tmcg: (googlewilly)
During today's Ohio-Michigan game, one of the marching bands played a phrase of Carmina Burana's "O Fortuna!," and I came one step closer to being able to say "Now I've heard everything."

tmcg: (starry blue)
Having cars beep their horns in order to say "Yes, ma'am, signal acknowledged, ma'am, I'm all locked up, ma'am" when you use the remote to lock them is like having a doorbell that's loud enough to startle the neighbors and passersby and that instead of politely chiming cries "Look out!" and "Don't hit me!" and "Help!"

Using a potato peeler to laboriously strip the top layer from a stalk of celery you've already rinsed as thoroughly as possible feels a lot like washing the soap. Then again, sometimes the soap does need washing.

I can no longer listen to music while I write because I sense a melodic, rhythmic shape to sentences before I have the words to fill the shape; I need to listen, I need to be able to hear what I haven't said yet.

(I used to like to have music playing while I was writing, and on a panel at the last Albacon--when the question "What music helps you write?" came up, as it frequently does--I said I couldn't have music on at all anymore, and Barbara Chepaitis was curious why, and I told her I didn't know, although I had a vague unarticulated notion that it might have something to do with aging, that when I was younger I was better at handling multiple sensory input and multitasking. Maybe that is part of it, and maybe it's all just different ways of saying "I need to be able to hear myself think." But yesterday I found myself listening for, reaching for, that word melody that didn't have words yet, and I thought, Huh. Wow. This is why. And it is.)

tmcg: (Default)
Via [ profile] fastfwd, Knitted Digestive System. This is much more creative than the Visible Man and Visible Woman model kits I had when I was a kid, and appears to have more structural congruity, reducing the likelihood of finding little tiny plastic viscera under the furniture years after an accidental knocking-over; this woollen version you'd end up lumping into a box in the back of the closet, for someone to come across with no small bemusement while, say, helping you sort things for a move.

tmcg: (pirate)
We went to the airshow at Jones Beach today. It was awesome. The highlights were an F-15 Eagle and an F-16 Falcon flying in from the land side (to most people's backs), directly overhead. Some poor guy flipping burgers at a food stand wasn't expecting the bone-numbing roar of sound, and I'm told that the look on his face as he reflexively ducked was priceless. (My eyes were glued to the aircraft. They were so cool.) I loved the Heritage Flight, toward the end: the F-15 and F-16, an A-10 Thunderbolt, and a P-15 Mustang; there are beautiful pictures (though not actually from the airshow itself) here and here.

My favorite aircraft was the ponderous, stately HC-130P Hercules, and the coolest demonstration (although there were some fantastic aerobatics, of course) was a practice offshore rescue by the local 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard, after which they showed a mock aerial refueling of the helicopter. We weren't allowed to go aboard the helicopter that was on display on the ground, but we came up close enough to poke our heads inside and look around, and I enjoyed listening to the crew answer questions. Their admiration for each other and their pride in what they do was impressive and infectious.

Normally I don't like being in the thick of a crowd, but the narration was informative and entertaining, and in this case it was worth it to hang out in the center of the observation area. By the time the Blue Angels came out, though--they were the last event--we'd moved to a parking lot closer to our exit. They were still very cool to watch from that vantage point, and it was kind of like peeking backstage, because we were closer to where they turned around after each pass in front of the bleachers.

Tomorrow we have a birthday party to attend, but next year I might go both days.

tmcg: (googlewilly)
There's a convection effect (?) under the microwave that allows one to play air hockey with a Chinese takeout menu.

If you leave an old (double-bagged) bag of Driveway Heat ice melter in your front hallway and the weather is so hot that even ordinarily cool, protected parts of the house heat up, the ice melter...melts. Into a puddle. A really mystifying recurrent puddle that comes back a few hours after every cleanup until you go Oh my god, that's where this stuff is coming from.

The original 1939 Four Feathers is now available on DVD.

There is a toy mouse in my house that I did not buy and have never seen before. A type of toy mouse, in fact, that I have never before seen in any pet store or online catalogue. My cats found it somewhere and left it on the threshold of the stairway door for me. I am impressed.

tmcg: (cherry coke)
Back from Readercon, where a very good time was had. [ profile] akaspeedo has a report up already. I'm watching [ profile] merlinpole's and (check) [ profile] stevendj's (check) space.

We cracked today and hauled the fans and air-conditioner up from the basement. Actually, my SO cracked, so he did the hauling of the AC. I would have just kept sitting in my own thermal deliquescence. I've gotta hand it to Hotpoint; that little room unit dates back to my bedroom in my parents' house, and it's still working after many, many moves. My best estimate of its DOB is 1982, maybe 1983.

