Friday, November 8, 2013

From the iPod - Jars of Clay

I haven't done a "from the iPod" post for awhile, so please forgive me if this one is a bit excessive in content.  Jars of Clay have been around for years now, first hitting mainstream and christian radio with "Flood" back in 1995.  Since then they have put out a fair share of albums, have songs on 4 soundtracks to-date, and are still going strong.  Yes, they are a religious bunch of boys, but the majority of their songs are simply good music that don't leave you thumping your Bible and shouting your praises to the heavens after listening.  Frankly, I am not a fan of the christian music scene, but these guys just charmed their way in and never really walked back out.....  here's hoping that you enjoy them too.

"Fall Asleep" (from their latest album, "Inland" c. 2013)

"Two Hands" (from the album, "The Long Fall Back to Earth" c. 2009)

"Portrait Of An Apology" (from the album "Much Afraid" c. 1997)

"Worlds Apart" (from the self titled debut album, c. 1995)

"Sunny Days" (from "Who We Are Instead" c. 2003)

"Lonely People" (from "Who We Are Instead" c. 2003 - this is a great cover of the song by America)

"Disappear" (from the album "The Eleventh Hour" c. 2002)

"Frail" (from the album "Much Afraid" c. 1997)

"Show You Love" (from the album "Who We Are Instead" c. 2003)

"Amazing Grace" (from the album "Who We Are Instead" c. 2003)

"River Constantine" (from the album "If I Left The Zoo" c. 1999)

"God Will Lift Up Your Head" (from the album "Redemption Songs" c. 2005)

"Work" (from the album "Good Monsters" c. 2006

"Road to Nowhere" (not officially released. This was performed during the "Noisetrade Eastside Manor Sessions" c. 2013 - great cover of the song by Talking Heads, but it is only available online in video form unfortunately)

"Out Of My Hands" (from the album "The Shelter" c. 2010)

"Sing" (from the album "Who We Are Instead" c. 2003)

"Fly" (from the album "The Eleventh Hour" c. 2002)


Are you sitting there bored sometimes and looking for something meaningful to do that won't put you into a sweat or even have you leaving your computer? Something that encourages you to not only do some good, but allows you to be online in order to do it?  Something with no long-term commitments?

Search no more.....

The Smithsonian Institute needs people to help transcribe thousands of papers, journals and studies that have been housed in its attics for eons.  Not only are you helping to preserve the history and discoveries of the past, but imagine how good that will look on your resume....

You can click on the link above to read a little more about the project, or you can simply go to Smithsonian's site directly and start browsing the projects currently in need of transcription and see what strikes your fancy.  And its not as if you are taking on a complete project on your own... you work on this at your own pace and, wherever you leave off someone else will be allowed to continue.

How easy can this get?  No training, in fact the only qualifications needed are that you can read and type (both of which I am certain are talents you possess if you managed to make your way here!)  So make time in your lazy afternoon to be an armchair explorer and help shed some light into the forgotten past.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuning in....

There is an appalling epidemic sweeping through society and, surprisingly, many do not seem to want to treat it with the concern that it deserves: those who seem to be very interested in documenting what is happening, yet completely missing what is happening around them at the same time.  You see it all over the place, people in a group, and yet not connecting with the group, as they are too busy checking into their various social medias.

Heaven forbid we should spend time looking at a sunset when we can check out the tweet of someone we have never met in person who is sharing an obscure link to someone we have never even heard of who is retweeting it from some celebrity (don't even get me started on the worth of celebrity tweets and posts as it will turn into a rant of the further stupidity of society to place some sort of royal status on these people because their occupation broadcasts them onto our tv and movie screens).

I have been in these situations shown in the video above.... you are enjoying a moment when someone has to interrupt it because they are trying to capture just the right photo on their i-camera to put on their FB status.  I'm sorry, are the rest of us supposed to put our evening on hold so you can post about all the fun that you are having with us right now?

So not fun.

