The Lost Continent (Bill Bryson)

"You have that wistful look," the Brunette said as I looked out the service side window. A bus had just gone by. I was wondering where all the people on it were bound.

"I can't help the way I look."

"You always get that look when you read one of Bryson's books."

I had just finished his book about driving to the small towns of America. "Wouldn't you like to go visit the small towns of the US?"

"We've done that." In 2001, we sold our house and mounted bicycles determined to cross the US. We only got to Minneapolis. At that point, it became apparent that we weren't going to be able to keep riding 30 miles a day from B&B to B&B. The hot tub outlook west of Minneapolis was pretty bleak, so we rode along Lake Superior and celebrated the Independence Day in a small town called Bayfield.

"It was a great experience," I said.

"My butt still hurts."

"Well I didn't think we'd go by bicycle this time. Think of all the good times we'd have."

"As I recall, I stopped talking to you for all of Ohio."

"Well, the rain won't affect us so much in the car."

"As far as I can tell from that book, all Bryson ever did was drive to a town, find a seedy motel and watch reruns on TV. How many reruns can one person watch?"

"Well, we wouldn't do that. He went to a bunch of interesting places."

"He went to places to stand in line and either got bored with the line or upset about the price. Then he went back to the motel and watched TV. He just did it in different places. He could have been in Iceland for all the difference it made."

"But he was funny."

"OK. I've always wanted to see California. Let's fly to California."

"Oh, no, we need a gimmick."

"A gimmick?"

"Yeah, like unicycling along the Lewis and Clark Trail or visiting all the former Bob's Big Boy restaurants."

"Can't we just go see the ocean?"

"Not enough oomph."

"You could walk along the Appalachian Trail."

"That's taken."

"Ride a boat across country?"

"Taken."

"Well, going around the country, getting bored and watching TV is already taken, so I guess I'm willing as long as it's got to be different."

"Cool. Maybe we can just go places and I can be funny."

"Sorry. That's already taken."

The Giant Scary Baby Heads Came Back

But Tubby is not afraid.

Post-privacy

Our fair city has been growing cameras like mushrooms lately. It's quite creepy. I'm not saying they aren't useful, but I would feel an awful lot better if the video feed was public information instead of just going into the secret hole of government. If it were publicly available, it would be pretty much the same as if people were standing around in public areas looking at you. And there'd be a chance of secondary oversight.

I accidentally saw a few minutes of that show, Cops. I can't believe that the show is still on the air. I felt an urgent need to wash my hands when I saw it. It made me think of the city cameras and an associated debate about the place of "shame" in modern culture. Look at Cops, where the participants we see have given their permission to be viewed in all their tacky glory, and tell me again that shame can be used for anything useful.


Squirrel images used under Creative Commons license from images stored on flickr here (Attribution/Share Alike) and here (Attribution/Share Alike/Non-Commercial). The terms of the license mean that this comic strip image is also available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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Tequila Chicken Marinade

Doesn't look like much, yet. I just made a marinade for chicken. I'm hoping it's going to be close to this wonderful chicken I had at a Greek-Mexican restaurant in Baltimore a few months ago. We won't know until tomorrow, but I wanted to write down the ingredients so I can come back and adjust later.

  • 1/2 cup tequila (I used Lunazul Reposado)
  • the guts of 5 little limes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 slices jalapeƱo
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

I took all of that and shoved it into the food processor and whipped it good. The Brunette chopped up a chicken into parts and put half into a glass pie dish. I covered that with the marinade and put it in the refrigerator.

Cross your fingers.

Update: Yeah, that worked. I might consider reducing the chili powder slightly -- just for texture, not for taste -- and moving to 4 limes instead of 5, but otherwise it was delicious. The Brunette broiled the chicken, then we cut it up and wrapped it in a tortilla with cheese and refried black beans. Will definitely make that again.

Nice Bodysuit

Monsters Vs. Aliens: Computer animated film about, well, exactly what it says on the tin.
Theater Location: Royale 14 (Hyattsville)
Noise Level: Fine
The Skinny: You have to feel sorry for everybody who isn't Pixar. You can tell they're trying, but the magic isn't there. Maybe if they had spent less time on Susan's heaving chest? (Not that I mind, you understand...)

UPDATE: Just a quick warning: this movie will implant that LRB song (Reminiscing) in your head and you will need the extraction device to remove it...that and that evil Herbie Hancock song, whatever it's called.)

The Giant Scary Baby Heads Are Gone

They were staring in my window all day. Quite freaky.

