Friday, July 17, 2009

Variety Pack

It has been brought to my attention ;o) that I haven't blogged in a while. So let's see if I can scrape together a few things to make a new blog entry. . .

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We had a Fourth of July grill lunch with my father's side of the family (or at least those who could make it). I took some photos and video of my two youngest cousins (Jacob & Olivia) demonstrating their diving ability. They're up on my Flickr and Vimeo accounts, and if you're a friend or family, you can see them there (or in the case of the photos, on Facebook). (You'll need to be approved as family/friends, though-- just a matter of asking.)

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That brings me to Facebook, which I finally got around to using. (This after joining a while back and never even uploading a photo of myself.) Well, I used it for a few days and haven't been back since. I don't know why... It's more fun than I thought it would be, but I can see it becoming an(other) obsession-inducing Internet time-waster. I'm definitely going to drop out of the whole Mafia Wars thing. I just have enough places where I already waste time, and I don't need another. (I'd rather waste my time with Flickr, Vimeo, Blogger, and my off-line time-wasters.) "Thank you" to the people who tried to help get me "set up" on it, though. (g)

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Here's one for the "Oh My" category. Did you hear about Chia Obama? (It seems vaguely familiar to me, but I'm not sure where/when I heard about it before... From Donald, I think.) If you hadn't heard of it until now, let me assure you that I'm completely serious. It's a terra cotta Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia-style bust of you-know-who, originally intended to be sold by Walgreens, but quickly yanked off the shelves when someone decided that it was potentially offensive.

Still think I'm pulling your leg? Take a look at the commercial:

(Does it remind anyone else of an Oompa Loompa, with that orange complexion and green hair?)

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Our little area's been in the "big" news more that usual, lately.

First, the nominee for Surgeon General is from a town not terribly far to our west-- Bayou La Batre, AL. (Someone had a bit of trouble pronouncing the name, but because he made the fumble-- instead of, say, his predecessor-- it won't be used as proof of idiocy. Not that I think a mispronunciation indicates idiocy-- I've made too many of them myself to be of that opinion! (g)-- but you get my point.)

Second, there's the recent news story of the double murder in Beulah, near Pensacola, FL. Back when I lived with my parents, a drive to Pensacola led right through Beulah. (In other words, it's not very far away.) This story has been dominant in the local news, but I've also noticed that the national news is following it with greater than usual interest-- and Donald told me that it was even the top story on the online Swedish newspaper he reads!

(No, no comments on the stories themselves. For the first, I don't know enough about the doctor to make any relevant remarks. For the second, beyond the typical response that it's awful and I'm curious about the circumstances that led to it, there's nothing else to write.)

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I'm still having fun with photography, even if they're just run-of-the-mill nature and pet shots...


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Frequently, when I get e-mail saying that someone new is now "following" me on Twitter, Donald comments on it. (He himself doesn't "tweet".) I try not to pay too much attention to the notifications, myself, because if I did, I might start keeping track of the numbers-- and more specifically, keeping track of when they fall.

Twitter is a strange thing, with its instant feedback. The trending topics have more than once been my first alert of a news story. I've also used it to get an immediate feel for what people are saying about one subject or another. (However, I usually find that the results are skewed strongly to the left, as is typical online, in my experience. That does get old. ...Very old. But moving on...)

I'm sure that I've tweeted things that have lost me followers-- whether because I've made just one too many boring updates on local weather and the daily doings of my dog (Though honestly, who doesn't want to know what Trixie's up to? She's pretty darn fascinating!) or because I've dared to express an unpopular (on Twitter, at least) political opinion. Either way, it doesn't really matter. The key is that instant feedback-- that constantly rising or falling value of yourself (as a tweeter, if nothing else). I'm not a fan of that aspect of Twitter (or other social networking sites), to tell the truth, which is why I try not to glance up at that upper right-hand corner with the follower count. I don't need to know how many people deem me worthy of following today, as opposed to yesterday. But thanks anyway, Twitter.

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As if to make up for the drought of a month ago, we've been getting plenty of rain lately, and we're even supposed to get a "cold front" in the next few days. Of course, by "cold front" what the weatherman really means is that our highs should be in the upper 80s instead of the low-to-mid 90s. But hey! We'll take whatever we can get in the way of cooler weather! And it may actually be in the 60s overnight for a day or two! (Woo hoo!)

So, what's the weather like in Sweden, right now? Oh, just highs in the 70s is all. But it looks like they're getting rain and highs in the 60s, coming up soon, so I bet they're not too happy with their weather, either. I'd still trade, though. Sixties with rain? Sure. Bring - it - on. ;o)

By one reckoning, I probably ought to live in the Pacific Northwest, but I don't think I'd be happy in that political climate. Besides, that's a long move away from family and the places I grew up... And maybe I would get tired of the dreariness, eventually. It's hard to know how I'd react to nearly perpetual cloudcover, having always lived in such a warm, sunny place. Sure, we usually get a lot of rain here, but it comes in downpours-- generally with sun immediately before and after. Anyway-- "Bloom where you are planted", right?

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We're still considering different paint colors for the kitchen (and haven't even really looked at potential bath colors at all). Donald picked up a few (okay, more than a few) new paint chips, last time he was in a home improvement store, and now I think we're leaning towards one of those colors. But then I start having second thoughts and wonder if we ought to steer clear of blue/aqua-blue altogether. A different shade of yellow? A rich cream? A soft sand? Aaaaaah! Indecision! At least we're not in any big rush, so we have plenty of time to dither. We'll probably end up making our choice at the eleventh hour. (Part of the fun of painting is thinking about all the possibilities.)