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Archive for August, 2008

Random Question

So I’m watching a show on TV–Judge Alex if you must know–and there is a family on there. A mother. A father.

And their daughter.

Whose name is LaTrina.

LaTrina.

What are some people thinking?

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Feel Good Friday

I’m a bit late to this, but on this friday I think that we must (of course) feature something by The Stones. And what better Stones feature than my all-time favourite Stones song:

(Can you tell I’m in a bit of a mood?)

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Useless But Fun

This is my little art studio for my sim, Sara.

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I’m passing another kidney stone. (I tell you this not for sympathy but to explain why I was asleep during the day.) I just woke up from a long drug-induced sleep–thank you, Phenergan–and for some reason completely unknown to me I have this song going through my head.

It’s perhaps the cheeriest song about kidnap and rape that has ever been sung. And a lot of people complain about RAP being degrading to women!

Treat ‘em rough like them there Romans do
Or else they’ll think you’re tetched.

and

Dobbin’ really rattled their ears.
Oh they acted angry and annoyed,But secretly they was overjoyed

I just have no idea why the drugs decided to pull THAT out of the memory hole.

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The shame part is because I’ve never been a great writer of tech gadget posts. People like Ceeelcee and Kerry Woo and Caseydo a really good job and are able to toss around specs and other kinds of facts that I just don’t know how to put in. It’s not that I don’t know how they work and what they mean, those phrases like P-Ram and Bluetooth and whatnot. I tend to write my tech posts the way sloppy romance writers write sex scenes in books. While I know the mechanics behind it all, I think most folks get turned on by reading about all the parts in action.

But tech writers and tech readers like to talk about the parts and how they work and that’s fine with me. That’s why I’m not a tech writer. It’s also why I don’t write about techie things–it comes off like cheap gadget porn.

This is a post about gadget porn. Because I am in love with my iPod Touch. Yes, I got it nearly nine months ago (it was a Christmas present) and yes, I know the firmware update and the App storewas old news several weeks ago. But just as it took me a bit longer than some kids to lose my virginity it also took me a bit longer to install the firmware on my Touch. That firmware which takes it from a respectable sexy gadget and revs it up into this life-changing va-va-voom piece of glowing glassy gateways.

You see, with the apps it stops just being about music and video and looking at pictures and becomes something you interact with. It becomes something you graft onto your life. The “apps” (tiny applications) range in price from free to upwards of $10, with the games and high-end photography programs being more expensive. There are apps to help you be more active and apps to help you relax. You can expand your mind and rot your brain. You can save the universe and destroy little dots in a maze. It is just…incredible.

My top five apps of the moment are:

  1. Lucky 7 Slots: It’s a slot machine written by my friend and it just completely rocks. It saves you a trip to the casino and still delivers the thrill of a mindless gamble. And you don’t have to sit next to a retiree who smells like cigarettes and adult diapers and that old lady perfume.
  2. Texas Hold’em: If Casey had written this one it’d be number one. I’m a long-time poker junkie, but had to give it up as my mobility decreased. Well, that and after a long weekend of strung out seven-card stud I swore I’d never again play poker with friends. To me it’s a business and a chance to retreat inside my own head. I become a different person when I play poker and I just would rather be that person around strangers. Thanks to this great app I can play poker while being anywhere in the world. I don’t lose money and I don’t lose friends.
  3. Waterwords: The most relaxing wordgame in the world and I can play it for hours. It keeps my brain sharp.
  4. Bubblewrap: Do I have to explain why a FREE game that challenges you to pop as many bubblewrap cells as possible in 45 seconds is just cool?
  5. Koi Pond: This is the most relaxing thing in the world. It’s an overhead view of a blissful rockbottomed pond teeming with beautiful koi. You can splash and play in the water, feed the fish and zone out to the noise of birds, frogs, crickets and wind.

There are a dozen others that do various things like track knitting rows, sharpen math skills and find restaurants for you. And yes, I know this just amounts to a bunch of silly games. But I love it beyond all reason.

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When I was at my mom and dad’s their dishwasher broke. So I spent an hour handwashing their dishes in spite of my arthritis. I love to handwash dishes and have ever since I was a kid. It’s kind of a peaceful, meditative exercise.

I’ve also really been enjoying folding laundry.

It occurs to me that I do like housework, but only if I can make some noticable difference. With handwashing dishes and folding laundry you start with a pile of stuff and work that pile down to nothingness. It’s the most immediate feedback possible.