In the Grocery Store

I was going to get some salad, but I found out it's only for girls:

organic girl

If I'd have looked harder, I might have found "dressing boy" maybe?

A is for Ada

According to Tor, yesterday was:

...declared Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in technology named after the first computer programmer. Born Augusta Ada Byron—yes, that Byron—she was schooled in mathematics at her mother's insistence and, as Wikipedia says, her "interest in mathematics dominated her life even after her marriage." (OMG NO WAY. ::facepalm::)
I wanted to take part, but I don't know any women in technology named after Ada Lovelace. I don't know any women named Ada at all. Well, I guess I do know technology named after Ada Lovelace.

Ha! Just kidding. I doubt there's a better way to structure that sentence, but it made me chuckle. To celebrate, go read something Abby the Hacker Chick has to say about agile development.

Drunks on Bikes

Found this service for the UK that maps bike routes. The great thing about it is that it shows where the pubs are right on the map. So I can easily plan a bike trip from Deacon Brodies to the Lost Sock Diner. (I couldn't get it to map from Filthy McNasty's for some reason.)

Actually, the best part (aside from the little pints of beer on the map) is that it gives you three route options: quietest, fastest and shortest. Nice job.

Sadly, no Glasgow yet, so I can't map from Mother Hubbards to the Counting House.

Feedback Loop

Today's phrase of the day is going to be 'vicious circle.' I heard it in two news reports in a row this morning. The first was about Iranian/US relations and the second about the economy and confidence. My goal is to use it in three different conversations today.

How can you use the term?

Quite Chuffed

Yes, I think I now understand the origin of the word "chuffed", which was one of those words that my co-workers in Glasgow would throw out and I'd have to work out that (in this case) they were quite pleased.

The hardest part in the first three months of communicating with the Weegies was not only the slight differences in language; often, it was trying to figure out whether the word was one I should be expected to understand or not. (Do I not know what 'pants' means, or is she not actually saying the word 'pants' and is saying some other word? And what do 'pants' have to do with Microsoft anyway? If it were some other language, I might be excused for asking what the heck the word means...)

I now understand 'pants', but I still giggle every time I write it. If I had put it in the comic, I'd have never finished it from giggling so much.

A Broken Massachusetts

A beautiful day for a ride. I biked over to MOM to pick up some soy milk and raisins. I like the raisins from there because they're plump but not so sticky. (The raisins, not the workers.) I'm almost but not quite obsessive about sticky hands.

This was a nice little ride, but the climb up the hill of Research Road with three 1/2 gallon cartons of soy milk was tougher than expected. I didn't stop to see if the eagle was home, but the guy carrying sticks into the research center at the top of the hill said he had heard tell that the eagle was around. I tried to listen politely while I struggled to get the bike with its loaded panniers through the hole in the fence next to the gate. (The gate is closed on weekends, but there is an opening in the fence for humans to walk through, so they can jog I guess. It's an official opening, you understand, not just some hole ripped in there by bad kids.)

Even with the hill, I think counter-clockwise was easier than clockwise. Time for a shower.

What's a Little Nepotism Among Family?

The Great Buck Howard: Colin Hanks quits law school to road manage aging (grumpy) mentalist John Malkovich.
Theater Location: The Avalon
Noise Level: Too Loud, but the seats are nice.
The Skinny: An affectionate film without extreme flaw or extreme brilliance, sort of your comfortable and quiet old friend.

He Is NOT William Penn

Here's a prize for the creepiest bus advertisement I've seen so far this year. Unfortunately, every one of these that I've seen has been at a time when I am not disposed to take a picture: while riding my bike or driving, generally. The sign on the side of many buses here in the DC area is mostly white space, just the giant head of the Quaker Oats guy and three little words:

Go Humans Go

Now, when you combine the giant-head of the mascot for a high fiber food product with that statement, my mind conjures a scary old Quaker dude cheering me on in the bathroom. I imagine him standing just outside the door and providing helpful verbal support and advice, but always in a competitive, but happy, voice.

He ends with a nice jump-kick and pom-pom shake when I flush.

See? I told you it was creepy. You know, even without the fiber reference, the giant Quaker head staring at me from the side of the bus and uttering an encouragement to just move along is not terribly comforting. The giant Quaker people demand we humans leave immediately: we have done enough to this planet and now it's their turn. Go on, little humans, go.

So it came as a surprise to me that this advertisement is actually part of a charity campaign to feed the hungry. Quaker is pairing with Share Our Strength to combat hunger among the "12.6 million hungry kids." They're also giving out grants.

