Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
Everyone is welcome here.
(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Mon, May 31 2004

Thanks to Boing Boing for posting the link to some magnificent pictures of Snow and Ice Festivals in China.

If that made you cold, how about a virtual trip to a private lodge in the foothills of the Andes, where you can explore a warm beach? Take a look at the smiling faces of some former guests. You can even volunteer to cook or do ecological restoration at Playa Escondido (or one of many other ecological communities).

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable long weekend, and finding a personal sense of meaning in the ceremonies and speeches surrounding Memorial Day.

posted at: 10:04 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Sun, May 30 2004

A 90-Second Solution To Spam?

I'm told that the number 220 refers to the way a server responds to the "Hello" from an email client. The email client should wait up to 5 minutes to receive this 220 response. My spouse found a great bit of information from John DuBois over at The Armory. John has been testing the limits of impatient spamware, and has apparently figured out how to delay the 220 response for 90 seconds so that most rapid spam senders just give up and go away. He cut the number of spam server connections by a tremendous amount.

posted at: 09:00 | category: /Science | link to this entry

Sat, May 29 2004

Love: Still The Answer--The Questions Haven't Changed A Whole Lot Either

It's been a very busy week, with spring cleaning, spending most of a day with a web site client, my husband finishing a job and getting ready to start a brand new, full-time job next week, crunch week for my festival ezine, and many other projects. And somewhere in there, a person still has to find time to floss and meditate on the riches of the universe and its Creator. Thankfully, Quark Soup led me to a very entertaining cartoon strip that is amusing and also carries (for me) a lot of plain and hidden truth. See what happens when Augustine Inteviews God.

posted at: 09:55 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Thu, May 27 2004

Richard Biggs

I remember Richard Biggs' work from seeing him on Days of Our Lives when I used to visit a friend who watched the show faithfully. Later he worked on Babylon 5. I was sorry to hear of his passing. He was a talented man. He was excellent at using subtle body language to urge us all to lean just a little further forward in our seats. I'm glad I got to see so much of his work.

posted at: 07:34 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Wed, May 26 2004

Do You Look Like Your Race? How Do You Know You Do (Or Don't)?

I'm notoriously bad at this sort of thing, which may explain why I've never understood racism very well. And in this day and age, a lot of people have an ancestry painted with a broad brush, so identifying people by looking at individual things such as skin tone and eye shape doesn't really make a lot of sense. It's fun trying to figure out someone's race by looking at their face, but only in the same sense that it's fun trying to figure out someone's occupation by looking at their hands. It's amusing, but it's only a tiny piece of a very complicated puzzle. A tip of the Stetson goes to moleskinerie for the link.

posted at: 07:45 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Tue, May 25 2004

Essay Generator

When I was in high school, we used to call this sort of thing shoveling. We just didn't have a computer to do it for us.

posted at: 16:42 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Those Sinful Mothers In The Senate

Well, I guess there was a colorful California Senate session yesterday, with several members (both male and female) sporting aprons and scarlet "M"s.

Ralph Drollinger apparently felt moved to make remarks about mothers of small children being active in the senate. Here is his contact information at Capitol Minstries, just in case you would like to share with him your thoughts on the matter. One thing is for certain. If he's giving Bible studies to senators, and he's telling female senators they should stay home with their babies or be called sinful, we certainly can't accuse him of preaching to the choir, now can we?

posted at: 09:47 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Mon, May 24 2004

I ran across the web site for the male voice Mieskuoro Huutajat (or Shouting Choir) earlier this year, and have noticed they are getting more airtime. Their concert and appearance schedule don't seem to be up-to-date on their site, but I'm hoping they will make their way around to the USA again sometime soon.

posted at: 17:42 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

School For Kids In The Real World

High School isn't what it used to be. That's a good thing and a bad thing. The world has some things that are brand new, such as the medium through which you came to read this. The world of business, once local and slow to change, has become an international whirlwind full of cultural exchange and rapidly expanding markets. Why should kids continue to sit in the same types of classes you or I frequented? Our teachers are overworked and not well compensated for their efforts, while top-heavy administrative costs (such as insurance) suck the life out of the budget to the point where vital social activities such as art programs and sports are sacrificed just to keep the doors open.