I also like to mop. On our dark green kitchen floor you can see where the mopped part is shiny and damply clean. You can easily see how much is clean and how much remains.

I think I’ve discovered that I like cleaning only when I feel like I’m accomplishing something.

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What more could you ask for? There’s drama, crime fighting, riots, reunited lovers…

and kazoos!!!

KAZOOS!!!

Yes, indeed!

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I decided…I was never going to put the services of the church on TV or the radio, because I didn’t want to be a celebrity. Always being in the spotlight blinds you.

Rick Warren

I’m mostly sitting this election out. Really, I am. Neither main candidate thrills me; I’ve likened the choice as being between liver and lima beans.

I didn’t know until I saw something on Sharon’s blog the other day that Rick Warren had something major to do with some recent debate or something. How’s that for vague? I told you–I’m just not paying attention.

I do think it’s somewhat novel to see Big Church intersect with Big Politics in such a way. Rick Warren is a hero to a lot of Christians–my mother included. She’s told me before that I can’t say anything bad about him. Is it bad to say that I think he’s getting too big for his britches, that he’s becoming nothing more than a granola-flavoured Pat Robertson and that he’s becoming the latest in a long line of people who’ve take a lot of money from the hungry and thirsty laypeople of the country and parlayed that windfall into a highly-visible seat at the head of the political table? Cause if that’s bad, then I guess I can expect a call from her later today.

Some columnist at the LA Times has already gotten Warren nominated for a jokey government position called “Moderator General”. Yes, I know that’s a position which exists only in Dana Parson’s mind, but the mere fact that people are suggesting Warren for government work, even jokingly, bugs me. Not because I think all pastors should stay out of politics (I don’t) or because I think Warren is too liberal (I have no idea what “too liberal” is, but Warren probably isn’t it).

I’m just fed up with all these guys. Robertson. Warren. LaHaye. In fact, I may be more fed up with Warren at the moment than I am with LaHaye. (Keep reading, mom. I don’t want to have to repeat myself over the phone.) Warren* has acheived a place of prominance by repackaging the gospel in a glib and dumbed-down slick marketing book. He’s done all but put the gospel–something that is supposed to be FREE–on a lunchbox. Since it’s the gospel he’s repackaged, some folks think he’s as anointed as St. Paul, or even Jesus himself.

People elevate Warren. And he lets them. He lets them so that he can take part in high-profile things like interviewing presidents, signing statements about the environment and dictating public policy. It’s as though we said “take our money and we’ll make you our king”. Well, when I say “we” I don’t mean “me” because I’ve never given Rick Warren one thin dime. Nevertheless, he’s motoring to the top of the heap by exploiting the gospel.

*Boy I’m not used to using that name in this context. Usually when I type “warren” it has something to do with wry discontent. And music.

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It is slightly bumming to me of late that I am not the person I used to be. I just got done reading a bunch of blog entries where people were taking their bikes out on greenways and whatnot and riding gleefully and being out and it occurs to me once again that the ways in which my life is changing are not all wonderful.

On vacation my sister said that I was amazingly positive for someone in my situation. I told her that there was no reason to not be positive because a) the situation can’t be helped and b) there are a lot of folks who have it worse than I do.

But today for some reason I’m finding myself a bit mooning over the fact that at 38 I am less mobile than my 91 year old grandmother.

I realised, though, that my reading habit may be the thing that is saving my sanity. True, I’m less mobile than a 91 year old woman, but once I sit down with a book I can go absolutely anywhere. I’ve been re-reading The Winds Of War and mentally have been to Germany a half dozen times, London thrice and just had dinner with FDR. Not bad for a woman who can no longer walk downstairs without whimpering and crying and making a histrionic deal of the whole thing.

Yes, the books are saving my sanity.

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I’ve been working on a semi-top secret project for the last couple of weeks. (Semi because I told my husband, sister and Slartibartfast about it.)

Part of this project involves research into some fan boards for various reality shows. I was reading one today and came across this nugget:

even plained [sic] on making them [gifts] for each of the [celebrities] for Christmas (I already bought the stuff so I am now going to make them for some [people] in my local womans shelter).

I do not understand the mindset of someone who would spend their time and money on a gift for a celebrity whom they can see already having more earthly possessions than half the country. I’m glad that these gifts will instead end up at a women’s shelter–but how many more go straight to the celebrity of choice?

As a libertarian I can’t stop people from being stupid, I guess.

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