I have no idea when we became this loud, posturing society of people who have to proclaim to all around us that HEY, WE ARE COOL AND HAVING FUN RIGHT NOW.... funny, but the louder you yell the dumber you look to me, and I have no desire to spend a single moment wishing I was a part of your little group right now.... or ever.

Not that I think moments shouldn't be captured.... heck, I am usually the one behind the camera taking shots so that others don't have to think about it, but I also set the camera aside and join in the fun. I take time to actually talk with the people about me and not excuse myself every few minutes because my phone chimes to let me know that someone in my online social circle has just posted something.  Nothing says "you're just not that important to me" than another person constantly excusing themselves in order to see what was just posted instead of staying in the moment that they are in physically.

I take the time to be quiet... to disconnect... to experience what is around me.  Not, oops, I have a free moment, better sign into Facebook, or Twitter or whatever social media is hopping these days.

I don't even go online every day... and certainly can't find the time to spend hours on it.  On average if I sign in its to take a few moments to check my emails, hop over to Facebook to see if anyone has messaged me there (though its often just requests to join games) and to take a quick scroll down my news feed.... maybe I will read a news story or two and then I am done (unless, like this morning, I am blogging or if I need to research something).  I've stopped playing my online games (though I do allow myself an occasional jigsaw puzzle because if its online then the cats can't knock the pieces off the table) as they are just a way to suck away hours of my time... time that could be better spent doing other things.

Not that I don't have my distractions... I used to be an avid movie watcher, but now I really only do that when someone is over and they want to watch something.  I can easily get sucked into my crafts, but hey, at least that is productive.  I super easily get sucked into books, but that's exercising my mind.... so I can forgive myself that one, especially since said book does not come along when I am hanging out with others.  How rude would that be to say, "excuse me, but I need to take a moment to check in on what this character is doing" and tune out for a quick paragraph or two?

My brother used to have this thing he'd do yearly where he'd turn off everything that had an on switch (with the exception of music playing in the background of course... all adventures should come with a soundtrack don't you think?)... this would go for one week.  One week of turning off the distractions and tuning into life around you. He called it an exercise in getting your life back.

Internet.... off, unless you had to look up something for homework purposes (or since this post is geared towards adults and not elementary students, turn off the internet unless you need it for a work project or to help your kids with their homework).  TV... off.  Social media on your phone or your Angry Birds app.... off.  Regarding the music, it was for playing in the background on speakers when you are home... not piped through earbuds and blocking you off from the world around you.

Hmmmm... what to do with all of this time?

Really invest yourself in the moments around you... finding yourself bored?  Well, maybe its time to find a hobby that exists somewhere other than online.  Build models, for example.  If you have kids, break out the Legos and Lincoln Logs and build something with them... you'll be amazed at the fun you can still have playing with Matchbox cars and zooming them around on the carpet, and your kids might just think you're that much cooler (or not... sorry, but there are no promises on that one).

Play a board game (hey, this involves other people and you just might have fun at the same time!)  Try baking something and then share them with friends (cookies are fairly easy and always a big hit).  Try reading a book... go to your library if you don't have a physical one on hand.  With the prevalence of Nooks and Kindles these days, people should still take the time to remember the experience of an actual book in hand... one that doesn't come with a limited battery time!

Go outside.... breathe the air.  If the air around you is full of smog and exhaust fumes, go outside of the city and see what nature has in store for you.  Don't feel quite that adventurous then explore your local park.

Have pets?  Take the dog for a walk instead of letting him get exercise running around in the back yard.  Toss catnip mice for the cats to chase, or use one of those laser pointers to get them scurrying.  The pets will enjoy the interaction and you just might as well.

On a drive?  If its not too cold (or hot) where you are... turn down the music, roll down the window and experience your surroundings.  Can you feel a breeze (if you are moving fast enough for one) or can you hear the birds singing?  How about the sounds of the city around you... people talking on the streets, the sound of someone's radio as they drive by... the rat-tat-tat of construction... try to discover the rhythm of the world that you are in.