But not all schools are giving up. I loved the concepts put forth in Reform At The Top. If we want the children in our communities to excel, we have to give them the proper tools. And if we want them to succeed in business, we can't isolate fractions from financial planning, or teach them English without encouraging them to incorporate well-chosen words into building a resume for future jobs.

Programs such as Junior Achievement have already done a great job of taking education way beyond some 12-year-long lecture series. Part of the success of these kinds of activities hinges on community involvement and a supply of willing mentors who let kids know they matter to us all. And individual mentors add something else. A savvy mentor can see extra potential in a child's leanings one way or another, and can give a much better assessment of talent and skill than that of some standardized test.

We're spending more money on the public educational system than ever before, but are kids getting the best return for the money? If we can all stay flexible and support our local schools as training grounds for individuals, education could be a wonderful frontier in the next decade. Dropping out could become a thing of the past, as each child's potential is matched with the very best tools we can provide as a community. I love that idea, don't you?

posted at: 13:58 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Sat, May 22 2004

Jesus Saves, But Free Radio Santa Cruz And The FCC Are Still In A Headlock

The recent war on the airwaves in Santa Cruz has apparently been unintentional. A Christian radio network called Air 1 has been broadcasting on KSRI (scroll down to their call letters for audio streaming) at 90.7 on the FM dial. Community station Free Radio Santa Cruz (termed a pirate station in certain circles) was broadcasting at nearby 96.3 FM. Because of the nature of airwaves, it seems that these 2 stations have been inadvertently sending quite a mixed message to their respective listeners in the mid-county area. One might hear political messages and profanity peppered interspersed with lyrics and music from Christian praise songs. In the spirit of cooperation FRSC decided to move its digs to 101.1 FM. I think it's going to work better for the two stations, but it probably won't get the FCC off FRSC's back. It seems to me that letting the stations negotiate their own solutions in a local community environment makes the most sense, and that the FCC need bother itself only in the event that there is a conflict that cannot be resolved. Their position should be more as an arbitrator than a dictator. The agency has take strong stands against what they consider to be pirate radio, even though some very famous musicians have used the services of these types of stations to share their music. I do wish these government agencies could somehow be populated with people who remember that they are there merely to serve the public--not the other way around.

posted at: 12:16 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Krispy Kreme Again

Awhile back I mentioned the odd media references to Krispy Kreme doughnuts being just a fad. It looks like Rick Aristotle Munarriz of Motley Fool agrees with me to some extent. He and I do have one basic area where we part ways. He likes the Krispy Kreme doughnuts being in grocery stores. I think this marketing move cheapened the whole hot-off-the-line exclusivity of the product. It took away the ritual of going to the shops themselves and having that experience as part of the adventure. If Rick thinks Kripsy Kreme should have a signature gourmet coffee blend, I have no argument, and they could certainly market that in grocery stores with great success. But they need to get the not-hot-off-the-line doughnuts out of the grocery stores and do with doughnuts what they do best--hand them to you fresh off the production line while you are surrounded by the aroma of the ingredients while they are so fresh and fluffy that they collapse and melt in your mouth when you bite into one.

posted at: 08:03 | category: /Food | link to this entry

Fri, May 21 2004

The Friday Five Has Been Eighty-Sixed

In the rush of the day, I had little time to do a blog entry today, so I was finally going to succumb to using The Friday Five. Alas, the author has decided to Eighty-six the Five.

And just where did the term "eighty-six" come from anyway?

posted at: 20:35 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Thu, May 20 2004

Notice The Word "Strategic" In Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein don't really fall along my line of thinking very often these days, and when I read about their urging the White House to dip into the oil reserve, I had further evidence that they are just not on the same wavelength with some of the rest of us on the planet.