It's all very nice during these harsh economic times, but couldn't they have been a little clearer in the advertisement itself?

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Today was a meteorological oddity: no matter which direction I rode my bicycle, the wind was in my face. And the wind had more of a bite than I expected. Otherwise, it was a beautiful, sunny day.

I think today's route looks like an arrow pointing at the coast of some lovely Caribbean island. Guess my head isn't here right now.

It's often hard to convince my weary bones to climb onto a bicycle, but it helps to have a task. Add food to the trip, and it's even easier! I rode over to the post office, which isn't even two miles away, then in a big loop over to Chicken Rico, purveyor of fine Peruvian broiled chicken, which I like chopped up and covered with cheese. The Spanish music videos are a bit loud on the two suspended TVs, at times, but the wind is slowly making me deaf anyway.

When I got back, I was excited to learn that Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, the funny NPR new quiz radio show is coming to DC in May. I've always wanted to see the show. So, I popped over to WAMU to grab tickets. But I learned there that the tickets are $75. That's amazingly outrageous. They're only $22 over in Chicago.

It gets better. If you buy the tickets from Ticketmaster, it'll cost an extra $6 per ticket. If you schlep all the way down to the box office, it'll still cost you an extra $1. What's up with that extra dollar? I am finding that little bitty $1 surcharge aggravating. It's not much, sure, but it's like a little twist of the stinking knife. If you have a product to sell, it is wrong to offer it at a price that is impossible to pay. You cannot buy those tickets for $75 anywhere. You're either paying $81 or $76. The little taste of dishonesty is like a layer of pepper on top of an already disgusting spinach muffin.

OK, that metaphor made no sense. Still, it ticks me off.

heck no we won't go

Apparently, in Greenbelt we believe that dogs can scoop their own poop.

On the other hand, it also kind of looks like he's holding the scooper up in anger. Good old Greenbelt activism, right there.

I Had Something Witty to Say

But by the time I turned on the computer, logged in and connected to Blogger -- and refreshed the connection because it kept timing out -- I forgot what it was.

sorry.

This Song Ain't About Me? Yeah, Right.

I just received an invitation from my alma mater to celebrate 100 years of mechanical engineering. I'm a little surprised that it's only 100 years. RPI is nearly 200 years old and was pretty much only an engineering school for much of that time. Did they really not teach mechanical engineering from 1824 to 1909?

Perhaps it was just called "engineering" before the beginning of the 20th century? Or maybe they only taught civil engineering? Ferris (of the Wheel) is the most famous mechanical engineer I can think of who came out of RPI. Oh, I just went to check: he received a civil engineering degree.

Huh. Maybe then I'm the most famous mechanical engineer from RPI that I can think of?

Shredded Squirrel

A special six-panel edition this week! Don't forget, you can click on the comic to see it in its full size glory.

Nothing funny in the tooltip.  This isn't XKCD.

This is actually going on. Not the detective squirrels, as far as I know, but the random release of shredded newsprint into the wilds of Greenbelt. I don't think anyone has established a pattern: there are just days that you wake up and find a load of shredded paper on your street.

This strip started out as a rant about old media vs. new media, but I lost energy before I even started cutting and pasting squirrels, so you get this instead.

The pink telephone is from a picture I took in Kansas. The phone lives in a display of "modern telephone devices" at the National Agricultural Museum.


Squirrel images used under Creative Commons license from images stored on flickr here (Attribution/Share Alike) and here (Attribution/Share Alike/Non-Commercial). The terms of the license mean that this comic strip image is also available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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Pierless?

So the Brunette went off to see a yarn exhibition today and I shut myself in for the last day of the winter session's open studio. It took me five hours to go from this:

to this:

Which is about as far as it's going to get. This is supposed to be a scene from the pier at Chestertown, Maryland.

Now, I'm up to two paintings for our show in June. Yeah. Panic time.

2fer

Race to Witch Mountain: Remake of 70s Disney kid flick (Escape to Witch Mountain) about two alien kids who hire a taxi driver to take them to their spaceship.
Theater Location: Beltway Plaza (Greenbelt)
Noise Level: Adequate. No evil screaming ticket woman, yay!
The Skinny: The woman playing the scientist was pretty bad. I'd have to say that Garry Marshall saved this movie. That ought to tell you something about this movie.

and...