I used to spend more time online... I used to follow so many blogs that it would take, on average, an hour or two to read them all.  Miss a day or two and I would find myself stuck to the computer for hours... all because I had convinced myself that somehow I owed it to these people to read each and every word they posted.

I don't feel that way anymore... if I check in on a blog its usually because its someone I know.  I will occasionally check out other blogs, but my average blog check is about once a month.  Yup, you heard me... and I have no problem deleting posts from my reader without glancing at it twice.  In fact, my reader has been seriously winnowed down from what I used to follow and the last time I checked it I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to remember which reader I even used because I hadn't been on there in so long.

Life moves on whether I read blog posts or not... and I typically find my day to be filled enough without adding an hour of self-imposed "required reading" of adventures other people are having, when I should be busy having a life of my own.

Am I going to spend a week offline?  Probably not, because I don't find myself online that much as it is.  I have no problem disconnecting from the online world and having a life... but I wouldn't curl up in a ball and die if I did turn it off.  I didn't write this post in order to demand that people take up a challenge or anything...

So why have I written this?  Well, I suggest that we take a moment and look at our lives.

Really look.

How much time do we spend plugged in and tuned out from what is around us?

Yes, technology is a wonderful thing if used wisely... it enabled me to read a bedtime story to a nephew who lives across the country from me... but its the "used wisely" bit that I am speaking about.  So much emphasis is placed on stupid things... the latest video clip that has gone global for being nothing other than a momentary laugh (and at someone else's expense usually).  I do not watch them, I do not care for them... and I am fairly certain that the fate of the world will not rest upon my having seen these and correctly answering a pop quiz that will prevent us from facing total annihilation.

Are these these necessary to our lives?  No, not really.  Is having one more sunset in our lives going to make or break us if we choose to watch the Grammys instead?  No... but I am fairly certain that the sunset will give you a greater satisfaction in the long run... after all, I remember some truly glorious sunsets, but I still appreciate every new one that comes my way as well.  Not that I watch the Grammys, but I can hardly remember the last episode of a TV show I watched a week ago, let alone a single MOMENT from the Grammys, and I am pretty sure I caught quite a bit of it here and there over the course of my life.

There are so many moments in life that we miss when we spend them plugged in.  Moments that may not be earth-shattering, but that are definitely worth taking the time for.

Birds soaring overhead... listening to the laughter of children (I love that one)... truly spending time with a person that you love... taking the time to sit down and write or draw or create something with your own two hands (or one hand, or foot... use what you have people).

Reclaim a moment of your childhood and become an explorer again... even if its just taking a different street on your way to work and see what you find.

Connect with someone... really connect.  Invite them over for dinner, or go out if you can't cook.  Better yet, find someone who knows how to cook and ask them if they would mind coming over and teaching you how to fix something.

Make more real-life friends... ones whose shoulders you can physically cry on when needed, but be prepared as they may need your shoulders as well.

Trust me, as nice as online friendships can be, they will never replace someone who cares patting you on the back and telling you that things will work out.

If nothing else believe me when I tell you this: real life always wins... even when its sad and messy and not going the way you want, but it is something that you have to work at.  The rewards, however, make it all worth the while.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. - Hilary Cooper

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What an inspiring message...

This is a must-watch for all women, and it wouldn't hurt a few men to watch this as well...

Take this message with you, and share it with other women who may need it in their own lives.  We are all of a worth that is beyond measure.

WATCH.... and remember.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Me and the Rat

I have an aversion to rodents.  Not jump-up-on-the-chairs-holding-my-skirts-and-shrieking drama, but, while they are cute, I just don't care to hold or cuddle the little things.

Flash back to me, age 5 or 6.  We had rabbits in hutches.  I have not confirmed this with either parent, so this is childhood memories we're going on here, but I do seem to remember that there were a series of rabbit cages in our tiny shed-like garage, with bunnies in each.  Bunnies that my brother Jason and I would feed... mom would give us carrots or celery or lettuce and we would scamper out to the garage and feed our "pets".  

The rabbit I considered mine (sadly its name has been lost in the sands of time) was always happy for a treat and would hop over to nibble whatever tidbit that was given to her.  I loved watching her little nose quivering and, one day, I couldn't resist and stuck my finger in the cage to stroke it.  