You can see from the Department of Fossil Energy the ways in which we have used the oil reserve in the past. It makes very little sense to set a precedence where we begin to release the oil every time people are whining about filling their vehicles, if we have not first done all we can to encourage people to conserve the fuel they use. I'm not picking on folks with SUVs. If you want one, go for it. But if you know the vehicle you want to drive is a gas guzzler, think about that when you buy or lease the thing. I do feel bad for the folks who are struggling to make ends meet as it is, and are now faced with filling their gas-efficient car to the tune of more than $2.00 a gallon (in California) so they can get to their minimum wage job. But if we go into panic mode as a nation, it won't help the individual consumer for long.

Let's spend some time working on long-term solutions. We have lived high on the hog (or deep into the pipeline) for a long time now. In California there are people who commute an hour or more each day to work at a job that pays well, so that they can live in a bedroom community where their home is less expensive. We have whole gated communities designed for nothing but homes, with no jobs close by and no place to buy supplies. We don't build neighborhoods anymore. We have rows of cookie-cutter homes in huge developments that are isolated from the rest of the world. Instead of walking to the neighborhood store, we get into a vehicle and drive for 30 minutes to get to a gym. We can't keep living like this and still expect the price and supply of oil (and all it brings with it) to not reflect our lifestyle. We've had our fun, and it's time to think about what it means in terms of consequences.

Yesterday was supposed to be a "don't buy gas today" day. It's not a bad idea. But if all we do is skip yesterday and buy today as usual, we have missed some great opportunities. And if we rush to use our oil reserve just because we are peeved at the pump, how will we recognize a real oil emergency when it does come along?

posted at: 06:56 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Wed, May 19 2004

Soda For Socialists

I loved what Eric wrote today about designing things with the idea of putting the user first. As a college student, I once worked in production for a wholesale bakery in Tennessee, and the electricians would come in now and then and watch us work. Then they would go wherever it was they went, and they would design devices to try to improve the efficiency with which we handled the packaging of the baked and cooled products. What they forgot was that almost all of them were male, and (by the averages of gender) tall. Most of us were female, and (by the same law) shorter than they were. On one occasion these guys came up with a button we could use to stop the conveyor belt by leaning on it with our leg instead of having to reach out with our hand. The button had to be placed to the side of where we usually stood, because A) it would have been uncomfortable, and B) we would have bumped it without intending to do so. So, the electricians placed it to one side, forgetting that one step to the left was two or three steps for the vertically-challenged. When they installed the button and turned us loose to use it, they stepped back ready to be applauded for their efforts. Instead, one very outspoken worker gave them an earful about how far away the button was, and how they had not consulted us to see what the best placement of such a button might be. The electricians were truly stunned. It had never occurred to them to come to us first and talk to us about what our needs were as users and to incorporate our needs into their design. They thought they could observe our actions and come up with answers based on their interpretation of those actions, and they thought that we would be grateful. They did listen to us at that point, and eventually came up with a very useful button better suited to people of varying heights.

In the case of Eric's soft drink distributer rep, the whole idea of assumimg what's best for the user is taken to a new level of absurdity when a company decides to put a handle on the package for convenience, and then hides that handle from the consumer/user because they feel the consumer can't deal with the handle properly. The company apparently isn't ready to take their responsibility seriously enough to recall the packages with their badly designed handle. They prefer to inconvenience the consumer/user even further, and then they stoop to insulting the consumer/user by stubbornly referring to their own actions as "company policy".

Somewhere along the way it seems as though marketing to people has come to mean marketing down to people. We used to be able to have a say with our pocketbook, but with the current system of industry lobbying and other political underpinnings, the idea of mutual respect and satisfaction between maker/designer and consumer/user may well become an unattainable goal. If capitalism is the way we want to live, we'd better be careful that we don't become socialists in our quiet acceptance of being told as consumers what's best for us.

posted at: 21:06 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Tue, May 18 2004

Random Noise And Midi Blues

Someone took the various sounds of Windows and mixed them into a bit of music for us, calling it simply Windows Noise. A tip of the old Stetson to artnotes for that link.