Watchmen: Adaptation of a graphic novel.
Theater Location: Beltway Plaza (Greenbelt)
Noise Level: Good, but it took them a while to turn the lights out.
The Skinny: It's amazing how many touch points were in both of these movies: people sneaking up while being watched on camera, misguided government agents...As someone who had not read the book I enjoyed it in spite of its bad politics. Good angst.

New Glasses and Contacts

Sure, this is some more of that exciting stuff you all so love to hear about: my new glasses and contacts came in today. I generally change contacts every two years or so, but my glasses are expensive (I am so blind that it's not possible to get swim goggles strong enough to correct) and so I generally get by without changing them. I only use them for reading right before bed.

But my glasses were so old that it had gotten to the point where I didn't feel safe to drive with them on (whether or not I was also wearing contacts) and so I bought a new pair this time around (which was way back in January, can you believe it?) I'm not sure how old these specs were, but I know I had them when we went here:

Back in those days, we could fly to Sweden for a penny. Now, granted, we were in Glasgow at the time and a British penny was worth 1.6 cents, so I don't want you to think we were getting off too cheaply. (And, of course, you also had to pay taxes...) At any rate, we hopped on a plane to Stockholm in a chilly December and then jumped on a train to head north 13 hours.

I found the sleeper train to be a blast. It was very easy to sleep with the constant rocking, and, of course, in December there was very little light. We did have to change trains in Boden. The Brunette and I sat in the new train playing Scrabble. The train was very late leaving the station because it waited for a busload of kids to arrive. How nice is that?

From Boden, the train took us up to Kiruna, 145 km north of the Arctic Circle. It wasn't quite the Solstice, so there was a little sun, but not much. I think the picture of the church up there was taken around noon. What a beautiful place. At any rate, along the train ride, I somehow broke the arm off my glasses and lost it. We got to Kiruna and I was walking along everywhere holding my glasses on with my hand. Luckily, Kiruna is large enough to support an optometrist. And while we hadn't bothered to learn the language, with a little pantomime and sad face, the folks understood my need and fixed me up with a new arm for my glasses, which explains the different arms I showed you in January.

I'll miss those glasses. They remind me of this place:

Near Kiruna is the ice hotel. When we were there (though we didn't stay the night), Absolut sponsored the ice bar. The table, the floor and the glass in this picture are all made of ice. What a lovely place!

Isn't It About Time

...that we should be able to dial long distance numbers from American land lines without the preceding "1"? I keep trying to call into meetings from home and get the annoying squeally beepy noise, followed by "You must dial 1 blah blah blah."

Backhanded Compliment

OK, I'm tired of looking up quotes for quote week. Today I'll end with this blurb from the back of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. I'm in the middle of this book right now. I'm not really sure I'd have put this blurb on there:

"It's amazing how excellent much of it is"

The source of the quote: Ernest Hemingway. Emphasis sic, underline added by me.

Loaded for Bear

It seems that I am not a big fan of short, pithy bon mots, and instead enjoy a well-set scene. I've trolled through one of my favorite books -- Cordelia Underwood -- to find a nice quote for book quote week, but the best scenes are several pages long. Here is the shortest bit I could yank out.

The Moosepath League books are hard to describe. They don't really fit into any of the categories of the other books I enjoy. Van Reid's books are gentle, humorous tales about a group of mild (not very worldly) men having minor adventures in late-19th-century Maine. They are funny, in a comforting way. If anyone has a name for the genre these books fit into, let me know.

Barely a yard away from him was a single dray horse and wagon backed up to the side of the feed store. A great broad-shouldered fellow emerged from a doorway and stepped into the rig with a massive sack in each fist. Trudging to the head of the cart, he laid these down and picked up the reins before straightening as best as he was able.

"You haven't got that bear working for you up there, have you, Peter?" said a second man standing at the doorway.

"I haven't seen him," said the man in the cart.

"I thought, perhaps, you'd yoked him to the plow."

"I haven't seen him," came the serious reply again. "I wouldn't know what to feed him."

"What do you feed a bear?" wondered the man in the doorway. He was merely a shadow in the gathering dusk, and it was a moment before Mister Walton realized that the question had been addressed in his direction.

"Oh," he said. "I think they are omnivores."

"Really," said the shadowy figure. "I didn't know bears were religious."

"They are very quiet about it," said Mister Walton, without blinking.

Mr. Walton goes on to his hotel, where he is accosted by strangers. They mistake him for a big game hunter who has been dispatched from the big city to help with a small problem.

An attendant appeared, just then, and offered his assistance to Mister Walton, who introduced himself. "Yes, sir," said the attendant, taking the bag and valise. "We have been expecting you." This did not surprise Mister Walton, since he had wired ahead for a room, but it did engender a small buzz of excitement amongst the small group in the parlor.

