Saturday May 31, 2003

Movie Review: Widows

Interesting "heist" action film; kept me guessing
Violence: Especially at the beginning, mostly implied
Rating: PG-13 (I'm not sure how it missed R, though)
I rented this on DVD and rather liked it. It starts out with a bang (and an explosion) as four men, planning to rob a gallery for a $300million Vermeer are killed in a staged traffic accident (with requisite explosion). But one escapes alive... ...
       Continue reading "Movie Review: Widows"

Movie Review: Widows ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Sat, 31 May, 22:54 Pacific

Thursday May 29, 2003

Movie review: Who is Cletis Tout?

Gently bent....
cletistout.jpeg Violence: Mostly to those who deserve it
Humor: subtle
Rated R
This was a fun movie; strange, but likeable. It's a little confusing at the beginning. Stay with it; all will be explained in a little time. Most of the story is told through flashbacks. ...
       Continue reading "Movie review: Who is Cletis Tout?"

Movie review: Who is Cletis Tout? ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Thu, 29 May, 10:34 Pacific

Wednesday May 28, 2003

Local cat saves family from fire

Two people in Burlingame, CA, (two towns south of oours) left a candle burning when they went to bed; the woman put the candle into the sink, but it fell in the drain, burned through the plastic drain, and ignited the chemicals under the sink.

The cat woke them up howling at 2:30 am and everyone got out of the house safely.

Read the newspaper article: page 1, page 2.

Local cat saves family from fire ( in category In The News ) - posted at Wed, 28 May, 13:22 Pacific

Monday May 26, 2003

Miracle safe bee spray

It's bee season; we had three yellow jackets today trying to get into the screen porch - somehow they find their way in between the screen and the glass. Then, if they can figure out how, they're only one step away from being inside the screen porch. Ayiee!

So it's time once again for me to share the recipe for the Miracle Bee spray - harmless to humans and pets, lethal to bees, cleans your windows while you're at it. ...
       Continue reading "Miracle safe bee spray"

Miracle safe bee spray ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Mon, 26 May, 15:46 Pacific

Monday May 26, 2003

Movie Review: Ballistic

Lights! Camera! Action!

BallisticDVD.jpeg Violence: Only to those who really deserve it
Rated R

If you like action movies and have not seen Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever - do so. It's quite good. Lots of car chases (but no upset vegetable carts). Set in Vancouver. Lucy Liu is lots of fun to watch. ...
       Continue reading "Movie Review: Ballistic"

Movie Review: Ballistic ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Mon, 26 May, 09:28 Pacific

Sunday May 25, 2003

Today in my backyard

Bebop and I went for walkies in the garden this afternoon.

I found (and turned over) a water-collector (it's the base of a picnic table umbrella; the umbrella has been taken down and the picnic table moved but the base was collecting rainwater) - it's almost mosquito season.

Anyway, under the thing was a worm or two ...and then I realized that one (two?) of the worms didn't seem to be worms...not slimy enough. They had... heads? eyes? Tiny brown snakes??

So I very gently nudged one with a long grass stem and it turns out they were a pair of very small, skinny, brownish red salamanders. They had very small legs. I could have run in for the camera but wasn't sure if I could get close enough for a shot. Oh well, I missed it; let them go find a new damp place to live.

I just looked on the web and I'm pretty sure these were California Slender Salamanders; this is what they looked like.


Today in my backyard ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Sun, 25 May, 21:46 Pacific

Sunday May 25, 2003

Inflatable Church

The world's first inflatable church went on display to the public for the first time on Tuesday, May 13, at the National Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Esher, Surrey, England.

The blow-up church, which is 47 feet (14.3 metres) high from ground to steeple, 47 feet long and 25 feet (7.6 metres) wide, includes a blow-up organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and "stained glass" windows.

The church, produced by Michael Gill of Ltd in Sarisbury Green, near Southampton, was on display at the National Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Esher, Surrey. ...

The inflatable church, which holds 60 people standing, was to be dedicated by Michael Elfred, a Church of England minister from Tadworth. ...

Mr Gill, who now has plans to create an inflatable pub, has already had inquiries for purchase and hire of the church from more than 20 different countries.

