Posted by: gisspar | October 11, 2009

True story

So yesterday we got our first bit of snow for the year (third earliest accumulation in 60yrs. yippee) at about 2 inches. By the time I got around to looking, there was maybe an inch of snow underneath about an inch of ash leaves. Couldn’t see the deck, the patio, the garden or the driveway for all of the leaves. Over 300 gallons after about three hours of raking. But that’s not really the point here (although, yes, I would really like a cookie).

No the point is related to something that happened while raking. This group of girls with little white buckets were trolling the neighborhood asking for donations. Their first time through, I was in the backyard and I didn’t get the pleasure of shutting the door in their faces. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find a group of heavily made-up blondes from a baptist church that charitable. The next time through, I was in the front, still raking. They did not stop to ask for a donation. And I’m standing there thinking “What is this, discriminatory solicitation?” Like it’s only okay to try to guilt people out of money (presumably to help others that probably don’t look like you) from people that look like you? That does not speak well for any sense of community or equality or acceptance. Nor does it give me any confidence at all in whatever charitable act they were trying to perform—if you are that biased to start, then how can you truly provide anything to someone in a way that maintains their dignity? “Give a man a fish; teach a man to fish” is something that sometimes gets lost. It takes more effort and someone has to show up; you can’t just drop a can in a bag to get that boost of self-worth for being charitable.

To be fair, I didn’t expect much from these girls. I still have trouble reconciling this overwhelming desire to chase the latest trends in style and entertainment with any great understanding of the other (i.e. those that are different from you and yet are not inherently evil just because of it). My kindergarten and my mom always used to tell us that “everybody’s different; everybody’s fine” and, since I tend to take things fairly literally sometimes, I still believe that and try to live with that in mind. Although if you are stupid and mean, you are not fine but that’s more of a character flaw as opposed to some culturally defined race thing.

Anyway, most of the leaves are raked so at least something good came of the afternoon.

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Posted by: gisspar | October 10, 2009

Height of laziness

I was seriously considering just logging in to Netflix to see which movies I have at home instead of walking ten feet to look at the actual dvds. Oy.

Posted by: gisspar | October 4, 2009

Get your knit on!

Here’s a pattern for knitting your very own lego minifig. And in true lego style, you can pop off its head (such a satisfying pop for some reason).500x_knitted-lego

Posted by: gisspar | September 30, 2009

The good, the bad, the ukulele

The New York Times is running a piece about the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (with a slideshow of awesome).

If the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain exists partly to subvert expectations, then the first expectation it subverts is that it is going to be very, very bad.

“Relief is one of the major emotions of our audience,” declared Dave Suich, an orchestra member.

It’s good stuff.

Posted by: gisspar | September 27, 2009

It’s gone, baby, gone.

They took hammers to the lego house. My minifigs are rolling over in their plastic bin right now. If you really need to see multi-colored destruction, there’s a gallery here.

Posted by: gisspar | September 24, 2009

Audio Banks

I am conflicted about the iTunes/I.M. Banks deal that offers Transition as a free podcast in little, abridged chunks a couple of times a week. It’s even read by the man himself. But it’s abridged. And an audio book. And it’s abridged. Mostly, though, I find his books to be pretty dense in a holy-crap-the-plot-just-went-where kind of way. I’d be afraid that a twice-weekly installment would leave me with too much time between to forget all of the relevant wackiness. And this one is supposed to be complex and wacky. Besides, I still have to finish Century Rain (Reynolds).

Posted by: gisspar | September 21, 2009

A day late

But really worth the wait. The completed lego house:

The finished house

The finished house

The bedroom

The bedroom

And you can see more images here. I find it quite sad that someone would take a chainsaw to it (if no one buys it tomorrow, it will be demolished). I mean, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but to just destroy it, and to destroy it in a way that means all of the pieces are trashed, that’s just wrong. Unless it was glued together, why wouldn’t you try to at least recycle the pieces? It could make a whole lot of kids happy. At least do something with the cat and the chicks. Yeesh.

Posted by: gisspar | September 18, 2009

Double w00t!

They finally added the second season of Green Wing to hulu! Sweet. I have to say, the Lord of the Flies, descent into chaos that takes place in the HR office is one of my favorites.

Posted by: gisspar | September 17, 2009

This was new

An enormous praying mantis (enormous in my personal experience with my yard) was hanging out on the deck when I got home today. He was not very happy to see me. And he was huge—almost 3 inches. The other ones I’ve seen were maybe an inch, but, to be fair, that was in the spring so they were babies. I have no idea where he came from (or where he went). Whatever, it’s better than grackles.

Trying to get away from the camera

Trying to get away from the camera

And giving me the stink eye

And giving me the stink eye

Posted by: gisspar | September 16, 2009

David Bowie, eat your heart out.

My poor iPod, well, it didn’t die so much as get replaced. It gave its all for five years but progress must be made, standards must be upheld, katamari must be rolled while waiting for the elevator. And, with the wonder that is youtube, it means that I can rock out to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. While the cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit is awesome, it is not David Bowie awesome. No, that’s for the cover of Life on Mars. What makes it even better is, if you’ve ever seen the British version of Life on Mars (the original and far superior version), the bass ukulele player and the guy who plays Sam are doppelgangers:

Sam from Life on Mars

Sam from Life on Mars

Bass player from UOGB

Bass player from UOGB

All things  intersect at Bowie. It’s like a trifecta of awesome—ukuleles, Bowie and British mysteries (yes, it’s a cop show, but still).

And, the newer iPods have an actual on/off button so that you can perform an homage to The Venture Brothers (always very Bowie-tastic) with:

It’s on.
It’s off.
It’s on.
It’s off.
It’s on.
Off.
It’s on
[…]
Boys, that’s called blinking.

except without all of the blinking. There’s probably an app for that though.

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