...

"You know what is in our minds tonight, then, Mister Walton," said Lofton, loftily.

The room fell silent in order to hear Mister Walton's response. He thought it an odd question, really, but felt up to the task of answering it. "Well, since I arrived, bears seem the subject of popular discourse."

"I am to understand that you've been informed of the details?"

Mister Walton didn't know when he'd had such a succession of extraordinary conversations. "Concerning bears?" he ventured.

"Indeed," said Lofton.

"I don't believe I have." Mister Walton blinked at the rest of the company, who waited upon his every word. "The boy did intimate that one needed catching."

"Let us hope it is not to be caught anywhere nearby," said the grande dame of the group. "We ladies are quite alarmed, I promise you, sir."

"I am certainly sorry to hear it, ma'am."

"I don't think that she's a particularly dangerous creature, Mister Walton," said Lofton. "The bear, I mean," he added, when Mister Walton threw an astonished glance in the direction of the older woman.

"Oh, of course," said the puzzled man. "The bear."

Needless to say, there is a bear in Mr. Walton's future.

Brains

Just keep putting up other people's work.

If you aren't reading Cul de Sac every single day, shame on you.

Gipper

Today's book quote/excerpt is from Calvin Trillin's If You Can't Say Something Nice, a collection of short humorous essays.

When I was a wee lad in the '70s, I would stay up late on Fridays to watch Johnny Carson, and my favorite shows were the ones where Calvin Trillin was a guest. His humor is slow and dry, almost wooden next to Robin Williams or Steve Martin. Throughout my life, I alternated between wanting to be Carson and wanting to be Trillin when I grew up.

Now it turns out that some people didn't believe me when I reported that I had found George Gipp -- the George Gipp about whom Coach Knute Rockne said "Win one for the Gipper," the George Gipp played by Ronald Reagan in the movie -- in an old-age home in Sandusky, Ohio.

They don't believe that in real life George Gipp, who died so nobly on the screen, survived his illness (an impacted molar), or that he only went to Notre Dame because he couldn't get into Holy Cross. They don't believe that in real life the Notre Dame football team lost the game it had been asked to win for the Gipper -- lost it to an aroused Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute squad, which had been exhorted at half-time to "win one for the principle of logarithmic function." They don't believe that Notre Dame actually lost most of its games in those days, to schools like RPI and Swarthmore and MIT. They think I made all those things up. I'm not so much angry as a little bit hurt.

There are funnier bits, but I like the shout out to my alma mater.

She Sassy

It looks like my book quotes are turning into excerpts. This one is from The Grapes of Wrath. It might be because moving to California is on my mind today.

This reminds me of my mother. I mean that in a good way.

Ma stepped in front of him. "I ain't a-gonna go."

"What you mean, you ain't gonna go? You got to go. You got to look after the family." Pa was amazed at the revolt.

Ma stepped to the touring car and reached in on the floor of the back seat. She brought out a jack handle and balanced it in her hand easily. "I ain't a-gonna go," she said.

"I tell you, you got to go. We made up our mind."

And now Ma's mouth set hard. She said softly, "On'y way you gonna get me to go is whup me." She moved the jack handle gently again. "An' I'll shame you, Pa. I won't take no whuppin', cryin' an' a-beggin'. I'll light into you. An' you ain't so sure you can whup me anyways. An' if ya do get me, I swear to God I'll wait till you got your back turned, or you're settin' down, an' I'll knock you belly-up with a bucket. I swear to Holy Jesus' sake I will."

Pa looked helplessly about the group. "She sassy," he said. "I never seen her so sassy." Ruthie giggled shrilly.

On the other hand, it doesn't remind me of my father at all. I can't imagine my father trying to load up the kids and wife in a beat up car and drive across country, let alone trying to argue with my mother.

Pooh Sticks

Today's book quote is from The House at Pooh Corner. The gang have just discovered Eeyore floating down the river. Have you worked on a project like this?

"Eeyore, what are you doing there?" said Rabbit.

"I'll give you three guesses, Rabbit. Digging holes in the ground? Wrong. Leaping from branch to branch of a young oak-tree? Wrong. Waiting for somebody to help me out of the river? Right. Give Rabbit time, and he'll always get the answer."

"But, Eeyore," said Pooh in distress, "what can we -- I mean, how shall we -- do you think if we --"

"Yes," said Eeyore. "One of those would be just the thing. Thank you, Pooh."