As you can guess, she mistook pudgy little-girl finger for a carrot and bit me.  It was not much later the rabbits all "went down the road" as we say in my family.  Some of them my dad butchered for food, and the others a man with a truck full of rabbit hutches came by and picked up.  So much for "pets".... these bunnies had been raised as a food supply (I only state this so no one thinks my being bitten had anything to do with it.)

Ever since the biting incident rodents and I have walked separate paths.

Until this week.

I took my youngest sister to a local pet store so she could return a fish tank sealant that she no longer needed.  On our way there she told me about this cute rat she had seen in the shop the week prior and about how it didn't bite, but licked people and gave the sweetest of "little nibbles".  

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

We arrived at the shop and while she was busy with her return I located the rat in question.  He was cute, in a beady-eyed sort of way, and he was certainly affectionate.  He kept hanging from the wire-mesh cover of his cage where he could stick a nose out and beg for someone to pick him up.

Against my better judgement, I lowered a finger.  Sure enough, licks and nibbles.... and no bite.

My sister came over, followed by "Barnacle" Bill, the owner of the shop.  Bill reached down, opened the cage, pulled out this bundle of rat and set it in my sister's hands.  Promptly the rat scurried up into her hair where it seemed perfectly happy to stay (not that I blame it, my sister's hair is currently a glorious shade of Autumn Fire that I could never pull off).  He then started climbing back and forth from one shoulder to another, acting as if he was the happiest little rat on the planet.

I stroked its soft baby fur and thought to myself, "okay, maybe not all rats are bad".  After all, my other sister had kept rats in the past, so how bad could it be?

Lets zip ahead an hour and change the scene to my sister's house.  Brisby, as the rat has now been named, is now climbing on my shoulders and snuffling in my hair, when all of the sudden there comes this.... smell.

"Ugh", I said, handing the rat over.  "I think it peed on me."  Funny though, I couldn't feel any wetness, but boy did I stink.

I couldn't wait to get home... in fact, I would swear the smell was getting stronger with each passing moment.

I got home, stripped off everything I was wearing and went to jump in the shower when something fell out of my hair and hit the floor.

Please be a piece of lint, I thought.

Oh no, the fates were not that kind. 



And with that I took the hottest shower I have taken in years.  My hair was shampooed several times, and there was not an inch of me that was not scrubbed and scrubbed again with my mesh loofah.  Even after my shower I still felt gross, even though I was certainly clean.

And thus ends my short truce with all things rodent... 

I think I need another shower.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guaranteed to bring a smile....

I drive a yellow Beetle.... bright, sunny.... which suits me rather well.  

Daisy Jane came to me with a black bra attached and I saw no reason to remove it.  It adds a certain "who is that masked car?" flair, and with all the yellow Beetles on the road, it helps me to identify her in the parking lot.

This is not Daisy Jane, but it looks pretty close to her.  Image shamelessly borrowed from the internet.

My brother-in-law kindly offered to replace my headlight bulbs for me (basically I think he noticed the "deer-in-the-headlights" look I was sporting when I thought I was going to have to do it myself) and, while my sisters and I were visiting, he went out to go do the task.

My sister happened to glance out the window to see how her husband was doing, and made a comment about the state of my car.... one that, while humorous, I wasn't sure if I could believe it.  Sure enough, checking later, she was right.

Flash forward a few days later.

I was climbing out of my car at a local grocery store when the gal parked across from me called out, "That is the brightest, yellowest, cheeriest thing I have seen in a long time". 

I smiled, thought back to my sister's comment the other day, and replied, "Yes, but she has a dark secret.  You see, she doesn't like to go out without her bra on, and now she has tan lines."

This stranger looked at me, looked back at Daisy Jane and then burst out with the wildest laughter I have ever heard.  We're talking head thrown back, and the noise levels high enough that half of the parking lot probably could hear.  

Smiling, and happy that I made someone laugh, I wished her a good day and went inside the store to run my brief errand.

