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23 Dec

Winter

The above photo is actually from the fall, when all the trees were turning. Right now they’re almost bare. But it’s prettier to see fall foliage than naked trees. Since I live in the “evergreen” California coast, this is probably the first time I’ve lived anywhere that had a lot of tree color in fall.

Oh and btw, Merry Christmas. I wonder how many people this year are re-discovering, due to economic woes, that Christmas is not about how expensive or desired a material gift is … it is really, in my opinion at least, an extension of Thanksgiving. A time to ponder and be grateful for what you have, instead of being cranky/greedy about what you don’t have.

So be grateful, not cranky…and try not to develop that fanatic sale-mob mentality in order to avoid trampling any more Wal-Mart employees to death, k?

22 Oct

Word Press 2.6.2’s new menu layout sucks

I decided tonight that I was going to update my version of WordPress. Easy enough. Everything looks fine…but wait, what’s this. A new dashboard/write/settings menu layout for the writing and managing of all your bloggity stuff.

It’s a vast sea of white. White white white. What is the obsession with white backgrounds. Where’s the option to change the color? I haven’t found it yet, maybe I’m blind. Can’t we start making the default background color of word-processing type interfaces something more like, oh, say, light beige?

All the little menu options such as ‘tags’ and ‘categories’ are no longer next to/on the side of the writing area, but below. I don’t like that. No, I don’t. Maybe this is because I use 1600×1200 resolution, tho. I suppose if you still use 800×600, the writing ‘area’ and those menus wouldn’t fit. I don’t know. But now there’s a huge empty nothing of wasted space to the right side of my screen, and I have to page down endlessly - and unnecessarily - in order to click/check all those option boxes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and I agree … it’s a major catastrophe! One that could send our planet spinning out of control towards the sun. Say your last prayers and hallelujahs, we’re all going down, and it’s Word Press’ fault. Yup.

Other than that, the update is peachy-keen.
Yes, I said “peachy-keen.”

And yes, I haven’t written anything in months.
No, I don’t know if I’m going to post regularly again.

That’s the joy of life … the mystery … the wondering wonderment … the not-knowing.

Right?

02 Jul

The importance of bees

As I blogged about a while back, we’ve planted some tomato plants in our backyard. Four of them, to be exact. And while they’ve grown pretty tall, two of them have a few small clusters of tomatoes growing, while two have…zero. El zippo. The tiny flowers bud, open, dry up, and fall off.

Hubby did a Goggle search, and apparently, while tomatoes are self-pollinating (they don’t need male/female versions), they won’t do it very successfully without bees buzzing around the flowers to shake the pollen around. So its become apparent that we don’t have any bees around here. Or at least, not any that visit our backyard. Oh sure, we have lots of paper wasps that like to buzz around the grass and make nests in the roof overhangs, but no bees. I suppose it’s possible that it’s too early for bees to be in the area - maybe most of the city plants that have flowers which bees would like bloom later in summer, and so the bees habitually come later. Or maybe they don’t like it this close to the salty Bay and it’s heavy breezes. Who knows…whatever the reasons, they won’t currently help our tomatoes.

According to one website’s info: “Although all current tomato cultivars/varieties are self-pollinated, the transfer of pollen to the stigma under greenhouse conditions may not occur in order to ensure complete pollination. Incomplete pollination results in poorly shaped fruit. If the flower blossoms are hand pollinated, flower vibration using a mechanical vibrator must be done daily based on a preplanned program, following the procedure needed to keep from damaging emerging fruit.”

Did you notice the part about hand pollination and mechanical “flower vibration?” Yes? Well, that’s what hubby has been considering doing. ie, he wants to try to make some kind of “flower vibrator.” Now, this may be horticulturally correct and scientifically sound, but you have to admit…it sounds hilarious. But if that’s what he wants to do, I’m sure he’ll find a way to do it. My husband likes projects like that. Assuming, of course, he has the time. He’s been fairly busy the past few weeks.

