Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30

Every family has little holidays that mean something to them which are just regular days to the rest of the world. May 30 has become that for this household (it's the end of this terrible period), and we've experimented with various ways of celebrating. This year, we went simple: a picnic in the park (it helps that this was the nicest day in a long while). Snapped a couple of pics that I might as well share.

Am not sure why this pose was so essential for me to shoot, but they thought it was golden.
remember what I said the other day about Frodo being too cool for his dad's stuff?
And we got in one decent WonderMutt shot

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dog Tales

I've always been a sucker for a good dog story--and lately, I seem to be more susceptible to them--we recently celebrated our one year adoptionversary of Wonder Mutt, which was only magnified by me rereading Spencer Quinn's Dog On It (one of the best things I read last year--and this). The Offspring have convinced me to let them watch LOST over the summer and today we got to see the reunion of Walt and Vincent--a scene they were clearly more "into" than any other so far.

Anyway, this video clip isn't as good as any of those, but dang, this brought a smile to my face.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Safe from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxyhas a few things to say on the subject of towels.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams
(1952 - 2001)

What's Towel Day? Wired has a handy article from last year, and another from this year?. Of course, has the best round-up.

* You'll note Frodo's missing from these photos, he took them having reached the age where he can't really lower himself to get into his dad's goofiness. His own brand of goofiness, on the other hand...

Monday, May 24, 2010

List of Things Necessary to Salvation

Saying that my pal TurretinFan (who I owe at least one far overdue email) has produced an excellent blog post is akin to saying that Seattle gets a lot of rain, but sometimes you have to state the obvious. This post is really worth a read or three.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Betcha Pilate Knew This

To avoid second guessing, wash your hands after making a difficult choice.

Graduate student Spike W.S. Lee conducted the study, analyzing how individuals reacted to decisions they made based on the simple act of hand washing. Lee found that when people literally washed their hands after a decision, they felt justified about their choices and felt increasingly better about their decisions. When people did not wash their hands, they were less likely to justify their decision.
Lifehacker has the details...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

This from the "It's Not Just Us" File

Phew! It's not only our courts that are filled with silly lawsuits (and our school system with a discipline breakdown), Germany's got 'em, too.

From the UK Telegraph:

A teacher with a phobia over rabbits is suing a 14-year-old pupil for compensation after she drew a bunny on the blackboard.

The teacher, from Vechta, Germany, says she was traumatised by the drawing, and claims the girl knew it would terrify her.

She had transferred to the school where a pupil from her former school had just become a pupil and told her new friends about the teacher's fear of rabbits.

"We did it for fun and out of curiosity", one of the girls told a court, adding, "We wanted to see if she would really freak out."

School officials removed her from the class and now the teacher is seeking compensation for her terror and her loss of earnings
I know phobias don't bow to reason--I have an aunt that was so freaked out by a spider pin (a very nice one, I might add) that my sister gave her as a joke that she couldn't touch it and eventually asked my sister to remove it from her home. But to be so freaked out over a drawing on a blackboard that you can't work? And then to turn around and sue a 14 year old? (who'd better have been suspended/expelled/whatever Germans do--which I'm guessing isn't pleasant) How detailed could a drawing on a blackboard be??

I'm trying to have compassion on the poor lady, but come on...

Not to be even more insensitive, but after thinking about this phobia, I just have to post this. Click play only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Sound of Crickets

Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say.
- Sholem Asch