Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh, Puh-lease.

I can't find a decent image of the Photoshopped "Obama ♥ Reagan" TIME cover, but you can find a small version of it here (or here).


Yeah, Obama just looooves him some Reagan.
It's so obvious in everything he says and does!

"Mutant Mosquitoes"?

This is not the sort of Twitter news headline I want to see first thing in the morning:
Mutant mosquitoes: Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species...
I'll confess:  I haven't bothered to read the article... but isn't releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild just a really dangerous idea?  Have we learned nothing from all those poorly made horror movies on the subject of genetic modification?  ;o)

(On a related note, have you heard that they're supposed to be close to cloning the woolly mammoth back into existence?  Yeah... Somebody somehow managed to miss the blatantly obvious moral of Jurassic Park.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh, Good Grief.

"Woman's candy egg seized at border"

The gist (in case you don't want to click the link and read the whole thing) is this:

Linda Bird, a Canadian woman, was caught trying to enter the U.S. with contraband.   Some sort of weapon?  Illegal drugs?  No, much worse.  It was-- *gasp* --a Kinder Surprise egg.  (I've never seen one in person, but I understand they are chocolate eggs with a small toy-- the "surprise"-- very, very visibly "hidden" inside.)
Bird learned U.S. authorities have banned the candy because they come with a plastic toy inside that could, if eaten, choke a small child.

"It's just a chocolate egg," Bird said. "And they were making a big deal. They said 'if you were caught with this across the border you would get charged a $300 fine,'" she said.


The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously, judging by the number of them they've confiscated in the last year. Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.

Thank goodness they caught that wicked woman before she brought her scary candy into the country and choked some innocent American child with it!!!!!!!

Come on.

We can't ban everything that a child could possibly choke on.  Parents should have enough common sense to know how to take care of their children, including keeping them away from choking hazards.  How many people do you think manage to get their hands on a Kinder Surprise egg without knowing that there's a tiny toy inside?

What about Cracker Jack?  Do those still have tiny toys hidden in the box?  (Of course, these days it's probably nothing but a sticker, if even that...)  What about the Golden Age of Cereal, when kids' (sugary) cereals often came with a small toy at the bottom of the bag?  (Probably another thing of the past.  When I was a baby/kid, they didn't know about all these things, apparently.  I wore my pacifier like a necklace, on a piece of yarn, for instance.  It's a wonder I didn't end up strangled.  Yet here I sit, typing silly little blog entries.)

Maybe Kinder Surprise eggs are banned because, since they're made and packaged overseas, our government can't regulate that they come with a choke hazard warning printed on them...

Does anyone sleep easier at night knowing that Kinder Surprise eggs are illegal in the U.S.?  ;o)

No Snow for YOU!

(And for the "Everyone Likely to Care About It Already Knows" category...) The Southeastern U.S. saw a little snow in the past few days.  Unfortunately, because the region so rarely does see snow, it only takes a little to make a huge mess on the roads and shut down airports.  On the other hand-- snow!

If you grew up in a place that sees snow frequently-- or at least not infrequently-- you probably can't appreciate how absolutely bonkers a born and bred Southerner can go over a few snowflakes.  It feels magical-- has the ability to turn most adults back into a child for an hour or two.  Visions of snowball fights and (very small) snowmen dance through our heads.

Of course, since we live so very far south, it feels like we never see snow.  And we didn't this time, either.

I wasn't disappointed this time, at least, because I'd  never had hope that we would-- unlike last time, when it felt like all the weathermen and -women were fairly promising snow... and then it just DISAPPEARED OFF THE RADAR, right before it got down to us.  (No, I'm serious.  Some of us were furious and/or heartbroken.  They had snow in our county, even.  Why couldn't it have managed to snow a little on us, too? *teardrop*) 

Well, anyway... After the emotional scarring of that incident-- returning again and again to gaze out the window, hoping, hoping, thinking for one startled second "was that a flake?!" and then realizing that no, no it wasn't-- I determined to never believe the weather forecast as regards snow.  For whatever reason, we hardly ever get precipitation when the temperature is below freezing, down here.  So no snow for us! 

(Now I sit and imagine all the people who have months of heavy snow-shoveling and miserable slogging through cold, slushy snow still ahead of them before they see spring... reading this... and trying to curb the impulse to whip out some bitter remark for the comments section...)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Something-- Anything!

Ugh, no more "dead birds" entry at the top of my page!

I don't have much to say, really, though... at the moment...

So, here, I'll just put up a video I saw... somewhere.  (Never mind where.  It's not important.)

It's an ad for some Italian cheese aimed at women who... well, see for yourself:

Well, what did you think?

Don't you wish your husband / boyfriend / significant other had such a well-practiced "listening face"-- finely tuned to convey how he hangs on every word as though it might contain the secrets to the greatest mysteries of Time and Life (not the magazines, though-- sorry if I confused you by capitalizing them...)?