"He's going round and round," said Roo, much impressed.

"And why not?" said Eeyore coldly.

"I can swim too," said Roo proudly.

"Not round and round," said Eeyore. "It's much more difficult. I didn't want to come swimming at all today," he went on, revolving slowly. "But if, when in, I decide to practise a slight circular movement from right to left -- or perhaps I should say," he added, as he got into another eddy, "from left to right, just as it happens to occur to me, it is nobody's business but my own."

There was a moment's silence while everybody thought.

"I've got a sort of idea," said Pooh at last, "but I don't suppose it's a very good one."

"I don't suppose it is either," said Eeyore.

"Go on, Pooh," said Rabbit. "Let's have it."

"Well, if we all threw stones and things into the river on our side of Eeyore, the stones would make waves, and the waves would wash him to the other side."

"That's a very good idea," said Rabbit, and Pooh looked happy again.

"Very," said Eeyore. "When I want to be washed, Pooh, I'll let you know."

"Supposing we hit him by mistake?" said Piglet anxiously.

"Or supposing you missed him by mistake?" said Eeyore. "Think of all the possibilities, Piglet, before you settle down to enjoy yourselves."

Squirrels and Stuff

I'm supposed to have a book quote every day this week. Today's is from 1984.

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.


I don't know if I'm going to do this comic thing every week, but I think I want to try. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with the book quotes every day this week, but I think I want to try. I don't know if I'll win the lottery this week, but I think I want to try. I don't know much, but I guess I'm willing to try.

I'm fully ready to believe that he's saying breathe instead of bleed, but it sounded like bleed to me and I'm in love with the image of certain people running around the world with veins that look like tubes of AquaFresh.

There is actually a real site somewhere that rates states on "how free" they are. There are pretty graphs and you can adjust the parameters, but the things they decide to put into the mix are interesting, as are the things they choose to leave out. Like where in their data is the freedom to buy diet Cricket Cola? Riddle me that, Batman.

Sorry, I've misplaced the link and I don't feel like looking for it. Abby, it'll be no surprise that your state looks like the most free.

Squirrel images used under Creative Commons license from images stored on flickr here (Attribution/Share Alike) and here (Attribution/Share Alike/Non-Commercial). The flag image is also used under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike/Non-Commercial license and derived from and image stored here on flickr. The terms of the license mean that this comic strip image is also available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Creative Commons License

Who Wants to Be...

Slumdog Millionaire: Indian boy rises from poverty to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and maybe win the love of his life.
Theater Location: Old Greenbelt Theatre
Noise Level: Too loud.
The Skinny: My expectations were too high. It might have been an amazing movie without them, instead I found it kind of depressing.

When I Dial the Telephone, Nobody's Home

Huh. A lot more pictures than text here these days. I'll have to work on that. In the meantime, here are some moving pictures.

Walk This Way

I took this picture a while back for a presentation. I was cleaning up my photo folders today, and I just realized that the instructions are different for English and Spanish speakers. What is up with that?

Snow Dial

We finally got some real snow around here. I forgot to post this picture on the day.

snow on the sun dial

One bad thing about working from home (aside from the back ache from sitting in this awful chair) is that I don't get to celebrate snow day. I don't have to go anywhere any way, and my customers in Denver and Ann Arbor aren't really all that impressed with a few inches of the white stuff.

I'm not sure they even know where I live.

Greenbelt

I always figured that the shape of my city was the same as the city's symbol. I was wrong. I wonder what the symbol's shape comes from?

I drew a Google map of the city's precincts as best I could tell from this election page. I'm not really sure what the exact locations of the northern and south-western borders are.

Looks like we don't get the church and baseball fields down on Good Luck Road. A small segment of that apartment complex on Hanover Parkway is oddly carved out, too.

Hybrid Lightbulb

The local paper has a little editorial cartoon that regularly features squirrels. If I could draw (and had a sense of humor), I think I could do that, too.

It might look like this:

Squirrel images used under Creative Commons license from images stored on flickr here (Attribution/Share Alike) and here (Attribution/Share Alike/Non-Commercial). The terms of the license mean that this image is also available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Creative Commons License

Shadow Unit Season 2

My favorite TV show that isn't a TV show is finally back for a second season! I look forward to reading a new episode every month this season.

Remember, if you have an iPhone or Touch and use Stanza, you can download the epub formatted show from this place that I made. I haven't verified the conversion yet, but I expect it to be fine. You can also go read straight from their own site.

If you like their show, go donate.