It was only about five minutes later that I came back out and found that she was still there, glancing at my car, shaking her head and still chuckling.

"I just had to let you know", she told me, "that I will be laughing about this all day."  With that she thanked me, and then watched me drive away... still chuckling.

Its been nearly a week since that day, and I wonder about that woman... while I am happy that a random comment brightened her day, I hope that she is doing well and that her life is happy.  You can never tell with people what will lift their hearts from whatever troubles them in life, and I hope that I keep this simple lesson in mind and never fail to do my part to be kind to those around me.

Even if it is only one small, shared joke between strangers.

Comic courtesy of

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sometimes you just have to break the rules...

Now I am not saying we should run amok and let chaos rule here, but some things you just have to take a stand against. 

Banning books for one.

Personally, if you have a problem with a book and don't want your children reading it, then sit down with them and explain your reasoning.  Don't go on a tirade and yelling and screaming about how some story that your kids could possibly get their hands on is the spawn of the devil or some such thing.  

Honestly, have you never heard of "forbidden fruit" and how juicy that sucker looks once mom and dad make a big deal out of it?  

Has anyone ever really looked at the banned and challenged list?  The reasons for some books being challenged these days is seriously stupid.  The "Twilight" series is questioned for religious teachings?  Why?  Because one of the characters questions if he has a soul?  "To Kill A Mockingbird" is on the list because parents feel it is too mature of a subject for their children?  People, elementary kids are not going to be picking this book up and giving it a shot... if your child remotely has an interest in what the literary world considers to be a "classic" then go for it, and be proud of that kid for not wanting to read the next issue of Cosmo instead.

In our "plugged in" society, books aren't often even a prized possession these days. Seriously, if your kid is begging you to take them to the library because they have nothing new to read you should be celebrating and jumping up and down in the streets, rather than trying to stifle their creativity and intellect.  If your child is reading a book at home then you know where they are, and not wondering what sort of antics they are getting into down the street with the rest of their friends, and, lets be honest here, a kid who reads is a kid who thinks.  If a kid wanders into a section a little more mature than they are ready for, they are going to wander back out again quickly enough.  A kid who reads is also one who is going to understand that not everything in the book is how things really are in the world, and I would rather that they learn a bit about the world from a book rather than going out and testing it for themselves.

Now, being the rebel that I am, it turns out that I actually HAVE read quite a few books on the banned books list, and there are others on the list that I plan to read in the near future (no, not Fifty Shades of Grey.... that's not my scene, but I do have "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" on my to-read list).  

I thought I would show you just a few of the books that I have read and, surprise! they are all banned or have been seriously challenged.


So are you willing to be a rebel?  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Learn more about it here but the gist of it is this:  the Cassini probe will be taking a picture of Earth through the rings of Saturn on the afternoon of July 19th and NASA wants you to be in the picture (of course, you will be far too tiny to be seen in the actual shot!)

Happily, it is the Americas that will be facing Saturn at that time and that will be in sunlight... so that itsy, bitsy blue pixel in the finalized print will be of my side of the world.

Me? I will happily be outside my apartment at 3:27 pm, waving crazily at the Eastern sky at, what will appear to many to be absolutely nothing.  Not that I worry about what my neighbors will think... after all, if they aren't aware of what is going on, then they are simply not cool enough to be included in my first ever interplanetary photoshoot.

Art and the process of letting go....

Click to watch a fabulous (and short) mini documentary called "Pardon My Dust" which cover the concept of Dynamic Sketching by Peter Han.  In it he discusses the difference of sketching on blackboards vs traditional art, and the ability to let go of your creation at the end (ie: erasing it) and beginning again.

Very fascinating, and well worth a few minutes of your time.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

From the iPod: that Wild and Crazy Guy.... Steve Martin

Okay, if you're under the age of 40 you probably wouldn't understand the "Wild and Crazy" reference from the days when Steve Martin was doing a lot of comedy.  And you probably wouldn't remember a little ditty from the 70's called "King Tut" (from an SNL skit and later released as a single) performed by Steve and members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (renamed "The Toot Uncommons" for this little number).