At any rate…bees are important. You may not like them at your picnic, but without them - and other insects that do similar work - entire crops of self-pollinating food plants would have to be “vibrated” all over the world. And the noise arising from such mass vibration could possibly be so huge, even if the cycles were so fast that we ourselves couldn’t hear the vibrations, that it might attract the notice of aliens - with better hearing - passing by in their spaceships…aliens that were hungry and looking for a new source of meat to farm…so be kind to bees and their ilk, for without them we might one day, in our folly to twist nature to our personal whims, become dinner ourselves. :D

26 Jun

I should’ve been a plumber

We have one of those washer-drainage systems where the washer dumps its water into a sink, rather than through a closed pipeline. We haven’t been able to do a “full/large” load of laundry since we moved in, since the sink would fill up too high and it was kinda risky. At first we thought this was because the sink was too small. Then as time went on, we realized there was a clog way down deep in there somewhere. We realized this because the sink began to overflow even during medium-sized loads a few weeks ago, flooding the garage a couple times. On top of this, the kitchen sink uses the same pipe, so whenever you used the washer you couldn’t run the dishwasher for hours, or even, really, use the kitchen sink much at all. The opposite also held true.

Anyway, the point is, after unsuccessfully mucking around with a store-bought “snake” and various drain cleaners, I finally called a plumber. The guy came, he used his professional strength super-snake and stuff, and the problem’s all gone. We can now do a large load of laundry and the water drains out of the sink faster than the washer can pour it in. I don’t know what the previous owners of this house were pouring down their drain to clog the pipes like they were, but it’s all gone now.

But you know what? It took the Roto-Rooter guy all of 10-15 minutes to churn that snake to the main line in the street, and for that it was $200. Now, don’t get me wrong…as always I understand why prices for services like this are as they are but sheesh. I was thinking it’d be around $100, maybe $150 at most. And of course, he tried to sell me some “special” drain cleaner for an extra $50. It should surprise no one that I said no to that one.

For the record, 15 years in that house in San Jose and our drains never clogged up once…even with all the cats I once had…so hopefully this is the only time we’ll have to fork over cash to a professional plumber-dude, barring some disaster like, oh, say a flood or hurricane or broken sewer mains.

26 Jun

Blood Sweat & Tears - When I Die

A forum post asked the question “What song would you want played at your funeral?” I had to think about that one for a little bit. The usual moody or well-known songs passed through my brain, but eventually I decided that the song When I Die, by Blood Sweat & Tears, would be my choice. We used to listen to this band a lot while cruising the local hillsides, and I always liked this particular song.

If you’ve never heard it, you can listen to it via this YouTube video.

It fits my outlook on life and my overall state of mind on a day to day basis. Especially lately. ie, on the one hand, it’s kinda bouncy and jaunty, but on the other hand, it’s kind of….not.


I’m not scared of dying, and I don’t really care.
If it’s peace you find in dying, well then let the time be near.
If it’s peace you find in dying, and if dying time is near,
Just bundle up my coffin ’cause it’s cold way down there.
I hear that its cold way down there.
Yeah, crazy cold way down there.

Chorus:

And when I die, and when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born
In this world to carry on, to carry on….

Now troubles are many, they’re as deep as a well.
I can swear there ain’t no heaven but I pray there ain’t no hell.
Swear there ain’t no heaven and I pray there ain’t no hell,
But I’ll never know by living, only my dying will tell.
Yes only my dying will tell.
Yeah, only my dying will tell.

(Chorus)

Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me,
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally.
Oh I want to go naturally.

Here I go, hah!
Hey Hey!
Here comes the devil,
Right Behind.
Look out children,
Here he comes!
Here he comes! Hey…

Don’t want to go by the devil.
Don’t want to go by demon.
Don’t want to go by Satan,
Don’t want to die uneasy.
Just let me go naturally.

And when I die, and when I’m dead, dead and gone,
There’ll be one child born in our world to carry on,
To carry on.

18 Jun

Awesome

Awesome:

1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.
2. showing or characterized by awe.
3. Slang. very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

I was re-reading the last few entries and I noticed that lately I appear to like the above word far too much.
I also noticed that I need a proof-reader. There’s something about typing out a blog entry on the PC that makes me misspell, forget to insert words between other words, use bad sentence structure, change topic every sentence (kind of) without realizing how it’s going to “read”, and so on. No matter how much faster typing is than handwriting, unless you’re the Superman of typists, nothing matches the word-speed of the mind. And if you’re also a lazy typist who’s just trying to get something written so you can move on to something else, heaven help you.

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