Meanwhile, the electronic vortex of doom continues to plague this house. This week's casualty: my NEC monitor. The problem seems not to be the power cord but the connection between the power cord and the monitor, which is no longer jiggable with random objects. (Nonrandom objects don't work either.) This issue comes up with monitors a lot, doesn't it? Is it something easily fixed, worth fixing? Something that would be a crime to abandon an otherwise perfectly good monitor because of? (I have a spare in its place now.)

tmcg: (googlewilly)
Found inside the pressure cooker today when I went to clean it out for dinner:

A June Tabor CD (Against the Streams)
A white cardboard tab
A paperback copy of The Low-Carb Cookbook
A paper clip
A .60mm nylon guitar pick

Can the contents of inappropriate containers be read like tea leaves?

tmcg: (aw)
Bug-Eyed Baby Aye-Aye Debuts

I love these guys. Nocturnal prosimians that flip you the bird.

When the second or third aye-aye was born in captivity in the U.S., at Duke University, there was an adorable picture in the Times. I cut it out and stuck in on my bulletin board at work. Maybe a year later, my eye fell on the photo's caption at just the moment when I was thinking There is no freaking way I can come up with a new twist for a deal-with-the-devil story. (I'd been invited to write one for an anthology, and of course said yes before I had any idea whether I could do it.) The baby aye-aye was called Blue Devil. I did some research, found out that Malagasy superstitions about aye-ayes suited the story perfectly, and have been fond of them ever since. And I still really, really want to go to Madagascar.

tmcg: (Default)
I ran the ToC of a Russian magazine through Babelfish and got some fun results:

MOTION BY THE ANT (Karl FREDERIC): But weakly to be slain in shakhmatishki with the collective reason?

CROWN OF THE EMPIRE (Nikolai TELLALOV): ... it is heavy as any corona of the reigning person.

DESIGN with THE GHOSTS (Robert Reed): Well who nowadays deals with spiritism? Spectres it is accepted to cause with the aid of the newest technologies.

ESTUARY (Boris RUDENKO): Situation is classical: emergency landing, the absence of connection, seriously wounded comrade. But here is output...

I wondered whether Karl Frederic was actually Carl Frederick, someone I know. I ran some search terms through Google and got inconclusive results. While I was searching, though, I got to reflecting on what a neat guy Carl Frederick is. He's a theoretical astrophysicist who fences epee and plays the bagpipes. He converted the fruit-fly genome to music. (I heard it twice at last year's I-Con. It's fascinating.) He wrote an interactive novel called Dark Zoo. And he's a tremendously nice person.

Just felt like mentioning that.

tmcg: (Default)
Both [ profile] gadarene and [ profile] janni linked to The Onion today, so I will too.

Product Placement Mars Otherwise Exciting Super Bowl

It was actually a very good game, and the team I was rooting for won (it was Anyone But the Eagles here in New York Giants land, and we like the Pats, and I like Bruschi, who took a comparative pay cut to stay with a team he believed in). But the commericals blew. Even for diehard football fans, the debut of the cleverest, funniest new commercials is a major appeal of the Super Bowl.

Total letdown this year. If I'm gonna revel in rampant, obnoxious, unadulterated capitalist consumerism, celebrate corporate greed and mindless acquisitiveness, indulge in the most egregious American worship of the boob tube and watch obscenely overpaid athletes do battle mainly on behalf of Budweiser, by God I want to see some creative advertising.

The pig with the furry draft-horse fetlocks was kinda cute. Otherwise, zilch.

I want to know who Paul McCartney's band members were. They sang awesome backup vocals.

tmcg: (scream)
So I'm really weirdly high on cold medicine. That sort of knocked-on-your-ass high where I can either lie on the sofa drifting in and out of consciousness and thinking I feel like crap, I feel like crap, ghod I so totally feel like crap, or I can get up and bounce in a floaty way off bookshelves and furniture and the rest of the oversize bumper-pool table that my living quarters seem to have become, or I can sit at the computer and look for zoned-out mindless high-on-antihistamines things to do, like play Lemmings (thank you oh so much, [ profile] penmage), or troll through demo files of the weirdest downloadable music I can find.

This is probably not the state of mind in which to discover that one can download mp3 files of the entire Land of the Giants soundtrack album.

I mean, I suppose the fact that there should be downloadable mp3 files of this album is not that surprising.

But there was a Land of the Giants soundtrack album.

Featuring tracks such as "The Sniveling Sneak" and "Water Drain/ More Garbage."

I think I should go drift back into unconsciousness now.

tmcg: (Default)
On a stormy, windy day over the weekend, a gong buoy pulled loose from somewhere and came within about twenty feet of the shore here. As of this morning, it had washed up almost onto the beach and was listing on its side. It's been making a haunting sound, a drone that rises and falls, like the last dying cries of some great lonely sea beast as it looks into the next world.

stray cats; technofubarity )

tmcg: (quill)

edematous strabismic embower obstruent bilharziasis

If not for spam, where would you routinely run across such vocabulary?

There's found poetry in these things. Granted, it's demented poetry that only [ profile] gamebot could love, but still. Plucked from the preview lines in my spambox:

Exultant married insomnia.
Bingham rent tolerable bloodbath processor.
Goat nile complaint insidious.
Distinguish cosmopolitan singlehanded baltic value.
Amoral hewn sinew backlog.
Economy lockgarbage.

Through concatenation, one spam provided me with the word "corpsechafe," which I love and must find somewhere to use. It would be a good name for one of the bonefolk, I think.