Steve is a man of many, many talents... actor, comedian, artist, author... it seems like he is set to excel at whatever he extends his hand to, and this includes his amazing bluegrass albums.  Two were released with the Steep Canyon Rangers ("Rare Bird Alert" includes a wonderfully revamped-for-bluegrass "King Tut") and his latest album, "Love Has Come for You" is a collaboration with the ever lovely Edie Brickell.

Personally, I bought "Love Has Come for You" to listen to what Edie was up to lately, not thinking I'd get too much from it, and found I didn't want to stop listening.  I was so impressed that I went and downloaded Steve's stuff with the Steep Canyon Rangers.  Let me just say, I love these albums... and for a gal who isn't 100% on board with all things bluegrass, that's saying a lot.

But why not take a listen for yourself and check out what has been on heavy rotation on my iPod these last few months.....

Steve Martin with Edie Brickell, "When You Get To Asheville"

Steve Martin with Edie Brickell, "Get Along Stray Dog"

Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, "Orange Blossom Special" which then segues into a mean bluegrass version of "King Tut"

Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, "King Tut" if you wanted to hear it by itself.

And last, but not least, if you want to have a good laugh, go here to see the original skit.  I'd have it embedded for you, but its "forbidden" due to copyright.  Bummer.... still, its worth zipping over to youtube to watch because its just so stinking funny to see Steve in all his comedic glory.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Well it has certainly been awhile since I last posted, but that doesn't mean things haven't been happening for us down here in Utah, so I thought I would take a few minutes to let everyone know where our plans stand at the moment.

We are definitely moving back to Washington this year. Our original plans were to wait until our current leasing contract expires at the end of July to move, but things got pressed forward and we began looking at breaking our contract early (and paying a hefty fine) in order to move at the end of May. We even took a very brief journey northward for Richard to attend a job interview and to look at housing in the area. I admit that while I want to move back closer to family, the idea of rushing forward was pretty overwhelming to say the least, so it was a toss-up of feelings when Richard received the news that while the company liked him, that they had currently filled their positions for the branch he was interested in. Not that he is out of the running, as they will be bringing people in throughout the year, but they just don't need him at this time.

Which is a bit of a relief really, because I had nightmares of his moving up before me, finding housing just that much sooner, and handling the move down here entirely on my own.... which I would have done if necessary, but I find myself thankful that it will not be the case.

So we are back to our original plan of moving at the end of July.

Why move at all since we both have fairly good jobs down here in Utah? Well, good employment isn't the most important thing, is it? We both want to move in order to be closer to my family, and I find that I have missed the closeness of my sisters, and Richard has wanted to live in Washington ever since he was stationed there in the Navy back in the 90s. Our brief trip home had us both feeling that this was where we needed to be, and there are blessings in store for us not only now, but in the days and years to come. Washington is where we need to be, and this is the time to do it. Our prayers and thoughts have been directing us towards this goal for well over a year now, and they are stronger than ever. We go where the Lord wants us to go, and if it happens to be closer to where my family resides then so be it.

I admit that there are things about Utah that I will miss... and I will be leaving some very dear friends that I have made here, but I firmly believe that this is the right course for us, and I will take the bitter along with the sweet. Even with the things that I will miss, my heart still longs for the green fields and pine-covered mountains, for the clear (and far cleaner) air and bright starlit skies of my northward home. I have missed it dearly over the years I have spent here, and it is definitely time to return. Our visit simply strengthened that resolve.

There was a lot of good that came from the rushed plans... I began downsizing my considerable stash of stuff... and we donated a lot of items to a yard sale a friend of mine was holding for charity. It was such a refreshing thing to unburden our load, so to speak, that it has inspired me to keep downsizing. Oh trust me when I say we will still have a sizable load to move, but without some of these items the move already seems as if it will go that much smoother, and I find myself worrying less about the task to come. It is no secret that I absolutely hate to move, and would much rather stick with a place that I am not entirely happy with rather than to pack everything up to haul it elsewhere, so this move is a pretty big step for me to begin with. Anything I can do to lighten that load for ourselves cannot be bad in my book... besides, I have a tendency to be a bit of a pack rat (yes, I know, that is an understatement, isn't it?) so its good to be able to de-junk my life a bit.