If you have Windows Media Player 9, did you know that there are some third-party plug-ins you can use to enhance it? Open Media Player, and look under Tools. Click on the Plug-Ins link and you can see what's available.

If you like blues music as much as I do, and you like good-quality Midi songs, go pay a visit to Gary's Midi Madness. Some of the songs have a definite Midi sound, but if you have a good sound card, others will make you double-check the actual format. The piano and guitar parts are especially well-done.

posted at: 10:34 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

Mon, May 17 2004

Gambling: Fame, Fortune, And The Unknown

How much are our predictions about society worth? Would you plunk down a few (or more) bucks if you thought your predictions about society, technology and science were almost sure to come true? If you say you would, you can prove it at Long Bets. There is also a discussion area for issues. Proceeds go to charity. If your prediction comes true, you get bragging rights and the chance to be famous in certain circles.

Looking at this site brought to mind a related issue. If someone is addicted to gambling, would they be just as hooked on it if any winnings they achieved always went to a third party, or to a charity? Would they be less inclined to gamble if their winnings went to someone anonymously and they never knew who got the money? Is the idea of possibly getting a personal return what keeps the gambler coming back, or is it just the idea of beating the odds, no matter what else happens after that?

posted at: 10:18 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

Sun, May 16 2004

Economic Segregation Is Still Segregation

There was an interesting article in the SF Chronicle today on school segregation. I can see the "cookie cutter" building syndrome in most areas of California, and the large, gated communities one sees spring up are, in some ways, just more of the same cookie cutter mentality, in spite of the homes having more variety to their curb appeal, with more expensive building materials, in some cases.

What concerns me is the way society tends to use children to perpetuate a dysfunctional view of life. As a child, I attended a Roman Catholic parochial elementary school, and we were once taken on a lovely field trip to tour the state Capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri. When we we got there we were given little yellow pin-on buttons (I still have mine) that said "Buses or Bust", and were introduced as visitors in the representative chambers. Someone announced that we were some of the very children who would benefit from the public school buses being allowed to give us rides to our parochial school. Even as a seventh-grader, I realized that we were being used. We were little lobbiests that day, and we hadn't even given our permission to be thought of that way. Our community's busing issues were not racial, or even economic, but were religious and political in nature. I suspect a lot of the same type of thing still goes on when children's issues are dragged out and placed at the forefront of today's campaigns by adults.

Kids learn best and do their best when we adults don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk. As long as we work and live in segregated ways, we teach children that this is the preferred way to live. Will the next generation be the one to be smarter and braver than ours (and those before ours), and to choose the best of all ethnic and cultural blends to learn together? I have to keep hoping so!

posted at: 16:55 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Sat, May 15 2004

Link Between Fitness And Your Stance On Abortion?

Does where you do your workout make a difference in a political or religious sense? It does to these women. I was totally ignorant of any such issue until now. I guess that's what I get for working out in the privacy of my own home. I don't know what the blazes is going on anymore. Now I wonder if someone will open a chain of Pro-choice gym franchises in retaliation to Curves, International. And I see that the company has a Corporate Accounts Program. So will this go to the next level, with companies taking a stance by participating (or not) in the program for their employees? I have enough stress without worrying about this sort of thing. I exercise for my physical and mental health. I think I'll just stay home and walk on my trusty treadmill, where I don't have people looking at me to see how fat I am, or whether I measure up to their idea of politically correct behavior.

People do wear their beliefs in interesting ways at times.

posted at: 12:08 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Fri, May 14 2004

I have forgotten who sent me to this site, but I should wish a pox upon their house, because I've spent way too much time drawing--especially once I learned that the various facial parts could be used to doodle a lot more than just faces. I saw possibilities for animals, flowers, bugs and a lot more. Object such as noses can be rotated, enlarged, and made into curls. Another nose looks like a simple wing. Some artistic folks even figured out how to combine features and draw the human form. If you like to doodle or draw, take a look through the gallery on the site and you will no doubt be inspired to try your own creation. You can sign it, save it, and email the link to your art to your friends.

