, I laminated it, and have been pulling it out for people to laugh at ever since.

I hope you appreciate it.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tower of Babel

I have a Brazilian friend who lives in Germany, speaks I-don't-know-how-many languages, and who works as a translator. Maybe she would appreciate this "Lost in Translation" site, which has been making the rounds for years.

Translating a phrase from English, into German, back to English, then into Portuguese, back to English again, then into Korean...and so on...does create some really fun stuff.

I tried it, with one of my favourite lines from Bladerunner...

I have from the things, those you, in the order of the ordered
popolano not to believe. The attack transfers ulteriorly to the fogos
to the shoulder of Orion. I observed marks we of the ordered C-light
to ignite to me in the loop that following dark the door to Tannhauser
at all these moments if one becomes the time, because it destroys
ruptures under rain. Decree to die the hour.

The original sounds better...listen to Roy Batty at the bottom of this page (scroll down, scroll WAAY down!)


How specific can you get?

Here is an interesting business niche: sell only travel-sized items. This is what is doing. Do you need a bit of ketchup (in its own adorable little bottle) for your own private picnic? Or a sterile lancet (Splinter Out) for the cabin?

Why am I so tempted to buy a pile of stuff from these people? What is it about an array of potentially useful items that I just want to stock up the car for last minute road trips? (My SO is screaming: "No! No more stuff in the car!")

Small things are often thought of as cute, or interesting, or portable...but here is a site that takes the classification of Very Small Objects very seriously. For example, on the floor in the hallway of the apartment today, I found a nellifrag petfurpartof (or petfurdisgups if you are my SO) tanirrecruchibiggerlik .... or, in...well, English, a irregularly shaped bit of cat litter. Time to vacuum.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Some things you just don't want to know about people

This is not absurd.

What is absurd is that other people's terrible secrets make my life seem so...what? Normal? Sane?


A "B" Movie Actor

Just read If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. A wonderfully warped childhood (two older brothers) and a wacky group of friends in high school who obsessively made Super-8 films created one of the most widely known (and unknown) faces in film.

I was pretty much tied down to watch Evil Dead a few years ago -- gads! I'm not sure how much I remember, since I watched it from behind a sofa cushion, but it sure was....interesting.

Anyway -- that group of friends is still making movies. Sam Raimi (director of the Spiderman films, producer of the Herc & Xena franchise...) and his brother, Ted Raimi (Joxer in the Xena series), Josh Becker (director of some of the Herc & Xena stuff), Scott Spiegel (writer of Evil Dead II and Dusk till Dawn II), and John Cameron (wow, busy!) all seem to be still calling on each other for help in all their projects.

The point being that I really enjoy Campbell whenever I see him in a movie -- he's got a 'bigness' to his personality that shines no matter how small the role, and a magnetic delivery. The big stars probably hate being with them, as that chin often steals the scene.


Sunday, July 03, 2005


A cat picture. Posted by Picasa

So, I can post a picture to my blog now, but I will have to figure out some finer details.

Bear with me.


Children on leashes

I was just walking home from a huge dim sum feast (13 women, and enough food to feed us all to bursting) and witnessed this little tableau:

A mother and her two long-haired boys-- one maybe 5, his leash in the hand of his maybe 7-year-old brother. The younger boy is tearing down the hill to the busy corner, his brother trying to haul him back, to make sure he stays on the sidewalk. They cross the street, and the mother takes back the leash from her older child. They get to the corner store, and she hands the leash back to the older boy -- like handing off the dog to a friend to stop and buy your smokes.

I'm sorry, is there something I don't get here? I've never understood the reasoning behind putting your kid on a leash -- so I did a bit of a search. Here's one opinion for leashes. From that rather long article: "A family fishing excursion to a bayside pier can become a nightmare if a small child falls off and doesn’t have a life vest on." Uh...put a life vest on your kid?

"When the security and safety of a child is involved, many parents will find the well being of their precious children far out weigh the rude looks and comments of ignorant busy bodies (sic) who have nothing better to do than try and cast judgment on others."

I do see some of the arguments -- but today I saw a woman that relegates the supposed safety of her kid to another kid. Bad for the youngest in so many ways: How is he going to actually learn to stop at a crosswalk if all that happens is his slightly older brother pulls him this way and that? How is he going to maintain, or even establish, his autonomy from the brother that has had the keeping of him?

I say, teach your children the dangers of the world, and if you have a child that needs extra vigilance, then when you are in a place where the crowds and dangers warrant it (a fairground, a zoo, a crowded dock...), then have your kid on a leash. But if you're constantly dragging at the kid on the leash, you're using what should only be a safeguard as the only means of training.

But I say nothing (aloud). Who knows, down the road, if I have a child....I may need a leash.



My SO marveled the other day at my ability to eat an apple and play a computer game at the same time. (I'm not sure what this says about his hand-eye coordination.) He's not here this morning, and I find myself thinking of him as an apple and play a computer game.

Hell, it's not a complicated game that has a hold of me right now! It's a one-handed mouse thing, so there's lots of manual dexterity left over for a mere apple.

The game? "Big Money" -- addictive little sucker. (Sorry folks, it's not compatible with Unix or Macintosh computers -- nasty, that.) I still get knocked out early, when I'm still a 'ditch digger'. I'm happy when I get up to 'employee', which is much better than 'minimum wage slave.' The built-in challenge of the level names ("What?!? I'm just a freakin' fry cook?") is a lesson for marketing people around the globe: Harness the power of people's inflated opinions of themselves.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Have you ever seen a cowfish?

I have.

It's one of my favourite animals of the deep, right up there with bat rays (check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium where you can actually play with bat rays in a shallow pool -- soft and silky like wet velvet) and seahorses (Do you really need a picture of one?). The local Aquarium had one for awhile, just one, toodling around its tank with the rest of the fishes. It's gone now. I miss it, that boxy little thing.

The absurd thing is that when I was signing up for one of those ubiquitous sites where suddenly your favourite 'free' online game now needs you to create a username & membership...and I was filling in all sorts of meaningless information (how many Canadians live annonymously online as Californians in Beverly Hills, that zip code the only one we know?)...and the system offered me a few options for a username: the usual loricat12, loricat_125, and a couple of weirdly wonderful random things like "Master_Cowfish"! How could I resist?

So now that my SO is blogging, his friend is blogging, her cat is blogging, the whole damn world is blogging....what better name for my own personal blog than the Master Cowfish.

It's just absurd.