These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

NaBloPoMo Day 30

I’ve got a lot of blogs and websites and web comics in my RSS feed.  And for this last day of NaBloPoMo, I thought I’d share some of them with you.

In the Art category, two of my favorite blogs are dot art and The Art of Madelaine.  Dotartdude creates fabulously colorful square abstract paintings with dots.  I know that sounds kind of odd, but I just love his art!  Madelaine paints the most wonderfully delicate watercolors of birds (and I don’t even like birds!) and fantastic other stuff, too.

There are three comics that make my week: xkcd, Girl Genius and Jesus and Mo.  xkcd is, as the site proclaims, “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.”  Every once in a while, the math ones have me scratching my head, but mostly I get it.  I love being a geek.  Girl Genius is a steampunk comic.  Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of steampunk.  In fact, the only reason I started reading it is because I’d met Phil Foglio a time or two at science fiction conventions a long, long time ago and have always liked his art.  Now, I’m hooked on the story he and Kaja have created!  Jesus and Mo is a tongue-in-cheek look at how organized religion can be just a little bit silly sometimes.  I have a crush on Barmaid.

And how about some of the people I follow?  They’re interesting, educational, entertaining and/or hysterically funny.  Sometimes all at once!  There’s John Scalzi at Whatever, Wil Wheaton at WWdN: In Exile, TJ at Temerity Jane, and Jim at Stonekettle Station.  Scalzi is a Famous Author.  He writes some science fiction stuff as if he’s channeling Robert A. Heinlein (only better) and then he writes science fiction stuff that is really, really funny.  Read his books, read his blog… you will like it.  Wil… yes, it is the same Wil Wheaton of Wesley Crusher infamy… but don’t judge him by that!  He’s a smart guy who is also very funny.  Listen to his podcasts!  Watch him in The Big Bang Theory (the Evil Wil Wheaton is outstanding!) and The Guild.  TJ is a real person kind of like me only way different who manages to say something just about every day to make me think, or make me laugh, or at the very least make me comment!  Jim lives in a place I wouldn’t live if you paid me millions of dollars. (I have nothing against Alaska except the weather… but, oh!  What weather!)  He’s intelligent, has strong opinions (which often make me stop and read his posts several times and just think about what he says) and is an artist!  He makes the most wonderful wooden birdhouses on his lathe.  I know they’re wonderful because I have one in my house.  (Why would I share a piece of art like that with birds??)

I have dozens more in my RSS feed.  These are just the shiny tip of the iceberg.  And they’re not the ones that will sink your ship if you wander too close in the dark.  No, for that, there is Basement Cat.

The End Is Near

NaBloPoMo Day 29

So, it’s the penultimate day of National Blog Posting Month.  I really didn’t think I’d be able to post every single freakin’ day for a whole month.  I’m pretty sure I deserve a prize or something.

Will I continue to post here every day once December rolls around?  Um, well… maybe not.  Probably not.  Will I post more often than I did before NaBloPoMo happened?  Yeah, that could happen.  Though I do feel like I’m talking to myself.  But that’s ok… I talk to myself out here in 3D Land, too.  Especially when I’m at work, programming the silly computers.  They seem to like it.

(I really like the stories I make up sometimes.  Especially the ones about computers and printers actually caring about what I do around them.  Maybe I’ll tell you some day about how I deal with recalcitrant printers.)

Sometimes I Delete Comments

NaBloPoMo Day 28

Well, actually I mark them as spam so Akismet knows to shut the door in your face next time.

Listen, if you have something to say that pertains to the post, that’s cool.  It does need to be written in fairly coherent English, but I’m not going to hold you to the same standards I hold myself.  I’m not going to let your word salad comments stand, though.  And I’ll delete your comments if you have links that I don’t find relevant, too.  Hmmm, sometimes I’ll just edit your comment and delete the links… depends on my mood.

My house, my rules.  If you come to my house and start speaking in tongues, I’m going to call the nice young men in their clean white coats to come take you away.  If you set up your slide projector in my living room and start sharing pictures of your last vacation to the rest of my guests I’m just going to toss your slides out into the street.  And call the guys in the white coats for you.

