Posted by: gisspar | December 19, 2009

Good news, everyone!

The snowblower starts. Hooray – there’s another potential blizzard/snowpocalypse headed this way. It might not sound like a big deal, but last week’s blizzard required (over the course of three days) seven rounds of shoveling. After the fourth round, I tried to get that bad boy going but I guess I just didn’t have the shoulder strength left to pull the starter hard enough. So what did we learn? First, I’ll have to row more. Second, by the time you’ve moved 8-9 inches of snow, trying to pull that stupid starter cord is not likely to get the engine running. Third, I really hate snowblowers.

Posted by: gisspar | December 12, 2009

Tis the season

Like just about everyone else in town, I braved the slushy streets in search of groceries today. (There was this little blizzard earlier in the week and still something like a foot of snow on the ground.) Anyway, there was this eight year old kid at the store rocking a four inch high, red and green striped mohawk. It was awesome.

That is all.

Posted by: gisspar | December 4, 2009

Cold, cold beer

Now that the temperature has dropped (i.e. freakin’ plummeted) from a nice sunny 60 to 25 and flurries in the space of a couple of days, I have to start seriously pondering another winter of freezing, shoveling and white-knuckled trips down the driveway. I am excited.

And for some reason, reminded of a semester of college when I got stuck living with a profoundly stupid person who insisted on setting the heat at 88° so that stupid person could wear shorts year round. Mind, this was in a place with winter and snow and ice (not North Dakota levels but still cold). I think this idiot liked to grow mold as a hobby. I really don’t because I like breathing, so I spent three months hiding in my room with the window open two inches. All winter. Even when it snowed. Just to get the temperature down to the low seventies like a normal person. The only plus side to this was that I could keep my beer cold and safe by putting it on the window sill instead of the fridge.

Ugh, stupid people.

Ugh, snow.

Posted by: gisspar | November 29, 2009

More Pratchett

An excellent lego diorama of Windle Poons trying to run down a nightwatchman:

Windle Poons from captainsmog

Posted by: gisspar | November 29, 2009

What the hell, weather? Part II

One of the azaleas has started putting out flower buds. There’s one that’s about a week or two away from flower. This should not be happening in December. This does not bode well for the spring—I’m not sure how robust the shrub is to this kind of growth spurt before a long freeze (assuming, of course, that winter does actually show up).

Posted by: gisspar | November 26, 2009

What the hell, weather?

Seriously. It’s Thanksgiving. My annual flowers should not be flowering now. They should be a little pile of brown crud that I really should compost or something but forget about doing when the weather’s decent and then feel sort of guilty about. Not flowering:

Chinese forget-me-not (Nov 26, 2009)

The elderberry hasn’t even really started changing color yet. And the grass has started growing again. This is just nuts.


Posted by: gisspar | November 14, 2009

Poor little guy

Woke up today to find animal control parked outside my house. Turns out, the neighbor had called about a potentially ill raccoon in their yard that had decided to pop over to mine. The animal control officer had a look around, but didn’t find him so she took off on another call. About half an hour later, I thought that I’d at least go make sure it hadn’t wandered under the deck (there’s at least one rabbit living under there) and, bam!, the raccoon was just sitting there on the driveway. Poor guy, he did not look particularly perky. Especially after deciding to curl up out in the open, like this:


Not a happy camper

Anyway, the animal control officer came back and collected him after a very brief round of kicking. Probably had canine distemper. Sorry, little guy.


Posted by: gisspar | October 31, 2009

Branes, branes!

Today I put the jeans on left leg first. Now everything is just a little off, not quite pear-shaped, just off. I knew it was wrong when I did it.

Or I stayed up 40 hours straight before trying to finish Absolution Gap (A. Reynolds) and I’m still trying to work out branes and foamy universe theories. That will require a nap and a different sort of foam. Like a stout. And maybe a bagel.

Posted by: gisspar | October 21, 2009


My two-year old spider plant finally, finally put out a new leader. Oh, and the redwood tree put on a good 18in. so it is now, including the pot, taller than me. It’s sort of like those people who think a baby crocodile is a cute pet until it grows big enough to eat them. There’s a point when having a redwood tree in your living room is simply no longer feasible. But, the branches are now sturdy enough to hang small ornaments on, so there’s Christmas solved.

Posted by: gisspar | October 20, 2009

Damn you, Alastair Reynolds

It’s no secret that I enjoy the Iain M. Banks Culture novels. Certain folks, aware of this fact, recommended the Alastair Reynolds trilogy as the next great space opera fun. I’ll be honest, Revelation Space kind of annoyed me for a good chunk of the book. But I made it through the first fifty pages (generally my cutoff for crap). Then io9 had a post about the best eco-scifi books that included Century Rain. Since I always do what the internet tells me to do (just kidding mom), I read that next. First, it is not a tale of environmental disaster in any meaningful way. Yes, the Earth was destroyed but that is not a particularly unusual occurrence in a scifi book. So, boo, io9 – Century Rain is really more of a mystery love story in a space war kind of book. The environmental disaster is tangential to the plot (and no one was really trying to fix the problem).

Even though I didn’t really like Century Rain so much (hardboiled French PIs just don’t do anything for me) by the time that I had finished it, the end of Revelation Space was starting to bug me. It was unresolved. So now I have to see it through; all 1400 pages of the last two books of the trilogy. There are times when I curse my somewhat obsessive need to read everything an author wrote (unless the first one was crap, of course). There better be plenty of splodey space battles.

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