March 26, 2015

Bigots for Intolerance

How many gay-hating wedding photographers in Indiana need their "right" to treat fellow human beings like vermin protected by a law? How is being hired to cater a gay wedding infringing on your "deeply held" religious beliefs?
I thought that Republican Jesus™'s number one priority was making money. Here is a perfect opportunity to make a load of swag off the very sinners you assure us are be damned for eternity. I would think you would take advantage of this situation and snag some homo-cash. But if you're afraid the queer-cooties will taint the rest of your money, I suppose you need a law to protect you when the rest of humanity tries to make you behave like Jesus actually would.

March 25, 2015

iPhone 6

I don't normally write my blog posts on a phone, but I'm hard-pressed to put this one down. I still haven't even chatted with Siri! 
I could be a while. In the meantime, I'm taking suggestions for apps. 

March 24, 2015

Author! Author!

As you know, I write this blog. So I could, technically, be called a writer.
But I'm not a Serious Writer.
And I have no desire to ever write a novel. Ever. I love to read them. And I can be quite voracious in my reading appetite. But to create one from the gauze of my imagination? Nope. Can't do it. I am too practical and utilitarian for that. So I will leave novel-writing (and navel-gazing) to the Wonkas of the world who can invent fantasy with a couple of pieces of string and a ball of tinfoil, while I will gladly devour your literary output.
After all, someone has to read all the writing.

March 23, 2015

This counts as exercise, right?

Now that it is officially spring, the clean-up in the yard has begun. Never mind that the HIGH temperature today is expected to be 30°F and there are rumors of snow on the horizon. Last year's leaves must be removed.
Saturday, before the balmy 44 degree temps began to tumble, we managed to completely rebuild the birdbath fountain and rake out about 75 square feet of flower bed. We filled six brown bags. Sunday was freezing. Literally. But we forced ourselves outside for the "fill a bag" challenge. (I lost because I took longer to fill my brown bag than LSH did.)
We have completed precisely 1/8th of the cleanup. Unfortunately, the mulch comes on Saturday.

March 22, 2015

Sunday apology for lack of Friday Book Blog

Yes. I know. No Friday Book Blog. But I only read one book last week. It took me all week to get through My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. The first 80 pages went well, and the last 100 pages flew, but 250 pages in the middle? Ugh.
Not badly written, but it reads more like a documentary (as told in somewhat ungrammatical English) which I suspect is deliberate. I guess I just wanted a bit more action. Or perhaps I just didn't have enough invested. Either way, it was an interesting look at abortion in the mid-nineteenth century and the place women held in society. 

March 19, 2015

Bald Eagle for the win

'Murica! Our national symbol keeping us safe from the terrors of squirrel-Qaeda.
actual bald eagle still capture from local "eagle-cam" video. The squirrel who came to dinner.

March 18, 2015

Happy hour fail

I get sitting at the bar when you are alone. Or even with one --two at the max--  friend. But to try to have a socially interactive happy hour with a group of seven friends all strung out in a line of bar stools is as conducive to conversation as a nineteenth century dinner party at Downton Abbey.  Just chatting with someone one person away becomes an exercise in acrobatics as you lean forward and back in the seat just to exchange a few sentences. Why? Why do people insist on staying at the bar?

March 17, 2015

A different kind of pat

I'm not a big fan of corned beef. And I don't know anyone who can't live without cabbage (certainly everyone over 30 ought to give it a pass). So this St. Patrick's Day I ate butter. Lots of butter.

March 16, 2015

Apostrophe, goddess of misuse

The apostrophe seems to cause a lot of angst in its overuse. Grammar nerds will go all twitchy if you add one to a plural. But did you know that we've been dropping apostrophes for years? Technically, all of these words should have an apostrophe to indicate omission of one or more letters:
plane (airplane)
bus (omnibus)
cello (violincello)
phone (telephone)
net (Internet)

The first recorded use of the word 'phone dates to 1927. I don't know when we got rid of the apostrophe, but Wikipedia says it's not uncommon to drop it entirely if it is used at the beginning of a word. Here's a tip for you to use with all your grammar friends: when in doubt, leave it out. We'll still be able to understand your sentence and we will assume you're lazy instead of stupid. ;)

March 13, 2015

Friday Book Blogging

I am writing a Friday Book Blog this week no matter what. On a Friday, no less!
I have about 6 books to choose from in the past two weeks of reading, but my favorite is the second Armand Gamache novel by Louise Penny called A Fatal Grace. When I want to visit a fictional town and have dinner in a fictional bistro with fictional characters, the author has nailed it.