Only... the fact that he has to practice it makes it seem like it will be fake when he finally finds a woman and "has" to listen to her talk about her friends' problems.  Hmm...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Dead Birds?

Ok, I'll admit that it seems a little weird that these groups of dead birds and things keep popping up, over a matter of days... But is this really happening any more often than it ever has in the past?  Don't these kinds of thing just happen, from time to time?  (I don't know-- maybe not quite this frequently...)

I searched Twitter for "birds" and got just what I deserved for doing so-- nonsense.  (Nonsense is what you get 99.9% of the time when you search Twitter or click on a trending subject.)

For example:

"What is GOING on?  Do birds know something WE, Humans, should??"

(Um... You mean you didn't get the message to die for no discernible reason and fall from the sky?  You might want to check your in-box more often.)

"omg why are all these fish and birds dieing.  Thinking 2012.  Wtf."

(Check the calendar.  It's only 2011.)


(Again, calendars, people!  ...But yeah, I don't know if I buy the fireworks explanation, either.   (shrug))

[insert obligatory joke-tweet referencing Angry Birds here]

(Ugh.  You don't merit a response.)

"I wish birds of the human variety would drop dead too."

(...Huh?  Unless you mean "birds" as in slang for "women", and even then it still makes no sense, especially considering that the person RTing it is a woman...)

I suggest we carry on with our lives.  And spend less time on Twitter.

Dollar Tree Laser

Donald and I were playing around with the dogs' toy laser-pointer again, last night.

This is how that typically starts:
Trixie has learned that the button that turns the laser on makes a slight clicking sound.  Now she never fails to respond to any similar clicking noise. (This is enough to convince me that she'd probably be a great candidate for clicker training-- or would have, if we'd started her young.)

Someone makes a clicking noise (as with one fingernail against another)-- or alternately, someone makes a gasping "oh my gosh, I just saw a red dot on the wall" sort of sound (another cue that the game is beginning).  Trixie is instantly on the alert, jumping up, ears perked, darting looks around the room.  (It's pretty hilarious.)

Meanwhile, as soon as Molly gets wind of the laser game-- even before it's actually come out, sometimes-- she breaks out of the kitchen and comes running, because she's as crazy about it as Trixie is (if not usually as vocal).

...Then the laser-pointer comes out, and there's plenty of running to and fro (chasing the elusive red dot), barking, pouncing, whining, spinning in circles, and general craziness.  Oh, and laughter, too.

Anyway, last night, after sending the dogs into their usual frenzy, we were about to draw the festivities to a close ;o) when Donald wondered how far the laser would reach outside, in the dark.  It happening to be dark at the time (a common occurrence around here during the night), we didn't have to wait long to find out.

And the answer?   

First, I was surprised to find that it could travel up the pine trees nearest our yard.  ("Wow.")

Next, I was stunned that we could see it on the lone dead pine out in the area between our house and the pond.  ("Weird!")

Then Donald wondered if we'd see it on the pines all the way across that field, on the other side of the wide path to the pond.  ("Ha!  I doubt it... *gasp*  ...This is scary.")

"No wonder they tell you not to point it into someone's eyes," Donald commented.

I'm amazed at how far that tiny little dog-bone-shaped Dollar Tree laser pointer can reach.  We saw it on the roof of my parents' house, easily!  We saw it on my grandparents' house, even further away!  I'm going to give it a try again some other night, so if you see a red dot moving around outside your window, don't panic.  ;o) 

There's something amazing about sending a light that far.  (Especially if you're easily amazed.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Found on Twitter

"Urban yodeling". 

Well, that term is new to me. 

It refers to the tendency of some singers (such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and far too many people who think they can sing better than they actually can) to draw out (or "oscillate") notes-- excessively, some would say. 

Yes, I remember when I first noticed singers doing that.  I think Whitney Houston was the first I noticed (or rather, a girl in a talent show singing one of Houston's songs)-- and ever since it was popularized (in the 90s?), it's been a menace to my ears. 

Nope, not a big fan of the urban yodeling, I have to admit.  I don't think I can take much rural yodeling, either.  All yodeling seems like one of those things that are more fun to do than to listen to.

More Random Thoughts

Aren't you lucky?!  ;o)

•  I kept seeing references to something called the "Angry Birds".  I was sure it must be a band, but when I finally remembered to look it up, I discovered it was only some type of little computer game.  The strange thing is that it's been around for a pretty long time (as these things go).  So why is everyone talking about it now?  I have to admit, I'm kind of disappointed.  A band would've been more interesting.