It is envisaged that the church will be used for novelty weddings and other functions.

c.f. BBC News article

Hmmm... how about inflatable cabins for camping?
Inflatable Church ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Sun, 25 May, 12:51 Pacific

Thursday May 22, 2003

Meow TV

meow_tv_tourcar.jpg "Meow TV" (sponsored by the Meow Mix cat food company) will premiere May 30 on the Oxygen cable channel and will run several more times throughout June. Broadcasting from their fictional living room, hosts Annabelle Gurwitch and her cat, Stinky, will narrate segments like "Squirrel Alert," (where squirrels run up and down trees to fast-paced music), readings of cat haiku, "Cat Critics" (critique of a film about lions and cheetahs) and footage from viewers. ( c.f. CNN article)

Viewers in 10 US cities will have the chance to participate in a "talent show". Top acts will be videotaped and posted on the MeowTV website where fans will be able to voite for their fevorite performance. The winning act will appear on an episode of Meow TV.

Drat. They're not coming to San Francisco. ...
       Continue reading "Meow TV"

Meow TV ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Thu, 22 May, 18:00 Pacific

Wednesday May 21, 2003

Shortening URLs

Which URL is easier to remember, send via email without breaking, etc?
If you didn't have much difficulty deciding the second was "better", you'll want to know about the Metamark Shorten™ Service at

Some related tools are also available, including a pair of "bookmarklets" (one in a popup window, the other not), and a Services menu item for Mac OS X.

Shortening URLs ( in category WebTech ) - posted at Wed, 21 May, 21:07 Pacific

Sunday May 18, 2003

Living on the Edge of Civilization

Our development backs into a large Open Space area: watershed, animal/bird refuge, national recreation area. We hear coyotes on the ridge some nights; occasionally deer come down into the development. Mostly we get skunks, raccoons, wood rats, and an occasional possum. ...
       Continue reading "Living on the Edge of Civilization"

Living on the Edge of Civilization ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Sun, 18 May, 15:15 Pacific

Tuesday May 13, 2003

Wikki Wakki Air Ballet

As we were coming home this morning (after being out for some errands) I saw a flock of seagulls in the air above the park across the street. They were flying mostly in formation, enjoying the air currents. Lots of slow swooping, back and forth, up and done, all well-coordinated. A lovely 5 minute air show, without the engine noises. We stood and watched after getting out of the car, until they disappeared over the trees.

It reminded me of Esther Williams and the water ballet stuff from old movies, except these were birds and it was in the air, not water. They weren't "going" someplace, they were just having a good time.

Wikki Wakki Air Ballet ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Tue, 13 May, 11:43 Pacific

Monday May 12, 2003

Mama? There's a CAT in my house!

Well, today was THE DAY. Raven no longer has to live in the garage "apartment". However, we did bring his bed, litterbox, and toys up to the guest room so he can have a quiet place that's all his for timeouts for a few days.

First we went to the vet for the next step in the hookworm meds; got the tartar off the last tooth (and a hole in my finger). Got him microchipped (all our cats are chipped; they all have collars too with colored hearts; Raven's is yellow to match his eyes).

Then we came home and had a BATH. This wasn't as bad as it might have been. It helped that I wore old jeans and a long-sleeved denim shirt in the tub with the kitty! It's difficult to get much of a toehold in denim. (The other three had baths last night; Bebop was the most difficult as he has the most muscle.)

Then into the bedroom for a dry-off and wander around while the other cats were in the other part of the house. We brought the three big kids in one at a time. ...
       Continue reading "Mama? There's a CAT in my house!"

Mama? There's a CAT in my house! ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Mon, 12 May, 21:31 Pacific

Sunday May 11, 2003

Mothers Day

Mothers Day has its roots in several places, including an ancient Greek celebration of Rhea, mother of the gods. In England, in the 1600s, servants were given a day off on "Mothering Sunday" and encouraged to visit their mothers for the day.

A day to honor mothers was first suggested in the US in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (writer, reformer, and author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic). However, the founder of Mothers Day in the US is Anna Jarvis, who began an intense campaign to honor mothers after her own mother's death in May, 1905. ...
       Continue reading "Mothers Day"

Mothers Day ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sun, 11 May, 11:52 Pacific

Saturday May 10, 2003

Cell Phone Donation

Do you have an old Cell Phone gathering dust in some corner of the garage because you didn't want to throw it away after you upgraded but never could figure out what to do with it? Consider donating it to The Wireless Foundation's "Donate a Phone" programs:
DONATE A PHONE program recycles used wireless phones to help the environment and raise funds for a variety of charities. Most phones are resold as economical alternatives to new phones. The rest are safely recycled in accordance with all applicable U.S. environmental regulations.
My credit union is currently accepting phones for "Call to Protect: Wireless Phones for Domestic Safety" (no this isn't the Homeland Security thing, it's to help counter domestic violence). Check with nearby credit unions (they're in the same club) or check out The Wireless Foundation's website. Donations are tax deductible.
Cell Phone Donation ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sat, 10 May, 10:26 Pacific