Want to play? Go to Mr. Picassohead.
(And two hours later, don't say I didn't warn you)

posted at: 17:51 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

A Comet's Tail And Related Tales

We've been getting tips on seeing Comet NEAT in the sky this evening. It's possible to get some good viewing out here, because the comet is visible in the western sky, and we live close to the ocean, so looking westward will be the spot least cluttered with city lights. One group of scientists has a Comet Party planned at the popular Santa Cruz restaurant/watering hole Crow's Nest.

You may recall that some discussion of the possible effects of NEAT on our planet involved some pretty controversial issues for awhile, but now things seem to have settled down a bit. As far as I know, Nancy Lieder still maintains her posture that we are in for a big hit of major planetary cataclysmic activity from the effects of Planet X. And she is apparently in at least some form of ongoing debate with scientists and writers. It's interesting for Ms Lieder. In her interesting place, I don't think I'd be very inclined to believe a bunch of aliens who had lied to me once already, and had still claimed to be friendly, spiritually enlightened neighbors. I'm funny that way.

posted at: 14:19 | category: /Science | link to this entry

Thu, May 13 2004

Local Agricultural Goodness

I almost forgot that May is National Strawberry Month. We've been enjoying the wonderful, fresh berries for several weeks now. You can see by this chart that we live in the middle of a prime growing area. A lot of the beautiful berries that go out of California carry the Driscoll's label, although those folks are smart enough to leave a lot of the actual growing and harvesting to farming partners in many locations. Strict standards have to be met before a berry is accepted for the Driscoll's label.

Another local name everybody recognizes is Martinelli's. In the early days their drinks included hard cider, but now they sell pure juice, cider and carbonated drinks. I always thought the name Martinelli was Italian, but the company site says that Stephen G. Martinelli was actually Swiss. The company is still managed by direct descendants of its original founder.

posted at: 13:07 | category: /Food | link to this entry

Wed, May 12 2004

Cat Burglar Roulette

The town nearest to our little corner of the world seems to be plagued with a cat burglar, though I don't think he's nipped off with any cats.

Whenever I hear the term "cat burglar", I remember the old Beverly Hillbillies episode, where handsome John Ashley (who passed away a few years ago) played a cat burglar who had the Clampetts thinking he was there to keep their kitties safe, when in truth, he was the real cat burglar.

Does this particular cat burglar want to be caught? Maybe. He doesn't always take things, and he seems to delight in entering homes that are occupied. Police are telling people to lock their doors and windows, which is advice that always aggravates me, unless it is also accompanied by a recommendation to take active steps to protect oneself, one's family and one's property. Why should people be imprisoned in their homes because some intruder feels he has a right to invade their space? He's been entering through a lot of open windows, and so far, he's been lucky to have escaped injury. It's possible that one of these nights he's going to pop into a window of a house which is quietly occupied by someone who didn't lock their window, and decided instead to keep a two-by-four ready, or to have their firearm handy and ready to send the cat burglar into oblivion. And the occupant might not bother to warn the burglar with that sign I've seen that reads,
"This house protected by Smith and Wesson three days a week. You guess which three."

posted at: 10:19 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Tue, May 11 2004

Don Fulci And The Matrix

I always wondered what they meant when they talked about chatter in relation to terrorists. Boing Boing tells us they were at least paying attention to some chatter when they turned their matrix attention to a character in a video game. I can't help but be amused, although I also have to say, as a writer, it might be a tremendous ego trip to find that the villainous character you created was on the FBI's priorities for the day. It gives new meaning to the idea of there being no such thing as bad publicity!

If Fulci is new to you, read more about his exploits at the Headhunter developer's site.

posted at: 18:18 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

Is There A Window Open Somewhere...?