•  We now know that our fence is not Chihuahua-proof.  One wandered into our yard a couple nights ago.  Fortunately, our dogs either didn't see him or chose to ignore him. (Also fortunate:  Bands of ravenous Chihuahuas don't roam the Alabamian countryside with the frequency you might expect.  We'll probably be alright, even with our non-Chihuahua-proof fence.)

•  On a related note, we have also confirmed that Trixie is a coward.  When she saw the Chihuahua through a window (the next day), she acted a little frightened and didn't want to get too close.  (She seems to be scared of most "stranger dogs".)

•  Our dogs are both obsessed with the laser pointer toy they got for Christmas.  We've taken some video of them acting all crazy about it, and one of these days I may possibly manage to edit and upload it.  (I know, you can't wait.)

•  I moved our most-frequently used board and card games into two of the cabinets (with doors) in the bookcases in the main room of our house.  Before, they were all stacked in a closet-- kind of messy to get to-- hard to reach-- difficult to get to the one we wanted without moving some of the others, blah blah blah.  This new arrangement makes much more sense to me.  Now, why did I wait so long to think about this and move everything around?  (Some of us get so used to things being a certain way that we never consider whether there might be a better way.)

•  After seeing myself in some photos, I was reminded that I ought to start exercising and watching what I eat, again.  In other words, I need to shift out of holiday mode.  The thing is, I never did make that batch of sugar cookies I promised myself over the holidays...  I am going to make sugar cookies.  One of these days.  Maybe over the weekend...

•   During recent evenings, I've been weaving in the ends of the hexagon afghan I crocheted a while ago.  There are a lot of them.  (/understatement)  You can find more about this fascinating subject on my sewing/crochet blog-- excellent reading for those times you're plagued with insomnia.

•  I'm glad to see the return of new episodes of some of  the TV programs we watch.  Also, the talk radio hosts are trickling back in, now that the holidays are over.  The fill-in hosts are rarely as interesting as the usual ones.

•  We bought ourselves a space heater a few weeks ago.  It's been a long time since we had one.  When we lived in the trailer, we'd borrowed a pretty old one from my maternal grandparents.  It was the type that had wires that glowed orange (behind a grill) when it was running-- kind of scary-looking.  This new one is a tower-shaped unit that can be set to oscillate-- and there are no (visible) glowing wires.  It is so nice-- perfect for getting toasty-warm.  Why did we wait so long to get one of these?!

•  Those are all the random thoughts swimming around in my head first thing in the morning. 

•  Ah, I remembered something else!  Last week, I don't remember how, but I found myself looking at a list of the 100 most beautiful English words, according to Robert Beard, "a long-time poet and word aficionado".  Some of them I can agree are beautiful... but then we find words like "ailurophile".  Really?  Well, if you say so.  And "bucolic".  (Ok, now I know you're pulling my leg.  "Bucolic" is one of those words only a mother could love.  It has the sound "ick" in it, for goodness' sake!  And "colic"-- not a beautiful thing, at all. )  "Conflate"?  "Fugacious"?  (Gag.) "Onomatopoeia".  (Meh. It's probably just me, but I've always felt that teachers make too much of a fuss over that word.)  "Palimpsest"?  "Petrichor"?  "Ratatouille"??  (C'mon, that hardly even counts as an English word.  It seems like this Beard fellow is extremely fond of words of French origin in general, though.)  "Riparian" makes me laugh, because the only place I recall ever hearing that one is in an episode of "Keeping Up Appearances"-- "waterside supper with riparian entertainments" and not by any means a "riverside picnic", mind you! To each his own favorite words, of course.  Far be it from me to tell you that your beautiful words are ugly...

•  Ok, I think that's really all, this time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

Are you getting the new year off to a good start?

We rang in 2011 at my parents' house with pizza, a couple of games (What's Yours Like? and Forbidden Island, both of which sound far more suggestive than they actually are, I assure you (g)), and a scary movie (30 Days of Night) with snacks.  Then we watched a little of such "countdown" shows as we could find, (sort of) saw the pelican drop (something they do in Pensacola and which was kinda-sorta televised locally), wished each other a Happy New Year, and went out on the porch to catch a few glimpses of neighbors' fireworks (and listen to the wind rushing in the the trees and some distant cannon-like booms).  It was a good end to the old year!

Then we said goodnight and had the long drive home.  Ok, not really.  It probably took less than five minutes to get from their door to ours.  Trixie thought it was great that the people were up at 1 a.m. and didn't really want to go back to her crate for the night.  ("Seriously?  You do realize I was in that thing from 6 p.m. until after midnight, right?")

2011 has been rainy and dreary, so far, but that's ok.  It's Saturday morning, we're safe and cozy at home, and there's nowhere we have to be-- nothing we have to do.  (Except maybe take a nap to catch up on missed sleep.)

I hope the coming year treats you well!
Don't forget to eat some black-eyed peas today (for prosperity)! ;o)