Thursday May 8, 2003

Bowl of Fruit

We have a favorite restaurant we go to most often; it's a diner-style place with really good food. The vegetables are fresh (not frozen); the steaks are as tender as in a "steak restaurant". The service is fun. And they do a terrific bowl of fruit. In fact, many times the question isn't "what do I want to eat?" but "What shall I have along with my bowl of fruit?". We always have a bowl of fruit, at least a small one (in place of potatoes).

This isn't a typical restaurant bowl of fruit. For one thing, the fruit is fresh, unsugared, and hasn't been soaking in syrup or juice for hours getting soggy. A typical bowl of fruit includes bananas,strawberries, orange sections, apples, and cantaloupe. Often, there is grapefruit, honeydew, and/or pear. Sometimes grapes, pineapple, peaches, or plums make an appearance. Whatever's there, it's usually in season, most often perfectly ripe. Very tasty. ...
       Continue reading "Bowl of Fruit"

Bowl of Fruit ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Thu, 08 May, 21:28 Pacific

Thursday May 8, 2003

A pottle of milk

One of the great unknown words in English (one of our favorites, at least) is pottle. A pottle is a liquid measure equal to 2.0 quarts - that is, half a gallon. So when you buy a half-gallon of milk, you've actually bought a pottle of milk. I like the sound of that.

Time to go to the store; we need a pottle of 1% milk.

A pottle of milk ( in category Verbatim ) - posted at Thu, 08 May, 15:11 Pacific

Tuesday May 6, 2003

The Sixth of May

I wrote this in 9th grade. It won honorable mention in a local poetry contest.

The Sixth of May

On a beautiful morning, the sixth of May
With the sunshine glowing, a wonderful day,
With a breeze through the trees,
       And a wind in the bog,
Over the hill, with a kite,
       Came a frog
And his son.

The wind was just right on this beautiful day,
To carry a box-kite up high and away.
The frog had a kite,
       A marvelous thing,
As fancy and bright,
       As a butterfly's wing
In the sun.

       Continue reading "The Sixth of May"

The Sixth of May ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Tue, 06 May, 13:15 Pacific

Sunday May 4, 2003


We have an adorable little flock of chickadees that come to the sunflower seed feeder on the back porch. They are so cute and tiny; they make the finches look big! They also take baths in the bird bath, sitting right in the water and ducking under and splashing and generally having a merry time.

I went out today to fill the feeder; they zipped off but not very far and they kept zipping back and forth as I was pouring in the seed. (Chickadees zip; it's the only way to describe it). As I was putting the lid back on the feeder, two of them zipped back and landed on the feeder while I was there and started pecking at seed. I stood very still, ever so slowly knotting the rope that holds the lid on (if we don't knot the rope, the raccoons lift the lid (and the sides) and spill all the seed into the yard...

Just as I had the knot almost tied, a third Chickadee came and landed on my finger and stood there for a few seconds. Ooh. Utterly fearless.

Chickadees ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Sun, 04 May, 12:36 Pacific

Saturday May 3, 2003

Hug Your Cat Day


EFURRY Day should be

Hug Your Cat Day!

Hug Your Cat Today!

If you don't have a cat, hug a friend's cat!

Or, hug a friend who has a cat...

Hug Your Cat Day ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Sat, 03 May, 12:43 Pacific

Thursday May 1, 2003

This Raven has fur

We are pleased to introduce Ravenclaw (aka Raven), the newest member of our furry tribe. Raven was a rescue kitty; now he has a home. He's our token moggie :-)

Raven is settling in as best he can, given that our vet has nevertheless requested/required that he stay in quarantine for 2 weeks, to be absolutely sure he hasn't picked up anything that he could pass on to the other furkids. This is standard procedure for new cats for our vet. It's probably more difficult for the emotionally challenged hoomans in our household than for the pussycat. Squirrel is none too happy, however, when Vickimom disappears into the garage for half an hour at a time!

We built Raven a nice snug little apartment in the garage. ...
       Continue reading "This Raven has fur"

This Raven has fur ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Thu, 01 May, 01:02 Pacific