Sunday, November 30, 2008

I tawt I taw a puddy-tat

I really didn't need to sit at my desk tonight, grrllzz. Don't mind me.

Feline Concentration

You would never know by looking at this shot that Meanwhile Manor has
approximately 1100-square feet in which one can stretch out (or curl
up) and relax.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh, really

My daily digital routine includes updating my numerous podcasts
(welcome to the herd, Ms Maddow), checking the bulletin boards for
files worth the download bandwidth, cycling through watched or
listened to files on the iPhone and replacing them with fresh, new
files, and looking for new and/or updated iPhone applications. It is
this last which caused me to double-take this morning.

iTunes makes updating easy to the point of annoying. Essentially,
updates are shoved your way and you either acquiesce and perform the
upgrade or subject yourself to endless nattering and nagging.

Anyway, one of the apps I have on my iPhone is a copy of the
Constitution. Perhaps you've heard if this document. Imagine my
surprise when it required an update this morning. As The T said,
"you'd think we'd have heard more about that."

Sent from my iPhone

I knew it!

Here's the last image sent from the Mars rover Phoenix. Looks suspicious, if you ask me.

Actually, the photo was slightly, uh, retouched as part of a contest over at Gizmodo.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just let me finish this page

This is how I feel in the bookstore and at the library and while browsing Powell's and well, all the time really. I wish I had a touch of insomnia, just a touch. Maybe then I'd have a chance to read all the books I am accumulating.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


What is the fascination with bacon? Bacon wallets. Bacon band-aids. And now iBacon for your iPhone. I am verklempt.

from Gizmodo

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How do I recharge this thing?

Ingenious! A Japanese farmer put stickers on apples and then just sat back and waited. Brilliant and probably a trademark infringement lawsuit waiting to happen. Regardless, next year I am slapping stickers on every veggie I plant.

via Gizmodo

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Would Rorschach See?

As a follow-up to Gollum's particular perspective of a store display combined with my self-inundation in the national election, I bring you an interesting view of voting results. Way more info can be found at the author's site, not too far from the longitudinal midline of the contiguous 48.

The national election in 2004 spawned the Jesusland map, a (humorous?) response to the wave of red psychosis that swept the land:

Here's what it looks like in the more traditional colors of red and blue:

And now let's look at just the lower-48:

Now this is where things get really neat. If the map is tweaked based on population density and we look at the cartogram, the red and blue swatches look like:

For a fuller explanation of what's going on, check out where the maps came from.

Here are the results for the 2008 election:

I would love to see this map superimposed on on similar renditions of maps showing locations of cities. I wonder just how distorted location is. That claw on the west coast: is that San Francisco Bay? Where exactly is that pocket of red in the lower left corner, Arizona? The author offers up his software for free. I'm off to play.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

At the end of the rainbow

Way back in The When, at the beginning of the presidential primary season when it seemed like every politician who had a pulse decided the run for the office, the question arose, "Who is this Obama fellow?" My favorite answer to the question—and this is real, I swear—was that he was a nice Irish fellow cut from the same liberal cloth as a previous generation's nice Irish fellow.

Irish. As in O'Bama. For a brief moment, I wondered if I was spelling his name wrong and that the apostrophe was actually some sort of glottal stop like in the word Hawai'i. Thankfully, the moment passed. 

I can only think that these poor mistaken folks, deep in their conservative closet, were so shocked that a man of mix-raced lineage would dare enter the campaign that they clung to their error for comfort. Did they also misconstrue the rest of his name? Did they hear it as Patrick Seamus O'Bama? Oy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You're gonna need a bigger scoop

My apologies to Mr Scheider, Mr Spielberg, and the shark for the preceding title but my reasoning will be obvious by the end of the post.

I recently journeyed to Petco with Gollum for needed animal items like food and dog biscuits in the very particular shape of a postman. So there we are wandering the aisles, both wondering how Cooper the Happy Dawg would fare in such environs when Gollum stopped dead in her tracks and stared at the huge litterbox serving as the endcap on an aisle. If you've visited Petco, you know of what I speak. The bin is about three feet long and four feet wide and who knows how deep and is completely filled with clay cat litter. After bumping into the back of the stopped Gollum, I hear her say in an awed voice, "Wow, that's huge. You would have to have a really big room in your house."

I was forced to inform her that it was a bulk dispenser of litter and she should stick with dogs. Never a dull moment with Gollum, nosiree.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A New Age

I have been completely swimming in news since the election started. I find myself reading news constantly. All. The Time. I am reading feeds on my iPhone before I'm even out of bed. Yes, I have asked myself if this is unhealthy. I mean, how many people need the AP wire or Maureen Dowd before they need coffee? The name Rachel Maddow was also tossed my way as someone to provide a fix. Since I am tv-less and on the edge of radio signals, I think this will be another vid-cast watched in bed.

Anyway, the latest sign of the times is Obama's plan to provide video versions of his weekly address. I first heard this on NPR where the reporter closed the story by saying, "YouTube did not exist when President Bush was elected." Yes, and the fact that it came into being, became a huge piece of the cultural and informational landscape and that he still wasn't including video at the end of his reign of terror is yet another example of how quick he was to adapt to new ideas.

January 20th cannot come soon enough for me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Go vote!!!

The NPR mobile site has crashed. I can't check election returns. Aaaa!

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Adult Version

I was hunting for a good book to read when I go to bed after a long day of staring at student papers. As often happens in these situations, I re-read a title I really enjoyed once (or twice) before. This time, I chose to re-read the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Nothing like a witch bounty hunter who both lives with a vampire who has sworn off blood and has a pixie for a partner. It's a great series.

While waiting for my library copy of the first book in the series, Dead Witch Walking, to come rolling in from the coast on ye olde bookmobile, I acquired a digital copy of the audiobook. I have to tell you, this is the best. I laid on the couch Saturday recovering from Friday's Halloween party and read the first 100-or-so pages. Then I crawled back into Big Swampy 'cuz the house was cold and I wasn't up to faking it anymore. I dropped in the earbuds and picked up in the book where I left off without having to focus my poor eyes. It was awesome. Last night did both! This was like an adult read-along book. While I am not appreciative of the audio artist's rendition of Ivy the vampire*, it was oh so very cool to be lying in bed having someone read to me.

*Question for the audience: why oh why must every vampire have a silky-husky-breathy voice? The premise of the Hollows series is that Inderland creatures who have lived among humans for centuries and have thus learned to mask their differences in order to survive are now living openly. You, like, can't tell me that there isn't, like, at least one vamp in the whole clan that sounds like a valley girl. The vampire character is not filling any of the well known stereotypes or caricatures of the species but the reader's voice sure is.