While I was reading other blogs last week, Jon quietly posted this little item . I wonder if many others out there have gotten such letters from the Selective Service System. And does it mean anything when they don't wait for people to sign up on their own, but instead, begin sending letters of invitation?

posted at: 16:01 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

58 Counties And One More On The Way

Just when California is trying to recover from inflated government, we hear that plans are in the works for yet another county, which would add another pocket of governmental layering. I certainly can understand the difficulties Santa Barbara County is having though, because we have a somewhat similar situation in both Santa Cruz County and Monterey County. In fact, more than one person has said that the south portion of Santa Cruz County and the north portion of Monterey County would be better off joining hands and becoming a new county. Maybe we'll watch the development of Mission County for awhile, and see if we like the way they handle things.

posted at: 10:29 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Mon, May 10 2004

Justice Scalia Not Part Of Current Journalist Lawsuit: We'll Keep Checking Back

It sounds as though the journalists who were ordered to erase their recordings of Antonin Scalia's speech at Presbyterian Christian High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi are going to get total backing from news publishers in the form of a lawsuit against the U.S. Marshals Service.

Though it was not Scalia who directly ordered the erasure of his words, I can see how he would not generally like his remarks recorded and reported, after reading this, from Adam Liptak. Remarks such as "Check back with us," and "I am not a nut," lifted and taken in some outside context, could certainly come back to haunt a person somewhere down the line.

posted at: 15:41 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Think You've Done It All On Vacation? Try This

Besides the obvious thrill value of an exotic vacation like this, the mind boggles at the related story ideas. Just being part of the behind-the-scenes team would be great fun! If you do decide to take this wild trip, you'd better have your wallet handy. It's more than $13,000 for one person. But if you take a friend or two, you'll get a lower price per person. If all you want to do on vacation is lie on a beach and soak up sun, this might not be the trip for you, but if intrigue and challenge are more your style of fun, the money might be very well-spent.

posted at: 10:45 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

My Bad

I have egg on my face here. In Bible-Inspired Haiku I mentioned Eric's special lady. It turns out that she is special as a Christian sister, but is not his wife. I will trust there was no ducking of thrown china or keyboards at either Eric's house or Jasmine's house as a result of my faux pas. They've been more than gracious to me after my comment. Please do go to Fireant Gazette and read more wisdom from Eric (and from friend Jasmine, when she pops in to post).

posted at: 07:50 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Fri, May 07 2004

40-Foot Traveling Home Powered By Diesel Truck

It's a diesel truck. No, it's an RV. Actually, it's both. Take your car or your horse, and still have living quarters with 7-foot ceilings and even go for upgrades such as a washer and dryer or central vacuum. I wonder how the diesel works out for cost and maintenance, as opposed to the regular type of RV. It looks as though their only current dealer (besides the home office in Andover, Minnesota) is in Joplin, Missouri. Will we see more of an interest in this type of travel in the future, or has the SUV controversy put a damper on the bigger, stronger, meaner-looking vehicle trend we've seen in recent years?

posted at: 18:37 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

How Can A 50-Something-Year-Old Tradition Be A Fad?

An article from Forbes makes reference to Krispy Kreme doughnuts' "fad appeal" waning. I'm trying to figure out how something which has been in production since 1937 could be called a fad to begin with. Maybe the commenter was just referring to the spread of the doughnut stores to the West. My husband and I used to go and get Krispy Kreme doughnuts hot off the line in Chattanooga, Tennessee back in about 1974. So we were rather amused when folks out this way began to get excited about the treats coming to California. I think somehow the buildup was so great that the doughnuts couldn't have possibly lived up to the hype they were given. They were never a phenomenon to those in the South. They are a comfort food, like apple pie or macaroni and cheese. The draw is not in their novelty, but in the familiar sensation of that sweetness heated to puffy goodness, and bathed in perfect glaze just before it goes into your mouth. Just going in the stores in the South is a heady experience, where you are treated like an old friend while you wait for a fresh batch to come off the line, and the scent of the doughnuts is enough to make your mouth water. I guess familiar tastings just don't feel like fads to me--especially decades later.