And if you want to know how I really feel about spam, check out what Jim has to say.  He’s incredibly eloquent.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Spam Comments Can Be Funny

NaBloPoMo Day 27

I don’t get many spam comments compared to other blogs, simply because I don’t have the traffic that other blogs do.  Most of the spam is pretty boring stuff.  But every once it a while, there will be one that makes me wonder what drugs the commenter was taking, or one that makes me snicker a bit.

For example, the other day a spammer asked, “What about the illegal [aliens] that make money here?”

Well, let me go on record as saying there is absolutely no one making any money here on my blog.  Certainly there are no illegal aliens making money on my blog.  There aren’t even any legal aliens making money here on my blog.  (And think about it… why would beings from other planets care about Earth money anyway?)  There are no legal or illegal non-aliens making money, either.  I hope that sets everyone’s mind at ease.


NaBloPoMo Day 26

I am grateful for a lot of things, but mostly I’m grateful for the people in my life.  I’m grateful for my family and friends, co-workers and chorus-mates, my mail carrier and the UPS guy, the guys who take away the garbage and recycling, the cashier at the grocery store who is always cheerful and smiling, the salesman at the phone store who kept us all entertained while we waited in line forever.

I’m not always a “people person,” but I do appreciate all of you even when I want to hide in my room as far away from you as I can get.


Stuff I Don’t Want to Do

NaBloPoMo Day 25

As a homeowner, I have the opportunity to do many things I have no real interesting in doing.

  • I could paint the inside or the outside of my house.  Some people think that I would enjoy doing this, because painting large expanses of walls and ceilings is just like painting on canvas or paper.  Except that it isn’t at all the same, because large expanses of walls and doors are generally painted a single (often boring) color and when I paint on canvas I use many interesting colors.  So, yeah.  Not even close to being the same.  Therefore, I go hire somebody to do the boring bits on walls and ceilings.
  • I could replace carpeting and tile, or refinish the hardwood floors.  I watched my father refinish some of floors in the house I grew up in.  There’s no way I’m getting involved in that mess.  I’ve laid my share of tiles, and feel like I’ve had enough fun with that medium.  And I hurt just thinking about wrestling with carpeting.  Again, I’ll just hire somebody to do all of this.  Except for the floor refinishing… I’m not living with that mess, and the floors can stay the way they are.  Or I’ll hire somebody to carpet over them.
  • I could fix all the quirky little electrical problems one finds in a house that’s over a century old.  These are simple things like replacing light fixtures and outlets and light switches.  But I’ve always hated dealing with electricty.  Sure, I know how to do all that stuff.  Doesn’t mean I want to do all that stuff.  Again… give someone else a job!
  • I could deal with the annoying plumbing problems that sneak into a house of this age.  Oddly, I’m more likely to actually tackle a plumbing problem than any other.  I’ve fixed leaky pipes and replaced a few toilets in my day.  Sadly, it isn’t a lack of interest or desire that has me hiring these jobs out.  It’s the increasing amount of pain in my person causing a decrease in the strength needed to wrestle with tight fittings.
  • I could mow the lawn, clear the weeds and trim the bushes outside.  I actually get my Spousal Unit to mow the lawn on a somewhat regular basis, but the rest of it just doesn’t get done.  I’m thinking, come spring, I’ll hire someone to take care of that, too.

Huh.  I’d probably be just as happy as an apartment-dweller… except for the probability of noisy neighbors.

Yo. Microsoft.

NaBloPoMo Day 24

You put this Windows Defender thing on my computer without my permission.  And you update it every other frackin’ day. You’re really bugging me, Microsoft.

Why do you think you know better than I do?  Huh?  Why?  I have an anti-virus/anti-spyware program already.  It’s a program I really like, and I trust its ability to sniff out and eradicate viruses and spyware so much more than I trust you, Microsoft.  After all, you haven’t exactly been the world’s leader is preventing hackers and spammers from doing what they do best, have you?  No.  You haven’t.

So stop trying to foist your version of programs onto the rest of us.  I don’t use, nor do I want, Internet Explorer.  Firefox makes me really happy.  I don’t use, nor do I want, your Windows Defender.  Yeah, that’s right.  I turn it off after every reboot.  I’m surprised my security software of choice hasn’t tagged you as malicious.  Ha!  Now, that would be funny.  If you want to protect the people who are dumb enough to use a computer without security software, that’s fine.  But for those of us with brains, you need to give us the option to remove the stuff we don’t want.