Then there's the Mad Libs effect. Pulled bloody and wriggling from a raw spam:
so this blonde sheridan was driving along the caret... )

tmcg: (googlewilly)
We actually dug into the vinyl collection for Dark Side of the Moon to put on the stereo during the eclipse. Because I didn't get up to turn the record over right away, the last song on the record, "Eclipse," came on just as totality began.

Clouds are coming in now. Was a perfect night for it otherwise. Lot of people out on their decks, checking it out.

(Down to the bottom of the ninth, Boston's up three-nothing! Woo! Full moon, lunar eclipse...hmmmmm...)

tmcg: (aw)
I have no idea how the subject came around to this, but at my kaffeeklatsch this past Worldcon I found myself describing how I used to be in love with the voice of this one particular announcer at New York's Penn Station. I have no idea where he sat. I never saw him in the flesh. I don't know if he actually had flesh. All he did was read off the track assignments, the station stops, and the last calls of the Long Island Rail Road commuter trains. But I just adored that voice.

I was catching up on communities, and I saw that [ profile] unclephil2k had posted this in [ profile] blakes7:

(The Onion)
Monday, July 19, 2004

The unrequited nature of area nerd June Manzo's crush on actor Peter Tuddenham, who provides the voice of piloting computer Slave on Blake's 7, is only slightly more agonizing than the process of explanation she must put herself through every time her media obsession is discussed. "He has this slightly sinister but dynamic way of speaking on the show, particularly in the 'Headhunter' episode," Manzo said, painstakingly describing Tuddenham to fellow science-fiction fan Bradley Preakniss. "When I hear his voice congratulating Avon on his 'consummate skill,' I just get shivers... Doesn't that ring a bell? No? Not at all?" Manzo's crush is surpassed in geekiness and obscurity only by that of Denver's Demitri Ostrow, who has a long-harbored passion for author Neil Gaiman's "fabulous" assistant Lorraine.

For the record, Peter Tuddenham also voiced the characters Zen and Orac, two other computer intelligences.

I'd go more for Zen, myself.

tmcg: (Default)
The swallows seem to have departed; for the past couple of days there have been dragonflies. I sat on my deck for about fifteen minutes today at lunchtime and just watched them go by. The air was filled with them as far as my eyes could see.

Because I live near NYC, there's been a stepped-up coastal patrol of military helicopters. Now and then I would see a copter or two in the far distance, and in the nearer distance--almost the same apparent size and shape--a dragonfly or two.

tmcg: (Default)
All of a sudden, we have a population of swallows. I'm not sure what the collective noun is for swallows, but we counted twenty-three today, hanging out on a phone line--not a huge population, but remarkable given that I hadn't seen a single one here in the few years I've been paying attention to birds. I'm not even certain they're swallows, since I can't find them in the Audubon bird book, but they fit the general description. Whatever they are, I love them. They're arrows in flight, and fearless, and they chatter delightfully. I hope they eat insects, because we've been plagued by more mosquitoes than usual this year. I'm glad they're here, and I hope they stay.

tmcg: (Default)
I collect macabre garden statuary. Luckily, I prefer figures on the small side, that can peek out of unexpected places and scare grown lawn-care professionals silly. So I'm not tempted by this. I'm not tempted. I'm not tempted.

Thanks, Bob.

tmcg: (Default)
Has anyone yet come out with a diet cola soft drink made with sucralose rather than aspartame?

At a very nice con in Little Rock, Arkansas, a couple of years ago, I found something called Diet Big Red in the consuite bathtub. Being very much a Northerner (though I was made an honorary Bubba at a Birmingham DeepSouthCon), I had never heard of this beverage. I saw sucralose in the list of ingredients. Oh yay! I thought. Splenda soda! A strange silence fell over the group I was chatting with as I popped the can and took a sip. It was like a college initiation, or a practical joke. This drink tasted like stale beer and Robitussin. There being no spittoons, I quickly returned the liquid to the plumbing portion of the bathroom from whence it came.

I'm hoping some beverage company somewhere will do better than this. Anyone run across anything?

tmcg: (Default)
Today I watched my 1989 car towed away forever.

Pragmatic Me: I cannot believe I'm crying. What a doofus! It's an object.

Animistic Me: Objects really do have souls. It didn't want to go.

Pragmatic Me: No va! It does not go! It had to go!

Animistic Me: I gave it a pat and thanked it for never breaking down on me in an unsafe place, for being a home away from home for fourteen years, and that was not enough. It didn't want to be hauled away. I just lost a companion. Watching it get towed was like watching one of my own limbs be wrenched off. Things do have souls!

Pragmatic Me: Oh, stop, for ^&*@%'s sake. It was a car! You'll get a new one and forget all about it.

Animistic Me: It wasn't sentient, but it was alive. Maybe it soaked up some of me. Maybe, like houses, there are good cars and there are bad cars. This was a good car. It looked after me. It never ran over an animal. When I got into it, it felt right and familiar and safe. I'm going to miss it.

Pragmatic (Though Statistically Challenged) Me [plays MegaMillions].

Animistic Me [calling to departed car]: If I hit, I'll come and get you!!!