More on the move as things develop, but I just wanted to let everyone know where we stand right now. Yes, there are a few things that I am failing to share, but rest assured that when the time is right we will be letting you know. Until then, I hope you all know just how much we both love you, friends, family and all.

Friday, March 1, 2013


This is Samson... Sammy for short.

Sam is a sweet cat, but he can be a bit of high maintenance. Like when he comes across one of his toy mice. Mice are to be thrown, chased after, and then you come back and demand a new mouse be tossed. Heaven forbid he should actually bring the original mouse back (that is something dogs would do and is, therefore, not to be considered). A good game of chase will end up with the thrower eventually bored out of their skull and Sam asking for "just one more mouse toss" even though there is a graveyard of abandoned mice littering the end of the hall.

"Toss it Dude!"

Sam's second favorite pastime is mewing at the underside of the couch until Richard finally digs out the yardstick and fishes out all of the toys that have been lost to its shadowy recesses. He gets excited as more and more mice are pulled out, until he is sitting on a stack of toys; his very demeanor chortling with glee, "mine, all mine". Forget the fact that there are two other cats in the house that enjoy tossing a mouse about... the mice in this house are Sam's and Sam's alone.

So imagine my surprise this morning when, while at work, I glance down at the floor and notice a flash of orange on my pants... or rather, in my pants.

Sam had tucked one of his mice into the cuff of my jeans, and I had not even noticed it until then.

For the rest of the day all I had to do was glance down to that mouse, still safely tucked away in my pant cuff, and I could feel the smile on my face growing ever wider. A little secret... me in my mousey pants and no one else the wiser. Not my boss, not our customers... just myself and a sweet little ginger cat, waiting for me back home.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Stellar Fun....

Maybe my posts like this bore the heck out of a lot of people, but I find this stuff absolutely fascinating.

There is a 360 degree panorama online where you can actually zoom in and out and see the Martian surface for yourself... you can even look up and see what the sun looks like if you were standing on the Martian surface. What I found interesting was if you look at the base of Curiosity you will see the two small holes she recently dug in order to sample the soil. The interesting part is that you see if you go under a very thin layer of rusty dust, the planet is actually gray... not red.

Freaking kewl.

Click on the embedded image below to try this out or here to go to the actual site and a much larger viewer to play with.

Mars Panorama - Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 177 in Out of this World

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Nose Day Doctor Who

Found this funny Doctor Who sketch done last year for Red Nose Day (Comic Relief for charity done yearly in Britain). Its incredibly cute, but its a teensy more risque than your average episode (don't worry, everyone keeps their clothes on). I highly suggest pressing play if you have a few minutes... after all, who couldn't use a few more minutes of Rory in their lives?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Photoshoot

Last weekend... fresh snow, blue skies... and a chilly 13 degrees before factoring in the wind chill.

I have been taking shots of my favorite teenager, Kitten... mostly so she can find one she likes as her senior picture, but also just for fun as I promised to capture her in every season.

We've now covered fall and winter.

So here we are on this frosty Sunday afternoon, with me snapping away madly, and this darling girl in short sleeves is happily stomping through the snow in a full-length gown. Being Alaskan tough, she insists she feels just fine, even though I, bundled in a thermal shirt and fleece jacket, am completely freezing. As proof of her statement, the only thing blue on her is her heavenly eyes and her sparkling gown.

Rather than bore you with dozens of shots, I'll just share my absolute favorites from the shoot....hope you enjoy.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ooh la la.... "Outer Space"

Short, but amazing video shot using only images from the Voyager and Cassini space probes of Saturn and Jupiter... raging storms, balletic dance of moons, rings and all.

I hope you enjoy.....

Outer Space from Sander van den Berg on Vimeo.