posted at: 16:37 | category: /Food | link to this entry

Girafa's Sticking Its Neck Out

A new bot came through Write Lightning in the last day or two, and appears to be a bot from Girafa.com Inc. From the articles on their site, I'm concluding that they are not trying to be a stand-alone search engine, but instead, an additional tool to be used by already-existing search engines. A blurb from their press release says:

The use of Girafa's Visualization technology enables the immediate display of a Web site's thumbnail preview alongside its textual URL, thereby enhancing and improving the entire search experience.
MSN Search seems to have been interested in this sort of thing for awhile, and I've seen their bots come by before, but not this particular one until now.

posted at: 09:51 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Thu, May 06 2004

Got Gas? Yeah, And It's The Price Of Milk Giving It To Me (Burp!)

The price of gas is on the rise in California, and with the cost of a gallon of milk taking a similar climb, we could have an interesting situation. I'm wondering if someone is going to compare gas shortages with milk shortages. Limited domestic supply might be part of the problem for the former, but how about the latter? Aren't there enough cows to go around? And if California panics and goes so far as to ration milk the way it once did gas, how will we handle that whole odd/even thing? Milk plates?

posted at: 11:18 | category: /Food | link to this entry

Wed, May 05 2004

Quiz For Writers

If you write and you enjoy quizzes, MamaWrite found one that's quick and interesting to take.

You're a Dialogue/Character Writer!

What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

posted at: 09:05 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Tue, May 04 2004

Bloggers Who Give It All Away

I enjoyed the posting at A VC regarding the transparency of posting online in a blog. Some of the people I've met in life who take the most physical risks tend to use that to hide the core of who they are as an emotional, intellectual being. They seem at first to be open to anything, but when you share yourself from the inside they recoil and can't participate or even accept such an idea as real. Blogging is a nice way of getting away from that whole idea, and it celebrates some of who we really are. And each person who blogs is here because he or she wants to be.

The first postings may be scary, but once you let go, something else happens. You realize that, somewhere along the way in putting yourself on the line, and in giving up control of who reads what you write, you've gained a new sense of peace and power.

posted at: 10:32 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Legolas Revisited

Anne finally inserted into a previous entry a great picture of her in the Legolas costume she wore at Halloween. (scroll down on page for picture) Very impressive, Anne!

posted at: 09:11 | category: /Playing | link to this entry


This is an interesting persepective from someone who actually has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I'm fairly certain I know someone who has this. We probably all do, or have at least met someone who does. I thought the author's perspective on it being tough to overcome was sadly negative. Maybe there is hope down the road.

posted at: 08:17 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Mon, May 03 2004

A Few Online Displays

For those you who draw on the margins of manuals, backs of napkins, or doodle and sketch in any other places, you'll enjoy the doodling Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian.

Here's the online site of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.

Oh my. How about this Weird and Dead Stuff?

posted at: 11:07 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

Sun, May 02 2004


I saw a film version of the Eight-Cow Wife about 20 years ago, and never forgot the story. How fun to be able to have the gift of lifting people up and making their worth the very best, and giving them the gift of higher self-esteem. Yeah!

posted at: 18:17 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Surf Bums

When is a California surf bum not a surf bum? Apparently, when he or she tries to keep the simple life going in a community (like Santa Cruz) filling up with an increasingly upwardly mobile, latte-drinking crowd who want to drop in, take over the waves for a day, and go home to their high-priced real estate. For more about the way things used to be, and why they were the way they were, read Stephen Wayne Hull's thesis from 1976.

You can see some of the local surf here and here. (Look over on the left for the links to Surf Cams.)

posted at: 10:55 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Sat, May 01 2004

Bible-Inspired Haiku

Eric (and now his special lady, Jasmine) have something unique going on over at Fire Ant Gazette. They're doing Bible Haikus, and everyone is welcome to try their hand at one. Go look at the ones already there and find out how to submit your own work to the collection.

posted at: 14:01 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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