March 12, 2015

C'mon springtime

You may have seen a couple of recent photos of our Great Lake, Erie. Notable is its current lack of visible water due to a thinning but still persistent layer of ice.
This is what springtime currently looks like in Northern Ohio. Granted, it is not "Spring" yet. We're still 8 days out, but close enough. Ice jams are forming on all our rivers and all the winter poop is waiting to be scooped before the first really good rain. But I haven't seen a single bud.
All of which makes this picture that my aunt took in NORWAY, LAST WEEK, so annoying.

March 11, 2015

Who writes checks?

I met my mother at lunch today and she had me added as a signer on her checking account in case I need to write a check for her in some unfathomable nightmare scenario involving her getting her arms ripped off by zombies the day before her electric bill is due.

March 10, 2015

Have fun with that.

The Internet has been especially distracting lately. In addition to a million (only a slight exaggeration) Buzzfeed articles I've read today, I also watched the John Oliver video on Daylight Savings Time, last night's full episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, and a fascinating short about a completely fabricated pop star courtesy of a new exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
I read an article about de-cluttering, one about being satisfied with your life, one about raising narcissistic childrens (hint: don't). I pinned a Harry Potter meme from Tumblr that made me lol and LOLed at silly cat-classical composer look-alikes.
I also Instagrammed a pic of actual green that is peeking out from under the melting ice/snow in our yard, scanned the latest updates on Facebook, and checked out the trending news about Hillary's email and Oklahoma's racists, and the GOP idiots who think they own the place.
Oh. And a quiz.

All of this is by way of explaining why I didn't write today. Feel free to click any and all of these links for a replay of my evening.

March 9, 2015

Girl power

Yesterday was International Women's Day (That's right, ladies! A whole DAY!) where the world is supposed to celebrate the "economic, political and social accomplishments" of women. Google had a doodle. And there is an official website. Hilariously, the website features a short video spotlighting the Google doodle set to music. A man's music. couldn't even be bothered to find a woman's music for their 1½ minute video.
IFLScience cited some amazing women you never knew. Learn more here.

Update: if you're on other social media platforms, check out the hashtag #womenyoushouldhaveheardof

March 5, 2015

Crazy cold

We are now officially in the portion of winter where the weather actually causes temporary (we hope) insanity. What else could explain this?
Or this?
Or this?

March 4, 2015

Oh the irony

"C-SPAN took a stand against clickbait. You won't believe what happened next."

Perfect headline. 

March 3, 2015

Fearmongering is Israel's top export

So, the (in)famous Bibi Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress today. I am not Jewish so I don't have a special affinity for Israel, as such, beyond the fact that they are -by far- the most stable and most friendly country to the U.S. in an area of the world that is openly hostile to America. But that counts for a lot.
And I get that they feel surrounded. Because they are. It has to be hard to live in a neighborhood where everyone wants to see you disappear, one way or another. Every time Bob across the street fired up his weedwacker, I'd be skittish. And don't even get into Jeff and his chainsaw. Sure, he says it's for cutting up that downed tree, but how do I know for real?
So yeah, America gets it.
But we sure as hell didn't need a man who garnered the votes of 23% of Israel's 6.1 million Jews to come over here and publicly undermine the foreign policy of his closest ally, condescending to tell us how dangerous Iran is (as if the United States can't recall the decades of hostility). And it was physically sickening to watch our elected representatives fawn over what basically amounted to a call to war.

Been there. Done that. You want to fight Iran, Bibi? Do it yourself. 

March 2, 2015

Why not?

As is evidenced by my lack of a Friday Book Blog on even the most generously defined regularity, I am not a good correspondent. I had, years ago, promised that I would post here daily, five times a week. As if it were a job. But jobs are work, and work takes the fun out of posting.
Alternately, if I don't post regularly, the few readers I have, will disappear. And while most of what I say is drivel, some of it is actually important to me. And by extension, I feel it ought to be important to you.
However, on days like today, when we are sunk in the very dregs of winter, and I try to not let the blackened ice mountains of months-old snow in parking lots filled with more holes than the streets of Gaza get to me, on days like today, it's impossible to come up with either the witty or profound. So here is a link to hamsters. Because why not?

February 26, 2015

Anyone can see it's blue.

Oh holy god! How is this even a thing? It is "trending" on Tumblr, and Facebook. (For all I know it's all over MySpace too --who even goes there?)
A million youth are in a tizzy over the effing color of an effing dress. Seriously. They can't be bothered to vote for their elected representatives or donate to homeless veterans, but they will spend an entire day trying to determine the COLOR OF A STUPID DRESS.

It's days like this I grieve for our future.

February 25, 2015

Train spotting (literally)

I have a new spot in my office. My cubicle is right next to a window. That overlooks train tracks. My boss obviously is unaware of my thing for trains. (I have a thing.) Now, every time a train goes by (which some days is three or more times during the workday) I squeal "Train!" much the way Dug exclaimed "Squirrel!" in Up.
by Denny Petkovsek @inthe216 on Instagram