Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Means Carnage!

(Yes, I DID watch "Babe" this last week. How did you know?)

Okay, it wasn't on Christmas, but during my vacation last week. We have several bird and squirrel feeders in our back yard, and we're getting quite a variety of birds dropping by, including a small hawk or kestrel or something like that. Usually it just sits on the fence and behaves itself.

Last week it dropped by and sat a little closer to the house on one of our rock planter beds. We got out the binoculars and took advantage of the closer look. Then I noticed it had brought along some food. It took me a little while to figure out what it was. It didn't look much like what it once was anymore.

That turned my wife off immediately, and she scared it off. Fortunately it took its dinner with it. (Oh now look, Zazu! You made me lose my lunch!)

I went out later to clean up the area a bit, thinking the feathers would be a gruesome reminder my wife could do without when she went outside later to refill the feeders. There were a lot of feathers, and a few other surprising bits that I won't mention. Let's just say that today's title is apt enough, and I no longer disagree with my wife's declaration that it can do its feeding somewhere else. My "Respect For Nature" does not include turning my planter bed into a sacrificial alter.

It was a very striking, handsome bird, nonetheless. We'd be more than happy to admire it any time it wants to drop by. Just eat before you come, eh?

Fun Without Glasses!

What the bottle of shampoo said:
New! Richer lather!

What I (mis)read:
New! Richer father!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Partridge In A Big Pear Tree

It's got great harmonies! It's got great parodies! It's got good comedy(s)! It's Straight No Chaser doing "The Twelve Days of Christmas!"

Good stuff!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Vacation

As soon as I'm done with work today I'm on vacation for a week. I'd like to say I won't be back until next year, but I'll be back on New Year's Eve. That week counts as part of 2008 from the company's perspective, so if I take that monday off it'll come out of next year's vacation time. I'm trying to save up my time so we can take an extended vacation next year, so every day counts.

Today also happens to be my name day. Well, Tuomas' day, so it's close enough. Being the only one if the family without a Finnish name, we have to take what we can get. And what did I get? A nice, warm hat for my dancing, dining, and dog-walking pleasure. And with the winds we get around her sometimes, trust me, it'll be a pleasure. I don't care for cold ears.

We finally got some decent snow up on the mountains. It's still bare and brown down here in the valley, though. Since I won't have to go to work in it, I'd love nothing better than a good snowstorm sometime next week. Chances aren't particularly good, though. That's the trouble with living here. If this were California then you'd know not to expect snow. But here, there's always a chance. It could snow, and it could stick long enough to be worth something.

In fact my very first Christmas here it snowed six inches. It was beautiful! We've had nothing close to that ever since, and certainly not for Christmas. Oh well. On the bright side I shovel walks maybe twice a year. And considering that our house has sidewalks on two sides, plus a triple-size driveway, that's not a small bonus.

Anyway, in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

Wait, no--Happy Holiday! Enjoy whatever time off you get!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Fun With Headlines


"Nickelodeon considers teen pregnancy special"

Yes, I'm sure being a pregnant teen is special. Not desirable, probably, but special!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All-American Girl

My oldest son to his (blue-eyed) sister over breakfast this morning:
"Your eyes are red, white, and blue!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Watching What You Eat

I don't usually get involved in animal testing issues. I'm not completely sure we can do without it in critical situations. But I have no problem denouncing the animal testing conducted by M&M/Mars. They're not doing it to ensure public safety. They're not doing it to meet government requirements. They're doing it...just to see what claims they can make about chocolate. Like people need more reasons to buy chocolate. I can easily live without M&Ms and Snickers, thanks.

Hershey's has already banned animal testing, by the way. Which is fortunate, because I really love Reese's and Kit Kat. Go Hersheys!

In other news, I'm reading "The DaVinci Code". Yes, at long last. I'm probably the last person in America.

I'm mixed. The story is interesting enough. I mainly just get irritated with the way the author tells the story. Any sense of suspense is created by telling you that one of the characters knows something important--and then not just failing to tell you what it is, but bending over backward not to tell you what it is.

It's the adult literary version of that annoying girl in the third grade who would come up to you and say, "I've got a secret and I'm not tellin'! Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"

Not a single bit of suspense comes from the plot itself. At no time are we all that concerned with what will happen. We are made to only care about what has already happened that we're just not being told. And the writer goes to great lengths to set these little "gems" up.

For example, at one point we're given a flashback episode between the hero and his editor as they discuss the draft of his latest book. The editor goes on and on about how controversial "this" is, yet manages to never come out and define "this." The scene comes off awkwardly, as any normal person would have have come right out and said it rather than the strained dance we get.

A little bit of this is fine. A lot of this is annoying. An entire third of a book (and no signs of slowing) of this is insulting--to both the reader AND the author. It's as if he doesn't trust in his plot enough to treat us as equals and lay it all out for us and trust us to come along willingly. "If you knew what I knew you'd stop reading, therefore I won't tell you."

Indeed, the plot itself seems contrived. When I last stopped the heroes had just escaped the police with the help of someone who would normally have no reason to help them, but just happened to be an old friend of one of them's father. He's willing to jeopardize his career and his life to defy the French equivalent of the FBI because...well, the girl said she was innocent.

I get the idea that the writer is either telling the wrong story or just doesn't know how to tell one at all. The back plot is more interesting than the main plot. His characters can be incredibly bright one moment and incredibly stupid the next. Not that I care at all for his characters, either. They're flat. The only one with any hope for depth is the murderous albino monk.

I'm only a third of the way in, so perhaps things will get better. But this constant diet of dangling and withholding is getting old. I'm listening to this in the car on the way to work, so it's not like I have something better to do with the time. I'm sure I'll finish it regardless, but I probably won't pick up another Dan Brown novel any time soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Don't Look, Marion! Don't Look!

I'm not familiar with Jennifer Love Hewitt or her work. I can't say if I find her attractive or not. But I can say this much: Good for her. Who says, assuming she's even fat at all and not just victim of a bad picture or has wide hips, that she's obligated to be skinny for the cameras? Who says she has to be subjected to ridicule if she's put on weight?

Obviously the real story is that people think she should be skinny and she's not. Pardon me if I fail to get excited. She hasn't punched anyway, swindled anyone, done drugs, called anyone a bad name, driven drunk...she's gained some weight (if she's even done that!).

Until that's a crime, shut up already.

They say that men are keeping women down. It's not men reading these magazines, ladies. You're doing it to yourselves.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Attack of the LOLCats

There are various sites out there for amusing pictures of cats and other animals. This is one of them:
Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures from I Can Has

Or this...
funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Sunday, December 02, 2007

That's What It's All About

Actually, I don't know what it's all about. But I suspect carrying a tooth in a tissue in your suitcoat pocket all through church because your daughter lost it during Sacrament Meeting is included in there somewhere.

I'm also betting the Hokey-Pokey isn't even mentioned.