Are you listening to me, Microsoft?

No.  Of course not.


A Confession

NaBloPoMo Day 23

Sometimes when I’ve driving around, I see color combinations that make me want to stop the car and pull out my paints right then and there.  This compulsion is especially strong when I see that orange-pink-purple combination in the sky.  This usually occurs in evening rush hour, and is why I don’t carry painting supplies in my car.  Can you imagine the conversation I could have with the police while trying to explain why I’m blocking traffic?

I Love to Read

NaBloPoMo Day 22

I really like words.  When I was a kid, I used to read the dictionary.  Yes, yes… I was a complete dork by age 10.  (And, um, I still enjoy reading the dictionary.)  Loving words and loving to read are all tied up together.

I remember that there were always books to read in our house growing up.  Not quite as many as I have in my house now, but still quite a lot compared to most people I knew.  Both my parents love mysteries… Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series seemed to be most popular.  My dad was also a big fan of Louis L’Amour, while my mother enjoyed historical novels (she spent close to a year reading everything she could about Henry VIII and his wives… fact and fiction).  So the fact that I always have something around me to read is not at all strange.  To me.

By the time I was in fourth grade, I’d read all the books in our small school library at least once.  By the time I was in sixth grade, I’d finished all the books in the children’s department of the nearby public library.  (Oh, and that was quite a feat!  Except for the main library downtown, Hild Regional Branch was the largest library in the city of Chicago.  I even read all the “boys” books… the Hardy Boys and Chip Hilton and quite a few others.)  I was already reading at the college level by this time (yes, yes… total nerd), and my folks didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t read books from the adult department.  The librarians had other ideas, though.  You couldn’t check out a book from the adult section on a “youth” card… and you couldn’t get a “young adult” card until you were 14.  Now, just because my parents were completely supportive of their children reading everything they could get their hands on did not mean they wanted to schlep to the library every week.

I vividly remember the day my dad walked me over to the library and marched right up to the front desk, demanding to speak to the person in charge.  Mrs. Bare was in charge that day (I’ll never forget that woman… I worked for her right there in that same library several years later), and my dad insisted that she give me a “young adult” card.  Mrs. Bare explained the rules; dad just gave her that glare that he did oh so well.  Mrs. Bare (gods love her) just stared back.  Finally, dad gave her one of his rare smiles and explained that I’d already read all the books in the children’s department, that I was entirely too smart for my own good, that I read all the same books he and my mom read, and that he trusted that I wouldn’t bring home anything inappropriate.  Mrs. Bare (bless her heart) smiled, too, and said that maybe — just this once — she could bend the rules.  After all, 12 was pretty close to 14.

When I retold her that story when I was working for her, Mrs. Bare didn’t really recall it.  But I do.  And I always will.  Why?  Because that was one of the only times I knew my dad was proud of me.

My parents gave me a gift that’s still with me: the love of words, the love of reading, the love of books.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  (And I seem to have passed on the love of reading to my darling Offspring.  Go me!)

Ah, if only I could remember to update my book blog to tell people about all the great (and not-so-great) books I read.  Maybe next year for NaBloPoMo…

People Who Should be Committed

NaBloPoMo Day 21

There are certain people who do inappropriate things in and to cars who ought to be locked up in a mental health facility because they are a danger to themselves and others:

  • The person who drives 20 (or more) miles per hour below the speed limit…  someday, someone driving a Hummer is going to run them over after they’ve caused the blood pressure of the 87 people behind them to rise to dangerous levels.
  • The person who plays chicken with oncoming traffic by making illegal left turns… one of these days, it’s going to be safer for me not to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting your stupid ass because I’m afraid of the person behind me driving the Hummer.
  • The person who PARKS HIS CAR in the traffic lane rather than pull into the parking space that is 10 yards further up the street.  Sometimes these people actually BLOCK a parking space to park in the traffic lane.
  • The person who put those headlights in his car that burn out my retinas.  Are you insane??  Oh wait.  Yes.  You are.  The next time you drive towards me and blind me, maybe I’ll be driving a Hummer and crash into you.  Because I’m blind.  And it’s your fault.

There are other crazy people in the world.  This list is just a first draft.

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